Short and Sweet Amazing Arms

Amazing Arms Thursday Workout:

calendar 10-2Holy biceps, today’s workout was insane.  My arms feel like jelly right now… I have no strength left.  I was going strong all the way through Push Plank Challenge.  Then, Bodacious Back was getting a little more heavy and harder to keep up (especially after that crazy warm-up!).  But by the end of Awesomesauce Arms, it was all I could do to keep pushing through.

My abs are really sore today from yesterday’s workout, too.  Especially my upper abs from that Extreme Abs video with the million crunches in different variations there at the beginning.

So I did go ahead and order the shirt and booty shorts I posted about yesterday.  I’m looking forward to seeing those arrive in the next week.  I also need to get a couple more new pairs of pants I can wear to work.  I had to get a couple of new pairs of pants last month since I’m down to a size 8 now, but I need a couple more pairs so that I have enough to wear each day of the work-week.

Is it crazy that I hate going shopping?

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This Week’s Workout Overview

It’s already Tuesday?  The days are getting away from me before I know it.  I knew I’d be a lot busier once my nephew got here, but even after I put that little guy to bed at like 8:00 p.m. every night, I’m so tired!  Did I mention before that I never want to have kids?  It’s true.  And here I am.  So here’s the line-up of workouts for the week, in case I can’t post as often as I’d like, as has been the case for the past week and a half already!

Total Body Tone Sunday:

Always exciting when you have the Ultimate Hot Body workout, and even better when it’s followed by Train Like a Beast Look Like a Beauty.  These two are ones I always have fun doing.

Abtacular Monday:

The fat destroyer workout is a really good cardio/Hiit workout.  I’ve really been impressed with that one so far in the few times we’ve done it.  I always think 8 Minute Abs is so funny.  I grew up in the ’80s so I can relate to this video on so many levels, but there’s nothing like going back to the basics to get your abs worked out once in a while.

Legs & Butt Tuesday:

Today we get a good booty workout.  My favorite video for today is the 5 Best Thigh Slimming Exercises.  I can always feel this one working really well while I’m doing the moves.

Hump HIIT Wednesday:

I like how this workout starts out with a Love Handle workout, then goes to a cardio, back to Abs, and then ends with more cardio.  For me, it’s never fun to just do a bunch of cardio exercises, but I do love abs exercises and especially love handle exercises.

Arms & Back Thursday:

The last video for Thursday is another one of my favorites, even though it’s one of Cassey’s older videos.  I like how you don’t need any weights or anything, but you can really feel it working your back.  My back is one thing I think I don’t work out enough, so this will be a good line-up for today.

Rest Day Friday:

It’s the day of rest, and while usually I make myself take rest on Fridays because I know it’s good to give your muscles a chance to rest and renew, this Friday I am going to go ahead and get a workout in.  I’m not even going to feel guilty about it, either, because I missed more than a workout or 2 last week so I have some making up to do!

Cardio Core Saturday:

And finally, there’s Cardio-Core Saturday.  That 4 Minutes to a Hot Body workout is tough!  And that’s even doing the whole thing on my knees instead of the straight plank.  It’s definitely a lot harder than it looks when you get down and actually do it.  Other than that one, I also really like the Heart on Fire workout.

Well, that’s it for this week!  How is everyone doing on their food intake?  I’ve actually still been doing pretty good on mine, even on the days I haven’t been able to get my workouts in.  Yesterday I had a 100 calorie Greek Yogurt for breakfast, a Thai curry soup for lunch, and Turkey meatballs in marinara with a side salad for dinner.  Today another yogurt and lunch was some leftover Korean Stir Fry.  MMMMMmmm 🙂

Thursday – Two for One Workout

Arms and Back Wednesday Workout:

8-27 calendarHey everyone!  Sorry I missed my post yesterday.  I have been so tired these past couple of weeks after coming home from work and learning my new job all day, so yesterday I decided to skip the blog and go to bed a little early.  Of course I paid for it when I woke up super early this morning and couldn’t go back to sleep.

Lord help me when we Fall Back for Daylight Savings Time in a couple of months.

Yesterday’s workout was arms and back.  My arms were already a little sore before yesterday’s workout because I’ve still been putting in some extra arm workouts to keep up my arm goal.  After the workout, my arms felt so shaky and worn out.  It was nice to end the day with a nice stretch video.  I think the toughest workout we had for this particular line-up was the Victoria Secret Angel Arm Slimming workout.  Did anyone else do this workout yesterday?  Which video did you think was the toughest one to get through?  Which one did you like the best?

