Um, I’m alive. Writing the intro to a post after you’ve been away for oh, five months, is kind of awkward. Let’s just pretend we’re the kind of friends who can go a year without talking and then pick up again like no time has passed at all.
So what’s been going on lately?
I finally got certified as a personal trainer with the NASM. That means I’m kind of like a dominatrix of body composition. I beat fat into submission and then beat your muscles so they get bigger and stronger. There may be yelling involved, but only if that’s what you’re into. And I draw the line at peeing on a client. This ain’t no dungeon!
And while we’re on that topic…
S&M Bootcamp? Whatever, we’re sexy and we know it. (We workout.)
If you’re in Miami, you should come to the bootcamp. It’s free! And usually there is no riding crop involved. Although it is an effective motivator.
I am officially a crazy cat lady. I took in a mama cat and her three kittens. Next to women with children and zoo employees, I clean more poop than anyone. Moments like this make it worth it though.
Also, I applied for a fitness writing job, but I didn’t get it. I spent a lot of time working on the article, and even though that place didn’t think it was good enough, I do! Good enough for my rinky dink website anyway.
I’ll post it soon.
Oh yeah, and I turned 28 and drank waaaay too much tequila at a bowling alley. If you know me, you know what’s up.
Well, it feels good to be back. Hopefully I won’t be gone for so long this time around!
PS. I know my page is looking all kinds of F’d up right now. I’ll get around to fixing it…eventually.
One of the most satisfying feelings for me is making a real connection with another human being. On par with that is the sense of belonging, laughing, helping other people, and making a difference.
A very big reason why I lead a free boot camp class every Sunday is because it helps me experience these things. It makes me feel like I’ve had a positive influence on other people. I get to hang out with friends and socialize. We’re doing something constructive. And as much as I love to drink (my Instagram feed is practically a shrine to Bacchus), I like that boot camp is one of the few social settings that doesn’t involve alcohol. Usually.
The whole thing has me thinking about how important a sense of community is. When I first started doing the boot camp classes, I was skeptical about how many people would show up. I’m sure there are a thousand other things my friends would rather be doing on a Sunday afternoon than burpees. But the same people kept coming back. And I think it’s because most everyone is friends, and in addition to working out, it seems like people are having a good time. I’m sure it being free helps too, hah.
Then I think about my self defense class, and how one of the reasons I’ve attended for so long is because I feel like I’m friends with everyone there.
As an introvert who has only recently adopted extroverted tendencies, I’ve just begun to realize how strong and fulfilling social bonds can be, and how much influence they can have. For instance, a job that you otherwise would not care about is exponentially more pleasant when you have close friendships there.
Before I started experimenting with these boot camp-styled workouts, I was strictly a solo exerciser. And that’s fine, even preferable for me most of the time. Working out by myself is much quicker and more efficient than working out with a partner. Once you add someone else into the equation, you have to consider their level of fitness compared to yours and whether they’re interested in doing the same workout as you and so on. I’m just much more focused when I workout by myself.
But working out with friends has been fulfilling. I hope to continue doing it, and I hope everyone enjoys it as much as I do.
As of right now, I’d like to make more of an effort to talk to everyone and perhaps try to coordinate a group dinner or barbecue once a month or so.
If anyone noticed my absence, apologies! I could say that I’ve been busy (which I have been, but then again I aways am), but the truth is I’ve been going through a bit of a content drought lately. I will write three-quarters of a post, leave it alone for a day, and then think it’s total crap when I revisit it. My thinking cap done broke.
Also, struggling to figure out what direction I want to take this blog has made me apathetic.
But enough of that. Here are some random tidbits that have been on my mind. I’m hoping this will help me get the ball rolling on blogging!
I feel like a stupid fangirl admitting this, but I actually got a little excited that Zuzana Light has re-appeared on the Interwebs. I was a follower of Bodyrock for a while, but after she left the site really lost something. She was the face of Bodyrock, and without her it just felt…weird. Obviously the site has changed, and I understand that change is inevitable, but I’m not really interested in their workouts anymore. Especially since they started adding equipment, when one of the main selling points was that the site had workouts you could do at home with minimal equipment.
I dunno what it is about Zuzana (besides those abs and her Czech accent), but she has a huuuuge following. Homegirl deserves it, if you ask me, and I really look forward to the new content she’ll be putting up.
