Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Goodbye 2014, Hello 2015

I weighed in last night down 2 lbs, just .4 lbs away from goal! Here's to ringing in the first weigh in for 2015 at goal.

Week of Workouts
I didn't actually get to working my arms Christmas Eve.  I was too busy with wrapping and packing. I guess you can say I got an abs workout instead LOL

Christmas morning I got in the arms workout before Austin opened presents. 

Friday was cardio and abs in the morning. We took a little bit of a stroll through German Village in the afternoon.

Saturday I worked my back.

Week 6 wrapped up Sunday working my shoulders.

Everything was back on schedule Monday working my chest.

Yesterday was leg day.

This morning I worked my arms.

Physical Therapy
My doctor and I believe my headaches stem from the neck and shoulders area so he referred me to physical therapy. I met with a PT Tuesday morning. She found many tight and tender spots in the whole region. I was sent home with six exercises to do every day.

At some point I brought up vertigo.  The PT said it could also have something to do with everything going on in my neck and shoulder region. I'd said that very thing to the doctor back in January with my last episode!  The PT ended up transferring me to another who happens to specialize in treating vertigo. So I'm hoping that this physical therapy takes care of both problems!

2015 Goals

Well, I didn't meet many of my 2014 Goals but I'd like to keep some of them for next year.  The first few listed below are the carry-overs. I'll continue to add/update my goals throughout the year.
  1. Sell or donate the clothes that are too big for me now.  (I gave my mom the 1X/16s but the rest need to go somewhere.)
  2. Meet new people (in person not just online).
  3. Partner with some places to host fit clubs.
  4. Make a social media schedule and stick to it so I'm not always on.
  5. Start making money with the Beachbody business to cover my expenses.  (I made a little bit this year but that didn't cover anything.)
  6. Have $100 per week additional spending money.
  7. Have at least 2 blog posts every week.  (Need more guest posters!)
  8. Increase monthly page views.
  9. Continue working on improving my overall health.
  10. Find personal development programs that pique my interest (and keep it!).
  11. Successfully maintain my goal weight.
  12. Take a vacation somewhere warm.
  13. Visit the eye doctor and get new glasses.
  14. Obtain group fitness and wellness coaching certification from NETA.
What is one thing you know you want to accomplish in the new year?

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Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas

I popped into Weight Watchers while we were out last night and weighed in up 1.2 lbs. First time since starting this journey that I didn't go to a meeting so I felt a little weird at first but shrugged it off quickly. There's only so many hours in a day so you must do what you can when you can!

The other day I actually remembered to take a picture of the two chest straps I've used for my HRM.  My original one fit M-XXL and my new one fits XS-S.  Didn't realize a bit of the old one got cut off.

Week of Workouts

Thursday I stuck it to the cardio and abs workout.

Friday I worked my back.

I wrapped up week 5 on Saturday working my shoulders.

Monday I was back to the grind working my chest. Burned a little more this week than last but my heart rate stays low since most of this workout I'm on my back.

Yesterday I had a great burn with leg day!

This morning I worked my arms.

Plumbing Chaos Leading into Christmas

For a while whenever I do laundry a horrible stench comes out of the shower in the master bath.  We've just been closing the bathroom door with the fan on so it doesn't permeate the bedroom.  This last week water started coming up in the kitchen sink.  So I called our home warranty company to get a plumber out.

It had been 8 business hours (how long they have to get someone to contact us) and no plumber called me.  I double checked with the warranty company but they hadn't found anyone yet so I called the company that repaired the spigot on the back side of the house during the blizzard this past January.  They came out Friday afternoon and determined there was a clog between the laundry and sink but the smell was due to the remodel (before he house was put on the market) failing to install a p trap to prevent sewer gases from entering the house.

There was a lot of miscommunication between the warranty company and the plumbers.  Monday we got it all situated, or so I thought.  Apparently warranty doesn't pay until the company faxes proof we've paid our deductible, which is about 2-3 hours later.  The plumber requires payment at the time of service so that doesn't work for them.  So now I'm back to square one waiting on the warranty company to locate someone.

