100 Ways of Fitness Day 14

Day 14
A bad case of the Fuck-its
I have had to start this post over three times because I’m trying to be positive but I’m having a helluva shitty time right now and I’m suffering from several setbacks- at work, with my fitness and goals, and even some personal things.
And all those positive sayings have passed through the first two drafts but today they just sound super fake. “A setback is just a set-up for a comeback” or “Fall 7 times, stand up 8”. Say that to me right now and I’ll smack those sayings right out of you.
Actually, I could really use some outside encouragement. My motivation to keep going is still there, I’m just experiencing setbacks.
I won’t go into the work issues. Maybe I’ll talk about some of it when certain challenges are resolved or when I figure some things out. But I can talk about my fitness setbacks.
While I realize I’m in a much better spot than this time last year, I feel I’m not where I should be (Siriusly not in the mood to hear “you are where you are supposed to be”). But more than that, I’ve regressed a bit and my confidence is flailing. Last month I did a 25 inch box jump. This week, I have fallen twice while trying to jump onto a 15-18 inch box. Tonight I actually hurt my shin. Luckily I wear long socks and use bumper plates otherwise my leg would have been fracked! Some of these PRs and milestones are 95% getting over mental blocks and when I’ve failed twice in one week at something that should be fine for me, my confidence plummets.
I did find something that felt like providence. “Beat Stress with Strength”. Why do I get the feeling this book will get read way before my Book Club selection “Omnivore’s Dilemma”?
I know this feeling and this funk will pass. But can I just wallow and fuck it all for a couple of days?






100 Ways of Fitness Day 13

Day 13

Getting fit? There’s an app for that!

It has been proven that logging your food and tracking your fitness progress provides more positive results. And I can’t argue with that. When I was doing Biggest Loser, I was using an app called LoseIt to track all my meals. I was consistently anal retentive about logging each and every item, also. And I always stayed below my calorie allowance. So I lost weight. It was right in front of me. Nowadays I use MyFitnessPal, and I’m not as adamant as I was during Biggest Loser because I’m not trying to lose weight anymore, but it’s still a great habit to keep track of your food intake. MyFitnessPal is great because it’ll show you a perfect little pie chart of your macronutrients (fat, carbs, and protein) which is what I am trying to pay more attention to. You can also log your water and exercise, which is mildly helpful but not the greatest method for me remembering to drink enough.

MyFitnessPal and LoseIt are probably two of the most popular fitness/healthy eating apps out there. But I’d like to share two other apps I’ve been using lately that I really enjoy too.
Pact app is neat because you can actually earn money for doing healthy things. You tell the app how many times you’ll go to the gym, log food, and eat a serving of fruit and veggies and if you meet your goal, you earn money. It goes into your PayPal account so you can use it for almost anything. It’s not paying you $20 a week or anything, but in the past couple of months I’ve earned over $23 just for doing healthy things. It’s not perfect though and i do have issue with their punishment approach to your not meeting your weekly goal. You can dispute it, but if you miss your pact, you are charged $5 for each missed item! That’s ridiculous but I realize if they are paying out money, they have to make up for it somehow. But losing $5 is enough of a motivator for me to do my best to remember to check in at the gym, take photos of my veggies/fruit, and log my food daily (It connects to MyFitnessPal so you don’t have to log your food twice). Again, not perfect but somewhat motivating if you are good at remembering to use your phone.

My recent favorite app is Hubbub. Mainly because Hubbub runs on the same philosophy as this group. Do small things every day that will add up to a healthier and better you. And I think it helps create good habits, in a positive and community supportive atmosphere. You sign up for different challenges in five categories: Move (exercise), Nourish (eating habits), Rewind (small habits like flossing and journaling), Mingle (being social), and Balance (relaxing habits like yoga and what not). I’m currently involved in. 12 challenges. They range from supplement/vitamins to journaling to working out at least 20 minutes a day to doing jumping jacks everyday to logging your food. See? Little things that add up! Just like this group! (Facebook 100 ways of fitness) No wonder I love it so much right now!

