Sunday, December 19, 2010

Wave Goodbye to Flabby Arms

I call them "flabby arms." My best friend calls them "lunch lady arms." Others call them "chicken wing arms." But whatever you call them, you know what I'm talking about. You know...the part of your arm that flaps when you wave goodbye. Here let me show you mine:

I am determined to tone my arms. So far I have been very disciplined with working out at the gym about five times a week. My workout routine consists of an hour on the treadmill with a five minute stretch at the end. And on Tuesdays I do Zumba. I would like to start introducing some weights and other exercises to my workout ritual. In one article I read, the author pointed out that many woman want to reduce the "flab" so they only focus on their triceps. Your triceps consist of 60% of your arm muscle and your biceps are the other 40%. Well, 60% and 40% really aren't that far apart. And the author warned readers that you can't only work your triceps-- work them both so you have an overall toned arm.

Some good arm workouts include, of course, dumb bell curls, push-ups, overhead extensions, and chair dips. is a good website I found with some good triceps exercises. They even have funny little animations to show you how to do the exercises. I would like to start introducing some of these techniques into my routine. So maybe come spring I'll be ready for tank top weather!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The Pains of Holiday Gains

I could only assume that many people gain weight around the holiday season. With Thanksgiving-- the holiday intended to gorge yourself till you have to change into sweatpants because your jeans suddenly don't fit anymore, and Christmas-- the time of year for all the yummy treats and sweets! I decided to look into this theory more to see whether my hypothesis was indeed correct for the average American (or whether it was just true for me!). After reading recent articles from The New York Times and from CNN Health I learned that some Americans gain 5 to 7 pounds between Thanksgiving and Christmas, but the average person gains 1 pound. However they did mention that individuals who are already overweight tend to gain more than 1 pound during this festive time of year.

My hope is that during this season I do not gain weight, not even one pound like the average American. I would love to lose weight this month, but if I can manage to at least not gain weight in December I will be pleased. I am not technically dieting. I am eating better and making healthier choices, but I have learned that when I "diet" I get psychologically frustrated and have a hard time being successful in my endeavors. So instead, I don't "diet" I just eat better. I don't eat out as much, I don't drink soda, I only eat 1 cookie instead of 4. With all this being said, I don't plan to deprive myself of the holiday yummies. But rather, I will eat smaller portions less frequently.

I found a great article from Health Guidance, which outlines 5 tips for keeping the weight off during the holidays. They are as follows:

#1 Drink Water-- And Lots of It!
#2 Increase Your Exercise a Little Bit Every Day
#3 Cut Back Where You Can at Other Meals
#4 Eat What You Like-- But Only a Few Bites
#5 Don't Eat After 7:00pm

Enjoy those Christmas cookies!! (But don't forget your sit-ups that night ;) )

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

New Clothes!

I just bought some new workout clothes!!! I went to Target after work to buy some Christmas gifts for family members, but I ended up buying a bunch of stuff for myself. Whoops! I found some workout pants on clearance and had to buy two pairs. Then I just had to buy some shirts to go with them. Welp! I'm off to Zumba wearing my snazzy new clothes!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Turn it Up!

I have always been a big fan of music. I like to sing to music, play musical instruments, dance to music, watch live music, listen to music in my car, listen to music in the shower, listen to music at work, and the list goes on. Music just seems to energize me. It amplifies the feelings that I already have. With all that being said, I made a new playlist to listen to while I work out. This particular playlist is made for an hour on the treadmill. It involves a mix of upbeat rock and hip-hop followed by some tunes with a slower tempo for my cool down. I found some of these songs from suggested workout playlists online and other songs were already in my music library. I would love to hear what songs you like to work out with! It just might be on my next workout playlist!

