Do I really have to drink that much water?

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Is your progress not where you would like it to be? Ask yourself what your water intake is looking like.

Water. I love it and I hate it. It quenches my thirst. It makes me pee every 15 minutes. It cleanses my body of toxins. I have to carry a giant jug every where I go. It fills me up, it debloats me, it keeps me hydrated and healthy. Its just so freaking annoying!

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Post work out water belly!

It was my worst enemy when I first started this journey. I never even gave it a thought for the first 30 days…When my trainer found out I hadn’t been drinking my recommended gallon per day she flipped!

It has now become my greatest ally in this process. And boy I tell you what, when I don’t get enough water in I wake up the next morning bloated as AALLLLLL GET UP! I can always tell. I keep this in mind, if I want to look as lean as possible I must stay hydrated!!!

Your body is about 70% water, the majority of your blood and every cell in your body is composed of water. Therefore, you need water to function properly.  As with most things, the amount of water for each person is different, but if your pee isn’t mostly clear you most likely aren’t getting enough H2O. Some suggest 8 (8 oz) glasses a day while others suggest take your body weight (in pounds), divide it in half and drink that many ounces. I try to down a gallon per day, but I have seen people down 2 gallons!!!  There is 128 ounces in one gallon. A normal sized water bottle has 16.9 ounces of water in it. So if I don’t have my normal massive 50 ounce bottle with me, I will aim for 7 normal people sized bottles per day.  But, listen to what your body needs.

Here are just a few really great reason why you should be guzzling water EVERY DAY:
1. Increases Energy & Relieves Fatigue – Since your brain is mostly water, drinking it helps you think, focus and concentrate better and be more alert. As an added bonus, your energy levels are also boosted!
2. Promotes Weight Loss – Reduces eating intake (by filling up your tummy), reduces hunger, raises your metabolism and has zero calories!
3. Flushes Out Toxins – Gets rid of waste through sweat and urination which reduces the risk of kidney stones and UTI’s
 
4. Improves Skin Complexion – Moisturizes your skin, keeps it fresh, soft, glowing and smooth. Gets rid of wrinkles
5. Maintains Regularity – Aids in digestion as water is essential to digest your food and prevents constipation
6. Boosts Immune System – A water guzzler is less likely to get sick.  Drinking plenty of water helps fight against flu, cancer and other ailments like heart attacks.
7. Puts You in a Good Mood – When the body is functioning at its best, you will feel great and be happy!

You can add a squirt of lemon, a squeeze of lime, a few sprigs of fresh mint or a cucumber or orange slice. You can even add a few berries or watermelon. What ever gets you to drink it up, sooooooo who’s thirsty???

water bomb

 

3 Day Refresh!

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Have you ever had a weekend that was just a little too indulgent? Gone on vacation and felt like a stuffed sausage when you returned? Just felt a little backed up? Have an event coming up you want to slim down for? Or want to jump start a new weight loss phase? This 3 day refresh I think would be perfect for you.

If you have ever done a juice fast or liquid cleanse that is high in sugar and low in protein you very quickly (at least I did) feel awful, depleted, weak, and depressed 😦 3 Day Refresh is just a quick 3 day cleanse to detox your body, while still supporting your metabolism by allowing you to eat food! What does that mean? NO STARVING! No crazy uncontrollable cravings! No dizziness, no fatigue, continue being active, and 3 days later POW! debloated! 3 daily shakes, a fiber drink plenty of water, and a wide array of fresh fruits vegetables, and healthy fats throughout the day to keep you energy and metabolism going. Here is what it consists of:

#1 wake up and drink a glass of water

#2 Have yourself a Shakeology shake of your choice, and a piece of fruit

#3 An hour or so later, have some green or herbal tea

#4 Another hour later, drink the “Fiber Sweet” shake. This is when the magic happens! This will flush you out. For me it was nothing exciting, but I didn’t have a whole lot to flush anyways. Also, if you do not have a lot of fiber in your diet already, the amount of fiber you will be consuming on this may make you a bit gassy, but if you are like me and already get plenty of fiber and plenty of protein nothing drastic will happen do not worry 🙂

#5 Have another delicious protein shake called “Vanilla Fresh” a piece of fruit, a serving of vegetables and a choice of healthy fat like all avocado, natural almond butter, coconut oil, or hummus.  Here I would have a grapefruit, a few stalks of celery, and 2 TBSP hummus. These shakes are so delicious that it really made the process so much easier and more pleasant for me

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Celery, hummus, grapefruit, Vanilla Fresh

#6 Then an hour or so later have another serving of vegetables and healthy fat. For this I would have steamed broccoli and coconut oil

#7 Then another hour or so later some more herbal or green tea.

