Weakness is a Choice

weakness is a choiceWhere we are now is normally a result of our own actions and our own choices. Sure, there are some things that we can’t control – yet we still can control our reaction to even those things. 

We all have the same amount of time in the day. We may fill it up with work, facebook, kids, pets, church, TV, sleep, eating, etc…but we ultimately get to decide how we spend a lot of our time even if some of our time is not negotiable.

We ALL are busy. We all are pulled in a million different directions. One thing I’ve learned is I can ALLOW people, work, money, bills, stress, etc to pull me off track from what is important to me or I can stick to my guns and determine my own steps. 

When I say I did NOT want to run the morning I tweeted this quote out online Saturday, I meant it! I had precious family coming into town and knew I would be pressing it to run, shower, clean or do whatever needed to be done in time for their arrival. Plus, I was plain tired. I had already done 8 cardios so far that week and could have EASILY justified skipping a day. BUT (Biiiiiiiiiigggggg BUT) if I skipped it, it would have really been out of pure laziness and lame excuses. 

Running with your dogI didn’t have a ton of time, but I had enough time. I might have been tired, but I had the energy. My joints felt good, my body was feeling good. The whether was nice and Marley LOVES running with me so I can kill 2 birds with one stone – we both get exercise.

Steve got up and was doing his cardio. I honestly had no really good excuse NOT to – AND I knew good and well I’d feel horrible if I didn’t. Even though it wouldn’t have been the end of the world, it’s important to do the things that make you feel good and proud.

When it boils down to it, I had the choice. Run now, be proud later. Run now, be strong later, Run now, be thinner later, Run now, be guilt-free later. Run now, be a little closer to your goal later. Run now and live out the rest of the day in control, on track, focused, healthy and happy.

Next time you are tempted to be weak, remember you have the choice to be STRONG!!

Short & Sweet (and Seriously Effective) Shoulder Workout

Even if you don’t have a lot of time, you can give the time you have your very best! If you want a great pump but you are short on time, here is a great shoulder workout that is short and sweet – but potent!

Trainer Notes: NO rest between paired up exercises. Click on the exercise to see video instruction.

5 Give it Your BestSuper Sets:
Shoulder Press with Lateral Raises

Shoulder Press 15lb  + 10 5lb Lateral Raises
Shoulder Press 20lb + 10 5lb Lateral Raises
Shoulder Press 25lb + 10 5lb Lateral Raises
Shoulder Press 20lb + 10 5lb Lateral Raises
Shoulder Press 15lb + 10 5lb Lateral Raises

5 Super Sets
Arnold Presses with Bent-Over Rear Delt

Press 15lb + 12 8lb-10lb Rear Delt Raise
Press 20lb + 12 8lb-10lb Rear Delt Raise
Press 15lb + 12 8lb-10lb Rear Delt Raise
Press 15lb + 12 8lb-10lb Rear Delt Raise

4 Sets of Upright Row 
45lb Bar x 12
(Add weight each set)

If you limit your rest and have a good spotter, this workout should tear your shoulders up (in a good way I mean!) lol
Have a good workout!!

Nano 4.0: The Perfect Gym Shoe

The following post is sponsored by FitFluential LLC on behalf of Reebok.

REEBOK NANO4Reebok’s CrossFit Nano 4.0 shoes are not just for CrossFit enthusiasts. While the CrossFit community did help Reebok design the perfect shoe for their type of training, this shoe belongs in EVERY gym.

The 4mm heel to toe drop makes this shoe super stable, which is important when lifting weights – especially for leg day. That’s why the Nano is the shoe I wear every day I do heavy lifting, squatting or any other workout requiring balance or a good stable base.

Here is an example of my leg routine I did this week with my new Nano 4.0s!

LEG DAY

6 Sets of Prone Hamstring Curls
My weights:
2 Sets 50lbs
2 Sets 60lbs
2 Sets 70lbs

 straight leg deadlifts4 Sets of Straight Leg Deadlifts
15 reps at 95lbs (Steve was wearing his new Nanos too!)

