#UpYourGame 2017!

Well, here it go.  It’s January 1st.  I’m sure a lot of us are taking this day to recover.  I actually didn’t get turnt last night.  Like, at all.  I had every intention to go hard in the paint and have a classic, sloppy NYE.

But, it was really rainy and cold in LA (I’m not being a little SoCal bitch, either, it was actually decently cold– 44 degrees fahrenheit, when I checked at one point last night).  My enthusiasm for partying waned as the day went on.

By night time, I decided it wasn’t worth slick roads and drunk drivers, and I realized I would be happiest at home in sweatpants, with my dog.  I popped over to my friend Gavin’s place for a small get-together, while everyone else there was pre-gaming.  And, I was back home by 11pm.

Anyway.  Up Your Game 2017!  I teased it in the video below on why people need to stop with the whole #FUCK2016 thing, and now it’s time to get started with our fitness and health challenge, to start the year off right.

 I have to get my diet and workouts all planned out, which I’m going to do this evening.  But, I’m uploading a YouTube video as I type this blog post with all of my 2016 hair favorites, so I’ve been straight grinding with shooting and editing that all day today.  But, here are the pertinents for the challenge:

Challenge begins Monday, January 2nd and ends on Sunday, March 26th.  Yes, you read that right.  We’re going for 12 weeks, y’all!

This has two benefits.

1.) 3 months is a long time.  (Wait, is that a benefit???)  It’s certainly long enough to make significant changes both in our habits, and in our bodies.

2.) It gives people who find out about the challenge later on to still join in, and feel like they have a good amount of time to get something out of it.

Last year’s challenge rules were very loose, in that I left it up to each of us to come up with our own rule(s) for the duration of the challenge.  Mine was simply “28 in 28,” meaning 28 workouts in 28 days, which nearly killed me.

This time around, I’m setting up something a bit more specific that I think is doable for anyone, while still being scalable for your own activity level and diet.

But, as last year, the goal is to step things up from whatever you’re doing now, and UP YOUR GAME in your workouts and commitment to eating healthfully (whatever that means to you).  Rules time!

  1. 4 workouts each week, no excuses. Workouts must be challenging enough to break a sweat, and must be at least 20 minutes long.
  2. Drink a glass of water (not a puny 8 ounce glass, give me 12 or better) upon rising, before each meal and at bedtime.
  3. No added sugars. That means exactly what it says.
  4. IF YOU CAN HANDLE IT, one cheat meal per week. NOT one cheat *DAY* per week.  If you tend to go off the deep end, like I do, ZERO CHEATS, unless it is a special occasion.  (My birthday will fall during the first week of month #2, so I’m definitely going to cheat for that.)
  5. If counting calories, no going over your daily budget for the entire challenge.  If your cheat meal puts you in the red, you have to “earn it” by burning extra calories that day.  (I haven’t been counting calories for the past several months, and I have not yet decided if I’m going to start again.  I probably will have to, to some extent, since I’m finally going to experiment with tracking my macros.)
  6. Participants must designate one physical challenge/feat of strength that (s)he cannot do currently, then devise and follow a plan to work toward being able to accomplish said physical challenge by the end of the 12 weeks.

And, thanks it!  So, now the question is, who’s coming with me?

#12DaysOfFitmas – Day 10

So, I lied AGAIN, in my last post, when I said I was going to double up on that particular day, to make up for missing day 3’s workout, early on in this challenge.  But, it turned out, that was also a day that I would lock myself out of my apartment, rushing to take Miss Ray out for a bathroom break, and not being in my right mind, during the mad dash.

It was well over an hour before I was able to get back inside, and I was underdressed for a chilly night– chilly, even for L.A.– during the wait.  Boring story made short, I was in no mood to do a second workout, by the time we were finally able to get back into my cozy apartment.

The following days were a series of false starts on making up that workout, but I finally did it!  Like, literally just now!  I started off the morning with a bodyweight circuit from MBody Pro, and then for the evening I did the quick Fat Burner workout from Lauren Brooks’ first Ultimate Body Sculpt DVD.

I leave for San Diego tomorrow, and I’m looking forward to not having any extra workouts to have to do, on the last two days of this challenge.  It truly has been a bit of an albatross, throughout this year’s Fitmas.  The hotel at which I will be staying does have a gym, so I’ve already worked out what one of my workouts will be, but I’ll still have to sort out the other.

