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Why I haven’t been blogging for the past year

Yes, my blog has been inactive for the past year, and it has been somewhat intentional.

I got pregnant (unplanned) last November. It rocked my world, at the time it didn’t seem like a positive rocking. I was still in the process of losing the baby weight from baby #1, and I had everything worked out, I was going back to work the next April. I work in the fitness industry and to know that I wouldn’t be my slim self again really hurt my ego. Basically, this unplanned pregnancy took all my planning and threw it out the window.  It also challenged me in so many ways, ways I am so grateful for now, it taught me to be grateful, grateful for what you have in life: fertility, health. It also brought out good traits of my personality I didn’t know exist in me, strength I didn’t know that I had, will power that I didn’t know I could harness, etc etc. This is my post sharing with you all what my journey has been like.

(I should mention that this period of time also brought out really negative aspects of my personality that I had to deal with and really try to not let take over me. It was hard!)

When I got pregnant, I was on the Ketogenic diet, which was really hard, but it was producing the results I wanted. I was also starving all.the.freaking.time. it was so annoying, and it wasn’t a pregnancy thing because I was experiencing that before I got pregnant. I continued on the ketogenic diet for a few months until about January when I felt that it probably wasn’t so healthy for the baby, after which I felt lost nutrition wise. Because I hadn’t lost all the baby weight from baby#1 (I was about 20 pounds away) I knew that I could not gain much weight with this baby. That meant more exercise than the previous pregnancy and a very different diet. Then I found paleo, I had been reading up on paleo before I got pregnant, I had been exposed to it but I didn’t know if I wanted to completely eliminate grains. Well, it ended up fitting my cravings and hunger extremely well. Not only did my energy INCREASE more while pregnant, I was overall much more satisfied and my weight and my gain ended up totaling roughly 22-24 pounds by the time I gave birth.

39 weeks.

January rolled around, and our finances were so tight, we went through a 2 week period with little to no food, I was starving, and I understood how homeless people felt. I would look at people in restaurants and be envious that they had food, and that they had money to pay for food, I would go by the grocery store just drooling for anything in there to eat. It was bad, luckily enough it only lasted about 2 weeks and things got better. In that period of time I was praying that my baby was okay, and that I was strong enough to keep the baby healthy despite lack of food. In addition to going through a starvation period, we decided to make some drastic life changes. My husband was going to return to the US (where he’s from) to work and I would stay in Canada, work till I gave birth, and my son would stay with my parents(two hours away from me) as we couldn’t afford daycare. I would visit on the weekends.

We moved February 1st, in the winter, it was freezing and we were exhausted and I was still in my first trimester.  I moved into a shoebox apartment without a kitchen, just some small appliances to get me by. My husband left a week later.  I ended up working shortly after that because we needed the money (So instead of 12 months of mat leave, I only took 10).  Those first few months of being separated from my husband and my son were the hardest things I have ever experienced in my life. Needless to say, I hit rock bottom. I have never hit rock bottom before in my life. It could have been a mixture of pregnancy hormones and loneliness but I remember bawling my eyes out in my apartment wondering wtf was happening in my life and not knowing what was going to come of it. Finances were SOO tight, I counted every single penny (until it got phased out in Canada, lol), every dollar and pinched everywhere I could. It led me to start reading finance books and in the span of 8 months I have really smartened up my finances and have a plan to pay off all debt by the end of 2014 or soon after.

Things got somewhat better, I developed some new hobbies, and focused more on educating myself. It was the only thing I could do spending my lonely evenings by myself and the weekends I couldn’t make it to visit my son (as gas is pretty expensive.) I went to the library a lot, did a lot of reading, tried to prepare myself as much as possible for childbirth in a more educational way. Finally around end of June my nesting hit and I realized I would have a baby soon. In this time period I was working out 5 days a week, weight lifting 3 of those sessions and walking the other two. I continued my ab workouts until my 3rd trimester. My weights remained heavy right up until the end of my pregnancy. The last workout I had before I gave birth was a leg workout that involved squats and lunges. I monitored my intensity via my HR monitor.

