Tag 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

Fitness Motivation: How Should You Train?

Hey friends! I know I’ve been pretty absent, but I’m still here! Let’s waken this blog up with some fitness motivation!

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If there is one thing I’ve learned over the 8+ years I’ve been in the fitness world (and let’s just hope it’s more than one! ;-)), it’s what keeps someone in the game.

  • What is it that makes you keep coming back for more consistently?
  • What makes you quit or take long breaks from fitness?
  • What SHOULD you be doing to ensure you’ll keep on keeping’ on?

I believe there are two distinct questions that you must be able to answer YES to in order to determine if you are training the right way…

  1. Does this training support your goal?
  2. Do you enjoy it?

Let’s dig a bit deeper into each of them.

Does this training support your goal?

I believe all goals are equal. No goal is better than another and to each his own. I find SO often in the gym that people shun you for not wanting what they want. They walk around with that air around them, they look down on you, and most of all, they actually think they are BETTER than you. I find it extremely frustrating, but I’m confident enough to not care. Unfortunately, there are people in the gym that are already feeling subconscious enough and don’t need the added pressure/shaming. Just because you love bodybuilding, does not mean that the man training for a powerlifting meet is inadequate. Just because your goal is to go to the Crossfit Games, doesn’t mean that the girl that just wants a better butt’s goal is any less important. The gym is a big giant YOU VS. YOU. It isn’t about anyone else and your goal is the only one that should matter.

Now that I’ve got that out of the way, there IS a time when one type of training is better than another, and that time is when you’re looking at how you’re getting to your goals. If your goal is to get stronger and do a powerlifting meet, a bodybuilding program is not going to be sufficient. If your goal is to run a marathon, only lifting weights probably won’t help you get there. I like to think of training as a pyramid. Like an actual 3D pyramid that you learned about in geometry. The top of the pyramid is your goal, whatever that might be. The 4 sides are your 4 main avenues of achieving that goal. For example, let’s say your goal is to do a bodybuilding competition. One side of your pyramid would be your bodybuilding training program, another side would be your diet/cardio, another side would be your posing, and the 4th side would be some type of muscle health action like yoga, foam rolling, or sports massages. 

Do you enjoy it?

This might be the biggest factor in it all, depending on the person. While you will never enjoy EVERY training session or exercise, while there will be pain (the good kind), while there will be days where you’d rather just sit on the couch, overall you must enjoy what you’re doing (and I guess this applies to more than just working out…). Take me for example. If you told me I had to do pilates every day for my exercise, it is highly probably that I would end up missing it more often than going. I’ve tried several different training protocols over the years and at different times, I’ve enjoyed different ways of training. Currently, my favorite way to work out is to start with a heavy lift, then move into some medium weight/rep range supersets or plyometrics, and finish off with higher rep accessory work. Is EVERY training session built this way? No. But the majority of them are. I like them and they support my goal of getting stronger, being functional and agile, and giving me the aesthetic results I want. I also do things I DON’T like, but that I NEED to do to support my goals such as flexibility work (need to keep my muscles healthy) and dieting (I want to look a certain way), but liking the majority of what I do is KEY to long-lasting commitment.

 

You’ll never enjoy every piece of the puzzle. If you do, more power to you, but it isn’t likely.  But do make it a priority to enjoy at least one piece. Maybe that piece is feeling like you could deadlift a car (or if you’re super duper strong, actually deadlifting a car) or maybe it’s hiking in beautiful scenery. WHATEVER it is that you love, you must incorporate it. If not, you’re more likely to fizzle out. If you really hate something, it’s hard to stick to it. If you at least like parts of something, it becomes easier.

Wherever you are in your fitness journey, make your own personal goals a priority and work on finding a way to achieve those goals. We are only given one body and you don’t get a do-over.

Find something you love, find something that will help you to get where you want to be, and then just #riseandgrind.

Traveling? 6 Tips to Stay on Track with your Health and Fitness Goals

If you know me at all, you know that I love to travel! Since I work A LOT, I have to be very creative in my travel plans, but I still make room for a quick escape at least once a month!

