Wednesday, July 31, 2013

7/31/2013 -- The end of July and some Chest & Triceps work

We weren't able to make it through all of the exercises on our list this morning. We ended up skipping the "Cable One Arm Triceps Extensions" which I'm okay with. My arms were about to fall off by the time we had finished the other eight 3 set/10 rep exercises.

I'm getting stronger (though I'm not losing any weight). I am starting to see definition in my arms that hasn't been there since I was a senior in high school (which was nine years ago, now!). I am getting used to the 5:30 mornings and am loving the energy I've got going through the day. This is definitely a lifestyle I'm glad I've adopted.

Wednesday weights:

3 set/10 rep Wide Push Ups @ body weight
3 set/10 rep Include Dumbbell Press @ 20 lbs
3 set/10 rep Flat Bench Flyes @ 20 lbs
3 set/10 rep Decline Flyes @ 20 lbs
3 set/10 rep Bench Dips @ body weight
3 set/10 rep Lying EZ-Bar Triceps Extension @ 25 lbs (bar)
3 set/10 rep Dumbbell Triceps Kickback @ 20 lbs
3 set/10 rep Overhead Two Handed Triceps Extension @ 10 lbs

7/30/2013 -- The Eats

I did a great job staying on my calories and keeping things pretty balanced. I know it says I went over on my fats, but oh well. I felt good.

The wild rice no-meat loaf below was taken from Pure Ella and I only made a few minor changes. I used pecans instead of walnuts, golden raisins instead of purple, dried oregano instead of fresh and did not saute my onions in oil (making it a completely oil free dish). 267 kcal and six servings? Sounds like a plan to me!

Click to see larger version

7/31/2013 -- The Eats

See below.

P.S. Remember to email me if you need any of the recipes I share!

Add 99kcal for the Corona Light with dinner, lol. :D

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Recipe -- No Garbage Lasagna

I don't like garbage in food. Let me clarify, I try to avoid a lot of overly processed, refined grains and sugars as best as I am able. I find that eliminating them entirely is quite difficult, but with each new recipe I put in front of me I do my best to eliminate at least one item that is refined or processed. Additionally, I've noticed that a lot of recipes use waaaay too much oil. So that's another item I tend to lessen when possible too.

The dinner I made last night I've dubbed my "No Garbage Lasagna". I cut out all cheese, got rid of the noodles, reduced the oil and added way more veggies. Ringing in at 284 calories per (hearty) serving, boasting a deep flavor and being as simple as it is I'm definitely going to be making this one again!

No Garbage (Vegan) "Lasagna"

Serves 4-6
Takes: ≈ 90 minutes (can make some parts ahead of time to reduce the time)
Adapted from Cheeky Kitchen

what you'll need:
  • 1 small eggplant, sliced into 1/4" slices (about 10 pieces)
  • 2 can diced tomatoes (either zesty jalapeno or Italian spiced)
  • 6 cups raw spinach
  • 5 cloves of garlic, minced and divided
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 2 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 4 slices firm bread (I suggest Ezekiel flaxseed or sourdough)
  • olive oil cooking spray
  • 1/4c bread crumbs (I used panko)
  • 1 medium tomato, sliced into 1/8" slices (about 10 pieces)
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp fresh basil, chopped
  • salt/pepper to taste throughout
what you'll do:
  1. Spray eggplant with olive oil spray, salt, pepper and roast at 400° for 20-25 minutes, flip halfway through. Leave oven on when eggplant is done.
  2. Meanwhile, in a small put heat 1 tbsp oil and add half the garlic until fragrant. Add spices and "toast" for about 30 seconds. Pour in tomatoes, stir thoroughly, reduce heat and allow to simmer for 20-30 minutes**.
  3. In a large saute pan heat to med-high and spray each piece of bread with cooking spray, then toast in the pan.
  4. Using the same pan heat 1 tbsp oil, add the remaining garlic and stir until fragant (being sure not to burn). Add spinach slowly until all is wilted. Set aside.
  5. In a high speed blender, blend half the tomato sauce until smooth, then add back to remaining sauce, stirring thoroughly.
  6. To assemble, in the bottle of a 9" x 9" glass baking dish, layer as follows: 1/2c tomato sauce, 2 pieces of bread, 1/2c sauce, eggplant slices and garlic spinach, 1/4c sauce, 2 slices of bread, the remaining sauce, tomato slices and bread crumbs on top. See below.
  7. Bake for 30-35 minutes at 400°.
  8. Remove from oven and allow to stand for 10-15 minutes. 
  9. Before serving pour balsamic vinegar over top and spread the fresh basil evenly. 
  10. Eat immediately, store in an air tight container in the fridge or freeze in portioned containers for future use.

