Thursday, July 30, 2015

Closing out the Cut and Pushing Harder

Happy Thursday!!

For the last 8 weeks I have been doing a test cut. Knowing that is part of the process when preparing for a show I wanted to give it a try before it was necessary, to learn how my body responded. I had less carbs, less fat and more protein. I was doing the Arnold 8 Week Cut program from I've tested new supplements, new time windows of eating, fasted cardio and so on.

So the last 8 weeks looked like this:
- calories from 1900 to 1650
   - three day splits of workouts, 6 days a week
          - chest/back day, leg day, arms/shoulders, rinse and repeat
 - 4 days a week 20 min cardio
  - ab work 6 days a week

I have lost 3% body fat over the time and that is awesome for me. My weight is been staying the same, which is fine because I'm working on replacing fat with muscle and muscle weighs more than fat just takes up less space. It can be really tough to see the number on the scale not moving but I really have to focus on the changes I see physically to not lose focus.

For me I've found that my body likes fasted cardio followed by light stretching and 1/2 scoop protein powder mixed with water. Then I move on to lifting and I fuel that with 1 scoop pre workout , 1 scoop Aminos mixed with 25oz of water. I drink that throughout my workout and it gives me steady energy and focus.

Over the last week I started taking nitric oxide in the morning about 15 minutes before I head to the gym. It increases blood flow and recovery, for more about it go HERE. It has been AWESOME!! My recovery has been great, I've been able to increase my weight, each day on each set. It has been so awesome, I just feel so much stronger and less burnt out afterwards.  This is also my second week of working out in the morning vs evenings, I think that has also helped me because I'm not worn out from the day yet and I have a good energy flow!

Saturday will be my last day on the arnold cut program, so I'm going to reevaluate my macros, meal plans and workouts.

Any suggestions on your favorite workout programs I should look into??? Looking for gym focused ones..

I've also been reading more, talking to more experienced people to work on my forms and learn tips and tricks. 

One thing I've been testing out is having your heels slightly elevated during squats. It is supposed to help activate the quad muscle and strengthen the knee area by keeping the torso in more of an upright position. 
How do you squat?

But one thing that I've noticed majorly from this program was my calf muscles growing. I've had a hard time getting them to show any progress. Arnold had the same troubles so I'm very happy with these beauties so far!!

I'm always trying new foods and things because well you never know unless you try!

Nothing has ever tasted so close to a candy bar before! Don't get me wrong I love my quest bars, but these are really nice to throw into the mix and curb that candy bar craving I get because all my coworkers hit up the vending machine multiple times a day...sigh...

Well now its time for some breakfast!


Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Protein Finds and Miss Ava

Surprised to see me back again?

Get used to it.

This week is already crazy! Ugh. Work picked up big time and I'm in the midst of a move because of a promotion, so I'm just kinda hanging out in no where land waiting for some direction.

A group of us a work do 5K's together. Five - eight of us depending on the availability and one of the gals two kids do it too, it's really great to do it together but still individually. There are a few of us that run and a few that walk, but we all do it for the cause that its funding. Saturday we did the Race Against The Odds in Salina Kansas. It is focused on raising money for childhood cancer research. The local Charity was Love, Chloe Foundation who was started by a local mom who lost her sweet daughter Chloe to childhood cancer, she also started the The Monkey In My Chair Program that helps keep the kids who are battling cancer in touch with their classmates while in treatment. These charities locally have went big time and spread across the world helping many more families out there. They teamed up with The Cure Starts Now and put on an amazing 5K and 1 mile fun run. The race also had a local ambassador, miss Ava. Ava was your average adorable little girl, except she was anything but average. Ava is battling cancer as well but she was full of energy in a colorful tutu and blinged out sneakers with her name on them. She is a superhero if you ask me. I cannot even begin to fathom what it would be like to be so young and know so much pain, struggle and be so familiar with hospitals. Life isn't fair, but childhood cancer goes far beyond unfair, it just isn't right. It really hurts my heart to see so many struggling, winning and losing battles. When they introduced Ava at the beginning of the race and had a moment for those who had left their earthly home, I got choked up and chills. 