#8 For dinner is what I think sets this cleanse apart from any others as  you can choose from a LONG list of easy recipes provided for you and they all looked delicious. YAY! FOOOOOOOOOOOD. I chose a huge spinach salad one night, and a huge cucumber salad the other nights. I drank another really good “Vanilla fresh” shake, and I also had a cup of organic vegetable stock

Massive spinach salad with homemade dressing, lemon, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and apple cider vinegar. Also a cup of organic vegetable stock

Massive spinach salad with homemade dressing, lemon, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and apple cider vinegar. Also a cup of organic vegetable stock

#9 Then another hour or so right before bed I would have some more tea.

So just like my normal routine I have been consuming something every couple of hours throughout the whole day! I stayed full the entire time, and never had any crazy cravings!  Water intake is of course as always necessary, for me 1 gallon a day at least! Also, the amount of dense nutrition and protein in these Shakeology and Vanilla Fresh shakes is everything your body needs every day and keeps you full and satisfied.

vegan_str-vegan_choc

More than 70 nutrient dense ingredients Protein, vitamins, minerals Antioxidants and Phytonutrients Prebiotics, Probiotics, Fiber, and Digestive Enzymes Adaptogen Herbs

20g protein 22 essential vitamins and minerals probiotics no atificial flavors, colors, preservatives or sweeteners Dairy and Soy free

20g protein
22 essential vitamins and minerals
Probiotics
No artificial flavors, colors, preservatives or sweeteners
Dairy and Soy free

Soluble and insoluble fibers gently and naturally eliminates waste from your digestive system

Soluble and insoluble fibers gently and naturally eliminates waste from your digestive system

I experienced like I said no normal cleanse side affects! Which was great because I HATE cleanses, and is why I chose to do this one, because I can still eat!! Hallelujah! I also did not consume any caffeine while doing this. But, the amount of energy I was feeling by day 2 I didn’t even notice, or need it! I was wide awake at 8am jumped out of bed wanting to take on everything under the sun!

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All in all, this is a great program. I have dropped 5 lbs, feel lighter, cleaner, leaner, and meaner. Recharged, refreshed, and energized. If you have any questions about the 3 Day Refresh or know someone who would enjoy this, please reach out to me! I will be putting together a 3 day refresh challenge group here very soon and would like to find some people who want to see some quick and easy results to a fresher you!

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How to bounce back from 4th of July (or any holiday)

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If you give me an inch, I will try to take a mile…especially when food is concerned. Literally, if you say here Kelly have a bite! And I say no way Jose! And you say, come on just try it. So I do. And then you look away for one second and when you turn back your entire birthday cake is gone. And it’s your birthday, not mine.

For the last two weeks I have BUSTED MY ASS in the gym, every single day. And I nailed my diet day in and day out 110% and I felt so amazing and accomplished, and in just two weeks saw some amazing changes. My commitment to myself was to make it completely compliant and give it my all until July 4th because I had some amazing plans I was looking forward to and they almost completely revolved around food. Ok, they did completely revolved around food. And alcohol. So I went out to Ft. Worth with my girlfriend, and we romped around Willie’s Picnic and the Ft. Worth stockyards. Listened to some amazing country music, and had some amazing food all day long. Then got home and continued the food fest (at least I did)….I went to bed that night whole heartedly meaning to get right back on track the next day!

Sunday morning started out great, as usual. Had a great leg day, boring day at work, and I don’t really know why but I just started stuffing my face that evening. I wasn’t really hungry, I just wanted to put food in my mouth. That’s ok, I am going to get back on track tomorrow! Monday morning started out great, had a great arm day, boring day at work, and then I ate 3 ottis spunkmeyer cookies, and stuffed my face the rest of the night. Same thing freaking Tuesday!! Except Tuesday night was the WORST, I ate almost everything in my house and I have no idea why! Today (Wednesday) I was completely on track…things going good. After 5 long days of uncontrolled nightly binges.

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Now most of the stuff in my house is not super bad, fairly healthy stuff. I know it could have been A LOT worse, as I think the worst thing I got my sticky hands on was my massive jar of peanut butter…but it is more like the feeling of defeat. Like the urge was greater than me, something I could not control, and it beat me. DANGIT!

Here are some things to keep in mind when recovering from a binge:

1. Fall down a million times get up 1 million and 1. It takes time and practice to not let food control you. For you to be able to stop yourself, step back, realize what is going on and make a decision in that moment. There is no wrong or right decision. If you want that food, and you are ok with what comes after that binge then by all means ENJOY it!! If it has been 6 months since you have had a break and let your self enjoy some food that you love…who cares!! If you work your but off then you should treat yourself. It did not take a few days of bad food to get where you were when you started this journey. It will take A LOT more than that to get back to square one.

2. I personally believe that if you are straying from your plan more and more and more and feeling it is harder to get back on track each time, that is your body telling you it needs a break. If you are finding yourself with these uncontrollable urges for more food, or carbs, or waking up in the middle of the night needing more calories, listen to your body.  Take a break!! Relax, enjoy yourself for a few days. I feel like your body will tell you straight up what it needs. And when it is low on fuel it will scream it in your face. When you are fueling yourself properly hunger should be controllable. This process has helped me differentiate between actual hunger, when my body needs something, or emotional/bored hunger. Where I am not really hungry I am just stressed, or dehydrated, or tired, or upset. Because when that hits you, you just demolish everything you can find and you just don’t care and there is no end in sight. Then there is a deeper problem that you may need to address and deal with.

