Friday, July 25, 2014

Clean Eating Check-In & Leg/Glute Workout

So today is Friday and it is my 5th day of my strict clean eating plan. I am actually pretty dang proud of myself because I've kept with it. Day 1 was great...I felt great, it wasn't hard at all to keep to my plan. Admittedly though, Days 2 and 3 are when the cravings started to hit...mostly for red wine - ha! But I fought through and came out on top. And as of this morning, I'm down FIVE POUNDS since Monday! I can hardly believe it. I will note that since I'm carrying postpartum weight, it is natural for my body to lose faster right now than if I were at my normal weight, but it still feels good.

I made another round of veggies last night. This time I mixed asparagus, zucchini and yellow squash.

Instead of using the oven {I was out of tin foil}, I steamed them on the stove top. I put a few tablespoons of olive oil in the pan, threw in the veggies and added about a 1/2 tsp each of sea salt and black pepper. I simmered them for 20-30 min over medium-low heat.

Today, I plan on getting some more chicken grilled and baking more sweet potatoes.

I do have a concert to go to tonight with my I'm strongly debating letting myself have a glass of red wine...I haven't decided yet if I'm going to allow myself. On one hand, I've been so good and I deserve it, and it's not like I'm yet training hardcore for the bikini competition, but on the other hand, do I want to derail myself? Would it derail me? I don't know...let me know your thoughts and help me decide!

I did my leg day at the gym on Wednesday. It was a great workout and I'm surely feeling it today. Here it is if you want to try it for yourself or tweak it to your liking.

Interval Cardio on Treadmill
3-5 min warmup jog
1 min sprint at about 80% exertion
2 min fast walk/jog
Repeat 4-5 times

Back Extensions/Leg Lifts on Roman Chair
3 sets of 15 reps for each exercise, rest 30 seconds between sets. Be sure to go right from back extension to leg lift to make it a superset. I also cradled a 10 lb plate on the back extensions. You can do none, same or more as your level allows.

Step Ups/Dumbbell Squats
3 sets of 15 reps for each exercise, rest 30 seconds between sets. Be sure to go right from step ups to dumbbell squats to make it a superset. I used 2-10 lb dumbbells for the squats.

Stability Ball Leg Curls/Bridges
3 sets of 15 for the leg curls and 3 sets 25 for the bridges, rest 30 seconds between sets. Be sure to go right from leg curls to bridges to make it a superset.

Leg Press
3 sets of 12 reps at a weight that makes it impossible to do more than 12 reps. Rest 30 seconds between sets.

Have a great weekend!

signature - gym bunny photo signatureforposts.jpg

Monday, July 21, 2014

Meal Preparation 101

Hope y'all had a wonderful weekend! I felt like ours was rushed and busy, but I suppose that's how it's going to be for a mother of two boisterous boys and a newborn baby girl.

I did make sure to spend Sunday going to the grocery store for my clean foods and then prepping and storing my meals for the week. My husband is wanting to drop a few lbs too, so I made some extra so he would have some lunches for work this week.

Basically, I baked some chicken breasts and then chopped them into bite size pieces and stored them in 4 oz portions. I roasted some vegetables with olive oil, sea salt and black pepper and stored those in portions of around a cup each. I hard-boiled a lot of eggs since my meal plan involves a lot of egg whites. I also bought an extra case of eggs so we could still scramble, over-easy, etc. And finally, I baked some sweet potatoes and stored them in approx. 3 oz portions.

This is butternut squash, yellow squash and grape tomatoes. I first put them in a bowl and tossed with 2 tbsp EVOO, then spread them on my tin-foiled pan {also coated the tin foil with a little olive oil}, sprinkled some sea salt and black pepper over them and then roasted them on the top rack of the oven for 30 min at 375.

This is asparagus, zucchini and grape tomatoes. I did the same with these as I did with the squash mix and they also roasted for 30 min at 375.

