September Goal: Lose 10 pounds

Those who follow my blog will know that I recently pledge to get back on track with my nutrition and my exercise. This week was my first week back on the wagon, and though I had a bit of a rocky start, things are definitely getting better. I am sore all over my body (in the good way), which always happens to me when I start a new program, so it is pretty normal. I am happy to report that the headache and dizziness symptoms seem to be subsiding, which means that my body is getting accustomed to my new diet sans junk food.

I started this week with the goal of losing AT LEAST 10 pounds this month. I stepped on the scale this morning out of curiosity and was pleasantly surprised to find that I’ve already shed 5 pounds! That is pretty exciting stuff, however, you have to remember that a lot of that was likely just bloat from all of the junk that I had been putting into my body last month. For those of you wondering what I am doing, I thought I would fill you in!

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I am currently doing a Beachbody fitness program by Chalene Johnson (my favorite trainer of all time) called ChaLEAN Extreme. I love it because it provides a combination of the high intensity interval training (HIIT) that I love from her Turbo Fire program with the weight lifting aspect that I need to build muscle definition. That combination for me is perfect. Since there are two scheduled rest days with this program, I’ve also been adding in some extra cardio on one of those days and also on some of the shorter workout days. I just cherry pick from my catalog of programs or use Beachbody On Demand to do whatever workout I feel like doing that day!
In addition to the fitness aspect, I am also drinking Shakeology every single day for my breakfast meal. I prefer the chocolate Shakeology, and I mix it with a scoop of chocolate whey protein for an extra boost, almond milk, and frozen strawberries. It tastes like  milkshake, and it is totally delicious. My diet has been consisting of mostly natural foods. I have a fruit snack once a day an hour or two after my shakeology, I have veggies with lunch and supper, chicken, rice, greek yogurt, rice cakes with nutella, eggs, etc. I also just started using these soft chews from GNC called CLA 500mg in strawberry-banana. I have no idea if they work or not, but they are supposed to help with fat loss. The GNC folks must love to see me come through the door lol because they can take me into just about anything if the price is right!
There you have it guys! This is what I am doing, and you are welcome to take the pledge to lose 10 pounds this month with me. I have a free health and fitness group, and you are more than welcome to join if you need some extra motivation and accountability. Summer bodies are made in the winter everyone, so get to work now and get ahead of the holiday weight gain haha.
Thanks for reading, and feel free to message me with any questions you may have!
xoxo
Jessica

Month-long health & fitness hiatus – The good, the bad, and the ugly.

So you may have noticed that I wasn’t really posting a whole lot over the past month… and yes, there is a reason. I totally went off the deep end with my nutrition and my exercise. I am HUMAN. It happens. It began with my Younique convention because I didn’t have much of a choice but to eat pretty horrible 90% of the time because I didn’t have time to go get healthy food elsewhere, so I lived off of whatever I could get at the cafe or the fast food places in the hotel. Lack of time and total exhaustion also led to a lack of exercise, mind you we did get a lot of walking in while we were there! That was a HUGE convention center lol. I got lost more than once!

The Bad

Now you’re probably thinking… “Well, Jessica.. your convention trip only lasted 5 days. What happened to the rest of your month?” And I would love to be able to give you some legitimate reason as to why I couldn’t eat properly or exercise. However, the fact of the matter is, I got lazy, and I felt the brain fog and yuckiness from eating so much junk and lack of exercise. I wanted to sleep all the time. I had zero motivation to do anything. I pretty much just went to work, came home and got in my pajamas, and binge-watched Netflix day in and day out. I felt awful ALL OF THE TIME, but I had no energy or motivation to do anything about it. I kept ignoring all of the warning signs like my shorts not fitting as nicely, my pants being a little tighter, my muscle slowly disappearing under a layer of fat. Before I knew it, I had gained a little over 10 pounds.

Let’s fast forward to this morning, which was my first day back on the horse for fitness and nutrition. I had already planned my meals yesterday so that I would be fully committed and I wouldn’t be able to use some lame excuse that I had to eat something quick and easy because I wasn’t prepared. The only problem was.. I was too tired to get up at 4:45 am to do my workout before work. Instead, I slept in until 10 after 7 and then ran around like a chicken with its head cut off until 8am when I had to leave for work.

