Tag Archives: goals

What’s Beautiful?

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I’m so excited to a part of the Under Armour What’s Beautiful Challenge with the rest of my friends from Fitfluential. The reason why I promote this campaign and think it is such a beautiful movement is because it pushes women to perform better and challenges them to do whatever it is they have been wanting to do but haven’t been able to make the commitment. Last year when this challenge first started, my goal was to compete in my first NPC Competition. I didn’t sign up online for the Under Armor What’s Beautiful Challenge, but I did mentally. I was so busy with training, I didn’t think I could have had enough time to do video logs and blog about it on both the Under Armour website and my own blog….but I wish I did! Regardless, this movement helped me to pick a goal and DO IT. No thinking, no pondering about it endlessly, just doing it. And it was ultimately and amazing experience. (By the way, this post might look slightly familiar to one I wrote in October of 2012 about self-worth….check it out here!)

This year is different though. As much as I wish I had one goal to work towards, I’m focusing on two slightly broad things. Balance and muscle growth. I believe balance is a challenge in itself, but it’s one that I’m learning how to master. Muscle growth, as you probably know, is a HUGE challenge for me. I tend to psych myself out a lot because I think that the reason why I’m not growing is because I don’t eat enough, but honestly, I think I eat just fine. I have a very well rounded and balanced diet and I would much rather eat when I want instead of having to time everything and eat to the point that I’m stuffed. I hate feeling stuffed. Usually, that’s when my energy is the weakest and I would much rather pick awesome energy over a uncomfortably full belly.

So my training techniques are what I’m focusing on for this challenge. More power lifting and compound movements. Not only do they increase mass, but they also make you feel like one tough cookie. Who doesn’t love to see their PR increase in deadlifts and pull ups?

So my goals for the Under Armour What’s Beautiful Challenge are as follows:

1. Continue to seek out balance
2. Learn proper power lifting etiquette and form
3. Continue to do sprints once per week (all other cardio has been cut out)
4. Increase my strength
5. Increase my muscles, duhhh

Here are my PR stats for the compound movements I’m already comfortable with:

Straight-legged deadlifts- 170 lbs
Normal deadlifts- 155 lbs
(Decline and Flat) Bench Press- 100 lbs
Back squats- 115 lbs (I used to be much higher but then I realized I wasn’t even going parallel…now doing booty to the ankles!!)
Overhand barbell rows- 70 lbs
Military press- 60 lbs
Barbell curls- 65 lbs
Dips- 10 per set
Chin ups- 8 per set, no assistance
Assisted pull ups- 10 per set (with 60 pounds assisting)

All of these exercises in particular I would like to see at least a 10 lb increase within the next month or so.

And then of course, there are the movements I’m not too familiar with that I would really love to get better at…such as:

Overhead Squat, Cleans, Snatches (ahh), Pulls, Jerks, Presses, etc…..I’d mostly like to learn the basics and then all the different variations. The names are confusing in themselves to me…power clean vs. high-hang clean vs. clean and press vs. clean whatever. Yeah, maybe I should look into Powerlifting for Dummies. I’ll think about it.

I’m working on putting a group together on the Under Armour Website, where my females friends can join and push themselves with me! Because of some technical difficulties, I’m having to post-pone the creation of this group but I’m hoping I’ll have it running asap. So please stay tuned to my facebook page for details! I’ll most likely be posting it there.

The first step is to go to the Under Armour website, create an account and upload your goal. Easy peasy. And feel free to give yourself completely different goals than mine! If you’re a runner, pick a race and start training for it! If you are a competitor, pick a show and join in on the fun!! We all have different goals for our bodies but we can encourage each other every step of the way! And you can follow individual athletes’ pages so be sure to follow me by clicking here and then clicking “follow athlete” 🙂 I’ll do the same for you!
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By the way. I really wish I could take pictures and videos of myself doing particular exercises in the gym and post it on my group’s page. I know a lot of people post pictures of themselves working out but how in the world do you muster up enough courage to ask somebody to take a snap shot of yourself?! I just don’t want to be that person!

