Friday, January 27, 2012

Find a witness, get into fitness!

Urban Dictionary Word of the Day:
GORP-- I probably have used this one already, but know that it means trail mix. (WHICH btw, is a good way to get your sweet cravings taken care of, or at least tuned down, without ruining your diet/new eating habits!)

So, I still get people coming up to me asking how I did it: "How did you lose so much weight?" Like a few other new things in my life, working out has become very important to me and I get asked about it a lot. Therefore, just like last post, I am going to devote this post mostly to fitness and weight loss. There are some other types of blogs on my mind that I wanna do to and others I'd like to stalk for a while too. (Haley and Claire, you're on my mind.)

To start, I'd like to stress how important it can be to find a work out partner. If you're motivated, and he/she is motivated, you can help each other. It makes a world of difference to work out with someone who feeds off of your energy and supply it back to you as you both work to meet your goals. Especially because some people have a HUGE burst of energy to start but then lose it when they don't notice any changes in their bodies and then lose all motivation. Don't give up! It takes time, concentration, effort, and tons of motivation! Here are some quick tips to keeping up your morale:
  1. Make post-it note messages to yourself. These will serve as little reminders from you to you! When you're trying to reach a goal, any goal, its good to see words of encouragement from yourself. Only you can really be your best cheerleader. (Other than your mom and dad. ^_^)
  2. Find pictures or magazine cutouts/clippings/pages that inspire you and tape them where you're sure to see them. Yeah, OK. Some images might be overly photo shopped and what not but to a degree, they are still motivating because they can remind you of how you want to see yourself. Try not to get sucked into becoming that exact image because in most cases, even they don't even really look that small or that toned or whatever in real life. I am still learning that myself. :/
  3. Write down the days you plan to work out! It helps to see it, even create a time, and you're more likely to stick to it. 
  4. Find a friend. I already told you why.
  5. Get some great music that puts you in the zone. It helps a bunch! You make your body pump to the beat of the music, causing you to unknowingly work harder. :)
  6. Reward yourself. Tell yourself, "If I push it today, I'll treat myself to a small treat or take myself somewhere nice." 
  7. Keep a journal. You can track your feelings, progress, and keep tabs one what you eat this way. Again, visuals always help. 
  8. Invest. If you're serious, you will buy foods that you know are better for you, get that gym membership, buy those semi-expensive running shoes or fitness gear and force yourself to make use out of it because its already been done--you spent money on it. No one likes to waste money. 
There are a few things to keep in mind for you. Most importantly, remember why you are doing this. Special K has a nice campaign (says the Advertising major :P) that asks you "What will you gain when you lose?" and on the scale that they show it will say 'confidence', 'assurance', 'motivation' and etc. I think its a great point; you do gain some things when you lose weight. Right now actually, I am trying to keep up my own morale while getting a little more strict about what I eat. (I had three nights of bad recently, lol!) But despite that, I have gained a lot since starting this journey. I could create a whole other list actually...but its almost more of a personal thing. But I'll spill if it will help, just ask.

So, what kinds of work outs are best? (Something I have been asked too...) Well, most know that cardio has become my favorite these days. Its so releasing and energizing. But other than that, I have gotten into:
  • Yoga
    • Positions like downward dog causes you to use your core and your arms. Warrier stances also stretches your thighs and tones them!
  • Pilates
    • 100s are good, it forces your body into a V position as your pump your arms to work your core.
  • Weight Lifting
    • Using free weights to tone your triceps and biceps are great ways to tone your arms. Weight lifting machines are great too!
  • Ab/Core Exercises
    • The plank causes your you engage your ab muscles and tone your arms at the same time! You have to shift your weight equally to stay balanced as your perched up on your elbows with your legs straight.  
I bought this new book that I have barely followed because I can't shake loose my strong desire to run. I am going to try to get better at it though. :) I want to start it around the beginning of February so I can stick to the day by day plan better. I can later post example pictures of what I am trying to describe above too. (Better seen and explained than just explained.)

On to the next matter: Vitamins. Here are the ones that I take as of right now.

Starting from the far left, Acai Berry supplements, with Green Tea Extract, are great for boosting your metabolism and increasing your energy. These two "superfruits" are duel fighters in increasing the way you burn calories. I have been using this for about month now and I notice I am always hungry! (To me, that means my metabolism is getter faster. Besides, I eat light meals anyway so that could be another reason.)
Where to find them: GNC, Walgreens, and most likely Walmart or Supplement Warehouse.

The second on is just good 'ole Vitamin C. Its good for your immune system. That's mostly why I take it. I hate being sick and it really affects your morale to work out when you're fighting off a cold. Ick! 
Where to find them: Pretty much everywhere; Walmart, Walgreens, GNC, Outpost. etc.
Biotin: great for hair and nails. Strengthens both. 
Where to find them: Same as above really, anywhere.

And the last, Vitamin D, I take for mostly bone heath. (There is something that may run in my family that I would like to reduce the effects of or decrease the chances of getting. This is more of a personal vitamin. :/) But more so universally, its a good vitamin for bone and breast health. (Support Boobies!)
Where to find them: Same places as listed above.

Another thing I strongly believe in using are protein shakes! They are great for when your kinda hungry but you have to think about if you're actually hungry and yet don't want an actual meal. And the sweet part is, they are low in calories, carbs, and sugar (especially the Lean Shakes from GNC) so they are a great sweet craver item. And who doesn't like Special K? Vanilla is the best flavor, btw.