4 Sets of Seated Hamstring Curls
15 sets of 60-80lbs
(going up each set, ending with 12 reps)

Leg Press4-5 Sets of Leg Press
30 reps (Starting with 2 Plates ending with 4 Plates)

4 Sets of 1-Leg Leg Press
20 reps – Starting with 1 plate, going to 4 plates
(shedding 1 plate after 10 reps)

Leg Extension4 Sets of Leg Extension
20 reps each
If you want to go up in weight each set,
you can go down in reps :)
FEEL THE BURNNNNNN! ;)

 

My Nano4 Review:

Reebok Nano4The first day I wore my new Nano 4.0s, I did an hour on the elliptical, an hour of legs and an hour of kickboxing. I have to admit, that was a little overkill on the first day of breaking in a shoe. I got a little blister around my ankle from the extra support they put in the shoe during kickboxing, but wore them again with no problems at all. While I wouldn’t go on a long run with them personally (because my feet do better with a little more arch support and cushion), I will use them for short runs, elliptical, plyos and weight training.

The upper part of the shoe is wrapped in a protective lightweight rubber mesh that adds more durability (great for rope climbing) and activities where the upper shoe may rub against another surface. The shoe’s sole grips the ground nicely, perfect for box jumps and plyos.

Aside from the practicality of the shoe in a fitness setting, the Nanos are the only tennis shoe I find myself wearing outSIDE the gym! Steve and I both wear them with regular clothes because they just look cool. Instead of a typical looking tennis shoe that looks like it’s only made for running, Reebok Nanos look stylish enough to wear with jeans or cute shorts. They are hands-down the most versatile tennis shoe on the market.

CLICK HERE to check out all the colors!

Are You Lying to Yourself?

call it what it isHave you ever been afraid to verbalize something in fear it would make it more real? I believe we have a way of candy-coating the truths in our lives by not calling things what they are.

Recently I was listening to a message about Joseph, the coat of many colors guy who was sold to slavery and raised up to leadership. He was a loyal worker, and had great favor where ever he went. It also said he was EXTREMELY handsome. As a result, his boss’s wife tried to seduce him. His response was “How then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God“. This may not seem like a big statement here, but how many times do we respond to doing something wrong with calling it what it really is?

Joseph not only saw it wasn’t right, but he saw just how seriously wrong it was – not just that it wasn’t right to do to his boss, but he saw how it wasn’t right to do to God. Talk about taking things up a notch!

What if we were to be more truthful with our struggles, thoughts and actions? What if we started being more honest with ourself and with others? I believe in my heart, we let things (problems) linger in our life because we never really truly address them in truth.

There needs to be a time when we all look in the mirror and we face the things we try to run from. Here are a few examples:

I can’t lose weight.
Am I really doing everything I can do?

I probably should cut back the wine.
Am I an alcoholic?

I need more time and money.
Am I using my time and money wisely?

I don’t want to join a gym.
Am I letting my pride get in the way of my health?

I just really like her/him a lot.
I am married and I am fighting an attraction which is wrong and will never be right.

I eat really healthy.
Could I still be eating too much?

I love food.
Am I letting food control me?

You fill in the blanks…..
We all have our issues and our demons we must face. For Joseph, it was a constant pursuing of his boss’s wife – even when he was doing all the right things. BUT, he never gave into temptation because he never stopped seeing it for what it was.

I challenge you today to face your struggles head on, write them down, talk about them with someone you love and trust. You can never win a battle you never admit you are having. :)

Food Prep: 6 Healthy Chicken Salads

low-calorie curry chicken salad recipeWe Pfiesters are always looking for high-protein snacks and easy meals. This is why chicken salads are a hot item in our kitchen. Last weekend I made a Low-Fat Buffalo Chicken Salad that Steve LOVED, and this weekend I made a Curry Chicken Salad. Throw it on a cracker for a snack or scoop a cup out on a bed of greens for a meal. Either way, this is one great low-cal recipe that makes dieting pretty darn easy! The only hard part will be not going back for seconds!

Curry Chicken, Grape & Apple Salad Recipe

curry chicken salad1/2 Cup Chobani Plain Yogurt
1 Cup Chopped Grapes
1 Cup Chopped Apple
6 1/3 Cup Chopped Chicken Breast
1 Tablespoon Curry Powder
3 Tablespoons Lemon Juice
4 Packets Truvia (or your favorite sweetener)
1/2 Teaspoon Salt

Whisk the yogurt, curry powder, 2 (of the 3) tablespoons lemon juice, salt and sweetener together until smooth. In a separate bowl, mix the grapes, chicken, apple and the final tablespoon of lemon juice together. Then stir both together until well-coated and mixed. Chill before serving.

TIP: I’d add walnuts if I wasn’t dieting, but they crank up the calories quick, so no nuts for us.  I do have some nuts, but I don’t put them in our food because they are too hard to count accurately in a recipe. Instead, I add them on top so I can adjust my fat as needed for that day. 

