Tag Archives: fitness

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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Couples Workout!

They say that couples that workout together stay together! We used to workout together all of the time, but in the last few years we have “gone our separate ways” – he, towards body building, me, to crossfit and group fitness. Although we still workout together occasionally, this work out felt like old times!

Yesterday, my husband asked me if we could go to the track because he has been feeling like he really needs to up his cardio. He’s gotten stronger at the gym, lifting weights he once only dreamed of, but it’s become apparent that he gets winded doing simple things and that has got to stop. So we headed to the track!

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1 lap around the track
50 walking lunges (25 each leg)
1 lap around the track
50 air squats
1 lap around the track
20 burpees
1 lap around the track
20 push-ups
1 lap around the track
20 burpees
1 lap around the track
50 air squats
1 lap around the track
50 walking lunges (25 each leg)
1 lap around the track

It was harder than I anticipated but it was really great to work together and help push each other. We were really driving each other to do more and to work harder! After the workout we played around and I did some hand stands – nothing like practicing being upside down after a long workout! Then we stretched and headed home!

It was really nice to be out there together. He seemed genuinely interested in some functional fitness, but did say he’d never make it at crossfit.. who knows, maybe after a few of these track workouts he’ll be more interested in getting stronger in different ways!!

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  • Do you work out with your significant other?
  • What are your favorite workouts to do together?
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Welcome back: CrossFit

That’s right, after three months, and no real financial change, I’ve decided that it doesn’t matter how much money I need to spend, I need to go back to crossFit for both my health and my sanity. 

CrossFit is more than just a gym, or a sport. It’s a community, a hard as F workout with a coach that’s monitoring your movements so that you don’t get hurt and so you get stronger. I love the variation, the camaraderie, and the challenge. I’ve spent the last few months really missing the members and the gym(box) as well as feeling a sense of deep seated anger that my husband didn’t give up his gym membership but I did so that we had some extra money – and nothing really changed in the way of finances, so clearly crossfit wasn’t the reason we had been struggling. 

Anyway.. I digress…

My first week back has been a doozy! 

On Monday the workout was literally 160+ lunges… So. Many. Lunges. And the assault bike which if you’ve ever rode on that thing you know that it would feel better to stick cleavers into your quads (too dramatic?). There were so many lunges on Monday that I still couldn’t walk right on Wednesday, but by Thursday I was able to walk better! 

Thursday I went back in and what was written on the board was a cruel joke .. It had to be… 1 mile run, 2000m row, 1 mile run…. 😑 …. I’m not a huge fan of running, mostly because I am not very good at it. But, I got through the workout and felt better about it at the end. I woke up in quite a crappy mood on Thursday morning so the second mile was hard mentally, it was difficult to get my head in the game and run for more than a few steps at a time. I finished the workout in 32:42 with a time cap of 35 minutes. I had planned to run the miles in around 10 minutes and the row in about 8:30 which didn’t workout but I was only about 4 minutes off. My first mile was 9:40, the row was about 9 minutes, and the rest of the 12 minutes was the mental mile that I barely ran. 

Overall I’m glad to be back, and plan to go tomorrow morning! The Festivus games are coming up in only a month and a half and it’s important I continue to get stronger and eat healthfully so that I can bring in my best for the comp! 

My ankle really hasn’t bothered me much this week which is great, although tonight I can’t say it’s been feeling great. Tomorrow I’m going to start stretching it after my workouts; doing specific stretches to help with mobility so I can squat better and take some pressure off this leg.

If anyone is wondering as a quick update more on this later  : I’m still gluten free and (mostly) paleo and feeling really good! 

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Liver, Sweet Potatoes, and Paleo!

My coworkers think it’s funny and ask me if everything is paleo. “Hey Suz, is this paleo?” “Hey Suz, I’m eating out of a plastic container – totally paleo right?” “We’re having Chinese food tomorrow, is Chinese food paleo?” It’s light hearted and makes me laugh, but it makes me think about how some nutrition strategies can be so foreign to some. Paleo is pretty simple, but it’s going to be a learning process – I’m sure I’ll be eating things that aren’t totally paleo – until I learn the ins and outs. Also, before really making the decision to remove gluten and follow a more paleo style I purchased some meal replacement bars that are low carb but definitely not gluten free or paleo, and a box of quest bars – that are gluten free but probably wouldn’t meet the paleo standards. Being that I don’t have a lot of extra money laying around and I literally can not stand the thought of wasting food, I plan to continue to eat these bars until they are gone, and then look for alternative quick meal bars for work. As a licensed vet tech (vet nurse) I often have to eat on the run, and meal replacement bars become a staple – it’s either that or eating the donuts that were brought by a client.

