girls who lift

My Transformation So Far

image

I’ve changed a lot in this last year. And I’m not only talking about this physically. I’ve learned a lot. I’ve tried different things. Figured out what works.

Consistency is everything.
I worked out before but it was sporadic. Once I started making it a habit daily, I not only started to enjoy it more but I also craved it. Eating correctly was the same. We always think ‘oh that’s not so bad. Its just today I’ll eat it.’ But when you think like that everyday, its bad.

Where I started
I was just doing the workout games for the Kinect when I started working out on a regular basis. They were fun and gave me a good competition with myself. I saw my improvements and how often I worked out in one spot. That’s where I made it a habit to move my body, I gained strength of being able to do body weight things and got a greater range of motion. It was my stepping stone. Once I felt like I was beyond the games on my level, I started slowly buying more weights to go in my home gym set up. I bought a couple of ebooks from fitness Instagram people I followed that I liked to get me to figure out this whole weightlifting thing. I started researching moves and exercises on bodybuilding.com and fell in love. Weightlifting is awesome for a thrill, a challenge and a way to let your stress out.

As for eating, I started learning about macros on my own after seeing many fitness accounts on social media talk about it. Props to my own mom for pretty much believing the IIFYM type of diet. She always said its about how much you eat of things, calories in have to be less than calories out to lose weight. Whether that’s calories in of carrots and lettuce or Snickers bars. So props to you Mom, for being ahead of the game.
Anyways I started figuring out the macro thing for myself as well as learning about how to reverse my metabolism. It was a slow process. But it did happen. I figured out my maintenance macros to build muscle at the weight I was starting at. I kept up with my calories, carbs, fats & proteins daily. Its a bit of a game at first-figuring out what works and how to fit everything in. But once you get the hang of it, you can pretty much do it without even punching each bite in.

My Routine Now
After working on my metabolism and figuring out really what works for me, I’m not as crazy about my macros. I don’t punch in anything anymore. I don’t even think I have MyFitnessPal on my phone anymore. I listen to my body now and I follow the 80/20 rule. 80% of your diet should be whole healthy foods. 20% whatever else you want. That’s it guys. Once you change your habits you change your cravings, your taste buds and foods you reach for automatically. Its that initial change that sucks. Once you get past those first couple of months or so, you get used to it. And the results just come with it. You’ll realize how crappy certain foods make you feel and you honestly won’t miss them anymore. You’ll want to workout because it actually gives you energy. You just have to get started.

For my working out, remember I am a trainer by day and a coach by night. I love my body plenty in many different ways. But I do still work myself out. I lift heavy about 4-6 days a week. I do cardio maybe twice? Always after a lift session, usually on leg days I’ll do the step machine. If I do cardio on the treadmill, its always HIIT cardio and never more than 20 minutes long. Same for the stepper- no more than 20 minutes.
My ab progress? I started out doing abs 2x a week, but now I just engage my core with everything I do. And if I do abs in a class I teach or for conditioning, I’ll do it with them. Otherwise, I’ve stopped doing hard core an exercises in my own personal gym time.

I have created a guide for nutrition for those wanting help but don’t know where to start. Its completely FREE!!!
Just leave me your email and I’ll send it over! It has an intro to macros, a list of things to eat for each meal of the day, even a couple of recipes.

-a

The Right Kind of Goals-Setting Yourself Up for SUCCESS

goalSHORT TERM GOALS VS LONG TERM-WHICH IS BETTER?

When it comes to goal setting, a lot of people want to think “I want to be a size 0 and I want it now”. What if I told you life doesn’t work like that? Just like if you set your eyes on your dream career, you don’t get to just make the decision and then make it happen over night. For most, it takes months, even years to get the proper education, degrees, certifications, and training to reach those goals. Well, just like the career change example, you can’t just make health and fitness goals that are so big and have them happen within 24 hours. But so many people think it should work that way, so when they starve themselves or they work out hard for only 1 day, they give up already. But the journey has only started, so why give up before you even tried?!

