Wednesday, December 30, 2009

"Use Your Patience!"

A friend of mine always tells her kids to "use their patience" whenever they get frustrated or angry about something. I have been telling myself to use my patience lately with this workout journey. It has been difficult working extremely hard and not immediately getting the results I want. I know I need to stick with it and understand that pounds are not just going to come off overnight. Gaining and toning muscle takes time, and when you are starting out, this is the focus of your body. Then the weight comes off after that. It may take a few months for this process to happen, so until then, I will just have to keep running, keep squatting, keep crunching, and keep waiting for this hard work to pay off...'cause I know it will! Keep going, friends!!!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Burn Baby, Burn!

Ok, so I am a wee bit biased. However, the numbers don't lie. Turbo Kick is just a wonderful workout. It burns more calories in an hour {if you are putting your 100% effort} in than most workouts. I know there are a ton of great workouts out there that I love {spinning, running, Zumba}, and I don't want this blog to be a Turbo-only blog--trust me, I know not everyone will love it. Actually, one of the 'Junkies' is not a fan! However, it is just a powerhouse for cardio. A girl in my class this morning approached me afterward and said she has lost 85 pounds since March just by doing Turbo Kick! What an inspiration!!!!

For instance, in my class this morning, I burned 601 calories. After class, I ran errands and when I returned home to eat lunch, my total calories burn was 863 calories. Remember, that working out brings your heart rate and metablism up, allowing you to burn more afterward. That is a lot of calories. Also, I am small and my resting heart rate is low, so it takes a lot of effort for me to burn that much. For someone heavier with a higher heartrate working to their maximum capacity, they would burn even more!

If you have never seen it or taken a class, I URGE you to! The thing about it is that you need to do it a few times to catch on. It does require a good amount of coordination and stamina. But even with that being said, all instructors teach in "layers" so if you are a beginner, you can do it lower impact, if you are more advanced, you can go crazy! That is what I love about it!!!

If you want to see a sample of a class, check this out!

If you don't think working out at a gym is for you, check out the different home workouts! Same kind of workout! I am an advocate for gym workouts for motivation and the ENERGY is awesome!! However, I know there are a lot of factors that keep people from being able to work out at a gym, so home workout is the next best thing!!!

Hope you all had a Merry Christmas and I look forward to hearing about your workout plans for the New Year!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

My Triceps are Sore!

One thing that is really helping me feel so good about going to the gym right now is the fact that I know that I'm getting a full body workout. When I used to go to the gym, I'd go walk around, look at the machines, and try to figure out which ones I needed to work out with. It's very intimidating to people like me who have no experience in anything relating to this. I'd leave having worked out my biceps (that's easy), maybe my quads, maybe do a few more machines that look like the right ones to pick, but I had no confidence that I was doing what I needed to be doing. If you can relate to that, I'd highly recommend going to a body shaping class! There's no thinking, no guessing, just being walked through what to do, how to do it, for how long, etc. Yes, it's hard work, but it's just an hour and you feel soooo good afterwards. I really didn't love it the first time, but I hate to miss it now.

There have been times that I have slacked off on muscles that I don't want to work, but I'm learning so much, such as the fact that you don't want to have really strong biceps and weak triceps! When Nicki mentioned that last week during class, it gave me the extra motivation I needed to go ahead and not slack off while working out my triceps. Now, I have VERY sore triceps, but I feel good knowing that I'm working out the correct way.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Dear Santa, Please Don't Forget To Put This In My Stocking!!!!

Perhaps your workout lacks motivation. Do you ever feel like you did not do enough? Didn't sweat enough for it to count? I am right there with ya. I always wondered how many calories I was actually burning. How high my heart rate was getting. How high did it need to be? Then...I got a heart rate and calorie monitor! Talk about getting you motivated! I love watching the number soar after a grueling class {and I have to add that after a grueling class, you continue to burn calories for hours!!!!} and feeling accomplished. It's also handy for medical reasons. Mine will alert me if my heart rate is out of a healthy range. I just love them. I highly recommend one.
I can't really say what brand is better. I have a Polar F6 {just got it this weekend and have used it twice and LOVE it} and have had a Mio. The Polar has a chest strap to monitor your HR, and I believe they are quite a bit more accurate. My Mio was OK, it was a great one for the price, but I had to manually get my HR and I did not like having to do that because it often seemed inaccurate. There are lots of different models and types. I would not spend a ton of money on a super fancy one if you are a novice. You mainly just want to make sure you have a HR monitor, chest strap and calorie counter. Keeping up with your calories burned will help you keep up with your caloric intake of food for the rest of the day! The only drawback is that I always want to wear mine to see how high my HR gets with everyday activities--it can be a little obsessive! I think I burned 30 calories just getting my kids dressed this morning. If you have kids, you know what I mean.
You can find really great prices at Amazon for starters! Also, most sporting goods stores carry them. Any questions, just leave a comment!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Making Workouts Stick