The Ugly

What would you do in that situation? Would you do your workout after work, or would you just say “Oh well, I’ll start tomorrow?” Well I developped a major headache and brain fog during the last 2 hours of my shift, and I arrived home at 530pm having had my pre-workout drink feeling awful and dreading my workout. I sucked it up, got my outfit on, and went down to do my workout. I made it through the warmup, barely made it through the first exercise, and I had to stop. I was a total mess. My body was shaking, I had no strength, and I felt like I was going to faint. Why? Because I had been eating so much junk and so many carbs as of late that my body was shocked by the sudden change in my diet, and it was telling me that it needed carbs. I ran upstairs and had a Quest bar, and went back down to finish my workout. It would have been FAR too easy for me to skip my workout because I wasn’t feeling well, but I went back down, and I crushed my workout. I felt much better after my snack, and I had the strength to power through the rest of the workout.

The Good

Now that I’ve completed my workout, I feel so much better. I can sense the brain fog having been lifted a bit, and I know from previous experience that that will only lift further as I progress with my journey. Honestly I don’t ever want to go back. I hate the feeling of being exhausted all the time, mentally drained, no energy, no motivation, less confidence, and tighter clothes. I am ready to get focused, and I am ready to get EXTREME with ChaLEAN Extreme. I can’t wait to watch my body change back into the size I was last summer before I slid backward.

Moral of this story: Even the best fall down sometimes. I am by no means saying that I am the best, because I have a long way to go myself. However, I know a lot of people look up to me for having lost 60 pounds, and I know for certain that a lot of people out there look up to models, and even fitness enthusiasts or trainers. We are ALL human though, and we are all susceptible to falling off course. It is SUPER easy to fall off track, but is is 10x harder to get back on track.

Don’t get down on yourself for making a mistake, or sliding backwards a bit. Instead, focus on the now, and focus on the future. Do what you can each and every day to ensure that you are moving closer to your goal tomorrow. And most importantly…

NEVER GIVE UP

If you are ready to join me on a health and fitness journey of your own, please feel free to contact me at any time with questions. You are also more than welcome to join my free Health and Fitness group on Facebook!

Band Challenge: Day 6

Move 1: Lunge with a frontal press

This move is very similar to the lunge with overhead press that you did yesterday. You wrap the band around your back foot, lunge forward with the other foot, drop down low, come back up, and then do a press straight up. The difference is that your arms aren’t out to the side this time bent at a 90 degree angle. Instead, your elbows are pointed down in the start position, and your lift straight up. Do your lunge, and then the press when you get back up out of your lunge. Repeat this sequence on one leg for 30 seconds, and then switch to the other leg for the final 30 seconds. As an extra little challenge if you’re up for it, try doing an extra 10 seconds of just the frontal press from an upright position.

Move 2: Squat with a calf raise

This move is similar to the lunge with a calf raise, only instead of a lunge before the raise, you do a squat. You will stand on top of your band with your feet shoulder width apart, and you will hold your band by the handles or below at your hips. You will squat down, rest your hands on your knees for balance if necessary, and come up into a calf raise. You might wobble a bit on this one because you’re doing a squat and a calf raise at the same time, but you’ll get better over time. You will repeat this sequence for 1 full minute. As an extra little challenge if you’re up for it, try doing an extra 10 seconds of just the calf raises from an upright position.

Move 3: Sumo squat with jab punches

By now you should be familiar with the sumo squat, but essentially you will be squatting with your feet wider apart than your typical squat and your toes pointed outward. Instead of standing on your band for this exercise, you will actually have to wrap it around your torso. Take the band and hold the center of it to your belly, wrap one end around your back and to your front, and then repeat on the other side. Once you have a grip on both of the handles, drop down into your sumo squat, and then you will alternate arms and punch an invisible target in front of you. Try to aim at chest height, and try to hit the same spot each time. If this gets too hard, you can drop the band and continue the punches without it, but only if it is absolutely necessary! Otherwise, continue with the sumo squat and punches for 1 full minute. You don’t need to squat up and down on this one, you just stay in that sumo squat position throughout the full minute. It will burn, but that is a good thing! If you need a little break, you can just come up slightly to rest for a few seconds, and then drop right back down.

Move 4: Lawn mowers

With this move you will get into a lunge position and step on your band with your forward foot. You will need to step closer to the end of the band for this move, and you will only use one end of the band. All you have to do is imagine yourself trying to start a basic lawnmower with the pull cord. You stay in the lunge position for 30 seconds with your other hand resting on your knee for balance. Meanwhile, the hand opposite to your forward foot will be pulling on the band and trying to bring it up to the shoulder. You should feel this in the back of your shoulder, and it will feel almost like you’re trying to bring your shoulder blades together. Once the initial 30 seconds are up, switch to a lunge stance on the other side and pull with the other arm for the final 30 seconds.