Right now is one of those times I wish I was tech savvy so I could see if it was possible to attach links to the apps so you could see how they work, but all these apps are free so I encourage you to check them out at your leisure!

These three apps are by far not the only ones I use or have used. They are just my most prominently and currently used at the moment.

So, what are some of your favorite fitness apps that have helped you on your journey?


100 Ways of Fitness Day 12

Day 12:
Meatless Monday
I’m doing a little experiment. How can I incorporate “Meatless Monday” into my routine to be healthy, sustainable, and conserving.
The main idea behind Meatless Mondays is to eat less red meat, which is one of America’s leading contributions to climate change. The only meat that we Americans consume that doesn’t contribute to the mass amount of greenhouse gases being released are native animals- venison, elk, bison. Salmon and seafood are great but that’s a whole other can of worms to open with me about sustainable seafood and how we are depleting the oceans. So I’m not great with statistics, but they say if you give up meat one day a week, you’ll be healthier and take a great stride in combatting climate change. Like eliminating processed foods, this is definitely a win-win for me.
While this topic isn’t as dear to my heart as palm oil, it is important enough for me to learn more about. I do tend to focus on environmental factors, but replacing your carnivorous ways once a week also has tons of health benefits for us too. By going to Meatless Mondays, you could lower your risk of heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. Pretty nifty!
So I’ve been experimenting. Today was fairly successful. But I was way low on my protein intake. So I need to prepare better for next week and make sure I have cottage cheese, tofu, edamame, beans, and my greek yogurt readily available. I also want to work on not just “not eating meat” but look at where my vegetables and meatless food is coming from. Try to get as local as I can, because veggies can have as harsh of a carbon footprint as beef if you aren’t careful.
But for today I had my favorite greek plain yogurt with a tiny teaspoon of honey and a banana for breakfast. Yummy opal apple and tea for snack. Morningstar farms pizza for lunch, shakeology for afternoon, and I made butternut squash soup for dinner. Tasty, yes. Protein packed? Not so much! But this is a process, and I’m learning just as much as the next guy!
If you are interested in learning more about the Meatless Monday movement, or want to try it out yourself, here is the link to their website.
I hope everyone has a fun and productively healthy week!!!

100 Ways of Fitness Day 10

Day 10
Eating clean on a budget
Not that long ago Chris Topher and I decided that we weren’t going to worry about the cost of groceries. I mean, we aren’t eating caviar and champagne every night but we eat well. We consider the amount of time, effort, and yes, money into our lifestyle to be an investment. I’m worth it. Chris is worth it. All of us are worth it. But often we hear that eating clean and getting healthy isn’t cost effective. That it’s cheaper to eat unhealthy, and cheaper to live an unhealthy lifestyle.
That’s not true. In here to put my two cents in and officially say “saying you cant afford a healthy lifestyle is total bullshit”.
It takes more effort, yes. It takes planning. And commitment. But you can eat healthy on a budget.
Today I stopped by three different grocery stores after Bootcamp and did some bargain shopping. Yes. Three. I went with a purpose at each store because I like eating as clean and sustainable as possible but even though we don’t WORRY about money, it’s nice to not spend it all on food, too.
At Albertsons, they had a deal on their chicken and pork (and beef but I didn’t get any)- buy 1 get 2 free. Yes, I said that right. I spent $80 on meat (and drinks) but on my receipt it showed I saved $119. I just bought $200 worth of groceries for under $100! At Trader Joes, I went for the goat milk cheese, and I love their raw honey. It’s way cheaper to get those products there too. And finally I stopped at Safeway for their bargain foods. I got four packages of free range chicken at half off. AND some deli meats for snacking at half off also.
I also got this nifty calendar for me and Chris to plan things out a little better.
Oh and for my reinforcement? I splurged and bought this veggetti peeler to make super healthy spagetti! Who wants some zucchini lasagna?
Do you have any pointers for those who want to eat clean but don’t have the funds to shop at Whole Foods and PCC?

