Think what you want…

Warning.. This post is pretty raw…

This past weekend I left my family for 5 days and chased a dream. It was a really big deal for me and I worked really hard to prepare for it the past several months. Thankfully I have an a amazing husband that supports me and allowed me to pursue this dream.  I learned a lot about myself and what I am capable of. Things I would have never thought possible just a few short years ago.

What is upsetting and discouraging is that not everyone supports me. That became apparent within 24 hours of me leaving. People that I think should support me, don’t. When you are going after something that you really want it can be disheartening when your dream is just dismissed as something crazy and/or a waste of time.

Let me be clear, I am not looking for a pity party. If you have a dream, no matter how crazy someone else may think it is… Go for it. Don’t let those people discourage you or stop you. Life is too short to get caught up in what other people think. This has become more and more clear to me recently.

I don’t know what will come out of my weekend. I feel very strongly that God had me there for a reason. Nothing that I have done to prepare for it involved putting a square peg into a round hole. Everything will be revealed to me in His time and I am at peace and okay with that.

If you have a dream, no matter how big or how crazy… Go for it. You don’t want to look back and say what if.

Advertisements

OhYeah!

Do you ever think, wow that would be a cool job to have?  Or, wow I really wish I could do that?  If so, stop thinking it would be cool and go for it!  We all have dreams and goals, why not make them a reality?

Dreams and goals are great things to have.  They give you something to work towards.  Some are easily obtainable and others are harder to achieve.  I set a goal in 2011 to compete in the bikini division of a fitness competition. After 8 months of hard work I reached my goal.  Throughout the process I was able to make changes to my style of eating and obtain the healthy habits I had only dreamed of before.

Before & After

Another goal I had was to start this blog.  Believe it or not, I struggled with starting this for a long time!  It was something that I knew I wanted to do but I was scared to start.  I really wanted to create a platform to inspire and encourage others that are experiencing the same struggles that I have in the past and the challenges that I now face.  At the beginning of the year I decided that I was going to do it, no more messing around.  I was having a hard time coming up with a title and one day I was doing my Bible study and the title came to me.  If that wasn’t a sign from God that I needed to get going I don’t know what is!

I have recently achieved another goal/dream I had.  Protein drinks and bars can have a bad rep.  People associate them with body builders and people with huge muscles.  Huge misconception if this is your train of thought!  My first question is… do I look big, bulky or really muscular?  No!  I drink protein shakes and eat protein bars on a daily basis.  I use drinks to help my muscles recover from my workouts.  I also use drinks and bars for snacks.  As a mom, I am on the go a lot as I am sure many of you are whether you have kids or not.  It is hard to find the time to eat a healthy snack or meal.  Skipping meals is not good so what do you do when you are limited on your time?  You grab a protein bar or drink!  I am super excited to tell you that I am now a Brand Ambassador for OhYeah! Nutrition!  OhYeah! is the perfect fit for busy people.  They have several lines of protein bars to choose from depending on what you want (low carb, gluten free, trail mix, full size, small size, etc).  They also have traditional protein powder but they have ready to drink drinks too!  Nothing is more convenient than that for the on the go person!  You can check out their website www.ohyeahnutrition.com for a complete list of products.  The products are easy to find also.  Examples of stores that carry OhYeah! are Vitamin Shoppe, GNC, HeathNutz, Nutrishop, Harris Teeter, QuikTrip gas stations and many more places including your favorite juice bar!  So what exactly do I do?  I go to stores that carry OhYeah! products and different events around Charlotte and give out free samples.  I’ve added a calendar to this page so you can see where I will be and can come see me!  I’ll be at Flavors (a new juice bar inside LA Fitness in Charlotte) today from 5p-7p.  You can also track me via Twitter and Instagram (@fitnessgirlclt) to see what I am up to!

554925_10151605838940959_1192358665_a

I’ve got some other goals that I am working on that I will share at a later time.  Sometimes it’s good to keep things close for a while but I can assure you I am doing my best to make them happen!  If you have a goal or dream, make it a reality.  No one is going to make it happen for you.  If you want something you have to go for it.  If things don’t happen immediately it may not be the right timing but don’t give up.  You never know when the time is right and you don’t want to let it pass you by!

