Monday, November 27, 2017

Thanksgiving 2017

Happy Monday!
I hope you all enjoyed the holiday as we did. Thursday we went to Mom's house for Thanksgiving dinner. I made Matt a keto approved meal, which actually came out pretty good! I made ham and bacon cream cheese rollups, cheese biscuits, and mashed cauliflower. Since we had two Thanksgivings, he splurged a little the next day on pumpkin cake, which is his favorite!

Of course, I loved seeing this adorable little person. I'm glad she will actually let me take pictures now!
 Here are a few more pics from Mom's:

She was putting on a show for the camera!
Friday we went to my grandma's house for Thanksgiving number two!
 Loved seeing all my little cousins, and the newest addition, Sawyer!
I got my Christmas decorations up over the weekend, which makes me sooo happy! 
In other news, Matt starts his next round of chemo tomorrow. He still is having trouble with Otpune- he keeps getting a rash and blisters every time we put it on, so he hasn't been wearing it much lately. I hate it because I just want to be able to do all the treatments that we can for him.

Mentally, I vacilate between being great...or on the verge of a mental breakdown. It's crazy because I can literally be happy and joyful one second, and then bust out crying the next second out of nowhere. That's just the reality of it. Mostly I'm just concerned and worried for him and his mindset, because I see how frustrated and down he gets sometimes with not being able to do things he used to be able to do, and I just don't know how to help him!

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Strength & Hypertrophy Weeks 4-6

Happy Sunday! 

As promised, here are my workouts from the last 3 weeks of my strength and hypertrophy program. I tried to up the weights on all the main lifts from the previous 3 weeks. There were some weeks I didn't get all the reps, but that's okay with me! I'll be taking a week off from all the heavy lifts next week and then start a new routine the following week. This was a fun program!

Week 4
I didn't remember to write down what I did for this workout, so I totally forgot some things...but I THINK this is what I did. My memory is so bad! I think it's time to buy a new training notebook lol.

1)Overhead press: (60%)55x3x5/1x13
2)Some kind of row variation...but I can't remember!
3a)Pushups: 4x10-12
3b)Inverted row: 4x12
4a)Hip thrust on leg extensions machine: 3x15
4b)Standing band abductions: 3x12-15/leg
5a)Split stance RDLs: 3x12/leg
5b)Lateral raises: 15x3x10-12
6a)Reverse hypers: 3x15
6b)Pull-aparts: 4x20
Off-set Farmer's walks: 70/60lbs 4 x
+ sumo band walks: 4x10 steps forward and back

1)Pause squats: (65%)155x4x5
2)Front squats: 115x3x8
3)Front foot elevated split squat: 35sx2x9/offset BSS-35x3x12
4a)Leg extensions: 3x20
4b)Seated band abductions: 3x20
5a)Back extensions: 3x15
5b)1/2 kneeling Pallof press: 3x10
Suitcase carry 45 lbs x 3 sets per arm
+ Kettlebell swings between arms: 53x4x12

1)Bench press:(70%)100x3x5/1x12
2)Dumbbell chest press: 45x4x7
3)Seated row: underhand grip 3x10
4)1 arm lat pulldown: 3x10
5a)Dumbbell rolling tricep extensions: 20x3x10
5b)Cable curls: 3x12
6)TRX face pulls to external rotations: 3x15

I can't believe I got 13 reps with 175 since my endurance is so bad!

1)Deadlifts: (65%) 175x3x5/1x13
2)Sumo dealift: 195x2x5
3)Single leg RDL: 53x10/60x2x10
4)High step up: 10x3x10 (slow and controlled-no pushing off back toe)
5)Glute ham raise: 10x3x12
5b)Pullups: 30 total reps -7/8/8/7
6)Ball pike: 3x12-15
Conditioning: Reverse sled drags 6x20 seconds

Week 5
I'm getting better at pushups, y'all! That was this week's accomplishment-doing more than 10 reps on ALL sets, woohoo!

