FitBliss Fitness – Check In #3

Hello and good morning all! I hope everyone had an amazing holiday season and enjoyed ALL the treats! I know I definitely did which is why there isn’t much progress for me this week as far as measurements and weight are concerned. However, I DO feel stronger and notice a difference with how I feel as well as my overall body composition. I also didn’t “gain” any weight so that’s a plus!

Here are my measurements as of Monday, December 28th:

Small of Waist: 26 in
Waist: 28 in
Hips: 38.5 in
Right Leg: 22 in
Left Leg: 22 in
Right Arm: 10.5 in
Left Arm: 10.5 in

According to my Woman Log, Aunt Flo will be in town beginning this weekend, which explains my cravings for all things fatty and delicious. I need to brainstorm a way to combat these cravings. I won’t lie, I haven’t been measuring my almond butter as accurately as I should!

To help ensure I’m staying within my calorie and macro allotment, I will
make the following adjustments:

  1. Since there is no way to measure my lightsfood at the Cafe where I work, I will be bringing my OWN meals for lunch.
  2. I will begin measuring EVERYTHING! No more guesstimation! I’m not doing the plan any justice by “guessing.”
  3. Plan my meals and measure my macros at least the day BEFORE! This allows me to play with MFP, add my treats when I know Aunt Flo is visiting, and set myself up for success to stay within my calorie and macro allotment.
  4. Schedule my workouts the week before and write them on my calendar! I will be starting school next week, so this will be imperative!
  5. Effectively plan my meals when I know I have social events to attend, always be prepared.

Just for shits and giggles, I’m posting this Snap Chat photo from Sunday’s shopping adventure. Plato’s Closet dressing room lighting on FLEEK!

Here’s to a week of crushing goals! Everyone have a safe and fun NYE tomorrow 🙂

~Jess

 

FitBliss Fitness Check-In

So far the first week on my program with FitBliss Fitness has been great! I notice a huge difference in my body and overall well being. Last week I made a jump start by watching my eating habits and fitting in at least 3 workouts, so my body was prepared for the program. Lynndsey has been extremely accommodating of my busy schedule and has written me 3 workouts that can be completed at home and 2 workouts to complete at the gym on weekends when I can go in the morning. If I’m already hooked and thrilled on week one, I can only imagine how satisfied I will feel near the end of the program and for the rest of my life.

I have always been extremely prideful of my ‘athletic ability’ in the sense that I stay motivated, write my own workouts, count my own macros, and see results…. health has been a passion of mine since I met my ex husband and he opened the door to the wizarding fitness world for me.

But he’s my ex husband, freshly ex husband, and as I’ve stated many times before, after the divorce I became extremely unmotivated. I dove into a deep depression that crippled me, I fell out of the routine that kept me sane and brought me happiness, I mistreated my body with drugs, alcohol, and little nutrition, and I stopped loving myself. But I’m ready to move on with my life, pick up the things that made me happy, and learn something new about myself along the way. I had to swallow my pride when I made the choice to work with a coach, but I need the guidance and accountability, and I couldn’t be happier with my decision.

The best part is this program fits my life style. I don’t have to sacrifice anything, maybe a little time to train, but that’s balance. I can still eat the foods I love, go out on the town with friends, have the occasional drink or two, take Ruky for a run as my cardio day, workout from home and still get a few gym sessions in on early weekend mornings when no one is at the gym.

I’m already down 5lbs from when I filled out my FitBliss IMG_3429Fitness application! I’m discovering what works for me, where I’m strong, where I’m weak, what foods I can fit into my macros, what makes me feel good, and what doesn’t make me feel good. Last night I hoarded my macros so I could kill a whole Amy’s Pizza for dinner! I didn’t even have to starve all day! THAT is true happiness and a sense of accomplishment. Finally finding a healthy routine, balance, and physical and mental well being. I’m happy. I’m actually happy and I haven’t been able to say that with 100% honesty in a long time. I’m letting go of the things in my life that have been toxic for my soul, mind, and body.

