Friday, April 28, 2017

April Currently

Happy Fridayyy!!  

Currently I've been...
We had Chick-Fil-A for the first time in a while a few weeks back, and I realized that it is one of my favorite treat meals! I get the chicken sandwich with fries and a diet good! I could probably eat this every weekend.

I've also been loving Marshmallow fruity pebbles for my post workout meal. I'm SO glad I got this cereal! I've had some fails before, but this one is on my faves list for sure. Top 5 cereals: Honey Bunches of Oats Apple Cinnamon, Honey Bunches of Oats Cinnamon Clusters, Honeycomb, Marshmallow Fruity Pebbles, and Marshmallow Froot Loops. You're welcome.
Now that's it's warmer out, I'm loving our Sunday grilled chicken thighs with corn and a salad on the side. I marinate the chicken in vinegar, soy sauce, oil, and garlic-it is SO good. Definitely one of my favorite meals.
Hammock time! This is what I wait all winter for. It's sooo nice and relaxing laying on the hammock on a pretty Spring day, with a soft, gentle breeze rustling the leaves, and the birds chirping...ahh I just love it.
As ya'll know, I'm loving doing my workouts outside lately. I also love that I'm not following a plan and I can just play around and have fun! Fitness doesn't always have to be so serious!

Excited about:
New MuscleTech goodies to try! Can't wait to use the casein protein for my nighttime sludge, and the other products are to put in your coffee, which is pretty cool. I'm not a fan of flavored coffee, but I'll still give them a try.

I'm not a big YouTube vlog watcher, but I recently came across Rachel Elizabeth's YouTube page and have been enjoying her videos. I mostly like that she has a strong faith-it's refreshing to see someone who's bold and unashamed about their faith.

I recently came across this foundation that I'm loving, besides the fact that now that I've gotten a little sun it's too light! I have the hardest time picking the right foundation color for my face. It's one of the longest lasting foundations I've tried from the drugstore.

I went on a little mini Meijer haul for a few things the other day, and a bunch of stuff was on sale! I got some curl defining cream, OGX coconut water hydration spray(I'll definitely be needing this for my beach trip), neon pink nail polish(I'm all about bright, bold colors for summer), a loofah, some Wet 'N Wild mascara, blush, and bronzer, and a hair mask(also for my trip since my hair will be taking a beating at the ocean!).

Listening To:
This new song from For King & Country. 

I've been a fan of The Bachelor for a LONG time, and I always liked Emily from the show, so I picked this book up a few days ago. I'm usually not that into non-fiction books, especially biography type books, but I wanted something different!

Looking forward to:
Three. more. days.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Worth Sharing.

"Sometimes we just need to give ourselves permission to make fitness and health practices NOT about fat-loss. 

Is fat-loss an ok goal?
Of course!

But people can get to some pretty stressful, unhealthy and unhappy places when they feel the pressure to always be losing.

To always be shrinking.

Personally I think that if we get fat-loss results in a way that isn't sustainable or enjoyable, then we are not succeeding.Our results won't last and we are losing important pieces of ourselves, of our lives.

I LOVE helping women reach their goals, including the physical ones, but I don't believe that focusing on our bodies 100% of the time OR making all of our fitness goals all about appearance is wise, helpful or healthful.In fact I don't even see it as a super effective strategy.

When I was focused on losing fat and cellulite, I was inconsistent with exercise, didn't enjoy movement, and was not empowered or encouraged by my fitness practices.

When I shifted my focus to gaining skills, finding forms of movement that I loved and the creation of ways to make them happen in my busy life, that's how I fell in love with fitness.

I have a squishier belly and more cellulite now than I have in a long time, but you know what, I have WAY more confidence now than ever before.I can lift heavy weights, keep up with my kids, and swing heavy kettlebells.

That's not to say that I help clients gain weight and cellulite, but I do want to emphasize that sometimes our goals aren't always what will ultimately make us feel good.

