weight loss journey

Leg Day Workout

If you are looking to torch those legs, here’s the workout I did today that will really leaving your legs feeling like jelly (I was shaking for an hour after)

HEAVY back squats (I did these on the Smith Machine)

First set is warm up, so use a light weight (sometimes you can just use the bar to warm up and worry more on form than resistance). 15 Reps.

12/12. Add weights that cause you to struggle starting on 9-10. Add more weight (it can just be a small amount) each set. GO DEEP. Sit back like you are trying to sit down on a chair. If you struggle on activating your hips first before your knees or have a hard time sitting back, do box squats where you literally squat down and back until your booty lightly sits on a bench/chair/box and then immediately come back up. Keep the chest up and head tall. If you are just starting, try to keep your knees behind the toes. Have feet shoulder width apart and toes slightly pointed outwards.

10/10. Use the heaviest weight you can. Make sure you have the form down correctly before going as heavy as you can. Push through your heels, thinking about almost lifting your toes up.

smith m

-Leg Press

I did another warm up set of 15. Light weight.

12/12. Heavy weight where you start struggling again starting at rep 9-10.

10. Push through your heels. Feet shoulder width apart just like in your squats.

leg press

-Leg Extensions (feet together) superset with 10 squat jumps

12. Heavy enough weight it is hard at reps 9-10. FLEX your quads at the top of the motion.

10/10. Heavy weight. Increase weight for each set.

leg ext

-Leg Extension (each leg separate) superset with 10 jumping lunges (alternating legs)

12. Flex quad at the top of the motion.

10/10. Heavy weight. Keep the rest of your body stable and from moving.

single leg

-Walking Plate Lunges

3 sets of 10.

Holding plates in each hand by your side, do walking lunges where you have room. 1 rep=lunge on EACH leg.

lunge

-Sumo Goblet Squats (10 pulses on the last rep of each set)

12/12. Holding a dumb bell like a goblet in your hands in front of you, stand in a wide stance (wider than shoulder width apart) and squat low, sitting back. Pulse 10X on last rep, while sitting low and deep.

10/10. Raise your weight. Repeat as before, pulsing 10X on the last rep in your low squat.

goblet

-Standing Calf Raises SuperSet with Seated Calf Raises

12/12. For standing, you can start like a squat with a barbell (or Smith Machine) and literally come up on to your toes, flex your calf muscle, and go down. For seated, if your gym has the machine for calf raises, use it, or you can use a dumbbell/barbell resting on your knee(s) and simply lift the heels and point your toe, flexing your calf at the top of the motion, and back down.

10/10. Repeat.

calf raises                               SeatedCalfRaise              Seated_Calf_Raise

 

Finish with 15 minutes on the Stair Master OR do 20 minutes HIIT on the treadmill alternating every 30 sec from sprinting to walking on an incline.

 

DON’T FORGET TO STRETCH GUYS!

 

a

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

The 5 Minute Transformation Pics

I keep seeing pictures of ‘amazing’ transformations all over the internet (or even just fit people pictures meant to be motivational), but there is a common problem with a lot of them:

-different posing

-different looking people

-too ‘perfect’ looking

-different editing filters

-different clothing

These factors can pretty much make anyone become a fitness model and major ‘fitspo’ person on Instagram. Before you go starving yourself, buying into the pills/shakes/teas/wraps or whatever else is being advertised with the ‘crazy, fast’ results, be sure you inspect the picture being shown. You can even save it to your computer and proceed to upload it into Google images to do a reverse image search to see if the brand or person using it actually stole it from some poor innocent soul who simply worked hard for their own results.

I am going to show you a few pictures to hopefully help you realize how easy it is to deceive with technology these days and to be careful when you are looking at any fitness/weightloss/transformation pics moving forward.

fake tfake trfake tra

This is a serious issue. Each of these people sucked it in, changed their position, their hair, or the filter and that was it. But we are all buying into these ‘fake fitspo’s’ and buying into the crap they are advertising.

I feel like these fake pictures are causing even more serious problems with the self esteem issue that is already a concern for so many people, especially females.

Fitspo is for fitsporation. It is to be fitness motivation. It should be motivating to view and see to want you to get healthy, eat right, and go work out. This shouldn’t be a body shaming thing, and yet, it is. Pretty much each of these women above really aren’t fat, they have their problem areas, but everyone does. Yet, to be liked on social media, you need to suck it in, flex, pose, and change the filter to get recognition.

