Monday, October 28, 2013

My week ahead {and a recap}...

How is it the end of October already? I am the absolute last person to complain about that, but I swear, it was JUST June, wasn't it?! I love autumn just as much as the next person, but I'd be lying if I said I didn't miss the warmer temps just a little bit. 

Last week was insane for us; I didn't feel like there was enough time in the whole week to get everything accomplished that I needed to, but I somehow did. We had Halloween and birthday parties, appointments, and Broadway shows thrown in the mix (along with the day-to-day things like going to the gym, swimming lessons, and homework), and while it was a fun-filled weekend, I'm happy to tackle Monday in my pajamas.

I just finished a super awesome body weight challenge courtesy of The Betty Rocker ( that lasted four looong weeks. The challenges were insanely hard, but I managed to finish them! I slacked off the last week because I was so busy, but I'm going to finish up this week, and then see what kind of progress I've made. My main goal was to tone up a bit, and I definitely see a difference there, but I still have a ways to go. It's definitely crunch time, as I have about 2 1/2 months to be where I truly want to be-but I'm not putting a time limit on my health, I'm just going to do the best I can do, which is better than nothing!

Here's me at the beginning of my journey (back in April)...
Feeling lumpy, squishy, and just unattractive!

Keep an eye out next week for a current photo! ;)

My new goal for the month of November is to focus on cardio again, and keep strengthening my shins and knees so I'm able to run this 8K on Thanksgiving morning (seriously, I'm crazy, I know). I've only been jogging a few days a week and not supplementing with anymore cardio, so I really need to step up my game and keep my eye on the prize-or the finish line! My local YMCA is also starting up Jillian Michaels' Body Shred classes, so you can bet that I'll be attending those as well! Woo-hoo, I'm excited!

Gonna give this treadmill workout a try today (along with 30 m of the elliptical)!

20 Minute Treadmill Interval Workout - Snap Fitness

Here's my meal plan for the week (or some semblance of one):

Monday: I have tutoring on Monday nights, so I usually grab a Power Smoothie and salad from Panera
Tuesday: Chicken Enchilada Soup (it's supposed to snow tomorrow, so soup sounds perfect!)
Thursday: Since it's Halloween, we will probably do sandwiches/wraps/salads for convenience
Saturday: We have a going away party, so we'll be eating there!
Sunday: Spinach and Feta Pasta (I use whole wheat/veggie pasta instead)

So...four meals seems totally doable for me, right? I seem to have lost my desire to cook since moving back in (temporarily!) with my parents. It's so much easier to let them do the cooking, but if I want to stay on the right track, I've gotta do it myself! 

I am headed to the gym to do a little cardio today, what are you doing to stay active? I'd love to hear! In the meantime, recite this to yourself today if you feel discouraged-I had a rough week last week, but I'm determined to push through it and not let it bring me down! Have a wonderful Monday!

Diet and Exercise Motivation

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

My journey (so far)...

Before I turn this into a full-blown fitness blog (I promise I'll still do outfit posts and inspiration), I figure I better tell my story!

My journey began back in May of 2013 when my husband left for Afghanistan. I always set goals for myself for deployments because they help the time fly by a little faster. Plus, I like to make my man proud of me and not make it seem as if all I've done was spend his money and sit on the couch. I started slowly, cutting out soda and fast food and hitting up the gym a couple times a week if I had time. I was so unhappy with my body but not really willing to make a big life change. I thought I could do 45 (ok, it was usually 30) minutes on the elliptical and call it a day, then go home and have a beer or two with dinner. I wondered why I didn't lose any weight or see any change in my body or my mood.

It wasn't until I moved to Minnesota and got a membership at the local YMCA (shoutout to the Y for giving military families of deployed soldiers free memberships, you guys are AWESOME) when I really started changing things up. I started going 3 times a week and even trying a class here and there. I quickly realized how much I looooved the high I got after a good workout. After speaking to a friend of mine who is a total guru and inspiration to me, I decided that I needed to start incorporating more strength training into my regimen. I started lifting weights and signed up for TRX which is an amazing workout! Along with working out steadily, I completely changed up my diet. I cut out processed food (that includes "low calorie" and "low fat" foods) and started eating as cleanly as possible. It's been a challenge, but I find it fun to read ingredients and find new ways to fuel my body. Not easy but totally worth it!

I have noticed small changes in the way I look, but the way I feel has done a 180. I have more energy, my anxiety levels are so much lower, and I have my self-confidence back.

I'm nowhere near the end of this journey, nor do I think I will ever be, but I am well on my way! I'm not a fitness expert, nor will I ever claim to be, but I am slowly learning the ropes and figuring out what works best for my body!

Here I am around March of 2013:

And this is October of 2013:

So that's where I'm at as of present day-a long ways to go, but definitely better than where I began!