Fitness Mini-Update

It’s been one month since I finished Kayla Itsines Bikini Body Guide! Sadly, I can’t tell you that I’ve been doing much since then ๐Ÿ˜• My body seems to have turned on me (again). It does that a lot, doesn’t it?

That is not saying I haven’t been able to work out some…it’s just been limited to mostly treadmill and exercises they gave me in Physical Therapy.

Setbacks can be difficult to deal with. I know I’ve had some ups and downs over the last month. Times where I felt like I was never going to get back into my fitness routine. Heck, there were times it felt like I was never going to feel well again at all!

Of course, that was (mostly) in my head! I am feeling better now, though I have come to the realization that the PT exercises for my back have to become a part of my daily life.

I am hoping to start BBG1 round 2 next week and can’t wait to get going again…hopefully with less injuries this time! ๐Ÿ˜€

How have your workouts been going? Have you been struggling this winter with your routine or had any setbacks? How have you dealt with them? I would love to hear your thoughts!

Sara (1)

Kayla Itsines’ Bikini Body Guide Round 1 Complete!…Well, Kinda Complete

Ever since I started Kayla’s guide the first time I have been looking forward to this moment. Through all the setbacks, the injuries, everything…I’ve been looking forward to being able to say I had completed it once and showing off these fantastic progress pics. Only…that didn’t really take real life into account.

This first round through has been full of difficulties. 3 injuries, 2 sets of stitches, 2 months of physical therapy (which I’m still needing to continue at home sometimes, this week included), sickness, the holidays, etc. All of those things were things I didn’t plan on when I started the guides. But that’s life. And that is a lesson that I think I needed to really learn when I started this journey. It’s a journey.ย It’s a lifestyle.

Life isn’t always smooth sailing. While I knew that, I don’t think I fully appreciated how that would play into my workout program, especially this workout program.

Weeks 9-12 fell during and directly after the holidays. Now, I’m not making excuses. I could have pushed myself harder some of the time and been more on top of things. But between work being crazy due to the season, the “winter blues” hitting me a bit and just a general feeling of exhaustion, I did not do as well during the last four weeks of the guide. I skipped some workouts, did LISS directly after my resistance workouts other times and just in general didn’t do as well as I had hoped to.

For a while towards the end and right after, I was beating myself up pretty good over my lack of performance. But I’ve come to the realization that just because I had an off few weeks doesn’t mean I failed or anything like it.

I am still in the best shape of my life! I can (usually) do 10+ push-ups in a row before I need to go to my knees! I can do box jumps and tuck jumps and all sorts of other jumps that I couldn’t really do before!

So while I may have not done every resistance workout and these progress pics aren’t as impressive as I had originally hoped they would be, I’m counting this first round as done and as a success!ย I have made so much progress over these last 4 months and I can’t wait to see what the next round of BBG brings! (Hopefully less injuries than the first round!)

BBGRd1FrontBBGRd1SideBBGRd1Back

 

We did take measurements, but our methods weren’t practiced enough for me to be sure of the accuracy, though I think we are getting better at it! I am pretty positive that a few things changed though, especially one that can’t just be user error!

  • Waist: 37 in –> 31.5 in!

Things to Improve On During This Next Round

  • Go back to working out when I wake up instead of after work. I kinda fell out of that habit over the last month.
  • Keep LISS separate from resistance
  • Keep tracking diet for this whole round

I am currently having some issues with my back again, so I’m down to exercises from my physical therapy, LISS and yoga until it stops hurting so much. I can’t wait to start round 2 of BBG though!

How are your fitness goals coming? Did you have any difficulties over the holidays or due to the “winter blues” like I did? I would love to hear your thoughts, so please leave me a comment below!

Sara (1)

Sunday Meal Prep: January 17, 2016

Have you or your significant other loved a dish so much that you just want it week after week? Well…that is the case in our house right now. These Skinny Chicken Enchiladas have recently been on here and probably will be again soon! Draz is just loving them, plus they are so easy to make and individualize for both of us!

