Saturday, July 31, 2010

Weekend Workouts?

Everybody is different when it comes to working out on the weekend. Some people don't like to work out on the weekends, because it's a nice break to just hang and relax.

I, on the other hand, know that if I don't workout at least one of two days during the weekend, Monday can be torture to get back in the groove. It seems that my nutrition will cave in a little with the lack of working out, if I don't do anything during the weekend. If I know I have to run (on a cardio day), then I don't want to get off track with my nutrition. I always feel better when the nutrition and workouts are consistent. My life just flows a little better, and especially if I'm having a rough day or two. I'd rather know that some things are a constant in my life.

What are your thoughts about working out on the weekend?
Feel free to comment or ask questions.


Friday, July 30, 2010

Being Patient and Flexible toward a Goal

No matter how many ways it can be said, being patient and flexible toward the hopes of attaining my goal is hard. Patience comes from thinking and focusing and visualizing what I want and then not giving up.

The minute I have a thought or a focus that drives me a way from what I am trying to accomplish, I realize that I am pushing the dream further away. Then of course what follows is abandoning the work and effort I want & need to do.  It's so easy to do at moments of fatigue, stress, or feeling like the progression is too slow.

To refocus I have to stop the sabotaging thoughts by tricking myself. I do this by saying to myself "what part of the process do I need to change that will allow myself to continue making progress?" Sometimes it's changing up my diet to get some new flavors that I miss, or taking more me time,  or just doing less for everyone else in the family.

It takes effort, there is no doubt. Being acutely aware of what I need and feeding those needs, but doing so without destroying all my effort takes a lot of creativity and flexibility. It can be exhausting just having to put so much effort into thinking what to do, but if I don't what are my consequences?

Giving up is very very easy. Pushing myself to a new level is hard. I have never been there before. But can you imagine what it would be like to see yourself somewhere that you've always wanted to go & actually doing it?

I think I'd like that chance too.
Feel free to respond to any of my thoughts. It's always appreciated.


Thursday, July 29, 2010

Kettlebell Training

Yesterday I said that I would talk about why I think kettlebell training is awesome. First, It's an awesome cardio workout in a short period of time. It really gets your heart rate up and your body moving. Second, it combines cardio with strength training, because you have to lift and swing the D--- kettlebell. Third, there are so many variations of movements to sculpt your body into shape. Forth, it's one piece of equipment that will not cost you as much as any one machine in your home gym. Fifth, if you are budgeted for time, this type of workout could workout really well for you. Sixth (I just thought of it), you could take the kettlebell with you on vacation and you could absolutely easily do this workout in your hotel room. 30 minutes and you are done!

Even though there are all these positive aspects to training with the kettlebell...the one thing I think is important is to learn how to use the kettlebell correctly. I say that, because after working with Paul Daniels at (  I have learned that correct posture and movement and knowledge is key to your success.

As a coach, he's acutely aware of the subtle ways the body moves and handles the kettlebell that I think make or break how I feel during and after your workout. There are ways to lift and swing and handle the kettlebell to maximize the benefits and minimize the risk to injury. As a coach, he asks questions, educates, observes, while at the same time being relaxed, firm, and makes me feel accountable for doing my best. It's a great thing when a coach can bring out the best.

Anyway, get a coach when you start out with the kettlebell. Technique is everything in kettlebell. So learn it well, so you know how to correct and adjust as needed.

Tomorrow, I'll talk about the importance of being patient & flexible during this process of trying to get into bikini competition shape.

Remember that you are only as good as what you put your effort into. How much effort is it worth?

Comments & Questions are always welcome.


Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Balancing Fitness and Family

Hi Everyone,
So last night I said I would talk about how I am able to balance family life and workouts. I should have included my nutrition in the equation. Most of how a busy day gets accomplished is by planning and knowing exactly what is going to happen the night before.

If the children have classes and we have errands to run I make sure that I have packed enough meals in my cooler for all of us. I cannot afford to leave the house without having exactly what I am going to eat for at least 3 meals. I won't leave the house without packing enough food for the children either, because we never eat fast food. So, the night before I have already determined what we will have in our meals for the day, and what I am going to make for dinner. Then I think about when I will carve out time to do the prep work for or make dinner.

