Let's Chat: Muscle, Makeup, and Much More!

August 29, 2014

I have not written a "random" entry lately, so I thought today would be a great time to link up and post one. My brain is not fully functioning, I have had a killer week with work being crazy due to "end of the month" (I know I say that all of the time), and I have been wicked sore. Thus I am living for the long weekend; I need it. Life's rough, I tell ya. 

Lots to chat about today, so get comfortable!

I have not had a chance to write about my Ipsy bag this month yet. I saw quite a few people on Twitter and Instagram who were not happy, so I was getting nervous. However, it was quite opposite for me. I was stoked! I use the Urban Decay mascara daily (it's fabulous) as well as the dry shampoo. The eye shadow is great too; it is light for an everyday look and brings out the blue in my eyes. 

The dry shampoo is my favorite. I have been using it almost every day. Since I do not wash my hair but every other day or so, I freshen up with dry shampoo every morning. I normally use L'oreal's EverStyle Energizing Dry Shampoo, but this brand has been just as good. It does not add quite the volume that L'oreal does, but it eliminates oily roots. Lately I have been unusually tired in the mornings when I get up for work, which results in my wanting a fast and easy way to do my hair. 

My go-to lazy look? I sleep with my hair in a low braid, take it down in the morning, spray the dry shampoo all over, put Sexy Hair's "Power Play" on my roots then volumizing hairspray, and then flip my hair over and running my fingers through. That's it! It takes all of 3 minutes.

If you do not know what Ipsy is, it is a monthly cosmetics subscription. On the first of every month you are charged only $10 bucks, and in the middle of the month you receive 4-5 beauty products. The best part? When  you sign up, you take a survey of your likes and wants, and Ipsy will send products catered to your preferences!

I feel odd posting a picture like the one below, but I am going to do it because I am so proud. If you are uncomfortable or offended then I'm sorry; but I never claimed to be super conservative or modest, ha! Plus, competitors wear a fraction of that on stage. I digress. The scale has not been my friend lately; it never has, to be quite frank. That is OK right now because if I am being brutally honest, it has been my own fault. I am still doing quite a bit of traveling and working overtime thus I have been more lackadaisical with my eating. I need to get out of that though because I really want to get this last 25 pounds off. 

Though the scale has not been great, my muscle definition has. Which to me is the most important part. As I wrote about last week, there are many different shapes and sizes to health. Some people are tall and very thin, yet perfectly healthy. I am not one of them. I am naturally "thicker" with  a lot of muscle tone. However, last year, when I put all of that fat over the muscle, it was awful. Sometimes I felt like a giant balloon. My lower body is quite bigger than my upper body; namely my quads and glutes. Instead of loathing them like I did when I was young, I am now so proud and happy to have them. I have been training very hard and I am proud of how the fat is melting off and the definition shaping up. My only big problem is my inner thighs, it always is and always will be though. Regular training and cleaning up my nutrition will help that at least. 
I have been trucking away on this little blog; and I have had two very cool features lately. (Additionally, I had my first ever sponsored post Tuesday! The first is one of my favorite blogs; the motivational, healthy, and hilarious; "Fit Bottomed Girls". I sent them a guest post back in June for them about my journey. It was such a privilege to be featured on that blog. Be sure to go check them!  I know you will LOVE it.
Yesterday I guest posted on Pump Up's blog! I wrote one of my favorite posts on a topic I am extremely passionate about: the different shapes and sizes of health. If you have not read "You are So Pretty... For Someone Of Your Size", I recommend it. You may relate.

Pump Up is an app that is similar to Instgram but it is targeted to health and fitness. I absolutely love the concept and had to immediately partake and help get the word out. It is also much more than just posting pictures. One can schedule and post their workouts for the week, and connect with so many people who are on the same journey and facing the same struggles as you are. It is a wonderful place to engage. Once you download the app, make sure we are following each other. My username is none other than FitnessBlondieL!

