Thursday, June 30, 2011

Lifting like a dude!

We all know what the dudes in the gym do.
They lift heavy. They grunt. They sweat. They wear sleeveless shirts to show their guns off. They stand around and watch tv between sets. They work ONE or two muscles at a time and they leave.

I think women can learn something from the men that dominate the weight room.
Strength training has so many benefits. And women can take advantage of the same ones as men. Muscle fiber is muscle fiber all the way around and on top of building strong bones, increasing circulation & energy-- strength training can blast fat! 

Here's the deal ladies, we can lift heavy. 
It takes time to work up to it, but right out of the gate 90 percent of us aren't doing as much as we think we can. WHY? Because I know, because I have been there. Because it's hard to lift heavy and scary. We don't know how to push our limits or we don't want to, because it's easier to stay in our comfort zone. 

Somewhere along the line we were told we couldn't do it, we ourselves thought we couldn't. How could I possibly lift that much? But we do more and lift and carry more in our day to day lives than we realize. You know who has amazing, untapped upper body strength? Moms. They lift all day long and don't realize their strength. 

Lifting heavy burns fat like crazy.
It changes up your metabolism and keeps it high so you operate at a higher level on a regular basis, burning more calories even at rest. It's very important to lift weights as you lose weight or you will LOSE your lean muscle mass at the same time. I am not advising that you lift the same weight as the guys, but they lift heavy for their relative strength and doing that will produce results. 

I used to do a full body workout about three times a week on top of my running. Then I switched it up and I was sure it wasn't going to work. I mean, I used to come in, take an hour or more and tire my whole body out. My new program has me focusing on one or two muscle  groups at a time. JUST back day?  JUST leg day? JUST Chest and Tri's? That's what guys do, in and out of the gym, 30 min on their delts and done! I used to think it was SO strange and then I tried it. 

I didn't get overwhelmed with the workout. 
Focus on the muscle for that day and be done. My workouts were shorter but more than that, they were more intense! Yes, one muscle group, but do more than two sets. Women are trained to do just a few sets. A good friend of mine the other night said he does 5 sets and a body builder suggested I switch to four. 

There are some people who feel the difference between two and three sets is minimal, but what you are doing is increasing that intensity and duration. Fewer muscles worked means you can lift heavier and push. If I am only in the gym for 30 or 40 min, I want to feel it. If I do three sets or four instead of two, I WILL feel it. That intensity will make all the difference with seeing a change in your physique. Long and lean? Muscle is muscle, it's growing or not. 

Growing muscle, strong muscle takes up less space and that means so will you! 

Time in the gym
Doesn't seem like THAT big of a deal right? Guys are in and out, but they are in nearly everyday. That means that their body is experiencing a heavy burn most days of the week. Calorie burn, fat burn, it's boosting their metabolism even though it's different daily. Isn't that what you want? I mean at the very least, more variety and less time just plugging away on a full body workout? 

In and out in less than 45 min means more time to do all the other things I want to and need to and means that on my cross training or running days, it's not hours of working out. It's like snacking and eating small meals through out the day. It's the best way to keep your body burning the fuel and by bursts of high intensity lifting most days, your going to keep that momentum going. Combining the right way to fuel and a lifting routine with heavier weight, more intensity and more often but shorter bursts? Success. 

So if you want, display those guns, grunt a little, sweat a lot. Add in your two cents about the game. But what ever you do, give lifting like a dude a shot, it's a worth the try!
Have a fantastic weekend and HOLIDAY! 
I will be blogging over it, don't worry! There are a number of great posts swirling about in my little head and I have some nice down time coming up! 

Live well, chose well, be well! 

Three things Thursday

Hey lovelies! Here's to Thursday, here's to a long week winding down and here's to YOU, a three things Thursday that is timely and random. Go figure. 

1) I am not taking enough time for myself. 
I have once again, put too many things, projects, stuff on my plate and am feeling the SQUEEZE. I need a few days to get my ducks in a row, a few days without ringing phones, emails and people needing things from me. Yesterday was one of those days when the squeeze manifests itself. Things slipped through the cracks and I was not on my game. Too bad, because in my game, you need to be ON. 
But I am listening to the Lord and following his prompting. What is most important, which direction will he have me lean and then wean away the rest?? I am going to be kind to myself this weekend. Get a little more clear on somethings and then get a manicure. 

