Monday, September 29, 2014

Beautiful Weekend

It was another beautiful weekend! 

Saturday I went to Mom's and took some pics of Celeste. Every time I see her, I can't believe how cute she is!

Saturday we went out to a fancy dinner to celebrate our 11 year dating anniversary! Well, this is actually the month that we met, but close enough. I can't believe it's been 11 years-that's crazy! And to think that we were only 18 and 23-so young!

Honestly, I really just wanted an excuse to wear this dress that I bought a while back and couldn't return. ;)

We went to an upscale Italian restaurant, and I had a delicious meal of cheese ravioli, spinach and chicken in some kind of amazing sauce. Plus, dessert of course! I had tiramisu for the first time, and it was soooo good! 

Sunday we gave our baby his yearly bath!

Then we  took a ride in the Jeep  to let Asher run and throw some softball.
 
I am sooo happy that Summer has decided to hang around, I love it! I just hope it will last a little bit longer!

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Training Recap Week 4

One month down, two to go! Here's this week's training recap:

Monday-
For deadlift day Monday we did speed deads from a slight deficit(just standing on small weight plates). I have a hard time with being fast off the ground, so hopefully that will help some. Then it was RDLs, single leg reverse hypers, and then heavy hip thrusts for low reps this week, which I loved! Then of course, the dreaded hanging leg raises. This time I did straight leg raises(well, semi-straight) and did 4 sets of 10 because I suck and that's all I could do.

1)Speed deficit deadlifts with bands:  115x6x1
2)RDL: 175x3x8
3)Single leg reverse hypers: 45x12/55x2x12
4)Barbell hip thrusts w/2 second hold: 185x5/205x5/215x4x5 (10 second hold last rep, last set)
5a)Hanging leg raises: 4x10
5b)Band clams: 1x20(right)/2x20(left) / Seated abductions: 1x40

Wednesday -
For bench day I did board presses for the first time. They were so much fun, especially because you can go a little heavier because of the limited range of motion. I had to go to my husband's gym to have him help me with that. Then it was fat grip pin presses and back accessory lifts. Doing 3 sets of 10 chinups after the rows was NOT fun. The first set is really no problem for me, but after that I felt like my arms just did not want to move. Had to have Matt give me a little help on the last set! Then I finished up with farmer's walks and easy-ish prowler pushes for conditioning.

1)Bench(2 board)press: 135x3x3
2)Fat grip pin press: 115x5/ 125x2x5
3)Chest supported row: 35x2x10/40x2x10
4)Chinup: 10/ 8+2/10(with assistance from my trainer/husband!)
5)Seated DB reverse fly: 12x3x12
Finisher:
Prowler sprints
+ KB farmer's walks

Friday
This week was supposed to be squats with chains, but I don't have chains to use, so I just did them without them. :( Then it was more squats-wide stance squats and front squats. Then glute ham raises, which are actually becoming one of my favorite exercises now, when they used to be something I really struggled with. I love that he has me doing low reps holding a weight at my chest to really make it challenging. It's fun!

1)Box squats: 185x 3x3
2)Wide stance squats box squats: 145x2x5/150x2x5
3)Front squats: 105x3x8
4)GHR: 15x6/20x2x5
5a)Ab wheel:3x10 negatives
5b)Seated band abductions: 1x25/2x20

Saturday
1)Speed press:(50%) 75x 9x3
2a)Incline press: 80x2x8/85x8
2b)BB glute bridge: 135x15/145x3x15
3a)Lateral raises: 3x10
3b)Band pullaparts: 3x15
3c)Tricep pushdowns: 3x15
Finisher:
Oh 1 arm carries + reverse sled drags

I'm having a lot of fun with my training still, but sometimes I start questioning myself. I find myself thinking things like... What did I get myself into? Who am I to think I can be a powerlifter?  I'm going to be totally out of place there....People are going to think I'm stupid.... What if I fail all my lifts? Gotta work on getting my mind right! I'm doing this for ME, no one else.  Who cares if I'm the weakest, smallest, whatever-I just want to be the best that I can be!


