Feeling Frisky

Hello, lovelies!

I’ve had an unexpected break in the homework load, so I thought I’d post another update.

It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything (other than a recipe), let alone posted anything health-related. My bad. Do people still say that? I do sometimes. 90s kid 4eva! I’m just keeping it real.

Have you heard of Tone It Up? If you haven’t, you should check it out! Meet my trainers: Karena and Katrina. Aren’t they gorgeous?

Spring is in 31 days!!!!

(via: Pinterest)

These ladies have changed my life. They are continually posting challenges, giveaways, and recipes to keep me motivated on my fitness journey. Plus, they have an awesome, FREE community you can join for extra motivation and support from women all over the world!

The next challenge is called #FriskyFall to countdown to Halloween! It’s 6 weeks of workout schedules, challenges, prize giveaways, recipes, and everything else you need to succeed in your fitness journey. I’ve already started my challenge.

Here are my goals for the next six weeks:

  1. Focus on appreciating and loving my body every day
  2. Focus on developing good posture
  3. Get my Bootycall (morning workout) done 4x a week
  4. Walk, run, bike, dance 100 miles by Halloween (#100byHalloween)
  5. Eat clean 80% of the time & drink tons of water
  6. Journal/check-in on Instagram & with my accountability partner every day

 

Will you join me in this challenge? What are your goals for the next six weeks?

The Shabby Cottage Home: Handmade Fall Decor

(via: Pinterest)

 

Thanks for reading,

Jenn

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Toned in ’12

The last time I posted, I mentioned that I had just started the Tone It Up diet plan. My first week was a huge success! In one week, I lost 6 lbs and 8.25 inches overall!

Then Christmas happened. We traveled to Texas to visit my husband’s family. Came back from break, I had gained back 8 lbs. It was a tough blow, but it’s nothing I can’t bounce back from, right?!

My goal for this year is to hit my goal weight of 150 lbs. My goal is to hit the 150-160 lb range by June 9th for a good friend’s wedding, which means I need to lose 2.5-3 lbs per week in order to make that happen. I met with my trainer and she said that is totally doable!

So here’s my plan.

Nutrition
I’m going to start following the TIU plan again. I’ve joined in with their Toned in ’12 challenge, which is a 6-week challenge to kick-start the new year. My goal is to follow it 90% of the time. This will allow for occasional splurges and special occasions, but it won’t allow me to get heinously off track.

Fitness
After meeting with my trainer, my plan is to start strength training as much as possible and supplement with Zumba on top of that. In January, I plan to start going to TRX classes 4 days a week. In February, I plan to increase that to 6 days a week. I work in the evenings at the fitness studio, so making it to Zumba classes will be simple. Right now, my Zumba workouts total to 4 days a week.

Goals
I’ve already stated that my long-term goal is to reach the 150-160 lb range by June 9th. As of January 1st, that’s a 68.6-lb loss in 23 weeks. I’ve broken down my large goal into smaller, more manageable pieces with (non-food-related) rewards to help motivate myself along the way. These are broken down to reach the goal weight of 150 lbs, so there is a tiny wiggle room, but I’m trying not to tell myself that so I can stick to it.

  • January goal: 12 lbs lost
    Reward: Heart Rate Monitor
  • February goal: 12 lbs lost (24 lbs total)
    Reward: Pedicure
  • March goal: 15 lbs lost (39 lbs total)
    Reward: Massage
  • April goal: 12 lbs lost (51 lbs total)
    Reward: A pretty new dress for the June wedding
  • May goal: 12 lbs lost (63 lbs total)
    Reward: A new swimsuit for summer
  • June 9th goal: 5.6 lbs lost (68.6 lbs total)
    Reward: A fitness photo shoot with a local photographer

What are your fitness goals for 2012?

A little update (& good news)!

The last time I posted was about 2 weeks ago about my frustrations with a 29-lb gain over the past year. Right after I posted that, I gained another pound. I was SO frustrated.

I was participating in Zumba classes about 5x a week and strength training about 2x a week. Since my schedule is kind of hectic working three jobs while finishing up my Associates degree, I decided mornings were probably a better time for getting in consistent strength training workouts. I’ve been doing well with getting up in the mornings to work out. I’m consistently getting up at 4:30am about 4 days a week now for 5am training and also doing a not-as-early 7am training on Saturdays.

It’s working.

I caught sight of my tummy in the mirror after Thanksgiving dinner & thought it looked tighter. On Thanksgiving. After dinner. (That still throws me for a loop.) That weekend, I found that I’d lost 3.3 lbs since my last weigh in!

