My Friday night’s include protein and my HRM

After a few moments where I had a breakdown in front of my fridge this morning due to lack of meal prep, I pulled myself together and reminded myself it’s Friday. It’s not just Friday, it’s casual Friday and you have PR’s to hit in the gym today. This got me pumped up for my after work hours, but I got a lot done today in the office, so I’m pretty pleased.

Today’s workout was all weight lifting with a rotation of all the circuits I do. I took a few things out because it wouldn’t sense to do 150 front plate raises, when I’m clearly doing other workouts for the same muscle group. Here is a list of the workouts I did, and yes I was bad and did some deadlifts anyway:

Straight leg deadlifts

DB shoulder press

DB curls

DB tricep extensions

DB delt skier kickbacks

Plate front raise

One arm cable curl

Triceps kickback

Upright row

Alternating DB deltoid raise

Tricep rope pushdown

Barbell rear deltoid row

DB reverse fly

Glute pulses

Push ups

Cable pull through

DB pullover

Butt ups

Plank row

Captain’s Chair leg raises

Cable chest press

I was definitely able to fit a lot into an hour and a half. I hit two PR’s. The first was the Captain’s Chair 4 sets of 10 reps of leg raises. My core strength has improved a lot, but I have A LOT of room for more improvement.

My second PR was not flipping shit on the person who invaded my workout bubble when I was dead lifting. I was seriously considering dropping the barbell on their foot :] Instead I moved my weights, papers, bottles and protein bar over… they then proceeded to make a big deal about me moving. I’m sorry for being an asshole and needing my space to lift.

Moving on. Here are some pictures from today including my weightloss progress! I’m officially down another pound bring the total to 12.5 pounds lost in 36 days. I’m super excited about this because while it is a lot, it’s steadily coming off and I’m keeping it off. I’m eating well and often. I can say I’ve never been happier.

 

 

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On Friday’s we flex

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Not too shabby

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Back progress! 36 days!

 

I hope you all had a successful Friday and a great weekend! I’m going to sleep good tonight!

❤ Cristina

 

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Friday’s goals

I’ve lost about 12 pounds in the first 35 days of this crazy adventure, and with 28 pounds to go and a little less than 16 weeks, I’m deciding to be a little daring. I’ve always relied heavily on cardio to shed pounds, but aside from my new Beachbody DVD set, I’m going to be strict with my weights. I’ve also been experiencing some knee tightness lately, which my chiropractor said is  from over working the muscle. Her example was the muscle around the knee is in something like a Charlie Horse, which causing it to tighten depending on the movement.

Most of the problem movements are squats and hard cardio. So my goal for tomorrow is to mix up the 10 different circuits I do over the course of my typical 3 days of lifting, but remove the cardio elements in between each set. While I will do some leg work, I’m going to avoid deadlifts and leg curls because those aggravate my knee the most. I’m going to add more core strengthening, and hopefully increase some of my weights. Here’s to new PR’s!

Hopefully I’ll be able to get some interesting shots and do my weigh in! Until then here’s a gem from the other night’s lifting session. I am awful at pull ups and I’m still developing my upper body strength, so this is a big deal for me!

 

❤ Cristina

These past few days…

I don’t even know if I have all of the words to describe how the past few days have been, but here are some that I can think of…

Exciting

Frustrating

Hopeful

Happy

That seems like a good list to start.

I joined Team Beachbody last week and before you say anything negative, hear me out. I received a notification on Instagram from a Beachbody coach saying that my pictures showed my dedication to fitness and I was inspiring. Again, these are not typically things I think of, but I guess they may be true. After talking with her, she explained that she was a part of health and fitness group on Facebook and that the point was to inspire each other to keep pushing through individual journey’s of weightloss as well as share experiences, recipes and ask each other questions. I was skeptical at first because you should be, but she said it was free if I wanted to leave the group I could. Ok, I think can handle that.

So I joined the group and instantly fell in love with it. First, it’s called Team Boom, if that doesn’t excited you- I don’t know what will! Second, we were having conversations about eating styles and macro counting, lifting, cardio and so much more. I was commenting a lot and while you can’t help everyone, I wanted to. She reached out to me again and asked if I would ever thing about joining the business side and becoming a coach. I never really thought about it until her asking me, but there are a few upsides to being one: the discount on Beachbody products, connecting and networking with a group of like-minded people and making a few dollars to help pay for competition fees. I figured why not, I could use my fundraising experience to help me out.

It was the best decision I have ever made. I talk to my “coach” Jackie everyday in some way. She answers questions I have an doesn’t get frustrated when I ask too many. The health and fitness group inspires me to push harder and bust my butt. I’m down 11 pounds in 31 days, not too shabby if you ask me, but talking with these people is pushing me to keep going and kick ass over the next 16 weeks.