**: The longer your sauce cooks down the thicker it will be. 6-12 hours is actually recommended, but we don't all have that kind of time. You can, of course, make the sauce a day (or several days) in advance.

7/30/2013 -- Back & Biceps

Today went a lot better than yesterday for sure. The work out below took about 45 minutes, including the time I need to move equipment around and set up. It was relatively quick, but let me tell you: my biceps were on fire by the time I was done. I mean, holy hell! I can definitely feel the changes (and just wait until you see this week's bicep progress photo on Friday) and am looking forward to moving into Phase 2 of the program the week after next, in which we start adding cardio in regularly.

Either way, we're off to a good start and today is already rockin'!

Tuesday Weights:

3 set/10 rep Hammer Strength Lat Pull @ 27 lbs
3 set/10 rep Wide-Grip Lat Pulldown @ 40 lbs
3 set/10 rep Seated Narrow Grip Cable Rows @ 5 lbs
3 set/10 rep T-Bar Row @ bar + 25 lbs
3 set/10 rep Back Extensions @ body weight
3 set/10 rep Barbell Curl @ bar + 20 lbs
3 set/10 rep Incline Dumbbell Curl @ 5 lbs
3 set/10 rep Alternate Hammer Curl @ 10 lbs

Review: The Biggest Loser

I know a lot of people that don't like this show. I know a lot of people that write it off for a lot of different reasons. And to a point I understand that. I mean, it is dramatic and it may even seem cruel to some that a handful of these competitors are sent home so early in their Biggest Loser weight loss journey, but let me tell you something: these men and women are given an amazing chance.

When I look back on my weight loss I did it alone, and that's a big deal. When you have to tell your friends you cannot go out and drink or have dinner at a restaurant you alienate yourself quickly. When they don't understand the struggle you're going through and when they start to distance themselves because they don't know the strong, confident and empowered person you're becoming-- it's hard. If I had had the chance to make that journey with people in the same boat? It might have been something different.

This was me on my twenty-first birthday. No one in my family recognized me. I had gone for a 145 pound Varsity athlete to this in less than three years. It hadn't even crept up on me over a decade. I got my BMI to 43.5 in less than 36 months.

I lost what people on The Biggest Loser Ranch lose. I did it alone, without my friends, feeling like I was separated from everyone else in society. 116 pounds is no small amount. Seriously. 47.2% of my body weight was shed in the eighteen months I spent counting every calorie, agonizing over food choices, reading every blog, book and magazine article I could get my hands on that would help me shed the pounds.

What did I not have?

  • A house that kept me away from the temptations of "real life"
  • Fellow men and women who were suffering as I was
  • A doctor and medical team to evaluate and critique my losses
  • World class trainers to bust my ass in the gym
  • World class trainers to teach me about proper portions, the theory of calories in vs. calories out, the importance of adopting and living the plant-based, whole foods diet
  • The support of an entire nation rooting for you to succeed

While I can see the "downsides" of the possibility of elimination, the frustration of being separated from your family and the stress of game play while each contestant guns for the prize of $250,000, I honestly believe that the positive advantages of their situation far outweigh the few disadvantages. 

Just look at the staggering results:

It seems pretty cut and dry to me and I know that even with the American television drama, even with the people that I know are getting their time cut short or whatever it is, no matter what I will continue watching this show. It brings me to tears hearing the contestants and their families and I think we, as a national audience, help inspire and motivate these people to get healthy and help lead the charge to a better, healthier, and more fit population.

Monday, July 29, 2013

7/29/2013 -- The Eats

Jason bought me a Vitamix for my birthday back in June. I've taken it on vacation, I've used it to make soupsauces and of course smoothies like the one below. We use this thing almost every single day and I absolutely love it. It's also taken some of stress off my shoulders. I am no longer responsible for making every single meal. As a matter of fact Jason tends to come home after our work outs, open the fridge and start throwing things in the blender to make breakfast for us. This morning he made us a spinach, frozen banana, fresh coconut water, fresh pineapple, fresh coconut jelly and carrot smoothie. It tasted fantastic and was definitely a nutrient dense way to start the day.

