Illness & The Exercise Itch {12/3/12 Workout}

Sometimes I simply cannot sit and look at one more post, pin, blog… I just get the itch to move! For the last week or so, I’ve been fighting a bug and I’m trying to find balance between exercise and rest, between not having an appetite yet still eating enough, between lethargy one minute and restlessness the next. Does this make sense? Illness messes with my head…

I had a workout planned with my cousin today, but it was interrupted by my mom’s arrival into town to help me pack (thanks Mom!). I thought I’d just workout at home when I got a free minute, but then I thought maybe not due to my fatigue. Even though I was tired, I had to help pack because my mom drove all that way; once I put on real clothes and makeup and started packing, I got a little spurt of energy.

I really haven’t had an appetite with this sore throat — so why eat much, right? Wrong! My mom took me out to dinner, and after eating I really felt my energy surge! So here I am right now having a leisurely ride on the spin bike after a kickass arm & shoulder workout. My restless got the best of me and propelled me to the gym… and also the fact that I really didn’t want to write an excuse-for-not-working-out post. Right now I feel the best I have all day! ūüôā

Arm & Shoulder Workout:

20 minutes incline walking warm-up

3 x 12-15 of the following:

Dumbbell bicep curls
Dumbbell overhead tricep press

Lateral raise
Front raise

Bent over lateral raise
Military press

Narrow grip barbell curl
Overhead tricep cable press

Dumbbell hammer curl
Tricep pressdown

1 x 25:

Bent-over barbell curl burnout

25 minutes of spinning & counting! {ended up to be 40 minutes}


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. ūüôā

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

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. ūüôā

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!

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!


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! ūüôā

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! ūüôā

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


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. ūüôā

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

Workout Log 11/14/12

Today was arm and shoulder day with some abs at the end. I love arm

40 minutes on the StairMaster!

day.Wait – just yesterday didn’t I say I love leg day? Yes I did. I love leg day because it’s non-stop intensity. I love arm day because I give myself a little more rest in between sets. I like the balance, you see? ¬†Oh, and I love working abs because it hurts so good! I just all-around love training.

Onto the workout!

5 min warm-up on spinning bike


  • Warm-up: 1 set of very light weight shoulder press, lateral raise, front raise

3 sets each of the following with enough weight that 12-15 reps causes near-failure:

  • Dumbbell shoulder press – drop set!
  • Lateral/front raise combo
  • Barbell upright row
  • Single-arm ¬†shoulder press machine, backwards then forwards
  • Tricep push-down machine (this could be in the tricep section, but I arranged it in a superset with a shoulder exercise)
  • Revers pec dec
  • Bent-over lateral raise

Biceps & Triceps

3 sets each of the following with enough weight that 12-15 reps causes near-failure:

  • Narrow grip barbell curl
  • Tricep pulldown (with straight bar)
  • Alternating dumbbell curl
  • Overhead tricep extension (with double rope)
  • Supergirl curl
  • Single-arm reverse-grip tricep pulldown (handle attachment)


2 sets of the following circuit, 15-20 reps

  • V-ups on bench
  • Core disc crunch
  • Core disc oblique crunch
  • Captain’s chair (with Bosu-ball back)


  • 20 minutes of spinning (because all 3 StairMasters were occupied!)
  • 40 minutes on StairMaster!

Once a month at our Student Rec center there is free body composition analysis. Today was the day. Last month I clocked in at 16.9%. I was very pleased with this number, but I’m working towards the goal of 16%. I really thought today would be the day; I’ve been busting my butt and I’ve lost a few pounds (not that my weight is a huge indication of my fitness).

I eagerly signed up first. I walked in and the trainer greeted me by saying “So, um, I’m gonna be honest… I’ve only done this on guys.”¬†What?¬†“So, um, is the measurement process any different for women?”¬†Seriously?¬†I had to explain to him the three measurement sites (thigh, supra-iliac crest, tricep), and even I don’t know them perfectly well, I only know as well as trainers have pinched me in the past. Nervously and gingerly, he attempted the measurements.

