The Bare Gyminum

bare-gyminum

I went to the gym today for the first time in months. I have no excuse other than that working out is not my Me Time. Watching Hulu and eating my kids’ Halloween candy in my own empty house is my Me Time.

So you always know you’re at the gym in Johnson County when the middle-aged moms with their large fake breasts and manicured fingers are significantly fitter than the actual trainers. I saw one mom today that was like a muscular skeleton in head to toe Lulu Lemon, chiseled midriff bared for all to see. Lest you think I’m body shaming, I’m not. I am always the first one to say, “Damn girl, those legs are hot!” or “I just have to tell you, your body looks amazing!” As I type it out, I’m now realizing these unsolicited comments might actually be sexual harassment. Like, what if I was randomly commenting on men’s fitness levels?

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#LT90DayChallenge : Progress Report

Here is my most recent progress picture. This is about 6 weeks in and after I took a two week hiatus from weightlifting while I was on vacation. My weight is down 6 lbs without cutting calories but my body fat is at 21.9% (up from 21.6% at my last progress post.)

Progress Update Blog

I’m really happy with the definition I’m seeing in my abs. The weird thing about a post-baby body is that some days I look down and I have a pooch that makes me do a doubletake, like, WTF am I three months pregnant?! Moms, what is up with that?! Like my ab muscles are disgruntled workers and they go, f*** this, she put us through enough, I’m goin’ out. I’ll clock in in the morning.

Then other days when I’ve been eating “clean,” I look back at pictures from before I had children and I think I look better now. Here I am on my honeymoon when I was 24, and I think I look a lot stronger today at age 30.

Honeymoon Fitness

(Sorry for the blurry pictures, I promise to take better ones at the end of the 90 days.)

Anyway, what I learned on vacation is that my best defense is a good diet. Although I only worked out once or twice, I made a conscious effort to eat sensibly MOST of the time (think, hamburger without the bun, order two chicken tacos but only eat one tortilla with all the chicken, etc)

I saw this on Pinterest and it really rings true for my experience the past few weeks.

Iceberg

This week I’ve been back in the gym and back at the weights. It feels awesome. I’m planning to dial back in for the remainder of the 90 days, but I’m already so happy with the changes in lifestyle I’ve made in this process. My husband and I have completely revamped the way we grocery shop and cook. I can’t wait to show you his progress pictures at the end!!!

And on a personal note…

Not all of my feedback from you guys about this endeavor has been positive; some insinuate that I’m setting a bad example for my daughters by focusing on my appearance. Body image is a touchy issue and I’m obviously not a fitness blogger, but I do blog about my thoughts and my life because I figure if I’m interested in a topic, there are other moms out there who are too. I’m glad you guys read and comment, even when you don’t agree, because that’s the whole point of sharing my real life with you. Thanks for reading and thanks for sharing!

Happy Things

File this post under 4 Random Things You Might Not Know About But You Definitely Should.

1. Glutamine. I read about this supplement in InStyle magazine so I bought it at Sprouts. Apparently it’s supposed to to help you kick sugar cravings when you take it consistently for two weeks. I’ve been taking it for about a week and I definitely feel like I’m turning the corner back to slimtown after my long stay in holiday chubbyville. I have also been drinking this Women’s Weightless tea I found at Target and it’s a nice break from coffee for winter afternoons.

photo 2

2. Did you guys know you can follow Barbie on Instagram? It’s completely over the top and ridiculous and I love it. Clearly someone spends a lot of time arranging tiny photo shoots for dolls. How can I get this job?

Barbie on Instagram

3. Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me by Mindy Kaling. Okay I know this book came out years ago but I just got around to reading it. I didn’t want it to end. If you looked at my search history lately you would probably be able to build some sort of a case for a Mindy Kaling Stalker charge. I love her as much as I love Olivia Pope except Mindy is a real person so I’m not sure if that makes my obsession better or worse.

photo 1

4. This song by The Weeknd. Oh my God. Coincidentally, perfect for the weekend.

How Does She Do It: Health and Fitness by Devin

Meet Devin, a thirty-something Chicago girl (formerly of Kansas City) I met her years ago when she was an attorney at the same law firm as my husband and I remember thinking she was one word: CHIC. Devin stood out to me because she always looks effortlessly stylish. She dresses the way I envision myself dressing in the movie version of my life. She just exudes confidence, class and sophistication. Over the years we have kept in touch on Facebook, so when I decided to do this feature she was one of the first people I asked to participate because I am dying to know her secrets. She’s always been fit, but recently she has taken it to the NEXT level, so I am really excited to share her diet and workout plan! The pool is about to open and I am SO ready for this serious inspiration served up by Miss Devin!