I gave birth on August 19th to my son, it lasted 4 hours and baby came out on the 2nd push. Overall it was 50% less painful than my first baby. I couldn’t believe it, A week after I gave birth I moved from my shoebox apartment to my parents house. I was exhausted and in this time I was also trying to increase my milk supply by doing everything under the sun to increase it and also not be stressed out while having to move and not lift too heavy items.

Yes at this point my husband is still away. We are finally all going to be together next week.

In the past months a lot has been going through my mind and the itch to blog again has arisen, I wanted to write this post and get it off my chest.

Basically, we are stronger human beings than we think we are. I know now, that I am strong, and that I can do what I need to do for my family in crazy circumstances should they arise. This has been the hardest thing I have done in my life, the past 8 months. I do not wish it on anyone, but man did it shape me. I am stronger, more educated (about myself and other things), more patient and realize that we, as humans have SO much to be grateful for. I have a new outlook on life, it could be worse. Everyone’s situation could be worse. It’s all a matter of perspective. I consider that to be the greatest gift (other than my baby) during this rough period.

I’ll be posting quite a bit more, in reference to things I have learned physically and fitness wise during my pregnancy that I hope will help all those who follow my blog for fitness/nutrition help! 🙂

I should also mention that towards the end of our separation we have received SO many blessings and signs pointing that this whole decision we made for our family has been worth it!

My son born August 19th.

My son born August 19th.

More to come in the next few weeks.

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Why women shouldn’t run

I came across this article yesterday on facebook that was shared by a Former Figure competitor regarding cardio/running. It was interesting that it was coming from her because it’s well known across the fitness industry that those in the body building competition put in over 10 hours of cardio a week to achieve their lean figure. However, this article (you must read!) provides a completely different outlook on it.

http://www.dangerouslyhardcore.com/5343/why-women-should-not-run/

It’s true, please let me ask you. If you are a woman, and you want to lose weight, what’s the first workout that comes to your mind when you think about going to the gym and exercising? Going for a walk, go for a jog, maybe achieve a 5K? Now let me ask you again, if someone told you, you SHOULD NOT run and they told you to lift weights, would you snort at them worried you would get huge like all the guys?

Now I present you this article:

http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/girls-get-your-guns-why-women-should-lift-weights.html

Why women WON’T get huge lifting weights. Great article, lots of great stuff on bodybuilding.com. I suggest you hang out around there and check out other stuff (aka, articles) that they have.

Now, if you have never stepped foot inside a gym, have anxiety when approaching one. Don’t kill yourself over it, start at home. Invest in a TRX (I have a blog post about it here: https://priorityfitfemale.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=158&action=edit), get a swiss ball and browse my blog for some exercises you can do at home. Take a walk and do sets of walking lunges in your walk, maybe stop at a park and work on some pushups, etc. Park’s are fantastic for working out!

However, if you do want to learn and get into a gym to start working out with weights and you have never worked out before in your life. Ask the front desk for someone to give you a tour so you know where the equipment is and someone can show you how to work each machine. Every gym has this option available to newcomers, use it!

Personally, if you have never used weights before in your life, go with machines. Machines provide more support for your body, which is good when new because your body isn’t used to these movements to begin with, the more support will help you learn which muscles to use and which muscles the machines will use. Starting with 3 sets, 10-15 repetitions 3-4 x a week will do wonders for you!

If you have a previous history of weight training, and you want more from your workout. I would suggest free weights. Free weights are a bit more of a tricky business because they do require more stabilization, but that’s good because more stabilization + more muscles used = stronger. Free weight exercises would include (as a suggestion because there are a thousand!)

