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New Year…New Planner

One of my favorite parts of starting a new year is reorganizing and setting a plan.

I started a little late this year and I’m kicking myself a little bit because I feel slightly behind because I haven’t quite found a system that works for me. I did find a planner that I absolutely love; I bought the ‘create365 The Happy Planner’ from my local Hobby Lobby.image1-1

I like it because it is completely customizable. I’ve had a planner every year for as long as I remember but what usually happens is I end up not really utilizing it because I lose interest mainly due to it not really fitting my needs. Or I end up with 2-3 planners/journals and then get overwhelmed by it all.

After purchasing this planner I went on youtube, instagram, and google searched The Happy Planner and came across hundreds, maybe even thousands of ways people organize and decorate this planner. While majority are beautifully decorated I just can’t find myself to sit down each week and do that. Kind of seems like a waste of time to me personally. Most of the layouts and organization people use follows along with how it is originally set up, particularly the fitness extension kit (I’ll elaborate more on this down below). I still haven’t figured out completely how I want to organize this planner but I’m narrowing down with a little trial and error. I know I  want to track three main things:

1) Important events/appointments for the family

My husband has a busy schedule so knowing his weekly/monthly calendar is essential. Also with a baby making an arrival sometime early April I know I will have dr appointments and milestones/developmental events that I will want to keep track of.

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Here is the monthly view-I have always used this as a month at a glance and to help organize each week

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Here is the weekly view. It is broken down into three categories Morning/Afternoon/Evening. Since I don’t work at the present time or really plan this way I plan to use the top box for that day’s appointments for the family, the middle box will be for my To Do list that I need to get done and the bottom box as of right now is more for notes/goals I’d like to complete or accomplish for the day

2) Meal Planning/Grocery Shopping Lists

One thing I have started that I really have found helpful is planning ahead dinners and having 2-3 options available for breakfasts, lunches, and snacks. Not only does this save time but also less stressful. I would also argue it saves money because I go grocery shopping about once a week or so and just get what I need. I have been using this planner to help create lists and plan the upcoming weeks dinners. I like that I can add a pocket folder to this planner to hold the coupons/gift cards/etc. I plan to use for that particular shopping trip.

3) Health and Fitness Tracking

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This is the extension pack I purchased to snap into the planner so that I can use one planner for everything. It comes in 4 month packs and includes all the labels and stickers needed to set up the months (This is for February that I haven’t set up yet).

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Here is the weekly view of the fitness pages. This is the page I struggle with finding a way to utilize in a way that makes sense to me.

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I really like at the end of each month there is a reflection page that allows you to review the past month and help plan for the next. I will not add pictures to this planner like the top suggest because I don’t want the planner to get so bulky but I will use this for measurements and additional information like my workout split, etc.

This is probably the part that is taking the longest to organize because this fitness extension kit that this planner offers allows for tracking daily food intake/exercise/and water intake. While I know many like to use the food tracker I just can’t seem to do that or find a benefit for it. I have used myfitnesspal for maybe a year or so and I find that this works best for me. Tracking on the app and the planner just seems excessive and I know I won’t keep it up long term.

I don’t know what to use the space dedicated to food intake in the planner for just yet. I have considered tracking my macros so I can see in a weekly snapshot what I’m consuming and what I’m doing well/poor with. I’ve thought about using it for more of a journal/reflection area to write how I feel on a daily basis.

I know I want to jot down my weekly goals regarding my physical, emotional, and mental health. I feel what would work best is using this fitness pages more of a reflection and give me a chance to see how each week went at the end of the week and try to improve in the weeks ahead. Finding a way to organize that is just going to take some practice with things. Unfortunately, with most things I don’t really have much patience. I just want to find a method that works and then settle into a system that I can maintain and utilize effectively.

As I figure out how I want to organize this planner I’m excited to get things going and feel organized because that is when I feel I am most productive. While some of the sections I won’t utilize as much now (as I’m not trying to lose weight because I’m pregnant I know later on this year I will definitely utilize!

To everyone else out there who likes to plan…. Happy Planning!

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Where did I go?…. excuses & announcements!

Holy smokes! What a year it has been since my last post. It’s hard to believe it’s basically been that long.

