Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Me Vs. The Squat Rack

I rarely venture over into the free weight area for anything other than a set of dumbells. Then, I normally take my weights over to an empty corner and do my workout. Away from the guys who are lifting. I don't want to be in their way. But, more than that, I don't want to humiliate myself. But lately, I have been coming out of my shell a little bit. I simply stopped caring what these guys thought. Last week, I started using the leg press. I started using the plates for other workouts.

Today, I ventured into unfamilar territory. Today was leg and calves day. And one of my workouts was the wide squat with the barbell. I didn't want to do it. Heck, I didn't even know if I knew how to use the squat rack. But, today, I decided I was going to figure it out.

And figure it out, I did. I can squat 75 inside that rack. And it's the most liberating feeling ever. Of course, I hurt my wrist and the back of my neck is jacked up a bit, (my form could have been better I am sure) but it was totally worth it.

Moral of the story? Never be afraid to try something new. You never know if you might like it.

Wordless Wednesday: I am on my way

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

How Did I Get Here

318. I can still remember that day clearly. I can remember those numbers on the scale mocking me "Look at what you have become." I don't think I will ever forget that day. I don't think I want to. Because looking back at that day reminds me of what I went through to get here. And how far I have come, even when I have still so far to go.

Rock bottom for me was knowing that I wasn't leaving a good legacy behind for my children. I was terrified that my kids, my daughter especially, would grow up with a skewed body image. I was afraid that, in an attempt to not be like her mom, she would develop eating disorders. It wasn't not being able to walk up stairs or tie my shoes. It was knowing that I was teaching my kids some very dangerous habits.

Everything in my life was falling apart. If I touched it, it crumbled. My marriage. My relationship with my kids. My self-image. Everything. Depression wasted no time sinking it's sharp talons into me. And soon, I became a prisoner in a self-created prison. Too scared and too weak to make an escape. I had accepted my fate. I had resigned myself to living a much shorter life, in a constant state of depression. I was fat. I was overweight. I was morbidly obese. And I was dying.

I reached out to a personal trainer, Luke, as a last ditch attempt at saving my life. Something had to change. And fast. I knew that I wanted to live. But, I didn't know how to live.

I always tell people that Luke didn't just change my life, he saved it. Even today, two years after our first meeting, he is still there for me. Our friendship extends beyond the gym and it crosses state lines. And for that, I am grateful.

When I first started working out, I hated having to stand in front of those mirrors. It made me sick. Why would I want to look at that fat girl? Soon, though, I discovered that, with each rep, each time I looked her in the eyes, I was slowly pushing her further away. I discovered that over time, her nagging voice, while not silent, was quieter. Even now, she's mouthy as hell, but most of the time, I can't hear her.

I worked hard. Everyday was a constant battle. There were so many days that I didn't want to eat right or workout. Somedays, I cried because I just couldn't do it anymore. It was too hard.

Each day, it got a little easier, and I felt a little better. Soon, I found myself craving my workouts. And before I knew it, Fitness had become my passion. More than that, helping people became my passion.

I became a Personal Trainer last year. I also am a Childhood Obesity Specialist, Weight Loss Coach, and Nutritionist.

I am lucky. I managed to find a way to climb out of the depression that surrounded me. I know that it's not always easy. But, it can be done. If you want it bad enough, it will be done.

To date, I have lost 106 pound and still counting. I am currently training to be a figure competitor next year. If I can do this....anyone can

WorkOut Of The Day

Hey folks!! I am up to my ears in work and it's a good thing!! I am getting ready to launch a few boot camps (locally and online, so keep your eyes and ears ready for those details). I have a book deal (finally) in the works. Life is good. And busy!

But, busy doesn't give me a free pass from the gym. I worked out this morning. It was a back and bicep kinda day. I am sore.

Today's workout of the day is one that you can do at home with a stability ball and a set of dumbells. *I will try to get a video done tonight to accompany this workout, but it's fairly simple*

Bent-Over Row With Dumb Bells
Pull-Over With Stability Ball and Dumb Bells
Seated Bicep Curls with Stability Ball and Dumb Bells
Wide Squat
Single leg deadlift with Kettlebell or dumb bell

Descriptions of these workouts can be found here.

Do 3 sets of 10 to 12 reps with a minute rest in between sets.

Have fun and Make it COUNT!!!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Day One In The Books

Day one of my training is in the books. And, honestly, it was a lot harder than I expected. Not so much the workout part of it, I've been lifting for a while. But the nutrition aspect.