Well, it's that time of year. The New Year's Resolution time. I have a term for the people who workout in January...The Resolutioners. Maybe you have seen it too. There is a line waiting as soon as the gym opens. The weights are full of sweaty, grunting men with their new Ipods blaring "Boom Boom Pow". The cardio room is elbow to elbow with feisty little women throwing the towels over the treadmill screaming, "I got that one!" The aerobics room is full of people with bright white, shiny shoes and bright tank tops. Yup. Resolutioners. Don't get me wrong, it is a GREAT time to start. The problem is come February. The Resolutioners are no where to be found. I think in order to stick to the idea of working out, you need to identify the reasons that make you want to do it. There are lots of little factors that make women want to work out. Overall health. Social time. A stress relief {this is the main reason I workout}. However, I feel there is a dominating force that drives the machine. WEIGHT LOSS. Maybe you need to lose a lot of weight to spare your life. Maybe you have just been welcomed into the life of college eating {mmmm...I used to eat Schlotsky's every other day}. Maybe you are in an industry that asks you to maintain. Or perhaps, like me and many others, you want to shed the poundage {among other things} that comes with having a baby. While these are all valid reasons, my opinion is that you need to focus on other benefits of working out. I want to identify a few things that will keep you from getting discouraged and giving up all together. To not be just a Resolutioner. Maybe be a Year-Rounder!

1. What is Your Goal and How Are You Planning to Reach It?

Just wanting to lose a few pounds is great. But do you want it to be long term? Exercise ought to first become a habit so you won't always feel like you are battling that scale. If you want to become a runner, how are you going to start? Do you want to run a marathon? Well, you can't just go out and run one tomorrow...or you can, but you will have serious repercussions for a long time!! What is the plan you are going to make to get you where you want to be?

2. Father Time is a Big Meanie.

You need to know this. Be secure in this. That being said, hear me out: We all age. With age, our body drastically changes. Some parts will never be in the same place again. Add a few kids, or a surgery and you really see the effects. Exercise is so good for you. The best thing you can give yourself. But friends, physically, we are not Benjamin Button! Oh to age in reverse! Nope, we are going to get older. Let's work on the beautiful bodies God gave us, do what we can, make things as tight as possible and embrace and enhance what we have. Do not expect to look at a picture of yourself from your sophomore year in college and want to go back to there. Love the you that you are at this age.

3. My Size is NOT Always Your Size {or weight}.

My personal blog got a lot of flack a few months back when I posted a picture of my weight. I was elated after having my second child to be back at a number that was recognizable to me. Lesson learned. People thought I was bragging. Boasting. Proud, I was. I worked incredibly hard and long to get there. Still, I need to stress something to you. My 5"2 frame and size 5.5 shoe are going to need the scale to read something different than your frame. Know your limits, ladies. It is VERY possible and VERY likely that your ideal size is a 6, 8, 10, 12, etc. Heck, maybe it is a 2! Don't try to compare. Know the healthy size you CAN physically and healthfully be.

4. Get Some Motivation from Others.

You need someone. Anyone. A husband. A friend. In my case, a group of friends. A group fitness class you love at your gym. A home workout video. Your kids in a jogging stroller. Something to get you motivated.

5. Time.

Please. Do you think I do not know. It is so hard to find time. So. Hard. Find it, carve it out, mark it on your calendar. 5:00 a.m. So be it. While the kids are napping...let the laundry stay least you burned off the rest of junior's corndog from lunch. Find that time. Maybe 20 minutes here and 20 minutes there. I had a guy tell me the other day he works out two separate and short workouts a day so he can fit it in. We all have the same amount in a day--you just have to find the best for you.

6. Give Yourself Some Grace.

If you miss a workout, don't beat yourself up. Make sure you add it in another day in the week. Don't let one or a few missed workouts take you out of the game completely. Keep on trying to make it a habit! And sort of along the same lines, I BEG not quit because you are sore! I cannot tell you how many times I hear people quit for a whole week because of soreness. You are going to be sore! Make sure it is not injury, and work thru it! Soreness is your friend in the end!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Meet the Junkies

Welcome! This blog has been a vision in my head for quite some time. Not sure what I exactly want it to become, I do know I want it to accomplish one thing if anything: encourage women to get fit to be healthy!!!! My goal is to have workout and product suggestions, playlists, recipes, pictures, articles and funny stories. I have enlisted {perhaps, they would say forced} them to be contributors. We are on a journey together--one of early mornings, running sprints, lifting weights, stairmasters, spinning, jumping rope....and a lot of, well...complaining and soreness! I am hoping that our tales and journey are relatable for you. Each of us has our own style, likes and dislikes. Struggles and weaknesses. Hopefully, you can find something to make you laugh and giggle. Oh and something to make you want to get on the exercise train!!!! I would love for you all to know a little about the "Junkies" before we begin. Like I said, each of us has something very different to offer. Hopefully, you will find our stories entertain and inspire you!

