Author: Jess

My Journey

Losing 7 Pounds in March…Week 1


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The month of February hit my family hard. We received two back to back cancer announcements within our household and the news did not sit well. We are a strong family and we know that we will fight this, but it still doesn’t make the news any easier. The stress from this news didn’t manifest in emotions for me, but rather it took a physical form within my body. I did not want to do anything that required physical activity and I wanted to eat anything that showed up in front of me. After two weeks of waking up to my 4:30 am alarm clock, brushing my teeth, and putting on my gym clothes just to crawl back into bed I decided enough was enough.

The week leading up to March 1st I was feeling extremely bloated, out of breathe, tired, and I could see acne breakouts across my face. It was then that I decided in the month of March I would lose 7 pounds. I’ve set out on goals like this before, but this time around I am determined and have my mindset in the right place. To do this I have reached out to a support group, but more importantly I have chosen 2 changes to focus on for the month of March. These changes include cutting pop (soda for you non-mid-westerners) out of my diet and fasting for 16-18 hours per day (intermittent fasting). The fasting part won’t be that difficult because it’s what I did my entire childhood without realizing it. My dad used to get on me all of the time for not eating breakfast, but it’s how my body naturally functions at its best. The difficult part is going to be cutting pop out of my diet. I have an unhealthy addiction to pop that needs to end. I often times find myself drinking up to 3 pops a day…I know, not good!

Now that I have completed the first week of March, here are some changes I’ve seen in my body and my first week results.

  • My digestive system has gotten substantially better
  • I can breathe easier
  • I have more energy
  • I feel lighter
  • I don’t feel as bloated
03/01/1903/08/19Diff
Calf
15″14 7/8″-1/8″
Thigh26 6/8″26 5/8″-1/8″
Hips47 3/8″46 5/8″-6/8″
Waist39 4/8″38 6/8″-6/8″
Chest40″39 5/8″-3/8″
Neck14 3/8″14 1/8″-2/8″
Forearm10″10″-0″
Bicep13 4/8″13 4/8″-0″
Total Inches +/--2 3/8″
Weight193.2 lbs190.4 lbs-2.8 lbs

To help keep myself accountable on this journey I am using 2 different apps, as well as relying on friends for support. The two apps I am using are Zero to track my intermittent fasting hours and HabitShare to keep track of whether I have successfully completed my goal for the day.

As you can see, I haven’t been perfect in my goals, but I have made a ton of improvement over the past week. I went from about 3 pops a day to just 1 pop on Thursday. My goal this month is to lose 7 pounds, not to be perfect every single day. There will be days I struggle and days I don’t succeed, but each day is an opportunity for growth. As I continue to grow I will make healthier decisions and eventually get myself back into shape.

Love always,

Jess

My Journey

Facing the Struggle


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Oh man! This post is going to hurt, but one that is long over due. Can I be honest with you for a minute? 

I struggle just like everyone else.

Phew, there I said it. Sometimes we are so quick to only share the positive things in our lives. The parts where we are succeeding. Rarely does anyone show their struggles. Well I don’t want to be that person. I want to keep you guys in tune with where exactly I am in my journey. So what am I currently struggling with?

Food.

I love food. I really do. My problem is that I eat way more than I need to, and I eat things that aren’t getting me to my goals. It sucks to admit it to myself, but it is embarrassing to admit it to all of you. Probably because I’m afraid to let others down, but ultimately because I had a quick fix in weight loss before and I know that this isn’t going to be a quick fix. It was easy to keep going when I was losing 2-3 pounds in a week. It was easy to keep going when I saw my body changing before my eyes. 

I know, just like with everything else, that I need to be patient, keep up the work, and not give up. Some days it’s easier said than done. Other days I kick ass. For me the gym is not my weakness. I can get up every day for that and have been working out on average 5-6 times per week. I’ve got that down! Throw weights in front of me and I go, go, go. My weakness is food. The biggest of all of that is pop. I automatically grab a coke for my meals. At this point it’s habit and breaking that habit is difficult. 

soooooo difficult!!

It’s not that I don’t like water, I drink 100+ ounces of water a day.

i. just. need. to. break. the. habit.

At this point I don’t care about the scale. I don’t care about the inches. I need to break my unhealthy habits with food before I can focus on everything else. Because once I break those unhealthy habits I know that things will start working in my favor. I will start seeing results from all of the sweat I am dripping from my workouts. I will feel all of the energy come back to me that is being wasted on digesting crappy food. 

