Sunday, December 30, 2018

Five Days on Track...


Yup, that right there is one of the main reasons I do keto (excluding it controlling my pain levels).  Anyway, the last five days have been interesting as I work to get back into ketosis and detox from simple carbs and sugars again.

I know in my head that this is the best thing for my body but right now it kind of sucks. I miss being able to eat whatever I want whenever I want in whatever qualities I want. I realize that's why I gained back almost 40 lbs and why I feel like crap and why everything was hurting but I still miss it. I'm dealing with a lot of exhaustion and bad headaches as well but I know that will be over once I'm done detoxing.

I also know that it's normal for me to hate keto for the first week or so of doing it and to be down about food so I know this will pass soon. I usually do much better by day 9-12 and at least I'm sticking to the plan right now now matter how much I'm disliking it.

Right now I'm halfway to my first weigh-in day and seeing the scale drop will probably help my mood as well. I also planned on working out by now but I hurt my back today (by sneezing... WTF) so that may be postponed for a few days. We'll see how my back feels tomorrow.

I think that's it for now. Hopefully my mood will be much happier the next time I check in on here.

Thursday, December 27, 2018

100 Days of Keto Challenge - Day One - The Beginning (Edited and Reposted from Yesterday)

I'm editing and rewriting this post because I decided to go with the Ketofy.me 100-Day Keto Challenge rather than my own but I'm not restarting the challenge over again so today is still Day 2 but the scale photo says "Day 1" because it's the Wednesday, Day 1 pic.


Yesterday was Day 1 of the 100-Days of Keto Challenge. I've regained 38 pounds and numerous inches, none of my clothes fit right and I have a long way to go to get back to where I was but I know I can do this!

I'll be starting my workouts this weekend and I'm also going back to doing daily yoga poses as of January 1st when we start the January Yoga Challenge.

Here are all my starting stats including weight, measurements and body fat % and since I'm following to the keto challenge I'm only going to be weighing-in every 10 days instead of every Thursday and I'll also be doing my measurements and body fat % on those 10 days as well.

I'm also going to continue to do rewards every 25 days so I should earn four rewards during this time!

100-Days of Keto Challenge Starting Numbers:

Weight:
195.6 lbs

Body Fat
42.4%

Measurements:              Change from 9/10/2018
Waist: 39 inches                     (+ 1.5 inches)
Hips: 44.5 inches                     (+ 4 inches)
Bust: 43 inches                       (+ 2.5 inches)
Chest: 36 inches                     (+ 1.5 change)
Right arm: 13.5 inches             (+ 0.3 inches)
Left arm:  13.5 inches               (+ 0.3 inches)           
Right thigh: 26.5 inches            (+ 1.5 inches)
Left thigh:  25.5 inches              (+ 1.5 inches)
Right calf: 17 inches                  (+ 1.5 inches)
Left calf:   17 inches                   (+ 1.5 inches)
Jeans Size: size 12                         (2 sizes)

And here is the challenge PDF and print out that I will be using from https://ketofy.me/

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

It's Finally Time for a New Beginning...


I have been off track and off keto for several weeks now (because I wanted a break while everything was going on with my dad and then I just ate all my feelings) and every part of me is paying for it.

Not only have I gained back a huge amount of weight (I'm at my highest weight in, probably, two years and none of my clothes fit right) but the fibromyalgia pain is the worst it's been in years. I'm actually a little shocked at how bad the pain is. Everything hurts and I mean everything from the top of my head where brushing my hair feels like I'm dragging a rake against my scalp down to my legs that I can't even shave because running the razor against my skin, no matter how lightly, feels like I'm carving gouges in my legs.

Every part of my skin feels this way. Touching any part of my body feels like I'm punching it. Every joint hurt, especially in my fingers, wrists, ankles and knees. Every muscle aches (and not in a good way). My joints are stiff and hard to move, body aches and cries when I move it and the parts of my body that I injured working out a few weeks ago (which turned out to be more my deep bicep muscles rather than my shoulder) hurts to the point where if I move my arm a certain way it feels like something is tearing in it.

I'm moving and walking like a robot because everything hurts. I'm tired all the time but I'm having trouble falling asleep. I have no energy, my head hurts and my entire body aches and screams. Every touch, every movement, every everything hurts.

The funny part is that I knew keto helped with my fibromyalgia pain. I blogged about and talked about but I didn't realize just how bad the pain could get until I completely fell off the wagon and starting eating anything and everything that sounded good and now I fully realize (again) that I HAVE to be on keto to remain pain free or at least keep it at a reasonable level.

Yes, of course the weight loss is a huge perk but that's not what I really need keto for. I need it to keep the pain under control which also means that cheat days or free days or whatever I call them are probably not the best idea but I can deal with all that later.

My plan now is to get back on keto as of tomorrow and do my own 100-day keto challenge where I weigh in once a week and take my measurements once a month. Now that Christmas has come I really have no excuses and I can't afford to gain any more weight unless I want to start buying bigger clothes (which I really don't).

I plan to go back to what I was doing that was working for me: counting calories and macros, weighing and measuring my food, staying under 50 total grams of carbs a day and under 35 net carbs (or lower depending on the day), intermittent fasting, doing the daily yoga poses again, starting up with my workouts and generally getting back on track with what makes me feel my best.

I also need to pay a lot more attention to my nutrition and protein levels, especially when I work out for two hours a day, so that's something I'm definitely focusing on.

I will be working out in my home gym for the next several months (at least) because the way our finances are right now, I needed to cancel my gym membership. I should be able to start on Saturday because I'm waiting for one new piece of home gym equipment (I'll post all about it with pics when it gets here) that will allow me to use my barbell safely and that's not coming until Friday.

I'm not looking forward to my first weigh-in tomorrow because I know it's not going to be good and I know I'm back in the 190's but it is what it is and all I can do is get back on track and lose it again.

I also plan to get back to more frequent blogging and talking about what's working for me and what isn't and generally getting myself back to a healthy place.

So let's do this!

Merry Christmas!!


Merry Christmas! Christ is born! Glorify Him! 

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

A Change of Plans....


I want to be completely honest with all my readers and followers because honesty is something I highly value and, honestly, I am in no way, shape or form ready to mentally and emotionally handle restarting keto right now.

So I'm eating whatever and just getting by, I guess. On the plus side I'm not binging which is awesome and I'm eating reasonable amounts of food, it's just not keto foods.

The plan is to restart again the day after Christmas (but we will NOT be ordering more Chinese food or cake) and hopefully I'll be ready then.

In the meantime I'm going to keep working on yoga poses and getting back to the gym soon, I'm just not going to worry about food right now and I'm okay with this.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

My Father ~ November 30, 1933 - December 9, 2018

"For this is a journey we all must take
And each must go alone.
It's all part of the master plan
A step on the road to home." 
-Christina Rossetti


My father Pavel passed away peacefully on Sunday, December 9th 2018 after a long and well-lived life.

My father was an artist, a craftsman, an engineer and a poet. His creativity was unending and even when the strokes he suffered took his language and his words, he continued to create with his hands until, that too, was taken from him.

There are so many things I can say about him as a father, an artist, a grandfather and a man but I think the most important is that he would give you the shirt off his back without a second thought.

