Tag Archives: kettlebell

28 Day Fitness Challenge: Days 50-70

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Day68

Okay, I have to get ready to head to the gym in a few. But, I know I have been seriously MIA on the blog for the last several weeks. So, I wanted to give a quick update in regard to my personal fitness challenge. First, I have now worked out for a minimum of 10 minutes a day for 70 days in a row. More importantly for me, I completed C25K on Friday!!! I did C25K in 2011, but think I fell off of it the last week/week and a half. I didn’t fall of because I ran into a wall (no pun intended ;), but because I took a break immediately before competing in a Rugged Maniac 5K obstacle race.

Anywho, I’m very excited to say that I am now running for 30 minutes at 5.4 mph! It ain’t quite easy yet, but I can do it!! I’m NOT happy to say that my treadmill broke at week 7 of C25K and I have yet to get my new one. So, I had to start going to the gym to run (yeah … I don’t run outside … yet. Now that’s it’s warming up, I’ll give it a try on the weekend). I should have my new NordicTrak by this Wednesday and will be happy to not have to run back and forth to the gym at 6 am.

Okay, it’s about time for me to get dressed to get out of here. But, here is a pictorial rundown of Days 50-70. If you want to get details of what I did each day, check out my Instagram or Facebook pages (I think you can check-out Instagram w/out being a subscriber!).

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The scale has been stuck the last few weeks … I went down to 134, but have been up and down the last two weeks. I know it’s because I’ve been pretty lackadaisical about dinner and have been relaxing my eating on weekends. So, this week, I’m going to get back on track with consistently eating a balanced dinner and watching what I eat on the weekends. Regardless of what’s going on with the scale, I’m definitely seeing progress.

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And finally, I’m really going to try to give some hair updates this week! I plan to do a post every night after work, but I’m just so exhausted and have no desire to focus on a computer long enough to compose a lucid and worthwhile post!! So, I just do quick hits on IG, which I share on FB and Twitter!! If you follow me on any of those, you know that it has been an eventful few weeks in regard to wash day. I’ve tried new products, new techniques and had a traumatic detangling experience last weekend. Visions of a third big chop were floating through my head. But, I survived with (most of the) hair on my head! So yeah, I might not write as much as I usually do, but I’m going to really try to give you guys a little something! Thank you for your patience!!

Lata Gatas!!

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28 Day Fitness Challenge Round Two: Days 43-49

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sweaty

Still going strong!! Can’t believe I’ve worked out for 50 consecutive days now!! One more week and it’ll be 2 months!! When I started this 7 weeks ago, I wasn’t sure if I’d make it through the first 28 days. Now, on day 51, I feel like I can keep on going. Some days, all I get in is 10 minutes of Abs of Steel, but I feel like every minute counts. And, I could have easily been sleeping or sitting on the couch those 10 minutes, so it’s better than that.

In regard to weight loss, the scale actually went back up to 138 this week. I’m not overly concerned as it’s that time of the month … y’all know how it is. Also, although I ate very well during the day, I had a really irregular week as it related to dinner. Nothing I ate was bad in and of itself. But, I was eating randomly and too much … green smoothie, kale chips, pistachios and smoked oysters one night … green smoothie, kale chips, a sweet potato and pistachios the next … green smoothie, taylor ham and pistachios the following night … I told you … random. And, over the weekend wasn’t the best either … I didn’t eat too much in regard to quantity, but didn’t have the best options when I went out to lunch on Saturday (ended up w/a breaded chicken cutlet on a white roll … was hoping it was grilled … only ate half the bread, but still all that friend breading) and a birthday party on Sunday (2 slices of plain cheese pizza … it was after hot yoga and I was starving!). But, again, it wasn’t a lot in terms of quantity … just more calories than I would like and not much in the way of nutritional content.

Kale, banana, dates and vanilla extract green smoothie; first ever homemade kale chips (too salty, but did a second batch w/o salt and they were good)!

Kale, banana, dates and vanilla extract green smoothie; first ever homemade kale chips (too salty, but did a second batch w/o salt and they were good)!

Oh, and Sunday night, Wei and I went to our new favorite spot, The Loving Hut in Ledgewood, NJ. It’s an international chain (never would have guessed) specializing in vegan cuisine. Let me tell you, the food. is. DELICIOUS.

