All growth is a leap in the dark, a spontaneous unpremeditated act without the benefit of experience."

— Henry Miller, Author

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Feeling Lazy?

Some days I just DON'T want to go to the gym and I mean, it's okay to not be in the mood sometimes. I try not to neglect my workout and will plan a "makeup day". There are days where I just can't wait to get to the gym, days when I'm rather indifferent, and some days where I have to tell myself "just get there and figure the rest out later" because if I think about my workout, I surely won't go.

Over the past 3 years, I've been a member of 3 different gyms (I've finally settled somewhere that I LOVE) and have found some of the most amazing people at these locations. Sometimes when I just don't feel like going to the gym, instead of asking myself "what would so-and-so do" I'll think about the guy with bilateral lower leg amputations who attended my old gym. Or the guy who survived 3 strokes. 3 strokes, and would seemingly be at the gym 10 hours a day. I mean it didn't matter what time a day I'd go, he was there complete with his sweat bands, ready to get in on. The most amazing person of all is the most recent one, a guy with  spinal cord injury who is obviously rehabilitating the use of his legs. I saw this guy do laps around the gym with a walker, pushing the walker ahead then jumping up to meet it.... for hours.

I think that having been in environments where I've cared for similar patients who either haven't been able to rehab so well because of either their condition or their lack of will to have to start so "far behind" makes these people seem so amazing to me. These people are all so positive and upbeat while they bust their asses harder than anyone I've ever seen in the pursuit of their former baseline level of mobility. When I think about these guys I think there really aren't many valid excuses to not take charge of your health.

I hope that in my own "fitness future" I'm able to continually push myself to the next level each and every chance I get. For me, thinking about all of the people that aren't able to do so due to injuries and illnesses kind of makes it seem like it's my responsibility to give my body and my life the gift of fitness.

Don't you?

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Sunday Morning Latte Talk.....

What a great week! Save for the snow and epic cold, I had a fantastically action packed 7 days. Being originally from GA it's has taken some time for me to get used to snow, but I think after last Winter's never-ending storms I've been well broken in. It was my first year driving in snow, DRIVING DURING BLIZZARDS, driving long distances to places I wasn't familiar with, etc. I think I'm probably one of the only people I know that thinks driving in these conditions is just SO MUCH FUN!

What I've come to love the most about snowfall is the sound. Everything just seems so quiet when it snows and as the snow falls, there's a kind of white noise that can only be described as calming to the soul. Something like a summer night's breeze. Even though most places around here didn't get a great deal of snow last week (except for Dracut) I still was able to have a brief moment that morning enjoying the calm of the snow. The funny thing about was that in that moment, I remembered that I have been FORGETTING to take a few moments for myself each day. In that moment I was reminded just how important those few moments can be. Some of you know about the many things on my plate outside of work and working out. As these things independently require 100% of my time and attention (in a perfect world) I often find myself overwhelmed and in need of a break. Well, not really a break, but some time to step outside of the chaos to remember why it all must be endured and to remind myself that though I am IN the chaos, I am NOT chaos.

I don't think that I'm alone in this. We all have busy lives and juggle many roles such as Mother, employee, boss, wife, student, etc. It's easy to get caught up in what you do and forget where YOU fit into all of it.

I am quite a frequent traveller, and my favorite part about the pre-flight instructions is where they tell you in the event of an emergency should the oxygen masks be released, apply the mask to yourself before assisting other passengers. That is the point at which I stop listening. I can't be anything to anybody else unless I'm complete in myself. If I'm constantly stressed out about juggling roles, or mounting obligations and the like, there's no way that I can perform for anyone else to any useful degree.

I said all of that to say this; Take a few minutes of every day to just close your eyes and tune into yourself, where ever you are. Take a few deep breaths and feel them move through your entire body and allow yourself to become fully aware of your body and mind. Be your own visitor. When you open your eyes, you'll return to the same world, but you return at a different place in time; able to make a fresh start for yourself moving forward.  

Sunday, December 6, 2009

"Rock That Body"

By the Black Eyed Peas was TOTALLY my power song of last week. I twarted myself through the week in an obscene manner, kicking my own ass all along the way. I plan to do the same this week.

