Apr 30, 2014

Lazy Leg Day

The gym was empty so I made it leg day.  Why?  Because the equipment is always so difficult to get to and I end up with little options while I wait around for someone to finish up their set(s).  I prefer super setting and when someone works in, unknowingly or otherwise, I have to change it up a bit to keep the heart rate going.  Yesterday was a golden opportunity to get legs in and I should have taken FULL advantage but it was one of those days.  Tuesday was lazy leg day.  It was lower weights and I was in and out.

I have mentioned in a million other posts I am working on strengthening my hams so I have been doing a lot related to those.  I got in about 15 minutes of cardio considering I had an alcohol-fest this weekend and I gotta reel it back in.  I am still tired from all that drinking though.  It is amazing how much it takes out of me now.  I used to be able to day drink then carry through the night and get up to do it again the next day.  Not so much anymore and since I am not in my 20s anymore, that is OK.  

Tuesday's routine looked like this:

Squat Rack - 3 sets at 12-15 reps starting with 100 lbs.  Increasing weight each set
Super set with flutter kicks then hold the feet elevated at the end of the flutter kicks for at least 20 seconds

Squat Hacks 3 sets 12-15 reps @90 lbs the whole time
Super set with calve raises on the same machine.

Single Leg Extension 3 sets 15 reps 55lbs
Super set right then left leg
Crunches on decline as a circuit after both legs done and rotate abs/legs

Glute bridges single leg 3 sets of 10
Super set right then leg left

While doing cardio I ran sideways so that my calves were burning like crazy.  It is a great way to get in calves!

I promise I will kick some serious ass with my next workout!


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Apr 29, 2014

Weight Gain and Vacation

Yesterday's blog was about going to Lake Havasu for the Poker Run boat races which was great fun!  Everyone knows going out of town (and the travel time to get there) consist of poor eating habits.  This is a pretty loose statement because I am generalizing poor eating habits with travel.  What I mean is that it can be difficult to make good choices when options are limited.

While driving the only choices are fast food, convenient store, gas station or greasy restaurants.  While flying there are even less choices on the plane and the airport has tons of unhealthy choices.  Once you reach the destination then you will be having restaurant meals or fast food the entire time.  I will say that eating while on vaca can be a huge chore but it can also be done in a way that limits, reduces and even eliminates weight gain.  I know that nobody wants to gain weight but sometimes it happens. What are you supposed to do?  Stay home?  In yesterday's blog I mentioned that we rented a house.  We always do this and it is one of my favorite things to do because you have access to a kitchen, fridge and stove.  Which means we actually can control what goes into our mouth.

Depending on who you are traveling with it may be easy or difficult to find a common ground on what foods to get.  If this is the case, and it probably will be, be prepared to get your own fruit or veggie tray.  It is possible nobody else will eat it but at least you have some better choices for yourself.

On the way out of town we stopped at a burger place where I ordered a mushroom burger and pulled off a lot of the bun.  I like to have a little bun, plus the body needs carbs but buns typically have 200-300 calories in them so that really racks up the calorie content.  I already know there will be some drinking going on which means I gotta stay ahead of the game before I ever get started!

While on this trip there were bags and bags of chips, beef jerky, trail mix, Gardetto's, Cheeto's and candy.  There were canisters of chips and containers of coffee cake - all flavors and varieties.  There was coffee, creamer, flavored syrup for the coffee and, thankfully, Pure-Via which is a Stevia based sweetener with 0 calories.  Hallelujah!

Just because everyone else is doing it doesn't mean I have to damn it!  I am not saying I had absolutely none but I only had a few chips and a tiny piece of beef jerky.  Just enough to taste it and then move on with my life.  Vaca is just a time to enjoy myself away from home and work.  It is not an all out eat-fest and sometimes it gets treated that way which is why people commonly gain weight because of eating while on vaca.

Additionally, people view vacation as an opportunity to taste new things and enjoy cuisines of different areas.  If this is the scenario then portion control is in order but if it is a place you have been before and may go again then there is no need to load up like you're never going to get it again.  As previously discussed, another reason for weight gain on vaca is fewer healthy choices.  I have written a lot on how to make healthy choices and here is one of the articles I wrote which gives some great tips that work.