possibl

SHORT TERM GOALS=SEEING SUCCESS AND RESULTS QUICKER

Create goals that are stepping stones for your long-term goals. Think about your goals of getting a degree, or moving up in your career to being the boss-it doesn’t just happen overnight after you decide that’s what you want for yourself. Health doesn’t happen overnight, either. It’s broken into pieces and smaller steps you have to take little by little to help you get to that ultimate goal, and you may even change your goals as you move forward. For a degree, you break off little pieces of information you are required to know to obtain the degree in smaller forms in each class you take. With that dream job, you have to work hard everyday and slowly prove yourself to everyone in the position you start at and move up slowly. That’s how this works, as well. Don’t get overwhelmed with wanting to drop 20 pounds in a week. You are setting yourself up for disappointment before you even start. But if you tell yourself your goal is to eat a healthy breakfast every morning this month and work out for at least 30 minutes most days of the week, you will feel better about yourself. Or make a goal of wanting to get into your old jeans in a couple of months. Small goals lead you to the bigger ones. They are easier to obtain and keep you motivated when you reach them to keep going towards the bigger goals. Stay focused and keep pushing.

PROCESS GOALS VERSUS PRODUCT GOALS

There are two different types of goals-product and process. Mainly everyone sticks to product goals, like losing 10 pounds, getting to a goal weight, fitting a certain size. That’s great and all, but sometimes when you focus too much on your size, the physical deal of getting healthy and fit, you forget the whole reason you really should be doing this. The scale shouldn’t never be your only motivation. Don’t start down the path of being so focused on numbers. What are you going to do when you get to that goal weight? Just be satisfied and happy the rest of your life? Think you can just be that goal weight the rest of your life? Doubt it. Don’t get hung up on that stupid piece of metal. It doesn’t determine your wealth. And for the record, if you do this right and actually build some muscle, the scale may go up rather than down as your waist shrinks.

Process goals. My favorite. When I get a new client, I always ask them what their goals for themselves are first. And I always hear the product goals. They ever even think about process goals. That’s when I speak up and ask them about things they always wanted to do-hike up a mountain, go rock climbing, PR on squats, do a strict pull up, knock out 8 million push ups without stopping. Those are the goals that make people love this lifestyle. These types of goals are what get us going in the mornings, they keep us pushing and excited to keep this habit going. I haven’t stepped on a scale since my last doctor visit and don’t plan to until my next one. Ask me my weight I have no idea. But I can tell you my PR on deadlifts. Ask me how far I have come in my heavy squats. Ask me how many push ups I can knock out in 60 seconds. These are the goals you can see yourself get to and quickly. And you can always find something new to try and reach without it being unobtainable. My current goal at the moment? A full muscle up. The damn things suck, but I have learned the things I hate the most and suck at are the things I need to work on the most. Think about what you want to accomplish. Maybe it’s a half marathon. Or getting a handstand. Maybe master the splits. Learn to dominate the weight room and not feel intimidated. Swim a certain length without stopping. It could be to be able to bike a certain distance. Or learn to dance without feeling a fool. These goals are what make we (the fitness enthusiasts) never get tired of this life. It pumps our blood. It gets us going. This is our secret, if you want to say we have one.

 

Now, what do you want to accomplish?

 

 

Benefits of Writing IT DOWN

We all get busy, we all think ‘well that isn’t so bad’ or ‘I worked out a few days ago…I think’. We all get wrapped up in school, work, family, friends, pets, chores, errands, and just keeping our heads above water (trust me I know-I work two jobs as well as a full time students and I get up and have to be somewhere by 8am every single day of the week-I GET IT). But while you are guessing about your food intake, you thoughts on how much you are eating, how much you are actually active and pushing your goals onto ‘next week’, today is still here and you can fix it all TODAY. RIGHT NOW.

LOL

It has been proven in countless studies that people who physically WRITE down their goals before they start trying to obtain them are more likely to stick with it and actually achieve them. 

Here’s some more statistics for you. This is the more troubling one:

 

50% (yes-HALF) of the people who start a new diet/workout routine or program will END UP QUITTING. 

This should be startling to you, as it is to me. Why? Why do we constantly put our health on the back burner? Years from now, you will have so many aches and pains, along with some diseases or disorders probably and wish you had taken your health seriously NOW before it was too late.

