Learning New Things Thru Macro Counting….

It’s not secret that I am a very clean and strict eater DURING THE WEEK….and it’s also no secret that I tend to cheat way too much or over indulge on the weekends.  Which has caused me to sabotage my own efforts of hard work.

I have had the most success with low carb/no sugar diets in the past….however, this way of fueling wasn’t helping me much when combined with working out….and we all know I am a workout junkie.  ***And let’t just be real! Life is full of little celebrations that are usually centered around food.  Who likes to miss out on that?? NOT ME!

My new diet journey is macro counting. I have done some macro counting in the past but not to the extent that I am doing it now.  I have a full time trainer showing me the ins and outs of how to do this properly.  It’s been great so far. I have been doing it for 3 weeks.  I feel like a cheat a lot but its not really a cheat if you fit it in your macros.  But of course, the more healthier nutrient dense foods your choose make the program more effective with faster results…but it is still effective even with several treats.

I thought I would make a quick list of a few things I have learned so far in the 3 weeks of doing this…..

1. Upgrading to the Premium MY FITNESS PAL APP is absolutely worth the money and an absolute must.  You can customize your macros using grams rather percentages which is one of the downfalls of the free app.  You can also add DAILY GOALS…which is what I am currently doing (meaning some days I eat high carbs and other days I eat low carbs).  No problem cos I can customize my days to fit the criteria.  And the APP also watches what I am eating and makes notes for me on what is high in fat, protein, or carbs. This allows you to see where you macros are coming from or how to hit certain numbers I am lacking at the end of the day. VERY MUCH WORTH THE MONEY if you are macro counting.

2.  I am truly learning how to balance my good foods with my cheat foods.  I admit, I do feel like I am cheating when I have an adult drink or a slice of pizza, but the deal with this program is that as long as it fits your macro numbers, then its ok. And it helps you learn how to not over indulge, either. ***THAT’S A BIG KEY FOR ME.  Sometimes when I treat myself I over do it cos I think the damage is done….  That is simply not the truth, actually far from it.  With this program you can treat yourself and learn how to not over do it, either!  #win

3.  Carb cycling is awesome.  I get three high carb days.  They are only 40grams more than normal but it feels like such a treat to me.  And these high carb days are helping me stay energized all week long, too.  I don’t feel tired at the end of the week.  I am actually feeling just as strong and rested as the beginning of the week!

4.  When I am not eating 100% clean….. I have to have probiotics.  However, if I am eating super-dooper clean, I don’t need them so much.  With that being said.  I am taking them religiously again since I am eating “some” processed foods from time to time (as long as they fit my macros). (I highly recommend anyone who doesn’t eat 100% clean to take probiotics, too.  Message me.)

5.  It truly is a pain in the butt to get in a routine of logging every single thing you put in your mouth…..exact measurements of food, cooking oils or dressings, seasoning, gum, supplements (because supplements have macros too), etc.  But to do the macro thing right, you must log everything.  It does get easier once you start getting into a routine.  But you can’t let a day go by without logging.

6. Preparing my lunches the day before a long morning/day at the gym helps tremendously.  Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays I am at the gym from 6am-1:30pm.  This is my big training day and I have a few classes to coach, as well.  It is soo worth it to be prepared for these busy, active days.  And I find it helpful to pre log these meals, too…. so I can see where I land for the remainder of the my day…which in turn helps me decide to cook for dinner later.

7.  Going out to eat is just not good for macro counting unless you only want one meal for the day…..  That doesn’t mean it isn’t doable. It just means it makes it hard to calculate and usually your foods contain WAY MORE calories than what you would make at home.  PLAN for those out to eat days.  On days I know I am eating out…. I generally have shakes for my other meals.

8.  I still struggle to get my veggies in.

9.  I am enjoying eating fish more and more.  This is a big plus cos I never really liked it before.  Fish is a great way to hit my macros without the fat!!!!!

10.  Accountability is still very huge for me.  I know how to do Macro counting but seem to stick to it on the weekends knowing I have a personal coach watching my every move.  I also have other crossfit friends doing the program and find it super motivating seeing them making progress…..and love when they notice my progress as well.

11.  WATER!!!!  I drink a lot of water….but learning to drink out of a gallon jug is something I am learning to do…rather than a shaker bottle.

