It’s Easy for You… You’re Fit.

beforeafter

“It’s easy for you”… it wasn’t always.

I have ran into this comment a few times recently… some version of “it’s easier for you… you are fit… you like this stuff… you aren’t out of shape.”  I am not put off by it at all… but it always gives me pause.  Perception is a funny thing. Most of my “friends” on social media and followers of my blog are aware of my struggle with weight, and my eventual progress with losing it for good… However, it has come to my attention that I have made quite a few new friends that don’t know my story, and therefore- have quite a skewed perception on my level of health-nutty-ness (there are crazies out there that think I don’t like candy y’all!).  They just know that I am now a kettlebell fiending, obstacle course racing, lover of all foods whole and clean.  But it wasn’t always that way.  Just 3 years ago I was an obese (220lbs on a 5’9 frame), smoking, metabolically damaged, completely out-of-shape, unconditioned, uncomfortable, weak and unhappy woman.

I have previously outlined my history of how I got fat, what I did right with food, and exercise to eventually lose the weight.  And while I have adjusted my food to follow more of a Whole30 food plan, and I now have earned my RKC Instructor certification… The highlight reel still holds true:  good, whole, clean foods and lifting heavy things will get you big results.  Now- 3 years after that Drivers License picture up there… I have started a career as an Personal Trainer and I get to run Obstacle Course Races in all kinds of awesome places.  But the most important is that I am now happy in my own skin, I recognize myself in pictures again, I am no longer a smoker, and I am definitely NOT a weak woman.

3 years ago- to this very month I was searching too, looking all over for answers. And I can tell you with absolute certainty, the answer is YES. YES YOU CAN DO THIS. It comes down to consistent, daily, sustainable, and realistic changes. There will absolutely be hard days that leave you challenged to stay on your food plan, and there will be extraordinarily sore days after working hard for your goals… BUT YOU CAN DO IT. You don’t have to wait for a silly arbitrary resolution to get started… GO. NOW. Start today!  Even a small change like tossing your soda for a water will put you one step ahead for tomorrow.

I would be honored to be part of your journey as you transform your life. Whether you are a mom looking to drop weight and get strong; an athlete that is looking to improve his strength and conditioning; or a weekend warrior needing to train for the next obstacle racing season… I would be honored to work with you as your personal trainer. I work out of Maximum Body Training in Cartersville GA, and I am RKC certified. I offer kettlebell classes, small-group, and private training.  I want to be on your team.  Feel free to contact me anytime for more details: 770-773-5987 or check out my profile at Dragon Door.

A few of my favorite things…

You get a link, and you get a link, and you get a link!

You get a link, and you get a link, and you get a link!

Back in the saddle ladies and gentlemen! I could post on and on about why I haven’t updated lately- but lets just say that we had techincal difficulties coupled with some major LIFE. Techinical difficulties are resolved, and the other issues that are going on- well, I am learning how to work with them. Homeschooling, nutrition, fitness, and basic hygiene have managed to get back on track.

I have had many ideas for blog posts during my haitus- and they will be coming soon… But I thought I would get back into the groove by sharing some of my favorite sites on the interwebs:

FITNESS LINKS:

Maximum Body Training: My Gym. Beth Andrews, Sr. RKC is pretty well known in the industry- and with good reason.  I am so glad to have her right here in my little town!

Myomytv: Free Kick-ass kettlebell workouts.

Niashanks.com: Weight training and strengthening for women. No big and bulky here!

Metaboliceffect.com: I LOVE Metabolic Effect. I have learned so much from this site. They claim the “science of hormonal fat loss”… Which frankly sounds a bit dry for how awesome their site is. They are entertaining, educational, and scientific. Just go. Go NOW. Thank me later. (This site is actually both fitness and nutrition)

BretContreras.com: The Glute Guy. Wanna get strong and add some bulk in all the RIGHT places?

Kellie Davis – Mother Fitness. Her blog is freaking awesome. She is funny and well written. Tons and tons of awesome content. Her advice has been spot on 100% for me. Bookmark it, read and keep going back– she is a workhorse and updates her site all the time.

Molly Galbraith – Another strong female that gives out all kinds of information and insights for free.

Girls Gone Strong: The name says it all. lol

Fitness Black Book: I just discovered this site in the last week or so… So I haven’t given it a good run through yet. That said, I have already learned a ton- and I really like the diversity and variety on his site.

