Sweating and Bending and Stiffness, Oh My!

My first ninety minutes of torture bikram hot yoga are complete!

I’m (sort of) kidding when I call it torture. But let me be very clear: when it comes to fitness, I kind of love being tortured. I love pushing my body to new limits and love it when it hurts just enough that I know I’m working hard, but not too much that I’m injuring myself. Injuries are never a good thing.

As someone who has done a fair bit of yoga before, I was shocked by how much I learned in my first class.

When I arrived to the studio, I met my friend Carly (and Kristin!) at the reception area. Carly grabbed my towel and my mat and got me a spot next to her in the room while I dropped my stuff off in the changing room. One of my first impressions of this place was how bright, big and sunny it seemed; even on a cloudy day!

Kristin, the owner and my instructor last night, was an absolute darling and made me feel instantly comfortable. She assured me that I should be a-okay starting with a 90 minute class, but to know that it’s okay to go at my own pace and take breaks as needed.

Carly, Kristin and I chatted for a few minutes at the desk until it was time to venture into the room, which I can only assume is the hottest place on earth. I like heat though, so I was diggin’ it.

We started by laying on our mats while Kristin gave a little run-down as to what we could expect during class. Everyone seemed pretty calm and relaxed. So much so that I legit heard someone fart from the other side of the room. I guess at Bikram hot yoga we really are one big family. While I am glad that person was relaxed, I am also glad that I was not next to that person. Namaste.

We started with three poses or “sets” before our first water break. Things were going pretty well at first, until I started to feel sheer and utter panic that I would not be able to breathe in this room for the entire 90 minutes. That’s when Ms. Kristin basically transformed into an angel from heaven and said, “It’s important to breathe through your nose and not your mouth.” I have heard this when it comes to hot yoga before… but I figured that I’d get more oxygen in if I were breathing through my nose AND my mouth. And girrrrrl, I felt like I needed some oxygen! This is when she said the best thing she could have ever possibly said, “If you breathe through your mouth, it will send panic signals to your brain.”

Now it all made sense.

I could breathe in this studio just fine, I was just getting greedy with my air and was sucking in as much as I could through the ol’ pie hole. Turns out, that in and of itself, was the issue. I didn’t open my mouth for the rest of class and I felt FANTASTIC.

To be honest, the rest of the class is pretty much a blur. I do remember realizing how insanely stiff my back has gotten. When we went into back-bendy poses (I’ll learn the proper names eventually), I could barely move. These used to be easy for me. I’m going to guess that this stiffness has nothing to do with age or fitness level, and absolutely everything to do with the fact that I lift lots of weights and I NEVER STRETCH. Ever. I hate stretching. Kind of ironic that I like yoga, right?

After class, there was tea time for those who wanted to participate. Cute, right? It was so great to get to know some of the other people from the class. And, to make things even better, it was hands down the best tea I’ve ever had in my entire life. I’m going to have to find out what kind it was. I could drink that stuff by the gallon (probably not a good idea, but would make for a really great blog post).

I left the studio absolutely drenched in my own sweat. I started the class with a super cute low pony and a side-part. That quickly turned into a hot, bird’s nest-like contraption on the top of my head.

Seriously, you guys; I was SOAKED. But miraculously, my make up was still somewhat in tact. Sure, a sweated 85% of it off, but there were no raccoon eyes and I didn’ look like Ozzy Osbourne!

Check that out! No runny mascara. No black smudges. If that’s not an advertisement for MAC make-up, I don’t know what is. Uh huh, honey!

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I can’t wait to go back for my second class – hopefully this weekend! I’ll be sure to update you all when I do! Xo

Getting Started with Bikram Yoga Halifax!

Last month I was contacted by the lovely Kristin Johnson of Bikram Yoga Halifax. She told me that this summer, she would be holding a “Liquid Awesome” hot yoga challenge and, as a local blogger, I was invited to join!

Before I could get started, I had to take a trip to Vegas, followed by a trip to Florida.

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Don’t judge me. I’m a busy person.

Anyhow, now that I’m back, it’s time to get started.