Body-fat measurements with calipers is actually slightly painful. To do it properly, you have to pinch your subject pretty good. He didn’t pinch down at all and measured me at 21.7% body fat. Oh, and he pinched closer to my belly button that by supra-iliac crest.

Oh well.¬†I was a little let down, but hopefully I’ll get an experienced trainer next time and I’ll blow my goal away! I’ve even considered buying a pair of calipers to monitor my own progress. Has anyone tried this? Any product suggestions?

I’d love to hear what you did for exercise today!



Grey’s, Protein Shake, and My Food/Fitness Log

It’s a really good thing that I just watched the season finale of Grey’s Anatomy at home alone, instead of at the gym. I was teary-eyed almost the entire episode, and had a serious balling episode during the conversation between Mark and Lexi (and what came after, but I don’t want to spoil it for anyone). Crying on the Stair Master would have been very embarrassing. Not that it hasn’t happened to me before… I have made the mistake on more than one occasion of watching emotional episodes of Private Practice at the gym. In fact, I might actually end up watching the season finale of Private Practice at the gym tonight. I apologize in advance to the person that ends up on the machine next to me…

In other news, I did pretty great on my meal plan yesterday. I find that tracking what I eat on MyFitnessPal¬†really helps me stay on track. My goal yesterday was to be around 2,000 calories. I felt like I was really cutting back, and I still ate 2,300. I guess I was eating way more than I realized… oops. I did wait until I was hungry to eat, but I don’t want to cut down my intake too drastically too quickly, so I didn’t let myself get overly hungry. At least I’m back on track now. In case you’re interested, my weight this morning was 162.8 lbs, my waist measurement was 29.5 inches, and my hip measurement was 39.5 inches. I will use these as my new “starting point” and will check back in with you in about a week.

Here’s what I ate yesterday:


1 gala apple

1/2 cup 0% plain greek yogurt + 2 tbs peanut butter

Morning Snack

1 scoop of chocolate whey protein powder (blended with water & ice)


Green salad decked out with chicken breast, tomatoes, broccoli, peas, and bell peppers with italian dressing

~ 1 cup grapes + strawberries

Afternoon Snack

2 “powerballs

1/2 cup blackberries

1/4 cup dried edamame


1 scoop of chocolate whey protein powder (blended with water & ice)

1 cup of spaghetti noodles

1 cup homemade ground turkey marinara sauce

1/4 cup dried edamame

Evening Snack

1/2 scoop protein powder (blended with water & ice)

1/4 cup (dry) popcorn seasoned with a light spray butter, salt, and nutritional yeast

I’ve made protein shakes before, but I’ve always added milk. Yesterday, in an attempt to cut down on carbs, I tried adding just water. And you know what? It wasn’t bad at all! I blended together one scoop of chocolate whey (you can use whatever flavor you prefer), 1 cup water, and about 5 ice cubes in my magic bullet, and voila! A filling, guilt-free snack or protein supplement!

For my workout yesterday, I climbed 210 floors in 30 minutes on the Stair Master. While I did that, the hubby did 30 minutes on the elliptical and then we met up for weights: chest, tris, and abs. It was Zach’s first day of exercise in a long time, so he eased into it, doing the same weight as me ¬†(which made me feel like one tough chick!). This is what we did:

Bench Press WEIGHT 65 75 85
REPS 12 12 12
Cable Cross WEIGHT 15 20 20
REPS 12 12 12
Tricep Pulldown WEIGHT 35 37.5 37.5
REPS 12 12 12
Tricep Dips WEIGHT 70 assist 70 assist 70 assist
REPS 8 8 9
Overhead Tricep Extension WEIGHT 25 30 32.5
REPS 12 12 12
Side Bends WEIGHT 35 35 35
REPS 20 20 20
Crunches on Ball WEIGHT 0 0 0
REPS 20 20 20
Oblique Crunches on Ball WEIGHT 0 0 0
REPS 20 20 20