And what about people who do the opposite for getting healthy? The recovering people who lived with eating disorders and starving themselves? There are many out there, looking to put on weight and mass rather than losing. These people have triggers to make them want to go back to restriction, and how does this make them feel?

There are even so many ‘fitspo’ pictures going around that have been so horribly edited and modified that the fitness model (who looked fantastic prior to the editing might I add) just looks like a Barbie. Boobs and butt are made to be huge, abs are made to be chiseled, and so on. What is so wrong with the imperfections that even make us human? If health and fitness isn’t all about looks, why has this fitness world on the internet taken the turn towards looks? If you aren’t looking like you are about to take the stage for a fitness competition, you pretty much get the boot. And sometimes, even if you do look that good, you will still get the photoshop done to your picture.

Fitspo is mean to be inspiring. It should be of average people most people can relate to making real changes. It shouldn’t be only of skinny people with a quote plastered on to the side of it. And it shouldn’t be so sexual like it is now. Big boobs and a bubble butt mean nothing in the definition of ‘healthy’. When did health and fitness become so sexualized? Oh right, everything has to end up becoming sexual eventual in this day and time I suppose. But really, can we not with the boob jobs and implants and calling it ‘fitspo’.

fake ffake fifake fit

Show me a real girl or guy lifting some heavy weights, or running a marathon. That’s real fitspo. Or show me a person overcoming a terrible disease/tragedy/disorder/disability.

Here’s to no more fakes. No more filters. No more lies. No more editing. No more boobs. No more butts.

trans

Changing Your Habits By Just Changing Your Thinking

I had a huge exam last Friday, so I was a little MIA preparing for it. But I was still on track and worked out 5 days last week. I didn’t get much sleep, but I have definitely been making up for it the last two nights. I start my new job at World Gym tomorrow, and I am pretty excited about it. I’ll even be teaching classes. And I hope to get training to officially teach yoga classes! I am looking forward to the future.

What I see a lot when it comes to the struggles of wanting to lose weight, get healthy, and get fit is one thing over and over and over again.

I feel hungry/I feel deprived/I miss junk food/I like snacking too much/it’s too hard/I don’t know what to eat/I have to eat more than celery.

What if I told you changing into a healthy lifestyle isn’t as hard nor as complicated as you think it is? A lot of people overthink it. Or they are following and reading about the hardcore fitness people who are either models or competitors who eat rice, chicken and spinach all day. Life isn’t like this if you are looking to be healthy or fit. I swear. Even if you get into this and want to compete, you still actually don’t need to live off of brown rice and chicken. (Don’t believe me? Look up #iifym on instagram and tell me there aren’t any competitors posting Poptarts and peanut butter all on their feed).

Think of changing this way:

REPLACE YOUR NORMAL FOODS/SNACKS/DRINKS WITH HEALTHY ONES.

No starving. No deprivation. Simply replace. If you think of it in this way, it’s a bit easier on the brain. Like a mind game. If you tell yourself ‘well I can’t have those Cheetos’ you’ll sit there and think about Cheetos until you go insane you are in a pool or your own drool from your mouth watering over that cheesiness. But if you tell yourself ‘I am sort of hungry and would like some Cheetos. But I am going to have some string cheese and broccoli.’ Literally that’s it. That’s the secret. Don’t just say ‘I can’t have that stuff’, say ‘I am going to choose better foods because I know they are better for me’. And of course, once in a while you do get to indulge in those cravings. If you are really strict on yourself, you won’t stick to this. You will binge and get nowhere.

Make your favorite dishes, but healthier!

There are so many people even on Instagram and Pinterest that have awesome recipes on there for healthified versions of your favorite foods. Like spiralizing squash or zucchini for ‘pasta’ dishes, switching to whole wheat/multigrain waffles from the regular white, drinking juice infused water rather than sugary juice, have sparkling water with fresh lime instead of a soda, eat a protein bar rather than a candy bar (there are some out there that taste like candy, no lie), make banana ‘ice cream’, and so on. If you want a snack, have one. But a healthier one.

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Once you change you mind and thinking, your body will follow. If happens. Every single time. Don’t overthink fitness and health. Don’t stress out over these changes. Accept them. And love them. It makes this transition easier and you’ll be happier.

