About Me

Monday, July 19, 2010

I'm baaaack!

Geeze it feels like I've been gone forever (yes I did just say geeze for the first time since the 3rd grade, don't run away though! Much crazier things come out of this mouth!) I've been out doin my thang, livin' life and having fun but I've missed the bloggy. Nevermind  the fact that I keep finding awesome blogs to subscribe to and the Google Reader has reached over 300 unread posts, yikes! I'm thinking I need to trim it down a lot little.

I have copious amounts of pictures to share but as I get back into the swing of things (i.e. not being an internet hermit) I'm going to try to get on a posting schedule where every day of the week will be something different. It doesn't necessarily mean that I'll post everyday but when I do it will be on a specific thing. That way I can't use my guilt of not posting or a lack of immediate ideas as a reason not to post :O)

Today's post will be a workout tip. As I've become a gym addict rat, I catch myself watching other people as they workout and other trainers as they work with clients just to see how other people do things. Its become a great way to find new and innovative ways to work my muscles. I hate workout boredom and for me that means switching it up a lot. This move I saw my trainer do with another client and then we tried it together with hilariously painful results :O)

 I bring you Windshield Wiper Abs!

Awhile ago in Women's Health I saw this picture talking about the "toughest ab move ever"
A move so tough, that they had have a person hold her up and then photoshop him out of the picture (kudos to WH for admitting it!)

It was a move that I never thought I could do. Ever. And I love me some tough ab moves. However, after I saw a modified version, I thought I should give it a try.

To start: This is done on a Smith Machine 
 You'll adjust the bar so that it's at about waist height. Put some weight (I use 25 pound plates) on each end so that it won't move. You wont be lifting the bar at all, it's just there to hang on to (and believe me, you'll need it!)

 1. Position an exercise ball underneath the bar and lay down on it. Your butt should be off or almost off the ball.
2. Now kick your legs up vertical.
3. While hanging onto the bar, tilt your legs as far as you can go to one side, without sliding off the ball, then bring them back to center.
4. Tilt your legs to the opposite side as far as you can go and bring them back to center.
5. Tip your legs straight out (Ideally your body would make a straight plank resting on the exercise ball) and bring them back up to vertical.

That's one rep. Killer I know! Start with as many as you can (I do about 10) and work up to multiple sets of 10-12 with plenty of rest in between (at least 1 minute)

Variations: Not quite up to it yet? here's some "easier" versions... I use quotes because, well, they're all hard.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A6TM2vL1w04- Flat on the floor, legs straight up.
    -Easier: Knees bent
    -Harder Put exercise ball between your feet (hands straight out to make a T for stability)

Working up to being able to do this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0pFY_TQ1400

Crazy I know! Ps. Sorry for the YouTube links... I  don't quite know how to embed a video from YT onto here. Let me know if you try it! I've personally done the exercise ball method and my abs were so sore the next day. It was awesome!

Something to think about:
*What's your favorite ab move?
*Ever get tips from watching other people (exercise or non-exercise related) that you just loved?

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Goals update

To help me stay on track with my goals, I am going to post weekly about how I'm doing on them for the remainder of July and then I'll start all over again with August. So far, I love monthly goals. I feel more motivated to stick to them, since it's only a month. It also helps that the goals I've set for this month are very doable and fairly easy to stick to.

1. Pick a running program- well this is kind of cheating but I already had one pretty much picked out. It's the Runner's World "FIRST Run Less, Run Faster" program by Bill Pierce, Scott Murr, and Ray Moss. FIRST stands for Furman Institute of Running and Scientific Training. The theory behind the program is 3plus2 which means that I'll run 3 times a week (doing a variety of types) and then strength train/cross train 2 times a week. Their theory is that by pushing harder on the 3 run days, race times will go down while endurance goes up. Disclaimer: I haven't finished the book yet, but what I've read so far has been scientifically researched, and fully tested on a wide range of individuals. I haven't started it yet but I'm excited to get going!

2. Hike more frequently (at least once a week)- The day I posted my July goals, my brother and I went on a bangin hike up a local trail. I burned over 1,000 calories in less than 2 hours, got to hang out with my brother, and take my doggies too. Now I know why I bought the Polar HRM, working out outside is a blast!

