Wednesday, February 22, 2017

February "Currently"

Currently I'm...

Thinking about...
How I can't believe February is almost over! January seemed like it draaaagged by, but it was like I blinked and February was gone. I'm so excited for March! Even though we have had a pretty warm weather and only one dusting of snowfall this winter, I'm sooo looking forward to Spring and warmer weather, especially with the last few days being in the 70s here in Kentucky. It's amazing. I'm just hoping winter isn't going to hit us in March...I'm praying that won't happen!

We celebrated a late Valentine's day this past weekend by going out to dinner and then to watch the Broadway play, The Little Mermaid. I absolutely LOVED it! It's fun getting all fancied up for a date. :)
 This was always my absolute favorite Disney movie growing up. I would so watch the play again!

False lashes! I'm not one of those girls who wears lashes like every single day, but I have always at least wanted to be able to wear them occasionally just for special occasions. My lashes are short and super straight. I have never been able to apply false lashes right, or when I did they never even showed up. And if I'm gonna wear lashes, I want them to really show. Well, I finally found some lashes I like that actually do show on me! 

These are the Ardell Glamour lashes, # 105. I got them on sale at Meijer for 2 bucks! I wish I would have stocked up on them. Definitely my fave of all the ones I've tried so far.

Ya'll know I am obsessed with cereal, and I think I have a new fave. Honeycomb and Honey Bunches of Oats Cinnamon Clusters have been at the top of my list, but I think this Apple & Cinnamon Honey Bunches of Oats has taken first place. It is sooo good mixed with vanilla protein.
I've also been obsessed with oranges lately. I usually eat an apple almost every day, but lately I've been replacing that with Cara Cara oranges. They are delicious.
I'm also absolutely LOVING the NitroTech Crunch bars in the Birthday cake flavor. I have one of these usually once a week when I'm running errands or just have run out of meat by the end of the week. I really love the cinnamon roll flavor, but this was a nice change. These are definitely the best protein bars I've ever tried!

I recently finished the book Orphan Train, and really enjoyed it.

I also just got Kyle Idleman's new book, Grace is Greater, and I'm really excited to read it. It's based on a sermon series he did a while back, and I just remember thinking it was a great series.Plus, I really I love the other three books of his that I've read.
Listening to...
I'm so in LOVE with Tenth Avenue North's new song, "I have this hope." I have just been listening to it over and over and over again...especially go through this rough time right now. Christian music has been such a help to me lately, I can't even tell you. It's so uplifting, and forces me to focus on God and praising Him. It reminds me of the great God I serve and the hope and joy I have regardless of my circumstances.

All of these articles I've read recently:
10 Ways to Un-Diet
How to Bust Through a Fat Loss Plateau
Losing Weight and Your Sanity
Two Things I Learned on the Diet Rollercoaster
An Alternative to Willpower For Losing Fat

Friday, February 17, 2017

Replace Worry With Worship

I lost a cousin this week unexpectedly. He was only 7 years old. In addition to that, these last few months we've been dealing with Asher's health issues, as well as some health issues that Matt is having due to his radiation treatments years ago. It's been a little rough the past couple of months, and it just seems to be one thing after another. I've been more anxious and stressed than usual and even a little discouraged this last month or so.

But despite my feelings that are ever changing and untrustworthy, I keep my mind and my eyes on what I know IS true-that I serve an amazing, faithful, loving, trustworthy, GOOD God.
It just made me many people these days are completely consumed by worry and anxiety and fear.

We all have times in our lives when our stress and anxiety levels will be high. Maybe it's a current situation that is happening in your life that you have no control over. Maybe it's starting a new job, or someone in your family facing an illness. It's a normal reaction to worry and have some anxiety in those situations. But there are even some people who worry about things that haven't happened yet...they stress about the unknown and worry constantly about bad things that could happen to them or their family in the future.

Either way, worrying does us NO good. None whatsoever. It won't change anything, it won't stop what you fear from happening, and it only causes MORE stress. But sometimes, it's like we just can't help it. Our mind naturally goes there.

While anxiety can often be a medical condition due to a chemical imbalance, other times it is just a mindset issue.  It's what we allow ourselves to focus on. We have the power to change what we think about and not let worry take control of our lives.

The way to stop worry from consuming your life is to change what you think about, to re-focus your thoughts. Instead of focusing on your fears or on the problem or situation you're facing, which will only make it grow bigger in your mind, you have to make a conscious effort to focus on God.