Nicki's Story {that's me!}: I want to point out something to you. I am not a "professional" trainer. That is something I am currently working on {and you will hear a LOT about later}, for now, I am a professional bully. A bully to my sweet friends who work out with me. I am a certified group aerobics instructor, with a specialized certification in Turbo Kick {more on that later}. My fitness journey began in college. In high school I was a classically trained dancer. That was the extent of my workouts. A grueling ballet class and a 90 minute jazz class a few times a week. My body was curvy and my weight pretty healthy. I enjoyed lunch daily at Taco Bell, Wendys, Leals, Chick-Fil-A...oh the metabolism of a teenage girl! My freshman year at college, I no longer had any dance classes. I was on my own. My roommate and I stumbled upon an aerobics class that met 3 times a week in the gym. Hook, line and sinker. I was hooked. I did that the whole year, and did not gain the dreaded, "freshman 15", rather actually lost a few pounds! My sophomore year, I ventured out into the world of lifting weights. My then-boyfriend {now husband} was very into fitness as well and would make me a weekly plan. I continued to make fitness a high priority in college. When I graduated, I joined the Y and took a class called 'Turbokick'...cheesy as it sounds, the workout changed my life. I was hooked on this more than anything I had ever tried. LOVED it. I would stand in the front row and go off. The instructor came up to me one day and said, "You really need to get certified." Well, the rest is history. I have been teaching that and other classes for 6 years. I love teaching people. I love seeing women meet goals and feel great about themselves. It was such a good fit for me. After my babies were born {almost 3 and a 1 year old}...I realized my body needed a little extra push. Breastfeeding was not the "weight loss cure" that everyone told me it would be. With patience and hard work, I have begun to feel so much stronger and more in shape than I ever have. I say that because I have an EXTRA SPECIAL PLACE in my heart for women who have gone thru childbirth or some sort of illness or surgery, making their self esteem less than it should be. I love to see these women meet goals for themselves fitness wise! Starting slow, being consistent and loving the size you are meant to be! I also love running, but I am not that good at it!
Kimberly's Story:
It’s rather humorous, if you know me, to see me on a fitness blog. I don’t know much about fitness. Working out has never been one of my fortes or strong suits. To say the least, it’s not my favorite thing, and when time is a commodity, to make a priority to work out is extremely difficult. In fact, I can’t {or couldn’t} stand to exercise. I’d walk, but nothing else seemed to fit my likes. I do like food and I don’t think that counts! In fact, I found that those yummy recipes and extra calories make my metabolism work harder to drop pounds. And I don’t have a good metabolism. Never have. Never will. Even at my smallest, I feel big. And here I am. A few months postpartum and making every effort to visit the gym on a regular basis. I want to be in shape, I want my clothes to fit, and I so badly want to feel good about myself. However, those days of feeling good are few and far between!

A few weeks before I became pregnant with our second, Griffin, now almost five months old, I was at my workout peek. I was going to the gym at least five days a week, drinking my required servings of water, running a good twenty minutes and pushing myself during each training session. I had dropped several pounds, lots of inches and I felt good about my image. Well, as good as I had felt in a long time. My skinny jeans had just, weeks before, been pulled out of the back of the closet and, well, one forgetful move and I became pregnant with our second! Thou God’s timing far exceeds our own, I was a bit annoyed that after waiting eighteen months, I had just shed the extra weight from our first child.

And now, I feel like I have to start completely over.

I’m thirty and when I look at photos of myself, I feel old, quite a bit older than one year ago. The photos reveal to me how much two children {and lack of sleep}has made me age. I’m drained from my all-hours-of-the-night feedings and required night time visits from my three year old. A good sleep doesn’t come by me easily. Thus, making getting up to work out the last, very last thing, I want to do when my alarm clock sounds. Most mornings, I battle with the thoughts inside my head and convince myself to shut off the buzzer and snooze. This making for a very frustrating day. Frustrated because I need to work out and I didn’t. Frustrated because I’m still tired. Frustrated because when my husband gets home, I have to head to the gym.

After a c-section and eight weeks of healing, I was ready to hit the equipment. Now twenty weeks later, I’m still in the process of dropping a good thirty pounds. Breastfeeding doesn’t help. Cookies don’t help. Beating myself up each day doesn’t help. However, I’m learning more and more that the perception I have of myself is vital to the way I handle my daily routines, how I feel when I love my children and my husband, and surprisingly, exercise actually gives me the energy I need to get through the day. It has recently become my stress reliever. When I go, I feel rewarded.