For lunch I made us some tacos. For him I did a chipotle seitan but for me? I've been on a buffalo kick, so I made some homemade baked buffalo tofu, whipped up some homemade pico de gallo, pickled some cabbage, red onions and cilantro, then topped it with Tofutti Better Than Sour Cream and Taco Bus salsa verde. They were amazing

Other than that, here is the rest of my day (and I'll make sure to update this entry with a photo of the "Rustic bread, spinach and eggplant lasagna" I'm making for dinner). It was a delicious day and I feel like a million bucks!

7/29/2013 -- Legs

I was writing the title of this entry and it says simply, "Legs". As if it were a simple morning. Not. I had absolutely zero desire to get out of bed. Jason's alarm went off at 5:15. Mine went off at 5:45. I still couldn't seem to find the energy to make it happen. Well, almost couldn't, because somehow, from the pit of my being I drew on some elusive energy reserve and made it happen.

Ugh. My face was all red, my hair was flying away, my eyes were sagging with sleepiness. Yet somehow I powered through.

Monday Weights

Standing calf raises @ 50 lbs
Seated calf raises @ 25 lbs
Leg extension @ 40 lbs
Leg press @ 50 lbs
Wide stance barbell squat @ 50 lbs
Lying leg curls @ 40 lbs


10 minutes on elliptical @ avg. 7.5 mph

Unlike most days I was feeling tired afterward. I don't feel energized and I kind of wish I had just stayed in bed. It could be because I'm on my lady time, I dunno, but this was probably the least enjoyable or motivating. I'm looking forward to tomorrow and hoping that it will be a little better, so we'll see. Tomorrow is another day and I'm good with that.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

7/28/2013 -- The Eats and also The Blerch

I was a lazy jerk yesterday. No joke. Fitbit says I took less than 1,200 steps today yesterday. I ate a "reasonable" amount, meaning I didn't go over my calorie count on My Fitness Pal but at the same time when I'm that lazy I feel like eating anything is in bad taste. I kind of don't want to think about it so I'm going to sign off with a photo of my (epic) breakfast, my calorie counts and just call it a day.

(For those of you that don't understand the title of the entry, read this amazingly, fantastical comic by The Oatmeal.)

7/27/2013 -- Semi resting, yoga & other things

I took my first yoga class this weekend-- and I feel in love with it.

Jason came with you (thanks, babe) and we both felt like a million dollars after. I had never imagined that yoga would be such a work out, honestly, but both he and I turned to each other as soon as we were done and mouthed quietly, "Oh my god I'm sweating!!" Our instructor was a tiny thing, but clearly she lives the life. She was patient and kind, accepting and welcoming and I know that I found a new practice that I will follow through with for the rest of my life.

We are considering taking a few other classes throughout the week, but have certainly settled on Saturday mornings (and I am seriously considering going for the $75/mo unlimited so I can go two or three times a week since it's right around the corner from my house).

We both felt so alive when we finished and walked out just dripping enthusiasm. We knew immediately that that is how we want to start our weekends. I am already looking forward to next week, aaaaaand have pulled out my budget to see if I can get the unlimited fit in there somewhere.

Other than that, we went for a walk at Al Lopez Park and ate split a Publix veggie sub on wheat. It was a great way to continue our active day. Then we got a little naughty:

So, Whole Foods Tampa had an ice cream social with some fantastic vegan options. From the top left down we had: So Delicious Vanilla Ice Cream and a ginger cookie, So Delicious Vanilla Ice Cream and a homemade crock pot peach cobbler, Raw Banana Nice Cream and raw, dehydrated granola (both of which we learned to make at the raw cooking class I mentioned a couple entries ago and a small root beer float. 

Not surprisingly the raw banana "ice cream" with the raw granola was by far my favorite. Jason had some different options (since he's still lacto-ovo veggie) and told me his favorite was a small chocolate cake/brownie with a raspberry ice cream. Either way it was a fun little get together and we really enjoyed attending.

With all of that said, I have some other news bottled up and I'm hesitating to mention too much about it here because (I'm a little superstitious and) I don't want to jinx it. Look forward to hearing more about it (whether it goes the way I want or not) but please keep your fingers crossed for me. I really, really want this to pan out and it would take my life in the exact direction I've been struggling for for the last few years. This could be my life's break through!