I’m really pleased to be getting sweaty on a regular basis again, even though it’s fucking miserable, during the process.  And, once I start eating right again after Christmas???  GIRRRRRRRRLLLLLLLL.

In the video above, I allude to a YouTube channel that I’ve discovered that has been a massive help in me wrapping my mind around the tedious, complicated process of counting macros.  And, I finally feel like I’m equipped to take a crack at it, in the new year.  I’m genuinely excited, which is weird, because it’s still going to suck dick.  I think I’m just excited to finally be empowered to tackle this, and to see if this will yield the results that have proven to be so elusive for me, for the past 2 or 3 years decades.

Anyway, there’s a good chance I won’t have a chance to post again until after #12DaysOfFitmas is over, so just in case I’m right on that, happy Christmas!  xx

#12DaysOfFitmas – Day 4

Which lie did I tell?  Because there was the one lie, where I said I was going to stick to bodyweight only workouts, and that went out the window on day 1.  Then, I also told you guys that I was going to do a 2 day juice detox before #12DaysOfFitmas began, and that also went out the window.

I realized that all of the holiday parties that would happen during the challenge–not to mention celebrating on Christmas and NYE themselves, right afterward– made it a bit less-than-smart to detox, only to turn right around and retox a few days later.  Instead, I’ll be doing a detox to start off 2017 for a couple days, then I’ll get real about eating properly.

In the meantime, I’m just trying to not eat like a complete idiot.  Though, my office Christmas party was last night.  There were tacos.  There were cupcakes.  There was hooch.  There was karaoke.  I indulged in all.

Which brings me to the third lie, wherein I actually didn’t get a workout in yesterday, on Day 3.  I’d planned to do it in the morning, before work.  But, I just didn’t have enough time, because I had to do a full beat on my face for two Facebook Live shows that I host on Thursdays.  Then, with the party after work (there was no going home in between, as the party was at our office), the dog and I got home pretty frickin late, and slightly turnt.  Especially the dog.

So, now I have to do a makeup workout, which isn’t a huge deal.  After all, in my previous Fitmas challenges, the feat has always been to do 12 workouts in 12 days.  I did always stipulate that if you want/need a rest day, it simply meant making up for that day’s wod with a double on some other day.

Still feels like I copped out, though.  Mainly because I didn’t say that explicitly for this year’s challenge.  Oh wells.

In any event, I got an a.m. workout in today, I’ll do an evening workout tonight and order will be restored.  My day 2 workout was the one you see in the video above, from Marcus Martinez.  I did modify it a bit by cutting it to 4 rounds instead of 5, for my currently-unfit-ass.  I’ve done this wod before, so I knew modification was going to be necessary.

Today, I did this circuit that I made up on my own:

4 Rounds

  • 20 swings
  • 5/5 clean + front squat
  • 8/8 rows
  • 20 Russian Twists
  • rest 60 sec

Pretty much the moment I picked up the kettlebell, the dog bolted, and hid out in the bedroom until I let her know it was over.  This is perfect!  As long as she stays freaked out by my workouts, I won’t have to worry about her safety.

Tonight, I’ll (finally) do an all bodyweight circuit, from MBodyPro, since I have that membership I bought years ago, and I haven’t used those workouts in forever.

Need food now.  Gotta go!

#12DaysOfFitmas – Day 1

So, I lied.  I said that I was going to focus on doing strictly body weight workouts for this year’s 12 Days of Fitmas, mainly because I have the puppy to worry about.  Wouldn’t want to clock her in the head with my 20kg kettlebell, you know?

I’d written a circuit I was going to do tonight, pulled out my whiteboard to write out the WOD, and then saw the *last* WOD I’d done at home still written on it, which was a nice little kb circuit.  Exactly the type of shit I need to be doing, since I’m coming from the couch back into workouts.  And, I caved.

I kept a close eye on the pup whilst I warmed up to see if she was getting too close, and to see if I’d need to be put her in her crate, or what have you, for safety.  But, she seemed so perturbed by what I was doing, she stayed away the entire time!  Like, peeking at me for a while, then scurrying away into the bedroom, type of deal.  Now, as I type this, she’s at my feet, nuzzling her cold, wet little nose on my leg, in hopes that I’ll pick her up.  Back to business as usual.