Of course this happens right before we're supposed to head to Ohio to visit my family for Christmas.  (By the time you're reading this post we'll have already been on the road.)  So my only choice would be to wash all our clothes at a Laundromat before leaving.  Last night it was chaos with picking up the rental, weighing in, and shopping. Couldn't decide what to get my grandmother (who has Alzheimer's) and forgot a cousin!

This morning was frantic wrapping and packing along with last minute shopping.

I hope you all have a better Christmas week than we have had!

Linking up with
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Femme Fitale Fit Club

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

BeastMode with Fish Oil

I weighed in last night down 2.4 lbs.  I went ahead and decided to make 140 lbs my official goal weight so the Weight Watchers leader updated everything in the system.  Hopefully I'll hit it at weigh in next week but at least by January 6th, so I would be starting 2015 in maintenance mode.

Week of Workouts

Thursday looks to be Cardio and Abs for these 5 weeks of the bulk phase.

Friday I worked my back.  I only had to use the resistance band for one exercise.

Saturday I worked my shoulders in the morning.  In the afternoon I sorted through my clothes to pull out the right size to give to my mom.

I began week 5 Monday working my chest again.

Tuesday was leg day.

This morning I worked my arms.  Benny hadn't gone to bed so when I was done he asked why I was walking funny.  It's because of yesterday!

Provitamaxx Omega-3 Fish Oil Review + Giveaway

I was surprised to find a fish oil with a natural lemon flavoring but it's so light it's barely noticeable.  I haven't experienced a fishy aftertaste either with Provitamaxx Omega-3 Fish Oil.  Perhaps it has something to do with this being in the triglyceride form.  All I know is I don't smell anything each time I open the bottle.
The health benefits of omega-3 fish oil are widely researched and documented.  Some areas that benefit are:
  • heart health
  • joint function
  • circulation
  • immune function
  • healthy inflammatory levels
  • eye health and function
  • positive mood
  • learning and memory
  • normal brain and nerve cell function
The triglyceride form ensures maximum absorption of omega-3s, allowing you to experience the full health benefits.  The pills are gluten-free and contain no GMOs.  They are also certified by a Third Party Lab to be free of mercury, PCBs and any other toxins.  

Provitamaxx Omega-3 Fish Oil is produced using only sustainable fishing methods and is dolphin-safe.  The manufacturing process utilizes 100% green, carbon-neutral technology.

Provitamaxx Omega-3 Fish Oil is currently only available for purchase on Amazon. 

Linking up with
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Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Ending Build and Starting Bulk

Yesterday morning I went to the doctor for my annual physical.  I'm probably going to be billed a copay for the visit because apparently Anthem requires visits to be 1 year and 1 day apart.  The doctor and I believe my headaches stem from my neck.  He examined my neck and shoulders, finding several tight and/or tender spots.  So he's given me the referral for physical therapy.  Hopefully they'll find the release point like they did for my leg!  With the crazy way insurance is I have no clue how much it'll cost me.  As far as blood work he had them run several but the results won't be available for me to see online until about midnight.

Benny measured me last week.  I lost another inch in my chest and a half inch or so in my arms.  Everything else pretty much stayed the same.  Last night I weighed in down .2 lbs.

Week of Workouts

Thursday I worked my shoulders.

Friday was leg day.

Saturday was the last day of the build phase working my back and biceps.

Monday I began the bulk phase working my chest.  It was quite a different format in how the sets are in the build phase.

Yesterday was the first bulk leg day.  I couldn't get in the single leg 50 calf raises; it was around 36 on each leg for me.

Today I worked my arms.  I was wondering what an arms workout was...after all isn't weightlifting in general all arms?  There were a LOT of curls in this workout.

Linking up with
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Femme Fitale Fit Club

Monday, December 8, 2014

Another Great Gift at Best Buy - Canon EOS Rebel T5i DSLR

The Canon EOS Rebel T5i is one of Best Buy's best-selling DSLRs. This camera makes advanced photography easy and fun, and gives you exceptional image quality, along with a host of features to enhance your creative expression.

Notable Features
  • A versatile zoom lens to capture everyday shots.
  • An 18.0-megapixel CMOS sensor and a DIGIC 5 image processor to ensure vivid, crystal-clear images.
  • Capture fast action shots in burst mode.
  • Capture Hollywood caliber full HD video.
  • Continuous autofocus while taking HD video.
  • Simplified navigation with the 3" vari-angle touch screen.
Save $150 on the Canon EOS Rebel T5i at Best Buy (valid 12/7-12/20). Visit Best Buy to learn more.