NUTRITION LINKS:

Gary Taubes: The author of “Good Calories, Bad Calories”. If you are wonderfing what got me started on my Paleo craziness… give him a read.

Marks Daily Apple: All things primal. Mark is pretty opinionated about Good Food- which I like. He also has some thoughts on making your workouts “play” and functional. I use his site as a resource manual for my nutrtion. There is just an epic amount of information there.

Everyday Paleo: Paleo Recipes

Nom Nom Paleo: Love this site! So cute! It has tons of recipe’s and then also useful information that is *really* important- like how to cook easy to peel boiled eggs that don’t stink the whole house up!

Primal Toad: More Primal recipes and living in entertaining packaging.

There ya go! Enjoy!

Staying on the Wagon

regretGetting started on a new diet and fitness regime is easy.  I mean really… we all know what we “should be doing”.  And the initial motivation is pretty easy to come by…  being unhealthy and overweight is not fun. And lets assume that you haven’t fallen for any gimmicks (pills, shakes, get-thin-quickies) this time around… and you purchased that gym membership, set an appointment with a personal trainer, and got rid of all of the fake food in your house.  You go with great gusto and determination through the first days, maybe even weeks.  But inevitably, the novelty *will* wear off.  What then?  This is where 95% get bored, sidetracked, and fall off the wagon all together.

So what worked for me, that kept me in the successful 5%?  Well, I do believe that going Paleo, and lifting heavy were absolutely crucial in my campaign.  And I do need to point out that I still abide by a Paleo Lifestyle and Lift Heavy 5-6 days a week, running the other two days.  I will admit that in the beginning, I thought the diet and lifting would be short-term… just to lose the weight and get skinny.  As I highlighted in my introductions, I learned that those changes would have to be permanent for me to be healthy and keep the weight off permanently.  So with the “permanent changes” in mind… you cannot have your special number on the scale as the goal.  At least not as the only goal.  You will reach that special number, then what happens? Well- most people gain the weight back.  And again- we don’t want to be that 95%- or most people.

I think having other goals that are performance based is the best way to stay on track.  Those goals can be competitive or fun- but I really and truly believe that you have to find something that motivates you beyond weight loss.  Having performance goals will keep you going during the plateaus, and keep you engaged and away from boredom.  For me that began with my trainer-friend asking me if I could do a Pull-up or Chin-up.  Nope.  I couldn’t.  But, you know what? I really wanted to be able to do them- when I took a second to think about it.  So I started incorporating exercises and looking up progressions to get me to that first pull-up and chin up.  Soon after that I found out about Obstacle Course Racing (AKA: OCR’s)- like the Spartan Race, Warrior Dash, and the Tough Mudder.  So I started training my running speed and my strength for those courses and obstacles. (I ran my first OCR at the Warrior in Alabama in October ’12, and I will be running my first Spartan Race in March ’13 in Atlanta…. I am so geeky excited!!!).  I also have weight lifting goals- being able to bench press XXX or deadlift YYY.  Yes, my weight continued to trickle down… but that has just been a happy consequence of working hard at my other, more primary, goals.

The point is that there are plenty of days that I really just want to eat that brownie, or say “eff it” to working out. And if “weight loss” were my sole motivator… I would have likely found an excuse. Having other goals have helped combat the “eff it’s” and keep me consistent and motivated… and firmly in the 5%.  🙂

See you next time,
~J

A Change in Direction

I mentioned in my last blog entry that I try to stay aware of boredom or monotony in my training regimen. As a matter of fact, the image above of me pushing my car was part of a training day that was borne out of boredom and contempt for the kettlebell workout I had planned for the day. I got a great work out that day (I also worked on one-hand handstands); and it did the trick to get me out of my rut.

Lately I haven’t felt as *inspired* about my work-outs. I was getting them done, and feeling good and accomplished, but I wasn’t necessarily looking forward to them. Late last week I saw that 3 of my favorite imaginary fitness coaches (Marianne Kane, Kellie Davis, and Bret Contreras) had combined forces and were launching a new product. Now let me preface the remainder of this post with two disclaimers:

  1. I have not purchased anything other than equipment, and a personal training session during this journey (okay, okay- and food!). The main reason is that I wanted to keep things simple, and not waste any money on gimmicky plans. I wanted to take the time and really work on the basics- and keep the BS out.
  2. I am not receiving any compensation what-so-ever from Get Glutes or any of the coaches for this blog post. I am just passing along the information.

