Ladies Who Lift

I know there are a lot of ladies out there who are afraid to lift – not only heavy, but at all.  I’ve spoken on the topic before, but I do always like to remind. . .

I know many strong women – athletic, workhorse types, who aren’t afraid to get on the mat, crush, and sweat it out.  It isn’t for everyone at all, nor does it have to be.  Some of them are tough chicks, make no mistake…  But there are a lot of us women.  We love being active, but we also LOVE being women.  

While we aren’t necessarily “girly girl” or frilly, there is never ANY question that we are feminine – in look, attitude, or anything else.  We aren’t lumbering oafs, and we do dress up nicely! 😉

I took this photo the other day while working on my “guns” (biceps! 🙂 ) I love feeling physically strong, and pushing myself to the limit… But I ALSO love that I can sport my sparkles – to the gym, the dojo, and on the mats and BJJ.  

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So the point is…

Strong IS beautiful. . .

You don’t have to sacrifice your femininity by any stretch, or worry that others perceive you that way.

And. . .it is TOTALLY okay to don pastel pink nails and kill it on the leg press!

For more of my Fit Jazz

 

Staying Healthy When Eating Out

It is definitely possible to eat clean when you eat out – don’t let fancy menus intimidate you, peers pressure you, or options overwhelm!  

I’ve written tons of posts about eating at restaurants and on the road because the reality is…you aren’t always going to be in the safety of your own kitchen!  When you have goals – whether to lose weight, maintain fitness, optimize performance, compete…whatever – you know how important it is to stay clean.  Nutrition IS about 85% of it – let’s not kid ourselves.

Clean, however, doesn’t have to be boring!  Nor, equally important, does it have to leave you starving!  The whole idea is to set yourself up for SUCCESS, right?!

My family visited this weekend, and we had a three meals planned at restaurants – back in the day, that would have terrified me (having eating disorders is nothing short of being held hostage by delusional thoughts – it’s a living nightmare.)  Nowadays, I feel so blessed and thankful, not only that I can eat out and really enjoy it (sans anxiety!), but that my loved ones are supportive of my choices. ❤

One of our meals was in a restaurant that made Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives…so you can imagine, it wasn’t poised as the most healthy.  Still, ordering steamed shrimp, broiled fish (no oil, no butter), and plain, steamed veggies was a CINCH!  It was delicious, filling, and totally in line with my needs.

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Dinner was at a fancier place, where richer dishes are commonplace.  But, again, easy-peasy – basic grilled fish, grilled vegetables, and an appetizer with plain crabmeat.  Clean, delicious, satisfying! 🙂

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Breakfast was at a hotel…with an OUTRAGEOUS buffet! The majority of foods were ones that I don’t really allow on my meal plan, but there we also many healthy, wonderful options.  I ordered my usual poached eggs, snagged some boiled shrimp, and a bowl of fruit.  

I never like to eat too much in once sitting (I CAN, but I’d rather break it up – both because I know I can overdo it easily, but also my body can better assimilate the nutrients when I leave time in between.)

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So what preparations should you look for / ask about when you find yourself at a restaurant?

  • Steamed
  • Grilled
  • Boiled
  • Broiled
  • No sauce, oil or butter (or on the side if you must)

Trust me, they have been asked before so DON’T be embarrassed.  Sticking to what works best for you…and, most importantly, leaves you feeling GOOD about you…is always okay!

For more food-related jazz…! 

 

Keeping Up

I’m a little bit ambitious with my goals – but it’s always been that way.  Career, education, sports…if I don’t get more responsibility, harder work, or opportunities to grow, I go bananas!

Fun for me is learning, growing, and ultimately achieving – when asked why I don’t dance “for fun,” for example, I’ll say “the fun for me is in training, competing, and reaching new levels.”  I want a challenge, and I want to progress – plateaus don’t work for me.

As soon as I moved to a new state some months ago, I knew I had to find a place to train – not just lift and workout, but to TRAIN.  My Grandmaster in Teakwondo is the real deal, and I feel a bit reluctant to go to another Dojang right now.  But I NEED activities – I did my due diligence and found a Ninjutsu school, as well as  Gracie Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Academy, as well as a place to do Aerial Yoga.  

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At first, I had thought about just doing one sport – one is often enough, and really who has the time!  But like I said…I’m ambitious, and usually have a goal in sight with anything I do.  I have wanted to trade the spin bike for something more fun, in part – I get bored very quickly and I need change.  I also wanted to fill in what I perceive as gaps in the training I have had thus far.  So…I took on two new Martial Arts (one of which exposes me to a third, traditional Japanese JuJutsu), as well as the Aerial Yoga (which I do once a week.)

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It’s a lot, there’s no question…  It is a lot to keep up with, and it requires as much discipline to train as it does to take days OFF (I’m MUCH better about that now!)  But as exhausted as I get, I feel like keeping involved also fuels the fire – I love acquiring and honing skills, and I can’t do that from the sidelines.  So no matter how whooped I feel at the end of the week, I am elated to get back to it.

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Some people think I am overly ambitious…but I don’t feel like I’m chasing after anything.  More so, it is aiming to keep up with my passions… Easy?  Not all the time.  Worth it?  1,000%!  

The fire is already coursing through my veins and I know if I didn’t get it all in, I’d not only get ancy, but I’d feel downright glum!  Keeping up means staying in the game – not only is my body happy, but so are my mind and spirit – and I need ALL cannons firing! 😉

 

 

Jammin’ At The Gym

I know a lot of folks are self-conscious at the gym…but you should ever have to feel that way.

Remember that everyone else has come in to work on themselves (or some aspect of themselves) – so chances are, they are also striving for results of some kind.  