This morning's Sunday Session at CSF was so awesome (as always) and just the same, it was so great to see everybody after the past couple weeks that there have been no sessions. Every single time I'm around Savage Girls I get SOOOO inspired and EXCITE about the road ahead. I can't wait for my next workout to see how much further I can push myself so that  I can proudly wear my "Savage Girl" hoodie. Love it.

So this week I'm got SOOOO much going on. A couple of yoga dates, gym dates, training sessions, classes, other appts, and I can't forget work and studying (which did NOT take place at all last week). I've got a good handle on this month's workouts, so I'm hoping for a good week as far as everything else goes; one that is a perpetual challenge, but not a complete struggle.

To keep myself pumping along I've been organizing some playlists. I've downloaded some music that I would never listen to if it weren't for the fact that I needed some good gym tunes. But now they've all transferred outside of the gym. I find myself listening to my workout playlists when I need a jolt of energy and while I'm listening, I'm reminded of how productive and satisfying my time in the gym is.

I sound like a gym hippie... "the gym is a good loving caring place where I feel at home and relaxed blah blah blah gym gym gym"  What the hell do you expect; I'm spending enough time there every week. I could talk about work, but that just sucks, sooooo. As promised to Julie, here's my latest playlist:

Prodigy- "Medusas Path" & "Spitfire"
Black Eyed Peas- "Rock That Body"
Rihanna- "Hard" "Don't Stop the Music"
Britney Spears- "3" "Kill the Lights" "Toy Soldier" "Radar"
Sean Paul- "So Fine"
VNV Nation- "Fearless" "epicentre"
Lil Wayne- "Got Money"
Chris Brown "Transform Ya"
Janet Jackson- "Feedback" "If"
Lady Gaga "Bad Romance"
Beyonce "Radio"
Madonna "4 minutes"

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Looking ahead

Thinking about what lies ahead of me in December on makes me very excited. I'm walking into it 10 pounds lighter, physically stronger, existentially content, and ready to tackle the next few months with full force.

When I first started this journey, part of me looked at it as "getting back to where I used to be", but as I progress I'm learning that I'm taking myself to such a different place. Thinking back on it now, it is totally wrong for me to try to go where I've already been. What the hell kind of shit is that? There's nothing new where I've been. Nothing forgotten that I need to go back and grab. All I need is my face forward and my feet on the ground, and THAT is not something to be found in the past.

December marks what is to me the closing in on my goals. The next few months will be non-stop action on many planes. I'm studying for my nursing boards as well as my CPT. There's Christmas and New Years, Girls Weekend in NY and Camp Savage in Jan. Actually TAKING my boards and CPT in Feb, as well as fulfilling other travel obligations. BIRTHDAYS GALORE in March (including mine, my son's, my mother's, my brother's) Then April marks showtime! There's apparently an NPC show in April as well which will push my goal date up by 3 weeks in order to make it there. These next 5 months are gonna fly by and I can't wait to get crackin'. I'm hoping that all of these things keep me busy enough over the course of time that I don't focus so much on my end goal, but rather have a focused awareness on everything that I'm doing to get there.

I've pushed the distractions and the negativity to the side, and have cleared the road in order to find my path to success. I'll bring stories of the latest and greatest as they develop.....

highlights from Thanksgiving......

Sweet Moses what a horrible day!

Life really sucks when PMS falls on a holiday. A holiday that you didn't want to parttake in, but got bamboozled into HOSTING. A holiday that was dropped in your lap with the expectation of pulling it all together.

Okay, long story short I ran my sister off because after she showed up to my house 3-4 hours late (leaving me to do 3-4 hours of cooking alone...... did I mention that I wanted no part in Thanksgiving) camping out on my couch trying to take a nap @ noon and continue to leave me alone in the production of this feast. Came into my kitchen grabbing at food, leaving banana peels and other food garbage on my coffee table. The coffee table that I had just cleaned because these people (my family) were coming over. I'm sorry, what? This is not the Holiday Inn, and my big comfy couch is not your nap-ground.

She finally got sick of my bitching and left, which made for a more quiet evening.

Thanksgiving FOOD!

