A strong woman has faith that she is strong enough for the journey… but a woman of strength has faith that it is in the journey that she will become strong. So every day I get STRONGER!

DEPRESSIOM

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On low carb days bananas taunt me. No really! They sit together in a pretty little bunch smelling all good just screaming EAT ME! EAT ME! Other than that smoothie banana for the day I don’t give in though. I’m stronger than that!

Since we’re speaking on food let’s stay here for a little while and I’ll share with you some of my thoughts on various eating habits. My first rule of thumb is to ALWAYS REMEMBER you are an individual. There is no person like in you in exact physical make-up. You have to keep that at the forefront when working your plan for eating for LIFE. My second rule is pay attention to how you naturally eat/prefer to eat i.e. do you prefer small frequent meals (a grazer) or do you prefer larger meals etc. Next, what foods do you love/hate and how do they make you feel. I really believe that over the years that the convenience of processed foods and fast foods have taken a huge toll on our minds and bodies therefore it is essential that we take a close look at the state of our meals…WHAT EXACTLY ARE YOU PUTTING IN YOUR BODY???

My story…became a vegetarian cold turkey in 1996, began eating chicken again in late ’97.Mid ’98 saw me vegetarian again gradually becoming vegan by 2000. The time between 2000-2005 saw me moving from a vegan diet to a raw vegan diet and then back to vegetarian. Learning more about weight lifting and finding an increasing need for less soy based protein I added back in eggs and dairy. After the birth of my second daughter I found myself vegan once again for the 2.5years that I nursed. I then added back in dairy and maintained a good balance during my first two serious rounds of following the New Rules of Lifting program.

It was last year as I got closer and closer to my goal and was so wrapped up in making sure I ate enough that I realized on cardio only days I just wasn’t hungry. I was then that I began carb cycling. NOTE: Most people that are strictly looking to lose weight and get in better shape will NEVER need to really worry about cycling their carbs. Me on the other hand, I got big dreams and so I have 4 high carb days and 3 low carb days to help me reach my goals.

I typically eat 3 times a day(maybe 4) and I space my meals at least 4hours apart. Again, this is my style of eating. I like to sit and relax with my meal and my meals take time so I eat less often. That works best for me. I added chicken and turkey back into my diet last year but I mostly eat fish, eggs and beans for my protein. I do eat yogurt and cottage cheese on a regular but limit most other dairy. If I do cheese, it’s 2% and milk is 1%.

One of the main reasons I am currently practicing carb cycling is because my goal is really changing the composition of my body. Last year when I was on lower calories during my recomp I got great results but I realized later that I was smaller than I wanted and I’ve realized recently that I can weigh more and still look good. So this time around my calories are higher to achieve muscle gain but the carb cycling is in place to help lose fat or at the very least not gain any. So far so good! The other reason I carb cycle is for the discipline and  the balance. It helps me to stay focused on my goals, fitness and otherwise.

Now though you might not need to carb cycle you should have an idea of what your diet numbers are. Some people are eating more than they need to but most of you are probably eating LESS than what your body needs. Either situation can make progress NULL & VOID so here’s a break down. Plug in your numbers, track your calories for a week and see how well you were doing. Then track your calories(keep a food journal ) for another 21days to keep YOURSELF accountable.

THIS FORMULA IS FOR WOMEN:

BMR=655.1 + (9.563 x kg) +(1.850 x cm)- (4.676 x age)

kg= your weight in pounds divided by 2.2

cm= your height in inches x 2.54

After you get your BMR multiply that by the physical activity(PA) that fits your lifestyle:

Sedentary:  little or no exercise  BMR x 1.2

Lightly active: light exercise or sports 1-3days wk BMR x 1.375

Moderately active: moderate exercise or sports 3-5days week BMR x 1.55

Very active:  intense exercise or sports 6-7days wk BMR x 1.725

Extra Active: very intense daily exercise, sports & physical job or twice daily training BMR x 1.9

 

Now if you are trying to lose weight subtract 300 from the number you ended up with. (BMR x PA) – 300

If you are strictly trying to build, multiply that number by 20% and add it to your total i.e. let’s say you had a BMR of 1450 PA 1.55

For weight loss (1450 x 1.55) – 300= 2247.5 – 300 = 1947.5

For muscle gain (1450 x 1.55) x .20 = 2247.5 x .20 =449.5 Total calorie intake 2247+449.5 =2697

A note for muscle gain: YOU HAVE GOT TO BE PUTTING IN THE WORK!

Any questions or comments please share!

Brick by brick

So I had planned to work out at home for six weeks then get back to the gym once my on campus summer class started. Well that class was canceled so I found myself putting together a little something to get me through til the start of school or around there about. The first six weeks found me doing giant sets and an outdoor steps circuit. Loved the giant sets(nice change from my normal way of lifting) but really didn’t like the steps all that much. It was some great cardio, though I knew from past experience that that type of workout is often not the best for me when I’m trying to do any focused lifting work. Just too much stress for my body to recover well. In fact found myself resting a week early due to injury. I’m over that now though I kick myself for knowing I needed to change things up yet refusing to do it. I’m just thankful that I got a warning that made me sit down before I caused some serious damage.