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100 Ways of Fitness day 9

Day 9:
100 things I want
No, don’t worry, I’m not going to post my entire list of 100 things I want. But this list was an assignment from my mentor, Karen Petersen through her Army of 100 group. I’m honored to have been invited and I like the challenge of thinking about what I want right now and in my life.
My list is kind of sporadic. It took me over a week to finish it. Some of my goals are life dreams- ambitions for a better me. Job in England or Ireland is at the tippy top. But I also have smaller ambitious dreams- I’d love to win an AAZK award in conservation, or enrichment, or hell, let’s go for gold and say Zookeeper of the Year!
I’d like to accomplish some new experiences also. Gretchen Suzanne has really inspired me to want to try pole dancing. I’d like to work towards conquering my fear of heights, and Raina ‘s regime of trapeze aerials looks fun and terrifying. I want to try! Climb Mt. Rainier. Hike the Stehekin trail. Tough Mudder.
I’ve created some goals to increase my fitness- handstand push-ups, mile swim under 32:00. Finish all the “girl” WODS. Bench my body weight. Deadlift over 200 lbs.
Some of my goals are to get healthier not just physically but psychologically as well. I wish I could see myself the way Chris Topher sees me. He sees this amazing and beautiful woman. I’d love to see that in myself as well. One of my greatest ambitions is how I’d like others to remember me. I want to be known as the person “who truly lived”. And the greatest compliment I’d love to hear is that I am an inspiration to everyone I meet.
I actually have 100 goals. It may take me years to fully complete the entire list, but I wrote it all down. And I have some serious work ahead of me.
I’ll leave you with my #1 top goal. It’s my dream and ambition. It’s what I want to do each and every day.
#1- to be the absolute best version of myself each and every day!
What are some of your dreams? Are you brave enough to write your list of 100?

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100 Ways of Fitness Day 8

Day 8
Your body needs water, so drink that sh*t!
I have so much difficulty drinking enough water. But everyday for the past week I’ve had about 100 oz.
and while I am not super proud of my eating habits this past week, I am proud that I’ve kept this aspect strong.
I do believe it’s helped me sleep a little better at night. I usually run very hot at night. It’s uncomfortable for me and it’s uncomfortable for Chris. But making sure I get enough h2o is going to help in so many aspects.
I admit, water has become an acquired taste. I used to drink the crap out of Crystal Light. Which I argued was better than drinking soda. And it was at the time. But I challenged myself last year to cut artificial sweeteners and haven’t opened a crystal light pack since.
Once in a while, and especially when I was weaning off sweeteners, I created some infused water recipes that were great tasting and really good for you. If you are looking for ways to increase your water intake, my recipes are really simple. My two favorites were citrus and cilantro and a combo of ginger, cucumber, lemon, and mint. Put the ingredients in water and let them sit overnight in the fridge. Pour yourself a glass of delicious and beneficial goodness!
Most days I have to force myself to finish off my 100 ounces. I’ll forget to drink some every hour. I’m not allowed to have water on my person all day so I have to remember to run back once in a while and drink a few gulps, and it’s starting to slowly become something of a habit. But it IS becoming a habit. And what a good one it’ll be!
How do you ensure you drink enough?

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100 Ways of Fitness Day 7

Day 7:
Rest Day
Rest days (insert teenage emo eye roll here).
I don’t enjoy rest days. Not gonna lie. I rarely take a full intentional actual rest day. I enjoy active recovery- swimming, Bootcamp, PiYo. But to take a day where I don’t work out at all and let my muscles take a breather? Don’t do it nearly as often as I should.
But I took one today. And I’m going to take one next week, and the week after that. Because doing the Wendler program (also known as 5-3-1) EXHAUSTS my muscles! And my body is TIRED! And if I take today off, then my body can recover from tearing and building muscle, and then I can bust ass and kill the rest of the week. And that is way more important than “getting a workout for the sake of working out”.
Eat clean.
Train mean.
Act green.

