Monday, May 31, 2010

This has nothing to do with exercise...

Today is Memorial Day.

Thank you to every single man and woman that has ever served our country. It is because of you that I am free to live in this wonderful country. I do not have to worry about being in imminent danger when I walk outside my front door. I am free to worship the one true God that is illegal to worship in many other countries. I am free to celebrate my freedom that I so often take advantage of. It is because of you that I live free. There is nothing that I will ever be able to repay you for all that you have done and all that you have sacrificed for me.

Thank you! May God bless you and protect you no matter where you are sent. You deserve only the best!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Do as I say, not as I do...

"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” -Joshua 1:9

Ok, so you know how I was telling you about how you need to be careful about taking a "rest" day. (Because one day will turn into two etc..) yeah, that kinda happened to me. :/ I know, how terrible, but i'll be honest, I didn't work out on Thursday or Friday. I travelled a lot this week, but it is still no excuse. I could have made time. Today I got my butt handed to me. I was doing real well running one mile everyday, but you'll never believe how bad running a mile hurts after not running for three days. I was in PAIN!!! So, my lesson has been learned. I will forevermore not take three running days off, because it is a pain in the butt (literally) when trying to start back!
My challenge to you today is to stick with it! No matter what excuse you come up with, there is always a way to fit a tiny work out in. Whether it's going up and down your stairs at your house, running down the street or any other exercise you can think of. Just keep your body moving. I will tell you that I stayed right on track with the nutrition, which is good, because if I hadn't- running a mile would've been a lot more painful that it was this morning. Never give up, especially after you hit a bump in the road or mess up. It's not the end of the world. Wellness is a learning experience, it's never something that can be perfected, but you can be successful. Start out with cutting out the foods that you are extremely bad for you. (Fruit instead of fries, baked potato instead of mashed potato etc). Try cutting out as much carbonated and caffeinated drinks as possible (I know it's hard, that's probably my biggest dietary weakness). Drink lots of water. Perservere, I promise if you truly make an effort to become healthier and make better choices, you will be successful. It's up to you how "hard-core" you decide to go. People work and train in many different ways for many different reasons. Do what works best for you! Don't follow a bunch of rules, because those rules will easily be broken. This is one of the only times where rules are open to be tweaked and made to work for you!

There are some days where I feel like I can't accomplish the goals that I have set for myself. It's important to hand it all over to God. He will give you the strength to perservere and fulfill to the desire that He has put in your heart. (As long as the desire is from Him and honorable to Him, of course)! Do not be afraid of a new challenge, especially if it's a difficult one. Be strong and courageous! :)

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

It's not everyday you find free chapstick...

"A cheerful heart is good medicine..."
-Proverbs 17:22a

So today Emily and I may have had a little too much fun at the gym, but we got a killer ab workout in with all of the laughs. I think her and I both did not get enough sleep and were delusional. I decided to give some new ab workouts a try and apparently everyone in the gym on a tredmill found us exercising way more interesting than what was being played on the televisions. We worked out our obliques with a medicine ball, standing back to back and rotating while passing the ball. It's a great workout (and apparently people find humor in watching too). I could not stop laughing, it was extremely awkward. People would not stop staring (hence is why I made Emily face everyone and I stood behind her). ;) Hyper-extensions were next and while I was in the middle of a set, Emily brings over a kettle bell. I guess she wanted to make the drill a bit harder, unfortunately the kettle bell felt to be about 3 pounds. (Gee, seems like she thinks i'm strong, huh)? So I threw it down and now she's almost on the floor hysterically laughing. While causing a big scene, she finds chapstick on the floor and yells "Free Chapstick!!" My gosh I'm glad we got out of there. I don't recommend this behavior at the gym, but this morning I just couldn't help it. We did get a great chest and back workout in before the madness began. I'll stick with the excuse that Jesus gave us a lot of joy this morning! :)

I truly believe that people need to learn to laugh at themselves more. Don't be so embarrassed all the time. Let loose and just enjoy the life and the personality that God gave you. Everyone has their quirks and everyone has their moments. Just learn to laugh and have a good time. The Lord wants us to have a joyful Spirit. It makes Him rejoice! Smile when your day isn't going your way, maybe even throw in some laughs. People are watching to see how you will react when something isn't going your way. Especially if they know you follow Jesus. I know it's hard sometimes to not throw yourself a pity party (I threw myself a pretty darn good one earlier this week). But I've learned that everything isn't going to go smoothly all the time. There has to be bumps in the road in order to become a better person and a better Christian. I can look back on just about every pity party i've ever had and laugh about it now. Enjoy life and know that it's all a big lesson to develop character (and flexibility sometimes too). Smile, laugh and goof off today. Enjoy the presence of the Lord!! A cheerful Spirit makes good medicine! :) Be positive about all that's going on in your life, whether it be good or bad! Go buy some chapstick! (Please, don't ever pick up chapstick off of a gym floor. It is not intended to be a free gift. Emily and I kindly left it for someone else)! :)

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

I've got nothin...

"Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you." -Deut. 31:6

Today I got back from my workout and now have a total mind block. I can't think of anything to write. I can say that I ran another mile today and felt extremely accomplished! :)
I guess today I ask you just to reflect on the good things in life. Only positive things. What has God done lately? How is He moving? Then thank him for it. If you want to share, feel free to comment. It's great encouragement to hear when God is working in other people's lives!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Just keep swimming, just keep swimming....

"I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith."
-2 Timothy 4:7

So I wasn't exactly swimming today, but Dori's (from Finding Nemo) song kept playing over in my mind as I ran on the tredmill this morning. Let me start by saying that I am a terrible runner. It's just not my strength. That ties in directly with why working out my legs are so hard, but today I decided that I was going to run a mile without stopping. (Yes, I know, call me a wimp, but it's a big deal to me)! I had a game plan going into this. My mentality was, the faster I run, the faster it's over. So, I put it up to a comfortable speed (not jogging, but not flat out sprinting), I set it at a 5.7. Not too bad for someone who doesn't run. At the half way point I thought I was going to fall off of the tredmill because my legs were feeling heavy and I wasn't catching my breath well, but about a minute later I was ok. I got to the mile marker and felt great (but I had a one minute warmup, so i decided to run an extra minute), by the time it was over I wanted to kneel to the ground and kiss it. I did feel accomplished, but I do not see a marathon anywhere in the future! ;)

Back when my dad trained real seriously about 8 years ago, he was trained by a body builder by the name of Jeff Letexier. (He also helped train my mom for a while). Jeff hasn't been in any competitions for about two years, but he stopped by our house on Saturday to do some body fat tests and give nutrition advice. I had never had a body fat test done before, so I was real interested to see. He asked me to guess before he performed the testing, and I said mid-twenties, maybe a 24-28. Apparently, I don't give myself enough credit. He got in the results and I ended up being 20% body fat. Not bad at all. That is the lowest average score. 16-19% is considered fit and 15% and below is considered lean. (for a 5'7 female 19-21 year old). I think this summer I'm going to take a shot to get it down to about 17-18%. We'll see what happens!

Last night my dad and I decided to go on a date, but a healthy eating one. There is a new Japanese steakhouse in our hometown and we decided to go check out the sushi bar. For all of you who are opposed to eating sushi, make yourself unopposed. It is the best source of protein on this planet. It is SUPER GOOD FOR YOU!! If you haven't tried it, don't say you don't like it. Just go out on a limb and try it for once. It is really good! Once you get used to eating sushi, trying new things is really fun. Last night I tried a tuna and kiwi roll. I highly recommend it to anyone who eats sushi. My gosh it was amazing. The fruit and the protein in the tuna combined makes a great meal packed with good, solid nutrition!

Today as I was "suffering" in the gym, the verse in 2 Timothy came to mind. "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith." (2 Timothy 4:7). I just kept telling myself, "just keep putting one foot in front of the other, whatever it takes, just FINISH." I think that applies to every struggle we face in life. Even when there seems to be no light at the end of the tunnel. Cry out to God, ask Him to give you the strength to just put one foot in front of the other. It doesn't matter what your pace may be, as long as you keep moving forward and keep your eyes on Him, you will come out victorious!! When you lift your hands to Jesus, your problems don't stay problems for long!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Resting and Working Out...

"The LORD your God is with you,
He is mighty to save.
He will take great delight in you,
He will quiet you with his love,
He will rejoice over you with singing."
-Zephaniah 3:17

One of my favorite workout rules is "get enough rest." Doesn't that sound wonderful? Especially on days where I am sore beyond belief. Thankfully, I am not as sore as I thought I would be. My legs really do not hurt bad at all. I have a bit of soreness in my quads and glutes. I am extremely thankful!!
Anyway, it's extremely important to get enough rest while training. Especially if you're training hardcore 5-6 days a week. Muscles have to have proper recovery time or they cannot build. Never train the same muscle group two days in a row. Here's what happens: when you work a muscle, cells break a part and the muscle needs repairing. (That's a big reason why you get sore). If you work the same muscle group the very next day, you're doing more damage to the muscle and it cannot repair properly. So, make sure you get plenty of rest, good sleep and take a day off if you're not energized enough and your body is just ridiculously tired. Careful, though, it's easy for one off day to turn into two, then three etc. :)
Jesus wants us to rest in His presence. The Word says to be still and know that He is God. He also continually reminds us that rest is important. Especially if we're tired and weary. So, enjoy yourself an off day, just don't go crazy! Happy Saturday everyone!! :)
Oh, and a very happy birthday to my awesome workout buddy, Emily!! :)

Friday, May 21, 2010

I think Navy Seal training is easier...

"Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything." James 1:2-4

As you know by now, I do enjoy getting up and working out, but Fridays are the day where I consider throwing everything out the window. I literally have to drag myself out of bed and go. Leg day is seriously the most dreaded day of the week. Why? Because I know how sore I'm going to be for the next few days. My trainer last year, Sandra, is a crazy woman. She believes in working legs once a week and completely killing them in the process. Now, her leg workouts work, but my gosh they're tough. It doesn't feel that bad while you're working them, but right when you stop is when the soreness starts. I'm really bad about being consistent with working my legs, just because the pain is so bad, but once I get them done and start to see results, it's completely worth it. This is the biggest physical challenge I face on a weekly basis. I absolutely hate it, but I know it must be done in order to benefit the rest of my body. (Plus, leg exercises keep your heart rate up, so you don't have to stress cardio exercise as much that day)! I challenge you to try it out for yourself! It is beneficial once you get through the first few weeks or so. Keep pushing through! Just think, if you stick with it, you'll never be as sore as the first day you started.

Start out with a 2-3 minute warmup. Just get your body moving
**Remember to rest 30-45 seconds in between each set (besides squats, lunges, dead lifts and side sumo squats)
-Leg Curls: 3 sets; 30 pounds (12 times each)
--leg curl machine is the one where you lay on your stomach and bend legs at the knee to where your feet almost touch your butt.
-Squats: 3 sets; 20 pounds (12 times each)
--There's many ways to do a squat, but this is the easiest one to start out with. Take a 20 pound dumbbell, turn it vertically and hold the top, hold it with your arms straight in the center of your body while keeping your back straight. Then squat as deep as you can.
-Lunges: 3 sets (12 times each)
--while resting in between squat repetitions, perform 10 lunges on each leg (keep switching back and forth between lunges and squats until you've done 3 sets of each)
-Dead Lifts: 3 sets; 20 pounds (12 times each)
--this can be done with a small weighted bar or dumbbells. Keep good posture, slight knee bend. Bend over as far as you can (don't let weights touch floor) and pull them back up to where you're standing straight.
-Side Sumo Lunge: 3 sets (12 times each)
--while resting in between dead lift sets, do side sumo lunges 12 times on each leg (24 total per set). Start standing straight up with feet together. Move on leg to the side and squat, stand back up straight then do the same thing with opposite leg.
-Leg Extension: 3 sets; 25 pounds (12 times each)
--Leg extension machine sits up like a chair, your ankles go under a bar and you lift up.
-Glute/Ham: 3 sets; 10 pounds (10 times each)
--this machine is hard to find sometimes. You sit on one knee support yourself with your elbows and kick back with the opposite leg that your knee is supporting. This can easily be done on the floor. Get on your elbows and knees and kick on leg back slowly.
**Make sure you stretch out really good after the workout is over**
If anyone tries this, let me know what you think. I think it's pretty darn tough.

Anyway, every day we have to face challenges and perform task that we aren't necessarily fond of. There are many unexpected things that are thrown at us also. In James it says for us to rejoice whenever we face hard trials. They develop perserverance, maturity and discipline so that we become better people. God wants us to trust Him with no matter what we're going through. He knows exactly what's going on, but He wants more than anything for us to talk to Him about it. He calls us His friend! God wants to be our very best friend. We can talk to Him about anything, just like you would any other friend. It took me a while to get my mind wrapped around that at first, but I enjoy telling God what's going on now. Just remember, whatever it thrown at you, whether it be evil leg workouts or something else, if you keep pushing through and trusting God, you'll come out stronger!

"...for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” Nehemiah 8:10

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Sleeping Beauty...

"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." -Matthew 6:19-21

So this morning I got in a fight with my alarm clock at 6 AM. Let's just say, I won! I won by turning it off and rolling over to get some more sleep. I've felt horrible all day, therefore, I will be meeting up with my elliptical at my house in a few hours.
My grandmother had foot surgery today and it went smoothly. She can't put any weight on it and will have to use a walker for at least 6 weeks. Your prayers are greatly appreciated! :)

Tomorrow is the most dreaded day of all workout days of the week. Friday is official leg day. Why is Friday leg day you ask....well, because you need the entire weekend (and usually monday) to recover. Leg day is AWFUL! I love it, but I'm so sore the next day I can barely walk, but that's what I get for not working them regularly during college. Emily will endure her first leg workout tomorrow. I am interested to see what she has to say. My trainer made this leg workout for me last summer, my gosh it's hard. I'll post it here tomorrow for your reading pleasure, I even challenge you to take a shot at it! Once you get through the first few weeks of doing it, the soreness isn't quite as bad!

