Love Out Loud

Love yourself. Love Others. Love Fitness.

Archive for the month “January, 2012”

A little detour in the sugar challenge…

If y’all will recall, a couple days ago, I challenged myself to no sugar for a week. I was doing so well, until last night. Last night was pizza night at my friend Tracy’s parents’ house. I usually take my son over there every other week or so because her little girl is his BFF. Last night, she had some exciting news to share and asked me to be there to share in the frivolity. She’s pregnant..YAY! But I was tempted into eating some pizza…boo.  I know its not the most sugary substance on earth, but I do know that marinara sauce has sugar in it, and the dough has to be sweetened a little. So, not the biggest detour, but a little one that I thought I’d share with my readers. Just wanted to show you that I’m HUMAN! haha. Now, back to the challenge.

The poptarts are actually totally out of my mind. I see them in the pantry and shrug my shoulders and flip my hair at them. (They are still in my house because my son eats them once or twice a week for breakfast. Only one and he has to have fruit with them.) The thing that I could really go for right now is some dark chocolate. Dark chocolate, in small quantities, is actually kind of good for you. Its loaded with anti-oxidants. So, if you need a little pick me up, grab a square of dark chocolate. If you are doing the no-sugar thing, like me, Cutie Oranges are the perfect little sweet snack. They are super easy to peel, too!


Friday’s workout

Today was a relatively light day. I didn’t have a whole lot of time to get a workout in, so I hit the treadmill and ran some intervals for 20 minutes. Here’s what it looked like

  • Min 1-3   3.5
  • Min 3-5  5.0
  • Min 5-8  6.5
  • Min 8-9  7.0
  • Min9-10 3.5
  • Min 10-13  6.7
  • Min 13-14  7.2
  • Min 14-15  3.5
  • Min 15-18 7
  • Min 18-19 6.5
  • Min 19-20 3.5
  • Stretch
  • Light ab workout

The last 5 minutes were the worst!! Running for 3 minutes at a 7 is killer. I can’t even tell you that I my music distracted me from it. It didn’t. All I did was stare at the timer. But, I got an awesome workout in under 30 minutes.

What lifting looks like…

Quick fixes…

“Lose 10 lbs in 2 days!!”  “It sucks the toxins RIGHT OUT of your body!” “No more cellulite!” “Take this and look like this celebrity!”

Do these sound familiar?

Unless you live under a rock, you have heard these claims coming from some diet or pill or crazy scheme to lose weight fast. Let’s get real people, THESE THINGS DO NOT WORK! None of them. And if they do, its probably at the risk of your health. The only way, and I mean ONLY way, to lose weight and keep it off is good old-fashioned diet and exercise. Let’s take a deeper look into some of these fads. (If you want to skip all this reading and go straight to how to spot nutritional bullhockey, go down to the bullets, I won’t judge.)

We’ll start off with something I’ve actually tried. Dietary and weight loss supplements. Dietary and weight loss supplements, like for instance Hydroxycut, claim to help you lose weight at crazy speeds. I tried Hydroxycut…I lost weight. The only problem was that I felt like my heart was going to burst out of my chest at any given moment and it gave me some (TMI) major bathroom issues. I felt like a cat on speed. I was shaky and irritable and just felt like crap the whole time I took it. But I lost some weight. I stopped taking it because I realized that the weight loss wasn’t worth what I was going through to get it. And sure enough, as soon as I stopped taking it, what came back? Those 5 lbs. Its no wonder I felt so crazy. Each capsule had about 100 mg of caffeine in it. That’s about the same as a cup of coffee, so no big deal. The big deal is that you took 2 capsules 3 times a day! That’s 600 mg of caffeine a day.  Too much caffeine can cause tremors, anxiety, insomnia, stomach upset, palpitations, high blood pressure, and headaches. My story aside, the main issue with these dietary and weight loss supplements is that they aren’t regulated by any government agency such as the FDA. That means they can put anything they want in them and not have to claim it. Not knowing what you’re truly eating is pretty scary.

Let’s see…what’s another big fad? Oh yes, body wraps. Body wraps claim to help you drop 6-20 inches at a time and get rid of all the toxins in your body, and some even claim to get rid of cellulite. Come on ladies, of course you’re going to lose inches being wrapped up like a mummy for an hour at a time. But guess what? Its all water weight. Please do not expect to keep these inches off  for a long period of time. If you have a wedding coming up tomorrow and you’d like to squeeze into that dress that isn’t quite working for ya, a body wrap might be just what you need. For tomorrow. Just realize that you will get those inches back. As far as releasing the toxins in our bodies? Guess what…we already have stuff to do that. Our liver and kidneys. They do a pretty good job, so let nature do what it is supposed to do. The last claim is to get rid of cellulite. Cellulite is fat deposits under the skin, and fat can’t be sucked out through an Ace bandage. In fact, even liposuction doesn’t really remove cellulite. The only way to decrease the appearance of cellulite is to reduce the fat content in your cells by eating healthy and exercising. Notice I said “decrease the appearance.” Unfortunately, it never truly goes completely away. Lame, huh?