I knew going into this that I was going to have to really dial in on my nutrition. And, dial in I did. Of course that meant sugar withdrawls something fierce (I totally picked a fight with Steve because I was feeling like crap.) I still have to play around with the calories somewhat, but overall, the nutrition aspect seems like something I will learn to enjoy. My food today was good, but it was just something a little different then I am used to eating.

I am eating 5-6 meals a day. Every 3 hours. My 3 main meals contain a starch and veggies, the other 2-3 contain something like my chicken muffins or carrot protein bars and veggies. No carbs after 7. I figure tomorrow at some point I will sit down and write about what I am eating, when, and why.

Workout for today:

Wide Pushups
Dumbell Bench Press
Flat Bench Cable Flyes
Narrow Pushups
Overhead Tricep Extensions
Tricep Pushdowns

I did 3 sets, lifting at 60% with one minute rest in between sets. (My rest involved me walking a lap in an attempt to keep my HR somewhat elevated)

For the next four weeks, my focus is on building muscle and losing fat. So, I am not doing as much cardio as I was before. In fact, I probably won't get any cardio in except for walking a few laps for the next few weeks.

This program as a whole is totally different than anything that I have ever done before, so I certainly need to play around with it somewhat. But, I felt good today during my workouts and there was no "afternoon crash" which I am sure was due to the frequency I was eating.

(For those of you wondering what program I am following, it's Jamie Eason's LiveFit program found on

Sunday, June 24, 2012

The Next Chapter

As I am sitting down to write this Get This Party Started by P!nk is playing on my Spotify right now. I nearly laughed out loud when I realized what was playing, given what I am about to write, I think it's a pretty fitting soundtrack. ;)

Things are about to change, big time, for me. The other day, I wrote about having to make an important decision after having a conversation with a friend. I needed to make a decision about whether or not I would compete in a figure competition in 2013. Honestly, I went around and around about it. I talked to Steve. But, mostly, I spent a vast majority of the weekend thinking about what I wanted to do.

Right now, the thought of stepping foot out onto a stage in a bikini and high heels scares the crap out of me. I have some major self-esteem issues. Even with all the weight that I have lost, I still have a hard time being proud of what I accomplished. So, if I was going to do this, I would have to get over my self-esteem issues over the next 12 months.

But, even though it scares the crap out of me, it's not my biggest issue for not wanting to do it. The biggest issue? It's going to be hard as hell! Let's be honest here, the way I eat, the way I work out, it's all going to have to undergo a major overhaul. Especially my diet. And I don't know if I am ready to make those changes.

But, nonetheless, a decision needed to be made this weekend. Pros and cons. Reasons to and reasons not to. The good and the bad. All of it needed to be dealt with. Why this weekend? Because I want to give myself a solid year of training if I were to decide to do this. I have my eye on a competition back in IL, so I needed to decide what I wanted to do.

So, enough anticipation. Want to know what my decision is going to be? Am I going to be a chicken and not do this? Or will I embrace this opportunity and do something no one ever expected me to do?

Well, the answer is....YES! 

I will compete next year in a competition. I am ready and excited to start on this chapter of my journey. And look forward to sharing it with all of you.

Tomorrow, I will be sharing my workout plan and meals for the week as well as my starting stats.

No one ever expected this fat girl from Illinois to ever want to take the stage in a competition. But, I am not doing it for those people who put me down. I am doing this for me. 

Ready or not...

Thursday, June 21, 2012

I write best at night

Blogging during the day lately has been hard. There are just so many distractions that when I finally do get a chance to sit down, focusing on blogging isn't that easy.

I have found lately, that I am staying up later after my family goes to sleep and blogging then. I find that it's become easier to blog at 11pm when the only thing bothering me is a 3 month old kitten that thinks it's play time.

Today marked the start of a new chapter in my weight loss journey. It was a day that was filled with some important decisions. And with those decisions, I had a sense of clarity. And that's a feeling that I haven't had for a while.

I know that I have this picture in my head of what I want my life to be like. The direction that I want to go on a personal and professional level. I see it. But the problem is, the steps that I am taking haven't really been moving me towards my ultimate goal. And, let's be honest, I haven't been applying myself like I should have.

So, today, I made the choice to step up my game a few hundred notches. Both personally and professionally. I am confident that the direction I am now headed will be exciting and will ultimately put me in the position to achieve my goals.