As everyone knows in the US, it is Labor Day weekend. This is my last 3-day weekend before I go back to a regular 5-day work schedule. I will miss having Monday's off immensely. Since it is Labor Day weekend, last weekend sucked, and I worked hard all week, I think I am going to let loose and have a little fun. I will kick off the weekend with a half day at work and then the Blake Shelton concert. 

Since I love Blake Shelton and country music, I have to rock authentic cowboy boots. Alas I do not have $300 to splurge on a new pair right now. The solution? Make your mother UPS her boots, of course!
The boots safely arrived and I have been wearing them since it is casual week at the office. 
Y'all have a great weekend now, ya hear? Yee Haw!

My Weekly Nutrition and Training Plan

August 28, 2014

The below nutrition plan is what I eat Monday through Friday. Saturday and Sunday during the day I still eat clean but will eat whatever is left over or what I have around my apartment. Two nights a week I have "treat" meals - whatever I choose. They are usually Saturday and Sunday night, but it does vary. I switch up my eating every week. I plan the week before what I want to have for meals, make the grocery list, and prep the food on Sunday's. A lot of times people will ask me if I get bored eating the same thing everyday. The answer is no. It is only 5 days a week that I eat the same thing. I eat to live - not live to eat. It took me a long time to come to that.  I also do this to save money. I live alone so I can't really cook tons of different things during the week because it's too expensive and will go bad. There are also ways you can switch up your eating day to day. Like my Quest Bars for instance; I eat a different flavor everyday, same with my yogurt. You can read here for meal prep ideas!

Total down (since 11/25/13):  63 pounds!

Meal 1 (7:15 AM)

Meal 2 (4 10:30 AM)

Meal 3 (1:15 PM)

Meal 4 (3:45 PM) 
2 protein bites (recipe coming next week)

Gym 4:30-6PM

Meal 5 (6:30 PM) [Post workout]
Kay Natural's Cinnamon Almond Protein Bites (I eat this like cereal). The best place to purchase this is on Amazon or upscale grocery stores.

Meal 6 (9 PM)
4 oz. Turkey meatloaf with fresh asparagus, and dark red kidney beans.
Bed time 11PM
Sunday: (Rest)

Monday: (Weights)
-15 minutes cardio: Elliptical (Incline 9, Resistance 10)
-Weight Circuit:
   -Shoulders: 3 x 15
   -Back: 3 x 15
   -Biceps: 3 x 15
   -Chest: 3 x 15
   -Triceps: 3 x 15
-15 minutes cardio: Elliptical (Incline 9, Resistance 10)

Tuesday: (Ployometric Full Body + jog)
Back in February, I wrote about my "at home" workout that I created since I was snowed in for two days and could not go to the gym. I call this "The Hot Mess Express". I create a playlist on my Iphone that is 35 minutes long and blast it on my Bluetooth speaker while I exercise. It's about 9-10 songs, so I do 9-10 different routines. I repeat the routine for the entire song then switch.

Below are different routines I do during a song. I repeat the exercises for the entire song then I will move onto the next routine. I did this for 35 minutes:
  • Mini suicides runs
  • Kickboxing cardio routines (I have 3-4 different routines for this. I do not know the names of the exercises so that is why I am not listing that out right now)
  • 10 Jumpsquats, run in place, then 10 jumping jacks
  • 10 regular jumping jacks, 10 scissor jumping jacks, jog around the living room
  • 10 pushups, jog down the hallway, walking lunges back to the living room
  • 20 burpees, 10 high kicks
  • 10 pushups, jog around the couch, 10 jumpjacks

Hour jog/walk on the greenway behind my apartment.

*My polar transmitter stopped working (not the watch) after an hour and 15 minutes. If someone has an extra waist band they are not using and/or do not need that I can have, please email me! 

Wednesday: (Unscheduled Rest Day)
Way sore and fatigued from Tuesday's kick ass workout; I had to listen to my body!

Thursday: (Weights Circuit + Squats)
Still so sore... this is going to be rough, but I must push on...