1)Overhead press: (70%)70x3x5/1x7 (felt WEAK on these!)
2a)Chest supported row: 30x2x15/35x2x12
2b)Pushups: 13/13/12/12
3a)1 arm lat pulldown: 3x11/arm
3b)Lateral band walks: 3x12/side
4a)Cable pullthroughs: 4x15
4b)Lateral raises: 15x3x15
5a)Reverse hypers: 70x3x20
5b)Offset farmer's walks: 60/70lbs x 4 sets
Kettlebell swings 60x5x20 seconds
+ Pullaparts x20

1)Cleans 3x5
2)Squats: (80%)180x3x5/1x7(only last set with belt)

3)Front squats: 115x3x8
4)Off-set Bulgarian split squats: 50x4x10
5a)Leg extensions: 3x20
5b)Seated band abductions: 3x20
6a)Suitcase carries: 45x3 sets/arm
6b)Reverse hypers: 90x3x15
7)1/2 kNeeling Pallof press: 3x10

1)Bench press: (80%)110x5/5/5/9
2)DB chest press: 45x4x8
3)Cable row: 3x9
4)Wide neutral grip pulldown: 3x13
40 total reps of:
5a)Cable curls 11/10/10/9
5b)Tricep cable overhead extension: 13/12/11/4
5c)Face pulls: 17/16/7
6)KB bottoms up press: 20x2x10

1)Deadlifts: (75%)205x3x5/1x7 no belt
2)Sumo deadlifts: 195x2x5
3)Single leg RDL: 60x3x10
4)Single leg press: 50x3x12
4b)Pullups: 4x7
5a)Glute ham raise:10x3x12
5b)TRX fallouts: 3x12

6)Prowler sprints: 6 sets x15 seconds

Week 6
Overhead press still feeling week! I hate that lift.
1)Overhead press: 75x2x5/1x7
2a)T-bar row: 45x4x12
2b)Pushups: 13/13/12/12
3)1 arm cable row: 3x12-15
4a)Cable pullthroughs: 4x15
4b)single leg hip thrust: 3x10
5a)Reverse hypers: 3x15-20
5b)Off-set Farmer's walks: 60/70 x 30 seconds
Swings 6x12 + Pullaparts 3x20

Did not feel strong on this day! I was sore for days after, though.
1)Squat: (80%)190x4/4/5
2)Front squat: 115x8/8/6/6
3)Front foot elevated split squat: 70x10/9/ Goblet-35x2x12
4a)Leg extenstions: 3x20
4b)Seated band abductions: 3x15-20
5a)Suitcase carries: 3 sets each
5b)Back extensions: 3x20
6)Pallof press 1/2 kneeling: 3x10

1)Bench press: (82%)115x4/5/5
2)Dumbbell chest press: 45x3x8
3)Seated cable row wide neutral grip: 3x12/9/8
4)Underhand grip lat pulldown: 3x10/113/13
5a)Cable curls: 3x11
5b)Tricep rolling dumbbell extensions: 20s x3x10
6)KB bottom's up press, 1/2 kneeling: 10/8
7)Face pulls: 2x20


2)Sumo deadlifts: 195x5/6
3)High box step ups: 3x10/ skater squats 1x10
4)Single leg RDL : 60x3x11
5a)Machine seated leg curls: 3x12-15
5b)ABC plank on ball 3x
6)Lsit hold 3x10 seconds
Rower interval 30 seconds x10
+ frog pumps between sets x20

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Weekend Recap & MRI Results

Hey guys! It's been so busy the last few days, I'm finally just getting around to posting pics from Matt's birthday weekend!

We went out for PIZZA for his birthday, of course! We went to his favorite place in Louisville-Old School N.Y. Pizza.
Now that's a pizza!
He enjoyed every bite and then got right back on the keto diet the next day. For his actual birthday Sunday I made him some Keto pumpkin protein muffins, which he really liked.

So last week Matt met with his doctor to discuss his most recent MRI results. I wasn't able to go with him to the appointment, but Matt told me that the first thing the doctor said about the MRI was that it was "confusing". Some spots showed progression and some showed regression...which basically means they don't really know if the chemo is working or not.

So he told him to finish up this cycle of chemo, and then he'll two weeks off and then do another 6 week cycle. At that point, if there is further progression in the next MRI, we'll know that the chemo isn't doing the job and will have to look into different treatment option. That could be doing another form of chemo called Avastin, or participating in a trial, or possibly doing radiation. His next MRI is in January.

