Thursday, July 31, 2014

MPG Rock Your Workout Giveaway!

Hey guys and gals!!! I want to share an AWESOME giveaway with you that started yesterday! Meant to get this post up then, but ya know how crazy bosses can be right? 

Personally I am STOKED about this giveaway because I recently (a few weeks ago) found out about MPG from purchasing a pair of workout pants from TJ Maxx; cause y'all know I love a good bargain! And talk about great quality! Speaking of which...I need to pay a visit and pick up some more gear!

But without further adieu, I bring you:

Welcome to the Rock Your Workout Event Sweepstakes

So here is the gist: 

  • Contest starts TODAY at noon EST
  • ends august 14 at noon EST
  • Open to USA/CAN 18+ (void where prohibited)
  • 3 winners receive a shirt, pants, jacket and tote of their choice!

Check out the info below and definitely get your entries in! Good luck everyone and talk to ya soon!


MPG is a brand of clothing which fuses
fashion sensibility with performance function.

In our drive to develop the ultimate active apparel, we have achieved garments that feel and look so great on, you will want to wear them for everyday use. MPG has effectively blurred the lines between fashion and performance.

Truly powerful action is the result of an equally passionate vision and drive to achieve. Behind the energy for perfection surges the will to attain it. In recognizing this balance, MPG has developed a line of clothing that seamlessly blends fashion and function, design and performance. The results are richly detailed pieces with a technical edge — an entire collection unparalleled in conception and construction.

MPG, inspired by the smooth, strong movements of performers such as athletes and dancers, celebrates the drive, dedication and perseverance of these phenomenal individuals. MPG applauds their unyielding pursuit of excellence, through sacrifice and discipline, with respect and admiration. The brand’s versatility allows for more than just function; it embodies style and comfort by offering a range of clothing to suit any activity in any environment, at the apex of vision and vigor.

We welcome you to experience the World of MPG.

go HERE to check out MPG's website!

MPG has offered not 1 but 3 prizes of YOUR choice of top, bottom, jacket and tote! This prize is available for both MALES and FEMALES ! Prizes are also open to USA/CAN!!!


  • MUST reside in USA or Canada (void where prohibited such as Quebec)
  • ONE entry per household
  • ends august 14/14
  • you have 2 days from when I send the winning email to claim prize or another winner will be chosen!
  • fill out form CORRECTLY ( I will be checking all entries)
  • facebook, twitter, etc are NOT liable in anyway!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: MPM was compensated for this giveaway. ALL other participating bloggers DID NOT receive any compensation for this giveaway. MPG is the ONLY one responsible for the prizes. Facebook, twitter, pinterest etc is NOT responsible or liable in ANYWAY for this giveaway! If you want to work with Mom Powered Media (MPG) or have any questions please message Natasha at ! Good luck guys!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Clean Shopping, Meal Prep Twist & Care Package #1

Hey Y'all! Guess what??? It's HUMP Day! 

We are half way there! Phew! I hate to say it but some weeks, I count down to the weekend. I hate to wish weeks away but Anyone feel me? Sometimes it's not so bad, but with the happenings at work lately; I will spare you the details! Let's just keep it at that. ;)

So I have a few things to share with you today, so let's get on with it!

First off HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Fitness Blondie!!! Y'all go tell her a huge Happy Birthday (Click this picture) and tell her who sent you!

The Hump Day Blog Hop

And, Yep you guessed it! Time to LINK UP with her too! Click the link and go check out all the awesome blogs and co-host!! But first, stick around for a bit if you want :)

So quite a few people ask me what I eat normally, and I want to do a separate post for that and go into detail eventually. For now, I managed to snag a few shots of my basket at the store this weekend. I also want to do a full and comprehensive grocery list for you guys too! I'd ultimately like it in .PDF form so you can print it and take it with you. Tosca Reno has a great one that I LOVED when I found it a while back. It had things on it that I hadn't seen before Here is hers for now :)

So originally when I started clean eating, my grocery list wasn't even half of this (above), and what I thought was "pretty clean" wasn't what I needed to be eating to meet my goals. Until I found my trainer and he gave me a black and white, plain list with a macro plan and said "alright, this is what you get to try," and I said "OK here goes!" Lol. 

Seriously, it was a turning point for me. Then I started really looking for other options for food I "could eat" and recipes, websites, lists, what ever I could get my hands on that sounded better than plain food. And really you have to in order to find what you like and what will work for your everyday. My everyday looks the same, except for dinners...But that doesn't work for everyone. 

Now I am at the point where I pretty much am capable on my own, calculating and adjusting on a normal basis, with a check-in or visit here and there and when I can. :)

I also like to think I have gotten pretty flexible, maybe not as much as some but to me that is OK because I like what I do and eat, and I have a great handle on it. I started out pretty strict and eventually learned how to mix it up and still hit my goals everyday.

Now I can have things I like every day and can also have treats and things like that too (whether it's cookies or something I enjoy) because it fits. So I guess you can say I am a pretty 'clean-iifym-eater' which is really what I do anyways. I like to stick to a 90-10, 90% clean and 10% unclean ratio just about every day. Some days more or less and it works for me without restricting myself or feeling like I am too 'limited' in choices. 