As someone who is a reformed cardio-queen and is now totally into the weight room, I think hot yoga will be a perfect compliment to slinging iron in the gym.

I’ve done hot yoga before, but I’ve never done bikram hot yoga. My friend Carly tells me it’s super intense. This makes me both very excited and very worried.

You see, as someone who works out six days a week, I generally approach yoga with an attitude that says, “great! how hard can this be? I’m going to get to play around and stretch on a mat for an hour and end the session with meditation aka nap time!”

Reality is, yoga is really freaking hard. I’m always shocked by how much my legs can burn in warrior 1, 2 and 3 pose… or in that damn chair pose which I despise and dread.

Yoga is even harder when you’re in the sweltering heat surrounded by strangers who are also sweating. I do not deal well with hot temperatures, small spaces or strangers. This could be interesting.

That said, I’m committing. I left my office at lunch time to go to the gym to shave my legs in preparation for class, and I’m giving it a fair chance. And I’ll (obvi) be honest about my experience.

I have about an hour of enjoying normal temperatures before I dive into a scortching hot yoga studio where I will twist, turn and challenge myself physically and mentally for NINETY MINUTES. Yes. Ninety. There is an option of taking a 60 minute class, but little miss fit-tastic would never choose the easier option, would she? After all – it is just laying on a mat and stretching ;) …. (famous last words).

List of What I’m Looking Forward To:

  • Sweating
  • Doing yoga with my friend Carly
  • Mentally checking out for 90 minutes
  • Switching things up from the weight room
  • Stretching – because I never stretch
  • Trying something new

List of What I’m Nervous About: 

  • Make-up running and stinging my eyes
  • Being mistaken for Ozzy Osborne while I walk back to my car after class due to fear #1
  • Other people smelling weird
  • Me smelling weird from all of the weird sh*t I ate and drank in Vegas and Florida seeping out of my skin
  • Accidentally ending up in a class where I’m instructed to hold a pose for an exorbitant amount of time
  • Thinking I’ll look like this the gif on the left, but actually looking like the gif on the right

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…I’ll let you know how it goes! xo

The Moment I Was Taught My Body Wasn’t My Own

June 2001.

I had just turned thirteen and was completing my first year of junior high school.

It was during this month that all of the seventh graders were whisked away to the country on a camping trip.

Those who know me know that I’ve never been someone who enjoys the outdoors. I didn’t enjoy it in 1991, I didn’t enjoy it in 2001 and I certainly don’t enjoy it now. However, all of my classmates were going on this trip and I knew that there might be a shred of regret if I didn’t challenge myself to join in on the adventure. So, my parents paid the trip fee, I was assigned a cabin and I got ready to venture to the great outdoors.

Prior to the trip, my mother took me shopping. Being a thirteen-year-old girl, I was extremely image-conscious; not only when it came to my choice of clothing and the way I styled my hair, but also of my newly developed body.

As any adult is fully aware, thirteen-year-old girls come in all shapes and sizes. And, more often than not, the media depicts the image of a body-conscious thirteen-year-old as one that is petite, childlike, flat-chested and desperate to physically transform into a woman. My reality was quite the opposite.

By sixth grade, I was 5’8’’ with a full c-cup. Sure, it’s what some girls may have wanted; but I was incredibly uncomfortable with my body. I towered over my friends. I was uncomfortable in any clothing that didn’t bag off of me and hide my womanly shape. Wearing a bathing suit was my biggest nightmare. But, if I was to go to camp, I knew that sitting on the sidelines in my oversized GAP sweatshirt while my smaller friends played and swam would draw even more attention to what I felt like was my deformed figure.

My mom took me to a store in the local mall and helped me pick out a couple new outfits for the trip. And yes, a bathing suit was included in that mix. We settled on an orange tankini with short bottoms. We also bought a second pair of orange shorts to wear over the swim-suit shorts because I hated my lower-half and was extremely uncomfortable with showing any leg above my knees.

Before I knew it, camp time rolled around. I tried secretly dieting before we left in an attempt to be smaller like the other girls. I don’t remember much about the trip, but I do remember being really hungry and the day when we all went swimming in the lake.

