Summer Farewell

Mukilteo

This weekend at the Mukilteo Lighthouse Festival

Summer is nearing it’s end and Fall will be upon us in a few short weeks. Is it just me or did time fly by insanely quick? I hope everybody had a great Summer and did everything on their Bucket List. To farewell Summer, Derek and I went on a motorcycle ride to Mukilteo Beach to enjoy some brews at the Diamond Knot Brewery. Lucky for us, they were having the Lighthouse Festival as well! We got some early Christmas shopping done at the local vendor booths and sat on the docks enjoying the view. It was a very relaxing weekend, much needed for both of us.

In the next 2 weeks I’ll be going to school for the first time in 5 years! It’s pretty nerve wrecking, but I’m anxious to start making changes in my life and to aim my focus in new areas.

I don’t know if I ever blogged about it, but about 3-4 weeks ago I came across a bump in my Financial Aid. In 2008 I had a withdraw from Winter quarter at Bellevue College that was voiding my Financial Aid for this upcoming Fall. After much coordination with Derek’s friend in Financial Aid, Ernesto (bless his soul!); I was instructed to send in an Appeal with my explanation of what happened during that time. That was the year I ran away from home and experienced a lot of issues with my adoptive family, so I attested to that and had 5 witness letters written by friends and family. I’m truly blessed to have such good friends and family! Within 24 hours of me asking them each for the favor to write a witness letter, I had received them all and sent them in!

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Financial Aid was approved! Hell yeah!

MY AID WAS APPROVED! So much stress has been lifted off my chest, none of it would have been possible without the help of Derek’s friend Ernesto.

I’m enrolled in English 101, Nutrition 100, and DON’T LAUGH…. Math 097. Yesterday morning I bought my books, holy hell those are a whole other expense! Thankfully I’ve been working 52 hour work weeks to earn overtime pay to make up for the wedding expenditures this Summer and help pay for books. I can’t wait to be on a normal schedule though! The money is nice and my mental health is actually doing pretty well, but I want to have more time in my day to where I’m not just working 6:00am to 6:30pm and vegging out on the couch until bedtime.

I have been staying on top of my workouts! I’ve been running 5-7 miles home on my 12 hour shifts days, and doing plenty of Zuzka videos on my normal 8 hour shift days or weekends. I honestly haven’t been to the gym in 3 weeks. I’m excited to go back though to work on my booty, I’m gonna diiiiie in the squat rack!

My diet hasn’t been on point but whatever. Those freakin’ mini muffins Catering leaves in the break room are too damn delicious! I do feel better when I eat better, so I’ve been making small changes. I’ve been introduced to the Pink Lady apple, so that’s my new favorite snack. Now to make apple pie with it…. yummmm!

Lately I’ve also been on an eBay kick as you might haven noticed from my latest post. I’ve been selling a lot of my old Lululemon gear, along with a couple other items. Kind of addicting! I’ve also been scoring some pretty sweet deals. I bought a Naked 3 palette from Urban Decay for $15! YES, it’s 100% authentic. I used a $25 gift card from Influenster and only paid $15 out of pocket. I’m sure you all care about my eBay finds (sarcasm) but I had to tell someone about my lucky find! eBay has been earning me a little bit of extra cash, I like it! I’ve been Goodwill shopping and flipping my purchases.

I’ve also been writing plenty reviews. Influenster has been gracious enough to choose me for a lot of their VoxBox programs and campaigns. I should be getting my VSX Sports Bra in the mail any day along with a pair of VS workout pants! I should also be getting my Allure Sample Society box for September by the end of the week. Apparently, Ipsy has decided to reinstate my cancelled membership without my permission and have me join again, so I should be getting a Glam Bag at the end of the week as well. I’ll give them another shot…. even though they shouldn’t be reinstating my membership without my permission. If I don’t get my Glam Bag at the end of next week, I’ll give them hell.

Anyways, sorry for being a shitty blogger lately! I’ve been extremely busy and about to get busier. Hope everyone has a great week! Stay tuned, I might do something unusual and post a workout…. **GASP!**

~Jess

 

At Home Workouts

I’ll admit, I haven’t been going to the gym for the past week. I’ve been dreading carrying around a duffle bag the size of me all day, fighting people for gym equipment, spending hours at the gym dodging people trying to talk to me, and taking the bus home just in time to make dinner sit my ass on the couch and veg. I’m all too familiar with that gym routine while prepping for Emerald Cup.