I was really REALLY excited about my 3 favorite imaginary coaches coming together, but was hesitant on spending ANY money on a “program” (see disclaimer #1). However, at an introductory price of $9.95 (and you can cancel at anytime)- it seemed like an easy risk to take. Here is a run down of what the program consists of, taken directly from their site:

“Package Includes:

    • Monthly fitness programs with 3 strength-training and 3 conditioning workouts designed exclusively for Get Glutes Members by Bret Contreras, Kellie Davis, and Marianne Kane to help you finally build the body you’ve always wanted.
    • In-depth tutorial videos explaining each exercise, with guides on how to modify the exercises to fit your fitness level”.

Additionally they mention the following:

“However, don’t let the name of this program fool you. Yes, we put a great emphasis on building a better booty. But this program packs in workouts that challenge your entire body, empowering you to improve your shape from head to toe.”

So, I had Mr. S take a look at it- just to make sure I wasn’t “falling for some gimmick”, and decided to take them up on their introductory offer. I have done all of this months workouts one time through now- and I have to say that I am THRILLED! They use the equipment I already have here at home (in fact they developed the program with us at-home-gym people in mind)- my kettlebell, free weights, suspension and pull up bar. The workouts have introduced new exercises to me (they have video tutorials included with each workout), and the moves are stacked in ways that I haven’t done before. Additionally, you get a different approach from each coach, which keeps things new and refreshing.

I have taken some “before” pictures, and I hope to update in a few weeks with some “progress” pictures of how this program is working out for me. But for now- I couldn’t be more pleased!

I know that part of my lack in inspiration with my training had to do with the fact that I have been “reinventing the wheel” for quite a while now, and frankly was just getting tired of having to write my own “plan” without real expertise on what I should really be doing to progress. So this plan gets me out of having to think about what to do- they have the schedule there, the list of exercises, the video…. all you have to do it just go do it. No research required! Secondly, I needed a shot in the arm… something new. And obviously- a new approach solves that problem too.

So, I am not abandoning my Weightlifting or Kettlebells- they are still definitely there in this program!!! But obviously I will not be able to share my daily workout details while I am participating in this program. I am sure I will return to more independent training at some point, and I will return to blogging my daily workouts then. In the meantime, I look forward to continuing to share any cool and awesome links and information here… and I will definitely update my progress as well! WOOT!

The reason I am busting this blog post out in a hurry, is because I just noticed that they have extended their introductory offer through TODAY! So you can get in on the same deal I did! You can check it out for less than $10 bucks and see if you like it! Here’s the link to their site.

With that in mind- yesterday was an “active rest”… and for many reasons I just *needed* to run. I got 3.7 miles in 40 minutes. It was a truly fabulous run- I even got to wear short-sleeves, and shorts!

Till next time,
~J

Weightlifting Day: 01/02/13

Finally! Back to regularly scheduled programming for my training and nutrition! I will offer some commentary on that tomorrow, but for now- here is today’s weightlifting workout:

1. Bench Press

  • 70lbs x 12 reps
  • 75lbs x 10 reps
  • 80lbs x 8 reps
  • 92lbs x 7 reps

2. Hip Thrust

  • 92lbs x 12 (had to stop early in the set- hip padding went sideways *ouch*)
  • 92lbs x 20
  • 92lbs x 20

3. Tricep Extensions

  • 15lbs x 10
  • 15lbs x 15
  • 15lbs x 20

4. Deadlift

  • 92lbs x 10
  • 92lbs x 15
  • 92lbs x 15
  • 92lbs x 15

5. A new finisher complex, inspired by Survival of the Fittest… (here’s video of it)  It consists of the following (22lb dumbbells in each hand):
5 high pulls
5 front squats
5 lateral lunges
5 push presses
5 bent over rows

And it finished me!  See you tomorrow!

~J

Kettlebell Day: 12/31/12 – HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

2013 Here we come!

2013 Here we come!

I can not express how GIDDY I am for 2013.  I am very proud to say that I kicked 2012 in the ass… lost a ton of weight, got healthier and *stronger*, and I am biting at the bit for 2013.  I have all kinds of races that I want to participate in this coming year, and I am excited to see how much stronger and faster I can get before race season starts back up hot and heavy.  Squeal!!! I am so freaking excited! (did I mention that I am excited!?)

