Listen to Your Body/ New Workout Schedule for SUMMER

Hey all!

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It has been so long, I know…so much has happened, so much to tell. Between finishing my second year in college, and moving into an apartment for the summer, life has been speeding by. At any rate, I finally feel as though I have some time to breathe. This week has been a lot of firsts, but also a welcomed transition. Unfortunately, I will say that this week has really taken a toll on the amount of energy I have put into my training. Even though I have consistently trained four times this week, I can honestly say that I just haven’t has the extra push that’s normally there for me. I know most of it is physiological, but I do think that there is a good reason why my workouts have not been up to par. I am a firm believer in listening to your own body. I know that that can sound so cliche, but hear me out for a second. Your body wants to be healthy and survive. It is built into our nature, so if you are feeling extra run down, and extra tired for no particular reason, there is probably something else going on under the surface that you are not aware of. Whether it be physiologically, emotionally, or physically related, your body has its ways of telling you it’s time to rest up, or switch it up. So instead of trying to push past whatever was causing my crappy workouts, I decided to switch up my routine for the rest of the week by taking some time away from my normal HIIT. Yesterday, I did leg resistance training, and then ran a 5k, and what do you know…it was SUCH a good workout. All that to say, its ok to have weeks where you are not pushing yourself to the maximum, and it is ok to have weeks where you need to give yourself a break from your routine to do something a little different.

I am hoping next week I will be back to my normal energy levels, and since I seem to be having a little more time than normal, I thought it would be a good time to set some summer fitness goals and of course, create a challenge out of it. Last night, I was laying in bed and thinking how I always have my clients fill out a goal sheet before starting with the program. Then I realized that I haven’t done this for myself in a very long time. After promptly jotting down a few fitness goals that I want to accomplish this summer, I thought it would be nice to share them more publicly.

So here is the list of all of the process goals I want to accomplish:

  • Complete 1 unassisted pull-up
  • Complete 1 unassisted chin-up
  • Complete 1 pistol squat unassisted
  • Master a jump rope double under
  • Make improvements in my flexibility- especially working towards mastering the splits
  • Increase my aerobic capacity- run the mile in 6:50 or less.

After making this list, I then used these goals to create a weekly workout schedule for the next 7 weeks:

MONDAY:

  • Special Exercise of the Day (SE): Pistols
  • LEGS/BUTT: full body HIIT with focus on lower body burn out, Or lower body resistance training
  • Stretch: Lower body
  • Yoga: 15 minutes

TUESDAY:

  • SE: Pull-ups
  • SPRINT DAY OR STEADY STATE CARDIO: HIIT, intervals, sprint training on the track, or swimming, biking, work on 5k time ect. (this day is either for working on speed or endurance with no specific focus on a certain muscle group. Depending on how strenuous Monday’s workout was will determine what kind of exercise I do on Tuesdays.)
  • Stretch: full body
  • Yoga: 15 minutes

WEDNESDAY:

  • SE: Chin-ups
  • ARMS/BACK: Upper body resistance training circuits
  • Stretch: upper body focused
  • Yoga: 30 minutes (focus on flexibility of splits)

THURSDAY:

  • SE: Double-unders
  • HIIT: jump rope focused, or agility and speed focused HIIT
  • Stretch: lower body
  • Yoga: 15 minutes

FRIDAY:

  • SE: Mile run as fast as possible
  • ABS: Either HIIT abs, or resistance Ab circuit
  • Steady state cardio, or intervals depending on the type of workout I choose for my abs.
  • Stretch: abdominals
  • Yoga: 15 minutes

SATURDAY:

  • Long yoga session, work on splits, handstands and other stability exercises
  • Rehabilitation for sore muscles: foam rolling etc.

SUNDAY:

  • ACITVE REST DAY: do something recreationally active, no intense training though.

 

Alright so there you have it! This will be my training for the next 7 weeks. This coupled with a focus on my nutrition should allow me to make significant gains in my fitness. I want to utilize the free time I have to make some good progress this summer, so that when I start my junior year of college, I will already have a good base that should be easy to maintain throughout the craziness of the school year.

So that’s all for this post! Im sorry if it seemed rather scattered, but I wanted to get some things off of my chest. I will be posting a more detailed post in a few days with a more detailed version of my nutrition plan, because lets be honest here, nutrition is so crucial to seeing improvements.