So what am I doing to quit this unhealthy relationship with food? Well for starters, tonight is my work holiday party, so I’m going to enjoy it. Then once I take my last bite I will start my intermittent fasting timer. Tomorrow morning when I wake up I will remind myself of my goals. I will speak kindly to myself, but focus on maintaining discipline throughout the day. I am reading books galore on habits, growth, self-love, health, nutrition, success, etc. 

Knowledge is power!

Reflection…

When the day is over I will reflect. I will love myself for the moments of strength and the moments of weakness. I will take note of what led to the struggle. I will find ways to establish better choices next time. Most importantly though, I will thank my body for carrying me through another day and let her know that she is beautiful and that I will work another day at making her the healthiest she can be. 

Breaking these habits isn’t going to be easy, but in the end I will be better for it. One day, one meal, one step at a time. That’s all I can ask of myself. As my friend says, be 1% better than you were the day before and eventually that 1% adds up. 

Love always,

Jess

Fitness, My Journey, Recipes

Cross Core & Ladders


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What a fun weekend I’ve had. On Friday night I did an escape room with my sister and a dance friend at Escape Hotel Hollywood and it was an absolute blast! I highly recommend checking this place out. Then yesterday I went to the wrap party for my dance show and we got to watch the entire show from beginning to end. I am in awe at the amazing job that all of us ladies did and I can’t wait to share more with all of you once I receive photos and videos. And of course, today is Sunday Football, so it’s been a great day since my Viking’s won. Skol!

Even though Sunday is typically a rest day I spent today doing some productive things. I’ve been reading financial books, calculating different scenarios for renting or buying a place to live, and I got in a workout. For tonight’s workout I wanted to do something using my cross core and ladder, so I created a cardio based tabata workout.

On: 0:45 | Off: 0:15 | Rest: 1:30
Exercises: 10 | Sets: 3

Workout
Cross core kneeling plank {set 1: 12 | set 2: 11 | set 3: 15}
– Jump rope {set 1: 64 | set 2: 88 | set 3: 94}
 Cross core reverse lunge {set 1: 18 | set 2: 20 | set 3: 20}
– Ladder lateral side step {set 1: 8 | set 2: 9 | set 3: 9}
– Cross core bicep curl {set 1: 16 \ set 2: 16 | set 3: 16}
– Ladder cross overs {set 1: 4 | set 2: 4 | set 3: 3}
– Cross core chest press {set 1: 18 | set 2: 17 | set 3: 17}
– High knees {set 1: 62 | set 2: 57 | set 3: 62}
– Cross core knee raises {set 1: 15 | set 2: 12 | set 3: 9}
– Ladder walking plank {set 1: 3 | set 2: 3 | set 3: 3}

This workout tired me out. I was shaking during the last set and I was ready to sit back on the couch to watch football once it was over. Unfortunately I couldn’t just rest since it was my night to cook dinner. I ended up cooking a creamy tortellini from the Brown Eyed Baker and it was delicious. I paired it with garlic bread, because you can’t ever go wrong with garlic bread! This recipe was simple to make and only took 30 minutes from start to table. It would have been done sooner had I not made a rookie mistake and put the bread in the wrong oven, oops! Waiting the additional 9 minutes was worth it though because dinner was excellent and it allowed me some extra time before dinner to wash dishes. I highly recommend washing dishes while cooking since it lessens the amount of dishes you have to do after dinner :). Anyways, enjoy your Sunday evening!

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Love always,

Jess

Fitness

Partner Leg Workout


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Tonight my gym buddy came over to my house and we did a leg workout that requires nothing but your own body weight and a jump rope. If you don’t have a jump rope you can just jump in place. For the workout below choose one partner to be A and one to be B. When you are at the section of the workouts where A and B are noted do the exercise that corresponds to your letter.