For more info on paleo click here. There’s a lot of info out there – a simple google search will do, but the website in the link above is pretty comprehensive and also has a link with research. 

For more info on gluten free I really suggest you read the book Wheat Belly by William Davis. It explains why one would consider taking wheat (gluten) out of their diet even if they do not have celiac disease.

Anyway, yesterday I mentioned that I was going to try to make a recipe with liver… Well, I made it, and it’s not bad! I only tasted it warm so I’ve put it in the fridge to cool so I can try it as the dip/pâté it’s meant to be! 


Want the recipe!!?? Check it out at healthfulpursuit.com it was a little bit messy but that’s because I don’t have a big blender! Shout out to my coworker Becca for the mason jar! 

For breakfast I had a beautiful veggie bowl that I concocted myself! I was so proud of myself I didn’t want to eat it it was so pretty! 


It consisted of alfalfa sprouts, kale and spinach sautéed with chopped onions, a half of a sweet potato, 1 egg, and 1 meatball that I got from the super market (it’s grassfed beef that comes in small round balls that I got at the local hannafords). It was so good! I’m really getting the hang of cooking! 

I ate my breakfast or first meal around 12, I wasn’t really hungry and sort of fasted without really intending to. Feels like eating this way will have me slowly and effortlessly easing into intermittent fasting as well. Anyway, I ate one of my bars for “lunch” and a few hours later had a banana and another bar. We were busy and a client brought us brownies so I was glad I had my bars as my emergency snack! 

For dinner I made some sweet potato and kale hash – I got the recipe from Fitfoodfinds.com and kind of just threw things in the hash – I didn’t have a red pepper so I used a green bell pepper, and I had some left over leeks from the liver pâté so I threw those in there! The balsamic really gave it the kick it needed at the end and I added some chicken legs marinated in a chipotle seasoning packet (I made sure it didn’t have sugar – it was a store brand). 


My husband loved dinner so much he had to post a photo on instagram! Ha! 

All in all today was a pretty good day. I actually wasn’t even hungry for dinner. I will say I have to lighten up on the coffee at work, I have small cups but 2-3 is a bit too much. I wasn’t tired today at all, so I’m not sure what that was about but I’m taking it one day at a time and will be better tomorrow! 

Well, that’s it! Gluten free and paleo journey is just beginning and I feel pretty good! I can tell my energy is much better, my inflammation feels less and I feel lighter. I jumped on the scale today even though I didn’t want to just to see where I’m at and I wasn’t exactly happy with the number, but it didn’t upset me or make me want to give up. I feel like my mind has finally shifted, and this is do-able. Plus, I haven’t had a headache all week!! 

Not sure what recipes I have planned for tomorrow but I have some left over sweet potato hash from dinner so I’ll probably add an egg to it for breakfast or maybe some of that beef like this morning! My doc is buying the service Chinese food so I’ll have to see if I can navigate through that! 

I wonder if Chinese food is paleo? 😉

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Happy New Year!

  
All of us here at Pugsandpushups.com would like to wish all of our followers a very happy and healthy New Year! We hope that 2016 brings you all of the things you hope for and that you will continue to work on becoming the best version of you! Thank you for following along our crazy story and look forward to continue to grow this blog! 

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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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Sweets everywhere😓

Today was the first day back to work after 4 days off – so you can imagine that I was less than excited to get back to my routine. Despite cookies and holiday goodies still making their way around the hospital (I work for a very high paced specialty animal hospital that seems to moonlight as a junk food safe house during the holidays) I kept my distance. Here’s how the day looked:

Breakfast (around 8am): 1/2 grapefruit with 1 packet stevia in the raw, 1/2 cup egg whites and 1/2 cup shaved Brussels sprouts with a squirt of ketchup on top

Snack (around 11): 1/2 grapefruit  with 1 packet of stevia in the raw and the rest of the quinoa salad from yesterday which was probably about 1/2 cup.