I reluctantly changed into my orange tankini and my extra pair of shorts. I can remember walking onto the small beach area – arms folded across my chest to try and hide my body – and seeing several of my tiny female classmates having a blast in the water with both male and female peers. I can remember seeing the “hot female teacher” clad in a green bikini – no shorts – throwing a football back and forth with a male teacher. I was envious of her confidence.

I can also remember no more than 15 minutes passing when an older female teacher called my name and asked me to follow her into the main cabin. Without hesitation, I followed.

When we got into the cabin, she asked me to take a seat. I did.

She sat across the table from me, reached out and touched my arm.

“The other teachers and I have been speaking and we have agreed that your attire is inappropriate.”

I was completely confused. The entire week I had been wearing jean Capri pants (because I hated my legs), a tank top and a full bug suit (because I hated the outdoors). Lots of the other girls had on short shorts and tank tops. I had never been in trouble before.

“Do you have something more appropriate you could put on?”

I don’t think I got more than three words out before she handed me a large men’s t-shirt that belonged to the male gym teacher who seemed to be about 100 years old.

“You’ll have to put this on over your bathing suit if you want to continue to participate in activities. If you can’t put this on, we will have to phone your parents and you will have to go home. You are too developed and you are a distraction to the boys.”

I didn’t know what to say, so I started crying. It had taken a lot of guts for me to go out on that beach in that tankini, and now I was being told that I’d better cover my body up or I would be punished for it.

All I could think about were my small, thin friends and how much fun they seemed to be having in their bathing suits. Then my mind flashed to the “hot teacher” in the bikini. She had breasts. Why wasn’t she being asked to cover up? Obviously there was something very, very wrong with me.

I felt dumb for crying. After all, my breasts were my problem. My body was my issue, and it was causing problems for everyone else.

I blamed my tears on my parent’s separation in hopes that the teacher would stop talking about my physical appearance. I headed back to the cabin where I changed back into my jeans and a t-shirt, and I felt completely and totally embarrassed for the remainder of the trip. Those feelings of shame and embarrassment stayed with me throughout the remainder of grade school. I always felt like my body was abnormal and an issue. I always refrained from participating in any activity that might draw attention to my body. I often skipped several meals and was scared to try new things.

Sure, the experience of being body-shamed into putting on a huge t-shirt to hide my breasts was traumatic. But perhaps the most disappointing part is that I didn’t understand the magnitude of what had happened and just how wrong it was until I was 25-years-old. Unfortunately, young girls are so often made to feel like their bodies, behavior or clothing choices are the issue that it took years for me to realize that my body was not a problem and that it was my teacher who was wrong.

It was in that moment that my teacher taught me that my body was not my own. My choice of clothing and how much of my body showed had nothing to do with my comfort and everything to do with how it made males feel and behave. If they behaved in a way I did not like, it would be my fault; and as a teacher, she felt she had the responsibility to step in to stop that from happening. I understand that she felt she was coming from a good place. I certainly don’t think she had any idea of just how much damage she created in those 5 minutes in that cabin in June 2001.

If we continue to enforce rules on females to ensure that boys behave, women will continue to be victimized and feel that they are to blame. Tragedies of rape and sexual assault will continue to occur, and people will continue to assume that they occur because “she was asking for it”.

So, the next time you feel the need to urge a young girl to fix her hair, hide a bra strap or change into a longer pair of shorts because she is “distracting the boys”, I encourage you to instead have a conversation with those distracted boys about treating females with respect and understanding that just because they see something they like, doesn’t mean that they’re entitled to have it.

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These Are My Confessions…

Well, I did promise that during the LiveFit program I’d highlight the ugly as well as the bad and the good, right?

I’ll begin by saying that the “ugly” I’m about to highlight has absolutely nothing to do with the LiveFit program. The LiveFit program has been nothing short of amazing and I am so thrilled to have decided to take it on.

The “ugly” has everything to do with my inner fat girl. That’s right folks, I LOVE EATING. I especially love eating bad food, no matter how bad it makes me feel. And this week has been the diet week from hell.

