Archive for goals

I’ve Changed: My Body, My Strength, My Goals

It’s hard to believe that for 7 years, I wrote a blog post almost every day. I love writing and if I didn’t have so much on my plate, I’d probably write a lot more. I have a lot to say and I’d probably save the people around me by writing more often 😉

The last 6 months have been interesting. My goals have changed, some of what I’ve been doing has changed, and I feel that I’ve changed mentally as well. Not to sound like a kook, but I felt these changes coming on. I kept telling people that I felt like change would be coming soon. Maybe I manifested it, or maybe I could just tell that my life was getting ready to adjust. Either way, it’s not unwelcome and I’m riding the wave to see where it takes me.

Let me back up and get you caught up on my 2017 thus far…

If you’ve kept up with me for the last few years, you’ll know that in January 2016, I started working with a Powerlifting coach (Jason Kelske….he’s still my coach 1.5 years later), as I wanted to see better strength results. I had geared my workouts back to gaining strength somewhere in 2014 (after a hiatus where I spent my time “chasing the sweat”, as I call it), and by the end of 2015, I felt that I had done what I could on my own to get stronger. I had plateaued in most of my lifts and knew a coach would be helpful. As a trainer myself, I truly believe that any trainer can benefit from having their own trainer. Whether you’re an expert in your field or a total newb, there’s something to be said about having a 3rd party assessing what you’re doing and making decisions on where to go next. There’s no emotion involved with a coach. When it’s you coaching yourself, you tend to overthink. I love having a coach and always learn so much from everyone I work with. I think it’s important in expanding my knowledge as a trainer and a lifter.

I started gaining strength rapidly with my coach and became totally addicted to it.

I believe when I started my numbers were roughly:

  • 155lb Back Squat for 3 reps
  • 105lb Bench Press for 5 reps
  • 185lb Deadlift for 5 reps
  • 3-4 struggly Chin-Ups (yes, I said struggly)

This past January, 1.5 years later, I hit some really exciting PR’s:

  • 225lb Squat
  • 148lb Bench Press
  • 275lb Deadlift
  • 10 bodyweight Chin-Ups

If you would have told me even a year ago that I’d hit those numbers, I would have said you were crazy. It was seriously an awesome feeling to do that!

But in January, I also weighed about 155-156lbs. I had “fattened up” in the winter, and since I was training really hard, I was able to get really strong.

The problem was, I wasn’t happy or comfortable in my skin.

This was me in February. I looked fine, but it wasn’t a happy weight for me (although I looked buff AF).

If you don’t know my history, here’s a brief overview:

-I started lifting weights in 2007 – I weighed approximately 130lbs at a height of 5’7

-I competed in my first NPC Bikini competition in July 2009 and weighed in at 127lbs on stage (and started binging and restricting immediately afterwards)

-I competed in my 2nd Bikini competition in August 2009 and weighed in at 134lbs on stage (due to binge eating and trying to “rectify” the binges in the prior month). I was told I should be leaner for my next show

-I ballooned up to 145-150 or so pounds by October of 2009 due to binging and restricting. I had developed an eating disorder through prepping for my show and after the show, I lost it. I couldn’t control it.

-I moved to Los Angeles in May 2011. I was still battling my eating disorder. I weighed about 155lbs and didn’t recognize my face.

-By October 2011, I had finally gotten tired of hating myself. I was sick of working out for hours, binge eating, starving myself, eating “clean”, worrying about how bloated I looked, canceling things because I was embarrassed of how I looked. I finally decided that I needed to just find a way to be happy with my body, STOP restricting foods, and release the pressure I was putting on myself.

-In September/October of 2012, I had made progress and was being much more free about foods I ate. I still battled with binge eating at times, but it was at this point in time that I decided to quit doing cardio (I was doing cardio 5-6 days per week in addition to either lifting weights or doing “functional” workouts–chasing a sweat and doing a bunch of plyometrics to induce said sweat). I lost 5lbs in the next 2 months by focusing on strength training (and training hard), not doing any cardio, and giving myself the break I needed when it came to what I was eating.

-Over the next few years, I finally had gotten through the weeds of my eating disorder. I felt comfortable around food again. I could have formerly “forbidden” foods in the house and not feel the need to eat all of it. It wasn’t easy and didn’t happen overnight, but by 2013/2014, I felt somewhat normal again. Finally.

So there’s my brief overview. Since 2013, my body has been “happy” at about 148-152lbs. It has fluctuated in that range consistently and has been a weight that I feel very comfortable with. My body composition has changed drastically since 2013 (see photo below), yet my weight has stayed pretty much the same. I’ve done a few cuts in the last few years and gotten down to 145 a few times, but overall, I’ve hovered around 150, and that’s pretty effortless for me. This means I’ve been able to get leaner and have more muscle mass and less body fat than I did a few years ago.

I’m roughly the same weight in each picture.