Hope you all have a wonderful Thursday!

SarahBeth

 

 

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Just A Little Something to Think About: Workout Consistency

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Hey Guys!

I hope you all are having a wonderful Thursday morning thus far. This week is a little bit different because, praise Jesus my school load is next to nothing…and it is freaking amazing. To be honest, I have needed this break since the beginning of the semester.Unfortunately, this all ends next week, but I do like to savor my moments of freedom however short-lived they might be.

Speaking of heavy workloads, I just wanted to tell you all that last week was the first time that I actually worked out four times. This hasn’t happened in soon long and I am so freaking proud of myself. I am finally beginning to become consistent once again like I was back in the day, and lemme tell you, it is one of the best feelings in the whole world.

What was interesting, however,  is that last week, I was slammed with homework. And when I say slammed, I mean absolutely crazy  with all the assignments and crap I had to work through. This means that through all of the homework, plus training clients, I was still able to get in four sessions in one week. All I could say to myself was, HECK YES I DID.

I cannot tell you how many times I have used too much homework as an excuse not to workout. “Oh I have an exam in Anatomy tomorrow, I can’t workout…” Then I would promptly waste 45 minutes on Instagram looking at pictures of people who workout wishing I only had the time. The irony is strong. Somehow, I knew that if I really wanted to workout, I would have made time for myself.

Maybe now that I am actually training other people to workout, I feel more pressure (and rightly so) to be consistent myself. I know that it’s stupid if I tell people how to workout, and then don’t follow my own advice. Even so, I having met last’s weeks goal was a big accomplishment for me.

Basically, what it comes down to, is how willing you are to take one hour out of your day to work for something that will make you feel 30x better in the long run. I think that’s a pretty fair trade if you ask me.

So now that I am beginning to feel like a regular exerciser once again, I have been thinking about what I want to specifically challenge myself with. I think it would be fun, to do a little Fit for Summer Challenge for 8 weeks. During this time, I would workout 8x per week, keep a food diary, and track my progress, both physical goals and exercise goals. Hmm….I’m not sure yet, what do you guys think?

Unfortunately, (or maybe fortunately in my case) Spring break is week after next, in which case I won’t be starting this challenge until the week after Spring break. That way I have an even 8 weeks of school until Summer break. I think it would be fun to do a little challenge throughout these weeks to not only keep me focused, but hopefully reach some new fitness goals that I have been dying to achieve for so long. 🙂

Basically, the point of this post is just to encourage you all out there who are struggling to find balance in our busy, face-paced lives. It is possible to find time to workout and it is possible to make healthy choices and choose to live a healthy lifestyle however busy we may be.  It may mean sacrificing a few things, but it is possible. What it comes down to is how you prioritize and value your daily activities.

Well guys, that’s about all I have for today,

I will be back soon with another post, but until then, stay classy and healthy!

SarahBeth

Vegan Challenge: Final Update/Where do I Go From Here?

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Hello guys!

So this is the first post I have made since my Vegan February Challenge ended last week. So today’s post will not only be the final update in my Vegan challenge series, but I also want to cover where I stand in regards to my approach on a healthy diet.

First of all, I just wanted to say that eating completely vegan for one month was amazing. It not only forced me to seek out plant-based options where ever I was eating that day, but it also made me realize how possible it is to choose healthy foods regardless of where you are eating. Eating vegan also gave me so much energy throughout the day; I never felt sluggish after a meal. Furthermore, my skin has become so much clearer. I have always struggled with acne, ever since I was in my young teens. Since I cut all dairy/meat in my diet, however, I have had fewer breakouts.

It is safe to say that eating vegan was ultimately a positive experience. However, there were a few cons that I feel compelled to share. First of all, because of the small university I attend, there is only two places in the entire campus that I can get food from. And the amount of vegan options that are available are very slim. This meant that I was eating close to the same thing every single day. This wasn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it was a little harder psychologically to eat oatmeal or potatoes at every meal. This was probably the more frustrating aspect out of the entire challenge. (Honestly, it is not necessary to dump cheese and bacon on perfectly delicious vegetables.) But, this was a challenge after all, and I did learn to make my options work. Perhaps if I had transportation to and from campus, I could’ve bought more vegan foods from the store. Unfortunately, since I am both a poor college student and do not have a car on campus, I am stuck with the food offer at the Dining Commons.