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

Health on a Budget

Shopping Without Breaking the Bank

So I got home yesterday from my vacation and lounging on the beach to a problem. A big problem. Our fridge/feezer some how opened itself and was hanging wide open. All of the food I had unfortunately bought prior to the trip was now ruined. I had tried to get frozen stuff so when we got back I wouldn’t have to worry about going to the store for like a week. And then this happened. Oh well.

I had to replace everything. I could have cried. But I put my big girl pants on and got up this morning to go to the store (or stores).

 

Try multiple places for the best deal

It might be a pain, but it’s the best strategy if you can possibly do it. If you live in a more rural area this might not be an option. But if you can try different stores, it’s the best way to save money on certain things. Once you get the hang of this and have gone to the stores near you, you will know what you can get where (where the best prices are).

 

I went to a store that is off the grid pretty much first. Around Atlanta, there’s this chain of stores that are kinda, well, rough. But cheap. And I can get local produce for the cheapest out of anywhere. Even back where I grew up there is a store similar to this, local produce, cheap prices.

Local produce is the way to go when it comes to your fresh fruit and vegetables. Especially if you want to save money. Organic is great, but it’s not the cheapest. Local supports your local farmers and economy and you can feel better about eating produce rather than that lab made produce you find like at WalMart. Gross. Bite into a standard apple at WalMart then bite into a locally grown apple. I will let you be the judge. If you can’t find local produce, the next option would be frozen. Frozen produce is harvested at their peak and as long as you make sure the frozen fruit doesn’t have added sugar, frozen produce is usually pretty cheap for a good bit (store brands can be $1 a bag!). There is always a cheap option for healthier foods. You just have to look and think outside the box.

 

From the first store:

 

food depot

For only $85 I got:

  • Bananas
  • Carrots
  • Grapefruit
  • Kiwis
  • Watermelon
  • Strawberries (fresh and frozen-I prefer frozen for shakes and smoothies)
  • Lettuce
  • Roma Tomatoes
  • Grapes
  • Peaches
  • Frozen Broccoli
  • Tuna
  • Eggs
  • Steam fresh frozen sides (lightly sauced)
  • Fresh (not frozen) tilapia

I also got the non-fitness/health related stuff like the toilet paper, detergent, sponges and soap.

 

Kroger trip:

After the first store trip I moved on to Kroger. While at Kroger, I took note of items that are great choices for those on a budget, even if I didn’t get it myself this time.

breadfibermuffinswheat

 

Bread wise, there are a few good options I would suggest for budget friendly shopping. There are always good deals going on at Kroger, you just have to go and see what deals are going on. Always try to stick with whole wheat, whole grain, or multi grain bread. The sugar free whole wheat is a great option. I also love those light english muffins, which were on sale so I went ahead and got two packs to last a while (I usually eat at least 1 a day).

 

pbingred

pbbing

Peanut butter is a great staple of a healthy/fitness lifestyle. Good macros for the macro counters. Here are two good options from Kroger. The best ingredient wise is the bottom one, with only peanuts and salt in the ingredients. Some of us aren’t a huge peanut fan and can’t handle it (like msyelf). So then you move on to the next option, the top picture. Longer ingredient list, but all natural ingredients and since I won’t be eating the peanut butter jar in a day, having this in moderation is fine.

 

packsalmontuna

Tuna is always a great way to up that protein without any fat or hardly any carbs. If you also like salmon, Kroger has got you covered. If you are really pinching pennies, go for those 79 cent cans. If you have a little more room money wise, the packs are great for on the go since you just rip the pack and eat out of it.

water

I would suggest investing in a $20/$30 filter for your kitchen sink, but if you live in a dorm or some other issues, it may not be an option. So this is how you can afford to have clean water daily. 88 cent gallons of spring water is where it’s at. You can drink from the jug or simply use them to refill your favorite bottle.

macpasta

So you still want pasta. Here are good options for your pasta cravings that can fit your macros/diet. First, Annie’s is a well known brand for being organic and a lot of gluten free options. This is the reduced sodium I have shown, because I know some of you may have heart/blood pressure problems. This is a good way to still enjoy the foods you love (in moderation). Then we have my favorite pasta for spaghetti. Corn pasta! It was less than $3. So good with a great garlic tomato sauce.

