A Week of No Workouts

Last week, I did not work out a single time. No evening runs, no early morning yoga sessions, no lunchtime walks….nothing, nada, zilch.

The week of no workouts was unplanned.  Last week our church held its annual fall revival which meant my days looked like this:

5:00 a.m.: Wake up, make coffee, get hubby out the door to his office

5:45 – 6:15 a.m.:  Shower, dress, eat breakfast, put on makeup, pack lunch, and load up car

6:15 – 7:00 a.m.:  Wake up daughter, dress her, give her medicine and breakfast, drop her off at sister-in-law’s

7:00-7:30 a.m.: Commute to work

7:30 – 5:00 p.m. – Work with an hour for lunch. Spend lunch hour eating in the car while driving to and from errands.

5:00-5:30 p.m. – Commute home

5:30 – 6:45 p.m. – Arrive home, freshen up, eat something, get hubby and daughter ready for church, head out the door

6:45-9:15 p.m. – Revival

9:15-10:15 p.m. – Return home, unwind, and prepare for next day, crash into bed.

Monday I had ever intention of squeezing in a workout either before revival or afterwards. But Monday evening came, and I was extremely tired and opted not to workout.  By Tuesday evening, I realized that I would be doing more harm than good if I tried to add in workouts to an already jammed scheduled.  So I didn’t work out AT ALL.

And guess what happened?

Nothing. Nope, the world did not stop spinning, I did not gain a ton of weight, and the clothes in my closet did not stop fitting in just 7 days.  If anything, I feel stronger now, eager to get back into training.  Given how much better my body feels with the rest, I am adding in 1 full rest day each week to my training schedule. Here’s what’s on tap for this week:

Monday: 60 min jog

Tuesday: Lower Body Weight Session

Wednesday: 30 mins HIIT jump roping

Thursday: 60 min jog

Friday: Upper Body Weight Session

Saturday: 5K Run

Sunday: Total Rest Day!

Have you ever taken an entire week off from working out?


When Weekend Eating Goes Bad…..

 Dickens once said “It was the best of times and the worst of times.”  His sentiments would accurately describe my weekend. While I had a fantastic time with family and friends – a 5k run, a football game, church services, and an hour long family nap – my eating was beyond horrible and left me feeling physically ill on both Saturday and Sunday.

Saturday morning started with such promise. I participated in a 5K run with my girls then headed to my parents to shower and change so that we could travel to Atlanta to watch my beloved Yellow Jackets play Boston College.  By the time we were on the road, I was STARVING!  I had skipped my usually pre-run fuel, and as a result my stomach was growling loud enough that Joycie commented “Mama, there is a tiger in your tummy.”

When we finally realized that all 3 adults needed breakfast, our only option was a fast food joint.  Many fast food restaurants offer oatmeal, yogurt, or even fruit as part of their breakfast menus, so I headed inside hoping to order something along those lines.  No such luck. My best choice was a platter of 5 silver dollar sized pancakes.  Those alone wouldn’t have been too bad – but they came pre-slathered in butter – a fact that I did not discover until we pulled away.  

I ate the pancakes figuring that I would just get back on track with lunch.  Then my mother offered me a bite of her breakfast – a dish called “Sweet Bites”.  Basically, there were little deep fried doughnut holes…..so yummy…..I wound up eating  5! A stop at the gas station led to me purchasing a king sized candy bar. Then at the game, I ate pizza, more candy, half a bag of popcorn, and a few bites of cookie and chips.   On the return trip, I scarfed down 3 mini-hamburgers and a half order of fries.  By night’s end, my stomach was VERY UNHAPPY! I woke up at 2:00 a.m. feeling physically ill.

Sunday morning came, and I ate my usual breakfast combo of a protein shake, cereal, and an extra glass of milk.  I was feeling guilty about my poor choices and seeming lack of control on Saturday. However, I told myself that it was a new day and that I would make the best of it.  Then I remembered that we were going to be attending services at my sister-in-law’s childhood church, and enjoying a pot luck lunch afterwards.  Realizing that this could be potentially hazardous to my clean eating efforts, I formulated a game plan. I would choice a 4 ounce piece of protein (ham, chicken, roast), then load up my plate with veggies, and totally by pass the dessert.  A great plan – but not plan works if you fail to utilize it.

At the pot luck lunch, I did get my piece of chicken, a serving of green beans, some broccoli, and then I saw the sweet potato casserole. The voice in my head told me that a little scoop wouldn’t hurt.  Can you see where this is headed?  I ate the scoop, then a 2nd serving, and then felt compelled to eat the cake that my daughter  had asked for but only eaten the frosting off of.

