11 Important Lessons from 2016

2016 has been a year. Whether you’re on the side that had a blast (if that side exists) or the side that feels hungover from the monstrosities, there has been a little something for everyone.

As excited as I am for the adventures that await in 2017, I felt it proper to collectively gather the notes I had jotted down mentally throughout 2016 …. pause, reflect, and create. What follows are the lessons that had the largest impact on my life throughout the year. Maybe you can relate, maybe you hope 2017 has something similar in store for you, or perhaps you can learn what to avoid.

  1. Don’t just go through the motions – Live fully and with purpose. The day to day tasks may seem mundane and ritual, often times we take the smallest things for granted. Absorb what the universe has to offer. Make real connections with real people. Make it your duty to live with an open mind and open heart, being humble and eager to learn as much as you can, and sharing the knowledge you have learned with others. Be present.
  2. Love hard – You can never have too much love to give. Allow yourself to be vulnerable, to love, and to love hard. Have love for your friends, family, significant other, yourself, the earth we live on, the solar system we are a part of and ultimately the entire universe in which we are interconnected. Love with no limits but without blindness.
  3. Serve and give to others – If there’s anything I’ve learned this year, it’s that serving and giving to others is medicine. But do so without personal gain in mind. For example, do not serve and give to others if the expected outcome is to feel satisfaction for yourself. That is simply your Ego starving. Do so with the intent to genuinely help others and to share love and kindness.
  4. Read more books – Read all kinds of books. Read ones that interest you. Give ones that don’t interest you a chance. Make a realistic book list for yourself and start checking them off. More important than reading books, soak up and absorb the information. Read to understand and expand your knowledge.
  5. Take care of your mind and body – Most years I’ve done quite well with taking care of my body, but neglecting the care of my mind. I began 2016 obsessed with my body and outwardly appearance, counting macros and working out 5-6 times a week with little regard to my mental health. I ended the year fat and happy with a winter roll named Murphy, stopped counting macros, and working out 3-4 times a week, but in the best state of mind possible. This following year I hope to achieve and maintain a healthy balance of care for both my mind and body.
  6. Apologize less and say thank you more – I saw this one on Reddit or Tumblr, but it rings true. Instead of apologizing for being late, say, “Thank you for waiting for me.” Instead of saying, “Sorry I’m such a train wreck” say, “Thank you for loving me unconditionally.” This will create a positive relationship with others by expressing your gratitude instead of negativity.
  7. Forgive – Dwelling on negativity and hate is poison for only yourself. Everyone is human and will make mistakes, you will hurt, you will be let down, you will be disappointed over and over again, but as long as you can forgive, you are free and can move forward.
  8. Step outside your comfort zone – Do something new, something you usually wouldn’t do or puts you outside your comfort zone. In 2016 I spent the year single, learning to be comfortable and secure on my own, making new friends, treating myself well, pursuing new hobbies, spending time alone exploring the city, being vulnerable, and learning to trust.
  9. Create – Whether you are an artist who creates beautiful paintings, a photographer who creates amazing photographs, a writer who creates literature, an athlete who creates their own body through training and practice, or a man and woman creating a child to love and cherish …. create something. Start small. It may only begin with a line on a canvas or a word on a page, but it will become more and it will be a piece of you.
  10. Travel – You can fly across the world and backpack third world countries, immersing yourself in the culture and experiencing another life. Or fly to a place you have never been, just close your eyes and place your finger on the map. If you don’t have the means to up and leave, whenever you feel that “itch” where you need to move and just go…. hop on a buss or a train and just GO. You can come back in a few hours, but go.
  11. Learn from your mistakes and find the positive outcome – 2016 had it’s fair share of mistakes, heartache, and headache, but I’ve learned to dwell on the positive outcome of each challenge placed in front of me. I have many people to thank for helping build the resilience I have for life. For being there at the darkest moments, for encouraging me when I wanted quit, and for providing support, love, and wisdom. I am forever grateful for the lessons I’ve learned.

I look forward do the new year after a humbling 2016! Time for application ….

~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.

