Abs and Villain Costumes

Rock Your Core Wednesday Workout:

calendar 10-8Great workout today!  I’ve been running a mile before my workouts every day so that I’ll see faster results this month.  I’ve been feeling pretty good this month, too.  This month’s calendar is really good so far!

Today we had abs, abs, and more abs.  I substituted the Whoa Whoa workout for this week’s new video, 10 Minute Abs, which I really liked because it had lots of new moves we haven’t already done a million times already.  Keeping it fresh, for me, means I don’t get tired of it.  🙂  Plus, there’s just something about Whoa Whoa workout that I cannot keep up with.  I don’t know why.

Halloween:

Harley QuinnEvery year at my work, we coordinate a Trunk or Treat for the kids we work with.  This year, my unit was paired up with another unit of people we don’t know who work in a different building and do completely different jobs from what we do, and the other unit chose the theme of Villains for our “Trunk” station.  We’re all going to dress up like villains.

My villain… Harley Quinn.  Not quite so skanky-version, of course, as this is my job and is for the enjoyment and entertainment of little children, and all.

I got my costume items from Amazon, so I’ll basically just be a cheesy pieced-together version of Harley Quinn.

 

 

Now I’m sad I didn’t choose Maleficent or Lord Voldemort, but this one will do.  And bonus!  I have a HUGE motivation to stick to my workouts hard core this month, because I REALLY REALLY REALLY want to lose some of my stomach pudge before I have to wear my costume on 10/31.  🙂

What are you going as for Halloween this year?  Any ideas or do you already know?  Anything at all?

harley quinn accessoriesharley quinn topharley quinn pantsharley quinn undershirt

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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 🙂

Total Body Workout and Why Not All Carbs are Bad

Total Body Tone Tuesday Workout:

8-12 calendarAnother good workout today!  (Do I say that every day?)  We’re getting some total body toning action, and I can tell you that Train Like A Beast workout is no joke!  It’s tough.  The only video I can think of that is harder than that one is the EXTREME Abs Workout we did on Sunday this week.  But you know what?  As Cassey Ho says,

“If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you.”

You know what Cassey Ho also says?

“Train like a beast to look like a beauty.”

So that’s what we’re going to do!  We’re going to challenge ourselves every day.  We’re going to push ourselves out of our own comfort zones, we’re going to try to get one more rep in before we stop for a break.  When we do stop for a break, we’re going to jump back in faster than we did yesterday.  You know why?  Because tomorrow we’re going to be better than we were today.  After all, you should be the only person you’re comparing yourself to in your fitness journey!

Carbs Are Not All Bad:

Why, oh why has this sudden trend exploded saying that you have to cut out carbs if you want to lose weight or to be thin?  Really it isn’t even a “sudden” trend, because people have been doing this “Atkins” low-carb diet for years and years.  This is the diet that approves of (specifically) bacon, fried eggs, ranch dressing, sour cream, and diet soda, but high-fiber, protein-rich Superfood Quinoa doesn’t make the cut?  Don’t get me wrong… I do eat/drink most of those things (not the fried eggs or sour cream), but not on a regular basis.  More of like every now and then and in moderation, because I feel like setting rules restricting certain foods is setting yourself up to fail.

Carbs not only supply energy for your entire body, down to the cellular level, but they also help in the regulation of blood-sugar, digestion (more on that later), and brain function.

Now it’s time for a personal story, sad but true.  Each year, I usually participate in giving up something for Lent.  While I am not Catholic, I still feel like this is something I personally want to participate in for my own faith.  So for Lent, the idea is that you choose something to give up for 40 days that you would consider to be a sacrifice.  Last year, my sacrifice was “major carbs” (bread, potatoes, pasta, rice, and sweets).  Of course I knew that cutting ALL carbs was not possible, since carbs are in almost everything you eat, even vegetables.  But I wasn’t doing this for dieting or losing weight – it was because I recognized this to be something I tended to over-indulge in on a regular basis.

Needless to say, I only made it 2 of the 6 weeks that year, because my body literally began to rebel against me.  I’ve never had such… let’s call it “digestive issues…” in my entire LIFE!  It’s funny now, but at the time, it was no joke.  I learned a good, valuable lesson that year, and this year I chose something way more realistic (carbonated beverages).

So how do you know the difference between a good carb and a bad carb?

