Remembering All Levels of Fitness and Goals

I’ve written a post similar to this one before, but I felt like I wanted to discuss this topic again in light of the new program that is beginning at our boot camp. We have a 6 week fat loss program called the “Sexy in 6” which continually proves to provide much success toward the women who join; for no other reason than they put in a solid effort and commitment, and keep their goals in front of them at all times as they get closer and closer to success.

Yesterday I decided I was going to participate in the program, and a requirement of the program is to record your weight and your measurements. Truth be told, I stepped on the scale for the first time in months and had a bitter taste of reality. There is a 15 pound difference from where I was in the summer to where I am now.

Yesterday I was so disappointed in myself, but today I woke up feeling more determined than ever to change what I saw. This, I have come to realize, was inevitable. Since the summer when I began to be so overwhelmed with the changes in my life, the regular bad habits crept back in:
wine, beer, deep fried foods, chips, ice cream, and NO consistent physical activity.

Disgusting for a person who knows better but…

I am human and made unhealthy choices when stress dominated my life.

I had an interesting experience yesterday while I was taking my measurements, one that has definitely happened to me before. A woman from the program caught sight of me, and stated
“If I had a body like that I wouldn’t need to be on this program”

Now, as flattering as that may be the reality is every body has their own goals they are working towards
And that’s exactly now I responded.

I know as a female we sometimes use comments like that as compliments for other women, but I have always found it to be completely the opposite. It is so important to validate ANY goal that a woman makes with regards to her health and fitness level. Because otherwise, what we’re saying is that they’re done. Perfect. No need to set any goals, or challenge themselves in any way to be a better version of themselves.

And that is simply not true.

There are always ways to improve yourself, and to be a healthier, stronger, more confident, deserving version of you.

I’m going to propose a challenge to the women out there today:

Try to embrace others who may have goals similar or different than the ones you have set. Try not to pass judgement, or assume that body size or higher numbers on the scale makes a person more deserving of working towards change in their lives. Try to remember that every one has their own demons they’re working through, and what you can do is stand behind them and work with them to reach their full potential; Their full potential, not yours or anyone elses.

Because after all, that’s what makes being united as women so inspiring. We’re all different and have our own strengths. So it should only make sense that our goals may look different as well.

So yes, I do have some weight loss goals added to my list of fitness accomplishments for 2014:

*10 pounds by Feb. 22nd

*15 total by April 1st.

*Fitness Photoshoot in May

*1/2 Marathon at the end of May.

What have I started to put in action to reach those goals?

NO
Alcohol for the next 2 months
Chips, Ice Cream, or other JUNK for 2 Months (once it’s out of my system it’s less likely I’ll be craving them excessively like before)
Sitting on my ass 5-6 days a week

YES
High protein, and Complex Carb intake. After two weeks, taking in carbs ONLY post workout (healthy carbs… not chips haha)
Packing more lunches for school
Making more dinners at night that carry over for lunch!
Running 3-5 K twice a week for the month of Jan–> Increasing to 5-8K for February
Kickboxing once a week
Train (and work out) at Boot camp once a week (sometimes twice)
Gym 2- 3 times (depending on schedule and what I’ve also done during the week)
Begin morning yoga routine again

MY ACCOUNTABILITY
My friend, co-trainer, and fitness partner: Rosie
THIS BLOG–> I’m putting it out there for you all to read to know I’m bloody serious

So there you have it peeps. I’ve made my goals, I’ve posted them for others to see and now it’s time to start my journey towards being a better, healthier version of me.

The guy in the picture is Dan, He owns this baby. I'm on the right. Rosie is on the left.

The guy in the picture is Dan, He owns this baby. I’m on the right. Rosie is on the left.

When Your Arms Feel Like Jelly….

So today I focused on more upper body than anything today, and …well, I can barely type.

OF COURSE I would decide on the day I can’t type properly, this would be a wonderful time to post!

Since I fell off over the summer, I sadly watched the definition in my arms begin to disappear. Today however, sparked the change and regrowth of that muscle. Between the shoulder presses, bicep curls, incline chest press, push ups, rows and simply holding a plank on the stability ball, my little arms “got their swagger back”

Yes, I was listening to a dubstep song today called “I guess I got my swagger back” and say what you will, it kept me in the zone and feeling BADASS.