Anyways that may be too much for now, so on to the groceries! What do I normally shop for? Last week's grocery shopping was kinda boring, just needed the basics so nothing too exciting. But it is the basics and that will definitely get you started!

  • Ground turkey was BOGO at Dillons so DUH! I bought like 4 packages. Now I am using two packages for 5 meals (mid-afternoon or lunch every day). 
  • Normally 2 packages of chicken tenderloins (about 3. something lbs each i think maybe less) No I don't buy organic all the time...Personally, my budget says NO WAY! lol ;) If you can then awesome!
  • One was chicken breasts because they were out of tenders after the one package.
  • turkey bacon for weekend breakfasts
  • liquid egg whites and 2 doz eggs (they were on sale vs. buying 1.5 doz)
  • frozen veggies (cheaper most of the time unless you buy from the farmers market) I bought broccoli and green beans
  • brown rice (instant or regular)
  • this week's fresh veggies: bell peppers (FAV!), salad, cherry tomatoes, zucchini, mushrooms, onions
  • Always sweet potatoes! 
  • Condiments and seasonings last week: regular Pace salsa, low sodium Teryaki sauce for my chicken breasts, Weber Just Add Juice Garlic & Herb Marinade Mix (LOVE this one I found a few weeks ago), low sodium soy sauce because they were out of low sodium Tamari (I also use Bragg's liquid aminos for flavor normally; this is for a dish), fried rice seasoning and I think that's it for those
  • Fruits: nectarines, strawberries, frozen blueberries (the week before last I bought apples and grapefruits). I wanted cherries but they looked kinda yucky! 
  • Oh and there was a pint of Ben and Jerry's Strawberry Cheesecake Icecream  :)
  • A few tuna travel packets
  • 2 cans of Rotel for salsa chicken (the ingredients are clean even though some hate using canned tomatoes, I digress!)

So there you have it! A grocery trip with me! There are many things that I also keep in the house, but I won't go there today!

Annnnd then! 

I was getting really bored with plain rice in my meals; I may have mentioned that recently. So on a whim I was craving stir-fry and boy did that sound good for lunches! So wha-BAM! Meal Prep NOT-Boring style! 

Sometimes you just have to change it up. Plus I LOVE when me and the hubby make this for dinner! Normally, we add chicken, shrimpies, and steak, plus corn, broccoli, and onion to it (he is a picky-veggie eater). This time I did it slightly different since it was for meals. So I bring you: 

Zucchini Fried Rice

Here is what you'll need:

- 1/2 sweet onion chopped
- 1 zucchini squash chopped (I chopped very fine in Ninja!)
- 2 whole eggs
- 2 pouches brown rice, made about 4 cups
 (Next time I will use regular brown rice - 2 cups)
(sodium was eh; I may try to clean it up...)
- 2 tbsp soy sauce 
(I SO just noticed the packet called for 2 tsp oops!)
- 2 tbsp MCT oil or other cooking oil

So chop up your veggies, cook the rice and let it sit or refrigerate until it cools off** (this is important).

Then scramble eggs in a bowl.I actually scrambled mine in a separate pan and set aside. The package said to do this in the same pan, pushing the rice to the side...I'm no chef so I did it the Rachel-way haha.

- Put oil in a pan and let it warm-up. Then add rice, zucchini, onion to the pan and 'stir-fry' for about 2-3 minutes (cook, tossing, until the rice is coated and cooked a tad more).
- Either scramble the eggs in a separate pan then add, or push the rice the the side then scramble the eggs and mix into the rice after scrambling. (OR you could try scrambling first with the oil like Rachel Ray recommends on a recipe...)
- Then add the egg, seasoning, and soy sauce, and stir-fry for another minute. 
- DONE! Fried Rice :D

**I will make one point here and this past weekend I learned this (don't laugh at me lol)...make sure you cool the rice! I tried regular rice cooked in the rice cooker and didn't let it cool...Well let's just say this week's fried rice is not so..."fried" :/ haha!

After I got done meal prepping that Sunday night, I was craving a pizza so I made a personal one! Well, two, but who's counting...Who wants that recipe???

Yep it was leg day that Sunday; this was a quick "let's taker a selfie and not get caught" lol. Yeah it's like that every now and then...

The last thing I want to share with you all might appeal to a more broad array of readers. I am an Army wife as well so I will be sharing with you guys various things throughout the deployment. If you didn't know my hubby is deployed right now then click here and get caught up :)

So naturally I HAVE to send him treats and things to make sure he knows how much I miss him. And to make him feel and semblance of home while he is away. 

Ready, 1, 2, 3...AWWWWW! ;) I kid! But this is Care Package #1:

I won't tell the reason for this theme, but you might could imagine a 'taste of home' was in order. I think I nailed it. 

And among the goodies in the box, here are a few things I included with personalized notes of course!

His favorites candy and some recent favorites

And a few other things...

