Friday, January 23, 2015

The week I learned pushups were the enemy...

Week 2 of Jamie Eason's LiveFit program complete, and I'm 7 days out from being finished with the Advocare 24 Day Challenge.

What's coming up for me:

1. Starting Monday, I'll be hitting the gym five days a week! I'm excited for this, especially having two leg days a week. I LIVE for leg days. The first two weeks of the LiveFit program had 4 days on/3 days off. Yay for less rest days!

2. Friday, January 30th marks my last day of the 24 day challenge. I'll take "after" pictures and provide a weight loss update at that point. I decided this week not to check the scale, because I found that I've been focusing more on the number the scale shows me rather than the progress I feel I am making. I am already stronger, my clothes are fitting loosely, so I shouldn't necessarily stress over the scale at this point!

Things I loved this week:

1. I've been tracking my workouts through's Bodyspace app. It's amazing! It's the best way for me to see exactly how much progress I've made and calculates exactly how much weight I'm lifting compared to previous workouts.

2. I love that even though it's going to take a LONG time to get the results that I want, I can foresee myself continuing to enjoy this for as long as I need. I've never had this much fun at the gym before.

3. Food. Meal prep is my best friend. I thought I would get bored with the food I've been preparing, but I still love it. This week I realized just how much I love hummus. So good. I like dipping my chicken in it sometimes, just for funzies. Slowly but surely I'm changing my relationship with food, and it's just the best.

Things I didn't love:

You know, I'm TOTALLY happy to stack on the weight for most exercises, but I am just at a total loss when it comes to pushing my body repeatedly off of the ground. I imagine I'll start seeing results eventually, but currently I feel like a total weakling.

I'm not losing at the rate I was last week, but this is okay! Stay tuned for next week's post; I'll share a picture or two and will update my total weight and inches lost!

I just wanted to finish this blog post by saying THANK YOU to everyone who has been reading this, to those of you that have been texting me with support, posting on Facebook, etc. You have no idea how motivating that is. I love you guys!

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Progress Update!

The Advocare challenge is split into two parts:

Cleanse Phase (10 days) - Helps to rid the body of waste and prepare the body to better absorb nutrients.
Max Phase (14 days) - Fuels your body in order to achieve maximum results.

I'm so excited to be finished with the first phase of this challenge! I have so much energy every day, which makes a HUGE difference, because most days I go to the gym after work. Before I started this, I would get home from work exhausted. There would be no way that I could have had the energy to go to the gym at the end of a work day. Now, I have enough energy to make it through the day and through my workout, and when I get home, I'm still energized! It's like magic, guys, I love it. 

I thought that I would have a huge issue with cravings and lack of willpower, but surprisingly, I'm actually enjoying the food I'm preparing and don't feel like I'm missing out on anything at all! In my previous efforts to get in shape, I would feel so deprived of the foods I love. This time around, it feels so different. I eat five small meals a day, and I never feel hungry. It's amazing.

Let's talk about the workouts!

The first week was relatively easy, with the exception of day 4's shoulder exercises. I didn't realize how weak those muscles are! Ever since having to quit CrossFit due to back injury a few years back, I have been seriously jonesing to get lifting again.This is an excellent way to ease back into it! The first two week's of Jamie Eason's program only have 4 days of workouts, with 3 rest days. 3 days?! That seems like SO many rest days. I'm itching to get back into the gym! I know in a couple of weeks that I'm going to miss having all those rest days, when the workouts increase to 6 days a week and take 3 times as long to complete! I am seriously SO excited for the rest of this program. I legitimately enjoy each day in the gym and I wake up each morning excited for what the next workout has for me. Who am I becoming?! 

Weight Lost: 12 lb
Inches Lost: 8.75"

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Advocare 24 Day Challenge!

So, I've been telling myself that it's time to get in shape for.... years. I never have the motivation, I'm too complacent in my day-to-day routine... I'm a creature of habit. Unfortunately, this creature has been indulging TOO much in the endless snacks and delicious meals that my company provides.

