Back fat be gone

First of all, I owe you guys like 97 posts.

SO MUCH IS HAPPENING.

I HAVEN’T SLEPT IN DAYS.

Not really, but I’m tired. And sleeping has been trumping blogging. Sorry.

IN THE MEAN TIME let’s talk about exercise.

**crickets**

So ya’ll know that I’ve been in a fitness rut approx. since I turned 18, and now that I’m getting married and don’t want to have arm fat in my strapless dress, sh*ts gotta get serious. I’m not talking drastic weight drop here – for the most part I’m pretty happy with the bod I’ve been given. But I’ve realized that there is basically  no reason why I can’t be in the best shape of my life right now. I’m 21. I’ve had no babies. I won’t be having any babies [soon]. I have time at night to exercise (not lately, really, but I guess I have time for Harry Potter marathons so I have time for exercise…I guess).

So why not, right?

Cuz I’m lazy, that’s why.

And, quite frankly, even though no one described me as “petite” in high school (OR EVER), I didn’t have to work at staying in shape then because I was dancing 6 nights a week. Yes, I was eating like crap a lot of the time and my sleep schedule was whack cuz I had just met this guy who I decided I needed to stay up until 2 a.m. talking to (turns out we’re getting married now), but I didn’t feel like I needed to hit up the gym because…well, I didn’t. I sweated plenty during all those dance/show choir practices, thanks.

Not to mention the fact that I was having a BLAST. Yes, it was exhausting, but I’ve always loved dance. And we all know, when you’re having fun, it’s not that lame.

An hour on the elliptical while watching Oprah, however? Lame.

Don’t get me wrong, I love me a lazy day, don’t-wanna-use-my-brain workout. I do. But for the most part I need to be all in and having a good time, or no way in hell am I doing it again tomorrow.

This is my extremely long-winded way to tell you I started TurboFire.

FIYAHHHHHHH!

I’ve done a TurboFire HIIT workout before, so I already knew I really liked Chalene and her style of teaching. AND I like the idea that it’s a sort of choreography – so even though it’s difficult, my brain is turned on and I’m engaging, and the time is going much faster.

Funny story about how I bough the whole package – I’ve been playing with the idea for a while, but it’s not cheap. The package (a bunch of DVDs, meals, a measuring tape, a band, bonus workout DVDs, a class schedule, etc.) runs around $150, and while I TOTALLY BELIEVE IT IS WORTH IT, I’m poor. Not poor enough to not have an online shopping addiction (PayPal lovers, holler at me), but just-graduated-and-I-owe-the-government-and-the-Bank-Of-Dad-millions poor.

So Jeff, in his infinite wisdom and cheapness, told me to check Amazon.com. BAZANGA, 80 dolla. I was basically ready to pounce on that.

And then, because I have ADD, I decided to log on to Groupon to see when my Picaboo Groupon expired (shiny object syndrome, stop judging).

And then OH HEY WHAT IS THAT RED BOX THAT SAYS NEW?? **click**

WAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHH???!!!

Sold.

I snatched that up so quick I got whiplash.

It’s a sign from God that He loves me.

Or that I need to get my back fat under control.

Whatever it is, game on TurboFire. Game on.

P.S. I’m currently on Day 2 and can’t lift my hands higher than my shoulders. Remember that back fat I mentioned? It hurts. I can feel my achey breaky back [fat]. Seriously.

P.P.S. This is clearly not a Whistle Worthy Wednesday post because I suck, but head over here to see what my sister’s jammin’ out to. See you back here next week. Maybe.

 

Whale of a time: ‘Food Baby HIIT Workout’ by Blogilates review

I love me some HIIT workouts, mostly because they’re great bang for your buck. I’m usually sweating buckets, my chest feels like it’s going to cave in, and my knees buckle.

All in the first minute.

I didn’t say it was enjoyable.

I had heard of @Blogilates before, and I follow her on Twitter and think she’s adorable, but the one time I tried one of her pilates videos on YouTube I was all, HA NO THIS IS NOT HAPPENING and I turned it off. That says a lot about my dedication and a lot about her butt kicking.

So today I get home from work and even though I LOVE JILLIAN I just couldn’t bring myself to do 30 Day Shred today, and to be perfectly honest, I wanted something freaking SHORT.