2) There is a little piece of chocolate at my local co-op good enough to walk 4 blocks for at 9:30 at night. It's called a Salty Dog Bite. Well, I was walking home from going and getting a little Salty Dog Bite when two guys who are moving junk from an apt to the curb and ask if I need anything. They specifically ask if I need a modem. 

No, I say, but would take a wireless router if you have one. "Sure thing!" They said and 3 minutes later, they hand me a router and even told me how to set it up! Living in expectancy of blessing...the only way to go!

3) I am starting my Ragnar Relay training as of July! Can you believe we are in JULY?? 
Where has the time gone? I am excited to have a race schedule and training schedule again, but I am thinking about my first point again--time! Running, lifting, working... Time to fit it all in will be a supernatural feat! But that's ok, I am expecting it! Training for this race is the first of two big races I am doing this year...I have pared down quite a bit, but both are big and exciting. Check out FTG next week for an announcement! 

Let's do this--list THREE things this Thursday that you are thankful for!! 

HAVE a great Thursday! 

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Fitness Interview: Emily Lind

Happy Tuesday! 
Hope ya'll in blog world are overcoming and LOVING your journey today! 
I have had a morning of LEARNING, oh lawd, did I have a morning of learning. 

Life lessons cause me to slow down and take note of what is going on around me. Today and the past few days? Listening to people who have more WISDOM than I do. Honoring people who have been through things and know more than I do. I don't know everything, I don't have the answers, I can take time to check myself and remember that I can learn from EVERYONE I meet. Humbling & grand! 

The Essence Of EM: 
I have added a lot of new friends on FB and many of them are fitness models and competitors! Emily Lind is one such woman who is inspiring in her work, her fitness and her faith! She is a fitness competitor, model, a spokesperson and has been featured in Faith and Fitness magazine & FitnessX mag in addition to being a WBFF fitness model!  I asked Emily a few questions about her journey and fitness to encourage, inform and inspire you! 

How did you get into the fitness industry? 

Almost 3 years ago I raided my kitchen cabinets and became crazy passionate about lifting and eating clean. Every exercise magazine, weight lifting book, and clean eating resource I could get my hands on, I did! When most people my age were out drinking and gaining the usual freshman 15 I took a different course. I started working for a Plastic Surgeon (Dr. Peter A. Vogt M.D. & John A. Ness M.D). There I developed close relationships with patients as I worked with them, through their postoperative care. I realized after they spent money on getting rid of their problem areas I needed to teach them how to maintain and take better care of themselves. 

Within the mix of working for the Doc's and getting into my own fitness I decided to compete. I needed something to push me further, so I attended Camp Savage in Chicago and was hooked on fitness! Then, I took the stage for the first time in Las Vegas at the Fitness America Pageant. After one year  and completing 4 shows I realized I add fitness modeling into my career and add competing back in a little later.

Life is all about timing and I feel the Lord is calling me to do some other things right now... like build my business and speak to others about achieving their best life. This all still plays a very demanding role in my daily life. Training hard for shoots and keeping fit. Learning everyday to live life in balance because balance creates happiness. 

What are common mistakes you see when people start an exercise program? 

Well it isn't so much the mistakes of the exercise program its not starting a nutrition program at the same time. I see a lot of people with their new lifting program and their calendars are mapped out with cardio dates and classes- that is GREAT but, if you don't focus in on your diet you are pretty much getting NO WHERE! 

 I see people get flustered and throw in the towel altogether! This leads them to go back to their energy sucking, low motivated, daily life. Fitness is all about being educated and having a plan that involves your physical, mental, and spiritual makeup. That is true success! 

What is a common misconception people have about their own lifestyle? 

People think they can get away with more than they really can. By this I mean, going overboard- its the weekend and let's go crazy and "I'll be ok because I worked really hard during the week". Everything needs to be done in moderation. The drinking, the eating out.. MODERATION. Otherwise, all your hours working hard on your diet and workouts are washed away.