Even now, after his passing, people are sharing stories of how and what he gave, especially the amazing wooden vases and flowers that he made in his basement workshop. If my father liked you, you got a vase and that's just how it was. He would give them away as gifts to nearly everyone who crossed his path and they are still cherished in many homes.

There is so, so much more that I can write about: his early life in Russia, his survival through WWII and the Siege of Leningrad and his childhood. I can write about how he was a dissident, a political refugee, a stranger in this land. I can write about how he lived here, became a citizen and made this his home but how his heart belonged to Russia. I can write about his motorcycle, the camping trips we would take by the Black Sea before we emigrated and the two suitcases my parents were able to bring when we left; one with clothes and one with family photos and books.

I can write about the poetry readings he took me too, the bedtime stories he used to make up every night about a character named "stupid" and his friends. I can write about the workshop he created in our home and learning to use the lathes, drills and saws to help with his art.

I can write about the Saturday mornings spent at craft fairs as we grew up, about bringing him to my high school history classes and translating for him as he spoke about what he experienced during the war, the random road trips and the vodka he flavored by hand.

I can write about his poetry, his travels, his hopes and dreams, his fears and his demons. His sense of humor and the practical jokes he played, his love for his family, the stories he used to tell and the Russian war songs he would listen to, the poems he wrote and read and the travels he took.

I could write and write and write and never fully be able to express who he truly was and what he was like so I will share the one story that truly encompasses who my father was to me.

In Russia, my father was an engineer and was expected to look the part including decent clothing but, at that time, his shoes were falling apart to the point where they were barely wearable. He and my mother scraped by with two kids (the younger two had not been born yet) and my mother finally got together enough money to buy him a pair of decent shoes. She insisted that he had to get them and so he finally went out to do that.

Two hours later he returned and walked into the apartment with a horribly guilty look on his face holding a wooden rocking horse behind his back.

My mother, shocked, asked "what is this?" and his reply was that it was for the kids. That we saw it when we passed a toy store days earlier and that we really wanted it.

Yes, my father spent his last few dollars on a wooden rocking horse for his children and continued to wear shoes that were falling apart.

That is who my father was and that is one of the many, many things he left with us. I know I inherited so much of who he was and the gifts that he had and I will always be grateful for that.

May his memory forever be eternal!

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Needing to Pause...


I'm taking a short break from working out because I tweaked my shoulder on Push Day C and it's not feeling too good.

I don't plan to break for long, just enough for it to feel better and when I do work out again, it'll probably be at the gym rather than home (unless weather or circumstances dictate otherwise).

There's a lot I can accomplish at the gym that I can't at home and on days I can't make it to the gym I can still work out at home so it works either way.

For now though I need to rest my shoulder and polish up my gym workout!

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Tuesday, December 4th Workout - Pull Day C - Back, Traps, Biceps & Forearms Plus Cardio & Yoga Stretch

I had a great workout today and I loved using my barbell! Tomorrow I have Leg Day C which has a couple of really tough exercises in it!

Pull Day C - Back, Traps, Biceps & Forearms Plus Cardio & Yoga Stretch: 2 hours, 10 Minutes Total Time

Warm-Up: 10 Minutes

Foam Rolling - hold 30 seconds per stretch & side:
Neck
Upper Back
Lats

Dynamic Warm-Up:
Forearm Plank:  3 planks x 30 second hold
Bird Dog - 10 reps
10 reps x bodyweight of every exercise of Pull Day C
Walk in Place - 1 Minute

Back, Traps, Biceps & Forearms: 57 Minutes

Superman with Heel and Elbow Squeezes - 3 sets x 15 reps: 3 x bodyweight

Seated Bench Single-Arm Anchored Band Reverse Lat Pulldown w/large handle- 3 sets x 15 reps: 3 x 30 lb band (doubled)

Standing 1-Arm Dumbbell Upright Row - 3 sets x 15 reps: 3 x 12 lbs

Reverse Grip Barbell Row - 3 sets x 15 reps: 3 x 10 lb plate + 2.5 lb plate on each side plus 12.9 lb barbell

Incline Bench Dumbbell Alternating Bicep Curl - 3 sets x 15 reps: 3 x 10 lbs

Anchored Band Hammer Bicep Curl w/tricep rope - 3 sets x 15 reps: 3 x 20 lb band (doubled)

Single-Arm Dumbbell Curl Over the Incline Bench - 3 sets x 15 reps: 3 x 10 lbs

Standing Behind the Back Dumbbell Forearm Extension - 3 sets x 15 reps: 3 x 3 lbs

Cardio: 35 Minutes: 
“Leslie Sansone's Walk At Home Burn Body Fat & Sculpt Your Arms: 2 Miles”: Fitbit info: time: 35 minutes, distance: 1.87 miles

Full Body Yoga Stretch (holding each pose for 15 seconds per side) - 28 Minutes

MyZone Info                                                       Fitbit Info

Monday, December 3, 2018

Monday, December 3rd Workout - Push Day C - Chest, Shoulders & Triceps Plus Cardio & Yoga Stretch

Today I started my "C" day workouts and it was a long workout day!

Push Day C had single-arm exercises for 5 out of the 8 different exercises so it took longer than normal. I also went lighter on the weights I used due to the fact that they were single-arm and could handle less weight and I learned not to go too high with the incline lateral raise :/ Plus today's cardio workout was 35 minutes long instead of 30.

I also had one new exercise I've never done before, the "around the world" exercise for the chest and I l liked it but I had to go super light on that one (3 lb dumbbells) in order to keep my form correct.

Pull Day C tomorrow (which also has several single arm exercises in it).

Push Day C - Chest, Shoulders & Triceps Plus Cardio & Stretch: 2 hours, 13 Minutes Total Time

Warm-Up: 10 Minutes

Foam Rolling - hold 30 seconds per stretch & side:
Neck
Chest Opener
Pecs

Dynamic Warm-Up:
Forearm Plank:  3 planks x 30 second hold
Knee push-ups - 10 reps
10 reps x bodyweight of every exercise of Push Day B
Walk in Place - 1 Minute

Chest, Shoulders & Triceps: 1 Hour

Incline Push Ups Using the Kitchen Sink - 3 sets x 15 reps: 3 x bodyweight

Single-Arm Dumbbell Flat Bench Alternating Chest Press/Chest Fly (vertical hold) -  3 sets x 15 reps: 3 x 8 lbs

Flat Bench Dumbbell Around the World -  3 sets x 15 reps: 3 x 3 lbs

Single-Arm Anchored Band Shoulder Front Raise w/large handle -  3 sets x 15 reps: 3 x 5 lb band (doubled)

Single-Arm Incline Bench Dumbbell Lateral Raise -  3 sets x 15 reps: 3 x 5 lbs

90-Degree Shoulder Pulses  - 3 sets x 15 reps: 3 x 3 lb dumbbells + heavy loop band around upper arms (15-20 lbs)

Single-Arm Overhead Dumbbell Tricep Extension Seated on Bench (dumbbells to the side of head) - 4 sets x 10 reps: 4 x 8 lbs

Dumbbell Triceps Punch Out -  3 sets x 15 reps: 3 x 5 lbs

Cardio: 35 Minutes: 
“Leslie Sansone's Walk At Home Burn Body Fat & Sculpt Your Arms: 2 Miles”: Fitbit info: time: 35 minutes, distance: 1.81 miles

Full Body Yoga Stretch (holding each pose for 15 seconds per side) - 28 Minutes

There's no MyZone info today because the monitor didn't log my workout correctly.       
   Fitbit Info

Motivational Monday

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Sunday, December 2nd Workout - Abs Day A - Upper, Lower & Obliques Plus Cardio & Yoga Stretch

Another great workout done and with today's workout I have finished my "B" days and am moving on to my "C" days tomorrow.

