Last Day of #JanYOUary with Before/After Pics

It’s a beautiful, rainy morning here in Lubbock, Texas, today.  I should be grabbing my running shoes and my road companion to go out for a jog in it!  The only problem with that is, my running companion gets ear infections when he gets water in his ears.  😦

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Jan 30, 2015

I went to the gym last night after my boyfriend brought me home some pad Thai for dinner… mmm, a big yummy bowl of carbs!  The thought was nice, but I don’t think he gets my goal and how I’m getting there.  So, like the polite Southern girl that I am, I ate enough of that pad Thai to get by with, and hauled my butt-in-progress to the gym!

And at the gym, I worked my butt off!  I ran 2 miles straight (5mph) on the treadmill to start with.  Then I went over to do some squats and lunges with a weight ball (the ones with handles on the side) with a few other Pilates type leg exercises.  It turned into a 2nd leg day, basically, which is good since the leg muscles are the biggest muscles in your body and burn the most calories, right?  I also did a bunch of abs, mostly lower abs.  I worked the heck out of my abs!!

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Aside from the pad Thai for dinner, I did fairly good yesterday on food, too.  I had this Western style omelet for breakfast, with a side of fruit instead of hash browns.  I didn’t end up eating the whole wheat toast.  Or the weird blueberry cream stuff that came on top of my fruit. I drank coffee with no-calorie sweetener and some cream.

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For lunch I made a quick run to Subway and got a flat bread sandwich, and didn’t eat the baked Lays potato chips that came with it.  Still drinking lots of water!

Today… is the last day of the #JanYOUary workout calendar and yesterday was the last of #30DayFlatAbs.  That means we’ll be getting a brand new calendar, #FABruary, sometime today!  We are also getting a new 30 day calendar to tone up the booty – the #30DayButtLift Challenge!  Oh my gosh, I’m so excited about this!

So today is the last Fat Burn Focus workout.  Cardio, cardio, cardio.  I usually just do my own cardio instead of the cardio videos, so I’ll probably do the same and head to the gym again today.

Before and After

before-after 1-31-15So here’s my next Before/After for this year!  It looks like #JanYOUary and #30DayFlatAbs was overall a pretty good success for me!  (Just ignore the fact that I just got out of bed and haven’t showered yet today.  I know, I look a little rough!)

before-after 1-31-15 sideI can see a lot of difference in my stomach, which is my biggest area in need of progress.

The scale?  Well, I actually gained weight since my last Before/After photo on 1/9/15, but my body fat percentage has gone down, and obviously you can see some toning up going on.  The scale is not always the best indicator of progress!!!

Today’s weight: 151.4 lbs

Body Fat Percentage: 32.5 %

Just Run With It

Run TimeHey guys!  I just got home from a nice run around my neighborhood.  The weather has been amazing the past few days this week, so I’ve been taking advantage of it and getting out for some sunshine while jogging the dogs.

How has the week been going so far?  It’s already half way over.  This week, it’s still been busy as usual.  I got in some gym time on Monday evening.  I had already done my running at home with Rogue, so I did a little bit of time on the elliptical machine that day instead of the treadmill like usual.  It felt like a pretty good workout, actually… that is, until I lowered the incline all the way down to a 1 and completely broke the machine.  I’m not even kidding.  The tracks went completely crazy with some plastic piece in the middle going kind of sideways, and that was the end of that.  Laugh out loud!  Then I headed over to get in my Pilates and lifted some weights for a great arm workout on Monday.  My arms are still a bit sore!

Yesterday, the only workout I got was running with Rogue around the neighborhood again, since I had to supervise another Skype visit with my nephew and his mother.  It was a great run, though.

But today, it’s Lean Legs day and I’ll be working on these videos as soon as I put my nephew to bed for the night.

The last thing I want to say for today is… how are not all Greek Yogurts created equally?  When I shop at my regular grocery store close to my house, I always get the Greek Gods brand of Greek yogurt.  It’s so good, tasty, and creamy.  Well, this morning, I stopped at a different store close to where I work so that I could get some fruit to re-stock my fruit bowl at work, and I meandered over to the dairy department to grab a Greek yogurt for breakfast, since I’d forgotten to bring one from home today.  Well, this store didn’t have Greek Gods brand.  So, I looked around and found Chobani had a vanilla flavored Greek yogurt.  Bingo!  Right?

Wrong.

Chobani yogurt did not taste nearly as good as Greek Gods.  I couldn’t eat it.  I ended up throwing it away after about 3 or 4 bites.  Then my boss, after hearing me complain about how terrible the Chobani yogurt was, went down to the break room and got his Noosa Greek yogurt he had placed in the refrigerator earlier this week, and he had me try that one.  Even though it was a fruit flavor, raspberry (I am not a big fan of fruit-flavored yogurt), it was still pretty good.  I’d eat it again, and I’d definitely eat that one over Chobani for sure!!

Greek Gods yogurt

Greek Gods Greek Yogurt – very good! My favorite.

Chobani Yogurt

Chobani Greek Yogurt – not good at all 😦

noosa yogurt

Noosa Greek Yogurt – pretty good

 

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!!

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!

 

We Are Now Leaving the Comfort Zone

Cardio Ab Attack Sunday Workout:

8-24 calendarExciting workout today!  We have these four ab workout videos for a total of only 38 minutes.  Surely you can spare 38 minutes today to tighten up your tummy a little bit?  I know I will be.