Now here comes the great news!

I’d found Tone It Up a few months ago and I had been interested in trying their diet plan since day 1. I was glued to their free tips, tricks, workouts, and youtube channel (especially the “We Love Food Fridays” videos). It’s basically a clean eating lifestyle that also takes into account when you eat & what combination of foods you eat at certain times of the day. I had seen so many success stories tweeted by ladies who were on the plan. It inspired me. I really wanted it, but I knew we couldn’t afford it any time in the near future. When I saw they were running a Cyber Monday deal (including $50 of free gear), I tweeted that it was on my Christmas list. So as an early Christmas present, my mom bought me the Tone It Up Fat Burning System Diet Plan!

I started the initial 7 Day Slim Down yesterday, and so far I LOVE it! I’m eating 5 small meals a day & I’m eating really healthy, nutrient dense foods. It’s a lower caloric intake than I’m used to, so I’m still adjusting to feeling a little hungry occasionally, but other than that, I have no complaints!

In case you’re wondering, here’s what Day 1 looked like:
AM workout: cardio + core (45 min)
During AM workout: Zico pineapple coconut water
Breakfast: spinach, tomatoes, & mushrooms scrambled w/egg whites + coffee w/Truvia
Snack: grapefruit
Lunch: baby spinach & arugula salad mix w/chicken & balsamic vinegar + pear
Snack: Think Thin Brownie Crunch bar
Dinner: salmon w/mushrooms & kale chips
PM workout: walking (2.5 hrs)
Post-workout: plain Greek yogurt w/raspberries & Truvia

Like I said, I really really love it so far. I’m excited to see my results at the end of the week!

Facing the Truth

About year ago, I weighed 189 lbs. I had lost 61 lbs from my original 250-lb frame. I was happier, had more energy, and was more confident in myself.

Lately, my clothes haven’t been fitting as well. I’m more lethargic. I’m self-conscious rather than confident. I knew I had been on a plateau for about a year. I knew I had gained back some weight. I guess I was in denial about just how much weight I had gained. When I finally decided to do the math today, I figured out I’ve gained back 29 lbs since I started my weight loss journey. I’m tipping the scale at 218 lbs. No, I’m not back to square 1, but I have gained back almost HALF of the weight I had lost. No wonder I’ve been miserable. Frankly, I’m disgusted with myself for letting a little “plateau” turn into a 29-lb gain over the course of a year.

I’ve recently been blessed with a job at a personal training studio. I’m giving my time to helping the office side of things, and as an employee, I have access to unlimited classes. I’ve been trying out the TRX and Zumba classes a few times a week. I absolutely LOVE it. I am so blessed to have access to as much free fitness activity as I can stand. I can’t do all the work by fitness alone.

I know that weight loss is about 30% fitness and 70% diet. So now, I’ve got to get my eating habits back in control. I’m not able to afford Weight Watchers any more, so I’m currently scoping out my options for what other affordable programs that are available. In the meantime, I’m trying to make good choices and eat smaller portions. I’ve set a lofty goal of losing 20-25 lbs by Christmas. I will post about my plan of action when I’ve gotten everything settled.

Facing the Scale {3}

Starting weight: 250 pounds

Last week’s weight: 206 pounds

This week’s weight: 207 pounds

“When you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” So, so true. I gained another pound this week. Most of the problem was not having a meal plan this week. And almost no exercise.

Successes:

  • I did get one walk in this week.

Struggles:

  • Not having a plan in place.

Non-Scale Victories:

  • I worked on my list of goals for next month to get me back in focus.

Focus for the new week:

  • Discipline. Just do it.
  • Tracking, tracking, tracking.
  • Working out more often and consistently.
  • Reining in my eating before I get too far off track.
  • Getting a loss next week.

How did your week go?

Image source

Facing the Scale {2}

Starting weight: 250 pounds

Last week’s weight: 205.3 pounds

This week’s weight: 206 pounds

I did gain a little bit this week. I also meant to post this on Sunday. Oops. There’s a lot that contributed to this gain. Mainly – stress and being busy all the time. We’re still in a financial crisis at this point in time. We can’t really afford much at all. We’re learning to cope with an extremely limited income. Thankfully, my husband’s new job is amazing, and he just got his first paycheck this week.

Another contributing factor for the gain is the day before I weighed in, we went to a wedding. They had a hot dog buffet, chips, and the most delicious cupcakes in town for their wedding cake.

