Apparently I was accidentally bulking

Confession time.

My nutrition has been, er let’s just call it “sub optimal” for a few weeks now.  And by “sub optimal” I mean wine and Chinese food and Easter candy like a boss.

Pretty much every morning I would wake up and say, “ok today is the day I get my shit together.  I can’t keep eating like this or else I’m going to start gaining weight,” but things would fall apart once I had a hard workout in the morning, arrived home starving for lunch, and raided the leftover takeout food containers.

Yeah, I know I should have just thrown the crap out and gotten it out of my house, but that’s such a waste, no?

So here’s the good news.  It’s not like I’ve done so much damage that I’m back to where I started.  I’m up a few pounds and feeling more fluffy than I have in months around my middle, but I’ve done a great job with meal prep this week and have actually given myself the tools for success.

What’s more, I’ve been working out like a freaking beast.  Other than taking a few days off last week to let my body recover from everything I’ve been putting it through, I’ve been extremely consistent and am seeing some darn heavy weight come off the ground on all of my lifts.

Today I took progress pictures just to gauge where I’m at, and honestly in part to make myself feel better that I haven’t completely ballooned up.  I mean, it’s not like I can actually see the jelly beans hanging off my thighs or anything.

But I noticed something surprising in my pics.

Whereas when I first started this weight loss journey, I was eating at a pretty solid calorie deficit to help my body to shed fat, over these past few weeks I’ve been eating at a pretty even calorie balance, and some days in surplus.

And let me tell you, I’ve got GAINZ.  Like for real.  My arms are looking jacked, and my booty is more HELLO than I’ve ever seen it.

Seeeee?

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So not all is lost with my junk food binge.  Yeah, it’s time to stop putting crap in my body and get my pie hole under control, but putting on a little muscle in the process was a surprising and not entirely unwelcome side effect.

How is your nutrition going lately readers?  Anyone want to be accountable with me and get yourself back on track?

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Gym Bag Beauty Essentials

boob sweat

I was really fortunate to “retire” over a year ago now, and spent a solid 6 months doing as little as possible.  But boy I had a clean house.

Mid-year last year I got bored, and during yoga class one day I had a total epiphany.  I realized, “I could get paid to write.”

I started picking up side jobs here and there, and before I knew it, I now have a full time job as a paid writer.  Which is awesome, but has totally put me back in a position of having to actually plan my days and be ready for anything to get in my workouts.

I feel like keeping up with my fitness can be as much about great planning as it is about motivation.  Having everything I need to fit in a workout handy and with me in my gym bag is how I get it done.

These are my five must have gym bag beauty essentials, and a few of my favorite products for every price range.

Make Up Removing Towelettes

I don’t usually wear a ton of make up, but if I do I don’t want it running down my face while I burpee.  These handy pre-moistened wipes get it off quick, and without irritating my sensitive skin.  That way I don’t end up looking like I have two black eyes, or with pimples all over my face.

Aveeno Ultra Calm Make Up Removing Towelettes– $8- Great for all skin types, and guaranteed not to irritate sensitive skin.

The Body Shop Vitamin E Gentle Facial Cleansing Wipes -$15-  Infused with Vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant, you will remove make up and protect skin at the same time.

Hair ties/Headband

I can’t stand having my hair in my face.  It’s long, I use a lot of product in it, and I’m a sweater.  Like, a big time sweater.  I need it back, and I need all the little pieces to stay away too.  I usually use a hair tie and a headband to keep it out of the way.

Dye Ties -$5- I love these becasue they’re fun and colorful, and don’t cause my hair any damage.

Riviera No Slip Wide Active Headwrap– $12-  If I’m not sporting a nice thick Lululemon headband, this is my go to choice.

Deodorant

Like I said, I’m a sweater.  So if I’m hitting a yoga class on my way to a meeting with a client, I absolutely have to have deodorant in my bag to make sure I’m so fresh and so clean clean (and I don’t smell like a foot when I’m done.)

Secret Clinical Strength Clear Gel Antiperspirant and Deodorant– $8- This is my favorite drugstore brand with super smell  and sweat stopping power.

Dr. Hauschka Natural Deodorant– $23-  As an alternative, this one is little pricy, but totally natural without any controversial chemicals and smells great!

Dry Shampoo

Again sweater here.  My expert tip?  Blow-dry the sweat out of your hair (yeah, it sounds gross but this is reality folks) and then use dry shampoo to perk up your locks.  It smells great, will give you shine and volume, and cuts down on the number of times you need to wash your hair every week.

Batiste– $8 full size- Variety of scents for every hair type.

Macadamia Natural Oil Volumizing  Dry Shampoo– $25- Oil absorbing, adds volume and texture to every hair type.