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Chest & Triceps Workout

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It’s January 3rd and the gym crowd is already starting to die down! I had overnight oats this morning and then hit the gym around 9:00 for chest and triceps. The past couple of days the gym is packed around this time but today I to saw the usual familiar faces again and less of a huge crowd. If you’re just now starting the whole gym routine and healthy eating thang- don’t give up!! So many people try to get in shape at the beginning of every year and then quite when they don’t see results fast enough. Seriously, people…it takes TIME. It’s not easy and it doesn’t happen overnight…that’s why fitness is a lifestyle.
It’s not short-term.
There’s no ONE destination.
It doesn’t end.
And if you’re “lucky” enough, you’ll become hooked like thousands of other people and never want it to end! You’ll start making healthy choices and decisions every day (not just the days in January!!)
So since I haven’t posted a workout lately, here’s the one I did today. It may seem like a lot of exercises but I managed to get them all done within the hour. For triceps, I usually do more reps and moderate weight but for chest I do less reps and heavier weight. Usually by the 8th rep, sometimes even 6th, I’ve reached my max. Warm up for 5 minutes on the treadmill, elliptical or stepmill to get your heart pumpin!

Chest & Triceps
Flat bench press 3*8
Cable tricep push-down w/ rope 3*10
Incline bench press 3*8
Tricep dumbbell overhead extension 3*10
One arm dumbbell bench press 3*6
Tricep dip machine 3*10
Machine incline chest press 3*10

Finish off with decline push ups till you can’t do no mo’!

Afterwards, I fueled my muscles with my chocolate banana protein ice cream and now I’m going to get back to reading It Starts with Food. Looking forward to writing the review!!
Have a great day!

New Years Shenaniganz

AH 2013 is finally here!! It’s about time, y’all. As much as I love the holidays, I’m so ready to be done with all the sugary food and parties. I’m ready to start making goals and achieving them again. First off, it’s still muscle building time (for me at least). I’ve only had 2 months of it so far and I would say my diet hasn’t been as clean as it’s been for the majority of the year. I’m trying to tell myself that’s okay, it was the holidays and now that the new year is here, it’ll be easier to stay on track with my diet and workouts. Oatmeal, rice, chicken, eggs, broccoli and green beans here I come. But don’t worry- the recipes will still keep on coming! I just need to stay focused and try to hit my macros every day, which has definitely been a lot harder lately.

Anywho, New Years was a blast.
image-1We danced, we drank, we sang, and we ate. That was quite a way to end the year. What’s better than dancing to Earth, Wind and Fire in the rain while sippin on champagne next to this cutie patootie?! Mmmmm probably nothing. After all the fun was had, we spent the first day of the year watching Netflix and lounging. I did manage to get in some oats, egg whites, chicken and broccoli somehow.

I guess I should say a little something about my plans for 2013. There are a few things coming up this year that I’m excited about

1. Graduating from the University of Texas
2. Finding my first big girl job
3. PACK ON DAT MUSCLE
4. Live on my ownski
5. Get good at photography with my awesome new canon rebel
6. Love more, worry less
7. MAYBE competing again

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These are more of goals instead of resolutions, but either way I want to strive to make them successful.

So cheers to the new year, the “new” you, new memories and lots of adventures.

Finding Motivation- 10 Days Out

Thursday….my LEAST favourite day of the week.

I’m not a big fan of Thursdays for several reasons.

1. My body is pretty tired from the past 4 days of intense weight lifting and cardio sessions, plus the lack of calories to back up my energy

2. I have those dang classes from 8-2 nontop

3. It’s the day after my “refeed” so I’m sluggish, bloated and tired

4. Tomorrow is my rest day and I can only think about how I wish it was today

5. I have to hit the gym at the most crowded time
Depending on other circumstances, it could be not that bad of a day or it could be a “woe is me” kind of day. Psh, silliness!

Today I was sitting in class reflecting on some of these things when I looked in my wallet and pulled this baby out.

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I got this fortune a couple weeks ago and thought it was probably the most motivating fortune I’ve ever had and it was totally appropriate for what I’m going through! (no I didn’t eat the cookie!)
Sometimes simple reminders like this one can help you to do some reevaluating, refocusing and to simply… breathe. Relax. Think back and remember why you’re doing it in the first place. In my case, I’m thinking about the fact that I’m 10 days out. I can’t believe that at this time next week it’ll only by TWO days. That’s ridiculous!

