I’m Back! You missed me!

0

Kim2015A

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.

… And guess what? I’m getting super strong!!

Advertisements

Blasting Away

0

blast900

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!

 

March Madness

6

spring

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!

yummylunch Yummyfood Yummydessert yummybreakfast yumm withcec Walkingsophie sogood runnike piedmontpark2 Piedmontpark Jessandme homeworkout foodprepmarch foodpreplunch foodprep breakfast blast

I won my first race!

3

LIVVYSLOVE12

My shiny new medal!

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.

livvyslove

Before the race… So cold!!


livvy

Trica¬†receiving¬†her medal from the founders of the Livvy’s Love Foundation. Such amazing people! I can’t wait to run next year!

Jerm’s Herbed Baked Chicken with a Side of Heaven

5

jerm1

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.

Chicken

  • 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).

Tomatoes

  • 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.

Carrots 

  • 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.

And done!

jerm

Will you cook Jeremy’s dinner? Guys, impress your lady with this dinner– it’s sure to impress!

Running Start

4

RUNNERS

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.

Here’s to my running start on 2014!

… And my fantastic lunch today!

lunch

Hot Off the Press

2

I’ll keep this short and sweet– my resolution this year is to not take life so seriously– and my goals are below! What do you think?

2014 GOALS

1. Become a certified nutritionist

2. Become a certified personal trainer

3. Teach a fitness class

4. Release a recipe e-book

5. Reach my ideal weight

Jeremy’s One Pan Meal (Breakfast!)

0

jermmealMy 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!

Food Preppin’

2

foodprepfoodprep1I am finding success in losing weight, because I am food prepping. Food prep makes eating right with a busy schedule easier. I no longer have to worry about cooking everyday, and I don’t feel the need to race by a fast food joint on the way home from work anymore, either. Plus, I know my body is getting a bunch of nutrients everyday.

I food prep on Sundays, and put my Sunday to Wednesday food containers in the fridge. I put Thursday and Friday in the freezer to stay fresh. Other food preppers keep Thursday and Friday in the fridge and do not freeze any of their meals. As long as you don’t put fish or seafood into those meals, it should last and not make you sick. It doesn’t taste as fresh, though. I’d rather freeze and defrost than eat weird tasting food. Others do two mini food preps throughout the week, and this allows them to food prep for their weekends, as well. Do what works for you!

I use cheap containers from my local grocery store that have built in dividers for snacks. I’ve also used mason jars. A friend of mine just bought fancy containers from the Container Store. I’d really think about what kind of food you’ll be making, and if you’ll truly use the containers you buy for those foods. If you know you’ll be cooking stew in a crock pot, than make sure your containers will hold stew and are leak proof.

A lot of my “recipes” are not really recipes. I try to keep it simple with protein, carbs (which include fruits/veggies), and good fats at every meal. Many of my meals consist of a similar blueprint: a bed of fresh baby spinach or cooked spinach, a little quinoa or brown rice, with a protein on top. For sides, I’ll add on an extra veggie or fat (like mashed squash and olives or broccoli and hummus), and very rarely, I’ll have berries for fruit. For snacks during the day, I’ll have a banana, an apple with almond butter, or an avocado. So, a meal I commonly have is a bed of fresh spinach, a little quinoa, and half a piece of chicken breast with mashed squash and hummus on the side. Another meal idea is to have the exact same meal but with a meatloaf muffin as the main protein. If I am really low on time, I’ll buy a cooked chicken and cut it into pieces and throw it in with some mixed rice or quinoa. Or I’ll mix a cooked chicken, cooked spinach, and sun dried tomatoes with a couple sides. I throw some seasoning on it, and I have a meal. Simple! I usually cook one or two actual recipes a week to throw in some yummy food. I do give myself different side options and a few different protein options to keep it from getting it so boring every week.

The hardest part is cooking everything at once (which is why simple recipes are key!). I typically bake first. While everything is baking, I have every burner going and I cook everything really fast. Sometimes I’ll use the microwave for veggies, and I’ll cook soup in the crock pot. You’re going to literally be cooking a bunch of stuff at once. It’s stressful. It ain’t pretty– your kitchen is going to look like hell when you’re done. But you’ll get better at it, and after a few weeks you’ll be a pro.

One other thing I do is read a lot of about food prep and healthy recipes. If I am not working or exercising, or writing in this blog, I’m probably reading up on something health/fitness related. Here are a couple articles on food prepping. I learned a lot from them!¬†The Lean Green Bean¬†and¬†Ripped Recipes.