-30 minutes of cardio: StairMill (90 SPM regular work and 70 SPM with skipping every other step, 60 SPM for resting work - alternating all 3 levels every 3-4 minutes. Rest work is only 1 minute)
-Weight Circuit:
   -Shoulders: 3 x 15
   -Back: 3 x 15
   -Biceps: 3 x 15
   -Chest: 3 x 15
   -Triceps: 3 x 15
-Back Squats (4 x 15. Two sets of 55 pounds and Two sets of 75 pounds)
-15 minutes cardio: Elliptical (Incline 9 and 12, Resistance 10)
Friday: (Fasted Cardio)
45 minutes of cardio on the Ellitpical first thing in the morning when I wake up, before work. 
Incline swtiched between 9, 10, and 12 and resistance is at 10

Saturday: (Weights)
-15 minutes cardio: Elliptical (Incline 9, Resistance 10)
-Weight Circuit:
   -Shoulders: 3 x 15
   -Back: 3 x 15
   -Biceps: 3 x 15
   -Chest: 3 x 15
   -Triceps: 3 x 15
-15 minutes cardio: Elliptical (Incline 9, Resistance 10)

An Average Day in the Life of Liz

August 27, 2014

I have seen a few of these blog posts floating around and I thoroughly enjoyed reading them. I knew I definitely wanted to join in on the fun and write "a day in the life" blog post. 

That was until I realized how damn boring my life is Monday through Thursday. My weekends vary so much and I write about those every week, thus I wanted this post to be about my routine during the week. 

I have to preface by saying; control yourself. Do not get too jealous of my life. 

Varying between 6:15-7:00 AM, I wake up. I put in a positive message so every morning when my alarm goes off I will feel invigorated and ready to start the day. Except that never happens. I detest waking up early. When my alarm goes off every morning I hate my life and want to throw my phone across the room.
Once I am able to pull myself out of bed, I stumble over to the kitchen tripping over Marty approximately 4 times as he eagerly awaits his morning treats. I then take my Glutamine and slowly feel myself come back to life. 

I make up my bed (literally, I cannot function if I do not make up my bed. It will haunt me all day if I leave it unmade), wash my face, and then do my makeup and hair in the kitchen while watching the "Chelsea Lately" and "Watch What Happens Live" from the night before. (I am cynical today; "Chelsea Lately" ended last night and I am so heartbroken. For four years, my morning routine has been watching her show while getting ready for work).

After, I eat breakfast, get dressed, then I am out of the door. It takes me 5 minutes to drive to work -- my office is 2 miles from my home. Most mornings I dive right into work, but then some mornings I need a pick-me-up. I am not a coffee drinker at all, but some mornings I have been having some because I am so tired.

After I make my coffee and water, I check the mail, then get settled at my desk. I turn on my favorite station on Itunes radio for music, check my email, then make a list of important tasks and things to do for the day.

Next, I meet with my direct boss-- the president of the company. We go over his daily agenda, upcoming travel, events, and other related things. I then him what is going on with the office, employees, managers, and my current projects. Once he and I finish with our meeting, I am usually involved in other meetings. 

By late morning, I am back at my desk processing invoices, working on personnel files, creating company blog posts, and answering emails. We have visitors, clients, and lunch meetings on a regular basis so I run errands a lot. Whether I am depositing money in our different bank accounts, picking up lunch, purchasing a sympathy card, birthday gift cards, creamer, or a personal errand for my boss, I am out and about often. 

My afternoons are often spent away from my desk. Our office takes up 75% of the 4th floor of the corporate building so I run away all day delivering messages, getting pulled into impromptu meetings, putting up the endless supply of items our office always needs, telling someone where to find an extra pen, reminding people the sky is blue, listening to the daily problem of the coffee machines, fixing 1 of our 15 printers, etc.

At 4:15-30, I excitedly hop into the elevator down to the main lobby where I go to the bathroom and change into my gym clothes. Then I am off to the gym! I immediately train after work and my workouts are normally an hour and a half.

