Finding the balance of physical and mental health through adventures and fitness

Tag Archives: weights

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


This is the post where I state my goals for the next 16 weeks, but I know they will slightly change so here are my goals for right now (bikini competition is 20 weeks out).

  1. Use My Fitness Pal daily to track my carbohydrate, protein and fat ratios
  2. Work out 6 times a week and make it a priority
  3. Use weights more, and get over my fear of the weight room
  4. Take weekly photos to track progress, these will be Monday’s
  5. Weekly weigh-ins to track weight loss, these will be Monday’s
  6. Weekly measurements to track inches lost, these will also be on Monday’s
  7. Lose at least 10 pounds in the first month

So now that my goals are laid out pretty clearly, here’s where I’m starting.

Weight: 174 (according to my doctor last Monday, June 9, 2014)

Bust: 35″

Waist: 31.5″

Hips: 41.5″

I definitely gained back some of the weight I lost post tonsillectomy, but I’ve maintained a size 10, so I’m not complaining- completely. I have 16 weeks to get my butt in gear and become bikini competition ready.


I’ve changed my eating schedule to 6 times a day:

Breakfast- 7/8 am (depending on the day)

Snack- 10/11 am

Lunch- 1/2 pm

Dinner- 4/5 pm

Snack- 7/8 pm

Second Dinner- 10/11 pm


Here’s an example of what I’m eating. This is from today’s menu.

Breakfast: 2 corn tortillas, 2 eggs, steamed broccoli

Post workout snack: paleo protein shake with almond/coconut milk blend unsweetened

Lunch: Chicken breast with brown rice and basil pesto sauce

Snack: plain Greek Yogurt with Bear Naked granola and honey

Dinner: Gluten Free chicken sausage and Brussels sprouts, no salt added ketchup

Second dinner: Beef plain, small apple, 1 cup of watermelon

88 ounces of water/liquid


The ratios I’m trying to hit are 40% protein, 40% carbohydrates and 20% fat. This breaks down to 256 grams of protein, 256 grams of carbohydrates and 57 grams of fat. My ratios were close with 40% protein, 31% carbohydrates and 29% fat, but I was no where near the grams needed. When I put my goals into My Fitness Pal it calculates what you need, but I know this first week will be the week I get used to eating differently. I’m still eating gluten free and as clean as possible like the paleo diet, but I’m incorporating some grains such as brown rice, quinoa and steel cut oats. Immy suggested rice cakes for low fat snack that can help add carbohydrates to my intake. She also said not to worry too much if my fat ratios are a little higher; especially if the fats are healthy fats from foods like avocado.

This is going to take some getting used to. Here are some pictures from today.

I made Brussels sprouts for the first time. I steamed them and that’s it. I wanted to make sure that I liked the taste and the texture. They remind me of cabbage, kinda. I had them with my chicken sausage, so they had some ketchup on them, which was pretty good.


6 pieces is a serving

This morning I tried a new class. It’s called Intense Toning and was it ever. There’s no cardio at all, which is great because I wasn’t looking for cardio. The class works all the muscle groups and incorporates body weight, free weights and weighted bars. The instructor was pretty awesome and I will have to take this class again, just not next Saturday… It’s race day :]


This evening had to work my part-time job  and I was curious about how much we burn by walking around the store, either helping customers, straightening or because there’s nothing to do. In 4 hours and 24 minutes I burned over 700 calories. The average person burned 70-85 calories an hour while watching TV. So I definitely think of this as exercise.

20140614-214623-78383283.jpgLastly, Day 40 of 100 Happy Days: my planner. This thing keeps me organized and I know it’ll be my best friend over the next 16 weeks.



Are you getting ready for the new week? Do you have summer goals?

❤ Cristina

It has been a great week of workouts, conversations and new food; and hell am I sore! I officially announced on my Facebook page that I’m going to be prepping for the bikini competition in Boston this October. I know I have some fat to lose before I can really lean out, but I’m going to try my hardest. Looking at a calendar today, I have 16 weeks to get my body in shape and ready. I think I can do this, but at first I didn’t. Let’s back up to the beginning of my week.

First here’s my Transformation Tuesday picture. Halloween of my Senior Year of college in 2010 and June 10, 2014. Definitely visible changes, especially in my face.


Day 36: fruit on sale. I love watermelon! #sweetsummertime


I talked with my good friend Caryn on Tuesday and I mentioned that I was interested in taking two different classes at my gym that night, but wasn’t sure which one. They’re back to back so Caryn suggested I go to both. So I did. Zumba and then yoga. I forgot my heart rate monitor, but with my age, height and weight, I should’ve burned 754 between the two classes. I was definitely happy that I went. Below is a picture post classes. This was also my Day 37 of 100 Happy Days. I’m happy to be making more changes, and hopefully, my body will start reflecting them.


I definitely think this quote is going to play a huge role over the next few months.

I had Wednesday night off, so I scheduled myself to take a small group training class at my gym. I signed up with a trainer named Matt. I’ve taken his classes before and I was skeptical I would be able to keep up, but I did. I recognized some of the women from the class I took with Tiana Ta and they all said if I could take her class, then I could handle this one. Holy circuits! We did all the workouts on the floor, which usually would make me feel awkward, but there were 8 of us doing them together. So I didn’t feel so bad about it. Below is a picture of my HRM post class. I couldn’t believe I survived this class, but I would definitely do again!


Small group training with Matt

I had yesterday and today off from my full-time job (yay for vacation day hoarding!) so I tried to be as productive as possible! I did Bikram yoga in the morning and a class called “Kick and Flex” similar to cardio kick boxing with my friend Sarah. She’s seriously such a great person and she’s willing to try crazy classes with me! We’re taking “Body by Matt” this coming Wednesday. Matt is the same Matt that taught the group training class I said I took this past Wednesday. Oh yeah, we’re going to be dead! Since I’m taking this class with Sarah, I won’t be doing the small group training. The photo of Sarah and I was also used for my Day 38 of 100 Happy Days.