Another day, another upset stomach!

The scale showed my lack of control this morning. I was up a pound. 

 I could choose to wallow in self-pity, beat myself up, and feel bad all day long.  But that’s pointless!  Instead, I am choosing to figure out why led to this behavior and what I can do differently this week.

  1. Drink water, water, water – Looking back over the entire weekend, I realized that I only drank 20 ounces of water.  My body was dehydrated and likely masked the dehydration as hunger.
  2. Do not skip pre-run fuel! – I felt as though I was starving all day on Saturday.   While a large part of this is due to #1, I also think that failing to fuel properly before my physical activity caused my body to seek extra calories, as it was unsure of when the next meal would be.
  3. Skip the sweets…at least to start – If I had not placed the sweet potato casserole on my plate in the beginning, I would likely not have gotten back up from my seat to get it later. I know that if I eat protein and veggies first and then wait a few minutes, I tend not want to eat sweets later.
  4. It is not my job to clean my daughter’s plate – Yes, it is likely wasteful to throw away a perfectly good piece of cake, simply because my daughter does not want it.  But I would prefer to be wasteful, than to harm my body by eating unnecessary sugar!
  5. Speaking of sugar….avoid it – Some people can consume sugary foods without problem. Not me.  If I have a bite of something sweet, that triggers a craving for more and more sweet things. So today start’s my sugar detox – simply put no candy bars, no sugar in my morning coffee, no processed foods with more than 5 grams of sugar.

How do you get back on track after overindulging?  Any tips for avoiding food binges?

Change Comes Slowly….But it Comes

Competing in a figure completion has been a dream of mine for years. I can recall devouring issue after issue of Oxygen magazine in college, secretly wishing that my physique would match those of the cover models.  But I never took the initiative to make the change, to pursue my dream.

And now I am.  Yet, I still feel restless – unsettled.  There have been a few days this week where I just wanted to scrap the whole plan.  Why?  Simply put – it’s hard.  The workouts require more of me physically than anything I have ever done before… and part of me wants to quit.  Then the results seem to be slow in coming.  2 weeks in and the scale has only budged 2 pounds.  I know 2 pounds IS 2 pounds but I feel as though I should see more.  I WANT to see more.

I am left feeling frustrated, wanting to quit and not wanting to quit all at the same time. This “quit or not to quit” argument had been playing on a continual loop in my head for several days, when a co-worker commented on the callous on my hands.  I informed her that I had started training for a fitness competition and the weights were shredding my hands (note to self – start wearing gloves).

There was a look of awe and admiration on her face when she replied “Wow!  You must be working hard. I admire you.”

Later that same afternoon, I slowly climbed the stairs to my office because my glutes and inner thigh muscles were screaming in protest. I contemplated scrapping my evening run. But decide that I could always stop and take walking breaks if the discomfort became too great.  The first few minutes of that run were tough. My legs felt leaden and my gait was awkward.  I kept running and soon I found my rhythm finishing the run a full minute faster than I had done on Monday.  

Thinking about it during the post run stretch, I realized something.  My body is being challenged – muscles that are underdeveloped are being forced to work, to tear, to breakdown so that they can grow stronger. It’s painful at first – just like the beginning of my run. However, if I keep going, it will become easier.  And I will be stronger at the end of it all.

So I am not going to quit.

I am going to keep training.

I am going to keep pushing.

It won’t always be easy.

There will be days and workouts that just plain stink.

But when all of the sweat, tears, fatigue, pain, and mental challenge will be worth it when I take the stage to compete.

I am pushing publish on this post.  So that the next time I feel like throwing in the towel (and my trainer assures me that day will come again), I can come back here and find the motivation to keep going.

Weekly Workouts: 10/15/12 – 10/21/12

I ended my post yesterday with a promise to be back later in the evening to share my weekly workout plan. However, life got in the way and I was unable to make it to my blog until today.  But better late than never….right?

The first week of figure competition training was intense.  Due to muscle fatigue and soreness, I was only able to complete 3 of the 6 workouts that my training plan called for.  Frustrated and disappointed in myself, I reached out to Terry.  He assured me that lots of people struggle in the beginning and suggested I scale back my lifting workouts to 3 times per week until my fitness level increased. He also recommended that I aim for 5 – 30 minute cardio sessions per week. Since I am already running 3 times per week for 30 to 45 minutes, I only have to add in an additional 2 cardio sessions.  With all that being said, here is my training plan for the week:

  •  Monday:  2.2 mile run with my running group
  • Tuesday: 30 minutes of Jump Sport Trampoline work and Week 2, Workout #1
  • Wednesday:  30 minutes of cardio – either walking on treadmill or Zumba
  • Thursday: 2.2 mile run with my running group
  • Friday: Week 2, Workout #2
  • Saturday: 5K run
  • Sunday: Week 2, Workout #3

 This training plan is still challenging but seems more manageable with both my schedule and my fitness level.

