Category Archives: Body Pump

GRIT, Sophie, and how I’ve been feeling lately

A lot has happened since my last post! So much that I keep thinking that I need to write a post about each individual thing and then I think that it would take me forever to do that! I figured I’d just start typing and see how much I get through – how’s that sound?

About two weeks ago I went to initial instructor training for Les Mills GRIT. If you’ve never heard of GRIT, it’s a high intensity interval training (HIIT) style class that’s 30 minutes long. The premise is quick bursts, followed by short rests, to burn fat fast! HIIT has been around for a long time, and has many benefits cardiovascularly as well as for your overall health! The weekend was long, grueling, and tiresome. My husband and I drove the three hours to West Chester University (in West Chester, PA) early Saturday morning to arrive at a quarter to 8am so that I wouldn’t be late for training!

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The training modules are two days long from 8am – 6pm, and include learning about the company, learning to choreography for the class, a physically demanding challenge, and teaching the choreography many times over the course of two days. After you have completed the two days you are given a grade out of 3.

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When the weekend was over, I had gained 10 new friends, was tired and sore, got a recipe for some amazing low carb/gluten free cookies, and passed with a 3/3!  After we were done on Sunday, my husband and I went to this burger place around the corner from the college and I had a huge burger with bacon and avocado!

The day after training I went to CrossFit (enter surprised smiley face here) and managed to complete the workout, but I was done for for the rest of the week! Exhausted really isn’t even the word!! Since training (which was about two weeks ago) I haven’t looked much at GRIT but after this weekend I plan to really practice and learn the choreography so that I can tape and pass to become a GRIT coach!

Later in the week last week, I went to an interview at another gym for both GRIT and Body Pump. They were interested in taking me on as a substitute instructor for now and willing to help me with my GRIT certification. I was very pleased with them and happy they want to help! I look forward to working with them and practicing! I am excited for what the future holds with these programs!!

This past week was actually a really rough week for me emotionally. At work we had a dog come in who appeared to have been hit by a car, she’s paralyzed in her hind end and had no microchip. A good samaritan brought her in, and with no known home we began calling shelters and rescues. Due to the nature of her condition none of the shelters would take her but we were hopeful in one rescue who said they had to call us back. I felt horrible, she was emaciated, and clearly mistreated. Depsite all of this she was extremely gentle and sweet.

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There’s no surprise that I fell in love with her at first sight!! They named her “Cali” and then changed it to “Joy” but I felt she needed a better name. I didn’t think Joy was appropriate so I began thinking of names for her. She spent one night in the hospital and the next day I came to work and asked what was going to happen to her. The doctor said that if they couldn’t find a rescue they would have to euthanize her. That just could not happen. I asked to take her home that night to buy her some time and so that I  could think of something to do. They told me a rescue had called but had to rearrange some things and would be calling the following day to let them know if they could take her or not.

When I got her home she ran inside as if she knew we were home! She smelt my whole apartment and took an interest in my boy Charlie. Where he went, she went. Charlie is kind hearted and wouldn’t hurt a fly so he quickly took her under his wing. She slept comfortably on my couch next to me snuggled up to my leg, melting my heart with each and every deep breath that she img_9827took. She was comfortable, home, and it showed in her demeanor that she was no longer scared, but happy to be in a warm home in a “bed” (my couch) with a loving human and friendly dogs. While I watched her sleep, the name Sophie (which mean wisdom) came to mind. I lovelingly named her Sophie.

The following day, I brought her back to work as she’s special needs and couldn’t be left home alone all day. Around 12pm I was informed that a rescue was coming to pick her up at 2pm and she was scheduled for an MRI the following day. I was prepared for this, but my heart was broken. I knew that it was best for her, but I wanted to take care of her, I wanted her to be mine. Saying goodbye to Sophie was one of the hardest things I’ve done in quite a long time. I know that she was getting the medical care she needed, that I would not have been able to give her right away, and she would be safe and free from euthanasia, but my heartached and I img_9839felt like the wind had been knocked out of me with the news that my sweet girl would not be coming home with me again.

Sophie had an MRI the following day and it showed that she has spinal inflammation likely caused by trauma and she was prescribed physical therapy. Sophie may or may not walk again, but the rescue is willing to give her the chance. If you’re moved by Sophie’s story – please considering donating to Oliver’s Orphan Oasis at www.gofundme.com/ooohelp.

