Thanks for stopping by. I created this blog to share motivation, ideas, fit tips, product reviews and more. Whether you're here from my Facebook page or a new follower, welcome! I hope you enjoy my posts. Be sure to subscribe and check back often for updates!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Can You Do It? Yes. But, Will You?

With only a few weeks to go until I step on stage this year, I have been spending more and more time acknowledging and examining the mental state of where I am and where I need to be.  It seems that the physical aspect of training and nutrition is more concrete and determined than the mental state.  Mentally I find it a challenge because unlike training there is no set plan as to how to think, what to feel, and when.  The mind is powerful and that is where the most discipline must be given.  One cannot measure the state of one's mind.   You can't log it or track it like a training log and check back to see your progress or how much more to add this week.  Thoughts are fluid, ever changing, and sometimes seemingly beyond our control.

The truth is we can control our mind and our thoughts, but it takes great work and some disciplined soul searching.  For me, it has been more of deciding what it is I want and committing, or re-committing to doing it.  Each morning I get up and know what must be done that day to move myself one step closer to achieving my goals.  I know the meals I will eat.  I know the workout I will put myself through.  Can I do it?  Absolutely!  There is never a question.  But it is gut check time.  Each morning I ask myself - Do I want this? Yes.  Will I do this today?  Yes.  Why?  Because I want to go from where I am now to where I want to be tomorrow.  There is no other way around it.  In the quest to be better than I have ever been, I must go through the work and put in 110% effort every step of the way.  If I quit for the moment, or the day, or a meal, or skip a workout...I can't get that back.  That is then done and I have to move forward from there.  But I won't skip out on any of it because that means shortchanging myself in the end results.

Is this hard?  Yes.  But it is meant to be.  Accept that.  Will it challenge and push you harder and further than ever before?  Absolutely.  But you want to do this, not because you have to, but because you have made the promise to yourself to set a goal, achieve a goal, and you will hold yourself accountable.  Yes, you are capable of achieving whatever goal you set for yourself.  The only thing that could hold you back is you.  It is your mind, your fears, and your own self-doubts that can stop you.  Set your mind right.  Control the mental journey and you will not only reach your goals, but exceed them and accomplish what you once thought impossible.

By: Guest Writer and long time follower of the Fitness Motivation for Ordinary People FB page

Frank Gigante, Natural Pro

Monday, March 18, 2013

Traveling: What to pack!

I'm traveling for work this week, so I thought it was the perfect opportunity to talk about what I take with me when I travel to ensure I stay on track. What you can pack will vary depending on whether you are traveling by car or by plane. In my case, I'm driving about 2 hours from home and will be staying in a hotel for 2 nights. I called ahead and made sure I would have a refrigerator and microwave in my room. Here's a look into what I'm packing!!

Breakfast items: I put 3 serving of dry oats in a small container with a scooper, 2 sample packets of protein I've received from various promotions (these are really easy to travel with), instant coffee and sugar free coffee creamer.

Meal #2: Quest Nutrition Protein Bars

Lunch: Tuna packets. I will buy frozen brown rice (be sure it's just brown rice and water) and frozen veggies when I arrive. This will minimize what I have to keep cold for the trip.

Meal #4: Greek yogurt and rice cakes. You could buy the greek yogurt upon arrival but I will be at an office with a fridge, so I'm bringing it with me.

Dinner: Grilled chicken breasts in a ziploc. I will also use the brown rice and veggies that I buy to go with this meal.

Meal #6: 2 servings of casein protein powder in small container (one for each night).

Extra's: Vitamins, Cellucor Creatine and BCAA's, Truvia, fork, spoon and knife, salt and pepper (could pack Mrs. dash if you're watching sodium), cinnamon, extra empty containers (to microwave oatmeal in, etc.), shaker cup (for protein and BCAA's), insulated lunch box (to bring food to the office), resistance bands (in case I can't get down to the gym), workout clothes, sneakers, plastic grocery bag (for dirty gym clothes), workout journal and sugar free jello (in case I get a sweet tooth).

This is not exactly what I would eat at home. When I'm traveling, I try to bring as few refrigerated items as possible but still make healthy choices. I also plan to use the hotel gym everyday, but have my resistance bands because you never know what might happen when traveling.

When traveling by plane, I take most of the non-perishable items with me when I fly. If they are small enough containers, I carry them on. For the larger items, I will put them in a checked bag. You can visit the TSA's website for guidance on what you can and cannot carry on with you. When I arrive at my destination, I also stop at a local whole foods and pick up grilled chicken breasts at the deli, pre-hard boiled eggs, greek yogurt and frozen broccoli. I still pack tupperware and a lunch box so I can bring my meals to the office. If I go out to eat, a salad with grilled chicken and vinegar or fat free dressing works well too.