As I said, I didn't want to participate this year, but I did. This year I had to make regular nasty food for my mother and those that wanted "traditional" artery clogging trough-worthy slop, and hearty, healthy, renditions of said classics for myself. As I posted on facebook "my sister scoffed at my oatmeal and cranberry stuffing and I told her 'that's why my ass is shrinking and yours is expanding'".

I made a regular pumpkin pie, and a heathier version made with fresh pumpkin, greek yogurt, and fat free sugar free vanilla pudding. When it came time for dessert we all tried both pies. My ADORABLE little clone of a son says "um Mommy, I don't like the regular one. Can I have another piece of the healthy one?"

He ate 3 pieces and I TOTALLY let him. Kudos to him for being able to stomach greek yogurt at age 7 because as an adult, I cringe when I eat it.

Thanksgiving was no match for me. Christmas dinner better watch out.

Saturday, November 7, 2009


I know its really wrong, but some days I walk past patients and I just want to punch them in the face.

Hi, my name is Jennifer and I'm here to help you. STOP FUCKING TREATING ME LIKE SHIT.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


I've spotted a trouble area that I have to figure a way through this month; one week before my period I don't feel like going to the gym. I just don't I missed 2 days in October for this reason. I thought I had prepared myself for this, but I guess not. I don't know what to do! But I'll see if I can figure somethign out before that time comes around again.

In other news, I'm so psyched for this month.One of my friends joined the Hot for the Holidays program so we're acting as each other support during the day at work, which is great. She kept me from diving face first into a bowl of mini snickers yesterday, though I did enjoy just one. I really want to stay on point with my nutrition this month since last month wasn't the best. My food choices weren't bad, but I had trouble eating enough and eating on time. Yesterday was great, so if that's any indicator of the rest of the month, I think I'm in good shape.

Speaking of shape, I'm shaping up nicely. I've made the most progress on my upper body, which is great as it probably needed the most work. My back has gotten significantly stronger (won't be long before I can finally do a friggin pullup) as well as my bi's tri's and shoulders. This month I plan to focus extra on my 'trunk', that is my back chest and abs.

I'm beginning to really see that what has kept me from my goals is nothing more than myself. I thought that my body was getting old and wasn't responding as quickly as it once did to exercise. NOPE, wrong. I was just fucking lazy. Now that my nutrition and training are consistent, I'm noticing gains that are happening as quickly as they ever did. Oh, and as far cardiovascular goes, 3 months ago, my heart rate would hit 95% like nothing. Now, I have to work my ass off to even get it to 85%. This is another goal for the month: stepping up my cardio and making sure to hit my high intensity days. Part of this plan includes QUITTING SMOKING!

Yes, I smoke. In partial defense, I have cut down in the past months, I smoke about 4-5 cigarettes a day, primarily at work. I'm going to start wearing the patch at work to get me through all those cravings I have after being in that stressful place. I don't want to smoke and I'm ready to actively pursue quitting.

Sooooo big things this month. Very exciting. I'll try to post more frequently.

NPC New England

I was fortunate enough to attend the NPC New England Championships on Halloween. I took the day off 6 weeks in advance to make sure that I wouldn't miss it. I'm SOOO glad I didn't! It was my first (live) show and holy hell did it rock! My mother and my boyfriend went with me, neither of whom really wanted to. I had to give my mother a talking to as she continually made negative comments prior to the start of the show. She quite vocally expressed her disdain for the the physique of female bodybuilders and even some of the the other far less muscular competitors. I had to keep telling her to shutup etc etc which didn't work so well. Then I finally had to say to her "Look, the shit you're saying is pretty offensive. It's the same thing as someone saying that your relationship with Daddy is 'disgusting'. (they're an interracial couple) You don't have to do what they do, but just because it doesn't interest you doesn't make it disgusting." After this she shut her filthy mouth (lol) and when she DID comment, she was singing a different tune.

When the show started and the male bodybuilders came out she began to enjoy herself. By the end of the show, she commented that she could see me competing in figure, which means the day was a win overall. But um, the show was everything I hoped it would be (in person that is). I have to say, I felt like I belonged there. I'm so excited for all of the "Savage wins" and it makes me even more proud to be part of such an amazing team.

