Saturday, February 9, 2013

part deux--you are what you eat. kind of.

before we get down to the neety greety (think nacho libre accent there..i know it's a stretch, but work with me, people), i just wanted to share the little ray of sunshine in my day. these bad boys came today, so i HAD to wear them. anybody who knows me knows of my obsession with nike shoes. well, i am my own enabler, and i had to have these. so i wore them to group x tonight (for anyone interested, here's a shameless plug--i teach group exercises classes 3 times a week for $35/week. let me know if you're interested! first class is free :) free is good!) and seriously, i never want to wear another shoe again.

alright, here we go. i'm breaking this up into two sections, for ease of future reference's sake...before i do that, i want to reiterate what everyone probably already knows--applying only one of these two components won't get you the results you are looking for. being fit and healthy requires eating healthy in addition to exercising frequently. enjoy!


let me warn you--my nutrition schedule for training seems ridiculous at first glance, but let me explain. since my main goal is to decrease body fat percentage, it makes sense that to accomplish this goal, my energy expenditure (calories spent) must be higher than my energy intake (calories consumed). the goal is to work up to a certain amount of calories to meet my protein and energy requirements, but starting out at such a high number is counterproductive. the way this meal plan is set up is fairly flexible--if my metabolism speeds up very quickly, we will up my calorie intake, but for the first week, my calorie intake will be relatively low to help me accelerate my body fat decrease. NOTE: this is no way means that i am starving myself. i want to make something very clear here. starving yourself to 'get skinny' is completely counterproductive. when you starve yourself and don't eat consistently, your body goes into survival mode and starts using protein as energy, which essentially breaks down your muscles to use as fuel. since nobody wants that, the best way to decrease body fat while still increasing lean muscle mass is to eat slightly fewer calories, but to eat more consistently throughout the day. this is helpful/effective for a few reasons: 1) eating 5-6 small meals every 2-3 hours throughout the day keeps your metabolism at a steady state, and avoids spiking very high or very low, which in turn makes it speed up, allowing you to use more stored fat as energy. 2) insulin levels stay consistent. this is VERY important for people whose family has a history of diabetes--when you don't eat consistently and then eat a large amount of food, your blood stream is flooded with glucose, so insulin production goes into hyperdrive (which is bad). eating consistently and in smaller sizes means there is a continuous stream of insulin in the blood, and your blood glucose remains constant. 3) eating smaller meals throughout the day keeps you satisfied and helps you avoid snacking on things that aren't as healthy just to "tide you over".

my meal plan (again, just for the first week or so) contains approximately 1500 calories/day, and that's split into 3 meals with snacks in between so I'm essentially eating every 2-3 hours. since my goal is to increase lean body mass, my diet is going to be high in protein (but very lean protein sources, like chicken, turkey, or fish), but will also have vegetables and fruit. since most americans consume WAY more sodium (salt) than is recommended, i'm also cutting out added salt in any meals. i'm also trying to eliminate any saturated fats or processed foods. so there you go, my diet in a nutshell.

i would like to take a second and address fad diets like the atkins diet etc. diets that tell you that you can only eat protein, or vegetables, or diet shakes, or whatever are nutritionally unsound.  basic nutrition is balancing the main macronutrients: fats, proteins, and carbohydrates.  cutting any one of those out in favor of overloading another makes you miss out on key components that help your body function optimally.

just to review the key points:
-starving yourself is NOT a healthy or effective way to reach fitness goals
-eat 5-6 small meals during the day, every 2-3 hours
-steer clear of diets that focus solely on one macronutrient, or forbids another.


this category will take waaaaaay more than just one blog post, but i'm going to try to hit the major points. first, i'm going to rant for a second. to be fit and healthy, you are in NO way required to be at the gym for 2, 3, or 4 hours. scientifically and physiologically speaking, most exercising over one hour is basically ineffective.  the hour mark is basically when your muscles reach their peak of exhaustion, and anything after that is 'beating a dead horse'--it's not going to help you any more. so hopefully that gives everyone a lot better feeling about going to the gym. alright, so there are a billion and one different types of exercises, classes, yogalates, pilates, jazzercise, boxing, .... what have you out there. i personally believe that there is not only one effective way of exercising. it's all about figuring out what you enjoy doing and balancing that with workouts that are going to push you and fatigue your muscles.

my personal exercise regimen specific to my goals breaks the week down into parts of my body--monday is biceps/triceps, tuesday legs and core, etc. my trainer/boss (whose name is Jerry Shannon for anybody interested--look him up, the guy knows his stuff!) customized this plan for me and my goals, so it will work best for me. i do also enjoy just going out for a run or hitting up a pilates class every now and then. again, it's all about finding out what works best for you, and sticking with it.

if you have specific questions, comments, or tips, please feel free to leave me a message here or on facebook. i'd love to help!