 Its about making more of the healthier choice. You still can have the goodies but take 1 piece not half of the cake!! and get to the gym first thing the next day. Burn it off, sweat it out, trust me you'll feel better.

Where do you see your faith and fitness coming together? 

I like this question. Its all about being disciplined. I know with my faith it takes me talking to God just like with fitness if I don't go to the gym then I get NO results- No one is going to do it for me. What I put in is exactly what I get out of it. 

Seeking God gives me courage to be bold. I feel like I need to use the gifts Christ has given me. In my faith and in fitness, I’m always growing. There are always ways to improve. We all have weak points. We grow in faith through the thickest of challenges, setbacks and failures. It is when I’m at my weakest that I am strongest. Exercise both and you will become STRONG! Soon your ready for whatever life throws at you.

What is your favorite bible verse that you encourage yourself with? 

I have lots of them but currently I really like Proverbs 27:17:
As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend. This makes me realize that I cannot do it alone. I simply cannot. I think we all think that we can be completely strong enough on our own at times then we have a setback and have our come to Jesus moment. 

If you take each take as the verse says you will begin to realize that you can exercise your mental strength as well as your body. It also reminds me to chose my surroundings wisely. If I'm not around people who are bringing me up, then who am I hanging out with? Again, as strong as you are sometime you just aren't strong enough. "a friend sharpens a friend" .... take responsibility to bring up people around you and soon you will realize they're probably bringing you up too. 

God Bless - Stay The Course EM

Thanks Emily! You are being used mightily and are inspiring! 

Don't forget to jump on Twitter and take part in the #FaithFitchat everyother Wednesday at 8CST--Tomorrow night is the next one!! 

Sunday, June 26, 2011

New way of eating & a wheat allergy!

This week, I am ALL about MIND SET. 

How and on WHAT is your MIND set? Set it on good things, positive things, things that build up and create momentum! Set your mind right and start your week right!

Mom was up nearly a whole WEEK with me for a big conference at church! We had some pretty sweet down time and shopping time too! Not too much shopping, but a trip to the mall for one thing specific and a trip to the thrift store...she scored some sweet scarves and I scored one too!

ONE thing we did, was take a paddle boat out! It was SO much fun and a great lower body workout, ooff!! My glutes are screaming!!

New eating- check! 
Wheat Allergy-check!

SO, I have talked very little about my changes to my diet. 
Here are the main things I have done over the last 5 and a half weeks:

1) I cut out the JUNK. My junk included pastries that I ate at least every other day, I  can single handed kept Starbucks and bakeries in my hood in business. 
Other junk for me included: ice cream treats, convenience foods (like frozen meals, most processed foods other than oatmeal and most fast foods--think Subway etc...)
2) I reduced carb intake. It wasn't hard once I cut out my junk.  This of course left me focusing on REAL food. If I don't have carbs, I don't crave them. If I have them, I will eat them all day....ALL day. Sugar is a drug. 
3) Focused on Fruit, veggies, and lean protein. Again, if I start my day with a carb, like a croissant, I crave them all day. If I start my day with eggs and a green monster, I have more energy and am full longer. Besides, I just wanted to start eating CLEAN. As I prep for some goals coming up, eating clean is a must, so I may as well get used to it. I LOVE IT. 
4) Ate as much as I am supposed to. Which feels like I am eating ALL day long. But finally getting my correct amount of food, calories and protein has made a huge difference. 

A few things happened with this new way of eating: 
My dairy intake was reduced. I still use cream in my coffee, but switched to goat yogurt when I have it (or have tested other "yogurt's"). But other dairy went out the window. 
With carbs reduced, or focus on greens etc, wheat really wasn't in my diet. I haven't had many breads, pasta's, crackers, processed bars etc... I didn't really THINK about reducing carbs as a "wheat" thing till this weekend. 
On a great note, my body fat was reduced by FIVE points and I lost 8 pounds. The weight loss was not a goal, a nice little surprise, and without doing much other than my new workout and my new eating.

Saturday night, we made a chicken and veggie stir-fry with co-op veggies we chopped ourselves, all things which I had been eating. BUT, I wanted to have some grains, so I used the last few cups of a Harvest Grains Blend of Orzo, barley, etc.. and we chowed down. 