Screen Shot 2015-01-04 at 1.45.19 PM

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.

Screen Shot 2015-01-04 at 1.49.15 PM

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

 

 

Ringing in the New Year….

congratsjoe

I had a wonderful NYE night with close friends and new friends. Derek and I took the Ferry to Port Orchard to spend the evening with our friend Joe and his boyfriend Chris, and Chris’s two kids Kyle and Chris Jr. Several people stopped by throughout the night and we started with mixed drinks and a delicious pot roast dinner with mashed potatoes, brussel sprouts, sautéed mushrooms, etc. It was pretty magnificent!

I definitely got a lot drunker than I thought! Whoever was making drinks made mine STRONG! Turns out I drank a Four Loko too, hadn’t had one of those since 2008. No wonder I woke up with a pounding migraine. We played Heads Up and I nearly pissed myself from laughter. Best game ever, well worth the .99 cents Apple App Store charged me.

However, the highlight of the evening was Chris’ proposal to Joe.

It was a beautiful heart felt moment and I’m so happy Derek and I were able to come out and be a part of it. We hadn’t seen Joe in nearly 2 years, so it meant a lot that we could be there with him and share his special moment. Congrats Joe and Chris! We wish you happiness for the many years ahead ❤

Thank you for making this the most memorable NYE experience 🙂

~Jess

New Year Goals

I don’t really like committing to a New Year Resolution, mostly because they have the reputation for one strong month and *POOF*…. they are long forgotten. I will personally call these my “New Year Goals” and you can call them whatever you like 🙂 I’m keeping them realistic and maintainable.

1) Switch Gyms to Iron Works – This was sort of my unspoken goal last year, but this year I’m gonna make it happen. I’m 110% over L.A Fitness. I’ve been complaining about them for a few years now, since day one of beginning this blog. The New Year means a new gym, a fresh change of scenery has been long overdue.

new gym

2) Purchase a T Grip Bar – I know I just got a kettle bell for Christmas, and the starter kit for the T Grip Bar is pretty pricey, but I think it’s an excellent goal to save up for one, even if I don’t buy it until the end of the year. I am hoping to one day completely migrate my workouts to home workouts, eliminating the gym altogether.

tgrip3) Journal at least once a month – I have completely neglected my journal. I think one of the reasons is because I have an online blog and it’s so easy to freely write what’s on my mind. Another reason could be that after 2 years, I’m still writing in the same old disgusting corporate Microsoft journal. I need something pretty, something that WON’T remind me of work. I miss freely writing the good, bad, and ugly to clear my mind. I would like to continue what I started at 9 years old, it’s something I used to cherish and promised myself I would never give up.

journal

4) Begin training for a marathon – Even if I don’t do a marathon in 2015, I would love to begin training for one. The idea has become more interesting to me the more I think about it. I really love running, who knows, maybe I’ll take it to the next level! If not, I would sure love to compete in a tri relay. Whatever may lie in the cards, I will be prepared.

running5) Never use a microwave again – As you may know, my wonderful hubby bought me a beautiful toaster oven for Christmas and we’ve been baking the shit out of lasagna and chicken, toasting up bagels, English muffins, and quesadillas, with plenty of muffins, cupcakes, and oatmeal bars in our future. The struggle will come when we are in a hurry and simply want to heat up some leftovers. But we are committed!

microwave

6) Keep my grades above a B- – I was extremely lucky to earn a 4.0 for Fall 2014 Quarter! I’m hoping to keep up my grades above a B-. I don’t want to risk shooting too high, but I believe I have what it takes to keep my grades at a B+ or higher. I’m loving school so far and can’t wait to take more classes and discover where my passion lies.

school7) Fit in 4-5 workouts a week – Fall Quarter I wasn’t as successful as I had hoped. Hopefully switching to Iron Works will increase my visits to the gym. We’ve been blessed with a pretty dry Fall and Winter, so if we can keep that up, I can easily run to and from the gym since it’s only a mile away from my house. Cardio commute! Two birds one stone!