Friday, February 8, 2013

operation dime...or nickel..penny?

so i'm going to try something different this post--i know that my usual posts are keeping up on my life (which is SO interesting and all), but since i'm trying to become more healthy, i wanted to tweak my blog a little bit so it's a little more health-conscious. it also helps that i just became a personal trainer and want to share my passion :) with that being said, here goes..

first of all, i want to debunk this myth that being healthy means that you have to look like a victoria's secret model or like a famine victim. YOU DO NOT. being healthy, in my personal opinion, means a) you like the way you look and b)your body has healthy levels of fat, blood pressure, cholesterol, etc. the thing that everyone forgets is that you can have both a) AND b) without doing crash diets, taking "miracle pills", or starving yourself every day. it's all about moderation, people...

so, without further ado, i hereby submit myself as a guinea pig (or maybe a lab rat? since i'm being observed to see results...). i recently started working at the XSI Factory in Lehi as a personal trainer, and as part of my 'employment training', i am being trained (in an exercise sense) by my boss, who happens to be an awesome trainer. now, for a personal revelation: i have always been very insecure about my body--i'm not sure what it stems from, but now you know...even when i was in the best shape of my life (in high school, of course), i still didn't love my body like i should have. that being said, i'm going to document my journey from my current status to the end of my exercise program, and i'm doing so as an attempt to help and support any and all of you who have ever been overwhelmed or discouraged by your current status, whatever that may be. please PLEASE feel free to ask questions, give comments, etc.  *disclaimer: any pictures i post of myself are ONLY for documentation purposes...i'm not trying to be inappropriate or anything like that, it's just a lot easier to show a visual representation of my progress.*

ok, here we go. this is me, right now..
 super buff, i know...my stats at the current moment look something like this:
Weight: 133 pounds
Body Fat % (using a 4-point caliper test): 17%
Lean Muscle Mass: 111 pounds
Body Fat: 22 pounds
Height: 5'7" (unless my mom asks you, then i'm 5'7 1/2'' so i'm taller than her :))
As a side note, the healthy ranges of body fat % for women ages 20-40 are 21-33% (men 20-40 are 8-19%)

now, a couple of things about the goals i have..my weight doesn't fluctuate much..when i'm very trim and fit, i still weigh around 130 pounds. the scale isn't the most important number for anybody to pay attention to...it's how much of that weight is lean muscle mass as opposed to fat tissue. so take a step on the scale with a grain of salt! the same goes for BMI measures. the BMI (Body Mass Index) scale is a rough estimate, but doesn't account for a number of factors, so isn't very accurate. the best thing to go off of is body fat percentage. anyway, back to my goals. like i said, losing weight isn't my main focus--i want to increase my lean muscle mass and decrease my body fat, which will in turn help me tone just about everything. whatever YOUR personal goals are, make sure that they are realistic and attainable. my goal isn't to walk the runway in 2 weeks. but i WOULD like to have my body fat somewhere around 13% by the end of the summer. see? attainable, realistic, and most importantly, healthy.

tomorrow we talk diet and exercise regimens. please comment with any questions!

Friday, September 21, 2012

can't believe it's already been a year...

i just wanted to take a second and share a story...time FLIES, and it just goes to show how much can change in one year...

i met this amazing man through a great friend of mine whose debt i will forever be in...he set logan and me up, and we had our first date one year ago today...i can honestly say what happened after that was the most stressful, trying time i've ever been through, but i'm so grateful and blessed to be with a person who is infinitely more patient, understanding, and wise than i...
backstory real quick (for those interested): i had been writing a missionary for over a year before being introduced to logan...no, to answer your question, i wasn't "waiting" for him (in the stereotypical i'm-not-dating-anyone-else-until-he-gets-home way)...did i write him an email every week? yes. did i want to pursue things when he got home? yes. but did i sit around and waste away and avoid every other guy for that time? absolutely not. i dated, i hung out, but i just didn't really find anyone that i connected with--until september 21st and he was due home in less than 3 months...

