daily living

My typical Monday post is a recap of the weekend, but I don’t often post anything regarding the rest of the week except for food and exercise. Now that I’m back to personal training, my day is more chaotic, in a good way.

On Monday, I had one client, so I had a leisurely breakfast in the morning of my favorite pancakes before heading to the gym to train. After, I fit in my own workout. By the time I got back home, it was time for a lunch of leftovers. I’m still getting used to my sporadic routine and I have a hard time enjoying leisure time for myself when it’s in the middle of the day, but I did watch an episode of The West Wing and do some reading, while also spending ample time with Simba, who wanted my full attention.

IMG_2162.JPG

Then it was back to the gym to work a shift at the front desk. By the time I got home, I was ready for dinner and bed.

Tuesday was a different day than normal as I had to drive into the city for a training opportunity. We finished after lunch time, so I fit in a quick workout of all the exercises that required equipment before driving home to check in on the kitten, finish up some body weight training, then head out on a run. I spent the rest of the afternoon reading and writing then had a client after dinner. Pretty much by the time I got home, I was ready for bed because Wednesdays are one of my 5am call times!

The hardest part of waking up early for me are the few moments after the alarm went off and now not wanting to leave a cuddly kitten behind, particularly when he’s meowing at me because he wants to be patted.

IMG_2161.JPG

Duty calls though, so I grabbed all my stuff I had organized the night before and got to work. After finishing up with my clients, I fit in my own workout of strength training and a session on the elliptical before heading home for lunch! Leftovers are my favorite lunch because it requires minimal preparation, especially when you’re already hungry! I typed up this post, among other little chores around the house, then headed back to work to train.

It can feel hectic sometimes, but I’m happy to be back and doing what I think I was meant to do! Am I sorry most of my pictures lately are of my kitten? No, I am not.

We’re more than halfway through the week!

how to be a morning workout (crazy) person

Let me be honest. Morning workouts are amazing. You get to check-off a bullet on your to-do list first thing. You feel great, you’re doing something great for your body, and you don’t have to think about exercise the rest of your day. But also, waking up sucks.

Unless you’re one of those magical unicorns who enjoys waking up with the sun, it’s hella hard to do it. When I started my work day at 8:30 am, morning exercise wasn’t something I considered because I don’t believe in waking up before 6:00 am unless I’m going on vacation. To me, 5:00 am is the middle of the night. Also, I really appreciate a solid 7-8 hours of sleep a night and I don’t want to go to bed at 9:00 pm. I like sleeping and I like having my evenings to decompress after work…so what’s a girl to do?

Pick your poison.

My ideal workout time of day is mid-late morning, but that is not something a person can realistically accomplish when working a 9-5 job. When I was a personal trainer, I made my own hours and it was glorious, but also spoiled me. Switching over to my production job, I knew I needed to go after work and many times, after running around all day, my mind and body were exhausted. I still went because I’d go nuts without my exercise, and it was a solid way of letting the day go, but I didn’t feel as though I was maximizing my body’s potential. You do what you gotta do and you make the best of it, but now that I’m in my new position, I go into work a half hour later and it’s made all the difference.

Thankfully- knock on wood- traffic is also better, so I only need to wake up 40 minutes earlier in order to fit in a full hour workout AND a quick sit-down breakfast. Part of this, is once I’m readying for my day, I’ve already been up for a bit and don’t linger in the shower still half asleep.

But how do I not hit the snooze button once the alarm goes off? Not sheer will power, I just know myself. Once that alarm goes off, I know morning has arrived, and regardless of having these extra minutes of sleep available to me, I know I’m not going to get fully back to sleep and then I’ll be slow and mopey. So when the alarm goes off, I get up, and remind myself that working out now is always better than later. Play tricks on yourself, it works.

I have about ten minutes to get ready before I hop in my car, so to prepare myself for this, I have my clothes out, my bag packed, and my water bottle filled and waiting in the fridge for me to grab on my way out. I brush my teeth, throw my hair into a ponytail, and go. Once at the gym, it might take a rep or five to have my muscles wake up, but they get going and they’re thankful for it. I’m refreshed in mind, body, and soul, and it makes a huge difference.