Thursday, September 25, 2014

Just. Be. You.

"Can't achieve the same build as another woman? Awesome. Because she can't achieve the same build as you. She has a different anatomical structure, and both of you at your very best will look dramatically different yet equally beautiful depending on who you ask and what you're wearing.
So don't worry about what other people's bodies look like. You have a unique set of genetics and your bodybuilding lifestyle will determine the way those genetics are expressed.
You might have the potential to build a bubble butt. You might not. Work hard anyway. Squat. Hip thrust. Deadlift. See what your genetic potential has in store for your glutes. A muscular butt is a gorgeous butt no matter what shape it turns out to be, and that shape is going to be determined by a variety of factors including your bone structure and hip width.
Build your body and become your own flavor of beauty. Because nobody else can achieve that look but you."

-Dani Shugart-
http://www.t-nation.com/training/redefining-the-female-bodybuilder

Monday, September 22, 2014

Weekend Recap & Treat Meals

We had such a beautiful weekend!

 It was a little warmer than it has been, which I LOVED! Saturday was my workout day, then we walked Asher, took down the pool(so sad!), went to church and then played a game of putt-putt afterwards.
Sunday my awesome husband made me some boards for my bench press workout Wednesday. I'm so excited to use them! I feel like a "real"  powerlifter now. ;)
Sunday was another beautiful day, so we went to a local park and found a really cool spot we've never been to! It was so pretty. 

Some of the meals I had over the weekend included a cheeseburger(lean, grassfed)and caramel apple(well, half) Friday, and then pizza and ice cream on Saturday. Still woke up on Sunday with some abs!


How? Well, the weekends are NOT a "free-for-all" for me, where I just eat anything I want. I pretty  much eat my normal meals and then just factor in a treat or two. I don't track my macros, but I somewhat know them in my head. So on burger night, for example, the caramel apple was just part of my dinner carb source. 

The pizza and ice cream was my "free" meal, or "treat" meal as I call it, which is my one meal where I don't think about portions or macros or anything. What I usually do that day is cut back just slightly on my meals that day. Nothing super restrictive, though. I definitely don't starve myself or anything crazy like that or do anything extra as far as exercise. And then usually I don't have my bedtime snack that day because I'm still full. So in the end, it all balances out!

I go right back to eating my normal meals Sunday, including this yummy dinner we had last night.
I LOVE chicken thighs! And look at all the veggies, aren't you proud? See, I don't just eat pizza and donuts. ;)  Sundays are usually slightly lower carb, but not LOW carb...because at this point, I would probably die if I tried to do less than 100 grams of carbs. 

Welp, that's all for now! Hope everyone had a wonderful weekend!

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Powerlifting Week 3

This week was my first week doing the workouts on my own and just one day with my trainer. I decided to meet with him on bench day this week, since I don't have access to chains at the gym where I workout.

So Monday was rack pulls for deadlift day. It was my first time doing them, and they felt pretty good. Also did good mornings for the first time and had to use the puniest weight ever! It's definitely a different feel, and I'm not a huge fan, but I think it's just because it's something new. I was the same way when I first tried hip thrusts and now I LOVE them.

The thing I hate the most on Mondays is the freaking hanging knee raises. I don't know why, but they are so hard for me! I guess because I always wimp out and never do more than 10 reps, even with ab exercises. I'd rather do a really challenging exercise for 8-10 reps rather than high reps(can you tell I HATE that lactic acid build up!) Plus, I really focus on using my abs to raise my hips up, not just raise my knees up, which uses mostly just the hip flexors. And to think they are in my program for the next 3 months.... Surely they'll get easier!? Just gotta suck it up and stop whining!