3. Get back on track as quickly as possible. Love yourself regardless. There is no shame in food. I am proud of the junk I can eat, of my sticky fingers, of my pizza nights, because I work my butt off, so I don’t care what other people think about it. Forget about it. Put it in the past. WHO CARES!? Are you just going to throw the towel in and give up over eating a few times off plan? Throw away all the hard work you have put in? No, so move on. In reality, if you have been in a deficit for a long time now, your body probably needs that food. You are probably helping yourself more than you are hurting yourself.  Maybe you and your coach need to look into refeeds, and high carb days so they are controlled and not late night binges that aren’t planned and in the end make you feel bad about yourself when you are not doing anything wrong.

4. It is not a race…this is a lifestyle change, for the rest of your life. You are not going to be perfect forever. But put your goals first and do not forget them.

5. Go to bed. The longer you are awake, the more time you have on your hands to eat. If you do not need to be up, then don’t be. You may soon find yourself poking around the fridge for something to do with your mouth…

6. Some times when I am about to start my period I eat…SO WHAT.

7. It will only take you a few days maybe 3 to lose that bloat, that weird feeling, and drop that water weight. This is when getting all your water in will be most important to flush all that crap out of your body! 3 days is nothing, NBD!

The point is, the reason it is so hard for us to get back up is because we have attached such a negative connotation to what we have done. Because we know better, because we have goals, because we killed it up to this point, and now we have failed. WRONG. Success is getting back up, continuing, learning, becoming better, it is about progress not perfection. Success is when you CAN get back up and not let that defeat you. That is when you win. I personally do not have a deadline in my journey.  This for me is about learning, its about loving the process, its about creating the body I want in a non stressful enjoyable way and time frame. If I want to speed up the process I will be a bit stricter on myself, but I don’t want the negative feelings that may come with that if I fall off track. I believe that the longer it takes me to reach my goal, the harder I have to work, the more likely I am to stick to it afterwards because there is no way in hell I would just let myself go back to where I started after everything that I have put in. But, these things happen. We are human. And they will happen again because I just really love food. But it is about balance, and I know how to put in the hard work. I need to revisit my goals and refocus that is all.

So far Wednesday and Thursday have been completely on track, and I am telling myself that Flo is about to show up…any day now! Plus I will probably take a week off next week to recharge 🙂

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How I gained two pounds in 20 minutes

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I have touched on this topic before on my IG account, but I think it is so so so very important that I want to touch on it again.

We all do it. We are all guilty. We start a fitness journey, we hop online and by a fancy digital scale. Probably something that can tell you your BMI, % of fat, % of water, % of bone, what you had for breakfast yesterday, and what you really want out of life….We put it out in our bathroom in between the toilet and the sink. We make it a daily habit of stepping on the scale every single morning before we do anything.  No clothes, no breakfast, this is as accurate as it gets right? This is what I really weigh right? Well, not so much….

Scales suck. It is that simple. Some of us get so caught up on that number. It begins to define us. At first it makes us feel amazing, getting smaller and smaller we feel unstoppable!  Then it stalls, it slowly starts creeping back up. Every morning our eyes bulge out of our head. We don’t get it. Our diet was on point this week. We killed ourselves in the gym. Our clothes are fitting better and better. We feel lighter and more powerful! Yet, we instantly pull our shirts up turning side to side. Meticulously inspecting with microscopes…where is this weight coming from!?? Well I will show that scale who is boss…we will just skip breakfast today.  Add an hour of cardio in tonight. That’ll fix this problem!

Ok Ok, you might not go to those extremes, but it’s all the same concept. We don’t realize it, because it has become such a normality and part of our lives, but we let our scales run our lives and control our moods, and opinions of ourselves. That dumb piece of metal/glass/plastic. That dumb number. WHY?!

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via @erindaviddavis

Our bodies are nuts. They do things for no reason, without explanation, that we cannot control. There are so many different reasons why that number could be dropping or climbing.  But I see either of these things as good signs! It means my body is working! It is doing what it is supposed to do. If you are working your butt off and nothing is changing, that could be weird…If you are dropping in weight hooray!! You are probably trying to lose fat! If you are climbing in weight, you are probably building muscle which does what? Kills fat! Hooray! You can be the exact same weight but have two completely different looks.  Or you could be a heavier weight, yet look way more leaner than how you started.  Do not let that number define you, or dictate how your day will go, or decide what your workout or diet will consist of.  Because that number is probably either wrong, or not telling or showing what is really going on!