So where am I going from here? What is my new approach to healthy eating?  This is where things will get a little deep…prepare yourself. I can say that I tried everything in the past. Low carb high protein, paleo, ketosis, vegetarian, raw vegan, and now vegan.

Lately, I finally think I have found what best works for me. I won’t be eating 100% vegan, at least at this point in my life. With my current circumstances, it just isn’t the most practical. I have to eat huge amounts of food at each sitting in order for me to meet my daily caloric intake, and I also struggled with the digestion of large amounts of high carb foods. That is not to say I don’t love or respect this lifestyle, I just don’t think it is the right time for me to make this decision in my life.

However, if veganism has taught me anything, it is this: CARBS ARE OK TO EAT. In the past, I would always restrict the amount of carbs I would eat. From not eating potatoes to limiting my fruit intake, I would constantly try and eat the least amount of carbs as possible. Where did that get me? Nowhere. I would end up feeling super hungry all of the time, and end up binging a few days later on everything and everything. It was a constant battle, between eating “healthy” and feeling deprived. I hated my body and I hated how I felt like a failure after every time I didn’t adhere to my high protein and low carb diet. I think this was initially the first reason why I looked into veganism in the first place. I was tired. Tired of this vicious cycle. Tired of feeling like a failure.

About this time last year, I started to incorporate more and more vegan foods into my diet. I loved how it made me feel, I loved not always feeing hungry. Furthermore, I enjoyed eating this way. It wasn’t until this challenge, however, that I committed to this lifestyle for 30 days. And while I will not be eating 100% vegan in the future, I have broken my diet approach into two simple principles:

  1. Eat plant-based, unprocessed foods 80-90% of the time. The last 5% is for those times where I want to go out with a friend for ice cream, or I want to eat a slice of pizza. This will allow me to not only allow me to enjoy life a little, but to help me not feel constrained. It’s ok if I have peanut butter on toast sometimes. Yes, those are both processed foods, but its not going to make me feel deprived or restricted.
  2. Eat according to my body. This is also known as intuitive eating. This is the process by which you actually listen to you own hunger cues to tell you when to eat. Actually, listening to your body is the most important part in this whole process. Yes, counting calories may be the best for some, however, for me it can become very easily obsessive, and again, constraining. Begin vegan this past month has taught me how to listen to my body to tell me when I should stop eating, and when I should eat more. Its wonderful because I am not overfilling my stomach, but I also feel satisfied. (Thanks to the potatoes and oatmeal :))

I know this can seem overly simplified, but honestly, I love this feeling of freedom. I don’t feel constrained, hungry, or deprived. Yet, I know I am still eating healthy and eating things that will bring me results. I can honestly say, that for me, finding balance and peace with food has been a constant battle for so long. I have spent so much time hating the way I’ve looked, and hating how I feel. Even though I found a love for fitness throughout this entire process, I knew I had yet to find what diet approach works best for me. I know I this is not a perfect “diet plan” or whatever you wish to call it. But this is what I have found makes me feel the best, both mentally, and physically.

So that’s it guys! I will keep everyone posted about how this approach works for me in the future. I can finally say that through this process, I have begun to find peace and more joy in health and fitness journey. 🙂

Thank you so  much for reading this long and thought out post..I promise the future ones won’t be so lengthy.

Have a wonderful Sunday, and don’t forget to get out today and enjoy some fresh air.

SarahBeth.

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30 DAY VEGAN CHALLENGE WEEK ONE UPDATE

 

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WEEKLY UPDATE ENTRY ONE:

Overall, I am actually loving this challenge! (I can say that this is the first time that I have truthfully said that about a food challenge LOLZ) However, I will say that it has been a lot harder to eat vegan at college than it was at home. That is not to say I haven’t been anticipating this. I knew from the start that it would be a challenge to find healthy, vegan options at the one tiny food court my university has to offer. Unfortunately, the food court has been modified a bit since last May. (Which was the last time I was on campus due to my Ecuador adventures last semester.) Instead of having a buffet style of food where you can serve yourself, they are now switching to having the workers serve the students. (I suspect this is because they are trying to reduce waste.) This is fine in theory, however, it also means they won’t customize your food to make it vegan or whatever else you might want. I think I found this to be the most frustrating because I like to make weird  combinations of foods from different “food lines” and having this set up eliminates a lot of options for me.