I'm losing inches, my body is stronger and I feel amazing! I can't wait for Push Day C tomorrow!

Abs Day B - Upper, Lower & Obliques Plus Cardio & Yoga Stretch: 1 hour, 53 Minutes Total Time

Warm-Up: 10 Minutes

Foam Rolling - hold 30 seconds per stretch & side:
Neck
Upper Back
Obliques

Dynamic Warm-Up:
Forearm Plank:  3 planks x 30 second hold
Hollow Hold - 3 x 15 seconds
10 reps x bodyweight of every exercise of Abs Day A
Walk in Place - 1 Minute

Upper, Lower & Obliques: 45 Minutes

Forearm  Plank with Leg Lift - 3 sets x Failure: 1 x 20 sec (8 leg lifts), 1 x 19 sec (7 leg lifts), 1 x 18 sec (6 leg lifts),

Flutter Kicks - 3 sets x 15 reps: bodyweight

Stability Ball Crunch  - 3 sets x 15 reps: 3 x heavy loop band around thighs (15-20 lbs)

Wall Toe Reaches - 3 sets x 15 reps: 3 x extra-heavy loop band around thighs (25-30 lbs)

Lever Crunch with Stretch Band - 3 sets x 15 reps: 3 x light stretch band (15 lbs)

Standing Cross-Body Crunch - 3 sets x 15 reps: bodyweight

Standing Dumbbell Side Bend - 3 sets x 10 reps per side: 3 x 10 lbs

Standing Dumbbell Core Stabilization - 3 sets x 10 reps per side: 3 x 10 lbs

Cardio: 30 Minutes: 
“Leslie Sansone's Just Walk: Walk Off Fat Fast - 30 Minute Big Burn”: Fitbit info: time: 30 minutes, distance: 1.65 miles

Full Body Yoga Stretch (holding each pose for 15 seconds per side) - 28 Minutes

MyZone Info                                                       Fitbit Info

30 Day Keto Challenge - Day Ten - Weigh-In One!


Yes! I'm ten days in and I'm down 2 lbs and numerous inches! I've worked really hard in these past ten days, not just with food but with working out and it's paying off.

True, I was hoping to be back in the 170's this time around but I'm very close to it and I'm still happy with my results, especially since I'm back in my size 8 jeans (tight as they may be lol).

Now to tackle the next 10 days of this challenge!

30-Day Keto Challenge - 1st 10-Day Check-In Numbers:

Weight:
180.2 lbs

Total Weight Lost in 1st 10 Days of Challenge:
-2.0 lbs

Body Fat
39.5%

Total Body Fat Lost in 1st 10 Days of Challenge:
-0.4%

Measurements:              Change from 11/23/2018
Waist: 37 inches                           (-1.0 inches)
Hips: 41 inches                             (-0.5 inches)
Bust: 40.5 inches                          (-1.0 inches)
Chest: 34 inches                           (-0.5 inches)
Right arm: 12.5 inches                  (-1.0 inches)
Left arm:  12.5 inches                   (-1.0 inches)
Right thigh: 25 inches                   (-1.0 inches)
Left thigh:  24 inches                     (-1.0 inches)
Right calf: 15.5 inches                    (0.0 inches)
Left calf:   15.5 inches                     (0.0 inches)
Jeans Size: size 8                              (-1 size)

Total Inches Lost in 1st 10 days of Challenge: 
-7 inches

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Saturday, December 1st Workout - Leg Day B - Glutes, Quads, Hamstrings and Calves Plus Cardio & Yoga Stretch

So after a well earned and deserved rest day yesterday I picked right back up with Leg Day B today and I feel great! This is the longest I've been on track with working out in many months and I'm not about to stop!

Abs Day B tomorrow!

Leg Day B - Glutes, Quads, Hamstrings and Calves Plus Cardio & Yoga Stretch: 2 hours, 4 Minutes Total Time

Warm-Up: 10 Minutes

Foam Rolling - hold 30 seconds per stretch & side:
Hamstrings
Calves
Glutes

Dynamic Warm-Up:
Forearm Plank:  3 planks x 30 second hold
Glute Bridge - 10 reps
10 reps x bodyweight of every exercise of Leg Day A
Walk in Place - 1 Minute

Glutes, Quads, Hamstrings & Calves: 56 Minutes

Dumbbell Plie Squat (dumbbell held down at thigh level) -  3 sets x 15 reps: 3 x 10 lbs

Single Leg Dumbbell Deadlift - 3 sets x 15 reps: 3 x 10 lbs holding back of chair

Heavy Weighted Dumbbell Glute Bridge - 3 sets x 15 reps: 3 x 25 lb plate

Reverse Clam Shell with Thigh Squeeze (2 decorative pillows between thighs) - 3 sets x 15 reps: 3 x bodyweight

Anchored Band Hip Adduction - 3 sets x 15 reps: 3 x 20 lb band (doubled over) per side - holding back of chair

Anchored Band Hip Abduction - 3 sets x 15 reps: 3 x 20 lb band (doubled over) per side - holding back of chair

Anchored Band Pull Through w/large handle - 3 sets x 15 reps: 3 x 40 lb band (doubled)

Standing Step Bench Calf Raise - 3 sets x 15 reps: 3 x bodyweight - holding wall anchor

Cardio: 30 Minutes: 
“Leslie Sansone's Just Walk: Walk Off Fat Fast - 30 Minute Big Burn”: Fitbit info: time: 30 minutes, distance: 1.59 miles

Full Body Yoga Stretch (holding each pose for a count of 15 per side) - 28 Minutes

MyZone Info                                                       Fitbit Info

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Thursday, November 29th Workout - Pull Day B - Back, Traps, Biceps & Forearms Plus Cardio & Yoga Stretch

Another great workout day today! The last few days I've have a lot more than energy than I've had in months and I know working out is a huge part of that!

Tomorrow will either be Leg Day B or a rest day depending on how I feel.

Pull Day B - Back, Traps, Biceps & Forearms Plus Cardio & Yoga Stretch: 1 hour, 54 Minutes Total Time

Warm-Up: 10 Minutes

Foam Rolling - hold 30 seconds per stretch & side:
Neck
Upper Back
Lower Back

Dynamic Warm-Up:
Forearm Plank:  3 planks x 30 second hold
Bird Dog - 10 reps
10 reps x bodyweight of every exercise of Pull Day A
Walk in Place - 1 Minute

Back, Traps, Biceps & Forearms: 46 Minutes

Floor Back Extension - 3 sets x 15 reps: bodyweight

Single-Arm Dumbbell Row on bench - 3 sets x 15 reps: 3 x 12 lbs

Seated Anchored Band Row w/double-d handle on bench - 3 sets x 15 reps: 3 x 40 lb band (doubled) + 4.4 lb handle

Incline Bench Chest Supported Dumbbell Reverse Fly - 3 sets x 15 reps: 3 x 5 lbs

Standing Side Dumbbell Shrug-  3 sets x 15 reps: 3 x 15 lbs

Standing Dumbbell Alternating Hammer Curls - 3 sets x 15 reps: 3 x 10 lbs

Seated Bench Dumbbell Twist Bicep Curl - 3 sets x 15 reps: 3 x 10 lbs

Seated Bench Dumbbell Forearm Curl - 3 sets x 15 reps: 3 x 3 lbs

Cardio: 30 Minutes: 
“Leslie Sansone's Just Walk: Walk Off Fat Fast - 30 Minute Big Burn”: Fitbit info: time: 30 minutes, distance: 1.61 miles

Full Body Yoga Stretch (holding each pose for a count of 15 per side) - 28 Minutes

MyZone Info                                                       Fitbit Info

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Wednesday, November 28th Workout - Push Day B - Chest, Shoulders & Triceps Plus Cardio & Yoga Stretch

I just finished Day 5 working out in a row and I feel fantastic! I can definitely see some progress in my movements, especially with the daily yoga stretch, and the mirror I added to my workout area has been incredibly helpful in keeping my form correct!