12.  PROTEIN……  I have been concentrating on getting my protein in for over a year.  I find having a post workout ProSupps Protein shake and nighttime protein shake helps me hit my numbers exactly. (I am a lover of ProSupps Supplements.  Message me if you want a discount on your own supplements).

 

These are just a few things that I have learned along the way while doing this program.  Like I said, it requires commitment to being disciplined enough to log and weigh everything….but in the end, its also like a daily game trying to hit your numbers.  I am seeing changes and slowly losing.  I am committed to continue this the whole summer!!! I am three week in (6# down) with 9 more weeks to go!!! COMMITTED! DETERMINED!

mfit

The lady lumps are making a comeback:)

 

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Macros…..and more

In the last few weeks I have been training hard.  I have finally gotten a good and consistent schedule going now, where I am training *hard* on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. And using Tuesdays and Thursdays as recovery workout days and lite running. My weekends consist of family time so I don’t force workouts in….but you bet if the weather is nice and I have time, I will sneak away for a run or bike ride.  Or you might even find my family and I playing on the weights here at my house. :-).

In the last few weeks I have had somewhat of a struggle of trying to accept this new term of BALANCE in Crossfit and training.  For example, I have been so heavily concentrating on my lifts and my accessory work that I haven’t been putting in the mileage I used to when it comes to running (not to mention there is no time and the weather hasn’t been great either).  With that being said, I have done several WODs (workouts) where there is some running.  Usually when there is running, I use the running portion as an opportunity to run fast and pass those who were in front of me or just to better my own time.  But lately, I am finding I am using my running portion as a *rest time* in my wods to catch my breath and think of strategy.  I have been disappointed in the fact that I am not running hard or harder, mainly cos I am afraid it will wear me out for the remainder of the workout.  ***THIS IS SOO NOT ME! And frustrating!

I recently told one of my coaches how this was a bit frustrating but she gave me some great words of wisdom that I have been stewing on….. She told me that it’s called BALANCE.  And sometimes we have to give up our extra time on the things we are already good at to work on our weaknesses…..  This is when it struck me that my goals have been to be the best at everything, rather good at everything.  NO ONE CAN BE THE BEST AT EVERYTHING!!! But you can be good or average at everything and make a great crossfit athlete.

medark

Working on my lifts

So with that being said….let’s talk diet.  As much as the Sugar Detox works great for me.  It is, however, not a way of life.  And it definitely doesn’t allow me enough fuel for the workouts I am doing.  I have had some progress in the past on counting macros….so after much thought (and my 40th birthday approaching) I decided that getting a macro coach would be a great way to educate myself further and hold myself accountable to macro counting (aka flex dieting).

My coach and I will be in contact on a daily basis.  I will submit pictures every 2 weeks and weigh in twice a week.  I weigh and log every single thing I eat in MYFITNESSPAL APP.  My coach will be checking this daily and helping me tweak where I fall short on meeting my macros.

What is macro counting/flex dieting? It’s a style of eating in which you must obtain a certain amount of carbs, fats, and proteins in a given day within your specific calorie range.  This style of eating and dieting tends to be a much easier, more sustainable, and overall pleasant experience than typical “diets.” The bonus to this diet is it promotes the consumption of whatever foods YOU want….as long as they fit in your macro range and the majority of your foods are nutrient dense.  For instance, tonight I had some guacamole chips for dinner because I needed the fats and carbs!! CHIPS!!! BONUS for me, as y’all know I love my chips!

WHY I WANT TO MACRO COUNT!

1.  I know it works if done correctly—- I am ensuring this will work by having a macro coach, too.

2.  Because I want to rid my stubborn fat that is just coming off slower than I really want.  Apparently I am not doing something right, so having a coach will ensure I do it right once and for all.  (I know I am not doing my weekend right and am too inconsistent.  Having paid a coach is that much more of a reason to stay on track)

3.  For my own education and so I can help coach others on how to macro count effectively.

4. To fuel my workouts better.  I tend to not eat enough during the week and then peter out by then end of the week (Yes, I said “peter out”)…..just to over eat on the weekends.  I NEED A GOOD BALANCE!  Instead of inconsistency!

5.  My 40th birthday is fast approaching. :-).

 

I am two days with my coach and so far, so good…..and it’s the weekend, so that’s a good sign! :-).