  •  Barbell squats (squat rack)
  • Shoulder Press
  • Bicep Curls
  • Tricep Dips
  • Walking Lunges
  • Front arm raises
  • Incline Flies

I would make this post MUCH more detailed, but as it stands, I can’t, I’m short of time right now. If you have any questions and want more info, please leave a comment! 🙂

 

 

 

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One day at a time, one meal at a time, one step at a time

Lately with this new going to the gym etc, it’s hard to be patient. It’s hard to wait for results, but honestly, is it really worth sweating and getting unhappy about it?
I’m pretty flipping lucky. God has blessed me with an amazing husband, an amazing son, and overall an amazing life. This weight loss journey I’m at now is completely different than what it was when I was overweight in highschool, back then I just wanted guys to like me. Now I’m doing this for me. Well, not entirely true, I’m doing it for myself AND my family, because as the cook of the house, my family basically relies on me to keep their tummies happy and also make sure that their tummies are getting GOOD nutrients, not crap food.

When I step into the gym now, I couldn’t give a rats ass what somone thinks of me, or my body, or my hair, or the fact I don’t have any makeup on, because IT DOESN’T MATTER. I’m here for one thing, and that is to make myself more fit, and more healthy. Sure I’m the only girl in the weight room, ALWAYS. I’m surrounded by meatheads, yah I’m a little plump and I don’t push as much weight as I used to, but I. don’t. care. When I’m at the gym, I think

I’m ONE STEP CLOSER.

One step closer to my goal. When I get home, it transfers over to what I eat. After I’m doing eating, I think

I’m TWO steps closer!

Don’t make the mistake of being one those people that after the gym are like: “yah I’m going to go to starbucks and have 500 calories in a drink with 30 grams of sugar! yayyyy treat!!!” because you are just screwing yourself over. Talk about cheating on yourself!

Do the research, eat the right things, be HEALTHY. Make it a lifestyle choice and don’t cheat on yourself. Push yourself to your limits, even if you’re tired after 5 hours of sleep, maybe go and just do some light cardio at the gym. Remember, you won’t be a step closer if you take a step in the wrong direction. Sure there will be days when you can’t make it to the gym and the only thing you can do is go for a walk outside, but eat healthy and don’t let yourself fall behind.

Having a cheat meal once a week is okay – but leave it at that. Look forward to it, then keep yourself focused on your goal. Focus on being focused. 🙂

Wait! Don’t leave yet! Check out my new knitted bow headband on your way out. 😉 Maybe pin it to pinterest if you’re interested? Thanks!

(c) Style EnVie Studios. Check out the headband here: Fleece Lined Women’s Knit Bow Headband on Etsy

Have a great Saturday and MAKE IT COUNT! 🙂 I know I’ll be heading to the gym tonight! 🙂

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New motivation and new recipes

I have fallen off the blogging bandwagon because my business and my son have been keeping me ridiculously busy. Yet, as of late i have had some people asking me about my blog so I have come back! It’s great that people ask me about my blog, it makes me feel good because I know I’m helping people and they learn and appreciate the info I put on here.
Regarding my weight loss journey, it’s still going! I hit bottom about 2 months ago, I just stopped losing, had no motivation for working out in the house anymore. I tried p90x but it wasn’t working for me, I just didn’t enjoy it really (what’s the point of doing something if you don’t enjoy it?) and I was unhappy. Even though my business was really taking off I wasn’t happy at the weight I was currently at. Right now I’m hovering around 187-186. (When I gave birth I was 246) and my regular pre pregnancy weight is 165, so I’m suuuuper close to my goal! 1st part of my goal was to be at 179-175 by Christmas time, I still think I can make it because:

I HAVE JOINED THE GYM!

Yes, I did, I went last week just to inquire, I figured “what the hell, information can’t hurt”. When I walked in, they have a DAYCARE!! hellls yes, they had a daycare so mommies could workout. I got so wicked excited. Their monthly payment I could afford, AND I didn’t have any cancellation fees (so no worrying bout that when I have to go back to work). I was PUMPED, so I talked to the hubby about it and BOMB, I have been going regularly 4x/week with doing some pilates at home in between (or trying to at least).