CHANGE YOUR APPROACH

Can we stop only dieting/exercising to lose weight?! This is aggravating as a fitness professional, it’s all I see. If you start think about simply getting healthy, becoming active to prevent diseases, to keep your body working properly, and to eat right to fuel it. It’s like you have a Lambo and you decide to never wash it, never have maintenance done and you decide to use orange juice instead of gas. Really guys? I love cheese fries as much as the next girl but I know my body can’t USE that junk for much of anything besides storing it as fat and hating me for putting that fried stuff in it. Now, don’t get me wrong, I do eat a balanced diet, so I eat loads of fruits, veggies, protein packed lean foods but I also eat when I get a craving. My goal isn’t surrounding whether the scale says SKINNY or it says FAT ASS. Because guess what? That scale DOESN’T know me. For most of my life, for my height, according to those ridiculous charts doctors go off of based on height and weight to determine your BMI and whether you are overweight or not, I have ALWAYS fell under the overweight column. Even though I have been an athlete, with muscular legs and been in small clothing sizes. So I don’t believe the scales. You should ditch yours, too.

 

weight

 

That’s what weight is-mass times acceleration of gravity. Yet so many people spend their lives worrying about this stupid calculation. Chill out. Eat. Workout. Be happy.

 

Keep a journal-for work outs and for food

When you write down things and see it on paper, in one place, you can really start to realize what it is you need to work on, what you are doing that might be really working for you or damaging your goals. 

For food, I always come back to MyFitness Pal. Why? Because this world is glued to a freakin piece of technology constantly in their hand at all times, so by having an app you can take anywhere, you can even pull up foods if you are out to eat and about to order, to see what fits your macros/calories or any of that stuff if you count them. You can scan barcodes on most foods and it’ll pop up automatically, showing the content and serving size immediately. For average people, they do not realize a few things when it comes to eating

1.) Calorie/fat amount. This is a big one. If you asked someone the amount of calories in something they were eating, they would usually guess a number incredibly lower than what it really has in it. Educate yourself! If you thought there was only 300 calories in a slice of pie but it really has 800- you are seriously underestimating you daily amounts. So be sure you are aware of these things.

2.) Serving Sizes.  This is another biggie that I see even with educated individuals. Marketing people for foods and brands are smart. They know how to get you to buy their product and eat it. If they say that 1 serving of something is only 100 calories, you are sold and go digging in, head in the bottom of the bag like a vulture. Please read further on your nutrition label. The serving size is probably tiny, like 10 crackers, 2 cookies, etc. You have to watch this. If there were only 100 calories in a serving, but you just mindlessly ate 12 servings, well…….

 

As for your exercising and working out, you can easily do this by setting a goal-let’s say you want to work out at least 3-5 days out of a week. So write that goal and put it on the fridge. Now invest in a calendar, one you can hang somewhere you can see it daily, like the fridge, the wall, your bathroom, the front door, where ever. Get one that you can go back and see your progress later, so not just a washable weekly/monthly board one. Now pick two color markers. On each day, you will mark with a check mark in one color or a big X in the other color. The check mark will mean you worked out, the X will represent that you did not. 

 

download

(You can also Google ‘Workout Calendar’ and find some awesome templates to print out and use if you want!)

 

Of course you can do your calendar digitally, but there’s something about marking it yourself-with your own hands, and having a physical connection with this log. It’s just like writing your goal, you can type it out but it won’t be the same as if you wrote it in your own handwriting with pen and paper. There’s a psychological connection when you actually write with your own hands that you don’t get from technology. You can also see your progress and how you have been adhering to your goal all at once, rather than clicking on the days one at a time on your computer. But, to each their own. Do whatever works best for YOU!

 

Happy Working out guys!

 

-a

Reverse Dieting-Why it Works

It’s common to think ‘oh I should just quit eating and I will lose weight’. That’s what we are taught even at a young age and grown up to know. If you want to lose weight, you eat like a rabbit and drop weight at the snap of a finger. But is it really all that simple? Are our bodies that easy to handle? And is this good for our bodies?