When it comes down to it, what worry really is is a lack of trust in God. You don't trust His plan. You don't trust that He can work anything in your life for your good and His glory. You don't trust that he will be with you and give you the strength you need to get through whatever it is you are facing. You don't trust that He knows what He's doing. Without that trust, you will never have peace.

So when you find yourself stressed, or you're anxious, or worried, or afraid, or just completely overwhelmed...focus your mind on God.

Focus on His love, His goodness, His faithfulness, His grace.

Focus on the promises of His word.

Focus on the things you have seen Him do in your life and other's lives in the past.

Focus on His presence and the strength that He gives.

Focus on how you can learn and grow through your current situation.

Focus on JESUS and what He did for you on the cross.

Focus on all the good things in your life that you have to be thankful for.

When you think about these things, praise Him. Thank Him for who He is and all He's done. Read encouraging scriptures to yourself.

I have had to do this myself this week more this week than ever. Whenever I find myself getting discouraged, or start to have negative thoughts take over my mind, I start naming things in my head that I'm thankful for. I start praising God and thinking about His love and His goodness, even when it's the last thing I feel like doing. And I can tell you, something changes when you do that. 

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Workouts February 6-11

We finally had some warmer weather this weekend and spent some much needed time outside.
I'm so beyond ready for Spring to get here. This lack of sunshine is messing with my brain.

So anyways, as far as workouts go, I'm sticking with the upper/lower heavy and hypertrophy days. I like having a heavy day and then a just a "pump" day later in the week. I've been changing up the hypertrophy days a bit each week just to keep things fun. Sometimes I get bored following a program, so this way I get the best of both worlds.

This month I'm doing 4x4 for my main lifts on the heavy days except for the deadlifts since I'm following program for those. Lighter days are 8-15 reps. I am also switching up some of the exercises this month-T-bar rows instead of Pendlay rows and Bulgarian split squats instead of step ups.

1)Bench press: 115x4x4
2)Narrow neutral grip pullups: 22.5x3x5
3a)T-bar row: 70x6/6/5/5
3b)Push press: 105x4x4
4)Dips: 25x2x8
5)Dragonflies: 2x6/Hanging leg raise: 2x8
6)Overhead carries 1 arm: 50/55/55x20-25 seconds/arm

1)Hang power cleans 115x3x3
2)Deadlifts: 5x5 @75% (200lbs)
3)Bulgarian split squats: 30sx6(dumbbells)/80(barbell)x6/7/7
4)Glute ham raise: 25x3x7
5a)Ab wheel rollouts : 3x8/1x6
5b)Calf raise: 4x8
6)Seated abductions. 2x25/standing 2x12


1)Seated cable row: 12/10/ Lat pulldown: 2x12
2)Dumbbell seated overhead press: 30x11/35x9/8/ 30x8
3a)Inverted row, palms up: 3x12
3b)DB 1 arm chest press: 35x12/40x2x10/35x12
4)Incline bench reverse flyes: 3x15
5a)Tricep pushdowns: 14/12/11+5(drop set)
5b)EZ bar curls: 2x12
6)Stir the pot plank : 3x30 seconds

1)Single leg leg press: 3x12
2)Barbell squats: 135x3x12
(Back was sore, so kept the weight light. Can't believe I did sets of 12 for squats!)
3)Back extensions: 35x3x15
4)Walking lunges: 40sx8/30sx10/25sx12/Goblet-30x14
5)Glute ham raise: rest pause set to 60 reps
6a)Frog pumps w/band: x30/25
6b)Seated calf raise: 3x12
7)Jump rope + glute stuff for 8 minutes

Friday, February 10, 2017

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Trying to Help Our Baby Feel Better

Our sweet fur child is getting old, and it sucks.

When you first get a puppy, you don't think 10 years ahead to when you have to watch them suffer as they get older.  It's not fun. I find myself sometimes thinking about the day when he won't be with us anymore, and it just breaks my heart. I know some of you won't get it, but to us, he's more than "just a dog". He is our child!

In the past year or so, we started to see some of the first signs of old age. Asher has always been a pretty hyper and playful dog, but he started moving a little slower, was more hesitant about going up the stairs, and couldn't jump up on the beds anymore. All normal things that happen with old age. We figured he had arthritis in his knees from tearing his ACL a few  years back, but I didn't even think about it being in his spine as well, which I guess is a common thing in older dogs.