One more thing I want to say about body wraps is the FDA says they can be dangerous. Dr. Victor Herbert from Mt. Sanai Veteran Research Center says they can cause something called hypovolemic shock. This happens when severe blood and fluid loss makes the heart unable to pump enough blood to the body. One thing that can lead to this is severe perspiration, which is what happens in body wraps.

The last thing I want to touch on today is juice cleanses. According to registered dietitians Marissa Lippert and Cher Pastore, these can be beneficial for 1-3 days max. Any longer and its just another quick weight loss mechanism that lures you into a false sense of security. What happens when you stop drinking the juice and start eating actual food again? Carbs, even the good kind (yes, there are good carbs) will bring some of that weight loss back. If you do one for a day or two, it can help your liver do its job of toxin-ridding, but any longer and you’re depriving your liver of the amino acids it needs for that job.

How to spot nutritional bullhockey
Ask yourself these questions::

  • Does the product/program promise quick increase in physical performance?
  • Does it contain some secret ingredient or formula?
  • Is it advertised primarily by use of case studies or testimonials?
  • Does it use currently popular star athletes or celebrities in its ads? (I can name SO MANY of these off the top of my head)
  • Does it take a simple truth about a nutrient and exaggerate its claims relative to physical performance?
  • Does it used dated, poorly controlled, or non-existent research to support its claims?
  • Is it expensive? <—-probably your biggest clue

Again, ladies and gentlemen, the only way to keep your weight off is to eat healthy and balanced and exercise. There’s no quick fix for fat. Remember, it took years to put it on, its not going to take a day to take it off.

Now let’s get sweaty!

Today’s workout

Now that you’ve gotten to know me a little bit, I figured I’d let you in on my workout routine. This week, I’m focusing on building strength with my weight routine, so I’m lifting a certain amount of reps with a weight that will get me to muscle fatigue (where my muscles just don’t want to listen to me anymore. If you have uppity muscles, just yell at them, they like to be scared). Some weeks, I focus on my muscle endurance so I’ll lift for a longer period of time with smaller amounts of weights. I make the workouts then work out with my friend Tracy. She’s there for accountability and support (and free training sessions ;)) I will tell you what I did, then explain and tell you how to modify at the bottom. Not every one of my workouts will have explanations because you’ll see a lot of the same things in each one.  This is upper body…we did lower body on Tuesday.

  • warm up: 5 minutes on the treadmill at a 3.5 (you always need to do some sort of warm up to get your heart pumping and your blood flowing)
  • Cardio: 30 sec of mountain climbers, tuck jumps, and burpees  2 sets (we were going to do 3 sets but we needed to make it kind of a quick workout)
  • Back: upright rows w/ a overhead press, 20 lb bar, 12-10-8-6-12 reps
  • Back: one arm dumbbell row, 10 lbs, as many reps as possible while the other person did their upright rows
  • Biceps: Bicep curls, 30 lb bar, 12-10-8-6-12 reps
  • Biceps: Pull ups on the squat bar, as many as you can while the other person does their curls
  • Shoulders: Side shoulder raises, 8 lbs, 12-10-8-6-12 reps
  • Shoulders: Over the head shoulder extensions, 10 lb medicine ball, as many as you can while the other person does their raises. We ended up doing ours on a upside down bosu for extra balance work
  • Triceps: Tricep push-ups, 12-10-8-6-12 reps
  • Triceps: Tricep dips, as many as possible…etc
  • Abs: plank with leg lifts, 30 sec on each leg
  • Abs: elevated plank, 1 min
  • Abs: mountain climbers on a stability ball 10 reps/leg
  • Stretch

If you want to try this workout, I would suggest modifying it to your needs. Instead of 30 second cardio intervals, do 15. A burpee is where you start standing, put your hands on the ground, jump your legs back, jump them forward, and stand up. To modify, walk your legs back one at a time. To make it harder, add a jump at the end.

On the weighted things drop the weight down to a reasonable weight for you. Keep the reps though.

The bicep pull up on the squat bar looks like this: drop the squat bar to where when you’re under it and hanging from it, your back is about 2-3 inches off the ground. You should be in prone (laying down) position and your legs are straight out from your body. Pull your upper body toward the bar keeping your elbows in. To make it easier, move your feet closer to your body.

Tricep push-ups are a pretty advanced move. They are like a regular push-up, only your hands are right in line with your shoulders. When you come down, your elbows should rub your ribs. Modifications: try them on your knees. With tricep dips, you put your hands behind you on a level surface, feet out in front of you. Drop your body, elbows go straight back, no butterfly arms. Push your body back up. To modify it, bring your feet in closer to your body.

The plank is THE BEST core exercise you can do. Beginners, start in push-up position and drop to your elbows and your knees. You should still look like you’re in push-up position, just lower. Back is straight, butt is not up in the air. Hold. Once that gets easy, pick your knees up, then after that, get off your elbows onto your hands. Elevated plank means your legs are up on a higher surface that your body.