My Current Playlist:
1. Across The World -Pitbull
2. Anna Molly -Incubus
3. So What -Pink
4. Misery Business -Paramore
5. Shut It Down -Pitbull
6. Down -Jay Sean
7. Do You Remember -Jay Sean
8. The Party Song -Emery
9. How I Feel -Kelly Clarkson
10. One Minute -Kelly Clarkson
11. Long Shot -Kelly Clarkson
12. I Like It -Enrique Iglesias
13. F**K You -Cee Lo Green
14. Sexy! No No No -Girls Aloud
15. Check It Out -Will.I.Am
16. Us -Regina Spektor
17. Sunrise -Norah Jones

"Music is what feelings sound like." ~Author Unknown

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Busy Busy Busy

Gosh! I can't believe Christmas is just 16 days away!!! And my schedule has gotten so busy! Christmas parties, Christmas shopping, visiting family and friends, baking holiday treats... It is hard to find time to breathe let alone make it to the gym! I wanted to go to yoga tonight, but ended up missing it. Tomorrow I have a Christmas party shortly after I get off work. I will have to just be careful with how many yummy Christmas treats I eat since I won't get to make it to the gym much these next couple weeks. I am happy though. Once school is out for Christmas break my schedule will open up and I'll get to work out more.

On an exciting note! Someone noticed today that I have been losing weight! She could tell in my face :)

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Dedication All the Way Down to the "Sole"

\ˌde-di-ˈkā-shən\ noun: the act of being devoted wholly and earnestly, as to some person or purpose

I decided to try Zumba tonight. Zumba Zumba Zummmmbaaa! It was great! I have been doing cardio on my own at the gym and decided it was time to take advantage of some of the classes that are included with my gym membership. I met my best friend at the gym and we timidly walked through the glass doors into the "Zumba Room." We found a comfortable place near the back of the group and watched excitedly as the instructor began marching to the beat. About 10 minutes into the session, I kept feeling like I was stepping on something, but when I looked down, nothing was there! I finally stopped and took a good look at my shoe, and it had completely FALLEN APART! The bottom of the shoe was detached! I had to think fast. I leaned over to my friend and mouthed the words, "Shoe broke. Be right back." I ran to my car, drove down the street to Target, bought the first pair of women's size 9 shoes, put them on while I was in line to pay, ran back to my car, drove to the gym, and make it back to class all in just 13 MINUTES!!! Now that's dedication if I do say so myself :)

More importantly, I have learned that once you make the decision to do something, you have to stick with it. Fight through the obstacles, work hard, and reward yourself.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Lift Weights. Lift Your Mood.

Someone told me today that working out can actually benefit your mental health. If you are feeling depressed, stressed, or in a rut-- working out (especially some good ol' cardio) can actually increase your mood and make you feel better. I'm not depressed, but I have really noticed how much better I feel after a good work out. I decided to look into this theory a little more and I found a very informative article on the influence of exercise on mental health: Exercise rejuvenates me and I hope if I ever get in a rut or I get too stressed and don't feel like working out, that I will reread this post and feel inspired. Keep working out... it is transforming you inside and out.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Soda Purge

As a teacher, I often rely on that afternoon caffeine boost. I have been drinking at least one Mountain Dew during the school day. And that doesn't include the soda that I drink when I go out to eat or settle in at home. I became hooked on the caffeine and enjoyed the taste. Having a cold icy soda just made me "feel better." But what I didn't realize is that it was actually making me feel a lot worse over time. I made the conscious effort to stop cold turkey from drinking any type of soda. Even diet sodas cause weight gain. Who knew!? It hasn't been as difficult as I thought it would be. I do miss the caffeine sometimes, but I have noticed a lot of benefits to stopping. For one- there are a lot tastier drinks out there with a lot fewer heath risks. And two- drinking water at a restaurant is way cheaper! It is also just nice to not feel like I "need" a Mountain Dew everyday. Its yucky to be addicted to even something so small as soda. There are many heath risks, not just weight gain and caffeine addiction, but it affects your teeth, your kidneys, and your bones. This article is very informative. Check it out! I am hoping that cutting soda out of my diet will help with my weight loss and help me start a healthier lifestyle.