Glow-Up Week 1: Recap

Glow-Up Week 1: Recap

Yum!

So I have week one under my belt! It was really hard for a few days due to my impending period (I have an appetite increase before I start bleeding).

Here is a recap of my first week.

Diet

I did okay on calories in my opinion. Way lower than what I usually eat. The carbs were also lower than usual.

On Saturday evening I decided to have two cups of puppy chow that I made for my family. That obviously shoved my calories and carbohydrate amount way higher for that day. Every other day I was at 1400 calories though.

I am still happy that I was able to have six successful days. Hopefully week two will go even better.

A drink that has already become my favorite is Dunkin’ Donuts Dulche De Leche Cookie flavored coffee with sucrolose and 1/4 cup of heavy cream. It is fairly low carb and tastes divine! I also enjoy sugar free jello with whip cream on top.

Exercise

The week of my period is always awful for me when it comes to exercise. I got in four days of weight lifting with cardio intervals but did not do HIIT. Week two will definitely be better.

Skin

I totally forgot to do a chemical peel! I will make sure to do it in week two.

My first week in summary

I feel like this was a good first week overall. The mini pig-out that I did on Saturday night probably wasn’t good. To be honest though, I felt great afterwards. Energized and happy.

I lost one pound despite the puppy chow. Most people would like that result so I can’t complain.

Week two will be great for exercise because I will be done with my period.

Are you on a glow-up journey? How is it going?

#glowup #fatloss #weightlifting #momlife #exercise #lowcarb

The Elliptical Machine: My Former Favorite Workout

The Elliptical Machine: My Former Favorite Workout

I was thinking back on when I started to get into exercising regularly. Cardio was my jam initially. I thought that was the way to health, fitness and a fabulous body.

My parents bought an elliptical machine for the downstairs. That was what my workouts consisted of for a few months. I was on that machine way too much. I guess it was better than sitting around eating Little Debbie cakes all day though.

I wanted to get into more about the elliptical machine and my experience with it in this post.

The machine!

Most people have seen this machine before. When you go to a gym there are typically many of these on the floor. You will also probably see a lot of people whizzing away on them.

The feet movements you do on there are similar to climbing stairs. For the hands and arms there are either moving poles or handles to hang on to (see here: https://www.proform.com/ellipticals/endurance720e?gclid=Cj0KCQiAgKzwBRCjARIsABBbFui4liEWafRzDOyRBRI4FTEqf2GM0Bv0J2e5eqwZyDv-5mDJ3tgd5R8aAmUXEALw_wcB). There are usually different settings on them so that you can make your workout as intense as you want it to be.

These machines are said to be easier on the joints than treadmills and stair steppers. Even the Arthritis Foundation lists it as a great exercise option for those that suffer from it (see here: https://www.arthritis.org/living-with-arthritis/exercise/arthritis-friendly/elliptical.php).

As far as price, there seems to be a wide range. The cheapest I could find on Amazon went for $130 and the most expensive was $17,000 (yikes!). If you are really thinking of buying one for your home, the Elliptical Reviews site ( https://www.ellipticalreviews.com/) is great for finding one that would work the best for you.

In terms of calorie burn, it all depends on your weight and how intense you are going. There are various sites that provide calculators that estimate how many calories you burn for a certain amount of time (here is a good one: https://caloriesburnedhq.com/calories-burned-on-elliptical/).

My experience with it

As mentioned before, cardio made up my workout routines for a while. This was back in the summer of 2007 when I went on Weight Watchers. I was chunky due to me eating junk with friends in my senior year of high school.

I started to take notice of women’s fitness magazines when I would go to stores. Before I knew it I was buying a lot of them. I only paid attention to the articles about cardio at first and this was what inspired me to hop on the elliptical machine almost everyday.

For the first few weeks of doing elliptical workouts, I just did steady state. After that I started upping the intensity a little bit. I never really did that hard of a workout on there though.

I really liked to have the TV playing as I was on there and/or have a magazine on the little shelf that was on the console. There was a calorie burn estimator on the machine that I glanced at a lot. It became a goal of mine to burn as many calories as I could.

The most time I ever spent on the elliptical was two hours. Looking back on it, it seems a little obsessive. At that time I didn’t know anything about quality vs. quantity when it comes to workouts though.

After a while, I started getting bored with the elliptical machine and took notice of the weightlifting workouts that were in the magazines. I then bought hand weights and got a gym membership where I began doing circuit training. My cardio workouts consisted of me being on the Stair climber and/or treadmill instead of the elliptical.

This switch was when I started seeing a difference in the way my body looked. Sure I lost weight with the elliptical combined with Weight Watchers but I didn’t have a fit, sleek look to me. I just had a slimmer body with no definition.