THEN..... Within about 10 minutes.... I was asking  "What's in that Harvest Grain Blend?" 
It's the only NEW factor, I hadn't had it in over a month.... 

WHEAT. There I was, Itchy throat, coughing, HUGELY congested, watery eyes! The Allergic reaction was SO prominent, my Mom and I couldn't not believe it.  

From Mayo Clinic dot Com: 
If you or your child has wheat allergy, you or your child will likely experience symptoms within a few minutes to a few hours after eating something containing wheat. Wheat allergy symptoms include:
  • Swelling, itching or irritation of the mouth or throat CHECK
  • Hives, itchy rash or swelling of the skin
  • Nasal congestion CHECK
  • Itchy, watery eyes CHECK
  • Difficulty breathing CHECK
  • Cramps, nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Anaphylaxis
I have a wheat allergy. 
Who knew? 
A few weeks ago, I was talking with my friend Alyssa (who is going dairy free) and we talked about the fact that with little to no dairy in my own diet, I noticed that my other "allergies" were nearly gone! My cats used to bother me--but since removing other potential allergens, those became better too, I wasn't as plugged up from the kitties!

 I never thought about how much wheat I reduced, but when my breathing was hard and my throat itching, it was CLEAR that wheat was the culprit and I had apparently had reduced it enough that having some was a BIG deal.  

Do you have any experience with this?? I have been doing a little reading lately, I found a cool article on Allergy Vs. Intolerance and how a wheat allergy and Celiac are different.  LUCKILY, I know that dairy just doesn't sit well with my tummy, it doesn't cause ALL these other reactions... 

Side note: 
Had an awesome broccoli salad after the paddle boat with a piece of RYE bread, no wheat! YUM! 

What is your take on wheat? Do you eat it? Love it? Avoid it?
What food allergies have you discovered? Where they developed as an adult? I don't know how long I have been this way, for a long time I lived with allergies and didn't realize that's what they were! 

Friday, June 24, 2011

Almond Milk Yogurt!

How has your week been? Mine has been busy and awesome! I am working with some amazing people and connecting with some great opportunities! Do you see the opportunity in every situation? Life is RIPE for the picking if we are watching!  

This week I have been at church MOST nights, there are special speakers and my Mom is up for them all! Here we are all decked out, churchin' it up! We love scarfs! 

Mom got some new clothes while she was up this week, super ChiC!! She was a little scared of the red, but stepped OUT of her comfort zone--way to go mom! I love that you are being daring with your wardrobe and stepping out! 

Speaking of stepping out, I found a unique yogurt at my local co-op: 
Almond Milk Yogurt!! Technically, Amande is cultured almond milk with active live cultures! 

I ate half and added half to my daily Green Monster! It was SO good! Over the past 5 weeks or so, I have altered my eating and have reduced my diary intake. I have cream in my coffee and some goat products now and again, but goat yogurt get's a little spendy, so this was cool to find! 

I got the Strawberry. The consistency was interesting, not thick like regular yogurt, but more gelatinous, delicious nonetheless, I will be having more in the future! It's dairy free, soy free and gluten free. 

160 Calories
6 Grams of fat
2 Grams of fiber 
3 Grams of protein

The flavor is fantastic and I will be buying more, the coconut is intriguing, I can't wait to sample it! 

Who out there has experience being dairy free or mostly dairy free? I am curious how you fare with goat products instead or what unique products you use in place of traditional dairy staples? 

Rock your weekend--enjoy the sun and enjoy your days!! 

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Being committed and growth

Happy Wednesday, I can't believe where this week has gone! I am busy and loving life--this week there is a special speaker every night at church and am already feeling SO inspired and feel like I am on the cusp of amazing CHANGE!

I have a story for you about commitment:
There I am at the gym. It was bicep day, I LOVE bicep day. It's hard and SO worth the pain. My first set, I did bicep curls with free weights, 4 sets 10 reps.

Then I went to the bicep machine, I did one set 10 reps and bumped the weight down 5 pounds.