Clockwise: California Roll, Queen “Burger”; sweet potato fries and Pho. This pic was actually from our first visit, but we ordered the same things this past Sunday!

So yeah, I’ll probably wait until next Sunday or Monday to weigh in again and keeping my fingers crossed that I’ll be down a real pound or two to 135-136. Of course, I need to get my dinners back on track this week …  ‘cuz Monday night was a repeat of the randomness.

Alright, here’s Days 43-49 in pictures!!

In regard to Day 46, you may have noticed that I posted my Day 1 and Day 2 results. Now, the thing is, treadmills that don’t allow you to enter you weight, height, sex and body fat percentage don’t accurately calculate calories burned for everyone. This is because treadmills that don’t allow personalization generally use the universal calibration for a 150 pound male (check out this article on LiveStrong.com: Do Treadmills Accurately Burn Calories? for more info). However, though I know the results for calories and carbs burned on my calculator are not accurate for me, the information is helpful as it provides a point of comparison from work-out to work-out.

C25K Week 7/Day 1 was yesterday morning!! This week is 25 minute runs for each workout! I’m so excited to be here as, when I started, didn’t know how’d I do it! But, every day, slow progression is the key to seeing results!!

Oh, and before I go!! I wanted to share a video on pre- and post work-out stretches to do to improve running speed and endurance!! It’s from Marshall’s!! You see, when I bought work-out clothes from them a couple of weeks ago, there were these “Get Fit” tags with QR codes to “unlock” YouTube videos! Well, I got the perfect video for me!!

I have found that doing the demonstrated stretches pre- and post work-out does make me feel more limber and the pre-run stretches definitely help warm me up. I can’t say that the stretches have improved my endurance or speed just yet. But, I’ve only been doing them for about a week now. So, I’ll give them more time for that. And, now that I think about it, I did do long run intervals at 5.5 when I was struggling at 5.2 a couple of weeks ago. So, maybe they are helping! If it can improve my speed to 5.3 for my 25 minute run at the end of this week, I’ll give these stretches some kudos ;)!

Lata Gatas!!

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Any runners out there? Do you have tips on stretches or techniques for a novice runner to use in order to improve running efficiency, form, gait, speed? Thanks in advance!!

28 Day Fitness Challenge Round Two: Days 36-43

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So, I’m a little late with this and I’m keeping it short. I’m down 11.5 pounds as of this past Saturday and started week 6 of C25K this morning. Still working out daily and eating well mostly … though, I did indulge a little on Easter Day. However, though I enjoyed some mac and cheese, a little ham, and candied yams, I also filled half my plate with salad, had white meat turkey, passed on the bread and stuffing and practiced portion control. I didn’t stuff myself at all and I didn’t have seconds. Ummm … and I did have a little bit of dessert too *sheepish grin*. BUT, it was the lightest thing there and it was only about 3-4 spoonfuls. I resisted the sweet potato pie (oh how I love thee), coconut cake, pound cake and ice cream! Oh, and I started out the day with a green smoothie … learning of the day: NutriBullet does NOT do well with frozen greens :(. So, I bought a big bag of fresh kale after work today. Should have taken a pic … it’s GINORMOUS!!

Okay, yeah … short. Here’s day 36-43 in pics!! Oh, and captions ;).

Day 43: C25K Week 6/Day 1 (5.5 mph run intervals). Abs are coming in ... still got a ways to go, but seeing real progress.

Day 43: C25K Week 6/Day 1 (5.5 mph run intervals). Abs are coming in … still got a ways to go, but seeing real progress.

I’ll be back in the next day or two with details of the hair above and to share a recap of the Wonder Curl launch party that I attended this weekend!! She debuted her two new products, a Cleansing Clay Mask and a Deep Conditioner that round-out her line of products!! Okay … if you just can’t wait, check out these recaps by A Hair Story and Radiant Brown Beauty, who both attended the event with me and are on top of it ;)!!

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Spring is in the air and summer can’t be too far away … right?  So, how you guys doing with your health and fitness goals? 