Wednesday we did bench with chains. I used 95lbs with about 22lbs of chains on each side. It was pretty hard but fun. Then we did rolling dumbbell extensions, an exercise that surprisingly, I had never even heard of! They target the triceps and  lats as stabilizers to help with bench. Then we did heavy barbell rows with a wide grip. I could barely get 10 reps with 115, but he made me squeeze them out for 3 sets! Finished up with lat pulldowns with a focus on driving the elbows into my sides at the bottom, not just down.  I woke up SO sore in my lats and triceps, so I guess it worked!

After the workout with my trainer,  I came home and did a few sets of sled pulls and reverse sled drags, paired with pushups between rounds. Nothing super intense. I'm going to do 2 days a week of easy conditioning like this after my workouts as well as a 20-30 minute walk a couple times a week. That is the extent of my "cardio"!


Saturday is fun because it's just speed bench and then what I call my "pump" work, which I love! He also programmed in another day of hip thrusts on Saturdays just for me because he knows how much I love them. Then I finished up with some plate carries and prowler pushes.

MONDAY DEADLIFT DAY
1)Rack pulls: 190x3x3
2)Good mornings: 85x3x8
3)Hip thrusts:155x10/185x4x10
4)Reverse hypers: 90x3x12
5a)Hanging leg raises: 4x15
5b)Band walks3x15
6)Band clams: 2x20(left side-working on a glute imbalance)


WEDNESDAY BENCH DAY
1)Bench with chains: 95+chains(about 22lbs each side) x4x3
2a)Rolling db extension: 3x8(forgot what the weight was! 20s?)
2b)Prone Y: 3x12
3)Bentover wide grip barbell row: 95x10/115x4x10(these were ugly!)
4)Lat pulldown: 70x3x10
Finisher: Sled pulls one way, reverse sled drags back + 10 pushups x 4 rounds

FRIDAY SQUAT DAY
1)Box safety bar squats: 160x3/ 170x3x3
2)Wide stance squats box squats: 145x4x5
3)Front squats: 95x8/105x3x8
4)GHR: 15x3x5
5a)Ab wheel: 1x15/2x10 negatives
5b)Seated band abductions: 1x30/2x20

SATURDAY ACCESSORY 
1)Speed press:(50%) 75x8x3
2)Incline press: 80x3x8
2b)BB glute bridge: 135x4x15
3)Ring pullups; 1x8/2x6
4a)Lateral raises: 3x10
4b)Pull-aparts: 3x15
4c)Tricep pushdowns: 3x15
Finisher: 1 arm plate carries and sled push(alternating low and high handles)

Friday, September 19, 2014

So You Wanna Do A Handstand?


Besides just being something cool to be able to do, handstands are actually a great skill to learn for core control, balance, and coordination.Whenever I  post a photo of me doing a handstand, I often get comments like, "I could never do that!", or, "I'm scared of going upside down!". But some people actually want to know how they could learn to do one, so I thought I'd share how I learned!

First of all, I had the same fears about doing a handstand. Growing up, I'd never been able to do a handstand because I would chicken out as soon as I tried. Getting my legs up over my hands was so scary to me! I don't have any gymnastics background whatsoever-it was just something I taught myself with lots and lots practice!

When I started doing CrossFit a few years ago, a handstand was one of the things I really wanted to learn to do, so I made it a goal of mine. A few years later, I am now finally at the point where I can hold a handstand for 10-20 seconds and even walk on my hands(although I'm not very good at that yet!).

Now, this may not be the BEST way to learn a handstand, but this is what I did to learn.

First, I practiced just kicking up to a wall. I had the upper body strength, so it was more about learning how much force I needed to use get my legs up over my head. I would practice this until I got to the point where I could easily kick up to the wall and hold myself there for 30 seconds. From there, I worked on kicking away from the wall and trying to balance on my hands. I would usually do this only for a few seconds, but I worked on it a few minutes every single day.