Pull Day B tomorrow and I'll take a rest day when I feel that my body needs it!

Push Day B - Chest, Shoulders & Triceps Plus Cardio & Stretch: 2 hours, 4 Minutes Total Time

Warm-Up: 10 Minutes

Foam Rolling - hold 30 seconds per stretch & side:
Neck
Chest Opener
Pecs

Dynamic Warm-Up:
Forearm Plank:  3 planks x 30 second hold
Knee push-ups - 10 reps
10 reps x bodyweight of every exercise of Push Day B
Walk in Place - 1 Minute

Chest, Shoulders & Triceps: 56 Minutes

Barbell Flat Bench Chest Press (wide-grip) - 3 sets x 15 reps: 3 x one 5 lb plate on each side plus 12.9 lb barbell

Dumbbell Incline Bench Chest Fly (vertical hold) - 3 sets x 15 reps: 3 x 8 lbs

Seated Dumbbell Arnold Press on bench - 3 sets x 15 reps: 3 x 8 lbs

Anchored Band Shoulder Front Raise w/accessory bar - 3 sets x 15 reps: 3 x 8 lb band (doubled)

Anchored Band Internal Shoulder Rotation w/small handle - 3 sets x 15 reps: 3 x 10-12 lb band (doubled)

Seated Overhead Dumbbell Tricep Extension on Bench - 3 sets x 15 reps: 3 x 10 lbs

1-Arm Dumbbell Tricep Kickbacks on Bench - 3 sets x 15 reps: 3 x 8 lbs

Anchored Band Standing Horizontal Tricep Extension - 3 sets x 15 reps: 3 x 5 lb band (doubled)

Cardio: 30 Minutes: 
“Leslie Sansone's Walk Away the Pounds: 2 Mile Brisk Walk”: Fitbit info: time: 30 minutes, distance: 1.60 miles

Full Body Yoga Stretch (holding each pose for 15 seconds per side) - 28 Minutes

           MyZone Info                                                       Fitbit Info

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Tuesday, November 27th Workout - Abs Day A - Upper, Lower & Obliques Plus Cardio & Yoga Stretch

Abs Day A is done and with today's workout I have finished my "A" days and worked out 4 days in a row!

I had two new exercises today that I hadn't done before which were the "windshield wipers" and the rocking forearm plank (which was really hard) and I added loop bands to several of the exercises just to make my body work a little harder.

I'm loving working out again and I'm definitely going to keep it going! Push Day B tomorrow!

Abs Day A - Upper, Lower & Obliques Plus Cardio & Yoga Stretch: 2 hours, 2 Minutes Total Time

Warm-Up: 10 Minutes

Foam Rolling - hold 30 seconds per stretch & side:
Neck
Upper Back
Obliques

Dynamic Warm-Up:
Forearm Plank:  3 planks x 30 second hold
Hollow Hold - 3 x 15 seconds
10 reps x bodyweight of every exercise of Abs Day A
Walk in Place - 1 Minute

Upper, Lower & Obliques: 52 Minutes

Rocking Forearm  Plank - 3 sets x Failure: 1 x 35 seconds, 1 x 29 seconds, 1 x 25 seconds: bodyweight

Up-Down Plank (full plank to forearm plank back and forth to failure) - 3 sets x Failure: 1 x 10 reps up and down, 1 x 7 reps up and down, 1 x 5 reps up and down: bodyweight

Standing Anchored Band Oblique Crunch w/large handle - 3 sets x 15 reps: 3 x 30 lb band (doubled)

Basic Crunch (arms behind head) - 3 sets x 15 reps: heavy loop band around thighs (15-20 lbs)

Windshield Wipers - 3 sets x 15 reps: heavy loop band around thighs (15-20 lbs)

Cross Body Touches - 3 sets x 15 reps: bodyweight

Dead Bug - 3 sets x 15 reps: bodyweight

Supine Side Reaches - 3 sets x 15 reps: heavy loop band around thighs (15-20 lbs)

Cardio: 30 Minutes: 
“Leslie Sansone's Walk Away the Pounds: 2 Mile Brisk Walk”: Fitbit info: time: 30 minutes, distance: 1.71 miles

Full Body Yoga Stretch (holding each pose for 15 seconds per side) - 30 Minutes

MyZone Info                                                       Fitbit Info
 

Five Days on Track!

Yes! Today I hit 5 days of the 30-day keto challenge and 4 days of working out in a row!

I feel a lot better physically and mentally and the scale is finally moving down instead of up (which is what it's been doing for a while now).

Somehow 30 days for a challenge seems so much more doable than 100 days and much easier to stick to, plus it doesn't hurt that I know my Christmas "off" day is coming. After Christmas I want to shoot for 100 days again but we'll see how it goes as I may do better by breaking it down into more doable segments.

I also feel great working out and it allows me to eat more because of how hard I'm working so I don't feel overly hungry plus I love feeling my body getting back into the workout groove.

So, things are going well and I actually have no desire to cheat which is huge for me considering how the last few months went!

I officially weigh in and do my measurements in five more days and I'm really, really hoping to be back in the 170's by then. I think that's it for now!

Monday, November 26, 2018

Monday, November 26th Workout - Leg Day A - Glutes, Quads, Hamstrings and Calves Plus Cardio & Yoga Stretch

I had a great Leg Day workout today! I worked really hard, my legs feel like jello and, for the first time in a long time, I did cardio on leg day despite how jello-wy my legs felt lol. I also added loop bands to the side lying hip abductions which definitely made the exercise harder!

Abs Day A tomorrow plus a core training session with my trainer (unless we get the expected snow storm and things are closed).