Where they can be found: Lean Shakes are, I found anyway, at GNC. The Special K shakes are a better deal at Walmart but Walgreens are known to have sales on them. :) 

More great treats that are good or better for you!(Ala Walmart for the broke people, aka, me.) These all serve as great substitutes for your other guilty pleasures. Skinny Cow candy is my fav by the way. So good. :)

I have to give raves about this oatmeal. There is soo much less sugar in it, which it important to notice if you want to lose weight but not entirely give up your sweet tooth. Meaning, cut the sugar where ever you can so when you do have  treat in the day, you don't over do it or have too much collectively from one day. See? Get it? Good. Its also great in lasting you until lunch, especially if you slice half a banana (or apple) and place it on top, with crushed almonds, and a dash of cinnamon. OH, DELISH!

The Light version of vanilla Yoplait yogurt is better than the normal one too. I prefer it actually, less sugar, calories, and carbs. (Plus if you make a parfait with it, you're going to be adding sugar, such as granola, to it if you like it that way. I do it so I try to make sure that the yogurt itself doesn't have so much of the bad stuff in it.)  Yummy!

Again, I hope this helped. I am always, ALWAYS willing to work out with anyone who wants me too. The fact that I can motivate someone else helps me motivate myself to keep going too. :) 
Just like I hope I can fit a little cardio in tomorrow. I just ate ice cream. O_O

Awesome blossoms.

~Shi <3

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Nutrition Intuition

Urban Dictionary word of the day--
Foodie: one who appreciates fine cuisine, or one who just eats too damn much.

Hey! First blog of the New Year! Look at that!
So I have been stressed to the max lately, I mean I haven't had time to watch House in like 2 weeks!! And I was almost done with the 6th season! THIIIS CLOSE!
Anyway, I decided to get blogging again. This post is going to be about food. To me, food is a HUGE thing: its good, its fun, its stressful, and its important. Why stressful out of all those things? Because if you're worried about weight and losing it, it can be a big deal. So I make a great effort to make sure I cut down (or out) sugar when I can, watch carbs (no or little white bread), and watch my portions heavily. Because people have been asking me about weight, fitness, and food, I wanted to focus on that for a post. I also bought this new book and I plan to be able to fully use it starting next week. I'd planned on this week but have just been tooooo busy. Too busy to even run or lift weights, and I HATE that I can't. It literally makes me angry if I can't work out. Yes, that is where I am in my journey to fitness now. Its that serious.

Here are some tips out food(s)!:

The portions could be smaller here.

In the summer, I LIVED off of berries! I would usually use them in a parfait or mix them with other fruits such as kiwi and apples. Sometimes making these things feels like they take forever, but its so worth it. They taste great and are full of vitamins and great flavor. Sometimes, I would eat a mixed bowl of fruit for break fast and/or a small bowl of some Special K. It depends on hungry you really are but make sure you portion these things out as well.
Fruits have natural sugars in them and things such as cereal have sugar added to them. Special is not as bad as other cereals but you still have to make sure to read the lables! (Also, milk has sugar added to that as well. Did you know that about a cup of 1% low fat milk can have about 12g of sugar in it? I mean, its milk people!) Skim is best, in my opinion.

Another example of a fruit salad. This time it had pineapples, blueberries, apple, and grapes. I also added a few banana chips, almond slices, and sprinkled granola on top. YUMMY! Its a great balance: you have your complex carbs (good ones--apples), your antioxidants (blueberries), and great vitamins and citrus taste (pineapples). Almonds are a great source of protein and granola adds a great crunch!

This was a great snack, three sushi rolls, raw carrots, small peanut butter cups, and a cup of tea! (With some vitamin supplements on the side--thing I take when I am eating.) It was a yummy light snack!

This was SOOO SUPER DELICIOUS! I work at Panera Bread, I'm sure some of you know that. I had something special whipped up for me 'cuz I am so specific about what I eat now. WHAT'S ON MAH SALAD?! Well:
  • Field Greens
  • Tomatoes
  • Salmon
  • Asiago Cheese
  • Basalmic Vinegearette
You usually get a side choice as well, in which 90% of people who order choose the french baggette for their side. Its good, especially with soup and salad but its white bread, which means carbs. So I ordered an apple and saved it for later. :) You can do great thing's with apples. Also, just to be careful of how much dressing was on the salad, even if it is light, I make sure its on the side. Its a good way to go!

This was fun to make. I bought a great stir-fry mix from Trader Joe's (AMAZING place, bt-dubs), cooked it in a little bit of olive oil, made some chicken, added pepper, cajun seasoning, and a dash of garlic, slapped on a little cheese, and laid it down on a whole grain tortilla (yes, they exist.). It was great to eat after a long bike ride to the lake with my aunt. Wholesome and filling. :) You only need one.

Yes'm, another salad. You don't have to eat just salads in order to eat great and lose weight but I do think they are very good for your goals. I steamed some carrots for a side dish and threw together some spinach, tomato, orange and yellow pepper, edamame, and shaved roast beef (didn't have any other kind of meat around at that time), and used some left over balsamic vinaigrette from the previous salad above. It was so good. Decent mix of flavors. Did you know orange and yellow peppers have more of a sweeter kick to them?

I hope this helps you, those who are interested. I have been eating lots of veggies lately and loving them. If you don't find yourself BIG on them now, you will. There's so much you can do with them. If there are questions, suggestions, or anything. You know how to find me. I want to help others meet their goals. Its hard to do it alone and I want to give all the support I can.
In future posts, I want to incorporate the types of work outs I do and maybe give out some ideas for each individual person depending on what their goals are. Also, depending if people actually read this and come to me. :/
I am an RA now, motivating people and helping others is officially what I do now. Please, help me help you. I want to be the best leader I can be, so I can lead you to be the best you that you want to be.

~Shi <3