Passion vs. Dramatics

Have you ever woken up feeling like someone was pumping an IV of Extra Bold coffee into your system? Well, that’s how I woke up today. I was casually scrolling through my twitter feed when I came across a ton of positive and uplifting tweets. Who would have thought twitter would “uplift” me? The typical tweets on a twenty-one year old year olds feed are complaints of hangovers, celebrations of starbucks, and people dreading gym time. “I was gonna go to the gym but I hung out with my friend Jim instead”. That’s something I specifically remember tweeting freshman year of college. I actually live for the overdramatic tweets in todays society, and I am quite the culprit of them. There are many that are not a fan, but sometimes overdramatizing or overemphasizing is not as much of a negative thing as you might think. How else are we supposed to make it happen? Think of it in terms of olympic lifting. You are told every day to exaggerate the movements. The only way you’re going to get your true PR on your snatch is if you take every step and overemphasize it. That is my problem. Some might be thinking, “There is no way Stefani has a problem with making something dramatic”. Well, yes, as dramatic as I am, my olympic lifts are not dramatic enough. As much as I try to SNAP my feet, I make no noise. As much as I try to burst my hips in the air… I don’t. My hips are the strongest part of my body, they are the only reason why I can clean a heavy weight, and handle those heavy back squats. If you take your hips out of a movement, you don’t have a movement. This also goes for twerking.

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The only reason Miley Cyrus has been talked about so much in the last year is because she’s dramatic. Yeah, I think she is absolutely ridiculous, though I can’t lie about jamming out to her songs sometimes. More people bought her album because they were curious, not because they were fans. What led their curiosity was her overdramatic public appearance and performances. Miley made it happen by making every little thing overdramatic, which led her to the twerk. The twerk has been around for some time but it recently made its big break. It is now a word in the dictionary, and being practiced by five year olds everywhere. That is something we can thank Miley Cyrus for, not.

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A lot of times people mistake passion for dramatics. Sometimes you’re so passionate about something that you just want to paint the town with it. Apparently, Miley Cyrus is passionate about twerking and, of course, music, so she has done everything in her power to let those two things reach audiences around the world. I, for example, am passionate about health and fitness. I’m passionate about feeling good, and feeling healthy. I’m passionate about helping others to feel their best, and motivating them enough to make them realize that they CAN do it. I’m passionate about results. I feel uplifted when those who read my blog tell me how much they enjoy it. I am passionate about writing, and humor. I overemphasize it all. I post, I comment, I snoop. It’s because I have a passion for being involved. I want adventure, friendships, a clear mind and a purpose. I’m passionate about my friendships, and will always put them first. But most of all, I’ve learned that I’m passionate about myself. So passionate about myself and my character, that I often never put myself first, which is something I’m learning to do. One day, someone will put me first. But I’m passionate enough to know that right now all I need is what is around me, and what is around me is all that matters.

Passion. Friendships. Family. Results. Happiness. Surround yourself with it.

This post is to help you make it happen. Whatever “it” may be. Whether it be PRing your snatch, nailing a new dance move, going on a  run, or losing weight. You can’t just sit back and think you can watch it happen. You have to go out and DO something. You have to overemphasize every strategy you have, because playing it safe is not going to get you anywhere.

Yours Truly,

Stef

I Am Thankful For Running Because…

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I first found my love of fitness through running. Actually, no. I first found my hatred of fitness through running. I hated running, but it was because I “couldn’t” do it. Those one mile turkey trots in elementary school were my least favorite thing about the holidays. I finished last every year, and faked sick another year because I was tired of finishing last. It took me 13 minutes to run that mile, while the athletic kids finished in about 6 minutes. I will always remember how cool I thought everyone was that finished that quickly. It was awesome and intimidating, and I felt embarrassed every year. I do remember that good feeling when it was over though. That sense of relief and accomplishment, there is no better feeling.

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It’s weird to think back and remember that, besides feeling embarrassed, I secretly felt accomplished. (Not to mention I was more than relieved that it was over.) Why didn’t I hold onto that feeling? I could have reversed my whole predicament, which was becoming obese, if I just kept searching for that feeling. But then I wonder who I would have been today. Would I have become a high school athlete, a college athlete? Maybe I wouldn’t have been a cheerleader. Maybe I’d have a kick ass body and buns of steel. Maybe I would have started high school and dated the quarterback who eventually made it to the NFL and we would be this crazy athletic power couple. (living on a prayer) Maybe, with an athletic background, I would have been driven enough to receive straight A’s. All that I know is that things would have been a lot easier for me. Physically, mentally, and emotionally. But looking back, I wouldn’t want that. I’m glad that I had to “suffer”, though, I never truly felt like I was suffering, I just enjoy being dramatic. I guess it was the most peaceful way to suffer. I had no idea what I had inside me, I didn’t know what I was doing wrong, I didn’t want to believe that I needed to lose weight, so I peacefully fled through life, happy as a clam, but suffering. My strength, willpower, and motivation surprises me sometimes. To be so bold, I have something that many people don’t have. I taught myself to stay strong and to not give up. I taught myself how to be consistent, how to be healthy. I taught myself how to breathe without hyperventilating (take that anxiety). Breathing is the most important part. You are one deep breath away from a good mood, a smile, a new day. When I started running, breathing was the hardest part. Running took my breath away, and I fell in love. 

This. This Quote. 