I started at that number.
(i hated that number too)

I thought of my clients who work so hard ALL the time.
 I thought of the 3 sets I had left and the fatigue in my muscle.
I thought of the number and how it was less than before.

 I bumped it back up, finished all 4 sets, eeking out 10 reps in each. The 10th was NOT pretty. I know I was grunting, I know I didn't look pretty, veins all popping and red-faced.

But I was committed to that number I was going to lift, that certain weight.  I was  committed to what I said I would do, not for any other reason, but to be consistent and to keep my word to myself. I was surprised that I made it through the sets that I did EVEN though I didn't back down.

Just like SO many hard or long runs I have encountered, I wondered--was it the weight, the sets or the BRAIN that was my road block? After completing what I was committed to, I can tell you, It was my brain.

Sure my arms were tired and sure they felt like they may fall off, a few of my last reps were pretty sad, but I did them where I wanted to!

Some days, just like I tell my clients, if we cut a few reps short, but stay at our weight that's OK, the ultimate goal is to fatigue anyway, we shift our idea of success based on that, not on the sets or reps, but on being consistent and working our hardest.

This is where the growth takes place, those last reps that burn, that last lap that seems impossible, those extra few crunches when you feel like you JUST CAN"T.  

The hard part is where we grow, where we increase, it's the hardest, most important part of the workout, of LIFE! Get committed to something, whether it's time with your family, your spending habits, being a better employee, a better friend or your workouts!

 Get committed and go that little extra mile, do the hard work when you don't want to or feel like you can't and you will see growth in all area's of life! 

On a final note, here is a GREAT video from Metabolic Effect on FB and it's a easy, quick tutorial on eating and working out! Simple and effective, it's essentially what I have been aiming for and seeing great growth and results from!

What are you committed to that you push yourself to do?

Friday, June 17, 2011

I Lost 40lbs!!!

Really, I lost about 40 lbs!  You can't see it can you, Can you see what's missing?

No more TV! That's 40, bulky, unwanted pounds out the door--boom and goodbye! 

Wellness Work
At work a co-worker created a wellness evaluation where we assign ourselves points per day for doing things associated with a healthy, fit and overall well lifestyle. Such as: 
  • Taking a walk
  • Calling a friend
  • Drinking water
  • A healthy snack
  • Getting enough sleep
  • Waking up without an alarm
  • Lifting weights
  • Meditation
  • Attending church
  • and on and on! 

Essentially we track our time and then evaluate where we could be more wellness minded throughout the day, replacing old habits with new. 

Well, my old habit is out the door! I got rid of my TV and now, when I FEEL like vegging in front of the TV, I can relax with a book ( I HAVE TONS I want to read), I can go for a walk, write a letter to my aunt, or meditate, pray, study...there are SO many more rich things to do in life, I don't think I will miss the Big Ole Tv much! Easiest weight I ever shed...  I have the afternoon free tomorrow, I think I will spend a little time in my living room... 

Farmers Market
I went to the Farmers market Thursday with Laurianna from The Curvy Life and we stocked up on FRESH local produce. 

I don't want any banana's and strawberries from the FM, those don't grow here! I can get those anywhere, I sought out and  bought Tula and German Stripe Heirloom tomatoes, kale, chives, honey and Farm fresh EGGS! 

La Got herbs and veggies too! 

My honey is from Aspen Ridge Honey Farm, just south of Minneapolis about 20 miles! I bought the basswood flavor which has just a slight citrus taste to it! I LOVE it...I am moving to a simpler way of sweetening things, I want to only use natural honey! I already have switched to only using healthy oils as salad dressings! 

Look at this EPIC scramble I cooked up: 
Organic free range eggs, chives, kale, tomatoes with a grilled chicken breast on the side. YUM! I sprinkled a little sea salt over everything and perfect! Nothing else needed! A great way to enjoy nearly all my produce and refuel for my run! 

I didn't get my lifting in, but I got a nice, hot, FAST run! Again, I think over the last few months I have shaved off mile times without noticing (I should REALLY get a Garmin or Polar) I will do my lifting tomorrow and ROCK Friday the Fit this, Girl way! 