Thursday Thighs Workout:

8-28 calendarAnd now we’re caught back up with today’s workout.  Thursday’s thigh-slimming line-up is probably my second-favorite workout day of the week.  I’m not sure why I like working the legs and butt so much right now.

Actually, I think it’s probably because it’s not the arms.

Because I really love all the ab workouts too.  But today, I’m sure you can guess which video was my favorite today.  That’s right, the Extreme Inner Thighs workout with the Pilates power ring!  My thighs were actually burning in all the videos today, even right out of the gate with the first video.  I’m sure I’ll be feeling that tomorrow.

Can you believe tomorrow is already Friday again?  Where has this week gone?  I’m looking forward to the weekend because I’m finishing up the last step of becoming a licensed foster home this Saturday when someone is scheduled to come out to do a home study interview.  Now that all the trainings are done, all the copies of all the paperwork turned in, all the doctors appointments and TB tests are completed… finally I’m in the home stretch, and my nephew will be here before I know it.

Then I’ll really be tired chasing after a 3 year old every day!!

Wednesday Workout and Cooking with Steamer Bags

Arms and Back Wednesday Workout:

8-20 calendarHow are those arms feeling today?  My arms have definitely been feeling the soreness lately from all the extra arm workouts I’m trying to get in.  Let’s jut hope it pays off eventually!  I guess I’d have to say that my favorite workout video out of today’s line-up would be the Push Plank Challenge.  I swear, just when I think I can’t take anymore, and I finally give in and take a rest, she starts counting down those very last few, and I’m mad at myself for not pushing through that last couple of reps.

Isn’t that about how is usually goes, though?  You can never let yourself give up, because that might be the moment it all finally changes.  You don’t want to regret that you didn’t push yourself to your full potential to achieve what you know you’re capable of.

ZipnSteam_MediumZiplock Zip’n Steam Bags:

Today I want to share one of my best clean-eating meal prep secrets, which are these Ziploc steam bags.  I used these tonight to make some steamed chicken breast seasoned with some Season-All and Cayenne Pepper, and some red potatoes, cubed, and seasoned with some Cayenne pepper and Garlic Salt.  I added a fresh lettuce and tomato salad with some shredded carrots, and my dinner was ready in 10 minutes.

All I had to do was sprinkle some seasoning on my chicken and potatoes, put them in the steamer bag, and pop it in the microwave for a few minutes each.

Seriously, that’s it!  It is really that simple, and it tastes really good.  It holds the moisture in well, and it seals in the flavor of the seasoning.  I’ve cooked so many things in these bags, like chicken breast, fresh salmon, potatoes, carrots, broccoli, fresh green beans, you name it.  Just season it with whatever you want, throw in a little bit of soy sauce or water if needed for the vegetables, and let it do its thing.  It even tells you on the bag how long to cook specific items for.

Has anyone else tried cooking with these?  What are some of your favorite “Steam Bag” recipes?  I’ve heard of some really good ones I’d like to try, like omelettes!  (Sounds weird, but I love omelettes, so I’ll probably give it a shot at least once.)  I’d also like to maybe do some apple slices seasoned with cinnamon and stevia sometime.  Or brown sugar.  🙂

Arm and Back Workout and Making Clean-Eating Easy

Arms & Back Wednesday Workout:

8-13 calendarIt’s another Arm and Back day, and it looks like some “new-to-me” workout videos today!  Actually, it looks like the only video I have done since starting the Blogilates Workout Calendars back in May 2014 is Bodacious Back.  So for me, today is like Monday all over again with a brand new workout video to do, times 3!

It’s always good to keep changing up your workout routine, because after doing the same thing for a while, your body starts getting used to it and starts learning to adjust and compensate, which means you have a pretty good chance of hitting a plateau in your fitness goal progress.

That is one of the reasons I absolutely love following the Blogilates Workout Calendars each month, because we have a different workout every single day, and next week’s Arm and Back workout will be completely different than this week’s workout.

There are so many reasons why I love following these workouts, though, but I’d have to say the Number 1 reason I love Blogilates the most is because it makes it SO EASY to see the progress I want and that I’ve tried for SO LONG to get.  Suddenly, it’s all coming together.  Cassey makes it so easy with the calendars, the clean eating tips, and all the new workouts, I wish I would have found her a lot sooner.

Eating Clean:

I want to talk about eating clean today, because this is something that has helped me get to the point I’m at today with the progress I’ve made so far.  I spent about 2 months eating clean and have been seriously amazed at how well it’s boosted my results.  For the past week and a half, I cut back on my clean eating because of a few different things, including birthday party dinners, celebration dinners, and what-not that have popped up recently.  I’ve been eating a lot more outside my own home than I normally do, and that means I haven’t had the control over what I’m eating or what is going into what I’m eating like I have been.

