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Color Run

Wow! I have received so much feedback from this challenge and its incredible. It makes me so happy to see so many of you start little fitness challenges of your own. Tomorrow will be day 10 for me and things are only feeling better. As you know if you’ve been following my blog, I decided to go Paleo like my entire family. I never took it seriously until the week I got home from my Florida vacation and realized that about 10 pounds crept on to me without me even noticing. I was really upset because I thought I had been exercising a lot.

yum!

preparing my chicken tonight with coconut oil! thanks mom and dad!

Let me tell you how important diet is…it’s seriously most the battle. No matter how much you work out, if you eat like crap, you will continue to look like crap. This first photo of mine was taken the day before on September 30th, which was the day I felt defeated. I was defeated by food more than anything…I was going to it when I was stressed and not noticing how many calories I was actually consuming. The stomach aches and pains were at its peak. Then the 21 days of Paleo happened. Since I have been on Paleo, I crave fruit, veggies, and meat. I don’t think about food as an emotional outlet. I am very strict, trying not to give in to cheats as much as possible. I feel better than ever. With this with the combination of barre classes, I feel great on the inside and outside and feel almost happier…I feel longer and leaner.

I also have been taking vitamins everyday and haven’t used ANY FORM of supplementation or pre-workouts since. I take a multi, fish oil, calcium, vitamin c, vitamin b, and before I work out I take a cayenne pepper pill, which shows practically the same results as pre-workout pills but its natural and better for you.

when you eat healthy, exercise, take epsom salt baths;), surround yourself with family and uplifting friends, you begin to have a “glow”…you begin to look happy and healthy.

Another thing I’m doing within the next week or two is becoming a beach body coach! A lovely friend I’ve met through my blogging journey does it and I finally am going to do it to. She is the sweetest most lovely girls and inspires so many other people and she reminds me a lot of myself, so I feel it would be nice to reach some of you online through working those programs. I’ve also been applying to some local small gyms to get my feet in the water a little as well as sticking to my challenges. I hope you are all having an amazing 21 days and feeling better than ever. You only have one life. Don’t waste it eating poorly, taking diet pills, and eating “fat-free” diet things. What a WASTE. Why not start off tomorrow doing something different. Start by actually eating healthy nutritious food. If you eat healthily, your body will stop feeling constantly deprived. Your body should not be a wastebasket.

Ignore my tired little voice above hahaha I just took a nap after work and now I’m getting ready to head to barre3. I was really sleepy and didn’t know how to say what I was trying to say. ANYWAY, I’m on day 7! I feel great, no deprivation from my sweets and carbs and I have had a lot more energy. This week I have gone to 3 barre classes, 3 hot yoga classes, and some light weight training, and did the Greenlake Adventure run this week! I have been making some great meals and staying strong with my challenge and hope you all are too! I have some amazing obsessions that I must rave about on here.

Lets start with Barre3.

My friend was saying that I would love it and had to try it….and she was right. I AM OBSESSED. It is the best workout I’ve had in a really long time. You must all try it if it’s in your area. It’s a combination of ballet, yoga, pilates, and strength training. We decided that we are going to try and do 30 classes in 30 days. We took our before pictures so hopefully at the end of the month, I can see a transformation.

The Adventure Run:

This adventure run is held in Greenlake and it’s the first Thursday of every month and it’s free! They give you one hour to run to all the locations on the map and you can get raffle tickets. At the end of the race, they have a mini beer garden/prize giveaways! I want to try and make it every month because it was a great workout and a lot of fun. I think we might have sprinted about 6 miles in that short period of time.

this is Ash and I running to the Adventure Run!

Cali Yoga:

This is basically a power yoga class with the temperature only set to 80-85 degrees and it’s a great workout. I only bought the new-client pass and it is already expiring on Tuesday so I don’t think I’m re-newing extended membership because it’s so expensive but I will miss it. I feel so strong this week because it works every muscle. I went the day before yesterday and he was making us do splits and headstand-type positions. If anyone who reads this lives in Seattle area, its called Breathe Hot Yoga and its in South Lake Union.

Diet:

Here are some pictures from my week!

I had this lamb at my parents last night with asparagus and sweet potato topped with garlic powder all over it of course!

breakfast has been easy since i looooove eggs and making fun new dishes like these poached eggs with avocado, basil and chives

if i ever craved ice cream i would mix frozen berries and almond butter with a splash of coconut milk to cure my craving

Ok, finally got the guts to show you the before photo. And then i just took progress of one week on Paleo, and One week either doing barre method, or hot yoga or both for the last 7 days.