Leg Day A - Glutes, Quads, Hamstrings & Calves Plus Plus Cardio & Yoga Stretch: 2 hours, 6 Minutes Total Time

Warm-Up: 10 Minutes

Foam Rolling - hold 30 seconds per stretch & side:
Glutes
Quads
Calves

Dynamic Warm-Up:
Forearm Plank:  3 planks x 30 second hold
Glute Bridge - 10 reps
10 reps x bodyweight of every exercise of Leg Day A
Walk in Place - 1 Minute

Glutes, Quads, Hamstrings & Calves: 58 Minutes

Dumbbell Goblet Squat (dumbbell held at chest level)  -  3 sets x 15 reps: 3 x 10 lbs

Dumbbell Walking Lunges (dumbbell down at sides) - 3 sets x 10 reps per side: 3 x 10 lbs

Seated Bench Weighted Quad Extensions - 3 sets with weights held between feet x 15 reps: 3 x 10 lb ankle weights per ankle w/8 lbs dumbbells

Prone Bench Dumbbell Hamstring Curl - 3 sets with weights held between feet x 15 reps: 3 x 10 lb ankle weights per ankle w/5 lbs dumbbells

Side Lying Hip Abduction with Loop Band - 3 sets x 15 reps: 3 x Medium Loop band (10-12 lbs)

Weighted Single Leg Glute Bridge (Leg on Thigh) - 3 sets x 15 reps: 3 x 10 lb weighted plate

Wall Glute Bridge with Squeeze (2 decorative pillows between thighs) - 3 sets x 15 reps (body weight)

Seated Bench Dumbbell Calf Raises (dumbbells across thighs) - 3 sets x 15 rep: 3 x 10 lbs on each thigh

Cardio: 30 Minutes: 
“Leslie Sansone's Just Walk: Walk Off Fat Fast - 30 Minute Big Burn”: Fitbit info: time: 30 minutes, distance: 1.62 miles

Full Body Yoga Stretch (holding each pose for 15 seconds per side) - 28 Minutes

MyZone Info                                                       Fitbit Info
 

Motivational Monday

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Sunday, November 25th Workout - Pull Day A - Back, Traps, Biceps & Forearms Plus Cardio & Yoga Stretch

Another great workout where I was able to go up on all my bands and weights except for forearms. I also added a stretch band to the superman exercise to make it slightly more challenging!

Leg Day A tomorrow and since it's been so long since I've done a Leg Day, it's going to be a tough one!

Pull Day A - Back, Traps, Biceps & Forearms Plus Cardio & Yoga Stretch: 1 hour, 55 Minutes Total Time

Warm-Up: 10 Minutes

Foam Rolling - hold 30 seconds per stretch & side:
Neck
Lower Back
Lats

Dynamic Warm-Up:
Forearm Plank:  3 planks x 30 second hold
Bird Dog - 10 reps
10 reps x bodyweight of every exercise of Pull Day A
Walk in Place - 1 Minute

Back, Traps, Biceps & Forearms: 45 Minutes

Superman with stretch band - 3 sets x 15 seconds: 3 x light band (15 lbs)

Wide Grip Anchored Band Lat Pulldown w/curl bar - 3 sets x 15 reps: 3 x 50 lb band (doubled over) + 8 lb Curl Bar

Chest Supported Dumbbell Incline Bench Row (vertical hold) -  3 sets x 15 reps: 3 x 10 lbs

Anchored Band Shrug w/accessory bar -  3 sets x 15 reps: 3 x 40 lb band (doubled over)

Anchored Band Bicep Curl w/accessory bar - 3 sets x 15 reps: 3 x 20 lb band (doubled over)

Anchored Band Forward High Bicep Curl w/accessory bar - 3 sets x 15 reps: 3 x 10-12 lb band (doubled over)

Dumbbell Standing Hammer Bicep Curl -  3 sets x 15 reps: 3 x 8 lbs

Seated Dumbbell Forearm Extension on bench - 3 sets x 15 reps: 3 x 3 lbs

Cardio: 30 Minutes: 
“Leslie Sansone's Just Walk: Walk Off Fat Fast - 30 Minute Big Burn”: Fitbit info: time: 30 minutes, distance: 1.60 miles

Full Body Yoga Stretch (holding each pose for 15 seconds per side) - 30 Minutes

MyZone Info                                                       Fitbit Info
 

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Saturday, November 24th Workout - Push Day A - Chest, Shoulders & Triceps Plus Cardio & Yoga Stretch

Yes! Back to working out and feeling great!

I was able to go up on almost all my weights from last time and I feel like I got a great workout! I also went back up to 30 minutes for cardio from 20 minutes and that felt really good as well.

Pull Day A tomorrow!

Push Day A - Chest, Shoulders & Triceps Plus Cardio & Stretch: 2 hours Total Time

Warm-Up: 10 Minutes

Foam Rolling - hold 30 seconds per stretch & side:
Neck
Upper & Lower Back
Chest Opener

Dynamic Warm-Up:
Forearm Plank:  3 planks x 30 second hold
Knee push-ups - 10 reps
10 reps x bodyweight of every exercise of Push Day A
Walk in Place - 1 Minute

Chest, Shoulders & Triceps: 52 Minutes

Standing Anchored Band Chest Press w/handles (horizontal hold) - 3 sets x 15 reps: 3 x 30 lb band

Dumbbell Fat Bench Chest Fly (vertical hold) -  3 sets x 15 reps: 3 x 8 lbs

Dumbbell Incline Bench Wide-Grip Chest Press (horizontal hold) - 3 sets x 15 reps: 3 x 8 lbs

Seated Bench Dumbbell Overhead Shoulder Press - 3 sets x 15 reps: 3 x 8 lbs

Anchored Band Lateral Raises w/small handles -  3 sets x 15 reps: 3 x 3 lb band (doubled over)

Standing Dumbbell Scarecrow - 3 sets x 15 reps: 3 x 5 lbs

Anchored Band Tricep Pushdowns w/tricep rope - 3 sets x 15 reps: 3 x 20 lb band (doubled over)

Dumbbell Crossface Tricep Extensions on Bench -  3 sets x 15 reps: 3 x 5 lbs

Cardio: 30 Minutes: 
“Leslie Sansone's Just Walk: Walk Off Fat Fast - 30 Minute Big Burn”: Fitbit info: time: 30 minutes, distance: 1.68 miles

Full Body Yoga Stretch (holding each pose for 15 seconds per side) - 28 Minutes

I'm also going to continue to log my workout info using my the MyZone heart rate monitor and my Fitbit.

As a reminder, The MyZone always gives me a higher calorie burn than the Fitbit and it shows a longer workout time because it tracks from when I put it on to when I take off including all the "off" time between workouts that the Fitbit doesn't count because I stop and start it in between the various workouts.

           MyZone Info                                                       Fitbit Info

Friday, November 23, 2018

Changing the Plan - 30 Day Keto Challenge


So, after spending Thanksgiving on track and on plan I decided that I still want to eat my regular Christmas foods and take a keto break for Christmas Day or Christmas Eve if we end up with another Christmas Day snow storm like last year! It will not be a full day of eating whatever I want, so no binging, but it will be a day where I can relax, enjoy and then get right back on track.

Therefore, I'm working on a different calendar for a 30 day keto challenge. That will still leave me with two days between the end of the challenge and Christmas day but I can handle two days without a problem.


I'm going to weigh-in and take my measurements every 10 days like with the other challenge so I'll have three weigh-ins and I'll earn one reward in that time. This gives me a month of being on track and hopefully I can drop a good five or so pounds in that time and it gives me something to look forward too food-wise for Christmas itself!

I also plan to celebrate every little victory whether it be the number on the scale, my measurements, a successful workout, a smaller size, lifting heavier weights or even sticking consistently with the plan so I'll be posting a lot in the next month because I think the little victories will help me stay on track!