What do your workouts  look like this week?

Week in Review

Note: This post is quite wordy so bear with me!

Week 1 of my figure competition training has come to a close. And I have to say that is was probably one of the most challenging weeks I have experienced in quite some time.   Adjusting my eating habits and training style while attempting to juggle work, caring for my daughter, church activities, and housework left me feeling tired and slightly grumpy.  But I knew going into this that there would be an adjustment period, and times where I felt overwhelmed. However, I reminded myself the goal that I am working towards, and pushed thru.

So let’s talk about my triumphs and challenges this week.

Meals and Nutrition

Terry’s nutrition plan had me consuming 1600 calories per day that were spread over 5 meals. In terms of macronutrients, that broke down to 41% protein, 42 % carbs, and 17% fat.  Two days into the week, I found myself seriously struggling to eat all 1600 calories.  1600 calories may seem low like a low number, but  when the source of those calories is lean protein, vegetables, protein shakes, and either sweet potatoes or brown rice – it is a high volume of food.  I e-mailed Terry with dilemma and he advised me lower my calories to 1500.  The small switch made it easier to get in all of the food that I needed to consume.

I’d like to tell you that I ate according to plan every single day but I’d be lying.  There was a cheat meal with my family on Wednesday night, an off-plan lunch with co-workers on Thursday, and a family reunion on Saturday.  At each of these occurrences, I ate food that was not on plan and that truthfully, I really did not enjoy. Instead, I left the meals with that overstuff, sick feeling in my stomach.  It would that my body really does prefer clean eating.  I realized that I have to work and being comfortable enough to tell people what I’m doing, why I will not eat off-plan foods, and then prepare to bring my own meals to functions or events.


Last Sunday, I posted my training plan for the week. It looked like this:

  • Monday: 2. 2 mile run with group, Workout #1
  • Tuesday: 20 minutes of cardio, Workout #2
  • Wednesday: 20 minutes of cardio, Workout #3
  • Thursday: 2.2 mile run with group, Workout #1
  • Friday: 20 minutes of Cardio, Workout #2
  • Saturday: 5k Run with group
  • Sunday: 20 minutes of cardio, Workout #3

Monday was a holiday for me, so after running errands in the morning, I came home with intention of completing the entire first workout.  However, the first part of the workout kicked my butt, picked it up off the floor, and kicked it a second time.  I had worked so hard that I actually thought I would be sick – thankfully I wasn’t.  As I laid on the floor of my home gym, I was certain that my training plan was overly ambitious at best.  I spent some time foam rolling and stretching and was able to do my run on Monday night.

Tuesday’s workout seemed a tiny bit easier and I was able to complete the entire workout. This may be due to the fact that I worked out with a friend – and since I did not want her to think I was a wimp, we did the whole thing.

Wednesday brought MAJOR muscle soreness. I spent most of the day shuffling around the office as though I was 80 years old, and let’s not even talk about the stairs in my building. *Shudder*  I opted to take a rest day Wednesday night.

Thursday saw me complete my run and Part 1 of Workout #3.  I did not do part #2 due to time constraints. It was late when I got started, and since I was solo parenting for the evening, I needed to get Joycie bathed and ready for bed.

Friday was another rest day.

I ran with my group on Saturday morning.  However, due to time constraints the run was only 2.2 miles instead of the normal 3.1.

That bring us to today, Sunday.  What will I be doing today?  After talking with Terry, I have decided to start on Week 2’s training plan rather than squeeze in another Week 1 workout.  I’ll share my training plan for the week later today.  For now, I am off to church and then lunch with my family.

I hope each of you has a wonderful Sunday morning!


Working My Plan

I have been quiet here on the blog for most of the week. Typically when health and fitness bloggers go silent, it means one of two things:  1. they have fallen off the wagon so to speak (skipping workouts, eating junk, etc.) or 2. they have gained some weight and do not want to address it on the blog.