Do you love twitter parties? Best Buy is hosting an Canon Twitter Party on Thursday December 18th at 7pm CST. Feel free to join this party for a chance to receive Best Buy gift cards and other great prizes. Tweet #HintingSeason with your top gifts that you want this Holiday from Best Buy.

The reviewer has been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Replacing Your Holiday Dinner with Healthy

Background Courtesy of Anusorn P nachol |
Holiday dinner isn't exactly synonymous with healthy eating.  However, there are ways to make it a bit more heart healthy than normal.  Here are five suggestions to get  you on your way to a nutritious holiday dinner:

Baked Potato Photo Credit: Stefano A via Compfight cc
Mashed Potatoes Photo Credit: BrownGuacamole via Compfight cc
In and of themselves, potatoes are harmless. They're relatively low-calorie, and provide large amounts of potassium and vitamin C. However, they become caloric monsters when people add other things to them. Baked potatoes loaded with sour cream and butter do not need to make it to your holiday dinner table. There's a healthier way to do potatoes.

Garlic mashed potatoes make a great healthy addition to any holiday meal. Through the use of low-fat milk or cream, these spuds can be just as smooth and creamy as their unhealthy counterpart. However, this subtle change brings down the saturated fat content of the dish. If additional flavor is desired, try adding a bit of parmesan cheese.
Cranberry Sauce Photo Credit: via Compfight cc
Baked Spiced Apples Photo Credit: william couch via Compfight cc
One might think that something made with a healthy fruit would actually be healthy. Unfortunately, cranberry sauce doesn't quite work that way. Any benefits provided by the antioxidants are pretty much neutralized when you consider amount of sugar present in a serving of canned cranberry sauce.

For a healthier alternative, nix the cranberry sauce and make some baked spiced apples. After cutting up 4 or 5 apples, season them with a bit of cinnamon and nutmeg. Apples are naturally sweet, so they don't need much sugar. Nevertheless, they can be made sweeter with a bit of Splenda.

Green Bean Casserole Photo Credit: Glenn Gutierrez via Compfight cc
Sautéed Fresh Green Beans Photo Credit: ehpien via Compfight cc
On their own, green beans are rich in vitamins and minerals. When combined with heavy cream and fried onions, their nutrients are blocked out by saturated fat and sodium. Likewise, cooking them for long periods of time has a tendency to leach out those nutrients.

Leave the cream and the fried onions alone this year. With a bit of olive oil, garlic and onions, green beans can be sautéed into a delicious side dish. Cooking them with these ingredients will add an unique dimension of flavor without totally destroying their nutrition content.

Bread Stuffing Photo Credit: ontheflyrecipes via Compfight cc
Quinoa Stuffing Photo Credit: pinkeerach via Compfight cc
Stuffing is delicious, but no one ever discusses how unhealthy it can be. Most varieties are made with over-processed white bread. Some of them are even made with sausage and other high-fat meats. Nevertheless, there's no need to remove it from the holiday dinner menu. Quinoa stuffing is a healthy alternative that will satisfy your need for stuffing.

With ingredients such as quinoa, squash, apples and cranberries, quinoa stuffing is packed with nutrients. Use the same spices as you would for your favorite stuffing, and see what a treat you'll have on your hands.

Whole Turkey Photo Credit: kevinq2000 via Compfight cc
Turkey Breast Photo Credit: davidmulder61 via Compfight cc
While turkey is generally considered a lean meat, the entire bird doesn't fall under that category. Some people prefer dark meat because of the flavor content. However, many of them don't realize that dark meat has more saturated fat and sodium than breast meat.

Do yourself a favor by switching out the bird for two or three turkey breasts. Due to a shortened cooking time, they'll be able to maintain more moisture. They'll be so juicy that people won't even miss the dark stuff.

Through these alternative foods, you’ll be cutting down on a lot of saturated fat and sodium that aren’t your heart’s best friend, and hopefully be able to spend more holidays with the family because of it.

Jason Kane is a professional blogger who knows the struggles of eating healthy during the holidays and hopes to help others with the knowledge he’s obtained. He currently writes for AEDs Today, a leading supplier of automatic external defibrillators. 