Even his very own Personal Air Conditioning system! lol. This one had a mini fan attached. And the other side of the tag said something like "or for your personal entertainment." I crack myself up!

And I wasn't going to include this picture...but for this sake-- they will take these away. So no water guns. Didn't even cross my mind. 

About to have a few more finished this weekend! Yay for deployment activities!

Hope you guys have a great HUMP Day! And look out in a little bit for the #wowlinkup post! 

Monday, July 28, 2014

How to stay motivated?

Hey guys and gals!! How are we doing this Monday??? 

Mine was off to a rough start considering my carpool left me...although it isn't entirely "aww poor Rachel" (because Rachel was late...), since there hasn't been a standard "let's meet time" lately, I don't consider this entirely my fault either. Either way, my 'getting up early' skills will be getting a fine-tuning this week. :) Hopefully...

So when I saw this, this morning; and considering everything in my life lately, I thought it was very fitting.

Good morning #fitfam Hope you guys had a good weekend! Have a great Monday today!  some days it's ok to just let that gym time be you time. Even I fall off the "fitness wagon" every now and then. Keep pushing through!

Anyways, there was a little monday #motivation now onto the big #MOTIVATION :D

So I want to talk about something that I have been asked many times. And many times I give the same answer...sometimes in a different 'terminology' or what have you. All to this question, you probably guessed it, "How do I stay motivated?" 

Now this can be in the form of, "how are you always so positive" or "how do I get there" or "Man, I could never be that motivated all the time" or even the "man, I could NEVER DO THAT." 

Stop it.

Stop it right now.

Yes YOU CAN!!!! 

I have had this idea in my head for a while, and like always, there is no better time than the present to chat. Occasionally I have to give myself a swift kick in the rear and reset too...Just like you! Sometimes the going gets tough; and when that happens, its best that the tough just get going!

So the week before last, admittedly, I had a pretty down attitude one night after a very overwhelming event I attended...It was right after work so I skipped the gym, after having trouble sleeping again, and all around got into a funk. Down and out, not motivated, the doubt set in about things and life...the list went on; although I did want to go to the gym, I didn't...and what did I want to do??? 

I wanted to eat. 

That was my scapegoat for a while after we moved in 2012 when I was down and out about moving and all that (check out more on that here) and when I was growing up I was also the 'grazer,' which still stuck up until I changed my habits. And it can be DISASTROUS! On you waistline and your psyche.

So how do you fix this? Well, my simple answer is to DIG DEEP and find it. No one can make you want it. Some would say "you have to want it bad enough" and I used to agree with this...But honestly, you can want it more than the person next to you. You know what matters more? 

What you do about it. 

"Well what do you mean Rachel?"

Well, honestly there is no simple answer because everyone is different and different things will motivate different people in different ways. You have to dig deep down inside of yourself and find that thing that speaks to you. 

Here are some tips that always help me in times like last week...and the week before:
  • Remember why you started. We often forget this little point. Or maybe this has turned into something bigger that we simply forget because of the distractions standing in our way. Remind yourself of your purpose or goals for this journey or specific event. 
  • Banish doubts you may have about whatever you are doing, are afraid of doing (see below), have done; or anything pertaining to the sort. Just erase them because YOU CAN do anything you put your mind to. Now I may have already mentioned this won't be easy...but that doesn't mean you can't.
  • Face your fears. Plain and simple. Just do it. And finish something. 
  • Browse Pinterest or instagram for motivational ideas. I like to search for "fitness motivation" on Pinterest or motivational quotes. It never fails, and you may notice this, I always find something that speaks to me or how I feel or what I am going through at that point in time. I use that to drive me forward and to help me pull it from within. Always works!
  • Positive self-talk or thinking. Telling yourself how awesome you are or why you will succeed can be a very helpful practice every day towards having a positive outlook and staying confident in you endeavors.
  • Text a friend or family member. I have a few 'go-tos' for this. And a few new friends that I know beyond a shadow of a doubt I can text and they will say something encouraging. A support system, whether it be social media or through another form of communication and interaction is SO important while on your journey, and in life period. Or if you need to...
  • Talk it out with a close friend or family member. I know when my hubby is not around, and even when he is sometimes I tend towards calling my mom because she always gives great words of wisdom and advice. Different than just a short text to a friend. And it's amazing how much our elders can teach us about things we may think we know already (hint youngins! ;) )
  • Get rest. Now a power nap might do you well, but if you are exhausted or running off little sleep, DO NOT try to push through a hard workout. You will only be hurting yourself and maybe your journey by taking it too far. Yes, sometimes we have to get things done; but when I see someone post on instagram how they "only got 3-4 hours of sleep, but are in the gym anyways" doing what sounds like a hard training session, it REALLY irritates me. You are only hurting yourself by doing this. Your body cannot grow into something great without proper rest. Trust me, I speak from the place of "only 3-4 hours sleep" and after a while, you just can't do it. Take some time off to rejuvenate and get the rest you need. 
  • Relax or do something you enjoy. Recently I went to the tanning bed in the evening (I know some people frown upon it) because it relaxes me and I enjoy laying in either the sun or under the warm bulbs. The beach is always a favorite place of mine and this is as close as it gets to Kansas!
  • Stop worrying about things, because this may be affecting your motivation levels. Stress can affect our current physical state as well as our mental state. The more we stress over daily problems, or other maybe bigger issues, the more literal 'stress' it puts on our body and mind. Long-term stress, or chronic stress, can have detrimental effects on your health. Don't worry about the things you can't change, and do something about the things you can change. Or as that Bass that used to hang on my Dad's living room wall would say...