Successes:

  • I tracked on My Fitness Pal – 6 out of 7 days.
  • I did a fairly good job keeping up with my meal plan, for the most part.

Struggles:

  • I kind of fell apart with tracking after the day of the wedding, as did my food choices. I did make some fantastic triple chocolate fudge cupcakes with caramel buttercream, caramel drizzle, and heath bar crumbles. And I may or may not have consumed too many to count.
  • I found it difficult to get almost any workout in. I only went walking twice.
  • I never made a meal plan for this week! I’m paying for that now. Eek!

Non-Scale Victories:

  • We did move the treadmill into the living room! Now all I need is some TV shows on dvd to watch while I walk!

Focus for the new week:

  • Discipline. Just do it.
  • Tracking, tracking, tracking. My Fitness Pal told me I haven’t logged in for 3 days now.
  • Working out more often and consistently.
  • Reining in my eating before I get too far off track.
  • Trying to stay positive, even though I’m fairly positive this week will be a gain as well.

How did your week go?

Image source

Facing the Scale {1}

Starting weight: 250 pounds

Last week’s weight: 208.3 pounds

This week’s weight: 205.3 pounds

I lost exactly 3 pounds this week! It was a tough week. I’m trying to re-learn how I used to eat when I was losing weight for the wedding. I’ve now lost a total of 44.7 pounds!

Successes:

  • I tracked every day on My Fitness Pal to the best of my ability. It definitely helped me to make smarter choices, even if I had an occasional indulgence.
  • I did a fairly good job keeping up with my meal plan. I mostly used it as a guideline, switching things around to fit my schedule.

Struggles:

  • I went to bed hungry a lot. It was really hard to fall asleep when all I could think about was my growling tummy, even if I had a protein-packed dinner.
  • I didn’t get the chance to do scheduled workouts this week. I need to make this part of my regular routine.
  • I hosted a bachelorette party on Friday night. It was definitely fun, but the food was lacking nutritionally.

Non-Scale Victories:

  • I stayed within my calorie total almost every day.
  • I was able to squeeze into my old jeans for the party instead of wearing the ones that fit but make me feel frumpy.
  • For most of my exercise I did things that had a purpose to them, like housecleaning the day before the party, walking around the mall with a friend, and dancing in the club when we went out (not my usual thing).

Focus for the new week:

  • Tracking, tracking, tracking. This still isn’t a habit again, and it needs to be.
  • Moving the treadmill into the living room to be in front of the TV. I think it will help to see it every day instead of it hiding in the spare room.
  • Eating more veggies. I’ve got the fruit part down; now it’s those leafy greens that I need.

And just since it’s been a while, here are some before and in-progress pictures, just for fun.

Here I am two years ago at 250 pounds (September 2009):

And this was taken just a few weeks ago:

How did your week go?

Image source

September Goals

Hello there. I just looked at the last time I blogged. It’s been about 3 months. Ouch. A lot can happen in 3 months.

Let’s see, in the past 3 months…
We suffered through our second miscarriage.
My sister-in-law experienced a miscarriage.
I finished my school semester.
We celebrated our one-year anniversary.
I took a 10-week summer math class (and passed with flying colors).
My husband got laid off from his job.
My husband got a new job (which he starts tomorrow).

Lots of stressful things have happened. I haven’t made time for myself or for my health. I went on and off the wagon several times. I’m tired of it. I’m going to try again. This time, I want to finish.

Here’s a list of my goals for September:

  • Lose 8-10 lbs this month
  • Do the 30 Day Shred 5 days a week
  • Walk on my treadmill or outside 3 days a week
  • Get back to meal planning every week
  • Track my eating & my exercise on My Fitness Pal every day
  • Blog at least 2 times a week to start

I’ve definitely eaten far too many cupcakes, treats, and just junk in general lately. It’s going to take a lot of discipline to get back in the habit of doing things right. Pray for me. It’s going to be a bumpy ride. I promise to share the good, the bad, and the downright ugly.

If I haven’t been blogging, I probably haven’t been on the wagon…

See that title? It’s true. If I’m not blogging at least once a week, I probably am not sticking with my plan. :/
So I finished my first month of P90X. And then I decided I was bored with it and wanted to try something new. I will post pictures at the end of this post.I decided to go back to my Weight Watchers meetings. I am loving being back! This was my “first week” and I found it very difficult to track everything that I ate. It will be a work in progress, I guess. I did see a loss on the scale this week, though. 1.4 lbs are gone! That’s something to celebrate! 🙂

Oh, and I tried a new recipe this week. Kale chips. They were soooo delicious! I will post the recipe with pictures soon.