Body Spray

I’m not a huge fragrance person, but I love something that smells fresh, clean, and a maybe a little fruity or citrusy.  These are two of my favorites that I use on the regular.

The Body Shop Coconut Body Mist– $12

Philosophy Pure Grace All Over Body Spritz-$26


Do you have any gym bag beauty must haves?  What one product do you swear by?  Leave me a comment and let me know!

Non-Scale Victories

It’s Fitness Friday and I’m in the mood to celebrate!  With the holiday season in full swing, I’m doing what most of us are and working hard to try to maintain balance with my fitness and nutrition, and all the fun going on around me.  I don’t ever want to get to a point where I’m not living life and enjoying it because I’m worried about gaining a pound.  And as someone who has now successfully lost over 40 pounds, I’m really working to understand not only how to keep these healthy changes I’ve added into my life, but how to maintain the weight loss as well.

Enter non-scale victories.  Sure, I still weigh myself and take measurements to ensure that everything is moving in the right direction, but the proof is in the pudding as they say, and lately my pudding has been delicious!

First up we have this killer Beast Mode pic from last week at the gym.  Have you ever posed for a flexing pic before and had people say, “ok but now make a muscle?”  Yeah, that was me for the longest.  Not anymore:

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The highlight of my week, however, happened just yesterday.  While getting ready for a bike ride on a beautiful day I ran across my most favorite pair of tri-shorts in my dresser.  I haven’t worn these since 2011 when I did the Florida 70.3.  I remember this because pretty much immediately after doing that race I stopped doing anything and started my slow and steady gain of close to 50 lbs that I’m still struggling to lose the last of.

Needless to say, the shorts haven’t fit in a long long time.  I tried them on back in October and still looked like a tasty triathlete sausage stuffed into a spandex casing and had some serious gut dun-lop going on.  (As in, my gut dun lopped over my pants).

Yesterday I decided to give them another go.  The results are below:

Screen Shot 2014-12-05 at 11.15.26 AM

TA-DA!  Those are some shorts that fit people.  And fit well.

It really is the little things that make this whole journey worth while.

So how about you guys?  What are you up to on Fitness Friday?

I’m inspired. Be inspired with me

Hey friends, I need a favor.

As a tiny way of saying THANKS to one of the most amazing women I know, the Crossfit coach whole helped me start turning my life around over 2 years ago, I entered a fun contest sponsored by Stitch Fix on Facebook.

In order to win, we need votes.

Good news is, this is the easiest thing you’ll be asked to do all day.

Go here, scroll down below the entry form, and click the check box for my entry (Nicole K.) nominating Alexis Weedo.

I mean look at this girl.  Of COURSE you want to vote for her!

alexis

*GASP* A Progress Picture

I’ve blogged about progress pics before.  If you’re too lazy to click the link (which I know most of you are because my analytics tell me so) the gist of it is, posting the “before” picture literally gives me a panic attack.  Like a palms sweating feel-like-I-might-burst-into-tears panic attack.

I don’t want to think about what I looked like before I started.  And like I posted this weekend, I really really really don’t want to consider the possibility that I will end up back there any time soon.

But ya’ll I’ve got to tell you, I am so so proud of myself here lately.  I posted a pic of me flexing at the gym yesterday to Facebook and got an overwhelmingly supportive response from my friends.  The best compliment was from a friend I haven’t seen in a long time who told me that I’m the fittest he’s ever seen me.  Since the last time he saw me was about two weeks before I raced a HALF IRONMAN, that’s saying something kittens.

So to keep with my mantra of overcoming my plethora of fears, I’m saying eff it.  Without further ado, here is my progress to date.

progress pic October 2014

The picture on the left was taken right after I completed a 62 mile charity bike ride back in March, and the pic on the right was taken on Sunday.  It was leg day, but I couldn’t resist taking a flexing selfie because dem guns doe.

I remember when the pic on the left was posted to Facebook I almost cried.  That was the start of a big turning point for me when I realized something had to give.  I was riding 4-5 days per week, doing Crossfit 5x per week, and was still busting out of my size 14 jeans.  The fact was, I was sabotaging all of my success with a shitty diet and bad drinking habits.

I started slow in March, and really ramped up my efforts after a work conference in June that I had to buy a new suit in a size 16 in order to attend.  I had never been that large, and didn’t want to be again.

Today, I am SO PROUD not only of the weight I’ve lost, but of the muscle I’ve put on.  Obviously, it’s a journey.  I’m not done yet, but I can’t hide behind my fear of failure to the point I don’t celebrate my successes either.

So there you have it readers.  Feel free to tell me I look fabulous.  My ego loves you all already, so you might as well stroke it some more.

And if you’re feeling up to it, share your pics too!  Feel free to link to your blog in the comments, I want to cheer you on too. 🙂