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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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! 😉


GAME ON!!: Fitness Link Up and Looking Hot While Sweating!

I don’t do social media anymore (does blogging count?), so I miss out on the #ManiacMondays, #WackyWednesdays or whatever alliterative description the internet decides to use for a specific day. I don’t even tell my closest friends about my blog! It’s just an outlet for me to remember what I did to my hair and I love it when people stumble upon it! (Hello new friends!)

However, I saw on Saving Our Strands a call for link-ups for fitness and this is where I can shed my anti-social skin and share my story!

Let me start by saying this … I was never big, so I don’t have a dramatic weight loss story to tell. Throughout my childhood, I was normal weight. I played outside and played softball. In high school, I ran cross country and track. I also was lucky enough to have PE and recess on an almost daily basis, with our teachers never letting us sit down! Genetics also plays a role. My mom is very little (she is skinnier than me). She has a high metabolism, as does my brother and my granddad. My dad’s family, while gifted with beautiful hair, was not blessed with this high metabolism.

Well here comes my 20s. I am not overweight, but I am not toned. I have long abandoned working out except for superficial walking and jogging whenever I felt like it. In spring 2006, my dad gave me the surprise of a lifetime … a cruise to Hawaii for my college graduation (this trip changed my life forever – stay tuned)! I had until the fall to get into great shape so on Memorial Day weekend 2006, I began my fitness journey and haven’t looked back! I started out doing ExerciseTV on Demand (RIP!!) videos and recording Total Body Sculpt with Gilad! A bonus was that he filmed in Waikiki Beach in Honolulu, HI, which is where I was going!

Me and my boyfriend at the time also moved in a brand new apartment complex in Raleigh, NC with 2 state-0f-the-art gyms at my disposal. I worked out almost everyday. I got down to 118 lbs at one time (which is a bit too thin, no one liked it), but slowly started to get to my set point of about 130 lbs. When I graduated from college and got a full-time job, I would exercise on my lunch break. I would run about 2 miles at a nearby path, do sprints in the parking lot (which prompted one of my co-workers to ask if I was going insane) or go home to the gym. I made working out a priority, which I still do to this day. I am fortunate enough to work for the government where they offer us $4 memberships to a fitness club located on my office floor. There, I use the AV system and do Insanity (or another video) and they offer us classes like yoga and boot camps. I am also going to be joining the LA Fitness in Wilsonville so that I have access to more group fitness classes, especially on the weekend. I LOVE working out in a group setting. I find myself pushing a little bit harder when I have others around! With all of the access to fitness that I have, I have NO excuse not to work out and I rarely make them. There are times where I may go a week or so without working out if I am on vacation, but if I am at work or home, I’m hitting the gym!

Sooo … with that said, I also want to say that despite me working out for the past 7 years, my weight has fluctuated. I have been up to 140 and down to 118. I think it has a lot to do with hormones, water retention and muscle gain/loss. In Hawaii, no matter how hard I tried, I could not get down to 135, despite me arriving on the island at 130! I lived a very active lifestyle in Hawaii, but just couldn’t shed the weight. I think it was me constantly retaining water due to the heat, because when I came to the mainland, I would cut weight almost immediately! I no longer weigh myself, as I can tell how my clothes are fitting and my measurements. The scale never tells the whole story, so keep that in mind!!!!

So enough of the backstory …. here’s what I am doing now to stay fit!!! I told myself that I was going to get a new workout wardrobe in 2014 to keep me motivated to take my fitness to the next level (go hard or go home!) I had been wearing the same Old Navy cotton yoga pants and Danskin Now tanks for eons, it seems. Now that I am doing high intensity interval training (e.g. Insanity), I need performance gear that will wick sweat, unlike my cotton workout clothes that just got drenched. I asked a lady at work where she got her cute workout clothes from. They were colorful, sexy and functional at the same time and she suggested I try Lululemon. Nathan and I stopped at the Lululemon Outlet in Burlington, WA on our way back from Canada and boy, did that start something! I began going to their retail stores and buying their running crops and tops. They are compression capris that fit like a dream and make your tush look amazing! They also wick sweat and allow you to wear them more than once before washing due to their Silverescent (or anti-stink) technology!

I am absolutely obsessed with my Lulus! I swear I am more motivated when I work out now! Sometimes all we need is a little make-over and upgrade to take us to the next level. If you have a chance to get a piece (or more), I highly recommend them!

Here was my WOOTD (workout outfit of the day). I went to bootcamp this morning since our office was closed due to snow and I will be going back to kickboxing tonight.

I am wearing Luluemon No Limits Tank and Lululemon Run:Pace Crop (my Valentine’s Day gift from Nathan!) Here’s some arm shots, too!

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And to prove that the struggle is real when it comes to my hair when working out … here’s a shot of my hair after I got home from boot camp class. It is a puffy, sweaty mess. I will co-wash it tomorrow and just spritz on some moisturizer until then! For this upcoming Fitness Friday, I will share a typical weekly workout schedule!

Ugh! This hair is a mess! I just want to say “Bye Felicia!!”

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