at first, i thought logan and i were just going to be friends who probably ended up doing the "we need to hang out!" "yeah for sure..call me!" thing, then when he found out i was writing a missionary, he would be gone like every other guy...but then we started talking more, started going out more, and i started to fall for him. hard. and fast.. and i knew that he needed to know about this missionary, i just didn't know when or how to tell him. so i stressed and worried and gave myself a deadline to tell him about it...unfortunately, he didn't find out exactly the way i wanted him to (from me), which was probably better because i would've been a tear-filled, blubbering mess..i was honestly expecting him to be so angry at me for not telling him for so long that he would never talk to me again.  but, instead, he was completely understanding of my situation...he never even hinted that he was vaguely upset about it..he'd let me cry on his shoulder when i didn't know how to handle things, he would listen to me say the same things over and over again, and we'd talk for hours on end about all the different aspects of the situation...it probably killed him to hear me talk about another guy, but he never once complained, never got mad at me, and never said, "i don't want to talk about this anymore"..
when the missionary did arrive home, logan made it clear that he wanted me to spend time with the other guy, but  that he would be available any time i wanted to see him..i was selfish and wanted to be able to see both of them, and for whatever reason, he let me...in retrospect, i understand why he did what he did--he wanted there to be no lingering doubts, no matter what happened--and there are and were none..that just proves him to be so much smarter and less selfish than me..

ultimately, the time came when i realized i no longer had feelings for the missionary...he just came back a different person, and we didn't connect on even a friendship level...he had assumed that i wasn't dating anybody while he was gone, and wasn't very understanding. i  didn't think that was fair of him, so we got in a lot of arguments..every time i was with him, i found myself always wanting to be with logan, so we ended things. as always logan was there for me...he gave some time to let the smoke clear, and then we started dating officially...

looking back, i can't even describe my relief and happiness at my decision. i can honestly say that i've never had a second's regret or remorse for having ended things with the missionary. i have never been with a person who makes me so eager to get off work every night just so i can see him...he has made me and continues to make me happier than any other person on earth, and understands me better than even i do...i know that he would go to the ends of the earth to make me happy. he is the most patient person i know, and i'm really not just saying that. i am the most complicated mess of a person, especially in a relationship, and he never questions or judges, he's just patient and caring and supportive every single day.  he always has a new perspective that never fails to be more compassionate than my own..we have legitimately never been in a fight, and i think it's because he is always the one to put the blame on himself, when both of us know it's usually my fault..he makes me smile when i'm in moods where i want to do nothing but cry.  when i'm stressed out and frazzled, he's the only one who knows how to talk me down..he knows every single vice and fault of mine, and every mistake i've made, but has never uttered one word of judgement or condescension. i always have fun with him, no matter what we're doing--just hanging out and being lazy, or driving up the mountain to go scout for elk.  i don't know how i managed to end up with such an amazing, kind, loving person, but i love him more than anything and couldn't possibly ask for more...

happy one year, log, and here's to a LOT more :)

Sunday, September 2, 2012

the best parts of my summer..

well, true to my tendency of slacking with blog updates, here we go...now that it has been raining for about 3 days straight, i take that as summer being officially over (especially because i'm back in school now, so i don't get to be outside at all). i have this inner struggle where i love summer and all the activities that comes with it, but i hate sweating.  so i think i enjoy fall just as much, sans the sweat and sunburn.  i won't bore you with all the details of my adult, grown-up responsibilities..here are the best parts of my summer--

trips up the canyon full of gorgeous sunsets scouting for elk. hunting happens to be a foreign concept for me, but i don't mind being in such beautiful surroundings with my favorite person :)

 finding things like horny toads, which are oddly adorable...
 being on off-roading rides that look like these....

plenty of archery practice (also for his hunt)...i think from now on i'll just call him Robin Hood. i don't know how he has the patience to sit in a tree for a week at a time waiting to shoot an elk...but then again, he's always been far more patient than me...
 while he was up in a tree and i was paranoid that he was going to get eaten by some carnivorous animal, i got to spend a much-needed weekend with my best friend. i'm not talking my "best friend that i only kind of get along with"..i mean, we live over 150 miles away, and still manage to buy the EXACT SAME article of clothing without even knowing it. it's crazy, but doesn't surprise either of us at all. we hear all the time that we look/act like twins. i'm convinced we had some crazy separated-at-birth experience, because we're generally on the same wavelength about everything. she's the best though, and i couldn't approve more of the guy she married--they're perfect for each other, and i loved hanging out with them. unfortunately, contrary to our M.O., there were no pictures taken..

seriously, i see this person way too infrequently...luckily, she's coming to provo for her birthday (as unfortunate as THAT is), and there will be too many cupcakes to count :)

this summer also allowed me to get in touch with my inner cowgirl...i'm pretty sure that has always been suppressed, because i love everything country--music, outdoors, horses, even the pink cowboy boots (as referenced in an earlier post). logan is closet country, and doesn't like to be the stereotypical cowboy. but he humored me, and went all-out for a night:) i'm going to be completely cheesy for a second..i don't know how i got lucky enough to date this guy, but i couldn't be more happy..he's THE sweetest, kindest, most patient and hard-working person i know, and always surprises me with how much more mature and intelligent he is..i don't think he knows this, but i've wrangled him into the most lopsided relationship there is. love him :)

our summer concluded with family time, 5 year reunions (him, not me...i don't like to age prematurely), working as much as ever, and getting ready for school..

i also made the leap and decided to work on becoming a certified personal trainer...it's something that i've wanted to do for a long time, but hadn't really had the time for. there are a couple other things after this one, but...baby steps :)

last but not least, i had time to hang out with some of the cutest girls i know...i got to play mommy for a couple days while my sister and her husband painted their new condo..these girls are the cutest, and are joined by brand-new baby libby and another girl cousin this winter. i can't wait!

