July 21, 2017

Things I Get Told OR Overhear

don't judge meCareful ~ you might be shocked by the statements or my answers to them!

People on the Internet ~

“It’s easier for you to do eat healthy and workout out…it’s your job!”

Let me first say this, THIS IS NOT MY JOB, it’s my lifestyle. I don’t get paid to eat healthy, workout, meal prep, etc. But would I love it to be MY JOB…HECK YEAH!! But with that comes more accountability!

“You don’t know what it’s like to be a mom/wife/full time worker.”

You must not have read MY STORY, been on my page long or live in a world full of rainbows and unicorns! First, I am a mom, oh yeah and I am also a dad. Full time, 24/7, no breaks, no breathers. As for a wife, no, I am not…but I am dating someone, which means finding time for us, since we both have separate homes in different cities. I don’t get to lay in bed 5 minutes longer while my partner/spouse/boyfriend, gets up to make breakfast or take kids to school. And as for work…yes, I work full time besides being a full time mom AND dad, who do you think pays the bills?

“You already make money off your Facebook and Your website, so why do you promote money opportunities for yourself?”

If you run a page, then you are probably laughing at this because you have heard it a thousand times. Let me inform you all, 99% of Facebook Pages are run absolutely for FREE. We don’t get a paycheck for it; we use OUR personal time to engage in your life. Why? Because we love it, we are passionate about what topics our pages are about. As for my website, I will tell you I have made $1.87 in 7 months! WOOHOO!!! I can’t even get a cup of coffee for that! But I CAN tell you how much I have SPENT on it to keep it running for you to sit there and complain about all the money I am making from it. If we add in monthly domain fee charges, web admin charges, electric to run it, internet to get it out to you, then the TIME (which personally is PRICELESS) I put in to do it….yeah easily $100 a month…if not more and that is not calculating in MY TIME.

People in Real Life (STRANGERS) ~

“Why does she get to sub out certain things and I can’t?” (referring to training)

Why? Oh I don’t know because I was told I would never walk again THREE times, I was also told I would never be able to squat past parallel ever again. Why? Because I am not really in the mood to FUCK up what the doctors fixed in order to please who is watching. Nor do I feel like reinjuring myself to prove something to someone who has no importance in my life. Oh, but trust me, when my body allows me to do things again without tweaking them…I WILL do it and I will be smiling ear to ear!

“Why do you feel special enough to park in a handicapped spot?”

Special, that’s a new word. I am so honored you find it “special” that at 37, I have a permanent handicap parking sticker. My doctors wanted me to have it at age 18, but I refused. There are days that I park where every “non-special” person parks because my body is feeling good and is agreeing with me. Then there are other days that I know just going to the grocery store for a few items is going to be the hardest thing to accomplish and I do it praying that my hip and left leg doesn’t give out on me. The one thing that is WAY different of me than most 37 year olds, is that I personally own a cane, a pair of crutches and a walker since I have been 18 years old. And to this day, my cane is never too far from me.

“That’s just disgusting.” (referring to my tattoos)

If you are a part of my Facebook Page, you recently saw a post just about this topic! You see just last week, I had an elderly gentleman make this comment, while eyeing my tattoos and shaking his head. My response to him was this, “No sir what’s disgusting is you…your judgment on someone you don’t know…and for your information, I have a tat for every surgery I have had due to being injured in the line of duty. I took an oath to serve and protect disgusting people like u, so you are welcome…have a good day.” I love my art work; it represents so much to me, the struggles, battles, accomplishments, achievements and goals in my life. Like my dad once said, I would rather have my daughter alive and fully tattooed, then having to visit her grave-site. NOW, THAT PUTS THINGS INTO PERSPECTIVE!

don't judge

So why have I decided to write this? Well easy, because no one knows someone else’s journey. Someone’s outside doesn’t depict who they truly are on the inside. Give them a chance, let their inside catch up and shine and you just might be surprised!