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Exercises: 14 | Sets: 3 | Reps: 12 | Rest: 1:30
SL = single leg | kb = kettle bell | db = dumbbell

Warm Up
– 15 leg kicks, each side
– Adductor stretch, hold each side for 10 seconds
– Hamstring stretch, hold each side for 10 seconds
– Hip flexor stretch, hold each side for 10 seconds

Workout
– Sumo squat {tempo: 4/2/1}
– 
A) sprint up the driveway and back pedal down the driveway
  B) 50 jump rope {this exercise group is finished when this person finishes 50 jumps}
– 
Hip bridge {tempo: 4/2/1}
A) 50 jump rope {this exercise group is finished when this person finishes 50 jumps}
B) sprint up the driveway and back pedal down the driveway
– SL leg lift right side: lay on your left side and raise your leg up and lower back down
– SL double leg lift right side: lay on your left side and raise your leg half way up, hold,       raise all the way up, lower half way down, hold, lower all the way down
– SL leg adductor lift left side: lay on your left side, and lift your bottom leg up and lower   back down
– SL double leg adductor lift left side: lay on your left side and lift your bottom leg half   way up, hold, lift all the way up, lower half way down, hold, lower all the way down.
– A) sprint up the driveway and back pedal down the driveway
B) 50 jump rope {this exercise group is finished when this person finishes 50 jumps}
– SL leg lift left side: lay on your right side and raise your leg up and lower back down
– SL double leg lift left side: lay on your right side and raise your leg half way up, hold,   raise all the way up, lower half way down, hold, lower all the way down
– SL leg adductor lift right side: lay on your right side and lift your bottom leg up and   lower back down
– SL double leg adductor lift right side: lay on your right side and lift your bottom leg half   way up, hold, lift all the way up, lower half way down, hold, lower all the way down.
– A) 50 jump rope {this exercise group is finished when this person finishes 50 jumps}
B) sprint up the driveway and back pedal down the driveway

Cool Down
– Stretch
– Foam roll

Love always,

Jess

 

Fitness, My Journey

First week results


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This morning was weigh in and measurement day and although I was feeling great and like I had lost weight, the results said otherwise. I ended up gaining 0.4 pounds and losing 2/8″ overall. This was a good reminder that I shouldn’t always rely on the scale to say whether I’ve had a successful week or not. There are other non-scale victories that count as well.

Weight: 184.6 pounds      +0.4 pounds
Right calf: 14 1/8″             -1/8″
Right thigh: 24 7/8″          -2/8″
Hips: 44 2/8″                      +4/8″
Waist: 34 5/8″                    -1/8″
Chest: 37 2/8″                    -2/8″
Neck: 14 1/8″                     +2/8″
Right forearm: 9 3/8″       -0″
Right bicep: 12 4/8″          -2/8″
                                            -2/8″

The non-scale victories I am proud of are: bringing my lunch to work every day last week, eating out less, my clothes fitting more loosely, and reaching my 16 hour intermittent fasting goal for 5 out of the 7 days (the other 2 days were 15+ hours)! Intermittent fasting is something I have decided to try to restrict the hours I eat within a day. I’ve never been a huge fan of breakfast, so I have chosen to skip breakfast, something I did all throughout my childhood up until a few years ago. Doing the 16 hour fast this past week has left me feeling more energetic, lighter, and not as stuffed at the end of the day. 

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I recognize that restricting the hours I eat for the day isn’t going to be a big factor in my weight loss. I still need to focus on the foods I eat and the exercise I do. Last week I brought my lunch to work for 3 of the 4 days I was there (I go out to eat with a friend and her kids once a week) and it consisted of romaine hearts, ground beef, black olives and salsa. Light and simple. For dinners I primarily ate what my family cooked or leftovers. Not grabbing fast food felt refreshing and my wallet definitely appreciated it!

As far as workouts go I only got in two last week. One night I went and danced and then I did a mini workout yesterday morning with my sister. The lack of exercise was primarily due to pain in my upper back, but now that it’s subsided it’s time to get back into a routine. So tonight I went to the gym with my friend and we did back, biceps and cardio.