Another reason I’ve been successful at working out in the morning is that exercise is a habit. It should be as intuitive as brushing your teeth and eating breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Most days, it doesn’t occur to me not to workout. I need it to feel better and stronger. Exercise, it makes you stronger physically and emotionally.

Number one reason I’m free to workout in the morning: I don’t have a child or anyone else to take care of in the morning.

workout updates

I’m quite pleased with my new workout routine I crafted a week ago. Before, I would either do total body almost every day or break it in different variations of triceps, biceps, chest, back, shoulders, and legs. For whatever reason, my body rebels against leg day and I have struggled to not resent those days.

However, I think I’ve found my antidote. Many people who do split routines do legs all in one, but this time around, I decided to break it up much like I do with the upper body. Here’s what my new routine looks like:

Day One: Triceps, Chest, Quads, Core

Day Two: Quick Total Body (Run Day)

Day Three: Biceps, Back, Hamstrings, Core

Day Four: Quick Total Body (Run Day)

Day Five: Shoulders, Ab/Adductors, Glutes, Core

Day Six: Yoga (Run Day)

And on the seventh day, I deserve a helluva rest!

Again, I’m only on my second week of this routine, but my muscles are sore and feel as though they have received the proper attention to each group. On Week 1, I ran through each exercise in three sets of twelve reps and Week 2 is four sets of ten reps at a slightly higher weight. For Week 3, I’ll do three sets of fifteen reps at a lower weight, and then my highest weight on Week 4 for five sets of eight reps.

Repeat.

For strength training, I like to incorporate body strength moves with weight training for the best results. For example, I’ll throw in some plyometric moves to hit my lower body, such as jumping lunges or jumping squats, and for my upper body, I’ll add a lot of push-ups and triceps dips. This adds a nice little dose of breathless to the equation.

For my core training, which I do every day at the end of my strength routine, I’ve tried to be better about hitting each spot of the comprehensive core. I do a lot to hit the obliques, like twists and lean downs, as well as stretch out the upper and lower portions of my stomach with rollouts or leg lifts, and finally strengthen the lower back  and pelvic regions with supermans and hip lifts.

On my non-run days, I do little bouts of high intensity cardio, including the spin bike and jump roping. It’s been awhile since I’ve jump roped, but I’m getting back into it and I just love it. It’s one of the best total body workouts you can do.

I’ve left the gym feeling sweaty and accomplished, which is really the reason we go in the first place. Or at least for me. I can’t speak for you.

My workouts are intense, but I love the challenge. My problem area has always been the eating and I know I need to rein in the sugar and extracurricular eating I tend to do when stressed or bored. Mindlessness is nobody’s friend, but I am feeling better about it.

What makes you feel strong?

These Legs Were Made For Walking

My  poor legs are so tired at the end of the work day that the last thing they want to do is run. At least, that’s what I’m going with.

For my Tuesday night workout, I hopped on the treadmill (ugh) and did a 5-4-3-2-1 run/walk. Walk for 5 minutes, run for 5 and so forth. My body wasn’t happy but it made it through. I ended my cardio with a quick Tabata HIIT Training, four minutes, 20 second sprint and ten second rest.

My body did enjoy the Yoga sequence I worked through after. At least I’m still flexible!

Food was a success, starting with this omelet, toast, and fruit.

IMG_6095.JPG

A little bowl of oats with a spoonful of peanut butter, jelly, and blueberries made my first snack of the day.

IMG_6096.JPG

Lunch was another bowl of quinoa, chickpeas, red pepper, zucchini, and carrots with soyaki. I also had a cheesestick and a handful of wheat thins to accompany it.

My second snack of the day fueled me through my workout. A salad with lettuce, cucumber, carrot, a dash of shredded cheese, deli turkey, and a handful of almonds on the side.

IMG_6100.JPG

For dinner, I baked some chicken tenders and zucchini sticks and matched them with spinach rice and broccoli. Before the white sauce:

IMG_6101.JPG

After the white sauce:

IMG_6102.JPG

The “white sauce” looks more brown because I used whole wheat flour instead of white.