Here are my 30-Day Keto Challenge Starting numbers. The weight went up a little but the measurements stayed the same as the last time I did them:

30-Day Keto Challenge - Starting Numbers:

Weight:
182.2 lbs

Body Fat
39.9%

Measurements:              Change from 9/10/2018
Waist: 38 inches                            (0.5 inches)
Hips: 41.5 inches                         (+1.0 inches)
Bust: 41.5 inches                          (+1.0 inches)
Chest: 34.5 inches                         (0.0 inches)
Right arm: 13.5 inches                  (0.3 inches)
Left arm:  13.5 inches                    (0.3 inches)   
Right thigh: 26 inches                   (+1.0 inches)
Left thigh:  25 inches                     (+1.0 inches)
Right calf: 15.5 inches                    (0.0 inches)
Left calf:   15.5 inches                     (0.0 inches)
Jeans Size: size 10                              (1 size)

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

100 Days of Keto Challenge One - Day One - The Beginning!


It took me several extra days to finally get started on this challenge (and stick to it) but today is officially Day 1 of the 100-Days of Keto Challenge Plan One.

I'm starting at at my highest weight and measurements since August of 2017 and I can't gain back any more weight. I have to end it somewhere and today is it. No matter how had the first two weeks will be and how much it will suck to stay cheat free on Christmas, I'm going to do it because the alternative is way worse.

If I keep going the way I have been I'll gain back everything I've lost over all this time (and probably more) and I refuse to do that! There are no more excuses. This needs to happen now and I will make sure it does!

Following the keto challenge plan,  I'm only going to be weighing-in every 10 days instead of every Thursday and I'll also be doing my measurements and body fat % on those 10 days as well.

I will probably weigh myself several times in those 10-days but it won't be official until the 10th day. I just want to keep an eye on how the numbers are doing.

I'm also going to continue to do rewards every 25 days so I should earn four rewards during this time and every 100 days I get a "feast" day. I'm no longer calling those "cheat" days because it's not cheating, it's planned for and part of the my plan! And once that day is done I'll start the next 100-days challenge.

I'm also going to work in one 24-hour (or more) fast every ten day cycle and I plan to keep working out and will be picking up with that again really soon!

I'm really looking forward to finally being back on track and in control of myself and I'm hoping it goes well!

100-Days of Keto Challenge One Starting Numbers:

Weight:
180 lbs

Body Fat
39.9%

Measurements:              Change from 9/10/2018
Waist: 38 inches                            (0.5 inches)
Hips: 41.5 inches                         (+1.0 inches)
Bust: 41.5 inches                          (+1.0 inches)
Chest: 34.5 inches                         (0.0 inches)
Right arm: 13.5 inches                  (0.3 inches)
Left arm:  13.5 inches                    (0.3 inches)     
Right thigh: 26 inches                   (+1.0 inches)
Left thigh:  25 inches                     (+1.0 inches)
Right calf: 15.5 inches                    (0.0 inches)
Left calf:   15.5 inches                     (0.0 inches)
Jeans Size: size 10                              (1 size)

Monday, November 19, 2018

A Goal and a Plan for the Next Six Months


As you guys may have noticed I've had a really hard time staying on track with food and exercise lately and I'm currently at my highest weight and size since August of 2017 and probably in the worst physical shape I've been in since then as well.

None of this is anything new but I also refuse to keep going this way because it's not just my health and weight anymore, it's also what I want to do with my life which is help people get in shape and help them find a way to love fitness. And I can't accomplish that without getting fit myself and getting my head back in the game!

So my current goal and plan is to take the next six months (because six months will pass by whether or not I choose to do anything with them) and to get myself back on track with food, my weight, my health, my fitness, exercise and my personal training business/life/job whatever it is.

This is the plan I currently have and if anyone has any ideas of suggestions feel free to throw them my way:

1) follow the 100-day keto challenge starting tomorrow morning with day one (again).

2) post my daily check-in on Instagram every evening.

3) track, weigh and measuring all my food, even little things that I've been letting slide.

4) NO cheating but every 100-days I can one "free" Feast Day!

5) weigh-in and take measurements every 10 days of the challenge.

6) try one new keto recipe a week.

7) continue to do monthly yoga challenges.

8) work out daily even if it's just a stretch on my rest day.

9) follow my Push/Pull/Legs/Abs A-G plan along with cardio and yoga and continue training with my new trainer.

10) complete my last program through NASM which is the Business Accelerator Program that was included in the NASM package that I bought.

11) work out a small business plan and putting together an outline and plan for how I want to do this personal training thing

12) finalize my "online training" payment amounts so I can finally start getting my website and personal training stuff out there.

13) continue working with the people I am still currently training (or am on hold with).

14) keep all my goal in mind every day so I actually stay on track with everything.

15) blog weekly about keto, NASM stuff, workout stuff and personal training. I think the more that I blog and talk about it the more I will get accomplished.

I think that covers it for now but I seriously need to get it together if I want to make any progress in any of the areas of my life!

Motivational Monday

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Changing Up the Plan - 100 Days of Keto Challenge by Ketofy.me (Again)


So... I've decided to go back to the 100-Day of Keto Challenge by Ketofy.me rather than sticking to my own plan for several reasons.

1) I like their check off progress calendar better than mine.

2) I liked posting the progress calendar daily on my Instagram and posting how many net carbs I had that day. I think it kept me much more accountable.

3) I liked weighing-in and doing measurements every ten days (although I'll admit that I will be getting on the scale more often just to keep an eye on it)

4) I actually stuck to it for over 40 days which is the best progress I've made in many months!

5) I think I made a mistake by deciding to do keto completely cheat free for good. As soon as I make a decision like that my brain starts freaking out and pushing me toward carbs instead of away from them so the plan right now is to do 100 days fully cheat free, take one day off and then start the next 100-day countdown.

Honestly, I don't know if this will work but knowing that I'm counting down to a day when I can just relax and eat whatever will help me stay on track better as opposed to saying, "I'm doing this indefinitely" and feeling like I have nothing to look forward too (trust me, it makes sense in my head).

I'm officially starting on Thursday but I don't plan on having any cheat days until then so that shouldn't be a problem, and I'll be posting all my official numbers and measurements then!

Monday, November 12, 2018

Monday, November 12th Workout - Pull Day A - Back, Traps, Biceps & Forearms Plus Cardio & Yoga Stretch

I had another great workout today and my back is only slightly achy so I'm good with that. I still kept my weights lower than normal and my cardio at 20 minutes but I should be able to push myself harder by the time I hit my B days. I also upped my yoga pose holds to 15 seconds from 10 seconds and that felt a lot better to me.

Leg Day A tomorrow!

