If not for the skinny jeans…

Posts Tagged ‘health

If you’re anything like me, you’re overwhelmed with all the news for various foods and the benefits and risks of consuming.  Eat this, drink that, lose weight, improve your heart, reduce your chances for disease….

I’ve got extremist friends on either side of the nutritional realms.  I’ve got some that say they’re going to enjoy life and eat and drink whatever they want, however much they want.  Then the others that have researched every single food out there and refuse to eat anything that has been touched by man (except to be picked out of the ground).  The majority of my friends though are like me… somewhere in the middle.  I do tend (and try) to lean closer to my more “holistic” friends, but I’ll still eat fast food, drink beer, and have cake at a birthday party.

That being said, I do get irritated when people question what I am, or not, eating.  I know what works for me.  I know what makes me feel yucky (dairy) and I know what things my belly can handle.  I know whether or not what I’m eating will help or hinder my health goals.  My choices.  My life.  I don’t want to research all the bad stuff.  If it were THAT bad it wouldn’t be on the market.  Are there better options?  Pretty positive there are, but I’ve made it this far so I’ll be okay.

I’m glad I’ve had a bit of a break.  I’ve been fortunate enough to meet a couple of fitness competitors, and know, with unwavering certainty, that is NOT for me.  I do have a body fat goal I’d like to meet, but it’s well outside of competition standards.  Watching my macros as meticulously as they need to… well that’s just a pain in the ass to be honest.  I’m not tracking my foods.  I am trying to keep things whole, with a bit of processed in there for convenience.  I do get a sense of satisfaction creating a meal that is wholesome that I made from scratch.

I am fortunate that I do not have any real dietary restrictions.  I can eat gluten and dairy.  I don’t have any food allergies.  My nutrition is for my overall health.  And I know what works for me.

–Have you added or cut anything from your daily diet in attempts to increase your nutritional health?

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Hello out there!!  Sorry it’s been a while!  I’ve been using the past two weeks to move half way across the county, move into my new house, and show my cousins around the wonderful city of San Antonio!

In order to spare you some reading, I’ll just kinda bullet the things worth mentioning…

  • Since getting here, I’ve noticed a significant loss of “poofiness” in the lower belly area.  I attribute it to the lack of sweets and snacky foods at my house.
  • I haven’t been to the gym since the day before I moved and it’s driving me crazy!  I’m pretty sure I’ve found my next gym, but I won’t be able to start up with them until school starts because of day care issues.  I’ve already asked Nick for some ideas and I’m pretty sure I can use this time to find out if I love the stuff on Blogilates as much as I think I will.
  • I have pulled myself from the marathon in November.  Two reasons for this: (1) I don’t have the child care resources to get in the runs I need to train appropriately and (2) I don’t have the drive I once did to complete it.  I will still be running, and once I have the child care, my mileage is going to go up considerably, but I know I won’t be marathon ready.  It was a hard decision for me, but I know it’s best to hold off this year, and then kill it next year (hopefully).
  • Going grocery shopping in considerably easier to do when you have nothing to start with!  I can really set my nutritional goals and so far, it’s been working.  We’ve eaten out a few times, but not nearly as much as I could be lol
  • I am absolutely in love with my house!
  • My sleep schedule is all jacked up and has been causing issues for me during the latter half of the day (like concentration, focus, mood changes) so it’s something I’m working on.  I do think part of the problem though is that I haven’t been getting out the extra energy that my body had gotten used to producing for my trainings with Nick.

I think that covers the big things so far.  Leave your questions/comments below!  I know some of this is kinda vague, so just ask whatever’s on your mind, or just share some love!

–Being fit isn’t a goal, it’s a lifestyle.

That’s right.  I’ve set yet another goal for myself!

I gotta have something to work towards otherwise I let it all fall by the wayside…

So, what is this new goal you ask?  It’s a physical ability goal.

I WANT TO DO HANDSTANDS!!  At minimum, I want to do a bonded headstand.  I was looking up the benefits of doing hand/head stands and it’s amazing.  It’s not just for strength.  If I had a wee bit more timed, I’d list them all, but for now I just though I’d let all of you wonderful folks know what’s keeping this mind of mine going!

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(I have never ever ever done anything inverted so I’m doing baby steps.  I’ve never even done a cartwheel!!  This is where I’m at now…  I hold this for about 45 secs, and while I’m doing it a lift my elbows off my knees, steady, bring them back down.  This way I engage and strengthen my core.)

I had to take a week off!  From what?  Well, apparently everything!  I ate what I wanted.  I didn’t track any of it.  I cried from the loneliness.  I laughed with my kids.  I worked my butt off at the gym.  I sat on my butt at home.  I did whatever I felt like.  I didn’t blog any of it.  I didn’t crochet.  I did whatever the mood told me to do.  I stayed up until after midnight numerous nights.  When I was tired, I slept.  It was just a week off.

