If not for the skinny jeans…

Posts Tagged ‘strength

Well, I’m coming up on being on phentermine for a week now. I’ve lost about 7 pounds. That’s honestly a little too quick for me, so I’m going to start taking a half dose everyday. It has seriously curbed my appetite, which is good and bad. I don’t snack at all anymore, which is good. But I also have next to no appetite so I’m not eating enough at each meal either. That latter reason is more of the reason I’m going to drop the dosage to half.

I still haven’t made it into a gym and to be completely honest I doubt I will go to the gym before school starts. On a plus side though, UTSA has a great weight room!!! I’m looking forward to getting back in there! I have set up a little fitness area in my bedroom that include a yoga mat, resistance bands, two different size stability balls, a Pilates circle, two jump ropes, numerous DVDs, and my foam roller. I’ve been getting some sort of workout in a few days a week, but nothing like I was before. I can already see and feel a difference in my body from not lifting, and it sucks. At this point though, something is better than nothing, and since I can’t really attack my workouts like I want to, I’ve put a lot of focus on my nutrition and making sure I’m eating as clean as I can.

In other news:
1. A coral snake decided to join my daughters and I yesterday morning while we were enjoying the morning outside. For those of you who don’t know what a coral snake is, it’s venomous. It’s often mistaken for the king snake because they are patterned similarly. Red, yellow and black rings. Thank god I remembered the old rhyme! “If red touches yellow, you’re a dead fellow. If red touches black, it’s a friend of jack.” Animal control wasn’t able to get it out of its hiding spot, so I’m still in no rush to go in our backyard.
2. The goob is all signed up for kindergarten. Where have the last almost SIX YEARS gone?!
3. Link will be coming home soon. Not super soon, but the countdown has started!

I don’t get to post many of these because, well, I’m the one working out!  Nick was nice enough to get these for me.  I did have a slight injury to my left groin area after working out on Saturday.  It was bad enough I had to cut the training short, but it’s doing much better now.  At my training I made sure to tell Nick if it was being bothered or not and we adjusted the exercise as necessary.

He’s got me doing all sorts of exercises, but the pictured ones below are just a straight leg dead lift and lunges.  The step is there because I can  go further than my toes and deeper in my lunges thanks to my flexibility.  And thanks to my flexibility and Nick knowing how flexible I am, he makes me get the FULL range of motion when working out.  I hear “go deeper” or “further down” almost every time I train with him.  (Keep your dirty thoughts to yourself!!)

In any case, here are the pictures as promised!

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Wanna know what else is cool??  Or at least I think it is…

See the bulge in the middle of my hamstring?  That is apparently the “bicep femoris.”  Bicep makes you think of your arm right?  Two and two together…  That muscle basically reacts like your arm bicep!  And you can see mine now!!  Yay.

And just for reference:

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I was going through some of my old weight watchers goodies and I realized something.  I have been working on improving myself has hit it’s one year anniversary.

Yes, I have been dealing with my weight for a number years now, but I’ve got actual documentation from weight watchers.  When I joined weight watchers it was May 12, 2012 and I weighed 188.8 pounds.  I was roughly 6 weeks post-partum and miserably tired.

I am 155 pounds (give or take depending on the day LOL) and I’m happy.  Honestly happy.  There was a time that I was so frustrated with my scale that I was honestly depressed I “couldn’t” lose weight anymore.  I am at my body’s comfort zone right now.  And I’m okay with that.  I am in a size 6 (I just found that out yesterday!!) and I’m the smallest and strongest I’ve ever been.  I’m toned.  I have confidence in myself.  So much so that I’ve signed up for a marathon of all things!!

I don’t count my points anymore, but I do watch my caloric intake, as well as watching my macro nutrients.  I drink anywhere between a half and whole gallon of water a day, and if I don’t, I’ve got a headache the whole next day.  My diet is roughly 70% clean and that works for me and my family.

In order to celebrate this “anniversary” here are some things I’ve learned along the way:

  • You can’t out-exercise a bad diet
  • Sometimes you need to give yourself a break, indulge and get back on the wagon
  • Food intake has been the absolute hardest part of changing my lifestyle
  • Forgive yourself, you are not perfect
  • Drink water.  Drink when you’re thirsty.  Drink when you’re hungry.  Drink when you THINK your hungry.  Just drink!
  • You will have set backs.  You will over indulge and love every single taste.  You’ll feel like crap shortly after.  You will be fine and you just need to put that in the memory bank for the next time you want to eat the whole batch of delicious cupcakes you make for you daughter’s birthday 😉
  • Lift weights and lift heavy!
  • push your limits
  • find yourself emotionally, physically and spiritually.  it makes a difference
  • You can’t plan out every single day and expect it to actually work every single day.  work with the challenges.  they make you stronger
  • a little retail therapy when you’ve lost your motivation can go a long way
  • planning = success
  • TAKE EVERY SINGLE COMPLIMENT YOU ARE GIVEN.  (and don’t be so stingy with them either)
  • You are more important than what the scale reads.  You will plateau on the scale but not in reality.
  • Take progress pictures!!