In the last 3 months, I’ve been to Scottsdale twice, San Diego, Santa Barbara, Salt Lake City, Boulder, and Las Vegas. (Woah, writing that out makes me wonder how I did all of that myself!)

hike2

When I travel, I like to enjoy myself, but I don’t like to throw myself completely off track from my health and fitness goals. I work way too hard in the gym and the kitchen to throw it all away on a few days of vacation. I also don’t want to be the girl with chicken and broccoli in her suitcase (been there, done that), so I’ve had to find ways to be creative when I travel.

Here are 6 Tips to Staying on Track with your Health and Fitness Goals while you’re traveling!

1. Pack some healthy snacks. Whenever I’m leaving for a trip, I always pack Quest bars, some protein powder (and a shaker bottle), and some Justin’s peanut or almond butter packets. This way, I always have a snack if I get hungry and it’s not time for a meal. Depending on where I am, I don’t always have control of the snacks on hand, so I like to keep something in my purse in case my options are slim. Perfect afternoon pick-me-up.

2. Build your meal around protein. When you go out to eat with friends or family, you don’t have to order the plain chicken breast with steamed green beans (although if it’s not a restaurant I’m super excited about, I definitely do that. I’d rather splurge on something that I REALLY want instead of loading up on calories for a food I’m indifferent about.). I’ll typically choose a protein (steak, chicken, or fish), and build my meal around that. Sometimes I’ll try to stay really healthy and do a salad with meat, some type of healthy fat (avocado, cheese, oil), and lots of vegetables with dressing on the side so that I can control the amount used. Other times I’ll be more lenient and go for a meat, a side of vegetables, and a 2nd side that isn’t as healthy, like sweet potato fries or something similar. It all depends on the restaurant for me and I choose based on how healthy I want to be and how much I like the restaurant.

For your enjoyment.

Protein & Carbs. 😀

3. Splurge when it’s worth it. I’m a big fan of not missing out on the things you really love. For example, when I go to Arizona and visit my favorite restaurant, White Chocolate Grill, I have to get the White Chocolate Brownie. I’m fairly sure it’s at least 2,000 calories, but I just take a few bites (which is plenty) and satisfy my craving. Because I know I want this dessert, I make sure to choose a healthy entree. There are some instances where I’d rather skip dessert and eat french fries or macaroni and cheese, so I’ll allow myself to splurge on my side dish, and choose other healthy options for the rest of my meal.

Animals-Eating-Pizza-11

4. Workout. Regardless of where I go, I always find time to get a work out in at least every other day. This helps me get into a healthy mindset for the day and I always feel better after a great workout. If I can’t make it to a gym or a mountain to hike, I wrote a book with 25 workouts you can do anywhere in 20 minutes, so I’ll choose one of those and bust it out in someone’s living room or backyard. (like I did in Boulder a few weeks ago!)

rockstar fitness

5. Walk, walk, walk. (and take the stairs). When I’m traveling, I always try to “lifercise” as my dad calls it. This means walking instead of driving when possible. Taking the stairs. Carrying the heavy groceries or bags. Basically, if you can make it harder, do it. That sounds counter-intuitive to being efficient, but it’s a great way to sneak in some extra exercise throughout the day.

Practicing Yoga...err something..

Or do yoga outside of the airport…..

6. Research. If you’re going to a new city, research your options before you arrive so you have some idea of places you’d like to go. I used to be the person that would stay quiet when everyone started talking about where they wanted to eat. I’d end up at a restaurant that was a little-higher-end-than-KFC-but-not-much and find myself with very few options. While sometimes that WILL be the case (in which you just enjoy the fried chicken and move on with your life), if you have some ideas and vocalize said ideas, often times you’ll be able to try out some of the restaurants you’d be hoping to visit during your stay.

Question of the Day

What is something that you do to stay healthy while traveling?

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.

Weekend Workouts and Fun

This weekend was such a perfect blend of relaxation, fun, and workouts. Let’s get right to it!!