When my clients include goals beyond fat-loss and ALSO focus on things they wish to accomplish or be able to do in their lives, then they tend to have a much better experience doing the work and making some of the healthy changes that they need to make.

So let's think beyond just getting skinnier.

How does fat-loss fit into the big picture goals that you have for your life, your self-confidence and health?

Remember, your appearance is not your fitness and nutrition report card.

Feeling strong, energized, confident, and at peace with ourselves and how we structure our lives WINS over being slaves to the scale and clothing sizes."

-Sarah Smith 

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Training Update and Rant

Hi! Hope you all had a great week!

The leg program is going well, but honestly, I really miss my heavy lifting and can't wait to get back to it. The one thing I do plan on keeping when I finish this is the quad day/hamstring day. But I will most definitely be lowering the reps on some exercises and adding back squats back in.

So for upper body this week I did a "pulling" focused workout on Monday with farmer's walks, abs, and glute stuff at the end. Friday's upper body workout was focused on "pushing" movements. It was the first time in a few weeks that I actually did my upper body workouts at the gym. Still not doing anything "heavy". Kept all the reps in the 8-15 range.

Here is what I did for Wednesday's quad focused workout:

1)Goblet split squats: 4x12

2)Hack squat: 2x12/Reverse hack squat: 2x15
3)Leg press:5x10(1 neutral stance, 2 wide stance, 2 narrow stance)
4)Barbell walking lunges: 13/13/12/12(per leg)
5a)Single leg calf raise: 3x20
5b)Frog pumps w/band: 2x30
6)Hanging leg raises: 2x9/2x8

This workout is really getting tough since I've been trying to up the weights each week. I was able to do front squats the past couple of weeks, but I ended up doing hack squats instead this week. Last week was a little iffy on my back, and I just didn't feel like I should try to add weight on them this week. I'm going to try dry needling soon to see if it will help with whatever is going on with my back. Actually the workout isn't that bad until I get to the darn walking lunges. Those are no fun! No fun at all.

Here is what I did for Saturday's hamstring day:

1)Glute ham raise: 4x10
2)Sumo deadlifts: 4x10

3a)Seated leg curls: 15/12/12/15
3b)Standing band abductions: 3x15
4a)Standing calf raise machine: 4x8
4b)Cable pullthroughs: 4x15
6)Prowler pushes-5 x 10-15 seconds, working up in weight each set

This workout is actually not bad, although I do not enjoy the high rep deadlifts whatsoever. I think  I can suck it up for a couple more weeks, though. ;) Next week will be week 5 on this program and then my vacation is the week after next, so that will be a deload week. After that I will either tweak the program up a bit or follow it with different exercises for another 4-6 weeks.

Okay, rant time. It's been a while!

So I've talked before about how sometimes the fitness industry drives me bonkers...well, now is one of those times. People are just so obsessed and so consumed by their looks and their workouts and their macros...and it's just too much for me sometimes. I get having a love of fitness. I love it. I love lifting and being healthy and working out, but it's not my entire life. Sometimes I feel like my head is going to explode with some of the things I see.💥

One thing that is really irking me right now is this whole "bulking and cutting" thing people do. I cannot stand those terms. It has got to stop. If you're a fitness competitor, that's one thing. That makes sense, because it's your sport. You shouldn't stay at your stage leanness year round, so you have to go through stages of gaining and then leaning out. But it's when just normal, non-competitors do it that drives me crazy. Because "bulking" just becomes a term for eating like crap and putting on a ton of fat(which is not necessary for gaining muscle anyways), and "cutting" has become a term for when people aren't satisfied with how they look or feel too "soft" or "fluffy"(which is another thing that annoys me-when fitness people use those terms to describe themselves).