When I got confident with that, I went to free standing handstands. It was scary at first, but I just had to do it to conquer my fear! At first I was just scared of not knowing how to fall out of the handstand if I lost my balance. So I had my husband spot me-as I kicked up, he would hold my legs or just keep me from falling over. Or I would practice near a wall, so that way if I fell over I would have the wall there to catch me. Eventually I got to the point where I could do it on my own and just sort of cartwheel out of it when I lost my balance. There are ways to tuck your head and somersault out of it, but I never did it that way. 

I finally got to the point where I could hold myself up for a second or two, and so I just worked at that over and over and over and over. Over time, I eventually learned how to balance myself with my fingers and wrists by "gripping" the ground, and I found that thinking about pushing myself into the ground by activating my lats and shoulders, as well as sqeezing my butt and keeping my core tight really helped also. After practicing almost every single day, a few seconds turned into 5 seconds, and then 10 seconds, and then around 20 seconds, which is the longest I've held.

Now, I definitely have not yet mastered this skill by any means! I still practice for a  few minutes every other day or so, and now I'm working on keeping my core tighter and not arching my back as much. There are still days when I go up and just fall right back over! It usually takes me a few tries, but I keep trying until I can get one good hold for about 10-15 seconds. Occasionally, I'll work on my handstand walking, but I'm not as persistent with this as I was with my handstands, so I gotta keep at it more consistently!

So, here's my challenge to YOU! How about setting a goal of being able to do a handstand before the end of the year? Here's how you can start:

*Assuming you have sufficient upper body strength, practice kicking yourself up to a wall a few times every day. Put your hands about a foot away from the wall. You could even start by walking your feet up the wall first to get into position and get used to being upside down.

*Once you can do a wall handstand, hold 10-45 seconds a few times every day. Work on pushing into the ground, keeping your abs tight, and squeezing your legs and glutes as hard as you can. This isn't easy! When you can do 3 sets of 45 seconds, then you can start working on kicking away from the wall, or having someone hold your feet after you kick up.

*If you can do a wall handstand, start working on a freestanding handstand for a few minutes every day. That's all it takes. You may not feel like you're getting any better from day to day, but keep working at it! Let me know how it goes!


Here are some good handstand articles for you to check out if you're interested:

http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-5501/10-Reasons-to-Do-a-Headstand-Every-Day.html
http://www.lostartofhandbalancing.com/handstand-benefits/
http://www.beastskills.com/the-handstand/
http://www.nerdfitness.com/blog/2013/10/24/how-to-handstand-better-than-luke-skywalker/
http://unitedworldofyoga.com/2014/05/08/5-reasons-you-should-do-handstands-every-day/

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Things I'm Loving, Fall Edition

Well, I know it's still officially Summer, but Fall is in definitely in the air! I think I finally just have to surrender and let go of Summer. :( As much as I hate to admit it, I do have to say that I'm enjoying the slightly cooler temperatures. It's nice being able to sit outside and sip on my coffee. But I will become a big baby once it gets below 65!


Plus, Fall means pumpkin everything. Including donuts. Yes, this is a pumpkin cheesecake donut from Krispy Kreme, and yes, it tasted just as delicious as it looks. Not one bit of regret or guilt after having these for my treat meal over the weekend.


Then, there's pumpkin french toast. I've been LOVING this meal lately-so easy to make and so yummy! Just dip the bread in a mixture of egg whites, a tsp of pumpkin, and cinnamon and pie spice. I've never been able to make good pancakes, so this is my pancake alternative!

And...pumpkin spice coffee. I just add a tad bit to the coffee grounds before brewing for a hint of spice. It's a lot healthier than those pumpkin spice creamers out there!


This isn't pumpkin, but I love this Laughing Cow cream cheese spread on a slice of cinnamon swirl or pumpkin bread for a yummy post workout treat. I saw someone post a picture of pumpkin bagels the other day that this would be sooo good on, so I'll have to get me some of those!

And of course, one of my very favorite fall treats-caramel apples! This will be an after dinner treat for me soon!