Our veggie portions all nicely stacked in the refrigerator! They were later joined by the chicken and sweet potatoes. Oh, and don't worry, this picture made me realize the green lid wasn't shut tight, so now it is!

I am very excited to start this journey of eating clean and training dirty {hee hee} to accomplish my goals. Something feels very different about my efforts this time...I feel extremely motivated, more so than I ever have in the past, and I'm a pretty motivated girl. My sight is set on my first goal of getting the last of this pregnancy weight GONE and regaining some muscle tone along the way. I've been able to get back to the gym more now as well, and will be able to fully commit to a gym schedule in just a little over a week once Farrah is old enough for the childcare there. When I can't get to the gym, I am making sure to get a great workout in at home, whether that's Insanity, a good stroll with the kids or some weight training with the equipment I have. Oh, and on Saturday, I had my last bit of alcohol for a while. I really want to see some great results with this new eating plan and I know that cutting out alcohol is going to make a huge difference. I'm not sure how long I will cut the alcohol for now, but I want to at least get a good month in, and then maybe have it back in moderation. Of course, when training for the NPC Bikini competition next year, alcohol will be nixed completely.

Be sure to stop back in this week as I share my weight training routines!

signature - gym bunny photo signatureforposts.jpg

Friday, July 18, 2014

The Plan - Losing The Pregnancy Weight

If you read my post from yesterday, you know that I have three goals to attain in the next year.

#1...Drop the last of the baby weight and get back in my pre-prego clothes.

#2...Train for and run my first half marathon {aiming for the Charleston Half Marathon in January 2015}.

#3...Compete in an NPC Bikini Competition

So first comes first, taking off this last 25-30 lbs of pregnancy weight. I'd like to reach this goal by or before the end of this year. In reading a lot about NPC Bikini Competition training diets, I've decided that the best thing to do is for me to eat very clean, as if I am already training for competition. I'm essentially working toward this goal anyway, so it never hurts to get started early. I've got a good bit of weight to lose and this is going to be what makes the most difference.

Here is how I will ensure a clean diet each week:

On Sundays and likely Wednesdays too, I will prepare many of my meals for the week. Mostly getting the chicken grilled and cut up into 4 oz. portions {I will have three 4 oz portions per day} and getting the veggies roasted and separated into portions for throwing on top of fresh greens such as spinach and kale, along with the chicken to make salads. Here is a sample day of the diet I am putting myself on to give you an idea:

Morning: 500–1,000 mg fish oil and a multivitamin/mineral
Meal 1: 4 egg whites, 1⁄3 cup steel cut oats topped with blueberries
Meal 2: Protein shake with: 1⁄2 avocado, 15 g of protein powder, 1⁄3 cup blueberries and 1 cup kale and cinnamon to taste
Meal 3: 4 oz chicken with 2 cups leafy green vegetables
Meal 4: 1⁄4 cup nuts
Meal 5: 4 oz chicken or tilapia with 2 cups green vegetables (your choice)
Meal 6: 4 egg whites (at least 30 minutes before bed) or protein shake

Take 500–1,000 mg of fish oil and multi-vitamin/mineral 12 hours after first dose
Drink 5–6 liters of water per day
Avoid alcohol
Avoid table salt, but some sea salt is OK, but use sparingly (using spices is OK)
Avoid sugar

It seems extreme, but I no longer want to waste time in losing the rest of this weight. Right now it is what is stopping me from getting where I want to be fitness-wise, so I want to 100% dedicate myself to this. Meal preparation is highly needed for success.

My workouts will consist of 30-45 min of cardio each morning, i.e. a run in the neighborhood. I will work one or two muscle groups per day with strength training in the gym or at home and do some HIIT each day for 20-30 minutes, i.e. a T25 or Insanity workout. I will rest one day a week, or do some hot yoga that day {Sundays}.