Short and sweet.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

"I get up. I walk. I fall down. Meanwhile, I keep dancing." – Rabbi Hillel

On what a horrible week! Granted it's only Sunday and my "week" ends tomorrow. There's still time to make it a little more decent, which I may be able to pull off, but right now I feel like my body is telling me no no no. Last Tuesday was great! It tricked me into thinking the whole week would be the same, Wednesday was not so hot, but okay. Thursday was horrible! I went to yoga and ran some errands, all the while incredibly tired. You would think I didn't sleep the night before.

I decided to take a nap before the gym and when I woke 2.5 hours later (yikes) I only felt a little worse. Meanwhile my nutrition was so off that I just wanted to eat a loaf of raw cookie dough. I know that my nutrition this week is the reason why I had such a shitty week, and it is of course my number one goal for the week coming up. I just started with some dietary changes which have proven a tad bit difficult. I have to say that I hadn't formulated my plan of attack for eating even more frequently than I already had been, which is clearly a necessity.

Here's a gross example of what steadfast determination I must have to keep it in line:

So yesterday while at work (for those that don't know, I work at a nursing home) I had found the perfect moment to run down into the basement to heat up my oatmeal and other tasty treats. I get back upstairs and take a bite when a patient was SCREAMING for me to come into the bathroom to help her (she's very anxious and has other mental health issues to say the least). I helped her get washed up making sure to pick up the gooey turd piles she left on the floor. She goes back to her room, and I go back to the Nurses station to try and scarf down as much of my food as fast as possible.

5 minutes later, I'm trying to finish my broccoli when I see the same woman headed for the bathroom. Once she gets settled the starts yelling "Lady lady I couldn't make it, I had a bowel movement in my pants." I get around the corner and there was shit everywhere. All over the toilet, her pants, the floor, the wall it was horrible. I cleaned it all up while this woman was freaking out, washed my hands, and took another mouthful of broccoli. I looked at it lovingly before I shoved it in my mouth as I remembered how some of the chunks in that woman's soupy stool very well looked like broccoli.

If I can eat and maintain my "cookies" so to speak through being knee deep in someone else's storm of kaka than I should be able to stick to my damn nutrition plan otherwise, right?

It was hard tough! At times I would stroll right past meal times because I wasn't hungry and I simply didn't think about the fact that it was time to eat. Other times I would be busy and time would fly and before I know it, that meal has been completely skipped. Then there's the matter of me being asleep before making my final meal of the day. Plus I'm eating a little more at each meal now so I can't exactly "om nom nom" in a Garfield fashion as I'm used to doing. I have to stop and chew more now.

Anyhow the point is that this week I'll definitely have to make a very concentrated effort to make sure I stick to my meals. I need to go and re-set the alarms on my watch and phone to go off at my new meal times and I'm just gonna have to make sticking that schedule my priority this week. I can't take take another horror show like last week. :(

Wish me luck.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


This post is actually for one Michael "kick rocks" Anderson. He scoffed the last time I bitched about how much time I spent in the kitchen prepping my food for the week. Today I decided to document this massive task as Michael, an eternal pessimist and pathological liar, doubts nearly everything that everyone says as his means of deflection. So Mike, with a loving snarl please kick rocks. I'll be eating like a king this week as you post about eating pizza rolls and  frosted flakes.

I didn't EXACTLY do this for that sole purpose. I'm submitting some recipes for the CSF cookbook and need pics to go along with.

This is my SLAMMIN egg white fritatta ingredients



Yes, that is cheese. I swear it's 2% though...

Mango Salsa- goes good with fish

Turkey balls

Bowl-O-Berries, to be divided into as many servings as possible.

Sweet Potatoes. Baked with vanilla, cinnamon, and 2 packets of Truvia.

Finally done. All I have to do is shell my boiled eggs and bag them, then it's off to the gym.

Woop woop! October!

September was fantastical magical mystical and so far, October has been 10x better. I haven't quite gotten the hang of blogging, funny that I used to love posting about anything and everything every day of the week in my 2 former blogs.