If you do want to build muscle and eat in a calorie surplus, do it slowly and do it for more than a freaking couple of months. Building muscle takes a LOT longer than that. And please don't call it "bulking" unless you're a bodybuilder. And then when you do want to lose a little body fat by going into a calorie deficit until you get to where you can maintain, that's totally fine, too-nothing wrong with that. It's just the constant bulking and cutting cycles that drives me crazy.

I just wish more people could accept their bodies at all stages and that more people would promote enjoying life and being okay with not having a shredded physique all the time. You don't have to call it "bulking" when you gain a little bodyfat because you're just letting yourself loosen up and enjoy life without fitness being your NUMBER ONE priority. You don't have to go on a "cut" after a few weeks as soon as you lose sight of your precious abs. What's so wrong with just living life and just letting your body do what it wants? What's so wrong with pursuing optimal health(which has nothing to do with your outside appearance)? What's so wrong with focusing on other things in life besides fitness?

And on another note, the more I see the damage that fitness and physique competitions can do, the more I hate them. I know some people can do them in a healthy way, but I just think for most people, the damage it can do not only physically but psychologically is just not worth it. I mean, completely depleting yourself for what? To stand on stage for a day? For a trophy? I don't know, I just don't get it.

I know many of you won't agree with me at all, and that's okay. These are just my thoughts from what I've seen others go through. I follow very very few fitness competitors these days(I will admit, I still love Erin Stern), and instead fill my Instagram with powerlifters and body positive pages like these people: Kelly UJen BrettyKatie AnneBec ChambersKelly LenahanAlyssa ChangNikki H, and Kaila Narum...just to name a few! I highly recommend following them. It's such a breath of fresh air to me in an industry consumed by people telling you you're not good enough unless you're super lean, and people and companies who make money off of your insecurities and self-hate.

Even my mindset on many things has changed in the past few years about health and fitness. I am all for being healthy and fit, and I don't think there's anything wrong with wanting to improve yourself or striving to be better or wanting to transform your physique. It's just the mindset and the way you go about doing that that makes all the difference. So many women try to hate themselves skinny. That's not going to work. Well, maybe it can, but it sure won't be an enjoyable process.

As I was in the middle of writing this, I received this article by Nia Shanks in my email. She is another great person in the fitness industry who you should be following, and this post was perfect, as it's right in line with what I'm talking about.  We're so on the same page about this, and it's spot on with some of the frustrations I've been having with the fitness industry lately. She just says it much better than me!
We passively surrender to the ideology of society and what other people (be it the media, magazines, fitness professionals, marketers) say is best. In this, we lose ourselves. We’re allowing someone else to decide what’s best for us. We don’t have, or aren’t aware of, something guiding us from within, so we line up in formation and follow the pack attempting to march closer to the “ideal” body.
But we need to stop. We need to assess what we want and what we value and what feels good to us — and the answers may not be the same for everyone. Disliking or downright hating your body doesn’t feel good, and it doesn’t help you become the best version of yourself. Hating your body doesn’t not have to be part of being a woman. If it currently is, it’s time to change."
How good is that???

I know that there are people out there who are trying to make a positive impact in the fitness world, and that makes me happy. Because there are far too many women out there struggling with body image and eating disorders and yo-yo dieting... and many of them are the ones promoting "health" with their clean eating, and their "#nodaysoff", and their ripped ab selfies on Instagram. There are far too many women out there striving to always be smaller, to be leaner, to be a certain weight on a scale. I want to be different. I will not be another fitness person promoting dieting and never being satisfied with your body and posting ab selfies every day for "motivation". If that's what you're looking for here, you're in the wrong place.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Easter Pics

Happy Tuesday!

I hope you all enjoyed  your Easter weekend! We went to church Saturday night and then to Mom's  house for a cookout on Sunday. 

I was so happy to see this silly little girl! She is too funny.

It was supposed to be rainy all day, but thankfully the storms held off until later.

 Celeste's newest thing seems to be making funny faces and hand gestures in her pictures.

But I did manage to get a couple of normal ones!