There is no right or wrong answer to this question really, and there are a ton more things you could do to help keep the motivation going long term. 

What are some things you do to stay motivated?

Happy Monday y'all! ;)

Friday, July 25, 2014

Late #WOWLinkup

Hey there! I wrote this post for you all yesterday, with the intention of posting it and it definitely did not happen. So here ya go! Happy Friday!

Thursday, July 25, 2014

So I totally missed the #wowlinkup yesterday... :( I know! With the ceremony today for our Aunt, and my sugar gliders being "sick" I believe I have had a lot on my mind this week. 

This is them barking in the morning- they love attention and let me know when they want it :)

And actually I took this video this week of them, then some pictures on Tuesday when I was giving them some "glider love" after work :) So if you have no idea what I am talking about when I say sugar gliders, these are our little fur babies! 

Their names are Gizmo and Stitch. Gizmo is my baby that is going to the vet today because she has a lump under her jaw :( Getting her in ASAP to get checked out!

Femme Fitale Fit Club

But nevertheless, I want to make this a habit so I am posting the workout I shared on my Facebook page with you all for Tuesday night's Shoulder Sesh!

So here ya go! Quick and...not so easy ;)

-Warmup: cardio of choice 10-15 mins (I did 25 this morning so I'm doing 10 light)
  1.  barbell shoulder press 1 lighter set, 3x12
  2. cable lateral raises from across body SS (superset) cable rope face pulls (video) 3x10 for both exercises
  3. dumbbell front raises 3 sets. Set 1- do 12 reps. Then sets 2 and 3, I want you to drop on each set (go down in weight) and go until it burns like crap! So to Failure! Then drop again and go to failure/until it burns. 
  4. dumbbell clean and press from video (half snatch lol!) 3x12 and make sure to get the full squats**
**So this last one, #4-- is something I kinda "made up"/changed a few lifts I saw, one day based on a few things I found when looking for workout ideas...It's a cross between a snatch and this hang clean with push press with dumbbells if you want my opinion  :) 

I like to do this a little differently though by starting with the dumbbell in a overhand grip position, between the legs (squat stance like he does) and really emphasizing my shoulder to lift the weight like a snatch.


At least 5 good minutes of stretching!!

Top left/Bottom Left: Angled Lateral Shoulder Raises (different twist for ya!)
Top Right: Cable Face Pulls
Bottom Right: Dumbbell Clean/Squat/Press Snatch ;) 

AND if you really want a challenge, someone at the gym I go to challenged over a 5 min plank Tuesday, so I had to give it a whirl. Yep!!!--the Max Fitness trainer plank challenge!

I lasted almost 3 minutes! How long can you plank? Try it out and keep the challenge going!!! Comment below with you time!! If you try it take pics and videos and I will post them on my Facebook page!!!

Happy Friday! :)

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Remembering a Loved One

Part II

Thank you guys for bearing with me if you are continuing from Part I or if you may have already seen a short bit about this on my other pages over the weekend. I have felt so moved by this recent and tragic event in our family, that I have to share it with you. Not only to remember and to celebrate a beautiful person, but also for so much more that we can share from a life that was taken from us far too soon. 

I want to thank you personally and in advance from our entire family and friends for your time in reading this post. <3

A beautiful soul.

We lost a very dear family member this weekend, our Aunti Di. Diana Langford leaves behind husband Doug Langford (second from left), two daughters Natalie (left) and Madison (third from left), a sweet sweet mother Helen Adams (Maw Maw as known to us), sister Debbie Gilmore, as well as many other loved family members. 

She was very near and dear to us, and we want nothing more than to celebrate her life and the impact she had on our lives. 

My husband and I were very blessed to have the chance to see the family more and spend time with them, laughing and growing together, since we moved to Kansas only two years ago.

I would not trade that time with family for anything, especially those who are now looking down on us. Heaven did indeed get another Angel on Saturday. 

Our Aunt Diana was a beautiful person inside and out. She will be missed very much by anyone who had the pleasure of knowing her. I am absolutely heartbroken for everyone experiencing this tragic loss, especially those closest to her. It is a devastating, and inexpressible situation when you lose a loved one. This tragic loss resulted from the life-consuming mental illnesses, Bipolar Disorder and Major Depression that our Diana suffered from for too long. 