He never really acted like he was in pain until one night around Thanksgiving. He was pacing and wouldn't lay or sit down. Every time he tried to lay down, he would yelp and get back up. We tried to wait it out, but we just knew something was wrong. We ended up taking him to the emergency animal hospital that night. Their main concern was a twisted stomach, so they did an X-ray, but it wasn't that, thankfully. The X-ray did show that his back was horrible-lots of bone spurs all along his spine. They gave him some medicine to help with the pain and also recommended an ultra sound for something that looked like a possible mass of some sort in his stomach area.

The pain meds helped, and he seemed to be feeling better the next day. We actually felt like the pain was stemming from his neck, as he would still occasionally yelp when he turned his head a certain way and seemed to not like to look to the right. He also started having incidences where his back legs would give out from under him, which really scared me. Then he started not wanting to go for walks, which for him is NOT at all normal. He LOVES his walks!

So a couple of months later, we took him in for the ultrasound, which showed that his gallbladder was inflamed. We were advised to get it removed, so we set up the appointment with the doctor who would perform the surgery. After telling him about his neck issues and the back leg weakness, he recommended trying to fix the neck pain before removing the gallbladder. He prescribed us another medication and recommended laser therapy and rest from walking for a month.

Last week he did his first 6 days of laser therapy for 30 minutes. Poor thing hated sitting still in that room for 30 minutes! But he got better after the first few days.
The one thing that I have noticed is that he hasn't had any episodes of his legs giving out, but I'm not sure if that's from the laser or from the medication. While he was doing the treatments he did seem to feel better, so we may decide to continue it on a once a week basis. He has been yelping here and there, but not near as often as he was. Right now he pretty much just lays on the couch like this allll day.

We just love him so much and want to try to relieve his pain as much as we can. The average age for a dog his size is 8 years, but we've had SO many comments about how great he looks for being 10 years old. I just want him to have the best life possible for the rest of the time he has with us!

Monday, February 6, 2017

Weekend Wrap Up & Workouts of The Week

Happy Monday! This weekend was crammed packed and flew by!

Celeste came to spend the night we me after church Saturday night. I haven't seen her since Christmas, so I was so excited!

Last time her thing was hide and seek, then it was playing police, and now she is into dressing up! So pretty much all we did was play dress up pretty much all night. She called it being "different girls". I had some wigs from Halloween costumes that she just loved.
She is such a beauty!
Sunday we went to the Newport Aquarium with Mindy and her boyfriend and his kids. We snapped some pics outside with the view of Cincinatti across the river. 

Then of course, Matt and I got pizza for the Superbowl...because that's just a thing. I got chicken, mushrooms and black olives on mine, and it was sooooo yummy! 

Workouts last week were pretty good. Nothing crazy. Slowly working up on weight on most things. I ended up doing heavy squats on Wednesday since it was an off week for deadlifts. Then Saturday I did safety bar squats since I was at my work gym. Those things are hard for me!

1)Bench: 115x5/110x2x5
2a)Push press: 105x2x5/95x5
2b)Neutral wide grip pullups: 10x6x5
3)Pendlay row: 110x3x5
4a)Dips: 20x8/25x2x8
4b)Hanging leg raise: 3x9
5a)Farmer's walks w/dumbbells: 60x4x20-30 seconds
5b)Single leg hip thrustx10/leg + double leg x15 x4 sets

1)Hang power cleans: 115x3x3
2)Barbell squats: 175x3x5
3)Good mornings: 95x8/105x8/115x2x8
4)Front loaded barbell step ups: 70x3x8
5)Glute ham raise: 25x4x7
6)Sled drags: 290/300 x3  x 15-20 seconds
7a)Calf raise: 4x8
7b)Ab rollouts on toes(with no wall!) 8/8/6/6

1)Dumbbell seated overheadpress: 30x10/35x3x8
2)Chinups: 9/8/6/5
3a)Pushups w/pause: 3x10
3b)Chest supported dumbbell row: 30x3x12
4a)Rolling dumbbell tricep extension: 3x10
4b)Seated bicep curls: 3x12
5a)Face pulls: 3x15
5b)Lsits: 4x12 seconds
6)Cable pallof press: 2x10

1)Safey bar squats: 4x8/1x10 @110/110/120/130/110
2)Glute ham raise: 10x4x12
3)Walking lunge: 35x2x10/Goblet split squats: 35x2x12
4a)Cable pullthroughs: 4x12
4b)Band walks: 4x12
5)Band frog pumps: 2x25
6)Sled drags: 7 x 20-25ish seconds
7)Calf raise: 4x15

Don't forget you can still give to the iPrayFit project! Anything you could give would be MUCH appreciated! 5$, 10$, anything! 100% of the money will be used to build clean water projects, and when they’re complete, charity: water will send us photos and GPS coordinates so we can see the exact community we helped.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

You DON'T Have To Always Have A Plan

"Fail to plan, plan to fail." 