If there were a diet god, I would have been hit by several diet god lightening bolts and would be up in flames burning for all eternity right now. Forgive me diet god, but I have MAJORLY sinned.

These are my confessions… #UsherVoice

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Tuesday: Since joining Weight Watchers back in May of 2012, Tuesdays have been my weigh-in day and the start of a new week for me. It’s an opportunity to get on the scale to get an idea of how things are going and a fresh start to make some fantastic diet and exercise related decisions for the week.

So, on Tuesday, I jumped on my home scale. 3.4 lbs over my goal weight. This could have been for a multitude of reasons, so I didn’t have a heart attack. I just brushed it off and told myself that this week would be the week when I’d start counting calories again. I swore I’d pay closer attention to portion control and that I’d be more mindful on my cheat day.

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Then Tuesday night happened. My boyfriend and I went to the Bulk Barn to stock up on quinoa, because this week was MY week to kick major diet butt, right? WRONG. I went into that bulk barn to get quinoa and came out with a plastic bag full of peanut butter M&M’s and a hankering for Ice Cream. Off to McDonalds to get a small vanilla cone! I said that this would be my indulgence for the week, and that I would get it over with early so I could focus on being 100% good until the following Tuesday. HA! Ha. Ha.

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Wednesday: No problem with Wednesday. The night before, I made the excellent decision to leave the remaining peanut butter M&M’s in the consul of my boyfriend’s car. This way, I couldn’t grab them when I got the urge and hoped that he would eat them while stuck in traffic before I remembered that they existed.

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Thursday: Office ordered in chicken penne pasta from Swiss Chalet for everyone at lunch time. Blacked out and ate ALL of said chicken penne pasta in about 10 minutes. Felt sick to my stomach afterwords. Had to hide in my office where I took off my belt and undid my pants because I couldn’t breathe. Went to the gym at 1:30. Worked out my shoulders. Didn’t plan on eating for the rest of the day. Went back to the gym at 5:00 for a second workout. Pulled into my driveway at 6 pm. Remembered the peanut butter M&M’s in my boyfriend’s car. Went into the house and got my boyfriend’s keys. Went into his car. Retrieved and ate the M&Ms. Swore that I was done for the week.

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Friday: Ate healthy all day. Had a killer leg workout at the gym. Got home at 8:00. Got a text from best girlfriend’s boyfriend asking my boyfriend and I if we wanted to do something. The plan was made that we would go to Boston Pizza. Boyfriend and I would share a light appetizer to keep it in control. Boyfriend and I ordered two unhealthy appetizers and ate them all, plus two slices of best girlfriend and her boyfriend’s pizza.

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Saturday: Ate healthy all day. Went to Starbucks with girlfriend who was having a major crisis meltdown at 8:00 pm. Was starving. Drank green tea. Watched girlfriend drink full-fat latte and eat blueberry bar while trying not to cry from hunger pains/jump across the table and shove her blueberry bar in my mouth. Success!

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Sunday: Ate healthy all day. Went to another girlfriend’s 30th birthday potluck. Decided to bring fruit tray and eat nothing but fruit and one small sliver of birthday cake. Ended up eating fruit, six meatballs, nacho dip, one potato wedge, two mystery cucumber snacks, three double chocolate brownies, two chocolate and vanilla brownies, one piece of pound cake, lord only knows how many glasses of punch, licking frosting off of one knife and three shortbread cookies. I went to bed with no pants on because once again, I could not breathe. I also felt like I had sprouted another chin. Seriously. My invisible neck rolls were out of control.

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Monday: Today would be different. It was a fresh start. I woke up with a sugar hangover. I felt drunk. My skin hurt. My saliva tasted like sugar. My brain felt like bursting pop rocks. I felt like I had gained 50 pounds over night. Screw sugar and bad carbs, I was packing a healthy lunch, healthy snacks and having a protein shake and a banana for breakfast. Then on my way out the door, I grabbed two shortbread cookies and jammed them down my throat before I even knew what I was doing.

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And now here I am. Shaking like a sugar-filled zombie, wondering how long it is until my best friend Trevor catches wind of my insane week of indulging and kicks my ass.