And cooler weather means being outside without dying of heat stroke. We got to babysit Celeste last weekend, and we decided to take her to the park with us since it was such a gorgeous day! She's so fun now that she's walking around and trying to talk. Love love love this little girl so much!

Oh, and speaking of my love for donuts...how could I NOT buy this shirt? 


Monday, September 15, 2014

PrayFit Devotional

"Isn't it great to be refreshed and renewed?
To see the new week as an opportunity to grow in Christ?
To be excellent?
 To dream?
I agree. And guys, none of that will happen if we don't seek the Kingdom first every day. That's not spiritual banter, it's Biblical truth.
If I can be so bold, shame on us if we train and eat "perfectly" this week, but never crack open our Bibles or hit our knees in prayer.
Yes our workouts can be a form of worship and praise, but the first and highest form of honoring God with our bodies is to give Him our undivided attention with them.
Do this: Commit that you won't train unless you've had your quiet time; even if it's just a few minutes a day. Then commit that you won't miss a training session; like a catch-22 for the Christian athlete. Then seal it; ironclad.
Friends, that discipline will become dependence, and that dependence becomes devotion. You and I need to get to the point where we would rather drink dirt than ignore God for a good sweat. Our health is not about personal records, but about personal relationship. Besides, HE IS our personal best. HE IS our boast. The time we spend with Him is a direct reflection of how much we believe that.
Have a good week. Let's grow, let's dream, let's be dependent. Who's ready?"
-Jimmy (PrayFit)

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Powerlifting Week 2

Training is going great this week! I wish I could keep doing 3 times a week, but next week will just be meeting with him once a week and then on my own the other days.

Deadlifts were light speed deadlifts this week,which was good because my back has been SO sore. I didn't feel that fast on them, but I did feel cool using bands. ;) Still trying to decide whether to go with Sumo or conventional. I feel comfortable with both, but I just don't know which is my strongest. I love being able to RDLs again, but they have been frying my hams and lats. I mean, I'm sore for days afterwards.  I have missed them though!

Bench felt good this week. The main thing I'm working on is upper back tightness, really keeping my shoulders down and pulling in while keeping my sternum up. It's tough! I'm surprised though by the weight I'm able to do because when I'm on my own I usually use less than what he has me using. I did floor presses for the first time ever, and I don't know why, but I really like them!

I also love bench day because we work on back for the accessory lifts, and I've always loved training back. However, he had me doing back to back back supersets(did you get that?), so my lats were absolutely fried afterwards. After the 3 sets of 10 chinups supersettted with straight arm pulldowns, I felt like my lats were going to explode

Squat day was good. Right now I'm just getting used to squatting wider. I narrowed my stance in the last year to try to build up my quads, so that has made me more of a quad dominant squatter. We've been doing box squats to take out the stretch reflex at the bottom and wide stance squats to work on really using my hips and hamstrings more. It's hard for me!


Saturday is just an accessory and conditioning day. I'm going to start not going so heavy on my conditioning so as not to interfere with my strength training and actually make it more "cardio"(but nothing super strenuous). That just means light weight on the prowler and less rest between sets and not going "all out". I may even just walk with a sled hooked to my waist for 15-20 minutes after my training. This week I used 90lbs and did reverse sled drags one way, then low handle push back and then did some plate carries and kettlebell Farmer's walks between sets. 


MONDAY-DEADLIFT DAY
1)Speed deadlift w/bands:  50%(115) x6x1
2)RDLs: 155x8/175x3x8
3)Hip thrusts: 155x10/185x4x10
4)Reverse hyperextensions: 90x3x12
5)Hanging leg raises 4x15(these absolutely sucked, and some sets were broken)
6)Side lying band clams: 2x20(left)/1x20 (right)

 
WEDNESDAY-BENCH DAY
1)Bench press: 125x3/125x3/125x3
2)Floor press: w/pause 95x5/115x5/115x5 
3a)Chinups: 3x10 
3b)Straight arm band pulldown: 3x10
(Lats were about to explode at this point)
4a)DB reverse flyes: 10x3x12
4b)Seated cable row: 70x2x10
5)Band tricep pushdowns: 1x25
5 minutes jump rope high knees (30 seconds, 30ish second rest)