I challenge you!

When was the last time you tried something new with your workouts? Do you always use the same cardio machines? Do the same weight routine week after week? Always take the same aerobic classes? Do you ever see something and think to yourself how much you would love to try it?

I took a deep stretch yoga class on Friday last week at the studio I go to regularly, Be Yoga in Charlotte, but it was in a different room than my normal Sunday night class. This particular day it was in the same room that aerial yoga is held. I had seen the class advertised but never thought too much about it. As I was laying there in my stretches (in deep stretch yoga you hold stretches for about 3 minutes per stretch) looking up at the silks hanging from the ceiling my curiosity started running. Of course the first thing that came to mind was I probably couldn’t do it because of my back.

Fast forward to Sunday when I arrived for my regular deep stretch class. When I was checking in I was asked which class I was there for. Turns out it was the first night they were offering beginner aerial yoga. I am always up to trying something new when it comes to fitness and this now had my full attention! I went to talk to the instructor, Josh, and told him about my back issues. He told me that I could modify (the best thing about yoga! Anybody can do it no matter your fitness level. There are so many modifications you can make and the instructors are always happy to show and help you!) so I told him I was in! The class was so much fun and didn’t bother my back!!! I did try 1 pose that didn’t feel great on my back so I immediately stopped and did it on the floor like I already knew how to do. It was a much different workout than I am used to but I loved pushing myself to new limits!

Look, no hands!

Look, no hands!

Just hanging out!

Just hanging out!

So this is my challenge to you… Try something new! Does your gym have TRX? Kettle bells? Have you taken a yoga class? Wondering about that spin class? Thinking about swimming for cardio? Do it! Stop talking yourself out of it and just go for it!

Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter, Instagram & Pinterest @fitnessgirlclt

Gotta Adjust

I know, I know… I have been MIA for a couple of weeks now.  I bet you have been wondering what I have been doing.  Well, I have been laying around playing Candy Crush, taking hot baths, not doing weights or cardio, going to the pool, and I got a massage.  Before you start wondering if I have fallen off the deep end let me explain…

Remember my back problems that haunt me every so often?  The pain has come back and hit a peak last Monday.  I was in the gym to do my regular weight workout but with lower weight and then planned on swimming.  I did my first set (was doing back and chest that day, I do 3 exercises consecutively rest for 30 seconds then repeat for a total of 4 sets) and the pain in my back started increasing.  I did the second set and then pain was so bad I had to stop right then.  It took all I had to put my equipment away.  I immediately started trying to stretch and left to go home shortly there after.

When I say I was laying around, what I really mean is I was laying on the floor on an ice pack or heating pad (I played Candy Crush during this, lol!).  Sitting is the worst for low back pain so instead of sitting I lay flat.  I have also been taking baths using Epsom salts a couple of times a week.  My youngest son decided that his back hurt too and he needed to lay on the ice also…

Jack's "back hurt too"

I have been going to the gym but more to stay in the habit and to get myself and my kids out of the house each morning.  I have not been doing weights or my regular cardio.  On a normal week I go to the gym 5 days doing 4 days of weights and cardio plus 1 functional workout (fast paced plyometrics).  Recently I have been just riding the upright bike, walking a few laps around the track and stretching.  I can’t remember the last time I left the gym a sweaty mess.  However, this is what my body needs right now.  I have changed my workouts to help my back.  For now that means doing my workouts using machines (instead of free weights) and only doing 2 days (1 upper body, 1 lower body) and only doing what doesn’t hurt.  I’m also taking a regular yoga class and at least 1 if not 2 deep stretch yoga classes a week.

I have been going to the pool but not always to get some Vitamin D 🙂  Since most cardio puts weight and pressure on your hips (which puts pressure on the back) my options are very limited.  I have started swimming and doing pool workouts.  If you have an injury and have access to the pool this is an excellent option.  There is no pressure on your joints meaning you can get through your workout pain free!  Plus for some reason I always feel like I am burning more calories when I swim.