This is why in January when my weight was 155-156ish, I didn’t feel good. Sure, I was stronger than I’d ever been, but I felt fluffy. I realize that 5-7lbs may not seem like much, but the difference was noticeable enough for me to not feel my best.

I decided I wanted to get back down to where I’m comfortable (just under 150ish), but I also know my history with dieting and am very careful with it. I will be the first to admit that I SUCK at dieting. I haven’t taken off more than 4 days in a row from lifting weights in the last 10 years (and realistically, I’ve only taken 3-4 days off in a row probably a 2-3 times in that 10 years), but dieting is like this dangling carrot that I can’t seem to grab onto. With that knowledge of knowing myself, I decided to do a slowwwwwwww cut that didn’t require me to cut out too many calories each day, which would keep me from feeling like I was dieting.

It’s now August and I’m happy to report that I’m hovering between 148-150lbs these days. Yes, I took 5 months to lose 7-8lbs (I think I started cutting in March), but I didn’t feel like I dieted down at all. I stayed at a slight caloric deficit 5-6 days per week, and ate at maintenance or just above for 1-2. There were no drastic lows and no drastic highs. It has probably been the healthiest cut I’ve ever done in my life. I’m actually still doing it, as I have some new goals that I’ll discuss at the end of this post.

Currently:

Here we are in August 2017. As I mentioned, I am back to 148-150lbs and I feel good. I had a few minor injuries in April and May that caused my strength to take a hit, so my strength numbers aren’t what they were in January. I want to point out that none of my injuries have been serious and as a lifter, there WILL be minor injuries. Some will last 1-2 days, others will last a few weeks. It’s going to happen and the smartest thing you can do is to work around those injuries (and not through them). Do exercises that don’t hurt you and stay away from exercises that do. You’ll heal and be back to normal soon. Trust me. It’s better to take a few days/weeks off than months or years. If you suffer from a major injury, it can be much worse. I’ve been lucky enough not to have any major injuries in the last 10 years, but I continue to be careful. I want to be able to lift and be active for life, so it’s not worth risking an injury to set a PR. I always coach people to stay in control of their lifts. Even when it gets super heavy, the weight should never control you. I see lifters all the time who get cocky and go for a weight they aren’t prepared for. Their mentality is that they are just going to try and see if they can do the lift. There’s a smart way to push yourself and a dumb way to do it. I guess it’s hard to know what’s smart or dumb if you’re inexperienced (so if you don’t know, make sure you’re with someone who does), but someone who has been lifting for a long time knows. I am always in control of my lifts. ALWAYS. Even in my heaviest squats, which are the most terrifying exercise in the world to go heavy on (in my opinion), I don’t ever have a point where I feel like the weight is controlling me. I think that is a big reason I haven’t had any serious injuries. It’s also the reason why I won’t be breaking any world records any time soon, but that’s not my goal, so who cares. 🙂

Anyyyyyyways. Back to my minor injuries.

Hip Flexors: I was dealing with hip flexor issues for quite a while (8-9 months at least) that led me to the decision to stop doing back squats for about 6 weeks. They were just feeling tired and sore constantly. To the point that even a body weight squat felt difficult as I came out of the hole in my squat. It just wasn’t fun anymore. I had some MAT done and after just 4 sessions, my hip flexors are probably healthier and happier than they’ve ever been. I’m still amazed by it, but I won’t question it! I’m back to squatting now and at my most recent 1RM testing, I hit a 198lb back squat, conservatively. It wasn’t pretty (because let’s be honest, NONE of my heavy squats are very pretty #longfemurclub), but I probably could have done 8-10 more lbs, which is only about 10-15lbs less than my previous 1RM when I was 7lbs heavier.

Left Wrist: I had a wrist injury from doing dips that prevented me from doing bench press and barbell military press for about 3-4 weeks. I stopped doing dips and will probably never do them again, as there’s no need. They’ve never felt good and always cause me to get injured. There are plenty of other exercises for me to do. This is a big take-home point. If an exercise bothers you or constantly causes you to have issues, don’t do it. Find other exercises that don’t hurt you. There is no exercise you “have” to do. There are hundreds to choose from! Anyways, because of the time off from bench press, I lost some bench strength. I was able to build back up and while I didn’t hit my 148lb bench press last weekend at my mock powerlifting meet, I still got a 137lb bench and again, felt like I had more in the tank. I’m happy with that. While my wrist healed, I did push-ups from my fists, dumbbell presses that didn’t hurt, and pulling movements that felt okay.