File this under Woman Crush Wednesday because I want to be this girl when I grow up…

MKM: What all did you eat yesterday?

DB: Breakfast: Protein Shake (1 scoop Dymatize Chocolate Whey Protein powder, ½ cup Unsweetened Almond Coconut Milk, ½ small banana)

MidMorning Snack: ¼-½ cup Unsalted mixed nuts

Lunch: Salad (Fresh spinach, ½ cucumber, fresh sliced mushrooms, 4.5 oz baked chicken breast, Lite balsamic vinaigrette dressing)

Snack: Small Pink Lady Apple

Post-Workout: Protein Shake (1 scoop Dymatize Chocolate Whey Protein powder, ½ cup water)

Dinner: Baked salmon, sautéed spinach and mushrooms, two glasses of champagne

(I limit alcohol to once or twice per week and completely eliminate it for competition preparation.)

Snack: ¼-½ cup Unsalted mixed nuts and dried cranberries

MKM: What’s a typical eating day for you?

DB: I focus on consuming lean protein, green vegetables and at least three liters of water.  Sometimes I will substitute meals with whey protein shakes or low carb protein bars, but most of my calories consumed are from whole foods.

MKM: What would you consider a “splurge”?

DB: Sushi along with my favorite cocktail, St. Germaine and Champagne.

(Emily’s note: Maybe I should start considering these “splurges” too. Up to this point I’ve been referring to them as “diet staples.”)

 

MKM: Have you ever gone through a time in your life when you were overweight?

DB: I have been curvier and thicker (with weight all in the right places!), but I have never been medically overweight or obese. I’ve committed myself to a lifestyle of cardiovascular exercise, weight training and nutritious eating to maintain.

Strong is the new sexy!

MKM: Do you have a personal trainer?

DB: I have a distant fitness coach, Kat Williams of Kat Pro Fitness, as well as a local coach, La’Drissa Bonivel of Team SuperBody.  Kat is a Professional IFBB Bikini competitor and La’Drissa is a Professional IFBB Physique competitor.  My coaches provide nutrition and training plans to ensure that I meet my personal goals.  I love seeing my new plans every month – I never get bored!

 

MKM: Do you belong to a gym?

DB: Absolutely!  At one point I belonged to two different gyms.  I exercise at my gym, in the fitness room of my condo building or in my living room.  It depends on my mood.  Finding a gym that has the right energy is key for fitness motivation.

 

MKM: What’s a typical week’s workout schedule?

DB: I typically train 5-6 days per week.  I perform high intensity interval training (HIIT) cardio and change my weight training every week.  Some weeks are low sets, high reps while other weeks may be high sets, low reps – my coaches always keep my body guessing!

Mon:           Legs and HIIT Cardio

Tues:          Shoulders, Chest and HIIT Cardio

Weds:         Back, Biceps, Triceps and HIIT Cardio

Thurs:         Light Shoulders and HIIT Cardio

Fri:              Glutes and HIIT Cardio

Sat:             Long cardio session and any body part I feel did not get worked enough during the week

 

MKM: What makes a bigger difference, eating or exercise?

DB: Nutrition!  Food is fuel for the body and you can never outwork a bad diet.  I use exercise as a means to tone and develop my muscles. Abs are made in the kitchen and as the old saying goes, “a moment on the lips, forever on the hips!”

 

MKM: Do you wear make-up and cute clothes when you work out?

DB: I absolutely wear cute clothes when I train.  If you look good, you feel and perform well!  The only time I wear make-up while exercising is if I hit the gym right after work and forget to wash my face.

(Emily’s note: I think it’s time for me to invest in some cute workout clothes. This seems to be a recurring theme among my fabulously fit friends.)

 

MKM: Do you regularly weigh yourself?