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

the slightly anticlimatic unveiling...

because there are SO many people who are anxiously waiting to see what my living room now looks like, here you go...there are still some improvements i'm planning on making, but for now, i'm satisfied that it looks slightly decent as opposed to horrific...

next up, my bedroom...

Monday, July 16, 2012

home improvement, part one...

  you may be wondering why any college student would take on the task of painting/renovating their apartment during the summer. well, let me explain to you why, because the reason is simple: my apartment looked like THIS (see pictures above^^).
i'm pretty sure it had basically been ignored since 1970, which is both sad and upsetting. i chose to live here mostly out of desperation (i didn't have time to look for other apartments), so i guess it's my fault. it also gave me a reason to unleash my OCD interior design side.  i had always wanted to go into interior design, but sadly, BYU doesn't have the program. i had tolerated the state of my apartment for about a year, when all of a sudden one day i decided to ask my landlord if he would mind if i painted a little bit.  his response, and i quote, "This sounds perfect!  Please just subtract the supplies from your rent and send the receipts.  Keep it conservative so future tenants don’t hate things, but I trust your judgment." which to me read, "go for it". so i went out and bought all the supplies--paint, rollers, etc. but i couldn't bring myself to paint over disgusting, dirty walls.. 
so, true to my M.O., i got home from work one evening and couldn't stand it anymore. cleaning is my stress relief. it started in the bathroom, which was by far the worst part of the apartment.  i tore it apart--almost literally. i'm talking ripping caulk out of the shower, tearing up tiles, etc.  logan came over after he got off, and upon walking in the bathroom, immediately said, "we should paint today too." he's such a good sport, and a total stud for helping my crazy project ADD. so while i painted, he re-caulked everything.  our bathroom went from this:

to THIS:
after the bathroom came the living room...i cleaned EVERYTHING, rearranged the furniture, and then went to work painting.  i had always wanted to do tan with a red accent wall, and my dream finally came true...stay tuned for the unveiling! :)

Tuesday, July 3, 2012


since this is my blog, i'm going to go ahead and assume that it's safe for me to vent for a minute..if you don't want to deal with my venting, i suggest you stop readin. like NOW.

if you're still reading, then here we go. i'm so over people telling me that i don't take things seriously.  let's be clear here for a second.  i take just about everything i do seriously--school, my job, myself, life in general, and my relationship.  i get really annoyed when people feel the need to lecture me about how i need to be more grounded, serious, etc--especially when those people don't know me well enough to be hurling such accusations at me. i get lectured on a regular basis at work. AT WORK. and this person, who happens to be a coworker, is telling me that i don't take work seriously enough? maybe it's because i have said person talking my ear off for over an hour and a half. maybe it's because i feel like work should be the one place where i'm not criticized for my life choices. sure, i'm not perfect. but i also don't pretend like i am. yes, i know i have issues, vices, and hangups, but who doesn't? have i made mistakes? of COURSE. but i have a problem when people feel the need to be my parents. i have those already, and they give infinitely better advice than a stranger. i legitimately think the only reason this person has ANY reason to feel validated in giving me any kind of advice is because he is over a decade older than me. that is the only qualification he posses. not being more intelligent, experienced in life/relationships, or anything like that. and seeing as he doesn't know me quite as well as he seems to think, i feel like most of his advice is unfounded.  i think the only piece of advice that wasn't complete quackery was, "work on yourself". that is IT. the other hour and twenty five minutes i plan to ignore. why? because it was COMPLETELY OFF BASE. yes, i'm aware that i'm shouting a lot in this post, but i'm irritated. i feel like in the past 72 hours i've been lectured by far too many people who don't seem to realize that i'm 22 years old, not 15. believe it or not, i CAN make an educated, informed decision for myself, thank you very much. i appreciate suggestions and advice, but only when solicited. if i don't ask you for your opinion, that's a pretty good indication that i don't want to hear it.

i will leave you with one quote, and this will be one rant post i allow myself.
"Who are you to judge the life I live? I know I'm not perfect and I don't live to be, but before you start pointing fingers, make sure your hands are clean." ~Bob Marley

ok, so that's my diatribe for the day. dont hate me for it..or do, but don't lecture me about it.