Just because I’ve been skipping the gym doesn’t mean I haven’t been working out though! I love working out at home!

Last Saturday I went for a 6 mile run, Monday I went for a 4 mile run, and yesterday I did 4 Zuzka videos at home as well as a ‘Wash Cloth Ab Workout’. You can find some of the coolest workout videos on the internet! If you have been following me for a while, you know that I idolize Zuzka Light. She has my idea of the perfect physique. Her website has new workout videos posted every week! Her newest training programs include her: Lifted Butt Series and 6-Pack Summer Abs. Yesterday I did 2 Butt videos and 2 Summer Abs videos and I am definitely feeling the burn! I found a really great YouTube Channel with a couple really cool Wash Cloth Ab Combo exercises, check ’em out! Super fun and EFFECTIVE! I was surprised at how tough these exercises were!

I would suggest taking 4 exercises, completing anywhere from 10-20 reps of each exercise for 3 rounds…. that will have your abs TORCHED! Sorry Bodybuilding.com, your Erin Stern Training Program just wasn’t cutting it. I will definitely be going to the gym again, I’m just taking a break on my mind, body, AND I’m taking advantage of this amazing weather!

Hope you guys try these workouts, have an awesome day!

~Jess

6 Mile Run – Feeling Phenomenal!

Hey Guys,

I have great news! I went for a 6 mile run yesterday and I actually did really well! Only stopped once or twice to snap a few pictures, I couldn’t pass up the photo op with how gorgeous the trail and the weather was yesterday. Our whole family went; Derek, Kaienna, and Keyda. Derek took Kai and Keyda on a scavenger hunt on the trail, looking for squirrels, flowers, birds, frogs, etc.

Scavenger Hunt

I put on some ‘Justice’ radio on Pandora and booked it for 6 miles. The trail was perfect! There was enough shade from the trees, plenty of sun, and breezes to cool off. The trail was dirt and bark, but in a few spots there were wooden bridges. The soft trail felt really good on my joints. My ankles have a tendency to feel stiff if I try picking running back up after a looooong time of NOT running.

Last time I had ran was during competition prep, but I wouldn’t really consider running on the ‘dreadmill’ for 20-30 minutes at a time running. Outdoor running is REAL running in my opinion. Getting in touch with nature, breathing in fresh air, clearing your mind, and just GOING is what I consider real running. I absolute HATE being cooped up in the gym running on the dreadmill staring at the person in front of me breathing in stale gym air listening to the dull pounding of cardio equipment. As much as I love Seattle’s gray gloomy weather, the only reason I wish it would be sunnier more often is so I can run outdoors.

Obviously I’m really excited about marathon training! I will officially begin my marathon training June 1st, that will give me 12 weeks until my race in August. Honestly, everything about running puts me in a stellar mood, I really can’t believe that so many people who lift and prep for bodybuilding competitions HATE it so much! I was probably the only person out of the people I had met at Emerald Cup that was like, “Hell yeah! Running! I love that shit!” 

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As much as I loved being in control and sculpting my own physique while training for Emerald Cup, aesthetics just aren’t that important to me. Don’t get me wrong, I care about how I look, but there are more important things in life like spending adequate time with my friends and family, and not to mention my MENTAL health. Running provides both mental and physical benefits for me, not to mention I can eat whatever I please to my hearts content, and I can enjoy the great outdoors.

I’m glad I have the knowledge gained from competition prep, and that I have the willpower to do something so incredibly challenging that most people CAN’T do. I can do anything if I put my mind and heart into it. If I want to be shredded, I know what it takes to be shredded. If I want ridiculously buff arms, I know what to do to get buff arms. If I want 9% body fat, I know how to eat and train to achieve 9% body fat.

I have the knowledge and I have the willpower.

I’m going to take the willpower and put it towards new goals.

 

~Jess

 

First Week Back in the Gym!

