Tag Archives: livefit trainer

Will I Ever Learn My Lesson?

2 Jan

This morning’s desk breakfast is oatmeal, which never, ever keeps me full until lunch, but apparently I will never learn my lesson:

desk breakfast

This time, I added 2 egg whites and a scoop of peanut butter to the oats to give them some staying power, and paired them with a pear on the side. The oats were really thick and creamy and delicious. I also drizzled some honey on them and cooked them in almond milk. Surely I’ll be starving by 10:00, but I was just craving a hot bowl of oats this morning!

I need to talk about my fitness plan. I’m feeling overwhelmed by my fitness desires lately. I want to do more running, and I also want to keep up with the Jamie Eason LiveFit Trainer (which I put on hiatus over the holidays), and as of today, I really want to get back to going to my group fitness classes, but it just doesn’t seem like there are enough hours in the day to meet all of my fitness wants.

This morning, I went back to the 6:15 Cardio Fusion class at my gym. I used to attend this class incredibly regularly, but I stopped going altogether after the half marathon and starting the LiveFit Trainer.

Whew, it was a rough one! Here’s what we did:

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Circuit 1: 30 seconds work/15 seconds rest; 2 times

– Sumo squat with dumbbell curl
– Push up, then move foot to elbow
– Renegade row (on each arm), with burpee
– Dumbbell curl with push out to squat
– Bent over dumbbell row to flye

Cardio blast: Run the length of the gym and back with Bosu over your head, then do 6 Bosu push ups. Repeat run, followed by 6 Bosu burpees, repeat run followed by 6 mountain climbers on Bosu — do 2 x

Hold wall sit, then raise each leg for 8 reps. Then hold wall sit again for 2 8 counts. 

Circuit 2: 30 seconds work/15 seconds rest; 2 times

– Half get ups (right) with dumbbell
– Side lunge (right) to curtsy lunge with curl (alternate lateral raise every other time)
– Half get ups (left) with dumbbell
– Side lunge (left) to curtsy lunge with curl (alternate lateral raise every other time)
– Chest flyes with double leg lower on floor

Repeat Cardio Blast

Do one set of all 10 exercises from both circuits, 30 seconds work, 15 seconds rest 

Cool down and STRETCH! ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Whew!! My heart was pumping and I sure was glad to reach the stretch portion of this class! This workout made me realize how much I miss going to this class. It’s so nice to wake up, throw on my workout clothes and shoes, and just go to the gym. No need to make a plan, no need to make sure my phone is charged, no untangling my headphones.

However, I am loving the muscle building that is going on with LiveFit. As much as I love my class, it’s more of a fast-paced, low-weight, high rep class with emphasis on fat burning. I need to figure out a way to fit it all in with running as well. Which means that I won’t be following LiveFit strictly anymore. I think because the Cardio Fusion class meets 2x a week, I can probably fit in one of those days. Since I made two fitness resolutions (run 600 miles this year and make a specific strength training plan each week), I will have to sit down and figure out how to fit it all in. I will keep you updated!

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In other food news, I wanted to share my dinner from last night:

good luck dinner

I had to fit our cabbage in yesterday, and what better way to do that than with sauerkraut!? I made smoked sausage sauteed with peppers, onions and kraut, the Pioneer Woman’s crash potatoes, and roasted broccoli. It was so delicious, and I feel luckier already!

Question of the Day:
Do you ever feel like you can’t fit in all the different kinds of workouts you want to do? 

 

 

Happy Pretend Birthday To Me!

20 Dec

Hiya! Man, am I in a good mood today! Today is my last day of work for 6 whole days, I get to see my dearly missed family in less than 2 days, I think I’ve finally kicked the head cold that’s been haunting me, and today is my pretend birthday! Yay!

You see, my birthday is on Christmas Day, so in order to be able to celebrate with my friends, I have to have a ‘pretend’ birthday. So tonight, a bunch of friends will meet up for dinner and drinks afterwards to celebrate my birthday! I could not be more excited.

Here are three random topics I’d like to talk about today:

1. Fitness! 

This morning’s workout was amazing! I really kicked butt at the gym:

workout

I was back at with running today! I did 5 minutes of running followed by 1 minute of walking 3 times, then I alternated 1 minute of walking with 1 minute of running, upping the speed each time. I was pretty sweaty by the end, and feeling like a beast. Don’t you love that feeling!?