He just finished his last dose of chemo for this cycle on Monday, so now he gets two weeks to be chemo free! He's been just super tired all the time lately, so hopefully being off the chemo for a couple of weeks will help some. He's still doing the Optune, but he did develop a bad rash from it on his head recently and hasn't been able to wear it so that his head can heal. Hopefully we can get this taken care of and continue on with the treatment. What we've been told with Optune is that it takes about 4 months for it to show if it's working or not, and it's only been about 2 months right now.

He has been back in the gym the past couple of weeks. Not lifting heavy or anything, but just doing what he can. His main struggle right now is with balance and stability issues from the Parkinsonism and then just getting fatigued so quickly. But I'm proud of him for doing what he can! It would be really easy to just lay around and do nothing, but that wouldn't be good for him. I'm sure it's frustrating for him to not be able to train or move his body like he used to...but I just see it as bump in the road that he'll overcome just like he did last time!

Friday, November 10, 2017

Lessons of The Squat Rack

Oh, the squat rack. My trusty ol' friend. 
We've had some good times over the last 14 years. You've always been there, through the good days and the bad. You've seen me at my best and at my worst.

I've experienced pain here. I've experienced frustration, failure, doubts, fear, and discouragement....
But also many moments of excitement, joy, pride and accomplishment.
I've overcome fears in this rack. I've pushed through when I've wanted to give up. When I've felt like I might puke, couldn't breathe, or that my legs would give out...what I've discovered is that I'm almost always stronger than I think.
I've learned a lot here in this rack. 
I've learned to persevere, to not give up, to push through the pain, and to trust myself...but also to know when it's best to pull back.

You've seen me grow and evolve throughout the years. From when I was squatting 95 pounds years and years ago and feeling SO now being able to squat almost twice my bodyweight. 

When all the other girls were on the cardio machines, I was over here at the squat rack, pushing and challenging myself, week in and week out, determined that I would grow, that I would get stronger. Determined to beat that girl looking back at me in the mirror.

And it paid off.

This is why I love lifting weights. Because when you stick to it and stay disciplined, you can accomplish things you never would have thought you could. It's an amazing thing to discover what your body is truly capable of.

Some women will never experience this...they will never "get" it. They will think I'm crazy. I feel sorry for them. I wish more women would get off the elliptical and come join me over here on the "dark" side. Come learn the lessons of the squat rack. 

You won't regret it.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Get Rid of The "Screw It" Mindset

This is the time of year when it's easy to get into what I call the "screw it" mindset. With all the holidays coming up, it's easy to just say, "Screw it. I'm just going to eat whatever I want and start eating healthier after the holidays." Or ,"I'll start my diet and workout plan on January 1."

No. Don't be that person. You've probably done that every year before and it hasn't worked for you, right? What's going to be different this time?

Having that mindset is one of the reasons you probably don't have the results you want at this moment...because you're always saying  you'll start on Monday, or next month, or after this event, or that event. You're waiting for the perfect conditions to start eating better...and that just ain't gonna happen!

See, there are will always be holidays and vacations and parties. That's life. There are always going to be things that can throw you off track with your healthy eating...but that's NOT a reason to just throw in the towel and not even try.

The thing is, you don't have to be PERFECT with your eating, just consistent. So you have a splurge and eat too much dessert one day-so what? Move on. Have a few too many drinks one weekend? So what? Move on.

Just because you had one bad meal or one bad day of eating, doesn't mean you ruined your whole diet. It only becomes a problem when you develop the, "I'll just start over on Monday" mindset and let things spiral out of control all weekend. You have to learn that you can have a "bad" meal and then just MOVE ON. It's part of life. It happens.

There's nothing magical about Monday. There's nothing magical about January. So why not start with your next meal? Why not start right now? You are always one meal away from making a healthy choice!

Think about it this way: you have SEVEN days a week to eat healthy. If  you eat 3 meals a day, that's 21 meals a week. Even if you have 7 meals a week that aren't so healthy...that still leaves 14 meals where you CAN eat healthy, which is still 75% of the time, and that's pretty darn good! Maybe that's not "perfect", but it's better than 21 not healthy meals, right?

So let's define eating "healthy" real quick. That may mean something different for everyone, but I think overall we can agree that eating fruits, vegetables, natural and minimally processed carbohydrates, and lean proteins is healthy. So if you're eating those foods 75% of the time, it's okay to have some "treats" and not so healthy foods mixed in there.

