Fitness Friday: Regimen Revised and Updates

Greetings guys! It has been a while since I have done a #FitnessFriday post! Now I am back with the jump off!

Sooooooo … about a month ago I shared my fitness regimen. I thought I was doing very well … until I met with a personal trainer 4 weeks ago and he told me that it was way too much cardio and not enough strength training. I thought I gave adequate attention to weights, but he begged to differ. Secretly, I kind of agreed. Even though I was taking bootcamp 3xs a week, I was noticing that not a lot of weight (pun intended) was given to strength training, but more like conditioning, where you use light weights and pump out the moves as fast as you can. During the personal training session, he noticed that I was trying to speed through some of the exercises with the weights (as we are told to do in bootcamp) and he told me to slow down and really focus on what I was doing. It was that moment when I realized that I was not getting the weight training I needed and decided to follow my advice to you all and re-visit The Female Body Breakthrough: The Revolutionary Strength-Training Plan for Losing Fat and Getting the Body You Want by Rachel Cosgrove. I also picked up another book, The Rules of Lifting for Women: Lift Like a Man, Look Like a Goddess by Lou Schuler and programs designed by Alwyn Cosgrove, Rachel’s husband.

I noticed a few things while reading these books … I was not lifting heavy enough weights, I was not getting enough protein in my diet and I was doing too much cardio (gasps! Isn’t that what we are told to do?) I am following Rachel’s lifting plan, as I found Lou’s a bit hard to follow and a lot of the exercises are the same since of the close relationship between the books’ authors. I started last week and it forbade me to do any cardio (that means machines, kickboxing, bootcamps, etc.) and just focus on weights 3xs for the first 2 weeks, which I did. It was sooooooo hard because I am not used to working out and not being drenched in sweat (but trust me, I got sweaty!) I almost felt like I was cheating! I am currently in week 2 of the program and tomorrow (3/24), starts Week 3, where I can throw in some 2-3 days of cardio/conditioning.

So do I notice anything different in 1.5 weeks of lifting? YES! MY GOODNESS! I think my metabolism is just revving up, because I have been noticing that I get hungry every few hours … and it is a different hunger. It almost burns (I call it “Hunger Flames”) and it just sneaks up on you with a sense of urgency. I was in the shower Sunday and had to hurry up and get out because I felt faint! I notice that I crave more meat and protein, as that is what keeps me full!! Bodywise, I have noticed my arms look a bit firmer, but that is about it. I think that Week 3 and beyond is where you really start to see results. I will be taking some photos and posting them next week.

On my next Fitness Friday post, I will also have my goals and current measurements. This is the metric that I choose to use to gauge progress because I do not rock with the scale. Here is an article that I loved back in the day about why the scale lies. Also, in the books I just mentioned, they frame it as losing fat, not weight. Losing muscle is nothing to cheer about!

Here is my revised Fitness Regimen. Just like a hair regimen, we have to make changes from time to time, depending on what is going on and what our bodies need.

* denotes change in regimen

Sunday – Yoga

*Monday – Instead of weights and kickboxing, I am doing only weights due to the intensity of the workouts. Honestly, kickboxing class got boring right fast because the instructor does the same moves.

Tuesday – Bootcamp

Wednesday – Yoga

*Thursday – Weights … for the time being, I am not attending bootcamp class at my job so that I can focus on weights

*Friday – Weights

Saturday – Bootcamp

Now it would not be right if I didn’t leave you with a Lululemon Workout Outift of the Day!

This was me after yoga class on Wednesday, goofing around! I am wearing a Push Ur Limits tank and Roll Out Crops. I was wearing these colors to represent my second favorite ACC team, Duke, but it wasn’t enough. Both NC State and Duke were eliminated in the NCAA last week. Boo!! Thanks to my friend, Tracie, for snapping these photos!

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Wash Day: When keepin’ it real goes wrong …

Wow! I am overdue for a hair post! Here’s a quickie! Things have been so busy lately and I have just neglected my poor blog (which I am known to do from time to time!) I must confess that I drove 4.5 hours one way this weekend to the Lululemon outlet halfway between Seattle and Canada! It was totally worth it and I will do it again every three months!! When they heard that I started driving at 4:45am to get to the store at opening, they treated me like a queen! Anything I needed, they got me! A lovely lady even price matched a jacket for me … knocking $30 of the price just because I drove so far!

Enough of the Lululemon talk! Ok! So here is last week’s Wash Day at the gym. I pre-pooed with coconut oil, conditioner and safflower oil for 7 minutes in the steam room. For some reason, I just wasn’t feeling the 110 degrees last week! I washed as normal and conditioned in the shower. I deep conditioned with L’Oreal Total Repair 5 Damage Erase balm and sat in the steam room for 5 minutes. I will definitely sit longer next time and bring a turban. It was so hot in there, I thought my hair would disintegrate since I had it down! I detangled and headed home to apply my leave-ins.