DB: I generally weigh myself once per week but not too often. I have a few articles of clothing that I use to gauge my fitness level and physique.  I focus primarily on how I look rather than the scale.  I actually weigh a lot more than people think.

 

MKM: Do you count calories and if so what number do you shoot for daily?

DB: I focus on macronutrients and ensure that I consume a certain percentage of my calories from protein, complex carbs and fat.  I generally ensure that I consume the following macronutrient composition: 50% Protein, 30% complex carbs and 20% fat.

When I really want to dial in I will consume 60% of my calories from protein from light, white fish such as tilapia, mahi mahi or cod.

(Emily’s note: Um, this is a lot of math. I might be in trouble…)

MKM: Do you use an app like MyFitnessPal or LoseIt?

DB: I use MyFitnessPal.  I love the nutrition visual chart that it provides so that I can track my macronutrients throughout the day.  It makes it very simple to determine whether I need to consume more protein or whether I can load up on greens or almonds.

(Emily’s note: Okay, yes. Pictures instead of math. Now we’re talking.)

MKM: Do you work out with a buddy or by yourself?

DB: I prefer to train alone.  I consider the time that I train as “me time” and use it to escape from everyone else.  I set my phone to “Airplane Mode” and treat my time training as if it were a spa treatment.

(Emily’s note: I love the shift in mentality of treating your workout like a spa treatment!)

 

MKM: To what do you attribute your current physical fitness? (Diet, exercise, both, good genes, hard work, etc)

DB: I attribute my current physical fitness level and physique to consistent, challenging weight training sessions.  I was diagnosed with a thyroid condition in 2007 and my endocrinologist told me that I would have to put forth effort to maintain a desirable weight.  He said that I would be better off “controlling the shape” of my body with weight training rather than “eating right.”  Also, I realize that my body does not metabolize simple carbohydrates well at all so I limit those.

 

MKM: Who are your fitness role models?

DB: I generally admire anyone committed to a healthy and active lifestyle.  Life can get cRaZy so it is important to always invest in yourself by adhering to a healthy lifestyle.

I would have to say that the following people in my life are my fitness role models:

Jonathan Blount – We met in college and have been friends for nearly 15 years.  He is now a certified personal trainer and Nationally Qualified NPC Physique Competitor.

Kat Williams – My distant fitness coach that is a Professional IFBB Bikini athlete.

Erika Tremble – A friend that made an amazing transformation and is now a NPC Figure Competitor.

MKM: Is “Fitspiration” on Pinterest/Instagram motivating or depressing?

DB: I love “Fitspiration” on all social media.  My Mother is an avid Pinterest user and often sends me memes, healthy recipes and workout ideas.  And I peruse Instagram throughout the day to see what members of my #fitfam are eating or training.

MKM: What’s the best advice you have for someone who is trying to slim down/tone up?

DB: I have the following advice for anyone that has a desire to slim down or tone up:

  1. Determine your goal.  Do you want to lose weight, maintain weight, lower cholesterol, increase strength or just look better naked?
  2. Become self-aware and determine how your body metabolizes certain macronutrients and whether you should focus on cardio or weight training.
  3. Give yourself adequate time to reach your goal(s).
  4. Be consistent and persistent!

MKM: What’s your fitness philosophy?

DB: Health is wealth!

(Amen!)

Follow Devin @dwhitneyb for more inspiration!

How Does She Do ItL: Health and Fitness by Jane

‘How Does She Do It?’ is a new feature where my girlfriends who have it GOIN’ ON let the rest of us in on some of their secrets/tips!

How Does She Do It: Health and Fitness

Meet Jane, a gorgeous mom of 3 in her thirties! Jane is THAT mom who does everything with flair but she’s uncommonly beautiful, by which I mean she is a perfectionist but unlike most, she wears her heart on her sleeve. She is a petite, stylish and uber-feminine trophy wife (I use the term lovingly!) who just radiates love and light. Yet she has an underlying toughness and savvy that I suspect is what got her through her many years as a competitive dancer. It might sound hippy-dippy, but I feel like Jane and I probably have the same spirit animal, whatever that is. Except her spirit animal is much leaner and stronger and could do a triathlon. She’s one of those people I could talk to for hours. About anything. She’s definitely the whole package and I was really impressed at how honestly she answered my questions. I’m happy to share her candid advice with you. (Also you have to go check out her fabulous new blog HERE!)