I haven’t really missed eating meat or even dairy at this point. I think part of the reason for this is because I barely ate meat products or dairy to begin with, so there really isn’t that much of a difference between how I was eating before and how I am eating now.

Other things I have noticed, is that since I have been eating more vegan foods, my acne prone skin has cleared up quite a bit. I now only seem to get surface acne, and even then, it isn’t super noticeable like it has been in the past.

So far I am really enjoying this challenge and I can’t wait for the next week of vegan eating! Week two let’s go!

 

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SarahBeth

30 DAY VEGAN CHALLENGE THUMBNAIL

 

Hello all! I hope you all have been having a swell 2016 so far 🙂

Today I officially have brought back the health challenge! For each remaining month this year, I have decided to pick one challenge to do that pertains to healthy living. This might be focusing on eating habits, exercise habits, or just creating a new habit in general. I want each month will have one challenge to push me and keep me moving forward in my goals this year!

So for the month of February, I decided to challenge myself to eat completely vegan for an entire month!

Now you might be thinking, wow, Sarah, where on earth did this goal come from?? The truth is, I have been thinking about Veganism for quite sometime. While there was definitely a point in my life where I thought I could never be vegan, I can now say that I believe I am finally ready to give it a fair trial. There are so many reasons why I am moving towards a more plant based, vegan lifestyle, but there are sooo many things I need to cover to fully explain my reasoning, that I am going to save this whole discussion for a later post. 🙂

Back to the challenge at hand…

So what exactly are some of the guidelines of this challenge??

  1. Eating 100% healthy, plant based vegan foods for the entire month. I think that in order for me to decide if this is the lifestyle for me, I need to fully emerge myself in this way of eating for 30 days (for now at least). This not only gives me time to habitually eat this way for four weeks, but it allows me to properly assess my physical changes as well.
  2. Recording my food diary everyday. This will not only keep me accountable for sticking to my challenge, but this way if you guys are interested in the kind of food I am eating, you can see everything I eat on a daily basis. I will be posting my food diary on my Tumblr page which you can access here.
  3. Weekly updates. Each week, I want to give an update on how my week went. How I feel mentally, energy levels, my struggles, and challenges.

These are the basic guidelines I hope to follow throughout the month of February. I also made a little video, further explaining this challenge. (and because I know you missed seeing my face)

You can check out my video here. 🙂

See you next week!

SarahBeth

 

New Year, New Thoughts

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Ever since becoming interested in health and fitness, I was influenced by the thoughts and ideas of other fitness gurus who were popular at the time. This of course is natural,  I needed these people in my life to guide me and get me started. However, I have now noticed that I fell prey to following every single piece of advice that they gave. Instead of taking caution and actually thinking about the diet and fitness advice objectively and searching for scientific evidence to back up their claims, I accepted whatever they said was healthy as truth. This, my friends, is a problem.

The health and fitness industry is constantly changing. There are always new ideas, methods, and foods that become fashionable and trendy. Sometimes these ideas are revolutionary; while other times they prove to be catastrophic.

I guess the point of this post is to encourage myself, and everyone else who is searching to find balance in their fitness journey, to not fall for the latest fitness trends without analyzing it first. The human body is so complex and intricate, no one fully understands its nutritional and fitness needs. This is not even factoring individuality into the equation. You have probably heard this a million times, but I cannot stress enough that what may work for someone might not work for you. Part of finding true health and balance is listening to your body and finding what kind of lifestyle best suits you. I’m not saying that we should be suspicious of every piece of new information but I am saying that we should not willingly accept new fitness trends without analyzing them first for ourselves.

As I mentioned earlier, I have fallen prey to this myself. For example, there was a time in my life where I thought I would gain weight if I ate starchy carbs past 6pm. In fact, I was so afraid of starchy carbs in general, that I would even limit the amount of fruit and carrots I would eat in fear of thinking it could cause me to gain a few pounds. Now I have adopted a few high carb plant based lifestyle, and I can now easily see how bogus this idea was. Will binge eating late at night cause weight gain? Of course. Anytime one eats more than the body will metabolize will by default store fat. Will eating a banana at 9pm cause me to gain three pounds by morning. Absolutely not.