Band Challenge: Day 5

Move 1: Bowler’s lunge with a row

This move is a little bit complicated, but you just have to imagine yourself about to bowl. Get in a lunge position, but instead of your back leg being straight out behind you, your back leg will cross behind you. Most of your weight should be on that forward leg, and you should be able to lift that back foot off the ground. If you can do that, you’re in the right position. You will need to have the band wrapped around your forward foot, and you lunge down, come back up, and then do a row by raising your arms up toward your chest. Repeat this on the same leg for 30 seconds, and then switch to the other leg for the other 30 seconds. As a little bonus if you’re up for it, try doing an extra 10 seconds with just the rows.

Move 2: Bicep curl with a leg raise

This move is going to require some balance, and everyone is going to start at a different place depending on your fitness level. You are going to stand on your band in the center and hold the handles in front of you for the curl. Start by curling your arms up toward your chest, and slowly lift one leg out to the side while crunching your body toward the leg raise a little bit. You don’t have to lift your leg high in the beginning, and if you have to tap your toe on the ground periodically to get your balance that is totally okay! Try not to let your foot come back down to the ground until you’ve lowered your arms back down from the bicep curl, and then repeat the move on the other leg. Alternate legs with the bicep curl for 1 full minute. As a little bonus if you’re up for it, try doing an extra 10 seconds of just the bicep curls from a standing position.

Move 3: Sumo squat with an overhead press

Get into your sumo squat position with your feet planted firmly on top of your band and your toes facing outward. Grab the handles of your band, and hold them up with your arms bent at 90 degrees. You will do a sumo squat, come back up, and then raise your arms up toward the ceiling for your overhead press. Repeat this for 1 full minute. As an extra little bonus if you’re up for it, try doing an extra 10 seconds with just the overhead press from an upright position.

Move 4: Lunge with a calf raise

For this move you will need to wrap your band around your back foot. You lunge forward with your forward leg, drop down low, come back up, and then do a calf raise with your forward leg. You stay in that split stance and repeat that sequence for 30 seconds, and then you switch to the other leg for the final 30 seconds. You can rest your fists and the handles of the band on your forward knee as you do the calf raise for balance if necessary. As an extra little bonus if you’re up for it, try ditching your band and just doing an extra 10 seconds of fast calf raises from a standing position.

Band Challenge: Day 4

Move 1: Squat with a side bend

Start with your feet shoulder width apart on your band and your hands holding the band at your hips. You will squat down slowly, come back up to a standing position, and then crunch your body as far as you can to the right. Try not to lean sideways when you do this, but instead feel the crunch of your obliques so that only your upper body is bent. You will alternate back and forth with the side bend after every squat for 1 full minute. As a little bonus if you’re up for it, try holding the band in both hands in front of your chest and just doing the side bend crunches side to side for an extra 10 seconds.

Move 2: Lunge with a tricep extension

This move will require you to wrap the band around your back foot once, and then you will lunge forward with your other leg. Hold the handles of the band up high by your chest, and then extend your arms back as far as you can. Your elbows shouldn’t move around, they should stay right by your side. Only your forearm should be moving forward and backward as you extend the arm out. You will stay in the lunge position on one leg for 30 seconds, and then switch to the other leg for 30 seconds. You start by lunging down low, coming back up, and then doing your extension. As a little bonus if you’re up for it, try doing an extra 10 seconds with just the tricep extension. For this move you just stand on the band in the center, hold the band by the handles behind your head, and extend your arms up straight toward the ceiling.

Move 3: Sumo squat with a bicep curl

You should be familiar with the sumo squat by now, but basically you’re in a squat with your feet planted on top of the band a little further apart than your typical squat and your toes facing outward. You are going to squat down, come back up, and then do a bicep curl with one arm. Alternate arms for the first 30 seconds, and then for the final 30 seconds you can do both arms at the same time. Repeat the squat in between every curl. As a little bonus if you’re up for it, try doing half range bicep curls in a standing position for an extra 10 seconds.

Move 4: Deadlift with a row

With this move you will be standing on top of your band with your feet shoulder width apart. You will hold the band at your hips, and then bend your body forward with your back straight as low as you can go. Come back up slowly, and you should feel this in your hamstrings and the backs of your legs. When you get to the top and are back in your standing position, you are going to raise your band up toward your chest in a row. Repeat this for 1 full minute. As a little bonus if you’re up for it, try creating extra resistance with the band by making that small circle and do an extra 10 seconds with just the rows.