 Besides this plate of turkey sausage, hot dog, potato salad and chips, I had some chips with queso dip and ham and cheese rollups. I love cookout food!

And of course, I saved room for dessert! These brownie cupcakes never disappoint. That is a brownie cooked in a muffin tin with peanut butter frosting and peanut butter m&ms on top. Amazingness. Worth every bite. 

Friday, April 14, 2017

Good Friday

Onto Jesus

All my inequity,
all of my sin
God put it all
all onto Him.

Onto Jesus,

God set my soul
so by His stripes
I'd be made whole.

Every unkind word,
evil thought or look
onto the cross
Jesus obediently took.

The lusts of my mind,
the deceit in my heart
onto Jesus' own heart
God did impart.

Onto Jesus,
God placed my strife
then for my sins . . .
He gave up His life!

By: Deborah Ann Belka

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Workout Wednesday: Back, Shoulders, & Glutes

Hey guys! Happy Wednesday!

I've been loving my upper body home workouts lately,especially when it's nice enough to do them outside! This was actually a workout I did Monday. It was 75 degrees and sunny out, so there was NO way I was going to go to the gym.

I've been taking it easy with upper body workouts, really just focusing on moving my body, not trying to set PRs or lift any crazy weights. I'm not following a plan, but just doing whatever I feel like doing from day to day. If I want to lift heavy, I will, if I don't, I'll just stay home and do a light workout. It's a good change of pace after following a program for a while. Sometimes it's just about moving your body and having fun!

This workout was focused on back and shoulders, with some abs and glutes at the end. Here's what it looked like:

1)Chinups 3x amap (but not to failure)
I actually did these on a tree branch in my front yard-it's the perfect pullup branch! I did 3 sets of 10.

Overhead standing dumbbell press: 4x10-12

Bentover dumbbell rows: 4x12
Since I only have 25 pound weights, I do these with a slightly pronated grip to make them a tad harder.

Bicep curl: 3x12-15
I did these with a 35lb kettlebell. It has a thick handle, so it's really good for working my grip. You could use dumbbells, cables or a an EZ bar.
Lateral raise: 3x15

Alternating kettlebell swings: 3x24(12/side)
Standing band abductions: 3x12-15/side
This was my first time doing these like this, and I really liked them!

Stir the pot plank: 3x30 seconds

5)Off-set farmer's walks: 4 x 45-50 seconds
For these I used a 45 pound weight plate and a 35 pound kettlebell. At the gym I usually go heavier than this, but this is all I had, so I just walked for a longer time. And trust me, if you do these correctly, you will feel them!

What have your workouts been looking like lately? Do you ever skip the gym and workout at home?

Monday, April 10, 2017

Grace is Greater

I just finished reading Kyle Idleman's newest book, Grace is Greater. Just like the others I've read by him, I really enjoyed it. I love Kyle's style of writing and the analogies he uses to make biblical concepts make "sense", as well as the humor that is infused throughout his books.

This book was all about the greatness of God's grace and the effect that it can have on our lives. He also points out how if we miss out on grace, bitterness and anger can easily take root in us and destroy us.

Kyle starts out by explaining how grace is best understood, not by explanation alone, but through experience. He mentions how Jesus never actually used the word grace, but all throughout the New Testament He showed us what it looked like.
Throughout the book, Kyle uses real life and biblical examples to show how grace is greater than anything in our lives: how it is greater than our mistakes, greater than our hurts, and greater than our circumstances.

He further explains how grace is...

....more forgiving than your guilt, more beautiful than your brokenness, and more redemptive than your regrets.

....more healing than your wounds, more freeing than your bitterness, more prevailing than your vengeance, and more reconciling than your resentment.

...more peaceful than your disappointments, more powerful than your weakness, and more hopeful than your despair.

If you're struggling with hurt, shame, bitterness, anger, guilt, fear, or insecurity, you need a taste of God's grace, and this book is just for you. See to it that you don't miss out on the grace of God(Hebrews 12:15)...

