If not for the skinny jeans…

Archive for the ‘articles and clippings’ Category

Those who know me personally know I am a Pintrest freak!!  So, for some quick enjoyment, here are some of my favorite pins from my fit board!

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This is one of the best “extras” anyone could (and should) have in their fitness arsenals.  It’s cheap and effective!

What is a foam roller you ask.  In a nutshell it’s a big tube with different materials wrapped around it depending on how resistant you want it to be.  There are foam rollers, which are the softest, going up to using just a piece of PVC pipe, giving you the deepest release.  My personal foam roller is this one.  I honestly love it and use it at least once a day, every day.

Using a foam roller acts almost like trigger point massage and myofascial release all in one, and without the high price tag.  It is also used post training sessions to help lengthen and stretch your muscles, as well as helping to rid the muscles of lactic acid buildup, allowing you to perform better at your next training session.

I absolutely love this thing!  I use it for my IT Band, my shins, my calves, my inner thighs, my back, my shoulders… want me to keep going?  Seriously though, it works miracles.  Sometimes it may not hit the knots between my shoulder blades just right, so I’ll switch to its tinier cousin, the tennis ball 🙂

If you’re curious to know of a couple different ways to use a foam roller, just read on and make sure to click the links!  Before I leave you to your videos though, I do want to point something out.  If you have never had trigger point therapy done, it can be rather uncomfortable.  The reason being is that you’re breaking up knots that have been building up.  Nick jokes that the more it “hurts” the more I need it!  This should go without saying, but I’ll say it to be safe.


There is a big difference between being uncomfortable and hurting!  Learn it!  Once you’re foam rolling, you’ll find those knots and if it hurts, you need to back up the amount of pressure you’re applying, which more times than not, can be done simply by a slight shift in your body position.

IT Band –

Hamstrings –

Shins –

Glutes –

Quads –

Lower Back –

Upper Back –

Lats –

This list could seriously go on and on!  I’m hoping I’ve intrigued you enough that maybe you’ll do yourself the favor and consider it an investment in injury prevention and go pick one up!  Just google or bing it to your hearts desire and you’ll find a ton more exercises to help numerous muscle groups!

Have a great night everyone!!  I hope you all love foam rolling as much as I do!!

One of the bloggers I follow had this great entry about the difference 10 minutes can make!  I high suggest you read it!!

10 Minutes.

I have been going back and forth recently trying to decide if I want my body fat calculated. The bigger part (giggling here) sounds off with a loud resounding YES! I need to know where I’m starting from in order to get where I’m going.

Then there is the other part. The part that is scared of the truth. I have no idea how knowing my body fat will affect me emotionally and that scares me.

I have found numerous ways to calculate your body fat. Each system has its own degree of error. Here are some of the tests I have found:

(1) Body Mass Index – otherwise known as BMI.  This is the LEAST accurate assessment of a person’s body fat.  It is simply a height to weight ratio that gives a general idea of your health.  It does not take into account a person’s lean muscle versus body fat.  My BMI is 26.8 (overweight).  You can find your BMI here.

(2) Weight Scales – There are numerous scales available now that can quickly give you your body fat.  Some are fancier than others.  The inaccuracies with this one come with consistency.  You should always weigh yourself at the same time of the day, as well as similar clothing (or lack thereof).  With that being said, when using a scale that can analyze an individual’s body fat, how hydrated the person is can alter the results.  I have the Weight Watchers scale and according to this scale, my body fat is 32.2%.

(3) Circumference measurements – These are the body measurements you take with a measuring tape.  The do have the capability to be inaccurate if the “tester” (normally yourself) does not consistently measure in the same place every time.  To get the best readings, a tester needs to take the same measurement three times and get the average of the three measurements.  I found this online calculator if you’re interested in this technique.  My body fat according to this technique was 24.2%.

(4) Skin Fold/Calipers – This method uses a device to physically measure the thickness of your skin folds are specified locations.  There are one-site tests all the way up to nine-site tests (that I have found).  Like the tape measuring, using a different tester or if the tester doesn’t consistently use the same place, the results can be inaccurate.  I recently bought a caliper and doing a three-site test (with Link’s help), my body fat was 25%.  If you have a caliper at home and are curious to find out what those numbers mean and how to get the measurements, you can read about it here, calculator included.