HIIT, LISS, FASTED….WHAT THE CARDIO!?

what is HIIT With the ENDLESS amount of information out there regarding this topic, it can be quite confusing to newbies of the fitness lifestyle and actually very daunting to figure out. So I decided to help you out!

HIIT

High Intensity Interval Training or HIIT for short is basically getting you in and out of the gym quicker and with the MOST bang for your buck (so to speak)! It involves alternating between periods of low or moderate intensity and periods of extremely high intensity, and you can do it in a fraction of the time of a normal cardio workout.

On top of losing fat, HIIT routines have a tons of things that it does better than regular cardio:
~ It increases your V02 max much more than steady-state cardio. This means it increases the amount of oxygen your body can take in during exercise.
~ It doesn’t cause you to lose precious muscle mass like traditional steady-state cardio does. When you engage in long, slow cardio sessions, your body can enter a catabolic (or muscle wasting) state. This means your body literally starts to consume its own muscle for energy. This won’t happen during a HIIT training routine.
~ When combined with a slight increase in calories above your maintenance level, HIIT workouts can actually be anabolic, meaning they’ll help you gain muscle. This is certainly something you can’t get from normal cardio.

HIIT can be done with any form of cardio ~ running, biking, elliptical, rower, etc. and/or with any method of exercise, including strength training.

LISS

Low Intensity Steady State cardio! Steady state cardio simply means maintaining the heart rate (HR) at a steady, continuous pace over a long period of time (usually a walk or slow jog). LISS is when you jog, bike, speed walk, etc for 30-45 min at around 65% of your maximum heart rate (a low enough intensity that you should still be able to hold a conversation).

LISS

FASTED

Fasted is just what it states…meaning on an empty stomach, preferably in the morning.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Don’t get in the comfort zone of ALWAYS doing steady state or low intensity cardio workouts. Why? Since you’re doing the same workout over and over again, research shows your body can adapt to the same repetitive stimulus after only 6-8 weeks. So let HIITs be your main source of cardio with LISSs thrown in every once in a while.

Also, another mistake I see is people doing their cardio BEFORE strength training.

DON’T!!!

When you lift weights, you are emptying your glycogen (stored carbohydrates), which sets up the body for maximum fat burning during your cardio training. Also, if you complete your cardio training before weights you’re going to be weaker as your blood pH drops, thus you’ll hinder your body’s ability to recruit your high threshold muscle fibers which are needed for an intense workout!

Want to speed up the time in the gym even more…COMBINE your strength training with your cardio and make it ONE!!  This is also known as circuit training.
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DOMS…..Excuse me what did you say?

DOMS

Have you ever heard someone use the word “DOMS”? The first time I did, I thought I was hearing a foreign language or that the person just didn’t know how to talk! Then it hit me, they were using an acronym for something fitness related (as I do frequently now). So what did I do? My normal…I RESEARCHED!! This is what I learned…

DOMS, also known as Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness is common after exercise (post-training) and it is not related to lactic acid buildup, but stems from muscle fiber damage. It refers to the gradually increasing discomfort that occurs between 24 and 48 hours after activity and it is perfectly normal! DOMS is a common result of physical activity that stresses the muscle tissue beyond what it is accustomed to.  DOMS should not limit or affect your training, although one’s pain threshold will dictate training intensity while experiencing it.

supplementsThere are many things you can do to help limit the duration of DOMS…some natural supplements help, like Omega 3, Quercetin, Arginine, Glutamine,  and CLA. Or simply by upping  your antioxidants and your water consumption should help.  DON’T use things like ibuprofen though, try to keep it natural.

cardio

Another way is cardio at a steady state is great due to getting oxygen and blood flow to the area…which aides in recovery NATURALLY! Charles Poliquin writes that “sometimes very light, low intensity cardio the day after a heavy intense workout can help with DOMS.” There have been no studies that say working out with DOMS causes harm to you or your muscles.

So a good starting point is LOTS of water during the day (stay hydrated), a good all-round multivitamin, and then natural supplements taken pre/post training, stretching well before sleep, and then some low intensity steady state cardio the next morning.