The Problem with Skinny Bashing
After being annoyed at all those memes on Facebook asking when This (a thin girl) became more attractive than This (Marilyn Monroe), I was really glad to see this article. Yes, larger women have gotten the shit end of the stick in our society, but I don’t think that makes it okay to insult small women. I think it’s hypocritical to want to be accepted for the size you are, but then jump at the opportunity to criticize someone who is the opposite of you. But up until now I’ve kept my mouth shut about it. As someone who is relatively small, I feel like the situation is comparable to a white person complaining about being discriminated against: I’m bemoaning something I’ve never really experienced the brunt of.
If it could be summarized in a meme, me complaining about thin bashing would be considered “Thin Girl Problems.” (Does that already exist?) In all honesty, I am glad that I’ve never been bullied or made to feel less than because of my body. Really, I am. I know it must suck tremendously to be a bigger person who’s been ridiculed their whole life because of their size. I don’t think it’s right, and I fully admit that I will never understand what it’s like to be shamed like that. But I don’t think pitting one body size against the other is the answer, and it does bother me when people do that. Even if you don’t agree with me, I think you should check out the article.
I had my biggest turn-out yet this past Sunday. It was awesome!! More people are expressing interest, too, so I think I’m going to start a Facebook page to keep everyone updated.
Emily was fueled by vodka. Hey, whatever works!
There was also some post-workout sword fighting with the boys:
And so did a regular…who brought this Coke along with him. Tsk, tsk! But at least he showed up.
It was from Taco Bell, too. -_-
I wanted to share the workout we did, in the hopes that some of you out there might be willing to try it. It’s good for getting your heart rate up and building strength and endurance in beginners. It’s nothing crazy, sexy or cutting edge like Insanity, pole dancing cardio, or whatever the latest fitness craze may be. It’s a basic full-body routine, but it’s all you need to start getting into shape.
And best of all, you only need a chair or bench for this workout. So it can be done at home or the park or wherever you fancy.
Beginner’s Boot Camp Workout
Warm up by doing some light jogging or walking and stretching. Do each of the following exercises for as many reps as possible in the prescribed time. When you have completed all the exercises, repeat the sequence one more time.
If you can only make it through the workout once, that’s fine. Everyone’s gotta start somewhere, and as long as you gave it your all it’s a pretty damn good start! If you feel like the workout isn’t challenging enough, you can add in a 5 minute run at the end of the sequence. Try to write down how many reps you do for each exercise so you can beat your score the next time you try it.
Intermediate/Advanced Interval Workout
This next workout is a more difficult one for those of you who have a higher level of fitness. I structured it similar to a Bodyrock style workout because I like short, intense intervals.
You’ll need either two dumbbells or some other form of resistance, like a gallon of milk or a gym bag stuffed with something to weigh it down a bit. You guys are a smart bunch; I’m sure you can come up with something.
You’ll do each exercise for 50 seconds with a 10 second rest. During those 50 seconds, you really want to push yourself as hard as you can. After the 10 second rest is up, proceed immediately to the next exercise. Go through the circuit 3 times, for a total time of 12 minutes. It’s important to really give this one your all if you want to benefit from it.
Here are detailed descriptions of the two exercises that needed more explaining:
Two-arm dumbbell row with leg lift
You’re going to perform the row the same as you would in that video, only each time you bring the dumbbells up, you’re going to lift a leg straight behind you. Make sure to alternate legs with each rep. It should look like this:
Start like this. Yes, I realize these pictures are terrible, amateur and too dark, and I'm still in my work clothes.
Please remember to keep your back straight, and lift your leg as high as you can. My range of motion was restricted by my too-tight jeans.
*I only used one dumbbell in these pictures, but use two (one in each hand) when you perform the exercise. You can also do it this way, but make sure you work the other side too. Also, I’m more upright than the girl in the video, but that’s okay. The most important thing is that you keep your back straight.
It’s explained in that video. One thing to keep in mind, when you are walking your hands back to your feet, you should be using small movements. You don’t want to be at your feet by only walking your hands back 3 times. It should be more like 5-6. Hence the name inchworms; you should be inching your way back.
(Also, as that clip was from another workout, ignore the stuff about 15 reps. Just knock out as many as you can in a minute.)
Please let me know how you liked them if you try ‘em out!
The first order of business: photo re-cap of the weekend.
Had another boot camp this weekend. Two new recruits came. Sweat was sweated. Groans were groaned. Puke was puked. All in all, good times.
We're not even half way done and Chris is dead.
