Not Just Half Crazy Anymore...

Last Thursday as I was creating social media content for work, I googled road closures for our lovely Strawberry Festival in Oxnard and found this - The Flying Pig Marathon.

Well. I've officially lost my damn mind

If you would've told my ten year old self that one day I'd enjoy running, she wouldn't have EVER believed you. Five years ago, I wouldn't envision signing up for a 5k. I never wanted to run a half marathon that took up more than 2 hours of my life hitting the pavement. And... Normally, I'd have laughed in your face if you asked me if I'd like to run TWENTY-SIX miles in a row, but this one felt like it was MADE for me, and why would I travel over 2,000 miles just to complete a half marathon I know I could do here in California? It didn't seem worthwhile to just stay with what felt safe.

That's a theme with my life lately... Safety. Since things fell apart, I'd been trying to find any sort of control or balance in my life; trying to stay within a comfort zone after so much trauma and upset. Life keeps pulling me away from stasis, and I just want to have a little normal in my routine. Instead of embracing this wall of change, I'm usually fighting it at every curve and making my life harder than it needs to be. As if it's screaming "Do you want to make progress? Then do something DIFFERENT than you've been doing, and you'll get results!" but I keep needing to re-learn the same lesson over and over. So, let's do ALL the things different then (clearly with the red hair)! 

Like you've read in the last couple weeks, I've been trying new things and "getting my heal on", so to speak, but if there's anything I want more in my life right now it's security. The last two years have been nothing but walking around on eggshells to please others, and I need to have the reigns in my own grasp finally, rather than in anyone else's... again - that was my own doing by allowing it and not reassessing proper boundaries.

1st Half Jumping on the finish line PR: Finish Time - 2:50:53

1st Half
Jumping on the finish line
PR: Finish Time - 2:50:53

Costume Party Half Marathon San Diego June 2014

Costume Party Half Marathon San Diego
June 2014

OC Half Marathon, Costa Mesa May 2015

OC Half Marathon, Costa Mesa
May 2015

4th Half PR: Finish Time Actual 2:28:09

4th Half
PR: Finish Time
Actual 2:28:09

The point? I want safety and security, but I also want to push myself and get better than what I used to be... What better way to do that then to do something I've always done, but just do it for longer?? I've run ten 5k's, one 10k, four Half Marathons, done one Pixie Dust Challenge (10k on Saturday, Half on Sunday = 19.3 miles) & finished the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer (39.3 miles in two days). So...

my half-crazy Soaring behind signed up for the flying pig marathon.The FULL one. In Ohio.

WHAT. DID. I. GET. MYSELF. INTO?

Avon Walk for Breast Cancer Santa Barbara September 2014

Avon Walk for Breast Cancer Santa Barbara
September 2014

I may have bitten off more than I can chew, to be honest. However, I'm willing to put in the work for over a year to just be able to say I finished it. I'm definitely going into it with zero expectations of making any specific time or whatnot - the whole thing will be an automatic personal record. I've walked this distance before, back when I did the 2014 Avon Walk for Breast Cancer, but this is going to be a little different. That was walking, with the pace of two teammates, and in a very hilly Santa Barbara, California. Those teammates would also probably not speak well my attitude... quite frankly, how much of a WEENIE I was.

Avon Walk for Breast Cancer Santa Barbara September 2014

Avon Walk for Breast Cancer Santa Barbara
September 2014

The Color Run, Ventura The run that started it all October 2013

The Color Run, Ventura
The run that started it all
October 2013

I complained a lot, and I'm not proud of it. Everything hurt, and I felt like I was dying. I'd only ever run ONE half marathon at that point in my journey, and I didn't realize I was developing plantar fasciitis. This marathon is going to be something else. I've run MANY distances since 2014, and am a lot lighter than I was. Not to mention, I have experience and work in an Athletics department with many people who are well-trained in recovery and sports medicine to draw knowledge from.

I was talking to my cousin about it recently, and he says that we naturally apply meaning to things that don't necessarily have to mean anything at all simply to have something to hold onto; in my case: a haircut, a festival camping trip, a flight out of state for a coincidentally named marathon. I saw his point, but why not draw meaning from things? That's the point of life, right?