Makes 8 cups, or 16 1/2 cup servings. We do 1/2 cup servings because we often eat them as a snack. 2 servings with salad greens is great for a full meal.

Nutritional Information:
97 servings per 1/2 cup serving
15g protein, 1.8g fat, 3g carbs

5 More Chicken Salads

2 Healthy Broccoli & Chicken Salads

121-Calorie Waldorf Chicken Salad

Low-Cal Chicken Peppercorn Salad

Curried Chicken, Black Bean & Mango Salad

It’s Not a Diet, It’s Self-Control

I'm not dietingPeople do NOT like the word diet. It’s like a bad 4-letter word that’s offensive in all countries. Everyone has a different definition of diet. I admit I use the word all the time, but I never think of it as a bad thing. To me, diet means results. It means healthy food, smart food. It means perfect portions, not overeating, not eating junk. It means practicing self-control and it means feeling great.

When did practicing self-control become so scary and bad? God ENCOURAGES us to practice self-control. There are countless scriptures on the importance of controlling our body, cravings and desires.

As you know, I like chips and salsa. I can’t eat it every day (but I WANT TO), but I do eat it. What if you let your kid eat whatever they wanted to eat every day? That’s a scary thought right? Well, it’s not too much worse than a grown adult eating whatever they want to eat every day. It might “look” healthier than PopTarts and Happy Meals, but it’s not much different when it comes to self-control.

Stop looking at dieting (or practicing self-control) as a horrible thing. Instead, look at it as empowering! Every time you resist your favorite cheat food, you are reminding yourself you are strong, you are one step closer to your goal, you are in control, you are not letting food rule your life, you are bettering yourself, you are doing the right and healthy thing. Every time you are eating healthy, you’re fueling your body with the foods it needs to help you reach your goals. Be proud, be excited!

Self-control requires sacrifice. Sacrifice requires being uncomfortable at first, but pleasure follows. Lack of self-control is the other way around. Pleasure first followed by discomfort that typically way outlasts the pleasure. Dieting (eating right, practicing self-control, managing calories) is investing in your future – and it’s SO worth it!!

Download the LoseIt app today and start taking control of your eating – and your body!

Workout with Me FREE for 1 Month

BCx Boot CampYou might have seen photos of Steve and I on social media at LiveExercise. We lead an online workout class that is LIVE (yes, you get to see ME suffer for a change boot campers!). We do not edit it, we do not take breaks. We do no stop when we get sick (Ok, I might pause and whine for a few seconds before Steve makes me get back at it!), but the whole idea of LiveExercise is it is REAL, it is LIVE.

If you can’t workout with me at my gym, you can now workout with me online! Last fall, we started our BCx Boot Camp show online (it started off being called LiveXFit by BCx, but now is just called BCx), and it’s been doing GREAT!! Each show is a little different, but they all are super challenging and all combine strength with cardio to burn fat and tone up all in one 30-40 minute workout. We do a lot of body weight exercises along with a variety of tools from gallons of water to kettlebells. We teach you modifications if you don’t have the tools we are using and we constantly are doing something new and fresh.

Get Your Free Trail

If you are not sure what to do in the gym, need some fresh routines, or just like to follow a good program, join us on our BCx show at LiveExercise and try us out for a month FREE!! Just type in the code “BCX” to get your 30 day trial. No credit card necessary, just sign up and start your workout!!

liveexercise

Not only do you get to workout with us, you will have access to over 3,000 workouts! So give LiveExercise a test run and tell us what you think! I think you’ll love what you see – there is NOTHING out there even close to it!! We are proud to be a part of the LiveExercise family and consider it an honor to be a part of your fitness journey! <3

Where to Start:

Option #1 – do our most current show. Each show is dated and the most current show is the featured video.
Option #2 – scroll to the bottom and choose from one of the most current shows based on focus. (see screen shot below)

BCX boot camp

Option #3 – Click on “See All Episodes” and choose from all the shows. You can even bookmark shows you really loved to go back to later. :)

BCX shows

Option #4 – Go to the Onboarding page and have the LiveExercise team suggest workouts you might like (from all the workout shows).

CLICK HERE TO GET STARTED!


A Sneak Peak of Our Instructors…

LiveExercise Instructors

 

My 1,200 Calorie Meal Plan

meal prepAfter posting this pic of my fridge after doing meal prep for the week, a few people asked me to share what my normal day’s food looks like.