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 I want this quote tattooed on my face. (But I’d never do that. That’d be weird.) I watched this video a year or so ago and it really inspired me, I wanted to go run a marathon or rep out a million 200# dead lifts or something. 

“The obsession with running is really an obsession with the potential for more and more life” -George Sheehan

I Am Thankful for Running Because…

1. of the Sweat. I sweat no matter what form of exercise I’m doing, but a long sweaty run is the most rejuvenating. You’re sweating for anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour. Thats a LOT of sweat. Everyone feels better after a run, so I like to think of my sweat as a symbol for washing away all the negative worries or stressful situations I have building up in my head.

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2. of the post-run high. 

3. it makes my mind and body come together.

4. It’s my therapy. When I run, I’m in the zone. I do a lot of my thinking when I run. I probably make most of my decisions during a run, a long with coming up with most of my ideas. Ideas that will inspire myself, a long with the few who read my blog. My thoughts are powerful during a run. Yes, I have my days where all I’m thinking is “I don’t want to do this”, but there are a few ways I talk myself into finishing what I started. You have to constantly yell positive things at yourself. Yes, in your head, yell at yourself. Tell yourself to keep going. Tell yourself you can.

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5. it clears my head. 

6. it is time alone with myself.

7. it hurts so good.

8. It challenges me. You are facing defeat every time you set out for a run. Each step is a milestone, and the first few are the hardest part. I started out hating running. It’s the beginning so it’s challenging. It’s challenging because it sucks. It sucks because its working.

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9. it makes me appreciate my body.

10.  it keeps me pushing for more. More miles, more speed, more life.

11. it allows me to observe. Whether it’s people watching at the gym or in the park (I love people watching).

12. Legs. I’d like to give a shoutout to my legs, for a couple of reasons. One, for existing. Some people don’t have legs, and they still do far more bad ass things than me. I am thankful for doing slightly bad ass things with my real legs. For always putting up with my drive. For listening to my brain and not the pain I may feel on mile 6 of a 10 miler. I’d also like to give a shoutout to my legs for being the two most stubborn assholes I’ve ever met. But with running, they are only slight assholes. I have legs, big ones, large thighs, huge trunks, whatever you wanna call them. I love the way my legs start to look when I’m consistent in my runs. Yeah, I lift now, so they’ve doubled in size for all the right reasons. It doesn’t mean they still can’t be beautiful, and beautiful they will be.

Yours Truly,

Stef

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3 Day Detox, Progress + Social Media Fun!

20140130-113837.jpgResults DRIVE motivation. I am 8 pounds down since I left for school. I am keeping in mind that a lot of it is water weight (hello holidays) but it get’s me closer to this “BOD” on the right which was after I lost 96 pounds. I’m allowing the scale to motivate me until I am at a healthy weight, and then it’s back to heavy lifting and hopefully never looking at the scale again 🙂 For workouts, I’m cross fitting 3x a week. My crossfit trainer incorporates a lot of cardio style workouts into her programming, so that is also helping me. I will complain during a wod with running, but I love the feeling after. (So keep it coming, Jolene 🙂 ) I also just about always finish last during running wods, but tend to catch up during the movements. I’ve never been a fast runner and I’m working on that. I try to run twice a week, and lately have been incorporating more cardio to lose this extra weight! I love tabata sprints on the treadmill, but Maddie told me to try thirty seconds jog, thirty seconds sprint. I did that yesterday. I was running for a total of 40 minutes. For the first 2.5 minutes I walked fast at an incline to warm up. The next ten minutes, I went from 30 seconds at a slow jog, to 30 seconds at a sprint, then a run, and then back to a slow jog. For the next ten minutes I ran at a moderate pace, a pace where you’d be able to hold a conversation if necessary. For the next five minutes I went back to my 30 second intervals.  Then I ran five minutes at a fast pace, where it would be harder to hold a conversation. This was tough, but I was warmed up and it was easier to hold the fast pace. The next five minutes I was at a jog, as I ran slower and slower until I hit 40 minutes. I LOVED IT! I felt so good after it. I’m starting to try yoga and I’ve also been doing the Pure Cardio + Cardio Abs insanity videos at least once a week. Those videos are great for if you’re stuck in the house during a snow storm! They are also great to do on the weekends!

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So as some of you may know by viewing my instagram account (Yours_Truly_Stef), I did a cleanse about two weeks ago. It was the first week of classes, so my schedule was a little off. After writing it all down, I of course was not eating nearly ENOUGH, but I was eating healthily and light to cleanse my body of all the crap I put in it those last two months of the holidays. As you can see from the first day, I was not that hungry. Mainly because my appetite was downhill from eating like crap. I also drank MASSIVE amounts of water. To help detox, I added a lemon and half of a cucumber to my water and chug-a-lug-a-lugged. This really cleansed my system, I kid you not. My stomach felt flatter, my insides worked normally and FELT amazing, and my skin started to clear. I looked healthier, and I was ready and inspired to truly dive in and start my diet! This is no dietetic write up, but here is what I ate for those three days that finally made me feel cleansed again:

Day One:

Before Class/Workout: Banana

30 Minutes Cardio

Lunch: 1 cup Brown Rice, 2 cups mixed vegetables, 4 oz chicken

Dinner: 9 oz Tilapia, 10 Asparagus spears
with Salad: 2 cups romaine lettuce, 8 baby tomatoes, 1/4 cup cucumbers
Dressing: Lemon Juice & Red Wine Vinaigrette dressing + sprinkle of Mrs Dash Italian Blend