Training for my halves in May Hollywood 10k, April 2015

Training for my halves in May
Hollywood 10k, April 2015

To attribute, reflect and grow from experiences that may or may not end up important? I think it's important to remind yourself what you're capable of, and that pushing yourself can be invigorating - to which he agreed. I think I have enough time to truly prepare since it isn't until next May.

Now, I just have to buy all the gear to get going... UGH. Anyone want to buy me a pair of ASICS ? These were my favorite: ASICS Gel Nimbus 15, the hot pink and mint color. I think I bought four pair and they're all worn... Anyway!

If any of you have tips you'd like to share or pieces of advice upon reflection of your own running experiences, feel free to share them in the comments!

My Secret Weapon in the Gym

Alright, Piggie Posse – I told you over a month ago that I’d give you my secret, so here it is!

It’s taken me a minute to feel okay about being this real with you, but I’ve been nothing but that since the beginning, and I’m not about to start lying to you or faking these things just to get by.

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ANYWAY!I asked my co-worker (who trains clients privately on the side) to light a fire under my rear end to help me get my desert festival body ready by the end of April (like I told you a couple weeks ago in Operation Motivation-Chella), and that he did! 

Not only did he give my sad, recently-single and depressed behind a swift kick in the tail at the beginning of March, he gave me a distraction; something to look forward to! It gave me a purpose again; it gave the nose-diving Soaring Swine a much-needed gust of wind. I definitely hadn’t been feeling right in the feels, and neither had my routine.

Backstory: I’m the type of girl that when her heart gets broken, she goes to either extreme side of the coping spectrum. I either eat nothing and sleep all day, or I eat everything in sight and cry until I’m too exhausted to do anything else. Unfortunately for my waistline, it was the latter this time around. I’d spent my entire month off away from you guys feeling sorry for myself (rightfully so, if you knew what happened), and I had to give myself something to do to make it better again. SO, I asked my recently dubbed trainer what he could help me do to help. I utilized the weight room and the gym facilities, decided to dye my hair red and am taking my life back. You can fall apart, but you can’t unpack and live there, right??

For the last nine weeks I've been honing in on my diet and for the last seven, my co-worker has given me a strict weightlifting plan. I’ve posted the basics of what we do here.

All of these exercises are from the second micro-cycle we worked on during the immediate weeks leading up to the festival.

This week, the days after I came back from the desert, were those strictly for cardio and mild exercises. I can only assume he's incorporating the periodization philosophy.

Basically, it's a systematic variation in training in specificity, intensity and volume
AAAAAND...

"Periodization is defined as the “long-term cyclic structuring of training and practice to maximize performance to coincide with important competitions."A Simple Guide To Periodization For Strength Training

Here are my results from the last 2.5 months:

I’ve felt lighter, both physically and emotionally, and it’s given me a sense of my old self, prior to the last two years of constant walking on eggshells and anxiety. I haven’t had to take a Xanax the ENTIRE time I’ve been doing this program. Total inches off????

15.5"!!!

For anyone who knew me, I would get anxiety over the smallest upset – be it with platonic or my romantic relationships. I would be derailed by the slightest of confrontation and out of commission until all was resolved, and I think it had something to do with those I chose to surround myself with (not to mention my lack of physical exercise to the degree I once was at before).

I went from being active five days a week prior to November 2015, to maybe once or twice a week and at maybe 70% of what I was used to… I’d completely stopped running regularly too. I’m grateful to be back to my old Personal Record in running pace! So that’s my takeaway from this.

Now, DO NOT get me wrong; I’m definitely not pointing a finger of blame on anyone other than myself for allowing my fitness motivation to slack. My mind was simply focused on other things, ones that I believed to be priorities. Now, come to find, those priorities were one sided and now I can focus on being what I'd always originally wanted - to be healthy both physically AND emotionally. I haven't had to take a Xanax since February!

It takes great amounts of therapy, long conversations with *trusted* girlfriends and over ten hours a week of the gym to feel good again, as well as time – HOWEVER – environment plays a huge role, and in making absolutely NO room for anything other than positivity in my life for the last three months has been the BIGGEST BREATH OF FRESH AIR.

There have been minor hiccups in diet, but as shown in my progress chart above, it's been working! Having a plan helps and having something to look forward to with baby milestones... I not only feel fantastic about my progress, physically & emotionally, but I've been finding out that I'm a pretty tough cookie both in the gym and out of it.