Left Shoulder: In addition to my wrist, I had a minor shoulder injury. I can’t remember exactly what I did, but it started bothering me after I did a few grindy barbell military press reps. Ideally you won’t go to an RPE 10 on multiple sets of an exercise, but sometimes I’m on fire and I push too hard (Oops). Do as I say, not as I do. Anyways, I actually thought it was worse than it turned out to be. It was really hurting me, but (do not try this please), I decided to do an upper body workout to see what did/didn’t hurt me. Oddly enough, chin-ups didn’t hurt me at all and neither did most pulling exercises. I was also able to do some cable chest flys and they didn’t hurt either. I remember pushing through that workout and thinking “I’m either going to feel great after this, or I’m going to regret this decision”. Miraculously, my injury seemed to nearly disappear after that workout. It was one of those things that shouldn’t have happened and there’s no explanation, but it did. I would never, ever, ever, ever recommend it to anyone, but it worked for me. This is another example of something you’re able to do when you’ve been lifting a long time and know your body really well. You know how to “take chances” but not put yourself in a position of total fuck-uppery. Once again, please do not ever do what I did to “heal” your shoulder injury. Ever. Got it?

In conclusion, here’s what happened from January through today:

January 2017

  • Weight: 157lbs
  • Squat: 225lbs
  • Bench: 148lbs
  • Deadlift: 275lbs
  • Chin-Ups: 10 bodyweight, 2 reps with 25lb plate

July/August 2017

  • Weight: 148lbs
  • Squat: 198lbs
  • Bench: 137lbs
  • Deadlift: 259lbs
  • Chin-Ups: 9 bodyweight (I only tested it 1 time), 2 reps with 25lb plate, 1 rep with 35lb plate

The moral of the story is this: I’m not as concerned about being the strongest I can be anymore. Sure, I want to be strong. I want to be really strong. But more so, I want to be healthy, I want my body to feel good, and I want to feel comfortable in my skin. I want to be as strong as possible in THAT body. The one that feels amazing and has no problem stepping on the beach in a bikini.

(like I did on 4th of July with my fam)

July 2017

My goals now are to drop down to 140lbs (as slowly as a saguaro cactus grows) to do the following:

a) See what I look like

b) Hold my weight there and reverse diet my maintenance calories up

c) Build strength at that weight and see what I’m capable of

There’s no deadline or timeline for this. I want to enjoy life and being in a strict caloric deficit is not in my interests. What IS in my interests is to slowly chip away and do further experimenting on myself. I’d imagine around Thanksgiving or so I may be there, but we’ll see.

Anyways, that’s my update. I wanted to put this out there for a few reasons, but one being that I want to highlight that changing your goals is okay. If you aren’t happy with something, it’s fine to change course. There is no shame in deciding that something is or isn’t right for you. As one of my favorite lines from one of my favorite songs from one of my favorite band goes….

“Yes there are two paths you can go by, but in the long run, there’s still time to change the road you’re on.” -Led Zeppelin

Things I’m not Great At

Gooood morning!

Hope your day is off to a fantastic start! It is Friday, after all. I started my morning with some yoga (more on that in a minute), training a client, and then started my work day. and of course, coffee. Duh.

My workouts have been awesome lately, and I’ve been having fun writing my own again. It’s nice to have a coach and not have to think about my workouts, but I also love my own programming. I do a great job of progressively kicking my own ass. I’m getting stronger, and especially in my upper body. I hit a 105×3 bench press last weekend and can’t wait to test my 1RM soon!

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Things I’m Not Great At: (including ending sentences with a preposition)

-Being consistent with dieting

-Stretching & Foam Rolling

-Being patient

-Saying no

-Stopping to smell the roses

While everyone is all like “be positive, think positive, throw away the negative feelings”, I think it’s important to talk about weaknesses too. I agree, focusing on the positives is helpful for overall well-being, but if you ignore the negatives and weaknesses, you likely won’t get better at them. You’ll just hide them away and focus on other things. I’m super aware of my weaknesses and I’m also super annoyed that they bog me down.

I am trying to face all of them and take an active role in working on them.

What I’m Doing to Combat my Weaknesses:

Being consistent with dieting: I’m writing down my goals, writing in a journal, and taking things day by day. I screw up a lot. But I don’t give up. People can roll their eyes or think “she’ll never move forward”, but truthfully, I don’t care. I’m happy with my body, but I do have goals I want to reach. Dieting is my nemesis and I’m working on changing that. I’ll likely fail 23423 more times, but I assure you if that’s the case, I’ll try 23424 times.

Progress Picture – 10/28/15

Stretching & Foam Rolling: Well I realized that even when I told myself I’d do these things, I wouldn’t. When a friend reminded me that he teaches a badass yoga class and that I should try it, I thought “what the hell” and went. I ended up actually liking it (yup, it finally happened), and signed up for a membership. I’m taking class 2-3 times per week and it’s definitely helping my mobility. I am also foam rolling while I wait for clients (so thank you for when you’re late, you allow me more time with the foam roller).

Being patient: This sort of ties in with the above. I’m working on not expecting things to happen instantly. Of course, I don’t always succeed in this, but the intention of being more patient is there, and I’m at least at the point of thinking about it and reminding myself of this.