Thankfully neither is the case with me. Instead, my silence has been due to a jammed packed schedule.  Like I mentioned last week, I’ve started a new job and I am still trying to feel out my new schedule.  While my core work hours are the same (8 to 5), I now have to factor in commute time, extra time to daycare to pick up my daughter, etc.  Needing to rise early has pretty much eliminated blogger in the morning – unless I blog right before walking out my door as I am doing now.  And in the evenings, I have to workout, prepare dinner, wash clothes, take of my daughter, and do other household chores….which means by the time I can blog, I just don’t want to. So bear with me, I hope to be back on a regular, more frequent posting schedule soon.

In other news, my first week of figure competition training is going GREAT!  The workouts are extremely challenging but the hour flies by and at the end I feel accomplished.  The nutritional component of the plan did scare me a first – eating 5 meals a day, higher protein and carb counts that I am used to consuming, very structured. But I committed. And after 3 days, I am in love with this way of eating. 

The nutritional plan allows me 2 cheat meals each week. A cheat meal  is supposed to be something that still provides nutritional value but that is not normally included in the plan (i.e. a nice steak, a slice of pizza – not a whole pizza washed down with a milkshake.)

 My brother and sister-in-law invited us to dinner last night, so I opted to use a cheat meal then.  My sister-in-law had prepared mini French dip sandwiches. I had 2 – each with about 3 ounces of roast, a slice of pepperjack cheese, and tipped in 2 tablespoons of the a jus sauce.  While the meal was delish, my stomach felt full and border line sick afterwards. It seems that my body is already preferring my new way of eating.

Well, off to work I go. Have a great day everyone!

Do you have “cheat meals” as part of your healthy eating? How are you workouts going this week? If you are a blogger, how do you make time for blogger when live gets busy?

Weekly Workouts: 10/8/12 – 10/14/12

Happy Sunday Everyone! I hope that everyone is having a fantastic weekend. Mine has been great. The hubby got off from work a bit earlier on Friday, so the three of us stayed up late playing (nothing beats a tea party at 10:00 p.m.), watching movies, and cuddling.  Saturday started with a 2 mile run at the local track as the fog was too heavy to run safely on the roads, followed by a cookout  that lasted late into the evening. Nothing beats grilling and football.

On Friday, I blogged about my new training opportunity.  I did not go into great details about the plan as I figure it would be easier to comment on it when I shared the weekly workout.  The first week of training is fairly straight forward. I have 3 lifting workouts that I will repeat 2 times through-out the week. The lifting workouts are designed to last an hour, but can be shortened to just 30 minutes if your conditioning is not quite up to the 60 minutes.  Additionally, it is suggested to do cardio 4 times a week for 20 minutes, or if you are already doing cardio to add an additional 20 mins 4 times a week.  Since I fall into the latter category, this is how my week is going to look:

Monday: 2. 2 mile run with group, Workout #1

Tuesday: 20 minutes of cardio, Workout #2

Wednesday: 20 minutes of cardio, Workout #3

Thursday: 2.2 mile run with group, Workout #1

Friday: 20 minutes of Cardio, Workout #2

Saturday: 5k Run with group

Sunday: 20 minutes of cardio, Workout #3

Looking at the plan, I realize that I do not have a defined rest day.  I thought about adding the second round of Workout #3 to my Saturday – but I have family portraits that afternoon and need the extra time to get myself, the hubby, and our daughter ready.  During week two, I will shift things around so that I have a solid rest day at least once per week.  Moreover, the 20 minutes of cardio that I am doing 4 days per week will NOT be running – so that I can reduce my risk of an overuse injury. I am planning on using those 20 minutes for things like Zumba, traditional aerobics, and some trampoline workouts.  My new company allows employees to use 30 minutes of our work day for health and fitness activity, so I can either use that time for my additional cardio or half of a lifting workout! 

I am eager to see how this first week of training goes as well as the week’s to come.  For now,  I am off to finish prepping my meals for the week (more on this tomorrow).

What does your workout schedule look like this week? Anybody starting a new training plan?  Got a great 20 cardio workout you want to send my way?

Figure Competition Training Starts Monday

Early this week, I blogged about the goals that I hoped to achieve in October and beyond. After I pushed publish on that post, I could not get my long-term goals off my mind.  I kept thinking that I had started working towards 3 of those 4 goals – I’m slowly building my running miles, have ordered my personal training materials, and have started doing more Zumba.  But I have taken no steps toward competing in a figure competition.

And truthfully, I have no idea how to go about it.  So what did I do – nothing other than turn to my trusty friend “Google”.  That’s how I found Terry Stokes.  Terry offers a 12-week at home program that is designed to get someone ready to compete.  I read review after review and was BLOWN away by the results – moreover Terry stated that the workouts could be done at home.  But Terry’s program costs $167.00.

