“To set again, or anew; to change the reading often to zero.” That is how the word reset is defined in the dictionary. Just as nature has its own process of resetting through the seasons or even natural disasters, we must also go through this process. This is where I am at in my fitness and health journey. I have not written in my blog in a while, maybe from lack of motivation but also because of lack of time. But I realized that it’s time for a reset. I learned earlier this year that I have a herniated disc which causes lower back pain. My case could be much worse of course, and by no means am I complaining. I can still function normally and I can still exercise. However; I have to be careful in my movements so that it does not become worse. You don’t realize how delicate your body is until something happens and you also begin to understand why it is important to stay healthy and fit. Not so you can look good, but so you can still function when you are 80 years old.
In my reset, of course I have to eat better, but I also have to get back into shape. Trying to figure out the problem with my back and dealing with a lot of pain caused me to lose my motivation to exercise on a consistent basis. Right now my exercise will consist of low impact cardio such as the stairmill, elliptical and spin bike. I also plan to go back to a routine that helped me to get in shape about 8 years ago; body weight exercises mixed in with short bursts of cardio. It does not take hours of cardio to burn fat. In fact, that can work against you. It is very important to do weight training whether that is your own body weight, bands, or dumbbells/barbells.
Here is my workout for today:
24 minute circuit.
First 12 minutes:
- 10 Lunges (5 each leg) followed by 10 squats (hold two dumbbells in each hand during both exercises)
- 10 Side shuffles Example here
- 1 minute on the spin bike
Repeat this circuit until 12 minutes is up. It’s not as easy as it sounds!
2nd half: 12 minutes
- 10 bicep curls into should raises Example here
- 10 dumbbell rows into chest flys Example here
- 10 push-ups (on knees or full)
Repeat this circuit until 12 minutes is up
Follow with 10-15 minutes of cardio or more if you are already in shape!
I’ll continue to share my reset journey over the next few months!
October is here! It’s time for some new recipes! I really enjoy eating pumpkin, but it’s harder to find outside of the fall season. I purchased two cans of pumpkin last week and decided to do something with them. I made a healthier version of pumpkin bars that are easy to make and have a good amount of protein. I added chocolate chips because I just love chocolate. You could substitute the chocolate with nuts or blueberries. These are great pre or post-workout.
- 2 scoops of chocolate protein powder
- 1/4 cup of flaxseed meal
- 1/2 cup of chocolate chips
- 2 whole eggs (can substitute egg whites)
- 2 tablespoons of coconut oil melted (or leave out for less fat)
- 1 can of organic pumpkin
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon of baking soda
- 1 and 1/2 cups of ground instant oatmeal
- Enough almond milk to wet the mixture to the consistency you desire ( you can also use water)
1. Spray a square glass baking dish and preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Take about 2 cups of dry instant oatmeal and grind in the blender until it is the consistency of flour. Measure out 1 and 1/2 cups of the ground oats and place in a bowl. Add the baking soda and protein powder in the bowl with the oatmeal. Add the flaxseed meal. Mix.
3. In a separate bowl, mix the canned pumpkin, vanilla extract, eggs, coconut oil, and chocolate chips. You can also add in stevia if you want more sweetness.
4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until blended well. Slowly add in the almond milk to make the mixture smoother, but it should still be a little thick.
5. Bake at 375 degrees for 30-45 minutes. Check often and make sure it doesn’t dry out too much.
6. Take out and cool.
7. Cut into 10-12 squares.
So I made a little treat for myself on Christmas Eve. Although it is okay to have cheat meals every now and then at this point in my prep, I do not want to go overboard. I have been viewing Pinterest a lot and I came across a very simple recipe for oatmeal cookies. I added my own touch with protein of course.
For this recipe you will need:
1 cup of oats
1 small package of walnuts
1 scoop of chocolate protein powder
4 tablespoons of shredded unsweetened coconut
A little bit of unsweetened almond milk to help moisten
Combine all ingredients in a bowl until mixed well. Divide into 9 or more small cookies. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. They are great for a post workout meal.
3rd day in and I’m hanging tough! I still have plenty of energy but cravings come every now and then. My strategies to combat the sugar cravings include drinking tea, chewing gum, and drinking water. After about 2 weeks, they get better and the body adjusts. The human body adapts very well to many environments and you can control much more than you think you can. I always get offered food when I can’t have it. Lol…it seems to be inevitable. I think the universe is testing me to make sure I am committed to my goal. Yesterday I came home to a sweet potato pie sitting on the stove, today I was offered a chocolate cupcake, and I even won Staff of the Month at work! Guess what the reward was? A free meal!!! Go figure! Just when I can’t have it, the goodies rear their ugly heads. Thankfully this is my 4th prep so I have A LOT of self-control.
You know the old Murphy’s law rule. If anything can go wrong it will. Now I am not saying that anything is going wrong, but whenever you are faced with a challenge, you will have to withstand obstacles. These obstacles are not going to be ordinary. If you are reaching for an extraordinary goal, you will face extraordinary obstacles. I was asked today if I could just eat the frosting off of the cupcake…just a little! Of course I declined, and eating frosting is certainly such a simple thing to people who do not compete. However; for me, it makes a huge difference. Little things become big things and one taste of sweet can turn into a whole bunch of sweets! I will stick with my tea and gum for now. But I did request a whole cake to be made for me to eat on March 24th! And yes, I might eat the whole thing. 🙂
If being a natural bodybuilder was an easy task then I am sure more people would do it. But, it is not easy, it is a lifestyle that requires discipline and commitment for a specific amount of time. As with any goal, the good news is that if you just stick with it, fight through the obstacles and continue to find strategies to finish the task, you will be just fine. Being comfortable is not they way to live. You need to get uncomfortable sometimes if you ever want to accomplish great things!
I have heard many things about TRX or suspension training. I never had the opportunity to try it until today… I am testing out a different gym and TRX is one of the classes offered. The good thing about suspension training is that it does not require a lot of equipment. If you purchase your own straps, you can take them with you anywhere. I recommend finding a gym that offers the class before you purchase them to see if it is something you will enjoy.
In my opinion, body weight exercises can be much more challenging than using dumbbells or machines. You have to lift your entire body which is a lot if you are 200 or just 100 lbs! Just think about a pull up exercise. It is very difficult because you are lifting your whole body with small muscles in your arms and back. It took me a very long time to do a pull up.
So back to the TRX class. It was tough! My muscles were on fire. It kind of reminded me of a mix between power yoga and strength training. Two straps are hanging from the ceiling. The straps are attached to one another at the top and at the end of each strap is a handle. You can adjust the straps all the way up to your chest and all the way down to your legs. Some of the exercises we did included single leg lunges, planks, crunches, hip thrusters, hamstring curls, bicep curls, tricep dips, and back rows. We did variations on our knees and standing. Let me give you an example:
Plank-Push Up: Place one foot in each handle while you are on your hands. So, your entire body is suspended off the ground. Push down and up like a normal push up. It is much harder than having your feet on the ground!
Hip Thruster: While you are in a supine position, your knees are bent and your heels are in the straps. Your arms can be on the ground or in the air. Thrust your butt and hips up as high as you can. Each time you “thrust” keep your butt off the ground.
Row: Feet are on the ground and you are facing the straps. Grab a handle in each hand and perform a row moving your body up and back.
You can do hundreds of exercises with TRX. If you’re looking for a change, bored, or just need a new challenge, I recommend trying it. Do more than just dumbbells and bars. You become really strong when you do body weight exercises.