Thursday, December 10, 2015

Fitness Friday: Tools for sucess!

It is so encouraging to see progress, even if it is at a glacial pace. My core feels and looks stronger, my arms are starting to have definition, my legs are visibly leaner and more defined and clothing that has been collecting dust in the recesses of my closet for the past year and half, finally fit me again.
For this addition of "Fitness Friday" I thought I would share a few of the things that are helping me loose weight and build muscle.
1. Using tools that set me up for success
My digital food scale and a set of good measuring cups not only help me eat appropriate serving sizes but also helps me keep track of my macronutrients, micronutrients and calories. Right now I am using my fitbit app to keep track of caloric consumption but in the past I have used sparkpeople, which I also loved. The one thing I loved about spark people was how you could customize your nutritional goals. You can track everything from  how much iron you are ingesting to healthy fats. It lets you know what your diet is deficient in and what you are consuming too much of.  Right now I am I using the fit bit dashboard app to track my caloric intake since I purchased a fit bit charge this summer. I love how it keeps track of how many steps I have taken, my heart rate, stairs climbed, and calories I have burned throughout the day. Having good music to work out to makes a huge difference and lately I have been enjoying making playlists with spotify. I have already expounded on benefits of a supportive sports bra. I absolutely love working out at my women's only gym. Being around other strong women and seeing them challenge themselves is so inspiring. On those days when I cannot get to the gym, I appreciate having workout videos that I can pop into my computer or DVD player. Lately I have been using the insanity series and 30 day shred by Jillian Michaels. A few other simple tools that I find helpful is a decent yoga mat, water bottle and a workout calendar to keep track of what I am doing.
3. Being Consistent
I am trying to work out at least five days a week.  I have been using weight lifting plans from At the moment I am using
Jamie Eason's 12-Week Transformation Plan.  I have enjoyed trying out new machines and pushing myself to lift more than I thought I could. I am learning that if you want to see results you HAVE to lift heavy weights. You HAVE to push yourself. This is an example of one of the sheets that you can print out off the sites. Notice that I am not doing crazy reps, but I am lifting a decent amount of weight. I know that it does not sounds like much to those of you that have been weight lifting for some time, but I was proud of myself when I put two 45lb plates on a bar that already weighs 45 lbs and then did 30 wide stance barbell squats. Whi hooo! By the end of the month I know that I will be challenging myself to lift even more.
In the past I was only able to do 2-3 push-ups at a time. Now I can easily do 15 push-ups in a row and I am working towards doing 100 over the course of the day. I am DETERMINED to build enough upper body strength  to do chin ups.
4. Motivating/Inspiring myself
regularly filling my "fitness" pinterest page with inspiring quotes and images that inspire and challenge me.

A couple of months ago I watched this video about a woman's journey to fitness and it moved me to tears.

5. Keeping my fridge and pantry stocked with healthy, nutritious food.
I am TERRIBLE at meal planning but I am good at keeping my fridge full of healthy options. These days I eat a lot of  oatmeal, whole-wheat English muffins, berries, steamed veggies, yams, squashes, yogurt, seeds, nuts, peanut butter, coconut oil, avocado, peppers, venison, fish, quinoa, kale, salads with homemade dressing and eggs. Once and awhile I have a Vega One bar or a protein shake when I am pressed for time but I prefer real food.  
I try and eat every three hours and try REALLY hard not to eat after 8pm. It helps when I make a big mason jar of tea and keep my hands busy. TV= snacking (at least for me). If I am organizing, crafting, painting, or visiting, I am less likely to consume unnecessary calories. I absolutely indulge in a little chocolate every day and at least once a week I enjoy a delicious waffle breakfast with my kiddos and a meal out with my husband. I LOOOVE food! Food equals pleasure but I am learning to eat to live not live to eat.



No crazy diets, pills, or starvation methods here. It's simple - burn more calories than you consume and use resistance training to build muscle and burn fat.

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