If you have some how landed here because you are resolving to get healthier in 2013- CONGRATULATIONS! I am super pumped for you too-really! I have spoken with several friends lately that are setting health, fitness, and weight loss goals for themselves.  And while I hear the “damn… I gotta do *something*” in their voices- I have a big shit-eating grin on my face.  Why? Because, I miss some of the early days of my journey.  The days that I realized that I could do something, lift something, or push myself further than I thought was possible.  I thought I was too old, too much into motherhood and homeschooling our two Little S’s, too weak, too beyond hope to be able to approach life with any athleticism anymore.  What I found is that no- I am not to freaking old, motherhood is no excuse, and in return I watched that scale tumble down hill- and my physique improve in ways I had NEVER seen- even in my “more-athletic-college-days”. Now, however, my improvements more refined, the scale could only move 5-10 more pounds (not that I really care anymore), and I am trying to get *better* at those moves that I thought were impossible a year ago… not just be able to perform them.  I miss those big improvements that occurred in leaps and bounds in the beginning.  So if that is you- let me know! I love seeing others “catch the bug” and get excited about their fitness… it motivates me. And again- CONGRATULATIONS on your own journey- it’s gonna be a hell of a ride, and I am thrilled for you!

ANYWAY… Today’s workout was a kettlebell workout.  Another interval workout (40s work, and 20s rest) repeated for 3 times through the circuit.  My reps are in the brackets below:

  1. 25# KB Deadlift + Burpee {11, 10, 11}
  2. 25# KB Alternating Swings {25, 27, 27}
  3. Dynamic Push-ups (feet together, push-up, jump feet wide, push-up, feet together, on and on) {10, 12, 12}
  4. Skater Hops {35, 30, 33}
  5. 25# KB Alternating Ballistic Rows {34, 30, 32}
  6. 25# KB Single Leg Deadlifts {13, 14, 15}
  7. 25# KB Single Leg Deadlifts {13, 14, 14}

Oh, and I warmed up with a new (to me) Kettlebell move that I would like to get more proficient at and include in my workouts in the future: The Kettlebell Side Press…  I did 5 on each side.

Weightlifting Day: 12/30/12

This guy asked to borrow my warm-up weights...

This guy asked to borrow my warm-up weights…

I have attempted Front Squats quite a few times on my own- and they always seem to elude me, and I switch back over to my trusty back squats.  But I really do want to get these in to my repertoire.  I had Mr. S here with me again today- so I challenged him to help me get these damn things under my belt- correctly. Here’s a great little video on how to do them, and what a few of the common mistakes are. (Disclaimer: I don’t know what is up with the dude doing the intro, but whatevs… the tutorial is good).

Click Here for Front Squat Video.

So, I found out from that video that my wrist and elbow flexibility were the villains in my previous failed attempts.  I will keep working on my flexibility in those areas so that I can perform these bad boys one day with a “finger tip grip”. However, until then- I will work around it with the cross over grip.  The main reason that I wanted to learn these and start performing them regularly is for the ab recruitment that this type of loaded squat requires.  The dude in the video mentions it (“your abs will be sore”), but if you watch the chick- she is *really* straight up and down to keep that weight balanced.  That posture in this squat requires a crazy amount of core strength.  And since I HATE crunches, I am always looking for complex lifts that hammer at my core.  (Yet another reason Kettlebells are freaking fabulous).  So watch that video a few times, let your spotter watch it, discuss where your known weaknesses are so that (s)he can point it out to you.

So today, I obviously spent a good bit of time on the Front Squat.  I kept my “max weight” for the day pretty low and non-challenging so that I could really concentrate on everything from my toes to my neck 🙂  Here’s the entire session:

Warm up: Jump rope for 1 minute

1. Front Squat:

  • 10lbs x 8 reps
  • 30lbs x 10 reps
  • 52lbs x 8 reps
  • 62lbs x 6 reps
  • 62lbs x 6 reps
  • 62lbs x 8 reps

2. Push-ups (goal was to perform 35 total, and I made it!). I took like a 1 minute breather between each set.

  • set of 8
  • set of 10
  • set of 8
  • set of 9

3. Deadlifts (82 lbs for all)

  • set of 12
  • set of 12
  • set of 10
  • set of 10
  • set of 8

Cool: 1 minute of jumping rope.

I had planned on getting some tricep work in- but I just ran out of time.  Ah well….

See you next time,
~J