Don’t be afraid of DOMS, I promise…they are a good thing!!

He Found HEALTHIER Addictions and Found Himself Along The Way…Meet Chad

pushup1“I woke up. Once again, my head felt like it got cracked in the back by a baseball bat. That’s what a twelve pack of Bud Light and a bottle of tequila will do to you. Something was different about this morning, though. I didn’t really know where I was. I didn’t know who I was with, and I didn’t recognize the reflection in the mirror.”

So what exactly happened to Chad?

How did he go from being an all-state, all-district athlete and one of the top in the military to being homeless three times and a college drop out?

Well, his moment of clarity came on May 27th, 2001, when an incredibly painful weight of realization came crashing down upon him. All the debauched things in his life that he managed to find scapegoats for suddenly became VERY clear to him.

He finally realized HE was the ONLY reason for his situation!

Nobody else was to blame. Nobody else put the drugs in him. Nobody held him down and poured the booze down his throat. Nobody else made him drop out. Nobody else caused him to live on the streets.

He did it all on his own. It was his actions that got him where he was, but it was also him who knew exactly what he needed to do NOW!

Just like Chad’s blog The Hardest Lift says “the hardest lift you’ll ever make is your rear end off of the couch”, this time, the hardest lift for Chad was the burden of guilt off his shoulders. Chad got on the phone and started calling everyone he felt needed to hear an apology from him. He knew he needed to accept accountability for all his actions that led him to where he was now at. He knew he also might never gain forgiveness or acceptance from all he had wronged in his life up till now. He knew the long was going to be long and that he needed to do it one step at a time, but he was ready to start making those steps, no matter how difficult they each were going to be!

No fast forward 11½ years!

Chad has been COMPLETELY alcohol, nicotine and drug free!!

Chad spent a lot of time after his wake up call alone. He was learning how to live again, but more importantly how to love himself.

photo

Chad is one of those who have an addictive personality, so he knew he needed to find NEW addictions and that he did, in surfing and in playing the guitar. Sadly, even though he was surfing every day, it wasn’t physically challenging enough for Chad, he literally desired for more, just like in his past days when he needed more drugs or alcohol to get his high.

In 2008, Chad’s family lost everything they had and almost were evicted from their home due to foreclosure. Even though they never felt sorry for themselves, they knew they were going through exactly what millions of others around the nation were dealing with. Chad had several friends take their own lives, leaving family behind in the quake, due to life’s circumstances during this time, but Chad knew he could never do that. So he endured the harassment he received, being chased on the street and threats that were made. Chad could have turned back to what he knew, his old addictions; instead he turned his frustrations and depressions onto his music.  He began writing about his experiences and it resonated with people who heard it. Chad then choose to self released two of his albums on iTunes, he played shows on the West Coast and enjoyed radio play on local radio stations and internet stations worldwide. But Chad realized real quickly that music wouldn’t feed his family. (To listen to a few songs CLICK HERE)

photoThen there came his rock, his wife, Sheila. She was able to get a job and take care of their family, while Chad played a few paying gigs here and there. Chad spent his days raising their 3 daughters; he went from being the bread winner and supporter to becoming a dependent. Chad learned a lot during this time about not only himself, but of his wife. He learned he is extremely fortunate to have a wife that loves him for him, not for the money he made when they first met. He learned the importance of removing ego from his life and discovering what is truly the most important thing in life, FAMILY.

Then my wife found an amazing membership deal at family gym that included daycare for our girls. This is when Chad realized his passion with working out. He will be the first to admit that he wasn’t the strongest guy in the gym by far, after all his gym growing up was playing ball on the basketball court. Chad immersed himself in it, but something was still off.  Fourteen months had then passed and Chad couldn’t grasp why he looked the way he did after putting in a lot of work at the gym. He questioned why he didn’t “look” better and he couldn’t figure it out, that was until he stumbled upon a documentary “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead.” For Chad, it was LIFE CHANGING! He realized he had a food addiction, he loved food. Granted Chad was fortunate never to be obese or even slightly overweight. Chad weighed at that time 230lbs, but at 6’5”, that isn’t big.