Cassey has a ton of great videos, but I wanted a HIIT one. I found one that included 8 moves for 1 minute each – I could do that.

No.

No I could not.

The funny thing about HIIT workouts is that if you were to sit on your couch and watch it, you’d be like, Daaaaang this is easy. I can do this.

You’d be wrong.

I literally had to modify every move and I still looked like a dying whale, complete with dying whale sounds.

And I was like, Come on thighs!

And my thighs were like, LOLOL no.

It was rough.

BUT it was only 8 minutes. And I was sweating like a mutha. I’d call that a win.

Whale noises aside, I’d definitely do this workout again. I may even try others if I’m feeling cray.

Side note, I LOL’d at this on Pinterest.

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How to Pretend You’re Trying to Lose Weight

Due to the fact that I haven’t worked out in 12 years and that lately I’ve been eating doughnuts, cake and pizza whenever they are offered to me, I’ve been avoiding denim like the plague. If stretchy material is wrong, I don’t want to be right.

Truth be told, I need to get myself back on track because I bought a wedding dress and supposedly I have to fit into it in about 11 months. It’s not denim, but it’s not stretchy either. Dammit.

I used to feel like I was such a health and fitness guru. Work out every day, eat some quinoa, enjoy Meatless Monday, read a healthy living blog. Boom.

Lately I’ve been more of an alcohol aficionado. A fried food fiend. Junk food junkie.

It’s arguably much more fun. Well, short term. Long term it’s leggings and sweatshirts. Boo.

I feel like I need to get back on track like all the good brides-to-be out there. And forget wanting to look hot on my wedding day – what about just wanting to look hot? Leggings and sweatshirts aren’t hot. (ACTUALLY they TOTALLY are…HA! Get it? Cuz they make you warm…? Yeah.)

Getting healthy is hard, especially when you’re having such a fun time being unhealthy. So I’ve decided to stick to the age-old adage, Fake It Til You Make It. I’m going to pretend I’m trying to lose weight and then hopefully in like a month I’ll actually be doing it. Or it will just magically disappear. That would be cool, too.

How To Pretend You’re Trying To Lose Weight

1. Go to the store and buy healthy things. 

Last night I bought carrots, cucumbers, apples, avocados, lemons and low cal orange juice for my breakfast smooooooothies. I came up with this trick: buy the real carrots, not the baby carrots. You know, REAL carrots, like with the green on the end. You probably forgot what real carrots look like, what with your late-night Krispy Kreme runs, so let me remind you:

 

Remember?

OK, so you buy the REAL carrots, and then you get home, and wash, peel and cut. This is more difficult than sticking a bag of baby carrots in the fridge, right? Right. So now that you did all that hard work, you will remember to eat them and not the Krispy Kremes because of all the labor that went into that bag of carrots in the fridge.

Probably.

2. Get your healthy things ready. 

Do the carrot method mentioned above.

Also, you can do make-ahead smoothies. I have a smoothie for breakfast ever morning, which is arguably the only healthy thing I eat all day (pre-Trying To Get Healthy, of course). Smoothies are easy, but they take a slight amount of prep work, which I can’t afford in the morning because I’m already probably running late. My favorite smoothie is frozen strawberries + ice + 8 oz. OJ + Body by Vi shake mix (<- nutritional supplement stuff; tastes good tho). It never fails that I end up running around the kitchen trying to get everything I need for the smoothie, even though it’s not very much stuff.

Enter: planning ahead. I got some cheapo baggies and stuffed them full of 1 cup of fruit (learned that in a magazine; see #3), in this case strawberries, and 6-8 ice cubes. There were even some strawberries about a day away from rotting in the fridge, so I cut those bad boys ups too. BOOM, pre-portioned smoothie mix, just add OJ. Less thinking in the morning. Don’t mind if I do.

3. Buy a health/fitness magazine.

The cashier will fo sho think you are the next Bob Harper/Jillian Michaels, which is want you want anyway. Also, you will learn fun things, like 1 cup of fruit in smoothies is the perfect amount nutritionally without going overboard in all that fabulous natural sugar found in fruit, so now you can make pre-portioned smoothies and forgo using a measuring cup before the sun is even up. You’re welcome. You will also see pictures of pretty girls working out and this will motivate you.