Before:

day 1: feeling unhappy about loss of muscle and added fat

Day 7 on Paleo:

feeling a little better. getting leaner muscle and not hungry 24-7

I am officially obsessed with Cali Yoga and Banya 5. 

This has been a week filled with new experiences and a new hike! A friend of mine has been talking about Cali Yoga forever and how much she loves it! I finally did the introductory $25 dollars for 10 sessions and I fell in love. It’s a power yoga class that is set to only around 80 degrees and I can’t wait to go back this week.

Another thing that happened this week was hiking to Melakwa Lake. Melakwa Lake is connected to the Denny Creek trail but its 9 miles. It was well worth the 9 miles, the entire trail has a lot of different scenery from waterfalls, to wildflowers, deep valleys, rocks and boulders, to finally, the beautiful lake, which is crystal clear and ice cold. It was beautiful, I’m glad that I did a new hike before it got cloudy around here.

Our muscles needed tending after that hike so the following day we went to a place called Banya 5. I found my new addiction, which is hydrotherapy and must go here at least once a week. It’s a wonderful spa that helps your muscles and circulation.

 

We started off in a 200-degree sauna. The heat came from a concrete/brick oven that was made to heat muscles deeply which relaxes then and provides relief to stored tension. After that, we go into the cold plunge pool, which is supposed to “constrict skin pores and blood vessels that have been dilated from the heat to create an invigorating pumping action of the venous system to flush metabolic wastes and toxins”. After that, we went into the Turkish Steam room, which is 113 degrees and pumps heat through a fresh eucalyptus plant. This one was my favorite and I loved all the steam, after this we proceed to the cold plunge, and then into the salt-water pool which is 87 degrees and filled with mineral salt. After this we would rotate through all of them and there was also a hot tub, tea and water room as well as a nap room. It was really relaxing and is so important when you are working out a lot. Right after Banya, we went to Cali Yoga.

I swear, this whole week has been focused on detoxing. I love it because I have had such a bad month of eating horribly and not making the right decisions. I don’t know why it’s been this way but today I really feel the motivation to try harder. I spent 45 minutes on the cycle and had a rough leg workout. My legs feel like jelly. I decided to take “before” pictures today. I am in the worst shape I’ve been in, in a very long time. Tomorrow is the beginning of some new goals. I will take pictures every week to show progress but I am too embarrassed to post today’s pictures. I will wait till I lose some weight.

New Goal: I’m going PALEO starting tomorrow!!!!!

Wish me luck!

” We cannot become what we need by remaining what we are.”

The ultimate goal in life is to find happiness in what you do. Part of having a happy life is having a happy body. There are so many reasons why American’s have the highest obesity rate and this is quite obvious. We spend so much time figuring out what “pill” will make us our goal weight. We buy products that say “Diet”, “Non-Fat”, “Low-Fat”, “100-Calorie Snacks”, “Sugar-Free” and I can think of so many others. These products will keep you fat forever. This means MORE chemicals in your body. You will constantly be craving food because you are replacing your needs with fake sugar and fake everything. The body CRAVES nutrients. If you are craving candy and chocolate, maybe eat fruit to see if the craving goes away. I found this great chart that helps with understanding your cravings and the possible ways to control your hunger before resorting to easy-access-junk food.

So what exactly is “Eating Clean”?

Well there is no direct definition for it and it is not a diet. Eating clean is a lifestyle choice that means eliminating all processed foods and extra additives to your diet and eating whole, unrefined foods.  It’s about being simple and staying away from things that have been altered.

Some Tips for Eating Clean:

  •       Eat lots of fruit and vegetables (things from nature)
  • ·      Include “whole” Meats-meaning your meat should come from the butcher to be prepared on your own. That is the best bet for having the healthiest of meats since they are not processed from the butcher. (This one may be difficult for a lot of people including myself. At first just make small changes. You don’t need to be perfect but just that small change in buying organic grass-fed meat will do…I adore Trader Joes for most my groceries) Small change is still a change. My parents get ALL their meat from the butcher and couldn’t be happier.
  • ·      If your time is limited during the week to prepare meat, choose one or two days to cook a lot of meat at the same time and save it in the fridge to make it easy to get to during the week.
  • ·      Eat whole grains that haven’t been broken down. Stick to brown rice, whole wheat and other whole grain carbs. Learn to read food labels. Stick with the fewest ingredients.
  • ·      Remember that this is about being simple. Don’t think too hard about it. You are allowed to use all the natural spices that you want like garlic powder, cinnamon, paprika, pepper, red crushed pepper, cayenne pepper, just stay away from pre-fixed sauces. Embrace Extra-virgin olive oil and absolutely stay away from anything with corn syrup in it.
  • ·      When it comes to dairy, try to buy things like unsweetened almond, rice, coconut, hazelnut, hemp or soymilk. Stay away from cheese as much as possible. If you must, get something low fat and stay away from pre-grated cheese. The only cheese I am eating these days is goat cheese (if I must).
  • ·      Avoid sodas and even juice if you can. Juice is a “process” unless you blend it yourself. Did you know than an apple has 4grams of dietary fiber but a cup of apple juice from the store has none? Remember that when you eat things completely whole, you are bound to get the most nutrients.

Remember that this is not a diet, but it takes getting used to. We are faced with so many challenges because food is everywhere and we have the ability to curb any craving with a swipe of our debit cards. Write down a grocery list before you go to the store. Make sure you plan your meals and try to stick to 5-6 meals a day. I have a hard time with this because I can’t control my portions. I’ve been trying hard all week to get better at this but I still have a hard time. I was just on vacation last week and kind of “let-go” and I’m paying for it now. Eating clean will improve your health in so many ways. Good luck everyone and remember to just keep it simple!

It’s crazy that it’s a Friday night and I could care less about what everyone else is doing and why I’m not out having fun also. I work tomorrow, I cant drink like I used to, I enjoy working out, and then I enjoy laying in bed after a long shower and getting as much sleep as I can. I don’t understand how I went so many years abusing my body by drinking so much and eating bad food thinking it wouldn’t affect me. Today that is all it does. I will have a cheat meal these days and I get stomachaches, headaches, heartburn and just PAIN. It’s not fun. When you start eating clean, your body gets so used to the good nutrients that eating bad, processed food makes my body shun it like its poison.

I have had a great week. I have spent a lot of time with my family, my best girlfriends, taking care of errands like my car, and getting out into nature. Yesterday, Ash and I along with her roommates went for a gorgeous yet easy hike. The Northwest is so beautiful! When we got home, we ran around Greenlake. Spending time in nature is the most therapeutic way to live. Today I did Zumba and this week we’re also going kayaking which I haven’t done in awhile so that should be fun. Before the last few days I have been slacking and not working out as hard so I’m trying to get back into it.

It really is true that no matter how hard you try, there will be times when you face obstacles in diet and fitness where you do give in to temptation…but you shouldn’t be too hard on yourself. There are people who don’t try at all. They do nothing to help their bodies, but you ARE. You have made the decision to try to be better, and that is all you can do. Perfection is non-existent but constant progress is still progress. I am a perfectionist and that is one of my biggest character-defects. It makes me feel like no matter how hard I try, I am still not good enough or the progress is always below the expectations I set for myself. I know this is just me being hard on myself, but I am trying to accept that it’s okay to not be perfect.

Lately I have been eating six meals a day:

Lots of protein in every meal

More fruit in the morning

More fruit at night

I was eating a lot of starch but since my results haven’t been better this week, my trainer upped my fruit/veggies/protein and took out a lot of starch from my diet plan. Tomorrow I will be putting the diet into full-force so hopefully I start getting better results.

My Fat-Blasting Workout Today:

  • 1hr of Zumba
  • 4 sets of 15 walking lunges with 20-pound weights in each hand
  • 3 sets of jump squats
  • 3x sets of 15 on the Hip Abduction Machines
  • 3x sets of dumbbell step-ups 15x each leg
  • 2 more sets of 15 jumping lunges
  • PLANKS. 3 sets of 1-minute each.

I was sweating after all of this but it was worth it I feel great! I love the feeling of having muscles!!! Her is some progress from some of my muscle build:

“If it is important to you, you will find a way. If not you’ll find an excuse!”

I’ve been talking to quite a few people about fitness lately and many of the struggles people mentally go through, preventing themselves to get healthy. They look at the gym and proper food intake as some far destination that is too complicated when it is really quite simple. You have got to WANT to be healthy. You have to WANT to TRY. There is no quick, easy fix that will suddenly make you some skinny model you visualize in your head. Slow and steady progression is the best way to go. You need to gradually do little, or big things to improve your health. You have to have a goal in your mind, and you have to be open to new things. I don’t care who you are but if you don’t believe you can do something, you probably wont. If you hate “change” you’ll probably stay the same. An open mind, and open-heart….a recipe for a new, improved life.