You ever have those days where you get down about one little thing and then it feels like everything else in the world is going wrong? Today was one of those days! I woke up feeling terrible because I didn't go running this morning, which automatically made me panic, because what's next week folks? That's right, it's bathing suit season. Then I proceed to worry because I'm not going to feel comfortable. blah blah blah... being a girl is so much fun sometimes... ANYWAY, I was sitting in the office just having my own little pity party when Jesus reminded me that it's really all ok. Jesus wants us to love and appreciate our bodies, but we shouldn't become obsessed with tweaking them all of the time. He cares more about our hearts and what we're doing for eternity. Where is my treasure being stored? "For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also..." sometimes I need to tell myself that over and over again. Jesus, forgive me of all the times I get caught up in wordly things instead of putting Your kingdom first. This body is going to disappear one day, but my Spirit will live eternally!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Busy, Busy, Busy

"Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will" Romans 12:1-2

Today I woke up at 6 AM to be at the gym by 6:30. Got my heart rate up with a lot of interval sprinting, then made my shoulders burn because I worked them like crazy. I walked out of the gym by 7:45 in order to be home by 8. Took and shower and got ready for my first day of work. Walked out of the house at 8:50 and arrived at work at 9:30. I worked from 9:30-4:00. Whew! Talk about a crazy day! On top of this I have two classes I'm taking online. This will take a lot of getting used to, considering this is my new normal this summer. I'm working Monday-Friday 9:30-4 on top of training and school. Your prayers are greatly appreciated!
There's a lot of sacrifice that comes a long with being healthy. Let's face it, it's hard to find time to go to the gym for about an hour at least three days a week. Society today is so consumed by always being busy. What does this mean for our bodies? It means they're tired. We don't take good care of them because we're constantly on the run. Our health is usually the first thing that gets put on the back burner. Getting up at 5-6 AM to get a workout in (whether it be in the gym or at your own house) is extremely hard! I tell you, though, if you can get past the first few days/weeks (the hardest part of your workout it rolling out of bed and putting your feet on the floor!!) you will feel better! Your body will function better and you'll have a lot more energy throughout the day. We just have to make ourselves sacrifice that savored last hour of sleep in the morning!
What does the Bible have to say about all of this? Well, when you think about it, sacrifice is the basis of what the Word is all about. If God wouldn't of sent His Son down as a sacrifice to others, well, we'd be in a whole lot of trouble. There's a lot of sacrifice that has to be made. In order to serve God, you must give Him all of you. Which is hard sometimes. I'm not going to lie, there are some days where I'm like, "ok God, I want to do this and this..." and He's like "um. no." (in a loving way, of course). The only way He says "no" or "wait" is because He loves us and knows what's coming. He has our best interest in mind. God's plan is ALWAYS better than the awesome plan that we think is best for us. Today, talk to God and ask Him His will for Your life, or ask Him to take the reigns today. He really does know what He's doing. It's a scary thing handing over the reigns to your life when naturally, we want to be in control! Trust me, God's way is better than any plan we could ever make up for ourselves, no matter how perfect we may think it is!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


I am ashamed to say that I did not go to the gym today. :/
It's been a heck of a 48 hours, let me tell you! So, I have a friend from Alabama who I met at school. He decided to go back and visit his family until summer school started. He took a Greyhound bus to Charlotte where my family and I picked him up. This was about 10 PM on Sunday night. Monday morning we went to the gym, came back and got ready to take him back to ECU, 4 hours away. After getting lost (the GPS decided to take us the scenic route, how thoughtful...), we end up in Greenville 5 HOURS LATER. It's cool, though, it was a fun road trip. Then my mom and I drop him off and drive an hour and 15 minutes to Raleigh to stay the night with my aunt and uncle. Then we wake up this morning and drive three hours home. Do you see now why I didn't make it to the gym? It wasn't totally my fault... I was too busy on an adventure. It was a lot of fun! I got to spend some great time with my mom and we got to practice our driving skills. There's nothing like driving in a straight line for hours... ;)
I thought I did pretty good with the nutrition, even though I've had to eat out the past few meals while on the road. Which brings me to my point of the day:
EATING OUT....NOT GOOD. Well, it can be not good. More times than not, eating out is bad. It's tough because you have no control over what goes into your food. Always keep it simple when eating out. Stay away from thick cream based things, cheese, fried foods, ketchup (most restaurant ketchups have high fructose corn syrup to increase the shelf life, stay away from HFCS at ALL TIMES), sweets, salad dressings that you cannot see through! So basically everything, right? Just be wise with decisions. If they bring bread or chips to the table before your food comes out, send it back to the kitchen. When the food comes to the table, ask the waiter to bring a takeout box with it. Pack half of it to go and then eat. Most restaurants serve way too much food for one sitting.
I know I'm always writing down easy tips and advice on how to eat better, but I struggle with it too. Everyone does. God has really been showing me lately that I do not need to be concerned with acting like I "have it all together," because my gosh I'm not even close to that. No one is. We're all human and by grace we have a loving God who cares enough about us to pick us up and dust us off everytime we fall. We must learn that we all make mistakes and we all have plenty of flaws, but the beauty of it is that God uses those flaws to bring glory to Him! Don't be afraid to mess up. Learn from mistakes, even if they're just minor ones. :)

oh, and I just realized that the comment option wasn't checked, so now you can comment on the blog. sorry it took so long!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Girls can grunt too...