With all of that out of the way, here is my food log from yesterday (and as always if you have the recipes just shoot me an email):

Friday, July 26, 2013

7/26/2013 -- The Eats

I cook. Every day. Every single day. Maybe not every meal we make and perhaps not something that takes a lot of time or energy, but I am in my kitchen, making something every single day. And I love that. It's part of my life that makes me happy.

This morning when we got home from the gym I made us cauliflower mash (64 kcal), spicy black eyed peas (166 kcal) and roasted cremini mushrooms (55 kcal). We had a delicious, fresh cooked lunch and I did it all in twenty minutes after I went to the gym.

There was a time in my life where I would have sworn there was no way it could all be done, but somehow I manage to make it work these days and I am healthy and happier for it.

^^^ A delicious lunch!

We did end up at Whole Foods for the raw food class that I mentioned before but before we did that we got a couple of delicious Gardein patty sandwich with ooey, gooey daiya cheese. It was heavenly!

7/26/2013 -- Shoulder & Abs

Friday weights:

  • 3 set/12 rep Seated Dumbbell Press @ 20 lbs
  • 3 set/12 rep Standing Dumbbell Straight-Arm Front Delt Raise To A "T" @ 15 lbs
  • 3 set/12 rep Lateral Raise, Dumbbell, Side @ 5 lbs
  • 3 set/12 rep Seated Bent-Over Rear Delt Raise @ 10 lbs
  • 3 set/12 rep Exercise Ball Crunch @ body weight
  • 3 set/12 rep Air Bike @ body weight

16:11 minutes @ 4.5 mph

Total burn: 202 calories

I had a hard time this morning. I had a hard time getting out of bed. I had a hard time lifting my weights. I had a hard time eating breakfast (which I poured all down my front when I went to put my backpack in the car). I started today off with a lot of "hard times", but then I looked in the mirror, flexed my (flabby) arm and lo and behold:

I HAVE LITTLE BABY MUSCLES GROWING! After only two weeks (if you remember back to my post earlier this week and the photo I took you will as amazed at this discovery as I am)! I also got on the scale and even with my lady time coming I'm keeping my weight under control (and under 130 lbs). Even with everything going wrong I felt really right.

We are taking the day off from the gym tomorrow and instead doing our very first yoga class (at Jai Dee Yoga). I've heard so many wonderful things about the practice and if anyone in the world needs some time to cool down and let go of some stress then I'm definitely on that list. I've been given a lot of tips and tricks to make it as enjoyable and whatnot as possible, but when it all comes down to it I'm just excited to try it.

Also on the weekend's plans is a raw "cooking" class at Whole Foods. I've been looking forward to going to one of these for ages. I love making raw foods but I don't know much about it other than throwing salad ingredients in a bowl (and honestly, I usually cook at least some of the toppings). This should be quite the learning experience and a weekend full of firsts. Huzzah!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

7/25/2013 -- The Eats!

Food is my obsession. I was telling a friend yesterday that exact thing, actually. I said (via chat):
I eat constantly. All day. And when I'm not eating I think about what I get to eat next and how long until that time. All day long.
I have to plan my meals, my snacks and then I have to make time to eat. If not I get irritable and intolerable. Because I'm vegan, because I eat a lot of fresh fruit and vegetables (a lot of which are fairly easily broken down in my digestive system, and because I eat average to small sized meals I have to eat more often.

My eating habits have changed since we started working out, though. I'm eating larger breakfasts, and even slightly larger lunches and dinners and slightly smaller snacks. I find I need the bigger meals to carry me through the day now. Possibly because we are getting up earlier or just because my body is craving more with the weight lifting I'm not sure, but I'm feeling good.

When I took the screenshot below I had forgotten to add my vitamins, but I did take my multi, iron and B-Complex. I am also going to be adding a calcium pill. Iron+calcium for women in my age range and people that are working out (strength training especially) is very important so I want to make sure I'm not going to suffer any deficiencies.

I'm also not cooking tonight. I make breakfast lunch and dinner for Jason and I about 20-25 times a week. I spend a lot of time in the kitchen making us fresh food-- and I love that, but sometimes I need a break. We are going to have some Chipotle burrito bowls this evening and I feel good about that. It's well deserved and other than the sodium it's not that bad. :)


(V) = A recipe I entered manually that is vegan
(R) = A recipe I entered that is entirely raw

(Click image to see a larger, more readable version.)

