10 Things To Try Instead of Making A New Year’s Resolution

beauty-isnt-measured-in-pounds-quote-1The scale says I weigh 151.1 pounds. So what! I have weighed less but looked worse. Lol!

At 49 1/2, I’m fit, healthy, and am in the best shape of my life. ūüôā

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Women are obsessed with their weight. Each day thousands of women choose to skip meals, pop diet pills, or start some fad diet. ¬†And why? For the sake of seeing a magic number on a scale that falsely suggests they are… umm.. somewhat in shape. Or maybe it’s for bragging rights to share with peers? Oh wait I know! ¬†The big one is to slip into “the gown” or “that dress” for a wedding, a high school reunion, or some other big event.

I dunno, but it is ridiculous and it needs to stop because unless a lifestyle change is made, the pattern will never end.

no one step

ATTENTION LADIES!!

Why not make today your last weigh in… ¬†for a least a month or two. Go ahead– first thing in the morning hop your butt on the scale and record the number.

Afterwards pick up the scale and put it away where you will not¬†be tempted to step on it for at least 30 days. If you haven’t had a checkup in the past year, schedule a visit ASAP and,¬†with your MD’s blessing, for the next 30 – 60 days try the following:

  1. Eat breakfast every day!  A smoothie, oatmeal, or an egg white omelet.
  2. Don’t drink¬†any¬†alcohol (it’s only 30 to 60 days, you CAN do it). *Alcohol has¬†sugar.
  3. Replace soda and juice with water. ¬†Increase your daily water intake to 32 – 64 ounces (flavored bottled water doesn’t count).
  4. Avoid unhealthy and processed snacks such as, chips (all of them), Doritos, cookies, cakes, pies, candy, donuts, etc… ¬†Snack on nuts, non sugary fruits like apples, strawberries, and blueberries.
  5. Eat fresh leafy and green veggies like spinach, broccoli, kale, broccoli rabe, asparagus, zucchini and avocados.  Avoid canned veggies like the plague but frozen veggies will do.
  6. Reduce your sugar (including honey) intake.  Read labels on everything you eat.
  7. Hold off on¬†white anything and drastically reduce your ¬†Bread, rice, cheese, pancakes, pasta, grits, cereal, etc… Replace with sweet potatoes, yams, brown rice, or whole grain pasta (in moderation).
  8. Coffee! ¬†Skip the fattening latte’s with heavy creams and milk. Switch to a non-dairy milk like plain almond milk. I get the caffeine fix! Drink the coffee, but skip the sugar and watch your cream.. less is best!
  9. Get movin at least 4-5 days per week. ¬†No, you don’t have to join a gym, you can start out by walking.
    1. Wear a good walking sneaker.
    2. Time your walk and distance. I like the FREE app MapMyRun, but there are tons of options out there.
    3. Each day try to increase your pace and distance.
    4. Don’t talk on your cell phone while walking! ¬†Doing this will slow you down. ¬†Listen to musics that makes you wanna dance–that should keep you moving. ūüôā
  10. Get a good night’s sleep every night. The¬†National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute¬†recommends that adults get 7-8 hours of sleep every day. Specific hormones and the metabolism are linked to weight loss.¬†Sleep deprivation may increase your Ghrelin hormone,¬†decrease your leptin hormones and will have you eating more– of the bad stuff you should be avoiding.

Skip the annual New Year’s Resolution; they come and go. Instead commit to a lifestyle change and do it now.

During the next 30 or 60 days, keep a journal. Pay attention to how you feel when you wake up and throughout the day. Record your findings. You might as well record how you feel, the good, the bad, and the ugly.

healthier Lifestyle

This post is inspired by a close friend who decided to take on a¬†challenge of avoiding alcohol and eating better for 30 days. ¬†ūüôā

After your 30 or 60 days are up, if you so wish, step on the scale.  You may or may not have lost weight, but I guarantee (barring any healthy issues) that you will feel 100% better than you did before the change.

For healthier meal ideas, visit my healthy eating board, soup board, or crock pot meals on Pinterest.

Not a day passes that I am not asked by someone about my lifestyle or seek advice about how to look like me, so that is another reason I wrote this post.

If you are at a place in your life where you feel compelled to make some positive changes, I hope and pray this post helps you. ¬†Are you up for the challenge? ¬†I would love to hear from you, please leave a comment below. ¬†ūüôā

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Balancing Fitness

Just when I think I have this balance thing down something else gets added (by me of course) to the mix!  Lol!

If you follow Lexa’s Journal, you know that in May I competed in my first, and what I thought would be my “only” figure competition. “One and done,” is what I said. ¬†Whelp!!! ¬†Ya know, I’m already focusing on competition #2. ¬†Ha! Ha!! ¬†Will this be the last time I walk on stage?? ¬† Truly, only God knows! Lol!