 

If you read the explaination of Sophie’s story on that go fund me account, that tear-filled tech — yea that was me! Damn, I really fell hard for that girl!! She is such a sweet sweet girl, and will need a furever home. If you want to feel the love of a rescue pet please consider adopting Sophie, or another baby who needs a home!

I’ve had quite an interesting week between Sophie, my tire going flat on the parkway to work, getting peed on and bitten by a cat, and feeling like the world is out to get me. I really hope that next week is better, and that whatever is going on with all this negativity stops soon!!

On a good note – 41 days til I turn 30! I’m not sure why that’s exciting, butIMG_9871.JPG I like my birthday, and I look forward to another year older – hopefully I can continue to grow as a group fitness instructor, continue to grow as a person, and maybe just maybe become a parent — I was hopeful that this last one would have happened sooner but looks like someone has different plans for us!

Heres to learning Body Pump 99, GRIT 18, and hopefully having a better week!!

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Life, Death, and Charlotte

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted. I’ve been busy juggling too many projects and unfortunately the blog had to take a back seat. I’d like to blog more again – and since I’m currently on a 5 day vacation, I am going to start this week!

A lot has happened this week that has made me want to reflect on my life. I have a pretty spotty memory. I have glimpses of things that have happened but it’s very difficult for me to peice things together in a timeline. Some say that after a traumatic event things like PTSD cause the mind to protect the body by suppressing those memories. Recently I had a “relapse” of sorts, where I became quite paranoid of every male who I came across. When I was 12 I was sexually assaulted by a man who I thought I could trust. He manipulated me and no matter how smart I thought I was, I fell for his traps. He was smarter. Anyway, I recently, and quite randomly (I think) became quietly paranoid. I say quietly because I didn’t talk about it – but inside I was anxiety ridden. I’m not too sure why but after 17 years memories began to flood in.

I bring this up only to show a point – so stay with me here.

This past Tuesday, July 5th, started like any other – except I had only 3 hours of sleep and was exhausted. Since I worked the night before until midnight and then had to get up and teach a body pump class at 6am, I decided it would be a good idea to go and get breakfast before work. I bought a bagel with cream cheese and two donuts – and without guilt, ate all of it! I went to work and the day was like any other, that is until my phone rang. My very best friend Alycia was calling – that was peculiar, I thought. I excused myself and I called her back – what happened next is a bit of a blur. She was hysterical, her brother had died in a tragic car accident and was found at 7am ejected from his vehicle. He had died suddenly from injuries that occurred as a result of his crash. The reports later said he likely fell asleep, he was also intoxicated. My heart sank. Tristan was a very good friend, we had history. We briefly dated in 2006, but we also became very close and the three of us even lived together for a while – we were family. Because I was having some issues with my car, I needed to wait to make the 4.5 hour drive up to Alycia to be with her and the remainder of the family. I spent the rest of the day quite numb, trying to keep busy, broken.

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The next few days happened pretty fast, I fixed my car on Wednesday and headed north to be with my friend. For two days I spent mostly quiet, distracting myself with her children, just being there for support as a sounding board when needed. We were up until 3am both nights and work up between 6 and 7am the following days. During the silent times I tried with everything that I have to remember – remember all of the good times, the laughs, searching for photos to jar any glimpse of a memory. I don’t know if I’m more sad that I won’t be able to make any new memories or if it’s because I can’t remember most of the last 10 years that I’ve known Tristan. A few photos and videos have popped up, they are helpful – but my memory is shot. I wish someone could just electrocute my brain until the memories flood back. I wish my mind didn’t protect me from my history.

At least my mind has stopped searching for memories of the man who broke me all of those years ago.

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The wake/funeral ceremony were scheduled for Sunday, but they were also going to hold a candle light vigil Friday night. I had to leave Friday night because I had a trip planned with my husband to Charlotte, NC, so I stayed until the vigil was over. It was beautiful, peaceful, and full of sadness. We placed candles around his fireman gear on the rocks by the covered bridge. He enjoyed being in nature and spent a lot of time fishing and just sitting by that bridge.