workout

8) Be more consistent with tracking my meals – I’ve been slacking at this lately. I don’t wanna be a food Nazi, but I have been sneakily leaving out certain foods from myfitnesspal such as the chocolate I eat at work, or the few bites of left over dessert from Catering I just HAD to try. NO MORE! Most, if not ALL foods will be logged every day!

betterpizza9) Read one book per month during my personal time – This might be shooting kind of high, so I will say no longer than 2 months to read one book. I was naughty and didn’t read the Osho book over Winter break like I had planned to. I want to limit my television shows, so I will begin reading. I used to be such a book worm, what stopped?!

bell

10) Post at least one recipe and one workout on my blog per week – I have been really inconsistent with how often I post workouts and recipes. I go through dry spells, but I one recipe and one workout per week should be manageable. I have a new toaster oven and kettle bell after all! Time to get busy.

recipeBRING IT ON 2015!

~Jess

 

 

January 2nd, Gym Madness Officially Begins

Happy Thursday, it’s January 2nd, let the gym madness begin! May the odds be ever in your favor!

This morning wasn’t so bad actually. I woke up at 4am to get ready for the gym, packed up my belongings and had a smoothie for breakfast. I took the bus to the gym and got there at 5am. Nobody new! All the 5am regular gym attendees. I had the Zumba room to myself for my jump rope warm up and my own squat rack that I didn’t have to work in with anyone. So giddy! Derek pointed out a few days ago that people would NOT be waking up at the ass crack of dawn for their New Years Gym Resolutions, especially the ones that will drop the habit in a month. Lucky me, he was right!

Today’s focus was an hour and a half of core and booty. I had to take a shower at the gym to head out directly to work since my schedule has been altered to 8:30am to 5:00pm. The ladies locker room started filling up around 7:00am, glad I got in and out! I honestly don’t think I will be affected by the ‘Resolutioners’ this year!

I remember 2 years ago when I was working at the 24 Hour Fitness Super Sport, I decided to go to the gym during the first week of January. I thought it would be a great idea! This gym was HUGE and super nice. Seriously though….. when I walked in, it was a sea of people! Not one single machine was available, the weights I wanted to use were in use, the functional fitness area was much too crowded…. I walked back home, wasn’t gonna bother with any of that shit.

I definitely have mixed feelings about the topic. I have seen a lot of bashing out there, and I’ve seen a lot of support for the New Years Resolution gym goers. Here’s my opinion, and I have stated it before:

You shouldn’t wait for a specific day to make the decision to improve your health and lifestyle. You should ALWAYS be striving to improve who you are, you should be setting goals for yourself every day. If you DO decide to wait for the first day of the upcoming year, don’t just set a goal, set up an accountability program so you stick with it! Tell your friends and family, have them support you every step of the way! Sometimes your own will power is not enough. Like I always say, create healthy habits for a life time, it’s a lifestyle, not a temporary fix.

I want to promote and encourage people to change their lifestyle, but I also understand the frustrations of the avid gym goer. It can be frustrating to experience an overcrowded gym at the beginning of the New Year, especially when you see year after year people dropping their resolutions by the end of January. The gym is my time to meditate. I would hate to arrive at the gym after a long hard day at work, to an over crowded gym with people using machines incorrectly, working out with poor form, sitting a the squat rack texting, or girls just using up space talking to their girlfriends, twirling their hair with a full face of make up.

If working out and eating healthy for 2014 is your resolution, create a list of WHY you want to make these changes so they motivate you every day. Create an accountability plan and support system to keep you going all year round! Tell as many people as you know, create a blog, keep a journal, do whatever you need to make being healthy a lifestyle change. Register for a race or a competition so you HAVE to train for it! You aren’t just gonna waste $100 on a race you won’t compete in right?

Do what it takes. You won’t see results if you don’t put in the work. BOOM.

With that being said, I’m gonna finish writing my workouts for the remainder of the week. Putting in the work also means putting in the work to prepare. Have a plan, write your workouts, prep your meals, and set yourself up for success!

~Jess ♥

Happy New Year’s Eve!