Since I have joined the gym, I am SO much more relaxed, I have my time to go to the gym, I don’t worry about my weight, I’m confident even though I’m still rather plump, hey, someone’s gotta start somewhere right? I’m much weaker than I used to be but it takes time and as long as I’m putting my effort in when I go that’s all that matters. My eating is much more on track as well, I can’t just skip meals when I want to, (because that’s what I was doing beforehand when I wasn’t working out regularly.) I also have more energy and I feel overall much more confident about my body and also about my weight loss.

My eating has been really good (other than occasionally skipping meals *slaps wrist*) and I am booking an appointment to meet with a Holistic Nutritionist in the near future! I will keep you updated on that, because that’s going to be awesome.

I’m excited for my next set of measurements because now that I’m REGULARLY weight training, they are going to be changing a lot faster  for the better! I’ll be taking them next Sat! 🙂

On another note, Christmas is next month (ah!!) and I’ve been really busy knitting, but I wanted to share with you some of the items I’ve been making and maybe check them out on my shop and see if you need some lovely hand knit Christmas gifts under your tree this year?

I know I’m weird, I love to knit but I’m also addicted to the gym. Hey! A person is allowed to be weird. :p

That’s just a sneak peak, to see all the new stuff go to my shop here:

Fleecy knits

Now for some recipes, I have found this FANTASTIC page on facebook that posts holistic recipes for REAL food. Most items are gluten free, wheat free, dairy free, soy free and refined sugar free. I mean, how much more could you ask for in life?! You can find the page here: Just Eat Real Food

Lately I had made this breakfast bread that I found on their page. I made it and my husband ate it up in pretty much one sitting so I had to go and make another one. It’s EASIER than pie, and very healthy, so go make some up for yourself now! Paleo Breakfast Bread

Last night I made this double fudge: It’s VERY rich, though it’s mostly just coconut oil and almond butter, but I can’t have more than 1 piece a day because of how rich it is. If you like fudge, this is definitely for you! Paleo Double Layer Fudge

Now I’m not Paleo, but I LOVE all the paleo recipes! They are so fantastic, if you think you can do Paleo, I say go for it! 🙂

Until next time – train and eat and knit happy!

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Eating + Fleecy Knits

It’s been a few weeks since I last posted. It’s not because I have been intentionally ignoring my readers, it’s because my business: Fleecy Knits has taken off to a rather hectic start!
For those of you that don’t know, I run a small business on the side. It’s not because I simply enjoy knitting that I have this business, it’s because funds are extremely low in our family and I am trying to pull in a little bit more $$ to help things around the house. I knit hats, headbands and mittens that are fleece lined so that way you don’t get the wind on your ears and head in the winter time.

If you care to check it out: my shop on Etsy: http://www.etsy.com/shop/BulcherM?ref=si_shop

Last week I had a photoshoot so I was spending my whole entire week trying to have a good amount of items to photograph. Currently I am waiting on the pictures so I am excited! Within a few days I will have quite a few new items in my shop.

I have realized that a huge part of having a successful online business is having good pictures. Pictures speak so loud, people want your shop, business and items to look extremely professional and that is what I am working on. As you can probably see, a lot of my items do not look very professional, well, that was from when I first started out. You live you learn!

Yesterday I added these cute toddler fingerless mitts which I am rather proud of. They are fleece lined of course. Yesterday I made Thumbless toddler mitts, perhaps I will have pictures to share them with you tomorrow.