Saturday

We woke up Saturday and grabbed a coffee before heading to the studio for a session. My good friend runs an AMAZING  co-ed camp where she takes young girls and boys to do tons of fun activities. She teaches them about empowerment, self-confidence, gratitude, and so much more. You can read all about it here. For this particular weekend, Tedi got her girls together to record their version of “Roar” by Katy Perry. The girls had a BLAST and I did too! Tedi and I may have even made a cameo in the bridge of the song……

Sand Sister's Girls Having a Blast in the Studio

Sand Sister’s Girls Having a Blast in the Studio

After the recording session, we headed over to Temescal Canyon for a hike. It’s such a BEAUTIFUL hike and a good workout too! I didn’t snap any photos, but this should give you an idea of the view…:-D

Temescal Ridge Trail

Source

The hike definitely worked up an appetite, so we headed to Burger Lounge for some grub. I rave about this place ALL the time. It’s not only DELICIOUS, but the food is so fresh and comes from sustainable farms. You can taste the difference in the quality of food and you don’t leave feeling like you ate a greasy burger. I usually get the Little Lounge Turkey Burger (and fries of course!), but the grass-fed beef is also a great choice! If you make it out to LA, you MUST try this place!!!

Sunday

Sunday morning, I got up to do a good old heavy lifting workout + some metabolic conditioning. I hit not one, but TWO Personal Records (PR’s)!!!!! Stoked is an understatement.

The first PR I hit, was 6 reps of 216lb hip thrusts. My record before that was 211, so just a small increase, but an increase nonetheless!!! I had someone shoot a little video of the madness….

The next PR I hit was on pull-ups. I posted on Facebook last week that I was going to try to get 5 strict pull ups this week……and I did!!!! I was STOKED and immediately started running around the gym like a freak. (Guess I can’t deny who I am! ;-)) I was surprised at how easy reps 1-4 were. 5 was definitely a challenge, but I’m hoping 6 isn’t too far off…..:-)

I spent the rest of the afternoon cleaning a bit and meeting a friend for an afternoon Americano. Because who doesn’t need a huge spike of caffeine at 4:30pm?! LOL

Hope everyone is having a GREAT Monday. I’ll be sharing the rest of my Sunday workout Tuesday morning. It was only 10 minutes long and a BURNER. You’ll love it. Stay tuned…;-)

Question of the Day:

Have you hit any new PR’s lately? 

Are you working towards any new PR’s?! (If not, set some goals!!!)

The 6-Week Challenge: WBBC

Wowza! It’s been a while. I’ve been a busy little bee, working my tail off. But hopefully I’ll be posting a bit more as of now. Hope you’re having a great week! November is truckin’ along….

News:

This past Saturday (November 2nd) marked the 1st day of the WBBC 6 Week Challenge. What is the WBBC you ask?

WBBC Logo

The World’s Best Boot Camp is just as it implies. It was started by a former Desert Storm Vet, John Burch. I met John at my gym in Santa Monica and when he told me about the upcoming challenge, I was all about it.

WBBC Day 1 StretchHere’s a photo of me doing a dynamic stretch on Day 1

So what does the 6 week challenge entail? Well, as you can imagine, I will be attending a boot camp 2-3 times per week that focuses on a lot of the basic movements mixed with CrossFit movements: squats, push-ups, sit-ups, burpees, kettlebells, and more! The other part of the challenge includes cleaning up my diet (which is pretty clean already, but tightening up a bit), and doing my personal best to accomplish my goals.

To give a little insight, on Day 1, we did a baseline workout and took measurements. I will be doing some video diaries each week to update my progress (I’ll post the links as soon as they’re posted each week) and I’m hoping to come out with successfuly results at the end! By December 14th, I will be re-testing my baseline workout from Day 1 and taking measurements again. I’m IN IT TO WIN IT and hoping that I will have some GREAT results to share!

There is no better time than now as the holidays approach, so I’m pretty excited. While I’m pretty comfortable in my body and like the way I look now, I am excited to lean out a bit more and as the slogan says, “have the most fun proving myself!” Love that.

Goals: 

I want to be 100% compliant. What does this mean for me?

-I will attend bootcamp 2-3 times per week

-I will stick to my diet 6 days per week with one day to splurge (within reason of course)

-I will get enough rest and WATER

-I will continue running, rock climbing, weight lifting, and all of the other activities that I do in between boot camp days.

For the first time since I competed in 2009, I feel ready for this. I’ve actually felt ready for a while, but I needed something like this to come along to spark my fire and get me going again. In good fashion, I dragged my boyfriend into the competition as well. On a weekly basis, he tells me he needs to lose 10 lbs, so I’ve enlisted him in the challenge with me! While he won’t do all of the workouts that I do, he will be following the diet with me.

