New Header

Scroll up. Do you all like my new header? After months of blogging, I decided to figure out how to make one. I don’t have Photoshop or Illustrator, but I do have Pages, so I made it in that. I also learned how to make my about page reappear.  I’m slowly learning this whole blog formatting thing. 🙂 Now if only I could figure out how to manage the alerts and vibrations on my iphone I’d be set.

Have a great day!

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My First iPhone {11/29/12 Workout}

I have finally joined the modern world and purchased an iPhone 4s (my first smartphone).

New iPhone! ❤

Merry Christmas, Happy Anniversary, and Happy Birthday to me! It was waiting for me on my doorstep when I got home from school, and all of my winter dreariness was replaced with Holiday joy. I spent 2 hours laying in bed setting it up and updating it. My Otterbox won’t be here for another week, so I took that baby to the gym with me in a wool sock. When I set it down in between sets, I found myself watching it like a hawk… which made me think: if I am this protective of an iPhone, what will I be like when I have my first baby someday?  Scary thought.

I am excited to try out the Track My Run and ifitness apps. Any recommendations for other must-have apps?

My muscles appreciated a day-off from exercise yesterday, and they also appreciated a hard workout today. Yesterday, I did spend a lot of time packing… so maybe I should have today off? I like this idea very much, but my anal-retentive side will probably compusively clean/pack anyways. I’m at least going to pretend for awhile that I’m going to spend the rest of the night relaxing and playing on my new toy. 🙂

Today’s Leg Workout:

  • 10 minute warm-up on Cybex elliptical
  • Side lunge with lift holding 10 lb – 3 x 12
  • Sumo squat with heel raise and jump holding 10 lb – 3 x 12
  • Stationary lunge with lift holding 10 lb – 3 x 12
  • Squats – 3 x 15
  • Leg press followed by calf pulse – 3 x 15
  • Leg extension – 3 x 15
  • Leg curl – 3 x 12
  • Single-leg deadlift – 3 x 15
  • Bulgarian split squat – 3 x 15
  • 30 minutes on StairMaster
  • 20 minutes on Cybex elliptical

Gray Day {11/27/12 Workout}

It is cold and windy outside and the sky is gray. I am already suffering from sunshine withdrawal. As I write this, my eyelids are drooping — what’s that I hear? A nap calling my name? I think so!

I cranked out a great workout last night, but right now I’m feeling the opposite of energized. Today might be a rest day. Besides finishing one homework assignment, I’m just going to let myself do what I want for the rest of the day. If I feel like packing, or cooking, or doing Zumba, great, I’ll do it. If not, I’m giving myself permission to just rest and play. I’ve been exercising hard, packing hard, and not sleeping enough this week.

Yesterday’s chest, back, abs and cardio workout:

  • 30 min incline walking
  • Bench press – 3 x 12
  • Partner-assisted pull-ups – 3 x 8
  • Bent-over barbell row – 3 x 12
  • Cable cross – 3 x 15
  • Incline chest press – 3 x 12
  • Rows – 3 x 15
  • Hyperextensions holding weight plate – 3 x 15
  • Side hyperextensions holding weight plate – 3 x 15 per side
  • Captain’s chair – 4 x 15
  • Reverse crunches on bench – 3 x 20
  • Side crunches – 2 x 30
  • Ab disc oblique crunches – 2 x 12 per side
  • 30 minutes Cybex elliptical

I know I did some work because I am already sore! Tomorrow is leg day, so I better find some energy soon!

Cleansing {11/26/12 Workout}

Today, by brain was not happy with the idea of returning to school after a fun week off. In fact, it pretty much decided to take the day off — you know those days where no matter how hard you think, your brain just can’t seem to catch up with your mouth? This was my reality this morning as I gave a final presentation.

It was not the worst of my life, but it wasn’t good. On my walk home from school my brain finally decided to turn on and obsess over every stutter, everything I could have worded better.