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My Barbell Relationship

I used to have a “love” for running on a daily basis. More and more miles each day. More and more goals being met. Times achieved. Distances achieved. And loving the feeling of the “runner’s high”.  And to be totally honest, I loved that it was taking weight off of me pretty quickly too.

That was over two years ago…. before I was introduced to barbells and weights.

When I was first introduced to the barbell it was soon after a few months of doing kettlebell crossfit like classes (beginner crossfit so to say). At the time I was doing these classes, I didn’t realize it would advance me to barbell classes later on. Another words, I was clueless. I basically thought I was attending a boot camp style class cos that’s kind of what it felt like to a certain degree. Again, clueless.

I was quickly advancing in these classes, so my coach asked me to come try a barbell class. I reluctantly decline cos I didn’t want to drive to a barbell class or pay the extra fee. But a few weeks later I did try a barbell class.

I remember my first barbell class well. It was very intimidating as I went all by myself. I walked in and the sound of loud music and barbells crashing to the floor all around me. I remember immediately finding the bathroom to go for a nervous pee and for a quick prayer (this part is no lie either, I remember it that well). One class was finishing up a WOD while other people were rolling on foam rollers waiting for their own class to start. ***I didn’t even know what a foam roller was for, so that seemed awkward too. HA!

I am pretty sure that night we were working on snatches (which is one of the harder lifts). I was awkward. I required a lot of the coach’s attention (which I don’t think he was crazy about) and I left thinking…..NEVER AGAIN! —-and just for the record, I am still awkward with those snatches! LOL

But for some reason I came back. Something about having that barbell in my hands was empowering, frightening, and challenging. I LIKED THAT!!! It was soo much different than running, for sure.

This time I attended a morning class. I walked in and saw familiar faces….one being my previous coach who was working out and another that was a church friend. Our coach was a young, young girl. That day we were doing strict press maxes. I wasn’t supposed to be maxing out yet, but they allowed me to since they were closely monitoring me. That day, my second day of cross fitting, I strict pressed 100#.  I had no idea that that was pretty good. But I do remember my coaches and peers being impressed with me and telling me I was strong. Suddenly I felt intrigued and empowered by what I could possibly do with the barbell.  I hadn’t ever been considered strong either!?!?!

There was something about that barbell that was empowering….and a mystery, and a little rebellious too.

In the months to come, I learned so many new things about the barbell. I had no idea that you could do so many movements with one piece of equipment and some of them are very complex movements. From presses, to cleans, to snatches, to squats, to deadlifts…..this list can go on and on.

mandycf

But fast forward to NOW…the present time. I have come to have a love-hate relationship with the barbell. I absolutely LOVE IT and can be quite good at some of it, but I am absolutely terrible at a lot of it, too!!  HA!   Each day brings on a different emotion with that barbell. Some days I feel strong, like I am making huge progress. Other days I leave feeling like a defeated crossfit joke. But there is never a time I leave and don’t come back….. because I LOVE throwing around the big weights. And let’s be real, those big weight like to throw me around too. ****That’s the point of it though.  It’s like life.  There are a lot of days we are good at life….we help others, we work hard, we study hard, we take care of our responsibilities, etc…. But there are many days in our life that just plain kick us in the bootie! Life is hard. You can feel defeated, tired, and want to quit…. BUT YOU DON’T.  You continue to live life the best way you can.

This sport is so mental. It is so challenging. And it kicks my butt time and time again. But each day…. I find myself getting better, getting stronger, and becoming a better person, athlete, and coach because of it. And recently I am learning that it’s a growth that is beyond the physical growth…. but very much mental and even spiritual.
crossfitself

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Tattoos and Bling

Two weeks ago I got a new tattoo and a nose ring (stud piercing).  This has been something I have wanted to do for some time now….but it was never the right time and to be completely honest, I had worried about what some would think.  But as I get older I am becoming more and more comfortable in my own skin.  I know God created me. He wonderfully created me says the Bible in Psalm 139:14, “I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, And my soul knows it very well.”  So I know that God made me and He made me uniquely.  He made me a daughter, a wife, a mother of three.  He made me short, athletic, independent and a little on the rebellious side.  He made me with certain traits and talents: like being a teacher/coach.  And He gave me a personality that I tend to show (hence, piercings and tattoos)!!!

