New Year’s Resolutions and Day 7 #JanYOUary #30DayFlatAbs

We’re already a week into 2015, and I have finally decided on my New Year’s Resolutions for this year.  As I had mentioned previously, I don’t want to use my fitness goals as New Year’s Resolutions because these are commitments I’ve made to myself, New Year or no New Year.  So I thought a lot about what I wanted my resolutions to be for this year, something to better myself in some way.  Here’s what I decided on:

  1. Blog most days of every week.  I have to admit, this does sort of tie into my fitness goals, but only in a secondary kind of way.  Blogging is one thing that keeps me motivated.  The more I work out, the more I blog.  The more I blog, the more I work out, because what am I going to keep writing about if I’m not pushing myself and doing things to reach my goals?
  2. Wash my face before I go to bed every night.  This is something that I used to do every day when I was younger, but for the past few… years (bad, I know)… since I started wearing Bare Minerals make-up that doesn’t break my face out when I do sleep in it, I’ve started just waiting until I wake up and shower in the morning to wash my face.  The trouble is, I think this might be one of the reasons I have these wrinkles under my eyes that I feel are really noticeable and I don’t like it!!  So, wash face, apply eye wrinkle cream, every night.
  3. Travel to a place I’ve never been before.  I have a few ideas of places I’d like to go, for example New Orleans or Seattle, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be some place terribly far away or expensive.  You know, I’ve lived in Texas my entire life, and I’ve never been to Austin – our state capitol?  Well, there was one time my flight from San Antonio to Dallas was re-routed to Austin because of bad weather, but I never even got off the plane, so that doesn’t really count.  I love to travel, so this is something I’d like to do more of this year if I’m able to.

So there you have it.  What New Year’s Resolutions have you guys made for this year?  I’d love to hear about them.  🙂

Anyway, yesterday was pretty crazy.  I wasn’t able to get my workout in until right before I went to bed last night, since we had company and I had to eat dinner before they all got there.  I didn’t have a whole lot of time and I was pretty tired, so instead of doing the full Blogilates workout, I did 32 reps of each of the #30DayFlatAbs Challenge moves and ran 2 miles with Nike Plus app.  I was able to get my 10,000 steps in for the day as well.

nike 1-6-15  fitbit 1-6-15

 

dinner 1-6-15Dinner was really good, by the way.  Steamed chicken seasoned with lemon pepper and garlic salt, cooked in one of those Ziploc steamer bags.  Roasted red potatoes were seasoned with cayenne pepper and brown sugar, and a little bit of Ranch dressing on my spinach and cherry tomato salad.  It was very flavorful, and I’ve really been enjoying eating these healthier meals for dinner this week.

I’m not sure what all I have planned for the day, but I do hope to get to the gym, probably early in the day.  I normally go to the gym after I get off work and make dinner each week day, only because that’s the only time I really can go since I don’t have the motivation to wake up extra early just to go work out.  And also because it’s not like I can just leave my 3 year old nephew here by himself at 5:00 a.m. while I go work out in the morning.  If I didn’t have to work every day, I’d definitely go earlier in the day when I have more energy.  They say the best time of day to work out is the time of day you function the best, and for me, that is in the morning.  I’m much more of a morning person than a night person.  Once it starts getting dark outside, my body starts telling me it’s time to go to bed.

It’s leg day today, and that Hips Butt N Thighs workout is insane!  Definitely challenging… but keep up the hard work, and keep challenging yourself every single day.  You’ll start seeing the changes you want to see before you know it!  I’m already seeing positive changes in the mirror, not to mention on the scale this week, and I haven’t even taken a progress pic yet!

Celebrating Small Wins

Almost to the end of another week.  It’s Thursday Thighs again today, and I was pretty sure that 3 Minute Thighs was going to kill me.  Is it considered cheating if your butt doesn’t leave the floor for more than 5 seconds throughout that whole workout?

So, instead of doing the Fat Burning Ladder today, I decided I’d do some jogging with my Nike+ app.  And I jogged until I hit 10,000 steps on my fitbit tracker.

nike gray 12-18-14   nike 12-18-14

 

fitbit 12-18-14

Oh yes, this happened.  And trust me when I say I needed this today.  We had this big Christmas lunch at work today, and I ate so much food that I was miserable for the 2nd half of my day.

But I also won one of the prizes for an “Ugly Christmas Sweater” contest for the Christmas shirt I crafted.  I just glued some glittery balls to a thrift store Christmas shirt, and pinned a tinsel-garland around the neck and the bottom, and won myself a $10 gift card to Sonic.  Yippee 🙂

Sunday 2 for 1 and Blogilates Total Bodylicious Workout

I have 2 workouts to do today.  First up is yesterday’s playlist…

Rock Your Core Saturday Workout:

calendar 10-4I wasn’t able to do this workout yesterday when I was supposed to because of a trip to Fort Worth for my nephew to visit my brother.  I had to get some things done earlier in the day before we left, and then we spent the afternoon driving.  I was sad I missed the workout yesterday, since I made it a goal to do more workouts (and blog posts) this month than I did in September.