But we will not remember her by the actions brought on by these illnesses, because the disorders, not her true self, led her down that path. We will instead remember her as the beautiful soul that she was deep inside; the loving wife, mother, daughter, sister, aunt, friend, and individual with the biggest heart and smile, and the kindest words. The irreplaceable continuous flow of smiles and positive energy brought forth in such a wonderful person that she was. There was never a dull moment in conversations with her, from facial expressions or quirky phrases, she would always fill the room with laughter and animation. Her vibrance will be cherished and memories clung to by her family, friends, and loved ones.

May you rest in peace, in the comfort of Heaven Aunti Di and until we meet again some day. We will always love and remember you. 

As a family, we want to make sure that our voice is heard and our dear Diana'a story is shared. As husband Doug Langford expressed, "maybe we can keep a family or loved one from ever allowing these insidious and evil diseases from convincing a person we love and cherish that life just isn't good enough anymore." 

It starts with Educating

Although Depression is only one of many mental illnesses, the severity of this illness can be incapacitating and sometimes life-threatening. Depression is much more than only feeling sad or down, it is an often life-long "serious medical illness that affects one’s thoughts, feelings, behavior, mood and physical health." 

Depression is a serious problem in mental health today, affecting roughly 25 million Americans in one year alone. Sadly, only half of those individuals receive treatment for the illness. 

The National Alliance on Mental Illness describes depression:

"Left untreated, depression can lead to serious impairment in daily functioning and even suicide, which is the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S. Researchers believe that more than one-half of people who die by suicide are experiencing depression. Depression is a leading cause of disability worldwide and represents a global public health challenge."
Here is the source for more information.

With more and available treatment options and a better understanding to aid in early detection of this illness, we can continue to help those suffering. It all begins with education regarding mental illnesses such as depression, and can reach further as we continue to spread awareness.

Increasing Awareness

Mental illnesses are becoming more and more common throughout society today, and have been for years. Not many are able to fully understand and grasp the severity of these illnesses, let alone the experience of someone close to them suffering from a mental illness. These illnesses can become very complex and even more so to treat and manage long term. Medication alone, or therapy, or even a combination of both are not enough to treat these illnesses. It is my personal belief that psychiatry is not enough to treat the illnesses, as medication alone cannot simply 'fix' the problem; there is no amount of medication can match that of years of experience, research, education, and knowledge (among other things) required to even begin to understand these complex psychological disorders. 

The outside world may have no idea what experiences the people with mental illnesses could be thinking or feeling at any given point in time. Sadly in many cases, family and friends may not be aware of the illness let alone the severity of the illness that envelops the person who might choose to suffer in silence. Or worse, those people and society misunderstand and stigmatize the mentally ill and their experiences, worsening the situation. It is with lack of education and understanding regarding mental illnesses that breeds these reactions. 

There has long since been a need for increased education about mental illnesses for the general population. One could only hope this will continue to increase awareness and understanding as a society, so we are better able to help victims of mental illnesses to prevent future tragic events. 

As a blogger I have a voice to not only my audience, but hopefully many more with this post. I personally feel the need to share things related to education of health and fitness, all aspects included such as mental health. As a family member I cannot let this pass by without contributing a collective voice for this tragedy that has struck our family. Through this loss of our beloved Diana we hope to bring light to present and future victims of mental illnesses and hopefully contribute to the prevention of such tragedies. 

I want to preface this next short segment by telling you that I would never ask you as readers for any type of monetary donations. As a family we are supporting the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) in honor of our loved family member Diana Langford, so we can contribute to the prevention of these types of tragedies. If you would like to contribute, I wanted to open that door for you. This organization is dedicated to improving lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness through educating, advocating, and helping people better understand mental illness.


Motivation Tuesday (Monday) Part I

Hey there Tuesday-(Monday)-goers! Stay with me, I promise that odd sentence has meaning :) With that drum-roll...Part I!

Guess what? It's a new day.

Yes it's a Tuesday (Monday), but don't be that person that hates Mondays. No one likes that anyways It's just another day and the best way to look at it is that it is a completely new week, where anything can happen because you choose to look at it that way. Don't be a Debbie downer today! You never know who you are inspiring so even through the tough times, put on that smile and share it with the world. Even on the darkest of days, there is always room for more sunshine. 

So there's the Tuesday (Monday) motivation for the awesome #linkup (if I can find the posts that aren't up yet :( ). Now wasn't that easy? ;) Motivation can seriously come from anywhere like on this morning's instagram post! You may have to put some thought into it or it may come naturally. I'll tail off on that one for now, but look out for a continuation of that VERY soon! (in other words...Rachel started a blog post this weekend and didn't finish it lol!)

So what else? If you guys want to see more of me :) in general, a lot of the time it is SUPER easy for me to update my instagram or Facebook page instead of writing out a post - so make sure you're following me! Click on the pic below OR ova to your right in those buttons to take you to my pages :D You know you want to!

And I also LOVE to post motivational sayings, thoughts, pictures, you name it on those pages every day just for you. I try to get something up at least once a day so definitely don't miss out!