A lot of things have gone on for me this month. First off, I chose a show date for my first figure show. My first show will be Fitness Atlantic in April of 2010 and I can't freaking wait!!! It's the perfect time too, being just after my birthday and obviously my favorite time of year for that reason. I've also been right on point with my mini-goal of becoming more involved in my goal by making it to savage Sunday Sessions every week, making my check-ins, and mingling with other "Savage Sisters". I'll tell you what, it really does make all the difference in the world. It's really hard to look to the people closest in your life for motivation when they don't have the same goals. While I wont' blame this on my lack of adherence to the road paved to my goals in the past, I can honestly say that it is a factor. What's more, is that even if you can get past the fact that the people nearest to you aren't on the same track, having NO ONE around that IS on the same track is more detrimental. For example (and I'm sure we all know someone like this) everyone I know that has successfully quit smoking has had to stop hanging around smokers. The point of this is that I'm really glad that I finally met Cathy and that I've been meeting more and more Savage Girls through Sunday Sessions. I plan to continue active participation in all things Savage Fitness in the days to come. It truly has been the missing link in my progress.

As far as my progress goes, I refuse to use a scale and haven't measured my bf%. The remarks that I'm hearing about how well I'm shaping up as the wobbly bits melt away let me know things are coming together just fine. I'd like to say that "I can tell by the way my clothes fit" but the only clothes I wear are gym clothes and scrubs. Oh, but I will say that my scrub tops are getting a little snug. "How is this good?" Well, it's in my back. I've been working my back a little extra as I can  (because the un-assisted pull up still eludes me) and now when I'm at work and go to lift somebody or do anything where my lats spread, my top pulls tighter across my back. I'm okay with that.

I'm also noticing marked strength gains. This is good, and always be true if I made a habit of noting how much weight I'm lifting. This is a habit that I welcome. I can't wait to see how I turn out at the end of the month.

So, I look forward to finishing out the month harder than I went into it so that I can blast through November with even greater force. I'll attempt to post more frequently, but I make no promises....

Thursday, September 17, 2009

YIKES! Getting behind!

Not in my workouts or anything, don't you fear. I've just written 3 blogs while at work the past few days that I haven't had a chance to type up. Will try to do it after the gym this morning............................

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Wrapping it up

So this past week has been pretty awesome, I have to say. My basic goal for my meals is to hit them @ 80%. This past week I did about 85% with 5 days @ 100% w00t! This is pretty great..... for now. While I didn't go balls to the wall with my workouts, I certainly busted plenty of tail. I always have a tendency to overdo it the first week of the month (when I get a new program) and wind up beyond sore *see cramping* which obviously isn't a desired response. This week I was pleasantly sore, but not so much that I cramped whenever I engaged a specific muscle.

Just thinking about that happening hurts my soul.

This week, I have to focus on making sure to hit my functional workouts, which I often neglect. I'd also like to work on my weekends. This weekend coming up should be decent because I'll be working two 12 hours shifts, so my only options are the food that I bring, and the crap food at my job. I just hope nobody makes those fantastic cranberry/white chocolate cookies that I adore. mmmmmmmm. *cough* Next week, I'll have to go 7 days without a cheat meal.... because I've never gone 7 days without a cheat meal. Every time that I ever thought that I didn't NEED to indulge in something naughty, I've done it anyway because "I deserve it".

This week I felt relaxed and energized, and I'm proud to say that it was week 3 without coffee and I haven't even noticed. I'm checked in for the week and looking into choosing a show date. There's one in PA in January which may be a good one for me to do, but the fact that it's sooner than the tentative Spring idea is a little terrifying, but no worries. One day at a time....

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Catching up: a day late

Sep 1 was a pretty great day with great accomplishment. I woke up at 6am and hopped out of bed. While I did NOT turn my swag on, I did make my way to the kitchen to pour my morning cup of tea. I turned on my new favorite Music Choice channel ("classic alterrnative") and then my phone rang. It was my little sister with an urgent need of my presence.

While I DID expect this call, I didn't think it would happen so early in the morning, certainly not before I had made it to the gym. I told her I'd get dressed and be on my way. Two terrifying things popped into my head as being potential for SABOTAGE:

1) If I don't get to the gym soon, I probably won't feel like doing it later. Then I'll have to deal with the potential self dialogue of wahy I should go, even though I don't want to. A positive win in this situation is about 50/50.