Hey Guys,

I feel like I’ve been a little M.I.A this week. The workplace was a definite MADHOUSE all week and I’ve been trying to find a healthy balance between working out and coming home, sitting on the couch watching TV, eating endless amounts of food….. Good news, I’ve eaten almost all the sugar out of the house so next week should look much MUCH better as far as my diet is concerned.

POST COMP

1 Week Transformation, post comp shape is deflating!

I’ve been eating really well at work this week, even though I haven’t gotten into the groove of hitting my macros accurately. I had delicious sweet BBQ Chicken or Steak salad for me at lunch. One day I had an apple and split a Theo chocolate bar with Lazaro. The chocolate craving has been STRONG this week…. yesterday morning explained all of that though. I’m going to be very blunt here….. for 5 months of my training my period completely stopped, so having it back is an utter relief!

KAT

New workout buddy, Katniss!

The gym has been pretty great this week too! I have a new workout partner who I’m trying to catch up to speed. She’s keeping up really REALLY well, I’m actually very impressed. Her name is Kat and we work together, we were friends long before she got a job with me at Microsoft. This week we started the 4 week Erin Stern training program. Successfully completed the first week with a couple workouts left for this weekend.

I really enjoy the structure of the training plan, but to be honest I’ve been modifying exercises to increase resistance/difficulty or increasing reps, adding drop sets, etc. I haven’t been wearing my Polar watch this week so I haven’t been able to calculate my calorie expenditure. Next week I will start wearing it again to see how hard I’m working and determine if I should re-write some workouts, workout longer, etc. It felt really great to be back! I’ve been so embarrassed to talk to anyone because of my weight gain. I keep thinking to myself, “They are gonna be so disappointed in me. They saw me a week ago and I looked so cut, and NOW I look soft everywhere.”

You know what though? I truly enjoy sporting a softer figure. Of course I have goals and areas of improvement, but I’m so happy to be back on track to living a normal life and finding a healthy balance. I can indulge when I want, I have choices, I have freedom. Some times I still can’t believe I can say ‘Yes’ to anything I want to eat. Haha, I think I’ve gone a little overboard with saying ‘Yes’ these past few weeks, but I’m working on self control and moderation. With that being said, if you have a myfitnesspal account, you should DEFINITELY add me and hold me accountable! You’ll notice I’ve been extremely inconsistent, too embarrassed to admit to the internet world I’ve eaten 3 boxes of Girl Scout cookies this week…. YIKES! Next week marks a fresh start, and don’t worry, I won’t be saying ‘Next week….’ at the end of next week 😉

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I can’t wait to get back into full swing. I definitely felt MUCH stronger this week, I put those extra calories from last week to good use. I was happy with my squatting weight. Even though I was able to increase my weight, I’m still too embarrassed to tell you how much 🙂 I have a couple goals I want to share with you guys so you can hold me accountable!

1) Complete the 4 Week Erin Stern Training Program – I will be using my body space as a guide for this training plan, however, body space isn’t very ‘user friendly’ so I won’t be tracking my workouts on their site. I will try to share my workouts as often as possible throughout the week! Please, please, please hold me accountable as much as possible, my readers truly motivate me to work harder every day! Without my readers, follower, and supporters I feel I wouldn’t have done half as well as I did during my competition training. You guys have been the best 🙂

DRESS

The lil’ black dress EVERY girl needs, I plan on rockin’ this one for my birthday

2) Lose Weight by my BirthdayREAD THE REST! I really hate the way that goal is worded. I don’t believe in losing weight, I believe in burning fat, building muscle, and changing body composition. I also really don’t enjoy setting specific dead lines for such goals, especially when the deadline is CRAZY soon…. but my birthday is in 4 weeks, and I would like to shed some post comp fluff, show off the muscle that I KNOW is hiding underneath so I can rock a cute black cocktail dress, look good, and go dancing with friends 🙂

3) CONSISTENTLY HIT MY MACROS! – I felt and looked my best when I was following IIFYM early in my competition prep. I was hitting my numbers consistently, allowing myself more calories overall, building muscle AND leaning out like crazy! I became miserable when I thought I needed to completely eliminate Quest Bars and nut butters, the 2 things that honestly kept me sane during the early stages of my prep. I didn’t understand why I needed to eliminate certain foods if I was accurately hitting my macros. This time I’m gonna train and eat how I want. IIFYM is so flexible, there’s no reason to binge or be miserable if you’re following this meal plan.