Lunch (1:45pm): leftover chicken from last nights chicken stuffed peppers wrapped in lettuce wraps – probably had about 6 or 7 smal wraps

Snack(5pm): a handful of shrimp and a cup of green beans with a little butter melted on top  

 probably the most boring snack but I really like shrimp so – boring is where it’s at!

After eating this snack I tasted a small piece of a brownie that had been staring at me all day – I was happy with the small piece and didn’t go back for more.

Dinner(8:15pm): I didn’t feel like cooking so I headed to whole foods and got some ginger carrot bisque (soup) and vegan stew. I was also really craving peanut butter so I found these 5 ingredient organic chocolate peanuts butter Minis –  

 I had no idea organic chocolate that literally has 5 ingredients could be this good! Have you tried these!?  Not too shabby! 

In other news I sent out 4 clothing items that I sold from Facebook today! Who knew! Probably everyone, but I thought it was kind of cool that I could sell cloths that are just sitting in my closet! When I was there I asked the cashier for holiday stamps – they are to send my Christmas cards – and this is what he gave me  

 Lol! So my belated Christmas cards will have Hanukkah stamps! Oh well! Haha
Overall I felt good today. I definitely felt deprived around that second snack – I didn’t want shrimp and green beans, I wanted to eat the whole brownie, but I was proud of myself for choosing the green beans and shrimp while only having a small piece of the brownie… I’m sure in time this will get easier. Woke up with a little headache – I wonder if that will subside once my body is used to eating whole foods most of the time. 

What treats do you allow yourself?

Do you find it hard to say no when there’s treats everywhere? What is your fail safe plan?

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Food journal: the beginning

I mentioned this morning that I was starting a new plan. The plan consists of eating mostly vegetables and lean protein. I’m not counting calories or macros because in my experience doing these things tends to exacerbate my binge eating disorder. So, without further ado – here’s what I’ve eaten today. 

Woke up: around 7-7:30am

Breakfast (around 8:30am) : 1/2 cup egg whites, 1/4 cup shaved Brussels sprouts, squirt of ketchup, 1/2 grapefruit with 1 packet of stevia in the raw 

Taught Body Pump 10am-11am

Post workout Snack (11:30am): venti cafe americano 1/2 grapefruit with 1 packet of stevia in the raw, 1 cup quinoa salad with cranberries and cashews

Lunch (3:30pm): shrimp, eggs, salsa, and shaved Brussels sprouts mixed together in salad boats and two organic carrot sticks  

 

Dinner (7:20pm): 1 yellow pepper stuffed with shredded chicken, onions, green peppers, and black beans, topped with shredded taco cheese and 2tsp guacamole

 

  1. Snack (9pm): 1 med banana with 1tbsp nut butter 

Thoughts:

As I round out my day, I reflect on what I’ve eaten today and how I’ve felt. I feel like I could add more veggies to my meals – but I wasn’t really hungry. My main carb sources were eaten before and after my workout and I felt good throughout. I didn’t feel overly hungry or feel the need to search for food. My only real craving was for the banana but mostly because I’ve walked past them all day. I stayed pretty busy most of the day despite being home. I sold some clothes online and washed dishes. I also spent some extra time playing with the pups and laughing at Louie (my cat) who decided it would be fun to fall asleep in my laundry basket  

 Silly boy.
It’s been an overall good day with no real thoughts of binging. My focus has shifted from needing something to work towards – some event, competition, race, etc – to wanting to lose some extra weight to be happy with my own body and be healthy. I feel this will both be good for myself but also for my clients – to see that I’ve struggled but have managed to focus on myself and heal myself before putting any extra or excess stress on my system by doing anything drastic to lose weight for some other reason other than health!

Do you struggle with finding a balance between weight loss for health and weight loss for some idea body image?

What is your favorite healthy recipe?

What is your favorite vegetable?

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Spending the day with my pups & new diet plans

Today has been a pretty standard day – woke up, walked the dogs, watered the Christmas tree 🎄, and ate breakfast. Breakfast wasn’t too standard though … I’m trying someone “new”!!