Probably.

4. Practice self control, but only when you have to. 

At work they make this cheese popcorn, which is basically buttery popcorn coated in neon orange cheese-flavored crack. I like to enjoy a 32 oz. cup of it daily. Today I was being all self-controlled though, and I said, No, no thank you, I am good with my smoothie. Personally I think I deserve a medal, but I’m trying not to make a big deal out of it.

5. Sleep in wonkified positions so you wake up sore. Complain about soreness.

I’ve been telling people about my stiff shoulders and tight hamstrings today, which makes it sound like I was warming up with Michael Phelps before his little soul was crushed in prelims yesterday.

 

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Poor Mike.

I know I fooled you, but the truth is I wasn’t with Mikey yesterday. Nope. I just slept like a human pretzel.

No one has to know.

I like the feeling of being sore, so I’m hoping after a few days I’ll decide I want to have a workout-induced soreness instead of a pretzel-induced soreness (mmm…pretzels), and then I’ll go for a 6-mile jog or something.

Until then, you can find me in leggings and sweatshirts.

Toodles.

Raving: TurboFire Greatest HIITS

Hello from the Land of 10,000 Lakes! I’m on vacation in Minnesota this week, and while I hope to pop in periodically, I’ll mostly be attempting to move my most viewed posts from my old blog to here. Hope you enjoy the trip down memory lane!

This post was originally published on September 1, 2011.

Good morning!

I’ve been in such a whirlwind lately, but I’m happy to report I’m back at school and in the swing of things. Of course the first week may prove to be one of my busiest of the year. Convenient.

I’m kidding. It’s super inconvenient.

So guess what? I owe you all a review. Are you excited!?

A few weeks ago, I purchased TurboFire Greatest HIITs.

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I’m super interested in purchasing the TurboFire package, but I obviously have no idea what they are like (how the instructor teaches, what is the feel of the program, etc.) so I wasn’t ready to drop over $100 blindly. I thought this would be a great way to get a sneak peak of the program.

Somewhere along the way, I got in contact with Rose. She’s essentially been mentoring me through my discovery of the Beach Body system because she is a Beach Body instructor. Basically, Rose rocks. She’s been there to answer all of my questions along the way. It’s been sooo helpful.

After I received TurboFire in the mail, I did what I typically do when I get new workout DVDs: I didn’t do it. I’m always so nervous to start new programs, even (and sometimes especially!) from the comfort of my own house. I don’t know why. It’s probably because I’m weird.

Yes, that’s probably it.

When I finally gained the courage to pop in the DVD and get my workout on, I was not disappointed. However, I also got my behind handed to me. Chalean means business!

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The woman is a beast.

Chalean is awesome. She is super high energy and motivating, she talks just enough through the workouts (which is amazing in itself because I could barely breathe let alone get out a full sentence) and SHE DOES ALL THE MOVES WITH YOU. The Boyfriend did Insanity [for one day] a few years ago, and he would get so mad because the instructor wouldn’t do all the moves, but he’d be all “Ohmigosh this is so hard, feel the burn.” Annoying. Chalean keeps it real.

As far as this video specifically, I’m a fan. It’s a fast workout (about 22 minutes) but you are sweating and out of breath within the first five minutes. It’s very much High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT! Get it!?), which seriously does a body good:

A HIIT workout offers myriad benefits.  First, HIIT provides a great workout for your legs.  If you perform HIIT a few times per week, you probably don’t even need to do strength training for your legs, unless you have a desire for bigger legs.  More importantly, HIIT really ramps up fat burning.  The intense intervals allow for the release of fatty acids into the bloodstream.  Additionally, HIIT results in increased HGH levels.  HGH is a hormone that burns fat while preserving muscle.  Finally, and possibly most importantly, HIIT results in EPOC, an after-burn effect which causes you to burn calories for hours after your workout is completed.

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With that being said,  this is not a video one should probably do every day. HIIT is a great way to train your body, but you can easily overtrain. Just make sure you know what your body is capable of before you overwork yourself! Greatest HIITs would make a great addition to a weeklong workout routine. Personally, I’m hoping it increases my endurance so I can start running again without sucking (which is an entirely other blog post…).