And sometimes, like I'm sure you guys have from time to time, the motivation could be lacking or maybe a blog post was too far-fetched at the time. For me, this weekend was one of those times. The motivation and excitement this weekend was not the same as normal and I do apologize to any new viewers who found me this weekend instead of another day; it still may be affecting the more apparent 'scatter-brained-ness' that I am starting to notice here

So before I wrap this one, I'm sure you're still probably wondering why all of the Mondays are Tuesdays, and maybe you figured it out -- I didn't finish this yesterday like I wanted to...Well why do you ask? Such a short post, I should have finished it right? Well....Sometimes motivation or inspiration comes to you at times that would better be placed in the context of the situation, not the place it came to you. Make sense?

So in retrospect I was able to separate the motivation and inspiration, and what really is driving possibly what seems to me like a lack of excitement still, and place each in the place they should this case by themselves on Tuesday not Monday :) in Part I and Part II.

I feel like I rambled a whole lot there at the end so thanks for sticking with me. Bear with me as I share Part II with you here in a short bit. I think you will understand. Thank you for listening :)

I really do hope everyone had a fantastic Monday!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Loving Link-Ups & Leg Day Routine!

Let me tell you, first of all-- two posts in one day!!! I know! It's pretty great right??? But there are some absolutely amazing ladies out there doing amazing things and I love it when I find them!! 

Femme Fitale Fit Club

For instance I stumbled upon the #wowlinkup today for Workout Wednesdays and it seemed like the perfect time to share this leg routine that I wrote for last week's leg day! Before the week had some unexpected events...but I digress :) All is good now! So let's get on with it!

These ladies for this link-up, let me tell you, they are here to party and inspire while lifting each other up and I am ALL IN! So you definitely need to click-click on that link and go check them out! Or head over to my Facebook page, browse my likes and BAM! There too! Or you prefer Instagram??? Yep! They are there too! Talk about WOW connecting through social media the way I like it!!! 

(Yes I know maybe I should have put a "cheesy" warning label on this post ;) You still love me right? OF COURSE YOU DO!!!!)

So yeah, that was easy now wasn't it?! Now for a leg day that had my boot-ay hurting for days!! 

Leg day 07/5/14 

We want everything HEAVY here!!! No light weights and NO skipping sets or reps got it? Good!!

Here's your warm-up:
-15 min treadmill walking at incline (you set degree- I did 5-7)

-3x10-12 seated leg extensions 
- 3x10 heavy hack squat SS 3x15 calf raise on hack
- 3x12 smith squats 1 1/4s (down-up-down=1 rep) 
- 3x10 leg curl
- 3x10 single leg press
- 3x10 abduction sitting-butt off chair
- 3x12 glute kickback machine 

Cardio Finisher:
- 25 min brisk incline walking cardio 
(get that incline all the way up to 10!!!)

*Tip: for the abductors -- really squeeze your glutes through this (may feel a little funny lol) to get the full benefit! Glute activation is crucial during leg day in order to tap into those muscles and really build them :) So make sure to squeeze!!!

And just for kicks! Here are a few video tutorials!

Selectorized Abductions (first part sitting off chair)

Smith Squats 1 1/4s (Burn!!!)

Try it out and let me know what you think!!!

Hump Day post: Are you in?

Hey there friends! Ah, yet again another week goes by without multiple blog posts...insert sad face here. I have really taken some much needed personal time the past week or two off and on to reflect, gather thoughts, or whatever I needed. Thank you for sticking around because I haven't gone anywhere I promise!

So, what better day to pick right back up with another post than on HUMP Day!!!

The Hump Day Blog Hop

And the HUMP Day blog hop is back!!! So make sure to head on over to Fitness Blondie's page and show her some love alright?? Tell her I sent ya!!! 

On to the main topic of conversation! I saw an article/blog post just a minute ago that really hits home and pulls out many emotions in me. I want to share it with you all, and maybe someone out there will share these things shedding light on this growing and pretty horrible problem we in "the fitness industry" face every day.

Amber E Dodzweit, from Clutch Bodyshop, wrote a blog post, "Porn? or Fitness?" that I think EVERYONE involved in any way, shape, or form in 'the fitness industry' should read. I mean look at the image that goes along with the article...accident? I think not.

Quite frankly I am glad this topic is finally surfacing. I know many of you (hopefully not but) probably see all of the posts rolling through instagram or around the internet has-tagged #fitness or #fitspo or whatever...I know I personally hate scrolling through my feed only to see another (excuse me) ass picture or someone in a thong showing off their "muscle development" in some suggestive pose (in other words known as 'soft-porn'). Excuse me while I go put more clothes on...

Now don't get me wrong, I am not downing anyone, and if you are in 'certain divisions' you have to do certain 'poses' for judging...yeah I get it. I am no better than anyone else nor do I have a 'mightier-than-thou' attitude; at least I try my darndest to be myself and relate-able to anyone and everyone, and especially open to different views of people.

I am simply re-stating what has already been stated by many. This industry has become raunchy and relays sex appeal in the mainstream. As Amber states in her blog post, the idea portrayed to women wanting to succeed in the fitness industry is mostly that of, "Get naked = success." Especially if you are following certain people. The seemingly, should-be-obvious question that is not so obvious (and I am guilty of wondering this too from time to time), "Do I have to do this to succeed?" NO! No, you don't. 