Okay I should probably stop.  Yes, I’ve learned a lot.  Some of them are more at the front of my brain than others, but they are in there regardless.

If you are on your own journey, I wish you all the best!

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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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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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!

What inspires you?  What makes you wake up in the morning?  What puts a smile on your face before you go to bed?  What calms you when you’re angry, lifts you when you’re sad?

The events at the Boston Marathon are another memorable event in our nation’s history.  These men and women strive so hard to qualify for one of, if not THE most prestigious marathon in our nation.  How are they repaid?  Two explosives detonated at the finish line.  This 100 year old tradition has been ruined and now, how many people will forego this particular even out of fear?

I will be running my first ever marathon in November.  I want my health to be at it’s peak of performance.  I need to pull inspiration from somewhere in order to find the focus needed in order to complete a task of this magnitude.  Running 26.2 miles is nothing to scoff at.  My inspiration, from here on out, for every run I go on, will be those runner in today’s marathon.  They are owed it.  Running is their sport and fear is quickly trying to take over.  I won’t let fear stop me.

I haven’t officially signed the paperwork to do the marathon, but immediately upon pressing “publish” I will be heading over to the site and “signing” my name on the dotted line.  I will run a marathon, and I will not let this event stop me.  I will pull strength from watching the news and keeping tabs on some of the runners that had to endure today’s terror acts.  

My thoughts go to all the runners, volunteers, and onlookers at today’s event.  

I’ve been doing this strength training workout for about four weeks now, regularly.  The first day was absolute killer!  My chest and triceps muscles were sore for a week!  It quite literally made me nervous for the rest of the week, not to mention the weeks to come!  But, I was bound and determined to at least see how the rest of the week went.  I was sore every, single, day!  It sucked!  LOL  I remembered reading in the programs detailed description that the first two weeks were a shock to the muscles.  She didn’t lie!  I thought, okay, another week.  Get past the “shock.”

DSC_0020The second week was so much easier!  I couldn’t believe the immediate change in my muscles!  I already felt stronger, more capable.  I didn’t up any of the weights, but went through the rest of the week nowhere near as sore as the week before.

I am notorious for checking my form while I’m working out.  I always have been.  I’ve endured enough sports injuries that form is very important to me.  By the third week I could already definition in some of my muscles and I could increase the weights on certain exercises.  I was becoming more confident and comfortable in the gym.  I even had someone approach me and ask me a couple of questions.  Yay!

The fourth week, this week, is when I’ve noticed the biggest changes though.  I haven’t been able to do a standard (off the knees) push up since I was in the Army.  I quickly stopped doing them as soon as I could because of my absolute hatred of them.  The previous three weeks I had been doing modified (on knees) push ups, both close and wide hand.  This week, I decided “just to see.”  Knocked out 15 without even thinking about it!  It was so awesome!  I know love push ups.  So I start with standard, and finish the rest modified when standard has become to hard.  DSC_0025

Also, my legs are firming!  If you don’t know, my belly and my thighs are my most hated areas.  I was stretching my hamstrings the other day after a tough leg workout and Ellie came up to me asking what that was (pointing to my slightly swollen hamstring).  I explained it was one of my muscles.  She asked if she could touch it and of course I told her she could.  She thought it was so cool!  She told me I’m so strong now.  🙂  I love that kiddo.  But she’s right.  I do feel stronger!  It’s a feeling of empowerment and I’ve been using it to motivate to keep up the efforts at home with my dietary changes.

The other big perk, my energy levels.  They have skyrocketed may get half a cup of coffee in when I first get up.  I think it’s more out of habit than anything else.  I don’t feel the need to nap in the afternoon when the girls are sleeping.  And I’m still going strong after my workouts and sleep so restfully once I’ve gone to bed around 10-11.  There is a bad side to that.  If I didn’t go to the gym that day, then I’m not heading to bed until almost 1 because I just have too much energy!

I guess I should get ready for today’s workout!


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