And the massage… there was not pleasurable or enjoyable about it at all!  I went to a massage therapist that I went to in the fall when I was having problems that specializes in sports therapy.  He gets into the muscles and works to release the tension.  There was a lot of “ouch” and hardly any “ahh”!  In my therapist’s defense I did feel much better when it was all over!

So if you have an injury don’t let it take you out.  Adjust your workouts to do what you can and stay in your routine.  Try to continue your normal gym trips as best you can doing the exercises that you can so you don’t fall out of habit.  When you start filling your gym time with other things that becomes your normal routine and you could have a hard time getting back in gear once you are better.

Writing this blog standing up

Writing this blog standing up

No Cheating!!

I usually work out by myself but on Friday I worked out with a friend.  My friend has worked out off and on over the years but has a big event coming up later this summer and wants to lose some weight before then.  She is doing the Cathy Savage 60 Day Summer Smack Down (Cathy Savage is who I train through) and she had questions about some of the exercises.  I offered to go to her gym to answer her questions and then after we worked biceps and triceps and did 30 minutes of treadmill HIIT (high intensity interval training).

Once we got the questions out of the way we got started on weights.  I am proud to say that she had good form!  Form is so important when using weights (and machines).  If you do not have good form you could miss the muscle that you are trying to train or even worse bad form can lead to injuries.  As far as amount of weight be sure to lift enough to challenge you.  Going too light can defeat the purpose and going too heavy can lead to bad form and injuries.  You are taking the time out of your day to exercise, get the most bang for your time by using the right amount of weight and good form!

Next was our HIIT on the treadmill.  I didn’t tell her this (but she will know when she reads this!) that I chose the interval plan that I least like to do.  It is really challenging for me… it involves walking, running, mountain climbers, push-ups and hop squats.  I picked this one because I wanted to set a good example for her and I knew that would push me to do my best.  We can all slack off when we think no one is watching but if you know someone is watching you want to go as hard as you can!  Bad thing about working out with someone is if you are trying to “cheat” your way through it, you can get called out on it 🙂

Exercise takes time out of our day that we can probably think of a million other things to do instead.  If you make the effort to go to the gym, why waste it by not giving it 100%?  Another friend commented to me one day how I was so good on my workouts and I follow what my sheet says (I’m old school and print out my workout sheet and carry it around with me).  I told her if I didn’t follow my plan (workouts and nutrition) then I would be wasting my money (on my gym membership and Cathy Savage).  I read the other week that 1 meal won’t make you fat and 1 meal won’t make you skinny.  How true is that?!  Whatever it is you want to get out of your gym time, be sure you give it all you’ve got.  You don’t want to waste your time or money!

Not what I planned…

Last week my kids had spring break from pre-school so I was looking forward to a slower pace week, fun times with my boys and some good workouts. That’s not exactly how the week went down.

After I got back to my parent’s house from my workout last Monday, my 4 year old was not acting himself at all. He is normally bouncing off the walls, running around and asking when we are going to do our next activity. Instead I found him sitting and being really quiet and telling me nothing was wrong. About 30 minutes later he had a fever. My 2 year old and husband were just getting over a stomach bug that was going around so I instantly knew what was coming. I ended up getting us packed up immediately and we left to come home. Poor boy got sick right as I was turning onto the interstate. Thanks to baby wipes I keep in my car and our clothes from traveling I was able to get him and the car cleaned up so we could get back on our way home. As a mom traveling alone with sick kids, nothing makes you feel worse than your son asking you to come sit in the backseat with him when you are the only person that can drive the car 😦

The bug lingered for the next 2 days so the gym was a no-go Tuesday and Wednesday (I will say my Monday leg workout was killer though because I was sore until Thursday from it!). He was acting fine for the most part and doing lots of playing (the weather was beautiful!) but his stomach still wasn’t quite right. I felt more comfortable keeping him close to home. While all this was going on my nose started running like crazy. By Thursday my little guy was good to go and I got a good workout in but by Friday morning I wasn’t feeling it. I have a problem of not listening to my body when it is telling me to slow down so I usually end up making whatever minor symptoms I have way worse by not resting. I ended up going to the gym and getting my weights done Friday morning but I decided to do some light steady state cardio instead of the HIIT (high intensity interval training) I was going to do. I did however come home and rest and got a workout in on Saturday.