One-leg bench squats.
When I dip, you dip, we dip.
Then after the boot camp we gathered at my parents’ house for a pool party. Unfortunately I cannot divulge the details of this pool party because…just because
I lost the chicken fight. I blame David.
The second order of business: relationship weight. I’m sure you know what I’m talking about. Two people start dating and they gain weight. You know, because “they’re happy.” And happy usually means going out to eat, sitting around watching movies and cuddling and um…yeah. That’s pretty much it (not counting doing the nasty.) Not that there’s anything wrong with that. But when you first start dating someone it seems that leisure, fun and indulgences tend to trump other priorities. Some might argue that while in a relationship we’re also less motivated to “look good” in order to attract a partner, which translates to us becoming more lax about our healthy eating and exercising habits. In short, when we’re in the throes of love, we tend to eat more and move less. That’s my theory anyway.
I’ve never been the type to give up exercising and healthy eating because I have a boyfriend. My motivation to do those things transcends attracting a guy. I actually like being healthy. I did gain a little weight when I first started dating my boyfriend, but eventually I went back to my previous size. What I do struggle with is the introduction of someone else’s habits into my life. Like when they start coming over and buying food and leaving it here, food that I would never buy myself because I just can’t deal with the temptation. Like Fruity Pebbles and cookies.
I’m sure my boyfriend would appreciate me putting up this disclaimer: While he does sometimes buy junk food to eat at my place, I eat more of it than he does. If there is anything sweet in the house, it’s not going to last so long as I’m under the roof. Like I said, that’s why I don’t buy treats. He jokes that he has to have a secret cookie stash if he actually wants to enjoy any of the junk he buys.
He says that I should just…NOT EAT IT. Duh, right? Unfortunately it’s not that easy for me. I truly sympathize for mothers who are trying to eat healthy while avoiding a cabinet full of cereal, cookies and sugary carb goodness intended for their children. It’s hard. And it’s not really fair for me to ask him to stop eating that food (at least in my presence.)
I think people who live at home also have this problem with their parents. They’re trying to eat healthy, but if their parents do the shopping they buy whatever they want to buy, and it’s not usually the best stuff. I know when I go to my visit my parents’ I’d have to muzzle myself to stay away from the fried chicken and ice cream.
He's not always eating Swedish Fish.
It can be a tricky situation. The only solution I have is to be an inspiration to your partner (and not a nag.) Start making better choices, and hopefully they’ll follow along. If eating healthy is really that important to you, then I’m sure you and your partner can come to some kind of agreement. I don’t forbid my boyfriend from bring junk food over. But when he does, I try to just eat a little and not go overboard. At the same time I think my healthy eating habits have rubbed off on him. When we go shopping together he is much more likely to buy healthy food that he likes rather than junk food. Either way, lucky for him he’s a skinny ass mofo who doesn’t have much of an appetite, so he doesn’t eat that much. Unfortunately that aspect of his eating personality has not rubbed off on me
So, how have your partner’s eating habits affected you? Are you more likely to adopt their habits? What do you do when they don’t place as much importance on being healthy as you do?
I’m still alive. Not posting as much as I’d like to, but hopefully that will change soon.
Since I’m kind of exhausted, the rest of this post will be written in bullets.
Being a home owner sucks. I mean, it’s good, but it still sucks. Once you become a home owner you officially join the headache club. I try to be grateful for what I have, but I feel like I’ve been cursed by Murphey’s Law. As of right now I am dealing with a leaky roof, a severely cracked ceiling, a new floor that’s about to be put in, and termites. Fuck termites.
I went to a Body Sculpt class at my friend’s gym (24 Hour). I didn’t really like it that much. During the hour-long class you do a million reps with light weight for each body part. This improves your muscle endurance, but that should not be confused with muscle strength. (Muscular endurance is the ability of a muscle or a group of muscles to work repeatedly over a period of time, when the activity does not meet maximum resistance.) I guess I just don’t like workouts that are somewhere between strength training and cardio, but don’t really do either effectively. If I’m going to lift weights, I want to lift heavy weights that are going to make me stronger. If I’m going to do cardio, I want it to be intense and you know…actually raise my heart rate. The Body Sculpt class didn’t do any of that. I kind of think it preys on women’s misconception about super high reps and low weight being good for “toning.” I also thought the instructor was really annoying. But taking the class is better than doing nothing I suppose.