So much has happened and changed since I last wrote anything I don’t know if I can update on everything or just start over and go from there.

I’ll try to give the cliff notes version of what has happened and updates on past year.Basically why I mainly disappeared is that both of our laptops took a crap about a week apart from each other. I tried using our iPad and iPhone but typing like that was just unbelievably difficult for me to do (I know the whole world uses them but I’m still an old-fashioned Windows kind of girl), I prefer typing on a keyboard. The other reason for not keeping up with things is because well my daughter keeps me busy and I got lazy (the MAIN reason). 1 nap a day is sometimes not enough time for me to take mommy time.

Who would have guess fixing 1 of our laptops was as easy as exchanging the batteries since one of them was junk. I, embarrassingly, thought about exchanging the batteries today for the first time…why are the simplest tasks somehow take the longest to complete or think of.

Anyways, here I am. I hope to do a better job finishing up 2016 into 2017 with writing more. I enjoy it. Even though I don’t think I have that much talent when writing or organizing my thoughts. I find my mind just bouncing around thoughts and ideas; my posts may be hard to follow or not flow from one to another.

Family Update #1: My Daughter

My last post I mentioned my daughter was around 12 months old and entering the ‘terrible two’ stage. Well,now she is almost 2 1/2 and even more sassy; except now she can use her words more which I’m not sure is better or worse than just fussing. I still try to pick my battles but I feel like she picks a battle with me about EVERYTHING! Mothers should be able to get an injection of patience because I need TONS more than what I have currently. She’s outspoken, full of energy, thinks she is so independent regarding everything…. and she’s absolutely beautiful and I couldn’t possibly love anyone more than I do her.

I wish I would have kept up with writing over the past year because she has grown so much and as I’m writing this I find myself disappointed that I let that time slip by without jotting down my thoughts and memories. Her 2nd birthday was such a great day; she LOVED her Minnie party. We took so many trips to our local zoo where she was able to do more and more with each visit. All the family visits we had… I wish I would have written about those to look back on later. Maybe I can write future posts allowing myself to reminisce about those events.

Family Update #2: We’re growing!

As much as I hope to do a better job with writing in 2017 I’m not sure I’ll be so great at it as we found out in late July that we are expecting our 2nd baby! We are beyond thrilled (and slightly terrified) about the news!

I think my husband and I figured it would take years to add to our family as it took 3+ years to have our daughter, but I guess once your body knows how to do it it’s a little more prepared! ha. We are due early April.

This pregnancy I think will FLY by as I’m already into my second trimester and sometimes I even have to remind myself I’m pregnant because this pregnancy is sooo different from my last. Morning sickness (which consisted of just nausea) only lasted a couple of weeks. Fatigue is a real thing but I think that is probably more from having a very active toddler and no coffee (I miss my coffee in the mornings and I look forward to a venti iced americano as soon as I can get one).

The only drawback so far is that I’ve been battling a cold (stuffy nose, clogged ears, frustrating cough) for almost 2 months now with little relief. I don’t know what it feels like to breath out of my nose it’s been so long. If anyone who may be reading this I’m open to anything that may help with it… I’m so over it!

I’m sure many of my upcoming posts will be about our upcoming arrival and how we are planning for him/her.

Health & Fitness Update:

I am still trying to make it to the gym as much as possible. I was going 5-6 days a week prior to getting pregnant but have backed down to 3-4 days a week. Being sick hasn’t helped and the morning sickness stopped me for a while. My focus this pregnancy is to go regularly as I just stopped going during my last pregnancy. My daughter actually goes to the kids room and enjoys it most days so that helps a lot with staying on a regular schedule.

With being pregnant I’m not trying to lose weight, max out new 1RM; but I’m focusing on maintaining the lifestyle and stay healthy throughout pregnancy so that hopefully after the baby is born it won’t be a hard transition back into like it was last time.

My workouts these days last about 45 minutes and I typically burn 250-400 calories per session. In comparison, before pregnancy my workouts took about an hour or so and was burning minimum of 500 calories per session.

Once I can get back to the more intense workouts I will work back to my old 1RM with my bench (150#), squat(235#), and deadlift(225#). Looking forward to getting back.