Here is an example. Not too long ago I woke up one morning and jumped on the scale…125lbs?? WTF I haven’t seen that number in years! Instant AMAZING mood!! Because last night I had weighed in at 128lbs (obsessive much? you can see the problem) I felt great, happy, accomplished, I didn’t stop and think it was physically impossible for me to lose 3lbs of fat over night…that didn’t matter at all to me I weight 125lbs 🙂

I took my dog for a walk, and 20 minutes later hopped back on that scale (why I have no idea…big problem here…) and it read 127lbs. WTF I looked up in the mirror in horror. In 20 minutes I had gained 2 lbs and my dreams were crushed. I was an instant failure….all that hard work had given me no results!!! But, what hard work…in the last 8 hours all I had done was have an awesome snooze fest.

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Then I realized, 127lbs is an amazing weight for me. It is perfect. I started all those months ago at 137lbs. I should be ecstatic.  Ive hovered around 127 for a while. That is my normal number, what I think is my natural weight.  Soooooo why was I so upset?? Because scales mess with your mind! If you don’t want to toss your scale, do what I did. Put it in a far off corner. Write on it, to yourself, and encouraging message.  Remind yourself that you are getting stronger every single day, and that number is not going to tell you that. Get used to going about your day without it. Step on it a couple times a month. Maybe every 2 weeks, or not at all!! Focus on the mirror. Take tons of pictures, focus on changes you can see. Because you will change.  A lot. And the scale will not show that progress.

This Instagram post was the first post of @erindaviddavis I ever saw, and the reason I fell in love with her. She stresses this message over and over and over.  She is beautiful, and motivates me daily. Reminds me that this is a beautiful process, and we should be proud of our gains and not afraid to put up a big number.

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Though the picture on the right might not be your cup of tea, all I see there is beauty because I know the work, dedication, sacrifice, time and commitment developing a body like that requires. That is why it is perfection to me!

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Even if you are in a fat loss phase, and putting up bigger numbers, be proud of that number, because you are still losing fat. And gaining that muscle will speed up the process. Be proud of your hard work. This is a beautiful process, that so many people would kill to experience, and you get to! You WILL reach your goals with patience and dedication!

Sometimes less is more

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There’s no kill switch on awesome, but sometimes awesome is knowing what is best for you.

Sometimes you just need a break!!I hit a wall shortly after my 5 month check in at 127lbs. I think I mentioned it a time or two in my posts….But I am happy to report I have broken through my wall!! All I did was scale back a bit on everything.

I was working out like a beast, hitting my meal plans 100% week in and week out. But I was progressively getting more and more tired. I was just beat down, fell into a fairly bad mood 24/7, stopped sleeping though I was always sleepy, and although I was constantly eating all day long, I was just always hungry. By month 6 I had climbed up to 133lbs and had missed my period (which may be TMI…But I am telling it like it is!). Physically exhausted, I had been beating my head trying to figure out what was going on with me and why my amazing progress had started regressing.  My trainer added refeeds into my weekly diet, hoping to up my calories and carbs enough to boost my energy and metabolism again but nothing was working. Feeling so down and defeated and helpless my trainer asked me to take break.  Just walk away and take a breather.  I was not to step foot in a gym for 7-10 days.  I fully embraced this. No more getting up at 7 am on my days off just to go to the gym.  I slept in, made breakfast in bed every morning. I didn’t stress about my diet, following it for the most part out of habit but indulging when I wished, eating out left and right. When my hiatus form the gym eventually ended and the day came for me to get back on the horse, we were both certain this had been my issue. After a month of upping my calories, two weeks off plan, and one week out of the gym, my measurements hadn’t increased at all. 

I honestly felt amazing! Aside from the expected feeling of being bloated and like a stuffed sausage, I was sleeping better, had energy, and was back in a better mood, with a bit of a pep in my step.  Another week later, I was 8 pounds lighter.  I had busted through my wall and and back on the forward march of my journey.  I couldn’t for the life of me figure out why I had hit a wall so hard and was gaining and couldn’t stop!…My body was telling me it needed a break! I was over working, and under eating. It wasn’t until I started feeding myself, and laying off the butt kicking in the gym that my body started responding again. To me this is the perfect example of why you shouldn’t have to spend every waking moment in the gym. Wasting your life away, hours and hours on the treadmill. YOU CAN DO TOO MUCH.

We are aaaalllll different. There is no perfect diet for everyone, or calorie intake for women vs men, or low carb, no carb, paleo, clean eating, can’t eat after 6pm or everything will be stored as fat!! Every single person’s “perfect diet” is completely different. For my body, I know what my magic number is. The number that kicks my metabolism into over drive, and turns me into a fat burning machine. I know that as long as I hit that number every single day, I do not have to live my life in a gym.  One hour a day, 4 days a week is enough for me and my body. Absolutely no cardio, not a lick of it!! Because I do not have to.  Abs are made in the kitchen!!