Finally I looked the way I wanted to look. I stuck with lifting weights regularly and have never looked back.

I haven’t been on the elliptical machine in a long time and don’t think I will ever get back on one. The workouts I do now are intense and more “fun” to me. I am grateful to it though in that it started off my love of staying in shape.

Do you like elliptical machines? Let me know!

Thanks for reading!

#womenshealth #pcos #pcosawareness #weightlifting #fitness #cardio #calories #weightloss

My Workout Plan Until December 16th

My Workout Plan Until December 16th

I have been loving my workouts lately. That is the key to consistency- choosing workouts you like. Physical activity is important to a healthy life and I hope that others can find a routine that works for them. #health #fitness

I have not decided if I want to lose some weight/fat yet. To be honest my face has taken a beating as I have gotten leaner. I look really old and haggard for my age. It sucks.

I looked a lot younger just a few months ago when I had more fat on me. I am going to try doing face massages twice a day as well as use tretinoin to see if it plumps up my face more. It is “sag city” right now and I hate it! Black is allegedly not supposed to crack. So what the heck is happening to me?! #skincare

Anyways…on to my workout plan.

Weightlifting

I absolutely love lifting weights and I think everyone should as well (but if you don’t that is okay)! It really is a game changer when it comes to body composition. There are other benefits such as a raised metabolism, mental well-being and bone strengthening. #weightlifting

I have been doing four days of weightlifting a week (two days of upper body and two days of lower body) since June. The way I set up the workouts and the moves I do change after eight weeks though. To get more calorie burning in, I also include cardio intervals.

Cardio and Pilates

I love to do HIIT cardio! It is really effective and can be done with or without equipment. I currently do 10-12 minutes of cardio ladder HIIT.

I just started getting back into Pilates and I do it after HIIT. I used to do it a lot years ago and even wanted to become an instructor! My plan is to continue to do Pilates routines for a long time.

I recommend trying my routine

I am not going to sit here and say that my workout plan is the best. There are probably flaws in it. That being said, working out this way has given me great results. I believe that when combined with a great diet, anyone who does my routine will see great results as well.

If you do indeed try it or have questions on it, let me know!

No Cramps?What?!

No Cramps?What?!

Cramps are something that a lot of women have to deal with. They suck! Some women have them so bad that they literally are bed bound. #periodproblems

I have dealt with moderate to severe period cramps in my life. Sometimes the pain wasn’t relieved by OTC medication and I did not have anything else to use.

For whatever reason, my last two cycles have been completely cramp-free. I am not complaining but I am a little bit baffled by it.

Is it the intermittent fasting?

I have been doing the 16:8 method since June. Up until September, I had still been dealing with period cramps as well as my digestion/nausea issues. Maybe doing IF takes a few months to really work its magic?

I haven’t changed up my eating window at all. It has always been 7:00 PM to 11:00 AM so the exact time can’t be the cause. #intermittentfasting

Is it my exercise routine?

I did recently (in the last two months) up the ante on my workouts. From what I have read, regular exercise can help cramps. Maybe more intense exercise can get rid of them completely?

I don’t plan on lowering the intensity anytime soon so we will see if I have cramps this cycle. If I don’t, then it could be the answer. #weightlifting

Is it what I eat?

I have not changed my diet much at all. For that reason I don’t think that food plays a factor in the cramp-free cycles.

I still eat more carbs than I really should as a PCOS sufferer. As far as low carbs and cramps go, I have not read of them affecting the pain level of period cramps. #lowcarb

Maybe it is just luck?

I guess it could be that it has just been a fluke that my past two cycles have been cramp-free. I am not going to complain though.

It would be nice knowing the reason so I can keep doing what I am doing and be cramp-free for every period!

How bad are your cramps every month? Have you found anything that makes you not have them some months? Let me know!

Workout Change Up and Health Issues

Workout Change Up and Health Issues

Hi all! It is getting closer to summer and I am super excited! I just wanted to post an update on a couple of things today.

Workout routine change

I said a while ago that I like to do workout routines for a certain amount of time and then pick a different one. Well I am excited that I finished the eight weeks of the upper/lower/HIIT routine! I was getting sick of it to be quite honest.

My new workout routine is going to be the War Room Strategies (my post about it:War Room Strategies). It is going to be tough but wonderful! Like I said in the other post, I highly recommend this routine.

Since it is getting so nice out where I live, I think I will start walking for an hour in the morning after my son goes to preschool. I just feel like I am sitting a little too much. 10,000 steps a day is what I am going for!

Health issues

The monthly flare ups I have of horrible gastric issues is really getting to me. It usually only happens during the fertile window of my cycle but now it seems to be happening whenever. I hate these flare ups so much because I am unable to have quality family time during them.