*Whewww* I’m pretty damn excited to be wrapping up 2013. So much has happened this year, good AND bad, I’m so ready to get a head start on making 2014 awesome. This past year has been filled with plenty of trials and challenges, life lessons have been learned, and I feel like I have more life experience under my belt to tackle the many challenges that are bound to come my way this upcoming year. I have learned the following:

1) Don’t get ahead of yourself when you get a new job that pays you better. Chances are some crazy shit’s gonna happen that will eat all that extra money up….. be frugal and wise.

2) Don’t rent a duplex from anyone, especially if the Landlord lives above you! Do not sign the lease if it’s a thousand pages long…. chances are the Landlord is an overbearing nut job and living there will give you a headache.

3) Don’t let the vet rip you off….. end of story. They are effin’ SCAM artists! Goodbye savings…. hello bills.

4) Stop drinking so much damn water when you have to sit at a customer facing desk all day at work! One potty break is fine…. but 5?! Seriously?!

5) Stop eating the Beechers Cheddar and Wild Rice Soup in the cafeteria, it will make you sick every time.

6) Avoid the ‘dreadmill’ at all costs. Run outside if you have to, you know how awesome you feel afterwards.

7) Tell your husband you love him everyday, and show him how much you appreciate everything he does. Thank him for cooking dinner for you, working hard at two jobs, going to school full-time, treating you like a princess, and being an awesome Daddy.

8) Count your blessings every day, and be thankful for the lessons learned from hardship.

9) Don’t sweat the small stuff. Take a step back, look at the bigger picture, and breathe. If there’s one thing you can control, it’s your emotions. Don’t give anyone or anything the pleasure of making you feel less or upset. ME2

10) Learn to live in the moment, don’t take shit from anyone, and do what makes you happy.

This year is gonna be full of accomplishments. I can feel it.

~Jess ♥

Motivational Monday!

Guess what folks?! I actually got my ass out of bed this morning and worked out! YESSSS! I broke my ‘no-working-out-on-Monday’ streak, finally! I seriously feel like a new person right now…..

This morning I did 3 Zuzka videos at home, felt awesome as usual. My abs and oblique’s are KILLING me from yesterdays ‘Bosu Side Plank Weighted Wraps’. Torched my abs yesterday, definitely needed to. I feel like my core has gotten pretty weak since I’ve been focusing on cardio and legs. Definitely miss that chiseled six-pack, time to bring it back!

For breakfast I made a delicious smoothie PACKED with vitamins and nutrients to fuel my morning:

1) Handful of shredded Kale
2) 1 whole Banana
3) 1 cup frozen mixed fruit (raspberry, blackberry, strawberry)
4) 3 tablespoons Chia Seeds
5) Splash of fat-free milk

Blend and enjoy!

Tomorrow morning I’m doing ZWOW #57 at home as well as a Resistance Band Circuit I conjured up. Pretty stoked to try it out! I found an awesome video on YouTube with some new resistance band exercises. I have incorporated combination exercises to focus on the whole body. I want to start using more resistance training for my upper body since it comes in pretty easily. No need to pack on more muscle, I’ve made my gains, now I need to maintain and shred.

On that note, I created my goals for this week! These need to happen:

1) Workout 6 days this week:
     – 45-60 minutes of cardio 4 times this week (Zuzka HIIT videos included)
     – 2 days of booty building
     – 3 days of core training (Zuzka HIIT videos included)
     – 2 days of resistance band training

2) Reduce sugar and carb intake:
     – No bread at lunch time, eat salad with lean protein
     – Holidays are over! No more sweet treats and candy

3) Posing practice!
     – 3 days of posing practice, 45 minutes each
     – Wearing heels around the house to break them in

4) REGISTER!
     – Registration opened last week, I have my application, now I need to send in the check

5) Create a macro meal plan for competition prep
     – Create a plan breakdown and start date 
     – Calculate daily macros
     – Create meal plan based on macros

There they are! Big goals for this week, but I need to take advantage of the extra time I have before work gets crazy again. Excited to start smashing out a training plan and gettin’ it DONE! The Holiday Season was amazing, but I’m ready for the New Year. Hope everyone has an awesome week! Stay tuned…..