This is very encouraging!  I’m excited to be able to work out with weights so soon, and I’m excited to work out period.  The circuit I did is posted below, and I think I probably got it from Marcus Martinez, at some point or another.  I’m not really sure.  It went pretty well.  I did 4 rounds with my 12kg, just to keep it easy on my first day back.

I’ve been nursing some pain in my achilles for several months now (indeed, it began before I stopped working out, and well before I even got my dog; yet, it has not gone away despite the lack of workouts…).  It’s great to be able to use kettlebells at this stage, because I can work out hard without having to use any movements with impact, if I don’t want to.  Huzzah!

The WOD

4-6 Rounds

  • 10 alternating swings
  • 6 alternating clean + pause squat
  • 10 figure 8 to hold
  • 10 explosive deadlift
  • rest 60-90 (seconds, not minutes or days)

FYFF Challenge & Protect Ya Ends Are ON!

And, we’re off!  I’m pumped to have another fitness challenge kick off on my YT channel and here on the blog, with you guys.  It’s going to be a bit trickier than I expected to work out my exercise schedule.  Here’s why.

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That’s my new roommate/best friend. It happened pretty fast, but to make a short story even shorter, she’s a rescue. Found in a bucket on the side of the road with the rest of her litter. She was the only black puppy in the bunch, and I fell in love with her immediately.

She was turned over to me from her Watts Project foster on Friday, which was sooner than I was expecting.  I also didn’t truly expect to have a dog, quite at this point in my life.  But, after our first two days together, I can easily say it’s the best decision I ever made.

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Not entirely sure on the breed, on account of the whole bucket on the side of the road thing.  My guess is that she’s got some Rottweiler, as well as some terrier in there, because she was not just the only black pup, but the only one with these long, wiry hairs randomly around her face and body.  But she’s TINY.  She’s 11 weeks, and only about 5 pounds.  We suspect there may have been different dads for the litter.

The rescue had named her Raspberry, which is a pretty cute name.  But, since she’s from the hood and all, I’ve been calling her RayRay.  Funny enough, she actually responds to “Ray” or “RayRay” far better than “Raspberry,” so I guess I was onto something.

I’m lucky enough to work in a dog-friendly office (and my job even offers pet health insurance!), so we’ll be doing the 9 to 5 grind together.  As far as working out goes, I’m going to experiment with crate training her, just for while I’m at the gym.  I’ll also have the help of the boyfriend, to look after her.

I always felt badly about using crates/cages, like it was mean to the dog.  But, I’ve been watching a lot of YouTube videos to help me learn how to train her (she’s doing so well already!), and crates really aren’t puppy prison.  As long as you do it right.

So, hooray for hair and fitness challenges!  But, I’ll be super distracted raising this little girl over the next few weeks, which will mean less frequent check-ins for the challenges, at least in the short term.  Just keeping it real.

 

DNF

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This was an absolute shit show. This WOD was to be done pyramid style.  So, after you worked your way down the list to do the front squats, you’d move back up to the swings and work your way all the way back up to the double unders.  The good news was, we’d only have to front squat once.  The bad news was EVERYTHING ELSE.

Rx for women was 16kg and 95# (no rack, because of course not!).  I Rxed.  I didn’t even sub rowing for the 400m runs, which I pretty much always do because of my bum knee.  But, when you’ve just finished rowing 60 goddamned calories, the absolute last thing you want to do is row more.

There was a 25 minute cap.  I did not finish.

I made it as far as finishing the second/final 60 calorie row, and that was a wrap.  I’ve never DNFed on a WOD, since joining this gym.  And, I do not like it!

The September challenge has been very so-so for me.  My eating has been *almost* the way I outlined, with me getting looser than I really should be, on the weekends.  I did, however, order some meals from a paleo meal delivery service, which should be arriving tomorrow, and which should help me to reel things in.  More on that to come.

Workouts have NOT been where they need to be.  I’ve been averaging 2-3 a week, instead of the intended 4.