So instead, I did this workout today while my nephew was napping, plus I ran a mile before hand.  It felt pretty good.  That was before dinner tonight.  To be honest, I felt like yesterday’s Rock Your Core workout was a little underwhelming after Wednesday’s killer workout.  My abs were sore for a couple days after Wednesday!  But it was still a good workout, though.  It just didn’t zero in on the abs as much as I had hoped.  🙂

Butt Lift Sunday Workout:

calendar 10-5Now that I’ve eaten my dinner (baked pork ribs, beans, and salad), it’s time to do today’s workout.  Today should be a good one, too.  Especially with Hips Butt N Thighs and the Beach Ready Butt workouts.  Those are both killer!

As you can see, there’s another secret workout video on today’s playlist that you can’t find on YouTube… this is one that you have to subscribe to the Blogilates app monthly calendar to be able to get.

Blogilates October Exclusive Video: Total Bodylicious Workout

Blogilates October Exclusive Video: Total Bodylicious Workout

If you just can’t splurge that whole whopping $0.99 a month for the calendar subscription in the app to get the Total Bodylicious Workout, I’d recommend subbing the Perfect Legs workout for it, since there are several similar moves.  😉

Is everyone ready for the week?  Oh, I have to go transfer some laundry loads!!  Before I forget again.  TTFN 🙂

First Look at the Blogilates #ROCKtober Calendar

10-2014 RocktoberThe new Blogilates workout calendar is here, and talk about exciting!  This is going to be a great month of workouts!!  This month, each day’s workout starts off with a video that incorporates some type of cardio to get the fat burning right from the start.

(Side-note: I still haven’t gotten my password to the calendar through the newsletter email yet, but I was able to access it via SnapChat app, for anyone else who is still waiting and is as impatient as I am.)

This month’s line-up is:

Sunday – Butt Lift

Monday – Muffintop Melt (with new workout video weekly)

Tuesday – Luscious Legs

Wednesday – Rock Your Core

Thursday – Amazing Arms (with new #CheapCleanEats video weekly)

Friday – Recovery Day

Saturday – Rock Your Core

I have to say I am crazy excited about this month’s calendar.  Last month was a good one, but I definitely found myself slacking off a lot, especially around the 2nd and 3rd weeks, after my nephew got here and threw a big kink in my normal routine.  This past week I’ve really been getting back to being more consistent (except for the blogging part – sorry about that!) and I just feel so much better when I do the workouts every day.  It’s a huge difference in my energy and my mood, as well as how my body feels from the inside out.

Legs & Butt Tuesday Workout:

9-30But for now, it’s time to get our last #SepTONEber workout in and kill those legs, butt, and thighs!  Who doesn’t love a lifted booty and some nice toned legs, right?

For this new month, it’s my goal to blog a lot more than I did in September.  I’m going to make more time to keep at it, because I love blogging, and it definitely keeps me motivated to keep at it.

What keeps you motivated?

Happy Tuesday!!

 

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 🙂

Food, Water, Sleep, and Blogilates

Legs & Butt Tuesday Workout:

9-2 calendar

Tuesday’s workout was no joke!!  Between Beach Ready Butt Workout and the Bold & the Bootiful workout, my butt was seriously on FIRE yesterday.  Is anyone sore after that workout?  I thought these videos were paired really well.

I also did pretty well yesterday on my “diet.”  I had a 100 calorie Greek Yogurt for breakfast, a Nature Valley sweet and salty granola bar for a mid-morning snack, some vegetable and brown rice stir-fry for lunch, and for dinner I baked pork chops and paired it with a side of grilled zucchini and a spinach salad.

AND… I drank my full 5 bottles of water yesterday!!  I also got some pretty decent sleep last night.  I’ll have to start posting my sleep patterns from my Fitbit so that I can keep track of that as well.  After all, sleep is a really big part of being healthy and getting fit!

 

Hump HIIT Wednesday Workout:

9-3 calendarToday’s workout is HIIT cardio, and of course you know it’s a good one when you start out with the 100 Burpee Burnout!!  This is one of my all time favorite Blogilates HIIT workouts, and burpees have seriously helped shape and thin out my legs and thighs.

Which of these videos for today was your favorite or least favorite?

Today for breakfast I ate another 100 calorie Greek Yogurt and had a banana for a mid-morning snack.  For lunch I ate a leftover baked pork chop with a fresh cooked half of a corn on the cob and a spinach salad.  For a mid-afternoon snack I ate some peanut butter crackers, and for dinner I had steamed chicken (seasoned), steamed red potatoes, and a spinach salad.