It was very hard for me to leave. I wanted to stay and be there for my friend, for me. I wanted to spend time with the family and listen to stories – maybe this was a selfish motive so that I could just remember more, but maybe so I could grieve as well. He will always be in my heart – even if it takes 17 years to remember everything. I write this here today so that one day I can come back and remember. Remember his life, remember his death.

On Sunday we began our drive to Charlotte. My heart has been heavy this entire week and during our drive a few songs came on that brought me to tears. My husband has been great, very supportive, he knew Tristan too. It took us 10.5 hours to get to Charlotte, but it was a very pretty drive! Virginia is a very large state – ha! IMG_7822

We decided not to stay in a hotel this time, we rented a studio apartment in the fourth ward (that’s the name of the area – kind of like soho or tribeca in NYC) with huge open windows and an awesome view of center city (or is it city center?) from our bed. We rented through AirBnB and let me tell you, I think we will always do this from now on. The apartment looks exactly like the photos online and there was water in the fridge! Pretty much everything you could ever want was here – utensils, pots and pans, soap, towels, toilet paper ha! The TV was a bit of a challenge last night since it’s a ROKU? I had never had experience with that but I’m glad we’ve been without cable for quite some time so it wasn’t a big deal that we didn’t have cable TV on our first night. I’m currently sitting in a recliner/LazyBoy chair that I wish I could strap to my car and take home with me! I told Pat that I would live in this exact apartment if we could! I could imagine Charlie and Miley running around, and Louie curled up on the bed. There’s a train that runs all day (and night) right nearby, which I can imagine would be annoying if I had never lived in NYC or if I didn’t grow up next to an airport! Noise is not something I am not used to!

IMG_7825Last night we went to Target and Trader Joes to
pick up some food and essentials so we had something to eat for breakfast and dinner this week. For dinner we had baked ziti and meat loaf from Trader Joes with a very small glass of wine!
We plan to go out to eat a few times but really want to treat this like we live here for 5 days rather than a true vacation where we spend all of our money! The lady checking us out at Trader Joes used to live in Beacon, NY – what a small world! She said she lived there for two years and it made her really appreciate Charlotte – she said we’ll love it and welcomed us to her city!

Today we don’t have many plans, I believe we are going to just start walking in the direction of those big buildings!

Have you ever been to Charlotte? What are the must see and must do things here? Do you use distraction as a way to heal and grieve? Am I the only one who can never remember anything unless I see pictures or videos or read the journals from that time? I hope I don’t forget my past with my husband…

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Something weird happened today…

“Something weird happened… I walked around stop and shop and had no desire to buy or eat anything that wasn’t a whole food or considered clean”

This morning I had to substitute teach Body Pump at 6am for one of my friends so I had a banana on my way in (I’m really trying not to workout completely fasted). When I got home I had 1 egg, 1/2 cup egg whites, and 1/2 cup Brussels sprouts with a squirt or two of ketchup (finally a photo!)  

 
Around 11am I was starving but knew I didn’t have any quick snack with me so I waited, but around 11:45 remembered I had thrown an Asian pear into my bag! So I chowed down on most of the pear – until my tummy felt better and then I headed back into work.

At 1:30 I had lunch which consisted of about 4-5 oz of chicken breast and about a cup of green beans. I added butter because there was nothing on either and it was totally flavorless.

At 4:30pm I had a grapefruit with a packet of stevia in the raw – I ate the whole thing since I didn’t have the half at breakfast due to time and, well, I’m not eating a grapefruit in my car! 

As I was leaving work (around 6:45pm) I decided to have 1/2 of an Italian cookie because one of my coworkers said they were the best she had ever had – it wasn’t that good so I didn’t finish it. 

Then I headed to go teach another body pump class and stopped by CVS to pick up a thing of laughing cow Swiss cheese. I ate one block and headed into class (7:30pm). After class I ate one of those really long cucumbers with two more of those laughing cow Swiss cheeses (9pm). Cucumbers and LC Swiss (or cream cheese) are probably one of my favorite snacks! 

Since I had yet to eat dinner I decided to head into the super market.  When I got there something weird happened… I walked around stop and shop and had no desire to buy or eat anything that wasn’t a whole food or considered clean. I bought an organic butternut squash soup, a honey Chobani yogurt, an organic almond bar, and a can of peas … I don’t know why but I wanted peas! 

