Wednesday, 27 August 2014


So, I've been working out again (on my own- no trainer), but I learned so much while working out with him and have continued to do the type of workouts we did.  Our workouts consisted of "active rests" which sounds like a contradiction, because you really aren't "resting" at all between exercises, unless it's just to catch your breath.  So, if I'm doing squats, in between sets, I might do 30 jumping jacks, jump squats, lunges, push-ups, etc.  Or, I just move quickly between exercises.  

I tracked my workouts on my iPhone in the Notes app so I could share them with you.  I didn't always write down the "rest" exercise I did, or I was just going from one exercise to the next with little rest. You can add in anything that keeps your heart rate up- a lap around the gym, step-ups, jumping jacks, burpees, etc.

I start my workout with 30 minutes of medium-hard cardio (typically the treadmill at intervals of  incline at 15-18 and speed 2.5-3.0) or the stair master (set at intervals of 60-80).  (Once a week, I'm running with a group of moms around our local park, 3 miles, and I don't do weights that day.) 

Then, I do as much weight workout as I can fit into 30-45 minutes, depending on my schedule.  Below is what my workouts looked like last week. I'm doing glute kickbacks several times a week to work on building my booty. 

Squats- 65 lb x 15 reps (4 sets)
Walking lunges- 15 lb kettleballs each x 50 steps (each leg counts as one step) (2 sets)
     Push-ups- 15 (2 sets) 
Hip Adduction- 50 lbs x 20 reps (4 sets)
Hip Abduction- 50 lbs x 20 reps (4 sets)
     Go back and forth from adduction to abduction machine 
Seated leg curls- 45 lbs x 15 reps (4 sets)
Glute kickback- 70 lbs x 20 reps (3 sets) 
*1:15 minutes w/ cardio

Shoulder press- 10 lb each x 20 reps (4 sets)
Lateral raise- 7.5 lb each x 10 reps (4 sets)
Punches- 7.5 lb each x 10 (4 sets) *my favorite
Rear delt fly- 30 lb total x 12 (3 sets)
Glute kickback- 70 lbs x 15 reps (3 sets) 
*1:15 minutes w/ cardio

Curls- 10 lb each x 15 (4 sets)
Punches- 7.5 lb each x 15 (4 sets)
Dips (on floor bench)- body weight x 15 (4 sets)
21s- 20 lb barbell x (3 sets)
Dips (on machine)- 52 lb assist x 15 (4 sets)
Curtsies - 15 each leg 
*1:05 minutes w/ cardio

Pull-ups- 60 lb (assist) x 12 (4 sets)
Seated rows- 45 lb x 15 (3 sets)
Lat pulldown- 50 lb x 15 (4)
Glute kickback- 70 lbs x 15 reps (3 sets) 
*1:10 minutes w/ 36 min cardio (I went over)

It feels great to get back to working out!  There's a mom at my son's school who's become a good friend of mine and we encourage each other everyday with our workouts and eating.  We text each other after our workouts and it really helps to have that person to help keep you accountable.  Do you agree? 

Sunday, 24 August 2014

My Meals Calculated by My Fitness Pal

It's been 7 weeks since my bikini competition where I competed at 100 pounds and now I weigh 108!  Yes, that's over a pound a week! Yikes! I can tell that my body composition is still better than it was when I started training (more muscle and less fat), and I didn't plan to stay at 100 pounds, but I'd like to be at 104.  So, I find myself with 4 pounds to lose.  

I'm sure I put on weight because: 1) I was eating two pints of Haagen Dazs Gelato (Sea Salt Caramel) a week for about 5 weeks, and 2) I stopped training as intensely as I was (just running around the neighborhood for 30 minutes) and then took some time off working out at the end of the summer to just be with my son.  I don't regret it, but I know it's time to get back to work!  My son started school mid-August and I'm back to my routine of working out as soon as I drop him off at school.  I feel 100x better already.  It's amazing how quickly your body can change - for the better or worse. 

I've been tracking my workouts on my iPhone and plan to share them in detail with you this week, but for now, I'll just say that I start with 30 minutes of medium-hard cardio, then do 30-45 minutes of weight training with active rests (which keep my heart rate up) the whole time.  

When I was preparing for my bikini contest, my trainer gave me a meal plan to follow for  12 weeks.  I never counted calories or macros, but generally had an idea of what it was.  Last night, I finally plugged the five meals into My Fitness Pal and got the calculations below.  I think My Fitness Pal only allow for 4 meals a day, that's why I had to combines Meals 2 & 3.

So, for those of you who were interested in the breakdown, there it is.   I was surprised at how many calories I was eating, I thought it was been less, although I knew I was eating a lot of food- I was never hungry.  But, you need to eat consistently (about every 3 hours) and get enough protein at each meal to build and sustain muscle.   

Since I know I have weight to lose now, I need to be more strict with my food.  My weakness is dessert.  But, when I'm working out HARD, I'm much less likely to eat what isn't good for me.  I always think, "I didn't just work that hard to blow it by having a piece of cake."  

I like My Fitness Pal because it allows me to see how everything I put in my mouth mouth adds up and it makes me reconsider my gelato!  Of course, I will still eat it, just not as often! 

I hope this chart helps! Let me know! :) Do you use My Fitness Pal? 