Beachbody and Team Boom support aside, my workouts have been ok since I’m having some issues with my right knee. I would’ve liked to go harder in cardio today, but I’m seeing my chiropractor tomorrow and I would much rather figure out what’s wrong than injure myself further, but I’m almost positive it’s from cable leg extensions, them tricky bastards. Here are some photos from the past few days that kind of highlight what’s been going on.

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Flex Friday. It’s small, but you can see an outline of my baby bicep :]

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I discovered PB2 and PB2 with chocolate. This is plain Greek yogurt with PB2 chocolate and Bear Naked Protein Granola. So damn good.

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Today’s workout. It was a cardio day and I had started on the arc trainer, but was having some tightness in my knee so I switched to a 9% incline walk at 3.1 mph. This is my “I’m not happy about this, but it’s done” face.

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I reorganized the pantry and realized I have a sad obsession with nut butters. Yep, I do. And sometimes I eat them straight from the container.

 

I’m looking forward to my new chapter with Beachbody and Team Boom. I’m looking forward to my workouts this week and my eating. I have some pretty tasty things cooked up for tomorrow. I hope everyone else had a good week, and has a great Monday… I know, Monday’s aren’t really all that great, but you have to be positive!

 

❤ Cristina

Pic-spiration: I never thought I would…

I never thought I would run a mile.

I never thought I would lose 70 pounds.

I never thought I would survive like clean eating.

I never thought I could do pull ups.

I never thought I could lift weights.

I never thought the changes I made to help myself would inspire other people, but now I want to inspire other people. It’s all about baby steps and finding what works for you. When it gets tough don’t look at the road ahead, look at how far you’ve come. As for me, 6 am comes a little too early and tomorrow is a double lifting day. Two circuits of shoulders, biceps and triceps before work and another two sets on my lunch hour. If it’s important, you’ll find the time. Have a great Sunday night and Monday morning :]

inspire❤ Cristina

 

 

New circuits and a new PR

I’ve gotten over my fear of lifting at my home gym, but the layout isn’t really friendly to the circuits I do. Since the gym at work is closed on Sunday in the summer, I rewrote a quick one circuit back/core routine. I had planned on going to Zumba post lifting, but had forgot that class was canceled today :/

Here’s the circuit, repeat 4 times.

10 reps Reverse Fly 12lb DB

8 (on each side) Crossover Reverse Lunge

10 reps Hyperextension with 25lb plate

5 (on each side) Plank Row with Pushup 12lb DB

10 reps Bent Over Barbell Row 50lb preweighted barbell

10 reps Stiff Leg Deadlift with 60lb preweighted barebell

10 reps Bent Over Barbell Row 50lb preweighted barbell

10 reps Stiff Leg Deadlift with 60lb preweighted barebell

46 minutes and 355 calories later… not too shabby. PR’d with 60lb stiff leg deadlift at 10 reps. I’ve been lifting 60 pounds, but I can now finish a set of 10 reps. I’m pretty excited about that and I can’t wait to be able to increase the weight in a few weeks.

Now onto food prep and heading into work.

Hope you all have a great Sunday!

 

❤ Cristina

The Very Inspiring Blogger Award

I have been nominated for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award – say what? As a blogger and a advocate for health and fitness, my fitness goals are completely selfish and I’ve never tried to be a role model or thought I was inspiring, but the sweet Natalia from Beauty ‘N’ BowWows nominated me!

If you love make up and want to know more about it, then her blog is completely for you.

The rules of this award are as follows:

  • Thank and link the person who nominated you
  • List the rules and display the award
  • Share seven facts about yourself
  • Nominate fifteen other amazing blogs and remember to comment on their blogs to let them know you’ve nominated them and provide a link to your post.
  • (Optional) You can proudly display the award logo anywhere on your blog e.g. on your sidebar and also follow the blogger that nominated you.

Seven Facts About Me

1. I have two middle names.

2. I believe guacamole and almond butter are life, but not mixed together.

3. I have 8 tattoos.

4. I love going to the park to read.

5. If I could live in the gym, I would.

6. I sell clothes on eBay that don’t fit anymore to support my need to replace clothes.

7. I’ve lived on my own since I was 18.

My Nominees Are:

  1. Less Thunder More Thighs
  2. Hoop. Skate. Lift.
  3. Eat. Drink. WOD.
  4. Eat, pray and work it out.
  5. Pink and paleo
  6. Life of a paleo college student
  7. Fat girl to Ironman
  8. Run. Love. Live.
  9. Healthy eats for a happy soul
  10. The Rockin’ Runner
  11. Eat Tribal
  12. Not the fat kid in gym class anymore
  13. The Curvy Roadrunner
  14. Fueled by Fresh
  15. My Foray into Food Storage

Check them out!