So what did they do, they bought a juicer. Yes, a juicer! They started making and having juice every morning and completely cut out all fast food, soda and sweets (cookies, ice cream, candy etc). Within a month, Chad started to feel different, even people at his gym were taking notice and were giving Chad positive comments on how much change they were seeing his body. This motivated Chad like you wouldn’t believe. He got down to 205, then started to add lean muscle mass, and is currently at 215lbs. Chad and his wife began experiencing with tons of different recipes and Chad started falling in love with different types of exercise programming. He spent countless hours researching different ways to push his body to limits he didn’t even know existed!photo (1)

Today, Chad is grateful for the fact that he gets to live with his amazing wife and their three beautiful daughters. Being able to share the love of healthy eating and fitness lifestyle with his wife, is only an added bonus for Chad.  Sheila loves joining him in many of the crazy workouts he finds, including recently Yoga. Then Chad started his site, The Hardest Lift, as a forum to share his workouts, the food they are making, juicing recipes and he also features inspiring people he has had the opportunity to meet through social media or in person. Thehardestlift.com is currently being read in 60 countries worldwide and has featured numerous inspirational people that have touched the lives of friends new and old. Like earlier in his journey, Chad knows all too well that the hardest lift we’ll ever make is our rear end off of the couch. After that hurdle, the others seem to get shorter and easier to overcome; all you have to do is take that first step. From sobriety, to humility, to family to health, Chad has had an incredible journey, that isn’t even over yet, but he also knows it a journey that couldn’t have been made without the people God has placed in his life along the way.

hardestlift11

31 POSITIVE changes towards a HEALTHIER living

It’s October…so that means my 31 days of making a POSITIVE change towards

HEALTHY living starts too!!! ARE YOU READY?!

#1: SIT UP STRAIGHT! Starting right now! 

Not only can it make you taller (especially if you are always slouching), but it has other great benefits. Did you know it can banish the blues? Ever looked at people who meditate…they have perfect posture, yet are fully relaxed! Did you also know by doing this you are strengthening not only back muscles to support your spine, but your core muscles to support your entire body!

#2:  SMILE! Yep, it is that easy. 🙂 

But of course, I have a little goal for you to try…
Give 10 smiles away freely today, but 5 of them have to be given TO YOU!

Did you know most people cannot honestly smile at themselves because they feel they don’t deserve too. With each smile find an honest reason behind it and speak it into your life. Don’t just think it, words become truths when spoken…so hear yourself say POSITIVE and UPLIFTING things not just about others, but about YOU!

 #3: EAT LIKE A KID!! 

Why? Kids eat slower, they take their time, they talk and laugh. It takes approximately 20 minutes for your brain to register that your stomach is full…so by doing this you will fill up before you overeat.

#4: TRY A MULTI-TASKING EXERCISE MOVE!

Combine a squat with an over head dumbbell press or a dumbbell row with a tricep kickback. Get creative, but mostly keep it fun!

#5: MAKE & TAKE ALL HEALTHY EATING WITH YOU TODAY! 

I call them meals, most call them snacks. Try it, bring all healthy items to munch, instead of grabbing what’s around or convenient (which is normally something processed and very unhealthy).

I always have a handful of raw almonds with me and at work I make sure I have Greek yogurt, carrots, cucumbers, grape tomatoes, hard boiled eggs….I try to always eat a veggie and protein!

 #6: TRY A VEGGIE YOU HAVE NEVER TRIED BEFORE!!!

Trust me…there are so many veggies out there…I use to HATE spinach, kale and onions…now I eat them almost every day!! Remember…try it different ways…who would think to make Kale Chips!!!

#7: PUSH PAST YOUR COMFORT ZONE!!!

We all have one…and it is slowly suffocating us!! Step out, do something different, try something new…as the saying goes “you never will know if you can, if you don’t”! Don’t let others negative words affect you from having a positive experience!