After the gym, I take the long 30 second drive home. Once I walk through the door, my appetite is hulk like so I immediately inhale my post workout meal. As I am refueling, I will sit down to check emails and write down thoughts, blog ideas, and things such as that.

Once I am sane again, I unpack my bags, feed my starving cat because I am a horrible mother, and pick out my work outfit and gym clothes for the next day.

I then shower. Once I am out of the shower, I start to get tired. That is when I settle down for a bit of TV to try and unwind and quiet down my mind.

Throughout the next hour or so I may go back to work on my computer some, make my last meal of the evening, play with Marty, and watch a movie.

Between 10:30-11 I get into bed and indulge in a little reading before I call it a night.

The end! 

The Hump Day Blog Hop!

Happy Hump Day everyone! We are halfway through the week and the hump day camel is too freaking cool, so lets have some fun and a blog hop to celebrate.

This is a little different than a link up. To participate, simply add your blog link. There is no required entry or anything like that. This is about networking, making new friends, and finding new blogs.

All I ask:
1) "The Hump Day" blog hop button button be displayed anywhere on your blog page or a specific entry with a link back to me or the weekly co-host. (Please do this. These blog hops take a lot of work and preparation.)
2) You don't have to follow me, but in the words of Blake Shelton: it'd sure be cool if ya did.
3) Please follow the co-host. I love helping and promoting these amazing women in the blog world! I do this to not only meet new people, but help my friends make new friends and readers.
4) Mingle with your fellow Bloggers.

Image Map
The Hump Day Blog Hop

Please join me in welcoming this weeks fabulous co-host, a woman whose blog I am always excited to read what she has to write; Jana @ Jana Says

A Good Hair Day Means I Can Take On The World

August 26, 2014

My readers and fellow blog friends know I love all things hair and cosmetics. One of my favorite topics to write about besides health and fitness is about my newest and latest hair and cosmetic finds, plus tips and tricks I learn along the way. I also love to read about what you guys find and use. When the opportunity arose for me to receive and review Head and Shoulders Green Apple shampoo and conditioner, I had to jump on it. 

My natural hair is a lot like my spirit: wild, unruly, and is going to do whatever the heck it wants, no matter what you do to it. It is also very thick. Thus sometimes I have had a hard time finding the best brands of shampoo and conditioner that work well with my hair. I was pleasantly surprised by Head and Shoulders, as I had never used this brand of products before. First, the smell. The absolutely amazing, delicious smell. It is natural with just enough fruit infused into it without an overly fake scent. Head and Shoulders Fresh Scent Technology is a breakthrough approach to enhance the shower experience; we are talking going from “good morning” to “good morning beautiful”. This is done by combining proprietary scalp technology and proven hair benefits with an amazing, water activated fragrance boost. 

The best part? It really is a good quality product. My hair felt silky, smooth, volumized, and it is reassuring to know that I can fight dandruff with this number one dermatology recommended brand. My hair is coarse and begs for conditioner every time I wash it. Unlike ordinary conditioners that can wash away up to 70% of scalp care ingredients deposited on the scalp; Head and Shoulders conditioners contain 0.5% pyrithione (ZPT) to help maintain and embrace scalp protection. When used in conjunction with Head and Shoulders shampoos, the conditioners maximize the coverage of the scalp-protecting ingredient ZPT on the scalp and are more effective than using Head and Shoulders shampoos alone.

I know you are rushing out of the door right now to get your own bottles of the Head and Shoulder's fresh scent collection, but before you do, I have something awesome to tell you about:

Head & Shoulders has been part of the Vergara family for over 20 years because of the product's surprising benefits. Now's your chance to meet Sofia Vergara and become #PartOfOurFamily.

To enter the #PartOfOurFamily sweepstakes, here are the details:
For a chance to meet Sofia Vergara, follow @HeadShoulders on Twitter and post a photo of your gorgeous, flake-free hair tagging #PartOfOurFamily #sweeps and @HeadShoulders
Sweepstakes kicks off Monday, August 18 and will run until September 1st!

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.