I would love for you all to follow me along on this journey! I will be posting pictures, videos, thoughts, challenges, and more!

Have you ever done a challenge?

What motivates you the most?

Vegas, Calico, Running, and a Purple Bell Pepper

Okay, first thing is first.

There are PURPLE BELL PEPPERS?!?!?! I had no idea. I stopped by the local Co-Op after my run today and happened to see this little guy. There was no way I could walk out of the store without it, even though they were $4.99/lb. When in Rome. Or Santa Monica. Is this something the rest of the world knew about?!

purple bell pepper

Speaking of my run……today I hit a BIG P.R. for myself. Ever since I started working out/running back in 2006, (I’ve never been just a runner and it comes in waves) I’ve always wanted to hit a sub 24 minute 5k. The goal is finally in sight and I’ve been training hard for it. (Oddly enough, most of my training comes in the form of plyometrics and weight training, but another topic for another day. I still run once or twice a week.)

I have a 5k trail run/5k mud run (they’re back to back and I’m completely stoked about it) coming up next month, so I’ve been really pushing myself.

Since I was out of town the last few days (I’ll get to that in a minute), I’m trying to play catch up on my training. I was planning on doing a long-ish run today, but once I started going, I realized how good/fast I felt. I changed my training plan on the spot.

My first mile was 7:48. I’m an 8:15-8:30 runner normally, so this was my first sign that good things were coming. Keeping this up for two miles isn’t too hard for me, but I typically hit a wall at around mile 2 when I’m running this pace. As I hit my 2nd mile and realized I still felt decent and was coming in under 16 minutes, my competitive face went on and I decided I was going to hit 3 miles in under 24 minutes no matter what.

That 3rd mile was tough. The first half of it was hard, but manageable. The second half is where it got rough for me. I started getting feelings of “oh shit I’m gonna puke” mixed with “holy shit i can’t breathe” mixed with “ouch, my lower back hurts”. But I honestly didn’t care. If my hip went out and I puked all over the place while losing all oxygen to my brain, I was just not going to stop. I can be dangerously competitive at times and this was one of them. Had someone walked into my path, I would have absolutely shoved them down and felt no remorse. I promise i’m not normally that evil. 🙂

As I hit mile 3, I heard the little lady on my Map My Run app tell me that I had run 3 miles in 23:47. I immediately went into party dance mode in my brain (still trying not to puke at this point) as I pushed for the last tenth of a mile. I hit 3.15 miles in 24:10. Ma-jor-vic-tor-y!!!!!!

While I didn’t hit the PR I’m hoping I get on race day, this was the first time I’d ever run 3 miles in under 24 minutes. And for that ladies and gentlement, I’M STOKED!!!  The second accomplishment in this run was that I didn’t actually puke.  High fives are welcome.

As I posted on Facebook, if I accomplish nothing else this week, I’m totally fine with that. But as we all know, this confidence boost is going to push me to conquer the world this week. Majorly awesome day. 🙂

3 mile pr

So back to that vacation. A few months back, I purchased a smokin’ deal for a hotel in Vegas. I love little getaways, and when I can do them cheap, it’s even sweeter!! My man and I hit the road Wednesday and spent a few days laying by the pool, playing Blackjack, eating ice cream, and walking the strip in search of….nothing. All in all, Vegas is pretty boring when you’re not a partier and don’t want to spend a gazillion dollars on shows. I do like playing Blackjack, but I tend to lose money, which I don’t like. Either way, a few days off with my man is always a good time!

aliante hotel room

Our room at the Aliante Casino & Resort (not bad for $40/night)

On our way back to LA, we stopped in Calico. I have a weird obsession with ghost towns (and really anything abandoned or ghostly. actually anything weird for that matter), so we made a last minute decision to check out the town. If you’re ever in that area, it’s a fun little stop. It’s a bit commercialized for my taste (lots of gift shops/food stores), but the history there is pretty cool and you can pay $2 to walk through an actual mine. Freaking awesome. The views aren’t too bad either!

 

 

charlie_me_calico

And just for some cuteness overload….my awesome nephew. He can already tell at almost 9 months old…his aunt Lizzy is crazy. 🙂

matty face time

1. What’s a fitness accomplishment you’ve had lately?

2. What are some of your favorite weekend getaways?

3. Any ghost town recommendations?!?!?!