We are built and made to eat. And not just pecking at lettuce. Carbs are meant to be our fuel and we are to get nutrients from produce. The food that comes from the earth-not a factory or a box-is great for us, with so many benefits and vitamins to help our bodies function. And we think if we stop eating completely, this is a healthy way to lose weight.

WHAT IF I TOLD YOU THIS WAS BOGUS.

We are meant to eat, often and abundantly. Your body even tells you when it’s hungry and when it is not. Listen to it. If you are starving, you better eat more than a cube of cheese (cough cough, any Devil Wears Prada fans).

dev

 

I laugh everytime I think of this girl. But as I laugh, I know there are so many people out there who really do live and think like this. Do you know what is really happening? The body is holding on to what little food it does get, and storing it as fat and eating away at muscle and all sorts of terrible things. This isn’t what we are meant to live like. This is not the answer to losing weight.

If you are hungry, you should probably eat. And not just some lettuce. Try a protein bar. Try a rice cake and peanut butter. Have an apple AND a banana. A cube of cheese is not going to feed you, and the fact that this girl binges on rolls in the hospital after getting hit with a car kind of proves that this starvation diet will eventually in a carb overload-sooner or later. Because your body and your mind craves, no needs, carbs. It’s our fuel. Everything has carbs in it. It’s our gas to our engine. It makes us run. It keeps us going. Even your brain feeds off of carbs to work properly. By not feeding your body, you are do much more damage than good.

If you have been living like this and believing the starving diets are the only way to ‘skinny’, you not only will need to rethink everything, but you will have to literally reverse the damage you have done. You will need to slowly increase your calories, slowly incorporate more food and more substance to your diet. Stop spending 2 hours on the treadmill a day. You have to change your whole ways, but once you have, you will actually start seeing results-you will eat more and actually lose weight. You will be able to eat more and see changes because your metabolism will be working the way it should.

1200 calories a day is not meant for a person who is active, it’s hardly enough for a person who just lays around all day, so why is this a number we see too often as a ‘daily goal’ all over the place? Because someone who did not do their own research, someone who does not care about their own health nor the health of the other people they are influencing, someone who simply picked a number at random and thought it was a good idea. Quit with the 1000 or 1200 calories a day. If you go under 1500, you are probably not seeing results if you are wanting to actually have muscle and not simply be ‘skinny fat’.

1500 calories a day. That’s still not that much. I eat 2000 a day, I work out almost every single day of the week if you include the fact that I work at two gyms (an adult gym and also as a cheerleading coach). I lift weights five or more days a week. I hardly every do cardio (2-3 days a week maybe, and it’s HITT only for 15-20 minutes at a time). I eat what I want. I mainly want good foods, so I eat them. I eat when I am hungry. I stop when I am full. I even eat Reeses Oreos occasionally, as well homemade peanut butter cups (pretty much I have lots of peanut butter daily). Once you feed your body and get your metabolism doing what it is actually supposed to do, you no longer have to be so strict with what you eat (unless you are on contest prep or something).

So please, for the love of everything delicious, stop with the 1000 calorie days and start healing-and nurturing-your body.

 

-a

A Day in the Life of this Ginger

I feel like a lot of people do pretty well with the working out part of trying to get healthy and fit, but they struggle with the diet part. Like I have stated before, you have to change your habits when you commit to becoming healthy. And you have to learn not to associate food with guilt anymore. Just know the bad foods from the good foods, eat more of the good foods. Too many people feel overwhelmed and try to go too far with things. Keep it simple.

To help you get a general idea of things, here is my day in a nutshell.

Workout Followed by Breakfast

I got up at 9 since I knew I wanted to work out prior to a thing I had at around noon. I got up and changed into the workout gear and did a good hamstring session followed by fasted HIIT cardio. Then I had to refuel!