turkey

Love tacos? Burgers? How about meatballs for spaghetti with the corn pasta? Ground turkey is a great lean and less greasy way to enjoy those foods you love.

mixsyrup

If you are part of the macro counting life (yes, it’s possible), here is your message from heaven. Heart healthy pancake mix (or try to look for a whole wheat/multi grain one) and lite or sugar free syrup. I bought the frozen multi grain waffles this go around as I already have this mix.

jello

Looking for something sweet? Hellooooooo sweet treat with super great macros. 10 calories sugar free jello! Add fresh fruit and whipped cream and tada. 2 for $4 can’t beat it.

cart

This was my cart. A little over $150 was the damage for all of this. Remember, I had to replace my fridge and freezer foods. So for two people, this wasn’t that bad. I probably can live off of this with my guy for at least 2 weeks.

kroger

This is the haul. about $170 spent at Kroger. So I replaced my food that ruined and them some for a total of $255. That’s right, only $255.00. If you ate out for every single meal, two of you, for two weeks, how much would you spend? It would be at least $50 a day. $50 x 14 = $700

That is a savings of $445!

 

Here is what I got at Kroger:

  • Deer Park water for my guy who works outside in the heat
  • Milk
  • Corn Pasta
  • Protein Bars
  • Microwaveable rice
  • Potatoes (mashed and baked)
  • Chicken thighs & breasts
  • Little shrimp
  • Salmon
  • Flounder
  • Fresh Scallops
  • Ground turkey
  • Multi Grain waffles (Kroger brand!)
  • Natural sour cream
  • Greek yogurt (10 for $10)
  • Sugar free jello
  • Rotisserie Chicken (already cooked-easy meals for the next couple of days)
  • Beans (pinto, black and black eyed peas)
  • Corn
  • Zucchini
  • Fiber One bars (my guy loves them for breakfast)
  • Spinach and 50/50 greens
  • Low carb, macro friendly tortillas
  • English muffins
  • Fresh mushrooms
  • Blackberries
  • Grape tomatoes
  • Apples (2 for $1)
  • Sugar free syrup

And my non health/fitness stuff like lotion, face wash, etc.

 

 

For dinner, we had the rotisserie chicken, rice, pinto beans and broccoli. Super quick, easy, delicious and budget friendly!

din

I will keep posting how I use these items I bought to help you out!

If you have any questions or need guidance, I am always here for you. Just email me at ashhealthgirl@gmail.com

Happy Shopping!

-a

Example of a Shopping List

Wanting to eat well, to lose weight, become healthy, and get fit is a great thing to want to do. But the problem I keep hearing over and over again is the problem of ‘it’s too expensive to get healthy food’. Are you sure about that? Let’s break this down.

So, you eat out, let’s say, 5 times a week.

You get a $10 meal each time.

=$50.00 there.

You buy snacks and drinks when you stop and get gas=$30.00 there.

When you go to the store (then stop at McD’s on the way home because you don’t feel like microwaving a TV dinner) you buy Cheetos, Mountain Dew, and Frosted Flakes (name brands, not the store):

=$100.00 there.

That’s nearly $200.

Now let’s see what we can do with eating healthier.

At the store:

-Kiwis are 2/$1=$4

-Oranges= $4.00

-Frozen strawberries=$2.50

-Milk of choice=$4.00

-Greek yogurt is .90 on sale=$4.50

-Oatmeal=$2.00

-Whole wheat bread=$3.00

-Whole wheat pasta (or corn)=$2.00

-Laughing Cow wedges (cinnamon and the tomato herb)-$5.00

-Local Grapes-$5.00

-Green beans (canned) are on sale 10/$10=$3.00

-Natural Peanut butter (store brands are now making the natural kind)=$1.50

-Ground Turkey= $3.50

-Local tomatoes= $4.00

-Fresh Spinach=$4.00

-Frozen tilapia=$3.00

-Frozen Salmon=$4.00

-Microwavable brown rice=$2.00

-Tomato Sauce on sale 10/$10= $2.00

-Natural grape jelly-$2.00

-Multi grain english muffins-$2.50

-Stevia packets-$2.00

-Green tea bags=$1.50

-Gallons of water (if you do not have a filter)=$7.00

-Babybel cheese minis=$3.00

-Sliced oven roasted turkey for sandwiches=$2.50

-Eggs=$2.00

-Balance bars pack of 6=$5.00

-Frozen vegetables=$10.00

-Olive oil-$3.00

-Rotisserie Chicken (already cooked-put in fridge and microwave when you want to eat)-$5.00

Guess what that equals to?