I don’t think I quite made it to 5 bottles of water today, but I’m pretty sure I drank at least 3. I’m still working on finishing one bottle of water now.  So far I’m not sleepy at all yet, so we’ll see how well I sleep tonight.

Why You’re Not Drinking Enough Water

Legs & Butt Monday Workout:

8-25 calendarMy favorite workout day!  I have to say, this was a good reason to look forward to Mondays this month.  I’ll be interested to see what our September workout calendar will bring.

My favorite workout video for today’s lineup is the Hips Butt “N Thighs workout.  I definitely feel the burn on this one, so I know it must really be working.  Thank goodness my legs have gotten over most of their soreness from attempting 1000 squats the other day.  (Can I not stop talking about that already?)

Are You Drinking Enough Water?

If you’re at all interested in health, fitness, dieting, or weight loss, then you’ve probably heard by now that you should be drinking a lot of water every day.

The formula for how much water each individual needs to drink each day is:

(Body weight in pounds) ÷ 2 = (Number of ounces of water you should drink daily).

waterFor example, if I currently weigh 145 lbs, 145 ÷ 2 = 72.5 means I should be drinking 72.5 ounces of water a day, which is roughly 9 cups or between 4-5 bottles (16.9 oz) of water.

Well, if you’re anything like me, you might know you should drink a lot of water, but you probably want to know why.  Here are some water facts that might help motivate you to get a little more hydration each day:

  • The body is made up of about 60% water (lungs 90%, brains 70%, blood 80+%, muscles 75%)
  • Water helps regulate body temperature
  • It helps lubricate your bone joints
  • It aids in digestion, prevents constipation, and helps metabolism
  • It carries oxygen and nutrients to the cells
  • It helps with balance (hello inner-ear fluid…  anyone else clumsy like me?)
  • It hydrates eye tissue to help you see better
  • It helps the body flush out waste and toxins (the liver and kidneys will thank you for this)
  • It keeps your skin and lips hydrated
  • It helps you grow healthy hair and nails

Some people only drink water when they feel thirsty, but if you feel thirsty, some say you are already dehydrated.  You might have also heard that thirst is often mistaken for feeling hungry!  I have been known to make this mistake pretty often, actually.

One way to tell if you are adequately hydrated is by the color of your urine (sorry, ick factor here).  The darker yellow your urine is, the more dehydrated you are, but the lighter yellow, the more hydrated you are.

It’s important to be sure and drink water regularly throughout the day so that your body is running optimally and you’re not being counterproductive to your health and fitness goals!

 

Working Out in Stilettos?

Legs & Butt Monday Workout:

8-18 calendarWhat a workout today!  My booty is definitely going to be feeling this one tomorrow.  I really liked the Perfect Butt Lift Workout (I always love those power ring workouts!) and the Bubble Butt Workout today.  I also did some interval jogging before my workout this evening for about 15 minutes.  I definitely got my sweat on today.

I’m so ready for Fall, by the way.  Cooler weather… yes, please!

stilettoAs for the Stiletto Legs Workout, what stilettos did everyone use for that one today?  I used some zebra-print heels that I actually wore to work today.  Every time I wear these, I get so many compliments on them.  I’m not a huge fan of anything animal-print, but I do really like these heels.  I wear heels all the time; they don’t even make my feet hurt anymore, even if I’m standing and walking in them for hours.  Crazy, right?

What Else Is Going On Today:

Today was the first day to start in my new position at work.  It was pretty exciting.  I’m still waiting on access to a few key things I’ll need for the job, but I was able to get started on a couple of projects.

I took my Greek Yogurt for breakfast this morning, and a banana for my mid-morning snack today.  For lunch, I brought some left-over stir fry I had made recently for dinner.  Tonight for dinner, I ate some black beans I slow-cooked with some hot Hatch green chile peppers with a side of Mexican cornbread.  Overall, I’d say it was a pretty good day!

I’ve been running a lot more lately, which I feel has really been helping.  I had to finally break down and go buy some new pants this weekend.  My size 10 pants just weren’t cutting it anymore, so I went and bought 2 new pairs of size 8 dress pants that I can wear to work.  Oh, what a lovely problem to have!  🙂

Thursday Thighs and Korean Stir Fry Recipe

8-14 calendarThursday Thighs Workout:

Ok, am I the only one who can’t hold myself up on one leg longer than a few seconds while I lift the other leg up and down like Cassey does in the 3 Minute Thighs workout?  She makes this look so easy, but I guess I’m just not there yet.  I can do maybe a few reps, and then I have to get down on the floor and finish it out without the added balance or glute workout.  Then I feel guilty because it feels too easy the other way.  I’ll just have to keep on trying and work on strengthening everything up more.