Now let’s get sweaty!


No sugar for a week…I might die.

My husband is coming home on leave in a week or so and in about two weeks, we are going to Costa Rica. I am super pumped about this vacation not only because I haven’t seen my hubby since Sept, but also because we will be on the beach all by ourselves! No kiddo! I love my son, but being a full time mommy with no breaks wears on you. Serious props to the real single moms out there.

Because of this trip and the bathing suit I have to put on, I have decided to challenge myself and try not to eat any processed sugar for a week. I wish I could say my diet doesn’t normally include a lot of sugar anyway, but there are the weekly ice cream trips to McDonalds with the little man (or frozen yogurt, but that might as well be ice cream), there are the pop tart cravings after I put him to bed, and of course, the peanut M&M’s after a grocery trip.  The only sugar I will allow myself to have is the natural kind found in fruits and veggies. I already feel like the more I think about it, the more I want it. Kind of like that old psychology trick, when you’re told not to think about a white bear, the ONLY thing you see are polar bears. Well, my polar bears will be wearing chocolate collars and walking on coconut snow. Wait, scratch that, sugar snow, I hate coconut.

I’m hoping the week will turn into two. I know my biggest challenge will be my son’s food. All you moms know that when your kids don’t finish something, what do you do? You EAT IT!! Maybe Logan will have to come on my journey with me. So wish me luck!!

Now let’s get sweaty….and de-sugarized. (It is so a word.)


Super foods to add to your balanced eating…

So you want 6 pack abs…realistic goal setting

Envy. That’s my first reaction to this picture. Pure green-eyed monstered envy. I mean, wouldn’t it be fantastic to be able to achieve this?  So your question to me is, “Can I realistically have a tummy like this?” My honest, real girl answer is no, probably not. Unfortunately, the majority of the women population can not realistically achieve and maintain this stomach.  This girl probably doesn’t even maintain it the whole year round.  Let’s talk why:

1. How much do you like food? Well, say goodbye to most of it. You would probably have to eat a very controlled diet for a very long time, which means absolutely no treats, no cheating, nothing but clean eating. Most of us have aspects of our lives of which food is a huge part. I know I take my son to get frozen yogurt every Wednesday. We add things like strawberries and chocolate chips and Reeses pieces. And since my son is only 19 months old, my share is usually a little bigger. I wouldn’t want to give that bonding time up just for abs that people wouldn’t see. Would you be willing to give up your treats?

2. How much time do you have to devote to the gym? 30 minutes a day? That’s awesome…in real life. In 6 pack abs life, you would need to be in the gym for a lot longer than that with very intense workouts. The ladies that do the fitness competitions are in peak shape, but they pay for it in the gym. I, for one, love being in the gym, but after an hour, my ADD kicks in and I want to go live my life. Kudos to those who can devote hours to the gym on a daily basis, but I’d rather take my son to the park or go shopping with a girl friend.

3. Let’s talk healthy body fat percentages. For a woman to get abs like this, she would need around a 12% body fat. Athletes who are in top shape have a range of 15-20% body fat. An average woman’s is 22-28%, and that’s pretty decent. When your body fat percentage dips down too low, you start to encounter some pretty scary body issues like fatigue, disappearance of your menstrual cycle, and low bone density.  Giving up the ability and energy to have kids and walk when I’m old doesn’t sound worth it.

4. She looks good in her genes…yes, genetics plays a huge part as well. Some women are just born lucky and their muscle structure will pop when they get lean enough. The rest of us can huff and puff all day long in the gym and give up every yummy tasting food and still won’t ever look like THIS. We’ll look fabulous, but not quite like this.

5. Seriously…its called PHOTOSHOP. This model may have some pretty serious abs, but what can we really trust these days? And since this is incredibly hard to maintain, she probably prepped for the shoot for 6 months and afterward is going to her local Carl’s Jr to scarf down the biggest hamburger she can find.

Now, you’re probably reading this and saying, “Well, dang, what can I achieve since you’ve pretty much dashed my hopes to bits.” Well, that’s my whole point of this post. You can achieve amazing things, you just have to set attainable and maintainable goals for yourself. Your goals should be specific and personal. “I want a flat stomach,” is too general and hard to quantify. “I want to be able to do 30 sit-ups in one minute,” is better. “I want to lose 50 lbs,” is so overwhelming! How about, “I want to lose 10 lbs in 6 weeks, 25 lbs in 6 months, and 50 lbs in a year.” It’s all about setting goals that aren’t too easy, but not completely out of reach. Making your goals personal makes them easy to achieve as well. For example, “I want to run as fast as so and so,” makes it so that you’re always going to compare yourself to that person. What if you are never as fast as her? Are you a failure? No! A better goal would be, “I can run a mile in this amount of time right now, but in 2 months, I want to run it 10 seconds faster.”

Getting healthy and fit isn’t about coveting what the girl next to you has, its about wanting what’s good for you. Its about making goals for yourself that you can be proud of. Its about being happy with who you are and just making that fantastic person even better!

Now let’s get sweaty….

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