2. Books!

Since I got Happier at Home, I’ve been thinking about the lessons I learned from The Happiness project lately. In particular, the 60 second rule is one that I’ve always tried to follow since I read the book. Gretchen says that if anything takes less than 60 seconds to complete, you should do it immediately and not put it off. One thing I always, always do in the mornings is put the top of my hair up in velcro rollers to give it some body. Lately, I’ve been shoving the rollers back in the bag haphazardly or just not putting them away at all, so this morning I timed myself putting them away properly:

put away

I’m happy to report that, even with taking the photo, it took me 45 seconds to put the rollers back into the bag in a way that they all fit and the bag snapped closed. Ok, this seems really silly, but the take away here is that I hate when things are haphazardly laying about and not put away neatly, so now I know that it takes less than a minute to do this and I will do it every morning — and I’ll be happier because of it!

I really can’t wait to review Happier at Home here, but I’ve got some other reading on the agenda before I can get to it:

books

I have 2 chapters left in The Fault in Our Stars, which is my Book Club book this month. It’s so good and has been an incredibly fast read. I’ll tell you more about this one after I’ve had my Book Club meeting. I almost forgot that I bought this Wally Lamb Christmas book earlier this year and put it on the shelf to read at Christmas time. Wally Lamb (who has authored bestselling books like She’s Come Undone and I Know This Much Is True) is probably my favorite author ever. When I saw that he had a Christmas book, I had to snatch it up!

3. Coconut Oil!

So much for segues! Tropical Traditions sent over a huge jar of Coconut Oil for me to try out:

coconut oil

Which I immediately stuck my (clean) fingers in to moisturize my dishpan hands!  I’ve heard great things about how coconut oil isn’t only great for cooking, but also great for skin and hair! I’ll be trying it in a few different ways over the next couple of weeks, and then writing a review here. I may even have a surprise for my lucky readers! However, since this is my first ever jar of coconut oil, I need your help. Which leads me to the Question of the Day, which is:

What’s your favorite way to use coconut oil!? (Feel free to link me to recipes) 

Christmas is in the Air!

19 Dec

Despite still fighting this stupid head cold, I popped out of bed this morning to hit the gym. With the addition of cardio to the LiveFit Trainer, my gym sessions have become about an hour-90 minutes long, so I have to get to the gym as soon as it opens at 6:00 AM.

Here’s what I did today:

workout day 36

I am running out of ways to share my workouts with you in a creative manner. Even I’m getting bored of showing you similar workouts over and over again. This LiveFit Trainer is effective, and I like it, but it’s pretty repetitive. I used to be the girl who liked to switch it up a lot (I still am!) so I’ll be glad in a week when I get to start doing HIIT and different exercises.

When I got to the cardio portion of my workout, I did not feel like running. I’m still feeling under the weather and just didn’t feel like wheezing through a run. So I walked hills and made up a pretty fun workout (if I do say so myself!):

run walk

*If I weren’t having IT Band pain, I would have done the run intervals with a 1.0 incline.

It was a fun way to keep alert on the treadmill and not get bored. Plus, even though I wasn’t running, I felt like I got a great workout.

Do you like my winter-themed graphics? I’m really starting to get into the Christmas spirit. This morning at work, a group of 2nd and 3rd graders came into the library where I work to sing Christmas Carols:
carolers

They were so cute! I absolutely loved listening to their carols. Adorable!

Today was also our office Christmas Luncheon. We all bring in a potluck dish to share:

Christmas lunch

Oh man. So much yummy food. I didn’t go too overboard, and I only had one dessert. So far! My favorite thing in the world is the veggie pizza that people make, that is like a biscuit crust topped with cream cheese and cut up, raw veggies. It’s so good! I had two slices!

I’m getting really excited also because tomorrow is my last day of work before the holidays! Tomorrow night, a bunch of friends will meet up and go out to dinner to celebrate my birthday (because Zach and I will be in Pittsburgh on Christmas Day, and everyone will be with their families anyway!), and Friday is Zach and Courtney’s Dad’s wedding! Then on Saturday morning, Zach and I will head to Pittsburgh to see my family! I haven’t seen them in almost a year, which makes me almost cry every time I think about it, but I’m very, very, very excited to see everyone soon!