But how about that Lolo Jones Legs N Lunges workout?  That one was another new one for me, and it was a tough one!  My knees are not built for those low lunges, but I know I get stronger every day I try.

 

Tonight’s Dinner – Korean Stir Fry:

korean stir fryI made this delicious, Korean style stir-fry tonight for dinner.  I learned how to make this while hosting a high school exchange student from South Korea in my home this past school year, and it turned into an almost weekly meal.  Even now, after she went back to Korea a couple of months ago, we still like to make this regularly.  The ingredients are fresh, healthy, and so filling.  Here’s the recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup brown rice, cooked
  • 1 lb breakfast sausage (we usually use the spicy or hot version – you can use other meat, like ground beef/turkey/pork, chicken, etc. or even go meatless)
  • 3-4 eggs
  • 1 cup broccoli florets, divided (about 1 bunch)
  • 1/2 cup carrots, sliced
  • 1/2 each of green and red bell peppers, diced
  • 1/4 to 1/2 of a white onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh spinach chopped or seaweed (optional)
  • 1-2 jalapenos, de-veined/de-seeded, and chopped
  • 1/2 cup Kimchi (find it at the Asian Marketplace)
  • 1/4 cup Gochujang (find it at the Asian Marketplace – I usually just add a heaping dollop from a large metal spoon)

Directions:

-Start by cooking your brown rice until it’s tender and ready.  Set aside.

-In a large non-stick skillet (on medium to medium-high heat), brown your breakfast sausage until cooked thoroughly and drain the excess fat.  Keep skillet at Medium heat.

-Add in your chopped carrots and broccoli florets, stir until mixed well, and move mixture to one side of the skillet.

-In the clear part of the skillet, crack your 3-4 eggs and let them scramble, and once the eggs are cooked, stir entire contents of the skillet together.

-Now add in your chopped bell peppers, jalapeno, and Kimchi (be sure to add a little of the Kimchi juice!).  Stir and saute for a minute or two to let the peppers soften slightly.

-Add in your chopped onion, your brown rice, and your chopped spinach or seaweed (if desired).  Stir and mix everything well.

Finally, add in your dollop of Gochujang, and mix until Gochujang is evenly distributed throughout the mixture.

-Now ENJOY!

Be sure to have a tall glass of water handy, because this dish is SPICY!  There is so much flavor and so much healthy nutrition in this dish.  A little will go a long way, so you should have leftovers to enjoy later or share with someone else.

Monday Workout and My Favorite Running Shoes

Legs & Butt Monday Workout:

8-11 calendarI hope your butts aren’t sore anymore from all that work we did last week, because, as the Neon Trees say, “Here we go again!”  I really like all of these videos today, and as always, I know I’m not alone in saying I ALWAYS look forward to Mondays when we get a brand new Blogilates workout video!!

I’m probably most excited about the Sculpted Legs in Skinny Leggings workout and the 5 Best Butt Exercises.  Have I mentioned that I think Butt day is becoming my favorite workout day?

My Favorite Running Shoes:

Today I want to talk about something that’s near and dear to my running heart.  So, I’ve mentioned lots of times for anyone that’s been following me for any length of time, that running is my cardio of choice.  If you talk to any runner and ask them what their most important item is they use pertaining to running, most likely the Number 1 answer is going to be their running shoes.

I discovered  Altra Running shoes a few years ago, really about the time I started running.  There is a lot of good science behind these shoes, which you can see for yourself HERE.

But mostly, here’s why I love Altras:

1. They make women’s shoes to fit women’s feet (not just a smaller version of a man’s shoe).  They don’t just “shrink it and pink it” like you’ll see in other brands.  Thank goodness, because I do not like pink.

2. It’s a foot-shaped shoe.  The toe box is wide enough for your toes to fit naturally, not squeezed in to a point, which provides greater stability in the foot.

3. Zero-Drop means that your heel is no more elevated than the rest of your foot.  That means better running form and better alignment for feet, back, and body posture.  If you have knee, hip, or back pain, chances are it could be helped with a zero-drop shoe because your bone joints aren’t having to go topsy-turvy to compensate all the way up from your feet to your neck.

4. They are made with such high quality, they take a lot of wear and tear to finally wear out.  I have yet to wear out a single pair of mine, and I’ve had a couple of pairs of mine for a few years.

 

So how much do I love my Altras?  Well, let’s see… I have (in order from oldest to newest):

Atra Eve

The Eve

Altra Intuition (original)

The Intuition (original)

The Torin

The Torin

The Three Sum

The Three Sum

Have you ever tried any Altra shoes?  If so, what are your thoughts?  If not, what are your favorite running shoes?  Let me know in the comments!