During my rest period I finally got back to my Kundalini yoga and meditation and started 40 day sets in each in succession. Just completed day 19 of the yoga set found here: http://www.pinklotus.org/-%20KY%20Kriya%20Keeping%20the%20body%20beautiful.htm& here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DPQs31TeDY8 and day 17 of the meditation found here:http://www.yogibhajan.org/ybkriyas/index.php?id=27 and here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Qvj1e4KLJo

As promised on my fitness page over at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Forever-Fit/165705690193583 here is a rundown of MY current program. Note the capital letters in MY. This is how I’m working MY BODY based on my experiences, my goals and my current resources. There is a strong emphasis in the hip/glute area as well as a nice amount of isolation exercises in the upper body. I am at the end of my second week with four weeks to go in this cycle, here goes:

UPPER BODY A

Inverted row

Lateral raise

Back flyes

Staggered push-ups

Shoulder press

Hammer curl

Tricep dip

UPPER BODY B

Inverted row

Front raise

Bent over row

Push -up w/feet elevated and an increasing pause at bottom(at 4sec now)

Cross-over bicep curl

Tricep push-ups

LOWER BODY A

Cross over step up (totally love these!)

Frog lifts(legs bent)

One-sided elevated squat

Glute bridge

Single leg/arm Romanian DL

Squat on toes

Seated leg extensions(with db)

HILLS: Started at 5min working up to 15min

LOWER BODY B

Crossover step up

Sissy squat

Inner thigh squeeze

Frog lifts (legs straight )

Leg extensions

Single leg/arm RDL

Glute bridge

HILLS

I do callanetics for my abs Sun-Fri and yoga and meditation in the evening daily. I’ll do the yoga for 40days then take a week off before starting the same set or another set. The meditation I plan to take through a 90 day cycle.

My schedule goes like this:

Sunday- long run (though it’s not very long right now because I’m starting over)

Monday- upper A

Tuesday- lower A

Wednesday- REST or walk 

Thursday- upper B

Friday- lower B

Saturday- REST or light walk

REPEAT, REPEAT, REPEAT!

The past year I have surprised myself with some progress even when I wasn’t trying to progress and I’m super excited to share this in just a few weeks. It’s funny because I remember back when I was 18 and said this was what I wanted but over the years had come to believe that it was not the thing for me. Now it has come full circle and is just a subtle reminder that WHAT WILL BE WILL BE. Sometimes all we need to do is get out of the way.

I love being me, but I’d like to get to know you. Please chime in with questions, comments and the like.

LET’S GET IT!

It’s been awhile but I’m still here and ready to take this blog  in a new direction. From now on the blog will follow a fitness base with life lessons still thrown in from time to time. I’m gaining a lot of speed in my life and fitness journeys and I want to encourage, inspire and positively impact as many others as I can along the way. This is just one vessel for me but I would like to make it a powerful force in my mission so I need your feedback and your input. Let me know what you think. I’m always on a quest to be better, do better, live better every step of the way, help me do that. Peace.

I Challenge you…

Starting tomorrow, the long awaited 40day challenge begins.  This will probably not be anything like you expected but I’m hoping all who participate gain something from it no matter how small. This is all you have to do, first read the Wisdom Access questions at the bottom of the page and answer them truthfully, check in on the blog a minimum of twice a week, at the beginning of the week to share your focus, objectives etc. and then later in the week to share how it’s going. At the end of the forty days I will choose a challenge winner and a prize will be given out (really cool book + ??). SIMPLE!

This challenge is essentially about you versus you. I am calling upon you to face your own worst enemy and come out the victor. And given the nature of this challenge, IT IS NOT restricted to areas of fitness or weight loss. This can be about whatever area in your life you are ready to focus on.

The following questions should take you from start to finish on this 40day journey and help set the foundation to tackle other areas in your life and those around you. What we are looking for is the domino effect. Please share your thoughts, share your energy,  your inspiration. LET’S GROW TOGETHER!

Stage 1

1) What do you REALLY, REALLY want?

2) What’s YOUR motivation?

3) What are YOU afraid of?

STAGE 2

1) What do YOU need to put in place to accomplish this?

2) What will make the BIGGEST difference RIGHT NOW?

3) What has to happen for YOU to feel successful?

STAGE 3

1) What lies ahead?

All stages require you to declare some things. In order for me to choose a winner at the end,you must share these things with me. You can however, choose not to share and just use the questions for your own personal challenge. That is okay. I would suggest that everyone participating keep some type of journal to record things going on during this process.. Use it however you see fit.  The most lasting change comes from being active in the process so get active with what you’re doing. Feel free to add links in your post to sites/information you find helpful or inspiring. Remember, we’re building a community, LET’S GET IT!

