Operation: Fit & Fierce

The name came to me on a whim of inspiration… but I’ve been brainstorming for this Operation for about a week.

After 6 months of non-stop work, not very much time to work out and totally slacking on my eating… I’m getting back on track.

The extra two inches of extra meat on my hips–that will disappear.

The extra seven pounds I’ve gained since January–that will be gone.

My horrendous eating of all the things–that will be mended.

How you may ask?

I’m gonna pack on the muscle to burn that blasted fat off. Like a tiger. Like an effing fierce tiger! Thus, the Fit & Fierce. I think a fierce logo is needed now…

On MyFitnessPal, I’ve programmed my daily nutrition goals to consume more protein than usual to help with that. Thanks to some research on what body builders eat to help gain muscle and some inspiration from my Pole Fitness instructor, I think I can manage that part. For carbs, I will be focusing primarily on whole grains, fruits and veggies.

However, I will NOT be depriving myself of anything that I truly want. That’s not a way to make any lifestyle liveable. It’s called limiting the treats, not avoiding them.

For the fitness part, I will be doing Zumba and Pole Fitness each at least twice a week. Yoga will also be included to help keep my body pliable. Plus, I miss yoga a lot. Hell … I miss my workouts in general a LOT. Bring it on!

I’ve heard it’s good to have a deadline for goals. However, instead of an overall deadline, I’m just going to go for mini-goals every month or two.

First goal: Lose 1 inch off my hips and thighs by July 24.

I welcome more people to challenge themselves to be healthy!

So does anyone want to join in with Operation: Fit & Fierce? Or do you want to create your own Operation?

Link your blog or your MyFitnessPal account below and we can support each other.


Get Body Back to Normal!

So these past few days have been the epitome of what a holiday should be… Lots of sleep, lots of watching Christmas movies with my family, lots of playing together, plenty of reading and video games, and of course, lots and lots and lots of food.

And that’s no exaggeration. I feel like my stomach lining has extended twice over to help accommodate the pounds of food I have ingested since Thursday (the day that I coincidentally hit my happy weight again).

When food is that delicious, it is super hard to put down the fork. Am I right or am I right? Nearly everything I ate was delicious (especially the candied yams), that is, except the blander than parchment alfredo I ordered at Applebee’s (it needs a warning label it’s that bad–blech!).

But since the most dangerous part of the holidays are over, it’s time to GBB2N! Or in lamens terms: Get Body Back To Normal. I know it’s ridiculously long, but I feel like being ridiculous in my self-motivation to return my stomach lining to its original size, return to my fitness routine, and last but certainly not least, return to my happy weight that I just hit last week! I want it back!! ;)

In a way, I’m doing a cleanse just for this week to degunkify the innards. Stick to fruits, veggies, lean protein and stay away from processed and artificial stuff. Still debating if I should avoid coffee though… that’s a tough call to make at the moment. Thoughts? Green and white tea for me for now!

It helps that I have loads of activity planned for this week too and I couldn’t be more stoked about it.

  • Wednesday (today) – Zumba
  • Thursday – Dance Trance (first time try!)
  • Friday – Hopefully Zumba
  • Saturday – Pole Fitness and Zumba
  • Sunday – 2 hrs of Zumba
  • Monday – Zumba

No waiting until after the New Year to get back with the program… so who’s with me? :)

Why I need to write these things down!

Last night, I was feeling particularly lazy. I watched about 8 episodes of Grey’s Anatomy then tore out Timeline since I was in the mood to watch it. It wasn’t long before I literally kicked myself in the booty to get moving in some way since I don’t have Zumba to fall back on this week.

What I tracked as circuit training incorporated a lot that I wish I had written down. Reason being: My lower abs, my booty and my shoulders are all sore from it. I maybe worked out for 25 minutes in the middle of Timeline. No more than 30… no less than 25.