Question of the Day:
Will you be travelling for the holidays this year? 

 

Jamie Eason LiveFit Trainer Update

16 Dec

Last time we spoke, I mentioned that I have been having trouble running on the treadmill without IT band (knee) pain. Well, folks, that has all changed due to two things.

1. These babies came in the mail on Friday:
2012-12-14 16.40.20

The Mizuno Alchemy 12’s I got from the Mezamashii project! I’ll tell you what, these shoes feel great on my feet. I just had to take them out for a mile around the park before I hit the weight room on Friday.

2. I read that to lessen IT band pain, you should run downhill. Since I don’t live in a very hilly area, I decided to start leaving the treadmill at 0% incline when I run, which they say is like running slightly downhill:

runnnn

…again with the glare, but you get the picture. Two 30 minute runs, the second a little faster than the first, with NO knee pain! I really don’t know if it’s the shoes or the lack of incline, but I’m not going to change a thing. I have been taking it easy, though, I run for 5 minutes, then I walk for one. It works, so I’ll keep doing it for now.

As for the weight training portion of the plan, everything is going great. I’m still doing things I’ve never done in the weight room and I’m really starting to see definition in my arms. Today was shoulder day, and as I was doing Lateral Raises, I really saw that shoulder muscle definition. Yay!

I’m holding steady at a weight loss of 2 lbs, but I took my measurements yesterday and I’ve lost half an inch around my waist!

Question of the day:
What brand of running shoes do you wear? 

I Heart Veggies

12 Dec

I haven’t talked about #Elf4Health on the blog in a few days, but I’ve definitely been following the challenges!

I have a great new elf, Kim (you can find her here), and she’s been pretty awesome about tweeting at me and keeping me on task. I may have mentioned that I’m feeling a bit under the weather lately, so it helps!

Today’s challenge was to eat 3 servings of veggies before 2:00 PM. Now, I am the queen of the veggie breakfast scramble, but with the addition of cardio into my daily LiveFit Training, I was running late this morning and totally forgot about the challenge.

almost called it a wash until some leftovers appeared in the kitchen at work from a party last night. There was a big green salad with carrots, cucumbers and tomatoes that looked really good, so I loaded some of that into my to-go container from breakfast and carried it home for lunch, where I loaded up on the veggies in my fridge:

veggie overload

A salad topped with a lentil veggie burger (the salad also had carrots, cucumbers and tomatoes), roasted brussels sprouts from last night, and raw broccoli with a side of cheese. Yum! So, I definitely had my 3 servings before 2:00 PM! Success!

The above image was created by me in Gimp. I’m trying to teach myself to use it, because I can’t afford to pay someone to redesign this blog when I need it. As you can see, I have quite a bit of work to do!

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In other news, the LiveFit trainer workouts are getting pretty intense. I’m turning into a pro of the weight room…with some help. The guy who works the early shift in the weight room has basically become my new BFF. He doesn’t shy away from showing me how to do the exercises I’m doing wrong, and this morning he was my spotter. I had to do 5 sets of bench press: The first set as a warm up, three regular sets of 8, and then one negative set of 3-5. Uhhh, I had no idea what a negative set was before today!

Negative Set: A negative set loads the weight beyond your maximum and only performs the exercise in the muscle lengthening (or eccentric) movement. 

FUN! That’s what a negative set is. I did my warm up set with just the bar (45 lbs), then loaded it with 10 more pounds for my regular set. For the negative set, we put another 10 on (65 lbs!!), and started at the top of the movement. The goal was to lower the weight as slooooowly as possible, and then he would raise the weight again for me. It was awesome! I felt like the strongest girl in the world!

Question of the Day:
Have you ever done negative training? 

LiveFit Trainer Update

29 Nov

Good Morning!

I’m pleased to announce that my new push to get back on track after my recent weight gain has been a success for three days now! I have been eating well and my workouts have been on point. I’m treating each successful day like it’s own victory! As long as I don’t try to reward myself with food, haha.

I woke up bright and early this morning and walked to the gym. It was quite a bit colder outside this morning than it has been — there was a thick layer of frost on all the cars and when I got to the gym my ears were already numb. I don’t think I’m quite ready for winter yet!