Snack: 4 oz Chicken, Banana with Cinnamon 

Day Two:

Breakfast: 4 oz Apple, 3/4 Cup Egg Whites, Glutenfreeda Oatmeal Packet with cinnamon, 10 cranberries, stevia 

Lunch: 6 oz Chicken Breast, 1 cup Brown/Wild Rice, 1/3 cup homemade tomato sauce (Tomatoes, basil, garlic -> frying pan until it turns to sauce) 1 cup mushrooms + peppers

Snack: 3 oz Banana, 1/2 Red Pepper

Dinner: 7 oz Tilapia, 4 oz Shrimp, 10 Asparagus spears, 1/2 Red Pepper, 1 cup mushrooms

Day Three:

Breakfast: 1/2 cup Egg White, 2 Rice Cakes with 1/2 cup Rasberries, .5 cup blueberries, 4 medium strawberries crushed as Jelly, 10 baby carrots

Lunch:4 oz Pork chop, 1 cup Brown/Wild rice, 1 cup mushrooms, 3/4 cup red peppers, 1/4 cup onions

Snack: 4 oz Chicken Breast, 1 Medium Apple, 10 Baby Carrots

Dinner: 5 oz Tilapia, 3 oz Shrimp, 1/2 cup red peppers, 1/3 cup mushrooms, 1/4 cup onions, 1 cup broccoli, 1 3/4 cup green beans, 3 oz Homemade Marinara sauce

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Above are a few social media finds that I’ve screen shotted because I loved them. Remember, YOU are the only one in the way of your goals. Success is a choice. Your priorities are your choice. Make your goals your priorities and they WILL happen. That second picture is Valerie Calhoun, an 18 year old beast and a half. I highly recommend following her on instagram. Not only does she have a body that I look up to, but her lifts are HEAVY and impressive for such a young athlete. I love some of the bible verses Rich Froning posts, but this one really caught my eye. I have had a tattoo in mind since senior year of High School, but he may have just changed my mind. Love.

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Pictured above is my beloved meal prep. Green beans, asparagus, broccoli, brown rice, tilapia, chicken, ground turkey, tuna, oatmeal, egg whites… and a crap ton of mustard! Trying this low fat thing. It worked for me in the past and this may be what I need to get to where I want to be. I love paleo, and I love my healthy fats, but certain things work for certain people, I’m giving this a go again! Tilapia is starting to get disgusting to me, so I’m giving it a breather for a couple days so I can stay strong. I incorporated ground turkey into my diet this week to switch it up, and have been LOVING tuna (with mustard 🙂 ). I’ve been drinking a gallon of water a day this week. Holy cow that makes a HUGE difference. I love it. I just said holy cow so I think it’s time to go…

Yours Truly,

Stef

Top of the Months Transformation: Lisa Muller

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I present to you my inspirational Mother as my first Top Transformation of the Month! Warning: this post will leave you extremely motivated, wow-ed, and maybe even a little emotional! What my Mother has accomplished is outstanding, and just as she says in the end of her interview, I can’t imagine doing this without my mother and father by my side. I also wish her parents were here to see the look in their eyes at how beautiful and impressive their daughter is. That’s why I want to share her story with you all. She deserves one GIANT pat on the back, as I have finally gotten Lisa Muller to share her guts and glory! Lisa also wants to warn everyone that she is not a writer. The spelling mistakes and weird made up grammar rules you see in my posts? Well, yeah, I got it from my Mama. Lisa wants to give a shoutout to Blake and her husband, and my father, Richard, for always being by her side. As many of you know, my mother and I went through this together, but the men in our family were with us too! Before you read, let me summarize Lisa’s weight loss. With 282 as her heaviest, Lisa went from 282 to 167 in ONE YEAR! She now weighs in at about 162.

“I never weigh myself, I don’t like the number. I go by how my clothes fit and how I generally feel. That’s all. I’ve always wanted to write and get my story out there, for me, for whoever, and I thank you for letting me. There’s so much more I can write, like when I write to Jillian Michaels to let her know about my journey, and she comes back and offers me a week at the biggest loser ranch! I probably will never write her, but I thought about it! :)”