 

Breakfast today was 1/2 cup egg whites, 1/4 cup shaved Brussels sprouts, 2tbsp shredded taco cheese, 1/2 grapefruit, and a packet of stevia in the raw. This “new” plan I’m trying seems so obvious – focusing on eating mostly plant based foods, some lean protein, and limiting high carbohydrate processed foods – but as someone who has been trying to recover from binge eating disorder it’s taken a lot for me to get to basics rather than trying to yo yo my way  back to a healthy weight. 

As I mentioned, the basic principle to this plan – which is “the skinny” but I won’t call it that because of the implication of that word – is to eat whatever you want, BUT you must have a serving or two of vegetables before. The idea is that you fill up on veggies, then lean protein and by the time you get to the carbs you may take a bite or two but you’re too full to finish. As you can imagine this is a bit more complicated than that and that’s why there’s a book about it – but I guess the point here is that I tend to make nutrition so much more complicated than it has to be.  

 
The book describes different options and gives a very clear discription of how to eat  – and surprisingly it is a lot of volume. What really got me what just that – the volume! I’m what you’d call a volume eater – I’ve never done well with diets or nutrition plans that are super restrictive. What has drawn me to this book is the simplicity – and the statement that you can literally eat as many vegetables as you want – fill up on veggies, then lean protein – snack on veggies all day – you can never eat enough veggies. 

Now, the drawback for me is that I am not a huge fan of veggies, but I’m open to learning how to cook with different vegetables and maybe I can learn to like something other than green beans and Brussels sprouts! 

As you can imagine the plan is pretty low-carb for the first phase – but if you ask me, I feel that if you listen to your body you can play around with the carbs. What I like about it is there’s no need to count – eat as many veggies as you’d like – you can probably eat an entire cup or two of veggies and be full and only accumulate 30-50 calories where the same cup or two of cake would be 300-500 calories (or more) and you’d be hungry right away.

As I get further into eating more veggies I’ll try and post some recipes, if you have a favorite recipe please share below!! 

On another note I’ve made it a priority to spend time with the fur kids  …

 
Played tug of war with charlie and even got Louie to play a bit with the laser pointer (Louie doesn’t usually play with me much).

 
Miley has never been a big fan of playing with others, so she’s just been hanging out by my side as I’ve enjoyed some play time with the boys.  

 

The rest of today is pretty much going to be full of relaxing and enjoying my last day off before the week starts – it’s really freeing to know I can begin a healthier eating style without a whole lot of stress – recovery isn’t easy but it’s much easier when there’s less emphasis on what you can and can’t have and more emphasis on eating more healthfully!


What are your plans to get back on track after the holidays? Why wait?

What are your favorite vegetables? Share your recipes!

 Do you struggle with an eating disorder? Have you had trouble staying true to a healthful diet plan due to your history? My dogs help keep me calm – what do you do to take the pressure off of yourself?

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I’ve decided not to compete

Over the summer I wrote about my road to recovery with my ankle fracture, but the reality is that I haven’t given it much time to recover. I probably took a week off after my injury, and then went back to training – pretty much back to normal. I spent about a month in the last 6 months with little to no pain in my ankle but over the last 6 weeks (coinciding with my powerlifting training) my ankle has gotten to the point of pain where now both my knee and hip are giving me issues during simple movements. I’ve also found it harder to warm up enough to get to a point of no pain and I feel that I’m compensating and using my right leg more to lift up for most squat lifts. 

The problem with all of this is that if I continue this way one of two things will happen – I will either get injured to the point that I can’t do anything, or I will inevitably cause enough damage that I won’t ever be able to reach my potential. 

So, with my teeth clenched, and my heart heavy, I have decided not to compete in what was to be my first powerlifting meet in January. 

This in no way means my dreams of competition are over – but just on hold for a bit.

Anyone who knows me, knows that I’m competitive and always trying to do more – but this time I need to be realistic and take note that there will be more powerlifting meet opportunities and more opportunities to master a craft such as powerlifting. I feel that if I give my ankle more time to actually heal (I’m going back to the doctor for a second opinion and will actually ask for an MRI this time) and do a bit more research to get a plan and coach that will help me reach a potential rather than trying to be a know it all and figuring it out on my own …. I will be more successful in the future.

Have you ever had to put a dream on hold due to injury? How did you cope with your decision to step away? 


Thanks for stopping by and all of your support! ❤️

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