Outside of that, I picked out a couple of my own older recipes that caught my eye this week. Our breakfast burritos are back too! Our large stock in the freezer is finally running low, so it was time to make some more. Enjoy!

DSCN1760_picmonkeyedDSCN1754_picmonkeyed

I promise these dishes taste better than they look! (I really need to work on my photography) Chicken was the focus of the week, but with such varying flavors. That is one of the things I love about cooking with chicken.

And that’s it for this week! Make sure to check out the recipes below! They are both easy and delicious!

What are you cooking this week? Bringing back any old favorites? I would love to hear your thoughts, so please leave me a comment below!

Want to get started meal prepping yourself? Check out these posts for my top tips and my staple recipes!

Need some extra inspiration? Check out last week’s meal prep for other recipes and ideas!

Sara (1)

Easy & Yummy Slow Cooker Chicken

DSCN1757_picmonkeyed

Ingredients:

~2 lb boneless skinless chicken breast

2 (10 oz) cans cream of mushroom soup

1 (2 oz) envelope onion soup mix

1/2 c milk

1 c carrots, chopped

6-7 medium-large potatoes, cut 1″-1.5″ (I use red potatoes)

Put chicken into slow cooker. In a bowl, mix soup, onion mix, and milk; stir. Add into slow cooker. Add cut vegetable’s to the slow cooker and mix. Cook on low for 7-9 hours; mix before serving. Enjoy!

Easy Parmesan Garlic Chicken

DSCN1756_picmonkeyed

Ingredients:

2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 4-6 portions

1/2 c grated parmesan cheese

1 oz Italian salad dressing mix

1/2 tsp garlic powder

Preheat oven to 400. Mix cheese, dressing mix and garlic powder. Moisten chicken with water; coat with cheese mixture. Place in shallow baking dish (non-stick or foil-lined) Bake 20-25 min.

Can serve alone or with spaghetti.

 

 

Fitness Update: 2 Months of Kayla Itsines’ BBG Complete!

Two months done! I’m not going to lie, this last month was rough, mostly schedule-wise. The holidays and my day job kinda threw everything off track. That being said, I’m really proud of myself for all that I did this last month! I did miss a few LISS workouts, and one resistance workout (kinda two, but that shoveling definitely should count as a full body workout!) but even with that being the case, my strength has shown improvements and I’ve been feeling much better overall!

The two workout sets (weeks 5 & 7 and weeks 6 & 8) are set side-by-side to show progress. The workout circuits are the same in each week, so I love seeing that I made it through a little farther in weeks 7 & 8! It wasn’t a huge amount of progress, but it is there!

Measurements

These progress pics were taken a little late and after not working out for a couple days, early in Week 9. I’m loving that I’m actually seeing progress now! (Although I’m pretty sure some of it is finding clothing that actually seems to work for progress pictures)

Hopefully I will see more visible progress in the next set of progress pics, but either way I know that I’m making improvements, so I’m just going to keep at it and trust the process!

Also, the reason that the side progress pic is a Week 1-Week 8 comparison instead of Week 4 like the others is that the Week 4 side pic was really weird and not accurate at all!

Wk1toWk8Wk4toWk8backWk4toWk8

I am redoing Week 9 next week, due to fighting a nasty cold all week this week. Even with that delay, I am loving this program and feeling better than ever!

How is your fitness journey going? Are you finishing the end of the year like you had hoped you would? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Sara (1)

Fitness Update: One Month of Kayla Itsines’ BBG Complete!

I am super excited to tell you all that I have completed one month of Kayla Itsines’ BBG! Those of you that have been with me for a while may remember that I have been trying to use this program for a few months, but multiple injuries caused some setbacks. I actually did have a small setback during week 4…my lower back started acting up and I ended up taking the rest of the week off from my workouts to heal up. I did repeat week 4 the following week!