I think all of the above updates on all the major aspects of what has been going on. I hope to dedicate at least 1 day a week to take the time to write and get back on track with things that I’ve been wanting to do/write.

 

 

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Leg day: A love/hate relationship

I think I have always been slightly different than the majority of people. I’ve felt this way for most of my teenage and adult years. I say that because if you look at or talk to females in the gym or fitness industry I would feel confident that their favorite day is leg day. I on the other hand loathe leg day. I get it … We all want the JLo booty and look great in pants. I want those things too I just don’t enjoy the workouts. I don’t enjoy the day after. Or the day after that! Don’t get me wrong I never skip a leg day and I lift heavy on leg days; so I put in the necessary work. Just… Well… Ugh it’s the necessary evil.

Over the past several months I am seeing some major improvement in my leg muscles. My calves are very defined. My quads are growing and becoming more defined as well. These two areas tend to develop and grow the fastest on my body so I tend to focus on my hamstrings and glutes on leg days.

Tonight was leg day and it was a really good burn in my glutes. Here is the workout I complete:
Wide stance squat 3-12 100#
Leg press 6-6 460#
Hip thrusts 3-12 135#
Leg extension 3-12 60#
Lying leg curl 3-12 85#
Cable glute kickbacks 3-12 20#
Standing calf raises 3-12 90#
Calf extensions 3-12 100#

I basically went exercise to exercise with little rest(time to set up next exercise). I took about 30-45 seconds between sets. I felt the burn in my glutes half way through and I’m sure tomorrow sitting and standing up will be difficult; but no pain no gain right?!?!?

Overall, I’m really proud of my progress thus far. As of last Monday I’ve lost 44 lbs and over 16″ (chest,waist,hips) since November 2014. I have done everything on my own so progress may be slow and I may have a few hiccups but I view this as a journey I will be on forever. This is a new lifestyle for me and I’m simply loving it. I have done a lot of research and reading about health and fitness related topics. I also really enjoy researching information on nutrition..a good, healthy diet is now more important than ever since becoming a mother. I want her to grow up with good quality food. She doesn’t know what cookies, juice, soda, chips, basically anything that’s junk. I’m proud of that! She’s 17 months old, she doesn’t need that crap.

my workout split right now looks similar to:

chest/triceps

back/biceps

legs

shouder/abs

It is getting colder out and it’s been too chilly in the morning to run with my daughter in the stroller. So in order to keep my body guessing I am switching up my cardio and adding some HIIT circuits into my workouts. I’m going to keep these to 15 minutes or so for now as I am fairly ne to this style of training. Updates to come regarding HIIT progress. So stay tuned!

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Row row row… Your Dumbbells!!! My favorite back exercises

I have mentioned in previous posts how I am really getting into a new lifestyle of health and fitness. I love seeing all the changes both mentally and physically!

I research related topics constantly by reading articles, watching YouTube channels, etc. I am not an expert in these areas. I am interested in possibly pursuing a personal training cert. in the future as I am really finding this as a passion of mine.

I’d like to share some of my favorite exercises per body part. **disclaimer: everything and anything I post regarding health and fitness is what I’m currently doing and is not intended to show/tell what anyone else should do.

For my first post in this series is like to start with my favorite day: BACK and BICEPS!

My favorite back exercises include (I do 3-5 exercises for 3-5 sets of 6-10 reps):

  • Wide grip pull ups
  • Pull down (PR 100#)
  • Seated cable row (PR42.5#)
  • Bent over barbell row (PR40#)
  • One arm dumbbell row (PR30#)
  • Straight arm pull down (PR40#)
  • Reverse grip pull down(PR70#)
  • Hyperextentions
  • Deadlifts (PR195#)

My favorite bicep exercises include (I will do all five exercises 3-5 sets of 6-10 reps):

  • Bicep curl (dumbbell and/or barbell) (20#)
  • Hammer curls (25#)
  • Incline bicep curls (20#)
  • Preacher curls (35#)

I don’t do anything special for biceps l. I will occasionally do curls with heavy cable to have tension throughout exercise.