"In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps."
-Proverbs 16:9

If you've ever met me, one thing you'll quickly realize is that I am a woman with a plan. I always have a plan, no matter what I'm doing. It got to be so bad at one point that I couldn't sleep if I didn't map out everything I had to do the next day on paper. It's important to plan, especially during fitness. "If you fail to plan, you plan to fail,"-Jillian Michaels. Always know what your next step is going to be, how much weight/resistance you're going to use and what time you're going to do it. ALWAYS have your nutrition mapped out and ready. Food is a lot harder plan to follow than exercising. Plan, Plan, Plan! Be careful, though, it's so easy to become consumed with your plans that you neglect other important things. For me, it was sleep. I became so obsessed with having a plan that I couldn't sleep at night, which led to no energy and put a huge barrier on my fitness goals. Be sure to make a plan, but do your body a favor and take care of it in the process. :)

There's a lot the Bible has to say about plans. Everyone knows the popular verse, Jeremiah 29:11 (For I know that plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans to prosper...), but I ran across a verse in Proverbs last night that spoke to me. "In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps." (Proverbs 16:9). I plan too much. (sounds funny, huh)? Seriously, though, it cripples me. I have a my entire college career mapped out by class, have a list of internships I want my senior year and I know what job I want. I live in a dreamland sometimes when it comes to career aspirations, and that's ok, but I heard God clearly tell me last night to SLOW DOWN. God wants me (and you) to focus on what He has for me right now. If I'm too busy living in tomorrow, I could miss out on so many opportunities today. Having a plan is great and it's important to have big dreams and aspirations, but there must be a healthy balance of the two. The most important thing to remember is to get on your knees before the Lord and ask what His will is. His plan for our lives is better than any other thing that we could imagine!

This is completely random, but I had some interesting and fun moments in the gym today with some "macho guys." First off, there was one guy lifting probably way too much weight for a guy his size (but bless his heart, he was a determined little fella) and he looked like he was in labor propped up on that bench grunting. Then I went to the "grunting section" (yes, I call it this because I never see girls over there and guys are always grunting...weird). Anyway, I work out over there sometimes, and today I was doing chest flies with 10 pound weights. I took the middle bench because the 2 outside ones were taken. The guy on my right was a pretty big guy, I believe he was using about 50 pounds? I dunno. The other guy on my left was this huge cut guy. His arms were massive. I have no clue how much weight he was using, but it was A LOT. We all started our sets together (no, not on purpose) so you had these two huge guys and this little blonde headed girl all doing chest flies together. I thought it was hilarious. While we were resting between sets, I really wanted to look over and tell the guys that their shoes weren't matching their outfit, but I refrained. :)

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Changin' it up...

Yesterday I was starving and wanted something quick and easy for lunch. My mom sat in the kitchen laughing at me because nothing in Jillian's book is simple. She looked at me and said, "you are way too consumed with these rules. You have to makes this plan work for you, or when it's done your just going to reverse everything you've accomplished." Goodness gracious my mom is smart, huh? I'm glad God gave me her to balance out my madness. I've decided that I'm in college, I don't have time to cook all 3 meals of the day. I need to think of more simple and practical ways. Plus, I'm all about simplicity! :) So now I'm am structuring my plan around eating things I know are good for me, balancing out my protein, carbs and fat. I'll also keep track of calories. How many calories are you supposed to have in day? Well, that depends on the person. For me to lose weight and gain muscle mass, I need about 1500-1600 calories a day. No more than 1600! The average woman probably only needs 1500 calories a day to reach her fitness goals. Once you get the desired results, you bump the calories up a bit more to retain what you have. So, I'd say a safe bet would be between 1650-1700 calories to maintain. They must be smart calories, though! A piece of bread does not count as a good carb (unless it is Ezekiel bread, of course, but I'm not gonna lie, it doesn't have the greatest taste)! Your ideal carbs should be complex carbs such as: sweet potato, brown rice etc. As far as protein goes, be smart with it! No fatty meats! Use lean fish, chicken and very lean red meat. Limit your red meat intake ladies!

Men work a lot different with protein, but I'm not going to sit here and act like I know how protein works with men, sorry guys, I just don't know. I do know, men, if you're trying to build muscle mass, the amount of protein you need in a day is anywhere from .75-1.00 grams of protein per pound of body weight. So, if you weight 180 pounds, you can pack on some muscle with 180 GOOD GRAMS of protein a day.

