Sunday, April 28, 2013

Big Booty Bish

If there's anything you need to know about me is that I'm ALWAYS busy but if you ask me, "Hey dude, what are you up to?" 99.9% of the time, I'll say "eh, nothing." Let me give you a quick peep into my recent schedule: I work 9 hours a day at an office 30 mins away from my apartment. I am taking two classes, Calculus 3 times a week at lunch time at a community college near my office, and Social Psychology at University of North Florida about an hour from my office every Thursday (3 hour class). I also attend crossfit classes twice a week and lift/run on my own every other time. Finally, I insist on cooking dinner every single night....and as my boyfriend just pointed out, I never repeat a meal (that will stop soon! I blame pinterest!). In between all that, I have to study and spend time with my dog and boyfriend in which I INSIST on making it into an event, which turns into this shiz....
There's Murphy wondering WTF is going on....
When I get time to even think, I'm always dreaming of the day that I won't have school or a job where I sit down for an insane amount of time. Well, that finally happened this week! I finally finished my full time commitment at work and it was finals week. So what the hell do I do? I freak out and jam pack my schedule with funtivities. 

Just today, I cashed in my Aerial Fitness Groupon at Bittersweet studios! It's such a beautiful set up. The first ting I said was, "I'm so excited to be here! I need something a little relaxing." The instructor shot back, "Um, this is actually pretty intense. Most people don't come back." Me: "It's alright, I crossfit." Then she smirked. Let me tell you, this shiz is hard! all upper body strength! The WORST part? You have to be GRACEFUL and ELEGANT! Whhaaaaaaat!?!? I thought they did away with those shinanagans when clear, light-up heels became a thing in the 70s. My instructor, a swan in my perspective, was kind enough to not call me out when I ended up looking like a crackhead trying to do ballet in midair. You want proof?! Here's your proof!!!!

She kept saying, "Yes, but more graceful! Make it look effortless!"

I said, "Like this...?"
God Bless her. She tried and I failed her. Oh well, I'll be back soon, disappointing her with my lack of being a lady. Afterwards, I went Joann's to get some fabric because I had an awesome coupon and for some reason I woke up (conveniently @ 5:30 a.m.) with an idea for a Maxi dress that didn't seem too hard. It turned out like this...
Crossback Maxi Dress...took me an 2 hours!

Then I noticed MY FRIGGIN' BUTT! Or lack there of! It's so....flat. Everything else on my body I'm very happy with and yet for some reason, I never noticed my money maker wasn't makin' money! Know what I'm sayin'!?!?  Ugh...

So, here's my plan of action...For the next Month, I'm going to really focus on the glutes. Twice a week, I will be on the stairmaster for 30-45 mins.

For weights (if you didn't know, you NEED to lift weights to get that bubble butt effect. now you know!)

15 Deadlifts @ 130 lbs
20 donkey kicks each side
20 bridges
20 squats @ 65 lbs
10 side lunges

Then do it AGAIN! (said in a German voice)

So, here's my before pic...
There WILL be an after pic! 

Now, I'm off to make paleo peppermint patties and new curtains for my bedroom! I can't wait til school starts....

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Are you new here? (Fitness Newbie)

The very first time I walked into a gym, I felt as I was walking into a Sorority/ Frat House. Everyone was sweating, grunting, running, lifting and all super focused. I just kept waiting for someone to turn to me and say "Are you new here?" and then subsequently tell me to GTFO. Didn't happen. Everyone just kept on doing their thing and I hopped onto a treadmill because it looked pretty easy. Well, just starting the stupid thing, was a hassle. I hit the button that had some kind of program and it started in on me: "What is your weight?" I lied, 130 pounds. "What is your height?" I lied, 5'7" (don't ask me why I lied about that, it's something I've been doing since high school...) "What level to start?" GEEZ! Am I going on a run or am I on a friggin' date with this thing? 52,343 questions later, the treadmill started at a 18 minute mile. Pretty sure I took two naps before I got to a mile but once I did, I hopped off and went home...not returning to the gym for a LONG time. 

Getting into fitness is such an ordeal. You feel like everyone knows something you don't and that's completely frustrating. Also, when you say you want to start, all the sudden everyone's a coach...even the fat guy who works across from you wants to give you his crappy advice, "You going on a mile run? You should Carbo-load and eat lots of spaghetti with a loaf of bread." Next thing you know, before you get your running shoes on, all that Alfredo and Olive Garden breadsticks are doing their work on you and you're fast asleep only to wake up bloated and, yeah, that's just a story I made up...never happened..nope.

Fitness doesn't have to be scary or even worse, dreadful. A mistake I see a lot of people make is that use fitness just to lose weight. That's the wrong idea. Think about this for a second...what happens when you finally lose those 10 pounds? Your goal is checked and you move on to other things in life like finally going back to college or finding a husband to mooch off of...either or right?!