Here is a pic of my hotel fridge on my most recent trip to Atlanta:

I hope this gives you some ideas for when you travel. Do have other items you bring that I don't have listed? I'd love to hear your ideas!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Preparation is key

As with anything in life, preparation is the key to success! This couldn't be more true for fat loss!! How do I prepare? I cook all of my food ahead of time. Then, I weigh and measure everything and portion it out. As for my workouts, I go through my list of saved workouts and determine which ones I'm going to do and on which day. I have a small notebook that says " do what you love" on the cover; I converted that into my workout log!! I take it with me to the gym for a few reasons. First, I write down all of my sets, reps and weight used. secondly and most important, so that I can go back and see what I did last time. Having this info allows me to always push to do more!! I hope this inspires you to take the time to plan your week. If you already do this, how do you keep track of your meals and workouts? what method works for you? Do you feel lost if you don't? I forgot my workout log the other day and almost felt naked at the gym, lol!! As the old saying goes "fail to plan, you plan to fail"

Monday, March 11, 2013

12 weeks out

So here we are, I have scheduled a photo shoot for June 7th and there is no turning back now. I have tried a few times before to get lean enough for this sort of thing (competition, etc.) and have failed. For me, the biggest challenge is diet and cardio. With the diet, it's not what I'm eating... I always eat healthy food, it's the amount I eat. I find that I will graze on almonds and thing like that during the day. Most of you would say "almonds are good for you" and it's true, they are. But, I was eating several handfuls beyond what was planned out in my caloric needs, so..... I would not be at a caloric deficit at the end of the week. You cannot lose fat without the deficit. The other way to achieve the deficit is through cardio, and I have a limited amount of time at the gym so getting in enough cardio is a challenge for me. So, what did I do? I got rid of all the almonds and peanut butter in my house so I cannot graze anymore. I will follow my meal plan as it's laid out and get in as much extra cardio as I can. I plan to do cardio in the morning at least 3 days during the week and 1-2 days on the weekend. In addition, I will be doing my weight training at a fast pace so I will have more time after my lift sessions for additional cardio.

Can any of you relate to this? Have you had goals and fallen short? How did you overcome what was holding you back? Most of the time, we hold ourselves back, that is true in my case. No one is feeding me the almonds and PB, I'm doing it to myself. No one is limiting my cardio, if I want it bad enough, I have to get out of bed and go after it. That's exactly what I'm doing this time around. Once I achieve the level of leanness I desire, I will do everything I can to stay very close to that level so I will not have to go to such measures to lean out again.

I will keep updating my blog with progress and hopefully my journey will inspire some of you along the way!

Share with me in the comments, I'd love to hear about your experience


Thursday, March 7, 2013

Amazing Crockpot Chicken

Came up with the most amazing chicken so I wanted to share. The best part, you cook it in the crock pot and it can be done over night!! I used 9 trimmed chicken breasts and 2 cans of organic diced tomatoes. Throw them together in the crock pot with whatever seasonings you'd like. I used fresh rosemary, 2 cloves of garlic, dried basil, thyme, paprika, chipotle, onion powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper. I just do a few shakes of each, don't really measure them, it's a lot of chicken so don't be afraid to use a decent amount. Cook it on low for like 7-9 hours (if your tomatoes are still pretty watery, you can cook it longer). Once it's well absorbed, shred up the chicken with a fork. Wallah, you have your protein source for almost the whole week. It is so versatile, you could use it in sandwiches, on a salad, reheated with a side dish (that's how I eat it), in a taco or anything else you can think of. Try it and let me know what you think!! The veggies in the picture are just steamed green beans, brussels sprouts, broccoli, snow peas and mushrooms. I steam up a bunch at one so I have veggies for a few days!! Happy clean eating!!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Sweaty Band review

I have had my sweaty band for some time now, it was the only head band I ever wore to the gym. I emailed Sweaty Bands to see if they would want to do a giveaway and they immediately responded and said yes. In addition to sending me one for giveaway, they sent me 2 others to use myself and I like these even better than the thinner one I purchased years ago. They really don't slip and you won't believe it until you try it!! I also love that they come in so many fun colors and patterns!! I am so excited to give one of these away to a lucky Facebook Fan!! If you haven't tried Sweaty Bands yet, you really should, I promise you won't be disappointed! :)

Gripad Product Review

Ireceived 2 pairs of Gripad fitness gloves to use and review. One pair was their standardthickness and the other was a new thinner version they’ve come up with based onfemale user feedback. I used both pairs and really like them. They feel greatwhen using heavy weights and doing pull ups. I even had a few guys at the gymtry them out and they liked them too! I took them off and did a set withdumbbells and just wanted to put them back on. They really spoil your hands inthe gym. Anytime I do pull ups from now on, I will definitely be wearingthese!! Thank you Gripad's for sending them.