Band Challenge: Day 3

Move 1: Deadlift with a posterior fly

You will start this move by standing on your band with your feet shoulder width apart. You will hold the handles or make the circles and hold the band to your hips. Slowly bend down toward the floor and lower your arms down as low as you can go while maintaining a flat back. Slowly come all the way up, and then you will bend back down ¾ of the way, and do a posterior fly in that bent position. You’ve seen the posterior fly before, but if you need to see it you can google the images. As a little bonus if you’re up for it, try holding the band a little lower and doing 10 extra seconds of just the deadlift.

Move 2: Lateral raises

You will start this move with your feet shoulder width apart on the band below your feet. You can choose whether to hold the handles or to make it harder by creating a circle and holding the band below the handle as well. For the first 30 seconds you will alternate arms by bringing your arm up and out to the side. For the final 30 seconds you will bring both arms up and out to the sides simultaneously. As a little bonus if you’re up for it, try holding the arms straight out to the sides for an extra 10 seconds. You’ve seen this kind of move before, so it should be familiar to you. If not you can search google for images.

Move 3: Lunge with a core rotation

You will need to wrap your band around your forward foot for this move, while making sure that the band is even on each side. This time you will be holding both of the handles in your hands at the same time. Lunge forward, and then reach your arms to the right, then to the left, and then lunge down a little more, and step back. When you reach your arms to each side, you should try to crunch your body in that direction as well to work your core and your oblique’s. Repeat on the first leg for 30 seconds, and then switch to the other leg for 30 seconds. As a little bonus if you’re up for it, try standing on the band with your feet shoulder width apart, and then do just the core rotations for an extra 10 seconds.

Move 4: Back kicks

With this move, you will need to wrap your band around one foot and hold the handles or make the circles and hold the band to your hips. You will need to balance on the foot without the band, and then kick straight out behind you with the leg that the band is wrapped around. Try to look back in the direction that you are kicking as you do it. Do one leg for 30 seconds, and then wrap your band around the other leg and repeat on the other leg for the last 30 seconds.

Band Challenge: Day 2

Move 1: Post delt fly hold

For this move you will start by holding the band straight out in front of you, with your grip in the middle of the band. You’ll have to make that circle again so that you’re holding the band and the handles. Then you will pull both arms out away from one another and to the sides simultaneously, and then when they are straight out to the sides, you slowly bring them back to center. Repeat this pattern for 30 seconds, and then for the last 30 seconds hold the band with your arms straight out to the sides for 30 seconds. As a little bonus if you’re up for it, try taking a 15 second break to shake out your arms, and then hold your arms out to the sides with your band for an extra 10 seconds.

Move 2: Sumo squats with a hip lift

With this move you will be working your legs, hips, butt, and core. You will start by stepping on the band in the center and holding the handles to your hips. Spread your feet further apart, and point your toes out to the sides, and then get down into a sumo squat. Come back up slowly, and then inch your feet back shoulder width apart, then balance on one leg while raising the other out to the side. Try to crunch your body toward the leg lift as you do it, and that will work your core and your oblique’s. Alternate legs each time you come up, and repeat the pattern for 1 full minute. As a little bonus if you’re up for it, try an extra 10 seconds just doing the sumo squat.

Move 3: Lunge with posterior fly

For this move you will need to wrap the band around your forward foot, making sure that the band is even on each side. You will lunge forward, with your forward leg at a 90 degree angle, and then you will raise your arms up and out to the sides. Your arms should be bent at a 90 degree angle, and it will feel like you’re trying to press your shoulder blades together. Imagine you’re squeezing a pencil between those muscles when you do that fly. If you need to see how it looks, you can search posterior fly on google for a picture. You will do one leg for 30 seconds, and then switch the band over to the other leg for the final 30 seconds. As an extra little bonus if you’re up for it, try standing on your band with feet shoulder width apart and doing just the fly for an extra 10 seconds.

Move 4: Bench press with a leg lower

You will need to be lying down for this move, so if you have a mat you can bring that out. Otherwise, you can use carpet, or put a towel or a blanket down. Just position the band across the mat, and then lie down on your back on top of the band. You may want to make the circle again for more resistance, but I will leave that to you. You will start with your arms straight up in the air in front of your face, and your legs also raised straight up into the air. Slowly lower your legs toward the floor as you bring your arms down to the sides. The arms will bend at 90 degrees when you get to the bottom, but do not allow your elbows to rest on the floor at the bottom. Don’t let your legs hit the floor on the way down either, just hover and then slowly bring both the arms and the legs back up. Repeat this for 1 full minute. As an extra little bonus if you’re up for it, take a 15 second break and then continue for another 10 seconds.