When I got home (9:30pm) i had the butternut squash bisque soup and ate the small can of peas mixed with some shrimp (don’t judge me).  

I only had one moment today during work where I wanted to eat junk – it’s something about my work environment that makes everyone seek bad food. After I allowed that to pass I felt much better. Today was overall a good good day despite eating a bit more fruit than usual. I feel good and I’m interested to see if the food cravings continue to decline as I choose more clean/whole foods!

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Diet & workout plan

In an effort to be completely transparent, I want to share with you my plan for the next 7 weeks. My powerlifting comp is approaching a bit faster than I thought and my weight has been pretty stagnant – mostly because I have yet to really do the plan I set up. (Funny how that works 😜).
Since I have been working some weird hours, my diet has been less than ideal – so this week I have set into place an easy to follow plan that allows me to pick and choose what I want for the most part as long as it fits the description. This diet will bring me in around 1500 calories, with a plan to get to 1350 at my max defecit (rest days) and 1800 cals on super heavy days. I’ve started with two days of 20 minutes of fasted cardio with the option to increase if after a week or two my weight stagnates. 
The plan is as follows:

  
 

With my workout schedule looking something like this:

  
  

I may have a Chobani flips instead of a protein shake (because they are yummy), or 1/2 portion protein and veggies in that place just because I literally can’t stand drinking protein shakes, but I will make an effort for this to be the plan at least for week 1 and then plan to increase or decrease depending on how I feel. As far as my workout schedule, I know it’s a bit much, but my body is used to this kind of volume, and when I decrease the volume I start to gain – so I will have to just do what feels good and take an extra day off here and there depending on how I feel. If I feel good I will go straight through. As long as Monday, Wednesday, Friday continue to be my 5×5 squat, chest, DL (deadlift), then the rest will depend completely on how I feel! 
Stay tuned as I update ya’ll on progress! Ps- I have 4 days left of my cleanse – so don’t worry I’ll post an update once it’s done! It’s taken a few extra days because I’ve worked some overnights which wind up making me eat weird and take supplements at weird times so it spread out the cleanse a bit 💪🏼❤️
 

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10 Day Cleanse starts Now!

I’ve posted about this before: the AdvoCare 24 day challenge; but I haven’t been really consistent with posting results or progress. I’ve had a new cleanse laying around and I’ve been trying to decide when to do it but this morning I woke up after being in an M&M, thanksgiving foods, and pie coma for three days and decided that it was time for that cleanse. 

I was doing really well with IIFYM even though I’m not a huge fan, I figured I’d try it – but after 6 days of not losing 1lb followed by thanksgiving madness and working an overnight (which always throws me off) I figured it was time for that cleanse. 

This morning I started by weighing in and taking photos and then had the probiotic, catalyst, and spark, followed by (a half hour or so later) a chocolate peanut butter meal replacement shake and unflavored fiber drink. 

Current Weight: 172lbs

Goal weight: 156lbs (must be under 158 for powerlifting meet)

Goal for 10 day cleanse: 165lbs. There’s at least 4lbs of water/inflammation from thanksgiving since i haven’t been drinking water and before thanksgiving I was 168lbs. So there’s no reason I can’t lose that + 3lbs. Then the goal will be to lose 10lbs or so befor January 23rd! 

Follow along as I post my #weightlossjourney and my #journeytoPowerLifting lol 

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Barbells For Boobs

Yesterday I participated in the Barbells for Boobs fundraiser at the crossfit box affiliate that I have been going to since May. I was super excited about this fundraiser as the barbells for boobs organization uses the money that they receive to help in the prevention of breast cancer. Breast cancer affects so many people and anything that we can do to help in the prevention is totally worth it.

  
My gym, Crossfit Westchester Pelham, and our brother gym, Crossfit Westchester White Plains, got together yesterday to complete Amazing “Grace” which is a crossfit benchmark workout that consists of 30 clean and jerks for time. Men are to use 135lbs and women 95lbs and we are instructed to scale according to abilities. Being fairly new to this, I had never completed this specific workout nor had I done it with 95lbs, but my fellow members believed I could do it so I went for it – knowing the worst that could happen is I fail reps and have to strip the weight. 