We've all heard this quote. It's a big one in the fitness world, and I've used it myself plenty of times. Because for the most part, it's true. When it comes to training and especially nutrition, having a plan is crucial. I mean, all the fitness "pros" out there plan out their meals and prep their food ahead of time, and then portion it all out into individual tupperware containers, so that must be the only way to succeed, right?

Well, not necessarily.

I am a huge fan of planning. Planning out workouts, planning out meals, and prepping food for the week ahead are all great habits to develop. I do it myself, and it helps me tremendously.

But what about if you DON'T have a plan? What happens when you don't have all your meals pre-cooked and portioned out?  I was just thinking the other day about how the average person getting started with eating healthier may view "food prep". To them, it may be overwhelming. They may think it means eating the same boring meals day in and day out. I think it could possibly deter some people from trying to start eating better if that's what they think is necessary for reaching their goals.

Another downside to feeling that you HAVE to have a plan is that it could be easy for some people to fall into the mindset that if they can't plan out and pre-cook ALL of their meals ahead of time, then they can't eat healthy at all. It goes back to the old "all or nothing" mentality. If following the "perfect" plan and having every meal and snack portioned out is the only way to succeed in their fat loss efforts, then when that doesn't happen and they can't eat "perfect", they just throw in the towel.

Let's face it. Sometimes life is hectic. There are some weeks where you just can't plan and cook all your meals ahead of time...and guess what? That's okay. You can still do the best you can with what you have. You don't have to eat out of tupperware containers for every meal. You don't have to plan out complicated gourmet dinners every single night. You don't HAVE to eat perfect all the time. You don't HAVE to always have a plan. But you DO have to make the best choices you can moment by moment.

Not having everything planned out isn't an excuse to eat like crap. It also doesn't mean you can't lose weight or maintain your physique. There are still plenty of healthy options you can choose from for meals and snacks even when you don't have foods pre-cooked or when you're crazy busy and short on time.

There are lots of things you could throw together to make a super easy, quick, and healthy meal or snack in just a matter of minutes. For example:

-Eggs. It only takes a few minutes to scramble or fry them up for a meal with some Ezekiel toast on the side.
-Canned chicken mixed in with some microwave brown rice and salsa with a bagged salad on the side
-Protein shake with a rice cake and peanut butter on the side or a fruit smoothie made with frozen fruit
-A can of tuna with a little low fat mayo and an apple and some nuts
-Greek yogurt or cottage cheese with some baby carrots or cherry tomatoes on the side

You could make sure to have things like fruit, string cheese, Kind bars, Mission1 or Quest bars, baby carrots, and tuna pouches on hand to grab when you need a quick snack. When it comes to  putting together meals and snacks, just think lean protein source, a serving of carbs, veggies, and a little fat. Easy peasy.

What about when you're out and about? Well, how about stopping at the grocery store for a rotisserie chicken instead of grabbing a pizza on the way home? You can order a grilled chicken salad or wrap with fruit on the side instead of burger and fries at a fast food restaurant. You could keep your car/purse stocked with things like jerky, nuts, apples, and protein bars, so you'll have something to grab when you're on the go. How about packing a lunch for work instead of getting takeout? Not only will you save money, but you'll save a ton of calories, too. Something like turkey deli meat on whole wheat bread with some fruit and a side salad will take less than 5 minutes to prepare the night before.

So there you have it. Even when you don't have a plan, you can still choose to do the best you can. Every time you eat something, it's your choice as to whether it's going to be junk or something relatively healthy. Are all of those things I mentioned "perfect"? No. Would you want to eat like this ALL the time? Probably not. But they are "good enough" choices, and sometimes good enough is better than nothing. As long as you're doing the best you can, not having a "perfect" plan or every single meal portioned out ahead of time is NOT a make or break thing. It's not an excuse to make bad choices.