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3 Ways to Rejuvenate your Routine

I was just thinking to myself this morning how BADLY I didn’t want to eat the banana that I brought to work. A lot of what people think is difficult about this journey is the gym – which, YES it can be daunting and trying and physically challenging – but it’s NOT the steepest hill to climb. It’s the mind control over what goes in your mouth that I still to this day find difficult to control all the time. In my post How to Lose Weight…, I said that it’s 80% diet and 20% gym, and consistency is truly the main ingredient.

At my desk, when faced with the browning banana or the easy $4 breakfast burrito at the café, I found myself more often than not giving in to what was easiest instead of what helped me achieve my goals. I know I could have it and still fit it into my daily allotment of calories/carbs etc, but it’s the sheer fact that I don’t have control over my urges that irritated me most.

My co-worker constantly comes into my office suggesting we go get ice cream from the campus bookstore, or offers me free Swedish Fish (which, let's face it, those are easy to turn down since I don’t particularly like them). BUT when I’m starving and practically chained to my desk over the a deadline, I know that I’m easily swayed. And so does he, unfortunately. 

What I’ve started doing is packing my mini fridge and desk drawer closest to me with healthier options, like fruit or oatmeal packets and leaving my purse/wallet out of reach across in the opposite filing cabinet.

Whatever works, am I right?

I’ve been in a daze slightly coming back to work from my Healthy-Chella mini music vacation, and my motivation has lessened since I don’t have my Goal-chella (eh, eh??)  to prepare for anymore, and I haven’t narrowed down “what’s next”… So, what IS next, Jaycie?? I need another end goal to perk myself back up!

So, what are my favorite ways to jump start my motivation? I've given a couple here below:

1.       Watch someone else do their work out
Okay, I know it sounds lazy, but I’m serious!! I find new trends and new moves to add to my workouts simply by watching the girls I follow on Instagram or YouTube. I learned a few things in the beginning of my journey that way when I was too embarrassed to ask the trainers and staff members at the gym. Also, I found myself leaving the gym with women crushes - or women I wanted to look like or match in strength.

2.       Switch it up!
Take a class in between your weeks on and off whatever you’re currently doing. Sometimes when I get too into lifting or too into running, I find that taking a dance class, like Zumba or step class makes the world of difference. Try out Yoga! Take a walk around the park at dusk with a friend – anything!

3.       Pin. The. Crap. Outta. Everything.
The best way for me to stay motivated is to see the goal in sight – or to have a milestone event to prepare for (Clearly, I had Motivation-Chella…) I like to pin photos of delicious looking meals or of women I want to be just as strong as, sweating, with determined and encouraging words in the forefront. What’s your favorite??

That’s just the mentality behind it though… You are the one who has to get up and keep moving! Make it happen! Are you going to get the abs you want solely by diet alone? NO. Exercise alone? NO – it’s the combination of the two, and you have a reason for doing this –

WHAT IS YOURS?

Healthy-Chella

Man! What a weekend!

I definitely needed an extra couple of days for recuperation...

I have to say without a doubt, that was my favorite experience of this particular festival. I was mindful, kept myself open to new experiences, and it was filled with positive energy. Not to sound too cliché, but finding yourself in the midst of a sea of 100,000 people is enlightening (I was SOBER for that part, I promise)! Well, alright, maybe I had some sangria…

BUT there ARE ways to enjoy these festivals without putting chemicals and terrible nutrients into your body. I camped with two of my girlfriends from college, and have to say they were way more prepared than I was, and that is saying something! These girls brought way more than I’ve ever brought before in terms of groceries, and it fared rather well the entire trip as far as refrigeration.

Sydney brought her yeti cooler, stacked with vegetables and sandwich making tools, while Jeannine ensured we had plenty of java the whole weekend (side note, Jeannine and I met while we worked at Starbucks back in 2007). Not only did these girls help keep me caffeinated, they made sure we had healthy snacks along with a deliciously seasoned hunk of carne asada for dinner one of the nights.

Day One, Friday

We enjoyed walking around the campground in the morning. We walked towards the shopping vendors and bought some items while waiting for our food orders. I've bought breakfast burritos in previous years, but I wanted to get something with a little more value. The girls got delicious Acai bowls, while I got myself a fried egg with salsa and cheese from a food truck further down the lane. I went in a little earlier than the girls did, and after all the walking we'd done (20,158 steps!) I figured a little mac and cheese was worth it...