Because no matter what you have been through, or are going through, just know that God's grace is greater.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

30 Things That Are Cooler Than 6 Pack Abs

Abs are pretty cool and all, yeah...but you know what's even cooler? Well, I can think of lots of things. 30 things, in fact:

1)Having a healthy relationship with food

2)Deadlifting twice your bodyweight
4)Making memories with friends and family
5)Having energy
7)Strong bones
8)A healthy metabolism
9)Doing things for others
10)Pizza 🍕
11)Healthy skin, hair, and nails
12)Not stressing about food 24/7
13)Booty gains
14)A big bowl of cereal
15)No food guilt
16)Being able to go to social functions without anxiety about food
17)Bench pressing your bodyweight for reps
18)Ice cream on a hot Summer day
19)Being about to travel and eat out at restaurants without stressing 
20)Eating cake on your birthday🎂
21)Not being cold all the time
22)Banging out a set of pullups with added weight
23)Not eating cold fish out of Tupperware containers.
24)Eating peanut butter straight from the jar.
25)Not being defined by how you look.
26)Drinking a Pina Colada poolside.
27)Not having to do an "ab check" every morning to feel good about yourself.
28)Having a life and hobbies outside of the gym.
29)Not being a slave to the food scale.
30)Did I mention donuts? 🍩 🍩 🍩 

Monday, April 3, 2017

Weekend & Workouts

Happy Monday!

Highlights of the weekend:

This cheesy goodness from Chubby Ray's pizza Saturday...

And then seeing Celeste at the park Sunday❣
I actually got some pictures!
I thought I'd share my workouts with you this week, even though I took this week as sort of a deload week. I did start my new leg hypertrophy program, but I kept the weights light, focused on the mind muscle connection and did everything slow and controlled. Each week I will push it harder and up the weight. This week I just wanted to get a feel for it, not try to kill myself.

I've been enjoying my upper body workouts at home, and I may just continue doing them at home since I'm not doing anything heavy this month. I just have a couple sets of dumbbells and a 25 and 35 pound kettlebell, so I'm somewhat limited, but I can really get in a pretty challenging workout with just those and my bodyweight if I get creative. Here's what last week looked like:

‣Tuesday Upper Pull
This was a very light "pulling" focused workout(dumbbell rows, cable pulldowns, TRX T + Ys, bicep curls, lateral raises).

‣Wednesday Quads
This workout is deceivingly tough! On paper, it looks easy enough...but by the time you get to the walking lunges the quads are like, NOPE. Even going light today on everything, my quads(and lungs) were burning. I actually was able to do the front squats with no back pain, even though I was using a stupid light weight.

1)Goblet split squats 4x12
2)Front squats 4x12
3)Leg press 5x10
4)Barbell walking lunge: 4x15
5)Ab wheel rollouts

‣Friday Upper Body Push
Another very light, low intensity upper body day, just consisting of some "pushing" movements(handstand pushups, pushups, 1/2 kneeling dumbbell presses, and some tricep extensions and pull-aparts).

‣Saturday Hamstrings
This workout was fairly easy, but like I said, I'm doing everything light this week, so I'm sure it will get more challenging once I start using heavier weight...especially  with sets of 10 reps on deadlifts!! This workout only took me like 30 minutes at the gym, and then I did about 8 minutes of sled drags at home.

1)Glute ham raise 4x15
2)Sumo deadlifts 4x10
3)Cable pull-throughs 3x15
4a)Seated leg curls 4x12
4b)Hanging leg raises: 3x8-10
5)Stir the pot planks: 3x25 seconds
6)Sled drags: 6 sets of 20ish seconds(or whenever my legs gave out)

I can already tell you this light weight high rep stuff is gonna get old REAL quick. One week in and I'm already itching to have some heavy weight on my back! I have problems.

Have a great week!

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