After doing Greatest HIITs, I’m definitely interested in buying the whole TurboFire package. Right now I’m just paying very close attention to my finances since I don’t want to end up as pressed for cash as I was last year, so it’s on the back burner for now.

Raving: Step It Up

Hello from the Land of 10,000 Lakes! I’m on vacation in Minnesota this week, and while I hope to pop in periodically, I’ll mostly be attempting to move my most viewed posts from my old blog to here. Hope you enjoy the trip down memory lane!

This post was originally published on September 8, 2011.

My school just started this partnership with the YMCA is South Sioux City, NE, about 10 minutes (I don’t do miles) from school. The YMCA is generally really good with offering student discounts anyway, but the standard student fee is $25 a month, plus a $30 startup fee. Definitely not too steep considering all you get (which I’ll talk about later) but enough that, as a poor college student, I was skeptical of whether or not I should spend the money.

Enter BCU. With validation, all students (and staff too, I believe) were offered the opportunity to get 9 months (the school year, basically) at the Y for $177. As a student, I will be saving $78. I felt like the stars were aligning because I wanted to join a gym this year where I could find cardio machines, weights AND classes. I’ve found I really thrive in a class setting and it holds me more accountable. At the Y, I can attend any class (there are tons in just one day) at any time or day, AND use other machines, equipment, a lap pool or a family fun pool (think water slide, hot tub, sauna and steam room; HELL-O!)

Group Step

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The other day, I attended my first class at the Y: Group Step. I’d never gone to a step class before and didn’t really know what to expect, except to be thoroughly confused 🙂 When I got to the class, I introduced myself to the instructor and she got me set up with a step. She also positioned me behind a veteran of the class (who also happened to be a total hard body and had about 5% body fat, which totally didn’t intimidate me. I’m kidding.)

But seriously, standing behind her helped a TON. She was really good at step, and it made a huge difference to be able to follow her feet.

I thought I did pretty well considering it was my first time at a step class. The music the instructor played was awesome–some of it I had never heard, and some of it was remixes to popular songs. It made the class feel kind of dance-y, and you all know how I’m a fan of that!

In step, my dance background helped me in that I could pick up the combinations fairly quickly. I definitely faltered, but I felt a decent amount of control. However, I was a bit hindered too because in dance, you usually take off on whatever foot doesn’t have weight on it. In step, a lot of the time you are double-stepping because the foot you start on is the foot closest to the step–and that is often the foot that has weight on it. You have to be pretty agile! (Which I am not; the agility track was actually what just about killed me)

A Shweaty Workout

So how do I know it was a good workout? It was a really well put together class. We started with an easy warm up, moved on to some harder combos, did the agility track where I died, and then brought our heart rates back down, only to kick them back up again right before we hit the mat and worked on some ab moves. I felt like I got a TOTAL body workout.

The Instructor

The instructor was amazing. She was super high energy and did half the class with a step and TWO blocks (like whoa, see below). She also sang to the music through a lot of the class INCLUDING WHEN WE DID PLANKS. Seriously. The woman might be Jesus, I’m not sure.

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I’ll definitely be going back to step again, but I plan on wearing different shoes. For some reason I thought the class would be more like running/walking, not dance-y, so I wore my running shoes. Big mistake. My feet are still a bit sore. Next time it’s cross-trainers fo sho.

Raving: Centergy Yoga/Pilates at the YMCA

Hello from the Land of 10,000 Lakes! I’m on vacation in Minnesota this week, and while I hope to pop in periodically, I’ll mostly be attempting to move my most viewed posts from my old blog to here. Hope you enjoy the trip down memory lane!

This post was originally published on February 21, 2012.

Last night I was complaining to the Boyfriend that I had to shower and he was trying to tell me that there was no harm showering in the morning and it would be fine. However, I have a system.

Boyfriend: Shower in the morning.

Me: No. Then I have to get up earlier. So I will want to nap in the afternoon and I won’t make it to the gym. Or I will be all showered, so I won’t want to go to the gym and get sweaty again.

Boyfriend: This sounds like a spiral.