My workout was:

  • Warm up (about 15-20 low weight reps) deadlifts
  • 12/12/10 Deadlifts (standard)
  • 12/10/10 Straight Leg Deadlifts
  • 10/10/10 Single Straight Leg Deadlifts (each leg)
  • 15/12/12 Laying Leg Curls
  • 12/12/10 Standing Leg Curls (single leg)
  • 12/10/10 Cleans
  • 10/8/8 Good Mornings
  • 12/10/10 Power Snatch
  • 12/10/10 Glute raises (laying flat on floor with feet on bench/ball/step with knees bent up, lift glutes and hips up off the floor, squeeze and flex booty at top, come back down)
  • 12/10/10 Squats
  • 20 rounds of 30 sec light walk/30 sec sprint

 

polar

I worked out for an hour and 15 minutes total. Not too shabby. I was ready for some post workout protein before I jumped in the shower.

 

postowkrout

 

YUM! Protein bar and all natural vanilla greek yogurt!

I consumed about 2 Liters of water while working out, so halfway to my daily goal of about 4 Liters (a little under 4 L = 1 gallon).

I jumped in the shower and did a few tasks like go to the bank and met with someone really quick down the road. I sped home due to the fact the water was hitting me. Yes, you will pee a lot. But, you feel better. You are ridding your body of toxins and things all the time, so you feel over all so much better. Just time when you drink your water so you are not stuck on the road/in traffic/in a meeting/etc. No big deal.

So I got home and was HANGRY. Needed a good lunch. I usually consume more food on days I train legs in any form or fashion.

lunch

Lunch was a salad combined of mixed greens, baby spinach, fresh mushrooms, feta crumbles, baby carrots, Roma tomatoes, cherry tomatoes (I LOVE TOMATOES), and drizzled slightly with a Lite Italian dressing. I had a low fat string cheese on the side and a protein shake. The protein shake was made of a VI vanilla shake packet, half a scoop of strawberry milkshake protein powder, milk, and a few frozen strawberries blended nicely.

I did some self studying on fitness stuff and worked on some website stuff as well as did some chores around the house.

I got hungry again in about 2-3 hours after lunch and listened to my stomach. Had to get a snack.

snack

Don’t let anyone tell you fruits will make you fat. I live off of fruit a good bit of my day. I usually have a good portion at breakfast. And after dinner. Those people are crazy psychos. Fruit is good for you.

fruit

Protein Bar (my fave one, BTW) and 4 Kiwis (YES FOUR OF THEM), 4 strawberries, and some mandarin orange.

Then, my favorite meal came.

Dinner.

I love dinner. Don’t ask me why. But I don’t get excited about eating until later in the day it seems.

Healthy Burritos

gr tturk

Get some ground turkey. Thaw it out if it was frozen. Cook it until it is brown. Add a small bit of water and low sodium taco seasoning.

topping

Also needed:

-Whole wheat/low carb/high fiber/etc tortillas

-Black Beans

-Natural/reduced fat sour cream (or try plain Greek yogurt!)

-Salsa of choice

-Tomatoes (AGAIN BECAUSE I LOVE THEM. Judge away.)

-Cheese if your macros/taste buds want (low sodium, vegan, reduced fat, etc)

-Brown rice if you want

Heat up your tortillas (30 sec in the microwave is great)

Throw your goodies into a tortilla, wrap up that goodness and dig in!

burrito magic

BURRITO MAGIC

yeahhh

YUM.

By now, I have had about 3.5 Liters of water. Going strong!

After dinner, gotta have something sweet. I made some homemade healthy peanut butter cups, so I had 2 of them.

pb cup

Soooo good.

I am working on an eBook. The peanut butter cups will be in it for all you lovelies. So get excited.

I will be finishing the evening with my guy watching Finding Carter and will do some night time yoga before bed. Good Tuesday. Hope this helps give you a general idea of how I do things on a daily basis. My ending macros look like this:

IMG_20140715_221242

It was a good day.

Happy Tuesday!

-a

Watermelon Slush!

It’s summer. It’s hot. How do you cool down? How about a delicious slush drink, but healthy? Here is the answer to your prayers!

 

Watermelon Strawberry Slush

watermelom

This. This is all you need.

  • Frozen Strawberries
  • Fresh Watermelon
  • Blender

 

That’s it. Put a handful of frozen berries in the blender. Throw chunks of your watermelon in. Blend. Tada.

slush

It is soooo delicious.

If you aren’t a berry fan. Simply put a handful of plain old ice cubes in the blender with your watermelon chunks.

Stay cool!