Here’s what I can remember:

  • 3 rounds of squats, one with 5 lb hand weighted press ups
  • 25 modified push-ups, then 2 sets of twenty
  • Lots of bicycle crunches (circa 50 reps)
  • 25 hip raises (laying down–targets lower abs)
  • 20 sit ups
  • Donkey kick variations, 10 on each side (if that’s the name of them… all I know is that they work my backside and I LOVE it)
  • 60-second planks in front and on both sides
  • 2 sets of 20 chest flies with the 5 pounders

And that’s all I can remember when I swear I did more! Haha… that already seems like a lot doesn’t it? This definitely wasn’t the order though. At first I was switching between squats, pushups and ab work. After that, I kind of just did whatever I felt like doing. My heart was throbbing through much of it and I was sweating about 7 minutes in so I’m calling it a good workout. And Timeline filled my craving to watch it nicely.

With the pain today? Most definitely a good workout. I may have to call this a mash-up strength training circuit that I’m going to have to do again (but likely changing things up to whatever I feel like doing).

What do you like to do to vary up your workouts?

On track for Thanksgiving!

I’ll admit that last week wasn’t my best… Rehearsals, work, plus late nights with friends on top of early mornings definitely left me utterly exhausted by the end of the week. I tried to track but the inconvenience of not being able to log in on Firefox didn’t help. My activity even suffered… I tried to make up for that by being ultra active during rehearsals.

Not this week though. This week I’m back and going strong! Having a great OP day today with even some Zumba thrown in the mix.

I arranged my Wendie Plan to have Thursday be my high point day. I think this will be a good way to not only let myself enjoy Thanksgiving but also not deprive myself from my favorite treats by being careful with what I consume on my lower point days. Wendie is awesome and I intend on working that plan this week.

Activity may be a challenge, but that’s why I did Zumba today for sure. I’m planning on going on Wednesday at my gym so hopefully that will help too…

GAH! Can you believe the holidays are here? It is seriously is blowing my mind that my mom already has the Christmas decorations up! Memo to time: SLOW DOWN. I’m not done with my graduate apps for USC yet so really… slow down. Haha!

I hope you all have been having a good holiday season so far! I’ll need to come catch up on some blogs when I get a breather. Just know I’m sending love all your way during this crazy time!


Good luck being on track and enjoying Thanksgiving!

What should I try?

My brain keeps getting pulled in about a billion different directions this week!

First I discover an interesting challenge of doing 100 pushups through a six-week training regimen where you sculpt and awesome upper body along with achieving a pretty sweet fitness goal. I’d really like to do this in all honesty. Only 10 minutes 3 times a week isn’t bad.

Then I hear about the Wendie Plan. Since I weigh in general on Sunday or Monday, my weekly points plan would likely look something like this:

Sunday – 39
Monday – 36
Tuesday – 29
Wednesday – 37
Thursday – 31
Friday – 49 to 51
Saturday – 29

And now my mind is toying with the idea of participating in NaNoWriMo! With regards to this, my mind keeps wondering, “Which of my dreams could I use for a story this time?” Yeah…

From this, you’d think my brain/body is craving either try something new or set a new goal. I need to listen to my gut, but I don’t want to overwhelm myself and do too much. My brain already feels overwhelmed just by all of these bustling around vying for my attention. So what to do, what to do…

Can you tell that I haven’t gotten any work done today? Haha!

I challenge you to try something new this weekend! Hey, maybe you’d like to join me in the 100 pushup challenge? If so, let me know!

Happy Friday everyone! Have a great weekend!

Enjoy it all… then track it!

So it’s been a crazy few days. Birthday was wonderful and relaxing with mani-pedis with my mom followed by a scrumptious birthday sushi dinner where I found a new favorite roll (Red Dragon… mmmmm!). And thank you all who sent me birthday wishes!

My birthday kind of extended into Friday when I got to see my man during my 3-hour layover in LA on my way to Sac Town. He’s so stinking sweet to me… But I have a feeling he wants to make me fat. Haha! Just kidding, but you may see why I said that in a moment. He picked me up, took me to breakfast and gave me a list of things for my birthday even though I was completely thrilled just to see him. He gave me a darling/funny card, two stunning and aromatic red roses, a bag of gummy bears (spaced out over two days) plus a huge slice of chocolate cake (which I couldn’t finish because the icing was too rich–but it was still delicious)…

Let me tell you, I was surely a sight trying to keep a grip on all of this along with my purse as I went through the airport security. Many people commented. Haha! I even found out later that a man I shared that next flight with saw me taking a picture of it–and he was a part of the wedding that I was on my way to as well! Kind of embarrassing but kind of funny too. Nice guy.