The race began, I hadn't trained outside of my normal 4 days a week cardio and 6 days a week lifting. The course was filled with curves, hills, mixed terrains and the heavy Kansas summer air, there was one moment where I wanted to take a second and walk, but I couldn't my legs just wouldn't stop moving forward. I finished the race with my second fastest time of 26:32, my legs hurt, my lungs hurt and I was beat, but I couldn't help but feel good that I got to be a part of this. That this race was bigger than a race but it was people coming together to donate towards a great cause. That made the race amazing. Don't get me wrong I am STOKED that I got third place in my age group, but it also humbled you to see all the families there who benefited from the foundations.

I spent the rest of the day shopping with my mom and my niece, I ended up racking up boocooo steps and walking over 11 miles. I had some snacks and my foods with my but it wasn't actually cheat day so I did have to stay within my macros. My go to is Subway because I use this awesome Nutritionix calculator to see what the sandwich is.

I ended up eating there twice but paired with the protein packed snacks I brought, still I had room for some Artic Zero Cookie Shake, fat free cool whip and Jiff Powdered Peanut butter. My day was good!

Speaking of powdered pb... I found this gem Saturday at Walmart

Between this and PB2 there are a few differences, and this one actually had a better flavor when mixed into things.

It was like a protein adventure on Saturday, I found these new drinks 

I'm having one of these today and well I hope it lives up to my expectations of deliciousness.

The Bargain hunter in me had a hard hard time passing up this deal...I mean 275 pieces for only $4.75... Ugh...maybe next time Tootsie..maybe next time.

I had a mind blowing Non Scale Victory for myself.
For the first time in well.. ever I walked into a store, saw an outfit on a mannequin, asked the store clerk for all the pieces and when I put it on, it still looked good! This "perfect" (i use that term lightly) figured mannequins outfit look awesome on me too! I just couldn't believe it and I felt like a million bucks today when I wore, Hello self confidence boost!

My Weight has been staying about the same, but my body is changing shapes and exchanging fat for muscle. I can't say I don't like it, because well I love it!

Off to crush a leg day, how was your weekend?


Monday, July 27, 2015

To My Husband: I'm Not the Woman You Married

     This is going to be kind of a long one, please bare with me, but as timehop reminded me that three years ago I was getting my wedding pictures back and I began to really reflect on myself. I realized as I caught a glimpse of myself that I'm not the woman my husband married, I'm a new woman, and that just comes with the journey I guess when you go from being 250 lbs on your wedding day, 228 lbs at the beginning of the journey and 158 as she writes this today.

To My Husband,

     I'm not the woman you married, mentally or physically. It isn't that I love you any less then I do the day I married you. Actually I love you more.  Going through the daily struggles of young adult hood and marriage together has made my love grow stronger and even into a new love. It is no longer the teenage lust like love that draws me to you or any of those things. I look at you differently, I look at you as the man who works to help fund our life, the man who is always going to be there for love and support. So as I tell you how I've changed, please realize that I love you no less.

      I'm not the woman you married, or for that fact the girl you started dating. The girl you first asked for her phone number from, was young, she was naive, and believed the world held endless possibilities. That girl was in highschool, trying to figure out where to go to college, and the biggest decision she had was which outfit to wear to school and what time to leave the party to make it home by curfew. That girl faded, that girl dissolved into the young lady who you continued to date and the young lady you asked to marry you. That young lady was in school full time, working full time, learning responsibilities  and how to balance them while still filling the day with endless daydreams of what the future would hold. That young lady was growing into who she would be. She spent her days in a city far from home and far from you. She longed for your company and weekend visits and tried to find the balance between school, work and a social life. That girl was homesick, a lot. She was overwhelmed with  the world around her. She knew she wanted to be with you but the stigma of being to young rattled her. She was scared and insecure still. She still had a lot of growing to do to be the woman she needed to be. 