-a

Working Out as a Female

As women, we are thought of as fragile, dainty, and very different from men. We always have. We have fought to be thought of as equals in the work place, with earning the bread as well in families, to be able to vote, and to be able to stand side by side our fellow males. So why is it that in the fitness world, women are supposed to be completely different? We are supposed to be cardio queens and not step foot in the weight room unless we are crazy or lesbian according to most of the fellow males of the gym. But why? And why is it that so many women think that cardio is all they should do and all that they need.

False.

Being a cardio queen won’t make you ‘tone’ (note: I hate the word ‘tone’. When most people want to say they just want to ‘tone’ up, it really means they want to lose fat and gain muscle definition) or make you magically able to still eat whatever you want as long as you run for 6 hours afterward.

Pick up some weights. Some heavy ones.

You read that right. You don’t even need to go to the gym in the weight room (where you will more than likely will be judged, looked at oddly, or harassed by the males) if you know what to have at home. Even body weight exercises are great for building some muscle to. I barely know grown men who can knock out 100 burpees in a row (burpee= jump up, squat down and get into plank position, push up, plank position, jump back up-that’s 1) or be able to do many handstand push ups NOT against a wall. It takes some muscles to do any of these.

Why lift? I just want to lose weight. Cardio is great for that right?

Cardio is great at first, when you go from doing nothing to running/biking/whatever it is you want to do. But your body will get used to it. You will get to a point where you running 2 miles everyday is expected and it no longer does anything for your metabolism or health really. By switching it up, you can prevent this from happening. Cardio queens always end up hitting a plateau and they think ‘oh no’. They don’t know what they are doing wrong. They probably also thought they could just start running/cycling/etc and not worry about their diet because they’d lose the weight no matter what. False, again.

Without combining both exercise and keeping up with your food, you won’t really get the results you want, or if you do, it probably won’t last because your habits didn’t actually change and you’ll gain it back.

weights

Don’t just do 80 curls with a 2 lb weight.

Yes. I am saying it. I have seen so many trainers give women a really light weight and tell them to do like a million reps. If you want results, like the kind you see in fitness magazines, if you don’t want to just look skinny, you’ll use a higher weight.

Lift heavy. Monitor what you are eating. Do cardio only a few times a week, for short time.

HIIT cardio is the best cardio if you are looking to maintain your muscle, speed up your metabolism and aren’t a fan of running much. A 10 minute HIIT session will even get your metabolism boosted for the next 48 hours more than a 60 minute steady session.

Building muscle boosts your metabolism.

Muscles burn more than fat. It’s simple. Once you put on some muscle, you will have your metabolism being your friend rather than your enemy.

If you are starving yourself and just doing steady cardio, you have probably pretty much killed your metabolism. It’s near non-existent. You will have to eat, yes, actually eat to reverse your metabolism.

STOP EATING 1000 CALORIES A DAY.

You are probably constantly tired, never have energy, feel miserable and anxious, and hate your life. Wanna know why? YOU HAVE TO FUEL YOUR BODY.

I get so sad seeing all these females eating a 1200 calorie diet a day and then jumping on an elliptical for an hour. You have to eat to see results. You will need to eat often and twice those calories (but with good fats, protein, and carbs) to reverse the damage that has been done.

Yes, I was one of these girls. I starved myself for about a year. I wanted days of only eating 600 calories a day, then I got on the elliptical for 60 minutes minimum. I had just gotten out of high school and cheer/gymnastics. I was clueless on how to live in the real adult world and try to not blow up without my high school sports to keep me active. I wanted to look like a model. But I was clueless on what to do, and how much damage I actually was doing to myself. I would fall asleep at times I really shouldn’t have, and I slept all the time. I was a bitter, angry, worried, and anxious person. When I look back, I honestly hate the person I was.

There needs to be info and help and guides for females to know what really works. I want to help make that happen. If you need help reversing your metabolism after eating 1000 calories a day, after spending endless hours on the treadmill, please contact me. I would love to help you get on the right track. I really want to change the myths of getting in shape and being healthy.

 

I genuinely want to help.

 

Email me: ashhealthgirl@gmail.com

 

a