Me and my brother at the top

The beautiful view

Hot puppies :O)

3. Beef up the weight routine- I haven't done as much with this one yet. I've stuck with 3 days a week of weight training for this week but I definitely upped how many exercises I'm doing and have increased my resistance on a couple of them. Right now I'm thinking of doing one week of weight training every day (focusing on different body parts) and then one week of 3 days a week for awhile to help get used to it. 

4. Get on the job hunt- I've done really well with this one! I applied for several teaching positions in the area and have an interview next week for one. As well I have another job offer for a position with Starbizzle (hello cheap coffee!) so we'll see how it all plays out. I'm still going to keep looking until I know for sure if I have a teaching position or not.

5. Less snacking, more eating- I've been trying really hard to work on my grazing habits this past week and it's getting much better! I've been trying to focus on eating at least 4 mini meals, preferably 5. 6 times a day works great during the school year when my schedule is planned out to the minute, but in the summer it just doesn't happen. I'm also going to start tracking my food a couple days a week. It helps me snack less, and it will also make sure that I'm hitting my macronutrient ratios (protein, carbs, fat) and eating enough to fuel my workouts.

6. Do Yoga once a week- I actually tried the yoga class at my gym. Truthfully, it sucked. She was an amazing Yogi but not a very good instructor, especially for someone with basic skills (like me!). So it was not a success but I'm not giving up! I'm going to do some searching for yoga podcasts of iTunes and hit up YogaDownload for some workouts. Plus I've got Bob (a la Biggest Loser fame) to work me into a sweaty yoga mess with his Weight Loss Yoga DVD which is actually a lot of fun.

After doing the update, I feel much better about my progress towards my goals. I'm going to keep working on them and see how much more progress I can make in another week. I hope you have a wonderful Saturday. After my super long (over 2 hours!) sweat sesh this morning, I'm off to enjoy my (other) brother being home from college and do a whole lotta this:


Tuesday, July 6, 2010

july goals

All around the blogosphere, I've seen lots of people posting mid-year goals. Some do it like a check up on those dreaded New Years resolutions, and others just post goals for the month. These wonderful posts have got my inspiration button buzzing and itching to do my own goals. Because, let's face it.... I suck at resolutions. I make them (in my head), I don't write them down, and I forget them by February. I generally make them unattainable and boring, which sure doesn't help. However, I can do monthly goals; that's only 30ish days I have to remember them! So without further ado

July Goals
  • Pick a running program- I am still a newbie runner and I think a running program would really help me get my 5k time down, raise my endurance, and increase my confidence in my ability to run.
  • Hike more frequently- At least once a week I want to take my doggies and/or siblings on a hike
  • Beef up the weight routine- I would like to see an increase in how heavy of weights I can lift and start training specific body parts every day
  • Get on the job hunt- I need to start checking for teaching jobs and getting all those apps in order
  • Less snacking, more eating- sounds like an oxymoron huh? I need to work on how much I much between meals or instead of meals (as is more likely to happen) and instead plan out what I'm going to eat every day. I need to put more thought into what's going in my mouth!
  • Do Yoga once a week- I have the ability to do it at home and I need to work on my flexibility.

So there you have it , what I hope to accomplish (or at least start on) in the month of July. I'll try to update the bloggy with my progress and see how it goes.

Something to think about.... Do you set goals? If so, how often? Ever find inspiration from other blogs?

Saturday, July 3, 2010

battling the binge

Today was just one of those days. It wasn't particularly bad, just... off. Yes, "off" is a good way to describe it. I've been housesitting for a friend and had grand plans of laying by their huge pool all day but the wind definitely ruined that. I forced myself went to the gym this morning for one of my beloved Saturday workouts... and it sucked. I just didn't want to be there, I had to force myself to complete every rep, and even though I got a good sweat on I didn't feel much better at the end of it.