Anyways, with this 8 month goal in mind, I must be careful about indulging in two of my favorite summer activities:

  1. CrossFitShape.com research estimates an average¬†of¬†12.3 calories burned per minute in CF. ¬†That’s just over 738 calories in one hour’s time.
  2. Running – According to the folks at sparkpeople.com, if I run 10 miles (which is a summer average for me), I’d burn close to 1,000 calories!!

If your goal is to burn calories and simply to lose weight, great, but…

¬†That is waaaay too many calories and muscle mass burned. ¬†That’s a no-no for my fitness goals.

Does strength/weight training burn calories? ¬†Absolutely, but it depends on the type of exercise, the weight, and the duration, but¬†typically, you won’t burn as many calories as CF and running.

For now, balancing my fitness regimen focuses on my¬†current goals (competition #2). Weight training four or five days a week and CrossFit one or two days and at least one rest day. Sounds like a lot? ¬†Well…

Hard work pays off and I’m willing to put the time in. Are you?

So, I looked at the WOD for today and decided it wasn’t too bad. (I’m smiling) ¬†I was sore from yesterday’s shoulder workout and Monday’s back, so this WOD was perfect:

SWOD:
rope climb practice

I am a work in progress when it comes to the rope climb. ¬†Technique gets you up the rope, so I worked on my foot positioning. ¬†I sweat like something crazy doing this, but I loved working with my favorite instructor Lisa. ¬†She’s detailed oriented and never allow you to compromise on form. ¬†Look for that quality in a CF instructor. ¬†It matters. You’ll be thankful when you avoid injuries.

WOD: 20 min EMOM (every minute on the minute)
min 1 ‚Äď 2 rope climbs
min 2 ‚Äď 25 abmats (situps)
min 3 ‚Äď 10 kbs swings + 10 kb push press 5l/5r 53/35
min 4 ‚Äď 7 burpee box jumps

I did the modified rope climbs… 4 ground to standing. Everything else was cool. Sore shoulders prompted me to go lighter on the kettlebell exercises, so I used a 26lb¬†KB.

While the workout wasn’t intense, it served as my cardio day and took one hour. Tomorrow is leg day, they’ll be ready and refreshed.

I’m going to try to get to the gym early tomorrow because we’re having a yard sale on Saturday and I have a lot of work to do.

garage

I’m all about de-cluttering and getting rid of stuff we don’t use. ¬†I want to simplify everything in my life. ¬†During the 10 years in our current home, we’ve accumulated too much and I just have¬†to get rid of it.

I also need to get rid of clothes that no longer fit. About four to five months into my training, my body composition began changing.  My blouses grew tight around the back, shoulders and arms.  My pants started sagging in the rear, while others grew tight in the thighs.  My beautiful Calvin Klein winter dresses suddenly looked like they belonged to an older sister.

I no longer fit 99% of these clothes.

pants

I can put these pants on and off without unzipping or unbuttoning them. I had no idea this was going to happen!

dresses and tops

Look at this lovely pile of mostly spring and summer dresses and a few blouses! ¬†It’s not like I lost 50 pounds or anything.. heck I didn’t really lose weight… I just developed muscle, loss fat, and sculpted a new physique. ¬†Jeez!! ¬†I’m still amazed.:)

CK dresses

This pile makes me want to cry! ¬†I’m not a brand name person, but here lies beautiful designer suits and dresses. ¬†It would cost more to pay for alterations than to buy new ones. ¬†Sheesh!!

What doesn’t sell, I’ll give to a charity. Then come the fall, I have much shopping to do and I am going to have a blast shopping!

It’s getting late and I have a busy day. ¬†Sweet dreams and thanks for stopping by! ūüôā

Summer Fitness Fun

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Fitness should not be boring and mundane.  Staying in shape is about having fun and finding creative ways to workout.

By now, everyone should know to take the stairs instead of elevators or escalators, but it goes further than that.

Hubby worked today so it was only me and B’Dazzle. ¬†After an hour of football camp, we played in the backyard. Listening to my favorite summer getaway tunes,¬†¬†Shaggy, Michael Franti & Spearhead, Straight No Chaser, I’m Yours/Somewhere Over The Rainbow, and whatever else Pandora came up with, we left the state. ¬†Ha! Ha!! Metaphorically speaking of course. LOL!

Complete relaxed and thankful at the same time.

Completely relaxed and thankful at the same time.

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We floated in the pool for bit then move to intense water gun and super soaker water fights.  My demise came with bat mitten.  After both of us missing the ball way too many times, we upped the ante.