I’ve noticed a big difference.  My energy level has suffered.  My sleep quality has suffered.  My digestion has suffered.  And while I haven’t lost any progress, I also haven’t seen much new progress, if any, in the past week and a half, either.

So I started Monday this week to really revamp my clean-eating efforts, and in just in those 2 days so far, I can already tell a huge difference.  When I’m eating clean, I just feel good, inside and out.  I have the energy I need to do my workouts every day.  I don’t get that afternoon crash where you just want to lay down and take a nap.  I don’t feel any bloating, and my digestive tract works a lot better.  I feel satisfied, get full faster, and stay full longer when I eat clean food, which is in stark contrast to when I’m not eating clean.

So for anyone who needs help eating clean, (and please know I am by no means an expert, nor do I have any type of nutrition expertise, but…) below is an example of one of my One-Week Clean Eating Menus.

Clean Eating Weekly Menu

Clean-Eating Menu

My Last Thoughts On the July Workout Calendar, and This Week’s Workouts

Blogilates July Workout Calendar

Blogilates July Workout Calendar

My Last Thoughts on the July Workout Calendar:

Can you believe we are already down to the last week of the July workout calendar?  I feel like it was just last week I was talking about my first thoughts on it.  So what do I think about the calendar now that we’re almost done with it?

Let’s just say, I hope next month is not too different from this one!  I feel like the way each day’s workouts were set up this month really maximized the results.  I can definitely see results from the beginning to the end of this month.  Not to mention I’m down to 148.4 lbs as of today!  That is nearly 3 lbs down in just one week.

I was telling some people the other day that I can’t believe how easy it has been so far to lose weight and see the results I want to see in such a short amount of time.  Especially after trying so hard for years and years without seeing any results at all.

Booty Blast Sunday Workout:

I have to say, I’m really excited about this workout, because this is my very first time ever to do the Beyonce Bootylicious Bum Butt Badonkadonk Bonanza (try saying that 3 times fast)!  I always like the Booty Blast days, because this is one of those areas I think most of us like toning up.

Legs & Thighs Monday Workout:

Now that our butts are thoroughly worked, it’s time to work out those legs and thighs.  You can’t have one without the other, right?  And of course, the video I’m most looking forward to in Monday’s workout is the Thigh Trimmer & Butt Lifter.  I always like the workouts with the Pilates equipment (resistance bands, power ring, etc.) just a little bit more than the regular workouts.

Hard Core Tuesday Workout:

I hope we have a Hard Core day in the August calendar next month…  Or at least something like it.  These were probably my favorite workout days, and this last one probably takes the proverbial cake.  Look at all these muffin-top targeting workouts!  Yep, that’s what I need to work on the most, in my own opinion.  I really can’t even pick one that I look forward to doing the most, because they’re all really goods ones for this day.

Upper Bod Wednesday Workout:

Ahhh, the arms.  My arms are always crying at the end of these hour-long workouts!  But these are so good, my favorites for this day are between Victoria Secret Angel Arm Slimming Workout , which really gets you working and pushing yourself, and the Push Plank Challenge that starts out feeling so simple and then by the end of it you’re wondering when they’re ever going to stop.

Cardio Core Thursday Workout:

I just can’t even believe it’s the LAST workout of our #ForceofJuly calendar.  But we’re sending it out in style with these fat-burning and ab-toning workouts.  Hands down, my favorite video in today’s workout is The 5 Best & Most Effective Ab Exercises.  How about that Saturn Ring exercise?

 

So if you’re doing these Blogilates workout calendar workouts, what were your thoughts on the July Calendar?  How many of the workouts did you do each week?  What results have you seen?  I’m just more and more amazed at how much I love these workouts and how much I truly want to keep sticking with them.  Even when things come up in life that would normally derail me and all my progress, I’ve still been able to stick with it and keep seeing the results.

Working Out This Week

Hey guys!  Sorry I missed posting yesterday.  I actually missed everything yesterday, workout and all.  😦  Let’s just say I have some pretty serious stuff going on in my family at the moment that all sort of exploded the past couple of days.  But today, I had to jump right back on the Blogilates wagon.  So I’m going to do something a little different for today’s post, because I know things might be a little hit or miss for the next week or so.

Hard Core Tuesday Workout:

My favorite of these 5 video’s for Tuesday’s workout this week would have to be…  The 5 Minute Ab Express!  Since I missed this whole workout yesterday, I will probably try to do it on Friday this week and use yesterday as my day of rest.  I’m pretty sure being severely stressed out burns extra calories, because I still weighed a little less this morning than I did yesterday, despite missing my workout.