My morning breakfast sandwich with a Nature's Own english muffinYves Canadian bacon, some homemade baked black soybean tofu and Chicago Vegan Foods Teese creamy cheddar sauce

I also wanted to mention I used to buy Thomas english muffins until I realized their entire line has nonfat milk and/or whey. So just a reminder to read your labels and don't assume that one brand or any product is "safe".

Also, I love making big enough portions of our dinners to throw in a container and have lunch ready to go. So leftovers for me this afternoon for lunch!

7/25/2013 -- Legs & Calves

Thursday weights:

3 set/12 rep Leg Press @ 50 lbs
3 set/12 rep Leg Extension @ 40 lbs
3 set/12 rep Wide Stance Barbell Squat @ 50 lbs
3 set/12 rep Standing Calf Raises @ 50 lbs
3 set/12 rep sitting Calf Raises @ 25 lbs
3 set/12 rep Seated Leg Curl @ 70 lbs

Okay, I'm just going to come out and say it: The squats kicked my ass. It floors me because I used to be able to squat over 150 pounds. I used to be able to load up the leg press like it was nothing. Now I'm hardly able to push around fifty pounds on any of them. I guess that's kind of what I get for taking a decade long hiatus, but man. It sucks.

Even so, we were out the door by 5:55am and I got through all six of the exercises on today's work out so at the very least I know I'm on the right path. Even if I'm sore all over and just want to go back to bed.

I'm not entirely sure where that big bruise on my thigh came from, but I am pretty clumsy. I didn't even notice it until I was taking this photo, haha. Klutzy Nicole is in the house!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

7/24/2013 -- The Eats

I didn't include my food intake in my previous post but I think that's a really important part of what makes a "healthy day" in my book. Just because I worked out doesn't mean I did well overall. And I know I mentioned only doing my food counts on my off days, but going forward I plan to share every day.

The following are screenshots from My Fitness Pal with my intakes and the calorie counts.


(V) = A recipe I entered manually that is vegan
(R) = A recipe I entered that is entirely raw

Note: If you see any recipe or meal that sounds like something you'd want to try please feel free to email me. Give me a day or two to get back with you and I will make sure to send it with measurements and the full nutritional panel (per serving) as well as how many servings it makes, the amount of time it takes and how to store it for short and long term use.

I am also going to take a photo of dinner tonight and I'll make sure to share that with you (it should be an awesome meal!) around 8pm. Make sure to check back and have a look. ;)

Update: Dinner!

7/24/2013 -- Back & Biceps

I worked out alone today, which, to be honest, was kind of nice. There was only one or two other people in the gym, I wasn't terribly worried about moving between machines. I got to go at my own pace, listen to my music and focus on each and every lift. I went through seven exercises and raised the weights, doing at least a little more on each than last week.

Wednesday weights:

3 set/12 rep Wide-Grip Lat Pulldown @ 40 lbs
3 set/12 rep Dumbbell Row, One-Arm, Bent-Over @ 15 lbs
3 set/12 rep Seated Cable Row @ 4 lbs
3 set/12 rep Underhand Cable Pulldowns @ 40 lbs
3 set/12 rep Dumbbell Alternate Bicep Curl @ 15 lbs
3 set/12 rep One Arm Dumbbell Preacher Curl @ 15 lbs
3 set/12 rep Standing Biceps Cable Curl @ 4 lbs


Walk @ 3.5 mph for 10 minutes
Jog @ 5.2 mph for 2 minutes

I was having a good conversation with a friend of mine yesterday who mentioned the "Fat Acceptance" movement. Another friend brought out the phenomenon of fat people wanting to stay fat because it's scary to lose that weight. It brought me back to the days I remember losing weight and thinking about what it meant for me in the long run.

I was scared. I wanted people to just accept me as I was. I didn't want to face the days, weeks, months and potentially even years that would be required of me to lose the weight. And then what about the maintenance "phase" that everyone talked about? I had come to rely on my fat, funny personality to win me friends-- what would happen if that wasn't me anymore? Would my friends still like me? Or would I be abandoned? Left alone?

I was taking huge amounts of pain killers to be able to move around at all. I was eating too much as a comfort eating. My doctor told me I was a "compulsive over eater" with "binge" tendencies. My psychologist told me the same thing, but mixed it with "borderline personality disorder". Everyone fed me pills and told me to just be me and that's all anyone could expect.