I share this example to not only shed light on a popular fitness myth, but to also give you an idea of how easy it is to let your perceived path to weight loss warp the overall idea of living healthy. Don’t become a victim to trivial “diet” rules, or fads that have you living a lie. Think for yourself, and be objective!

I write this to not only encourage all of my fellow health and fitness nerds, but to also give myself a reminder.

I hope that this post resonates with some of you, and that I was able to accurately voice my thoughts. Living healthy should not be complicated or hard to follow,  but with all of the conflicting ideas and fitness trends flooding our lives, it’s easy to fall into traps.

 

 

Starting Fresh in 2016

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Why Hello there,

Remember me? Probably not, and that is ok…its been quite a while. As you can read here on my last post, I was actually in another country for the past four months. It was this time last year that I decided to study abroad in Ecuador. Little did I know what a crazy, ridiculous, wonderful, and challenging experience it would end up being! Although it was extremely difficult at times, ( for example: being away from my family, being away from my country, not understanding anything that anyone was saying to me) there were other times that I was extremely thankful and proud of my time I spent in Ecuador. I could probably write a book on the experiences and lessons that I learned, but that is not what I want this post to mainly be focused on. (Perhaps a later post..yes?)

Now that we are into the new year, I want to start fresh on this blog. While I wasn’t able to work out at all while I was out of the country, and I couldn’t control the types of foods that I ate, my passion for health and fitness only grew over this past semester. I realized how much I loved blogging, and I also realized how much I missed sharing my fitness journey over the internet. Even though it seems rather cliche to start at the new year, I want to recommit myself to perusing and improving my health. I don’t regret for one second the experience I had in Ecuador, but it did draw me apart from my healthy eating and exercise habits. And so, I am starting fresh.

Yes, I’ll admit, starting fresh can be frustrating. What once was an easy workout for me now leaves me sore for two days, sometimes longer. However, I know that a few weeks from now, I will be wishing that I had started now, and that if I am committed and consistent, the results will return quickly enough.

So here is to new beginnings…They can be tough sometimes, but they are the first important step to take to reach success.

Until next time!

SarahBeth

UPDATE ON LIFE PLUS BIG ANNOUNCEMENT 

Well guys. It’s been a long time. Very long time. And for that I apologize.

To put it simply, things did not go According to plan this Summer. Not at all. While I had every intention of updating this blog regularly, between my day job, my internship, and my summer classes, I pushed all other things aside to focus on trying to be an adult. Ew.

Now that I have confessed my shortcomings, I want to lay out my future plans for this blog. (Which will hopefully be slightly more pleasant)

I love to blog; especially when it is related to my passion for health and fitness. I love sharing my thoughts, ideas, and motivations. Not only does it benifit me by setting up an accountability platform, but it also is something that I hope will one day inspire others to live a healthier, happy lifestyle. That being said, I want to officially make myself post once a week. Nothing too extravagant, or time consuming, but just enough to keep me consistent. So from here on out I hope to have one new post live every Monday. Whether this information is useful to you or not, formally posting this will keep me accountable. 🙂

So now that you are aware of my new posting schedule, I believe that there may be one tiny detail I may be neglecting to share. What was it…OH YEAH. IM STUDYING ABROAD IN ECUADOR THIS SEMESTER. (Insert applause here) Words cannot describe the amount of excitiment I have about this experience. From now until December, all of my posts will be coming to you from South America. (Is this real life?) Because of this rather dirastic change in living arrangements, my posts will obviously be greatly affected by this. While this blog will remain mostly fitness and health related…it will also contain a lot about my lifestyle, and my experiences abroad. So if this is your first time on my blog, welcome. Kick back and relax a while and don’t be afraid to check out some of my older posts! (I promise they’re not too awkard) if your an oldie, forgive me for not being very active this Summer.

Congrats to you if you made it through this lengthy text post. (Making up for lost time ;)) and please check back next Sunday for an update on my first week abroad!

Until next time, ( or as the they say in Ecuador, Nos Vemos!)