FRIDAY-SQUAT DAY

1)Box pause squat: 185x3x3
2)Wide stance box squat: 145x3x5
3)Front squat: 95x3x8
4)GHR: 10 x 4x6
5a)Ab wheel rollouts:1x12/2x10(negatives)
5b)Band seated abductions: 3x20

SATURDAY-ACCESSORY DAY
1)Speed bench press @50%:  75lbsx7x3
2)Incline bench press: 80x3x8
2b)Single leg hip thrust: 4x12
3a) Lateral raise 3x10
3b)Pull aparts 3x15
3c)Cable tricep pushdowns 3x15
Conditioning:
Reverse sled drag one way, low handle sled push back w/90lbs for 10 rounds +
Plate carries(25lbs) x 20 seconds x 3, then Farmer walks (53lbs) x 45 seconds x3 (between Prowler sets)


Monday, September 8, 2014

Beautiful Weekend

It was such a gorgeous weekend. Finally the humidity was gone so that it was actually enjoyable to be outside again! While I'm super sad that my pool time is going to be over soon, I really do love this time of year.

Saturday was uneventful. Just went to church and then had a yummy dinner that evening. Chicken thighs and corn on the cob. One of my favoritest meals!

Sunday I did food prep and made some of my yummy protein pumpkin muffins, which are a staple in my diet. I mostly have them after a workout, but they're great for anytime! I also enjoy them as dessert after dinner. I've posted the recipe, but here it is again:
1 scoop vanilla whey protein
1/2 cup egg whites
1/2 cup ground oats
1/2 can pumpkin puree
1/2 tbsp baking powder
Pumpkin pie spice and cinnamon(I don't measure)
Chocolate chips(however much you'd like!
Mix all ingredients. Bake at 350 for about 25 minutes. 

I love it that football season is here! I  have missed football being on in the background on Sundays while going about my chores.
 

I spent a lot of time being outside Sunday because it was so nice. I have missed my hammock time! I have to take advantage of this kind of weather while it's here!
 

Sunday we went out to dinner on the river for our treat meal .


We went to Buckhead's, so of course we had to get our favorite dessert, Pike's Peak. It was absolutely wonderful. PB and chocolate ice cream with cookie crust, chocolate peanut butter chunks, and pb and chocolate fudge!

Saturday, September 6, 2014

1st Week of Powerlifting

My first week of powerlifting training is done!

The training so far has been pretty different than I how I usually train. While I always do the heavy lifts with low reps(squat, bench deadlifts), I'm also used to doing a lot of hypertrophy and isolation work with high volume, supersets, etc. My goal has never really been solely on increasing strength but on building muscle, so I've never actually thought of the other exercises as being about bringing up the main lifts. For me, it's always just been about hitting all the muscle groups so that I would have a balanced physique.

So far, though, I really I like the change! It brings a new purpose to my workouts. It will be a little hard giving up that bodybuilder mentality in me where you just want to "fry" every muscle group, but I think I'll survive. ;) Plus, there is a day of lateral raises and pushdowns, so I'll get a good little bodybuilderish workout in once a week. ;)  I'm kidding, though, because I really don't care about that at all. Right now it's all about getting stronger!! 

Even with the volume being pretty low this week, I have been sore after every workout and just as fatigued during my workouts!  There are just so many things to think about and muscles to keep tight during a lift. It's not like bodybuilding where you want to try to just focus on the muscle you're working-you want everything to be tight in order to lift the most weight possible. Like my glutes  and back got SO sore from doing from bench press the other day! And after squats, my quads got more sore with just a few sets of squats(wide stance, at that!) than after all the quad focused exercises I do in my workouts!