First, it’s important to know we all have different goals. Right now, I’m trying to reduce my body fat. I started at 18% body fat and I’m now down to 14%, but I still have to get even leaner for the LiveExercise shoot on August 21st. I’ve consistently lost about 2lbs a week, while maintaining muscle mass (according to the InBody body composition machine we use to track progress). I actually even gained a pound of muscle during the process.

My diet is based on 1200 calories a day. Right now I’m doing 7 cardios a week and strength training 4-5 days a week. With that said, here’s what I’ve been eating & doing…

AM: 5AM-9AM

yogurt parfaitAM WORKOUT
Mondays-Thursday I do a fasting cardio (no breakfast until after cardio).
(All I have prior to that is coffee)

BREAKFAST: (Budget: 200 calories)
5oz plain Chobani greek yogurt, berries & 3 T granola (198 calories)
OR protein shake with orange juice & protein powder (181 calories)
OR egg beaters with spinach & tomatoes (or 2 63 Calorie Quiche)

AFTERNOON: 11AM-5PM

PinwheelsLUNCH: (Budget: 200-300 calories)
Pinwheels: 4 ounces of fresh lunch meat (rolled up) with 1/4 avocado or cream cheese
OR 4 ounces of grilled or smoked chicken with avocado, lime juice, garlic, tomatoes and salt
OR the above meat, avocado over greens with vinegar

SNACK (3-4PM): (Budget: 100 -150 calories)
100-150 calorie snack like 140-calorie progresso light soup, grapes & cheese stick, more pinwheels, 1/2 banana & 1 tsp peanut butter, or a few almonds.

PM WORKOUT – LIFT WEIGHTS (4-6PM)

Post workout protein shake (1 scoop) or one Cocotein protein drink by IsoPure (100-140 calories).

EVENING: 6PM-9PM

chicken and green beansDINNER: (Budget: 200 calories if I plan on snacking afterwards, 400 calories if I will not snack, or if I am good on my calories for the day)

Grilled Chicken with one green side (asparagus, brussel sprouts, broccoli, green beans, kale or salad greens). Read 25 Low-Cal Greens for more ideas. (200-250 calories)

Note: I season my greens a few different ways: #1 –  lemon juice, garlic, salt & pepper (tasty on cabbage), #2 soy sauce & olive oil (perfect on green beans), #3 Badia Complete Seasoning & olive oil (good on everything), #3 Steam with salt, garlic & butter spray, #4 Balsamic vinegar, olive oil & seasoning (great on asparagus), curry, stevia, olive oil & salt (yum on brussel sprouts) or #5 lemon juice, parmesan cheese & salt (yummy on broccoli). I grill and steam my veggies a lot. I personally like my veggies crisp and a little charred from the grill. :)

SNACK:

100-150 calorie snack (100 calorie popcorn, Veggie Straws, Weight Watcher’s Smoked Mozzarella string cheese, big dill pickle, cucumber chips in vinegar, hot tea, pretzel sticks or caramel rice cakes (minis). NOTE: I don’t need ANY of these snacks, but I budget in a salty snack because I enjoy it! ;)

DETAILS:

Think about what you have to gainMy meal plan is based on a daily budget of 900 – 1200 calories – 1200 calories on days I exercise and 900-1000 calories on days I don’t workout. My goal for my substrates (protein, carbs & fats) for what I’m training for is 40-50% protein, 30-40% fat & 20-25% carbs. A simple 33/33/33 would be perfectly fine for most people (and you’d still get insane results). The more extreme split is VERY HARD for me. Every day I strive for this, and most days I miss it, but I learn every day and I do better than I would if I wasn’t trying! :)

Please realize this is not a prescribed diet. This isn’t a diet at all. This is what I am eating. I treat my body like a science project and adjust my food according to how I perform, how I feel and the results I’m getting. If I am low on energy, I boost my healthy fats or increase my healthy carbs. If I’m losing muscle, I check my LoseIt app and look to see if I need to increase my protein. However, I RARELY increase carbs – that’s one area I seem to have NO problem getting enough of! lol So far, at 1200 calories a day, I’m loosing weight and feeling great, so I’m pretty much sticking to the same things since I know they work for me.

MAINTENANCE

When I reach maintenance, I like to continue this format during the week (with a little more room for extra fun calories) and have a cheat meal once a week. It’s all about checks and balances. The more you learn to maintain balance, the happier and healthier you will be. Some people cheat a little everyday but never cheat big (this is more me). Other people like to be strict during the week and cheat big on the weekends (this is more Steve). The key to success is finding what you can live with long-term because fitness isn’t supposed to be something you do for a season, it’s a lifestyle. Sure, you can lose weight for a competition or photo shoot, and have extreme moments, but you should be programmed to go right back to a healthy balance of a healthy diet and lifestyle you can maintain long-term. :)

 

Tank Talk: What’s Your Sweat Say?