$108.50

YES. This was $91.50 cheaper than eating like crap. 

Want to know why the healthy, planned way is probably cheaper in the long run? Eating unhealthy and not monitoring what you are putting into your body usually means you are eating and buying on impulse. When you get hungry, you didn’t plan what to eat, or when to eat so when you suddenly get hungry, you go after the first thing you crave, without a thought as to the dollar amount. Eh, not the best idea.

YOU CAN EAT HEALTHY AND SAVE MORE MONEY THAN EATING POORLY.

I was always broke when I ate like crap. I now monitor my spendings and save money every month. How? I buy my weekly supplies on the weekend, and I usually go to 2-3 different stores as I know where it is cheapest to get certain items (yes, Kroger and Wal-Mart are at the top of my money saving places to get my staples-so no need for fancy stores). Look for sales. Get local produce to get the cheapest, best tasting produce and to support your local economy instead of supporting the scientific farmers that create the produce you see in chain stores like Wal-Mart.

 

Here is a list for you to be able to save next time you go to the store.

PicsArt_1404699196339

I will start posting daily meals and recipes with these items soon! Or you can go ahead and follow me on Instagram or Twitter and see daily food pics!

 

a

 

 

My Arguments Against ‘Clean Eating’

One of the most frustrating things I keep seeing in this world and fitness/health industry is the finger pointing game. I find it ridiculous that if you have found a diet you like, that works for you, and you can stick with for the long term (this commitment should be up there with marriage guys, it’s serious) than that is great for you. So what if someone else is finding results doing something way different from you. We should embrace each other and be happy they found something that works for them. You don’t have to follow it. Just support them. But instead, everyone acts 5 years old and accuses each other of doing things wrong, without much research and backing into their argument. Which is silly.

clean

Clean eating is the idea that you never eat anything bad for you, which is, pretty much everything in this world. Only eat organic, never eat preservatives, never eat refined sugars, never eating pre packaged food. Pretty much, this is a very strict lifestyle.

One of the arguments of clean eating being the ‘only’ way you can become healthy and fit is that all of the ‘chemicals’ in food are bad for you. Yes, some of the chemicals that have been added to your food are terrible, and some of them are cancer causing agents. But saying all chemicals that are in food are bad for you, really isn’t a valid argument when that organic orange naturally is made up of chemicals. If you have taken any science class in high school or higher, you know this. Chemicals make up nearly every substance in this world. Yes, man has made some chemicals and have added them to foods that are terrible. Yes, try to steer clear of these. But to say all chemicals are bad, that’s a little far fetched.

There are also so many different ‘rules’ of clean eating, that it’s just a headache just to look into it and know what you are getting into. There are lists like this one going around the internet:

list

Yet most hardcore clean eaters wouldn’t touch any cheese, Kashi products, etc with a 10 foot pole. Most serious clean eaters stick with the unsweetened almond milk, sweeten things only with stevia drops (pure stevia), eat plain greek yogurt from brands they do serious research on (or make their own) and only eat organic, local foods. They hardly eat wheat, especially processed pre-made pastas. This list wouldn’t be too bad actually, so if you could just stick with it, I doubt it would be that bad. But that’s usually just the gateway for most. It’s like people with Anorexia, they don’t start just starving themselves right off the bat usually, they start small with a diet and lose a few pounds and then it becomes extreme because they love the feeling and dropping the weight. If you could simply stick with this diet and this list and never go further, great. Good for you. For most, this is just the beginning of the dive into the deep end, head first.

Clean eating is supposed to be a great way for you to eat without counting anything, keeping up with any intakes, just as long as it’s clean. Hmmm. Let’s go over this. So you are saying I can go from counting my calories/macros and as long as I eat strictly ‘clean’ I will still lose weight and can see my dream body in the mirror in a couple of months, then? WRONG. Calories in < Calories out. It’s the equation for weight loss, whether you like it or not. If you are bulking, you will either have calories in = calories out or calories in > calories out. If you go with your clean eating ways, you could fall in love with organic plan greek yogurt and go eating 3 tubs a day of it. You are 2000 calories over your maintenance. Oh no, your shorts aren’t fitting. But went wrong? Oh right, your calories went high so you gained. It’s science, guys. Science doesn’t lie.