Saying no: I am the queen of saying “yes, i’d love to!” to just about everything. It landed me with 5 jobs and more stress than I could handle. These days, I’m learning to turn things down that aren’t worth it. I’ve turned down 2 projects in the last month, and I feel good about it.

Stopping to smell the roses: I live minutes from the beach and rarely go, so I’m determined to change that. Last week, I grabbed Oscar and went down to watch the sunset. We walked along the boardwalk and it was awesome. I also took him to the dog beach last weekend, which was equally awesome. I’m taking time to take in the things I normally walk past without noticing. It’s been really good for my mind and soul.

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Oddly enough, I’m noticing that I’m much more calm and at peace lately. I feel less stressed and more carefree. I think a combination of the above has contributed to that, and I’m feeling really happy in my life again.

I’ve said it before, but health and fitness isn’t always about working out, eating right, and #motivation selfies. Sometimes it’s about everything else that goes along with it. Conditioning the mind, learning new things, combating bad behaviors or negative thoughts, DEALING with problems head-on. I’ve been so focused on the fitness aspect, that I let a lot of the other stuff go over the years. It’s nice to start focusing on the other stuff, while maintaining the things I know I’m good at.

I’m headed to Chicago and then Phoenix next week, so I’m sure I’ll have some fun photos and workout videos then as well.

Later!

-Lizzy

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Operation: GET LEAN Update #2

Happy Friday peeps!

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#workmode

I wanted to pop in and give you an update on Operation: GET LEAN!

In my last update, I was feeling really good and like I had finally gotten in the right head-space for this.

I’m happy to say that I feel even more dialed in today than I did then!

STATS:

Starting Weight: 152 lbs

Weight Today: 145.4 lbs

I’ve lost:

  • 1 inch in my waist
  • 0 inches in my bootay (that will be the last to go for sure..)
  • .75 inches in each leg
  • 2 inches in my chest (REALLY?! ugh haha)
  • 1.5 inches on my hips
  • 0.5 inches on each arm

Are these crazy numbers? No. But 5.75 inches in 6 weeks is fine by me. I’m not trying to win a race, I’m just trying to lean out and be healthy. Progress is progress and as long as I’m moving in the right direction, that’s all that matters to me.

What I’m Doing:

I’m lifting 4 days per week, with 1 ab circuit each week.

No cardio. (except for 1 baseball game I play every Sunday and the occasional rollerblading by the beach, which only happens about once every 2-3 weeks)

I think that’s one of the biggest things that makes people’s jaw drop.

“What?? No cardio?? How is that possible?!”

“I have to do cardio everyday!!! How are you doing that?!”

The truth is, quitting daily cardio was the best thing I ever did for ME. It doesn’t mean cardio is BAD by any means. In fact, a little bit of cardio is good for you. And if daily cardio makes you feel good, clears your head, or of course, is part of your training for a race, then by all means DO IT. But daily cardio for the purposes of fat loss is just unnecessary, in my opinion.

I lift heavy (for me) weights, and I go hard in the gym. I’m a sweaty, out of breath MESS after EVERY one of my workouts. I don’t half-ass them. I’m also diligent with eating well and staying within the parameters that will help me achieve fat loss.

The formula is SIMPLE

Executing it is CHALLENGING.

BUT, if you have your eyes set on a goal and are WILLING to put the work in,

Results Happen…

Photos are 8 weeks apart, but I didn't start dieting until 6 weeks ago.

Photos are 8 weeks apart, but I didn’t start dieting until 6 weeks ago.

Question of the Day

  1. How are you doing with your goals?
  2. What do you find to be the hardest part about fat loss?

2 Week Update: Day of Eats

Hey guys!

It’s a Mondenesday over here. If you’re not familiar, that’s a Wednesday that feels like a Monday = stressful. Either way, I’m working away and doing the best I can today. That’s all I can do, right? I’m thinking extra coffee would help, too. 🙂

It’s been almost two weeks since I started my 12 week program with Sohee, so I wanted to give an update and also show you a fairly typical day of eats for me while I’m on this program.

First, things first, here’s an update!

This is the first time in almost 5 years that I’ve been serious about leaning out again. It’s also the first time I’ve tried “dieting” again that has actually felt GOOD as opposed to feeling like a chore. It doesn’t feel like I’m restricted or even really like I’m dieting, for that matter. (If you’re just now hearing about this, I’m following an IIFYM diet).

Hunger

I’m a little bit hungry at times, but that’s normal when dieting (note: starving is NOT normal, but a little hunger is expected). I’m eating enough and it definitely isn’t intense hunger, it’s more of that lingering feeling of wanting something else. I’m actually not even sure if it’s TRUE hunger, to be honest. It can be annoying at times, but it’s definitely not a big deal.