MKM: What did you eat yesterday? 

Jane: Steel Cut oatmeal with coconut milk and a dash of agave
3 Hardboiled Egg whites with a sprinkle of Himalayan sea salt & pepper
Small Red delicious apple
2 cups of black tea
Spinach, chicken, walnut, strawberry salad with light balsamic dressing
12oz non fat, half chocolate mocha with no whip
6 pieces of spicy salmon roll
5 oz Seared Ahi Tuna Steak with asparagus, over red quinoa

(MKM note: Didn’t even know you could have a “half chocolate” mocha! Must try this!)

MKM: What’s a typical eating day for you? 

Jane: About the same.  The only difference is that some days, I have a protein shake right after my work out.  I’ve found my body really responds to that.  Plus, I make it a chocolate one to satisfy my sweet tooth and I likely would have swapped that out for the latte.  I’m a pretty clean eater.  I do better when I eat every couple of hours. I don’t do much gluten/grains or dairy because I just feel better when I don’t.  I crave raw, clean food.  I would take savory over sweet any day.  My friends would call me a foodie.  I LOVE to cook.  

(MKM note: What is it with all these gals who prefer salt to sugar? Could this be the key to looking fabulous forever?)

 

MKM: What would you consider a “splurge”? 

Jane: Generally dessert for me.  As I said, I love to cook and bake.  My kids and I find it fun and natural to bond in the kitchen and they naturally gravitate towards baking.  I will not deny myself the pleasure of those treats/moments, but I will try to budget for them if/when they happen.  Right now I am losing the self control battle with the stinking Girl Scout cookies in the house!

(MKM note: I feel like the name “Thin Mints” is super deceiving. Well played, Girl Scouts, well played.)

 

MKM: Have you ever gone through a time in your life when you were overweight?

Jane: Never overweight.  I did struggle with an eating disorder as a teen and into college.  It continues to haunt me and lingers still to this day to be totally honest.  Its such a mind/control game.  Quite frankly, most women I know have a distorted body image.  So, its essentially that for me, but magnified because of my past.  Becoming a mom ultimately put things into perspective for me and I just remind myself that what I model for my kids is what I am teaching them.  Therefore, I strive to show them that eating a well balanced, healthy diet and exercising daily is a huge priority and responsibility to the body we’ve been blessed with.

MKM: Do you have a personal trainer? 

Jane: I have had several coaches and personal trainers.  I am a very focused and driven person and I love a challenge.  I’ve used them for everything from setting and reaching new fitness goals, to learning new skills.  They are a wealth of knowledge plus a great accountability partner.  They can be costly, but I’ve learned a lot in my time I’ve invested that I carry into my workouts almost daily.  I find however, that finding a group exercise class with an instructor you LOVE can be equally as valuable though, and more cost effective.  Right now I’m HOOKED on Fusion Fitness here in Kansas City.  The instructors are so motivating and inspiring!

MKM: Do you belong to a gym?

Jane: I do belong to a gym, though I also enjoy the smaller, specialized fitness facilities that offer yoga, barre, and hybrid fitness models in smaller, more intimate spaces.  I also LOVE to run outside.  Fresh air, sunshine, a great playlist and the open road… BLISS!!

MKM: What’s a typical week’s workout schedule?

Jane: Ideally, I like to get exercise at least 5 days per week.  I’m just a nicer person when I do, and if that’s not reason enough, the health and fitness benefits are best for me when I do.  I definitely battle with finding what seems like a million other things that need to be done instead as a working mom of 3 kids, though.  Therefore, it’s so important for me to plan my workouts at the beginning of the week.  On Sunday, I like to sit down with my planner (I’m a pen and paper gal) and look at my personal and work commitments and schedule in my workouts.  Sometimes I even schedule out a couple weeks at a time!  I do have a several classes that I do my best to schedule life around because I LOVE the class and the instructor so much!  So, specifically my workouts vary depending on what my fitness goal is, or if I am training for an event.  

MKM: What makes a bigger difference, eating or exercise?