      The woman you married, she had put on weight, she wasn't happy with herself, she was insecure. That woman was 20 years old, fresh out of college, starting her first career, paying rent, paying bills, buying a car, the young carefree girl who saw all the possibilities in the world, and now she was developing responsibility tunnel vision. The woman, while she was trying to learn to be a wife was still learning to be an adult.  This was a hard time. She wasn't me and she wasn't who I wanted to be. Her and you went through a lot of rough times and a lot of good ones too. These times overwhelmed her, and it consumed her. The stigma of young marriage still echoed for her. Her friends were all still in college, they were single, they were in relationships, they went out to the bars and the clubs, they took trips, they had a lot of freedom she didn't. This wore on her, she felt she lost a lot of friends, because her responsibilities took priority over getting to go on a trip that weekend. She wasn't included in somethings because she was married and her friends didn't know how to handle it so they left her out. She clung to you because you were the only friend she could truly count on.  She was so insecure with the weight she had gained, the friends she'd lost and the feeling that she could fail any moment at the relationship or at the responsibilities. She hid herself in over sized t shirts and hoodies, she stole your clothes until they were too small.She had one pair of jeans that fit, they were ripped up and she patched them each time she busted the seams. She had three dress shirts she could fit into and she always just hoped you would love her and find her beautiful. She lost sight of who she wanted to be. She settled for the woman she became instead of striving to be the woman she wanted to be. It took that woman some time and some soul searching.

     That woman finally started to find a way out of the rut, she started losing weight, she gained confidence, she changed jobs, you two bought a new car, you traded cars, you moved to a new place, she works out, she had new goals to grow with, she has fallen into an age that more people are married, its easier to find friends or be included for her. She was changing. You didn't take it very good to begin with.   You pulled back from her, you questioned her and her motives. At that time she thought you doubted her, which made her push harder. In reality you really just didn't want to lose her. She wasn't going anywhere, she was just growing into the woman she wanted to be. 

      As you know, I'm not the woman you married. I love you, but I wear high heels now, I dress up for work and for dates. I dress up because for once I feel confident in clothes, I want you to be proud of me and want to show me off. The woman you married weighed 250 pounds in that size 18W corset back wedding dress. That woman hit the drive through for lunch, ate a entire cheesecake by herself, drank 42 oz of soda a day and spent her spare time on the couch. The woman you come home to each night, shes a lot lighter at 158, her clothes are half the size and most of them have been purchased in the last two years because of the weight loss. This woman counts her calories and her macros, she drinks water like a fish. This woman will go out to eat once, maybe twice a week for a cheat meal, this woman won't always eat the same meal as you, she won't eat take out or go get a drink, but she will eat at the same time as you, she will go get the take out with you, she will go get a drink with you but she'll take her iced tea. You haven't lost her, she is still here, she just has different goals now. Through this all she has gained confidence, she has found her voice, she found herself. Who she wanted to be, who she became and who she grew into today.  

      I'm not the woman you married, I spend my free time at the gym and get angry when I miss a day, but I also get angry when I miss an opportunity to spend time with you on a date or on the couch. It has taken a long time for me to get to this point. To finally feel like I have control and balance on all aspects of my life. I finally after at least three years of not liking who I was, like who I am. I have that responsibility tunnel vision, but I've also learned to be able to turn it off and spend time carefree. I'm not sorry that I'm not the woman you married, but I am sorry that at times through my personal journey if affected you. It made you think I wasn't happy with you or our relationship. I had a lot going on internally and a lot of the times I just wasn't happy with myself or my progress. So all in all, I'm not the woman you married, but I am the woman who wants to spend the rest of her life with you. I am the woman who loves you, loves movie nights on the couch and waking up next to you. I am the woman who I need to be and was meant to be all a long.