I wish someone had told me not to accept that shit. I wish someone has said, "God dammit, Nicole. You're enormous. You're sick, physically and emotionally. You're not okay the way you are and you're going to die if you keep this up." I wish my doctors had not fed me pharmaceuticals to shut me up and get me out the door while pocketing a couple of extra dollars.

It's been four years since I finished losing over 100 pounds. It's been four years since I took my last pain pill to be able to get up and walk. It's been four years and there are still some residual mental issues accompanying my weight and self image, but each day is a new chance to be a little better, be more fit and do a little more of what's right for me. 

I encourage each man and woman to evaluate their lives on a daily basis. You can always do something today that's a little better than what you did yesterday. I challenge myself each morning to be a slightly better person, a slightly healthier person and slightly more compassionate person that I was the day before. Those "slightly"s add up more quickly than you'd imagine. And trust me, you'll be happier and more in love with that person you're becoming than you ever imagined.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

7/23/2013 -- Chest & Triceps

I started this morning at a "it's still dark outside" 5:45am. I still cannot believe that we have been able to do so, but I dragged myself out of my bed (reluctantly) and got ready to go. Today was a simple arms day and the whole thing (with the 1 minute breaks in between sets) lasts about 45 minutes, assuming all of the machines/weights are readily available.

I feel kind of weird taking photos of myself in the mirrors, but I also I don't care. I pay to use the equipment, I come in and do my work out and if I want to take a damn photo then I will! I do find that I am the only girl in the weights area of our Rec Center, though. Most of the women that come in go for the cardio (treadmill, row machine and/or elliptical). Oh well, I want to be healthy and good fitness requires some strength training so there we go.

Tuesday weights:

3 set/12 rep Wide Push Ups @ body weight
3 set/12 rep Dumbbell Bench Press @ 20 lbs
3 set/12 rep Flat Bench Cable Flyes @ 6 lbs
1 set/12 rep Narrow Push Ups @ body weight
3 set/12 rep Standing Dumbbell Tricep Extension @ 10 lbs
3 set/12 rep Tricep Pushdown @ 5 lbs

And after all of it I looked something like this (while listening to Breaking Benjamin):

Tuesday eats:

Breakfast -- 7:30am -- Breakfast smoothie with vegan protein powder, pear, spinach, strawberries, flaxmilk and banana.

Morning snack -- 10:30am -- 1 large banana

Lunch -- 12:30pm -- Buffalo penne pasta (Frank's Buffalo Wing Sauce, hemp milk, dairy free butter and Teese vegan cheddar cheese sauce) with spinach, grape tomatoes and a half 365 Everyday Value Breaded Chickenless Patty.

Afternoon snacks -- 3pm and 5pm -- 1 navel orange and 18g natural almonds

Dinner -- 7:30pm -- Black bean taco Tuesday with homemade pico and guacamole!

[photo will be posted tonight]

Monday, July 22, 2013

What's in a name?

I believe I need to share with you why I named my blog what I have.

"Wave Hello"/"antiflabbyarms" has been born of a place of deep seeded insecurity. After losing 110+ pounds I still look at myself in the mirror and feel some sort of disgust and anger. I have stretch marks on my sides, arms, legs and everywhere in between. My stomach still sags slightly and I have flabby arms. I hate waving to people more than anything in the entire world. I wore long sleeves for years trying to hide the remnants of my fat days.

Seriously. They're flabby.

I want nothing more than to raise my arm and say, "Hello, friends and family! I am comfortable with my body and I don't mind you looking at me because I am healthy and fit!" This is not an overnight transformation, and I know that I've got a lifetime of work in front of me, but each day I want to wake up with a little more muscle tone and little more confidence. Maybe someday I'll pass you on the street and be able to wave proudly, smile widely and help make your day a little brighter. 

7/22/2013 -- Rest

Today is the third day in a row we take off from weights. Tomorrow morning it's back to up at 5:45am and at the gym by 6:00. I definitely needed all of these days off as I am just beginning to feel like I can move again with being in serious amounts of pain.