Granted that is far cheaper than hiring a personal trainer at my local gym but it was still out of my price range.  I decided to take a gamble and e-mailed Terry to see if we could work out a deal.  I explained to Terry that I was a wife, mama, and a career woman who was looking to get into competition shape. I told him that I was also a health and fitness blogger (side note: still find that hard to believe).  I asked if he would be willing to offer me the program at discount in exchange for me sharing my journey here on the blog.

Then I waited…..

And waited….

And 4 hours later, Terry e-mailed me to tell me that not only would he discount the program, he would give it to me for free. (FCC: While I am getting the program for free, all thoughts/opinions are my own).

I have spent the rest of my week, reading all of the materials, creating my training schedule, making a training notebook, writing out shopping lists, and figuring out when/how to do my food prep. Since Monday is a holiday for my company, I am going to use the day to prep all my meals for the week, and then complete my first workout Monday night.

There are not enough words to describe how excited I am about this. I have been talking about figure competitions for YEARS….and now I am actually moving towards my goal.

I will be back later this weekend to outline the first week of Terry’s plan for me!  But for now, there’s an adorable 3-year-old who wants me to play dress-up with her.


Focusing on the Future: Goals for October and Long-Term Goals

Within a few days of the end of Fitbloggin 2012, Amy tweeted “#fitbloggin 2013 is 9 months away. Who is up for some goal setting? What do you want to accomplish in the next 9 months?” I told Amy that her tweet had the wheels turning in my head. Then I got busy unpacking, cleaning my house, preparing to start my new job, and forgot all about sitting down and writing out my goals. Then last week the fab folks at Fitmixer challenged the bootcamp participants to write down goals for ourselves.

Umm…two seperate and distinct reminders/hints/suggestions to WRITE DOWN my goals…. in the span of just a week.

I can be hardheaded but even I realized that someone was giving me a nudge, so I decided to act upon it.  I started my goal making process my writing everything out in a journal that I carry in my purse. It was 9 pages long (I tend to be verbose) which I knew would make for a massive blog post – and likely something nobody would read but me.

So I decided to break my goals up into a few different posts.  First, I will discuss my goals for October as well list my 4 Long-term goals. In the subsequent posts, I will outline the actions I intend to take to complete the 4 Long-term goals.

October Goals 

1. Run 3 times per week with my running group. Focus 1 run on completing an entire 5K route.

2. Try 1 new workout each week – Zumba, Crossfit, GPP, a DVD etc.

3. Lift 2 times per week with my husband or on my own.

4. Drink at least 100 ounces of water each day.

5. Cut back my consumption of Diet Coke to 1 per day.

**Goals 1-2 and 4 will continue from October into the following months unless otherwise stated.

Long Term Goals: Deadline  June 20,2013

1.  Run a 10K Race.

2. Earn my personal training certification

3. Earn (or be in the process of obtaining) my Zumba Instructor certification.

4. Compete in a Figure Competition.

What do you think? Do my goals seem reasonable/attainable? Do you think I’m aiming too low – i.e selling myself short?  What are you goals for October or beyond?

FitMixer Bootcamp: Week Three Recap

I am going to change the format of my Fitmixer Bootcamp Weekly Recaps. I think this format will allow me to share my progress, my successes, and my failure in a more concise manner. As always, I welcome you thoughts/feedback.

Weekly Weigh-in:  I am up 2 pounds from last week. However, given that it is that time of the month, I am not too shocked by this number. I am focusing on drinking plenty of fluids and fully expect to see this gain (and a bit more) gone at the beginning of next week.

Favorite Workout of the Week:  The bootcamp workouts keep getting better and better. Each day brings a new challenge and I absolutely love learning the new moves.  This week my favorite workout was titled “Ancient Pyramid”.  The workout consisted of 5 different moves. The first move was for 20 reps, the 2nd for 30, and so on until I reached 60 reps. The the pyramid went in reverse.  Then to add an additional challenge, we were encourage to repeat the pyramid 2 MORE TIMES!  Massive amounts of sweat dripped on my living room floor, and I may have had to call the hubby to come help me reach a standing position.  🙂 

Favorite Meal/Snack of the Week: I am loving the Fitmixer Vanilla Milkshake Protein Powder. I  have been using it to make breakfast smoothies – for a quick and portable breakfast.  The powder has a wonderful vanilla flavor without a chalky aftertaste that many protein powders have and no gritty texture!

How was your 3rd week of the Fitmixer Bootcamp? Favorite Workout? Favorite Meal/Snack?