I was so deathly afraid of refeeds, or upping my calories, or starting a maintenance phase and losing all the hard work I had put in the last 6 months.  All I knew was summer was right around the corner and that drove me to completely ignore what my body was trying to say, and push harder. If I was going to focus on my training I should have fueled my body appropriately. A very nice Instragm stranger once told me, refeeds are like 1 step backwards but 2 steps forward!! I had taken a step backwards, but I have now jumped ahead two! Do not be afraid to put your journey aside and focus on yourself. It will always be there when you are ready to get back on the horse! Listen to your body, because when it is pissed it will do the exact opposite of what you want!! Mine was telling me, you are doing TOO much. LESS IS MORE. From now on I will be scheduling in a break for me and my body to recharge and refuel and just relax and enjoy life regularly, because I know I respond well to that.

Gallon, gallon bags y’all

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So if you are on a meal plan like me, you have struggled with not only traveling away from home and the familiar ease of your normal food prepping and containment tools, but just simply having food on you anywhere and any time.

Your cabinets may look a little like mine….

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And lets not forget the dishwasher…

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Tons of different Tupperware, a million different lids some fit some don’t. And after your meal prep work your fridge is jam packed and can barely close with all the bulky plastic boxes everywhere it barely has room for anything else!!

And lets not forget about traveling. My family lives 3 hours away. When I go back home I can be gone anywhere from 3-7 days at a time. I ALWAYS take my own food with me on trips. Some things I precook, some things I wait until I arrive and then go shopping for.  But lugging around all that food, plus your scale, and your spices, and your ice packs, and coolers, lunchbox, cookware, silverware plus all your Tupperware, OMGOOOOOOOOOOSH WHERE DOES IT STOP!?!

To save space, time, bulk, worry, stress I have begun to dabble in the ziplock baggy game. Here’s how it works, and a few quick meal prep tips as well 🙂

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Invest in different sized bags. I like the oversized sandwich bags for my full meals. Normal sized sandwich bags for most of my smaller meals/larger snacks. Snack sized for little things like nuts, berries, or liquids like mustard, peanut butter etc., and your gallon bags to put everything in!

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Don’t pretend you wouldn’t lick that peanut butter right out of this baggy…

Now begin you meal prep.

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I cook all my protein at once. Here is ground turkey, chicken breasts in the oven, brown rice and whole wheat pasta boilin’ on the stove.

Once everything is cooked start putting your bagged meals together.

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Tralalalalala

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I line up everything in rows, so I can just toss one from each row into my gallon bag just going down the line. Breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, dinner, snack. I typically cook breakfast each day, and my night time snack at home so I don’t include them unless I was going on a trip I would premake everything of course and toss that in too!

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Label them as you like with any little notes you might need. Macros, ingredients, dates etc.

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Boom sauce, your week is ready and waiting!!

Now, in all honesty this method makes it so much easier to always have something on you where every you are and not have to worry about bulky Tupperware in your purse or in your car and things leaking everywhere or lugging it around on trips. But, there is a lot of plastic waste left over that goes in the trash, and money spent on baggiess.  With Tupperware you can wash and reuse, and I’m sure you could with baggies….buuuuuuuuuut why would you do that???

So far I love it, but I am not sure how long I will keep up with it.

However, I would GREATLY recommend this method for your travels, and I will most definitely be utilizing this any time I am going out of town.

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Pic of me eating dinner in the car 🙂 Straight out of my Edge Fitness lunchbox!!

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My abs are sore for once in my life

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My undoing

The last 7 months, have just about been completely devoted to flattening my stubborn stomach!! I wasn’t necessarily born with it…only because I came out of the womb a competitive gymnast.  But you bet your bottom less than a year after my “early retirement” at 9 years old that thing showed up!! My mom had the exact same one at my age, so I KNEW it would not go without a fight.

I am up for anything and EVERYTHING when it comes to the possibility of once in my adult life getting rid my pouch. Even when I was 19 years old, and dropped down to 105lbs (very unhealthily and sickly I might add) I still had that thing loud and clear! From 18-26 all I ever thought about was if I could just suck that thing right out how much better my life would be…But who wants to take the easy way out?? Especially now that I know I am not the exception to the rule, and I CAN have my dream body with time, patience, the right knowledge and dedication.

I have definitely developed a great waist, and some awesome muscle tone thus far thank you to my amazing trainer and coach Mallory Bobo and Edge Fitness. But my abs are still a work in progress unfortunately, even after working on them for 7 months. I am not where I want to be, but I am damn glad I am not where I was at the beginning of all of this!

So I am always looking for new ab moves to try out and see what happens. I find I have a hard time getting my abs sore from anything! Sure the exercises are hard while doing them. I definitely challenge myself and ability as much as possible.  But I quickly noticed my abs were the only muscles that were never sore, ever! Around my 4 month mark, I found a pair of ankle weights to incorporate into my routine which I could tell really made my muscles stand out and cut just a little bit deeper! I also upped my cardio difficulty, hoping to burn some extra fat to really bring that thing down. Of course as always, abs are made in the kitchen ❤ so my diet HAS to be on point for any of this to even matter.

Last week I watched a video posted by the one and only Joe Donnelly on Facebook . This guy is not exactly the most conservative guy, and likes to ruffle some feathers, but he tells it like it is, and knows how to cut the BS and get the job done! I highly recommend following his page https://www.facebook.com/joeydfitness and Instagram account @jdonnely44.