And here’s me after working out with my trainer this weekend (in the cold!!).

me

“The difference between a goal and a dream is a deadline.” ‚Äď Stephen Smith

0

followyourdreams

It’s winter. It’s cold. Do not let the bad weather stop you. Pick a race, set a goal, and go for it. Setting goals turns dreams into reality. One of my favorite quotes is, “dream as if you’ll live forever, live as if you’ll die tomorrow.” Setting goals is the second part of this quote. By setting goals, you’re living like you may not get another chance to make your dreams come true. I’m taking my own advice. On January 18th, I am running a 5k with my friend Tricia. I am finally getting back to running outside. I’ve been working out a ton, but running outside still gives me anxiety (and I’ve been avoiding it). I’ve set a goal, though, and I am going to kill the 5k! I’ve always dreamed of being a runner, and I don’t care if it takes me a million tries, I am going to be a runner. So, I ran outside at the park today with Sophie, and I did surprisingly well. It’s all mental, people!

Along these same lines, I’ve wanted to write a blog for the past couple weeks about the anxiety and shame overweight people have when they first start working out. I said to myself too many times to count that I’d join a gym once I lost enough weight to not be the fat lady at the gym. I know I am not alone on this, either. I also always wanted to grab some shoes and run on the sidewalk, but I didn’t want others to see my belly bounce or see my terrible form. Worst yet, I didn’t want them to look at me a think, “look at her trying to be thin, she’ll never lose weight” and laugh out-loud at me. I didn’t want people to know if I failed. I’m telling you, I had these thoughts daily as I ate Taco Bell secretly in my car at night. I’d think this would be my last fast food meal, and I’d start working out soon. Then all the anxieties and images of super fit and “perfect” people at the gym pointing and staring and actually coming up to me and saying I’m too fat to be at the gym. My fears were really, really detailed! Sometimes I’d cry and sometimes the Taco Bell was comforting. I’d go back home and go back to Taco Bell the very next day.

I remember when I first started running with Jessica (who is very slim but works out a ton) at LA Fitness. I was done with my run, and she was going to run a little longer. She told me to stretch. There was another row of treadmills behind us packed with people (all really in shape people). She kept looking back and telling me to stretch. I just stood there paralyzed. I didn’t want the people to see me try to touch my toes and stretch, and I didn’t want to admit to her I was too embarrassed to stretch in front of others. Finally, she finished up and we stretched off to the side.

I was surprised when I read¬†Fit to Fat to Fit, because it’s about a male trainer who purposely gained weight to understand his clients better and to show them weight loss is possible. He went from super confident to experiencing some of the same fears of judgement and social anxiety I’ve experienced since gaining weight. He stood in front of his closet trying on clothes over and over to find something that made him look less fat. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been late to hang out with friends, because I’ve tried on twenty shirts to find out that hides my back fat roll (which I no longer have!!) and my stomach bulge. I’ve actually canceled many, many times with friends at the last minute, because I couldn’t bare the thought of being the fat chick at a bar or swanky restaurant. To all my friends, I apologize. I’m surprised ya’ll stuck around with how many times I’ve shown up late or not at all.

Being heavy consumed me. It took over my life. I couldn’t get up from my desk at work without thinking about looking fat in front of my coworkers. I could go on and on and on. I never changed, though, because I had irrational fears of active people rejecting me. The funny this is, now that I work out at the gym and in a challenging group exercise class, I know my fears couldn’t be further from the truth. At my group workout class, Blast 900, so many of my classmates have come up to me after class to tell me good job. They’ll comment and say it’s great I’ve made it to so many classes. If my form is bad, they’ll stop to show me lift the weights the right way. In the gym, no one has ever looked at me weird or said anything mean. My fears were all in my head. Furthermore, I now know a lot of active people are really positive people. They’re excited you’re getting healthy, because they’re passionate about health. They want everyone to be healthy! They’re proud of you for trying to get into shape.

And you know what, if I ever do run into the one negative person who does say something about my weight, I don’t care what they have to say about me or my form or my fat rolls or anything else for that matter. I’m out there trying. I’m out there trying to be better. That’s what matters. You’re out there trying. You’re out there trying to be better. That’s what matters. Please don’t allow yourself to be trapped in the same cycle I was stuck in for years. It’s such a debilitating¬†state to live in– just step into a gym or go for a run outside– you’ll be glad you did.

It’s all mental, people!

P.S. Check out this kickass kickboxing class you can do with dumballs or just your arms at home. I loved it!