(5) Bod Pod – This is the one I knew the least about when I started looking around.  I knew about hydrostatic testing (which is the next bullet down) and the Bod Pod is similar to that… at least in theory.  The big difference?  One is done in water, the other one is not.  The Bod Pod is a capsule of sorts you sit in and once the capsule is sealed it takes numerous measurements and prints out a pretty little reading of you body’s make up.  It claims to be as effective at the hydrostatic testing.  I don’t personally believe it.  On two separate occasions I found the readings to be way off on two different women.  You can read their posts here and here.  I think I would still like to have it done simply as a “just to know” situation.

(6) Hydrostatic Testing – This is the gold standard for body fat testing.  You are submerged underwater and the readings are analyzed.  I know that’s a really simple explanation of the process, but sometimes it’s just better to leave things simple.  As soon as I can find a location that can do this without breaking the bank, I will be doing this!

Regardless of how I chose to ultimately track my body fat going down, I just have to keep in mind that consistency is key.  As long as the numbers are going down, they are at least giving some indication that I, and you, are on the right path!  If you’d like more information or have any questions about any of these, just post your questions!  I’m really intrigued by this particular topic and would love your feedback!  What’s your preferred choice?

what’s your best quality?

How do you answer this?  I always feel vain and/or arrogant answering questions like this.

A friend of mine posted in her great blog talking about the same thing.  (Feel free to give her posts a read here and here.)  It was the combination of these two posts that got my gears moving.

Not only do we think more of the negative aspects of ourselves, but also, when we do finally acknowledge the good about ourselves, we keep it to ourselves in an attempt to seem humble.  Ugh!  It’s all a little frustrating if you ask me.

This YouTube video is beautifully done:


So to deal with this the best way I can, here I go:

My personal description: 5’4″, 155 pounds.  I consider myself overweight still.  I think my ears are too big so I always like to keep them covered up.  I think my breasts are too small in proportion to my hips.  I think legs are always going to big, whether it be through muscle or fat.  I hate the toes on my right foot because my middle toe is the same length as my second toe.  I am paranoid that people stare at my skin because I have eczema and KP and halo nevi moles all over my body.  I can’t help but stare and wonder how my hands got to looking so old.  While I don’t “regret” the stretch marks from my pregnancies, I hate how it has made my stomach look.  Most of this is all minor stuff that no one really notices or cares about.

Now onto the things that I’m proud of: I love my hair.  I love my freckles.  I like having high cheek bones and defined eyes.  I like that my eyes are an amber brown.  I like my neck.  I like having small palms and long fingers.  I like that I have an athlete’s body hiding underneath my years of bad dietary decisions.  I love that once I get past the initial shock of a new activity, I tend to pick it up quickly.

Why was it so much easier to write the top list?

Just goes to prove that become a “better” you need to work on the inside just as much as the out.

verb: 1. To surge over and submerge; engulf      2. To affect deeply in mind or emotion      3. To present with an excessive amount      4. To turn over; upset

Yesterday I was reading this article and one word just stuck out like a sore effin thumb.  Overwhelmed.  I continued to read the article and for the life of me, I just couldn’t get that word out of my head.

I thought the article was great, as is most of the articles I read from that site, but I knew a nerve had been struck.  I am not the kind of person who asks for help.  I try my damnedest to do things on my own.  Independence is a big deal for me.  Then, to admit that maybe, just maybe, I bit off more than I could chew, yeaaaa, that never happens.  I just suck it up, stress the crap out, and move on while doing whatever it was I set out to do.

So in the short of it, yes, I am overwhelmed.  I’m dealing with Link’s deployment.  I’m dealing with trying to maintain a happy and healthy relationship with my two girls.  I’m dealing with a baby who has been teething for 9 months.  I’m dealing with living in my parents’ home and trying not disturb their lifestyle too much.  I’m dealing with losing weight.  I’m dealing with becoming healthy.  I’m dealing with starting school in the fall to finish my bachelor’s.  I’m dealing with the fact that the next year is going to fly by with a move, a redeployment, school, and holidays all following each other in close succession.

But… I am dealing.  I am managing.  I am frustrated.  I am happy.  I am tired.  I am strong.  I am ready for a break LOL

I am trying to focus on the small things again.  Getting a workout in, however small, at least 4 days a week.  Keeping the processed food away from me.  Accept my mistakes and learn from them.  There isn’t much I can do in reference to my school until June so that one I just have to let go until then.  Link’s R&R is next week, so that will help tremendously!!