On another note, which is fitness related. For the past 2-3 weeks my weight loss has kind of plateaued, which really stinks because I need to stay on track if I want to reach part 1. of my weight loss goal by December. I was getting a bit worried. I haven’t been able to do a whole lot of cardio lately because I’ve been knitting so much and paired with going to bed later,  I don’t have much energy. I have been buckling down though and definitely have been trying to maintain my resistance training workouts. This morning I got up to take care of my son, I looked in the mirror and I thought my tummy looked a bit smaller, and so then I weighed myself and sure enough! I had lost 2 lbs! YAY!
I think the difference is that for the past couple weeks I was living the mentality that I shouldn’t be eating a lot of food, recently I cut out my grains to help aid in my weight loss (as I used to when I first lost a lot of weight back when I was 16), but I was probably only having about 4 meals a day, I was going to bed really hungry, getting up late and only having a small breakfast, then lunch then a snack and then supper. Also I wasn’t eating enough protein. So yesterday I made it my goal to eat 6 meals a day, and to not let myself get hungry, to not worry about how many calories I was eating, but to make sure I was getting enough protein paired with good fats and good carbohydrates. Overall it helped my workout more, I was more energize and lo and behold, I finally lost a couple pounds.

So, if you’re trying to lose weight, don’t be stupid like me and not eat enough because that won’t get you anywhere. Try and eat healthy meals more often! It does wonders!

Oh, and check out my shop online. 🙂

 

 

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Simmering thoughts on pregnancy

I think about being pregnant a lot, like, a lot. No, I’m not weird, okay maybe I am, but I feel like all the time that I am not pregnant, I have to use preparing myself for pregnancy. It might seem a bit strange as usually a person spends more time not being pregnant than being pregnant. I’ll explain my reasons for this.

When I was pregnant I was terrified of gaining too much weight, well those fears came true, I gained too much weight. When you have all these new hormones surfing through your body, your normal thought process, will power, brain, pretty much normal everything is out the window so I found for me, I couldn’t process my thoughts normally. Instead I just freaked out for the 1st trimester that I was gaining too much (over the recommended amount for 1st trimester weight). I had some people tell me “well, you want to enjoy your pregnancy don’t you? So don’t worry about cravings or about what you eat.” I wish I had not given into that mentality, I regret it to this day. I don’t, however, regret my pregnancy, or the whole experience.

I realized last night, while I was laying in bed that there is no right or wrong way with pregnancy when it comes to weight, cravings, etc etc. Every woman is different and really you should listen to your OWN advice, not someone elses.

I remember talking to a friend back home when I was pregnant, she (she’s much older, 60’s, early 70’s) asked me how I was dealing with my cravings, I told her I was trying to enjoy them but watching my weight and she said that when she was pregnant (which would have been in the 1960’s, 1970’s), her doctor was very strict with her, told her to watch her weight, be very careful about what she ate. So she said it wasn’t easy, it was hard work. Well I didn’t like the sound of that, who likes the sound of “hard work” especially when you’re already pregnant and “enjoying” (eating your cravings) your pregnancy.

For some women, they can eat whatever they want and they will only gain in their belly (which is just baby growing and not excess fat on the mother) and return back to their normal weight after giving birth. For some women, their whole world gets turned upside down and they gain too much weight to never (yet) return back to their normal body weight after birth.

For me, I gain weight everywhere and I gained a lot of weight during my pregnancy, I am ashamed of it, embarrassed because I am a personal trainer and I am supposed to be an example to those around me, yet I have proven that I am just human… BUT, this is why I spend so much time thinking about my next pregnancy. For me I see it as a battle and for some women it is, it’s a battle with your hormones (when it comes to food).

Every time I have a craving, I think of my pregnancy.

Every time I’m exhausted and I don’t feel like working out, I think of my pregnancy.

Every time I feel lethargic and I just want to sleep, I think of my pregnancy.

Every time I feel like slacking off in my workout, I think of my pregnancy.

Every time I am tempted to just “take it easy” and let go of my eating habits, I think of my pregnancy.

Mentally I am guarding myself against those emotional and hormones that will surge my body when I become pregnant.

Now, pregnancy is a WONDERFUL thing, don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to be all depressed about being pregnant here, but it’s not all butterflies and happiness as I thought it would be before I got pregnant. It’s difficult, and some women have vomiting the whole 9 months, it’s not to scare you. I am actually looking forward to the next time I get pregnant ( in due time of course)!