                                                        -Your Wife For Always

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Fire People Coming..

I told you I was going to really give this another go!

So Wednesday I'm sitting at work, I pull open my desk drawer to get a piece of gum, my phone is lit up with a text from my husband. It simply reads "Fire people coming our house". 

Side eye.

Backstory here, my husband is terrible about texting in emergency situations, my friend Tatum was in a car wreck, she texted me saying, " Im okay, but I was in a car wreck and my cars totalled". I knew she was okay so I wasn't panicking. Ty, who didn't know she'd texted me yet sent me this- "Tatum was in a car wreck." Like you can't just leave me hanging like that!!

Back to Yesterday.. I immediately dial his cell, he doesn't answer, I end up frantically calling four times before getting an answer. Turns out, our apartment building is on fire. Its an old victorian house that has been turned into 6 apartments so its more like a room in your house is on fire vs an apartment. The apartment is above ours and a to the side a bit..if that makes sense. Either way, she had left her stove burner on, it got the countertop and cabinet so hot beside it that it caught the things on the counter on fire, spreading to the cabinets. Luckily it all went up, she and her kids weren't home. There's damage but, everyone is alright.

Ty had actually heard the smoke alarm in the hall going off but it stopped and he shrugged it off thinking someone was cooking or so on. I was expecting a package today so I told him to be on the look out, he decided to go out and see if it was left by our mailboxes, opened the door and saw smoke coming down the stairs.. him and the neighbor down here walked up stairs to see smoke pouring out from the door and he called 911. They did what they call a two alarm, which means the first responders came, then they called for a second truck and more firefighters to come. They had to enter carefully without letting in too much oxygen to cause an explosion. It was scary, and hard to focus, but man I'm very thankful that the most we suffered was smoke smell heavily in our apartment. We had to leave our windows open to help vent, so after work and this day I said hey, lets just go out to eat tonight instead of this weekend.

That is another thing I love about IIFYM because I made it work to my advantage and was able to relax a bit.

Wednesday Morning I had the Fitness guru, I guess we can call her, at my gym do my body fat. The gym is actually the wellness center of the Hospital too so the people that work there actually are quite knowledgeable and well trained. 

I was freaking shocked to see my Body Fat. 22.4!?!?!?!?!  I really expected it to be more around 27-32 range. I see my loose skin and forget that it is just that- skin. This really kicked up my motivation levels though!!! I can't wait to get this redone and see the progress in a few months!!

Tuesday's workout was powered by 1st Phorm. I really don't think about all the stuff I have being labeled and just use it, but then in hindsight, I realize, I've become "that girl" the one with the backpack and blah blah, but I'm totally fine with it. Judge me.
That is Dana Linn Bailey's signature on my shirt so I of course went really freaking hard too. When DLB has your back anything is possible! :)

I was really surprised that this song didn't get many workout remix videos. I felt it need one, I've been doing this twice a week for about two weeks now with a 9lb bar and it gets you right in the quads and arms!! Give it a shot and let me know what you think! Yeah thats right, go watch me whip! 

I won a giftcard so of course I had to splurge on the supplements I've always wanted to try but didn't "need". I got a calcium magnesium and zinc mix to help with muscle and joints., B-100 Complex for allllll the vitamin B needs. All herbal Water pills for those pesky bloat days. Last but least I got Nitric Oxide supplement to try today  to see if it really does help my blood flow, energy and pumps. I'll let you know! Off to crush some chest/back and abs... lets see what this day has in store for me!

This is what is in my supplement basket..( no they are not all taken each day) what do you use and why??


Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Mic Check...1....2....3

Testing, testing...

Is this thing on?

I'm blowing off the dust on my keyboard and I think I'm gonna come back to the blogging world. I took a break from blogging for a couple of reasons..

Time. I was having trouble balancing my personal life and schedule along with work, workouts and hubby time. I was overwhelmed.