Me: It is. I know how my brain works so I have to head it off. Half the time the only way I talk myself into showering is because I’m sweaty. Sometimes not even then.

Boyfriend: *Sigh*

[This was actually over Facebook, but I imagine he sighed, like all, Oh Maddie…]

Do you have to trick yourself into working out too? It’s not like I don’t enjoy working out! I just know myself too well to assume I won’t make excuses. Excuse today: I’m too sore. BUT this was kind of legit…because I took a yoga class on Wednesday!

Group Centergy is a class offered at the Y that is supposed to be a mix of Pilates and yoga. It’s usually an hour long, but they offer a noon class that lasts 45 minutes. I decided to hit it up the other day.

When I walked in, I was immediately surprised because A) the class was only me and 3 other women (probably because it was a quick noon class) and B) the instructor was a big ripped dude. I soon found out tho that while he was a dude, he was a fab teacher. Very soft spoken and gentle like you’d imagine a yoga instructor to be. Shame on me for jumping to conclusions!

The main difference I found in this class vs. other yoga classes I’ve been to was the music. Centergy used more upbeat remixes of songs rather than the yoga type music you usually hear in a studio. It was kind of a nice change, and the music still totally fit what we were doing (one of the cool down songs was If I Were A Boy by Beyonce, so some songs were still slower and more laid back, just pop songs instead of yoga-y).

I was in NO WAY disappointed by the class (my shoulders, arms and armpits are screaming today; it’s so awesome. Think I’m on my way to Jillian Michael’s arms? 😉 ), but I wouldn’t say it’s an equal mix of Pilates and yoga. It seemed more medium-high flow yoga, with a bit of Pilates (we did a couple ab moves that I would say were more Pilates than yoga, but that was about it). Personally, I was supa cool with that–the yoga flow was intense!

This class was different from yoga classes or DVDs I’ve done before because we really didn’t hold poses very long. We’d do a pose and hold it for a few seconds, then switch sides, hold, then repeat about three times. I really liked that! I was definitely still getting a good stretch, but it was a different kind of challenge on my muscles. I was still sweating five minutes in to the class, had to drop into child’s pose to relax a few times and was shaking by the end…I call that a success.

The greatest thing about yoga? First let me back up…I’ve been having hip problems for probably the last three months. It’s. Been. Miserable. I have no idea what I did, but I’ve made about 4 trips to the chiropractor trying to fix it and I’m still not back to normal. It’s super frustrating because I’m 20 years old and I feel like I have arthritis!

Because of this, I’ve had to cut back on exercise once and a while. When I do that I just make sure I’m eating well and doing everything else the healthy way (finding other ways to handle stress, getting plenty of sleep) so I don’t get way out of shape or wigged out, but I’d rather be able to not worry about what kind of exercising I’m doing. Needless to say, I haven’t ran in MONTHS. This isn’t a huge deal as I’m not running’s #1 fan, but it’s still supa dumb. I was excited to join the Y because I’d have different cardio options, including SWIMMING, which is joint-approved. YAY!

As it turns out, yoga is also joint approved. I kid you not, the minute I got back on my feet after yoga yesterday, my hip stopped hurting. I literally stopped walking and looked down at my hip (as if I was expecting it to look different…?). I kinda hopped a little bit and moved it up and down (it was really attractive, I assure you) to make sure this was really happening. It seriously didn’t hurt! Even when I walked up stairs later that day (which usually hurts the joint) and down this ramp at my dorm (when my hip juts out I get a pain, too) NOTHING HURT. I was so happy I wanted to cry. Anyone who has had an annoying, painful injury for too long can tell you when the pain is finally gone, you are like holy sh*t this is so much better now! (Sorry, but seriously)

Today I’m back to being a little sore, but at least now I know something that will help with the pain. I can’t tell you how happy this makes me. I also have a Deal of the Day coupon (think Groupon, but in Sioux City) I bought forever ago for a massage that I plan to redeem soon, so that should help even more. Oh, happy day.

Have you ever had to modify your workouts for an injury? What do you do? Do you have to sometimes trick yourself into working out, or make it so you can make NO excuses? 🙂

BTW…sorry this post is picture-less. That’s supa boring. I’ll step up my game.