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Thanksgiving Aftermath

This frozen turkey weighed in last night with a 2 lb gain.  I didn't eat much on Thanksgiving....I think it was mostly Austin's birthday cake.  I had turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, and green beans with onions.  Benny ate his red cabbage and asparagus instead of the green beans.

Austin's Birthday

Austin was so ready to open presents when he arrived Thursday.  We told him he had to wait until Friday to open anything other than the birthday card that came in the mail from a Great Aunt.  Shortly after midnight here he came ready to open everything! LOL

The cake itself was a fail because the icing kept melting so I couldn't get the sprinkles right on the red side.  Austin added only 12 candles - 6 pink and 6 white on opposing colors.  I said we needed a 13th one since that's how old he is.  So he added a blue one to the middle section.

Week of Workouts

Thursday was fitting with leg day for Thanksgiving, even though I don't eat the legs LOL.

Friday was supposed to be shoulders but I went with Build: Back/Bis instead.

Saturday I went ahead and worked my shoulders.

Sunday began week 3 with Chest/Tris.

Monday I had another double headache so I made it a rest day.  I've added my headaches to the list of things to talk to the doctor about when I see him next week for my annual physical.

Tuesday I got my Cardio & Abs in.

This morning was leg day again.

Colon Cleanse

I originally signed up for Benny to do the colon cleanse but he was having issues with the probiotic so I never had him take it.  I then figured I'd try it to combat Thanksgiving and Austin's cake.  I took the first dose with Saturday's brunch.  After Sunday's dose I had to go twice but felt weird all day.  Monday I forgot to bring the bottle with me to work so I didn't have any.  I took Tuesday's dose with lunch.  Today I took the dose with an Orgain shake.

I haven't gone since Sunday. My body likes to do things the opposite of the norm (i.e. cheese loosens me up) so perhaps this colon cleanse is having the opposite effect, contributing to the gain.  I will continue with the cleanse the rest of this week to see if anything changes.

If you've done a colon cleanse (pills or liquid) how long did it take for you to notice any change?

Linking up with
Weigh In Wednesday

Femme Fitale Fit Club

The Hump Day Blog Hop

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Welcome to the POPSUGAR Must Have Box Giveaway

POPSUGAR Must Have Box Giveaway #musthavebox #giveaway

Welcome to the POPSUGAR Must Have Box Giveaway

Hosted by: Femme Fitale Fit Club and The Frugal Exerciser

Co-hosted by: Simple Nails and Beauty, The Long and Winding Road to Wellness: Cassi's Journey, The Fit Empress, Chasing My Halo, and Confessions of A Mother Runner

The holiday season has officially begun and while you are out there shopping for amazing presents for your loved ones, don’t forget about yourself. You deserve a treat. We present to you the POPSUGAR Must Have Box which is one of the most luxurious and elegant subscription boxes around. This box is a monthly subscription box filled with items curated by the POPSUGAR editors in the areas of Beauty, Fashion, Home, Food and Fitness. The subscription is $39.95 per month but includes items valued over $100 – how awesome is that? To order your very own click HERE and use promo code CHEER to receive $5 off. 1 very lucky winner will receive a 3-month subscription of the POPSUGAR Must Have Box, ARV $120. Check out this sneak peek video of the November 2014 POPSUGAR Must Have Box to see the goodies that come inside:

Giveaway Details

Open to all US State residents, 18 years or older. Winner will have 48 hours to respond to an email sent from Diatta@femmefitalefitclub(dot)com (consider adding this address to your contacts so it doesn't go to spam!). This giveaway ends @ 11:59 pm EST on December 19th.

Happy Holidays and Good Luck

a Rafflecopter giveaway *Participants in this giveaway are not responsible for prize shipment nor were they compensated for this post. Hosts are responsible for prize redemption. Winner will receive a 3-month POPSUGAR Must Have Box subscription and will have 48 hours to claim their prize before a new winner is selected. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, or any other social media outlet. If you have any questions, or want to participate in our next giveaway, please contact Diatta@FemmeFitaleFitClub(dot)com.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Beast Mode, Turkeys, & Teens - Oh, My!

