Hey guys! This has been a crazy year. I moved back to Houston last summer. It was a rocky start, but things have been really good lately. I gained a lot of weight back my first few months here (close to 40 pounds), and I’ve been slowly losing it over the past few months. I’ve also been researching which exercises programs really work for me. I have PCOS, and I am finally starting to realize I need a program that’s specific to PCOS.
I started a 5k program a few months back, and I enjoyed running again. I did lose a small amount of weight, but my progress was really slow. I did my research and discovered I should be lifting weights. I also found doing large amounts of cardiovascular exercise is actually bad for your body, and it ages you faster. At the same time, I watched a friend’s weight loss progress with lifting weights. She also has PCOS, and she lost a lot of weight from weight training a few times a week. I signed up for a months worth of personal training at a powerlifting gym… And I’ve seen huge results over the past 4 weeks! I am more toned, and I’ve lost fat, too. Wahoo!
Now I go to the gym 5 days a week. My gym doesn’t have AC, and I sweat a TON. After all, it’s the summer in Houston! My trainer says the sweating will get all the toxins out of my body, and it’ll be easier to lose fat. As an added benefit, I’ve noticed I have really, really awesome skin now (say good bye to black heads!!).
I haven’t been doing a lot of cardio. My trainer says if you lift most days of the week, your metabolism will stay pretty high and you don’t need a ton of cardio. I do add on a little cardio at the end of my sessions, because my glycogen levels are low, which means I’ll burn off stored fat. I am thinking I will increase the cardio now that I’m used to lifting weights, but I won’t do a ton if lifting keeps working how it is now.
I love Blast 900. I attended classes pretty regularly from mid-November to the end of January, and then I got busy at work (and a few other personal distractions). It was difficult for me attend my regular 6 PM class. I started going back last week– I’m so glad I did! I forgot how great the class is to get a good workout in. Now don’t get me wrong, Blast 900 is a super difficult workout packed into 60 minutes. I actually do burn 900 calories during my classes, but it’s simple because the instructor tells you and shows you what to do. You just do what he or she says, and you’ll get an incredible workout in. The class is also so great for stress. After the class, my mind is clear and focused. I may leave class worn out, but I leave smiling and happy.
The other really cool part of Blast is how much the instructors care about everyone who goes to the class. I’m usually the largest girl in class. I’ll never be the fastest, and I’m pretty sure I have terrible form. But the instructors treat me like everyone else in the class (and I never feel out of place). When I walked in today, Paige welcomed me back without any hestitation. She also called me out during the workout and said, “Kim’s back. We missed you!” How cool is that? I doubt the instructors at LA Fitness will ever know my name– and they certainly won’t remember it!
I was honestly embarrassed by not going for a while, but I left proud I went back.
What keeps you motivated?
P.S. The owner of Blast also commented on my Instagram feed tonight. How extra cool is that? I love it!
Hi everybody! I know I haven’t been around much lately, and for that, I apologize. At the beginning of the year, my work got pretty busy and a few other things in my personal life have kept me from blogging. I haven’t been as dedicated to eating healthy and exercising as I have been, and I’m pretty sure I’ve gained a few pounds. I am disappointed in myself, but I thought I’d be honest since this is real life. I will fail and fall many times before I actually reach my goal. I did food prep today, and I have my exercise planned out for the week– which is good!
So, even though I fell off the horse a little, I’m going to jump right back on. Enjoy the photos of the past few months!
This weekend Tricia and I ran the Livvy’s Love 5k out in Stone Mountain, Georgia. It was neat running a race so close to Stone Mountain, even at a mere 27 degrees. Yes, it was 27 degrees when we ran our race! When I woke up and saw how cold it was outside, I honestly thought of canceling. Then I remembered what the race is all about– giving back to the community after a little girl lost her life in a tragic school bus accident– And I knew I couldn’t cancel. I layered my clothes like crazy and put a smile on my face. My asthma is triggered by the cold, so this was a concern for me during the race. I simply walked when my wheezing and breathing got out of hand. Asthma wasn’t keeping this chick down!
Running the race with Tricia was really fun. She’s a bit faster and has better breathing than I do, but she’d say, “how about we run to next tree” or say, “how about we run again” to get my back from walking faster. She encouraged me to run more at the beginning of the race, but she suggested running at a slower pace so we could walk less and run more (good idea!). By the time we turned around at the half way point, I had warmed up and we sprinted to the finish line. I was so surprised when we ran the race in 35 minutes!! We ran a 11 minute mile! When I ran my last race in October, I was at a 15 minute mile. I was so excited to see how well we did. When I saw the numbers at the finish line, I pushed to finish at top speed.
Before the race began, a local Zumba instructor warmed up the crowd. She also held Zumba classes during and after the race. There was food and a meet and greet after the race. While it was still super cold, I wanted to stay and soak up the amazing atmosphere a little longer. I wanted to feel the energy be around everyone who cares so much about the cause of the Livvy’s Love foundation. I encouraged Trisha, heavily encouraged, Tricia to stay just a little bit longer for the award handouts. To our amazement, they called my name for first place in my age group. Trica won second for her age group! We both thought it was hilarious, because we totally didn’t think we’d win. We called her mom after, and she asked, “Were you the only ones in your age group?” Maybe, but we still won!