Give me a brief summary of yourself and your journey.  
My name is Lisa Muller. I grew up in New Jersey in a big Italian family, where food was EVERYTHING.  Got married in 1987 weighing 142 lbs.
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As the years went by I kept putting on weight.  My mom passed away in 2004, I weighed 240 lbs.  In that next year I had the audacity to gain 25 lbs.  So I was 265 lbs, and not happy at all.  Everything was an effort.  I knew I had to loose weight, but loosing 100 lbs seemed insurmountable, and losing 60 wasn’t enough.  I had, in my closet, size 18, through (in the summer of 2009, my weight had soared to 282 at 5’7) size 26 and xxxl (which were tight).  That summer (2009) my husband kept talking about us getting “The Biggest Loser 30 Jump Start” ,loose 20 lbs in 30 days, and I kept putting him off. In August of 2009 we took my son to college, my daughter was an upcoming senior, and that September I bought the book.  It was 30 days of three meals and snacks…AND recipes.  I closed the book, and said “Nah, I’m not making all this stuff”.  My husband said “lets just do it for the 30 days and see…” and with his persistence, and my kicking and screaming, we started in October.  We holed ourselves in for one month, ,started walking, did not drink, go out to dinner, even go to our mother-in-law or sister-in-laws.  I was at the grocery store at least 4 times a week, bitching and moaning, but following the plan.  I’m so sorry I didn’t document my weekly struggle, yet weight loss   After the 30 days, we both lost 20 lbs and for me (as well as my husband)it was like a switch.  I started going to the gym and doing a cardio machine for 15 minutes, did some hand weights and sit ups,  Mid November I started going to a core conditioning class every tues/thurs, was doing some sort of exercise 4-5 days a week.  For the next few months we did not go out to dinner, order out, or drink.  In February I started running on the treadmill, then started with a mile outside.  In September of 2010 I had lost 115 and my husband lost 60.
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What were your goals?
My goal, at first, was to just get thru the 30 days.  After that, my goal was to loose 100 lbs and get to a size 14 (I thought being a 12 might be to hard to maintain).  I remember my girlfriend, Kim, asking me, at around -50, what was it for me that got me going.   And truly I couldn’t answer, it was just timing.  I think when you’re ready, you’re ready.  I would watch biggest loser and be so emotional, but I would also sit there with a bowl of  ice cream and melted peanut butter, thinking “oh sure, they get to go away, be on the ranch, and have great trainers, doctors, etc.”  During this year, my mindset (that I’d had for so many years) just vanished.  I grew up an athlete, and as this weight loss was happening, it was such an empowering feeling.  Little by little I was feeling like Lisa.  I’ve been playing tennis since I was 10,and still played at 282 lbs.  Was even playing softball.  But, like a past Weight Watchers instructor always used to end a meeting “Nothing tastes as good as thin feels”,that couldn’t be more true.
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Top Right: September 2009, Bottom Left: September 2010 <– can you say WOW?
When did you decide to change your life and what motivated you the most?
As my weight grew, I had a beautiful young daughter, who from first grade on, just kept gaining more weight.  By high school she was 262 lbs.  And I thought how could I be this, why can’t I be a good role model for my daughter, who is getting heavier and heavier.  One would’ve thought that that would’ve been my motivation.  You all know her story, but in October of 10th grade, she just made up her mind and started watching her weight.  The strength she had, which I’ve realized more and more, esp thru my weight loss, that she showed was mountainous.  When all these girls did was get together and eat, Stefani just said “No”, even when her friends, who couldn’t really understand, would say “just eat it”, she did not.  The strength…she was my motivation, albeit, a few years later.
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What is the best advice you can give to those who have similar goals (or personal goals in general) in mind?
The best advice…it is so individual.  I feel that I can’t say, “you can do it”, because that was said to me, and I couldn’t, or wouldn’t.  There was NO willpower, willpower was, as I’m heading to Dunkin Donuts “am I going to get 2 donuts or one sour cream donut, with my coffee”.  Because, even I knew that those sour cream donuts where high in everything,  And god for bid I decided to bring home a dozen for “my kids”, not good.  Or buy oreos (huge red light food)for “the kids”, only to find myself dunking 2 at a time into my milk or coffee (I’m from an Italian family from new jersey…we dunk everything).  I did this, really without knowing I was going to do this…to this extent.  Sure I’ve done other diets where I’ve lost 20, 30 even 40 lbs, only to gain it all back and then some,  My advice would be, DO NOT GIVE UP, STAY STRONG.  They say it takes 30 days to change a habit, well for me that’s the truth (I never even heard of that till well into my weight loss).  I think people give up too easily.  I remember watching biggest loser, watching those overweight people doing those exercises, and they give up, of course, when you’re 300 lbs, that stuff is hard.  And Jillian would say “work thru it…”,  I didn’t get that until, at 255 lbs , when I started going to the gym, I would do my 15 minutes on an elypical, but after 2 minutes I would be like “I can’t do another minute”, but I would push through it, and its so true.  PUSH THROUGH, GET PAST “IT”, WHATEVER THAT “IT” IS, DON’T GIVE UP SO SOON, PUSH YOURSELF, YOU’RE CAPABLE OF MORE THAN YOU KNOW, DON’T GIVE UP AS SOON AS YOU THINK YOU’VE HIT YOUR LIMIT, I want to scream to people to do it, don’t wait, it feels too good.
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What do you think is the main reason why some people find it so hard to reach goals such as the one you achieved? 
You have to be prepared!!!!  Buy a lunch bag and keep it in your car with bars and 100 calorie packs, nuts.  Drink water…we know that water is good for you, but when you’re heavy, water is so filling.  Now, I will down a water from the gym to home (1-1/2 mile).  And sometimes, it triggers hunger…yup.  Plus if you’re “older” (I’m rounding 50, well, actually, right around the damn corner)its good for the skin, keep hydrated.  If you work…make your lunch!!  Bring a snack.  If it helps, follow a plan.  I truly liked that, it took the guess work out of what I’m going to eat for my meals and snack.
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What (and who) helped you the most through the process of bettering yourself? 
Who helped me thru this…Rich, my favorite.  He saw the strength in me that I had lost so long ago,  I thank him for introducing me to this journey, and doing it together was amazing.  We have been together since we were 16 and 17, 33 years, and we are closer than ever.  My relationship with him and my kids has blossomed.  My daughter is a big crossfitter, and my son, as they say, has “drank the kool-ade” and is just as “big” of a crossfitter. (You’re still small, Blake. – Stef)  We’ve all taken on a healthier lifestyle.
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How has your life changed since you reached your goals? 
How has my life changed.  I can’t begin to get that across,  Raising my kids, everything was a chore.  I rarely did laundry, if I forgot something upstairs, “oh well”, the stairs were a chore, Just handling everyday life was a chore, I remember thinking, when Lady Diana was killed, it hit me that if I died right at that time, I would die unhappy,  Yet…it took me YEARS to do anything about it.  I go up and down the stairs 5 times a day, I do laundry, This paragraph is so trivial.  My life has changed drastically, yet I’m not one to think I should’ve done this a long time ago,  I did it now, and I won’t look back.
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What are you going to do (now that you’ve reached success) to maintain your progress?
So, September was my 3 year anniversary with the weight OFF.  I’ve never faltered, I will never go back to the way I used to eat (now I would’ve never said that thru my journey, wasn’t sure and strong enough),  I know the percentage of people who gain it back is high…nope, not me…I’m good.  And I am a solid size 12 (some 10’s)and I am not struggling to keep that size.  I run 4 times a week, take that core conditioning class (still-4 years later-its my constant)twice a week, I do an advanced kickboxing class Mondays. My kids try to convince me to crossfit, but two memberships is pricey!
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I eat solid during the week, so the weekends I can drink my wine and not worry about going out to dinner if I do. I thought I loved food before…no…I love food more now (before I always felt like crap), not now.  My appetite is not small,  I am not one of those people who go out to dinner, only to bring 1/2 home,  Nope, I eat everything on my plate, just like my mom said…only wished my mom and dad could’ve been here to see this.
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Yours Truly,
Stef