My biggest push is people who tell me “You CAN’T” or “You’ll NEVER”…I just say WATCH ME!!!

#8: HAVE THE SAME BREAKFAST EVERY DAY THIS WEEK!!

Mornings are usually rushed…and we forget to have the most important meal of the day. Plan something…either oatmeal, fruit, yogurt, hard boiled eggs…something to get your metabolism started for the day!

#9: GET RID OF ANYTHING THAT SCREAMS UNREAL EXPECTATIONS!

Why are you torturing yourself with unrealistic pictures of what the world deems is socially acceptable? Instead focus on becoming healthy, becoming strong…so that you live longer to enjoy this life and your family.

I didn’t lose all my weight to “get skinny”, I lost my weight to be healthy, to get the extra weight off my joints so I wasn’t in ADD pain. I exercise to gain strength and build up muscle to support all my injuries, so that if and when I need another surgery, my body will be ready for it. I got healthy to BE HERE to watch my daughter grow up and become a woman herself.

Make REAL goals, lasting goals…ones that are so much more worth achieving!!

#10: GO TO BED EARLY…IF YOU ARE CRAVING SUGAR!

When you are tired, your brain needs sugar to sustain itself…basically its saying eat to stay awake…when instead your body is telling you it needs rest!

#11: PLAN TOMORROWS WORKOUT, NOW!!

Put in your calendar just like any other appointment. I mark mine as my time for “survival”!

#12: REVERSE THE RATIOS AT YOUR NEXT MEAL!

By that I mean make 50% of your plate all healthy veggies, 25% lean protein & then a carb. You’ll be amazed how full you are.

#13: JUMP OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE…DO AN EXERCISE MOVE YOU HAVE BEEN AFRAID TO TRY…JUST DO IT!!

Like instead of a normal crunch…how about trying a V-Up or a Warrior Sit-up…don’t ever be afraid to try something new…remember it’s just another tool in your tool box to keep things interesting!!!!

#14: WATER, WATER, WATER!!!!

Instead of a soda or tea with every meal, substitute a glass of water as often as possible! Make this small sacrifice and see big benefits in your health. Water can actually help you lose weight, detox your body and give you more energy.

Only WATER truly hydrates you…the opposite, dehydration causes
tiredness, migraines, constipation, muscle cramps, irregular blood-pressure, kidney problems and dry skin.

Did you know if you are 20% dehydrated, you are at a risk of death?

 #15: EAT DINNER OUT!!!

Yes, that is what I said. But here’s the key…make healthy swaps and when your food comes, ask for a To-Go box THEN, put half of your food on the box and bring home with you. Only eat what’s left on your plate!

#16: USE WHAT YOU’VE GOT!

There’s no excuse as I can’t afford a gym or any exercise equipment! You don’t need it to become healthy…you have your own body and items around you that you can utilize! Get creative. I have used gallon water jugs before for arm work, I have used a chair from my dining room table for step ups and then of course you can always use the outdoors and do some running, jogging, walking…lunges, high knees…you just have to get creative…it’s about adding to the tool box and then using it!!

#17: WEAR CLOTHES THAT “FIT” YOUR BODY!

How do you know what shape you are or where your curves are if you are hiding behind clothes? I am not saying to wear skin tight stuff, especially clothes you can’t breathe or move in.

You see, I use to be that type…even to the gym I sometimes still am. But I have learned to embrace my body, love each curve and be completely ok with showing it (n the right way).
After losing a lot of weight, it takes longer for your mind to catch up with your body. I was a size 24…I am now an 8….I remember when I hit a size 12 for the first time…it was in a store shopping for a pair of new jeans. I grabbed an 18 and they fell off completely buttoned and zipped…I then tried on a 16 and 14, until I had to grab a 12. My mind couldn’t comprehend what my body was showing it.

We (our minds) are what stop our progress…try something on today that you might have thought “I can’t wear that!”!!! You might be surprised!

#18: USE A “NUT” or OLIVE OIL SPRAY TO COOK DINNER!