I’m so excited, nervous, anxious, pumped, thrilled, worried, happy, sad, etc. Pretty much every emotion on the spectrum is mixing together and creating a whirlwind of thoughts. Thankfully, mostly all good thoughts! I’m trying to focus on how far I’ve come and that I should be proud of myself for what I’ve accomplish.

No cheats, restaurant meals, alcohol, dairy, sugar or anything bad for 18 weeks straight! More specifically, that’s no apples, chocolate, red meat, berries, wine, salsa, and of course no extra tablespoon of peanut butter. Reflecting on that really does make me proud. I haven’t missed a meal, I’ve gone to bed at a decent time every night, been drinking a gallon of water every day, prepared my foods in advance, kept up with school and never missed a workout or cardio session.

So has it all been worth it?

So far- YES.

The reason why I’m writing a little bit about this right now is so that no matter what happens after my show, I can reflect on all the positives. Depending on how I do, I could have a few mixed emotions going on but I just need to remember all that I have accomplished.

Side note-

The other day somebody was asking me about why I was doing this competition. I listed all the obvious intangible benefits and all I received back was a blank stare and one of those “…and?” expressions. She asked “What do you get in return??” Again, I restated how this goes beyond money or rewards. This is an accomplishment…something that I can remember and reflect on FOREVER. I don’t think she, or anybody else that was listening in, ever really understood why I decided to do this (I then proceeded to whip out my chicken and brown rice Tupperware from my lunchbox as they cracked open another Budlight).

It kind of makes me sad that some people need tangible benefits as motivation. What about the amazing satisfaction that comes with doing something that requires a ridiculous amount of will power?! I’d pick that kind of satisfaction over a night of partying any day.

In regards to accomplishments that aren’t related to food: I didn’t drink on my 21st birthday, I lost 10 pounds, I’ve dropped to 7% body fat, I’m squatting 180 pounds, my bench press is at 95 lbs and EVERY single part of my body has gotten stronger and can lift heavier. I am feeling very PROUD. I want to thank my body for doing this, for being determined, for pushing through, staying strong, and helping my mind’s goals and dreams become REALITY.

Take a moment right now to just think about how much you’ve accomplished and how far you’ve come. Wherever you are in your journey, it’s farther than you were yesterday. Be proud!

3 Weeks Out!

So here it is….3 weeks out (19 days!!) and my first competition prep is quickly coming to an end. I can’t believe it’s almost here and that I’ve been at this for 14 weeks already. I’m filled with all sorts of emotions: excited, anxious, nervous, relieved, stressed, pumped….

My workouts have gotten a little more intense as I approach my peak week.

Monday- Bis, tris, abs, 30 minutes stepmill

Tuesday- 20 min HIIT (starved, 6:00 a.m) and shoulders, back, 30 minutes stepmill (afternoon)

Wednesday- Heavy legs, 3o minutes stepmill

Thursday- Chest, 20 min HIIT

Friday- active rest

Saturday- Shoulders, legs, 20 min HIIT

Sunday- active rest

As for my diet, not much has changed. In fact, nothing has! I’m extremely lucky that my body has been able to consistently drop weight even though I’m eating a pretty decent amount of carbs. My energy is high (usually!) and my body feels great. I’m at 116 lbs (usuaully 124) and my body fat % is….well, mysteriously low. I’m hesitant to share it with y’all because it sounds like a very unhealthy number and sort of unrealistic. I’m not sure exactly how I’ve managed to reach this number but my best guess is that being consistent has helped me go above and beyond what I thought I could reach. I know I’ve said this a million times but alcohol, sugar, “cheat meals”, days off, etc..all those things set you back and delay progress. Soon enough you start thinking you’re not ever going to reach your goals but I’m telling you right now- cut out all those bad habits and you WILL see results!

For me, I know that I will not keep my bf% this low after my competition because even the sugar in a peach will increase it. And that’s okay because Lord knows I need fruits and their vitamins right now!

Speaking of vitamins, there is one negative thing about my competition prep I would like to share. Fruits are crucial for natural and healthy skin. My already vampirish pale legs run into basically everything because I’m a pretty clumsy person, even on my good days. Usually, I have a decent tolerance to bruising but lately because of the lack of natural vitamins, my body has not been able to handle even the slightest of bumps and scratches.