The only thing I have tried thus far is the incline bench move. The first one. Because that is all I could get through. I have been unbelievably sore since rep #1….That is all.

 

 

Want to lose fat? Want to lean out? Want to do anything worth anything? Why aren’t you lifting?

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I don’t know about you people, but these are the girls I work hard to look like. Obviously, not everyone will share my goals.

I realize this post may rub some people the wrong way. These are my opinions. I am not suggesting what you are doing is not working for you, or that you should completely throw out whatever fat loss method you enjoy. I am simply saying don’t be afraid 🙂

I talk to person after person after person about this topic. They want to get in shape, they want to lose weight, they want to “tone” up. Well what are you doing to accomplish this I ask?…Eating less, and doing as much cardio as possible, is usually their response… If this is you please put your right hand in front of your face, look long and hard at it.  Now smack yourself right between the eyes!

So you don’t want to “bulk” up or look like a man?? Ok, so just don’t eat 5,000 calories a day or EVER dabble in steroids…Not doing either of those? GREAT! Problem solved.

Want to look hot as f*uck, and irresistible in a bikini?

Step1: Go find something heavy

Step 2: Pick it up, and put it down

Now we all know, “Abs are made in the kitchen.”  No one is going to get where they want to be, eating like crap.  In my opinion diet is the most important part in this whole equation, and exercise is just a tool to speed up the process. You can grow some pretty kick ass ab muscles, but you are not going to see them when they are covered in a layer of fat.

Also, if running and cardio is your thing, your “drug,” what you love to do by all means do what you enjoy!  But in my opinion it is not the most effective way to go about losing fat and toning up. Cardio burns plenty of calories, but it also eats up your muscle mass. Which is why every hard core long distance runner I know is a toothpick. This is where the term “skinny fat” comes into play…Looking good, and toned in your clothes might be nice during the day light hours, but what happens when those clothes come off!? I do not know about you but I do not want to look like Miley Cyrus’s saggy ass at the MTV awards…we all saw that, we all threw up a little.  I also do not want to spend 7 nights a week on the treadmill just to loose 5 pounds and then hit a wall…because where do you go from there? 10 nights a week?

Muscle burns fat. The more muscle you have the more fat you can burn just sitting around doing nothing. Weight training increases your muscle mass, and speeds up your metabolism, which means you burn MORE calories when your body is at rest. You do not want to do so much cardio that you eat up all your muscle mass now do you?? That is your most important tool in your tool box! Don’t you know cardio kills gainzzzz.

Now, sure the scale may increase with weight training. That is normal as we all know muscle weights more than fat. But 1 pound of fat is about the same size as 5 million pounds of muscle. Here is a great example.

The body on the left is 112 lbs. The same body on the right is 121 lbs. But which one is smaller? Which one looks leaner?

The body on the left is 112 lbs. The same body on the right is 121 lbs. But which one is smaller? Which one looks leaner?

Another great example I will throw out there. My own personal measurements. Day 1:

Chest 34″

Waist 26″

Hips 37″

Biceps 11″

Quads 22.25″

Fast forward 3 months:

Chest 32″

Waist 24″

Hips 35″

Biceps 10.5

Quads 20.5″

We have all seen my biceps selfies on IG, because I just cannot resist…yet they are 1/2 an inch smaller…We have all seen the muscle growth my quads have taken. I went from squatting 120lbs tops, to maxing out at 215lbs.  Yet they are almost 2 inches smaller…hmmm. I have some chest muscle, but my chest is 2 inches smaller. And my waist! I can see ab muscles for the first time in my life! I am now into my 6th month sustaining these measurements with weight training, and only predict to get smaller.

More examples:

The girl on the left was eating 1200 calories per day, same girl on the right over 2000 calories!!!!!

The girl on the left was eating 1200 calories per day, same girl on the right over 2000 calories!!!!! Eating less will kill your metabolism. When you lift, you eat because you body is burning so much at a resting rate you have to keep up 🙂

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Same weight, yet on the left she is a size 5, on the right a size 0!! Built some muscle 🙂

I also see those girls in the gym, throwing around those cute little pink weights for 1,000 reps scared to pick anything up over 5lbs. They think they are geniuses! They have found the magic answer. They have had a scientific breakthrough!!! Omgosh…You can’t simply shape your muscles into looking the way you want them.  You grow them.  You can’t say, oh I do high rep low weight to make sure I have lean, long muscles…Sorry. Your muscles will grow one way, that is bigger, and you can’t control them, that is genetics. Just like you cannot spot choose where you lose fat, you cannot choose the shape of how your muscles grow.

Muscles grow in response to exercise and they aren’t going to grow unless you exercise to the point of destruction, and then they repair themselves.  You know you’ve gotten the job done when you leave the gym with a nice big pump! When your muscles are red and feel like they are about to explode off of your body, and you can barely fit into any of your clothes. It scares the shit out of you if you aren’t expecting it! Do you have to work out that hard every night? No. Because when your diet is on point, your body is a calorie killing machine, and a few short work outs a week is all it should take! Now what pretty pink fuzzy weights will ever do that!?