How to be a Weekend Warrior

We are all guilty of “living for the weekend”. You work hard all week, whether it be in school, work, or exercise, so that you can enjoy your weekend of rest. Though I’m sure we all have our own versions of “rest”. You hear it all the time, “I’m gonna go so hard in the gym all week so that come Thursday I can just get trashed etc for the rest of the weekend”. Oh… you don’t here that? Well, I do. I’m a senior at Ohio University and I am surrounded by all of the greatest temptations. Bars, local eateries, great friends, and “weekends” that can very easily start on Monday. There is nothing wrong with a little fun, but sometimes it is very easy to allow your priorities to slip on the weekends. This post is for the weekenders with goals.

So I’m sitting here, a little hungover, and I’m trying to think of something I can promise myself to do to make my weekends fun and productive at the same time. I used to always be the girl to workout on the weekends but lately I’ve been feeling 21 going on 60. One night of drinks and my body aches. (Is it ignorant of me to think that I’m getting old?) This is most likely because the binge drinking that goes on in college is 100% unhealthy, ridiculous, out of hand, and very fun. After almost four years of this, it is in fact getting very old. “I’m so over it” as the white girls say. It is quite a “coming of age” experience to realize that I in fact don’t have to go out on both Friday and Saturday night, and that my weekends don’t have to start on Thursday. Once I realized this, I felt healthier.

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Not only have I been trying to make my weekends productive, I’ve been trying to make them healthier, and here are a few ways to do so:

1. Have a night in. If you don’t want to go out, you can say no. You can sit and watch Netflix and do tabata abs until you see stars (real life experience from a Saturday night of mine). Find a friend to watch a movie with, or better yet GO to the movies you rebel, you. If you can’t find a friend that will hang out with you soberly, you are choosing the wrong friends. Don’t be afraid to stay in. A night alone allows you to clear you mind, rest, and think about your goals. People are so afraid of being alone. Your relationship with yourself is most important, so I’d start making it a priority.

2. Drinks. If you are trying to lose weight, you can still go out. Have one drink, depending on how strict you are being, or have no drink at all. Order a water with lemon and surely no one will notice. They look almost identical to gin and tonics. Water with lemon/lime is the way to go if you are nonchalantly trying to stay sober and sneak out once everyone gets too drunk to notice where you went. If you are trying to generally clean up your drinking habits, I’d say stay away from beer. I started bringing crystal lite packets to bars with me and ordering gin and water. Gin, because I can’t have vodka. Crystal lite, because otherwise, ew. Gin or Vodka tonics are also a lighter choice. Rumor has it rum is pure sugar so, I nixed that as my drink of choice for the time being. Yes, ciders are Gluten Free but are in no way a healthier choice. They have double the calories as beer and a lot of sugar and carbs.

3. Hangovers. Sleeping is the number one way to rid your hangover. More ways I prevent hangover is one, staying hydrated. Water is your best friend. If you know you’re going out that night, it is very important to stay hydrated throughout the day. (It’s really important to stay hydrated, anyway) Also, have a water with your beverages, or in between beverages. You will not regret this decision. It makes a hangover a hell of a lot more tolerable. Two, chugging a water bottle before I go to bed. Three, chugging 1000 mg of vitamin C before I go to bed. When I wake up in the morning I have eggs and green tea. Lately, I’ve been on a huge lemon water kick. Lemon water is very rejuvenating and I highly recommend drinking it during your hangover! It will get better!