Heading to Bikram Thursday morning




Me and Sarah post Kick and Flex class Thursday night

After speaking with a childhood friend Glorianna, who has also been on her own weightloss journey and runs her own social media for it, about old clothing I decided to dig through a box of old tees I kept with the hopes they would fit again. Glorianna had shared a picture from when we were 12 and in the 6th grade for Throwback Thursday. She kept the shirt and now she swims in it! It’s crazy. Check out the photo she shared herees

This was my Throwback Thursday photo. The tee is from September 2007, my freshmen year of college. So while it wasn’t 13 years old like hers was, a 7-year-old shirt still feels pretty damn good.


I took today off from the gym, but I’ll be back in the morning. I did have a productive day anyway though. I met with a woman my age, who has competed in two bikini competitions. Her name is Immy and she only lives 25 minutes from me. I couldn’t believe it because I found her on Instagram and then I found her Facebook page. Talking with her was awesome. It validated that my decision to try competing in a bikini competition is the right thing for me. It will give me a goal to help push me with my weight/fat loss, it will help me build confidence and it’s something I know I will be proud of in the end, no matter if I place or not. She told me about how she got started and how her past relationships effected her workouts. We talked about the mental aspect of working out and eating well. I’m so glad I found her and I’m glad I was daring enough to message her. I definitely think it’s going to be a great friendship and I’, so glad to have her support.


Along with new classes and new goals, I have new foods that I’m going to be incorporating in my diet as well as a new carrying case to do so. The beauty below is a 3 meal bag from 6 pack bags. It holds 3 meals, supplements and 4 full sized water bottles. It came with the food containers, supplement container and ice packs to keep it cold. It’s completely insulated like a cooler and I can’t wait to use it this week at work. Talk about a life saver.



Before I started eating paleo, my friends Kristy had me try this granola and I thought it was fantastic, but I could never find it when I went to the store. When I started eating paleo, I cut all grains and gluten or most, out of my diet. Since my goals have changed for prepping for this competition I am adding some grains back into my diet, but trying to stay as gluten free as possible. I don’t have a gluten intolerance, but I feel less bloated when I don’t consume gluten or processed carbohydrates likes pastas and breads. I don’t eat dairy either, partly from the paleo diet and partly I’m lactose intolerant, but I do eat plain Greek yogurt. This is the only dairy that doesn’t bother my stomach and the enzymes help with gut health. So what does Greek yogurt have to do with the new grains I’m adding to my diet? I bought the granola just for my yogurt since I get plain.

This specific kind of Bare Naked has 130 calories, 5g of fat, 13g of carbohydrates (3g dietary fiber, 6g sugar)  and 10g of protein. This will help make my yogurt snack more rounded.



I’ve tried quinoa one time and I was NOT a fan at all. After some conversations, I’m going to give it a try again. I found this blend at the store and I figure it might help with the texture issue I have with quinoa. I’m excited to pair this with some of my chicken meals.


Brussels sprouts. One vegetable I’ve never tried before. They’re low in calories and fat, very high in Vitamin C, there’s also a little bit of carbs Band protein in there. I bought a bag from the frozen food aisle and I checked before buying it. It’s only ingredient are the Brussels sprouts; you’d be surprised at how many frozen veggies have salt or sugar added when it’s not necessary.


All these food items were made into a collage for Day 39 of 100 Happy Days. I love trying new things, hopefully I figure out the best ways to cook these new items.

I’m super excited to get the ball rolling. I started using My Fitness Pal to help calculate how much food I’m consuming, mostly so I can keep my ratios of protein, carbs and fat. I’m trying to keep it at 40%, 40% and 20%. When I can get the hang of that and my weight routine down, I will change it to 50%, 30%, 20%.

I hope everyone else had a great week. Fingers crossed for a great weekend too!

❤ Cristina



Ok, so I set some hefty goals for this morning, and while I didn’t hit all the marks. I did pretty damn good :]



Timed run: 20 minutes

Weighted Squats

  • Goblet squats: 3 sets of 20
  • Plie squats: 3 sets of 20
  • Braced squats: 3 sets of 20

Dumb Bell Workouts: 8lbs dumb bell, 3 sets of 10 for each

Plank Row

Shoulder Press

Lateral Raise

Deltoid Raise

Rear Deltoid Raise

Biceps Curl

Hammer Curl



20 minute endurance run- 1.74 miles

Weighted Squats

Goblet squats 2 sets of 20

Plie squats 2 sets of 20

Dumb bell workouts- 5lbs weight

Lateral Raises 2 sets of 10

Shoulder Press 3 sets of 20

Hammer Curl 2 sets of 20

Bicep Curl 2 sets of 20

Deltoid Fly 3 sets of 10

Standing Row 3 sets of 10



My legs were so jello-y that continuing to squats would’ve resulted in poor form and possible injury. So I’m pleased with the sets I did accomplish, I just need to work back up to where I was. The standing row replaced plank row because I knew I wouldn’t be able to have correct form with how my legs were feeling. While I pushed through the fire in my muscles I didn’t do the rear deltoid raises either.

After two days off from running and 6 days off from weights, I’m not going to beat myself up for my body having a WTF moment.

Here’s some pictures from today’s work out.


A size 8 is in sight!


No too shabby!


Vanilla Paleo Protein with Coconut Milk, frozen blueberries and almond butter. I earned my shake today!


What have you done to kick start your weekend?

❤ Cristina