I gained quite a bit of weight since starting my job at Leeo. It was stealthy, sneaking up on me without warning. I hadn't weighed myself in months, so a few weeks ago at the doctor I stepped on the scale and was SHOCKED.

I decided after that incident that this would be it for me, that I would get in shape and change my eating habits, but this time for good. NO WAY am I letting myself get back to this point.

That being said, I had been hearing a LOT from friends about the benefits of Advocare in helping kick start and maintain a positive lifestyle change. People have had amazing results with the Advocare 24 Day Challenge, so I thought that would be the perfect way to get started. I cut out all processed foods, and eat lean meats, tons of veggies, and a small amount of complex carbs each day, meal prepping to the extreme at the beginning of each week. I also found this great fitness program by Jamie Eason called LiveFit that I've been following.

This next part I'm pretty hesitant about, but I'm just going to power through and do it! I'm going to share my before pictures to better hold myself accountable, and as a means of seeing my progress physically. I have already lost 10 pounds on the first 5 days of the Advocare challenge, but here is where I was the night before I began:

Ignore the dumb smirk, I'm clearly taking this very seriously.

*shudder* I've never been this heavy in my life, but this is where it ends! I will be posting pictures after the 24 day challenge is over and then periodically as I continue with this. Since starting this "life overhaul," I'm feeling refreshed, more energized and ready to get in shape! Woo!

Wish me luck on this journey; I'm excited to see where it takes me!

Monday, January 05, 2015

What is My Life Now?

So, for a couple of years I was doing the elementary teacher thing. And I liked it. Most of the time. I didn't blog about it very much at all, because I found myself consumed by this career. It was all I could think about. I spent so many extra hours at work, and when I came home, I worked some more. It seemed endless. Yes, a lot of this was because I was still new at this teaching thing, still trying to ease into this profession the best I could.

My first year teaching, I had a class of children that I thought were ROUGH. It was a struggle, to put it mildly. It was nothing like my student teaching experience. I felt underprepared, under qualified, and felt like maybe this profession wasn't for me after all. But I survived it!

I made the decision at the end of that year to teach first grade the following year. From the teacher bloggers I followed, and from friends that have taught first grade, I had heard wonderful things about that age and that grade level. I was excited to really get into the foundations of learning, excited to get the opportunity to witness incredible growth from beginning to end. And then the next school year began. I felt like I was in over my head. I felt underprepared, inadequate, yet again. These children were adorable, and I loved the content that I got to teach, but I had a student in my class that caused me to dread coming to school every day. I swore to myself that I wouldn't let this student get to me, that I wouldn't let him be the reason I left the profession. And then other students began to behave just like him. I had chairs thrown at me. I felt helpless. I loved what I got to teach, but it felt like I was doing more behavior management than teaching. I looked to my coworkers, to my administrators, and they told me I was doing fine, not to worry, that I was doing the best I could and that was enough. But it didn't feel like enough. 

I really did want to give another year of teaching a shot. I ended my second year feeling refreshed, like I could handle anything that came at me after surviving that year.

But then, my best friend Alicia, who had been bothering me about moving to California for YEARS, told me that there was a position open at her startup company in Palo Alto that I would be great for. It just so happened that I had planned on visiting her the same time that they would be holding interviews for the position. So, I went to visit her, interviewed at Leeo, and got the job. Two weeks later I cleaned out my classroom, packed up my belongings, and moved to the Bay Area to start a new adventure. 

I was not prepared to feel the way I do about my job. I absolutely love what I get to do. I wake up every morning excited about work. What?! Sure, there were lots of days teaching where I was excited about the day. But it certainly wasn't all the time. 

Leeo (the company I work for now) is an incredible place to work. They really value their employees. I get to work with some of the nicest, most talented people I have ever met. I get to see my best friend every day, after 7 years of living in different states. I get to live in a beautiful part of the country, with amazing weather, and endless things to do. This has been one of the best decisions I have made in my lifetime. It's hard sometimes, being away from so many people I love, not working in the profession I had prepared years for, but in the end, it's absolutely worth it.