To Summarize:

1. Lifting weights does not make you look like a man. If your diet is on point and you are not eating everything in sight they can make you tiny 🙂 Even if they just supplement what you are already doing.

2. Large amounts of cardio, for most people, does not a banging body make. As long as you are doing the right kind of cardio, one short session a week should be plenty.

3. Less is more, if you are spending the majority of your life in a gym our bodies adapt very quickly.  Where do you go from there when you hit a wall? Quality NOT quantity. Don’t be afraid to push yourself and get out of your comfort zone. That is when great things happen.

4. Food is good! Pants are unnecessary. The goal is to eat as much as possible and be able to walk around naked with confidence!

 

6 Months Progress

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Well…I wish I had more progress to report this month.  I don’t know why I have held so much importance on this 6 month benchmark for myself. Just another example of having too high of an expectation and then being let down.  I really don’t see any difference in my 5 month pictures and my 6 month pictures. Other than I need another tan…I might even see a bit of gaining, or maybe that is in my head, or just from not getting enough water intake yesterday :/

I guess I was thinking I would be in stage shape by now!! Dumbo.

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5 months vs 6 months THAT BELLY IS THE DEVIL!!!

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5 months vs 6 months

 

But, then I remember where I started….

 

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Day 1 vs 6 months

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Day 1 vs 6 months

 

I started out with a 30 day promise. I thought it would be nice to be looking good for my birthday/New Years. That came and went and I kept going. It was just so easy, and so fun. The time was going to pass anyway, why not do something productive with it? By month 3 I knew I was addicted and said I have to give this at least 6 months.  I don’t know why but somewhere along the way I got it in my head that 6 months is the magic number.  By then I will have accomplished what I wanted.  All these other girls did right? All these girls on Facebook, and Instagram. All the girls I have been following for inspiration, advice, motivation, knowledge about this process.  They can cut down to there ideal physique in 12 weeks! Why can’t I do that?? Or did I? Why is what I have not what I want? Well those girls have been at this game for years. They have been through this process dozens of times. This is my first go around. I am still learning. My body is still changing. It is still recovering from the hell I have put it through chasing that skinny dream my whole life.

 

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6 months

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6 months

I think I have reached every goal I set for myself at the beginning of this.  I surpassed 30 days and blew it out of the water. I flew past losing 7 pounds of fat, and hit 10.  I have leaned out all the areas of my body I hated and I now flaunt every single one of them. I wear whatever I want. I am squatting over 200 lbs. I can do chin ups. I can do dips. I have abs.   Gone is my unhealthy relationship with food.  Not knowing what is good/bad for me. No more feeling bad about myself, guilty, ashamed, disappointed, or using food to reward or punish myself.  Food is my fuel, to help reach my goal. It is a tool for me to use, for anyone to use, to get healthy and happy. I started out scared to death that my trainer was making me eat too much food.  I fought tooth and nail, didn’t trust the process. Two days ago I told her I didn’t think I was eating ENOUGH!!!! WTF!!??!  This is funny because if you know me you know I am never not eating…lol. Every single thing I told my trainer I wanted in the very beginning I now have! And more. But I guess my goals have changed…

I am so happy with what I have accomplished, and where I am. I don’t recognize that person 6 months ago and cannot believe that was me. I can never go back there.  But that is no longer enough for me.  Maybe 2014 wont be my year, maybe 2015 will be.  2014 is the year I realize what I want and how to get there. My new goal is 6 more months. There I said it.

 

 

Bless your little hearts

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Let your goals guide your actions ❤️ not everyone will understand or support me. I have even encountered those who want to pull me off track, or make me feel inadequate for having such a strange vision for myself. When I can pay them no mind, respect them for their opinions, understand we are different, and walk away feeling even more confident in my decision, I feel even stronger 💪

I have encountered many different reactions to my recent lifestyle change.  Most of which have been very positive ranging from people asking me for advice, or just shooting me a quick email or message explaining to me how I have motivated them to change their lives as well. These things make me sosososososo very happy, as the only reason I ever post anything about anything is to show that if I can do it, so can you!! And that your wildest dreams are possible if you just take the first step!

On the other hand I have encountered some negative reactions to what I am doing. I have had to delete, or “unfriend” people due to their negative comments.  I have people come up to me in person, either people I know or complete strangers, and proceed to tell me that I need to “live a little” or “relax and have fun.” I think this, more than anything else it what bothers the THE MOST.  If you do not fully understand what I am doing or the journey I am taking, please do not try to give me advice…As if miraculously I will all of a sudden snap out of it, and realize OMG you are right!! I am so 100% miserable with what I am doing! You mean to tell me I can enjoy my life?? Do the things that I want to do? NO WAY!!! I NEVER THOUGHT OF THAT!!!