But the worst part of the day is that I completely binge ate. It's been so long since I've self sabotaged myself, and it hit today. I wasn't in a terrible mood, I wasn't emotionally eating, I was just eating crap. And lots of it. I was at my friend's house which is filled with (gluten free) junk food... (Side note: who knew so much junk food could be gluten free??? I thought that was code word for healthy but never would have put Cheetos, potato chips, chocolate covered peanuts, and m&ms in that list). Out of curiosity, I tried a couple bites of a lot of things (foods I don't have at my house) and then proceeded to keep nibbling on the good stuff all day long.

The old Christina would be sitting here right now, stuffed to the brim, and beating myself up one side and down the other. I would be calling myself ten kinds of horrible names, obsessively weighing myself, and planning a ridiculously low calorie meal plan and an intense sweat sesh for first thing in the morning.

But (yes there is a but!) I'm not stuffed, I had lots of little bites, licks, and nibbles, and a few too many handfuls of Cheetos, but I'm not stuffed to the brim. And tomorrow is my rest day from the gym, and I'd rather sunbathe and hang out with my family than get up for a 6 a.m. pre-church run. So for the first time ever, I'm going to let this one slide. I'm going to try to learn from it and then move on.

What I've learned:
* I need a game plan for unfamiliar settings. It's different at my house, where we have very little junk food and I have a set routine, this wasn't the case in this situation.
*I need to learn its okay to relax the rules (a lot) once in a while. I've been trying to "eat intuitively" and have been relaxing my strict eating rules a little bit, but I'm trying to learn that one day of crazy eating isn't going to undo all of my progress.
*Don't keep Cheetos in the house. I will eat the whole bag, yes even the family sized one. Nuff said.
*Have a portion, not a bunch of small bites. If I want a treat, I am the type of person that needs to measure out a portion of 1 or 2 treats and have that be it. All of my small bites add up to a whole lotta food throughout the day.
*I feel better when I eat healthy. No longer is it a chore to pre plan meals and eat veggies when my friends are eating chips. My body craves these things, and right now it is not happy with me for ignoring what it wants.
*Even after a binge, I will be okay. This one is MAJOR! Right now, I'm blogging instead of beating myself up. I'm relaxed. I still put on my bikini this afternoon, even after eating all that junk (I never used to do that). When I'm done blogging, I'm going to go sit by the fire with my family and roast marshmallows. And yes, I'm even going to eat a couple.

It's okay to let yourself off the hook once in awhile, so long as it doesn't become a habit. Tomorrow, I'll be right back on track, and in a few days this binge will be nothing more than a blip on the radar. This is being healthy to me and one binge isn't going to ruin all of that.

Friday, July 2, 2010

life is worth living

Confession... I haven't thought about A Beautiful Mess at all in the last week. Not beyond the passing thought of "I should probably sit down for an update." It's not  for a lack of post ideas- I've got those coming out my ears. These past couple weeks, instead of being glued to my computer screen for hours a day, I've been out living life. And it's been wonderful. In fact, I wouldn't change it for the world.

So instead of blogging I've been spending lots of time out here:

Doing lots of this:

Gettin my tan on (with suncscreen!)

Playing with this adorable duo

Eating lots and lots (and lots!) of these:

Those are fresh from our garden I might add :O) The mass amounts of strawberries, pineapple, apples, watermelon and veggies I've been consuming are not, however, they are deeelicious :O)

I've been helping out my momma with her garden and flowers

Spending lots of time with the momma
Isn't she perrrty? Plus she's my official gym buddy now :O) Workouts are so much more fun with someone else there, even if we don't usually do our workouts side by side.

I've spent lots of time sweatin it out on this:

And lifting lots of these:

And spending incredibly large amounts of time goofing off with this little monkey (aka my sister)

There have also been copious amounts of hiking, running, sweatin it out with the trainer, eating, guzzling water & ice tea like there's no tomorrow, laughing, and drinking vino. To me, this is what summer is supposed to be like: living, laughing, and having fun. So while this means irregular blog posts, it's all worth it. The blog will still be here when I have time to update. My Google Reader will still be full when I get around to it. I'm finally in a place where I am happy and confident enough to enjoy my life, and I'm not going to take this time for granted. Right now, I'm off to hang out with my siblings and spend some time out in the garden before likely ending up doing the same thing in the last picture :O) I hope that you are off enjoying your summer as well! Happy Friday :O)