But no more! I am all healed up and have FINALLY made it through the first of three months! So here is the breakdown of how my weeks went:

Week 1

Week 1 (1)

Week 1 (2)

Week 1 (3)

I missed this last Monday because I was still a little worried about my back acting up. That was the only workout I missed though!

IMG_20151108_043138
The many faces of Death By Kayla! I think the main thing present in all of them is the semi-euphoric state after my workout! Love that post-workout feeling!

As an extra motivator to keep on my workouts and healthy eating, I also participated in the ZP Challenge through my work! Each cycle of the challenge is one month long and I am really happy with how my first month went! (I finished my first month at the end of Week 3 of BBG) Workoutsย – DONE: 6 days a week! Healthy eating – DONE: 6 days a week, with one treat meal per week…I love pizza! I will be keeping up with this challenge on a monthly cycle. It’s been a great motivator, even more so than I thought that it would be!

Ok, now for the part I’ve been dreading…progress pictures. First off, I have realized two things: 1) I suck at taking progress pictures and my starting pictures are terrible 2) I really need some better clothes for progress pics. These exercise pants are not at all good for this.

Disclaimer: As hard as I tried not to, I’m pretty sure that I am sucking in a bit in the start pictures. It’s more a habit that I don’t even think about, and I think I was doing it in that picture. Along with that, the pants in the first picture are set higher than in the second, holding more of my stomach in.

In a happier part of the disclaimer, your eyes are not playing tricks on you! That is the same wall, but with paint on it now. Pretty light purple paint, painted for the first time while I’ve lived in this house! More will be coming on this bedroom transformation in a couple months or so, while I finish up the details ๐Ÿ™‚

BBGMonth1Front

BBGMonth1Back

Overall…I’m not thrilled with these. And while I don’t think they are perfectly representative, due to my lack-of-good-pictures issue, I don’t think I made much visible progress in this first month. And I’m having a hard time not getting down or discouraged by this.

I just need to focus on the fact that I know I have made strength progress! When I started BBG, I couldn’t do more than a couple push-ups before I had to go to knees. Now I can do 10! That’s just one example of many that show that I have made some progress. I just need to keep at it and the visible progress will follow!

That’s it for this month! Hopefully next month I will be able to give you a much more positive (overall) update, with no injuries/setbacks!

P.S. I have a confession to make. I finished this post up a couple days ago and have been having a hard time actually publishing this. While I know that I have been making progress and I am thrilled to finish 1 month, I was really disappointed to see these progress photos. So much so that my motivation to work out took a bit of a nosedive. I took an early rest day to this week (Week 5) to try to get my head back on straight, and am now hopefully back on track. While blogs are not ever 100% reality, I don’t want to cover up difficulties like the one I have been dealing with. With all that being said, I hope you’ve enjoyed this post!

How have your workouts been going? For those of you doing BBG or another workout program, did you see much progress in the first month?

 

Fitness Update: I’m Finally Back at it!

Those of you who have been following my journey for the past couple of months know that these last couple months have been rough for me, fitness-wise. Two injuries and a flare-up from a recurring back problem have made it very difficult to do much more than cardio on the treadmill.

20151012_193949
Me after BBG Day 1 workout. I was exhausted but feeling great!

But I’m back! Yesterday was Day 1 of Kayla Itsines’ BBG1 and I’m so glad to be back to doing the program! It was definitely rough with my lower activity since I stopped, but I didn’t seem to lose much progress during my down time. I’m a little worried about arm day since I don’t have full mobility or comfort back in my finger yet, but I’m pretty sure it should be fine.

I also decided to participate in a wellness challenge through my work called the ZP Challenge. I am participating in 2 out of the 4 possible categories; fitness and food. This basically is a month-long challenge in which you track how well you do by checking off if you made healthy food choices that day and had more than 30 minutes of exercise. I figured I’m already focusing more on my healthy and wellness, so why not participate?! It definitely has provided that extra level of motivation and I love checking off the box for the day saying I met my goals!