If you are going to sauté something…spritz healthier oil on it…or spray it over veggies before serving, coconut oil is great for that!

Read my blog about oils HERE

#19: PUT YOUR SNEAKERS OUT TONIGHT TO TAUNT YOU TOMORROW!

Yep…put them where you trip over them…pack a gym bag and leave it near the door you leave or better yet…but on your gym clothes BEFORE going to bed…there are many days I get up early and fight myself about going to the gym. But all I do is wake up, brush my teeth, grab a ball cap and I am out the door!

#20: ENJOY WHAT IS FRESH!! 

The season has come for our local Farmer’s Markets to come back…go to them…get REAL food!!

#21: GET OUT OF YOUR BOX!!

Do you do the same routine over and over? Walk/Run the same path? Lift the same way?

Now is the time to think OUTSIDE your box…get creative…find a new path…research different lifting methods of your favorites. ADD WEIGHT!!! Get more muscles involved!!

#22: CREATE A PLAYLIST!! OR SEVERAL!!

Make one for when you go run or spin…or a mellower one for yoga. I have several different ones…I even have ones set for my Interval Training’s! There is nothing like that perfect song/beat to get you motivated!!

#23: CHANGE THE SIZE OF THE PLATES YOU EAT OFF OF! 

If your plates measure over 10 inches…get smaller ones!! The healthy food portions you need to consume fit on a smaller plate. You will actually consume the right amount of calories with the right kinds of food.

#24: CALL YOUR OWN BLUFF!!

You know when you are slacking or know when you aren’t giving your best…STOP IT!! Call your own bluff…tell yourself that you are no longer half-assing anything because YOU DESERVE IT!!! Change your mindset!!!

#25: STOP BEING A CREATURE OF HABIT!

Are you that person, you know exactly day in and day out what you are going to wear, eat, wake up, go to bed, hit the gym, etc. When you become complacent in your life…guess what, YOU GET BORED!! That even goes for good habits, as well as bad. Believe it or not a good habit could wreck you…How? By simply eating the same meal day in and day out. Especially if it’s not a fully balanced meal and your meals aren’t nutritionally balanced throughout the day to sustain (fuel) you for what you are doing.

There is NOTHING wrong with change! Just like I have said before…get out of your box…explore new things…take a new way to work or home, add something you wouldn’t to your salad or sandwich for the day. Workout in the morning instead of at night. There are so many ways to STOP being a creature of habit; all you have to do is TRY!

 #26: GO THROUGH YOUR CLOSET!

Stop hiding behind baggy clothes!! I don’t weigh myself that much anymore…it’s all about “how do my jeans fit?”, if they are a little snug I know that I have not been eating clean and exercising. I don’t go out and buy a bigger size! I go back to what is healthier for me!!

#27: EAT SOMETHING HEALTHY BEFORE GOING TO A PARTY!

The holidays are right around the corner…there will be plenty of parties and what comes with those parties…FOOD…mostly bad food! So before heading out…eat something healthy…have some good protein and fibrous carbs, so you don’t get hunger pains and then eat too much of what is served.

#28: DON’T DRINK YOUR CALORIES!

As for drinks…why bother drinking calories that don’t satisfy you…drink water and save your calories for REAL food!!!

#29: LOSE THE WORD CAN’T FROM YOUR VOCAB!

It’s one of the most negative words you can say…learn to catch yourself and change it to I can, I will or I’ll try! Start speaking positive into your life!!!

#30: PUT THE SALT AWAY AND USE FRESH HERBS!

Use herbs to season than salt. Cilantro, Mint, basil, Rosemary, Thyme…the list goes on and on…you will be amazed at how more flavorful your meals become!

‎#31: FOCUS ON YOUR FORM!

Did you know the most important thing you can do while performing an exercise is make sure your form is correct! Not only does it prevent injuries it also targets the correct muscle groups for that specific exercise. Also try slowing down and keeping control of each rep.

REMEMBER each step (change) you make towards in proving your health, is a step closer than the day before…never give up!!