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Day Two, Saturday

I brought a veggie platter to enjoy in an attempt to eat better and not buy all the vendor fattening food. We popped that bad boy open and got down on some broccoli, baby tomatoes, celery and carrots. Sydney made the most delicious Sangria with peaches, orange slices and strawberries. We enjoyed turkey sandwiches/wraps and later that evening and made the carne asada for dinner in between shows.

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Day Three, Sunday

Sunday was too hot to truly function prior to 4pm, so we stayed hydrated with NUUN, water and taking turns dunking our heads in a bucket full of cool ice water. I think our chicken and shrimp paella dinner we split was only the second meal that I purchased inside the venue aside from water and beer... Which, given the steps over the course of the weekend, we could afford some delicious Spanish rice. A little left over carne after the festival was shut down for the night, some more turkey breast and broccoli... Good eats!

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It's definitely possible to be mindful of your intake and to ensure that you're successful even while on the go or in a different environment - one that may scream "EAT ME" at the nearest most convenient food vendor... I thought it was going to be difficult, what with an ice chest and lack of proper refrigeration... but my girlfriends helped and surprise, surprise, we didn't do too poorly! 

AND it was a friggin' blast!

I'd not camped this way in previous years, so it was a whole new experience.  Normally, I would sleep in my tent then walk to get a breakfast burrito instead of making healthier choices. Coupled with walking over 66,615 steps or TWENTY NINE miles in three days, I think the three of us did rather well. That and we enjoyed tons of laughter, great music, and the best company we've ever experienced at this particular festival in our three years attending.

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Operation: Motivation-chella

There's all this buzz in the music world right now about #Coachella. I couldn't be more excited about it, myself.

This will be the first time I've attended a festival as a single lady, so it should be interesting and the best time ever with my girlfriends. I leave tomorrow morning for the weekend, and have been seriously preparing for it for the last month and a half, both mentally and OF COURSE physically.

I asked my co-worker who trains clients privately to give me a regimen and to kick my butt in gear and to get my #CoachellaBodyReady! Not only has he gotten my butt back into gear and the swing of my old routine, he's been motivating me and training me for free! He must know me well, as he's only charging me if I MISS a scheduled workout! NOT a bad deal, if I do say so myself.

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For the last six weeks I've been honing in on my diet and for the last four, my coworker has given me a strict weightlifting plan. I'll be posting that next week, so stay tuned, Piggie Posse! Here are my results from the last 6 weeks...

Me, feeling ABSO-FAB after yesterday's heavy lifting session

Me, feeling ABSO-FAB after yesterday's heavy lifting session

45 days, 3 phases and one goal, my diet has consisted of hard-boiled eggs, egg whites, turkey, chicken breast, ANYthing spicy, and tons of avocado (HELL yes!) while I've kept to mostly cruciferous vegetables as my carbs. For all three phases, I TRIED to cut as much alcohol as possible, but that truly only worked for one week at a time. I'm a HUGE lover of wine, so that was the hardest part.

As shown in my progress chart above, it's worked! I not only feel fantastic, I've lost a total of 5 lbs, and 9.5 inches all over my body in various places. The winner? My hips - AKA my jeans fit better!!

If you want to know details about how I did it in the gym - check out my next post. But, since I still have to pack up and get ready for the weekend, I'll have to give that to you next week when I get back! 

Until then!

An Open Letter to... Myself

I set myself up for vulnerability a lot - Just like I’m doing right now

As long as I can remember, my mother has always told me not to put my business out there for others to be able to use the information against me at a different point in time. Lately, I’ve heard that from more than just her. Even though it has set me back more than it’s helped me out, burning me when I trust the wrong person or people, I still think it’s one of my biggest strengths and most valuable qualities I own. There’s something to being truly raw and real with people that at times it can come off as remarkably strong or “too much”.