4) Begin running outdoors this Summer – The sun is beginning to come out more often than not, so I need to take advantage of the good weather and get back out there hitting the ground running. Is it sad that running up 5 flights of stairs at work leaves me completely winded? I feel like my cardiovascular capacity has decreased considerably. I’m my happiest outdoors running, I need to get back on it! Mapmyrun app and I are gonna be best fran’s again 🙂

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So excited, the trail looks amazing!

5) Register for Summer Blast Half Marathon at Redmond Watershed (Saturday, August 23rd, 2014) – YIPPEE! Local half marathon that only costs $41 if I register before July 25th! I marked the event on my calendar and it appears that weekend is clear, and if I begin training at the beginning of June after my 4 Week Trainer program is finished, I will have a sufficient 12 week training time period. Way too perfect….. destiny is telling me I need to register. Hello carbs! Hello bagels, cream cheese, and pastaaaaa!

6) Continue my Zuzka workout videos – I stopped doing my Zuzka workout videos as often during competition prep, but I miss them so much! I felt like her videos challenged not only my lean tissue development, but my cardiovascular strength as well. Her videos are so fun, quick, effective, and can be done at home if I’m truly too lazy to take the bus into Bellevue and drag my ass into the gym. I love how lean my legs get from all the burpees, jump squats, and every form of lunge she makes me do. Her exercises target EVERY muscle of the body. Even my arms and back get lean! Not to mention her abs are killer and she sure knows how to set mine on fire.

Whewwww! Those are my goals thus far! Quite a few of them, but a really great start 🙂 So excited for this summer….. it’s gonna be phenomenal!

~Jess

Logging Some Miles

I’ve begun adding a lot more cardio into my training plan than I have been doing in the past. After my half marathon training I just got sick of running without a goal and decided to pick the weights back up to gain some strength back. I was surprised at how WEAK I was! Doing 4 sets, 15 reps of 80lb deadlifts wasn’t as easy anymore! I remember the day I went back to lift…. the next week was PAINFUL, I couldn’t move my legs without being in sheer agony.

Back progress. Thanks Burpees!

Back progress. Thanks Burpees!

Well, now I’m trying to get back into that cardiovascular shape by logging some miles in my mapmyrun app. Yesterday I logged in almost 5 miles of running. Not too shabby, but my runs were broken up. In the morning I ran to the gym, so a little over 1.5 miles. I decided to run home after work too, which ended up being about 3.4 miles. Really easy night time run, not what I expected! I usually DREAD expending any kind of energy after work, but the cool night air felt really good and the rhythm of my feet hitting the ground cleared my mind.

This morning I was supposed to wake up early to run…. but I didn’t. Boooo. You’d think after feeling so euphoric last night that I couldn’t wait to wake up and do it again! I realize I’m more likely to wake up and complete my training when I have absolutely EVERYTHING planned and laid out! Gotta have my outfit picked: Socks, undies, shoes, bra, shirt, and running pants. I even have to have my Bose buds, sitting on my pile of clothes with my house key already off the key chain! To make up for it though I am doing ZWOW #101 and ZWOW #102. I even wrote up a small ‘Booty Burn’ routine I want to try.

arms

Tomorrow I am lifting! Super excited, I am loving the ‘Derek Formula’. Really pushes my limits and conditions me. I AM running home after work tomorrow too. It’s a short easy run and it seems foolish to take the bus when I can make it home sooner than the bus. Easy way to burn a couple hundred calories! I think I might start doing that more often.

Saturday is BOOTY day! I’m going to be experimenting with drop setting dead lifts, really trying to grow my booty. This damn crease just wants to see what the bikini fuss is all about and I want it to leaaaaaaaaave!

Sunday Hilary is helping me out with posing. We’re practicing for about an hour or so at the L.A Fitness in Downtown Bellevue. She’s going to help me with some posing suggestions, teach me how to sass up my routine a little bit, and work on my strut. I will also be adding another ‘Derek Formula’ workout on Sunday since I feel like I’ve been slacking this week. Missed my run this morning and ate maybe one or two more spoonful’s of peanut butter than I should have…..