Here is what you need to drill in your head. First: Fitness is about making your body strong and healthy. I know that doesn't sound great now but really, when you start being able to open your own peanut butter jars and lifting that couch off the floor to look for your missing hair clip, it's an incredible feeling. It's such a domino effect that your quality of life is dramatically improved just by keeping your body in motion. Losing weight is just a side benefit, just like better sleep and more focus will be when you are consistent at it. Secondly, fitness should be fun! You should ENJOY working out! I know, sacrilegious right? Well, cheer up buttercup because I'm going to show you different types of fitness workouts that you're bound to fall in love with one or a few! 

Because you're a fitness virgin, you need to be guided through a workout. This is EXTREMELY important! You don't want to start something and get hurt because you can get yourself into some serious, life long damage. My best advice is to start with a class of some sort. Each of the following are classes based on your  attitude:

Are you the type who doesn't like a lot of commotion? You don't want to start weights and you aren't feeling like running is your thing. You're into something peaceful and looking for flexibility along with strength.

Try Yoga!
Don't underestimate how good yoga can be for your health. It is for EVERYONE! Flexibility is extremely important for strength movements as well as daily movements. There are so many types of yoga but here are just a couple that I like:
Bikram Yoga (Hot Yoga)
This type of yoga is done in a class where the heat is turned up!

Aerial Yoga 
They suspend long sheaths of fabric from the ceiling and you workout yoga moves in mid air!

Let's say you're more energetic, you like going to clubs or being in a high tempo type of environment. 

Try Zumba
These people always look like they are having fun and they are! It's basically a dance class with tons of loud music and moves to help you build coordination and relieve stress levels!

Let's say you're not a club type either...
This me busted from a club fight in '09. I wasn't even drinking...or fighting for that matter. 8 stitches is all it took for me to never return...

Anyway! You want the loud music minus the drama  dance moves...try spinning!

Please visit the website for full details. It's such a great information source that I'd hate to mess it up in my own words.  Spinning always kicks my bum and you'll have such great legs, Tina Turner will hate on you.

If you're wanting to feel powerful and gain self-confidence (along with a great bum and a strong core)

Roundhouse kick that laziness right in the chops! KA-POW!

When you need someone to put the pressure on you and motivate you with lots of body weight exercises....

Boot Camp. Do all the things I never did in actual boot camp...

...And I was probably a lot worse off in Basic Training because of it.  Such a great way to build strength and endurance. On the Mayo Clinic website, it states:
"One boot cam workout might stress calisthenics while another stresses military-style drills.  Some even incorporate martial arts moves. In pretty much all cases, however, you can expect to do calisthenics, such as pullups, pushups, lunges and crunches, as well as drills and sprints.  In essence, a boot camp workout is a type of interval training - bursts of intense activity alternated with intervals of lighter activity."
Or what if you just want to be a bad ass? What if you wanted to excel at life and finally achieve all of your goals and dreams?  

 Then it sounds like you're ready for Crossfit. 
That's Andrea Ager...killing a muscle it.

This is Christmas Abbott. My woman crush and also the picture that got me into Crossfit.

And finally, this is a little old lady showing you up!  BOOM!

Okay, so I'm a little biased towards crossfit because it's what I'm in love with. How does one describe crossfit? I don't know!? How does one describe a beautiful sunset on a tropical island to a man who's been blind all of his life? WHO KNOWS?
But I guess to put it in short, this is crossfit:


A great way to look for any of these classes is to first check your local gym or look in your community to find any of these classes. Your advantage is that you have a trainer guiding you and because you're new, they usually offer discount prices on packages. Some even offer FREE intro classes! and always offer incredible deals for practically more than 50% off the original costs on fitness classes! 

Whatever speaks to you, just go for it. Try it out. Have fun and build yourself from the inside out. 

Monday, April 15, 2013

Meal Prep Intro

I'm tired of people saying eating healthy is expensive. Eating in general in expensive. You know what's more expensive? Eating out everyday with a $2 drink and a $7 crappitizer and whatever cheese-covered entree you ordered. Then realizing you have to eat healthy because you are muffin-topping those new jeans you just bought; buying a bunch of healthy food (that's going to wilt before you get to it) with whatever knew diet pill is going to REALLY do it for you because it was really expensive and that's your incentive to take one daily and REALLY sick to it! which ultimately leads to you eating like crap a week later and a lot less money. That's freaken expensive!

So, yes, there are ways for crappy eating to be cheaper (thank you Dollar Menu for lowering the standards and raising the obesity rate!) but I'm to show you how a little planning can save you a LOT of money overall.   

Once a week, I sit down and write out a weeks to two weeks worth of meals that I plan to make. 

Week One

Week Two

Now, here's the thing, it looks like I only have dinners prepared for each day but really, I ALWAYS make enough dinner to have left overs the next day so really, I have lunch and dinner for each day.  I get the recipes from my Pinterest food board and then add the website just in case I don't want to scroll through 23,824,738 pins from last week. 

For breakfast, I'm a routine kind of girl. It's usually coffee til 8 then a fruit/spinach smoothie until lunch. Sometimes, I'll make an egg pie that's easy to grab when I'm running late and it lasts me a few days and also, counts as a midday snack. Such a great way to eat healthy when you turn into a hungry psycho-path around two in the afternoon. This way you're not making excuses about how you should probably eat that fresh doughnut Sally just brought in the office because she's new and wants to make new friends but really, she just wants you to be fat. Don't let Sally win! That's the name of the game. 