It’s a vicious cycle of being out late a few nights each week, because of evening screenings I have to go to for work– which also means I can’t work out after work.  But then, see, I’m too tired to get up to work out in the mornings, because I was out late!

I’ve got to figure this out, because this is going to be my reality for the foreseeable future.  I’m going to have late nights, and I’m going to have to learn to drag my ass out of bed to work out in the mornings, at least 3 times per week.  More, if I don’t want to make up workouts on Saturdays and Sundays.

Anyway, the struggle continues.  But, at least I don’t have to do any more fucking front squats today.

Things! All Sorts of Things!


Right! So!  I have, for sure, been kind of M.I.A. on here.  Less so on YT, as evidenced by the video I just put up today (above), and a couple of others, in the past few weeks.  I started yet another one of my backslides into a chaotic life of no routine/structure, mainly due to changes with my work situation.  I have a new job, even though it’s really my old job.  It’s a long story.

Thus, workouts have been in the 1-2x/week range, whilst I try to get a handle on a new work schedule/commute.  And, I’ve been indulging in all sorts of bread, sugar and alcohol, because of…reasons.  Basically, I took August off from living right.  Frustrations with my failure to lose weight were at an all-time high, and I had had it.

Fuck carb cycling.  Fuck macros.  Fuck everything and GIVE ME THAT CROSTINI.  That was/is my general attitude.

And I actually haven’t put on a ton of weight.  I might be up maybe 5 pounds, but it’s really not bad at all.  Not to toot my own horn, but I still look mad decent.  I just don’t look nearly as cut in my upper body as I tend to do in my “after” pictures, from my various challenges.

But, when I caught a cold last week (which is lingering, much to my chagrin), I knew that it was time to get back in the groove and/or zone, commit to eating cleanly MOST OF THE TIME and working out a minimum of 4 days per week.  I had sort of been planning to do a September challenge, here on the blog, anyway.  Getting sick just confirmed that it needed to happen.

I started on Tuesday, which was September 6th, and this’ll run until the end of the month, on September 30th.  Following that, I’ll be starting a challenge on my YT channel, which will be the Fuck Yeah Fall Fitness Challenge.

Here’s what I’m doing for this one, the September challenge (haven’t bothered to come up with a snazzy name, this time around):

  • 4 workouts per week, minimum
  • NO sugar, dairy, grains or soy Sunday through Thursday
  • NO alcohol Monday through Thursday
  • full glass of water with every meal

It’s pretty simple, which is by design.  With this setup, I can still relax at home and have mimosas on Sunday with the boyfriend, or go out for tacos on Friday night.  But, there’s no allowance for fuckery, throughout the week, which’ll keep me in line.

I need to have a doable set of goals, since I’m just getting back into the swing of things.  Then, in the FYFF Challenge next month, the car will be all tuned up and ready.  (Editor’s note: That is a metaphor.  The “car” = “my body.”)

I can tell you one thing.  My body is already sore as shit from getting back into the gym, this week.  One or two workouts a week is definitely not a way to maintain any modicum of fitness.

I’m also embarking on a long term protective style challenge, which I began this week– the beginnings of which I talk a bit about in the video I posted above.  I’ll talk about that more, soon.  Just not right now.  I have to go blow my fucking nose.

“Cardio”

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Today was kind of brutal. I mean, it wouldn’t have been so bad, if they hadn’t made us do 50 burpees in the first of three workouts. But, yeah, that happened. And, in the very same workout, we had to do 50 wallballs.

I started out strong in the first workout…and finished in the bottom 3rd.  Then, I was in the top echelon on the second workout, and finished the 3rd workout before anyone else, which made me feel slightly less like a loser.  I mean, the WOD isn’t a competition, or anything.

Except, IT IS.

Anyway.  Even though I hated this, whilst doing it, this was a great WOD.  I’ve been going to the “cardio” classes at my gym, the past several weeks.  Thanks to my heart rate monitor, I’ve learned that my calorie burn is about the same in the 45 minute “cardio” classes, as it is when I go to an hour (or longer, if I’m suffering, that day…) CrossFit.

The metcon portion of CrossFit just doesn’t last very long.  And, since I’m still trying to drop some LBs, calorie burn is paramount.  So, why spend more time burning the same amount of calories?

