An Update on Cutting

I need to start this by saying it is so bizarre how much my goals and views change… constantly! I’ve learned it’s ok to change your mind. It’s ok for your goals to change. I bulked for a good 4-5 months. I gained 15 lbs. Now I’m in the process of getting some of that off. Originally, I wanted to be super lean. But now that the cutting began…. I started to just accept myself in my current state.

I don’t enjoy eating low calories.
I don’t enjoy eating strictly clean.
I don’t enjoy running on the treadmill for an hour 5 days a week.
I don’t enjoy steady paced running at all.

I enjoy eating carbs.
I enjoy following a flexible diet.
I enjoy lifting weights.

I am willing to do 1 circuit cardio session a week, even though I don’t enjoy it.
I am willing to eat clean 80% of the time, even though I don’t enjoy it.
I am willing to do HIIT cardio for 10-15 minutes 3x a week, even though I don’t enjoy it.

THAT is what it comes down to for me. There are things I won’t do, but there are things that I am also willing to do even if it isn’t enjoyable. I am not a competitor. But I like being in shape. I am open to all diet types and respect whatever diet it is that someone follows. If I could enjoy eating clean 24/7, I would do it. I tried it… and I binged… and I obsessed.. over my body, calories, and expectations. I can truly say I am happy where I am right now. Maybe I’m not the leanest I could be… but I don’t need to be. I am happy with me.

Sometimes I know that my posts promoting IIFYM can come across as demeaning and appear negative towards clean eaters, but that is not my intention. I am just trying to tell the people that do not enjoy strict clean eating, that it doesn’t have to be that way. Is cheese or chocolate or those restaurant bread rolls healthy? No. But obsessing over eating clean when you do not enjoy it is not healthy either. I encourage everyone… Find YOUR balance. My balance may not be the same as yours. If running makes you happy.. DO IT. If sticking to your clean diet 24/7 makes you happy… do it! I truly believe there are many ways to reach your goal WHATEVER it may be. In fitness, life, business, etc. There is no one right way. Be passionate and positive about what you do and you will succeed. 

I got a little off track there….. but my point was that during my journey to being lean, I discovered being lean isn’t what would make me happy. Yesterday I cut my carbs down to 200g a day. I had previously been at 225g a day. The only reason I cut down now, is because randomly the last week or so I truly found it hard to meet those carbs everyday… even with eating a cup of oats with breakfast, & a cup of rice or 150g-200g of sweet potato with lunch and dinner. So why not cut them down? If not hungry, no need to eat more. I have added in some more HIIT style cardio. I do 10-15 minutes of either sprint intervals, or intervals on the treadmill 2-3x per week. I also still do my 1 day per week of circuit style cardio, which I have been doing since I started cutting. Let me say.. that is NOT fun. I am dying at the end. But at the same time I am satisfied when I’m done. It is always REALLY hard to finish…. but I never cheat my reps and I always finish. There is something so satisfying about that. Here is my circuit ‘cardio’ from yesterday:

I* did 3 exercises back to back, then rest 30 seconds and repeat twice. I then rested a minute or so before I started the next set of 3 exercises.  [Sorry you may not be able to understand some of this because they aren't all "proper" names for the exercises. Feel free to ask if you want me to explain what an exercise is :) ]

 

Over head ball throw with Squat x 15
Alternating Bounds x 10 each leg
Burpees x 10
REPEAT TWICE 

Ball Slams x 15
Squat jump step x 18
Plank ab pull-ins with yoga ball x 15
REPEAT TWICE

Straight leg Dead Lift to Shoulder press x 12
Lunge step side to side x 20
Frog jumps x 10

 

And here are some progress pictures from the last couple weeks! I ain’t that lean, but I’m me :)

 

1 WEEK AGO:
Image

—————————————————————————-

2 WEEKS AGO:
Image

Sprinting vs. Running

Many people, especially women, start their way into the fitness and health lifestyle with running. Running is fool-proof. Walking into a gym can be intimidating for a woman, especially when you have no idea what to do or how to use the weights and machines. So their mind defaults to running. They know running will make them lose weight. The problem is, running will not do for you what you are expecting it to. I don’t doubt at all that running will make you lose weight, but it will make you lose a lot of other things as well.

 

Here is a picture of a comparison between a long-distance runner and a sprinter. You will notice that the runner is extremely skinny, yet still seems to have body fat on them. The sprinter is muscular and tight. 

