#UpYourGame 2017 – Day 17

You got your good news, you got your bad news.  And, by “you,” I’m really talking about me, because none of this affects you at all!

The good news is, this morning marked workout 10 of the 18 workouts in the 4 week Fitness Is Function Bodyweight program that I’m doing.  The bad news is, the workouts are still boring as fuck, because it’s the same goddamned moves every day, and worse still, now they’re longer.  The average time went up from 35 minutes to 45, and there’s one on the horizon that’s over 50 minutes.  Plus, weeks 3 and 4 have 5 workouts per week, instead of the 4 workouts in weeks 1 and 2.  Ugh.

Worser.  I’m going out of town on Saturday, for work, and I won’t be back until late next Wednesday.  So, I have to shuffle around the workouts I’m going to miss, while I’m away, which cuts out my scheduled rest day this Friday.  I’m making up one of the workouts I’ll miss before I leave, and the other one I’m making up after I get back.  Double ugh. Continue reading

#UpYourGame 2017 – Day 12

We’re creeping our way through week 2, and today got off to a much better start than Tuesday.  With the 4 week program I’m following, I had two glorious rest days (Sunday and Monday), and then had/have workouts for Tuesday, Wednesday, today and tomorrow.

Tuesday morning’s workout was #5 from the series, and the workout was LIKE 85% PUSH-UPS?!  I’m fine with doing some push-ups, but by the time we got to our third push-up variation in a row (which would already be 9 sets of push-ups, since each exercise is done for 3 sets), I was wondering what in the actual fuck was going on with that workout.  The trend continued, and I was fully pissed off by the end stretch.  

There was one point where I said aloud to the television/my dog, “If the next move is push-ups, I shutting this shit off.”  The next set, was, in fact, push-ups.  I did not shut it off, because I ain’t no quitter, just an idle threat-maker.

Coming back from some delicious rest days to resuming workouts that I already dread, only to have the comeback be little more than a ridiculous series of over 150 push-ups in different variations was not a great start to my Tuesday.

Wednesday’s and today’s workouts made up for it, in that they were far more varied.  Wednesday’s was some conditioning movements that helped me work up a decent sweat.  Today’s was a leg workout with some core work, and I’m fairly content to squat and lunge all day long.  Real talk, though, I’m still thoroughly not enjoying this program and can’t wait to be done with it.  Workouts #6  and #7 are good when compared to workout #5, but I will be perfectly happy to never do them again.  

This series is just too boring.  It’s obvious that they just recorded de Grasse doing 20-25 exercises for 3 sets each, and then edited them together in different sequences for each day.  Now, that’s a solid way to build a program and progression, but it gets tedious extremely fast in a video format.  I mean, you could’ve just written the shit down, man.  Save us all a lot of aggravation.

But, I’m determined to get through these four weeks (I think!  I may be a quitter after all!).  So, onward we go, for now.  I’ve managed to stay away from sugar without too much struggle.  Now, I need to get more strict about cutting out the other stuff.  I mean, I could say that I used this week to cut out soy, but I don’t really eat soy anyway, so I’m kind of juking the stats with that one.  Next week, I’m going to get more strict with cutting dairy, which shouldn’t be too hard, since I barely eat that, too.  

Can you tell that I’m procrastinating on cutting the grains, since that’ll be the hard one?

#UpYourGame 2017 – Day 6

img_20170104_082758Man, I’m really going to miss my oatmeal!

Not bad at all, for the first week. Then again, I do still have a whole ‘nother day to fuck it all up.

I don’t think I will, though.  I do feel like I’m “in the zone.”  It’s a feeling I usually get when I’m super motivated with getting my health and fitness and life overall together.  And, it’s a feeling I never quite achieved in Fuck Yeah Fall Fitness, which, paired with the puppy, fully explains my failure in that challenge.

Anyway.  The workouts have been pretty boring, with the Fitness Is Function bodyweight program I’m following.  So, that’s a real drag.  The workouts are just really repetitive, puzzle piecing the same handful of movements into slightly different sequences, day to day.

And, it’s nearly all strength-based, with very little conditioning.  The production value is pretty much nonexistent, and while the coach/instructor, Mark de Grasse is really knowledgeable, there’s a lack of enthusiasm in his demeanor, which leads to a real dread factor each morning I have to put on my sports bra.  I’ll power through the next three weeks, in the hopes that the workouts might get a bit better, as they progress.  But, spoiler alert: I will be very surprised if I ever do any of these workouts again, after the 4 weeks are up.

Meanwhile, I’ve planned an incremental approach to getting my diet back to being 100% on point, and it was a great decision.  It’s been so much more manageable.