Cici from The Crimson Kiss on Instagram has some really in depth and whimsical posts, and it hit me hard and right in the feels. I read a quote the other day that really resonated with this feeling:

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Sometimes I feel like an idiot

for telling most of my secrets to the world, but other times I feel like that’s something about me that makes me “real”; I walk away from a situation or from a relationship (platonic or romantic) knowing I was genuine and that I held nothing back. I know that when I do something, whatever it may be, I put all of my effort into it; 100%. That’s the thing I’ve taken away from my recent personal experiences. It’s not that I’m not enough, and it isn’t that I didn’t try my hardest – it’s that I stepped up to the plate, I gave my all; I just was a reminder that what he was doing wasn’t up to par, and that I’m sure didn’t feel good from his perspective. It truly was easier for him to leave than to admit that maybe he’d gotten comfortable and stopped trying.

To the women who have gone through this before me, I acknowledge you…

For allowing them all of your time and attention, even when they were only available to you when it was convenient to them. Having undying hope is what makes you beautiful, and trusting. You gave yourself completely, despite all the signs that told you it wouldn't work out. You held on to the tiny parts and few reasons why it actually could. I commend you for having the strength to love someone who couldn’t love you the way you deserved to be loved, but loved you the way they knew how. You loved the wrong person, but that’s okay… all it did was reflect complete bravery on your part.

That said, the gym is exactly the best relationship I’ve ever had.

It’s the only thing in my life that truly gives me back what effort I put into it. The same with my nutrition and eating habits. You have to really be open and honest with yourself if you’re ever going to make progress, and I think that’s why I started this blog a year ago. Stepping out of my vulnerability bubble, understanding that I am putting myself out there to be ridiculed by the wrong people and possibly be made a fool… and still doing it anyway because that’s me being true to myself regardless of what anyone else thinks. I'm grateful for my little Soaring Society, for you all have let me be me when I write about my journey.

You'd think the lifting would be the heaviest weight to carry, but sometimes it's not. 

My (*gulp*) ex-boyfriend told me that I try so hard to do the right thing, and gauge all other reactions and perspectives of those around me, so much so that I lose sight of the main picture and end up making things worse; that I try “too hard”. So that’s where this stems from – my want and need to be seen as real and genuine by myself.

So this one post isn’t for anyone else

I’m writing this one for me.

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The Best 3 Strategies for Recovery

Hey, Hey - Piggie Posse!

My little hiatus is over!

Sorry about that… I took a couple months to get my sh!t together after a rough personal life situation, and I’m back. A lot of things have transpired in the last two months, and I needed a little bit of a recovery period. I’ve experienced many emotions, both happy and sad (mostly sad, if I’m honest) and I feel compelled to write it out so here it is.

Recovery comes in all forms. Physical, mental, emotional…

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When something happens to shift your routine, it’s scary and sometimes hurtful. Whether it’s being sore after leg day, relaxing after a long day at the office or nursing a broken heart.

I went to Disneyland on Saturday with a friend I hadn’t seen in five years, and it was the best time I think I’ve ever had there, and probably the best walking mileage I've had in a long time!. We made our day a “Wayne and Garth do Disney” trip for April Fool’s day, and it was a blast! The last time I was there, it was May of 2015 and I was running the Pixie Dust Challenge, and it brought back some seriously bittersweet memories.

Just like exercise and sore muscles, the discomfort you experience makes you stronger. It sounds so cliché and even reading myself writing it makes me cringe – but it’s true.

Wayne Campbell, The Weird Naked Indian, and Garth Algar. We'll call it WayneStock
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Taking this break I needed has helped me re-evaluate some crucial aspects of what is and ISN'T important. Just like resting between workouts helps foster the development of your muscles.

Muscle growth occurs “whenever the rate of muscle protein synthesis is greater than the rate of muscle protein breakdown”. This adaption doesn’t happen while you lift the weights. It happens when you rest; when you spend time recovering from the stress and the trauma of it all. If you don’t allow for recovery, you may do the opposite of what you intend. Same with all situations, and in my case, VERY much my current situation. Reflection and time to recover is crucial to both my physical and emotional health.