Compliance

I’ve been really good about being compliant with this plan. Like I said, I’m not cutting out anything that I love, so i don’t feel like there’s anything I “can’t” have. If I want something, I just work it into my day. I’m eating enough food and like I said before, I don’t even really feel like I’m on a “diet”.

Results

Friday is my first biweekly in which I’ll submit photos, measurements, and my weight. It will be interesting to compare this to my initial submission and see what has changed. I can already tell a difference, but it will be much easier to tell when I compare photos.

 

So that’s how things are going so far! I’ll start updating with my progress photos once I start submitting my biweeklies…so stay tuned.

Day of Eats

There’s a misconception that by doing an IIFYM based diet that you can just eat junk food and crap all day and still lose weight. That really isn’t the case. You need to eat healthy, nutritious foods about 80-90% of the time (with room for some treats here and there) in order to make the most out of this type of diet. With that said, here are some of my eats for today.

Breakfast:

  • 1 large apple
  • Almond Milk Continental
  • 1 over-easy egg
  • 1 piece of Spicy Italian Chicken Sausage

Lunch:

  • Kombucha (trilogy is my favorite!)IMG_6664
  • Brown Rice, Ground turkey burger, jalapeno cilantro hummus concoctionIMG_6663
  • This little Honey Pattie. This thing was SOOO rich, but made for the perfect little chocolatey dessert. I’d never had one before, but will definitely be buying this again. IMG_6666

Snack:

  • Slap Chocolate Flavored Protein Powder
  • ice
  • almond milk.IMG_6667Blended and enjoyed. (tastes like a milkshake to me…Charlie says it tastes like chalk….guess when you haven’t had a real chocolate milkshake in a while, your taste buds forget. )

 

Snack

Yogurt mess of

  • Fage 0% Greek Yogurt
  • Small handful of Walnuts & Almonds
  • 1 TBSP Peanut Butter

IMG_6668I still have Dinner left for today, but I haven’t decided what that will be just yet!

Hope you’re all having a great day!

Q’s

1. What was the best thing you ate today?

2. What is the one food that you would never want to give up?

 

 

 

 

12 Weeks…

LOL, I just re-read that title and realized that people might think I’m pregnant. I’M NOT.

Now, that we got that awkwardness out of the way….

Most people that know me well, know I’ve been through some ups and downs in my fitness journey. I went from competing in the NPC Bikini division, to spiraling into an eating disorder and gaining a bunch of weight, to finding my peace with food and leveling out at a healthy and good weight for myself. I’m not shredded, and I’m not even necessarily lean, but I’ve got definition, strength, and I’m happy with my body. I lost weight after recovering from my eating disorder and I’ve been able to maintain the same weight for about 2 years now without much thought or effort. I eat healthy foods 90% of the time, not caring much about how many grams of protein, carbs, or fat that I’m eating. I make sure to eat a well-rounded diet, I look good, and I’m happy.

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But I also know what I’m capable of and what I feel like on the inside. The person inside of me is a beast. If you’ve ever worked out with me, you get it. I work really hard in the gym and don’t ever give up. I’ve been working out consistently for 7.5 years with my longest break being maybe 3-4 days. In good times and bad, the gym has always been there for me. But you may not be able to tell that from the outside!

Now, I’m ready to step it up and show myself what I’m made of once again. I’ve harnessed the help of Sohee Walsh (if you don’t know who she is, you should find out because she’s awesome) to get me down to the lean machine I want to be. I want abs again and I’m ready to have them back.

Oh hello there.

I don’t miss the no boobs part!

I chose Sohee because she went down the exact same rabbit-hole that I did. She gets it.

Questions:

Could I do this on my own? Of course I could. But when you do something yourself, your own thoughts can persuade you into different directions. I know that I do better when I have someone else telling me what to do.

Am I going to do a crazy clean-eating diet that I did when I was getting ready to compete? No. I’m not. I’ll be counting macros (proteins, fats, carbs) and still allowing myself to eat what I want when it fits into my day and I’m craving them.

What will be the hardest part for me? Not eating as much fruit. I love my fruit. Seriously, it is my candy. I eat a rainbow of fruit every day. Fruit isn’t bad, but the amount of fruit I eat equates to lots of sugar and carbs. I’ll still be eating fruit, but not all-day-err-day like I do now. 🙂

So why am I telling the world this? Because as much as I HATE the thought of telling the world my goals and potentially failing and having the world laugh at me, I know that accountability is a real thing that works. Plus, doesn’t everybody like to watch someone else’s health and fitness journey? You’ve all been watching my journey in the gym for a while now, so it’s time to take the other side into play.

I’ll be sharing my successes, struggles, meals, and thoughts. I’ll be sharing my workouts and things I’m learning along the way. Sometimes, I might cry out for help when  I want to throw the towel in, but I’m going to do this for real. I’ve signed up for 12 weeks with Sohee, and I’m excited to see what my body is made of in those 12 weeks.