Snacks include fruit and almonds. Othertimes, you want something close to a meal but not meal worthy. This is where I turn to shaved turkey and dijon mustard. It's very fulfilling especially with a granny smith apple and a liter of water. 

Once you're done making your plan, list all the ingredients you need (as in, you don't have it in your house not the whole ingredient list) and head to the store for your purchases. 
This is only my second week list and It'll cost me less than a  restaurant meal
I only shop for the week even though I have two weeks planned because of freezer space and as we all know, some veggies just don't last more than a few days, never mind two weeks.  

I know of a lot of people that do food prep for the week in one day but I actually want to enjoy my weekends and the thought of making multiple meals in one day sounds like a nightmare in this sticky Florida heat! Plus, I can watch Mad Men guilt free if I'm cooking a meal every night...can we bring back everyday cooking? That's a lost art. 

Also, cooking doesn't have to be a huge ordeal. I have a couple nights a week where I say "Simple Dinner" which is just a seasoned meat and a veggie side. Simple but NOT boring. I started noticing that I was extremely spoiled in my food options. If it didn't have some kind of delicacy in it, I didn't find it appealing. So just a tip, if you find yourself turning your nose up at blackened fish and broccoli, shame on you, you snobby little brat! no, I'm kidding. Just be grateful that you have food to eat AND since it's simple, you have more time to enjoy your life somewhere other than the kitchen. 

Prepping your food is a cheap and simple way to keep yourself in check and it lessens the chance of eating out and spending more money on convenient food. I hope this helps with your budget and sticking with a better diet. Try it out for a week and see how it goes. I know this post wasn't all that funny so I leave you with this....

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Are you Paleo?

The first time I heard the adage "Abs are made in the kitchen", I wanted to die. Just kill me, please. I knew I was doomed to being pudgy because everything that's cool and worth living for revolves around eating. Summer time barbecues,  Dinner with friends, getting promoted, birthday parties are just a few examples of how the type of food makes the event. You could have  walked around that barbecue with a huge hole in your pants lookin' like a fool but nobody cares because DAMN those ribs were on POINT! 

I've tended to stay away from diets and regulate my weight by eating LESS crap food...which I'm bad at. Who doesn't love junk food? Actually, my father hates junk food. He says it tastes like plastic. But unfortunately for me, I inherited his nose and not his taste buds. As I've said before, any type of diet where I have to live off lettuce leaves for the first ridiculous phase and lighten up to Lettuce leaves and lemon juice the next is just not going to happen with me, okay? I live in the real world with real world problems! The person who invented those types of diets lives on a friggin lettuce farm with one stinking lemon tree...and hates puppies, I’m sure of it... just trust me on this one.

So fast forward me in May of 2012 when I started Crossfit (I'll get into my love affair with Crossfit later) which stands by The Paleo Diet as their nutritional foundation. I'd heard of it and subsequently wanted nothing to do with it. After incredible results of consistent Crossfit, I figured, 'Hmmm. Wonder how good it would be to couple exercise with the Paleo diet.' Well, as soon as they said "no bread" I bowed out...not even gracefully. It was more like a clumsy somersault out. You can shut that noise down because I don't want to hear it. Although, I did want to start eating better so I decided to cut out candy…
Slowly but surely, I kept edging my diet to healthier habits but didn’t exactly know what guidelines I should be following. All I knew is that it had to be simple. Someone had mentioned that in the Paleo Diet, you don't count calories because it's quality food. Out of curiosity, I looked into the Paleo Diet again. I kept running into this guide…

When I looked back at my diet, it could easily be modified to fit these standards. Eating out was scary because I didn’t know the guidelines by heart so my mental checklist pretty much went like this: Is it Meat? Is it a vegetable? If it passed those two guidelines, I was good to go. Instead of a bunch of Chicken Salads, it was more like Steak and broccoli.

Needing to find a way to make it easier at home, I headed to my beloved Pinterest. I. WAS. HOOKED. It was Paleo galore. Recipes that looked better than the garbage I was eating before. I couldn’t wait to cook them all. Heck, most of the time, it really did taste better. Now, I can't get enough. I still struggle with portion control but honestly, it hasn't really affected my weight...
This is after a week of not paying attention to portion control
To me, this way of eating has been a blessing. It fits me perfectly and I'm completely content with cutting out foods I used to regularly consume. A Mexican on a No-bean diet?! IT'S SACRILEGIOUS I TELL YOU! No, I'm kidding but I urge you to try something that fits your lifestyle. You'd be surprised what you're willing to give up when you know how to cook amazing healthy food. 

If you'd like to give it a try, here are my FAVORITE websites to the best Paleo recipes:

Even if you aren't looking to change your diet just yet, I urge you to try a recipe from any of these sites. You'll find  it very satisfying to not only make something delicious but know that you're doing your body a favor ;)

Let me know if you do try a recipe. I'd love to hear your thoughts!