One day at a time…

I’m sure y’all have figured out that I really like lifting weights now. Well, while Link is off in LaLa land, he and his buddies created a weightlifting challenge of sorts. They have a reward system but I honestly can’t remember how it’s set up. The events are dead lift, squat and bench press.  To get the lowest reward, their combined weight has to reach 500 pounds, the second reward is 800 pounds, and the top reward is for a combine weight of 1000 pounds.  Crazy right?!  I asked him what the standards were for women since there are women over there too (I’m all about EO)!  He said he thinks the numbers are 300, 400 and 600 pounds.

I don’t have any idea what possessed me to tell Nick about this challenge but I did.  The immediate effect I had after seeing his reaction was “uh oh!”  Of course we wanted me to do it!  I was thinking okay, I know I can get the 300 pound mark, but the others are way too far off… at least for now.  Nick, being the awesome trainer that he is, said we’re gonna skip right over that 300 mark, and shoot straight for 400.  I told him he was crazy!  I started thinking either he’s seriously overestimating my ability, or I’m seriously underestimating them.  We planned to go through it this past Friday.  Well, between the squat and the deadlift, I was 325.  So maybe I was underestimating myself a bit…  The bench press proved to be really hard for me though.

during the warm up... 45's on each side

during the warm up… 45’s on each side

There is apparently a proper way to do a bench press that quite literally engages all your muscles, not just your chest.  It was a very awkward feeling, and he thinks that is the reason I didn’t lift more.  I lifted 65 pounds.  Here is an article that explains “proper” form.

I was really surprised at my weights!  And we didn’t do the math until after we were done to figure out exactly where I was.  Also, the chest press wasn’t my max because I was able to do six reps, as well as the squat, which I did three of.  After he did his max calculations, he said that it would technically be 407 pounds.  So, I actually lifted 390 pounds but maxed out at 407 pounds!  I’ll take it!  These are the measurements that really matter.  Not just how much I weigh!  There are so many other indicators to put my focus on to measure my health and fitness.

Nick warned me I’d be sore.  He didn’t lie.  Today I had a long run planned but once I woke up this morning I realized very quickly there would be no running.  Today was definitely taken as a rest day!  I will get my run in tomorrow morning!

The diagnosis is in.  Laryngitis AND bronchitis.  Talk about sucking!  This is a horrible combination of yuck.  I started feeling kinda crappy on Friday but just assumed it was allergies, like I get every spring.  Saturday was my night out for my birthday (last Thursday) so I ignored the fever and nasty scratchiness in my throat, took some meds, and went out.  Not my best decision.  I was ready to call it a night by midnight and I think everyone in the group could tell because we weren’t out that much later.  The next day (Sunday) I had lost my voice, but I was feeling slightly better thanks to a friend getting me some meds before we all went our separate directions the night before.  But Sunday night, I had absolutely no voice and trying to swallow was so painful.  I very rarely go to the doctor for “illnesses” because for the most part it’s just a virus that’s going to have to go its course before it leaves my system.  I was 90% sure I had laryngitis, so I knew I needed some antibiotics.  I get up Monday morning, and it is so much worse.  I couldn’t talk.  I couldn’t swallow.  Hell, even breathing was hurting.  I get to the doctor’s and he informs me that not only do I obviously have laryngitis, but I’ve also got bronchitis.

Yay for me… ugh.

I had to take my girls to their own doctor appointment to confirm that they both have pink eye and really hope they weren’t coming down with what I’ve got.  Luckily, it’s just pink eye for them.  So we’re just a bunch of sickies over here.  I’m glad I’m the worst of the three of us because being sick AND having super whiny, clingy kiddos is not my idea of a good time.

I haven’t been to the gym since Wednesday, and I am not going until my throat stops burning with every swallow/breath.  It’ll push me back a little, but sometimes you take two steps forward and one step back, but it doesn’t mean you can’t keep going forward after that.  Although I have eaten some I’m-sick-I’m-going-to-eat-fatty-cakes yumminess, twice, I know that while I’m not going to the gym I need to seriously watch what I’m putting into my body.  I’ve hit a plateau that hasn’t moved much about six weeks now.  I’ll talk more about my struggles with this plateau on another entry.   🙂  Right now, I need to focus on getting plenty of fluids in me and getting my rest so I can be 100% when it comes back to gym time!

Here’s hoping you all stay healthy and feeling well!

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