My 3 Best Strategies for Recovery

  1. Get Enough Sleep: or you’ll be cranky! Who doesn’t love a good nap? Outlaw Fitness suggests that “Human Growth hormone is essential to both muscle recovery and repair, and it’s mainly produced during your sleep”. I don’t know about you, but I feel like crap if I don’t get at least seven hours of sleep a night. It helps lift your mood and rejuvenates the body. I’ve done a lot of that.
  2. Eat the Right Foods and Drink Your Water! Eating and fueling your body with the right nutrients is a given, but if your gas tank is running on empty, you won’t go anywhere. Our bodies are 70% water, and our muscle tissue is the same – staying hydrated is vital to all health, not just physical. Research has been done to show that people who consume fast food and highly processed foods on a consistent basis “51% more likely to develop depression than minimal or non-consumers”. If I eat like crap, I feel like crap. That’s just how it works.
  3. Take a bath! Okay I know, I know… it sounds dumb, and feminine (sorry guys) but it truly helps. Epsom salt or ice baths (hell to the no for me on those) are helpful to “reduce swelling, relieve stress, improve circulation, soften skin and improve mood.” For me, ice baths are not something I’m into. I did one after the Pixie Dust Challenge and couldn’t handle it, even though it’s said to constrict blood vessels and flush out waste like lactic acid, and reduce swelling… but warm baths I’m all for.

Regardless of what it is you’re going through – sore thighs or a sore heart – you have to take care of yourself. Everyone has been telling me to take care of myself first. That if you pour from an empty cup, there isn’t much to give. It’s not in my nature and that’s a hard adjustment for me to make, so I get it. Relax! “They” say to work hard, but to also enjoy yourself. It’s ALL about balance. 

Til next week!

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Young sb Kwon, M. a. (2004). How do muscles grow?
Plataforma SINC. (2012, March 30). Link between fast food and depression confirmed.

My Top 5 Recipes for the Beginning Meal Prepper

Food Prep! It's a thing! And let me tell you, it's DAUNTING! I's overwhelming to do all the work that you're unfamiliar with...

I can't tell you how many times in weight watchers they told us that if you "fail to plan, you plan to fail"! Well, they're right. If you don't have a plan, if you don't have snacks that are good for you nutritionally, you'll get hungry while you're out or at work and you'll cave into the coffee and donuts in the break room, or accidentally order the 20 piece chicken nugget meal and extra large fries at McDonald's.

I get it!

I've been there. I know what it's like to emotionally eat your sorrows - or to be so HANGRY that you just don't care anymore about what you look like or physically how you feel. I've compiled my top five favorite meal prep go-to's below. Just make sure you have enough containers! I like to use these from Amazon - they have compartments (if you like to keep things separate like me)! 

So here they are - ALL of these have been packed in my work lunch bag 

 
 

I hope you enjoy! Subscribe here for more recipes and ALL ACCESS to the Recipe Gallery!


How to Lose Weight: The Bare Facts

Motivation Monday! 

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If you're like me, you've struggled with the topic of how to lose weight effectively and keep it off. There are THOUSANDS of magazines centered on this very topic. There are televised doctors and plenty of reality TV revolving around this very concept...

Myth: "You Can Lose Weight Quickly!"

They claim misleading facts about so much of it too. I used to sit there, remote in fidgety hand, and cry about how I was unhappy with my body but didn't make any changes in the habits that made me that way - don't they say that's the mark of insanity? "Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results"??

Truth: It takes Effort and Time

I tried so many different things - weight watchers, counting points, and still eating pizza and beer. Following the quick "fad" diets without true exercise... Well, let me tell you there's NO quick and easy fix. You will NOT lose it in two weeks, you will not lose it in five days. True results take work!

You get out of this what you put INTO it.

A friend of mine posted this photo of himself on Instagram yesterday and it reminded me of how our journey is so different but oh so similar to one another. Each one of us faces different obstacles, but it's greatly reassuring that with each one of us, it takes time. Everything worth doing in this life takes painfully, carefully crafted patience to truly appreciate it's end. As a reformed over eater, I will continuously struggle internally with making positive and healthy choices for myself each time I'm faced with fork in-hand scenarios. I admire each and every one of you who face the same issues, and wherever you are on your timeline of progress, I'm proud of you.

This guy Zach, a 30-something 8th grade English teacher and fantastic comic-book author, undoubtedly wins the award for determination and continued motivation! Read his story about what it's been like for him for the last ten years - since his point or revelation and what jettisoned him into healthy living and learning. I've received his permission to post this here, as his Instagram is private. Read his post below:

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"10 years ago, give or take a few days, I began my fitness journey. It began with trying to run to the stop sign at the end of the block. Then it was around the park. Then it was all the way back to my apartment, which would equal a mile. This continued through that year, culminating in a 5k. The next year I began going to the gym regularly, trying to lean out. I took classes, worked on the machines, and took advice from friends on how to lift. 2009 was a very productive year. I joined Weight Watchers, which, for anyone trying to lose or maintain weight, I cannot recommend enough.