So two weeks ago, my BFF and her husband came to visit. She and I had said for several years that we were going to get tattoos and my nose pierced together someday.  SO THAT SOME DAY CAME and WE DID!!!  I had been looking at different tattoos for years.  But just recently found a simple but bold tattoo of the word STRENGTH with a cross in the middle of it.  This tattoo stuck out to me immediately…… for many reasons.  1) It’s simple. 2) Even though it’s simple it tells a lot about who I am and what I want to represent.  3) I am physically strong (God made me that way).  4) I want and thrive to be mentally and spiritually strong  5) and most importantly I know my strength (physical, mental, and spiritual) come from Christ alone.  Two weeks later, I LOVE my new tattoo and my nose stud.  I really feel like these two things represent who I am! And I am not ashamed…..

My new permanent motivation

 

So why do I tell you this….. Well, I have another tattoo.  It was from 20 years ago.  I was in Junior College, playing Jr College basketball….dating a serious boyfriend at the time (not my husband now).  At the time, I was wanting to get an ankle bracelet tattoo that had his name inside of it.  But that night I had found out some bad news and we were on the beak of a terrible break up.  My friend had gotten her ankle bracelet, but I chickened out (not knowing if I would end up marrying this boy or not) and made a last minute decision to get a tattoo of WOODSTOCK (the bird) dunking a basketball.  YAP!!! That’s my tattoo….on my hip!!! FOREVER!  I didn’t marry that boy  (thank goodness I didn’t put his name on my ankle).   But the years that followed, I resented this tattoo.  I had talked about getting it removed and even having it redone into something more feminine.  I have even had my husband snap a picture of this tattoo to send to artist to see if they could recreate it into something more beautiful.  But that all changed two weeks ago after I got my NEW tattoo.  I don’t know what made it click…..but suddenly I DO NOT want to change my woodstock with a basketball tattoo.  And the reason why is because it tells a story about me.  About who I was back then….20 years ago.  A little lost.  Loving the game of basketball.  Going through a heartbreak. Making crazy tattoo decisions.  I have come along ways.

woodstock

So today I have two tattoos….. One old.  One new. But I absolutely love that these tattoos tell a story about who I am!  And thankful for WHO made me who I am!!!! And Who has changed me from the inside out.

The good news about my cross, is that I KNOW that guy won’t leave me.

****As for the nose ring….its just some added sparkle to my smiling face!

mandy nose

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Why Do You Need a Sugar Detox?

Our 21 Day Sugar Detox is fast approaching and I often get the question, “Why do I need to sugar detox?”.  Well, for me, having done the 21 Day Sugar Detox 3 times, I have many reasons that one can benefit from this detox.

The MAIN REASON for doing a Sugar Detox is to balance out and regulate your body….meaning balancing out your blood sugar levels.  How would you know if you have an imbalance??? ………..

1. If you have cravings for sweats, sugars, or bread products.  **This is pretty much a guaranteed sign that your blood sugar levels are out of whack.

2.  Are you feeling tired or easily exhausted….especially after eating a meal?

3.  Do you become light headed when you skip a meal?

4. Do you depend on coffee or other stimulants to get you going in the morning? Or keep you going during the day?

5. Do you struggle at losing weight or keeping weight off?

6. Are you moody?

7. Do you struggle with some of your hormonal imbalances?

These are a few signs that you may be a great candidate for the 21 Day Sugar Detox Program.  I know for me, more than half of these questions I could relate to.  But after doing this program, I am not struggling with any of these symptoms any more!!! YAE~!!!

The program is very simple.  You remove all sugar and simple carbs from your diet for 21 days and you eat only from the ALLOWED list of food provided.  There will be an AVOID LIST to follow, as well.  IT’S THAT SIMPLE!!!

But I must warn you the first week (usually 3-5 days) are the hardest because your cravings will be more pronounced.  But once you get past “the hump” the cravings will subside and the program begins to really work…and it becomes easier and easier every day.  Those days leading up to the hump day will take absolute will power.  Believe me, you can do this! I have done it and it is completely doable (and worth it).  After getting though the actual detox, you will begin to notice a lot of the positive side effects that I am going to list below (example: better focus, better sleep, weight lose, etc), which makes this program exciting to be on because you see immediate results.  Check out the list below I am providing of the positives you may notice during and after the detox.