Problem is, the cardio classes have gotten extremely monotonous and lame.  The programming at my gym has failed, in the imagination department.  But!  They brought on a new coach, recently, and he seems to have infused some new life into the cardio WODs.

On Thursday, we used ropes (which we have NEVER done in the entire time, since I joined the gym, in May), as well as the Assault Bike (also the same as the ropes situation, too, as well!).  So, just using new shit really helped to breathe new life into a tired workout format.

Today, the format itself was quite different.  And, the addition of bear crawls into the WOD (which I’ve only had to do in a warmup, once or twice, at this particular gym), was an insufferable and deceptively hard, but welcome, challenge.

Anyway, my #AWEgust Fitness Challenge has been going okay.  Oh?  You haven’t heard about that?  Because I have literally not mentioned it even once, here on the blog?  You are not incorrect.  (Read: You are correct.)

Long story short, #AWEgust is, more or less, a #JUICYINJULY victory lap.  I’m still working on getting in 5 workouts per week, consistently (so far, it’s been more like 4 per week, in a good week…).  That, plus not letting one weekly cheat turning into a cheat DAY– or, worse still, a cheat WEEK?  Yeah, I’m still a work in progress.

On top of allladat, I still have yet to dive into educating myself on carb cycling.  I’ve got some research waiting for me.  I just have some sort of fear-based mental block stopping me from diving in.  Good times!

My Most/Only Requested Makeup Look EVER


Okay, so a while back, I must have nailed my makeup in a couple of my videos.  Because I had a bunch of folks asking me for a makeup tutorial, under said videos.

I don’t do makeup tutorials.  I don’t do any tutorials.  But, I finally decided to just get on with it, and do a Get Ready with Me, where I recreate the look that seemed to tickle the pickle of so many of my YouTube homies.

Below is everything that I used, to achieve the look.  Warning: I used a lot of expensive makeup.  So, you know, that’s not for everyone.  I’m just telling you what I really use/used.

Everything I put on my face, including the stuff I put on it off camera:

First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Pure Mineral Sunscreen Moisturizer, Broad Spectrum SPF 40
Sunday Riley Juno Hydroactive Cellular Face Oil
Skindinavia the Makeup Primer Spray, Oil Control
Guerlain L’Or Pure Radiance Face Primer
MAC Prep + Prime Highlighter, Peach Lustre
Yves Saint Laurent Le Teint Touche Eclat Foundation, BD60
Maybelline Fit Me! Matte + Poreless Foundation, 355 Coconut
NARS Pro-Prime Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base
Charlotte Tilbury Eyes to Mesmerise Cream Eyeshadow, Mona Lisa
Tarte Tarteist Clay Paint Liner, Black
Charlotte Tilbury Rock ‘N’ Kohl Eye Pencil, Black
Lancôme CILS BOOSTER XL Super-Enhancing Mascara Base
L’Oréal Voluminous Miss Manga Mascara, Black Angel
Lilly Lashes, Tease
Callas Eyelash Adhesive
Clinique Bottom Lash Mascara
It Cosmetics Your Brows But Better Brow Power Skinny Pencil , Universal Taupe
Bobbi Brown Natural Brow Shaper & Hair Touch Up, Mahogany
Giorgio Armani Maestro Liquid Summer SPF 15, 110
Charlotte Tilbury Wonderglow Instant Soft-Focus Beauty Flash‎
Charlotte Tilbury the Retoucher Pen Concealer, 7 Deep Medium
Kevyn Aucoin Beauty Celestial Powder, Candelight
Inglot AMC Face Blush, 88
Sonia Kashuk Brightening Powder
Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder, Luminous Light
Lena Lashes More Matte Than Matte Liquid Lipstick, Frederique
Skindinavia the Makeup Finishing Spray, Oil Control

The earrings I’m wearing are made by BorderHammer, one of my all time favorite YTers, and they are right here – https://goo.gl/IskjWm
And, she has them in silver now! – https://goo.gl/ioiynV

The hair hat I’m wearing is Outre “Neesha,” in S1B/30.  This wig seems to be hot shit all over the internet, because it STAYS sold out.  But, I wanted to try out a straight style, and was able to snatch one up on a restock at Elevate Styles, a few weeks ago.

On my nails: Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics, “Echo.”

That is all!