#JuicyInJuly = JUICED

Well, #JuicyInJuly is a wrap!  I hope that everyone who was participating is now on the path to forging better habits.  Consistent exercise.  Cutting the sugar/bullshit.  Drinking more water.  And, learning how to indulge within reason.

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That’s what I’m looking like, this morning.  I cropped my face out because I looked like hell.  You’re welcome.

I don’t have the heart to weigh myself, mainly because I know my body well enough to know that my weight hasn’t changed significantly.  But!  I do think I look leaner than I did at the end of #SnatchedForSummer, and I’ve had noticeably better performance in my workouts.  I am decidedly fitter.  Plus, I did it all while having the odd sandwich or cookie, with my weekly cheats!

I’m still figuring out what’s next for me, but I do want to do another challenge soon– even if it’s only here on the blog, and not on my YT channel.  So, you know, more on that to come.

Today, I’m off to San Francisco for the weekend!  It’s the BFF’s BDAY Weekend, and I’m so excited.  I anticipate a fair amount of adult beverages, so hopefully, I’ll have deficit financed some of that with my hard work the past few weeks.  Plus, I’ll still be tracking my calories in Lose It! just so that that I don’t completely lose it (“it” meaning, my goddamn mind).

Thank you to everyone who joined me on this, or any of my past challenges.  You guys make me stronger, every day.  And today, I’m feeling pretty juicy, indeed!

#JuicyInJuly – Home Stretch!

One more week of #JuicyInJuly to go!  This challenge has been leaps and bounds better for me than #JuicyInJune was, but still not without its own struggles.

My main struggle has been to stop at *just one* cheat per week, because I have a tendency to want to keep the party going, once I allow an indulgence.  But, that’s also the POINT of this challenge!  The goal is to build healthier habits within my less-than-healthy behavior.  I want to be comfortable enough to have a single cheat without it turning into a 2 week food vacation.

Also, something super cool happened!  The folks over at Lose It!, the weight loss app that I started using during the #SnatchedForSummer challenge, saw my video where I first mentioned that I was enjoying the app.  And, they were cool enough to offer all my internet pals (and me, of course), a trial of the premium version of the app, FOR FREE!

I’ve never done any collaborations on my blog or YouTube channel, up to this point.  (Indeed, I have declined a fair number of offers, simply because I don’t want my little corner of the internet to become just another ad.)  But, I’m really happy that something I actually use, IRL, happened to be on the company’s radar, and allowed me to share a cool little offer with my blog readers and subscribers.

You have the entire final week of #JuicyInJuly to take advantage of snagging a whole month of Lose It! premium for exactly zero dollars.  Just use the code JUICY in the Lose It! app any time between now and next Thursday, July 28th, and you’re good.  I repeat, you only have until July 28th, 2016 to get your free month of Premium.  That’s next Thursday, so move your ass if you’re interested.

If you don’t already have the app installed, you can get it right here!

Oh, and if you’re in the app and can’t sort out where, exactly, to put in the JUICY code for the free month, go to here to get walked through it.  Lose It! Premium is new to me, as well; but, I’ve been looking around the new features, and it has quite a lot of tools that I didn’t have access to, with the free version.

Amongst the new shit I didn’t have before is the ability to set goals for my macros, by calorie percentage and/or by grams.  I’ve been procrastinating on sorting out how to get my macros right for a really long time, because it’s so goddamned tedious.  So, having it within the app will be a big help in finally getting my act together, and hopefully figuring out my ideal macros to finally get things moving on the scale again.

They also have workouts, which I’ll admit I haven’t dug into, because I’ve got that part of my routine sorted.  But, I do want to utilize some of the other “custom goals” features, like hydration goals and weekly calorie burn goals.

Even though this is the final week of the actual challenge, the habits that I’ve been practicing during it are the same ones that I will strive to maintain in my day-to-day life, from here on out.  More water.  Exercise a solid 5 days a week.  Don’t eat too much.  And, if I want to go to Roscoe’s with the boyfriend on the weekend, I can do that too.

Let’s kill it in this last week of the challenge!  And, be sure to let me know if you decide to check out the fancied up version of Lose It! with me.  You know, if you like to be fancy and prefer apps that require you to use them with your pinky up.

#JuicyInJune = Done, #JuicyInJuly Starts Friday!

I’ve slacked *big time* on updating during the second half of #JuicyInJune, but I did complete the challenge of 30 workouts in 30 days.  I’m planning to talk more about the challenge’s conclusion in an upcoming post, but if I end up blowing that off, suffice to say, 30 workouts in 30 days is not something I would recommend, nor is it anything that I’ll be doing again.  EVER.

#JuicyInJuly kicks off this Friday, though!  I’m looking forward to getting back into a more structured routine, because my workouts haven’t been on a proper schedule, the past week.  Basically, I’ve just been working out whenever, and took more rest days than I’d planned over the July 4th weekend.  Time to get back to business!