❤ Cristina

What do you eat anyway and how does exercise affect your calorie intake?

After a handful or more talks with some of my co-workers about body building and the lifestyle change made to accommodate it, here’s what you need to know about what I’m eating.

It’s understandable that when you tell someone that your eating between 5 -7 times a day they assume you’re consuming a ridiculous amount of calories, but that’s not always true. In my case I’m consuming around 1,600 calories every day, and I watch what I eat to make the most out of those calories. I used to see food as a comfort, and that’s how I gained weight; now I see it as fuel to help grow and build my body. Without fuel a machine can’t function properly and that’s what our bodies are.

I use My Fitness Pal to track my macros.

Macro-nutrients- grams of protein, carbohydrates and fats

For my weightloss, fatloss and muscle building purposes, my calories are divided into 50% protein, 30% carbohydrates and 20% fats. As long as I hit these 3 goals or stay around them the calories don’t really matter too much.

After inputting these percentages into My Fitness Pal calculates how many grams of each you should be consuming WITHOUT exercise. For me that means I should hit around 200 grams of protein, 120 grams of carbohydrates and 36 grams of fat. Sometimes I have less carbs or a little more fat (healthy fats found in food like avocado or nuts don’t bother me if I go over) or some combination like that, but for the most part I hit these every day. I also increased my water intake to 150 ounces; one gallon of water is 128, so I’m consuming a little more than that.

The increased water intake help flush out your system of toxins such as lactic acid from lifting as well as preventing cramping your muscles after a rigorous workout. Since I’ve increased my water intake my skin is a little more clear (but I never had too much of a problem with skin), I rarely get headaches, I’m not bloated and it helps me stay fuller longer.

Back to the food!

To help speed up my metabolism and ensure that my macros are spread throughout the day, I started eating every 3 hours. I prep meals ahead of time, so it’s not an inconvenience. Meal prep also ensures that I stick to my meal plan and always have something with me at work! I wake up and eat at 7 am EVERY DAY, even on the weekends. From there I eat every 2.5 to 3 hours. Here’s an example of what I will eat and when in a day.


 

June 30, 2014 Meals:  Calories: 1,455, fat: 40g, carbohydrates: 112gprotein: 178g

Meal 1 (breakfast foods)- 7 am

1 medium banana with 2 tbsp of Trader Joe’s raw almond butter

2 egg whites

Meal 2- 10 am

12 ounces Price Chopper plain Greek yogurt

1/4 cup raw blueberries

Meal 3- (lunch like foods) 1 pm

Post-workout shake: 1 scoop MHP Paleo Protein Powder Vanilla Almond and 1 cup of Silk Almond/Coconut Milk

Buffalo chicken

2 cups organic kale

5 cherry tomatoes

1/2 cup cucumber slices

Meal 4- 4 pm

1/2 cup lean ground turkey

1/2 medium green pepper

2 tsp Sriracha sauce

Meal 5- (dinner like foods) 7 pm

Quest Bar: Cookies and Cream (during gym workout meal)

Meal 6- (dinner like foods) 10 pm

4 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breast

1/2 cup cauliflower


 

You’ll notice that my meals have protein in each one, from egg whites, to Greek yogurt, to  meat and protein bars. Sometimes I call my meals a snack, because it can be hard to think of yogurt and blueberries as a meal, but without amount of protein, it’s very filling and well rounded with macro- and micro-nutrients (vitamins and minerals).

On this day I also did two workout sessions The first was in the gym and consisted of 54 minutes of shoulders, biceps and triceps lifting circuits: 456 calories burned. I also work a second job, where I stand and walk around a lot. In 238 minutes or almost 4 hours, I burned 673 calories. I track calories burned during this job because when sitting the average heart rate is about 70 bpm, when I’m walking around my job it ranges from 95 to 120 because of lifting furniture, boxes and just walking around.

The more you workout the more food or fuel you need. On this day, my protein jumped from 200g to 358 g; however, I don’t consume that much protein. My Fitness Pal calculates your needs for weightloss without the consideration of exercise, so once you input your exercise data your goals shift based on the new needs of your body for the day.

I like lifting, because I love eating. They balance each other out. I Like Lifting (Food)

What important to know about your body is how many calories you burn on a daily basis without exercise. This helps you figure out a base line for calorie consumption for weightloss without exercise. On average I burn about 2,300 calories a day without exercise, but I’m only consuming 1,600 calories; so I’m already running on a deficit, this is how you lose weight. It takes 3,500 calories burned to lose 1 pound. Adding in my calories burned from working out, I’m averaging 1.5 to 2.5 pounds weightloss a week.