Pull Day A - Back, Traps, Biceps & Forearms Plus Cardio & Yoga Stretch: 1 hour, 39 Minutes Total Time

Warm-Up: 10 Minutes

Foam Rolling - hold 30 seconds per stretch & side:
Upper & Lower Back
Lats

Dynamic Warm-Up:
Forearm Plank Set:  3 planks x 30 second hold forearm plank
Bird Dog - 10 reps
10 reps x bodyweight of every exercise of Pull Day A
Walk in Place - 1 Minute

Back, Traps, Biceps & Forearms: 42 Minutes

Alternating Superman - 3 sets x 15 reps: bodyweight

Wide Grip Anchored Band Lat Pulldown w/curl bar - 3 sets x 15 reps: 3 x 40 lb band (doubled over) + 8 lb Curl Bar

Chest Supported Dumbbell (Prone) Bench Row -  3 sets x 15 reps: 3 x 8 lbs

Anchored Band Shrug w/accessory bar -  3 sets x 15 reps: 3 x 20 lb band (doubled over)

Anchored Band Bicep Curl w/accessory bar - 3 sets x 15 reps: 3 x 10-12 lb band (doubled over)

Anchored Band Forward High Bicep Curl w/accessory bar - 3 sets x 15 reps: 3 x 8 lb band (doubled over)

Dumbbell Standing Hammer Bicep Curl -  3 sets x 15 reps: 3 x 5 lbs

Seated Dumbbell Forearm Extension on bench - 3 sets x 15 reps: 3 x 3 lbs

Cardio: 20 Minutes: 
“Leslie Sansone's Just Walk: Walk Off Fat Fast - 20 Minute Easy Burn”: Fitbit info: time: 20 minutes, distance: 1.17 miles

Full Body Yoga Stretch (holding each pose for 15 seconds per side) - 27 Minutes

MyZone Info                                                       Fitbit Info

Motivational Monday

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Sunday, November 11th Workout - Push Day A - Chest, Shoulders & Triceps Plus Cardio & Yoga Stretch

Today I finally started working out at home again and I absolutely loved it!

I decided to start at home but this workout can also be done at the gym so I won't have to switch workouts if I decide to go back and forth.

I did have to scale my weights and bands down by a lot. Some of my weights went from lifting 12-15 lbs down to 3 lbs and 5 lbs and I would normally be upset about that but, that's exactly what my trainer told me to do when I saw him last week, in order to get my body back on track and even after warming up, Push Day A, cardio and my full-body yoga stretch my back doesn't hurt and that's what really counts!

I also absolutely loved doing my yoga stretch/routine. I only held each pose for 10 seconds to start off with but it was still great. I felt like my body was saying, "hey, I remember this and I love it!"

I went through and edited my Push/Pull/Legs/Abs A-G workout last week to make sure it's safe for my back and I stuck with only 20 minute of WATP's for cardio and kept is really low-key.

In a way I feel like I'm back at the start of my fitness journey but in another way, I know what my body is capable of doing and I know I'll get there again with time. I just need to be careful and take my time as I go and I'm more than willing to do that.

I can't wait for Pull Day tomorrow!

Push Day A - Chest, Shoulders & Triceps Plus Cardio & Stretch: 1 hour, 40 Minutes Total Time

Warm-Up: 10 Minutes

Foam Rolling - hold 30 seconds per stretch & side:
Neck
Upper & Lower Back
Chest Opener

Dynamic Warm-Up:
Forearm Plank Set:  3 planks x 30 second hold forearm plank
Knee push-ups - 10 reps
10 reps x bodyweight of every exercise of Push Day A
Walk in Place - 1 Minute

Chest, Shoulders & Triceps: 50 Minutes

Standing Anchored Band Chest Press w/handles - 3 sets x 15 reps: 3 x 20 lb band (horizontal hold)

Dumbbell Fat Bench Chest Fly (vertical hold) -  3 sets x 15 reps: 3 x 5 lbs

Dumbbell Incline Bench Wide-Grip Chest Press - 3 sets x 15 reps: 1 x 8 lbs, 2 x 5 lbs

Seated Bench Dumbbell Overhead Shoulder Press - 3 sets x 15 reps: 1 x 5 lbs, 2 x 3 lbs

Anchored Band Lateral Raises w/small handles -  3 sets x 15 reps: 3 x 3 lb band (doubled over)

Standing Dumbbell Scarecrow - 3 sets x 15 reps: 3 x 3 lbs

Anchored Band Tricep Pushdowns w/tricep rope - 3 sets x 15 reps: 3 x 20 lb band (doubled over)

Dumbbell Crossface Tricep Extensions on Bench -  3 sets x 15 reps: 3 x 3 lbs

Cardio: 20 Minutes: 
“Leslie Sansone's Just Walk: Walk Off Fat Fast - 20 Minute Easy Burn”: Fitbit info: time: 20 minutes, distance: 1.18 miles

Full Body Yoga Stretch (holding each pose for 10 seconds per side) - 20 Minutes

I'm also going to continue to log my workout info using my the MyZone heart rate monitor and my Fitbit. 

As a reminder, The MyZone always gives me a higher calorie burn than the Fitbit and it shows a longer workout time because it tracks from when I put it on to when I take off including all the "off" time between workouts that the Fitbit doesn't count because I stop and start it in between the various workouts.

           MyZone Info                                                       Fitbit Info

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Keto Lifestyle Change - The New Beginning


So, here we are again back to Day 1. If you guys have been reading my blog for a while, it's previous obvious that I usually need a several restarts before that little switch in my brain kicks in and I'm able to stay on plan.

Considering that this is my highest weight in about a year and that I've gained back 20 lbs over the last 6 months, let's say that switch has been officially turned on the "on" position because I refuse to gain back any more weight!

So, I am now ready to give my all to making keto/low carb (up to 50 net grams of carbs depending on the day) my lifestyle. Not a diet or a temporary solution to losing weight but a healthy way of eating that will allow me to control my chronic pain and illnesses without additional medications and continue on my weight loss journey.

Now, granted, I did officially restart on November 1st after my two days of cheating but it wasn't a full restart. I would still take little bites of stuff here and there and those bites led to more bites and then to even more so while they weren't full-out cheat days, they were definitely not on track and I knew that if I kept counting them as official days on plan I'd never stop then sneaking and snacking and it had to to stop!

And then I would have a couple of good days and then another off day but today's weight has really shown me that I HAVE to do this or the weight and the  lack of health will come back and it will comeback fast!

Also, I can honestly say that as of today, I am definitely looking forward to going back to losing weight, being on track and exercising again!

I know that the first 10 days or so will be the hardest and if I can just get through them I'll be okay! I have plenty of healthy food stocked up and lots of recipes I'd like to start trying out and I feel mentally ready to do this.

I also can't wait to start working out again (most likely on Saturday) and I know that will help me stay on track and get back to losing weight and building muscle!

I redid all my measurements and they will be my new starting point. I'll be weighing in every Thursday, taking measurements once a month of the first weigh-in of that particular month as well as doing the body fat % at the same time as the measurements and continuing the 25-day rewards.

I'm also going to keep going with the countdown sheet going in 100-day increments because I like having the ability to check off the day when I'm done and seeing how far I've come as I progress through this journey.


So here are all my starting numbers based on today's weigh-in and measurements:

Keto Lifestyle Change Starting Numbers - 11/08/2018 - Week 0:

Weight:
178 lbs lbs

Body Fat
39.9%

Measurements:              Change from 9/10/2018
Waist: 37.5 inches                         (0.0 inches)
Hips: 41 inches                            (+ 0.5 inches)
Bust: 41 inches                            (+ 0.5 inches)
Chest: 34.5 inches                         (0.0 inches)
Right arm: 13.2 inches                  (0.0 inches)
Left arm:  13.2 inches                    (0.0 inches)       
Right thigh: 25.5 inches                (+ 0.5 inches)
Left thigh:  24.5 inches                 (+ 0.5 inches)
Right calf: 15.5 inches                    (0.0 inches)
Left calf:   15.5 inches                     (0.0 inches)
Jeans Size: size 8                            (no change)

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Working Out Safely With Lower Back Pain - NASM Personal Training Internship Blog Article

One of my assignments for my NASM Personal Training Internship was to do a workshop or blog article of a subject of my own choosing. I went with the blog article and decided to focus on exercising with low back pain since that is something I suffer from frequently. This is my final blog article and I hope it helps those of you out there who need it!!