We got food for dinner that night which was hot dogs and brats.  It is not a salad or grilled chicken but we are not sitting our asses in the kitchen all night so we have to mix convenient with healthier choices.  I would not put brats or hot dogs in the category of 'healthy' because of the processing involved, the nitrates in them and the calories if eating more than one but, for the sake of convenience, they'll do.  Besides, they taste good!  We got the sauerkraut and mustard to go with them and I got a veggie tray.  Veggies=check.  Protein=check.  Fat and carbs=check.  We are good to go :)

For breakfast we picked up eggs, bacon, potatoes, cheese, green and red bell pepper and onion.  This was for breakfast burritos so we also had tortillas and salsa.  I cannot control what everyone else eats but I can certainly control what I eat.  I did not have mine in a burrito.  Instead I just put the eggs with veggies on my plate with some salsa and I thought it would be nice to have one piece of bacon.  Indulgence.  So I did have that but I dramatically saved myself on loads of calories by leaving out the tortilla, cheese, extra bacon and potatoes.  Did you know a regular size tortilla, depending on the brand and flavor, can be almost 200 calories?  Yikes!!  Bacon is about 45 calories PER SLICE - again, depending on brand but most peeps have a minimum of 2-3 slices.  Turkey bacon, such as Jennie-O has 20 calories per slice and is a much lower calorie choice.  Still loaded with nitrates but it still tastes good.

In the fridge was cantelope, honey dew and strawberries for fruit as well as a veggie tray.  Yes, I was the only one who ate it.  Actually, some peeps a few veggies on the first night and ate some of the fruit throughout the trip but no more veggies.  Believe me, it was tempting to add cheese, potatoes and more bacon to my breakfast plate but I kept remembering past trips where I had to do so much damage control after I got back.  I also reminded myself I would be doing some drinking which means extra calories and extra bloating.  Yeehaw for that!  LOL

We made sandwiches on croissants with deli meat (I know, nitrates but it's good and convenient) with thinly sliced deli cheese.  We had mesquite turkey, honey turkey, black forest ham and pepperoni slices.  Each croissant had mainly turkey, a slice of ham and 2 pepperoni slices.  They were loaded with flavor and a much lower calorie option than a sandwich we could get at any of the lake restaurants.  Plus, they were convenient because we just popped 'em in the coolers and brought them with us to eat any time, anywhere.

That night we had carne asada on the grill made into tacos with fresh lettuce, avocado, onions and salsa.  Again, a much better choice than spaghetti, lasagna or pizza and it was less calories than the options we would get at the restaurant.  We had these leftovers for breakfast tacos with eggs.  Soooo good!!  For these tacos we used corn tortillas which, depending on the brand, are 30-60 calories per tortilla.  With it being a smaller size and made of corn rather than flour they are lower cal.

On Saturday we had a few sandwiches left from the day before so we brought those and had pizza.  See?  We still lived a little!  That night we got BBQ from a little place near the house.  That meal did not include veggies except in the cole slaw which had a ton of mayo but life is not about being perfect.  It is about making better choices than we may have another time or than yesterday.

Exercise was limited but we walked a lot the first day, danced a lot the second day and my arm got plenty of working out by holding my drinks.  j/k.  The house was on a hill so I walked up and down in the morning to get a little increase in my heart rate.  It was nothing big but it helped.  If it weren't for dancing and walking I would have probably done a little more.  Maybe next time!

Vacation takes a a little more effort.... OK, a LOT more effort but it is so worth it.  I came back bloated but that is probably from alcohol.  I do not really drink much anymore so when I do I can really tell!

Back to the gym today, which was leg day.  More to come on that as well as a couple delicious recipes coming up!  Meal prep, meal prep.

What do you do on vaca?

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Apr 28, 2014

Poker Run Boat Races and Fun

This weekend we went to Lake Havasu for the Poker Run Boat Races and it was a blast!!  The boats that these people have are absolutely uh-maze-eeeng!  It is called the Poker Run because the drivers of the boats start at one point and race to the next point where they pick up a card.  They race from point to point and pick up another card until the final destination where they play their hand in poker.  Cool huh?  There is a street in Havasu City that shuts down in order to allow these beauties to be on display for all of us to see.  