SarahBeth

7 Day healthy food picture challenge: day 3

Hey guys! 

So here is my day three of my healthy food picture challenge! Hope you dig it! 

 
 So for breakfast you will never guess what I had…a smoothie. This particular combination of smoothie is bananas, cherries, and water. This was surprisingly delicious (I was a little bit apprehensive about trying cherries in my smoothie) and it was exactly what I was craving. 
  
After my workout I was hungry. Very hungry. So I grabbed the first thing I could find which happened to be a bagel. Not the best choice out there but it did the job. 

  
For lunch I made a vegetable medley consisting of one chopped sweet potato, I small russet potato, peas, carrots, and bell peppers. The only seasoning I used was a little salt and pepper. This was so delicious…loved this combination of foods! 

  
In between lunch and dinner, I may or may not have drank an iced coffee. #caffieneaddict #oops 

  
For dinner, I was too lazy to make more food so I had some left over carrots and russet potatoes. This time I topped it with BBQ sauce. You think this would be gross, but the nuetral flavor of the potatos blend perfectly with the sauce. 

Later that evening I got a little hungry again, so I grabbed a banana. Unfortunately I forgot to take a picture of it, but hopefully you all have seen a banana before. 

Ok, well that about wraps up day three! It wasn’t perfect but I feel pretty good about myself overall 🙂 Be sure to check back later for day four! 

SarahBeth

7 DAY HEALTHY FOOD PICTURE CHALLENGE: DAY TWO

Hey Guys!

So I pretty much fail at taking pictures of my food. I not only forgot once, but actually there were two meals that I totally forgot to take photos of. (sorry guys) One thing that I have realized so far is that I eat a lot of food that I am not even aware that I am eating. That might sound weird but I challenge you to picture every piece of food that you put into your mouth for a day and I think most of you will be surprised at how much food you eat without mentally noting.

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So today I started off my day with yet another smoothie. This combination was blackberries, bananas, and water. I drank what was pictured here plus about a cup more of the smoothie that was left in the blender. I was not about to let any of this smoothie go to waste.

So for lunch, I actually met a friend at Panera and this is where I totally forgot to take a picture of my food. (oops) I was able to eat quite healthy though, which is part of the reason why I love Panera. I was able to get a half order of the Mediterranean Chicken Quinoa salad, and a cup of Vegetable Soup with pesto. I also had an apple and I drank a cup of unsweetened tea.

Later in the afternoon, my sister cut a watermelon. At first, you might be thinking,”um ok, what does that have to do with anything, Sarah.” I will have you know, that my love for watermelon might surpass the threshold for normal human enjoyment of food. I love watermelon so much that I will actually binge eat watermelon until I either cannot possibly stuff any more melon into my stomach, or I eat it all. There is not middle ground for me here. I do realize that this is probably not the healthiest habit I have, but, in the grand scheme of things, I rarely get the chance to eat watermelon, and if I had to choose watermelon to be the food that I have no control around, I’d say I’m not doing so bad. All that to say, I ate so. much. watermelon. And no, I didn’t take a picture because I was too busy eating. All in all, I’d say I ate maybe half a watermelon. Actually, even as I type out those words I realize how much I actually ate. Even though it pains me to write that, I told myself I would try my best to be honest. So in all honesty, I ate half a watermelon. It was good.

Moving on…

Because of the rather large volume of melon I consumed earlier today, I wasn’t hungry again until about 8:30.

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Because of my lack of motivation to cook anything, I made myself some canned progressive chicken noodle soup, and two slices of whole wheat toast. While I understand that canned soup is not necessarily the healthiest, it did contain a lower sodium concentrate than other soups, and it was simple and easy to make.

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Later tonight, was a little bit hungry again, so I ate a banana with coconut shavings on top.

So that concludes my day of eating. Hopefully tomorrow I will do a better job at actually taking pictures of the food I am about to eat. I hope that this post gives you some meals ideas, and shows you that even though I am not perfect at eating healthy, it doesn’t have to be a hard and boring task to feed yourself. I can truthfully say that ever since I started to eat larger amounts of fruit, my sweet cravings have disappeared, and I no longer feel like I am depriving myself of treats.

Make sure to check back tomorrow for Day 3 of my 7 day challenge!

SarahBeth