4. Food What is better than a greasy late night meal? It is one of life’s simplist pleasures. When you are trying to lose weight, the drinks and late night meals REALLY screw you over. While on a diet, I try to allow myself one moderate cheat meal a week. This way, I won’t go crazy and I’ll have something delicious to look forward to. I say moderate because I try not to make it a cheat day, or a cheat large pizza-stuffed crust-pepperoni and sausage-cheesy bread kind of day. If you must, the small personal pan pizza’s should be your only option. It saves you 1/3 the calories of accidentally eating a whole large pizza throughout one day. (We’ve all done it…) So I know I talked about drunk food, but I’m gonna ask you, and beg you, to hold out. You know that regardless of the two slices of pizza or large fry you have the night before, you are going to wake up craving the same kind of greasy food. Have a little willpower, get yourself into bed and get your mind off of food. Wake up and have a hearty and healthy breakfast. Something paleo, like eggs and avocado.  (I keep mentioning that I have eggs in the morning after a night of drinking. I read an article awhile back on the various benefits of an egg. Let  me try to explain the science behind it without sounding stupid… Eggs contain an amino acid. That amino acid counteracts something in alcohol that is more toxic than alcohol itself.)  That way, when it comes to dinner time, your pizza or burrito bowl from chipotle is all yours and very well deserved. Or you could have it for breakfast, but I personally like to start my day with a healthy meal. It keeps my willpower in check and motivates the rest of my day.

5. Don’t sit on your booty all day. There’s nothing better than a nice lazy day, but where is that going to get you? If you’re dieting, you’re already cheating on your diet by drinking. Why elongate the process of cheating by not moving from your bed for 24 hours after a long night of drinking? Yes, staying horizontal all day feels great but let me tell you what happens when you make the choice to finally become vertical. First things first, you wake up. That’s the hardest part, I know. After you finish your egg breakfast, your system is moving and your body is realizing “Hey, it’s time to start my day”. Side note: Did you know that the reason late night eaters find it so hard to fall asleep is because if you eat in the middle of the night it alerts your body that it’s the beginning of a new day so your senses are heightened. (Another explanation proven by science where I don’t remember how to scientifically explain it, but just go with it). You start to feel a little normal again and you’re ready to get a workout in. Don’t think about it, just do it. If you think about it you literally will not walk out the door. Convince yourself that you’re going shopping if you have to, just put on your sneakers and get to the gym. I love the feeling of a run, but accomplishing that after a night of drinking is like a whole new world. While everyone else was laying in bed convincing themselves that they are dying, you went out and got your sweat on. Sweating is one of the number one things that cure my hangover. I hop on the treadmill, start slow, and start sweating. Each sweat drop reminds me of a drink I had the night before… “Oh, there goes that cherry bomb.” I’m serious. Sweat. It. Out. It works.

Yours Truly,

Stef

My Relationship with Breakfast Part 3

Ah yes, it’s breakfast time. If you go to bed brainstorming what you’re gonna have for breakfast the next morning… we should be friends. That way we can at least talk about it together, right? I love breakfast. I wake up every morning like:
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So ready to take on some eggs and bacon. When it comes to breakfast and I, I photograph. (And yes, I’m talking about breakfast as if it is a person. I just have a lot of respect for breakfast, ok?) I ate a lot of breakfast food over break. Any time someone wanted to go out to eat, I suggested Eggspectations, a ridiculous place to get any breakfast food you can think of. Maddie and I had just finished a killer WOD at Crossfit Syndicate. I say finish but Maddie, she crushed it. Not only did she PR on her front squat, but she RXed a tough clean and jerk workout. The second she finished the first thing she wanted was some PANCAKES. Who could blame her? She got her pancakes.
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Very well deserved. I’m a pansy and got eggs. This is a great example of treating yourself vs. cheating yourself. Maddie is 100% on her diet, kills it in the gym, and deserved every bite of her not-so-paleo breakfast. With the way I ate (and drank) over winter break, I didn’t deserve a pile of pancakes. Come to think of it, I wouldn’t have even been able to eat them. Hash tag gluten intolerant problems. Don’t worry, pancakes happened for me over break. (I know all of you were concerned)
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Pictured above are my Paleo Pancakes I made and posted a few months ago. They were delicious! If you’re looking for a real treat, gluten free pancake mix is not to be underestimated! These pancakes (pictured below) were the melt in your mouth, fluffy, pancakes that everyone loves! Yum!
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Writing this post is actually making me drool a bit. I started being strict on my diet about one week ago. I am doing really well and already notice (through pictures) a motivating difference! I did a bit of a cleanse last week, which I will post about soon! Stay tuned because… it’s working! 🙂 Results will be slow, but I am ready to work for them! For the rest of this post I will share with you some of my healthy and delicious breakfasts! Some aren’t ideal, nor are they paleo, but they won’t kill ya!
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This Lox Tower was absolutely amazing! I used about 1 cup of Egg Whites and cooked them like tortillas. I piled the egg whites with Lox and Guacamole! This meal was about 300 calories maximum. You can’t go wrong with this meal, it’s packed with healthy fats & protein. I was inspired by my leaning tower of ham and eggs in my previous post.
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1 Gluten Free Waffle, 1.5 tbsp of favored nut butter, and fruit toppings! This is a treat!
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Try it with a rice cake to make it a lighter option!
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Gluten Free toast with poached eggs!
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Gluten Free Egg & Bacon sandwich. I had two eggs on this sandwich… that’s my idea of “yolo”.
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And last, the most delicious, most typical paleo meal. Scrambled eggs, bacon, and avocado. I’ve probably posted pictures of a meal like this multiple times but it just doesn’t get old to me! Food in general doesn’t get old to me, there are so many ways to switch it up!

