Blasting Away

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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!

 

I won my first race!

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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.

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Before the race… So cold!!


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

Food Preppin’

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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!!).

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Happy New Year

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foodprep988I wanted to write a super awesome New Years post about my resolutions and goals this year, but that’ll have to come later. I’m pretty tuckered out from all the New Year festivities. Above you can see a then and now picture from Thanksgiving, and you can see some of my progress. Especially now, I am definitely seeing progress. Yesterday I went clothes shopping, and I had to put back all the size extra large and large shirts. I had to buy mediums! When I started my journey, I was a size 1XL! I was plus size, and now I’m a medium. It doesn’t seem real yet, I’m super excited to keep up the exercise and food prep and see my results throughout the year.

Slim by summer! <— That’s my resolution/goal!!

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And to not take life so seriously. 

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My food preps have gotten pretty good, huh? Happy New Year! Stay dedicated!

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

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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!

“If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!” ― Benjamin Franklin (Food prep every week!)

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My weight loss habits are starting to truly become habits. Working out and eating healthy have become normal parts of my life. I went to my Blast 900 class three times last week, and I worked out once with my trainer, Cecilia. That’s a lot of weight training and cardio! After my circuit training class at Blast 900 on Saturday, I was so worn out! It was a good worn out, though. I am consistently eating better and keeping up with food prep, as well. I feel like I’ve gotten the basics down, and I am starting to learn about how the body burns fat. I am starting to learn what food actually does to your body when it breaks down in the digestive process. I am starting to form my own opinions on what is healthy and what is not healthy, instead of simply mimicking my peers.

Also, everyday things that were difficult before are becoming easier. For example, before I started working out, if I tried to put on a sock or shoe by balancing on one foot, I’d wobble all over the place. If I carried in a ton of groceries all at once, they’d be super heavy. I don’t notice these things anymore. I am started to get stronger, and I am starting to become a little coordinated.

Progress, folks. I’m seeing progress.

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Put the Lime in the Coconut

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“Coconut oil provides additional benefits. It strengthens the immune system and promotes optimal development of the brain and nervous system. It protects against cancer and heart disease, and promotes healthy bones. Finally, coconut oil seems to be the best fat for ensuring the proper uptake of omega-3 fatty acids into the tissues.”

– Weston A Price Foundation

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When I arrived home tonight from my Blast class, Liz sent me a Facebook message telling me about oil pulling. She’s been oil pulling, and she’s barely been sick this year (which is a big thing for her since she’s sick a lot). This was music to my ears, because  I went to my first Blast class since being sick tonight. My legs were still sore from my trainer on Saturday, but I couldn’t run at the speeds I could a few weeks ago from my endurance going back down from being sick. I also could barely lift the 5 pound weights when I could do the 10 and 12 pound weights before. I’m going to have to build my endurance back up… Again. Again!!! I really don’t want to keep getting sick once a month. I quickly read up on oil pulling, and I ran across the street to get some organic coconut oil. I didn’t even think twice about it! I’d do pretty much anything at this point to keep from getting sick. Yes… Even that!

I’m curious to know what you thought that is… Moving on.

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In a nut shell, oil pulling is swooshing a little bit of coconut oil in your mouth for 15 to 20 minutes everyday. It helps with your dental hygiene and helps remove toxins from your body. Oil pulling helps asthma, diabetes, arthritis, eczema, migraine headaches, and many other chronic illnesses (and I have asthma and eczema). It also prevents common colds, and it’s super easy to do! I will admit it was odd at first, but I did my swooshing while I did my extra stretches after Blast class. I am going to try to do this everyday in the shower. With my neti pot routine and this new oil pulling routine, I hope, hope, hope, pray, pray, pray, and beggggggg, I don’t get sick anytime soon.

I also food prepped yesterday. The turkey meat balls were fantastic today!!

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Feeling Thankful

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Jessica is right. It is important for athletes and runners to see the crowd cheering them on during a big race. It is also important for me to be able to cheer on others who I look up to for their strengths and abilities. Therefore, I am going to cheer Jessica and Christina on at the finish line at the Atlanta Half Marathon on Thanksgiving Day. They were also so patient with me while I was starting out, and I am very thankful for their kind words during my time of struggle. I hope my cheers help them just a little bit to finish the race on their big day. I also hope the other runners are happy to see the big crowds, too. I made a Thanksgiving themed sign. 🙂

Happy Thanksgiving everyone. Please remember what’s important during this time of year– tell everyone you care about you love them and appreciate them– and do your part in inspiring others, as well!

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Having a blast!

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This week I finally tried the Blast 900 class my friend kept telling me about, and it’s hard as hell! The Blast 900 website describes the class best, “BLAST900 is a fat shredding, muscle toning, personalized group exercise class in which people of every fitness level alternate between cardio on a treadmill and strength training on the floor, each working at their own pace to reach THEIR maximum effort. Our specific formula for creating our class structure is what guarantees each client THE ULTIMATE WORKOUT and will forever change how you look, feel and perform.” Everyone is supposed to burn 900 calories by the end of the class, and I believe it! The picture above is immediately after my first class. I was completely covered in sweat! By my third class, I was able to run at the 7 speed on the treadmill (which I’ve never done), and I was able to walk at the 21 incline setting. The weights are intense, too. There’s absolutely no way I won’t get into shape (score!) if I continue with this class. It’s super intense with non-stop movement for a hour. After my third class, I could really feel the muscle soreness. I’ve been tired since yesterday morning!

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I also bought a Fitbit Flex this week. It’s the neatest little device, and it’s awesome to see how sedentary I am during a workday. I saw how few steps I take on a normal day without working out, and it’s actually really crazy how little I move around. The Fitbit also tracks my calories, sleep, water, food intake, and I can track my friend’s progress, too. It’s really neat! I’m looking forward to tracking my progress throughout the next couple of months.

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Food-wise this past week, I did pretty good. I had a lot of protein shakes, protein, veggies, and fruits. Eating healthy is getting easier, but I am not perfect. I am starting to see results. I took a picture (below), and I was surprised to see I am slimming down. I guess there’s a part of me that still doesn’t believe all of this will work, but it’s starting to show. I’m glad I don’t have to cut my calories super low to lose weight, because I do enjoy food too much to do a super low calorie diet. It may take me a while longer to lose weight, but I am proud of doing it the healthy way. textScreen Shot 2013-11-17 at 6.41.42 PM

“Autumn… the year’s last, loveliest smile.” ― William Cullen Bryant

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The past couple of weeks have been a wirlwind! We had Halloween, my birthday (had a great friend breakfast and went to the World of Coke), a trip to Houston, and work has been crazy! I’ve been on IG a lot, because it’s faster, but I’ve missed posting here. I did crossfit in Houston with my friend, Barbara. I had a great time, and I really enjoyed the group aspect of the work out. I’ve also been working out with my trainer, and we went hiking at Kennesaw Mountain today. I had a blast, and it was a total workout! I’ve been working on my diet (trying to cut out sugar, especially).

I need to start working on my cardio routine again, though. I need to find a routine that works for me, but it’s all a work in progress. I’m trying to decide if I want to try crossfit or do this Blast 900 class which combines cardio and weights with interval training. Or I keep going to the gym on my own. I’m hoping I pick one soon!

I am trying to say no to all the extra holiday treats. This is a tough time of year to try to be healthy! I’m going to keep trying, though. It’s tough to say no to all the wonderful cookies the venders keep sending. Not going to lie. 😉

Here’s a ton of pictures of my workouts, hikes, food prep, and a few fun ones!

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