This has got to stop.

As someone who is at least a tiny bit looked-up to by few and is of sound moral values in a happy marriage, I try to be very conscious of what I post and how it may make others feel, including my husband and family. I mean heck, I was nervous to post the very first post not to mention anything that shows less than a normal amount of clothing! That's just me though...And, no my page is not upwards of even tens of thousands yet (if you combined all outlets of social media), but I still have a little influence. Every great person has to start somewhere right? 

One thing I know for sure is I want my followers to believe in the real promises and successes of fitness and health. They should be able to come to my page to be inspired and learn things about fitness and health at the minimum, not fearing that they have to be a certain body type, shape, or size to be successful in life or wherever life takes them. Or worse, that they have to remove clothing or pose suggestively to represent beauty. I want to inspire others not because I post half-naked pictures or even 'abs' pictures all the time (you may notice I try and refrain from this quite often); but instead because of who I am as a person and what I represent. A real person, living a real life with real-life struggles, who has overcome obstacles and learned a lot about life to get to where I have in my journey. The fun, quirky, nerdy personality that both inspires and makes people smile at the same time. The person who teaches and learns, and shares anything to help others. The person who is inspired by those around her to continue to share all of this wonderful information with the world. 

I could go on. But that ladies and gents is what we should strive for. Real beauty, real people living real life every day and succeeding. Becoming the BEST versions of themselves. Not because they are willing to 'bare-all' to earn attention. 

This is very much a real problem, if it has not already been noticed, and it needs to be put to a halt. I am taking the suggestion of Amber and trying to come up with some sort of hash-tag to name this movement against everything fitness does not stand for. #realfitness perhaps, #classoverass , I am not entirely sure. 

What are your thoughts on this? Do you have a different opinion? If so, why? Let's get this discussion going, shall we? And finally, hash-tag ideas anyone?

Friday, July 11, 2014

Should you be getting more sleep at night?

Hey there friends on this wonderful FRIDAY!!!! Who's happy????Me! That's who! Because it's the day- almost the weekend duh! So, I have a bit of a different post today, but I want to start doing these more often; especially with all the neato-factoids rolling around in my head on a daily basis, I figured I would share them with you guys!! Lucky you right? 

I KNOW!!! :) So this topic is actually inspired by my own personal deficit (we'll call it that) this week...It has definitely prompted a few questions. So, shall we chat?

I kinda feel like this today! (OK not kinda...)

How many of you get 8 hours of sleep at night? I would imagine not many; and maybe some of you do. That's so great! Maybe you can give me a few pointers after all this. :) 

For those that don't, why do you think that is? Maybe you're 'too busy' at night like me, or you might have personal stressors that keep you up later at night; maybe you had a completely different reason or maybe it was just an "off-week"...I know a few of those things (need I say all sometimes...or this week) plagued me and are doing a number on me today. I even had to leave the office before lunch to re-energize a bit, and run a few errands. 

d you know that a lack of sleep on a daily basis can really negatively affect your health in more than one way? Not to mention the effects on your fitness results...I saw this little guy below earlier, and as I was thinking about lunchtime I noticed my subconscious tugging at me to eat again; even though I ate a meal only an hour and a half ago. 

On that note for a second, I saw a facebook post from someone earlier that made me think of this. In the post, the person was saying how he or she was "always hungry" and "always eating everything whether healthy or not." Now that could or could not be related to this topic I'm talking about, so I thought to include it. Now if it isn't, then it sounds like either the person isn't eating enough of the right foods to satisfy their nutritional needs and they should eat more food OR they need to learn how to deal with cravings in the right way...I digress. Maybe another day :)

If you are always tired, or always hungry, or worse- both; then it could be a number of things, from your sleep patterns to your nutrition. Since we are mainly focusing on sleep today, let's go with that. Think about your sleep patterns throughout the week. Are you getting enough sleep each night and each week? Are you waking up before the end of a sleep cycle (say in the middle of the night or before your alarm)? Are you not sleeping enough cycles? 

In order to wake feeling refreshed and energized, our bodies need to wake up at the end of a full sleep cycle. For most people that is about 1 and 1/2 hours long and it takes around 14 minutes for you to fall asleep. And typically a good night's sleep consists of 5-6 sleep cycles. If you go to bed at 9 pm; you should wake up at 4:30 am or 6:00 am to get a good night's rest. 

So think about it...I know I personally try to line this up every night; and there is an awesome calculator that does it for you until you get the hang of it (click here). 

To boot, if you aren't getting enough sleep, then it can make you feel more hungry throughout the day. Livestrong tells us, 
"A lack of sleep causes your body to produce too much of the hormone that triggers hunger, called ghrelin, and too little of the appetite-suppressing hormone, called leptin."
In other words, if you don't get enough sleep you are going to feel more hungry; even if you just ate not too long before the feeling begins. And if you feel hungry (unless you're bored or thirsty ;) ) what do most people do? They eat. And for most typical Americans, usually the quickest most satisfying thing wins.  You can see where I'm going with this. 