The circuit training is going pretty well. I absolutely hate it, though. I'd much rather do an hour of cardio and 45 minutes worth of weights a day. This whole "going to the gym for circuit training but not laying a finger on one weight" is killing me! So, I've once again changed it up to make it work for me. Some days are spin classes, other days are Jillian's circuits and more times than not, I do weight training routines that my personal trainer designed for me last summer. I ran into her at the gym today for the first time in a year. Her name is Sandra. She's about 50 years old and is in KILLER SHAPE. I mean, I'm 19 and I want to look like this woman. She is incredible!! So, I know I can't go wrong with the routines that she has given me.

The important thing about fitness is making it work for you. No one should ever dread going to the gym. Make sure you find something that you like and that it works for you. I'm not saying go and take it easy. It takes a lot of hard work to be successful, but there are fun ways to incorporate the hard work. My favorite is 30 minutes of cardio, weights then 15-30 more minutes of cardio. That's just how I was taught and it's what I enjoy. Make sure it works for you! If not, you'll never be successful because you're constantly consumed with rules that you really do not want to follow. I recommend buying a book (Body for Life and Body for Life for Women is my favorite) read the book and use their rules as "guidelines." You don't have to do everything they say. Just change it up to where you can make it work throughout you daily life. Even if it takes you a while to get the routine and nutrition perfect, it's ok! Don't give up! If you're truly making an effort and want to be better, the results will come! I promise! The important thing is to make wise choices and be good to your body!

"Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body." 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

Friday, May 14, 2010

Day 3- I am fearfully and wonderfully made!

"I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well."
-Psalm 139:14
I always knew that a lot of fitness/weight/exercise/health (whatever you want to call it) was strongly attached to your emotions. I really did not realize it until last night. Last night my mom was talking to me and I had a little bit of a breakdown. There's a lot of stuff going on in life right now, but the fitness definitely adds a bit of stress to it. My body is tired and sore and I'm one of those people that gets frustrated when I have goals set but don't see them happen in a week. I think a lot of people are that way. I know exercise takes a lot of hard work and it takes time to see the incredible results. I was just discouraged and down last night. This is my passion. This is what I want to do. Last night I cried out to God asking Him why fighting for my passion was so hard. Then I just felt in my Spirit, "I never said it would be easy, just that it would be worth it." Now of course, in the Bible this refers to the Christian walk. The Christian walk is certainly not easy, but Jesus promises us that it's completely worth it. It can also relate to anything in life though. Like I said when I started this journey, anything worth having is worth fighting for. So, if this is truly my passion, am I willing to fight for it?
I am fearfully and wonderfully made. God puts passions in us for a certain purpose. Because of those passions and desires He has instilled in us, we have the capability to impact a lot of people for the Kingdom of God, but only if we're walking according to God's plan. Obediance is key! I challenge you, cry out to God in times of weariness, discouragement and weakness. God wants to carry you, He wants to hear your cries. God is the best personal trainer there is! There is a lot of good things that come a long with that such as:
1. It's a totally free gift (personal trainers and life coaches are expensive these days)!
2. He WANTS to know you and be with you every single second of the day
3. He already knows what's going to happen-He has a plan. (Wouldn't you want to trust someone that knew the complete and total will of your life? If it's by God then it has to be a good thing! Goodness only comes from God)!
The key is to walk in obediance. Sometimes obeying God is not the easiest thing to do, nor does it win very many popularity contests, but God is faithful! Thank you, Lord, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made! There is a purpose written in my life. A task that needs to be completed that no one else can fulfill. It's a calling on my life. God has a calling on your life too! One you must complete, but only by walking in obediance with Him! Be encouraged! God has chosen you for His purpose! That's enough to make me excited!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

He gives strength to the weak!

"Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
The LORD is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
and his understanding no one can fathom.

He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak.

Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;

but those who hope in the LORD
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint."
-Isaiah 40:28-31

Today was an "off-day." Meaning that I only got to take the working out part off. The nutrition is still full throttle. I do not get a free nutrition day until the end of this 30 day journey. I find myself extremely sore and kind of down today. Satan has been attacking me with negative thoughts saying that this thing isn't going to work and there's no way I'm going to inspire people now or in the future. Not cool! I found those verses in Jeremiah to be so encouraging today. The Lord is my strength, especially when I'm tired (sore) and weary. I'm looking forward to getting back into the swing of things early tomorrow morning. I'm hoping next week to take a spin class, I've heard they're pretty tough. I am thankful for the rest that my body is getting today, despite the non-stop feeling of soreness. It just means the plan is working!
So, my challenge to you today is: even if you're sore...KEEP WORKING! Just think, if you stick to it, you'll never be this sore again! Each day you'll get stronger and the workouts will become more enjoyable and easier. Then, when your "jump start" workout plan is over, you don't have to stress your body out nearly as much. Keep pushing towards your goal despite any pain that you may be feeling! It's worth it!!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Day 2- I think I'm gonna die