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O well, I can afford a couple more grams of fat and carbs right now. March is gonna be the REAL test. Two-a-days on 1,000 calories for 6-8 weeks?! HAAIIIL NOOOOO! But seriously….. I paid over $500 in NPC Card Registration, Emerald Cup registration, competition suit and shoes, 5lb container of protein (which will run out next month), lifting gloves, and tanning?!?! This bitch is doing it RIGHT.

Blueberry yogurt bites 1 cup Plain Yogurt 1/2 cup of blueberries 1 tablespoon honey 1/2 cup of granola (optional) Could also use coconut instead Mash your berries. Add your Greek yogurt and honey; Mix well. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Spoon equal amounts of mixture onto the cookies sheet and place in Freezer for 20 minutes

Blueberry yogurt bites 1 cup Plain Yogurt 1/2 cup of blueberries 1 tablespoon honey 1/2 cup of granola (optional) Could also use coconut instead Mash your berries. Add your Greek yogurt and honey; Mix well. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Spoon equal amounts of mixture onto the cookies sheet and place in Freezer for 20 minutes

I’m so excited for our Costco shopping excursion! I love meal prep day, so excited to try new recipes! Hope everyone checked out my ‘Healthy Eats’ Pinterest board, there’s some GOOD stuff on there! I want to try the recipe on the right, I have so many frozen blueberries from when we went blueberry picking last summer with Kai. Looks absolutely DELICIOUS! If the honey isn’t sweet enough, you could add a few packets for Truvia, zero calorie sweetner. I have a box of packets in my cupboard but haven’t tried them yet.

Really pumped for this weekend overall! Kaienna is coming, it’s the weekend, Costco shopping, pay day, relaxiiiinnnngggg….. well, relaxing for me means a tough workout without having to schedule around work. This week has been pretty slow at work, but I have been mentally exhausted with questions about my next career move, ‘what ifs?’, and trying to find a way to productively use this over analytic and over active brain of mine. I feel stagnant, un-stimulated for about 8 hours a day. I need challenges, but I also need to make smart choices. *Le siiiiiiigh*

Welp, on that note, I’m gonna stretch my legs! See ya!

~Jess ♥

 

 

Good Vibes!

‘Ello folks! I’m so excited! I actually had some downtime at work to work on creating some new running maps on my mapmyrun account for around my new neighborhood! Too bad this would have been the PERFECT week to run, next week starts dumping rain again. I’ll have to stock up on some rain gear, maybe get a new pair of shoes so I can rotate drying them. Anyways, I’m really excited about it! I feel like I need that outdoor cardio BURST to make me feel alive again. The treadmill is such a draaaaag. I hate the sound, the stale air, watching the depressing news on the monitors in front of me. Seems kind of silly too, staying in one place, moving, going no where. It’ll be nice to explore around my house too, find out which streets are great to run on, where the hills are, etc. Pumped I tell ya’, ab-so-fucking-lutely pumped.

I didn’t go to the gym like I had originally planned in my week of written workouts. I was surprised with a meeting reschedule at work that required me to come in an hour early. I needed to come in even early to practice for the meeting. The meeting went really well though, I think that’s also why I’m in such good spirits. It was definitely something to check off my list of things to do. This meeting was rescheduled so many times too, I just wanted to get it over with. The butterflies in my stomach and the un-soaked up coffee made me jittery and want to vomit. I did really well in my Quarterly Metrics Presentation to our client though, so I’m happy now.

I’ve been eating much MUCH better lately too! Practicing that self control for when bikini prep rolls around. It’s really hard working with someone who has a part time job as a baker, and people love bringing in treats, and the catering ladies are always snagging new pastries and goodies for us. Halloween is also tomorrow and I have a fat bag of 157 pieces of Starbursts, Skittles, M&M’s, and Snickers! Maybe I’ll stash a few Snickers and dump the rest of the bowl in whoever shows up at 10pm. Lucky kid…..

Tomorrow I plan on hitting the gym HARD. Gonna tear the shit out of my legs, make them feel like hell, but somehow manage to workout Friday and run this weekend with my husband. I’ll definitely try to post some pictures. You can also follow my instagram that is dedicated to my progress pictures and inspiration. Anywhoooozer, I’m gonna bounce outta’ here and pretend I’m working! Adios!

~Jess♥