When I got home, I distracted myself with de-cluttering and packing. My number one goal right now is to move into our new apartment with as little clutter as possible. I filled one box (for Goodwill) and two garbage bags (for garbage) today after going through my bathroom alone! I felt so guilty throwing away so many half-used products, but after not touching them for months/years, I figured it was time to let go. Next time I want to buy makeup, or shampoo, or lotion, will someone please stop me?! I could have used that money for some fun adventures! Oh well, you live and learn. I think my new lifestyle should quality minimalism. Note to self: only buy quality stuff that you really love, instead of a whole bunch of really cheap stuff that clutters your life. 🙂

I had to put a hold on the cleaning frenzy when my 3:30 workout date rolled around. After a cortisol-filled morning, it felt so good to let the stress wash away with each rotation of the elliptical, with each heave of the weight.

So today, I cleansed my spirit with some literal throwing away of junk, and with a wonderful workout. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel — the clean new apartment and my uncovered muscles!

My Cardio, Arms, & Shoulder Workout:

  • 15 minutes Cybex elliptical
  • Shoulder warm-up with very light weight
  • Overhead Press – 3 x 12-15
  • Front/Lateral Raise  – 3 x 10
  • Barbell Upright Row  – 3 x 12-15
  • Bent-Over Lateral Raise  – 3 x 12-15
  • Dumbbell curl  – 3 x 12-15
  • Tricep Pressdown (straight bar attachment)  – 3 x 12-15
  • Barbell Curl  – 3 x 12-15
  • Overhead Tricep Press (double rope attachment)  – 3 x 12-15
  • 30 minutes spinning
  • 15 minutes Cybex elliptical

Hope your return to work/school today wasn’t too jarring after the Thanksgiving Holiday. Now it’s time for the final 3-week push before Christmas break (and the big move)! Eyes on the prize!

10 Miles {11/25/12 Workout}

This afternoon, my dad and I set out for a walk in the beautiful rare late November sun. 2.5 hours and 10 miles later, every muscle in my lower body has been worked to exhaustion.

I always wanted to be a cheerleader…

This was the second time in my life that my body has propelled itself for 10 miles without stopping. The other time was last winter on an 1/8 mile indoor track when I was training for a half marathon (we never quite got around to doing that half marathon). This route was much more scenic! We walked along a river and then toured around a small lake. I can’t think of a better way to spend a Sunday afternoon! But I don’t think I will be doing much standing for the rest of the day… 🙂

Here are some fun pictures of me, my hubby, and my dad goofing off in the backyard today. We took advantage of the sun for some silly family “portraits” on our last day of fall break. My brother Nick couldn’t be pulled away from the computer to join us. Teenagers!

In Due Time {11/24/12 Workout}

My Wedding: ~175 lbs

1 year ago: ~150 lbs

I am generally happy with the shape I’m in. I know I have room for improvement, but I’m happy. And then every once-in-awhile I see a woman in incredible shape at the gym. Every time this happens, it knocks my ego into check and puts a magnifying glass on my flaws. Your arms lack definition. Your thighs are too big. Your abs aren’t lean enough. Yadda yadda yadda. While my first instinct is to vow to never eat again and spend 12 hours a day at the gym, what I really need to remember to do is to take a step back and realize how far I have come in the last 2 years. It took me one year of dieting and cardio to go from 185+ lbs to 150 lbs. Then it took me 1 year of clean-eating and cardio and weight training to go from a very skinny 150 lbs to a more muscly 157 lbs (and losing my way and sneaking back up to 165 pounds along the way). I am not perfect, but I am doing everything that I can do right now to reach my fitness goals.

Now: ~157 lbs

So chick with the awesome body at the gym today — you rock! It has probably taken you years of hard work and dedication to achieve it. For me, I’m going to keep doing what I’m doing, and in due time, my hard work will pay off.

Today’s Workout: Legs, Abs, & Incline Walking

  • 30 minutes incline walking
  • Side-lunge with leg lift (holding 10 lbs) – 3×12
  • Sumo squat with heel raise and jump (holding 10 lbs) – 3×12
  • Stationary lunge with leg lift (holding 10 lbs – 3×12
  • Box jumps – 3×20
  • Leg lift on exercise ball – 3×15
  • Leg curl – 3×12
  • Leg extensions – 3×12
  • Ab disc crunches & oblique crunches – 3×12
  • Reverse crunch on bench – 3×12
  • Leg press with calf press – 3×12
  • Jumping split squat – 3×20
  • Bulgarian split squat – 3×12
  • Single-leg dead-lift – 3×12
  • 30 minutes incline walking

We came home and fueled up with leftover turkey on salad and leftover mashed sweet potatoes. My kind of dinner!