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OK genius listen here…I am doing what I want. If I didn’t want to better myself, take control of my life, build my confidence and self esteem, challenge myself physically and mentally, and prove to myself I am capable of doing things I never thought possible, then I wouldn’t be doing this…People who know me know that I am a fun loving free spirit. Maybe a bit shy, and quiet, but fun! I would never voluntarily do something long term that I disliked or didn’t enjoy doing. I wouldn’t revolve my entire life around something I wasn’t in love with or looked forward to every single day.  I wake up every morning counting down the hours until I can get back in the gym and destroy my stats from the week before. I cannot get enough of that.

Really, I think people sometimes say these things because they are trying to justify why they are not like me. Why they reached for that cupcake and I did not, “Sometimes you just have to live a little!”  This is very true!! And I have many moments like that as well! Just because I do not reach for that cupcake does not mean I am better than you, and no one should feel like they have to justify anything to me. Enjoy that cupcake!!! All of our journeys are different. I am on this path right now, at this time in my life, because I am meant to be. And God, or the universe, or whatever decided I needed it, and I did!!! You are on a path that needs that cocktail, or needs that cupcake 🙂

I am living my life. I am finally for the first time free from all anxiety from food and diet and what I put in my body. I used to have such an unhealthy relationship with food. Never knowing what was right or wrong, making myself sick with guilt over what I just ate. I am a person that succeeds with structure, and clear guidelines. I now know there is a way to enjoy anything I want and no reason to feel guilty or ashamed because I know I am still progressing towards my goal.  When I am that only person that reaches for a cupcake in a room full of fitness freaks, I do not feel the need to justify my decision, I am not ashamed. I AM HANGRY AND IM GONNA EAT MYSELF A MOTHER EFFIN CUPCAKE AND YOU CAN ALL WATCH!! AND I AM GOING TO GET CUPCAKES CRUMBS ALL OVER MYSELF AND THEN EAT THOSE TOO!! I can finally feel confident in my clothes, and know that I can wear whatever I want without needing to worry about hiding something. Except for my height…I mean some things just don’t look right on short people and there is nothing I can do to grow taller…

No one is putting a gun to my head, if I want a drink I will have one. If I want a cookie I will have one, I have never deprived myself since the day I started. When I want something I have it, it is 100% my choice. But guess what, 99.9% of the time I don’t want it. My goals guide my actions. I want to accomplish them more than I want that popcorn at the movies. Popcorn may make me happy while I am eating it, but then guilty afterwards.  Reaching my goals and seeing my progress makes me 100 times MORE HAPPY than any popcorn ever could! Why is that weird or so hard for people to understand? Why try to convince me I should eat or drink something I do not want…Just like you do not want to chop your hand off with a butter knife, ooooooor dunk your head in a can of paint, I just don’t want that….this seems to be the hardest for people to get. And I instantly get labeled as unfun, or boring. Do I do the same things socially that I used to do? No.  I still make it a point to go to dinner parties, or events I know will have food and alcohol, and I still make it a point to every once in a while get out to a few bars with my friends. But, I have enjoyed putting on my thinking cap and finding fun things to do that don’t center around consumption of anything.

My last example, and my most recent, was just last week someone I have known for a while came up to me and felt the need to tell me I should stop training my arms because I am starting to get “man arms.” Now, aside from the obvious, wow that was rude that immediately came to mind, I want to point out  that I #1 DO NOT HAVE MAN ARMS. And #2 Not all our goals are the same. What I want my body to look like is not what everyone else wants their bodies to look like. What I work my butt off to accomplish and am so God damn proud of, is not what everyone else wants to accomplish in their lives. Same as what I find attractive on other people is not attractive to others. To me, all of this is not so much what I look like, but it runs much deeper. Pushing myself, challenging myself, putting up a number in the gym that is better than the week before, changing myself inside and out, creating my body, whatever I want, bigger or smaller, knowing that I have control to create anything and I don’t have to settle or accept what I am unhappy with.

"Man" arms

“Man” arms

Now yes, absolutely, my arms look very different than they did when I started. But get this, they are much smaller, and will continue to get smaller.  In fact, I am in a fat loss phase. This is just me, how I have always looked my whole life. It has just been hiding underneath this suit of pudge, and the last 6 months I have been peeling that away layer by layer. I have always been a muscular girl. I have always been athletic, and grew up competing in gymnastics and dance. I am strong, and while I used to be embarrassed and ashamed of it, I am now proud! I cannot control where I lose fat on my body, and I am not actively trying to get bigger. I am actively trying to get smaller and I am! But I am also changing shape at the same time.

I didn’t sit there and lecture her, or explain myself and my mind set. I just said “thank you, I have worked hard for these and I am proud.” Not everyone understands my grind. All that matters to me is that I have found more happiness and satisfaction in what I am doing now, than I have ever experienced in my life. And that is enough for me. And the fact that I can accept that and not care what others think makes me happy 🙂 Go find your own grind, whatever that may be and I hope it brings you happiness.

 

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