Here’s to creating healthy habits for a life time!

~Jess

 

 

Back to Business and Basics

The last 3 months have been one hell of a ride. A year ago today I never would have thought I would be where I am today. Even though this year shook my world like it’s never been shaken and challenged my mind and spirit, I have grown immensely in a short amount of time and I look forward to a future of growth as a strong individual.

Many of you may already know, but I have been going through a divorce over the past few months which will be finalized in 2016. In the beginning, I experienced deep depression for a month where I refused to eat, had zero energy, would cry every day and when I thought I couldn’t cry anymore, I would cry harder. My existence was being crushed, I never thought I would recover. I defined myself by my marriage, and when my marriage started to crumble, so did I. I felt my identity being stripped, leaving me empty and numb.

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Over time, with the love, compassion, and support of friends and family, my spirit began to flourish again. I could smile again, I could laugh again, and I could sing again. I found happiness and peace of mind, I let go of my ego and started to live again. I’m beginning to live care free, spontaneously, grateful and full of appreciation for everything I’ve been blessed with. I’m ready to take back my life.

The past 3 months have been full of changes and the next year will be filled with so many more. Stay tuned.

Peace & love…

~Jess

 

Self Realization

You know what I discovered about myself? I’m one lazy mother******.

This Summer I’ve been struggling with my fitness goals. I haven’t been counting my macros, I’ve been drinking like a fish, and I’ve been meeting the bare minimum of my workouts. I haven’t even created a bucket list, gone camping, or read a book. When I get home, I park my a$$ on the couch, cuddle with my dog, and veg out on the TV. I’m lazy. I hate cooking, it’s pretty much the worst. I’ll let my clean laundry sit in the basket until it’s full and I’m forced to fold it. I keep the house clean generally, but I think it’s so I don’t feel like a complete lazy P.O.S.

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I think I stayed on a better regimented track during school due to the common fear of “the Freshman 15lbs”. Working out was also most likely a form of procrastination from homework. This Summer I’ve been working out as a form of transportation commuting home, or when it’s convenient. I haven’t been hitting my “calories-burned-per-workout” goal either. I hardly eat salad for lunch anymore, I’m all about sushi, tacos, and Indian food. Is it possible that I’m STILL burned out from Emerald Cup last year in April?!

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I used to love fitness, and I used to be so conscious of what I ate. Now I’m like, “Ehhhh, whatever.” Part of me is happy that I’m not obsessive anymore, I’m not so “into myself” that I have to announce to the world, “I went to the gym today” on my Facebook status. Sure, I still take photos of my abs and share them on IG, just because I’m so surprised I still have them and to motivate myself to keep them. I’m happy with my body and I’m happy with my life, I can’t help but think that because I’ve chilled out on the fitness and health stuff, maybe I’m really just lazy and it’s carrying over into other areas of my life.

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Fitness and health has been a form of control for me, an organizational structure, a way I lived my life, being disciplined, being able to say no to that cookie, being able to pick my a$$ up after an exhausting day and torch some calories anyways, and partially a way to define myself and set myself apart.

I think in a way, social media desensitized me from all that, Instagram especially. A few years ago I started following all these fitness pages, becoming so inspired to compete in a bikini competition. After my competition I started looking at those pages feeling envious that I was no longer that lean, that muscular, and that cut, and that’s when I realized how unrealistic maintaining that level of leanness really was. I immediately began to regret putting my body through that hell with nothing to show for it afterwards except a damaged body, hurt self esteem, and broken relationships.

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Now I scroll through my Instagram feed feeling and saying, “Mehhhh.” I’m desensitized to the fitness hype. Everyone’s a fitness buff, there’s nothing unique about it. Everyone’s the same, they want to “inspire” when really it’s a popularity contest, it’s self advertising, and it’s self gratification, it has nothing to do with the well being of others or the desire to inspire. There’s only a handful of people I follow who actually might give a damn about helping others get motivated.