Friday, 8 August 2014

How to Get in Shape // 5 Step Plan

I've been ruminating on this post for awhile.  Now that I have the experience of training for and competing in an NPC bikini contest behind me, I've been on my own to try to maintain the body I built in those six months.  I made significant progress, going from about 25% body fat and 115 pounds to probably 15% body fat (I'm not 100% sure on that number because we stopped measuring at 17 or 19%.  I was supposed to get my body fat tested at the Bod Pod, but they cancelled because the machine wasn't working), and I competed at 100 pounds.

Although I wasn't grossly out of shape at the beginning of my competition prep, I was surprised at just how hard I had to work and for how long.  The changes don't come easy, but they do come.  You can count on that if you're doing the exercise and eating properly.  So, I've been reflecting on exactly HOW I made those changes and how I stuck to it for so long and I realized five key things about how to get in shape. 

1.  Decide that you are going to make a change.  First and foremost, you have to commit to not only wanting to make a change, but that you are actually going to make that change.  For me, a big motivator was knowing I did not want to end up in July 2014, where I was in July 2013.  I wanted to be in great shape and not feeling bad about myself.  So, the new year of 2014 marked the beginning of implementing those changes.  I knew if I started in January, I'd have significant results by July.  If you set a goal (a family or high school reunion, a birthday, anniversary, vacation, or bikini contest) and back the time out so you can work towards it, keeping that goal in mind will help keep you committed and focused.  Our minds and spirit are very powerful.  When my body would tell me it didn't want to work out or eat another piece of fish, I just treated it like a child that doesn't get to tell me what to do. It didn't know best since I had already decided months ago what I wanted to achieve. Instead, I did what I knew I needed to do to get me to the goal I set.  In those "weak" moments, listen to your "higher self", the one that already made the decision to get in shape and create a new life. 

2.  Fit your day around your workout instead of trying to fit your workout into your day.   The last couple of weeks I have fallen off of the workout train and I just couldn't seem to get it to fit into my day.  I'm home with my son for the summer and I wanted to spend those days with him, so he's not going to camp.  I used to workout first thing in the morning, but now, our mornings are lazy, and we're chilling out in pj's watching cartoons (him) and drinking coffee (me) well past 10:00 a.m.  And then I need to be fueled up for a strong workout, so I figure, we need to wait until after lunch to head to the gym.  But, after lunch finds us heading to swim class or running errands or just not feeling like breaking up the day with a workout, so I tell myself, "I'll go when my husband gets home." But, then it's time to make dinner and eat, and then get my son ready for bed and it gets late, so I say, "I'll just go tomorrow. . . . "  Sound familiar?? 

If you continue like that, you'll never make it to the gym, or you will, but your efforts will be sporadic and you won't get the results you want.  You must decide in advance when you will workout (whether it's at 5:30 a.m. to Insanity home videos like my friend Angela) or at lunch, or after work, or after the kids are in bed.  Then, you decide how to fit your day around your workout.  Yes, it requires planning.   Yes, some other things you might have to say no to.  But, once you get into your routine, it just becomes part of your day.  I did best to actually schedule my entire day on paper so I could visually see how my day would fit around my workout and meal plan since I ate five meals a day.  The RED indicates cardio and training sessions and the pencil circle marks indicate when I needed to eat.  I had to prep meals in advance and often eat in the car or at my son's swim lessons, etc. 

3.  Consider hiring a trainer or finding a workout partner.  A trainer isn't absolutely necessary, but if you need that person to keep you accountable to your workouts, it's worth it.  You could have a friend as your accountability partner, just make sure she is reliable and won't flake on you.  You need someone tough who will keep their appointments and also, not just chat with you during the workout.  You should be making the most of your time in the gym,  working those muscles, huffing and puffing, and sweating!  

If you aren't familiar with the machines, or a beginner when it comes to lifting weights, it is a good idea to use an experienced trainer so you don't get hurt.  I've had good and not-so-good trainers in the past, but John Sherman and Monica Isles were the best.  I saw the best results with John though, because I worked out more often with him and because I followed his meal plan.  Which leads me to the next point. 

4.  Working out consistently will cause you to eat better.  Working out will only get you so far in changing your physique.  You have to eat better too.  Something about having physically worked out so hard and sweating and hurting will make you say, "That piece of cake or pizza just isn't worth it."  You start to understand how eating those extra calories and fat will translate into that much more work to get it off and you don't want it!  That is why I kept finding myself saying, "The diet isn't that hard."  Or at least not as hard as I thought it would be.  You'll look forward to (and enjoy more) the "cheat" meals on the weekend.  You can go HERE to see my bikini contest meal plan

5.  Once you start, small changes will keep you motivated, just stick with it!  My trainer casually remarked to me when we first started working out together, "You're gonna like your body way before the competition."  I didn't give it too much thought at the time, but man was he right!  Although, it took a long time to get to "bikini contest" ready, I felt great in my skin long before that.  Your clothes will start fitting better, your face will change, you skin will be brighter, your energy will be higher, you will have more confidence and inner strength and that feels so good.  I started noticing changes in my body within just two weeks of working out and eating better, but the changes kept coming as long as I stuck with it.   In time, you WILL reach your goal.

If you have any questions, please let me know in the comments and I may use them in a future post.  Have a great weekend!

Sunday, 3 August 2014

Your Power


I found this quote on Pinterest and it's gotten over 100 repins lately, so I know it's resonating with us.

 Maybe you needed to hear this today too- that YOU have the power to enjoy your life, to change your life, to change your body, to make a difference starting NOW. 

I hope you have an awesome Sunday! 

This is the day the Lord has made. I will rejoice and be glad in it.  Psalm 118:24

The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him. Psalm 28:7