For a quick run down (since I started this blog a little late) last week I did the following:

Monday: Rest

Weights: Chest & Triceps

3 set/12 rep Wide Push Ups
3 set/12 rep Dumbbell Bench Press
3 set/12 rep Flat Bench Cable Flyes
3 set/12 rep Standing Dumbbell Tricep Extension
3 set/12 rep Tricep Pushdowm


Walk @ 4.5 mph for 30 minutes


Weights: Back & Biceps

3 set/12 rep Wide-Grip Lat Pulldown
3 set/12 rep Dumbbell Row, One-Arm, Bent-Over
3 set/12 rep Seated Cable Row
3 set/12 rep Underhand Cable Pulldowns
3 set/12 rep Dumbbell Alternate Bicep Curl
3 set/12 rep Standing Biceps Cable Curl


Walk @ 4.0 mph for 10 minutes



Legs & Calves

3 set/12 rep Leg Press @ 50 lbs
3 set/12 rep Leg Extension @ 40 lbs
3 set/12 rep Wide Stance Barbell Squat @ 20 lbs
3 set/12 rep Standing Calf Raises


Walk @ 4.0 mph 10 minutes
Walk @ 3.0 mph 30 mintes


Weights: Shoulders & Abs

3 set/12 rep Seated Dumbbell Press @ 20 lbs
3 set/12 rep Standing Dumbbell Straight-Arm Front Delt Raise To A "T" @ 10 lbs
3 set/12 rep Lateral Raise, Dumbbell, Side @ 10 lbs
3 set/12 rep Seated Bent-Over Rear Delt Raise @ 10 lbs
3 set/12 rep Exercise Ball Crunch @ body weight
3 set/12 rep Air Bike @ body weight

I've found that with each day I find more and more of the items I want to record (i.e. the first days I was just recording reps/sets, but by the end of the week I was also including the weight measurements).

For off days out of the gym, like today, I figured I will record my eating habits (with photos, oooooof course) just to make sure I'm being held accountable when it comes to my intake and my work outs. As a vegan I find it important to make sure that I'm eating a diverse and nutrient dense diet so I record all of my food on My Fitness Pal, but it's also nice to be able to look back and see what I've had. :)

So onward!

Today's menu:

Breakfast -- 8am -- Breakfast sandwich on Ezekiel flaxseed toastGimme Lean breakfast sausageblack soybean tofu and teese vegan cheddar cheese sauce.

Morning snack -- 10am -- 1 large banana

Lunch -- 12pm -- Homemade mung beans in tomato, onion gravy with basmati rice

Afternoon snacks -- 2:30pm and 5pm -- 18gr natural almonds and 1 medium apple

Dinner -- 7pm -- Oh She Glows "Long Weekend Grilled Salad"

Hello World!

I am starting this record because I am two things: 1) inspired to get my life back on track. I want to be healthy, happy and fit. I want to live with the highest quality of life for as long as possible and I want to make sure that when I get to the older years of my life I am not a burden on the people around me; 2) motivated by some of the most amazing people I have ever met. Between the men and women I've met on MyFitnessPal, Runkeeper and all the websites I use since I adopted a vegan lifestyle I have found that I want to strive to be a better person.

I considered adding my background here, where I am came from and how I ended up here-- but I've told that story. So I'm just going to gloss over the highlights.

From age five through high school I was an amazing athlete. I played soccer, ice hockey, ran cross country, down hill skiing, weight lifting and everything in between. I was constantly active and I ate like a true athlete. Not only was I young but my BMR was elevated and I burned every calorie that went through me. At 5'3" I weighed 140 pounds and it was pure muscle.

Then I graduated high school and left for college. I quit working out. I started drinking. I had no money to grocery shop, no kitchen to cook in and a part time Italian restaurant job that gave me a discount on (deep fried) food. I ballooned up to a massive 245 pounds in about eighteen months. I was clinically obese, with a BMI of 43.5. I have photos, and I keep them to remind me where I was. I've lost every pound of that plus some.

But that was four years ago. I need to let go of that. Now I live a new life in a 130 pound body and I need to take care of it or I'll suffer the same fate I did before. Food is my addiction. I love to eat and I love to gorge. That's never going to change. So I need to find ways to negate my intake.

I need to start working out again.

So here I am. Writing to keep track of where I started and to keep a full record of how this path is going. Hopefully to find new friends in the same, or similar situations, that want to swap stories.

A week ago my boyfriend and I started a weight lifting program and have been pretty diligent about sticking to it. I plan to post each day I work out with a photo, description of the work out and quick "how I felt" blurb. My hope is too look back in a year (or even longer) and to see how far I've come.

I look forward to sharing this journey and cannot wait to see just how far I'll go!