Despite feeling jaded by the fitness world, that doesn’t mean I should say, “F*** it, I don’t give a s*** anymore” and let myself go. I care about my health and the only person I need to be healthy for is ME. I don’t need anyone else’s approval or affirmations. I want to live a long healthy life with the least amount of physical restrictions as I age, I want to be strong and able bodied, and most of all I want to achieve a healthy balanced state of mind.

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~Jess

First Full Workout with Video!

Whewwww! First workout with exercise videos posted! I beat my goal and had it up mid week instead of the weekend, so I hope you enjoy.

Make sure you download the Tabata Pro Timer app, it’s the best Tabata timer I have used, super easy and definitely worth the $2.99. Also, invest in a KB (kettlebell)! This single piece of workout equipment will be your best friend. Training with a KB delivers results, builds strength, and challenges your body.

This workout takes approximate 16 minutes. You WILL be out of breathe, and you should hurt the next day. I completed this workout yesterday and it was extremely tough. My heart rate hit a high of 186!

Have fun with it and let me know what you think! If the format should be a little different, let me know. I can embed the videos directly in the post, or leave them as they are with hyperlinks. Feedback is much appreciated, enjoy!

TABATA CIRCUIT
Tabata #1: 8 cycles (30 seconds work, 10 seconds rest)
Tabata #2: 8 cycles (30 seconds work, 10 seconds rest)
Tabata #1: 8 cycles (30 seconds work, 10 seconds rest)

Taking a Break from the Textbooks….

I know, I know. I’m a terrible blogger. It’s only the 3rd week of the New Year and I’ve already fudged up my New Year Goals for my blog! I haven’t posted a recipe or a workout in over a week, I’ve been naughty 😦

I’ve been doing well in all other areas of my New Year Goals! Hitting my workouts, writing in my journal, becoming better at logging my meals in myfitnesspal… ALL my meals 😉

To be honest, this quarter has been insane. I can’t seem to keep up with the amount of notes, flashcards, studying, labs, and key terms for Biology. Derek introduced me to the Study Blue app though, which has proven to be a wonderful and helpful tool! I can easily take flash card notes on my key terms while I read, saves time, AND the app has a quiz feature using True or False, Multiple Choice, or Fill in the Blank. I’ve already done much better on my quizzes, and I feel like I can absorb more information since my note taking time has been cut in half.

English 201 has been quite a bit to wrap my mind around as well. I think I’m thinking too hard about my Quarter Research Project, developing a thesis on Thailand Environmental issues has been exceedingly difficult. I kind of want to just write the entire 8 -10 page paper NOW and just keep editing it every day until it’s due, refining it, instead of investing so much time into chunks of it. Hey, that’s actually not a bad idea, I might consider that!

Math ….. well I hate Math period, but I feel like this quarter it might be my “relief” course. Math is reliable.

Classes have been crazy and school has hit our pocketbook, but thankfully I qualify for unsubsidized loans for school. Each quarter we’ve been paying for my books and remaining tuition out of pocket, estimating $800, not including Derek’s school costs. I qualify for a gracious amount and will be receiving a check for last quarter as well. Hallelujah!

Aside from the school commotion, I’ve been doing well! I’ve been eating better, working out consistently, improving my time management skills, and waking up early on the weekends to increase my productivity. I’ve actually made some progress with my body over the last 3 weeks through eating better and kettlebell training. I feel lean, mean, and clean 🙂 I also stocked up on the new S’mores and Cookies n’ Cream Quest bars, as well as White Chocolate Chip Macadamia Nut Protein Cookies by Lenny & Larry’s for loooong school days. Delicious!

progress lenny

Yesterday I had my Annual Review at the EBC. 2 years with Microsoft, I can do anything now 😉 I received plenty of great feedback from my manager, enough praise to make me blush, and good raise. Kudos me! My manager says it’s time to take the next step in my career. Honestly, I’m very happy with my current role, the schedule, and pay, it gives me so much freedom and flexibility with school. We will see what’s in the cards. I am open to opportunity.