When I got home, I rewetted my hair and applied my normal leave-ins and decided to let my hair really air dry instead of doing the faux air dry method.

Boy, did I  get some different results! My hair felt a lot thicker, but that is because my hair shrank up more from air drying that it does when I sit under the dryer! Also, my hair had about 10 different textures going on, as you can see in the close up! Some hair was shriveled up, while some hung loser. It made me look like I had a chewed up hairline! I immediately thought about the Dave Chappelle skit “When keepin’ it real goes wrong!”

HAHAHAH! Well, I wore it in a ponytail and bun this past week anyways, so it is all good! Here are a few of the photos that I captured!

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Fitness Friday: Worksite Wellness

Greetings guys (on Sunday!) I wanted to have this week’s fitness post focused on worksite wellness.

I work for the state government here in Oregon, specifically the Oregon Health Authority (OHA). OHA is comprised mostly of people with Master of Public Health (MPH) degrees, nutritionists, doctors, environmentalists, epidemiologists and so on. We work to improve health outcomes of Oregonians, including ourselves!

I am very fortunate to work with the OHA. There are tons of worksite wellness perks that come along with the job. As I previously mentioned, we have a gym on my floor where I can do weights, cardio or use the AV system for videos. Everyday, they offer group fitness classes such as yoga, strength training and bootcamp! There are also Nia and Tai Chi classes (I do not take those). Membership is $4 a month with classes costing $5 per.

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Our building is 11 floors and there are signs everywhere to encourage us to take the stairs. A few years ago, they placed handy signs on each level of the stairwell, telling us things like “Fight Fat. Frequent these flights!” They also put a call out for artists to paint the stairwells so that we would have something beautiful to look at as we take them!

The sign under floor 9 reads “In one minute, a 150 pound person burns approximately 10 calories walking up stairs and only 1.5 calories riding an elevator.”

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We also have a cafe that serves healthy foods, for the most part (with fried foods as well! YUM! hahhah!) There are salad bars, hot soup, and healthy entrees. I bring my lunch most days, so I don’t eat there often.

Additional worksite wellness perks we have are:

  • Breastfeeding and pumping rooms – these are where mothers can go to have a quiet, clean place to nurse or pump. I don’t plan on ever needing these rooms, but they are nice to have. I also use them for my dressing room when the locker room is crowded.

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  • Sick room – Sometimes, you need to rest at work. We have a quiet, dark room with a cot and some pillows where one can take a nap and rest at the office. I have used this room a few times to catch a quick snooze!
  • Gym reimbursement – Up to $15 a month!
  • Flex time for wellness – I love my work schedule! I go in at 7am and leave at 3:30pm. Our schedule in between is pretty flexible. I take lunch at varying times, depending on my workout schedule. We have 45 minutes for lunch and can stay later or come in earlier if we want to take fitness classes. It is a great change from my first job when I had to be there at 8 and stay until 5 with a 1 hour lunch at 12! No thank you!!!
  • Bomb insurance! – I am able to go to the chiropractor or acupuncturist for $10 a pop. My physical therapy co-pay is only $5. I could not imagine having to do the treatments I do now out of my own pocket!
  • Free Weight Watchers – I do not use this, but there are people who do!

The most important worksite wellness piece to me is my standing desk! Since returning to the office environment, I began to get neckaches, backaches and headaches sitting all day. I starting chiropractic care, with some results. Then I was referred to physical therapy and acupuncture, which has changed my life. The last piece of getting my strength back in my neck and shoulders was to take a stand … literally! I asked to get a standing workstation. I heard rave reviews about it from people in other sections who had them. Our manager got one and told me he loved his, so back in September, I got my standing desk! So, I stand almost 7.5 hours a day and I love it! It has changed how I dress for work (no more heels, mainly flat boots and tennis shoes) and it has changed my life! I no longer have constant nagging pain from sitting all day! I feel like I have more energy. I do not think that I could go back to sitting all day at a desk. It would literally kill me!

Here is my standing station. I have dual monitors, as every researcher should! Notice how my chair is pushed under my desk! I rarely use my chair anymore! Also notice how I am looking up clothes on one screen and working on the other! HAHAHAH! Also, it is important to note to use a high quality mat to help buffer you from concrete floors! 

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Hopefully for those ladies who work, you will be able to have a few options to maintain wellness while at work. I find it refreshing that many companies are now realizing the importance of ensuring workplace wellness for their employees, as it cuts down on sickness and insurance premiums, to name a few benefits!

I would go on a rant why every employer should, but that would bring on PTSD from writing grad school papers! 😉