All of these preparations are in relation to food by the way. All the other cravings during pregnancy and all the other little things that come with it are great! (Unless you have morning sickness? lol) I say this because food was my weakness during pregnancy, when I should have been fueling my baby with healthy, high energy, power food. I was eating mostly crap, thank goodness my son turned out okay though and is still as gorgeous as ever! =D

I am also not happy with my doctor, when I was over 40 lbs gained he didn’t say anything to me about my weight, I’m sure he was probably scared of what my reaction would be. I mean, you don’t want to make a pregnant woman mad, but I really wish he would have been more strict. I blame that to today’s society where a doctor won’t say anything to an overweight kid about his weight. Had this been 40 years ago, I’m sure the doctor would have said something. So instead, I have to keep myself liable.

Here is how I am planning on keeping track of my weight and eating for the next pregnancy:

1. Take pictures every week. Pictures help SOOO much when it comes to weight, see where you’re gaining (because that really helps tell you whether you’re gaining too much. I gained in my legs and arms and shoulders, places where I should not have been expanding)

2. Take measurements of areas that you shouldn’t be expanding: arms, shoulders, butt, legs. If you gain a bit not a big deal, but if you see like a 2-5 inch increase, that’s a warning sign!

3. Food log, – SOOOO IMPORTANT. This really helps you see the types of food that you eat, not so much how much you’re eating because eating a lot isn’t a big deal, as long as its good quality high nutrient dense food!

4. Get someone else to go grocery shopping. Seriously, I think this is key, it’s so easy when you’re pregnant to just get whatever you want or whatever you are craving, ah no. Not good.

5. Husband is on the same page and doesn’t get terrified of your emotional breakdowns because you can’t have what you’re craving. Kind of key…. just talk it over…

I might sound like I’m stupid anal about pregnancy, or maybe I should just “relax”. Sorry to people who think that way but like I said earlier, for some women, they have to work during their pregnancy, in the end it will make you happier and your family happier. I can’t tell you how many days I get depressed about my weight and how it affects my husband. My poor husband, he has to constantly encourage me and compliment me so I don’t get entirely suicidal (okay I’m not quite that bad).

Just trying to help all the other ladies out there who have struggled with gaining too much weight during pregnancy and want some help in monitoring it for the future babies! 🙂

Now I will go cuddle my son. (sigh) I love cuddles!

 

(Side note, here’s a neat article I found that is inspiring! http://www.fitnessatlantic.com/fit-pregnancy.htm)

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Just when you’re feeling down… workout!

Another cold is attacking me… it sucks, I feel like all the life I have is being sucked out of me, I’m fighting with a sore throat right now, the sore throat wants to move in but I’m keeping my barriers up pretty strongly. That being said, last night was the most humid night in the existence of nights and I was dying. Not to mention my breastfeeding relationship with Richard is going downhill because he’s getting older = needs more milk. Mummy doesn’t have more milk so… unhappy baby. This morning when  I woke up I was determined I would do a workout today, not only because my workouts have been off schedule lately but because I have to keep myself liable and make myself feel slightly better about life!

Since I was feeling like death I didn’t want to do an insane workout so I thought I would do some pilates. I downloaded a series of videos on the iPad a few weeks ago, and I did a 35 min session this morning. I haven’t sweat that much in ages, it was a rather high paced Pilates session but it was flipping amazing! Definitely looking forward to the other videos and doing it on a more regular basis. I think this is what I am going to do now on my “off” days.

^ Must get my hands on that dvd! I just found it looking for some pictures to add into my post! Win!
immediately following my pilates I felt sooo much better! Maybe it was the ibuprofen I took earlier this morning, but I’m hoping it was the pilates. Haha! Since I was feeling better I had more motivation to clean the dishwasher and make myself a nice healthy smoothie for lunch (banana, blueberry, sunwarrior protein and raw cocoa!)

I’m looking forward to my supper, I am debating making some cauliflower pizza crust and some avocado spaghetti sauce with some veggies and chickpeas on top… mmmm…. or maybe I’ll find something else to make. Who know with me!

 

 

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