Content. I had started this blog to keep myself accountable,to document my journey and to hopefully inspire someone along the way. I focused to much on what I there's thought about what I wrote and doing it for everyone else instead of doing it for me like I intended. I've missed it.

Then I tried coming back but still trying to write for others and not myself

I've been tossing the idea around about coming back for the last few days, but as I was pushing through my workout yesterday morning and as I sat waiting for my strength test for work I realized that I missed it and the public accountability and support. I'm going to do it again and focus on writing and posting what I want not what everyone thinks I should. I mean it's my blog right?

So enough rambling about my inner conflicts on blogging, let's do some catching up..

Here I am year three of my journey with two years of maintaining the weight loss. A quick recap of my story for you all..

7-7-12 wedding day and a bride tipping the scales at 250

1-1-13 Weighed in at 228 and officially starting a healthy lifestyle

6-1-13 first 5k, no stopping or walking, down fifty pounds.

10-5-15 first 5k for time, down over 60lbs and got second in my age group with my fastest time ever of 26:07

By the end of October, beginning of September I was down 70lbs from the beginning of the year

Started weightlifting and Joined a gym in mid November 

Started 2014 strong and it ended up being a maintenance year. I was able to maintain the majority of my weight loss and not go overboard. We moved two times and I changed gyms twice and also changed jobs once. It was a lot going on and really added to the struggle I was having with finding a balance.

I started 2015 with more determination then I had had in a while. I knocked off the 10-15 pounds of fat that had started to creep back during the holidays. I'm sitting at my average weight still. My lowest weight to date is 157 which would be -71 pounds. On average I fluctuate between 158-163 that's my normal range I guess. 

It is mid July and we are literally half way through the year. I have big goals now, I want to compete in the WBFF's Transformation Division in late spring of 2016, dates TBA still. But that gives me time to work on building muscle and really time to transform my body even further- if I put in the work and not in the fork. But really, I'm not going to lie, I'm a snacker, never much but enough that it's going to start hurting me. 

I eat because I'm bored and that's a terrible habit and I'm aware of that but that's been something I've really been focusing on lately. I'm an adult and I have self control so I have to slap my hand away.  It was really bad this last few weeks, I just wanted to eat everything in sight, I didn't, I felt deprived, I felt hungry, my body ached, I had headaches, so I listened to what my body was saying. I fed it. I had a chicken bacon panini wrap with sweet potato fries, shared an order of mozzarella sticks with the husband, and the I had a small peanut butter cookie dough blast from sonic for dessert. That was my cheat meal. It was glorious!!!!! It has taken away the majority of the snacks feeling. I wasn't cheating enough on my cheat meal I guess. I was having grilled chicken wraps on whole grain, with small serving of veggies, a few fried pickles and some fresh salsa. It was good but it was still perfect in my diet, it wasn't hitting what I need it to i guess. I need to release the restraints and find a balance between those two meals though. Something that will satisfy my body but not go overboard. 

Fitness, healthy eating, all this is hard. It's not easy, it's not cut an dry. I'm human and I have bad days and I have food days. But I'm trying. I'm really trying and I need to be more accountable to myself. So I'm back on here for that, I'm also writing my workouts, meals and random thoughts comments I have on meals or workouts down on a note book to help me reflect easily and motivate myself. I'm learning to schedule better. It's helped that we moved agin back in April to the town I work in. That cut out two twenty minute drives, let's me come home on lunch and actually separate my mind from work for a bit, let's me enjoy more morning stretching,get home after the gym and still have time to do things. I also changed gyms and that helped a lot too. 

Most importantly and how I'm going to end this is, I learned to focus on myself. I met this amazing  lady at the 1st Phorm Summer Smash event I went to a month ago, she was so insightful and positive and I was able to really have a new view on things!

"Focus on yourself, not on others, not what they're doing, not what works for them, focus on you. Do what feels right, what feels good and make yourself happy. You matter first not them."

Now it's off for an early morning leg day! 

What have you all been up too?!?