I finished Day 16 of Jamie Eason’s LiveFit Trainer:

Do you like my illustration for the Incline Dumbbell Curl? Sometimes I like to remind myself how to do an exercise if I think I’ll forget once I’m at the gym, so I draw little pictures. As you can see, I’m not much of an artist 🙂

Let’s talk about a couple of these exercises:

T-bar Rows:

Image courtesy of Bodybuilding.com; This is the exact set-up my gym has, by the way.

This is something I’ve never done before today. It took some trial and error to figure out how much weight to put on the bar. I initially tried with 2-25 lb plates, but that was pretty ambitious, so I took it down to a 35 lb plate. I did one set with the 35 lb plate and it was pretty tough so I took it down to one 25 lb plate, which kept it challenging but I wasn’t sacrificing form. I really liked this exercise! One thing I really like about the LiveFit Trainer is that it’s familiarizing me with the weight room at the gym. Prior to doing this program, I went to the weight room, kept to myself, and stuck to the exercises I know. Now, I’m using new equipment and asking for help from the people who work there. I used to be afraid to do this, but it turns out that they are more than happy to help — that’s why they are there, and otherwise they are just standing around. Plus, usually people who work at the gym are interested in fitness, so they give you pointers and show you new exercises. The same guy is working in the weight room each morning, so now he’s familiar with what I’m doing and he gives me tips on form,  and suggests new ways to do exercises.

Alternating Hammer Curls:

Miss Jamie herself, courtesy of Bodybuilding.com

This exercise was not new to me prior to doing this program, but I was pretty proud of myself this morning for upping my weight on this exercise. I usually top out at 12 lb dumbbells in the weight room, but today I thought I’d try the 15 lb dumbbells for this last exercise. It was tough, but I didn’t sacrifice my form! I know in order to see a change in my body, I need to be pushing the limits with my weights, and hopefully I can keep doing that with this program.

I have to say, I thought it was going to be much tougher to skip out on cardio for 4 weeks. Granted, I’m only on Day 2 of Week 3, but I haven’t missed it much. Like I mentioned before, I  haven’t totally cut out my cardio, but I have drastically reduced it (I think I’ve only done 3 cardio sessions total since I started). I haven’t lost any weight since I started (I did see a reduction on the scale, but it came back a couple days later — do fluctuations like that happen to anyone else?), but I have noticed that my body is looking — tighter. I had noticed some extra flab recently, and in week 3 of this program, I’m feeling tighter and definitely stronger.

I hope someone from Bodybuilding.com is reading this, because I have one request: An app! Look at this jumble of paper that I’ve acquired:

Yes, I could create my own spreadsheet or keep a notebook, but usually I just write down the workout at some point during the day, or print it out at work, so I’m never consistently in one place when I do it. It would be pretty cool to have an app so I could just punch in my weight and reps for each exercise. Plus, since you repeat some exercises but the workouts aren’t ever exactly the same, It would be easier to have an app because it could remind you how much weight you used last time you did each specific exercise. I’m going to try to sit down at some point today and organize this jumble of paper to see how I’ve progressed 🙂

Before I go, I’d like to tell you a bit about my breakfast this morning:

I first heard about this yummy concoction on Tina’s blog (one of my favorites — especially for pictures of her adorable Pug, Murphy). Since then, I’ve seen it quite a bit in the blog-o-sphere. You won’t believe the two ingredients:

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 banana

Yep! Can you believe that there is no flour in this!? I definitely doesn’t have the ‘cakey’ consistency of a typical pancake, but it’s pretty similar.  I added a little pumpkin pie spice to mine and topped it with half a tablespoon each of Sunflower Butter and Honey. This pancake packs a protein punch: Mine had a whopping 16 grams after I added the sunflower seed butter on top, and it was so good! Like a protein pancake, it takes some maneuvering to flip without making it into a mess, but I was surprised how thick it became. After I took this photo, I cut it in half and put one half in a container to eat at work. I’m loving the idea of eating half of my breakfast at home and half at work. Although I’m eating the same amount of food, I think it keeps me satisfied longer…? That’s probably all in my head, but I’m a firm believer that it still works, even if it is all in your head!

Hopefully I’ll have a second post for you today, in the form of a veggie burger recipe round up!