That’s all for this month’s fitness update! Now that I’m back at it I hope that I will have more to say this time next month, including progress photos from my first month doing BBG!

How are you doing on your fitness goals? Find any new tools or programs to help with motivation lately?

Sunday Meal Prep

Hey everyone! So….you know how a couple weeks ago I said I didn’t see myself changing up my salads anytime soon? I was wrong ๐Ÿ™‚ I don’t know if it’s the limited activity level or what, but I definitely had the itch to try out some new stuff this week! Since I made multiple types of salads, I have put together some infographic-style pictures to break down how I put our salads together.

Enjoy!

DSCN0908_picmonkeyed
Snacks and Sweets! I am loving the addition of cubed cheese with my grapes, which is my first snack of each day. This one is a white cheddar with Habanero and is delicious!

DSCN0926_picmonkeyed
Along with our breakfast burritos, I decided to experiment with freezing Tuna Quinoa Cakes and cooked quinoa. Hopefully it turns out well!

DSCN0927_picmonkeyed
I decided that I have been having a little bit too much to eat for my breakfast, so decided to reduce the size of my breakfast burritos. I also switched from white to wheat tortillas.

DSCN0918_picmonkeyed
The full spread of meals…plus two photobombing pups!

DSCN0923_picmonkeyed
Balsamic Pork Chops with Roasted Balsamic Asparagus and Chili con Carne with Brown & Wild Rice.

DSCN0924_picmonkeyed
Greek Yogurt Parmesan Chicken with Saucy Green Beans, some leftover taco meat and tuna quinoa cake, and a couple hardboiled eggs!

DSCN0912_picmonkeyed
The Chili con Carne again, with brown & wild rice and steamed veggies. I wanted to add a little extra about this dish….This is the first recipe I have made from this new cookbook and I love it! I am so impressed and thrilled that these ladies put out their cookbook. I found them on Instagram through the BBG community and they are a constant inspiration to me! It looks great ladies! Check out their site for more information!

And now for the salads!

TunaJarSalad
For those of you that have been here for a while, this is the original jar salad that I started off with. It’s as delicious as I remember!

TurkeyJarSalad
Salad with Loaded Turkey Meatballs. I just discovered this site and I love it already!

TacoJarSalad
Taco Salad! I honestly wasn’t sure about this one when I put it together. I wasn’t sure if I would like the taco meat cold, but it turned out wonderful! Both this salad and the turkey meatball salad are inspired by this post.

IsaacJarSalad
Both of these are Boyfriend’s salads. The Shredded Buffalo Chicken is another one that you have seen for weeks. It’s definitely still one of our favorites. He also had some with the Loaded Turkey Meatballs.

BalsamicAsparagus

SaucyGreenBeans

And that’s it for this week! What are you cooking up this week? Anything new?

Sara (1)

Want to get started meal prepping yourself? Check out these posts for my top tips and my staple recipes!

Need some extra inspiration? Check out last week’s meal prep for other recipes and ideas!

Dealing with Setbacks: A Fitness Update

Hey everyone! This is not the fitness update I was planning on giving you this week. I was looking forward to telling you all how my first month of Kayla Itsines’ Bikini Body Guide went, post some progress pics and overall be excited and positive! Well, that’s not going to be exactly how this post is going to go.

Sometimes things don’t go the way you plan, no matter what you do. This has been the case for the last few weeks for me. First, as you may remember, I took a pretty nasty fall a few weeks ago, resulting in a trip to the ER, a head suture, some serious soreness and some healing time.

20150816_105346_picmonkeyed

So I took it easy for Week 3 workouts and then repeated Week 3 the following week. No worries and I was feeling pretty positive.

Fast forward a few days, to last Wednesday. I woke up feeling pretty stiff and sore, a feeling which rapidly worsened as the day went on. By Thursday morning, the right side of my back was mostly locked up, I couldn’t really move my neck and was in pain no matter what position I tried.