~Jess ♥

New Year Fitness Goals

Hey err’body! Welcome back from the Holiday Madness! I hope everyone enjoyed some quality time spent with family, relaxing, reflecting on a great year and all the things we have to be thankful for. I had a great time with Derek’s family, let loose, enjoyed myself with great company and great food. I even fit in an hour of cardio Christmas morning doing hill intervals in Derek’s parents neighborhood! Felt AWESOME.

I was extremely spoiled this year! I got everything on my Christmas List! I got the White Mountain black riding boots I asked for, Jimmy Choo ‘Flash’ perfume, ‘Oribe’ Dry Texturizing Hair Spray, Magic Bullet, and my husband spoiled me with a Scavenger Hunt to find $150 cash! I also got wine glasses, an AMAZING cheetah print blanket from Pier One Imports, a wooden storage shelf for my bathroom counter, earrings & necklace, cute sweaters, and a melting scented wax pot. I’m sure there are other things I forgot to list, but the point is….. I was spoiled and I sure didn’t deserve it! Feeling blessed, seriously. MAGICBULLET

I had the past 6 days off! Last Friday I did not go to work due to inclement weather, I enjoyed the weekend preparing for Christmas, Monday was a vacation day for me, and Tuesday & Wednesday were Christmas Eve and Christmas (paid holidays). I am REFRESHED! Mentally I have been in a really rough place for the past few weeks with work eating me alive and feeling like a failure with my fitness goals. I have had plenty of time to take a step back and re-evaluate my goals in the work place, my personal life, and my mental/physical health. I seriously needed the time to re-coop and count my blessings. I have had an extremely fortunate year, despite the obstacles and challenges. I am READY to tackle 2014!

Now, I REALLY hate creating New Years Resolutions. I like to think that I am always setting goals for myself on a day to day basis, always trying to improve, always trying to better myself. So, I am creating a start-up list of goals that I have and I am NOT labeling it a New Years Resolution.

1) DIET! I am TERRIBLE at diets, fo’ real. Absolutely awful. This will definitely be my toughest goal yet. I have a tendency to convince myself that I am doing so awesome in the gym and I really deserve a cheat meal…. cheat DAY…. OOoooppsss…. cheat week. Wait, how many consecutive days did I miss the gym?! How much did I eat?! S***….. Yep, that’s me. I like to think that I eat healthy overall, I like keeping my kitchen stocked with healthy eats, I don’t venture too far off my staples for lunch and dinner either. It’s all the ‘extras’ in the work place, or any treats when we go out to parties or have friends over. It will be a lot easier now that the holiday season is dwindling down, but I really want to conquer my diet! I want to make a lifestyle change, not just a temporary change. My diet will be much more strict with competition prep though, I plan to stick within a certain calorie and macronutrient plan. Cheat meals, not days, but plenty of super foods to fuel my workouts and daily activity.

2) Booty building and leg focus I love my ass, but to be honest, it’s kind of jiggley and doesn’t sit as high as I would like it. I want those nice rounded assets that are LIFTED! I want to focus on building firm muscle in the booty and legs, so I have been training them twice a week. Less focus on the upper bod because that’s doing great, more focus on the lower half.

3) Cardio UGHHHHH! I am so bad at running now! I’m probably being too hard on myself, but last Saturday I ran for an hour outdoors with Derek and it was awful. My lungs were ill prepared, but my body didn’t mind. We did about 40 minutes of running and 20 minutes of hill sprints. I was really feeling those hill sprints in the glutes! WHEWWW! Tough run…. it was a humbling reminder that I need to keep up with my outdoor running because that’s what I will need to be doing to shed the fat around my muscles when it comes closer to competition time. Yesterday we ran hills AGAIN and it was the same humbling experience and a steeper hill. I was able to really soak up and enjoy the crisp air and mountain scenery though, and reflect on WHY I am up at 8am running in below freezing weather.