In other news, my first LA radio station is one that plays Christmas music non-stop. I make my mother proud.

 

It’s Fall, Ya’ll

Let’s start with yesterday’s lunch of leftovers. I enjoyed short ribs and macaroni and cheese with a fall vegetable medley of goodness. Lunch was fancy because my dinner consisted of a peanut butter and jelly with yogurt and veggie sticks. Not that it wasn’t delicious, it just wasn’t a gourmet meal.

IMG_4231

This morning’s breakfast came in stages thanks to an early workout and work call. I rolled out of bed to my alarm a little sad and weary, but once I got moving, I felt great! My metabolism got a jolt thanks to a peanut butter wrap, a tall glass of water, and a cup of coffee. Post-workout, I ate a hard-boiled egg, a cheesestick, and a banana. Later on, I followed that up with some almonds and raisins.

I’m in the process of mixing up my workouts, so today’s consisted of a series of grueling circuits that left me feeling strong. First came a core-centered warm-up rotational lunges, elevated hip lifts, reverse crunches, sit up extensions on the stability ball, and stability ball tucks. The second circuit included kettlebell swings, step ups, side box jumps, weighted split squats, and tricep push ups. My final circuit was strength heavy with deadlifts, bench presses, high pulls, front raises, and rows. For my cardio, I hopped in the pool for a half hour swim.

After work, I was ready for lunch! I had grilled chicken and a salad on hand, so I tossed everything together and heated up a small plate of macaroni and cheese to enjoy on the side.

IMG_4234

I headed back into work for a few hours after some studying and came home to fix myself dinner. Can we talk about how good turkey meat is for tacos? We don’t make it often, but it is delicious! I fancied mine up by grilling two tortillas with cheese, throwing on the meat, and topping them with baby spinach, zucchini, mushrooms, and peppers. Oh my God they were so tasty and satisfying! Also, kind of beautiful.

IMG_4235

Speaking of beautiful, can we talk about this weather? I try not to mention weather too often because there was a period there when I was only talking about weather. But it has been so nice this week! Even though the nights are so dark so early. Oh, happy days. At least the holidays are coming up because the festivities make it easier to bear. Anyways, I snapped this picture on my walk yesterday. The trees have been spectacular!

IMG_4232

Kind of makes me excited for Thanksgiving!

I’m the Maid of Honor, B*tch

I had a dream last night that a man stole my sister’s “precious” graphing calculator and we were all stressed out about it. Like, she was really upset. So I hunted the man down, doing a stakeout and everything and I took him down with a taser. Over a graphic calculator, while screaming “I’m the Maid of Honor, Bitch!” After, everyone congratulated me and I would tell them, “I’m just being a good Maid of Honor.”

Dream interpretation anyone? I’ll go first. I think it’s clear that I am not recuperating from the wedding being over. It’s been a rough few months since.

On another note, I ate a peach and didn’t die. Oh? You do this on the regular? Well then you must not have a pitted fruit allergy that precludes you from eating juicy, delicious peaches. I was tentative, but persevered and turns out, I didn’t show any symptoms. Yay me!

I also really understand the Nervous System. Listen, I’ve been stuck on the “Basic Human Science” chapter for awhile now with my Personal Training studying because I am terrible at science. It’s been quite the process but now that I have a grasp on it, things are going well. I would go as far as to say that today’s moment of strength came from studying and realizing that I actually grasp the concepts. In part, this is due to proof that hard work and diligence show results. It’s also just really cool and important to understand how the body works, how complex it is, and how important it is that we treat our bodies the right way. I might be taking it a bit too far, however, because on my way to work today, I yelled at a smoking woman for damaging her muscle spindles. We were both in our cars and she couldn’t hear me, but I know she felt it.

Let’s talk about the food for the day! Breakfast was this quick homemade waffle. I smeared peanut butter and jelly all over it and enjoyed with a bowl of berries.