Yesterday we worked up to a heavy single with squats. I was kind of nervous because I haven't really squatted heavy for singles in a LONG time. I was trying to keep track of the weight each set, but when we went for the first truly heavy one, it felt pretty freakin' heavy at a weight I thought should not feel that heavy! Well, as it turns out, I miscalculated the weight, plus it was a 50lb bar.
Or... when you did a heavy single with what you thought was 195, only to find out it was actually 215! Ha! It's not a PR, but I wasn't sure I'd even be able to get 200 at this point. Not bad for these little chicken legs. ;)

He's definitely tweaked a few things and given me some things to work on for each of my lifts, which is really what wanted. Hopefully by doing those things, I can get my numbers up! This week was just to basically see what my form looked like under a heavy load, but next week the volume will be increasing. He also said he is going to change it up week to week based on what he sees and what I need to work on. Here are the workouts we did this week:

TUESDAY-DEADLIFT DAY
(This will normally be Monday)
1)Sumo deadlift:  (1 rep max) 225x1 / 235-FAIL  :(
2)RDLs: 155x6/175x6/6 
( I forgot look at what the weight was, so it may have been more!)
3)Reverse hyperextensions: 90x2x10
4)Hip thrusts: 175x10/195x10/10
5)Band clams: 2x15

WEDNESDAY-BENCH DAY
1)Bench press: Worked up to 1 rep max- 145x1
2)Pin press: 135x3x5
3)Cable row: 70x10/90x10/10
4)Lat pulldown: 70x2x10
5)Pull-aparts: 2x12

FRIDAY-SQUAT DAY
1)Squat: 215x2x1 (beltless)
2)Wide stance box squat: 145x4x5
3)Glute ham raise: 3x10
4)Ab wheel rollouts: 3x12
4b)Band seated abductions: 3x15

SATURDAY-
1)Speed bench press: 6x3 @50% (75lbs)
2a)Incline bench press: 73x33x8
2b)Pullups: 2x8
3a) Lateral raise 3x10
 3b)Pull aparts 3x15
3b)Cable tricep pushdowns3x15
4)Single leg hip thrust: 4x12
Prowler-
10 rounds w/ light weight, alternating upper and lower handles


Thursday, September 4, 2014

How Cereal Helps Me Stay Lean

I have a confession: I LOVE cereal! If I could choose one food to live off of for the rest of my life-it would be cereal

Growing up, cereal was a staple in my diet. I'd have it for breakfast, snacks, and even sometimes, for dinner. But when I started eating healthier, it was one of the things I gave up because of the high sugar content. It was also one of the foods that I missed the most! Yes, I tried some healthier cereal versions-some were okay and some were just awful...but they just weren't the same as my Honeycomb or Captain Crunch!

Over the last year or so my nutrition philosophy has changed a bit-it's evolved from obsessive "clean" eating to a much more balanced approach. Now that I don't believe there are any foods I "can't" eat or that will make me fat, I've realized that I CAN eat cereal and still achieve my goals of being lean and fit.

"But wait!", you say, "Cereal is so unhealthy and so high in sugar!"

Yes, cereal is usually high in sugar, but I don't eat it every day. Most of my carb sources come from natual, unprocessed foods: oats, sprouted grain bread, potatoes, fruit and rice. Having a bowl of cereal once or twice a week is not going to make me fat and/or unhealthy!

The thing is, now I control my portion size, which is something that most people have a hard time with when it comes to cereal. I limit myself to one bowl(about a cup to one and a half cups), rather than the 2 huge bowls that I used to eat in one sitting! And I'm telling you, I thoroughly enjoy every single bite.


Of course, now I would never have just cereal alone for a meal, as I try to always have a protein source with every meal. But I have had cereal for dinner a few times in the past year, something I would have NEVER allowed myself to do a couple of years ago. No, I had to choke down the chicken and broccoli every night that I hated because "carbs at night make you fat"!