Question of the Day:
What is your favorite breakfast? 

 

 

I’m an #Elf4Health

28 Nov

Boy, am I loving the #Elf4Health challenge! It has really pushed me to get back on track with my health and fitness.

Yesterday was hard, you guys. As I have mentioned a few times here, I have put on a few pounds since August. Ok, let’s be honest: I’ve gained approximately 7 pounds since August. A little more than 2 lbs a month. Things that I know I can do to combat the weight gain: Track my calories, increase my weight training and decrease my cardio (i.e., running). I know that last one sounds counterintuitive, but when I’m running a lot, I get hungry, and when I’m hungry, I eat. I will not starve myself!

Anywho, yesterday I woke up at 3:00 AM feeling just….terrible about myself. Negative thoughts were racing through my head and I just felt bad about myself. I have no idea why my negative thoughts choose to manifest themselves at 3:00 AM, but it’s quite annoying. I decided that it was time to use the skills that I already have to get rid of the extra weight. Luckily, the #Elf4Health Challenge is in full swing!

 

It’s nice to have people cheering you on, so I’m grateful for this challenge right now. We’ve had a couple of challenges so far:

  • Go Meatless! — I shared my favorite meatless recipe with my (vegan) partner (Mama Pea’s Roasted Chickpea Tacos — yum!), and I made myself a new veggie burger recipe. I used to make myself veggie burgers all the time — homemade are so much better than the frozen store-bought ones — but I’ve fallen out of the habit. Zach and I have burger night at least once a week, and I’ve been lazy and just eating his beef burgers, which I know isn’t good for me. The veggie burgers are so much healthier. So I made a batch of these mushroom veggie burgers and boy, am I glad I did. I can’t wait to have another for lunch! In fact, it has inspired me to do a post on a veggie burger recipe round-up tomorrow.
  • Send a hand-written note — I used the opportunity of yesterday’s challenge to get a jump start on my Christmas cards! Thanks #Elf4Health, I’ve been meaning to get that done 😉
  • Try a new workout — This is today’s challenge. I woke up this morning and I did a 10 minute warm up on the elliptical and today’s LiveFit Trainer workout (legs — and in week three, it’s getting tougher! My legs have been jelly ever since!), so that doesn’t count. Since I work at the library, I think I’ll head downstairs to the fitness DVD section later and see if I can’t find something different to try 🙂

So, to say that this challenge has benefited me would be absolutely correct. I’m “meeting” new people (and finding new blogs to read — my favorite!) and trying new things, and most importantly, getting things done!

Another thing I’ve been inspired to do is to start logging my meals again on My Fitness Pal:

Just a sample of yesterday’s food log.

I have sort of a love/hate relationship with keeping  a food log, so here is my pro/con list:

  • Pros
  •  Logging keeps you accountable for what you eat and it makes you conscious of your food choices.
  • It’s easy to do, especially with the internet and smart phones, but even if you prefer writing everything down, it’s easy enough to keep a notebook on you all the time.
  • It works if you are trying to lose weight — it is the #1 thing you should do if you want to lose weight. It has been proven that if the only thing you do is start writing down everything you eat, you will lose weight.
  • It’s easy to keep track of all your macros (protein, fat, carbs, etc) to see what you’re getting too much of or not enough of.

…and

  • Cons
  • It makes me feel tied down.

Yep, that’s the only con I have, but it’s a big one because it provides this huge mental block for me. I feel tied down to this app, like I can’t just do what I want. I get kind of down on myself, like, “I should be able to eat sensibly without this ball and chain!” I don’t have a fear of commitment until it comes to my diet, it turns out.

Well, yes, I can eat sensibly without it. I did it for over a year. But sometimes you need to re-set. Sometimes you need to be strict with yourself to re-learn lost lessons, and that’s what I’m doing by logging again. I make a lot of promises on this blog — sometimes I keep them, sometimes I don’t, but today I’m pledging to stick with logging my meals for one month — taking a break for my birthday/Christmas (same day). I need to re-learn lost lessons. If I’ve seen progress in that month (which, duh, of course I will!), then I will reassess. Please follow me on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram — whatever! — and get on me to keep it up, please!

Question:
What do you find is your biggest challenge as far as sticking with a healthy lifestyle?