Image

RUNNING
If you enjoy running, there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. But if you are running long distances expecting it to give you a nice butt, legs, or a flat stomach…. you might be disappointed. You ever notice how some runners, who run every single day for long distances, still are overweight? That’s because running like that actually SLOWS your metabolism down. Sounds backwards huh? You are burning fat as well as muscle. You are expending lots of calories, which can be unhealthy and causes your body to hold onto fat as a ‘survival’ instinct. 

SPRINTING
Sprinting and HIIT style cardio is extremely beneficial when it comes to burning fat. You will see results very quickly by adding sprinting into your exercise routine. While you may spend an hour running, you can spend 10-15 minutes doing a sprint workout and be done with it. The muscle fibers activated while sprinting allow you to build or hold on to muscle while burning fat.

I am not saying don’t run a mile or two here and there. If enjoy running, then do it. I am not saying running won’t make you lose weight, because it will. But it all depends on your personal goal. If you are satisfied with simply losing some weight, running will work fine. If you are wanting to be more ‘toned’ or ‘tight’, sprinting may be a better option. It is also worth mentioning that most marathoner’s or long distance runners do not focus on strength training at all, simply running. If you are strength training on top of long-distance running, you should not lose muscle mass and store fat as much. Although it has been said that you won’t lose muscle mass with that combination, you also won’t gain muscle mass. Females, I know that word ‘muscle’ scares you. But a firm butt or legs is MUSCLE. So don’t be afraid of that word. Females simple are not built the same way as males are. We do not have testosterone like they do it and it is exponentially harder for us to build muscle. Sprinting will give you that firmness you are looking for, but won’t make you ‘too muscle-y’ or ‘manly’.

**This post was purely meant to be informative, as I feel a great amount of people simply do not realize that they may be doing the wrong things to achieve the results they are looking for. I am not bashing runners by any means. If running is what you enjoy, then incorporate it into your life! It is important to be sure you are eating enough calories daily to compensate for long distance running. It is also important to note that sprinting will not produce arms like the sprinter pictured above. That is done by years of committed and extensive weight lifting.

The Hell Of Buying Wireless Earbud’s – And My Final Pick

This all began at work one day. One of the Surgeons I work for said he needed to plug his head phones in to charge. I was confused. He explained they were Bluetooth Wireless Headphones. This boggled my mind…. which is strange because I have a friggin’ DEGREE in Information Systems… all that tech-y shit. Of all people I should know about wireless headphones. I just never thought about it and never really hear about them, and that’s probably because THEY SUCK…. from my experience.

I HAD to have a pair of wireless headphones after hearing they existed, because I always put my phone in my sports bra while working out. I hate doing it because I have heard about some breast cancer cases being correlated directly to putting your phone in your sports bra. Also, that fact aside, I’m always scared somethings gonna come outta place one of those times I pull my phone out to change a song. Yikes. The cords are also everywhere all over my chest, even though I try to tuck them in. I am opposed to those arm bands that hold your phone because I feel like they would get in the way. You can’t properly utilize your biceps or triceps with a huge ass phone on your arm. For Christmas I got a waist band phone holder that looks like the arm band kind, but goes around your waist (almost like a fanny pack). It was pretty dorky but I wore it anyways. It got in the way when I tried doing rows and I’d have to take it off. Also, changing the song was pretty hard to do with that plastic covering.

SO wireless headphones were the only solution to all of these issues. The surgeon had Jaybird’s. I looked them up and read reviews and they seemed very superior. I was ecstatic to buy them. They were my FIRST headphone purchase……. (because yes, there was more than one purchase unfortunately).

 

JAYBIRD BLUEBUDS X – Price: $169.99

Image

 

These are said to have an 8 hour play time on a full charge. (The cheaper version, which is $99.99 is said to have a 3 hour playtime). I really enjoyed the nice hard case these came with, making them easy to store in my purse without worrying about damaging them.They fit very well and I did not have any issues with them falling out during my workout. The Bluetooth connection worked well from a far distance.  The sound quality was pretty good, but sometimes the it was a bit scratchy. (I will assume that will happen with any Bluetooth headphone from time to time). I kept these for 13 days (pushing it close since Best Buy allows you 14 days to return) and the reason I ended up returning them was because of the volume. Every time I put them on to workout, I would try to turn them up louder although they were already all the way up. I just felt for the huge price tag I should be completely satisfied with the product, and volume is a big thing for me. So back to Best Buy I went to return these and purchase my second pair….