What did you eat for breakfast today?  I haven’t eaten yet as I’m typing this, but my stomach is growling at me like crazy.  I’ll probably eat a Greek Yogurt, something light and healthy.

Creatures of Habit:

Today is Sunday, and for me that means getting laundry done and put away.  I’ll do my daily workout at some point, and maybe go out for a swim later this afternoon.  I’ll start getting things in order for the upcoming week.  I’ll be tuning in to the Long Island Medium and possibly the Witches of East End this evening before I finally go to bed.

Just like I do every Sunday.

As people, we tend to be creatures of habit, and this probably comes as no surprise.  You probably take the same route to work every morning and home every evening.  You probably get to work and have a ritual or order you do things in… For me, it’s firing up the computer, checking emails, chatting with coworkers a little bit, and then jumping in to whatever I have to work on for the day.  You probably even have a routine for when you first wake up in the morning, and the order you do things in taking a shower.

Familiar is comforting.

It’s no different for working out.  We get into our routines and find what works for us, and we get comfortable with it so we keep doing it the same way.  The problem with that?  Your body gets comfortable with it, too, and soon the workouts aren’t as effective as they once were.

Sometimes it’s important to change things up and go out of our comfort zones.

In your workouts, going out of your comfort zone is what gives you progress and results.  This way, your body isn’t finding a way to compensate and get comfortable again.  Keep changing it up!  Do something different every day.  And then, do something different every month.

Challenge yourself.

Not just in your workouts, but in your life.  Strive for growth.  Strive for change.  Strive for something more.

Next time, I’ll make it to 400 squats!

You have to want it.

My 50th Blog Post!

Recovery Day Friday:

8-22 calendarIt’s a rest day on the Blogilates workout calendar today.  I think this was a strategic move by Ms. Cassey Ho, putting that 1,000 Squat challenge the day before a rest day.  She knew our poor muscles would need a rest after that craziness.

As I mentioned yesterday, I only got about 300 squats in, but let me tell you, I am still feeling it today!

My entire leg from the knee up is sore.  (Both of them!)  Inner thighs, outer thighs, quads, and hamstrings.  I don’t even want to know what it would feel like if I’d done all 1,000 of them.

50Nicky Does Blogilates 50th Blog Post:

Can you believe this is already my 50th post on this blog?  It doesn’t seem like that many.  I’ve had a lot of fun documenting my workouts each day and talking about different fitness-related stuff.

I think my 5 favorite post topics to write about so far are:

Top 8 Fitness Apps

Top 10 Songs to Run To

My Favorite Running Shoes

Giving Up Excuses

Exercising Yourself to a Better Mood

I’ve also had a lot of fun keeping up with many of your journeys as well.  I do read and follow many blogs on here, and I just find it so inspirational and motivating to see so many others who go through the same struggle, who may even fall off the wagon from time to time like normal people do, and especially those who dust themselves off and jump right back into it.  And each time I get a notification that someone has liked one of my posts, commented on something, or followed my blog, I always check out what you guys are writing about as well.  I will even try to comment if I’m at a place where I have a moment.

I guess you could say blogs and blogging are one of my new favorite pastimes!

No, I Couldn’t Do 1,000 Squats!

Thursday Thighs Workout:

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This is one crazy workout today.  I’m not even going to lie.  I got to about 300 (which is pretty darn good if you ask me!), and at that point I basically said #sorrynotsorry I’m done for the day with that.

Sometimes you have to know your limits, and mine was 300 consecutive squats.

But not to worry.  I did go on to do a few more videos today.  I didn’t just give up on it altogether, at least!  Instead, I figured I’d get in a few Ab workout videos.  I feel like I can never get too many ab workouts in.

Here’s the ab workout I did today:

What workout did you all do today?  What did you eat today?  I’ve been doing really well this week sticking to my good choices.  I had a Greek yogurt for breakfast, a sandwich for lunch, and turkey meatballs in marinara with a side salad for dinner.  For a snack I ate some unsalted peanuts, and I ate a Special K breakfast bar between my breakfast and lunch.  Overall, not too bad 🙂

I can’t believe tomorrow is already Friday!

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.  🙂

Tuesday’s Lean Body Sculpt

Total Body Tone Tuesday Workout:

8-19 calendarHey guys!  How is your Tuesday going?  Well, you know I’m pretty excited today because we have my all time favorite Blogilates workout – the Ultimate Hot Body Workout.  Just 4 simple moves throughout the entire workout, but you really feel the burn in every single one of them.

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

Also today, we have the Lean Body Sculpt workout… but you won’t find this one on YouTube.  This is one of those workouts that you can only get if you subscribe to the Blogilates App workout calendar.  The app itself is free, along with all the features except for the monthly workout calendars, and if you want to subscribe to the calendar, it’s only $0.99 a month.  I decided to go ahead and subscribe, just because I like being able to take the workouts with me to the gym sometimes, or when I travel overnight.  I really like being able to check those little boxes off showing that I completed that workout for the day, too.

blogilates app screen shot

So, if you don’t subscribe to the app workout calendar, then I guess you only have 3 workout videos today!  Are you going to substitute a different video or possibly replace that 10 minutes and 26 seconds with some good old fashioned cardio?

lean body sculpt 1

Blogilates Secret Workout Video – Lean Body Sculpt

lean body sculpt 2

Lean Body Sculpt Video – Available in the Blogilates App

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!  🙂