All you really need to do is apply the same logic of “eating clean.”  If it’s a whole, natural, unprocessed food, then it is good for you.  If it is processed, it’s probably not so good for you.  There are a few exceptions, like whole grain or whole wheat bread (usually good for you).  If you still have any doubts, here’s a pretty good list I found that might be helpful, thanks to The BodyFit Coach Meghan O’Marra.

...and don't forget quinoa!

…and don’t forget quinoa!

 

 

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.”

Sore Glutes, Plank Challenge Day 4, and Sound Advice From Dumbledore

Today’s Workout:

How about that hour-long ab workout today?  I got through all the videos pretty well today, although I didn’t have any paper plates for the first 2 videos in the playlist, so I had to simulate the movements as best as I could without it.  I definitely don’t feel like I got as good of a workout as I would have without the plates, but hopefully I will remember to get some for next time.

And by the way… who else has some sore glutes today?  After Sunday’s Booty Blast and Monday’s Legs and Thighs this week, my booty was feeling the burn today!!

Plank Challenge Day 4:

IMG_20140714_205529Can you believe it?  I made it TEN more seconds for day 4 than I did the previous day.  It was a huge struggle this time because I waited until after my full workout to do it, and my muscles were already pretty fatigued.  Must remember to do plank challenge first, workout second!  How long can you last in plank position?

 

Rambling:

One more thing I want to leave you with today.  Sometimes in life we have some tough choices to make.  The thing to remember is, what is right may not always be easy; and what is easy may not always be right.  Choose wisely.

right and easy

Staying On Track Away From Home and New Plank Challenge

Today’s Workout:

I’m posting late today, but how did everyone like today’s workout?  That Food Baby Hiit gets me every… single… time.  These were all some great “Sexy Saturday” workout videos.  I’m also rather proud of myself for getting this workout in today, because I’m out of town visiting family this weekend since my mom was put in the hospital this week for complications with her Multiple Sclerosis.  (She is doing a lot better now!)

Eating While On Vacation:

And by the way, eating clean has been super hard this weekend, also.  When I come “home” to visit, I always stay at my Grandma’s house because that’s where I have room to stay.  My grandma hasn’t cooked since my Papa died over 10 years ago, so every meal is eating out for her.  I won’t even get started on that subject.  So when I got here Friday around lunch time, we went and had Mexican food.  I managed to find a pretty decent salad on the menu, dubbed “Cowboy Salad” pictured below.  It was very fresh and very tasty, with mixed greens, diced fresh tomato, shredded cheese, shredded carrots, and grilled onions, bell peppers, and chicken with some fresh avocado on top.  (I didn’t eat the enormous taco shell, but topped it with their salsa and a tiny bit of Ranch dressing – which they were not stingy at all with, by the way!!  Check out that bowl of it they gave me on the right, next to the bowl of salsa!)

Cowboy Salad - El Cerrito's - Springtown, Texas

“Cowboy Salad” – El Cerrito’s – Springtown, Texas

I ate breakfast for dinner that evening with a sausage and egg sandwich on toast.  Let’s just say Howell’s Cafe in Springtown, Texas, sort of an old-style small-town diner, is not known for its healthy offerings.  Their pan-fry is “to die for” though! 😉

So the first thing I did this morning was make a trip to the grocery store to get some healthy items to eat today.  Cheerios for breakfast, smoked ham and tomato sandwich with mustard on 45-calorie Multi-grain bread for lunch, and for dinner I baked some chicken with some roasted red potatoes.  I was going to have salad on the side, but… remember how I said my grandma hasn’t cooked in over 10 years?   Guess how old all the salad dressing she had on hand was… (I’m not even kidding!) so I ate plain lettuce on the side instead.

Plank Challenge:

So now that dinner is eaten, workout is completed, and blog-post is almost written, it’s time to work on something new I decided to start on as of yesterday.  Right before bed last night, I decided to see how long I could hold a plank – elbows on the floor with knees off the floor.  Here was my time:

Initial Plank Time

Initial Plank Time

So just for fun, I’m going to set a goal for myself to see how long I can hold a plank.  I’m not going to make a big thing of it, mostly because pretty much the only benefit of being able to hold a plank longer than 30 seconds to a minute is to be able to hold a plank longer than 30 seconds to a minute… according to some fitness experts (?).  Anyway, for now, I’m not going to set a certain end-date or length of time I hope to make it to.  For now, I’m just going to try to make it longer today than I did yesterday!

Anyone else want to join me?