For this week I will start the sharing in the comments of this post and each week following, start a new post. We’ll be going strong till June 30th. Remember, it takes 40days to break a habit and 90days for a new habit to stick so this is just the beginning!

Crawl back to life

Wanted to write this post for weeks now but still having some time management issues so let’s see if the original thought is still as strong and if I can get the words flowing to tell you what is constantly on my heart.

I watched the hunger special on the food network a  couple of weeks ago and there was a woman in Texas that runs a food pantry. Everyday before they opened the pantry they gathered together and their final chat was, “If you can’t feed them all, feed just one!” So simple, but it’s something to remember in so many aspects of our lives. There is always so much we want to do, so many lives we want to touch. But in the end, we can only do so much.  So this post is for that one person. I hope that something I say inspires you in some way to do something that you never thought you could do. For that one person to make a positive change in their life and then pay it forward and inspire positive change in the life of another. I don’t have all the answers and I too have my moments of weakness and despair. I do however know how to seek the answers I need and make a choice not to dwell in a space of despair or let my weaknesses overtake my strengths. I encourage you to do the same.

Though one of my chief concerns is health and fitness, this is not solely directed at those on a fitness journey. This is about TRULY LIVING LIFE! We all have DIVINE callings we need to answer. Consider this your call to duty.

Whatever your journey consists of  it will be hard.  YOU MUST TAKE IT ANYWAY! No one can do it for you nor has the heart to do it for you because they have no idea what that journey really means to YOU!  You know all of your inner struggles. And because you know all those little details, you already know how strong you are. You already know that you are capable of overcoming obstacles. You already know that you can keep going long after you think you can’t. You know you can make choices that you feel good about. You know you can learn from mistakes and put your best foot forward. You already know you are powerful beyond measure! Yes, there will be times when you lose  sight of things or when you detour a little more than you want to, it happens. Life happens. But that doesn’t mean you give up, that means you pick up where you left off and keep it pushin…that’s the key, DON’T GIVE UP! Faith doesn’t make things easy, it just makes them possible! Have faith and start crawling….

Sung to the tune of Crawl by Chris Brown

Even if others think you’re through,

You don’t have to share that view.

The only one who matters is you

I hope that you can see that too.

 

So where do you go from here,

When you seem so far from your goals?

And where can life take you now

If you believe that you can, you can still have it all!

If you crawl, til you can walk again.

Then you’ll run. Until you’re strong enough to jump.

Then you’ll flyyyyy!

Your journey has no end.

So just crawl, crawl, crawl 

back to Life!

 

Take the focus off the pace!

Your journey need not be a race.

Everything in time and space.


Learn from setbacks and mistakes.

 

So where is your vision now,

Is it in the depths of your heart?

LOOOOK, can you see it clear?

Now is the time, take the chance you can’t fall!

If you crawl, til you can walk again.

Then you’ll run. Until you’re strong enough to jump.

Then you’ll flyyyy, your journey has no end.

 

So just crawl, crawl, crawl back to LIFE!

 

 

 

Well, well, well. The 40days are almost up and since no one shared in their ventures this was a solo act or at least one that was personal. I have to admit I did not have the focus I had hoped to. I actually experienced a personal crisis that had me dealing with a lot of unexpected emotions and issues & I was really just going through the motions for a few weeks. That’s behind me now and I did well on one of the things on my original list. I did not have a drink for over thirty days! In fact just broke on Sunday and the reason that I broke early was simply because it was the right time for me. Like I said in the original post, your forty days can start any time. I will in actually be starting over on the 8th. A personal thing to keep me focused on some things I need to get done in my life and to kinda to keep my head clear.

So, my birthday is just about 5 weeks away….SUPER EXCITED! I know some people feel like birthdays are for children, but not I! As far as I’m concerned birthdays should be celebrated by all ages. My biggest dilemma right now is what I want to eat and whether or not I want cake or a banana split from Bailey’s Chocolate Bar. Decisions, decisions. I am taking suggestions and I am taking donations to my birthday gift fund. School will be over soon and Online classes are my friends for summer school so no you will probably not find me at the school gym. It’s all bodyweight, all summer, three days a week. So if you want to help me get a TRX system for my B-day, I will gladly accept your money! Plans so far, morning birthday run(7.6miles), massage, pedicure & manicure, a late lunch w/some of my favorite peeps, DESSERT & SINGING and early to bed. WHY EARLY TO BED??? Because I start finals at 8am on May 9th! Is there no justice in this cruel world? No bothers though. WHY??? Because the following week when ALL finals are DONE, when I have SUCCESSFULLY COMPLETED my first year back in school I will break my 40 day hiatus, go out w/some of my favorite peeps AGAIN(I’m thinking some good games of bowling, & you guys can come too) then visiting my favorite place for a drink in the CWE & putting a nice night cap on it with a little reflection w/that one special peep that really helped make this year so great.

And then……… summer school starts! YES INDEED, PERSISTENCE IS KEY!

LGT!!