Last night I weighed in down 2.4 lbs!  That leaves 1.8 lbs until we evaluate whether or not I should change my goal weight of 130 lbs.  Whether we make any changes at that point or not I'm considering using whatever I weigh on January 6th as reaching goal.  Will see how I progress in Beast Mode before I make anything official since I won't be done with Body Beast until February.

Week of Workouts

Friday was Build: Legs again.

Saturday was Build: Back/Bis.  I have never been able to do a pull-up or chin-up.  This adds some complication to the workout.  My doorway is too big for a pull-up/chin-up bar.  There's also no door so I couldn't do a resistance band with a door attachment.  So I used my Slim in 6 resistance band and wrapped it around my feet.  I held my feet up against the side of the couch.  This kind of worked but would like to try something different this Saturday.  Any suggestions?

I played around with a few different poses to see if there are any changes from week to week.  This is what I came up with.  I asked Austin if there were other poses I should do.  He said how would he know and I replied that he's a boy! LOL  No response after that.  Should I add any others for week 2?

Sunday was back to Build: Chest/Tris.  I'm guessing it's because I did this the day after Back/Bis but this workout was more difficult this time around.

Monday I woke up with a double sinus and tension headache so I didn't complete a workout.  The sinus headache went away (and returns) but the tension one just doesn't want to let up.

Back to the grind on Tuesday with Cardio & Abs.

This morning was Build: Shoulders.

Thanksgiving & Austin's Birthday

I picked up the 13 lb or so turkey Monday night.  We'll have mashed potatoes and gravy.  Benny will have his asparagus and red cabbage (can't stand the smell of the stuff).  Not sure what veggies I'll do for myself.  I never plan, fix or buy a dessert but I kind of want one.  What's on your menu?

Austin will turn 13 Friday and I have everything to make our version of a Pokeball cake.  Keep an eye out on Instagram for pictures!

Linking up with
Weigh In Wednesday

Femme Fitale Fit Club

The Hump Day Blog Hop

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Big Slice Apples Review & Giveaway

I absolutely love apples!  I try to eat one a day but plain old apples can get boring.  When I saw this opportunity for the Big Slice Apples on Tomoson I jumped on the opportunity!  Who could pass up such a variety of flavors for apples?

Grandma Hoerner's originally released only a few flavors of Big Slice Apples pouches in a handful of Target stores in January 2014.  Within a few months they expanded to nearly all Target stores in the country!  That tells you how much people are liking Big Slice Apples.

Big Slice Apples are sliced, kettle cooked apples mixed with a variety of sauces to make up the flavors.
  • No high fructose corn syrup
  • Made with domestic apples
  • Non-GMO (for most flavors)
  • Naturally gluten free
  • Mostly under 100 calories
  • Naturally fat free
The flavors are broken up into three categories - pure, fit, and luxe.  The pure line is blended with fruits and spices.  The fit line promotes energy, power, balance, and beauty.  The luxe line are rich, indulgent flavors.  You can add any flavor to yogurt, oatmeal, or just eat them plain.  I ate most in oatmeal for my breakfast since it's been so cold.

Five of the eight flavors received I liked - Natural; Cinnamon French Toast (which is weird because I don't like French toast); Raspberry, Hibiscus, & Green Coffee Extract (no mocha flavor to turn me off); Banana, Mango, & Hemp Seed (I was afraid might cause an allergic reaction since I'm allergic to the hemp plant); and Pineapple, Passion Fruit, & Fiber.  I figure it's pretty good to like 62.5% of the flavors!

The flavors I didn't really like were Cherry Vanilla, Boysenberry Chocolate (for one the seeds kept getting stuck in my teeth), and Blueberry Pomegranate.

The remaining eight flavors are
  • Orange Ginger
  • Apricot
  • Lemon Berry
  • Chai (would like to try)
  • Peach Green Tea & Aloe
  • Peach Bellini
  • Cinnamon Candy (would like to try)
  • Caramel (would like to try)
Big Slice Apples are available exclusively at your local Target store.  Check out the product locator to find the closest location that carries these delicious treats.

For every Big Slice Apples pouch purchased a portion of the proceeds are used towards their charity Sparkle.  Funds are used to help women and girls in need around the world.  Sparkle is partnered with several nonprofit ministries to achieve their mission.  Visit Sparkle's website to learn more.

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.