28 Day Fitness Challenge: Days 8-14

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Hair

Alright, I know this is a hair blog, so I’ll open this with a little hair update. LOL!! I’ve been doing the least as my priority right now is getting my body/health back in order … hair is secondary. But, it still has its needs ;). So, last weekend, I did the following:

  • Pre-pooed with Vatika Oil mixed with Aubrey Honeysuckle Rose conditioner overnight.
  • Shampooed with diluted Shea Moisture Raw Shea Moisture Retention shampoo.
  • Conditioned and finger detangled with Herbal Essences Hello Hydration (HE HH) and rinsed.
  • Deep conditioned with Jessicurl Weekly Deep Treatment with added EVOO, JBCO and VCO.
  • Cooled and sealed with diluted HE HH.
  • Applied a modified kimmaytube leave-in conditioner (2 tbsp KCKT, 2 tbsp AVJ, 2 tsp JBCO/EVOO).
  • Set my hair in 8 twists (I think … I’m going off memory at this point).

On Monday, I wore my twists up and on Tuesday night, I removed them to stretch my hair further by placing it into 6 braids. Tuesday, I wore my hair in a low bun. On Wednesday, I placed it in a mid-height bun using a banana clip made two big twists, and wrapped and pinned them around the banana clip. I wore my hair like that through this past Sunday, re-setting it twice.

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It stayed well-moisturized, which was a relief. My ends in the back crown had been feeling rough and dry lately, so this was a welcome result. I’m definitely back to the kimmaytube leave-in and protective styling … oh yeah, I was supposed to be extending that bun challenge to right about now, wasn’t I?!?! LOL!! Well, it continues.

Oh, and I didn’t wash it this weekend … had the henna thawed for the second time in two weeks … but, just wasn’t feeling like dealing with an all day hair event and didn’t even feel like washing it period. I will definitely have to do something this weekend … henna may not make the cut again however, even though it’s sorely needed. But, for now, I put it in four braids after henna and it’ll be in another bun for the week … maybe even the same one! I should try to be more creative though, shouldn’t I? *shrugs*

Health & Fitness

Okay, now to my real focus for the week :). I’m at the halfway point of my personal 28 Day Fitness Challenge!!! I’ve lost 5-5.5 lbs since starting 2 weeks ago and I’m feeling better and motivated. Morning work-outs are definitely a necessity for me right now as I am so burned out after work. I know that although I might start the day with the best intentions, at the pace I’m going right now, there is no way I’d have the energy or motivation to get it done after work. It also feels really good to be done exercising shortly after starting my day. The one thing that sucks is that I can’t workout longer when I’m feeling good as I have to get to work. Right now I’m getting up at 5:30 a.m. to give myself 30 minutes to get my cup of coffee in and wake-up. But, I always end up taking 45 minutes to get it together. So, I may need to get up a little bit earlier if I want to get a little extra in.

Anywho, here is how week 2 went down (click on pics to enlarge and read captions). If you follow Hairscapades on Instagram or Facebook, you can skip this part as you’ve seen these already ;).

Okay, that was the fitness, this is the health. For me, weight loss has always required both exercise and a good diet. They work hand-in-hand and I think contribute equally to allowing me to reach my goals. This is because mentally they are tied together for me. If I’m not eating well, I don’t exercise … if I don’t exercise, I don’t eat well. So, I’ve definitely been focused on making certain that I eat breakfast every day, bring a healthy lunch and snacks to work and eat a balanced dinner. I’ve also been drinking a protein shake and taking my vitamins with my cereal post my morning work-out.

The thing is, because my body has gotten used to more calories, I’m hungry, so I’ve incorporated a few snacks that I’ll eventually wean out.

snacks1snacks2

The Bakery on Main Gluten Free Granola is to die for!! OMGosh, this stuff is so good … and so easy to overeat with a serving being only 1/3 of a cup (140 calories/6-7 g of fat). The Cranberry Orange Cashew tastes like crunchy nuggets of Fruity Pebbles!! Ooooooh weeeeeh!! But, I’m trying to keep it together … I wasn’t even planning on buying anymore of this stuff … until I saw it in the line of Marshall’s for $1 less than it cost me in Shop-rite! DANG!! Oh, and the dry roasted edamame is about the same calories, but with a lot more fiber. Also, it’s not so sweet and delicious, so it’s easier to control my serving size. That’ll be my longer term snack as it doesn’t set off my sugar/carb addiction!