I was amazed at how much faster I ran from October– seeing my new pace gave me the confidence to get back outside and run again.
Before the race… So cold!!
Trica receiving her medal from the founders of the Livvy’s Love Foundation. Such amazing people! I can’t wait to run next year!
Tonight my sweet tooth totally got the best of me. I really wanted to eat every flavor of Ben & Jerry’s at my local Kroger, but instead, I created my new favorite dessert, the Blueberry and Banana Delight. You can use regular yogurt if you really do not like Greek yogurt.
Recipe: 3 different Greek yogurt flavors, walnuts, chia seeds, hemp seeds, 1 banana, 1 cup of blueberries, and cool whip.
Instructions: Start with a fruit layer of blueberry and banana, Add a layer of Greek yogurt, Add a small amount of cool whip, Add a second fruit layer, Continue until cup is full, Add cool whip, fruit, nuts & seeds to the top layer.
Jerm’s Herbed Baked Chicken with Honey & Chili Flaked Carrots and Couscous Stuffed Romas
Jeremy sent over these pictures today, and I just had to post them! He doesn’t really cook recipes, but he put together the instructions below.
Boneless skinless chicken breast.
Seasoned both sides with salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and dried herbs (I have a grinder that has a French style).
Preheat oven to 425. I use a non-stick oven pan.
Drizzle with olive oil and set timer for 30 mins (These were fairly thick breasts).
Cut in half 3 roma tomatoes and scooped out the insides with a spoon. Sprinkle a little salt and pepper inside.
The filling was boxed garlic and herb small couscous, but you can sub quinoa if you like. To that I added finely copped green onion, and mixed in low fat wedge cheese (come in a little wheel with a cow on it and is individually packaged).
Slice a little sliver off the bottom of each tomato to make it sit level on the non-stick oven tray. Fill each “cup” with the filling mixture.
Sprinkle with some herbed bread crumbs and drizzle some extra virgin olive oil (evoo).
Cook them with the chicken on 425 for 17 minutes or until brown on top.
Peel some whole carrots (not very large) and cut them in half lengthwise.
Rub with salt, pepper, red chili flake, and evoo.
Cook on medium high heat in a pan until almost tender.
Pour it honey and let caramelize on the outside prior to finishing.
Will you cook Jeremy’s dinner? Guys, impress your lady with this dinner– it’s sure to impress!
Today Jessica and I (finally!!) took the Good Form Running class at Big Peach Running Co. I mentioned wanting to go before I started training for my half marathon, and I really wish I had taken the class before I started running to prevent the shin splints I had at the end of 2013. The class was super informative, and we both learned what we need to work on to be better runners. I learned I was running with a heel strike, and I need to stretch more to loosen up my calf muscles. I also surprised myself that I have more muscle than I think I do and having a weak core is not my issue anymore. By the end of the class, the instructor said I was running with a mid-foot strike. Success!
We went over the four basic principles of proper running form, which are posture, the mid-foot strike, cadence, and lean. I’ve watched video after video after video trying to achieve this running form, but I couldn’t put the skills into practice on my own. For instance, I couldn’t figure out how to get my body to run in with the mid-foot strike. In class, our instructor had us practice marching in place so we could feel how our feet should be hitting the ground. Then we starting running from marching, and we instantly had better running form. He instructed us to practice this move outside of class. A good trick is to march while waiting at a stop light to keep yourself moving and to remind yourself of the proper foot strike. For more information on proper running form, check out the Good Form Running website– I have it book marked!!
Jessica and I go back in two weeks for the second portion of the class. In the second class, we’ll go over proper stretching and core building exercises (which include one legged squats!). I am excited for the second class and to try out my form next weekend at my 5k. The timing on my classes couldn’t have been better.
My friend Jeremy is one of the best cooks I know, and he cooks amazing Southern food. Lately, he’s been getting into shape. I follow, and long for (seriously!), his food on IG and Facebook. He knows I love his food, and he sent me this message of Facebook, “I made this little gem this morning. Turkey bacon, 2 eggs scrambled with fat free cream cheese peppers, onions, and sharp cheddar.”He continued, “And yes. I have decided that you don’t need 2 pieces of bacon or even 3. What I do it take one piece and I chop it up and then I scramble it in with my eggs so you get all the flavor and happiness of the smokey bacon but at much less cost.” It’s a simple one pan meal! I can’t wait to try it this weekend!
For exercise, he plays a lot of golf. It’s important to remember exercise can be about staying active with activities you love. You don’t have to go to a gym and spend hours on a treadmill. Personally, I cannot wait to hiking in North Georgia this summer. I love how Jeremy is getting in shape by cooking simple, yet delicious, meals and keeping exercise simple. He’s going to look great by summer!