The next few months will be jam packed! Derek is starting his half sleeve tattoo next, we are going to Kurios Cirque Sol Leil at the end of the month, our 3 year anniversary is Valentine’s Day weekend, Derek will be competing in a 50K with a 5,000 foot elevation gain in March, and we should know where Derek is going to Law School in April! Wheww!

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I hope everyone else has been sticking with their New Year Goals, have a great weekend!

~Jess

Week 1 School Recap & Femme Peach Contest Winner!

Welp, first week of school was intense to say the least. So much reading, extensive Power Point lectures, key terms, notes, quizzes, papers….. holy crap.

Despite the blizzard of college, I was able to hit my fitness goals last week. I completed my Daily Burn kettlebell workouts, ran outdoors, did my HIIT and plyos, and even ate salad… I know right?! I can’t say “no” to Steak Caesar salad, that shit is my weakness.

This week I’ll be lucky if I can hit 5 workouts, Human Biology has been suffocating me with heavy reading, labs, note taking, and a first exam this Thursday. Damn, crossing my fingers I can pull off another 4.0 this quarter. Next quarter I’ll throw in a fun class. English 201, Biology 108, and Math…. this quarter. You got this Jess, you got this.

In other news, yesterday I announced the winner of the Femme Peach Contest! Sherisa Rorberg is the lucky lady to receive one tube of Femme Peach Skin Tightening Cream, retailing at $79.95. She’s about to feel the burn!

peachwinner

I’m very excited to be receiving my January Femme package next week. We should also be getting apparel very soon, so stay tuned! Big things to come!

I hope everyone has a stellar week, check back for workouts and recipes.

~Jess

KB Booty Builder

My goal this year is to be more consistent with the amount of food related and workout posts I share. This will be A LOT easier now that I have my precious 25lb kettlebell I’ve been wishing for. I created another glute focused KB workout because training glutes is my FAVORITE! I’ve noticed a huge difference in overall muscle tone while training at home with my KB.

This week Aunt Flo is visiting, so I’m not as tight and toned as I would like to be, but hey, that’s life. I feel great and that’s all that matters. I will keep training hard this week regardless, and next week my results will really show.

I hope you enjoy this simple but tough workout. Comment below if you would like to any specific workouts in the future: HIIT, bodyweight, Tabata, etc.

kb2final

Enjoy!

~Jess

Discoveries and Lessons Learned in 2014

2014 was a roller coaster of good, bad, ugly, great memories, sweat, and tears for me. I made a lot of progress but I also took a few steps back from time to time. I reached my goals and learned from the process it took to achieve them. I’m so excited to see what 2015 has in store, but I want to reflect on how great and not so great 2014 was, the discoveries and lessons learned:

 

1) I competed in Emerald Cup 2014 – This was probably one of the highlights of my year. Competing in ECUP opened opportunities for me, introduced me to new people, pushed me past my physical and mental threshold, caused me pain and tears, drove away friends and family, taught me the science of nutrition and training, made me completely broke, and taught me that bodybuilding ain’t my sport. I placed 7th out of 24 gals in my category, and had the support from friends and family that I didn’t deserve. It was an experience I will never forget, but will also never partake in again.

ecup2

2) Lost a few friends – Losing friends can be a part of growing up. Some times it doesn’t phase you, but some times you think about them every day. Some times friendships can’t be mended, some times they are lost by things you did or didn’t do. Although it’s a shame, I learned to cherish the good and bad memories and just keep moving forward.

4) Did my first fitness photoshoot – In fact, I did two photoshoots this years! My first fitness shoot was so much fun! I’m not saying the second one wasn’t, but the first photoshoot was capturing me in my element and natural surroundings. My second photoshoot was a month before competition date and I was feeling carb depleted, kinda exposed in my bikini, and overall bashing myself mentally for how much farther I thought I had to go to be ‘stage ready.’ Either way, huge thanks to Amir Zahed, friend and co-worker for the great opportunity and excellent photos.