So now it is a new week and time to get back into our school routine for the next two months. After not getting my regular workouts in I am so ready and motivated to kill every workout this week. We all have those weeks where things don’t go like we had hoped and obstacles pop up to get us off track. The question is what are you going to do when you get across the hurdle? You get back up and sprint down the track, I’ll be in the lane right next to you! Have a great week!

No Skinny Genes Here!

So you know those people that have high metabolism? They eat all kinds of stuff (i.e. bad for you foods) and don’t gain a pound? The people that don’t exercise at all but are still skinny? Unfortunately for me I am not one of those people! I am not the girl that eats what I want and goes to the gym a few times here and there and does light workouts. If I let up on my nurtition, what I eat starts to show up on my body. My workouts suffer big time. My strength goes downhill and cardio is a struggle. Not the kind of struggle when you are challenging yourself. I am talking struggling because I have put so much junk in my body that I don’t get the fuel I need for my workouts.

Well, actually it is not so unfortunate. It’s not so bad to eat clean. Don’t get me wrong, I have 1-2 treat meals per week (let’s be honest… if the feedback I get from my coach says I can have 1-2 treat meals for that week, you can bet I am going to go with 2. Just keeping it real!) and I look forward to those meals (notice I said meals and not days). However after I finish I always say it was so good going down but I don’t feel so good physically after the fact. When you eat clean your body gets used to the good food that you are fueling it with and your body runs so much better and more efficiently. Did you know 80% of your body comes from nutrition (thanks Tosca Reno for this super tidbit of information!)? The saying “abs are made in the kitchen” is no lie! Do you have to eat perfect 100% of the time? No way, that is a sure way to set yourself up for failure. A treat meal is good to satisfy your cravings and to change things up for your body.

So, I’ll take my metabolism as it is. I get my high metabolism by eating healthy foods and killing my workouts in the gym!

If you are wondering what clean eating is I recommend reading Tosca Reno’s The Eat Clean Diet. No, it is not a diet but a different style of eating.

I’m finally doing it!

Hi! Welcome to my blog! This is something I have been wanting to do for a while but did not have the courage to do. It is time to put my fears aside and get started!

You are probably wondering why I am starting a blog. As a wife and mother I know how easy it is to lose ourselves in the needs of everyone around us. My goal is to encourage others that it is okay to take time for yourself and do things that you enjoy. My hobby is fitness and exercise, you may have a different passion. Regardless of your passion, take the time to pursue it. Don’t feel guilty for doing something for yourself!

This is a little bit about the journey I have been on since January 2011…

A little over two years ago I after our second son was born and I knew that we were finished having children I decided I was going to take my body back. My boys are two years apart so for 3 years my body was on a roller coaster. I was ready to lose all the extra weight I had gained, start getting serious in the gym and clean up my eating. I have always been heavier than I wanted even though I had been working out in the gym for over 10 years at that point. I never pushed myself very hard and I did not eat very healthy (more on my past eating habits in a future post!).

So on January 1, 2011 I made a resolution that I actually kept! I enlisted my husband’s help (even though he is a personal trainer and we own a gym, I worked out at a different gym, he did not train me and only helped me when I asked for it) to help me put my workouts together and for guidance on my nutrition. My boys and I went to the gym five days per week and I counted my calories. Within three months I had hit my goal weight. I decided to keep pushing myself hard in the gym and keep on my same nutrition plan and see where my body would take me.

Since then I have competed in several NPC Bikini Competitions and I am maintaining the physique that I worked so hard to acheive through exercise and healthy eating habits. In April 2012 I joined Cathy Savage Fitness to get more guidance on my workouts and nutrition. My goals have shifted away from competing and I now have new goals surrounding the fitness industry.

I want to thank you for taking the time to read my blog and I hope you will come back and read more. I have so much to share with you that I hope will leave you inspired to follow your dreams!