Update: I have edited my blog and changed my name! How do you like it? I know I keep throwing all these updates around, but soon enough my blog will come together and you will hopefully become hooked 🙂 Thank you to everyone who has been reading and supporting my blog! It means more to me than you know! Keep on keeping on.
Yours Truly,
Stef

Update! Top of the Months Transformation

Hello All! I have a few updates! As many of you know I’ve been trying to post more and make some exciting changes to my blog. I’ve added Fashion Meets Fitness, and I have one more exciting topic I plan on talking about! As many of you can read, I sit on this blog and mainly talk about myself. My advice, whats worked for me, what I did that day, what I do and don’t like. Well, honestly, sometimes…who cares about every little thing I have to say? SO. Here I’d like to introduce to you… Top of the Month’s Transformation! At the top of every month I will post about someone who has inspired ME, while inspiring and bettering themselves. It’s not all about weightloss, it could be someone who has just put in a ton of work to gain some muscle, get fit, and get happy! I will give people a chance to share THEIR story, their methods, and what motivates them. I don’t know about you but I love hearing about other peoples journeys. This will give everyone a broader idea of how losing weight/getting fit really works, and how different methods work for different people. We can all learn together! Stay tuned for my first Top of the Month Transformation! I figured I’d start with my mother, twin, inspiration, motivator… And biggest competitor (hehe). So so proud of my mom for reaching her potential and finding health and happiness. She was beautiful before, but look at that hot mamma!

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We did it together! Stay tuned for a short interview with Lisa Muller and some more photographs of her journey. You are sure to be WOWed!

Yours Truly,

Stef

Hash Tags, Productivity & Priorities

From classes, to crossfit, to cardio, and drinks… where do you find time to make sure you are keeping a clean and productive diet? Productive diet, I like that. If I could describe my diet in one word it would be productive. Does anyone know what I’m trying to say? Take your drinking caps off for one second, and put your thinking caps on. I’ll explain…
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What you eat throughout the day will effect your mental state, your workouts, and your overall mood. When the stomach feels like shit, you feel like shit. Trust me, six months of a messed up stomach effected my mood more than I thought. So you have person one, who has three servings of cereal for breakfast. Person two has an egg omelet with veggies & a side of ground beef. Which person will have that horribly strong need for the 2 o’clock nap? Most likely person one. The combination of the sugar, carbs, and added ingredients has more of an effect on the rest of your day than you might think. Starting your day with a protein packed meal will keep your body energized and satisfied until your next meal. It will make you PRODUCTIVE. I’ve heard many complaints about exhaustion, lack of focus & motivation, stomach aches, the list goes on. I sit quietly when I hear those complaints, mostly because people (specifically people in their 20’s) don’t want to hear your lecture on how to #eatclean and become a #fitspo. They don’t want to #trainmean or #getbig. They just want a #drankinmycup and to #throwdown with their #betches until they are #hungover. Which is fine. If you know me at all, you know I like to “throwdown” from time to time. (Almost every weekend) Though, at the end of the day, I have my priorities. Health and fitness. A very uncommon priority for a twenty-one year old, but it’s who I am. Sunday mornings come and instead of craving another drink, I crave the catch at the bottom of a heavy power clean. Or the sweat dripping down my face in the middle of a run. I’m not here to tell you how to live your life or put down things that you enjoy, I’m just trying to put focus on what is really important because at the end of the day, you only have your health…
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…or a bloody mary. You can always. have. A bloody mary.
Trust me, I’ve had my fair share of sunday fundays, or sunday fat days. My past credit card statements can vouche for me. Courtside pizza, Chipotle, Wings Over, Dominos, Big Mammas Burritos. J Bar, The Pub, The C.I, and it gets blurry from there. If anything, this is the time that you can get away with this reckless and exhausting lifestyle, but I constantly refuse to let it own me. Every day I make sure to set aside time to just think to myself. I think about my priorities, my plan for the week, and sometimes my emotions. I used to let any negative thoughts change my perspective on every and anything. These days, I’ve learned how to channel my negative thoughts and turn them into positive. I’ve become more comfortable with myself, my body, my peers and my life. Not much has changed, but I’ve never been happier and this excited for the future.
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So, back to this whole productive eating plan. Here I will list as many tips as I can come up with to keep you healthy & happy.

When your brain hurts, when you have a headache, and when you feel foggy…I eat ground beef. Four ounces of grass fed ground beef, an egg, and some avocado, and all of a sudden I feel like a new women. After a few days of eating unhealthy or drinking too much, there’s nothing more I crave than a healthy serving of protein. This is also something I’ll eat to clear my mind. When my brain is foggy, it effects my school work.
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A meal, like I stated above, gives you a boost of energy without the crash. When you’re craving something sweet but don’t want to splurge… Sweet potatoes. Spice is up with some kerrygold butter, cinnamon, maybe even some bacon. It’s a satisfying carb that you can spruce up without added sugars and processed foods. You can add it all together like this:

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for an ultimate boost. Also, make cinnamon your bestie. I put it on everything, even my egg whites. Cinnamon is more beneficial than you thought, check it out. What about when you’re sick with a cold?
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Skip the orange juice. And if you must, eat an orange. Otherwise, it’s important to eat foods that are rich in omega-3’s. Any fish will do, my go-to is salmon. If you aren’t a fish eater, make sure you are taking fish oil supplements. These also help lower the symptoms of anxiety. Double whammy! Garlic also gives your immune system a boost, so why not make some garlic salmon. Yum. I’m always down for some garlic salmon.