4) Practice walk and posing! Yep, ‘Nuff said. This needs to happen…. A LOT! My friend Hilary is going to help me out with this as well. She has done a few competitions and will show me a few tricks of the trade. Over my break I have been practicing walking in my competition shoes, stretching them out because they are mutha’ effin’ tight! I have been watching plenty of NPC YouTube videos, practicing my walk and posing in my suit, as well as posture. Derek got an ipad mini for Christmas, so you can bet I’ll be borrowing that to make videos so I can watch my walk.

5) Run Half Marathon YES! I want to run another half marathon next year! I did Oktoberfest Half Marathon this year in Leavenworth and it was exhilarating and fun! I beat my personal best and goal by 7 whole minutes, I was pretty proud of myself. I LOVE running and I certainly don’t want to give it up. I’m not sure what race I want to do next year, but I definitely will be competing in another half marathon.

6) Earn PT Cert I want to do this. Whether or not I become a Personal Trainer, I want the certificate so I have the option to. I love health and fitness, and would love to be certified for my own benefit and knowledge. Why not just do it?

Now that I have my goals in place, it’s time to execute them! I won’t lie, I did NOT workout on Tuesday. I didn’t workout this morning either, but I’m working out AFTER work. I will have to workout double time on Saturday or Sunday to make up for the holiday goodies! BRING ON THE NEW YEAR! XOXO……

~Jess ♥

Glad to Wrap up the Week

*Le siiiiiiigh* Extremely INSANE week at work…. I had 15 meetings and completed my Power Point for my Winter Training. There was a lot of tension at work, plenty of negativity floating around, definitely put a damper on my mood. It’s been difficult working so hard and only being told everyday the mistakes me and my team mates have made.

I got home from work today I did 3 Zuzka videos though, lifted my spirits! 45 minutes of body weight, high intensity cardio, plyometric workouts. Afterwards I scoured my whole house top to bottom for tomorrow’s Christmas Party. NOW I’m sitting down writing and watching the movie Side Effects.

Yesterday was my cardio and leg day. I can feel my body getting stronger, especially my hamstrings! So exciting! I’ve also been playing around with heavier weights and lighter reps, next week I’ll be incorporating it a lot more so I don’t have to rush my cardio at the end. Tomorrow is my upper body day. I’m doing chest, shoulders, and triceps. Really excited for the New Year to roll around and get to WORK! I’ve been enjoying all the Christmas and party treats at work. I had 4 cookies yesterday, yikes! Every day I’ve had something sugary.

IMG_7469

Derek is on his way home from Spokane. He went to Spokane to see Kaienna in her school Christmas concert! He surprised her, she didn’t know he was coming, and he brought her roses. She was so ecstatic to see him and introduced him to all her little friends. Super cute, wish I could have been there. She gets to stay her all day Saturday and all day Sunday. Her mom comes to pick her up on Monday. It will be nice to have her for a little extra time. Sunday we go to Derek’s parents house to open up all her presents.

Today we got a package on our door step from my Dad and his wife Rhonda of Christmas presents, Kai will have so many to open on Sunday! Rhonda is super crafty and made us the coolest Christmas decorations! I’m so stoked about them! They are wooden blocks that she bedazzled that say “Jingle all the way.” They are reversible and say “Gobble till you wobble” on the other side for Thanksgiving. Man, I wish I were crafty! I have them sitting above my fire place right now. jingle

I still need to finish up my Christmas shopping! I have the other half of my gift to get for Derek, a present for my Dad and Rhonda, and a present for Derek’s parents. We did pretty good last weekend, finished most of our shopping. Parents are always the most difficult, I always want to give them something sentimental.

Well, I better go to bed; short post I know, technically it took 2 hours while watching this movie. Not very good, I wouldn’t recommend it. Poor Channing Tatum only says 5 phrases! I wanted him to be more involved! That’s why I watched it! Haha! Anyways, goodnight! Tomorrow I’m working out in the AM and prepping for the party. Hoping we have enough food and everything turns out just right. Till next time…..

~Jess ♥