If you suffer lower back pain, you're not alone. According to research, more than 85% of adults in the United States suffer from low back pain at some point in their lives and it is the fifth most common reason for doctor's visits. 

There are many reasons for back pain ranging from regular activity to injuries and medical conditions. The chance of developing lower back pain increases with age and lack of activity and can interfere with daily activities. Research has also shown that living a healthy lifestyle and doing strengthening exercises may reduce pain and increase back function over time.

Back pain could be both acute (lasting less than 6 weeks) and chronic (lasting more than 3 months). There are different reasons and causes for back pain. Our bodies function best when all of our muscles work in sync with one another so a variety of things, including injury, improper movement, illness and and weak muscles of the core and pelvis could lead to back pain.

There are many different causes of back pain. 


Some additional common causes are:
  • disc degenerative disease such as spinal stenosis 
  • injury from sprains and strains
  • medical conditions such as as fibromyalgia, osteoporosis and kidney stones
  • improper movement such as lifting objects incorrectly
  • structural problems such as bulging discs, sciatica and arthritis,
  • every day movements such as lifting, sitting, moving and twisting
  • strenuous exercise

Low back pain doesn't always require a doctor's visit but in some cases it's crucial to see your doctor to prevent pain from getting worse and leading to more injuries. 


Please see your doctor if you experience the following symptoms:
  • Back pain that follows a trauma, such as a car accident or a fall 
  • The pain is constant and getting worse
  • Back pain that continues for more than four to six weeks
  • The pain is severe and does not improve after a day or two of typical remedies, such as rest, ice and common pain relievers (such as ibuprofen or Tylenol)
  • The pain is worse at night (most common forms of back pain are better when at rest)
The good news is that despite suffering from lower back pain you can remain active and improve your pain through specific movements, stretches and exercises. You can also find ways to protect your body from further pain and injury by changing the way you move and rest as well. 

There are  also many things you can do throughout your daily life to prevent and improve back pain. 


Some of other things you can do to prevent back pain are:
  • sleeping with pillow between your knees
  • wearing comfortable, low heeled shoes
  • carrying less weight throughout the day as well as distributing the weight you are carrying equally to both sides of your body
  • sleeping on your side instead of your back
  • avoiding heavy lifting and if you must lift something heavy to  bend your knees and keep your back straight so that you are lifting with your legs rather than you back
  • watching your weight
  • exercising and strengthening your core muscles

There are several exercises you can do to prevent lower back pain and well as improve it but please see your doctor before beginning any exercise program!

The top five exercises you can do are:

Glute Bridge: 

The glutes are some of the strongest muscles in your body. They're responsible for movement at the hip, including hip extensions and squats. Weakness in the glutes can contribute to back pain because they’re important stabilizers of the hip joints, and of the lower back during movements like walking and are often in use.


Directions: 

Lie on an exercise mat with your knees bent so that your feet are flat on the floor. Keep your back straight.
1. Place your hands out to your sides palms flat for stability.
2. Raise your glutes off the floor by extending your hips upward while pushing down through you heels.
3. Continue until your back, hips and thighs are in a straight line. Hold for a count of one.
4. Return to the start position by lowering your hips back to the floor.
5. Pause then repeat.

Bird Dog:

This is a bodyweight exercise which strengthens your abs and lower back. It’s great for beginners who feel like they don’t have much lower back strength, because you're using your own bodyweight, arms and legs rather than  weights or resistance bands (although bands can be added as you progress and get stronger).


Directions:

Position yourself on all fours with knees underneath the hips and wrists under the shoulders.
1. Engage your abs and keep your spine neutral, pulling the shoulder blades towards the hips.
2. Lengthen the left leg until it is straight out and in line with your hips while simultaneously raising and straightening your right arm until it is parallel to the floor. Keep your head and shoulders aligned at all times.
3. Gently lower your arm and leg back to the starting position and alternate with the other arm and leg.

Dead Bug:

This exercise allows you to strengthen your abdominal muscles and all the front sides of your core while minimizing the pressure on your lower back.


Directions:

Lie on your back. Extend hands straight above towards the ceiling. Bring your knees up to a 90-degree angle. Shins should be parallel to the floor. Exhale and bring hips off the floor.
1. Begin by extending one leg forward. The foot should be hovering just above the ground.
2. Pause then return the leg to it’s starting position while extending the opposing leg. Keep alternating legs while maintaining a tight core.

Forearm Plank:

Because the plank requires very little movement while still contracting all the layers of the abdominals, it's a great way to strengthen the core, which then reduces low-back pain. As the abdominal muscles get stronger, your mid-section tightens. When done correctly, the plank not only uses the deep abdominal muscles but it also uses the hip, shoulder and upper-back muscles.


Directions:

Get into a face down position on the floor supporting your upper body on your forearms. Your elbows should be bent at 90 degrees.
1. Extend your legs straight out behind you, supporting them on your toes and balls of your feet.
2. Keep your body in a straight line by tightening your abdominal and oblique muscles.
3. Hold for as long as possible.

Cat-Cow Back Stretch:

This stretch helps maintain mobility of the spine while strengthening the back and abdominal muscles. It also works to strengthen, stretch and release the tension in the spine. The movements of this exercise use all the sections of your spine, increasing flexibility and circulation.


Directions:

Step 1: Bring your hands and knees onto the floor. Ensure your knees are in line with your hips,your wrists are in line with your shoulders and your back and head are centered.
Step 2: On an inhale slowly drop your belly towards the floor as you lift your hips, roll your shoulders back and raise your chin towards the sky.
Step 3: On an exhale, press your palms firmly into the mat as you curve your spine, rounding the shoulders and tucking the tailbone in.
The purpose of this pose is to connect movement with your breath. Slowly alternate between cat and cow pose keeping in rhythm with your breath. (Slowly inhale into cow. Slowly exhale into cat)


There are also exercises that could injure your back further as well as increase your pain. These exercises need to be avoided until a doctor has cleared you to do them. Here are the top five exercises to avoid with back pain.

Exercises to avoid:

Superman due to most people experiencing discomfort with this exercise, as well as research showing that it creates the highest amount of stress to the joints of the low back.


Sit Ups due to them putting a lot of pressure on lower back.

Double Leg Raises (lifting both legs together while lying on your back) due to  them putting a lot of demand on your low back.

Standing Toe Touches due to them stretching the back more than the hamstrings which may aggravate an already existing back injury.


Russian Twists due to them aggravating any pre-existing lower-back issues, especially when done with improper form.


Working with a Certified Personal Trainer could be helpful if you suffer from lower back pain for several reasons. One, they will conduct a full risk assessment to be sure that you are ready to exercise and will be able to suggest a doctor's visit if needed.


They also know what areas of the body to focus on the most and how to lengthen and strengthen the muscles that will support and protect your lower back. They are also able to teach you how to move correctly to protect your back and how to perform every exercise correctly, with the right form, as well as help improve your posture and daily movements and reduce risk of further injury.

In conclusion back pain can range anywhere from irritating to debilitating but it does not have to prevent you from living your life and getting and/or staying in shape. You just have to know the right things to do to make that happen!