Nutrition doesn't have to be all or nothing. It doesn't have to be black or white. Find the middle ground. Find the balance. That is how healthy eating becomes a lifestyle, and how you'll be able to finally lose the weight and keep it off. The people who have mastered the whole balance and moderation thing are the ones who don't stress about the holidays and who stay in shape year round. They're the ones who can be flexible and enjoy foods they love without totally falling off the wagon...because they realize that there is no "wagon"!

Meanwhile, the "Monday" people will always be the ones on and off a different diet. They will always be the ones yo-yo dieting, gaining and losing the same weight over and over again. You don't want to be that person, right? Well, then get rid of the "screw it" mindset!

Yes, I know, it's harder to eat healthy during the holidays. Yes, there will be more temptations, and yes, you probably will have more "splurges" during this time of the year. But remember, even if you give in to those temptations, even if you have a few extra "bad" meals than normal, that doesn't mean that every single one of those 21 meals you eat in a week have to be unhealthy. Show some restraint and self control. Show that you care about your health enough to not eat like an idiot.

For those of you who really struggle during the holidays, here are some tips that might help you stay(mostly)on track:

*If you know you are going to an event or holiday party, eat mostly protein and vegetables earlier that day, every 3 hours. The worst thing you can do is to try to NOT eat that day. That way you won't be starving when you get to the party and then just end up completely bingeing.
*Fill up your plate with protein first(turkey, ham, etc.), and then sample a little of everything else on your plate. That way you will feel satisfied but won't be over doing it. Portion control is key. Also, limit yourself to ONE plate.

*If you want to drink alcohol, skip the dessert. And if you want dessert, skip the drinks. Remember, it's all about balance. It's all about give and take. Splurge a little here, cut back a little there. Practice some self control sometimes. You don't ALWAYS have to eat the dessert!

*If you're really struggling with eating healthy, then make it a goal to have at least ONE healthy meal a day. Pick what meal that will be, and be consistent with it. For example, maybe you decide that lunch every day will be your healthy meal-so each day you will eat a lean protein and a vegetable and fruit with that meal. Plan ahead and prepare it in advance for the next day. Focusing on at least ONE healthy behavior is better than nothing at all!

*Be consistent with your workouts. Make it a goal to do something every single day, even if it's just a walk around the block! Or make it a goal to do a 15 minute workout 3 times a week. If you think 15 minutes isn't enough, you're wrong! You can do a lot in 15 minutes. And you don't even need a gym. All you need is your bodyweight-squats, lunges, pushups, glute bridges...the list of things you can do at home is endless. Just google some home workouts and get MOVING! 

*Be okay with gaining a few pounds... and don't obsess over the scale this time of year. Life is not about your weight or your body fat percentage. It's the holidays. It's okay to relax and enjoy yourself a little! It's okay to enjoy your Grandma's home-made mac and cheese. But a few pounds is NOT twenty pounds. Relaxing a little doesn't mean stuffing your face with everything in sight. If you use the 75/25% rule when it comes to your nutrition, you'll be okay.

*Use those extra calories you may be consuming as fuel for your workouts! No, it's not about exercising to burn OFF those calories or to punish yourself for eating "bad"-it's about using the extra calories to push yourself and lift heavy! This is a great time of the year to focus on your workouts and setting goals in the gym, like trying to do a certain number of pushups, your first pullups, or being able to squat your bodyweight. Take the focus away from the scale for a little bit and focus on what your body can DO. Taking a break from dieting is good to do every now and then anyways, and this is the perfect time of the year to do it! That doesn't mean not eating healthy, it just means eating a little more.

So while you may not be able to eat perfect during the holidays, don't use that as an excuse to eat like crap 24/7. If you get a flat tire you don't say, "Screw it, I might as well slash all the others", right? So why would you do that with your nutrition? Don't make it harder on yourself come the New Year. If you can stay somewhat on track for these next two months, then while everyone is crash dieting in January trying to lose those 20-30 pounds they gained in November and December, you will be over here just doing the same thing you've been doing! Which person do you want to be?

Monday, November 6, 2017

Life Lately

Happy Monday!