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100 Ways of Fitness Day 6

Day 6:
Wake up early and workout before your brain realizes what you’re doing.
I am strangely a morning person. But I do like to not that snooze button! Like, a LOT! But in light of yesterday’s post about positive reinforcement, there is NOTHING more rewarding or energizing than kicking ASS first thing in the morning!
In fact it’s very difficult for me to be in a bad mood after a morning WOD. It happens, but it’s extremely rare.
Plus, I get to work early and all ready to face the day full force!
Today’s was a great example. Didn’t Rx, but I did push myself at 65 lbs for push press and sumo deadlift high pulls. And I feel I rocked the AMRAP with 3 rounds + 4 reps (100 m and 3 burpees).
It was a great feeling to finish and be alert and awake for the day.
What wakes you up in the morning?




100 Ways of Fitness Day 5

Day 5:
Positive Reinforcement
The other day I had a dream where I witnessed a man being tortured so he would help his torturers with something. When given the chance to talk to some authority figures, I asked them how well punishment was working for them and then talked to them about positive reinforcement and how much more effective it is in changing behavior, teaching, and for getting what you want. That was the basic gist of the dream although there were tons of details I’m leaving out right now.
In fitness and creating healthy habits, it’s important for you to reinforce yourself. And more important not to punish yourself. Why would you repeatedly do exercise if you loathe the activity? What would motivate you to keep going? Nothing, that’s what.
Reinforcement is incredibly individualized too. What is reinforcing for me might not get results with someone else.
What I find reinforcing and encouraging to me is actually quite interesting. A really challenging workout is incredibly reinforcing for me, especially when I finish, and most especially when I do it well. Nothing gets me more pumped and energized!
During a workout, I don’t find people watching me very reinforcing. But having someone NOTICE that I just lifted a heavy weight or hit a milestone and saying “good job” is extremely motivating.
Fist bumps sound lame, but when my coach gives me one, I feel on top of the world!
I’ve experienced the other end of the spectrum before as well. Where you are penalized with burpees for being late to a workout, or you weren’t doing an exercise quite right and the trainer called you out in front of everyone. I’ve been shamed and guilted into exercising, but as you can imagine, that usually doesn’t work out so well. I lose momentum quickly and motivation goes out the window.
I don’t expect everyone to love working out quite like I do. But you’ll find certain ways in these routines that are very satisfying and you’ll start craving them as much as any other treat.
Go ahead and reward yourself with a great big cup of “YOU’RE AWESOME”!

100 Ways of Fitness Day 3

Day 3:
I think I’m already starting to look at every moment in my day to help motivate and encourage me to increase my fitness and healthy lifestyle. I even related my dream this morning to fitness, and maybe I’ll write about it soon, or even tonight, but what I want to talk about are my NEW TOYS! That I MADE MYSELF!!!! Aren’t they beautiful?
When you look for medicine balls for performing wall balls or medicine ball cleans, you’ll find that most of them cost around $50-60. These two that I just made cost me a total of $25. The most expensive part was the pretty duct tape!
I bought a couple of basketballs from a thrift store, cut holes in them large enough to fit a funnel into, and filled them with sand. I weighed them out to 15 lbs, and then covered the hole with tape and then wrapped them completely with the decorative duct tape.
And Bob’s your uncle- homemade medicine balls.
Now, I won’t be able to do any ball slams with these, or try to throw it overhead, but it’ll be perfect for Russian twists, partner passes, or a stabilizer for floor wipers. I’m sure I can think of a few other fascinatingly wonderful exercises to use with these also!
Can’t wait for Monday’s zoo Bootcamp!