Okay, and now for the progress pictures:

Before:

After:

Before:

After:

Before:

After:

Before:

After:

Before:

After:

Before:

After:

Overall, I lost a few inches, but my weight stayed the same by the end of the month. I’m happy to be going back to my WW meetings. 🙂

Article: 5 Biggest Fitness Mistakes

I found this article through the Yahoo featured stories this morning. Every bit of it is SO TRUE.
This article comes from Bill Phillips of Men’s Health magazine. (Original article found here.) Just because it’s from Men’s Health does NOT mean it doesn’t apply to women! I think mistake #2 is especially important for us women to consider!

Read on…

Mistake #1: Not Lifting Weights
You’ve no doubt been told that aerobic exercise is the key to losing your gut, but weight training is actually more valuable. Three reasons:

1. Lifting protects your muscle.When people diet without lifting weights, research shows that 75 percent of their weight loss is from fat and 25 percent is muscle. That 25 percent may reduce your scale weight, but it doesn’t do a lot for your reflection in the mirror. However, if you weight train as you diet, your weight loss is more likely to be 100 percent fat. Think of it in terms of liposuction: The whole point is to simply remove unattractive flab, right? That’s exactly what you should demand from your workout.

2. Lifting boosts your metabolism. Your muscles need energy to repair and upgrade your muscle fibers after each resistance-training workout. For instance, a University of Wisconsin study found that when people performed a total-body workout comprised of just three big-muscle exercises, their metabolisms were elevated for 39 hours afterward. What’s more, they also burned a greater percentage of their calories from fat during this time, compared with those who weren’t hitting the weights.

3. Lifting torches calories. It’s considered common knowledge that jogging burns more calories than weight training. Turns out, when scientists at the University of Southern Maine used an advanced method to estimate energy expenditure during exercise, they found that weight training burns as many as 71 percent more calories than originally thought. The researchers calculated that performing just one circuit of eight exercises—which takes about 8 minutes—can expend 159 to 231 calories. That’s about the same as running at a 6-minute mile pace for the same duration.

Mistake #2: Not Lifting Enough Weight
Ladies, we’re especially talking to you on this one. Your goal is to challenge your muscles, not just go through the motions. For instance, if you can lift a weight 15 times, it’s not going to do your muscles much good to lift it for only 8 repetitions. A good way to gauge if a weight is appropriate: Note the point at which you start to struggle. Let’s say you’re doing 10 repetitions. If all 10 seem easy, then the weight you’re using is too light. However, if you start to struggle on your tenth repetition, you’ve chosen the correct poundage.

Mistake #3: Not Working the Lower Body Enough
To cut inches from your waist, make sure you’re working the muscles below your belt. In a Syracuse University study, people burned more calories the day after they did lower-body resistance training than the day after they worked their upper body. “Leg muscles—like your quads and glutes—generally have more muscle mass than those of your chest and arms,” says study author Kyle Hackney, Ph.D. (c), C.S.C.S. “Work more muscle during your exercise session, and your body has to expend more energy to repair and upgrade them later.” So the best approach, of course, is to hit every muscle each workout.

Mistake #4: Not Eating Right
You can’t out-exercise a bad diet. After all, you can eat 1,000-calorie fast food burger in just 5 minutes, but it’ll take you more than an hour to burn that many calories with physical activity. So make sure you’re not using exercise as an excuse to eat whatever you want. You may even find that regular workouts help you better follow a smart eating plan. Case in point: University of Pittsburgh researchers studied 169 overweight adults for 2 years and found that the participants who didn’t follow a 3-hour-a-week training plan ate more than their allotted 1,500 calories a day. The reverse was also true—sneaking snacks sabotaged their workouts. The study authors say it’s likely that both actions are a reminder to stay on track, reinforcing your weight-loss goal and drive.

Mistake #5: Skipping Workouts
We’re all busy, but that’s usually just a lame excuse. After all, plenty of people find time to exercise. And when was the last time you heard someone say they regretted their workout? Probably never, and here’s why: U.K. researchers found that workers were 15 percent more productive on the days they made time to exercise compared to days they skipped their workout. They were also 15 percent more tolerant of their coworkers. Now, consider for a moment what these numbers mean to you: On days you exercise, you can—theoretically at least—accomplish in an eight-hour day what normally would take you nine hours and 12 minutes. Or you’d still work nine hours, but get more done, leaving you feeling less stressed and happier with your job, another perk that the workers reported on the days they exercised.

Thanks for reading!