Don’t you just love the feeling of reaching muscle failure, and how jacked your body feels afterwards??

hardcore

Yes, today was definitely one of those Ego days, but let’s be real here– how often do you see a woman in the gym, confident and feeling good? I wish I saw more ladies in with the weights, pushing their limits and working their way around those weights.

I hope this gets out there to some more ladies who are maybe feeling too shy to get in there. Put on a good tune, and go challenge that body! Trust me, as much as your body needs it sometimes you just need to be in there to look in the mirror and think:

Damn, I look good. I look good and the person beside me is lifting the same weight that I am. Well done.

Workouts, Nutrition & Determination: A Recount of My First Fitness Photoshoot!

You’re going to have professional shots- some with just a sports bra- oh and make sure you have a bikini because you’ll do those ones too

Yeeeaah. The idea of having shots wearing (or really.. NOT wearing) particular items scared the crap out of me. I don’t care how big, small, tall, thin, square, pear, apple or plum you are… EVERYONE has their areas which make them cringe. Mine, has always been my stomach.

When I was first approached to do this photo shoot, there was no doubt in my mind that this was the push I need to take my fitness to the next level. After our wedding in July, I had plateaued. That’s not to say I was unhappy where my body and fitness levels had reached– I actually was super pumped for my results! I just knew that I was ready to challenge the old Steph.

The Steph that had accepted sitting down & crossing her arms over her stomach. The Steph that never really believed having VISUAL abdominal muscles was an accomplishment she could attain.

And so, I graciously accepted the challenge. And my 3 month body transformation began!

I want to put something out there.

I am not a full time personal trainer, nor do I have a lot of free time to devote to working out & being on a strict nutrition plan. My usual day consists of me being extremely busy… so Murphy’s Law… multiple areas of my life fall into place at once.

The final 2-3 weeks before the shoot (which happened on May 11th) I finally got into the school board for teaching. As most of you probably know, adjusting to a new job with a new morning schedule/ routine is exhausting enough! Factor in that I had a course for Personal Training over the course of 2 weekends, I train between 5 & 7 boot camp classes a week on TOP of the full working days I’m putting in, I tutor between 2-4 hours one NIGHT a week, we’re MOVING so we’re continually packing, annnd just for kicks how about we toss in Kickboxing at two different facilities, and my own personal workout sessions at the gym! (And– HUBBY?? haha I swear, I don’t forget about hubby!!)

NONE of those are excuses. They are reality. And that– my friends– is life.

LIFE will always get in the way! If you can STILL achieve results despite all that life will throw at you, THAT is the true testament to your health, and to your dedication to succeed.

So, while I know that I can still get myself further along– I am DAMN proud of how these pictures turned out. Not only do I have multiple bikini pictures I am proud of, I have fitness shots that demonstrate the strength that I have built in the last two years. And, on top of all that– I proved to myself that while I am damn busy at the moment, I didn’t let it get in the way of continuing on my path towards maintaining a healthy & active lifestyle.

It’s possible for anyone to do this. So before you sit back and start with the “Yeah– but you don’t have kids, or _____, or _____,” you can put in ANY excuse that you feel makes you the exception to making changes in your own life but let me tell you this:

The only person you are kidding, is yourself.

I’m not here to compare myself to you, nor should you compare what your life is like to me.¬† We all have stress in life, much like we all have areas on our body that we would love to “fix”. All I’m saying, is before you sit back and allow the busy days you have beat you, why don’t you step up and rise to the challenge?

At the end of the day, I speak honestly when I say that it feels damn good to look at those pictures, especially knowing how busy my life is at the moment. It’s a reminder that whenever I decide¬† that it’s time to get results, I determine how and when it happens. And, despite any distraction… I did it!! 323097_4215679170524_1747270089_o 919370_4222557062467_1783961205_o 920900_4222554902413_930026568_o 920982_4215684890667_2115775914_o 966226_4222549662282_1211942489_o 967183_4215676490457_419581716_o 976650_4215688290752_995252312_o 977349_4215676730463_1154164387_o