I promised that I would highlight the good, the bad and the ugly during this 12 week experience. This was ugly.

Now that I’ve confessed my sins, I’m ready to hit the gym where I will likely sweat sugar crystals and have heart palpitations. But it’s cool, because I’m being honest and honesty breeds accountability.

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I would be doing myself and my readers a gigantic disservice if I pretended to be a super awesome fitness and diet rock star all the time. So there you have it. This week sucked. And there will be weeks that will suck again. That’s just life.

Now I’m going to have to work twice as hard this week to make up for all the shit I put in my body last week. But I’m ready to recommit, refocus and get back to building the body I will earn and deserve.

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…Namaste :)

LiveFit Midway Check Up

Week six. Can you believe it? Because I can’t! This program has seriously been flying by.

I am officially at the half-way point of the 12-week Jamie Eason LiveFit trainer. And to be honest, I don’t know what I’m going to do with myself when it’s over! Yep. I’m loving it that much.

So let’s recap phase one, shall we?

Four weeks. All weights. No cardio.

At first, I thought this no cardio thing was going to be really difficult. And at the beginning, it was. As someone who has struggled with their weight for as long as they can remember, wrapping my head around constant eating, high protein and all weights was really difficult. For years I had thought that high fibre, lots of cardio and a little strength training was the answer to the body of my dreams. Boy, was I wrong! Let’s break this down:

Food

The food plan on this program is very straight forward. The premise is that for each meal, you have a serving of protein, a serving of starch and unlimited veggies. For snacks, you either have a “mini meal” or a protein of sorts. Here’s what my food days have looked like:

Breakfast: 5 egg whites scrambled with red pepper flakes, red, green or orange pepper and mushrooms with one slice of ezekiel bread, either sprinkled with cinnamon, with a little bit of sugar-free jam, or plain.

Snack 1: Either two lean turkey muffins, four home made protein bars, non-fat greek yogurt or fat-free cottage cheese mixed with sugar-free jam.

Lunch: 6 oz of grilled chicken, one serving of starch (often sweet potato or quinoa), and unlimited vegetables. Once in a while, I’ll swap out the chicken for tilapia (I hate fish, so this is a big deal).

Snack 2: A choice from what is listed under “snack one”. I rarely eat the same snack for both snack times. I need to be excited about my food. I am not excited about eating the same thing twice in one day… unless it is ice cream… and unfortunately that is not on the list of approved foods.

Dinner: 6 oz of grilled chicken, one serving of starch, unlimited vegetables… or sometimes I’ll have a three-bean chilli or even lean turkey muffins and rice.

No starches after 7 pm. If you have to eat past 7 pm, egg whites are encouraged.

So. That’s a lot of eating, right? Well, I’m already used to it, and it’s done WONDERS for my metabolism. I actually wake up hungry… I never used to get hungry before 11 a.m. I’m totally adjusted to this way of clean, constant eating and (hope) it’s something I can do for the rest of my life.

Cravings haven’t really been an issue. If I have a really intense craving, I try to wait until the weekend and have it then. I really loosen things up on the weekend within reason. I’m working on tightening things up on the weekend, and each weekend that goes by, my choices become a little better and I gain a little more control. That said, I will always allow myself to have at least one cheat a week. I love food way too much to not be able to indulge once a week.

The meal plan has not been hard to follow. I have designated Wednesdays as official food prep days, and fill in the cracks on Saturdays/Sundays as necessary. The trick is honestly being prepared. You can’t eat it if you don’t have it available!

I should also mention that I’ve been taking two fish oil capsules per day which aid with digestion. Also, my protein shakes have been saving me after a really intense weight workout. They keep me from going into a full on hunger rage… and no one wants that to happen!

Training

To be honest, the first two weeks of this program had me wondering whether I was wasting my time. During the first few workouts, the body parts I worked felt fatigued. But as I kept going through the first two weeks, I was doubting how difficult it would be. I’m certainly no expert in the weight room, but I also was not new to weights. The workouts went by really quickly during the first few weeks and I had three rest days. THREE. That was insanely difficult for me as I was used to working out six days a week. I was doubting that I was going to get the results I wanted with how little work I felt like I was putting in.