IMG_3840

It was excellent fuel for my workout today, which included a kettlebell circuit, a medicine ball circuit, and a plyometric circuit and ended with sprints. I’ve never run so hard (on the treadmill) as I did today and even though my workout was killer, I felt powerful. Nothing better than that feeling!

Lunch was leftover pizza from last night’s dinner. I chopped up a bunch of celery and peppers, along with some carrots, that I dipped in some ranch dressing to go along with the slices.

IMG_3841

As I mentioned, I had a peach a little while later and I lived to tell about it.

The rest of the day was filled with studying and working. Before I left, I had a cup of Greek yogurt with some grapes to tide me over until dinner. My body was overheated from sitting outside and the yogurt was actually really refreshing.

When I got home from work, I heated leftover ravioli with a couple of chicken meatballs and a stir fry of veggies.

IMG_3844

All good here! Hope everyone has a lovely Friday!

I’ve Got That Boom Boom and That Sass

When you read my title of this post, please do so to the tempo of Britney Jean Spears’ “I’ve Got That Boom Boom.” It’s relevant to a piece of this post.

Who’s the dumb-dumb who got burned in all the wrong places? That would be me. I actually put on sunscreen this time too, but it was the spray kind and I slathered it on the beach, which means it went flying everywhere except for my body. Now I’m left with weird and painful stripes of red.

Note: Ibuprofin works like a beast. My favorite thing ever created.

With all my recapping and busy time, I haven’t had a chance to talk about exercise in awhile. Things were a little murky even before vacation because I came down with the sniffles, if you’ll recall. Once they cleared, I attempted a workout, but had to take it easy because I was still feeling weaker than usual.

Vacation happened and even though there was a lot of walking, I didn’t do anything exercisey except for that magnificent hike that left my thighs burning for days after. I’m sure it also had to do with my sitting on a plane for five and a half hours.

I got back into the flow of things on Friday with a strength and plyometric workout. On Saturday, I fit in some Yoga and a walk/run that felt a little sore, but good to move. I’ve been trying to do more Yoga, even if it’s just for 20-30 minutes and on my own.

Since I had to work in the morning on Sunday then head up to the Cape for a day after, I woke up super special early to fit in a morning workout that consisted of strength training. It felt good to be up and moving early again, though not enough to do it on a consistent basis when I don’t have to. So long as I fit in exercise at all!

On Monday, I was able to get myself up again because I wanted to try out a Yoga class they offer on the beach! I think I romanticized the idea too much in my head because even though being outside and by the water was spectacular, walking in the sand is hard enough. Trying to do all the poses definitely challenged me. I also would have liked to have done it a little earlier in the morning so that the sun wasn’t quite at full blast. Regardless, it was an amazing experience!

I’ve been wanting to mix things up a little bit with exercise, so on Tuesday after work, I decided to try a kickboxing class. It went by a different name on the schedule, so I didn’t even know it was kickboxing until I got there. I think watching Buffy inspired me to act a little kick-ass and I had a blast. My punching and kicking skills could use a ton of improvement, however, but at least I still have my sass to back me up.

The workout was great, but it didn’t put me through the ringer like I enjoy in my exercise, so after, I went upstairs to fit in a kettlebell strength workout. At the end, I did a quick core circuit that included dual moves like mountain climbing push-ups and sit up Russian twists. They were grueling, but awesome!

Tonight, I knew I wanted to fit in a run and some more Yoga, but with the humidity levels going crazy outside, I decided to take it into the treadmill. It’s not my favorite to do, but I got a good rhythm going with my new playlist and fit in a half hour run that left me nice and sweaty before I dropped into Yoga class. I always forget how much I like Yoga until I do it, but it’s one of those things that I will let slide in order to fit in more intense workouts in a shorter amount of time. I’m working on it!

Even though everything has been amazing, positive experiences, this summer has felt a little off when it comes to routine. I left my job and started a new one- which by the way, I am loving- then went on vacation before I felt settled. It’s always surreal to make changes and I am not complaining, but I haven’t felt as productive in other regards of my life, like studying and writing.

We’re back on track as they say and I am hoping to get going on a few new ideas I have regarding the blog. Keep checking in!

What got your heart pumping this week?