Another week, another workout! Yesterday I had the day off for the US Independence Day. In preparation of a few extra drinks I crafted a high-intensity full-body workout. I was really happy with this one and felt it was pretty well-balanced. It was also the first time I tried doing double kettlebell step-ups and I was surprised how much the 50lbs slowed me down. It was a great exercise for legs, abs and balance; probably my favorite and the hardest of the whole workout. Want to give it a try?
7/4/13 – Set interval timer to 3 rounds 45 sec activity, 15 sec rest. I used 25lb kettlebells and a 20lb free-weight for the ab twists.
- Sumo Jumps
- Double KB step-ups
- KB Lunge-Row
- Kneeling Ab Wheel Rollout
- Weighted Seated Ab Twists
- Hanging leg-lifts
“What do you LOVE? While achieving your strength goals, focus on what you love, not what you want to fix.”
I’m excited that I’ve made it over a month in my 90 day burpeee challenge! I’ve also kept up with running a mile every morning and I’m already seeing my speeds improving and my legs are becoming shapelier. I’m also excited to say that after five days of calf pain, I’m no longer feeling terribly sore from running, just dealing with some minor aches and pains. I’m just about finished with the current Zuzka ZWOWs that are up on her site so as a present to myself for completing them I purchased her ZCut Power Cardio series and I’ll let you all know what I think of it. On top of all of this I’m finally finding joy in doing hot yoga and the two sessions I’ve done have kicked my ass, made me sweat more than anything in my life, and made me feel AWESOME!! This is a huge change from the first time I tried Bikram, when it triggered my acid reflux and I left the class with 15 minutes to spare and cried in the hallway, seriously.
Now I have to get into a topic that I know is seriously overdone on the internet. I fully expect most of you to zone out right about now. Oh wait, let me tell you the topic: Body Image. Ok, now you can zone out. 😉
I’ve been blessed that for most of my life I haven’t struggled with real body image issues. I’ve had minor issues but for the most part I’ve been confident with my size and shape. I was stick thin for most of my childhood, to the point of being teased. Then in high school my Swedish genes kicked in and I suddenly had some junk in the trunk and a small belly. College rolled around and I was living a very unhealthy lifestyle, practically living off of taco bell and alcohol. My weight skyrocketed to 180 and I was wearing a size 14. But somehow I never felt large. I’m a tall woman, just shy of 6′, which allows me to conceal my weight well. My arms and calves generally remain thin even when my hips, butt, gut and thighs expand.
It wasn’t until I moved to Boston, fresh out of school, and started working a retail job where I was on my feet all day, that I realized how unhealthy I had been. Just by living a different lifestyle (normal schedule, steady income which led to good food, and walking all the time) I dropped down to a size 8. I was also doing yoga regularly then but really wasn’t exercising aside from that. When I then attended school for massage I began lifting weights and building muscle. That’s when I started paying more attention to my body and I kept my weight around 165. Not fantastic, but with the muscle and staying at that size 8 I felt good and I think I looked good. The one thing I really never lost was that gut; my belly always protruded and I have an over-emphasized lordotic curve (curve in the low back) which often means lack of abdominal strength.
Flash forward a few years. I eat well, I exercise regularly and I even went through training in Kickboxing and Insanity. I have to say the Insanity program is AWESOME! It’s HARD, but that was the first thing that really kicked my core strength into gear. I know I have a great core now, and I’m constantly improving it, but I still have that gut and curve. I’ve tried not eating within a few hours of bed, eating several small meals instead of a few large ones, cutting out gluten and dairy, even doing full food elimination diets. Nothing really seems to help. Then this past November my boyfriend and I really fell off the wagon, as one tends to do around the holidays. I wouldn’t say it was a worse year than usual but suddenly that 165lbs became 175lbs. In mid-January I got back on the horse and have been eating healthy and exercising. As you all know in the past 32 days I’ve upped my exercise routine quite a bit.
So guess what? Want to know how much weight I’ve lost? I mentioned my legs are looking more cut. I didn’t mention that my arms are more muscular, my face looks thinner, my shoulders and back look like I could punch through a wall. So how much weight did I lose? None. I gained weight. As of this morning the scale say I’m 183lbs. I shit you not. I’m pissed. I now have body issues. Apparently I’m a late bloomer but I’m working my ass off and that gut is going out instead of in. I use MyPlate so I know what my nutrition is and I’m well within the appropriate range. I also can’t be gaining muscle this fast, and when I took “before” pictures yesterday it’s apparent that there’s quite a bit of weight around my mid-section. Even in yoga I found myself self-conscious of the fact that the other women in the room were so much thinner than me. Wtf?! I know full well we all come in different shapes and sizes and the point is that I’m healthy so why am I freaking out about this?!
Well, I am. For the past two days I’ve switched to two smoothies a day. I was having one for breakfast and now I do one for breakfast, one for lunch, an afternoon snack and a reasonably-portioned dinner. I don’t feel I personally have much more time to exercise, since I’m already doing about 90 minutes a day, so I have to look at diet. I also had food allergy testing done and I get the results back in a week so I can see if it’s possible that something I’m eating is bloating me up (the testing was also done for other digestive issues I have).
So….blargh! But enough venting about my odd weight issues. Lettuce talk about snacks (yes, punny, but most of you stopped reading ages ago so…):
Ingredients (which you can all see pretty clearly):
- Romaine lettuce leaf
- Small handful of snap peas
- Small handful of cherry tomatoes, sliced
- 1 hardboiled egg, sliced
I rolled it up like a burrito and it was surprisingly delicious and filling enough to get me to dinner, which will be steamed salmon and brussels sprouts.
For now, it’s time to find new exciting smoothie recipes. I will share that my local health food store offers frozen wheatgrass shots. I’ve been adding those to my smoothies and it’s pretty good. 🙂