Thankfully, I have great friends who are a great source of knowledge. One of these friends was into phase three of this program when I was having my doubts, and she insisted I should stick with it because it got much, much harder. I decided to stick with the program, and I’m thrilled that I set my doubts aside and just trusted what was laid out in front of me.

Weeks three and four were when things started to get a little bit more difficult. More sets were added to the workouts, and my quick 25-minute workouts suddenly turned into a solid 45 to 50 minutes. I also began working out five days a week instead of four. I was satisfied with working out for five days a week, and even though I was sometimes tempted to throw in an extra workout on day six, I told myself that the program was about to get much more difficult and that I should enjoy the extra rest day while I had it. I am so glad I did!

Week five is when I absolutely fell in love with this program. It’s also when I REALLY started to see results. The weight workouts continued to intensify and a half hour of cardio was added onto non-leg days. For the first time in this program, I felt like I was putting in WERK and I loved it! The weight workouts take a little under an hour to complete. Tack that on top of a half hour of cardio and you’re working in the gym for an hour and a half, not including the time it takes you to get changed before and after. That is a big time commitment, and I’ve found it easiest to split the workouts out into two-a-days. It is recommended that you always do your weights first. Some days, I do weights in the morning and cardio at lunch time. Other days, I do weights at lunch time and cardio in the evenings. And on my really sleepy, busy days, I suck it up and do the entire workout in the evening. It’s all about making it work for you… and never missing a workout!

Body

Okay, here’s the exciting stuff! The changes I’ve seen in my body are INSANE. The first changes I started to see were in my arms and my stomach at the beginning of week three. My arms and stomach were both were pretty “lean” to begin with, so it wasn’t hard to notice the amazing muscle I was building underneath almost immediately. My arms and stomach are both looking much more toned and sculpted. It looks like my bugs bunny arms are a thing of the past. I’m also starting to get that little “V” in my lower abdominal area (my boyfriend has verified that I am not crazy that the V is on its way), and the lines on the sides of my stomach (don’t know the proper term for these) are much deeper and more noticeable than they were before. I certainly am no where near having actual abs yet. I have a lot more body fat to lose before those little babies shine through.

The next change I started to see was in week four, and it was in my shoulders. I’ve never really been into or noticed shoulders, but now that I’m developing nice ones, I’m totally into and noticing them! Mine are now looking much more rounded and defined. And this may sound weird… but having more defined shoulders and arms honestly makes the rest of you look leaner… and your girls look bigger. I’m not even joking. Try it. Work those shoulders. You’ll see what I’m talking about.

The latest change I started to see was in week five. And let me tell you, it is BY FAR the most exciting change I’ve had to date! My legs are looking MUCH more toned and my booty is POPPIN’. Seriously. Things are lifting and tightening in ways that I did not know possible. I carry majority of my weights in my thighs/butt, and I had no idea I had it in me to ever make these parts of my body look as tight and muscular as they do right now. I legitimately did not know if it was genetically or physically possible, but LiveFit has shown me that it is… and all it took me was some more protein, some more lifting and a lot less cardio to figure it out.

So, what’s next?

Now that I’m into the thick of week six, I am more motivated than ever to give it my all. I’m trying really, really hard not to eat too much ice cream on Saturdays. If I can clean up my Saturdays, I will be even more successful. That is the biggest challenge in front of me.

Another challenge I’ve faced and have been doing well with overcoming lately is changing my relationship with the scale. In my former days of my high fibre, high cardio lifestyle, I would weigh myself multiple times a day.

No more.

I’ve actually managed to more or less maintain my weight within about two pounds on this program, yet the changes I’ve seen in my body are drastic. This has taught me first-hand that the scale is not and cannot be the only indicator and measure of our success.

I have taken my body fat percentage and am currently at 22%. This is in the “ideal” range, but my next goal is to get into the “lean” range at 19%. I will measure my body fat at the end of phase 2, and again at the end of phase 3 and will make my next moves from there on out.