So, remember the feeling I had around lunchtime? Not bored ( nah!), not thirsty (says the gallon-jug girl). The only option left?? Severe lack of sleep this week! Definitely I know something I am going to fix right when this work day ends. Taking myself to the house! Or the bed really...

So you definitely want to make sure that you are doing these things. But say you have a routine, or are severely busy during the week. Maybe you start feeling 'off' and just can't place it. You know you aren't sick...But something isn't right and you start to notice little things that are affecting your everyday life. If this happens, start to look at your habits and your routine.

Here are a few things that might mean you need more sleep at night:

  • Simple tasks may seem overwhelming, or you get stressed out easily.
  • You can't seem to remember simple things; maybe what you ate for breakfast...
  • You can't seem to focus on what you are doing
  • You're acting a lot like a 'Debbie-downer or a Negative-Nancy'
  • You're creative juices just aren't there 
  • You want to eat constantly; even after eating only a short time before. (This is definitely a real thing and was part of what prompted this post for me around lunch  )
or maybe...

These are some of the major things related to sleep deprivation, and I wanted to touch on this because of my personal experience; and let me tell you, it is no fun! It is one thing to not get 8 complete hours for one night or two; but something entirely different when you continuously do it to a drastic extent (say 4-5 hours or less) and don't have a recovery period. Like in a work-week for example.

Not only will lack of sleep start to affect your normal performance at work or in your daily activities; but if you are on a fitness program or routine, you may not be seeing the results you want. In order for your body to continuously improve and perform better each day, you have to give enough time for proper recovery. And lack of sleep here will only hinder that goal you are trying to reach. Trust me I have personally seen this happen in my journey. 

Earlier on in my fitness journey I was not seeing the results I wanted. A few things were the culprit, but one thing I was not expecting was my lack of sleep affecting my fitness results. I was and still sometimes only get about 5-6 hours of sleep; which the older I get, the harder it is to recover with this small amount each night. By the end of the week sometimes, I am zonked! And it takes me sleeping in every day of the weekend to recover. Not on an unusually busy week either. 

And you wonder why you look less puffy and healthier after a weekend of rest! So needless to say, I have taken some time off from the gym this week (2 days already) and I am not ashamed about it at all. Deciding to take time off from the gym could be one of the best things I have done this week for both myself mentally and physically. Then after a good night's sleep, it will be back to the grindstone!

And just for kicks, here are a few tips to fall asleep quicker and stay asleep to make sure you get the full rest you need!

  • Get into a routine! Know your routine at night and what you need to have ready for the next day, so there is no guessing when it comes time for bed. And your body likes being in a routine, so when you begin this each night, you will be ready for sleep the more the routine is established. 
  • Listen to your body! Your body will tell you when it is time to wind down at night and go to sleep. Listen and be prepared so you don't feel that "second wind" and are up another few hours before you know it. I know for me, it is obvious when I am ready to go to bed at night; and I hope to get a routine down in the near future so I can hit this time every night. Or maybe start my routine then... 
  • Use your bed for what it's for! K-I-S-S (Keep it simple stupid ;) ) as I have heard a lot before lol. You need to associate your bed with relaxing, so that at night when you climb in your brain is already ahead of you and ready to relax and go to sleep. Don't watch TV, work, text or anything that stimulates your brain while in bed (except for...well you can guess). Your brain will take this stimulation and instead of relaxing, you might be up longer than your body needs to be because of the associated actions. 
  • Don't worry late at night and leave your worries from the day outside of the room. Focus on other things, not complicated worries you may have. Don't try to discuss complicated matters before bed (LADIES- eh-hem!). If you have to, try mental exercises to relax your mind. 
  • Get all that excess energy out! However you have to, whether it's taking a class at night, or going to the gym after work, make sure to do something physical to exhaust that energy you may have that could otherwise keep you up. 
  • Try to relax! Whether this is by deep breathing, stretching, maybe relaxing yoga before bed, or other relaxation techniques, try to relax your mind and your body when it is time to go to sleep. And this brings me to the next tip...
  • Turn off anything that will emit light in your bedroom. The TV, cell phones, or any other electronic device that will emit light, especially the 'blue light' these devices emit, could be wrecking your sleep! Studies have shown that this blue light reduces the production of melatonin, which is the major hormone that controls sleep and wake cycles. 

These and many other things could definitely help at night for getting those ZzZzZz's! I know I have tried a few of these myself and they definitely help! Now if I can just start earlier!

So there's a little bit of healthy living knowledge for your Friday, and a life lesson in there too! Do what is best for your body, and make sure your are taking all necessary steps to allow for proper recovery; especially following or during extra-stressful times in your life (or ladies -sorry fellas- especially during that time of month!). We all go through normal stresses and definitely don't need to make it harder on ourselves.

Do you have problems getting to bed on time or getting enough sleep? What are some things that you personally have done or are doing to help with that process? I would love to hear your answers and will contribute mine below once we get a discussion going :)

Here are my sources if you want a bit of extra info!

And who doesn't love this? (sorry language!)