I actually believe that allowing myself to have a bowl of cereal once or twice a week helps me to stay lean. What? How is that possible? Well, letting myself have foods that I enjoy every now and then(cereal being just one example), even if they aren't the healthiest, reduces my cravings because I'm not depriving myself of a food I love. I don't walk past something in the grocery store anymore and think, 'oh I wish I could eat that!' Because now I know that I CAN have anything if I really want it.

Having cereal a couple times a week keeps me from completely falling off the wagon and/or binge eating as many restrictive eaters do after resisting certain foods for so long. Since I eat enough food from all food groups as well as plenty of healthy carbs and even sugar in moderation, there is rarely a time when I have a horrible sugar or sweet cravings. I also choose to eat my high sugar cereal post-workout, at a time when my body will put the sugar and carbs to good use. I mean, it just contributes to the gaaaains, duh!! ;)

Are there any "unhealthy" foods that you would never be able to completely give up?


Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Quote of the Week

"Meal plans, IIFYM, intuitive eating, holistic eating, etc... you really could grow an eating disorder from the confusion.
You know what REALLY works?
Something you can stick with that doesn't take over your life and mind.
That's what works.
It doesn't matter if the science says, the book said this, or your friend swears fish thins your skin. If you can not sustain it, you will not maintain it.
Period."
(From Jennifer Jewell Fitness Facebook Page)

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Weekend Recap & First Workout With Trainer!

This weekend was pretty low key. I took advantage of some sunshine on Saturday to get my tan on before I'm not able to do this anymore!
Then we went out for pizza at Johnny Brusco's for our treat meal. It was delicious, as always.
Sunday I met up with my sister at my grandma's house so I could see Celeste. She is walking around all on her own now. It's hard to get good pics anymore since she doesn't stay still!

Yesterday was a lazy day. Had a few clients to train in the morning and then after that I didn't do much. I don't know why, but I was just super tired! We did have a yummy meal for lunch-turkey sausages, green beans, and my fave-corn on the cob!

Well, today I had my first session with my trainer! I'm telling  you, it was SO weird having the roles reversed! Even as he was telling me things to focus on, in my head, I'm like, I know all of this! But it's totally different having someone watch you and make sure you are actually DOING all the things you know you're supposed to do!

In the workout today, we worked on deadlifts and then deadlift accessory lifts. There are a few things I definitely need to work on, my breathing being one of them. He was able to critique my form and find quite a few things that I didn't even know I was doing wrong. Guess that's why even trainers need trainers!

We started off with deadlifts, working up to one rep max. I got 225 but failed at 235, which made me mad, but I have only been doing sumo deads for a couple of months. Plus, I deadlifted Saturday which probably wasn't a great idea. I did try for 235 conventional and failed at that also, which was disapointing because I have done that weight before! Dang it! I hope he can help me figure out what style I'm strongest with. And I'm still scared I'm not going to get stronger. :(

Today was a pretty low volume day for me compared to what I'm used to, but here is what we did:

1)Sumo deadlift:  225x1 / 235-FAIL  :(
2)RDLs: 155x6/175x6/6 ( I forgot to ask what the weight was, so it may have been more!)
3)Reverse hyperextensions: 90x2x10
4)Hip thrusts: 175x10/195x10/10
5)Band clams: 2x15

He did push me a lot harder than I'd push myself as far as the weights go! He had me at 90lbs on hyperextensions when I usually only use 20lbs! I haven't done RDLs in years because of my hip, but today I think we worked up to 175, which is the heaviest I've ever done on those. Then for hip thrusts we did 2 sets of 10 at 195, which is also a rep PR-plus it was at the END of the workout!

I don't know if I've been wimping out on the weights, or if it's just the bodybuilder in me-because most of the time I try to focus on feeling my muscles working, rather than just moving the weight! I guess that's just the difference between powerlifting and bodybuilding!

So besides failing at my deadlifts, I guess the rest of the workout went pretty well!  Tomorrow is bench day, so I'm excited to see how that goes.

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