Well, I completed Grace, using the Rx (prescribed) weight of 95lbs in 5min and 20 seconds and it felt incredible! I also raised 176$ towards the prevention of breast cancer – the two gyms combined raised over 8600$!! 

Donations will continue to be accepted through the end of the year even though the fundraising event is over – breast cancer doesn’t stop just because we did our workout! If you’d like to donate please head over to my donation page by clicking here! 

Such a fun event, with great people and I really can’t wait for next year!! 

If you’d like to see a video overview that’s literally 6 minutes (4of which are of me lol) with no special effects… Head over to my YouTube channel by clicking here and don’t forget while you’re there to subscribe!! 

In honor of those who donated, I promised to do 1 burpee for ever $1 donated to my page.. Well, I received $176 in donations (50$ was cash that I still have to actually post on my page but I counted it since it was handed to me prior to yesterday). So today I completed my promised burpees after I taught BodyPump. 176 burpees in 14min 51seconds.. And boy am I tired!! 

I will be posting a YouTube video to thank those who donated and showcase my 176 burpees! 

  

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Les Mills ONE LIVE: Chicago 

(This post was written on the plane on the way home from the event.. Sorry for the delay in posting)
There are so many things that I can say about this past weekend. So many words to describe how incredible this experience has been.
 Let me first take you back to a little less than 2 years ago: I was taking my regular Sunday Body Pump class, the one I had been taking for a few months and something inside of me decided that it was time – “today will be the day” – to step out of my comfort zone, walk right up the the instructor and ask “so, how do I do this… How do I do what you do?” 
It all started with such an innocent and simple question. It wasn’t too long after that I found myself driving to Washington D.C. all alone, to spend a weekend learning how to deliver this group fitness class that I fell in love with. 
A few years before this I had began my journey to a healthier life and spent a month taking an all women’s boot camp class. It was at 5:30 in the morning, in August, in a park that was 25 minutes from my house. This meant I had to get up at 4:30 every morning for 5 days each week, and spend an hour getting my butt kicked. It was then that I had my first thought of “boy, I’d love to do that; I’d love to teach a class where I got the opportunity to challenge people and make them work hard.”
Fast forward, if you will, to early 2015 – I had a year of teaching Body Pump under my belt, week after week my class was growing, that Sunday class that I had taken before I got my certification became my class, and I was ready to become even better. I thought that I was ready to be called an advanced instructor and headed to the first of two advanced instructor modules. 
At my first AIM I felt that I was able to explore the choreography a bit deeper, figure out how to really deliver each track by blocking each part out with a focus – focus on getting them moving, then focus on getting them to move better, and then focus on motivating til the end. I went home from this training and taught the following day one of the best classes (I feel) that I have taught to date. 
After AIM 1 I was hooked, I wanted more, I wanted to be the best, I wanted elite status. But after a few months I fell into a bit of a trap – I felt like I was a really great instructor and although I had signed up for AIM 2, I really didn’t think they could teach me anything more than I already knew. I knew what I needed to do, my job was to present an amazing release of body pump and make sure that my members felt amazing afterwards.
That brings me to this past weekend. I arrived in Chicago on Thursday, all alone, and pretty sure I was going to have a great time but I thought I’d go home Sunday having spent two of my three days hearing things I knew already, but I made myself a promise that I’d be open to trying new things, and taking it all in. 
Something that AdvoCare has taught me, is that it’s okay to be imperfect. It’s okay to smile and talk to people, after all, I’m strong – I can take on pretty much anyone!! So I made a conscious effort to smile at strangers, talk to people, ask questions, but most of all – listen. 