Most Commonly Reported positive Effects DURING and AFTER The Detox:

Fat loss
Less bloating
Clearer skin
Less craving for sugar / food
Increased sense of taste (healthy food starts tasting better)
Increased energy
More consistent energy
More regular bowel movements
Increased sense of wellbeing
Elevated mood/less depression
Lower cholesterol
Better sleep

You need to give this a try.  It will truly provide you will great results and education that you can use everyday to live a better and healthier life!

sugardetoxflyer

 

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Week One of Crossfit Opens “FAILURE”

Last Thursday night, the CrossFit Opens Games began.  What does this mean?? It means that crossfit athletes across the world are competing against each other to see how they rank, even among the professionals.  Each week, for five weeks a WOD will be posted for everyone to do. You have until Monday at 5pm of the following week to have a qualifying crossfit judge judge you doing this WOD. Time and scores are submitted and you are ranked. There are several divisions, age groups, and now even scaled divisions.  I, unfortunately, fall in the most competitive group…..under 40years old and doing WODs prescribed (Rx’ed).  RX’ed or “prescribed” simply means you are not scaling the working out in any means (not using less weight, doing less reps, or subbing out movements).  Other divisions are teens, 40-44, 45-49, 50-54, male/female.

I debated on whether I actually wanted to sign up to compete.  I knew I was going to do these WODS with my box, but really didn’t care to know where I rank among the very best.  I know I will be just another number….and it’s too much of a humbling experience, maybe!?!? LOL. But my coaches convinced me to do it anyhow.

**I will be 100% honest with you. I know that I can sometimes be hard on myself if I don’t do well at something that “counts”.  This is a fact about me in any competition, Crossfit or not. I tend to beat myself up when I screw up or mess up! And I hate that kind of pressure.****

The WOD was a two part WOD that went back to back:

PART ONE: 15 Toes to Bar, 10 Deadlifts, and 5 Power Snatches (75#)—as many round of this as you can for 9mins (as fast as you can, too).

PART TWO: Find your max clean and jerk immediately after Part One is done but you have six minutes to do this.  This also includes adjusting your weights and bar, while trying to catch your breath from part one.

I was super worried about the toes to bar.  To do 15 of those suckers would be taxing. And I am not fluid yet on cycling them.  I can cycle them but it really can wear me out, as I have just learned how to cycle these without kipping.  I was not worried about the deadlifts or snatches as this weight is super easy for me.

As for the Clean and Jerk. I was pumped about this one. I have been working hard on my clean and just recently got a new PR of 160 on a clean last week.  I can push press 140 so I knew going in that my previous one rep max of 145 was about to get higher.  READY for that lift!!!!

So I begin Part One—-my goal was to get three rounds.  I was shocked when I got over 4 rounds. (4.5 rounds to be exact). So when I was done with this part (even though my hands were hurting due to tearing from gripping the pull up bar), I was super stoked and feeling like I was doing AWESOME….and I was doing awesome, at least for me I was!  PART TWO immediately begins. I load my bar with my previous PR (personal record) of 145#.  I clean and jerk it with NO PROBLEM!  #BOOM #FEELINGSTRONG.  Because I felt good and my adrenaline was flowing, I decide to put on 155#.  I attempted it ONCE…and failed.  Not by much, but by a little. So I got a little nervous and decided to deload to 157 because I knew that I could pull that with no problem.  I go to deload one side of my bar and realize that the 2.5# plates that I had out were not where I placed them.  I immediately go into a little panic.  I find them, as someone is taking them off their bar.  I quickly load my bar.  I step back and double check my plates and all seems good.  I had plenty of time so I go to clean it and suddenly realize I am totally lopsided. *****I HAD FORGOTTEN TO DELOAD THE OTHER SIDE OF MY BAR! Apparently when I went to search for my 2.5# plates, I only unloaded one side of my bar and not the other. Not good.  I had 20 seconds left on the clock and had no time to get the lift in. I was stunned with disappointed, disbelief, the feeling of failing, and even fighting back some tears.  I can’t even begin to stress how I felt.  HEARTBROKEN!!!

This was my max then of 125#

Clean and Jerk—last summer at Solus Competition

 

I left the gym feeling so saddened.  And I am still working through the emotions of it still.  I wanted to record my BEST and I felt like I didn’t show my best when it came to the clean and jerk lift.  This is probably one of my biggest struggles, and had always been, that I beat myself up on things when I feel like I have failed myself or someone else.  I tend to beat myself up over things that really don’t matter.  The fact though, is that it DOES MATTER to me.  I want to show my best. And I didn’t!!!