So you know how yesterday I said I felt a bit disappointed because I didn't feel like I was going to die during my workout? Correction, today I thought I wouldn't make it out of that gym alive. I was so sore and it was a lot of up-hill sprinting cardio today. NOT COOL! For those of you who don't know, I seriously think I'm allergic to cardio. Ok, not really, but I just hate it with a burning passion. I can honestly say that I am no longer worried about not seeing results, because my gosh I can feel soreness in every square-inch of my body. Well done, Jillian Michaels, well done. I will continue to press on. This time next week I'll be a lot stronger and a lot less sore. There were a lot of fun little exercises that made me laugh this morning. People give really odd looks when your doing crab walks across the gym. Also, I'll have you know, running at 5.5 mph on a tredmill is not that bad, until the incline goes up to 10 and you have to run like that for a minute. It is not pleasant, folks. Oh well, I was proud of myself for finishing the entire circuit with a lot of running and a lot of ab work.

Emily and I have now recruited Anna (my cousin, her sister) to start joining us as soon as she graduates. We have decided to change up the workouts with an occasional spin class and high-intensity water aerobics. I'm not big on "aerobic classes" just because I do much better in a gym setting. We'll see how this goes...

As I was sitting in the gym (yes, 30 second breaks between circuits, the greatest 30 seconds of my day) I was just thinking of different verses that apply to what I've been going through lately. There were too many. Luckily, I stopped by my old high school this morning to attend a chapel service. One of the ladies in the front office was telling me that there was a secret speaker and I did not want to miss it. When I got there I found out that it was my favorite history teacher in high school, Mr. Burnette. He had never spoken in chapel before and I never understood why. I have never met a man after God's heart like him before. He is so free with his worship and has such passion for the love of God. He hit home today with everyone. I believe God really showed up. He talked about being free from things that were binding you, but also to get over yourself because it's not about you. Repentance is a good thing and it's a lot of what following Jesus is about, but I think a lot of people get it confused. Yes, it's ok to feel bad when repenting or when needing to repent, but you don't repent because you "feel bad." Repenting is the act of turning away, telling Jesus your sorry, and giving glory to Him because He has saved you so that you can repent and turn away. The Bible was written for God, about God and to praise God. It's all about Him. Not about me or you or anything else. The point that really hit home for me was this: You cannot be free until you realize that you have the potential to be the Righteousness of Christ Jesus. We (when I say "we" I'm also talking about myself) need to realize that it is not about us, it's about Him. We need to stop going to church because it "feels good" or the Pastor says something that "makes us happy." It's all about Jesus. Just lay anything your struggling with down at His feet so you can be free. That's why He died for you. So we could be redeemed and free, but all in His glory.
Needless to say, it was awesome and really lifted my Spirit. This 30 day fitness journey should not be about me. God gave me this body. He gave me the ability to move it around, exercise and take care of it. Whenever I step into that gym, it should be like a worship service. Everything I do needs to be for Jesus. So, next time I'm running on the tredmill feeling sorry for myself, I'm going to:
1. Pray that God will help me take that thought captive (anything negative is not of God, plus it's not about me anyway)
2. Try my hardest to be positive
3. Give all the glory to God

Is this easy? NO! I challenge you to do it too. Fitness is important, but what are you doing to better yourself mentally, emotionally and spiritually? Wellness is about the entire aspect of the mind and body. It's important that it's all taken care of! :)

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Day 1- Time to Make the Cut!

This morning was a lot different than what I'm used to! I trained last summer in the early mornings with my daddy at a local gym in my home town. My dad used to train hardcore a few years back and so it was fun getting back in the gym with him last year, but now it's just me going a long with my awesome workout buddy, Emily.
Today I walked back into this particular gym for the first time in a year and saw many familiar faces. It was also encouraging to look around and see people still there from a year ago when they first started exercising. They look incredible!!
I also must add that it took me forever to find tennis shoes that matched my workout outfit this morning, but finally I found a pair. Purple, orange and grey go nicely together, I guess. Oh well, I made it work! (Please know, I do not get all dressed up to workout. No makeup, hair pulled up, tshirt and shorts. It's not a beauty competition folks)! :)

Jillian calls for fast pace circuits with short intense spurts of cardio. Whew! I was kind of disappointed while I was working out because I did not feel like I was going to die (yeah, I know sounds weird, but I expected it with Jillian). Now, 3 hours after my workout, I'm starting to feel it. Yeah, I think it's safe to say it worked. This is very different from what I'm used to. I usually warm up with 15-30 minutes of cardio, weight lift for about 45 minutes then do 15-30 more minutes of cardio. This plan just puts that all into one big circuit. I did a 15 minute cardio cool-down at the end, though. The entire workout took about 45 minutes. Not bad at all. The circuits are supposed to be done twice. Emily and I did them once this morning cause we were running kind of late, but we will start repeating them tomorrow!