I’ve cut the sugar, to start, because that’s the worst thing of all.  It’s also one of the fucking rules of this challenge.  Then, week by week, I’ll continue to eliminate the other things like soy, dairy and grains.  Soy is super easy.  Dairy is even pretty easy, for me.  But, not going to lie, in this chilly weather, I’ve really been enjoying oatmeal at breakfast, with my eggs (only on workout days, though, to keep myself from overindulging in the carbs).  Oatmeal and eggs is legit one of my favorite meals, so we’ll see if there are any asterisks to keep them in rotation, once I cut out grains, for realsies…

Today was an awesome Saturday.  A perfect blend of getting shit done, while also having time for a quick nap on the couch with the dog.  Getting back into taking care of my diet and exercise has had a trickle down effect to taking better care of myself, overall.

I used today to do just that, and did some self care and errands/chores that were LONG overdue.  I washed my makeup brushes.  I returned some stuff to Nordstrom that I’ve been meaning to return for a while.  I got my toes done (they were looking TRAGIC).  And, I got my chocha waxed (was looking EQUALLY TRAGIC).

I’m planning to tidy up my vanity and do some skin pampering with a mask, as well, before I hit the sack.  Man, it feels soooo goood to be looking after myself properly.  I can’t wait to see where I’m at after month one is done.

I sure would love a glass of wine right now, tho!

#UpYourGame 2017 – Day 2

chili
This bowl of chili is a ghost. It was demolished shortly before this blog post. 

I have to say, day 2 went much better than expected. On the other hand, the beginning is nearly always much easier than the during. I’m happy to have the juice detox under my belt, I took some “before” pictures early this morning, and I’m generally feeling very excited to be taking care of myself, again.

I had scheduled a morning workout, knowing full well that there was a 97% chance that I wouldn’t actually do it until this evening. But, I got up around 6:45, took RayRay out for her usual first walk of the day, and rather than get back in bed, I thought about how much nicer it would be to come home from work tonight, knowing that I wouldn’t have to do a goddamned thing– that is, if and only if I just sucked it up, and did my wod there and then.

So I did. It wasn’t even awful! I’ve had this epiphany about morning workouts 423,231,945 times before, give or take, but if you just drag your ass out of bed and get it over with, it is ALWAYS worth it. Especially since I’m currently working out at home, which makes it even more doable. Let’s face it: Lying in bed for another 30 minutes isn’t ever going to make a positive difference in my energy level throughout the day.

I’m really going to work on forcing myself to get back in the habit of getting my workouts done before work, because by mid-morning, it’s like it never even happened! You don’t feel like you missed out on any sleep, plus, you get to enjoy your entire day without having a sweat session looming over your head, fucking up your opportunity to have a much nicer evening of watching YouTube videos and eating that batch of chili you FUCKING NAILED making yesterday– the aroma of which was still wafting through your apartment this morning, while you were doing bear crawls. Okay, for a lot of that, “you” is very clearly and specifically me, but me get the idea.

#UpYourGame 2017 – Day 1!

And, we’re off!  I wound up deciding to use day 1 as a day to do a quick juice detox.  You know– a “hard restart,” but for my guts.  I’m debating over doing a second day, since I do usually do 2-3 days.  But, I’m heading back in to work tomorrow, and I’m far too busy feeling depressed that the holiday break is officially over to stack having to juice all day long on top of it.

I didn’t work out today, on account of the juicing, but I just finished planning/scheduling my workouts for the next 4 weeks.  It may require some tweaking in the 3rd and 4th week, since it’s looking like I’ll be heading out of town, for work.  I’ll worry about that later.

To keep things simple (I prefer workouts and programming where someone else just tells me what the fuck to do), I’m going to be trying out Mark de Grasse’s Fitness Is Function 4 week bodyweight program, which I downloaded about two years ago, and then NEVER DID IT.  I also downloaded the kettlebell one, and NEVER DID THAT ONE EITHER.

I was probably just too busy doing other workouts, because I had been working out consistently at the time, and kept it up until the dog came around.  So, I guess I shouldn’t feel too bad about letting these ones sit on the shelf my hard drive, collecting proverbial dust.  Better late than never!

I’m also in the midst of making some turkey vegetable chili, at this very moment.  It’s simmering on the stove, the aroma taunting me, whilst I sip on green juice.  With this batch of chili, dinner is sorted for the whole week in one fell swoop, which is super dope.

Breakfasts will be eggs, as usual, since that’s all I ever seem to have time for (and, I often don’t even have time for that).

Lunches will be salads and other healthful choices from places near work.  I’ve got plenty of options.  It’s L.A.  Ideally, I’ll be brown bagging my lunch, once I get more on top of meal prep.

The primary objective is just to get back on a schedule, with my meals.  I think the only reason my poor diet hasn’t completely destroyed me is, I typically have only been able to have one or two meals, per day.  I haven’t had breakfast in weeks.  Yesterday, I worked all day on my 2016 hair favorites video, and didn’t eat until around 8pm at night.

I had a steak sandwich, in case you were wondering.  Last hurrah, and all.

Oh, and since that  mention of my last video segues so perfectly into a shameless plug, here it is:

#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.

img_20161002_122953
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.

img_20160930_205840
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.