Thanks for following along on my journey and keeping me accountable….let’s go!!!

My New Year’s UN-Resolutions

It’s interesting to me to look at where I am in life. If you would have asked me 5 years ago what I’d be doing now, I would have had no idea. I’ve always had passions, but while so many people are able to claim “yes, this is what I want to do for the rest of my life!”, I’ve just never been able to do that.
At times I’ve felt like I knew what I wanted to do, but after getting into it, I realize it’s not what I want to do 24/7. I’ve often felt like a failure for not have that one big dream that I want to do all day every day. But at the same time, I’ve built a life that I do love. I actually do like the work that I do, but have found that doing just ONE thing, isn’t for me. I like to do a lot of things. I like to workout, be in the recording studio, write, blog, do administrative work, marketing, going on adventures, travelling, etc. But could I do any one of those things all day every day? Probably not. Does that mean I love them any less? Does that mean I’m not passionate enough? I’ve often asked myself those questions, but have come to the conclusion that NO, that’s not the case. I’m not less passionate about any of those things than someone who chooses to pick one and do it all day every day. I’m just different and my brain requires different activities to be happy.
I really can’t complain. I work with a pretty flexible schedule and get to wear gym clothes to work everyday. I make enough money to live a good life. I have friends and family that love and support me…I really am blessed.
But sometimes I still wonder what that “one thing” is that would make me go “I want to do this! This is it!”
I’m not sure it exists. I think my brain is too all over the place for that. I knew at a young age that I liked more things than there was time for in a day, but thought that over time, I’d find that “thing”. And who knows, maybe I still will someday.
Either way, as everyone around me has been making their New Years Resolutions, I naturally started to think about mine. You might be surprised to know that I couldn’t think of a single one. 
Of course, I have goals. I’m a hard worker and there are things I want in life that I’m willing to work for. But still…
I have no resolutions. When it comes to work, I actually made a promise to myself to stress less and DO less this year. I guess you could call that a resolution of sorts, but it’s one that comes from caring less, not more. I’m not sure if that qualifies. You see, I take on work stress by the horns and typically let it rule me. But this year, I want to stop doing that. I want to leave the stress at the door and enjoy myself more. Take more time off…do new things that I’ve always wanted to do, but never found the time for…
I’m sure you’re also thinking “you don’t have health and fitness goals for 2015????” Well sure I do. But they aren’t goals I’m setting on January 1st. They are goals I continuously strive for and revamp when I feel necessary throughout the year. I don’t need a new year to help me with that.
So at the end of the day, I decided that 2015 is my year of UN-Resolutions.
I’m going to stress less
I’m going to DO less
I’m going to travel more
I’m going to live more

Question of the Day

What are your Unresolutions this year? Things that require LESS effort to make them happen.

6 Week Challenge Details

Hey friends! Happy Wednesday! Hope your week is going well. I’m working away, but having a pretty good week so far. Monday was definitely a MONDAY, but so far the rest of the week has been pretty good. I’m excited to relax a bit this weekend too, or at least attempt to. I always say that and then find 1,454,756 things to do and end up being pretty busy. Guess we’ll see how I’m feelin’!

2014-04-29 10.21.18-3

On Monday, I mentioned that a friend and I were going to tighten up our diets a bit and do a 6 week challenge with each other. We are both in pretty good shape and eat pretty well already, but we both want to take it to the next level!

I wanted to share the details of what we’re doing, so here goes.

6 Week Challenge Details

-Clean/healthy eating M-F (clean meaning minimally or not processed whole foods)

-Saturdays & Sundays: eat what we want within a certain calorie range (this will allow us to be able to satisfy our cravings without going overboard)

-Work out 5-6 days per week (we already do this, but will continue).

-Cut out breads/tortillas and keep our carbohydrate choices to sweet potatoes, brown rice, quinoa, & brown rice pasta

-Cut out sweets and desserts during the week (we can fit it into our weekends if we want it!)

-Lots of fruits and veggies

-Lots of protein: chicken, ground turkey, lean ground beef and other lean red meats, fish

-Healthy fats: avocados, coconut oil, olive oil, nuts, and nut butters

Why We Aren’t Setting a “Meal Plan”

In my experience, a meal plan sets me up for failure. Even if you are getting enough food and like the food you’re eating, it automatically sets a restriction right from the start. This makes you feel deprived immediately, even if you’re not. By setting some guidelines and not creating a carved out meal plan, I think we will have more success.

Progress

We’ll be tracking our progress here on the blog. I’ll be doing a weekly post to recap how the previous week went and to check in with measurements, weight, and photos. We will be taking photos later, so stay tuned for those!

Feel free to join us on the 6 week challenge! Each recap I do, I’d love for you to chime in with comments on how you’re doing on your own challenge! Your challenge can be the same as ours, or you can do something that fits your goals better and post about that. I love working with people as a team, so the more the merrier!