These babies did me in with pushups.

These babies did me in with push ups.

Whoever missed a “catchable” ball/mitt had to do 10 push ups at the command of the other. ¬†I was certain that my son would be doing more push ups! ¬†Ha! ¬†The joke was on me. His hand-eye co√∂rdination is better than he let on. ¬†I found myself kissing the grass doing push ups at his command.

Up! Down! Up! Down! Don’t come up until I tell you too!

I stopped counting at 50!! ¬†Lol! ¬†He reminded me that that’s how it’s done in football.

Me: ¬†I’m mom!

B’Dazzle: ¬†Oh well, that’s how it’s done in football!!

He took great pride in standing over me counting.  So while he got to shout orders at mom, I got some exercise in too.  Lol! Had a blast with him out back.

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Enjoying a bag of Doritos.  Yuck!

Think fun and don’t take it so serious.

Speaking of fun, today I made one my favorite summer cocktails.

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I know the glass could have been nicer, but I needed a cup that would be stable while floating in the pool.

Mango Smoothie

1 cup of frozen mango
2 shots of Tequila
2 shots of Grand Mariner
splash of sweet and sour
1/2 cup or so of crushed ice

Combine ingredients in a smoothie cup.  Blend and serve in your favorite glass. Garnish with a strawberry and enjoy!

This is not a low-calorie drink, but I’m human and occasionally¬†treat myself. ¬†I floated in the pool while enjoying my frozen treat.

I hope you enjoyed your day.

Thanks for stopping by!

Behind The Scenes

Two days post competition turned out to be a perfect and my last day of “cheating.” ¬†Lol!

A personal day off from work gave me time to enjoy a spa day. I took my son to school and immediately drove to the spa for a day of pampering with a girlfriend.

The Hot Rock Massage was exactly what my body needed and then some. ¬†Just heavenly! ¬†Massage…jacuzzi…sauna…steam room…pool…DRINKS! ¬†Lol! ¬†Oh yeah!

The activities that take place behind the scenes are just as, if not more interesting, than what occurs on stage. ¬†Lots of muscle pumping, tanning, and prepping. ¬†I respect fellow competitors privacy, so I won’t include any of their shots. ¬†The vibe in the prep room is all good and I felt welcomed.

I received many well wishes lots of smiling faces.  I even received advice from the more experienced competitors, which I thought was cool.

Speaking of behind the scenes, I must give props to my seamstress, Decked In Diamonds, who did a phenomenal job on my suit! ¬†Heeey! ¬† We never met in person and all the measurements and fittings were done through the internet or snail mail. ¬†And… she nailed it!

Well tomorrow, it’s back to the grind!

Happy almost Tuesday!

Saturday’s WOD

The CrossFit games are going on strong and so am I.

I see that the 14.3 was a beast!  While I am missing out on this round of the games, there will be others.

It has been nearly two weeks since completing my last WOD, so I was highly motivated to get to this morning’s class.

WOD: 5 Rds @ high effort:

250m Row
10 Thruster (75/55)
10 Pull Ups (24/20)
10 burpees
* mix order of movements each Rds

Stronger… I definitely am! ¬†I did the thrusters at 55 pounds. There was a time, when the bar was the¬†only¬†option.

Not to get side-tracked, but speaking of options. The alternative to CrossFit this morning was a flapjack breakfast fundraiser at Applebee’s for B’Dazzle’s school. ¬†Now don’t get me wrong, I support my son’s school 200%, but clearly, I would have been down right miserable picking over a plate loaded up with scrambled eggs while visions of burpees danced in my head! ¬†Thankfully, hubby took him and his friend.

Anyhow, that’s the beauty of strength training and CrossFit. ¬†Maintaining consistency with a healthy nutrition plan will produce amazing results. Your physic, performance/strength, attitude, and confidence all increases. That’s better than any drug!

Five rounds of pull-ups, nets 50. 45 of my pull-ups were using a thin blue ban. ¬†So tell me why chicken-head, that’d be me, downgrade to a green band for the last 5 pull-ups? ¬†I’ll tell you why. ¬†I was tired, which is a BS excuse, but in retrospect, I got caught up in the¬†time¬†trap. Rarely does that happen to me, but it did today. I wanted to finish the WOD, so I slid over to the green band.

There is a solution though. ¬†Next time, I won’t bring a “just in case” second band. ¬†If I only have one on hand, no other option will exist and that’s what I’ll have to work with. ¬†Clearly if I can complete 45, 50 is a done deal. So what if it takes me longer! ¬†Next time! SMH!