Jane: Ugh, what a loaded question.  They BOTH make a big difference, and I think it totally depends on who you are talking to.  For me, since I eat pretty well generally, the exercise is key for my physical appearance and mental clarity.  I can tell when I’ve backed off on weights.  I like my body and “fitness” much better when I am strength training.  Additionally, when I exercise regularly, I make better food choices as well.  Now, on times when I’ve been exercising regularly and I’ve tweaked my diet (totally gluten free, or really reduced sugar or sodium intake) I can also see differences in my body.  Therefore, I just don’t think you can have one without the other to have your outsides reflect the way you are treating your insides!

(MKM note: I love this! So simple and easy to remember. I always forget about the sodium!)

 

MKM: Do you wear make-up and cute clothes when you work out? 

Jane: Yes… with no shame!!  When I like the way I look, I feel better about myself. And when I feel better about myself, I put my better feet forward.  That is how I roll.  I do not judge those who don’t though.  Whatever gets you to move and doing the do, more power to ya!  I am a very busy gal, so unless it’s a 5:30am workout when I am coming straight home and into the shower, I usually wear clothes and fix my face and hair into a way that if I’m running errands before or after, that I am presentable in public.  

MKM: Do you regularly weigh yourself?  

Jane: I definitely put more stock into how my clothes fit and how I look in (and out) of my clothing.  However, I do weigh myself regularly.  It’s all about accountability for me.  We have a FitBit Scale that I love.  It tracks your weigh ins for you and syncs with any food/activity tracking apps that you use.  There’s no magic number for me on the scale though.  Its just a gauge.  I actually really prefer knowing my body fat percentage over weight.

MKM: Do you count calories?

Jane: I do count calories.  Sometimes I’m more precise about it and use the app LoseIt and others I do a rough count in my head.  Again, back to the eating disorder it’s something I’ve done for over half of my life.  I’ve learned the hard way about how my body responds to too little calories, and conversely, too many.  I shoot for 1,500-2,000 Calories/day.  I wear a heart rate monitor and track calories burned in my workouts so on days that I get a great calorie burn, I allow myself the leeway outside of that range if I want to.  I LOVE to cook.  We LOVE to eat meals together as a family.  I will eat what my family eats and although we really do eat a lean, healthy diet most of the time, we have lots of wonderful delicious foods we enjoy that do have the higher calorie count: cream-based pastas i.e. Mommy’s Shrimp Noodles and Mommy’s world famous Apple pie.  So on those days, I make sure that I earn it with my workouts!

More importantly though than the # of calories you eat is WHERE are those calories coming from?  That’s why tracking your food intake is such a great accountability partner. 

MKM: Is “Fitspiration” on Pinterest/Instagram motivating or depressing?  

Jane: I find it motivating!  If you keep a open mindset, rather than a scarcity point of view, you’ll see that everyone has something to learn from everyone.  We are all on our own journey.  I think if you find that stuff depressing then you need to evaluate the deeper reason why you find it frustrating.  Take ownership of your life, draw inspiration and motivation from places that work for you, keep your head held high, and press on!!

MKM: To what do you attribute your current physical fitness? (Diet, exercise, both, good genes, hard work, etc.) 

Jane: Hard work!!  My journey has been one of highs and lows, full of bootstrap moments, and determination.  I was a dancer growing up and once I entered into adulthood, I felt kind of lost trying to find something that kept me fit and happy when it came to exercise.  I got married and started having kids in my early 20s right out of college.  By age 27, I had 3 kids and found this whole new body that I had to work with.  When my son was 5yrs old, he was trying to learn how to swim in the deep end.  I couldn’t swim myself, and while encouraging him to be brave, he called me out on it and asked me to be brave too.  Talk about a humbling moment!  Within a week, I signed up for my first triathlon.  I hated running, I couldn’t swim, and I hadn’t been on a bike outdoors since I was 15 years old.  I set a big, fat, scary goal and found out that I loved running and incidentally was pretty good at it, I learned how to swim, and made it through the bike portion.  It was a huge defining moment for me and essentially launched my fitness journey into my adulthood.  