Binge

Another downfall of the clean eating hype is the problem of being so strict. Most people who are deep in their clean eating ways become so obsessive of every morsel of every single thing that enters their mouth. Which is a problem. This causes a spiral down into the deep dark cave of disordered eating in it’s way. These people become obsessive to the point they are constantly checking ingredients in foods, scolding those around them for eating ‘bad foods’ and if they have a treat or binge, they hate themselves even deeper than usual because those foods were so ‘terrible’ for them. When it comes to the Battle of the Binge (I will be posting about this soon), I think it is the clean eaters I see dealing with this problem the most. It’s because they are trying so hard to restrict themselves and when a craving finally takes them over, they go nuts and can’t stop. And then they feel guilt for days. What kind of life is that? Would you call this living?

You can combine clean eating with being a human being, I swear. The 80/20 rule is what most people should live by. Eat 80% healthy wholesome foods but if you get a craving, give into the damn thing and have a slice of cake. If you don’t give into these cravings once in a while, you will go nearly insane whether you admit it or not and then you will binge on all the junk food in your house in one night. You will save your sanity, your gut, and your calorie intake a lot of trouble if you just give into the damn cookie calling your name.

 

 

Move of the Day- Squat Lunges!

With or without dumbbells, this is a simple move that will raise your heart rate in no time and can target a lot of muscle groups if executed properly.

Start with feet shoulder width apart, toes pointed out slightly (don’t have them facing directly forwards) and think about raising your toes slightly to put your weight on you heals to engage your hamstrings and glutes properly when you squat.

Bend at your knee, while pushing your booty back, like you are looking for a chair behind you.

IMPORTANT: Try to keep your knees behind your toes. Don’t let them go past them in squats! If they do drastically, you need to push your booty back further. If you are struggling with this and keeping your chest up, work on squats right against the wall (facing the wall). Be about only 6 inches from the wall and squat down. If you touch the wall, correct your posture.

Also! Don’t drop your chest! Squats aren’t just touching the ground, I have seen a couple of people think squatting is folding over and never bending their legs…goodness no.

Stand up from your squat, and immediately step one leg back into a lunge (knee almost touches the ground, but not quite). Bring feet back together and squat again. When you come back up, immediately bring the opposite leg back to a back lunge as well.

Repeat for 4 sets of 10 for a good burn as well as a great leg/bum workout!

 

Here is the move with & without weights! If you add weights, it’ll give an extra workout for your legs as well as a bonus arm workout! I also have it from different angles to ensure you get to proper form.

Let me know if you try this!

Enjoy the burn 😀

 

 

 

 

 

 

Working Out-On a Budget

Think you need a gym membership to get fit? Think you need a personal trainer for $90/hour? Think you have to spend thousands to get a decent set up for a home gym?

Think again.

You can work out at home- with little to no equipment. Body weight exercises, yoga, all types of things! I will break down proper form on these in later posts, if you don’t know what any of these are (or you can ask me!).

  • Squats/squat jumps
  • Lunges (walking, forward, back, side, pulses)
  • Jumping Jacks
  • Push ups (push up rows, incline, decline, on your knees, wide, narrow, regular)
  • Mountain climbers (slow or fast)
  • Burpees (beginner style or advanced)
  • Squat then raise one knee to elbow, squat, repeat with other side
  • Tuck jumps (stand still, jump and bring your knees forward and up towards your chest)
  • High knees in place
  • Booty kicks in place (lift feet back towards your booty)
  • Plank tucks (in plank position, jump knees to chest together, jump legs back into plan)
  • Plank holds
  • Plank arm switches (go from on hands down to elbow one arm first, then the other, then one at a time get back on your hands while engaging your abs and squeezing your booty)
  • Tuck Straddles (sitting on your booty with knees to chest, lean back some, lifting your feet off the ground with knees still bent, lift hands off the grounds and go from tuck position into a straddle-straight legs out-and return back to tuck position still not touching the ground nor your legs with your hands)
  • Superman lifts
  • Handstands and Handstand Push Ups against the wall (please work up to this, I will post working up to handstands and inversions soon)
  • V ups (laying flat on your back, with arms straight by your head, engaging your core lift both shoulders and legs off the ground, reaching hands towards your toes then come back flat down and repeat)
  • Penguins (laying on your back, feet on the ground, legs bent, knees in the air, you will go side to side touching the side of your hand to the side of your ankle on that side, repeat as quickly as you can, with shoulders lifted off of the ground)

 

 

 

 

Equipment on a Budget

There are so many ways to get some equipment when you want to be more hard core than just body weight moves.