Link is gone, again.  Playing in the sandbox, so I’m back to missing him horribly.  I had a baby maker scare right as he was leaving, but yay, no buns in this oven!  (note – we do want more, just not yet…  The littlest one is only 14 months old!!)  I was literally finding every excuse in the book to justify what it was I was doing, be it for my own improvement, or more likely, when it wasn’t.

But the scare is over.  My training has picked up again.  Nick wants all my workouts to be super-secret spy stuff so we can shock the world with my massive improvements.  LOL  Not really, but we are keeping the workouts under wraps for the time being.  Just know, he’s quite literally working my booty off and up!  Even with this past week being crap as far as my diet was concerned, I am still really excited to take and post my progress pictures.  I think I’m supposed to do them again next weekend.  Since I don’t like the actual action of taking the pictures, I’m only doing them monthly.

I thought I would show a quick little progress picture.  My family took some pictures last July 2012 and we just took some more while Link was here.  I’m quite happy with how everyone has improved. 🙂Image       July 2012

Image      May 2013

New Book

Posted on: May 7, 2013

very rarely buy books at full price anymore thanks to wonderful stores like Half Price Books and trusty Amazon.  Today, on a whim, Link and I decided to head over to Books-A-Million to peruse their overpriced selections.  We both have a kindle reader of some sort or another (I have a paperwhite and he has an iPad), but some times it’s just nice to hold a physical book.

My meandering lead me over to the cook books and fitness/health sections (surprise surprise).  I found this book.

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I figured with everything I’ve been going through, some motivational stories might do me some good.  I’m planning to read a few tonight.  I’ll give you guys a little review once I’m done 🙂

I have been taking before and after shots since I started working with Nick.  Just recently I had a meltdown because I wasn’t seeing/feeling any different.  I knew I was getting stronger, but I didn’t feel like I was getting any leaner.  I was frustrated and complaining to both Link and Nick about it.  Frustrated doesn’t even really come close to how I felt to be honest.

I am all for getting stronger.  I have been promoting the benefits of lifting for some time now.  I love the benefits I’ve been reaping thanks to lifting.  I apparently still need some help to get over my mental road blocks.  I still find myself turning to food to help deal with stress.  I still see myself as “chubby” and I am very critical of myself.

Here are my original before and afters:

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It took Tom pointing out the difference because I honestly could not see them.  I see them now and feel crazy for not having seen it before.  No, they’re not drastic, but they don’t need to be!  It’s progress and that’s what I need to be concerned with!

I showed them to Nick as well.  He made a valid point… I need to get out of the shorts!  How am I going to see the progress in my legs if I’ve covered them up?  I have always had major insecurities with the “thickness” of my legs and booty, which is why I put the shorts on.  So, I’ve got new before pictures.  In a triangle bikini no less.  I took them last night and it was like some weird form of torture.  I like being on the seeing side of the camera, not the seen.  I cannot thank Link enough for helping me with them.  I felt awkward and exposed.  Not the best feeling in the world, let me tell you.

But, after looking at them, I can see even without pictures to compare them to, I know I’ve made progress.  Of course there are things I don’t like.  I’m trying really hard to not focus on those parts.  In order to keep with the whole honesty idea of this blog, I’m sharing these pictures with you.  And I may or may not be planning to compete in an ACTUAL fitness competition come September which is where the poses are coming from.

oh, and um, don’t mind my crazy, it’s way past my bedtime hair 😉

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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?

First and foremost: LINK IS HOME!!! His two week “vacation” started this morning, so I was crazy getting the house and kids ready, which is more or less the reason I haven’t posted much in the past week (ish).

Now, onto blog business. A quick update with my “no scale” challenge. It’s been hard. Honestly. I hate not knowing how much I weigh. At one point, a couple of weeks ago, Nick wanted to get my stats, so I found out then what my weight was, and seriously, it was like getting taking a huge breath after you’ve been underwater to that point just before you know you might want to consider coming up for air. I haven’t looked since though. I’m starting to feel the “itch” though. LOL May 4th is the day my scale comes back out. One more week.

On Friday Nick decided it was a good day to work my entire back half. Wow. Lots of dead lifts. Lots and lots of dead lifts. I was actually able to do 185 pounds, whereas last week I could only do 165 pounds. 20 pound difference in a week? I’ll take it! I try to tell myself those are the numbers that matter, even if it doesn’t sink in every time.

We also did some ab work on the TRX. It’s a great training area/device/contraption/torture device if you can find the right form. Some of the exercises are a bit hard to find the right form, at least for me they are, but I think that’s what I’m going to start working on because I really do like how it works.

I’ve included a couple of pictures that Nick took while I was working with cables and while on the TRX.

—Take care of your body, it’s the only one you have!

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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!


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