Exercises: 5 | Sets: 3 | Reps: 10 | Rest: 0:30
SL = straight leg | kb = kettle bell | db = dumbbell

Workout
– Bicep curls {set 1: 8 lb. db | set 2: 8 lb. db | set 3: 8 lb. db}
– 
Cross body bicep curls {set 1: 8 lb. db | set 2: 8 lb. db | set 3: 8 lb. db}
Cable lat pull down {set 1: 70 lb. | set 2: 70 lb. | set 3: 70 lb.}
– 
Cable straight arm push down {set 1: 5 @ 40 lb. & 5 @ 30 lb. | set 2: 30 lb. | set 3: 30 lb.}
– 
Cable row {set 1: 55 lb. | set 2: 55 lb. | set 3: 55 lb.}

Run
– 1:00 {incline 0.0 | speed 3.0}
– 5:00 {incline 0.0 | speed 5.0}
– 1:00 {incline 0.0 | speed 3.0}
– 
5:45 {incline 0.0 | speed 3.0} hit the 1 mile marker here at 12:45 total!
– 4:00 {incline 0.0 | speed 2.5}

Love always,

Jess

Fitness, My Journey

Mini Workout


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This past week I have spent many hours with a lacrosse ball pressed against my back in order to roll out the knots that have been causing me extreme pain. Thankfully this morning I woke up feeling somewhat better so I decided to get a mini workout in with my sister. And when I say mini, I truly mean mini, because all week long any sort of movement hurt. Thirty minutes of workout and ten minutes of stretching later my body felt refreshed.

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Exercises: 8 | Sets: 2 | Reps: 14 | Rest: 1:00
SL = single leg | kb = kettle bell | db = dumbbell 

Warm Up
– 15 high kicks, each leg
– 0:30 arm across body stretch, each arm
– 0:30 arm behind head stretch, each arm
– 5 head circles, each direction

Workout
– Stability ball crunches {tempo 4/2/1}
– Parallel bar hop overs {tempo x/x/x}
– Stability ball kb rows, right side {tempo 4/2/1 | set 1: 10 lb. kb | set 2: 7 lb. kb}
– Stability ball kb rows, left side {tempo 4/2/1 | set 1: 10 lb. kb | set 2: 7 lb. kb}
SL bicep curls, switch legs each set {tempo 4/2/1 | set 1: 6 lb. db | set 2: 6 lb. db}
Narrow squats {tempo 4/2/1}
Stability ball hamstring curl {tempo 4/2/1}
– Sprints up the driveway, walk back down 

Cool Down
– Stretch
– Foam roll

Love always,

Jess

Recipes

Chicken Enchiladas


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If you live anywhere in Ventura County you more than likely had to sit in the traffic yesterday caused by a plane crash on the 101 and an overturned truck on the 118. We are so accustomed to our free flowing drives on these sections of the freeways that when we sit in stand still traffic for 2+ hours it can throw off our entire routine.¬†Last night was my turn to cook dinner for my family and my original plan to get home by 5:00 to start dinner obviously didn’t work out.

As I sat in the traffic I debated whether or not to pick up food instead because I honestly didn’t know when I would get home. Thankfully sitting in traffic gave me time to think about my goals and what steps I need to reach them. In order for me start living a healthier life it starts with not taking the quick way out, no matter what circumstances life throws my way. I ended up getting home around 6:00 and made chicken enchiladas. I kept the side simple by making guacamole and having some chips and salsa.

Chicken Enchiladas
recipe from my mom’s friend

Ingredients
4-5 boneless chicken breasts (I used 2 chicken cutlets since they have less fat)
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 tub of sour cream
1 sm can of chopped black olives
1 sm can of chopped green chili’s
1 large can of enchilada sauce (green or red, I used green)
2 cups shredded cheese (blend of cheddar and jack)
1 bunch green onions chopped
1 sm can of sliced black olives
10-12 flour tortillas

Directions
1. Cook the chicken until done (broil, boil, bake, bbq)
2. Chop or shred the chicken and place in a large bowl (I usually cut the chicken cutlets into small pieces before I cook them so that I can cut off the fat and blood specks)
3. Combine the chicken, soup, sour cream, can of chopped olives, chili’s and 1/2 the chopped onions and mix together
4. Take a 9×13 in casserole pan and spray lightly with PAM
5. Open the flour tortillas and microwave for one minute in the original bag
6. Take one tortilla and spoon the chicken mixture into the tortilla and roll like an enchilada, then place in casserole pan. Continue until all tortillas are filled. You have to gauge the mixture so you have enough for the 10-12 tortillas and nothing left!
7. Pour the enchilada sauce over the tortillas
8. Sprinkle with cheese over the sauce and top with the sliced olives and the rest of the green onion.
9. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Guacamole

Mix together:
– 3 avocados
– 1/2 tomato, chopped
– juice from 1/2 of a lime
– garlic powder to taste
Рsalt to taste 

Enjoy!

Love always,

Jess