 You know what is really cool about those 2 boats?  First, they are really fast and next there are multiple seats whereas other speed/race boats only have 2 or 4 seats.  So this means the owner of the boat can have a few friends instead of just a couple.  Also, look how luxurious it is!  It is like a freakin Cadillac with its lush interior and sleek design.  

I have been to the races a few other times so I did not take as many pictures as I normally would have but believe me, there were many other amazing boats.  As we walked along the street we got really hot and parched.  This meant we needed a drink.  Or 2.  Or more!!  So we stopped in to the local watering trough AKA bar and had an enjoyable time.  Those of you Johnny Cash fans will be able to appreciate the next pic.

So I walk into the stall and start laughing my ass off because there is a giant prison toilet labeled (as you can see) 'Folsom Prison'!  Haha!  As I am taking a pic a lady walks in and sees me.  I did not care and I just say to her "I couldn't help it".  Typically I do not take pics of toilets but this was a must do.  I had all of you in mind and I knew I could explain it but a visual is MUCH better.  heehee

The girls and I go grocery shopping so we have food in the house.  We usually have enough food and alcohol to feed an army but we go through it.  All.  If there are left overs it is only the healthy food.  For example, I bought a veggie tray and guess who ate it?  Me.  Nobody else.  I am trying to set a good example people!  Well, and watch what I eat considering alcohol makes a mess of things.  Tomorrow's blog will be about what I did to keep weight management in mind and weight gain at bay.

The  house we rented was a great place and here is the backyard fully equipped with a grill in which I burned our brats & hot dogs.  I could not help it!  The flame was on super max and then when I turned it down it was still on max.  Oh well.  Everyone ate it and did not say a peep.  Oh wait, yes they did.  They asked if I was supposed to cook it on low - which was the courteous way of saying 'you burned that shit!' LOL

On Friday we went out to the lake, hung out, drank, cruised around the lake and drank some more.  While soaking up the sun I shot a mini video of some of the boats parked in this little cove - near another bar.

By the end of Friday I was wway stead!  [Grandma, you might as well skip over this next paragraph!]  So we are back at the house listening to some music on one of those portable speakers.  It is big enough to put out big sound and has to be wheeled around.  Apparently, I decided I wanted to dance in the back yard -which was a way better view than the garage- so I wheel the speaker to the backyard and commence to dancing.... by myself.  After no one came, I wheeled the speaker back to the garage where everyone was actually hanging out.  

Also, I thought I was the only one allowed to put music on because when it got changed I wanted to know "who put this shit on".  Hahaa.  Not in a belligerent way, but in a funny way that drunks do when they entertain their friends.  Intentional entertainment or not, my friends were rolling and recapping it all the next day.

I took some activated charcoal at the end of the night and the room was spinning for a little bit but the next day I was fine.  Thank you charcoal!  BTW, that is NOT the charcoal from your grill in the backyard so DO NOT go outside and eat your charcoal.  It is activated charcoal that you get from the vitamin/supplement isle at the store and can also be used to white your teeth.  Great for soaking up too much alcohol.  Anyway, I was a bit tired Saturday and drank MUUUUCH less.  Even though it was windy and cold, it started to warm up by the end of the day.

We got back Sunday afternoon and relaxed.  That does not happen often but I will tell you, this weekend did me a world of good.  Work has been over the top stressful and the Poker Run Boat Races were a wonderful time!

I gave you the condensed version of the weekend because it was drink, boat, drink, sun, drink, laugh, drink, dance, drink, have fun.  Then drink.  It was a lot more drinking than I am used to and I loved it!  How was your weekend?

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Apr 22, 2014

What to do About the Appearance of Cellulite

Every girl hates cellulite except when it is on the bum of a cute little baby!  As we know, cellulite is the dimply appearance on skin also known as hail damage, cottage cheese and orange peel syndrome.  The appearance of this is caused by fat being squished into between muscle and the connective tissue that is layered just below the skin.  It is kind of like when you lay on a hammock and your skin pokes through the holes of the hammock.  This is just a basic description of it and the actual term for fat is adipose or adipose tissue.

Do you think it is weird that the skinniest of girls may have it whereas sometimes overweight persons have extremely smooth butts?  We all know cellulite is a result of fat cells showing through the skin but why is it that some people have more than others?  And why is that some have it and some don't?