Then there were the wedding festivities… The night before, a big group of us went to this delightful Italian restaurant where the balsamic had me drooling over it the whole night. Seriously, it was like candy. I may have had a whole weeks’ worth of the daily oil requirement in just that evening. Delish! And then the food at the actual wedding was amazing too. The pork I had was perfectly cooked and moist–I could eat it every day if I could! And the wedding cake wasn’t bad either.

So yes, a lot of eating. However, I think I balanced it out well with activity. The bride and her bridesmaids wanted me to teach a pre-wedding Zumba session like I did at my step-brothers wedding over the summer. Imagine Zumba done in a humid hotel pool room. Talk about sweating buckets! On top of that, the band at the wedding was excellent so there was a lot of dancing to be done. I probably danced about 4 hours minimum that night… in heels even! So much fun!

Thing is, I never once tracked since Friday. My phone was being uber-glitchy so I didn’t want to put up with it (I think it knew it was about to be replaced with the new iPhone so it wanted to p!ss me off). But as soon as I got home, I tracked every single bit of the weekend. I went over my weeklies, but I still tracked it. I enjoyed every little bit of this weekend like I should and kept myself accountable. The scale was barely up when I weighed in yesterday so I think I hit a fairly good balance.

That’s really the key to all this though… Enjoyment, not deprivation–then track it! It’s all part of the plan! As long as you follow the plan, it’s not “cheating”. Everyone can make this work!

Hope you all had a lovely weekend! Much love!

The Fun Factor

What is most important to you when it comes to choosing a workout?

I just came across an interesting poll on SparkPeople (diet and fitness regimented tracking community website) regarding this very topic. The poll lists fun, convenience, effectiveness, location, calories burned, ability to be modified/adapted, level of ease/difficulty, and other as the options.

Me being me, I cannot stand a workout that I don’t have fun with so naturally I chose the first option. When the results popped up, I was intrigued by the numbers.

Effectiveness came in first with 27% of the votes, which is understandable. Convenience was the runner-up with 23%. Fun only garnered the bronze medal with 17%… and that got me thinking.

The top two voted options make sense, they really do. You want a workout that challenges your body and can trigger changes, and you also want a workout that isn’t completely out of your way to do. But here’s where my argument steps in…

When there is a workout I enjoy, I make a point to make it convenient for me since I don’t want to miss out. Not only that, but I work harder at it because when I’m having a good time, it’s hard to not go full out–and that helps make a workout more effective too! So in a way, it’s like the fun factor ups everything else in my mind. This is why Zumba Fitness and Pole Fitness are my favorite ways to stay fit. Fun, constantly challenging, and not too difficult to make convenient in my life. Adding a TV or book to the situation can be fun too, except sometimes that can distract from having the “hardcore” workout that I like.

What do you think? What’s most important to you? Does it make a difference in the way you both view and perform your workouts?

Will I have the energy?

On Wednesday, I thought I was feeling well enough to go to Zumba. I was so psyched to go and the instructor even let me lead the warm-up with a song I newly choreographed.

Post-warm up, it felt like my chest was on fire. I literally had to take a break because it hurt to breathe. After a one-song break, one of my favorites came on so I went back in. A couple songs later my chest wasn’t on fire anymore but that was likely because I wasn’t doing anything full out like I did for the warm-up. Because of the breathing issues and fear of over doing it, I left halfway through the class.

And now I’m terrified because I’m supposed to teach the Zumba class tomorrow.  The main teacher is out of town and the other sub is too, so the last hope is me… who happened to contract a cold this week.  Lovely, right?

One thing is for certain, I’m definitely not going to do the same warm-up I did on Wednesday; it’s far too intense. I’m scared of not being able to make it through the whole class. I’ve been making sure I get at last 8-9 hours of sleep a night to make sure I’m resting enough to kick this cold in the tush. But will it be enough?

If you think it takes energy to take a Zumba class, you need nearly double that to actually teach. If the teacher isn’t doing everything full out, the class will only do it half way. Those taking the class copy the teacher and absorb that energy and if that energy is lacking… let’s just say, it’s probably not as fun of a time and not as good of a workout as it should be. I need that energy but if I do manage to do that, I’m going to be completely trashed afterwards.