Day 1 was just what I had expected – we were exhausted in every else of the word, but just like my initial training, and AIM1 I could talk to my trainer and get feedback. Justin Sanchez happens to be on the poster on the wall in my group fitness room. I have seen his face at least a million times over the last few years and I was a bit nervous at how we would communicate but it was instant – I felt his energy, his confidence – and I felt immediately connected – in a “he could be my uncle” sort of way. He gave me feedback, I worked on it, he gave me more feedback and then I got real. I told him straight up – I want to do what you do. I want to be a national trainer, a presenter – I want to change the world. I asked him, are my dreams too big? I told him to be honest. 
Now, a quick step backwards – if you know me. You know I’m an advocate for dreaming as big as you possibly can, but you should also know that I sometimes need that reassurance – but I also really wanted to hear from someone that I look up to – whether or not that potential was there. 
He told me never to stop dreaming, and that I can do whatever I want to do. Justin freaking Sanchez (if you don’t know who he is, you’re missing out). 
After AIM2 I headed to the keynote speaker and then to the reebok store where I met some wonderful women from California, a man from Canada, and a woman from Hawaii! After standing in line for two hours I headed for drinks with some of my new friends. After conversations and drinks (I had water) I headed to my room to meet my roommate for the night – a woman who needed somewhere to sleep the night before the big event and I said why not?! We talked briefly about competing (she competes and that is something I’ve always wanted to do but because of my issues with food and history of BED I’ve never gotten very serious about it) and then we headed to bed.
Day 2 started bright and early! This day was all about having fun, opening up, and experiencing ONELIVE. It was incredible to see all of these amazing national and international trainers doing what they love, and I truly tried to take it all in. The day started with BodyPump where we got to experience the new release! I saved a spot for my friend and fellow instructor, and found myself next to one of my new friends from the previous day – he was running with a selfie stick so i followed him to an area where there were smart bars and steps not too far from the stage! 
My ankle started acting up as the day went on so I chose to skip GRIT cardio and RPM and made body flow my last class of the day. Then I went to my room and got ready for the after party where I spent the night dancing with some of my friends from NY! 
Day 3 was my second and final day of AIM2. Back to business. We started off light hearted but quickly we were asked to dig deep – look inside and actually begin to feel vulnerable. I had been warned about this part of aim and I was really trying to stay open to whatever came my way. We listened to a song, a song that I recognized, a piano piece that I had heard many times as a child,  piece that I knew represented sadness/despair/loss. I felt sad but I didn’t go “there,” I was determined to keep it together – but then we were asked to listen to it again but to think of some thing or event that made us sad in our lives, my mind went to my childhood, a few events, then traveled to the loss of my great aunt, then to the loss of Debo (my dog who we out to sleep last year who I had a connection to unlike any other) and finally to the loss of the many patients that have died especially recently and tears began to flow. I allowed myself to sit with those feelings and I was immediately humbled. 
After many exercises similar to this – some fun, some a bit deeper than I’d like (I.e. Uncomfortabel) I walked away feeling like I had learned something about myself. Like I’ve learned how important group fitness can be in a persons life – how this experience continues to change me, my teaching, and ultimately my participants. 
After a fourth and final presentation, we all said our goodbyes, took a group photo, and I headed to the airport! 
Arriving in NY I am excited to see how my teaching grows, how I put the learnings into place, and continue to stay in contact with my new friends! 
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Intermittent fasting: another diet trend?