I'm Considering Doing Something I've Never Done Before

I had an interesting conversation the other day with some friends. One of the friends is a Bikini Figure Competitor. She recently started competing after struggling with her weight for years. I am super proud of her accomplishments and of her drive to succeed. I made the comment that I never could do anything like that. She asked me why I thought that. I told her honestly, I doubt I could ever stick to a training schedule that strict. She told me that the training was intense, but that wasn't a good excuse for not doing it. I told her I don't think I had the confidence to strut across a stage like that. Her retort? "Well, if you work that hard, you are going to want to show it off. So next excuse." I fired off a few more excuses, she had a few more comebacks. I began to see where this was going. And I wasn't sure I liked it.

The conversation eventually ended when she had to go and run some errands. I was confident that I had heard the end of it.

And I did. Until that night....

I got an email with a link to a website from my friend. "Check it out." She's forever sending me silly stuff, so I clicked on it. Only to be faced with a list of competitions in 2013. I fired back an email "What the hell is this?" She emailed me back, and it was that email that got the wheels in my head turning.

There are three events, 10-15 months out, back in Illinois. Two in Bolingbrook and A big one in Chicago. Sure there are events that are closer to me, but her she thinks I should do the events back in IL. Why? Because that's were I am from. That's were my weight loss journey started. There would be no better feeling then walking across that stage, in front of my friends and naysayers alike, and do this.

The one in Chicago is in September. That would give me about 15 months to get in shape and get competition ready. A huge feat. One that's very overwhelming. I never dreamed of wanting to compete in a competition like that. But now, the seeds been planted. And I am wondering if I should do it. Not because I expect to win or even place. But because it prove something. It would prove something to me. It would prove that I am truly capable of doing anything I put my mind to.

So, I am going to make my decision by Monday.

But, I am pretty sure I know what I am going to choose.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Not much to say...

It's been pretty much more of the same around these parts. My weight is slowly, but surely, coming off. Finally! I am also starting to see some definition in my arms and shoulders. (Now if the rest of me would follow suit...)

In the interest of saving money, I think I may have to give up my gym membership. :( But, that means I get to jump in feet first with my TurboFire/P90X2 Hybrid!! I had been wanting to start it earlier, but I didn't want to overtrain since I was working with a trainer. Since I am no longer working with a trainer (I AM a personal trainer now) I am "free" to design and implement my own program.

I am also working on becoming a Certified Nutrition Consultant. I think that those are two things that go hand in hand.

I have started a new blog that will cover the nutrition portion of my journey, Grass-Fed Girl In A Fast-Food World. I am going Paleo/Primal due to what appears to be Celiacs and Crohns. As the saying goes, "Food can either be a powerful drug that cures you or it can be a drug that slowly poisons you." (Or something like catch my drift.) Essentially, my food addiction was killing me. Each bite was doing more damage to my body. And I was getting sicker. But, now that I know what is wrong with me and I can take steps to change it :)

I have a really cool announcement coming tomorrow! Trust me, no one saw this coming!!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

I relapsed

Let me just say that addiction, in any form, sucks! I had a relapse the past week. I am not proud of it. I had worked so hard to get to the point where I felt like I was in control of my food addiction, not the other way around. But, as I dealt with life the last couple of days, I learned something about myself. I learned that I took my recovery for granted. And that's one thing that shouldn't happen.

It's funny. I haven't given my food addiction much thought lately. I hardly acknowledged that I had that problem. Because I had no instances of binge eating, I (stupidly) considered myself "cured." Here's the thing though, an addiction is never cured. It's always there. Lurking. Waiting for you to let your guard down. And that is exactly what happened. I let my guard down.

I have never handled stress well. Eating has always been my outlet. My way to cope, albeit not a very successful way, but it helped me. I had done pretty good handling things. Ignoring the urge to binge. But, then, the bottom fell out. And as I scrambled to try to make sense of the things that were happening, I lost the hold I had on my food addiction. And it raged out of control.

Yesterday, was the worse day by far. I found myself searching the cupboards high and low for my next fix. I think I downed 3-4 cans of pop. I ate. Nonstop. And while I don't know what my calorie count came out at, I am sure that it wasn't pretty.

I am no stranger to the crippling guilt that follows a binge eating episode. And yesterday was no different. The guilt brought me to tears. I felt like a failure. Worthless. I hated it.

But, if I have learned one thing over the last two years, it was this. My food addiction doesn't define me. It isn't who I am. And one binge eating episode doesn't mean I failed. Doesn't mean I am worthless. I just means I need to work harder. Be more aware. Make better choices.

So, instead of wallowing in the guilt that plagues me after binge eating, I am instead choosing to turn this into a learning experience. And move forward.

Shit happens. It's how you deal with it that matters.