#JuicyInJune Day 16: Frustration & Disappointment

I went through with weighing in this morning.  Even though I’ve been worried that I look about the same as I did at the beginning of this challenge, I had low key thought/expected to see a 2-3 pound loss.  After all, we all have a hard time detecting progress with our own bodies, since we see ourselves every day, and I’ve been doing everything I should be doing.

Instead, my fears were confirmed: I am exactly where I was, when I weighed out at the end of #SnatchedForSummer.

Actually, it was worse than that.  I was one pound UP.  I became depressed pretty much instantly, and went right back to bed.  It was about 6:30a, so I didn’t have to be up yet, anyway.

When I got up for the day for real, a bit later this morning, I weighed again and the extra pound was gone, probably thanks to peeing.  The point is, there has been zero progress whatsoever on the scale.

I feel really defeated, because the dark thoughts of never being able to break through this plateau are becoming more and more real.  I want to lose 25 pounds, which is already a lot of weight to lose.  And, I’m working so hard, only to fail at losing even 1 pound.

I’ve cut calories to only about 1500/day, meaning I’m eating at a deficit daily– which should be enough on its own for weight loss.  I’m working out pretty hard.  And A LOT.  For fuck’s sake, I went to CrossFit and two spin classes yesterday (after the normal 45 minute class I went to was over, the instructor invited anyone who wanted to to stay for her next “express”/30 minute class, for free; I did so).  WHAT ELSE DO I HAVE TO DO?

I’m trying not to feel overwhelmed by hopelessness.  My next move will be to dial in my macros, I guess.  I’m going to have to sort out meals that will leave me with a 45/35/20 percentage of calories from protein/fat/carbs.  This is the distribution recommended by Michael Matthews, and a lot of people seem to have had success with his advice, based on Amazon reviews of his books.

So I guess there’s a lot of chicken breasts and broccoli in my future.  Ugh.

#JuicyInJune 2016

Well, the fun’s over. Tomorrow, my next fitness challenge begins, and this one is an even bigger undertaking than #SnatchedForSummer was.

I’m calling this one #JuicyInJune.  “Juicy” is a word I’ve always used a lot in the gym, and in life.  It has a couple of meanings/uses for me.

For one, I use it interchangeably with “strong” or “powerful.”  Used in a sentence: “I was feeling juicy today, and managed to back squat 250#.”

I also use it to refer to certain aspects of my appearance.  Used in a sentence: “Even though I want to drop some LBs, I want to make sure I still stay juicy in all of the right places.”

So, “juicy” is just a word that I really like, a word that exudes positivity and confidence.  Also, it is fun to say “juicy.”  Thus, #JuicyInJune.  Spoiler alert: Due to a failure of imagination, the challenge I’ll be hosting on my YT channel in July will be called #JuicyInJuly.

All of the rules from #SnatchedForSummer will carry  over, but I’m adding the new challenge of doing 30 for 30– meaning 30 workouts for the 30 days of June.  I’m taking today off, since I most likely won’t have many (or any) rest days in my near future.

To avoid becoming overtrained, I’ll be playing around with doing two-a-days to make sure I have the option of taking a couple full-on rest days during the month, and/or I will work out much lighter 1-2 days each week, in lieu of a full-on rest day.  For me, that’ll look like a 5 minute workout (Zuzka has loads), or just going for a walk– I’d say a good 2 1/2 to 3 miles should do.

#SnatchedForSummer was important to get me back on the wagon with working out and eating right.  And, it worked.

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It’s hard to believe that those three photos span just 6 weeks.  But, #SnatchedForSummer really only restored normalcy.  I’m back to my usual weight, where I feel pretty happy, but I am still not at my final goal– a goal which has eluded me for my entire teenaged and adult life.

So, now begins the daunting undertaking of breaking my weight loss plateau, and getting to my dream weight, once and for all.  It’ll be a long road, because I need to more than 20 pounds, to get there.  I realize that this goal weight just a number, and a relatively arbitrary one, at that.  But it’s a lot more than than just a random number, to me.  It symbolizes a decade+ of failing to reach my potential, of being complacent and settling on “pretty good” time and time again, instead of achieving my absolute best physique.

To get there, I’ll be counting calories, which I have not done since I was in high school.  In other words, A LONG ASS TIME.  And, counting calories kind of sucks!  However, I’m hopeful that this is going to be the key to finally having success in breaking through and getting below the weight that I’ve been stuck at for the past year and a half.

I’ll admit, I’m a little afraid.  I mean, what if this doesn’t work?  What will I do then?  And, truthfully, I don’t have an answer, other than to assume that this WILL work, and to have faith.

Otherwise, I’ll be doing CrossFit, along with some more general HIIT circuit training, and a bit of spin at Flywheel.  I’m excited for the day that my above week 6/”after” photo becomes my “before” picture.