 

YURBUDS INSPIRE – Price: $129.99

Image

This time I did lots of research, as I was still willing to pay a lot of money for a quality product. I came to the decision to purchase these Yurbud’s, which are apparently very newly released. I tried them on at home after reading the instructions. They have a ‘Twist and Lock’ feature which is suppose to make them stay very securely in your ears. I got it to work at home fine. When I got to the gym though, it was a completely different story. I spent 10 minutes looking in the gym mirror, twisting these earphones over and over, trying to get them to stay. I was BEYOND frustrated. I got them in as best I could and started my workout. Literally between almost every set, I had to re-twist them and adjust them. They just wouldn’t stay in. I went home to re-read the instructions and figured out the right way to do it. I also noticed the box said it was suppose to come with 2 ear cover sizes, but mine came with 1 size… which was already on the ear buds when I opened the box. I got them to stay and attempted another workout the next day. I STILL had issues with them staying in, and found myself adjusting them 5-6 times during my workout. My ears must have been bruised after that because it hurt to put them in past that point. On top of that, the Bluetooth connection SUCKS. I don’t know how they can sell headphones for $130 and have a shitty connection…. makes no sense. I walked to get another set of dumbbells from the rack (maybe 5 feet away) and the sound was cutting out terribly, and sometimes the music even stopped playing altogether. The one thing I noticed the first time I tried them was that they were PLENTY loud and bass-y. Butafter wearing them a couple times I realized it wasn’t quality. The loudness and bass almost made the music sound scratchy. Not a good type of ‘loud’.

When I went to take them back, I was looking at all the other Yurbud headphones and noticed they had a regular, non-wireless pair that were “For Women”. The box read that they were ‘designed specifically for smaller ears’. So here I finally figured out my issue…. the headphones I had were way to friggin’ big for my ears and that’s why they wouldn’t stay in. How frustrating. And since they are new, they obviously don’t have a “women’s version” out for the wireless kind. Back to the drawing board.

PLANTRONICS BACKBEAT GO2 – Price: $99.99

Image

 

I did not do any research before going back to the store for a third pair. All the research I had done before really left me with no more options. There aren’t very many quality wireless ear buds out. I actually read reviews about these saying they were terrible. BUT when I went in Best Buy and looked, these were the only other pair of wireless ear buds left to try. So I went with it. They come with this little charging case (you can buy the headphones alone for $79.99 if you desire). The charging case is actually pretty cool, although I have yet to use it since I’ve only owned these headphones for a few days. You basically charge the case so that if your headphones ever die and you are on-the-go, you can just plug them into the case to charge. It says that 20 minutes in the case equals an extra hour of play time. The headphones are advertised to have 4.5 hours of play time, and I’ve used them 2-3 times so far, and it still says “Battery Level – High” when I turn them on. 

They fit pretty well and I don’t have issues with them falling out (even while doing quick box jumps). I must admit, I feel the Jaybirds had a better fit… but those also cost almost double. The BackBeats have a great Bluetooth connection. I did walking lunges for the length of the gym, and the sound quality was just as good as it was when my phone was right next to me. Major plus. I do feel I have the same issue as I did with the Jaybird’s …. I feel the music could be louder. I was telling a fellow gym-goer weeks ago about how I was returning my Jaybirds because of the sound and she said “Really?? Mine sound great!” But she also has the cheaper version. I cannot vouch for those myself since I haven’t tried them though. The version she has are $99 and have 3 hours of charge time. That worries me, because the ones I had claimed to last 8 hours, yet didn’t even last 6. I don’t want to charge my headphones after every single workout. I would surely forget to charge them, or forget them at home on the charger.

 

SO I ultimately am staying with the Plantronic BackBeats.I do feel the music could be a liiiiitle louder, but I also realize that with bluetooth headphones you will be sacrificing quality a little bit. You will always have better sound with a device that plugs directly into your phone. I hope this helps anyone who is stubborn like me and must have wireless, ear bud headphones! It’s funny to me that the cheapest pair I purchased ended up being the ones I went with.

Banana Coconut Protein Loaf

So the last few loafs I have made using banana have been an epic fail… which always sucks because I have to eat it anyways. They always end up too dry. Well I finally nailed it by using less dry ingredients than I usually would in other loafs.