Very recently, I had hip surgery to repair a torn labrum and FAI impingement.  It’s been over 6 months of recovery to get to a place where I can gingerly return to a normal fitness routine, but still with modifications.  I  figured out pretty quickly that I needed to do something different than what I had been doing pre-injury/surgery as I was being too hard on myself for not being able to do what I used to be able to do.  I am having to re-invent myself and not be to hard on myself as well… not an easy task, but I’m up for the challenge!

How Does She Do It: Health and Fitness by Kelly

‘How Does She Do It?’ is a new feature where my girlfriends who have it GOIN’ ON let the rest of us in on some of their secrets/tips. Real women, real moms, real advice (love that!)

How Does She Do It: Health and Fitness

Meet Kelly, 37, mom of 2 kids, ages 15 and 12. I met her a few years ago through a mutual friend and when I sat down to lunch with her I distinctly remember two things: 1. She was unbelievably gorgeous, as in, I’m not even sure if I can like her because she’s so pretty I can’t look directly at her, and, 2. She ate the BREAD. At a ladies lunch! Then I went from not being sure about her to loving and hating her all in that jealous moment. Oh, did I mention I was pregnant and huge? Yeah. Anyway, it was obvious when she started talking that she has the number 1 quality I look for in a person, which is that she is genuine. She is genuinely comfortable in her own skin. She’s not one of those fragile, I-don’t-know-I’m-pretty type of girls (who can stand them?!) but she’s sporty, pretty, fun, real, confident, and best of all she OWNS it.

What did you eat yesterday? 

Coffee, chicken noodle soup, chips and salsa and pork tacos.

What’s a typical eating day for you? 

Always coffee, a big lunch (soup, salad, Mexican) and a lighter dinner. 

What would you consider a “splurge”? 

Luckily I have no sweet tooth so my splurge probably has bacon, fried and smothered in cheese. Today I had onion rings.

(Emily’s note: Can I have my sweet tooth removed too, please? Is that something they can extract? Because mine is taking over my life.)

Have you ever gone through a time in your life when you were overweight?

I was a chunky monkey from the ages 15-20.  I tried a lot of fad diets and once I gave up and just started eating realistically and added a workout routine and the weight came off on it’s own.  Surprisingly, I started losing weight after the birth of my son.  I got into competitive martial arts and that quickly peeled the weight off. 

What’s a typical week’s workout schedule? 

I rarely go to the gym. However, I play on a women’s volleyball league, always on the go with my kids….running and chasing them, swimming, biking and dancing is more my style for a workout.  I do like to lift light weights for strength training.

Do you wear make-up and cute clothes when you work out? 

Yep! I don’t go full-blown diva but if I run into an ex-boyfriend, I want him kicking himself…so the minimum amount to achieve that. 🙂

Do you regularly weigh yourself?  

Yes…a couple times a week.

Do you count calories?

No, not at all.

Is “Fitspiration” on Pinterest/Instagram motivating or depressing?  

I can see how it could be both.  If it’s depressing, it’s because you’re not motivated enough to do something about it so it becomes a reminder of what you’re not willing to work for.  If it’s motivating, it’s being used properly.  

(Emily’s note: Whoa! Tough but fair!)

Do you have a pre-event diet?

I keep myself within a 30 day beach-ready goal, which basically means I can tone up, tweak my diet and hit the gym hard for 30 days and feel confident and sexy in a bikini no more than 30 days out.  My diet focuses on lots of water, chicken/lean meats, low sodium, realistic foods and no soda or sugar. Adding a cleanse is great too. 

(Emily’s note: I love this 30-Days-Out approach and I have never ever heard it before in all the magazines I’ve ever read.) 

Do you work out with a buddy or by yourself? 

Typically myself and my kick-ass ipod playlist.

To what do you attribute your current physical fitness? (Diet, exercise, both, good genes, hard work, etc.) 

I think I have been fortunate to not have to be a slave to my weight anymore.  I don’t view keeping busy and active as hard work but I know it’s a major component to fitness.  Similar to playing sports…it’s my way of tricking my body into getting some exercise while really enjoying it.  My diet is practical for a busy working mom.  Also, my genetics are fantastic…my mother is 64 and can pass for 45 any day of the week. She is the Alpha Cougar! 🙂  

(Emily’s note: This is Kelly with her Mom and Daughter…ummmmmm I’d say that’s the genetic jackpot right there!)