Blueberry, Banana, Strawberry Mousse Protein Smoothie

And finally, I want to start incorporating some smoothies, especially green ones, into my diet. I don’t think I’ll do them daily, but I can at least make time to mix some up a couple of days a week. This Sunday, I made a nice strawberry, banana, blueberry protein smoothie to power me up for hot yoga and it was awesome!!

proteinsmoothie

8 oz. almond milk (40 cals)
8 oz. water
1 scoop Nectar Strawberry Mousse protein powder (100 cals)
1 banana (105 cals)
1 c. frozen Dole blueberries (70 cals)
1 tbsp whole flaxseeds (47 cals)
2 ice cubes
Total: 362 calories

I debated throwing some frozen spinach into the mix, but didn’t want to take the chance that it would make it nasty. But, I’ll give it a try on a smaller batch on another day. In fact, this was a LOT of smoothie, more than 2 large cup fulls. So, I can definitely half the recipe and save some calories! I need to hit the grocery store (should have done that yesterday) to get some fruit and veggies with which to experiment. I’m going with frozen as much as possible as I like the convenience and shelf life. More importantly, I’ve also read that frozen fruits and veggies tend to retain more nutrients as they are picked and frozen at the peak of ripeness, whereas fresh fruits and veggies are picked early to allow them to make it from farm to shelf without spoiling.

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Alright, I’m starting C25K Week 2 this morning!! How did my 28 Day Fitness Challenge ladies do this week? What day are you on? Are you feeling better? Seeing any changes?

28 Day Fitness Challenge: Days 1-7

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day2Day 1 and Day 2

Not much in ways of mileage, but I am trying to build my endurance back up and work out the kinks muscle tightness. Did 25 min of walking and 5 minutes of jogging on Monday. On Tuesday, I did 7.5 minutes of jogging (five 1.5 min. jog/1.5 min. walk intervals).

day3Day 3

12 minute Kettlebell Full Body Blast with Lauren Brooks. I went to south Jersey on Tuesday night for the funeral for a member of my church family (RIP NaNa). But, I took my kettlebell and DVD with me. Couldn’t be missing days already. But yeah, 12 minutes. That’s all. Kicked my butt. My legs were sore immediately and the rest of the week. 

day4Day 4

Did five 1.5 min jog/run intervals again. I  increased my speed in last jog interval. But, I didn’t pick up any distance or burn any more calories than Tuesday. I think this was because my warm up started off slower. My thighs were tight and SORE!!

day5Day 5

Did 20 minutes on the treadmill and 10 minute Abs of Steel. I passed out after work on Thursday night!!! Between a sore body from resuming working out and the long day Wednesday (funeral in south Jersey and the CurlyNikki meet-up in NYC), I was DONE!!

day6Day 6

Did my old 20 minute 300 Calorie Treadmill Routine. It wasn’t pretty. I had to reduce speed for last half as my heart was coming out of my chest. How far they have fallen!! Anywho, it’s still a great short workout!! Check it out via the prior link, if you’re interested in a quick workout for those days you don’t have a lot of time! Also, a lot of people complained in the comments of the Fitness mag post that their treadmill only said they burned 160 or so cals. The treadmill can’t calculate calorie burn from interval training. It also is not accurate as there are various factors (sex, weight, height, muscle mass, metabolic rate, etc.) that are needed to accurately determine the number of cals an individual will burn with any given exercise. So, the 300 isn’t necessarily accurate either. These things rely upon averages and are not exact. If you’re not “average,” then they are just estimates.

day7Day 7

75 minutes of hot yoga (Vinyasa Flow) with my fave instructor, Colleen, at Younique Yoga. I didn’t do too badly even though I’m out of shape and haven’t been in forever!! I was even able to do a headstand and did it again when I got home!! It’s not perfect, but it’s a start!!

It’s been a pretty good week for my diet as well. I ate a little WAY too much granola yesterday, but everything I’ve eaten has been healthy. I’ve planned my meals for the most part, have been eating fruit, veggies, low fat/zero fat Greek yogurt, walnuts and have been drinking lots of water. I reduced my coffee from three cups a day to one cup in the morning to jump start me for working out (well, except Friday, when I needed a second cup!). Oh, and I’ve been getting in bed by 11 pm and waking up at 5:30 am to exercise in the morning prior to work!

And now, it’s time to hit the shower and clean this body and wash this hair (pre-poo has been “marinating” since yesterday!).

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Okay, how did you ladies who “signed up” for the 28 Day Fitness Challenge do week one? 

As for week 2, LET’S GET IT!!