Upper Bod Wednesday Workout:

Today’s workout was pretty intense, especially once I got to the last couple videos and my arms wee really getting tired.  I’d have to say my favorite workout video for today was probably Toned Arms and Sculpted Back.  To be honest, I’m not too sure if it wasn’t because it was such a relief to sit or lay on the mat for this workout because I’m still so exhausted today.

Cardio Core Thursday Workout:

I’m excited for Thursday’s workout this week because it’s really focusing on the “love handles” with a couple of the workouts.  My favorite video for this day, definitely Love Handles Hysteria.  My least favorite, and probably my least fave of all the Blogilates workout videos…  “Hot Summer” POP Cardio Dance Workout.  Not because I don’t like the moves or the song, but because I don’t really keep up with the moves very well.  Plus, I feel like it kind of drags out a little too much.  I usually substitute this video for a different cardio video for about the same length of time instead.

Bendable Body Friday Workout:

How about a nice relaxing stretch video to get your Bendable Body/Rest day in?  I keep saying this, but I really hope Cassey comes out with some new stretch videos for these days.  This month’s secret workout video on the Blogilates App is an AMAZING video, so relaxing and energizing.  It would be perfect to add to the list for our Friday videos… alas, it’s exclusive only to monthly calendar subscribers (which is only $0.99 a month, really not much at all).  At any rate, I should be doing Tuesday’s workout on this day since I missed it on Tuesday, as I of course mentioned previously.

Sexy Saturday Workout:

I know it’s crazy, but my favorite workout for this Saturday is the 100 Burpee Burnout!  Burpees have seriously shaped and toned my legs and have really helped me shave inches off of them.  Some of the more intense ones, I can’t really do (like the ones with the one-handed push-ups), so on those I just do a regular burpee during that set.  It’s still one heck of a workout.

So please let me know about how your workouts are going this week!  I will still try to get on every day and post as usual, but at least this way I’ve got the playlists posted up for anyone that likes using them.  I also have all the Playlists saved on my YouTube channel, which are accessed most easily through the link in the menu at the top of my page here titled “Daily Workout Playlists.”

Arm and Back Workout, and How to Diminish Stretch Marks

Today’s Workout:

Another Upper Bod Wednesday today.  It’s probably a good thing my abs are getting a bit of a break today, because the past few days have really worked them hard.  It’s so helpful that these workouts are split up into several different videos every day because it makes it seem like it goes by so quickly.  Doing Blogilates is the quickest hour of my entire day!  How about those Awesomesauce Arms?!

Stretch Marks:stretch marks

Yesterday I had a question about one particular issue that so many people deal with in their weight gain/weight loss process.  I am so very lucky that this is something I have not had to deal with, but I know that there are so many people out there who aren’t as fortunate and have dealt with or are dealing with stretch marks.  I wanted to help, so I did my research…

Stretch marks (or “striae”) is a form of scarring on the skin as a result of ripping or tearing, usually after rapid weight gain (Hussain, 2012).  There are 3 basic ways to treat stretch marks: creams, medical treatments, and laser therapy.

Creams: There are several creams and oils available to treat stretch marks.  These can include (but are not limited to) cocoa butter, Vitamin E oil, Mederma, Strivectin, and Trilastin.  According to a study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, about 90% of stretch-mark sufferers have attempted treatment by applying creams and oils, but this method has the least overall improvement rate at only 9% (Hussain, 2012).

One study published in the International Journal of Cosmetic Science looked at the effectiveness of a particular product advertised to provide various benefits for stretch marks – a cream containing hydroxyprolisilane-C, rosehip oil, Centella asiatica triterpenes and vitamin E (Garcia-Hernandez, Gonzalez, Castillo, & Falcon, 2013).  The study did not provide a brand or name for this “specific product” so it seems there could be some challenge just finding it.  This study reports:

“The use of the anti-stretch mark product is proved to be effective in reducing severity of the striae during pregnancy, prevents the appearance of new striae and halts progression of those already present. In women who had no striae at baseline, use of the anti-stretch mark cream was more effective than placebo in preventing new stretch marks” (Garcia-Hernandez et. al., 2013, p. 233).

Medical Treatments: A slightly more effective method for treating stretch marks is the use of medical treatments with a 21% improvement rate (Hussain, 2012).  These treatments include things like microderm abrasion, chemical peels, and retinoids (such as prescriptions containing Retin-A and glycolic acid) (Hussain, 2012).