Recently a fellow fitness professional told me he was toying with the idea of intermittent fasting. He began explaining that it had to do with insulin sensitivity and some of the research was pretty astounding – he said that if done right one can lose fat and gain muscle .. Wait for it… At the same time! Waaaahhhhhhh????!!!!! Really?? So you know this peaked my interest… What is this intermittent fasting and is it just another low carb, low fat, never eat anything good again or anything at all, diet trend? 

Initially, my skepticism brought me to a few articles – one which showed: “A 2014 review done by Longo and Mattson shed light on intermittent fasting’s role in adaptive cellular responses that reduce oxidative damage and inflammation, optimize energy metabolism, and bolster cellular production. The study showed how, in lower eukaryotes, chronic fasting extends longevity, in part, by reprogramming metabolic and stress resistance pathways. In rodents, intermittent fasting was shown to protect against diabetes, cancers, heart disease and neurodegeneration, while in humans it helps reduce obesity, hypertension, asthma, and rheumatoid arthritis.”[1] 

This is pretty interesting, but brought up a lot of questions…. Protects against all of those diseases? Really? Just by prolonged periods of not eating? But then what do you eat when you break your fast? Can I eat whatever I want or do I have to eat boring foods? How will workouts work around not eating? 

And then… Then I came across this amazing graphic:  

 <NOtE: I in no way get any sort of financial reward for posting this photo. I found it on Pinterest and am sharing it for its information and not to sell printable PDFs or posters>

This graphic is a nice visual of the different types of intermittent fasting. So, what do I have to lose? Well, I will say that I’ve read that you need to be careful and pay attention to what you’re eating because you could potentially lose too much weight too fast and then your body will no longer use fat as fuel but you can start to burn your hard earned muscle – so, like everything, intermittent fasting could potentially have negative effects but overall the information out there seems to be pretty convincing. 

So, I decided to do my own little experiment. Now, in a science lab this wouldn’t hold up, because the variables aren’t really constant and there’s only one subject – Me! 

My first day, I stopped eating at 7:30pm, fell asleep around 9pm, woke up at 5, hit the gym at 6 -7, and started eating again at 8:30am. My first fast was 13 hours. The following day I did the exact same thing, and yesterday I did the same again. This morning was the first time I hit the gym and felt freaking awesome! It was a cardio based workout – one of those FOR TIME workouts that I usually come in close to last in, and I was the first one done!  

 (If you can’t read it, it says : Suzanne 17:50) I felt like a million bucks! 

So, I’m not sure how this will go as I’m only on day 3… But the plan is to continue at least 13-14 hours of fasting daily (biggest fasting period is at night at this point.) for a week. Since Saturday is the Palmerton, Pa Spartan Super, I plan to NOT fast on Friday so that I have lots of energy stored for Saturday. If all is still going well after the race, I will begin to stretch the fast longer – and we’ll see how this goes. 

Have you tried intermittent fasting? What are your thoughts/experiences? Do you think this is just another diet craze? 


And for your reading pleasure… Here’s a great article on intermittent fasting from bodybuilding.com: http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/to-eat-or-not-to-eat-your-fast-guide-to-fasting.html
[1] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24440038

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Getting stronger::New ink

I literally learn something new every single day that I go to crossFit. The cardio work is my least favorite but mostly because it needs the most work. I am starting to become a stronger rower, but I still find myself going out too hard to start and tapering off at the end. I do, however, feel like my technique has gotten better which has resulted in better pulls and better overall results. I also seem to have my best rowing work when one of the coaches (specifically Dave) tells me to row harder – something about having someone tell me what to do while I’m forcing out mental negativity — that helps push out those “I’m tired, I can’t” type thoughts. 

I find myself pushing harder than I have ever before – not stopping nearly as much – and being able to go for longer. I’m not sure if this is mostly mental or if it’s because I’m getting stronger in my endurance. Can you increase endurance in only a month? I can’t wait to see where I am in a year!   I can say that since starting crossFit my workouts have been MUCH more consistent – and maybe that’s why I feel like I’m getting stronger. I wake up every morning around 5-5:15am, regardless of the day – and I head to either crossFit or body pump. When I’m done I either practice something like double unders (or attempt to practice them), do some strength work, or run at least a mile. It very likely that as the summer progresses I will be doing more after work – crossfit or pump in the morning, work, and then lifting like I used to. I haven’t don’t a traditional bodybuilding workout since I started going to crossFit – mostly because I don’t have enough time in each day, plus I really need to focus on the cardio and breathing for the Spartans that I have coming up. 

Either way I feel like I’m on my way to becoming a better person both in and out of the gym. I find myself encouraging others much more than I have ever done in the past, and really looking at my abilities as a whole rather than comparing to anyone else. I still have moments where I get unsettled by a comment or someone telling someone else how strong they are… Like hello?! What about me?! But I’m learning that it doesn’t matter what other people think or say, what matters is that I dont give up and I keep trying to be the best version of myself!   

I also haven’t really talked about my eating disorder much lately. I actually think I’ve been doing pretty good – I haven’t had any real bad binge moments – I have had a few times over the last month or two where I’ve eaten either too little or too much but it hasn’t been an all out binge where I’ve considered throwing up. There has been a shift in my mindset since starting crossFit – it’s almost like unconsciously I know there’s a lot of cardio, and I know if I consume a lot of food – more than I need – I will feel heavy and my workout will suffer – whereas if I eat what I need – I will feel good and my workout will be awesome. I had an unintentional low carb day the other day followed by a high carb day — I really didn’t plan it – it just happened to be what was available – and I’ve gotta say – the day where all my carbs came from fruits and veggies rather than bread – I felt like a million bucks. My diet is always a struggle but I feel like I’ve taken a lot of the pressure off by not focusing on how I look, but how I perform. I’ve noticed how I feel during a workout after eating different things and have shifted gears towards the more whole/natural foods – craving and then therefore eating less processed foods. So, overall I feel like I’m in a good place, and headed to an even better place nutritionally.  