These past six weeks on LiveFit have truly been life changing. After having shed 40 lbs and achieving my goal weight this past December, this program was exactly what I needed to get my mind out of “weight loss mode” and into “fitness lifestyle mode”. I am so thankful that this happened so soon for me.

I cannot wait to continue following this program and see what the next six weeks have in store. I will be sure to post again at the end of phase 2 with my results.

If you’ve ever doubted the low carb, low cardio, high protein, high weight training lifestyle to get the results you’re longing for, please do yourself a favor and just give it a try. If you don’t like it, you can always go back to what you were doing before. After all, not everyone is built the same and one size does not fit all.

What I can tell you is that friends of mine who are super into fitness have been trying to convince me of this change for years, and it took me a solid month of following this plan to become 100% convinced that it is the way to go. For a year and a half I had been busting my butt in the gym on the treadmill and in group exercise classes killing myself to try and get the results that the principles of the LiveFit program have given me in just five weeks.

I can’t wait to check in with everyone again at the end of phase 2.

Until next time… xoxo

Oh PS: Here’s a little progress pic I snapped mid-way through week five last week. I’m definitely leaning out and toning up and could not be happier with the progress I have made:

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Oh, and just remember…

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Week One Workouts = Complete!

Well, its official! I have completed week one’s workout schedule. I’m not going to say that I have completed week one, because I have three rest days to go until week two begins, and I truly believe that good nutrition and staying on my food plan will be the key to great results. So, while I wont’t be challenged in the gym over the next few days, I will be challenged in the kitchen.

When I started this program four days ago, I was a little apprehensive. Not only was I worried about the no cardio rule (which I totally understand now, by the way), but I was nervous that I wouldn’t be challenged enough.

This summer, I did a weight training program that looked somewhat similar to phase one of Jamie Eason’s LiveFit. I would do weights at lunchtime and cardio at night, or vice versa. The thought of only doing a weight schedule similar to what I did in the summer scared me. I was worried I wouldn’t be getting enough.

My mind was quickly changed during my last set of push ups on day one. My triceps and chest were SO sore that the only way I (weakly) got through the sets was by putting on Work B*tch by Britney Spears. That song can get me through anything!

When I got into the car after my workout, I was so fatigued that I struggled to put on my seatbelt. I am somebody who worked out six days a week prior to starting this program, and day one was a killer!

Days two, three and four brought similar feelings as day one. The workouts are SHORT, and I feel a little strange leaving the gym so soon after I get there, but to be honest… I’m kinda too tired to really, really think about it when I’m done!

I am sore. To be honest, I am currently sitting in a bath of epsom salts while I write this post. Its THAT serious. I can’t wait to get stronger and sorer as the weeks roll on!

The nutrition piece of this plan has perhaps been the most surprising thus far. As you likely know by now, I LOVE to eat. And I love to eat bread and cheese.

I was really worried about how I would handle being on such a strict, scheduled diet… But to be honest, it hasn’t been that bad!

On day one I was so full I thought I was going to die. On day two, I woke up hungry for perhaps the first time in my entire life. Seriously. I normally don’t eat breakfast until 10 or 11 o’clock.

On Tuesday I ate according to plan until I got busy at work and skipped my mid-afternoon snack. Big mistake.

By 5 o’clock I was having visions of Pizza Hut. It was kind of like being in the desert and seeing a mirage of water because you’re so thirsty. All I could think about was carbs and cheese and stuffing something amazing into my face. But, I resisted the urge and forced myself to really think about what my body was telling me… it was HANGRY. And so, another lesson was learned. Hunger equals cravings, cravings equal bad and bad choices equal failure. You can bet your bottom dollar that I will not be skipping snack time again anytime soon, no matter how busy I get.

I have also been very surprised by how much I have been enjoying the food on this plan. Almost every meal is absolutely delicious and I can’t believe how good it tastes. It tastes even better because I know it’s doing amazing things for my body.

I highly, highly, highly recommend trying Jamie Eason’s lean turkey muffins… in other words, meatballs. They are beyond major and I could probably live off of them for the rest of my life. Her carrot cake inspired protein bars are also pretty good. I have also been having a ton of luck with spaghetti squash experiments that I’ve made. When I create one that I’m obsessed with, I’ll try to remember how I did it and share it with you!