Laser Therapy: According to the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, the most effective treatment of stretch marks, at 42% rate of effectiveness, is the use of laser therapy (Hussain, 2012).  During a laser therapy procedure, thin layers of skin are removed so that the natural healing process can take over and form new layers of healthy skin.  This method reportedly has minimal side-effects, is not a very painful procedure by most accounts, and other than possibly a few days of redness and swelling, there is no down-time involved.  It can be costly, and on average, treatments can run anywhere from $200 to thousands of dollars.

Whatever method you choose to treat stretch marks, you should always consult your physician to make sure the treatment is safe for you to use.  I hope this helps, and perhaps those who have experience can let others know what has or hasn’t worked for them in the comments below.

 

References:

Garcia-Hernandez, J. A., Gonzalez, D. M., Castillo, M. P., & Falcon, T. F. (2013). Use of a Specific Anti-Stretch Mark Cream for Preventing or Reducing the Severity of Striae Gravidarum. Randomized, Double-Blind, Controlled Trial. International Journal of Cosmetic Science; 35(3), 233-237.

Hussain, H. A. (2012). Stretch Marks and Treatment Efficacies. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology; 66(4), AB29.

Upper Body Workout, Back Troubles, and Running

Upper Body Workout

What a workout today!  We had a full hour of upper body workout, and my arms are really feeling it now.  Upper body is one of my weakest areas that I really need to work on.  Not only do I have a lot of toning to do in my tricep area, but my back needs a lot of strengthening as well, both of which we hit really well on today.

Since we’re on the topic of upper body today, I thought I’d talk a little about my lower back, which has been very prone to injury for the past few years.  When I started getting up to these higher numbers on the scale, I started having pain in my back when I slept at night, and sometimes I’d throw my lower back out doing the simplest things.  Of course it doesn’t take a medical doctor to tell me this could be attributed to those extra pounds my body was carrying around and my back was having to support day in and day out.  One of the biggest accomplishments I’ve noticed so far since starting these  Blogilates calendar workouts is that I no longer wake up with back pain during the night now, and haven’t in weeks.

Back Troubles

I did actually think I had thrown my back out again recently after trying to do the  100 Burpee Burnout one day.  According to one of my very good personal-training professional friends, Jimmy Hart (more about him later), this was because of a possible strength gap, meaning that my back wasn’t strong enough to balance out the strength I had gained in other areas.  He recommended that I do more back exercises to strengthen it up and fill in that strength gap, so I have been incorporating some extra back exercises he recommended every day or two now.  Luckily, my back only bothered me for the rest of that day, and the following day was a rest day, so I was able to jump back into the workouts without missing any days.

Running

So speaking of my good friend Jimmy, I give him credit for inspiring me to develop a love for fitness a few years ago.  Growing up, I was never into sports or fitness of any kind.  I was (and still am, really) pretty clumsy and trip over my own two feet regularly.  I remember on several different occasions, some years apart from each other, my friends actually laughing at me and making fun of me for how I looked when I would try to run.  Oh, how I hated running.  I would always say that I was not put together to run, literally, because I have what you call “knock-knees” where the knees sort of invert, opposite of “bow-legged.”  It was not only embarrassing to have to run, but it was also really kind of painful.  Come to find out, I just wasn’t doing it right!

Jimmy Hart was in town on some business a few years back and I offered him my guest bedroom so he wouldn’t have to spend money on a hotel.  I mean, that’s what friends are good for, right?  Anyway, Jimmy the awesome personal trainer and, by the way, world-renowned running coach, had me go out and run in the street in front of my house while he observed how I was running and what all I was doing wrong.  He showed me how to correct my form so that I was running correctly.

Proper Running Form

Running Form

After that, I was running almost every day!  I’ll never forget the first time I ever ran one full mile without stopping to walk.  I stopped the treadmill at the gym, grabbed my phone, and texted Jimmy so excited at my accomplishment.  I’m sure he thought I was crazy… he probably runs at least 10 miles a day.

And so began my love for running.

I still have a long way to go to be a marathon runner or even an outdoor runner.  I prefer the treadmill, much as I realize and understand how backwards that seems.  But Jimmy Hart went on to become the founder and owner of an exclusive, high-performance training facility for runners, formerly called PACE Labs, now called theGait Lab, located in Plano, Texas (right outside of Dallas).  It is the first of its kind, and has gained a lot of interest in the running world.  The Gait Lab uses “high speed digital recording with advanced motion capture software to spot areas in your gait that need improvement.”  They use what they find to develop a corrective plan for improved performance.

Here’s an example of what they do:

Anyway, I hope everyone enjoyed today’s workout as much as I did.  I can already tell I’m going to be sore tomorrow!  Has anyone else noticed any benefits from the workouts other than the toning and weight loss?