Image
*topped with Cookie Nookie peanut butter in picture

INGREDIENTS

Loaf:

  • 300g Ripe Banana (About 2.5 medium bananas)
  • 1 Egg
  • 4 Egg Whites
  • 3/4 cup Oat Flour
  • 1/4 cup Milled Flax Seed
  • 2 scoops Cellucor Peanut Butter Marshmallow Whey (Whipped Vanilla would work well for this too. It’s what I would’ve used if I had it on hand)
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1-2 tsp Coconut Extract

Coconut Topping:

  • 2 tbsp Unsweetened Shredded Coconut
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Agave Syrup
  • 1 tsp Raw Honey
  • 3 tbsp Unsweetened Almond Milk

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 and grease a loaf pan.
  2. In a blender, combine all loaf ingredients and pour into greased pan.
  3. In a small bowl, combine all ingredients for coconut topping and drizzle over loaf batter.
  4. Bake for 32 minutes (Or until toothpick comes out mostly clean in the center)
  5. Cut into 8 slices.

MACROS PER SLICE: 130 calories — 15g carbohydrates (2.5g fiber), 11g protein, 4g fat

Who is This ‘Society’ Person and Why Are We Still Listening to Them?

“You should be proud of your body, you should LOVE your body- that’s what society tells us. Just be sure not to be too proud, not to love yourself too much. No, society wouldn’t like that.”

One of my fellow Cellucor affiliates posted that the other day and it was so spot on, I had to make a post about it! One day a few months ago, I was taking progress selfies in the gym locker room… like a lot of us do. I started thinking. Some get embarrassed when people walk in on them in the act of this…. because it’s vain. But why the hell are we all at the gym?? Especially those of us into bodybuilding. If it were vain, that would make every single one of us at the gym vain. We would all be self-centered because we take care of our body, because we are trying to make it better, because we look at ourselves in the mirror.

We get all these mixed messages from ‘society’, saying “love yourself exactly how you are” but at the same time.. we can’t boast, or brag, or stare too long in any mirror. There comes a point where you really have to vow not to care what other people think. Majority of us will always care a little bit, and that’s fine. But to feel embarrassed about looking at yourself or being proud when you’ve put hours, months, years into your physique, is not necessary. 

The one thing I hate about the fitness community, is the judgement. Everyone thinks they are right about everything, and also thinks it’s okay to shame or put others down about their choices. One in particular that I hate (because it pertains directly to me) is people making fun of girls who wear make up to the gym. Yes I wear make up to the gym. Do I do it for others? No. It makes me feel confident about myself. I just don’t understand how someone wearing make up affects anyone else. I wear make up to the gym…. and I still kill my workout, all by myself. That is me. I don’t let people shaming this act get to me, I will proudly announce that I do it. I just don’t get what the need is for doing, EXCEPT to put others down.

The main form of fitness judgement is lifestyle and diet choices. When it comes down to it, there are a hundred different ways for a person to achieve a goal. We all choose different routes and we all have different beliefs on which route is correct. Clean eating, IIFYM, Intuitive eating, 6 meals a day, carb cycling, rest days, no rest days, heavy weight and low reps, low weight and high reps, steady state cardio, HIIT, no cardio…. I could go on forever. While some like to think there is one right way…. there just isn’t. If everyone preaches that “All our bodies are different, they all respond to things differently”… then how could there be ONE way to achieve a desired result? 

It’s time we all make a conscious decision to respect others choices. Love others AND love yourself! Look at yourself in the mirror if you please. I check my progress in the mirror at the gym (although I haven’t been taking pictures lately) constantly, and there is ALWAYS people in the locker room. I have decided to not let them bother me. We all need to learn to break free of these stipulations and judgement, and also to not feed into them ourselves. Support everyone around you even if you think ‘their way’ isn’t the best way. Offer supportive and positive criticism if you choose to, or say nothing at all. Be confident and proud of who you are and what you have built. Always lift others up instead of putting them down.

Image

 

WIN CELLUCOR PRODUCTS by Helping Me Create the Perfect Training Program!

I am currently studying for my Personal Training certification, and one thing I strive to create is an online training program. I want to be very interactive with my clients including things like texts/calls, skype, progress pictures, email, etc. I hope to have my certification in Spring, and from there I will be able to create a helpful program to you guys!

In order to do this, I need your help!


I created a short survey so that I can see what it is the people want. For your time, you will be entered to win 30 SERVINGS OF CELLUCOR C4 EXTREME and 30 SERVINGS OF CELLUCOR SUPER HD. I do not have a projected end date for this survey. It really depends on how many people fill it out. If I get a great response, it may be just a week or two!

TAKE THE SURVEY HERE

THANK YOU!