A few posts ago, I mentioned that I’m lifting 3 days a week and doing cardio 3 days week. While many believe lifting weights bulks you up, which it can, it does so much more than that. Anaerobic exercise burns more calories because it takes longer time for your muscles to recover and your body takes that energy from fat stores. After a lifting session, you can continue to burn more calories an hour for 24 hours. While cardio burns many calories at the time, an aerobic workout stops it’s benefits once you stop the workout.  The more lean muscle you have the more calories you burn an hour as well.

Let’s recap:

  • So while I’m eating 5 to 7 times a day, I’m eating WHOLE foods, meaning things that are minimally processed and give me the most for the caloric value.
  • Running on a deficit of calories helps you lose weight, but you still need to consume a good amount of macro-nutrients to rebuild, recover and fuel your body.
  • Lifting weights helps burn more fat, while adding muscle because your body pulls from “storage” energy to help muscle recovery up to 24 hours post a lifting workout.
  • The more you workout the more you can and should eat, not necessarily calories, but definitely macro-nutritents.

If you want to poke around for yourself, here are some links that will help you research more about bodybuilding and eating this way.

http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/to-macro-or-not-should-you-track-your-macro-intake.html

http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/increase-your-metabolism-start-losing-fat?page=2

http://www.forbes.com/sites/juliewilcox/2012/05/31/health-benefits-weightlifting/

 

❤ Cristina

Let’s celebrate Hump Day!

Go big or go home, right? It’s leg day!

Circuit 1

10 reps of Body squats
10 reps of weighted squats with 10 pound plate
20 reps quick leg press with 60 pounds
20 dumbbell lunges with 10 pound weights (10 on each side)
10 reps stiff legged deadlift with 60 pound barbell
20 reps cable leg kick back with 12.5 pounds (10 on each side)
4 minutes of cardio: 30 seconds of jumping jacks alternating with 30 seconds of push ups totaling 4 minutes

Repeat circuit 3 times before moving on to next circuit

Circuit 2:

10 reps lying leg curls with 12.5 pounds
20 reps cable leg raises (10 on each side)
40 glute pulses (20 on each side)
40 calf raises (20 on each side)
2 minutes of cardio: 30 seconds of jumping jacks alternating with 30 seconds of push ups totaling 2 minutes

Repeat circuit 3 times before moving to next circuit

Circuit 3

20 reps box squat with 25 pound barbell
10 reps dumbbell step ups with 10 pound dumbbell
20 reps cable pull through with 17.5 pounds
No cardio

Repeat circuit 3 times before stretching

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I worked out with a friend today who’s brand new to lifting so I was showing her through the circuits I do. We lessened the cardio between sets so she could really become more comfortable with the weights. I’m sure I can push close to 1,000 calories next time.

How did you celebrate hump day?

❤️ Cristina

Check-In- 18 weeks out

I haven’t checked in yet, but I’ve got some pretty exciting news. I’m down 7.5 pounds since I started eating cleaner, more often and lifting heavier. A definite NSV, I bought a dress two months ago on sale with weightloss in mind and now it fits, and other things are fitting looser. I’d say this is an accomplishment, especially since I was skeptical about weightlifting two years ago when I started getting my butt in gear and losing weight.

I’m down a half inch in my waist and while that’s not a lot, my shoulders, arms and legs are looking leaner. I can see the tiny muscle I have peeking through since I’m cutting fat.

Surprisingly, keeping my eating schedule hasn’t been hard and I’m only consuming between 1,400 and 1,600 calories a day with 50% being protein, 30% carbohydrates and 20% fat. Thank you MyFitnessPal for tracking my macros! I have never eaten so many leafy greens or consumed so much water in my life, but I’m really enjoying the foods I’m eating. Don’t get me wrong, there was temptation when there were cookies in the office, but why kill my hard work for a junk food? Aside from variety, this has pushed me to eat things I never ate before like seafood. My love of sushi doesn’t count, but now I’m making baked haddock and steaming up shrimp.

I’m still running on cardio days and the hills through the city are getting so much easier. My running compared to last summer has drastically improved and that’s made it so much more enjoyable. Headphones in and I get complete tunnel vision. I also added tabata to my cardio routine today. It’s 20 minutes of ass kicking that keeps your heart rate up and has you moving in quick bursts, not something I’m a huge fan of, but 300 calories burns is appreciated!

I have one rest day (after leg day) during the week, and I’m working out the other 6 days. Days like today where I have the time, I’ve built in two workout sessions at the gym: one during my lunch hour and one at night. Depending on meetings, sometimes I’m up early to knock it out before work at 8 am.

Progress is slow, but it’s progress nonetheless. It’s encouraging to see the weight falling off and even more encouraging talking to friends who are excited for me, who are going through the same process, who are competing in the same show.

I can’t wait to see what happens over the next 18 weeks!

It’s not a huge muscle and that’s not important, the fat is melting off and the definition is coming through!

❤ Cristina