One of the biggest lessons I've had to learn over the last two years is that food is what helps with your health more so than exercise. I ended up dropping 60 pounds by the time I decided I just wanted to maintain.

In September, I competed in the Volkslauf. I ran a 10k, plus obstacles. I started attending more classes at 24 hour fitness and working with the PE teacher at my school in '09 and through 2010/2011. This helped with the leaning process, but I was still relatively weak. This continued till march 2013. This is when I joined Crossfit. Through the support and guidance of my friends and coaches, I gained a lot of strength. I performed things that I never thought I was capable of. I've attended regularly for almost four years now. I've expanded my fitness regiment in the last two years to include rock climbing, boxing, and I still try to run occasionally, but have not passed the 14 mile mark.

What I've learned over these last 10 years is that every day is a possibility for failure, advancements, setbacks, improvements, learning experiences, and perseverance.

Know, that it's all up to you. You have to be hard on yourself, as well as be kind, with the knowledge that none of it will be easy, but it will be worth it."

How to Get Results:

Here are my suggestions! See more HERE

  1. Keep Going - go to the gym, do intervals - Just get moving at least 30 minutes a day.
  2. Lift all the weights!! Girls *cannot* "turn into men" by lifting. AT ALL.
  3. Eat healthy, raw foods - fruits, veggies, and healthy fats (avocados! yum)
    GBOMBS - Greens, Beans, Onions, Mushrooms, Berries and Seeds!!
  4. Protein, Protein, Protein! Turkey, Eggs, Chicken... ALL the chicken.
  5. Don't get discouraged! Every step forward is still getting closer than you were before!

Don't forget - YOU'VE GOT THIS

Why a Fitbit didn’t work for me... and what DID!

I have to say that a lot of my time has been spent these last few weeks making the most of my recipe planning and culinary skills for you guys, but I have to share - I got the best present this holiday:

TIME OFF

Well, that and my new Apple Watch, if I’m honest. Otherwise, the time for reflection has been great! I've been able to silently and calmly ruminate what has transpired in my life right now (a lot) and the pace in which I've been living (fast). Of course, it's influenced solely by my gracious 10-day work break and (DUH) the crossover into the new year (Come on, who isn't screaming "New Year, NEW ME!", pssh - Uh – me!) … but more on that later.

I know what you’re thinking… “wait wait wait – didn’t you JUST buy yourself a Fitbit Blaze, after *careful* and precise consideration and writing the detailed post The Fit Tracker Dilemma?? Why yes. Yes, I did. Based on my findings in both my blog post back then AND in real life, it’s not that great – I should’ve heeded my own damn warning and chosen something else. The Fitbit isn’t accurate (hello, like I said!) and not only was its heart rate accuracy disgraceful, it wasn’t *actually* counting my steps, but how many times my arm moved back and forth. I could run a mile, and it would still say .67 miles. Like, WHOA! Not even close?!

So… that said, I was looking online all over again – you know, square one – and when my cousin gave me an Apple Watch for the holiday, I just about died. I have to say, if you can afford it, GET IT.

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 “But Jaycie, it’s expensive!”

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I know – believe me! BUT if you can find the Series 1 for under $250 (like here - on Bestbuy.com), it’s manageable! Especially when you’d be willing to shell that much out for a Fitbit Charge HR or that new one they just came out with - Mine was $299!

Now, why am I pushing so hard for the Apple Watch, you ask? Because it does more than just count your steps, accurately monitor your heart rate and reminds you to “stand, move and exercise” … but also because to reminds you to breathe! I know, I know- that one sounds like a silly dumb blonde joke – but I’m serious.

 

Most of my followers and subscribers know about my weight loss and self-esteem issues, but not everyone knows that I was diagnosed with generalized anxiety in late 2014 and have been battling mild depression since 2004… so it’s rough for me to find something that ‘works’ for both my fitness goals and health habits AND something that offers a CBT mechanism (for those of you who don’t know what CBT is, it’s a therapy tool called Cognitive Behavior Therapy the gets you to identify physical stimulus and pulls you into the present moment).

It's a fantastic piece of technology and I cannot wait to see and experience all of it's features!

 

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