Here are some small changes I thought of to help you get to your goals:

  1. When shopping at the grocery store, stick to the outside aisles of the store. The center of the store is full of processed food you should be avoiding. Just don’t even tempt yourself and stay on the outsides.
  2. Create a shopping list before you go to help you stay on track.
  3. Don’t shop when you are hungry…hahaha trust me you will end up with everything under the sun to cure your current cravings but it will not look pretty on your waist-line.
  4. Purge your kitchen of anything bad for you. Remember, out of sight, out of mind.
  5. Make food in bulk, and refrigerate for future week meals if you need something convenient. (Ex. Chicken breasts cook all at the same time then you can add them to salads or other meals…or chop up veggies and fruit in easy-to-go containers if you are a busy person.
  6. ONLY BUY WHOLE WHEAT/WHOLE GRAIN. Stay away from anything white. No pasta unless its whole-wheat if you must.
  7. Keep water bottles with you everywhere. Get used to drinking it all the time. Sometimes your brain tells you its hungry when really, you’re just not getting enough water.
  8. Create a health/fitness challenge with friends or coworkers for support and a reason to try harder.
  9. Get a personal trainer
  10. Join a running club
  11. Sign up for a 5k, or half-marathon so you have something to progress towards.
  12. Find a workout partner
  13. Get rid of your cable. Or even your TV all together. I do not watch television. It wastes time watching other people on TV. Do something valuable with your time
  14. If something is in walking distance, walk. Stop driving because you’re lazy.
  15. Go on a walk or run. Experience nature
  16. Try yoga. Try meditating. It honestly helps your whole life come together when you spend small periods of time reflecting on your life and where you want to be.
  17. Write a list of your goals for fitness, life, relationships….and start planning it.
  18. Create a vision board. I always do these about once or twice a year. Life is about the Law of Attraction. Sit down with a set of all your old magazines and cut out what you want to become.
  19. Read motivational quotes!
  20. Plan something at least once a week with friends like hiking, paddleboarding, snowboarding, walking, running, kayaking, that you can do together. You don’t need to maintain your relationships only in bar settings.
  21. Cut back on alcohol.
  22. Plan your workouts at the beginning of the week. Treat your gym schedule as a second job. This is my BIGGEST TIP. I have been doing this for years because I overly plan everything…but it helps. Then you schedule what you do with others around it or invite them to join you.
  23. Create a fitness blog. Let people know what you are doing and take your measurements and set a goal. When other people know you are going through change like this, they often help, or cheer you on which makes you feel like it is something you should stick with.
  24. Eat a large healthy breakfast. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.
  25. Replace peanut butter with almond butter; replace regular milk with almond milk. Go Paleo.
  26. Take before and after photos and keep track of your improvement, it’s motivating.
  27. Find someone to idolize. Find a healthy figure that inspires you. With me, my inspiration is Kelsey Byers, who is extremely motivating in cutting out alcohol, practicing clean eating, and competing as a fitness-athlete when at one point in her life, she was very overweight.
  28. Write down what you eat. There are great apps, my favorite being myfitnesspal.com, which tracks your eating, water-intake, as well as cardio and weights.
  29. Drink tea.
  30. Remember that in order to be healthy, you must try. You must WANT to make changes not only for your appearance, but also for your heart and mind.

image

This picture is the progress I’ve made since New Years Day. Sorry that picture is a tad inappropriate but it was meant for just myself. I took it because I was unhappy with where my body was going. Since then, I’ve lost 14 pounds on my 5’3″ body frame and I thought it’d be good to show without caring.

  • On the left, it was the beginning of January 2012 at 125 pounds.
  • On the right is June 2012 at 111 pounds.

A lot of people ask me what my goals are and feel that I should be setting large goals for this blog. I don’t know what to tell them because I feel that every day that I step into that gym, or step on to that trail…i am accomplishing a goal for myself. I did not make this blog so I could compete in fitness competitions or become a bodybuilder. I made this blog because it helps me keep track of my progress and the comments help motivate me stay in the right direction. A lot of you have been emailing me or commenting to me, or adding me on Twitter because I help you in some small way…and that is what makes me happy. Helping others accomplish their life and fitness goals while they help me in return.