And of course, this blog post would not be complete without a confession.

Here it goes…

Tonight I ate a sliver, and I mean SLIVER (probably half of a bite) of chocolate cake… with no frosting!

Right now, I’m hormonal and I had a moment of weakness. I will definitely be googling tips and recommendations of how to get through those types of cravings in the future; surely there is a clean and healthy substitute!

I’m not going to get upset over eating half of a bite of chocolate cake. I am human, I am trying, and I know I’m going to mess up again. It’s just reality. And its exactly why I am not having planned cheat days or cheat meals… Combine planned cheats with slipups and you’ve got yourself a recipe for disaster.

So the biggest lessons learned this week are: just lifting weights is okay, eating clean can be amazingly amazing, I crave pizza hut when I get hungry, your metabolism can rev up in as little as two days, sugar withdrawal is NO fun, blogging in the bath is all kinds of fun, epsom salts are a lifesafer, and finally… I CAN DO THIS!

Until next time… Xo

PS: as much as I can believe it, I also totally can’t believe Justin Bieber was in jail today… AND THAT MUGSHOT!

PPS: do you think Selena Gomez is currently listening to a “ha ha I am so much better than my ex and totally won this break up” playlist right now, or one that’s more like, “oh my god i still love you and want to save you” playlist?

New Year, New Challenge

This year, for the very first time in my adult life, my New Year’s Resolution had absolutely nothing to do with weight loss. That’s right. 2013 was the year I finally reached my goal weight.

Those who know me well know that I was always the girl on the next crash diet. That said, making a serious lifestyle change (May 22, 2012 was the day I committed) and getting the weight off once and for all was a huge, huge deal.

Joining Weight Watchers and shedding 40 lbs was the absolute best thing I’ve ever done for myself. I still have a hard time believing it happened, but it happened and that is something worth celebrating.

So, now that I’m minus 40 lbs, where do I go from here? The journey isn’t over. I will never be cured. Slipping back into old habits is a constant possibility and fear, but I refuse to let it happen.

Reaching goal weight was just the tip of the iceberg for me. I am now ready for “chapter two” and am so excited to see what more I can achieve. 

While I will never, ever be “off” Weight Watchers (I believe in this program SO much. If you want to talk WW, email me!) I am switching things up. I’m moving from their Points Plus system to Simply Filling. What this basically means is I can eat an unlimited quantity of super-healthy foods and have a bank of “cheat points” that I can use throughout the week if I choose to. I will also continue to get weighed-in once a week for the rest of my life. It’s just what I have to do to stay accountable and at my goal weight, and that’s okay with me!

 My mind is moving away from “get skinny!” to “get strong!” And I am super excited to announce right here on my little old, semi-abandoned blog that today is day one of Jamie Eason’s LiveFit program (shoutout to my super fit super fab girlfriend Jad for introducing me to this program! xo).

To help keep myself accountable (and hopefully inspire some others along the way), I will be blogging about the process and my progress, and I promise to give you the good, the bad and the ugly. 

While I’ve yet to step foot in the gym today, I have gotten through a whole half-day of the nutrition portion of the plan. And if Weight Watchers has taught me anything, it’s that small steps are more important than long leaps and that every single good thing you do for your body counts and should be celebrated.

So with that said: YES. I am super proud of myself for eating FIVE egg whites, veggies and Ezekiel bread for breakfast within an hour of waking up. I typically don’t eat breakfast until 10:30 or 11:00. It was hard. It will get easier.

YES. I am super proud of myself for peeling myself away from the TV last night to food prep for the week.

 I am ready to put my complete trust in this plan and discover what is possible. After all, my big birthday trip to Las Vegas to see Britney Spears with my best friend is a mere four months away, and this ass ain’t gonna whip itself into super poolside shape!

I’ll sign off by allowing you to feast your eyes on my 40 lb before and after picture. Kind of humiliating, but also super cool… I cannot wait to post my before and after LiveFit picture on April 14 ;) 

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