ViewSportDoes your sweat talk? Mine does (thanks to ViewSport sweat activation apparel). I got my shipment of ViewSport clothing last night and couldn’t wait to wear it on our BCx Boot Camp show on LiveExercise.com. I already had one tank, but now I have a bunch of fun outfits that “talk” as I sweat.

Today’s Outfit:

“Strength is Beautiful” Tank
Secret Message on Back: “Train Harder”

Performance Heartbreaker Shorts in Hot Pink

 ViewSport

You can even CUSTOMIZE your OWN designs and messages! Create your own secret message for your running group, competition team, gym members, cheerleader squad or sport. CLICK HERE for more information or to browse their store! More pics to come! Follow me on Instagram, Facebook & Twitter for more pics!

Pain-Free Running: Do You Need Orthotics?

The Shoe Lady I recently visited my friend, Audree “The Shoe Lady”, who is a Certified Pedorthist located at Bob’s Shoe Repair on 8th Street in Vero Beach, to get some guidance with orthotics. My left ankle had been acting up again. Last year I had to stop cardio altogether and go to rehab – and I was NOT going to let that happen again!

She suggested I need more arch support and fit me for some orthotics to go in my running shoes – and I also got 2 new pair of Spira running shoes!! (See my product review on Spira Footwear)

Spira FootwearThe first thing I noticed was that I could really feel the orthotic’s arch in my left shoe much more than the right. This told me that I definitely had a lower (collapsing) arch in that foot. I had no idea I needed arch support! My arches weren’t hurting – my ankle was. She explained how they are connected and said that was very common.

Later that day I went to Posture Perfect and had my posture analyzed. Low and behold, not only did I have arch issues, my center of gravity was leaning over my left foot. Dr. Wetter took photos, I could clearly see the right side of my body crossing over the “plum line” (the reference to where my center was supposed to be) over to my left side. How interesting was this?! It was an “a-ha” moment for me, and it all made perfect sense. No wonder I needed arch support on my left foot, it was bearing all my weight!

OrthoheelAfter nearly 3 weeks of running with my new arch support, not only am I not having ankle pain, I am running MORE! Since I’m trying to lean out, I needed to run more than usual. I did a total of 9 cardios last week, between running, kickboxing and LiveExercise classes, and my ankle is pain-free. The orthotics fit every pair of shoe I have so I can use them in my new Spiras or switch them out as needed.

After great success, I interviewed Audree to learn more so I could pass along more information on orthotics because I realize I’m probably not the only one who needs her help!!

1. What is the most common foot problem you see?
Plantar Fasciitis for sure…

2. How is it fixed?
Immediate action includes anti inflammatories, ice, stretching (I recommend tracing the alphabet with your foot). A more long term solution would be a foot orthotic and a good supportive shoe. A foot orthotic will help to diffuse the weight bearing of the foot, thereby taking pressure off the heel and supporting the mid-foot and arch.

3. What are symptoms of a possible shoe issue.  
Pain. If you suddenly develop some sort of foot pain or knee pain, it can be an indicator your shoe is not the right shoe for the activity you’re doing, or it is worn out (for example, cushion, heel wear or uneven heel wear).

4. What do most people not know about insoles?
That an insole is just that, a piece of foam that can replace the insole of the shoe. What most people need is arch support. A foot orthotic, either off-the-shelf or custom, can disperse the weight bearing of the entire foot.

5. How do you know if an insole is right for you?
In most cases you may need a professional opinion to begin with, but you always want something with arch support. (Tip: To test the quality of the insole, do this test: Lay the “insole” on a flat surface and push down on the arch. It should not flatten out.) Additionally, some people need more cushion while others need something more aggressive and firmer.

6. What is the price range for good insoles?
$35-$75 for a decent off-the-shelf orthotic.

7. What is the best insole on the market & what does it cost?
Believe it or not, the best orthotic I carry is one of my least expensive by Vionic. It has good arch support as well as a good cushion.

8. What is one thing you wish you could tell all your customers?
Arch support, arch support, arch support. The human foot was not designed to walk on concrete, which is what we do everyday.

Running with my dogMarley and I thank you Audree for taking care of my feet!! We’ve had a blast on our morning runs together – and we wouldn’t have been able to run every morning without you and your orthotic insoles!!!

THANK YOU!!

 

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