I know when Griffin becomes older and Creighton sleeps through the night, I’ll be back at my peak. It just takes time. Time I don’t want to surrender. Time I don’t feel I have to give. Time that’s so precious to me.

I’m dedicated to making that time. I’m not perfect. I’ll make mistakes. I’ll eat things not on my “diet”, drink a few diet sodas and sneak in a few walks on the beloved treadmill rather than climbs on the dreaded stair step machine. I’m picky and I always find my favorites. I don’t want to branch out and try new classes or learn new moves. I want this process to be easy and it’s not. It never will be for me. Maybe you are the same.

I’m not athletic. I’m not a little person. I’m not a runner or a cyclist. I am learning to adjust to the new me and I refuse to wait eighteen months to drop this baby weight as I did with my first. Holding on to the poundage does no one any good, so regardless of my desire to sleep, our busy schedule, or my will to stay home, I head to the YMCA at least four to five times a week. And truth be told, on those days I don’t go, I wish I had.
I encourage you to do the same.
Jennifer's Story:

My name is Jennifer (aka "Fer"), and I am so excited and honored to be a contributor to this blog. Just a little bit about me...I was born in Bryan, TX: a true born Aggie! Whoop! My family moved around quite a bit while I was growing up, but I lived in Temple, TX for most of my life, so that's where I call home. I graduated from Texas A&M University with a degree in Interdisciplinary Studies (Elementary Education). I was so blessed to teach Pre-Kindergarten for 4 years to under privileged students in Temple. I got married in July of 2006 to Michael, a Baylor grad, who co-owns Visiting Angels and Angel Medical Professionals. We have a 13 month old son named Sawyer who is the light of my life, and I am so lucky to be able to stay at home with him now. We recently moved to Waco to be closer to Michael's office, and we are loving our new home and being near our good friends. My hobbies include singing, blogging, going to movies, watching Food Network, working out :) and of course spending time with family and friends. I love the Lord and desire to glorify Him in all that I do. I am very involved with my church through singing on the worship team and co-leading a young marrieds bible study. I am blessed beyond measure, and I thank my Heavenly Father for His grace, mercy, and love. My favorite verse is Ephesians 5:1 and this is a verse I desire to live by. “Be imitators of God; therefore, as dearly beloved children and live a life of love just as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.”

I would love to be able to say that I have always worked out and stayed in shape, but that is just not the case. I grew up playing volleyball, running in track, and eventually working out on campus, but once I got out of college, I started to slack off in this area. After I had my baby, I knew I needed to do something. I started running again in my neighborhood, and I also ordered some DVDs to do at home. I was lucky to lose the baby weight quickly, but it started to creep back slowly as I slacked off again. Since I now live in Waco, Nicki has encouraged me to take her classes at the Y. I was excited to get back into it and have the accountability that I needed to keep me going. It has only been a week and a half, and although I am completely sore and tired, I know that it is worth it, and I can already see and feel results. My goal, as well as motivation, is to not only lose a few pounds, but to just be healthy and feel good about my body. I want to have more energy in the day and feel refreshed by the workouts. I also need a place for myself, a place to release stress, a place to get away from life, and I am finding that going to the gym is perfect for this! I hope that this blog will be an encouragement to all of us and challenge us to reach our ultimate fitness goals! Come join us in the journey!

Lauren's Story:
I am a 29 year old Christian woman, wife of 7 years, and stay at homemom to two boys, 3 and 1. I started exercising 6/09 to try to be insomewhat better shape after not working out in years and having two babies! In the past, I was always one to make a goal to run, walk, or go to the gym consistently, but I would always quit after a few weeks. After a couple of my friends encouraged me to start working out, telling me how nice it was to go to the gym and just do something for themselves, I decided to give it another shot. About that same time, Nicki invited me to try out her kickboxing class. Even though it was completely out of my comfort zone, I stuck with it and realized I was getting better at it each time I'd go (and having fun!). I slowly worked up from one day a week to two, and after a couple of months, I could feel a big difference in the way I felt! I felt stronger in everything I did, had better balance, and started seeing muscle tone come back that hadn't been there in years. Now I'm going 3 times aweek, because I am enjoying it for he first time in my life. Nicki really keeps it interesting by creating something different for us to do each time, which I need! I also have found it so helpful and fun tohave a group of girls to exercise with and keep me accountable. My #1 goal in exercising is to be healthy and fit for the long-run. I want to be a strong and healthy 40, 50, 60+ year old, and I'm excited to feel like I've truly made a change that I know I will stick with!