Don’t forget that our goals are individual and we each need to participate in different routines to achieve what we are aiming for.  That may mean commandeering the Captain’s Chair / Pull Up bars and stretching!  It is absolutely NOT what the machine was designed to do but…it works.  And you know what?  I’m gonna use it that way!

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Stretching for my sports (Martial Arts), and general health, is incredibly important to me…so if I need a little help to get as far as I need to go, the rest be damned, I’m going full steam ahead (silly looking I may be!) 

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You are there for YOU.  So whatever YOU need to accomplish, go ahead and do that.  

If you aren’t sure of something, by all means, ASK!  It’s okay (and frankly respected) to ask – no one there is going to scoff or give you a hard time.  (There is bad form EVERYWHERE, honestly, so also take it with a grain of salt if someone does.)  If someone is in that know-it-all-mode, I’m willing to be they are struggling a bit themselves.  True gym rats and gym bunnies are there to jam…and they fully understand wanting to do it right (read = not get hurt + actually activate the appropriate muscles.) 

So don’t be shy!

Do you’re thing, whether the World is watching or no!  I used to practice my ballroom routines and my father would say “that’s kind of exhibitionist, no?”  And I’d say, “absolutely not, I just don’t give a hoot!”  (I probably used stronger terminology but…you get the drift! 😉 )  That’s what I was there to do.  That was what I NEEDED to do…  And that was what was getting done.  Period.

You can always put your earbuds in an drown out any stares anyway… Good music can take you away…to whatever machine it is you happen to need, even if you aren’t using it exactly as planned! 😉

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Six Pack Bags – Renee Meal Management Tote

Rest-assured, I am not affiliated with a company and therefore touting their products because I was asked to.  I actually just LOVE Six Pack Bags.  

I love that this Company understands that being fit on the go IS a priority, and sometimes we really DON’T want to be lugging around a gym bag, or some other makeshift meal bag.  

These are not only made for specifically carrying meals and snacks, but they look fabulous too – totally inconspicuous, and absolutely fashion-right.  

I smiled when I opened the most recent newsletter and saw the “Renee” – I thought it was saying the bag could double as an animal tote (and as an animal lover I went “OOOO!”)  I wasn’t terribly disappointed to learn I was incorrect…because dog bed can work too (provided you don’t have a Mastiff! 😉 ) 

The Renee holds four meals and comes in four colorways:

  • Stealth Black
  • Navy
  • Stone
  • Sienna

It also “holds 4 meals, comes preloaded with:

  • 4 Sure Seal Containers
  • 2 Small Gel Packs
  • 1 Sports Nutrition Compact”

Being fit, staying chic… Can’t argue with that! 🙂

Train Hard

I don’t have to really add much to this lovely quotation, as it really speaks for itself.

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I come from a place where “looking good” is as important to a workout… If that’s your thing, by all means, go for it…but I don’t play that way, so PLEASE don’t expect me to.

I went to the gym one day with my hair down…

  • “You have BANGS?!” (Yes, since I was about three.)
  • “I didn’t even RECOGNIZE YOU!” (I have the same face. Seriously?!?)
  • “You look SO much better with your hair down! You should wear it like that all the time!” …

I go to the gym to WORK.  To sweat, and keep my mind, body, and spirit healthy and strong…  It’s my therapy on EVERY level.

I don’t go to the gym to socialize or flirt.  When I was single, I didn’t go to socialize or flirt!  I went to challenge myself and work as hard as I was able that day.

My best friends are the huge guys.  The guys who care more about the iron than they do about a cute girl prancing by with perfect hair, makeup that’s actually ON…and pretty workout clothes.  They MIGHT notice you if you are working your a$$ off though, and tell you how awesome it is.

So don’t ask me why I don’t wear my hair down, or why being cute isn’t my priority…  

Or ask, if you will – I’ll smile through the sweat that’s dripping off my brow, and head off to my next exercise, muscles in tow.

(PS: If you are on FB and would like to follow my posts there, please do!  I upload images and links there as well.  I’m not quite as adept at getting all channels, but doing my best! 🙂 ) 

Leg Day

I love leg day…  It takes it out of me, but…I love it.  I was going into it tired today, but I wasn’t about to forgo the routine – I knew I needed it, and I’d be happier if I pushed through.

Leg day is actually the only workout day(s) during which I feel sick. My gym rat buddies would say that’s a good thing…it means I’m “working.”  *LOL*  How very old school.  (And how funny that I’m saying the same thing in my mind! *LOL*)

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I’ve actually split up quads and hammies these days, in part because of time constraints (I can be at the gym for HOURS if left to my own devices!), but also because I need to maintain some level of flexibility and I want to recover better.  

When I would do everything on one day, I was sore for daaaays.  I’m still sore after splitting it up, but recovery is more manageable, so for right now I’m sticking with it.  I do glutes both days, but vary the exercises (except cable kickbacks – I bring my own ankle strap and tend to do those regardless – yay for perkiness! 😉 ) 

The tougher quad exercises I do first – everyone is different, but this works for me physically AND mentally (the latter is important!) So leg press, squats, and weighted walking lunges go first in the group!  It gives me both a sense of accomplishment, as well as a “phew, that’s done!” feeling…and I have more energy to push hard, having not exhausted myself prior.

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I can’t say it was my most stellar day, but I maintained my form and got it done.  

Some days we are stronger than others, and there is nothing wrong with that.  So even if it is leg day…and that happens to be your toughest too…just hang in.  

You don’t have to be a superhero every time you step foot in the gym – safety and health are first!  You will feel great even if you manage some of it because…well…endorphins!  🙂  They come to the rescue the second you start jamming, so don’t give up!