FinalIMG_3060

5) Became a sponsored athlete with Femme – This was extremely exciting! Femme is a brand new company in Australia with Australian and U.S Athletes. I was signed on when they first started in March, so the beginning was quite rocky, but under new management our relationship has been strong. They provide me with amazing supplements such as Femme Peach Skin Tightening Cream (my personal favorite, check out my blog post for giveaway details!), BCAA’s, Pre Workout, and Carnitine. I can’t wait to begin events with them once they grow into a larger company.

femme

6) Made it to the morning shift at the EBC – This might not sound like a big deal, but believe me, it was for me. I was about to begin an interview process with Regus while I was on night shift (11:00am to 7:30pm) until they moved me to the opening shift (6:30am to 3:00pm). As much as I enjoyed morning workouts and my morning routine, working the night shift meant getting off way past 7:30pm once everyone has left the building. It really hurt my mental health. I was completely over working a year of night shift. Moving to the morning shift opened so many doors for me, the biggest opportunity being school.

7) Paid off my debt – 2013 hit our pockets financially in a big way: buying a new dog, being forced to move out, paying more for rent, surgery for our dog, having to move AGAIN after 5 short months, marathon in Leavenworth, Iron Man in Vancouver, etc. After the miraculous reunion with my biological family and a savings bond being passed down from my great great grandma, we were able to move and pay off our debt with our tax return as well.

8) Went to my first volunteer event – My Christian high school used to do quarterly volunteer events with Union Gospel Mission and it felt really good doing those, so I decided to do another volunteer event with my work with the Special Olympics over the Summer. We weren’t working as closely with the athletes as I thought we would be, but it felt good to be donating our time to help out with the vendor booths at the event. I want to make it a goal to do a few more volunteer events this year as well.

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9) Began my own eBay store – Talk about extra side cash! I sold basically my entire closet of unused clothing on top of other odds and ends and have probably made well over $1,000 so far! Keep it coming! I started buying half price tag items at Goodwill to resell. It’s been pretty successful, I’m excited to see how much I can rake in for 2015.

10) Took a vacation to San Diego with the hubby – We went to San Diego in July after racking up enough air miles to help out with a huge percentage of the ticket cost. We went for 5 days and literally lounged on the beach every day and drank every night. I got the worse sun burn I’ve ever experienced, but also the sexiest darkest tan. I still have swim suit tan lines on my booty.

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11) Discovered what Influenster was – Pretty much the best online discovery I’ve made this year. Influenster is platform where you can connect all your social media to increase your social impact score, write reviews to maintain eligibility for prizes, receive FREE prizes, write reviews and fulfill tasks and challenges, and earn MORE free stuff! I’ve earned Sally Hansen Nail Polish, beauty boxes, over $100 in eBay gift cards, and my FAVORITE….. the Victoria’s Secret Sport voxbox with a free Incredible Sports bra, and workout crops. On top of THAT…. I was the lucky winner of the $500 VS gift card for my YouTube review. In love with Influenster.

VSgiftcard2

12) Got a Twitter account – Not proud of this one. Let’s just say I did it for Influenster 😉

13) Two of my closest gal pals got married – This was a big deal! I was a Bridesmaid for my friend Brittany and was in charge of throwing her a Bachelorette party, so much fun. My other friend Danielle had her Bachelorette party in Vancouver while Derek went to her husband’s Bachelor party in Lake Tahoe. Tons of fun, drinking, and money spent of course. Hopefully no one gets married for a while so we can recover… JK!

britt

14) I made the decision to go to school – Biggest and most important decision of the year! I started in Fall Quarter and made a 4.0! I have no idea what I want to do, but I’m playing around with the ideas of environmental science, conservation, and/or sustainability. That’s what the first few years of college is for though, figuring out what interests you. I hope I continue to do well for the rest of the year.