This has eaten at me for 24hours.  I keep thinking…..”I should have been better prepared with my plates.”  “I should have never put 155# on after my first lift.” “I should have started with the 2.5 plates first.”  UGH!!!! All the should have beens and could have beens.

Does my time, score, or lift really even matter? No, not really.  I am just a number or ranking among thousands of athletes.

The good news out of all of this….is that if I was in the 40yrs old division (just 6months away), I would have been ranked right up there!

Wonder what week #2 WOD will bring??? Please no Double Under jump roping.

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Motivation or the Lack of….

WOW! What a week it has been here in North Texas.  For about a month or so we had some amazing, spring like weather (65-80 degree days).  But this week…winter decided to show up in North Texas.  Our schools and work week were shortened (Monday and Tuesday off, Wednesday late start time and Friday early release).  Ice storms early in the week…and snow late in the week.

I did great earlier in the week to stay on track.  Meals were planned out.  Meals were prepared.  Workout in my own home gym done, even two or three workouts a day (cos honestly, this kept me from snacking out of boredom-lol).  But where things started to go off track was later in the week… I had no time to make a run to the grocery store to prepare and plan meals before the next storm hit.

So unfortunately, our local Dollar General had some staples I could pick up (bread, milk, cereal) for the kids to have.  Of course, knowing that I was going to have several teenagers hanging out at my house, I decided to pick up chips, ice cream, and other no-good snacks for them to have.  I had NO intentions of eating these things….especially since I did well to say no to these foods earlier in the week.

So here you have it….veering off track already.  I did not prepare a shopping list. I did not make a menu for the upcoming weekend. And then, I have been religiously logging my food and watching my calories and macro count.  But guess what? My phone broke yesterday, which was my excuse to not log my food.  So…not only was I tempted, but I gave in and snacked on a few items.  I didn’t over do it, but I sure wouldn’t say I did great either. But instead of going completely off track…. I decided to limit my cheats. Instead of a big bowl of ice cream, I found the smallest bowl to eat out of.  Instead of eating out of the bag of chips, I counted the serving size and enjoyed my cheat.  All knowing I was not going to give myself permission to go completely out of control and make myself sick. And let’s be honest…I knew I was going to wake up, not feel guilty and get back at it 100%.  So with all that being said….. HOW DO YOU STAY MOTIVATED ALL THE TIME. **Well, first of all….it’s okay to veer off….but must make sure its just a veer and not completely off track.

Motivation

Here’s a few tips that work for me currently….

1. I stay motivated….by following blogs, Instagram or Facebook people that I look up to.  ***I mean the people that I can relate too.  The ones that may have my same kind of lifestyle or same similar goals. Another words, I don’t get motivated by following a skinny 20 year old bikini model’s blog, as I can’t relate to those goals or lifestyle.

2. I stay motivated….by not letting a cheat or two go out of control.  This is a new thing for me to recognize.  In the past I would tend to cheat….but let myself go out of control since I felt like the cheat was a failure.  Now, I simply call it a “cheat treat”. I limit it. And I move on….quickly.

3. I stay motivated….by going super strict the days following a “cheat treat” day.  I focus on getting back on track and cleansing my body immediately after I have indulged in something I shouldn’t have.  I do this to help gain control and make sure my cravings for those foods don’t linger and cause issues. **This does not mean that I don’t eat as much.  It just means I eat nothing be fuel foods.

4. I stay motivated…by journaling either in my blog or posting on Instagram or Facebook to help hold me accountable.  I also log my food in MyFitnessPal App religiously (when my phone is working).

5. I stay motivated….by playing and channeling my thoughts elsewhere .  I go run. I play on my weights at home.  I show my kids new exercises and we play with them at home.  I break from the same old, same old….and actually play a game with them (basketball or even a board game). **This week, I had the hubby take me for a long jeep ride around town and on the backroads in the snow!!!

6.  I stay motivated….by researching new and better training and nutrition plans.  There is always more to learn and apply. **CONFESSION: Pinterest has suddenly become my new hobby this week for researching new plans and programs for my clients and myself.  VERY MOTIVATING right now for me.