 

Black Friday Excitement

Yesterday, we spent the entire day shopping for Christmas presents. That meant no workout, but hours and hours on our feet. This week feels so out-of-the ordinary for me with 3 rest days. After training hard for months, I think my body appreciates the extra recuperation, and my heart & soul love the family time, but I’m itching to get back to a normal training pattern.

Just as I settle back into routine at home though, it’ll be time to move  — only 3 weeks until the big day! Yesterday, we signed our lease, and I got to have another look at the workout center at our apartment complex (it is right outside of our apartment!): 2 stationary bikes, 1 elliptical, 1 treadmill, and a one very versatile weight machine. At the very least, it will be an excellent supplement to the gym and perhaps even replace the need for a gym membership (to save money). We’ll just have to see. I am a little nervous to see how the move and our new life there affects my eating and fitness habits; I do, however, feel like I am mentally prepared for it and will stay strong/motivated and develop a new great routine there. Especially with your blogging support!

So, why was black friday so exciting? Is it that I am a shopaholic? Well, kinda… I’m a recovering shopaholic. Is it because I’m an exercise-a-holic? Yup! How is that you ask? Virtually all of the Christmas present I picked out from my parents (and some that I got for them!) at least somehow relate to a fit lifestyle. But I don’t think I should reveal them just yet… it isn’t Christmas yet, after all. 🙂

Something else exciting happened yesterday: 2011 figure Olympia champ Nicole Wilkins answered one of my questions in her weekly Q&A video. Check it out here. My question is the first one. It’s my minuscule claim to fame! 🙂

I hope you had a happy, stress-free Black Friday! Are you enjoying the Christmas lights that are going up? I know I am!

Burn the Bird! & Our Thanksgiving Spread

This morning we hit the YMCA for their “Burn the Bird!” event — a workout frenzy from 8 am -11 am. Truthfully, I slept through my alarm and we didn’t make it there until 9 am. We snagged weight machines as they became available to piece together a chest & back workout. It was crazy busy, but it was awesome to see so many people making a health a priority in their day! When the lone pair of StairMasters became available, we hopped on for 60 minutes at level 10 on the ‘Aerobic’ setting — 281 floors, baby! It was a doozy and a perfect start to our day.

We then spent the following 6 or so hours cooking. It might be a chore to some, but I love being in the kitchen with family (especially family that will do dishes!). One large dinner, 1.25 hours of walking, and a movie later, I am a tired girl!

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you! When I think of my life these days, all I can think of are things to be thankful for — family, health, a warm home, acceptance into nursing school, time to play. Life is good! I hope the same for you!

Thanksgiving, A Balancing Act

So folks, I didn’t workout today. And I didn’t even go stir crazy. Why? Between a family lunch out to Mongolian BBQ, mani/pedis with my mom, a hair appointment, and Thanksgiving food prep, I just ran out of hours in the day to feel guilty about not working out. While I’m sure a workout would have felt great, I’m not going to stress about it. I’ve eaten very reasonably this whole week, and I’ve got a nice long workout scheduled in the morning. Plus, I workout to live happy; I don’t live to workout.

Life is all about finding balance. Balance between work and play. Right now I’m balancing writing this blog post with watching my pie crusts in the oven.

How are you doing on this Thanksgiving eve? I hope you’re enjoying time with family and nutritious food! I know I am! 🙂

Thanksgiving Menu & 11/20/12 Workout

Today we mixed it up with a 60 minute step aerobics class followed by a 30 minute core class that included mostly sit-ups, push-ups, and power-clean with press. Phew!

I almost think I should get to count my marathon-Thanksgiving-grocery-shopping towards my workout tally… my cart was heavy & overflowing… and it did involve a lot of weaving through obstacles… Just sayin’.

I am very excited to be in charge of our Thanksgiving menu this year! I believe that Thanksgiving food should be enjoyable, but I don’t think it should be a binge-fest. I am planning on keeping it tasty, but also reasonably clean.

On the menu:

What are you most excited to eat on Thanksgiving?