Doesn’t help that I’m not a flaky person and I can’t bring myself to cancel my plans with friends tonight (which has been planned for a month) even though tomorrow is going to be an insanely busy day and I’m nowhere near prepped to deal with it, only partly due to my cold. I still have major cleaning to do too…

So yeah… I’m kind of nervous for teaching Zumba tomorrow and then having my whole family plus friends over for my baptism and after-party tomorrow evening. It’s going to be exhausting, I have no doubt.

Please pardon my soap-box moment today. I’m stepping down now.

Have a good weekend everyone!

Who says there’s no time?

I’m probably not the only one here who has been inspired by the talented Jennifer Hudson. She decided she wanted to be healthy, to be an example for her son, to feel powerful. She did it… and she happens to look fantastic on top of it all.

There is a pretty cool article/slideshow on Mrs. Hudson on Self.com. In one of the slides, Hudson says:

“On days when I’m short on time, I do this workout called trilogy, which is cardio and strength combined: I do 25 squats, 25 push-ups and 25 ab moves, then rest a minute. Then I do them in reverse and rest another minute. Fifteen minutes and I’m done! And I create moments of exercise. When I lived on the 26th floor, I’d walk up the stairs instead of taking the elevator.”

I love that she totally advocates and makes squeezing in activity look so simple–because it really is! I decided to put the bold part to the test since my strength training has been lacking since Pole Fitness is so far out of the way from my new residence.

And DANG! She says it like it’s easy. NOPE! It may have taken me only about 10-12 minutes to do the cycle, but boy did I feel it. For my ab moves, I chose gymnastic sit ups* for the first set and lifted heel presses** for the second so I got a rounded core workout. My arms were dreading the second set of push ups and my abs felt dang good after (I’m a nut for core work).

Bonus? It got me 2 AP’s. For only ten minutes! Awesome right?

I challenge you to try it! The time may range from my 10 to Jen’s 15 so just be patient and stick through it. Your body with thank you. Just think of how strong you will be if you squeeze this in every other day! Remember to track it as “circuit training” if you do it like she suggests, with minimal rest between moves. I highly recommend stretching and doing windmills with your arms after because you will feel it.

1) See if you can get through the whole thing (trust me, I struggled… I had to pause during the pushups for a mini-sec a couple times).
2) See how your muscles  (and your heart rate!) feel during and after.
3) Make sure to stretch after.

An extra challenge: do it right when you wake up as a nice little boost for the day. Quick AP’s right off the bat!

With a mini-workout like this, it makes me think that there really are no excuses to not “find time” to exercise.

If you do end up trying out this circuit, let me know what you think!

Remember… no excuses. ;)

*Gymnastic sit ups: Lay flat on your back, arms stretched above your head. Lift one leg as you lift both arms to meet/stretch past it. Return to flat position, and do on the other side. Repeat.

**Lifted heel raises: Lay on your back with your legs up in the air, perpendicular to the ground. Holding in your abs, slightly raise your tush and gently press your heels upward and away from your body. Return to original position. Repeat.

Those sneaky workouts…

So crazy thing–my workout yesterday was really tame while I was doing it. My pole fitness instructor decided to do a complete core workout where I barely broke a sweat. Heck, I wasn’t even feeling half of the moves and so I attributed that to the fact that we have done more core than other body areas for a while. There was a point near the end where I even thought, “Seriously? This is all we’re doing? Not very challenging…”

Little did I know how sore I would feel today! Oh-em-gee! I really love it when I feel sore but I just was not expecting to be sore from yesterday since Pole Fitness wasn’t as intense as it usually is. It just goes to show that repetitive subtle motions requiring lots of body control can kick your trash just as much as some other high-intensity, hard-hitting workout.

I should have known that it was a good workout this morning when I woke up starving. Didn’t even think about it ’til now.

This can also be turned around on its head. There have been times where I have a crazy hard workout only to not be sore. That even happened for a couple weeks and it drove me crazy. If I’m having a tough workout, I better feel it the next day. So it’s weird when a workout is not very intense but still leaves me wincing at every turn in the 24 hours following.

Don’t you love how different kinds of workouts can affect your body?