Have Faith {12/6/12 Workout}

Do you ever go through times when you fear your motivation is gone, never to return again? That’s how I’m feeling right now. Not about exercise — I’m still going strong there  — but  more about everything else: school, cleaning, cooking, fixing myself up in the morning, etc…

Although I feel burnt-out to a crisp, I have felt this way before.  At the end of every semester, actually. So although I may not feel this way, I know the key is to have faith in myself — faith that my motivation and zest will return when the time is right. I will decompress over break, and I will be ready to start again. And hey, I have some exciting things to look forward to:

(1) I get to start fresh in a new apartment in 9 days, and it is a wonderful place

(2) This semester is over in 8 days

(3) Christmas break is 3 weeks long

(4) Not only do I get to start a new semester in 1 month, but I actually get to start the nursing program

All will be well.

In other news, today is the two-year anniversary of marrying my husband at the courthouse (we later had a big wedding in June, but we did this so that I could move out of the dorms and live together). I am very blessed to be married to my first love and best friend.

For exercise, I did an hour of chest & back weights and 50 minutes of cardio on the elliptical and stationary bike. I tell ya what, it felt GOOD to lug some iron around after doing cardio-only for the last two days! For the next few weeks until we get settled in at our new place, I will keep my workout log brief, but will hopefully get back to sharing it at length when things calm down.

Until next time, keep calm and train hard!




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?

Arm Weights & Tilapia Dinner 11/19/12

Today, I trudged my sore, sickish body through 50 minutes of Zumba and an hour of arm weights. After having a sore throat and acid-reflux for two days, I haven’t been able to eat as much as normal, so my energy is low. I’m sure I’ll make up for it on Thanksgiving, though! This year, I am head Thanksgiving chef at my Dad’s house, so stay tuned for my exciting menu! 🙂

In general, working out isn’t always the easiest choice, but for me, it’s often the best choice. And, even though every workout will not feel stellar, it’s still moving in the right direction. So, if you’re stuck in blah-land like me, I hope to encourage you to get moving; you won’t regret it!

My workout:

  • 50 minutes Zumba
  • Shoulder warm-up with light dumbbells (overhead press, front/lateral raise) – 1 x 30
  • Shoulder press – 3×12
  • Front/Lateral raise combo – 3×12
  • Bent-over lateral raise – 3×12
  • Narrow-grip barbell curl – 3×12
  • Tricep pulldown (with straight-across bar) – 3×12
  • Dumbbell bicep curl – 3×12
  • Overhead tricep extension (with rope attachment) – 3×12
  • Core disc crunch – 3×10
  • Core disc oblique crunch – 3×10
  • Reverse crunch on bench – 3×10

After the workout, we fueled up with Tilapia with a side of steamed broccoli and cauliflower. I had to make up a new Tilapia recipe on the fly, because my dad didn’t have all the seasonings that I usually use. I know it turned out great because my super-picky little brother ate TWO fillets! 🙂

Mexi-Baked Tilapia

  • Spray glass or nonstick pan with Pam
  • Place frozen fillets in pan
  • Pour a little lemon juice on each fillet
  • Sprinkle with: sea salt, fresh ground black pepper, garlic powder, taco seasoning, and chili powder
  • Bake at 400 degrees for ~30 minutes


Gettin’ my fix 11/18/12

I think I’m addicted to cardio and endorphins in general. I had a forced rest day yesterday — we got a flat tire on our way to visit my parents, and by the time we finally arrived at my Dad’s house, the YMCA was closed,  it was pouring rain and freezing outside and it was kind of late. As you may know, the day before that I did a home chest and back workout, but no cardio.

Today I woke up with a terrible sore throat and heart burn (something I have never experienced before, and now I have serious empathy for people who suffer from it chronically). Even though I felt cruddy, I was still healthy enough for a workout, and I knew I would feel worse if I let myself go three days without cardio. I’m a junkie.

So my dad, my husband and I made our way to the gym. All in all, I survived 1.5 hours of leg weights, and 1 hour on the elliptical. The leg weights exasperated my acid reflux, but 20 minutes into the cardio, I was feeling naturally high. I still feel sick, but at least I feel happy and sick. Ha!

My leg workout:

  • Steps ups, 3×40
  • Leg raise on exercise ball, 3×20
  • Squats with barbell, 3×12
  • Sumo squats with barbell, 3×12
  • Calf raise, 3×12
  • Jumping split squat, 3×20
  • Weighted bulgarian split squat, 3×15
  • Single-leg deadlift, 3×15
  • Leg curl, 3×12
  • Leg extension, 3×12
  • Ab/adductions, 3×12

60 min elliptical, working at ~ 75% max HR.

After the workout we refueled with a Reeses protein milkshake. Yummy & soothing on my sore throat.

How was your day?


Pajama Workout 11/16/12

Today, I did my workout in my pajamas at home. I love love love the gym, but

Core Disc

today I spent all of my energy trying to fix our broken internet connection for 2 hours; by that point, I was so tired and frustrated that I couldn’t bear the thought of putting on real clothes and walking to the Rec (only 5 minutes away). I’m lucky enough to have accumulated some basic workout equipment, so I thought I’d give it a go at home. In between sets, I even managed to switch a load of laundry. 🙂

On another note, I got my acceptance letter to nursing school today. Yay! So I’m for realsies moving in 4 weeks!

Because we’re moving soon, our living room is cluttered with boxes. Even with very limited space to workout, I still made it work. I feel infinitely better now than if I would have felt if I had skipped it altogether. Remember, you’re muscles don’t know where you are, they only know if you are working hard. Be willing to work hard, and you will get results!

The Chest & Back Workout (with some abs for fun):


  • Core disc kneeling push-ups
  • Self-assisted pull-ups (but only after completing 1 full unassisted pull-up!)
  • Incline press on exercise ball


  • Bent-over row
  • Fly on exercise ball


  • 100 count jump-rope
  • Oblique core disc crunches
  • Hyperextensions on exercise ball
  • Rear delt raise on exercise ball

Sinless Reeses Milkshake & 11/15/12 Workout Log

Awhile back I shared my secret recipe for healthy chocolate-banana milkshakes. Well, today it gets better. What could be better than a chocolate-banana milkshake, you wonder? A peanut butter chocolate-banana milkshake… without  all the fat from peanut butter! Enter, PB2. PB2 … Continue reading