2) What the hell am I gonna do about food? I hadn't yet prepped my breakfasts for the week, and I didn't have the time to cook.

This was a big deal situation as I have easily just said "forget it" or promised myself that I'd get it done (with no real plan to carry this out). Surprisingly, my situation ended up being quite simple and 100% effective. Remembering that I would end up at my mother's house, I decided to swap my breakfast with my am snack. Surely mom has eggs, veggies, and oatmeal. I shook up and chugged down a protein shake, and grabbed a banana and was out the door. Once I picked up my sis, I found out that I was in luck! My mom had gone grocery shopping the day before. This was great news because now I didn't have to worry about her getting mad at me for eating half a dozen eggs....... She had TWO DOZEN!

The best part of this story comes when I remembered that my mom's building has a gym! Mom saves the day!!! Here I thought things were about to get all out of whack and my day didn't skip a beat. My meals and workout were 100% on Sep 1, and I was SOOOO proud of myself for making sure to get it done. What an excellent way to start the month.

Now I'm sure you're thinking "there are a million other ways you could have stayed on track." For those people *cough* control freaks *cough* that can be totally derailed when things don't go according to my *er THEIR meticulous plan, there usually is no other way. Those that know me well have heard me discuss my list making "issue" we'll call it...... I'd rather make a new list than rearrange an existing one.


Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Late, but still on time

So here it is September 2009 and I have yet to reach a huge personal goal that I've given many half-assed attempts in the past 2 years. This is all about to change. My journey began nearly 2 years ago when I joined Cathy Savage Fitness. For those of you that don't know, Cathy Savage is the tip top coach for competitive figure and fitness athletes and if you don't know what that is, google it.

Through the Spring of 08, I gave about 80% consistently, and made some serious progress until I sprained my knee in June. Considering that I am NOT the type of person that can sit still for more than 5 minutes, being on crutches and having my mobility so drastically limited wasn't easy to deal with. Even after I was "healed" and able to walk independently, I still had some serious issues with my knee for many months later that continued to limit what I was able to do as far as fitness goes. No surprise, but all of my hard work went down the tubes. Over the next many months I stayed active and still went to the gym but the stress of nursing school  wouldn't allow me to totally commit to anything. I'm sure I also failed to commit out of fear, and I'm not talking about just one. Nonetheless, I'm pressing forward. Over the past year or so I've really paid attention to the things that would stand in my way even when I stayed on track. Things like missing my usual gym time and not having a backup plan, or if one meal was off, my whole day was shot. Or not checking in with my coaches to notify them of my progress. etc.


I've spent the past couple of weeks trying some things out. I've loosened up my diet so that it isn't so rigid and allows room for variety in its cleanliness. I've also added "back up treats" to help with with cravings, which I'll discuss later because some of them are sooooo clever! I've practiced my 'back up plan' should something stand in the way of my meals or my workouts, and I have to say I was so pleased at my success. I purchased a weight bench so I'm no longer limited in the moves that I can perform at home (save for heavy benching, squats, and pullups, but I'm purchasing a push-pull cage the help with that). I signed up for a Hip-Hop dance class with a friend of mine to add some variety in activity, I'm getting back into yoga twice a week, and spin once a week. I've got my "Savage Programming" for the month of September and I'm rip roaring and ready to go. I'm soooo on top of my junk this month, it isn't even funny.

So for the rest of 2009 my main goals are to decrease my bodyfat by 10-12% while losing as little muscle as possible, and to really make some significant gains in core strength, thought I don't know how I will make it measurable yet. I'll spend January, February, and possibly March (depending on when I find a show) on working towards my first show! Along the way I'll be sharing recipes that I stumble upon in my attempt to cram as many nutrients into as little calories as possible without sacrificing taste. I'll probably also be posting pictures of my favorite competitors for my own motivation. I plan to use this blog as another avenue to keep myself accountable, and honest, so the more people that read it, the better!

I hope everyone has a great day and I'll be back tonight to give a late recap of 'day 1' of my counted days, and today as well.


Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Here Goes!

This is my first post and it is solely for the purpose of having ANYTHING up on this blog. I'll be sure to write a proper first post later.