I was thinking that I might have endometriosis so I posted my flare up problem on a forum dedicated to that condition. The women told me that it sounds more like a hormonal thing that relates to my PCOS diagnosis.

I want to get my hormones tested again so I can maybe figure out what is going on. Birth control is something that doctors like to prescribe for PCOS symptoms but I really do not like the possible side effects of them. Maybe with the hormone level results the doctor would be able to find the birth control that would work the best and not give me a lot of side effects.

I just need some solution to this problem. Enough is enough.

My Least Favorite Lower Body Exercise

My Least Favorite Lower Body Exercise

We all have exercises that we dislike more than the other ones that we do.  The sense of dread might rise within when it is next in the workout routine or we are cursing to ourselves as we are doing it.

As one is doing the particular exercise, they could have the mindset that it will be over soon. This may power them to get through it mentally and physically.

If one really despises it, then they should assess if it truly needs to be part of their workout routine. An alternative exercise could be chosen since there are a lot of different types to choose from.

To have a healthy life and reach fitness goals a person needs to arrange their workouts so that it is at least tolerable for them. There are days where one might not want to work out at all but overall there should be enough interest in the routine that it can be done somewhat consistently.

I have to admit that overall, lower body workout days fill me with dread. As in, I really do not like that type of workout concentration. Upper body days are where it is at for me. That being said, I would never choose to not have lower body days in my workout routine because I know that they are important.

There is one lower body exercise that  will never be tolerable for me. Do you want to know what it is? Read on!

I hate them!

Ready? My least favorite lower body exercise is (drum roll please)…

834df455372aed57e29eed322deb8617--dumbbell-squat-palms

Squats!

Yes, that is right. I do not like doing these at all. No matter how much I try to force myself to like doing them, it never works. I have to just face that I will never like them.

Squats are seen as an essential exercise in lower body weight lifting. It is said to work the full body especially the butt, hips, thighs, quads, and hamstrings. It is also called a “functional exercise” as doing it helps in our everyday lives(https://www.nerdfitness.com/blog/strength-training-101-how-to-squat-properly).

It seems to have become a popular thing in social media for the past few years. There are dozens of Pinterest pins and Instagram posts about doing squats to build a better booty. They usually include pictures of backsides that are considered to be the most aesthetically pleasing  for inspiration purposes.

In short, squats are wonderful for us! I still hate them regardless. There are a variety of different types of squats that can be done and I hate them all. I do put them into my lower body workout days but I am screaming inside my head during each set.

Doing squats feels so uncomfortable and strange to me. I have went over my form through videos and with a personal trainer to make sure I am doing them correctly. Unfortunately, it did not matter or make a difference. They just do not feel right to me. I hate them!

I will continue to do them anyways in order to keep a relatively nice booty on me. There will never be a day that I will like them though.

Are there any lower body exercises you dislike/hate/despise?

 

War Room Strategies

War Room Strategies

So I was cleaning out one of my closets and found a workout routine called War Room Strategies. I did this back in college in 2010 and I remember loving it. I am excited that I found it again!

The workout routine

The War Room Strategies workout plan is from T-Nation. this is a site that has a ton of articles related to fitness and nutrition. I am not entirely sure how I came across it back then but I am sure glad I did.

The author of the plan is Christian Thibaudeau. He is a bodybuilder and a strength training coach. His routine involves using different types of workouts during the week. He claims that doing this will maximize  fat loss while maintaining muscle mass. The workouts that he has you doing in the plan include heavy lifting, lactate inducing lifting, aerobic work and anaerobic alactic energy systems work.

Christian explains the science details behind his fat loss plan really well and it is interesting to read. Here is my summarization of the workouts below:

  1. Heavy lifting days (2)- One day is chest/back (day 1 of the workout week) and the other day is quads/hams (day 4 of the workout week). Each workout includes four exercises that you are to superset five to six times. You should lift heavy enough so that you can only do six to eight reps.
  2. Lactate inducing days (2)- These workouts are tough and burn a good amount of calories! They are done on day two and day six of your workout week. You are to perform two to three full body circuits that have five exercises. Each circuit is  done three times through without stopping. There are to be 12-20 reps per exercise.
  3.  Aerobic work (2)- This involves doing twenty to thirty minutes of steady state cardio after your two lactate inducing workouts.
  4. Anaerobic alactic energy systems work- This involves doing intense cardio after your chest/back workout. Christian suggests doing sprinting but I recall doing HIIT on the treadmill instead.

Is it worth doing?

Yes! I highly recommend it. Like I said before, I loved this workout routine. I decided that I will be doing this again starting in April. In terms of fat loss, as always it needs to be combined with  a great diet but I believe this plan really helps. I remember reaching my cutting goal fast with it.

Check it out!

https://www.t-nation.com/training/destroying-fat