Last week I was pretty much attacked by an angry bunch of misquotes. My knees were covered in little red bumps, and of course, that’s not all….I had to have bruises pop up underneath them, naturally. So my pale, bug bite infested, bruised legs were hidden under yoga pants 24/7 and I’m constantly loading up on Neosporin and Benedryl. I think it’s safe to say the week before my show I’m going to have to wear bubble wrap every where I go and spend most of my free time in a padded room.

The stress of having to look perfect and be perfect is a lot to handle. I’m trying not to take everything too seriously but deep down I’m very concerned about keeping everything healthy and looking good. There’s a balance somewhere in there and I’m going to find it after my competition. I don’t want to always have to constantly stress over something as silly as a bruise…but then again I won’t have to because I’ll have many more vitamins in my body again. Yay for healthy, glowing skin!

So anyways, here it is: 3 weeks out!

Here’s a side pose I’ve been working on as well.

Hope everybody has a great Monday!! Start your week off strong, prepare your meals in advance, mix up your usual workouts and set new goals for yourself:)

The Importance of Keeping a Food Diary

Anybody who has done research on how to lose weight has more than likely come across advice about keeping a food diary. In the past, I have come to find that when I write down what I eat, I stay on track and reach my goals much more efficiently. It may seem tedious and annoying but if you’re serious enough about changing your body, keeping a tiny journal and recording your macro nutrients will NOT be the big of a hassle. I’ve kept a food diary for almost the past 5 months now and to this day I consistently write down what I eat. This little trick is helpful for anybody because portion control is another key to weight loss. One you start writing down what you eat, you may come to find that you do a lot more nibbling than you thought. Like I have said before, it’s the smaller things that add up throughout the day…things like that extra tablespoon of peanut butter, a handful of chocolate chips, a quick latte from Starbucks on your way to work, a “few” jelly beans sitting on your desk, and even things like sugar-loaded jelly on your morning toast or the oils you cook with. Those things might be hindering your progress and keeping you from losing weight. Another great thing about recording your foods is that you can write down the time of day you eat so you remember to eat 2-3 hours after that.

Before you start this, I recommend you first figure out how many calories you need to be eating for your goals. You can do this buy wearing a HR monitor for 24 hours. That number of “calories burned” at the end of the 24 hours (on a rest day…not a workout day) is the number of calories you need to consume to maintain your weight. To lose weight, eat 250-500 calories less and to build muscle (assuming you’re weight training) eat 250-500 calories more. That means an extra ounce of chicken or an extra 1/4 cup of brown rice at lunch…not a little wiggle room to cheat here and there throughout the day. The number of calories you eat is important but just as important is the kind of calories. A 500 calorie caramel cappuccino is not equal to a 500 calorie dinner of quinoa, fish and vegetables. Be smart about what you put in your body.

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This is the diary I keep! Order it for only 10 bucks here. Staying on track of your goals will be so much easier!

Competition Update 7/28

Well today is 14 weeks out from my first NPC competition and I’ve been in contest prep for three weeks now. I told y’all that I would update you with my progress from time to time so here it goes!

I’m 13.5 % body fat at the moment (last time I checked I was 18%). In 20 days, I’ve gained 6 pounds of muscle and lost 6 pounds of fat. That right there is proof that what the scale tells you doesn’t always give you an accurate idea of your progress because I still weigh the same! I’m so incredibly proud of myself for all the hard work that I’ve been putting into this competition so far! Sticking to diet 100%, no cheat meals, cardio 5 times a week (sprinting, running, stepmill), drinking a ton of water and going to bed around 11 every night. Rest is crucial for muscle growth!

The biggest challenge I have faced at the moment is figuring out how to always have my meals with me when I need to eat. I bought a cooler, so the times I need to be out of the house during meal times aren’t so inconvenient. I may receive a few weird looks here and there but that’s perfectly fine with me:)

Another challenge that I’m already discovering is that you must be your own biggest supporter. Some people may not understand why you’re doing what you’re doing but they don’t need to. In the end you’re going to be proud of yourself no matter what anybody said.

On another note, I’m going to start adding a couple things to this blog. I’m going to write book reviews on the latest books I pick up. Reading is one of my all time favourite pastimes and lately there have been SO many great novels out! I hope y’all are book lovers like me:)

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