Matt had his MRI done a couple of weeks ago, after having it moved up due to having increased seizure activity. We haven't gotten a call with the results yet, and as of now his next appointment with the neuro-oncologist is November 14. But last time they said they would only call if something looked different on the hopefully if we don't hear anything then that means everything is stable! I've actually been at peace about it.
He has 1 more week of this chemo cycle! This time around has been a lot harder on him it seems. He's pretty much just tired all the time. That combined with his Parkinsonism can be rough sometimes. He didn't feel great for a couple of weeks, which partly was because he came down with a cold. He also slipped and fell one day and landed on his Optune battery pack, so he had some sore ribs for a few days. 

I'm really looking forward to when he finishes this round of chemo and has a few weeks off! He hasn't been working out or even walking much the last few weeks, but we did get out for a short stroll one day last week.
Asher's been doing well lately, thank goodness. He got his first ever grooming a couple of weeks ago! He looked so cute and was so soft and yummy smelling!

A few weeks ago we got together at my sister's with some of my cousins for a bonfire. It was a lot of fun and really nice to get out and see everyone. 
It's crazy because we had some super cold days last cold that we had a fire going in the fireplace one night! Then this weekend it's been in the 70s, which I'm LOVING!
This past weekend we went out to dinner at Carraba's after church Saturday. It's been a while since we've gone out on a dinner date. We swapped out his Optune arrays that day, so Matt had a few hours for his head to be free, which he loves!
I enjoyed some chicken marsala with broccoli and pasta, which was soooo good!
And Matt had steak, broccoli and a salad, and then some FatSnax cookies for dessert!
Last weekend I made a really yummy and SIMPLE low carb beef stew. Check out the recipe here on my fitness blog! This recipe is definitely a keeper.

I'll leave you with some good articles I've come across recently!
Do you want to live in diet land?
Why That Diet Didn't Work For You
Stop Going to Extremes With Nutrition
Just Eat The Damn Candy
If Fitness Is Your Identity, I Offer My Condolences
Being Fit is Not Shrinking Your Body
The Dark Side of Getting Really Lean
Relax, You Don't Need to Eat Clean

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Grace Quotes

"What gives me the most hope every day is God's grace; knowing that his grace is going to give me the strength for whatever I face, knowing that nothing is a surprise to God." -Rick Warren

"The emptier we are the more of his grace we can receive. The weaker we are the more of his strength we can discover." -Kyle Idleman

“Grace is all that God is free to do for you, in you, with you and through you only because of the finished work of Jesus Christ.”  Kingsley Opuwari Manuel

“Grace, on the other hand, means that God is pursuing you. That God forgives you. That God sanctifies you. When you are apathetic toward God, He is never apathetic toward you. When you don’t desire to pray and talk to God, He never grows tired of talking to you. When you forget to read your Bible and listen to God, He is always listening to you. Grace means that your spirituality is upheld by God’s stubborn enjoyment of you."-Charis: God's Scandalous Grace for Us 

"The meaning of life. The wasted years of life. The poor choices of life. God answers the mess of life with one word: "grace." -Max Lucado

"When you truly realize what God has done for you, His love, grace and forgiveness begin to transform every area of your life." -Jennifer Carter

"We all face difficult times. It is only the grace of God that gives strength to endure." -Lailah Gifty Akita

 “Grace is the voice that calls us to change and gives us the power to pull it off.” ~ Max Lucado

“It is grace at the beginning, and grace at the end. So that when you and I come to lie upon our death beds, the one thing that should comfort and help and strengthen us there is the thing that helped us in the beginning. Not what we have been, not what we have done, but the Grace of God in Jesus Christ our Lord. The Christian life starts with grace, it must continue with grace, it ends with grace. Grace wondrous grace. By the grace of God I am what I am. Yet not I, but the Grace of God which was with me.”~ D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones

“Grace overwhelms us with God’s love, and as  a result our heart resonates with the desires of God: His purposes become our own.” — Bryan Chapell

“Grace is the offer of God’s ceaseless presence and irrational love that cannot be stopped.” — John Ortberg

"A man can no more take in a supply of grace for the future than he can eat enough today to last him for the next 6 months, nor can he inhale sufficient air into his lunges with one breath to sustain life for a week to come. We are permitted to draw upon God's store of grace from day to day as we need it." -Dwight L. Moody

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