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As many of you know I was just on my (last ever) winter break. This is a picture of my mother and I getting fergalicious. My eating habits over break were less than productive. But that’s what the holidays are for, I had an amazing winter break spent with all my favorite people! Now it’s time for some productivity. I am almost finished with my degree, as my semester is filled with one class and one online class. A job search is currently in the works. Dear everyone in Athens, hire me. I might start cleaning houses. Wait, that’s a brilliant idea. Stef’s cleaning service…I would make BANK in a college town. Dolla Dolla bill y’all! I’ll keep you posted on my crazy entrepreneurship ideas. I will leave you with some tips and motivational quotes that I will be using to keep myself on track to reach my goals. The rest, well that’s up to you. Good Luck!

1. If you are persistent, you will get there. If you are consistent, you will stay there.
2. Allow yourself to break down barriers and feel 100% committed to yourself.
3. Respects others goals, hobbies, and feelings as if they are your own.
4. “And now that you don’t have to be perfect, you can be good.” -John Steinbeck
5. Imagine yourself three months from now. Allow yourself to see the POSITIVITY in your future, not the possible negative. It’s your choice.
6. Squat deep, squat heavy, just squat. You won’t be sorry.
7. Stop comparing yourself to others. “Comparison is the thief of joy” (See #2, one hundred percent committed to YOURSELF)
8. Allow yourself to be distracted. Distractions are a good thing.
9. “You have to be willing to get happy over nothing” -Warhol This is serious. Life can be boring sometimes, it’s up to you to make it exciting. Dance around in your kitchen while your cooking lunch, you’ll start smiling.
10. Don’t stop trying. Don’t give up. No matter where you are, you’re already halfway there.

Gluten Free Stir Fry & Other Adventures

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If there’s one thing I miss the most now that I’m Gluten Free, it’s Chinese food. What better way to get your Chinese fix with some deliciously clean eating stir fry?! For this meal, I used one container of brown Ready rice. I put garlic & olive oil in my frying pan and fried my shrimp till they were just a little burnt. I added previously made peppers and onions. If you are prepping your onions, throw them in the oven on 400 degrees with some olive oil and salt or your preferred seasoning. I added my vegetables, shrimp and rice to my frying pan on low heat to mix all the flavors together. I put about 1 teaspoon of Gluten Free Soy Sauce, which was just enough. This was delicious and satisfying, I could barely put my fork down.

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All of a sudden my bowl looked like this…
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As you can tell, this recipe was easily made and eaten. This low fat meal was about 390 calories. If you are looking for more fat & calories, add more protein (I used 5 oz of shrimp), and a fat source. Chopped up avocado or added guacamole would be delicious! As for the rest of the weekend, it’s competition time! Maddie and I will be competing in the scaled division at the Gemini Games. Go Team Barbellas! Crossfit Syndicate has a bunch of teams representing at this competition, so it should be extra fun! I meal prepped for the rest of the weekend. 36 oz of chicken, a ridiculous amount of vegetables, sweet potatoes, and a couple turkey & beef burgers.
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Eat clean train mean, people! It’s go time 🙂

Introducing: Fashion Meets Fitness

I can’t tell you how tempted I was to make this blog post titled, “Fashion Meats Fitness”, because paleo.
I’d like to introduce to you my newest train of posts to be expecting. As many of you know, I am finishing up my four years at Ohio University with a Retail Merchandising and Fashion Product Development degree. I also recently passed the NRF examination, certifying myself in customer service. (Would you like that in a different color?) Anyways, I figured it’s time to collide my two hobbies. Better yet, it’s time to combine my soon to be career with my hobbies. Delicious food and longwinded rants will still exist, but I wanted to spruce things up a bit. My Fashion Meets Fitness posts will include photographs of (hopefully not always) myself and other volunteers modeling the latest and greatest sportswear. I will cover accessories, equipment, menswear, and womenswear. I will make sure you leave my posts knowing exactly where to buy each product, and for how much. Not only will you be able to find these products from my posts, but you will be given a sneak peak on how to pair them with other products. I know many people, including myself, just throw on whatever they can find for a workout. The athletes, they’re messy all the time, never put together. Why does that have to be? You can be an athlete and be perfectly styled and put together at the same time. That way, you won’t be on this list:
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Let’s do a test run of #FMF. Say, hypothetically, I post this amazing outfit that you need to buy RIGHT AWAY. But, you have cross fit in two hours, so you won’t have time to go home and change before your workout. You don’t want to look too messy walking through the mall, but you have to wear your workout clothes or else you won’t make the 5 o’clock wod. Here is my take on how to look put together in an athletic fashion. (Please note: I am not a model)
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Pictured is a classic workout outfit, accessorized with a classy long sleeved winter top and a black vest. Wear your favorite sneakers with any outfit and all the sudden…#swag. IMG_3511IMG_3531
Switch up the look of your sneakers by changing the colors of the laces. I preferred my roshe run’s accessorized with black laces.

Top: Marshalls, Mondetta $25.99
Bottoms: LuLuLemon Run Inspire Crops $86
Vest: Macy’s, Calvin Klein $49.99 (on sale)
Shoes: Nike Roshe Run $80 (Found them on Ebay)