My Left Side Is Rebelling Against Me

I just came back from my first massage in a year (almost to the day) and it made me realize how much has changed. It’s funny what triggers those thoughts! Last year, I got a massage with my mom and sister right before my sister’s wedding. I happened to be at a job that was stressful and that I didn’t love and I had to ask the massage therapist to stop touching my neck because it hurt too much from where I carried my stress.

A year later and I’m in a position I love, I know exactly the muscles that are being affected by the massage, and the tension in my body isn’t from stress, so much as physical labor. As I suspected from recent weeks, my left side has been taking a beating, from my foot to my upper trapezius muscles. No idea why the tension is primarily on one side over the other, especially considering that I’m right-handed, but it happens!

Note to self, get massages more regularly.

This is the face of a happy beach-goer.

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The only decent selfie that was snapped of the four of us celebrating Katie’s birthday!

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My breakfast is already anticipating the July 4th holiday, thanks to the delicious fruit!

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In other news, I’ve been grinding at the gym with total body workouts, including a day of intense HIIT and plyometric strength training so as to rev up the metabolism and burn fat. I also upped my running to three times a week, altering mileage, speed, and incline to mix things up (especially if it’s raining and I’m stuck on the treadmill). I’m still going easy on the lower back exercises- deadlifts, rows, and bridges in particular- but my back isn’t quite as sore as before. In exciting personal gains, I’m getting so much better at the hanging leg raises, and my body is no longer swaying, but is stabilized by a stronger core. Practice does make better!

According to the body fat calculator at work, I’m down 3% since the last time I weighed in, around a month ago. I don’t know how accurate body fat calculators are, but it has showed similar numbers in the past, so I’ll take it!

Like most of the world, I am also obsessed with Hamilton and I’ve been listening to the Original Broadway Cast Recording on repeat all day, every day.

I’ve had to tear myself away from this new book I’m reading thanks to my mom’s recommendation. It’s called Two Truths and a Lie by Katrina Kittle and it’s fascinating. I sat down in my backyard Monday afternoon expecting to get through a chapter or two and ended up reading for the next three hours. Whoops.

It is summer, so it’s almost time for my annual Harry Potter reread! Someone didn’t believe me that there was a July 31st and the only reason I knew for a definitive fact that yes, 100% there was indeed a July 31st was because it’s Harry Potter and JK Rowling’s birthday. Let’s not eliminate such a blessed day!

Writing time! Happy Wednesday, folks!

I Think I Broke My One Abdominal Muscle

Okay, I promise I know that there is more than one abdominal muscle in the body. I happen to be studying the muscles as we speak. But sometimes, especially in my regard, I feel like there is just a one-pack. Regardless, I just so happened to twinge one of those muscles yesterday and so I’m really feeling that little guy today.

I’m not certain what happened. Since starting my studying, I’ve realized just how important the core is, so I’ve been making an effort to extend that facet of training. One move that is uber effective is the ab roller and I even had my form checked to ensure that I was doing it correctly- which for the record, I was- but for whatever reason, it hurts in that NOT-A-GOOD-PAIN sort of pain. I did it on Monday with no issues, then tried it again on Wednesday and realized I needed another day of rest from it. Come Thursday, I thought, well hey, but I didn’t make it through one before the pain entered and did not go away. Great.

My workout before that was a fun one. I found a superset workout online, added a few exercises to make it a total body experience, and it killed in a super way. Supersets have you perform two (or more) different exercises back-to-back utilizing the same muscle groups. Whew. I haven’t felt that kind of tension in my muscles (this time, the good kind of pain) in awhile! Mission accomplished, I suppose.

After the ab roller fiasco, I stuck to other core exercises that didn’t twinge nearly as bad. Another fun part of my workout was this box jump/step up combination I thought up the other day. I start out jumping onto a smaller platform (I’ve got no game when it comes to jumping), jumping down, then stepping up onto a larger platform. I kind of felt like I was leap frogging, but there was barely anyone around and I had a blast (and an effective workout)!

I swear to you, I snapped photos of my lunch and dinner from yesterday, but my phone deleted them! Lunch was a salad using leftover steak from the previous night’s fajita dinner. For dinner, I gobbled down a piece of swordfish with brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and spinach rice. Both meals were excellent and they looked pretty too, so I’m bummed the pictures are gone.

This morning, I rolled out of bed later than I should have because I was a lady-on-a-mission to get to a spin class on time. First, I had to fuel up, which came in the form of and egg and egg-white scramble. I topped the eggs with a sprinkle of cheese and had a piece of whole wheat toast as well.

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Along with the all-important glasses of water and coffee, it was the perfect meal to energize me! Spin was a great class and once again, I feel like I’m improving. For the record, I made it just in time.

To follow up my cardio, I performed a few resistance moves, including tricep bench presses, lunge presses (note, hard!), clean and presses, seated rows, and lateral pull downs. There was no method to my madness as one of my goals this weekend is to formulate an entirely new workout plan. For today, I just went with what felt right in the moment. My ab muscle was feeling better, though still a little tender, and I focused on core moves that would stretch it out. In a circuit style, I did something I don’t know the name of but it required me holding a weight in one hand and leaning into it, leg ups, side box jumps, kettlebell goblet squats with pull ups, and kettlebell swings. I fit in some nice stretching before heading out.

My post-workout meal included a piece of peanut butter toast and a Greek yogurt with grapes!

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Have a great weekend!