If you miss a workout, do you swap your schedule around to fit it in, or just forget about it till next time? 
Who is doing something GREAT with their Dad this weekend?? Have a blast!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

SKYZONE Trampoline park

Happy Wednesday!! 
Tell me one thing in the comments that you are enjoying today!! GO!

I guess you could call it cross training? It was a cardio workout for SURE!! It was SKYZONE indoor trampoline park! It is a huge warehouse with a number of "courts" that are compiled of huge trampolines and even trampolines up the side of the wall! 

Jenna and Alyssa came and got their JUMP on with me! 

There was a GIANT foam pit: 

Alyssa could FLIP:

here is a short video of the place and me huffing and puffing after only 15 minutes! 

Afterwards, we went to brunch at Gigi's in Minneapolis, and I had a mushroom scramble with greens on the side! It was SO good, and a nice way to refuel after an hour of jumping. I was surprised by how sore I was as well, I felt like the trampoline was doing all the work, but I guess not!

Have you seen the website I am a woman of God
It's a great clothing website for women who want to be vocal about their faith! The tee's and bags are SO cool! And their FB page is full of amazing inspiring messages and verses!  
Check them out! 

I used to wear tee's with graphics on them ALL the time and have cut back! I think moving into my 30's has just changed the way I view my casual clothes even. I will get this for SURE though, because I love the message and will be proud to promote the tee and the fact that I am a woman of God! 

Have a GREAT Day and rest of your week, thanks for reading and don't forget TONIGHT, Wednesday 6/15/11 is our next #FitFaithchat on twitter! 8 pm CST --see you there! 

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

No More Moderation

Happy Tuesday!! 
Hope you are feeling blessed and bright today!! 

So, this blog post was spurned by a conversation I was having with my Mom on Sunday. I had just come from the gym where my workout, which was back and legs with some core in between, took about 2 hours. I was actually feeling kind of odd spending THAT much time on just a few muscle groups, but am working on a strategy and toward a goal. 

Do you know the difference between a strategy and a goal? 
Most people think that getting to the gym, losing 10 pounds and gaining strength is their GOAL. But really they are strategies that will bring them to a place they really want to be. Confident, able to hike with their spouse, able to keep golfing, able to build their dream home. Those are the real goals. 

Anyway, my goal is (in case you missed it, I slipped a new goal in a few weeks ago) to do a fitness or figure competition. It will take a huge amount of discipline, faith and hard work, I just really want to see if I can do that. I want to see how much my body really can do when pushed. There is of course another goal in my work at it, but that is why I changed up my workout, my "strategy." 

As I was coming home from the gym, I was thinking that I used to spend HOURS on weekends, drinking, doing nothing and sitting in bars. I used to spend whole nights just wasting away and getting wasted, moderation was NOT for me. And moderation is still not my strong suit but one is better than the other and at least the gym is GOOD for me! I love it, I am working toward my goal and it's a healthy habit--its the same with my faith! 

The thing is when I start seeing RESULTS the more I want to workout. During that 2 hour workout, a member said, "You really push yourself, don't you" and I said, "I didn't used to. I used to float through workouts and runs. I don't always want to, but when I am done I am always glad I did, because I like the results." 

I want to live a life of No More Moderation
I want more of the gym, more results! When it comes to my faith, I don't want moderation either. I don't want to be the Christian who floats through the week, just getting by, praying that I make it to payday, the weekend, through the next trial. NO! 

A young King David RAN TOWARD the giant Goliath 
and I want to run at full speed, STEP up and face my giants! I don't want moderation in my Faith walk, not after having a taste of what the real thing is like! When you work your triceps for a month and then one day, you get that little wink from one, you see that muscle tone, you can go up in weight...that kind of result will make you come back, it will push you forward to lift more. 

Once I got a taste of an empowered faith walk, really digging into the bible, learning who Jesus is, who he made me to be and all he empowers me to do, I see THOSE results and I want to crank my Christian life up to 11 and see more and more results. 

What results are you seeing & loving? If you don't like your results- shake things up, do something new, try a different approach and take a RISK! 

Toss moderation out the window and then follow it with a leap of faith! Go farther, faster, forget what people think, how you feel or your fears... No More Moderation! 

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