15) Extended our current lease for another year – This is a huge deal for us! IN FACT…. we extended our lease for another year, so 3 years total. That will be the longest we have lived anywhere. We really love the security, the location, and how perfect our condo is. We would LOVE to own one like it some day, maybe after Derek graduates Law School.

16) Derek passed the LSAT! – We share our successes, so I feel a huge connection with him passing his LSAT. He was so nervous, but he studied his ass off EVERY DAY of Summer. I’m so happy he passed with a great score placing him in the top tier. He put so much hard work into everything he did to prepare, I had total faith in him 🙂 Now onto Law School and Scholarship applications this year!

 

It was a blessed year, I can’t wait to see what 2015 has in store 🙂

~Jess

 

 

Daily Burn Challenge

I’ve decided to take on a personal challenge for myself. My fitness goals have been up in the air lately, I’ve kept them pretty vague until I had the recent idea to try out Daily Burn on Hulu. I have been completely against the idea of Daily Burn, for the bold statement on their ad, “Why spend ‘X’ amount of dollars on a trainer when you could spend less with Daily Burn than you would for a few hours with a trainer?!”

1) My husband is trainer, and a damn good one at that! Not everyone can benefit from the same type of training.

2) A 1:1 trainer provides you with so much more! Accountability, expertise customized to your physical needs, body, injuries etc., and of course someone who will physically push you and won’t let you hit ‘pause’.

3) A trainer will see your progress and keep you challenged based on your level. ‘Easy’, ‘Intermediate’, and ‘Advanced’ are NOT the only levels of fitness, there are so many more because everybody is completely different.

However, I believe the concept of Daily Burn is great for those who have the fundamental structure of training, have busy schedules and prefer working out at home vs. the gym, and are really just looking for variety and new material instead of having to create a workout themselves every day. I know that’s why I’m looking forward to this month challenge!

So I signed up for a 30 day free trail to see how I like it.

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I just recently received a new 25lb kettle bell for Christmas but only know a few exercises. Daily Burn has a kettle bell program that looked interesting, so I’m enrolled in a 3 month program with workouts ranging from 15-50 minutes with active recovery days, meal plans, and even recipes. I feel like I have a decent handle on my diet, I’m not looking to lose major weight so I won’t be using the nutrition suggestions as often. However, the nutrition section can be extremely helpful to those who need a little extra help in that area.

Not only do I have access to the DBK program, I have access to the entire library of programs. These programs range from Hip-Hop Dance, Pilates, Yoga, HIIT, Bootcamps, etc. I also really enjoy the filter feature to find specific workouts. You can use the filter to find a workout based on how long you would like to workout, fitness level – Easy, Intermediate, Advanced, by a specific trainer you might enjoy, and by equipment available. I’m mostly excited about the equipment and time length filters! As much as I LOVE Zuzka Light, her website isn’t as organized as Daily Burn. My equipment is limited due to the size of my house. I only really have my body, yoga mat, 25lb KB, and resistance bands.

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My goal is to complete 30 days of the DBK challenge and see if I would like to pay $12.95 a month for all the workouts! The only way I would do that is if I cancel my gym membership. I have a very heavy decision to make in 30 days. Ever since my work schedule changed to 6:30am to 3:00pm I’ve been less inclined to visit the gym for the following reasons:

1) The gym gets crowded at 3:30pm 

2) Even if I have a workout planned (which takes time and energy) the likelihood of the equipment I need being available is slim

3) People want to talk, fuck head phones basically

4) Guys shamelessly look at your ass, doesn’t matter how hard you mean mug

5) Weights are never racked, what else is new?

6) Locker rooms are disgusting

7) It’s so freakin’ time consuming commuting to and fro the gym

I have also decided to reward myself at the end of those 30 days!

I’ve had my eye on a pair of Freddy Jeans that I can’t bring myself to frivolously buy. So I’ll use those sexy ass jeans as a reward for sticking with the training plan!

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Wish me luck! I will still be doing my Zuzka Light workouts on top of Daily Burn for an extra challenge. I will keep you posted with my feedback!

~Jess