When I graduated with my business degree, I was given $500 as gifts from family. I took that and went sale/yard sale/craigslist shopping on the hunt for some great deals on workout equipment. Even if you just get dumbbells in different weights, you can do a lot.

 

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I started with just the dumbbell set where you can add or take off the weights as you desire or need. But then I went and got the 10 lb, then 20 lb and then a 30 lb (yes, I can actually curl that 30 lb one because ARMS OF STEEL). You can find dumbbells at Walmart or Target as well as people who bought them and let them collect dust for months for pretty cheap.

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Having a stability ball is great for abs, arms, and all kinds of things. I love this stupid thing. Next I wish to get a bosu ball, which is just half of a ball and is really great for getting all areas of your abs with different moves.

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This bench set came with the weights, the barbell and the bench. I found it on sale for $150.00 at Walmart. No joke. It was the last one. I see them online, especially Craigslist often too. Check everywhere. Price check on Amazon as well, especially if you have a Prime membership. I recently bought another barbell and 100 lbs of extra weights to be able to add more weight to my squats.

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I got this for FREE. A family member had it and used it for like a month. He heard I am a fitness junkie and that I jokingly wanted a punching bag to tape my old manager’s face (from my desk job) to it and go at it. He took me up on that joke and I found this at my house in the bed of a truck the next week. Ask around. People buy or receive workout stuff over time and if they aren’t using it, you can!

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Craigslist. $125. No lie. Keep your eye out. Set an alert from the app available on the smart phones for certain items when they are posted. This is how I found this baby. It had been bought by a husband to his wife after she had baby number one. She hardly used it, and just had baby number two and just wanted to sell her fitness stuff for extra money for the family. It was a win/win situation. I got a great working treadmill for my HIIT sprints and she gained extra money for feeding her two children.

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I know as odd as it seems, ankle weights are a cheap must have. As a former gymnast and gymnastics coach, you can do so much with these babies. Walk with them on the ankles, put them on your wrists while you walk to gain some muscle work as your do cardio. Put them on the ankles as you do your jumping jacks. Do leg raises with them on. Put them on your calf and do straddle seated leg raises with toes pointed. Hurts sooooo good for the thighs.

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Another cheap but great item. Jump rope is great cardio. Change your cardio up to keep your body guessing and your metabolism through the roof. Do 30 sec of jump rope as fast as you can (feet together) and then a 30 sec rest 20 times. Good burn!

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Not only is the pull up bar ($20 at Walmart/Target/pharmacies) great, but you can even add the bands either for assistance with pull ups (if you are new, you probably need the bands to put your foot in to help until you are stronger) or as I show on the right, you can do pull downs for arms with the bands. See? No need for a gym membership here.

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Another way to use your bar and $5 pack of bands, leg day! Put your bar on the ground in the doorway for support, place a foot in the band loop, kick that leg straight back as far as you can while keeping your upper body remains straight with your chest up. Repeat on the other leg! You can also stand facing the other way and kick forward, or try to kick side to side.

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You will not miss doing the equivalent of this move in the gym, the hip abductor machine. (lol) This helps with saddle bags and the sides of your booty. Tie a band into a loop, put legs in, raise one leg as high as you can. Then the other leg. You will feel the burn. If not, tie the band tighter and/or add the ankle weights for extra work!

Another good idea is trying out YouTube videos! Look up fitness or home workouts and you can find videos similar to programs like Insanity or P90X.

See? Working out doesn’t have to break the bank. If you do things right, you can create a home gym on a budget, for less than it would usually cost for a gym membership for 6 months. You save gas. You save time. And you can workout in your underwear (or naked) with your own music blasting (unless it’s 3 am and your neighbors aren’t cool with that). It’s much more fun.

Happy exercising!

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