7. I stay motivated…by helping others reach their goals. Whether it’s through personal training them and prepare programs for them…or helping them with supplements or even educating them on their nutrition or lack of.  I am passionate about this in my life and love helping others be able to do the same.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with lacking motivation at times…and cheating every now and then.  That’s part of this journey of health and fitness.  However, it’s how we react and bounce back from these “in a funk” times.  So don’t get down on yourself.  Don’t give up on this lifestyle.  Enjoy life! Enjoy the journey!

#Live Better  #Play Harder

 

 

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HIIT Workouts and the Why Behind Them

You often see me post these workouts.  These are an example of a HIIT workout….which simply means a “High Intensity Interval Training.”  CrossFit uses HIIT as part of their programming.

hiit

Many people do not understand the why behind HIIT.  HIIT is a quick workout that you go all out (give max effort), usually with intense bursts of exercise, followed by short (sometimes active) recovery periods.

WHY is this a good thing? Because this type of training gets and keeps your heart rate up and burns more fat in less time. This type of workout increases the body’s need for oxygen during the effort and creates an oxygen shortage, causing your body to ask for more oxygen during recovery.  Once the workout is completed you enter an Excess Post-Exercise Consumption Period (aka the after-burn) which allows the body to continue to burn more fat and calories even after the workout is complete (this is especially true when compared to aerobic activities like running).  #win

So what does this really mean!?!?!  It means that if done properly you are using the HIIT workouts to speed your metabolism rate…..which translates that you can continue to burn calories up to 48hours after you have completed the workout.  HOW COOL IS THAT???

Other “perks” to doing HIIT programs are: it’s quick and convenient.  You don’t have to spend hours in the gym or hours running to burn the calories you want.  And you can do this anywhere (hotel, home, backyard, on the beach, etc..).  You don’t have to have weights to do it, either.  *With that being said, the more you train and the more you advance, adding weight makes it that much more beneficial (more after burn of calories and builds strength, too).

However, IF you are a beginner….you do not want to immediately dive into a HIIT workout with great intensity (not yet).  Instead, all beginners must simply do the movements at their own pace but focus more on the doing the movements correctly and with the correct range of motion.  You’re still benefiting from the workout.  But know that this part takes a little practice and time.  It is very important that you do not push too hard, too fast ….as this will only lead to injuries and set backs.

For intermediate and advanced athletes: your task is to push yourself.  The more you put into the workout, the more you will get out of it.

If you are interested in learning more or starting your own personalized workout, please contact me.

 

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The Good. The Bad. The Ugly.

Since January 7th, I have not had any processed foods, no chips, no breads, no starchy carbs, and eating very clean!  I have lost 12# and have been feeling great.  I have had no desire to go back to my bad habits…….UNTIL THIS PAST WEEKEND.

I am not sure what exactly happened this past weekend!?! I had done my food prep. I haven’t been terribly hungry and haven’t felt deprived at all.  I feel great! —-BUT SOMETHING HAPPENED!

On Thursday I ate very clean, as I normally do. The typical day of having a protein shake in the morning, eating a colorful lunch (salad this day), drinking plenty of water and green tea.  I even had some amazing workouts again this week and hit two new PRs (Personal Records) on two lifts that completely make me mental and freak me out. All was going well. But Thursday night, I got home a little late and didn’t want to prepare another thing chicken or fish so I had a few gluten free (but processed) meatballs for dinner.  (This is what I had made for my kiddos).  Two hours later I felt very full and bloated.  I have felt full and bloated all weekend because of it. Which has started a bad weekend of bad choices……

Friday I hardly ate…which is just as bad for you than eating too much (but I just didn’t feel 100%). However, my husband did take me to lunch and I had fajitas (no tortillas). I DID CAVE and have 8 chips with salsa:-(  For dinner I had a lettuce wrapped burger. Not a terrible day, but definitely had my share of cheats and didn’t eat enough and not enough veggies.   But Saturday, I failed miserably.  I woke, with a little-off tummy….and decided I must have “something” clean to eat to get my day started off right.  I didn’t feel like eating but knew I needed something.  I had another Metagenics *balanced* shake with three slices of bacon. Felt ok.  I worked out at home afterwards and that seemed to help my stomach.  I had a funeral to attend two hours away.  I had already planned on stopping at Chickfila for a salad to go.  But I was traveling with my dad and was talking and missed my exit:-(  I would have normally just waited on getting a lunch later with a better choice, but knew my dad was hungry.  We ended up stopping at Wendy’s.  I made a choice to get nuggets (processed and fried). No option of fruit here and I had no veggies :-( Then on the way home, I stopped to get groceries for the upcoming week. Meanwhile, at home, my husband had made some green chili chicken taco fillings.  I had this for dinner, but with a half carb balanced tortilla. **I NEVER eat tortillas anymore!!?!?!  The rest of the evening I wanted and craved bad foods.  I wanted chips (thankful we had none).  I wanted candy (thankful we had none).  I wanted wine (had some). And had wafer cookies as my snack of bad choice.