If a person has great collagen or thicker skin, the appearance of cellulite may be lower than someone who has thinner skin and/or less collagen.  Men have a lesser likeliness of having cottage cheese because the way their muscle fibers connect to the connective tissue allows it to do so in a way that doesn't squish it the way it does on women.  Plus, women are intended to be softer for pregnancy purposes.  Typically girls tend to get it around puberty.  I suppose that is why I noticed it on myself by the time I was 14 years old.  Who knows how long I actually had by the time I noticed it!

Genes.  I actually hate blaming stuff on genes because sometimes genes get used as an excuse to let things go.  In this case, it is true that genes will play a role in the amount or ease of getting cellulite.  It does not mean there's no hope, it just means some of us may be genetically blessed or genetically predispositioned to get it.  My mom had these 3 dimples that were diagonal on her thigh and I always noticed it (and did not like it) and guess who has the same weird pattern?  Me.  Oh well, life goes on.  There are ways around it and I will get into that in a moment.

Strange how if I see it on someone else I do not think anything of it but when I see it on myself I think it is hideous!!  Most of my blogs talk about being healthy, not vain but I suppose a little vanity came out right there, didn't it?!  There are so many tips and tricks to reduce the appearance of cellulite and, believe me, I have tried a few.

Massage is said to increase the blood flow and circulation as well as removing excess toxins and fluids, thus reducing the appearance.  I have been in the shower and gone to town massaging my thighs and ass only to get out of the shower to do the same with my lotion.  I have purchased expensive products and used them for days at a time and I found that they worked but I suppose it could have been the massaging I had to do to put it on.

Caffeine is said to reduce the appearance by dilate the blood vessels.  It kinda works the same as massage by increasing circulation and reducing fluids.  Fox News wrote a great article about using coffee topically on cellulite.  This is also something I have done in the shower but since it is short term I usually do it a couple days before I plan to be somewhere in a swimsuit and, of course, the day of.  Miraculously, this works as well as the expensive cream minus the blemishes that the cream causes due to clogging my pores.

I mentioned there are ways of getting around genes.  Just like there always is :)  Improving your lifestyle will help TREMENDOUSLY.  This can be done with exercise, diet, and even quitting smoking.  Did you know that smoking can reduce the amount of collagen produced by the body?  This article talks about the impact of smoking on collagen.  Reduced collagen can equal more dimpling.

Diet plays a huge role because the more sugar and carbs a person takes in the more swelling and water retention they will have.  This bloats the fat cells, pushing them more onto the connective tissue.  Eating balanced meals including lots of fruits and veggies with little or no refined sugar is a great start because it helps keep those cells a bit smaller.  Especially fruits and veggies that are mostly water because it helps flush those cells out.  Keeping hydrated by drinking a lot of water will have the same effect.  Plus, more water equals less lotion and chapstick for smoother, softer skin.  I talk about healthy eating a lot and you can check out either of these 2 blogs

My favorite one is exercise (check out a couple examples here) because the more muscle there is to even out the skin tone, the better the chances are to reduce the appearance of cellulite.  Let me clarify that as long as with exercise there is no gain in fatty tissue that it will help reduce the size of the fat cells.  It also helps minimize the squishing effect we talked about with the hammock.  I never intended to blast pics of my cellulite on the internet but I am going to do it for demonstration purposes.  I took the before pic on January 4th 2014 which was shortly after Christmas and the typical gorge fest.  Well, it wasn't that bad but still.  I took this picture myself and should have had someone do it to get a back view.  I was also wearing workout shorts which cover some of it.

The after picture was taken 4/19/14.  I had not even thought of writing about cellulite but I have been working on building up the muscle in my hamstrings and I noticed that the dimples have shrunk.  They are still there and I have a feeling I will probably always have them - matter of fact, I cannot remember a time that I didn't have it- but it feels good to know I'm not doomed forever!!

PS, if you could not tell the difference, the before shot is in the gray shorts and the after is in the blue swimsuit.

I'm co-hosting for the lovely AND wonderful Liz @https://fitnessblondie.blogspot.com and I am so lucky to be a part of this today!  Thank you for stopping by and Liz, thanks for having me!!  Feel free to leave your comments below!  Unless you want to tell me that my cellulite is gross and in that case I don't really want a comment :)
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