If I have to clean or do laundry that day then I make sure that I start the load of laundry before I leave the house and hopefully I have been able to put the load of clothes in the dryer sometime that afternoon when I return home for a few seconds. I don't usually clean the whole house in one day. I decide on a specific area to clean, like vaccuuming. I may just vaccuum the downstairs or the upstairs, unless I have time to do both.
Each day a little is done so that I am not overburdened on the weekend.

The other part is that the children have their chores, some consistent, some sporatic. Making their beds, getting their clothes picked out for the next morning, and self care in the morning and night are a constant. Yes, I have to do lots of reminding, which is exhausting. They must clean up their messes after playing  and clear the plates and glasses from the dining room table, and the older one usually has to read to the younger sibling at night for some quiet time. Our children are 5 and 7 years old, just in case you were wondering.

At the end of the evening, I am sometimes completely exhausted from interacting and doing for others, but I just put on my workout clothes and go downstairs where I workout in the garage. Sometimes I just sit there in a child's chair for a few minutes with my head down for some inner peace and quiet and gather strength. It doesn't really matter if my mind says I'm tired and I don't want to workout. I just get up and do it. I may swear during my workout, but I will get it done. By the end of the workout I always feel better and then I will watch mindless shows like Ultimate Fighting, Pawn Shop, or The Office. It would be a good thing to note that the television may get watched before 10pm about every 3 weeks in the house. We rarely turn it on unless a child is sick.

When I need some time away from the house and for myself I go to Paul Daniels cardio-kickboxing class in the evening if it's a cardio night. However, 3 days a week in the daytime I make arrangements for the children to be with friends (if they do not have classes) so that I can do my Kettlebell classes around noon. On those 3 days, I do not go downstairs at night to workout.

It's not easy, but then I always say to myself "who said it was supposed to be easy?"
Please feel free to comment or ask a question. I love the feedback.

Let's see.....Tomorrow I'll talk about kettlebelling and why I think it's an amazing workout.


Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Getting Fit with Kettlebells

Like I promised, I wanted to let you know how I got started using kettlebells. Last year a friend of mine told me about how much kettlebells had dramatically changed her core strength and appearance. She is a runner by nature, but uses the kettlebell for strength training. Her arms were beautiful and so was the rest of her body.

In January 2010 I told myself that I would try the kettlebell class that Paul Daniels teaches in Rancho Santa Margarita, California. I didn't do it. Instead I went to his cardio kickboxing classes once in a while, when I needed a break from my cardio running days during the week. By nature I lift weights. I love lifting weights and feel at home with weight machines, barbell and dumbbells.

I had been thinking about entering some type of fitness contest this year, but hadn't committed fully to it. In the meantime I was training with weights & running. Then, this summer I went back to Paul Daniel's cardio kickboxing class for a change of pace & he and I talked after class.

He told me, "you know you really should be using the kettlebell if you really want to change your physique."
As the discussion continued I decided to take a leap into the kettlebell world, but not completely ditch my weight training.

When I started working out 3 days a week using the kettlebell, I realized that I don't need the weight training as much as I thought. The kettlebell training was quite enough for my "lifting days."

...except for last Sunday when I snuck in a mini leg workout with machines and weights! It's hard to break some habits.

Tomorrow, I'll talk about how I really feel when I work out at 830 at night after spending a day taking care of two children and a husband, making all the meals for everybody, cleaning, etc. and somehow finding the time to reach my fitness goal.

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Monday, July 26, 2010

Bikini Competitor

This is my first attempt at blogging. I decided to share my adventure of setting a goal and doing what is necessary to enter a bikini contest in October.

When I was 17 years old I used to think about entering a fitness contest. Now more than 20 years later I am going to attempt my first competition in October. I have 3 months left to reach my fitness goal and step on stage.

With that said, I am training 6 days a week, alternating my daily workouts using the kettlebell and cardio.

Tomorrow I'll tell you an interesting story about how I ended up using the kettlebell to train for this competition, when I knew very little about this piece of fitness equipment.

Please feel free to ask me questions or comment on my blog.