So, as you can tell…this weekend hasn’t been clean or sugar free at all.  I have felt miserable too….  But even after feeling miserable, I am amazed that my body and mind still wanted more bad foods.  I know that adding some of these foods to my diet and the lack of eating enough threw off my blood sugars.  Which has in turn made me want more of the bad stuff.  It’s a terrible cycle that I can get stuck in if I don’t be careful.

My weekend was not a failure but a reminder of how I “could” fail if I don’t recognize the mistakes and what led me to them.  I must make a conscience effort to changes to recognize and learn from my mistakes this week–and avoid them the next time I am tempted.

Today I am choosing to celebrate in the fact that I can decide to rebound nicely from this and clean this diet up immediately….STARTING NOW!

Back at it 100%.

theugly

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Experiencing the “High”

Have you ever experienced a “runner’s high”? Like after the very first time you ran a full mile without stopping? Or your first half or full marathon? It’s a feeling of great accomplishment.  It’s a feeling of believing in yourself, to be able to do more than you gave yourself credit for to start with.  It’s a feeling that you can’t wait to go back and do it again! Like you can’t get enough cos it’s so fun but yet fun in a challenging way.  I know I have experienced that actual “runner’s high” and something similar as an athlete in crossfit when achieving huge lifting personal record or completing a benchmark WOD (aka workout) in the fastest time out of the whole gym!  This feeling is amazing! And is probably what keeps me coming back for more!

Well today, I think I experienced the “coach’s high” :-)  It was a great day for me to be coach and to see how far my athletes have come. Every one of my sessions went great! Everyone of my sessions had accomplishments today! And everyone left their classes feeling like they were better athletes.  As a coach, there is nothing sweeter than having athletes being proud of themselves and believing in themselves.  #WIN

I had 4 different sessions today. Not one of them was the same.  I had an early small group who did some circuit weight training. I have been working with this group since August of last year.  When we began, not a single one of the ladies could do a strict pushup (tricep pushup). This is not uncommon at all! But today, when we got to the pushup session, they went to the scaled version of pushing up.  This looked fairly easy on them so I asked the ladies to “try” a strict pushup….and guess what? They DID IT!  They did it beautifully!! YES!!! #WIN #A GOAL MET

Then in my second session I am working my husband and his buddy out of my house/home gym.  This was their third workout and today I introduced them to an actual HIIT workout (high intensity interval training).  These guys sweated their tails off and totally rocked their first HIIT workout.  As much as they hated it, they loved it too!!! #WIN

My third session is my actual crossfit foundations class (aka beginner’s class) at my gym, CrossFit Solus. This class has a great vibe to it. It’s one of my favorites!!! I have one veteran girl (I call her veteran because she started when I started coaching in August) and several newbies who have recently joined in the last month or so.  We have become like a little family!! :-). So that in itself is a lot of fun! But today not only did my veteran athlete face a fear of doing a kick handstand on the wall—unassisted.  But my newbies each got their double-unders with jump ropes.  This is a big deal for any new crossfitter.  Double-unders are jumping rope but roping twice under your feet at a time.  These are very hard to accomplish–but every athlete did one. I even had several able to cycle single, single, doubles quite well!  ## WIN

My last session with a private session at Solus.  It’s her second session with me.  She is totally new to the sport of crossfit and working out (other than doing the treadmill).  But this girl has so much heart and determination.  She is very coachable and that makes my job so much easier! I can see that she is enjoying our workouts and more than willing to be pushed.  She is taking on every challenge I give her and she is surprising herself along the way!! How fun is that to see a client completely shocked at what they are actually able to do (that they wouldn’t do without someone spotting them and coaching them along the way).  ##WIN

So today has been a good “coaching day”.  I am loving what I am doing! I am loving the relationships I am forming with all my clients (aka my friends). And it has given me great joy (or coach’s high) to see them leaving today with their very own “highs” for the week!!!

OTB

 

 

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