I was in the Word last night just asking God what He wanted to tell me and I came across a verse in 1 Timothy that I hadn't read in a while:

"For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come." -1 Timothy 4:8

Sometimes that verse can be a slap in the face. I find myself sometimes getting too consumed with health and nutrition. Yes, it's very important, but it's not the most important. What am I doing to train myself spiritually? I mean, as a christian I should have a desire to be stronger spiritually than I could ever be physically. Sometimes it's important to back up and say "Lord, I'm sorry. I'm getting carried away. It's what You want, not me." That can be a hard thing to pray too. It involves setting aside my pride and humbling myself before God. Which He calls people to do that anyway. Plus, fitness is important for this life, but really it's just an earthly thing. Is there fitness in heaven? I'd like to think so, but I have no clue. :) Anyway, training physically will only do so much. It stays in the physical realm of life, which only lasts until you die. The spiritual stays alive forever. I want to be trained spiritually to face any challenge that is thrown at me. I want to come out victorious. If God is for me, who can be against me? I can't just rely on the "yeah, I'm saved, God will protect me" mentality. I want to be prepared for anything by constantly reading the Bible and praying. This is about having a relationship with Christ and growing stronger each day. In order to grow stronger, just like working out, you have to work at it daily. Is it hard? Absolutely! I believe that anything worth having is worth working hard for! (yes, it's a lot easier said than done). So, as muscles grow and become stronger by working out, your spiritual "muscle" can become stronger and grow by spending time in the Bible and prayer every day.


Hi! I'm Sarah.
I'm 19.
In college.
Health Fitness Major.
I am super in-love with Jesus! :)
I have huge dreams.
I'm a die-hard Carolina Panthers fan.
I love ballroom dancing.
I'm the girliest tomboy you'll ever meet.
My shoes must match my outfit at all times (yes, even in the gym).
There is a method to my madness.
I have a much bigger passion for talking about fitness than actually doing it. ha!
I love people.
I'm honest. I can't get away with a lie if my life depended on it!
I always try to be myself, life's much more fun that way!
I'm so glad you're here reading this :)

I have seen countless blogs and online journals about people's fitness goals and exercise journeys. Why am I doing this? Well, at first I had no idea, but then decided that I'd do something a bit different. I have a passion for health, fitness and nutrition (I am much better at talking about it than actually doing it, but most people are, right)? ;)
I also have a passion about my relationship with Jesus Christ. God called us to take care of our bodies because it is a temple of the Lord. So, the new question I asked myself was, "How can I inspire others through health and fitness along with sharing the faith in the fitness world?" I immediately knew that's what this blog should be about.
Exercise, fitness, nutrition and basically anything that involves the health world is extremely important. It's everywhere these days, but a lot of the time it's put out there for the wrong reasons. I'm going to be honest. I'm 5'7, 144 pounds. I am not built (nor do I want to look like) a size 2 bikini model. Most people aren't! It's not the genes for me, and I'm ok with that. It's never necessarily been a desire of mine to look like that either. My desire is to be healthy. If my body is healthy in a size 8-10 pair of jeans at 140 pounds, then that's awesome! So many people stress out about a number on a scale without thinking of their actual health and wellness. Weight is JUST A NUMBER! I don't necessarily believe in scales. I think they stress people out too much. It's something that anyone can get easily obsessed and consumed with. I say chuck the scale out the window. If you're working out, eating right and living healthy, then you'll be able to judge your progress with how your clothes fit. I hate the words "diet" and "weight loss" just about more than anything. I believe in "proper nutrition" "healthy eating" "healthy body" "in-shape" "tone" "strong" etc. positive things!!
Anyway, enough of that rant. I decided to do a 30 day fitness and nutrition program by Jillian Michaels. For those of you who don't know who that is, she's a renowned fitness trainer, mostly known for her role on the popular show "The Biggest Loser." She is my fitness hero! The book is called "Making the Cut." Now, I won't be following this book word for word, it's important that you make the plan work for you, or it will be a fail every time. I am a balanced oxidizer (meaning I have to juggle 40% protein, 30% fats and 30% carbs in my daily food intake). Balanced oxidizers (in Jillians opinion) are called to take in Lamb and Swordfish twice a week. I'm sorry, but I'm a poor college student and can't afford that kind of stuff. I'm simply replacing Lamb with boneless, skinless chicken breasts and Swordfish with Salmon. Very easy switch. Instead of doing all of the planned workout circuit for a particular day, I may do half of it a long with a Spin class or high-intensity water aerobics. Change up your workouts, make them fun and right for you. Going to the gym does not have to be boring. :)
I'm so glad you're reading this and joining me on my journey. If you wish to never visit this site again, I won't be offended. :) I do challenge you to find something that works for you. Whether it be running (not something I like doing) or circuit training. Just get out there and be healthy! :)