Questions? Feel free to drop me a line at FitLizzio@Gmail.com

See you guys tomorrow with some photos!

Have you ever done a challenge?

What is your biggest goal RIGHT NOW?

It’s Hard, But Not THAT Hard

…that’s what she said?

It’s an age old saying “Fail to Plan, Plan to Fail”. 

They will tell you that if you don’t prep all of your food on Sunday, then you won’t succeed.

They will tell you that if you eat carbs at dinner, then you won’t succeed.

Eating after 8pm? You might as well have done nothing all day. 

Ladies and gentlemen, I’m here to dispel some of these MYTHS and give you some tried and true advice that will help.

If you picked out 10 different fitness/health professionals and asked them how to lose weight, you would likely get 10 different responses. Honestly, maybe even 11. The debate is ongoing, but I highly advise that you take the pieces that work for YOU and piece together what is in YOUR best interest. There is no “one way” and it doesn’t have to be insanely hard. (Yes, that means I’m telling you to take what I say with a grain of salt, because I’m not you and you’re not me, and Dr. Seuss would be proud of me.)

When I was preparing to compete in the NPC, I looked like this:

Oh hello there.

Oh hello there.

I sometimes ate 8-10 apples a day (not joking, fruit all hours of the day), oatmeal for dinner was quite frequent (sometimes even at 9 or 10pm!!!), and I rarely prepped all of my food on Sunday. I was lean as f*&^. I got even more shredded than the picture above.

Now I look more like this:

Ab Progress January 14, 2014

Ab Progress January 14, 2014

…but I’m fine with that and still like my body!

The point of the first picture is to prove to you that it doesn’t have to be the hardest thing in the world to lose weight or even get super lean, if that’s your goal. (Clearly my goals are different now than they were in 2009. I want to be leaner, but not as lean as the first picture. I had my fun having the chest of a 6 year old boy, but I appreciate that I’ve stopped confusing my chest size with a very popular automobile club ahemAAAahem).

It DOES take dedication, and I won’t discount that. I was a really clean eater and didn’t eat any processed foods (except for my cheat day once a week).

What I AM here to do, is to give you some helpful tips that will help you get through the parts that are made to seem so difficult. I truly believe that with a little discipline, anyone can make a good change in their life. It doesn’t have to derail your life, and you can still enjoy food. In fact, I think depriving yourself is only a quick fix and can backfire on you over time. Somehow people started getting the vibe that food should be fuel and nothing more. I disagree. While food should primarily be fuel, food is to be enjoyed! There’s a reason that you feel happy when you take a bite of that chocolate chip cookie that’s fresh out of the oven. It’s not an accident.

With that said, here are my tried and true suggestions for anyone looking to get started on the journey to a healthier body (this includes losing weight or just becoming a healthier person)

-Eat a few times per day

This will help to keep your hunger levels in a comfortable place so that you don’t get so ravenous that you start devouring food without even knowing what hit you. No, you don’t have to eat 6 times per day, but try to get at least 3 meal times in. In the end, do what’s comfortable. I don’t necessarily think you should eat 1 meal a day, but if that’s what works for YOU, then who am I to change that? It comes down to….

Eat balanced meals 

For your main meals of the day, I truly believe in eating balanced proportions of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. This is not only good for your body (as it needs all three of these), but also keeps you much more satisfied than you would feel if you left something out. Try to include a portion of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates into each meal.

For example: If you order a baked potato(carbs) and butter(fat) and call it a meal, you’re missing out on the protein. Pair that with chicken, tofu, steak, eggs, or whatever protein choice you’d like. (You can even add plain greek yogurt instead of sour cream, and I bet you won’t know the difference!)

-Watch your portion sizes

…but LOAD UP on fruits and veggies. For example: A medium container of strawberries like this is about 65-75 calories.

strawberries Eat the entire thing and tell me if you don’t look 6 months pregnant after that. I’ll likely tell you to eat another and report back. You’re only 150 calories into the hole at this point, so I don’t even feel bad. I’m not saying you HAVE to do this, but I’m telling you it’s one of my tricks. Giant bag of broccoli, a bunch of baby carrots, a container of strawberries, 1-2 apples. While they taste really good (and the fruit options double as a sweet-tooth queller), they also help fill you up so that you don’t feel unsatisfied after a meal and start digging into junk foods. This is definitely one of my best kept (okay, it’s not that well kept) secrets. I usually use the vegetables as my “appetizer” before a balanced meal and the fruit serves as my “dessert” when I’m feeling a hankering for something sweet.