Band Challenge: Day 1

Move 1: Band LAT pull

With this move you will hold the band a bit more than shoulder width apart in the middle, and make a circle with the end of the band so that you’re holding both the band and the handle. This will protect you from getting hit with the handle as you go. Raise your arms straight up over your head, with an incline slightly in front of your face to keep you from getting hit with the band. Now you will slowly lower one arm down toward your leg, and raise it back up. Repeat the same thing on the other side, and keep alternating like this for 30 seconds. Next you will go back to your start position, and bring both arms down simultaneously for 30 seconds. If you find that it is too hard to keep your arms straight as you do this, you may just need to widen your grip on the band to give you more room to move. As a little bonus if you’re up for it, try holding the band with your arms straight out to the sides for 10 extra seconds.

Move 2: Squats

With this move you will hold the band by your hips, and step on the center of the band. If you don’t get any resistance by holding the handles, which is probably going to happen, all you need to do is make a small circle like you did on the last move so that you’re gripping the handle and the band below it to increase your resistance on the move. With squats I want you to alternate a bit. Start with 4 regular squats, then do 2 really slow squats, and then do 2 half squats (this is when you only squat down half of your normal range). Repeat that pattern for 1 minute. As a bonus if you’re up for you, try doing the half range squats for 10 extra seconds.

Move 3: Bicep curls

This has a similar stance as the squats, and again you may need to make that circle to give you more resistance. You start with your elbows by your side, and they stay by your side throughout the whole exercise. You should always feel your elbow by your side. Now you start by curling one arm all the way up and dropping it back down slowly, then switch to the other arm, and so on. Alternate arms for 30 seconds, then do both arms simultaneously for 30 seconds. As a little bonus if you’re up for it, try doing half range curls for 10 extra seconds. Just like the squats, this is simply going only half of your normal curl range, so you would stop when you’re arms reach a 90 degree angle and come back up instead of letting the arms go down all the way.

Move 4: X Band walk

Start in a similar stance as the last two moves, with your feet standing in the middle of the band shoulder width apart. Start by holding the handles this time because this is a challenging move, and then do your circle 30 seconds in if you need more resistance or want a bigger challenge. With this move you need to cross the band in front of you so that it makes an X, then hold the handles at your hips. Now you get down into a squat position, watch your shoulders and make sure you’re standing straight and not bending too far forward, and walk over two to the right. Alternate going 2 to the right and to the left for 1 full minute. No bonus with this one because it is a doozy lol.

Killer leg/butt exercise (Band required)

If you follow my blog, you are probably aware that I am currently doing the 21 Day Fix Extreme home fitness program. Well, sometimes I like to take the toughest moves and use them as a little challenge for my health and fitness group participants. Share the love I always say, or in this case, pain! lol

During my workout yesterday, I came across this move. It had my legs and butt on FIRE.

If you watched that video, and you have access to a band, I triple dog dare you to attempt this move! Go until your legs can’t take it anymore, and then comment on this thread and let me know how long you made it.

Enjoy ;)

Never feel bad for making yourself a priority!

If you have family and friends that aren’t into health and fitness, but you are, you will probably understand this struggle.

People just don’t seem to grasp this reality, but putting yourself first sometimes and deciding to make your health a top priority is NOT selfish. Nor does it mean that you have your priorities all wrong! It simply means that your priorities differ from theirs, and in their opinion, that is wrong. Everyone is entitled to their opinions and their points of views, and it is never okay for people to try to bully you into their way of thinking.

People shouldn’t expect you to give up something that you love and that makes you happy. Instead, they should respect your choice to lead a healthier life, and work with you to accommodate your new lifestyle. It is totally unfair for people to try and force you to change your routine to fit their life, and you should not have to feel guilty for standing your ground!!

Don’t allow others to wear you down. You DESERVE to be happy and healthy. Exercise makes me a much more happy and positive person, which allows me to be in a better mood throughout the day. It allows me to have more energy to get through my day, and it builds my confidence and self-esteem, because I know that with each workout, I am getting leaner and stronger. It truly sets the mood for your day!

You deserve to have that too.

Never let anyone tell you otherwise.