Cardio, Core, and Quit Procrastinating!

Cardio and core workout today.  I’m still sore from Tuesday’s Hard Core workout and Wednesday’s Upper Bod workout!  Isn’t it crazy how good it feels to be sore from your workouts?  I am very much liking all these core workouts we’re getting this month!!

Here is today’s playlist of workout videos:

That Waist Whittlers 100 Challenge is no joke!  You start out like, oh yeah, I got this.  Piece of cake.  Next thing you know, your muscles are rebelling against you and you’re wondering how you’ll be able to keep pushing through much longer.  I still can’t do this one all the way through without taking some breaks in there, especially the further along into it you get, but I’m still getting stronger every day!  One of these days, I’ll get there!

I also wanted to share a picture I saw yesterday evening that my uncle shared on his Facebook page.  I thought it was so valid, and in fact, I had just talked to my supervisor at work about the exact topic earlier that day.  He had mentioned that he’s waiting until after his birthday in a few months to really get back into working out.

1527795_10152110540993444_743547051_n

I’ve never appreciated this future approach to start working toward your goals.  In fact, my supervisor has told me more than once that my life motto must be, “It should have been done yesterday.”  I’m not one to let things sit and wait until later.  I’m more of a RIGHT NOW, Let’s get it done kind of person.  I think this comes from my childhood when I’d ask my mom for permission to do something, and she would tell me, “If you have to have an answer now, the answer is NO.”  I’m not sure if I turned out that way because it bothered me, or if it bothered me because I was already that way.

Either way, I say if you’re really invested in your commitment to achieving your goals, why would you want to put it off for later when you could start now?  You’re not going to wake up tomorrow and say, man, I’m sorry I went ahead and started making progress on that goal already.  You’re going to wake up tomorrow, feel the momentum you’ve already started, and get excited about taking the next step.  Even if you just start out with a little, that’s something!

Chicken Stir-Fry Recipe and Today’s Workout

Yesterday was a pretty good day for me.  I started the day off by eating a homemade granola bar for breakfast.  For lunch I kept it light with a sandwich and some Sun Chips.  I like to use the Sara Lee 45 Calorie whole grain bread.  I wasn’t a fan of the French Onion Sun Chips… the Garden Salsa flavor seems to be my favorite.  But overall, it was pretty good.

For dinner I made a delicious chicken stir-fry with minced garlic, ginger, broccoli, bell peppers, and white onion.  Throw in a little soy sauce, and Voila!  See my recipe below to make this at home.  Its SUPER easy!

2014-07-18 22.31.44

Chicken Stir Fry Recipe:

  • 1 lb chicken breast cubed
  • Mrs. Dash seasoning – to taste
  • 1 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp minced ginger (or to taste – you can leave this out if you want)
  • 1 small bunch of broccoli florets, separated
  • 1/2 green bell pepper chopped into bite-size squares
  • 1/2 red bell pepper chopped into bite-size squares
  • 1/4 white onion chopped into bite-size squares
  • 1/4 Cup Soy Sauce (or to taste)

After I cook the cubed chicken and drain out the liquid, I sprinkle some Mrs. Dash seasoning on it.  Keeping your burner on medium to medium-high heat, make a little space in the middle of the pan, throw some Extra Virgin Olive Oil, then the minced garlic, and let that simmer for a minute or two.  Then I throw in a little dab of minced Ginger and mix everything up.  Add the broccoli florets next so they can soften by the time it’s ready, and then pour on a little Soy Sauce.  You can use some of the Soy Sauce now and the rest of it at the end.  Next is the bell peppers, and last is the white onions so that they aren’t completely mushy when it’s time to eat it.  I like to still be able to taste the freshness of everything.  Throw it over a bed of brown rice, and it’s ready to go!

Blogilates Workout

I felt pretty good after yesterday’s workout.  I was pretty amazed at how long I was able to keep doing most of the moves, but by the time I got to the Perky Butt ‘N Long Lean Legs video, I was having to use modifications.  Stronger every day!!  I waited to do my workout until right before I went to bed last night, so I fell right to sleep without any trouble!  Before that, I swam for a little bit after my dinner had settled and took the dogs for a walk and a bit of a jog around the neighborhood.  They may not understand, “Don’t pee on that tree!” but you say the words “Go for a walk” in my house, and you better be ready to grab the leashes!!

Here is today’s workout playlist.  I can’t wait to get home from work today to start these!  Is that crazy??