This is very similar to what training for the bikini competition will be like, so it will be good to get my feet wet and get a real dose of what it will be like. I can be a tad more lax in this phase of my goals than I can be once I begin officially training in January, but it's definitely not lax in comparison to what I'm doing now, so I know I'll see results if I keep with it...and I fully intend to.

As of this morning, these are my stats:

Weight: 173 lb {Height 5'7"}
R & L Bicep {unflexed}: 11.25"
L Thigh: 22.5"
R Thigh: 21.5"
Waist: 33"
Hips: 40.5"

Wish me luck in this phase, I will keep you posted on progress!

signature - gym bunny photo signatureforposts.jpg

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

The Revival of The Gym Bunny

I figure it's time I revived this blog. I sort of fell away from it mid-pregnancy. I'll be honest, I wasn't feeling particularly Gym Bunny-like during pregnancy, so blogging about fitness just didn't feel right. I'm weird, I know. But I gained more with this past pregnancy than I did with my first two. I gave birth to a gorgeous baby girl we named Farrah Madison, so every lb was worth it, but it is very hard to accept post-pregnancy. I am now about 10 weeks postpartum and still looking at 25-30 lbs to go until I am back to my pre-pregnancy weight. No, don't check your eyes, that's right, I said 25-30 lbs. Yeah, what you are supposed to gain in pregnancy. I went beyond that number by 20-25 lbs. So the good news is I've lost 25 lbs or so in about 10 weeks, but I still have a daunting task ahead of me. I know myself well enough to know that I WILL lose it all, but this summer has definitely been a downer...all I want to do is cover up!

That being said, I'm trying to keep my spirits {and motivation} high...because if I depress myself, I'll only end up procrastinating on working to lose this weight. In the past 10 weeks, I've done many 2-3 mile walks with my son, Breckin and baby well as trekked over the Cooper River Bridge a couple times a week {quite the incline, especially when pushing a stroller!}

 I've been doing a hybrid of T25 and Insanity. I've been going to the gym {albeit not as much as I'd like since I have to wait until Farrah is 12 weeks to take advantage of the childcare}. It's been challenging to fit it all in while being at home with my 8-year-old son, Tanner, my almost 4-year-old son, Breckin and a newborn...but it's important to me, so I have to make it happen.

I have a few goals that I've made for myself over the next few months...and a plan to achieve them.

#1...First and foremost, drop the last of the baby weight and get back in my pre-prego clothes. Once I reach this milestone, I can fully dedicate myself to my other goals, but working toward my other goals is what is going to help me lose that weight, if that makes sense.

#2...Train for and run my first half marathon {aiming for the Charleston Half Marathon in January 2015}. I will begin a better running schedule once my oldest goes back to school mid-August {leaving me more opportunity to fit it in} just to work on getting my feet wet in running again. I will do a few 5Ks. I plan on starting a half marathon training program about 16 weeks out from the race {around October}.

And now, this next one is a big one. But I wholeheartedly believe I can achieve it if I really put my mind to it and have my support system {family and friends} to help me through...

#3...Compete in an NPC Bikini Competition. The schedule of shows for 2015 has yet to be posted, but I'm thinking somewhere around June/July is when I would like to do a show. In January, I will decide what show I am going to work toward. I will choose one close to Charleston. This will take a lot of hard work in the gym {we're talking 5-6 days a week at around an hour and a half each time} and a very strict eating plan. But I really want this. I chose bikini because it is the most feminine of the categories to compete in. I will have to be 8-12% body fat. I know if I put my mind to it {and my glass of wine down for a while} I can do it. I plan on charting my progress on this blog, so I hope y'all will follow along and support me in my journey. I just let my husband know that I was going to strive for this goal and he is behind me 100%. So hopefully by this time next year, I will look more like this:


It seems unbelievable, but so many women have done it.

Anyway, that's all for now...stay tuned as I keep you up to date on my postpartum weightloss progress.

signature - gym bunny photo signatureforposts.jpg