For your main meals, you don’t have to go around measuring all of your food, but a good rule of thumb for each meal is this:

-make the protein part of your meal about the size of your fist

-the starchy carbohydrates portion of your meal should fit in the palm of your hand

-vegetables should be abundant and eat as many as you want (see above.if you start getting fat from eating too many vegetables, write me a letter and send it via pigeon. and P.S. let’s be honest with ourselves, it’s probably not the veggies’ fault…)

-fats should be around 1-2 TBSP

-fruit should be about 1-2 fist sizes, ideally

This is only a starting guide, and can vary from person to person depending on SO many things. Start with this and see how you feel.

Watch ingredients

One of the biggest and healthiest changes I’ve made over the years is watching my ingredient list. My boyfriend and I have become a bit obsessed with checking to make sure that we aren’t being fed random, awful ingredients that aren’t necessary. Thank you, but I don’t need any BUTANE in my food. Yes, they put butane (or as they like to call it BTHQ) in many packaged foods. For “freshness”. And maybe spontaneous combustion. The added high fructose corn syrup and hydrolized palm kernel oil that is put into practically EVERYTHING is also unnecessary. Find brands that choose to use REAL ingredients. Eat fresher foods. Eat local foods (that don’t require so many preservatives). I guarantee you will feel better and healthier by making these simple changes only.

Snack Well

(Not SnackWells!!!)

If you choose items like fruit, vegetables, nuts, nut butters, whole grain or sprouted grain breads, greek yogurt, minimal ingredient snack bars, chicken sausages, etc. you will be good to go! Snacking on empty calories does nothing more than keep your mouth busy. If that’s your goal, you might as well just make out with someone and save the calories! Eat a snack and make it COUNT. Some ideas: almonds and fruit, carrots and hummus, almond butter and celery, hard boiled eggs, Larabar or QuestBar, protein shakes and more!

-Eat the damn cookie

If you NEED a chocolate chip cookie (although you don’t really NEED it, but you catch my drift), eat the damn cookie. Just don’t eat 5 damn cookies.

In the end, it all comes down to having some discipline and a level head while wanting the best for yourself. You don’t have to starve yourself, you don’t have to deprive yourself of your favorite foods, and you don’t have to stop enjoying food. You have to decide that you want to be healthier, first and foremost. While you should enjoy your foods, the majority of them need to also be fuel to you. You will start to notice the difference in how you feel during your workouts (and in life!) as you slowly make these changes. In time, you will find that the foods that fuel you will also satisfy you, and will become the foods you crave. It doesn’t mean you won’t ever want to eat a plate of nachos again, but I do believe that over time, the desire will become less and less. The constant desire for junk will become just an occurrence here and there.

I hope these tips serve you well. I could probably go on for pages with all of the tips I have, so trust me, more blog posts on this subject will be coming!

I am not a doctor, I am not an expert, I am not a magical wizard (although sometimes I like to think I am), so please check with one of those before making any dietary changes or starting a new eating regimen. Listen to your body and go with your gut. 

What is the best dietary change that you’ve made?

What do you struggle most with when it comes to eating?

5 February Goals

It’s been a crazy week! (Don’t I say that every week?) It’s been a good, productive week, but I’m tired! Going to be nice to hopefully relax a bit this weekend. This week was full of all kinds of exercise: full body metabolic workouts, heavy lifting, bouldering, and a spontaneous Pound class! I’m super sore and excited to close out the week with a little bouldering tonight. I even have battle wounds from punching a rock this week….oops….

Battle Wounds

Battle Wounds

 

As we close out January, it’s time to start figuring out goals for February. It’s a really easy time for people to fall off the wagon as the excitement of the new year subsides, so it’s important to keep on truckin’ along!

 

My 5 Goals for February:

1. Drink more water! Somewhere along the way, I’ve been drinking less water than normal. I’m still drinking enough, but should definitely be drinking more. That is definitely my number one goal!

2. More whole meals. I’ve found myself running out of the house in the morning and grabbing a protein bar and coffee to start my day. I know I could be doing better by giving myself an extra 15 minutes to throw together a wholesome breakfast.

3. Try something new. While I definitely spread myself out with activities (crossfit, bouldering, gym, outdoor activities, etc.) it’s never too late to try something new (or even something old that you haven’t done in a while)! I’m thinking that getting back into boxing or the occasional hip hop dance class will be in my near future.

4. Be more present. (And read a book!) We are all trying to do this more. Technology has really messed us up in this way, and staying off of my phone sometimes would be healthy. While it’s tough because of the nature of my job, I am going to try to at least take one evening a night where the computer and cell phone are nowhere in sight until the next morning. {anxiety ensues…}

5. Take a trip. While I have some small trips planned to take care of some things, I want to plan at least one little weekend getaway with the boyfriend so that we can spend some good quality time together away from our normal, daily lives. I truly believe in doing this every month or other month to keep my mind clear and fresh!

 

So what are your goals for February?

They can be fitness/health related, or not at all! They’re YOUR goals, so make them something that YOU want to achieve.

HAPPY FEBRUARY!

HAPPY FEBRUARY!