 
In other news – I got a new tattoo (thanks to my hubby)! It says ” the road less traveled” which is a paraphrasing of the famous Robert Frost poem: The Road Not Taken. To me, this means that in all that I do – I will not just follow the crowd, I will not let obstacles stop me, I will overcome all that is in front of me and I will take the road less traveled.   

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Update: I’ve turned into one of THOSE people

What an interesting title since I haven’t written in awhile. Sorry, life has been a bit hectic around here – I just seem to never stop working lately! With our focus on building our AdvoCare business and my schedule at my full-time vet tech job, life has been a bit crazy! 

I can’t believe my last blog was about the Spartan! (Don’t worry, I’ll get into what that title is all about shortly 😉) Since the Spartan sprint I have signed up for the Spartan Super in Palmerton, PA on July 11th and the Spartan Beast in Killington, VT on September 19th. I’ve bit the Spartan bug, drank the Spartan kool-aid and I’m hooked! I’ve seen some photos of the Killington mountain and I can’t seem to figure out what in the world I was thinking but, I’m pretty determined to get that trifecta medal! I feel like it will be the ultimate accomplishment – those races are not easy, and it will solidify that I am no longer just some girl who likes to workout, but I’m an athlete… You have to be to complete these races!! 

That brings me to that title of mine… So what type of person have I become?    …. That’s right, this photo is of my very first crossfit competition last Saturday! I’m officially a crossfitter! 

Okay, okay, close your gapping mouth – I know all of the concerns about crossfit : it’s expensive, it’s unsafe, people get really hurt, they are a cult, etc, etc. Don’t get me wrong – I love lifting, I love Body Pump, and I love challenging myself, but I have really been drawn to crossfit as a way to step up my athleticism. After only 3 weeks of crossfit 4-5x a week, I competed in my first competition and came in 8 out of 15… This was after working an overnight and very little sleep and food. I’m sure had I slept I would have been higher on that scoreboard but I’m very proud of myself for coming in 8th in the scaled division (basically this means modified – so the weight is less and the movements are not advanced – i.e. deadlifts instead of snatches).  I’ve also since purchased some pretty sweet gear – new sneakers, strength wraps, and a jump rope! I also got some PVC pipe to stretch and practice the overhead squat and snatch movements.  I’ve gone from being completely unable to do movements like toes to bar (exactly what it sounds like) and pull ups to being able to do a few of each! I’m really feeling strong and challenged! I’d quickly like to address two other points – first – cost. Yes, crossfit is expensive – but so is Starbucks coffee. We drink 5$ cups of coffee for the name and the experience. Many people will go without food to have their coffee in the morning, because it’s worth it so they make it happen. In order to pay for crossfit I had to make some changes in my finances – cut a little here, cut a little there, but I figured it out because it’s important to me. Second – crossfit is only dangerous if you don’t focus on form and do more than you are capable of. A lot of people hurt themselves because they don’t take the time to learn their bodies and what they are able to do. Also, with any gym, you have some coaches (trainers) that may be more experienced than others – you may have a coach that doesn’t really focus so much on safety and doing movements correctly – allowing for mistakes and ultimately people getting hurt. Luckily I have found a box (gym) that has some really awesome coaches, and I know my own bodies capabilities and where I can push it and where I should scale it back.      I guess I can also address the last point I made earlier in this post – and that is that crossfit is a cult. If by cult you mean:  a relatively small group of people having (religious) beliefs or practices regarded by others as strange or sinister…. Then sure, call it a cult. But in reality crossfit is all about culture. The coaches and other members are so motivating – they cheer you on, and everyone really helps each other push harder. I’ve quickly joined a family that I was welcomed into with open arms! 

  

What are you passionate about? Have you ever tried crossfit? What’s something that you have made adjustments in your life (not just financial) just so you can enjoy it? 

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