Surprisingly, the temps were mild at 8 o’clock this morning, so I opted for the 250 meter run instead of the row. ¬†Any excuse to run!

Happy Saturday and enjoy the weekend!

~ Keep it movin’!

Hasta La Vista To Two Favorites

“You can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus.‚ÄĚ

‚Äē Mark Twain, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court

The imagination is a powerful force?  Creativity, ingenuity, and unlimited possibilities occur as a result of positive usage of the imagination. However, negative energy can lead the imagination to produce fear, anxiety, and skepticism.

At least twice this past week, thoughts of having to change two of my favorite routines, clouded my vision.

The first had to do with music. At the end of a workout session, a chit-chat with my trainer stunned me.

Trainer: ¬†When I return from vacation, you can’t use “that” (pointing to my¬†iPod) any more.

Me: ¬†Stunned. ¬†Is she kidding, I’m thinking.

Trainer: ¬† We’re about 9 weeks out and we need to take this training to another level.

Me: Whiney like a little kid use to having her way. Oh no! Music motivates me. ¬†I do¬†eeeeverthing with¬†music. ¬†Run, eat,¬†sleep, etc…

Trainer: ¬† ¬†She kicked into “mommy/drill sergeant mode.” ¬†¬†Well,¬†you’ll just have to learn to¬†use your mind to motivate yourself.

It was as if she ended her sentence with, “Period! End of discussion! ¬†I don’t want to hear any more from you!” LOL! ¬†Oh boy!!

For now... bye-bye iPod!

For now… bye-bye iPod!

While driving to the gym for my first day of working out with her without music, I thought about her orders. Frustration settled in¬†and I thought about challenging her on her decision. ¬†The entire drive, I turned up the volume and blasted the music while trying to store up the good feel from the base and series of favorite tunes. ¬†I know. ¬†Sounds ridiculous, but it’s true. I think everyone has that one “thing” that infuses a sense of comfort, support, and motivation. ¬†My “thing” is music.

I was even silly enough to question myself on how I would be able to push through the last and most difficult reps while deprived of a rhythmic beat and inspiring lyrics. Smh!

Within 20 minutes of the workout, I forgot all about my routine of one ear being pounced with heavy base. I was no longer distracted (my trainer’s words not mine) by the volume or finding the right track before completing a set. I moved swiftly and without delay. I had a great workout.

Today I did two sets of drop-downs arm curls on the cable machine starting with 90 pounds!  No music and.. a personal best for me. Whoop! Whoop! High-five!!! Thanks for the push coach!

I imagined the process and the outcome to be all WRONG.

Sugar free java

Sugar free java

At around 7 o’clock this morning, I think. Correction. ¬†I know that I drank my last sugar laced cup of coffee. ¬†Erroneously I convinced myself that, while training, I’d be okay using Sugar In The Raw in my coffee. ¬†But the fact is, sugar IS sugar.

I¬†imagined¬†that regardless of having a splash of Bailey’s, my favorite flavored creamer, my organic freshly ground coffee would taste bitter and less satisfying. ¬†Hmm… ¬†How many ways can I say wrong? ¬†Incorrect. Mistaken. ¬†Amiss. ¬†And so on… just like my imagination. ¬†I enjoyed my java no less than I did yesterday. ¬†I am surprised but happy. ¬†ūüôā

My favorite coffee and mug

My favorite coffee and mug

It is ironic how I consider myself to be a positive thinker. Yet two times this week when I was required to do something different from what I LOVE and from my norm, that I  conjured up  negative thoughts about the changes. 

What’s up with that? When it comes to work, I constantly look for new solutions to old challenges and seek out better ways to get the job done. ¬†But I now realize that it may not occur automatically on a more personal level. ¬†Wait, wait wait. ¬†Thinking about this even more, the thoughts of a negative outcome happens when the change is a directive from someone other than myself. ¬†Yeah, that’s probably it.

I just realized this self-defeating behavior/attitude about myself.  Wow! I need to pay closer attention to my thoughts and get this mess in check.

See, this is exactly why I love writing.  All that stuff in my head gets sorted out on paper or on the keyboard.

The week ended with two successes. ¬†While my successes may seem minor, the payoff for making both changes are big and will move me closer to accomplishing my goal of placing tops in May’s figure competition.

My arms feel like lead from this mornings workout, so after dinner a nap is in order–something I rarely get. Tomorrow morning it’s back to the gym for training and posing practice.

Enjoy your weekend!

Reads About Sugar

Sugar in the Raw That’s Not | The Healthy Home Economist

Difference Between Brown Sugar & Sugar in the Raw 

Nutrition Diva:  Is Natural Sugar Better for You?

Is Sugar Bad For A Bodybuilder?