Before I continue, I need to add in that this is not the first time this has happened. So while very uncomfortable, pretty painful and overall a hassle, I was not and am not freaking out too much.

I went to the doctor, who prescribed me some medications to help and physical therapy. The first I expected, the second was VERY unexpected. However, my doctor believes that since this is a reacurring problem, I most likely need a least some physical therapy to help keep in from continuing to happen. I have my initial physical therapy appointment tomorrow and will find out more then. I am doing much better now, with some lingering stiffness. But overall much better.

So my BBG journey is on hold, probably for a least a week or two. I am hoping it won’t be longer than that. I can’t wait to get back to it! I have decided though, with the fall and now this, that I am going to restart from Week 1 once I am cleared by the doctors to start again.

That’s it for this update! I know, not the happiest one in the world, but I’m still thinking positively and am excited to get back to my workouts soon!

How have you dealt with setbacks? Any tips for getting back into your routine after something like this throws it off? I would love to hear from you!

August Favs, September Goals

Hey everyone! I’m pretty excited for this post ๐Ÿ™‚ While I didn’t take as many pictures as I would have liked, I did get some ones that I was really happy with.

My goals for August went pretty well too! I didn’t do great on the regular meditation practice, but that was more the secondary goal for me. The big goal for me was sticking to Kayla Itsines Bikini Body Guide and I did!

I will be posting a full review of the first month of the guide and how it went for me next week. I am actually a week behind, after a bit of a fall during my last LISS workout of week 2. It actually ended with a short trip to the ER and a head suture. I am the epitome of grace and not at all clumsy.ย I’m fine now, but I did take it a bit easy during my week 3 workouts. So I ended up redoing week 3 the following week and am just starting week 4.

Overall, I am viewing August as a success! While I didn’t do as well as I would have liked at adding mediation into my life on a regular basis, I am very proud of myself for keeping at the workout program. Especially after the head wound could have provided a very easy excuse. I can’t wait to see what September brings!

And now for some fun August pictures! You will actually be seeing more of these this coming month in a few posts, so enjoy the sneak peak!

20150811_200311

DSCN0770_picmonkeyed

DSCN0683_picmonkeyed
One of my first attempts at styling food photos.

DSCN0792_picmonkeyed
Playing with the settings on my camera

DSCN0752_picmonkeyed
Sometimes baking doesn’t go as planned!

DSCN0661_picmonkeyed
Go ISU! I love that I caught this picture at the local farmer’s market! Yes, that is Cy holding up the produce stand with a cucumber.

DSCN0746_picmonkeyed
Adventures in glass etching

DSCN0663_picmonkeyed
Adorable 11 month old mastiff at the farmers market! Isn’t she cute?!

20150802_021119
And of course, my own handsome mastiff mix. Love this pup!

20150805_194633
And speaking of adorable, this is the look I see frequently from the kitchen. She is just too cute (and so good at looking sad and dejected)!

September Goals

  1. Continuing the Bikini Body Guide. I am loving my workouts and how they make me feel. My biggest goal in relation to this is to do the workouts after I wake up before work, instead of after work. I have found that my day goes better and I sleep better with I do my workouts then.
  2. Take at least one photo every day. I really want to improve my photography skills and would love to work on it this month.

That’s it for me! Hope you enjoyed my August review and all the fun photos! Hopefully this next month will produce some even better ones!

What goals are you working on this month? Continuing some old ones or are they brand new?

Fitness Update

As I stated in my July Review, I kinda fell off track with my workouts for a couple of weeks. So I didn’t make much progress last month ๐Ÿ˜ฆ But I didn’t really lose any progress either. Over my fitness journey, I have learned to accept that some weeks don’t go as planned.

JuneProgressPic
June Progress Pics

BBGStartPics
BBG Starting Day Pics

Continue reading “Fitness Update”