Remember that post I wrote about falling off the wagon? Yeeaahhh. My eating habits have been shameful lately. SHAMEFUL. I’m talking about late night Fruity Pebbles attacks. Although on a positive note, today was the first day I’ve eaten healthy in a long time. Let’s see how I do from here.
I actually want to write a full post on this topic, but I’ll touch on it briefly here. How do your partner’s eating habits effect you? I’m definitely more prone to eating junk food when I’m around my significant other because he brings home cookies and cereal. He tells me I should just not eat it, but it’s frickin hard! If you have a bowl of cereal and a bowl of cauliflower in front of you, which are you gonna pick? I rest my case.
Had another boot camp this past Sunday. Good times. We shall be meeting again this upcoming Sunday morning at Indian Hammocks if anyone is interested.
I used to enjoy sleeping in on Saturday mornings. But yesterday I got up even earlier than I do on work days to abuse a few friends. Nothing like a little sadism to start your weekend.
It's a lovely day to whoop some ass.
I met up with my friends Joe (wrecktify) and Chris to do a workout in Indian Hammocks park. Specifically this one. By the end of it the guys were on the verge of puking, so I knew my job was complete. It was a lot harder than I remember it being, hah. The jump-inchworm move really wiped everyone out.
The before shot. They had no idea what they signed up for.
David is in the zone. Joe has no idea what's going on.
Synchronized side planking.
Chris demonstrating his exemplary form.
I really enjoyed it. I’m going to try to make this a weekly thing, and if anyone in the Miami area would like to join us I’d be thrilled. Leave a comment or email me at email@example.com for more info.
And for the grand finale, here’s what Chris had to say about the workout:
I’m convinced that coupon sites are almost evil. Almost.
Sure, you can find some great deals. An hour-long Swedish massage for $39. 12 self defense classes for $29. Five pole-dancing classes and complimentary taint waxing for $40.95. Your own personal leather-clad gimp for $14.99. Word!
But at the end of the day, the amount of money you spend on stuff you normally wouldn’t spend money on gets a little ridiculous. To the point where it’s like you’re not even getting the benefit of the discount anymore because these sites are sucking up all your money with their deals. Then again, maybe it’s just me.
These coupon sites were like the strip club of the Internets for me. I was the naive patron. They were the sneaky seductresses, sitting in my lap and promising me all kinds of things and taking my money. Groupon, LivingSocial, CoupTessa…sheesh. Fortunately their novelty has worn off, and I’m back to my miserly ways.
BUT. But! I can’t totally diss them. This is where that almost part from earlier comes in. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting some awesome businesses thanks to coupon sites, like the Miami Fit Body Boot Camp (MFBBC).
I had some coupon or another that gave me a month of unlimited classes at this boot camp gym. First of all, I love boot camp style workouts. I love them because I hate cardio. Okay, hate is a strong word. I extremely dislike doing traditional cardio (running, biking, swimming) with all its monotonous, repetitive blahness. I’d say I have the attention span of a hamster, but those little guys never get tired of running on the wheel. I do. So when it’s time for me to get my cardio on, I like variety.
Story of my life.
If you’re not familiar with boot camp workouts, they incorporate a lot of body weight stuff (push ups, jumping, and other weird but fun movements) usually done in timed intervals. And that’s how it goes at MFBBC. The workouts were challenging and we ALWAYS did different things. There were people of all different fitness levels, too. So no need to feel intimidated.
I also really liked the vibe there. Owner Armando Cruz is very supportive and seems like an all-around nice guy. Oh, and I should also mention that this boot camp is INDOORS. Which is a HUGE plus in my book. Summer is rolling around, and I know working out is about getting sweaty. But dude. This is Miami. I’ll take the heat and mosquito relief when I can get it, working out or not.
The only drawback was that the regular price of MFBBC was a bit out of my range. I was genuinely sad when my month was up, and I considered staying. But at this point in time I need to pinch my pennies for several reasons. However, I would love to go back to this gym. It is a bit more expensive than a regular gym membership, but the way I see it, you are guaranteed a good work out. And for people like me who hate cardio, sometimes you need to pay for motivation.
If you’d like to find out more info about MFBBC, call 305-741-0560. They located in Kendall right by Dadeland mall at 6832 SW 81 St, Miami, FL. Or visit www.miamifitbody.com.
(PS. I am not at all affiliated with this business. They are not paying me to write this, and I am not a member there. This is an honest review of my experience with them.)