This year I have been through so much emotionally, and it’s been draining. In the end of every broken relationship, or every problem I may face, one thing stays the same…and that is the faith I have in myself. The ability to grow emotionally, and to grow into a healthier human being. Nothing makes me happier than exploring my inner-self and working out. The endorphins do wonders and I promise you that if you help yourself become a better person daily, you will be a happy satisfied individual. That is what this blog does for me:)

Keep up with your goals.
Hard work brings rewarding results
now I’m off to zumba and step class! good night!

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“Obstacles cannot stop me. Every obstacle yields to stern resolve. He who is fixed to a star does not change his mind.” ~ Leonardo da Vinci”

You must always push your limits. Keep an open mind. Find a new adventure. Find your purpose in life. Embrace the people who stand by your side when everything goes wrong. Appreciate the life you have and every opportunity you have to make today better than yesterday.

This has been my life this week. I’ve been very busy at work the last few days and its been financially rewarding. I booked a ticket to Florida to visit my best friend Dianna at the end of the summer and I cant wait to see her for a whole week. She is like my sister and we are bound to have an amazing time. I also can’t wait for Arizona in a week and a half with the girls!

Yesterday I worked, and then went for a long run along Alaskan Way. The Ferris wheel is almost finished being built and it is huge! Can’t wait till it’s done. After that I did legs and an hour of cardio to clear my mind. Today I did Zumba so I’m in a really good mood. It’s been so nice out around here lately; I’m going to the Mariners game on Thursday I hope they win! Anyway I don’t have much to say but I am keeping busy with my fitness and have been eating well. Fitness to me, has nothing to do with being in good shape anymore, it’s about feeling good. When something feels good, make the most of it….:)

I woke up this morning with the itch to just run…run away from my current situation, book a flight anywhere but here, but I decided to put my shoes on and head out the door. Nothing feels better than a morning run. I have bad knees but I said “what the heck” with it, I have 2 week old shoes that should help support them a little better, so why not?

I have a trailhead literally two houses down from my house, so I took advantage of that this morning. I ran and let in all the sounds of the trees blowing in the wind, the birds chirping, the gravel beneath my feet and the squirrels running along me. I didn’t even use my headphones, I didn’t need them. It was too beautiful out, the air was cold and crisp and it allowed me to really feel how small I am on this planet.

God has a plan for everyone. You may have the happiest life right now or the worst life, but if you can wake up every morning and be grateful for your legs, your feet, your beating heart: well that is all that should matter. When I run I let go of everything that bothers me or hurts me. I am one small human on this planet and I should be lucky to be able to run into all this beautiful nature right outside my own house. When you are grateful for what you have, you forget the things you don’t have. You can’t control the things out of your control, but you can control your thoughts and what you do with the life you have. This is important to remember. Anyway, here are some pictures from my run:)

*above is my exact gym bag. it is perfect. it has so many compartments and it holds so much.

“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail” – Benjamin Franklin

Thankfully I live literally right behind the gym I go to so it makes it easy to just walk over or stop on the way to/from work or school. A great tip for me is packing my gym bag the night before. I leave it in my trunk at all times and I also put extra gym clothes and extra Nike’s in there also in case I am around a great class in the area. Other things I leave in my trunk are extra socks, a camelbak, and water bottles in case I hit a hike or want to go kayaking somewhere far from home.

The key is to always be prepared. Always set yourself up for success without room for excuses.

Today I got off work early and my favorite Zumba instructor was teaching a class 30 minutes after work so I stopped there on my way home. My routine is to do a one-hour cardio class and weights after…then I take a shower and sit in the sauna for 10-15 minutes. It feels amazing after all that working out and after a shower.

Whats in my Gym Bag?

Neon Sports Bras. They are the best.

Lululemon cropped pants, they are the softest and most comfortable

water bottles! and i mix it with zip fizz or workout pre-mix drinks

Nike’s of course!

Other Items I don’t want to find pictures for but I always bring:

  • Flip flops for the shower
  • A towel
  • A small hand towel for the machines
  • A bag of airplane-sized shampoos, conditioner, loofa and facewash/bodywash
  • Extra clothes
  • Phone for Tunes
  • Magazines like Self, Fitness of Shape!
 Remember that you have the ability to be who you want to be and if you want to change, you have to plan and prepare for what you want. Motivate yourself. Be yourself. Love yourself. Don’t worry about anyone around you and know that your health should be a priority and everything you do to help it, will further your future and make you happy.

 

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