Back/bicep day is the first day in my 4 day split. Building my back and getting my biceps to grow seems to be a hard part for me but I always walk out of the gym feeling AMAZING after this workout. And let’s face it isn’t that all that matters!!!

Today I completed 26 minutes of interval running and did strength training for over an hour; according to my polar heart rate monitor (which I absolutely love) I burned over 1000 calories today!!

  
If you want to keep up with my fitness journey feel free to find me on Instagram: tnm_514

Train hard!!!

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believing hard work will pay off-May 2015 update

So I have been working on getting healthier… losing weight for about 6 months now; and seriously for about 2. I am trying to do things a little differently in order to hold myself accountable.

1. I’ve been using instagram as a tool to follow fitness pages and individuals which has really helped keep me motivated on days that are a little hectic, tiring, etc. I’ve also been posting on there my workouts that I’ve been doing. I’ve received a lot of feedback in terms of likes to my posts so that is also motivating.  If you are on instagram feel free to follow me @tnm_514

2. I’m also using myfitnesspal to track what I’ve been eating (my account is set to private as I don’t use it to follow or connect with anyone… it’s just for me). I’ve been following a more flexible dieting approach and using IIFYM. I love the research behind it and the fact that I’m not limited to certain foods or restricted from others. I am eating healthier options but it’s important to still track the amount. I won’t go into my macros specifically but I determined my macros by doing a lot of research and through trial and error. I’m not an expert in the area and I’ll never claim to be but I am feeling some results.

3. I am also starting to take progress photos in addition to taking measurements. This is something I’ve never done before when trying to make changes because honestly I’ve always found it more discouraging than helpful. But this time around I do want to see when I start seeing changes in my photos. Especially now having my daughter I want to feel comfortable in photographs with her so maybe if I get used to seeing myself in photos I will feel more comfortable taking some with her.

4. Lastly, I’m gonna start incorporating more of this aspect of my life in my blog. I hope it is helpful to me to get some of my thoughts, accomplishments, set backs and frustrations out and work things out through my writing.

On Thursday morning I weighed myself and I was down 1.6 lbs in about 9 days. I was ecstatic about that movement; mainly because I had been hitting my macros and really working out with some good sessions. I decided to take my measurements that day as well since I was on a high from losing over a lb. Unfortunately, didn’t see a whole lot of movement in the measurements. One thing about me is that I’m very results oriented. I have to see some kind of result in order to stay motivated; so I’m glad I saw the change in my weight, but I would have liked to see in my measurements as well. You know have my cake and eat it too (probably not a good analogy when talking about weight loss, because now I’m craving something sweet).

I am starting to notice my clothes are feeling different on me so I’m very happy about that. Overall, from April to May I feel stronger. I know Rome wasn’t built in a day so I’m believe in the process and hoping that in the upcoming months (especially with summer around the corner) I start seeing the results as well as feeling them.

My workouts are getting more intense and I’ll add some of my favorites some time in case there is anyone reading this who is in a similar situation. I’m very tradition when I work out. I like running or doing some sprint HIIT for my cardio and I like lifting weights. I’m not a big fan of doing a lot of plyometrics, mainly because I’m not comfortable doing them right now. I incorporate some from time to time and I don’t despise them anymore so maybe one day my preferences will change. I’m working on a 4 day split for weight training (day1: legs; day2: back/bi day3: shoulders/abs day4: chest/tri) there are times on days 1,2,4 that I will also train some abs as well. I’m also consistently doing cardio 3x’s a week. I’m so glad that it is nice outside because my daughter and I can go running in the morning and then I can go to the gym after she goes to bed at night. It’s been working out well for the last couple weeks. Key now is to stick with it.

My gym time is the most challenging because I have to work it around my husbands schedule and his schedule hasn’t been the same in over 2 years. So I just have to plan to go and then make up for it later if I can’t make it that night. I’m getting better about doing at home workouts if I can’t make it to the gym.

I’m hoping that for my June update that I see at least 2-3 lbs gone and 1-2 inches from my chest, waist, and hips.

I’m really big on reading quotes and if you google workout quotes there is a plethora of motivation quotes. These two stand out to me right now!

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If you decide to stay up to date on my progress then I look forward to updating everyone on 31 days! Train hard!