Oh Oh Oh You’re Magic: An Open Letter to Yoga Pants

Dear Yoga Pants,

As you well know, I have a drawer dedicated to housing you and all of your splendor.  Therefore, this letter is perhaps a bit superfluous;  but when you love something as much as I love you, it feels good to reaffirm your feelings from time to time.  You really are quite special to me you know. 

It seems like only yesterday that your butt shaping magic came into my life.  There you were, looking like an ordinary pair of black pants.  Little did I know that years later our love would multiply into many, many more pairs:  capri- length, a neon green waist band, shiny material, heavy material, a blue and white waist band, and so many other necessary variations.  I honestly never expected that I’d need you so much and in so great an assortment.

Others look at you and see a pant fit for exercise, but I know you for so much more.  Pajama pants?  Sure, you’re ever so comfy.  A trip to the grocery store?  Absolutely, everyone will look at me and know I’m one active, cool chick just in from some groovy meet-up where we discussed aligning our chakras and the benefits of juicing.  A wedding?  I say, maybe.  After all, when paired with a dressy tank and some heels, no one would be the wiser.  Cleaning the house?  Washing the car?  Whoa, let’s not get carried away.  Only if we’re talking about the faded pair from the Gap.  I won’t risk my Lululemons meeting with some harsh, damaging cleaning products. 

And speaking of Lulu, I’m even okay with the fact that you somehow improved upon your damn near perfect self and then charged me $100 for the new, improved you.  Way to step up your game.  I didn’t think your butt-lifting, leg slenderizing skills could get much better; I’ll admit I was wrong.

So keep being you.  I’m hooked.  You are a savior to girls everywhere who feel like throwing on a pair of sweats, but know there is a far superior choice. 

 

Hopelessly Devoted to Your Enchanted Fibers,

Melissa

 

Yes, you really did just read an open letter to yoga pants.  And I meant every word of it (aside from wearing them to a wedding….maybe).  They really are a perfect piece of clothing.  I’m only a bit embarrassed about the number I own and my infatuation with those damn sorcerers out of Canada.  Luckily, last month I found a company called Ellie that offers some really cool choices for a lot less. I wanted to give them a test drive before I started raving about their wares.  Well folks, they passed inspection.

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**Here’s the part of the post where I’m torn about promoting a company.  It feels like a smidgen of a departure from this blog’s intent, but screw it; sharing is caring right?**

Fit is great, choices are fun, and the price can’t be beat.  Their monthly fashion club membership allows an outfit a month for under half the cost of one pair of pants from Lulu  And they stack up pretty well in comparison!   So if you’re hooked on the feeling only a pair of awesome yoga pants can provide, go check them out.  The banner below will save you 20% off your first order.  And I promise dear followers that this blog is not turning into a company mouth piece.  I really have to adore something to even consider promoting it.




Stay positive & love your life!

-Melissa

Today:

Listening to:  Royal Teeth – Waiting For You

Eating:  left over pasta

Drinking:  H2O

Reading:  “The Ballad of Helene Troy” by Lance Burson  Go check out his blog at:  My Blog Can Beat Up Your Blog

Random fact:  I don’t remember the last time I wore yoga pants while practicing actual yoga.  Time to get back into it.  Running and lifting are hell on your flexibility.

“Oh my god Becky. Look at her butt!”

Here’s a riddle to start your week out.  What two things are super awesome parts of my life but at the same time are wreaking havoc on my hips and waist line?  Come on, let’s hear your guesses!

Nope.

Uh uh, not that.

Give up?!….

Love & Craft Beer

Yep guys, being in a relationship in which I feel 100% comfortable and satisfied has led to the dreaded “my pants feel a bit too tight” issue.  Though it is a bit disheartening that Matt is somehow losing weight while I find it,  I really can’t blame it all on him.  Ok, I really can’t blame any of it on him.  If I’m really being honest here, it really should just say love OF craft beer.

Love & Craft Beer  Love of Craft Beer

There, fixed.

Craft beer might just be my Achilles heel.  And I truly think that poor Matty got pulled into the blame only because his arrival in my life coincided nicely with me picking up my first IPA.  The growth of our relationship has been paralleled by my growing love for all things craft.  The IPAs found that they were being kept company by stouts and porters.  The next thing you know, things started to get a wee bit crowed as other ales and lagers were added.  And by crowded, I mean the room I have to button my pants.

The point of this post is, one, to call myself out.  I’ve prided myself for years on maintaining the same weight I was at just after high school.  And now that I’ve seen that number topped with 9 pounds (8.7 to be exact), it’s time to stop the insanity.  Two, while I don’t have the excuse of child birth to fall back on, I do need to admit that I’m in my 30s and guess what, the body is just not going to take the abuse it once did without showing it.  And finally, it’s a bit of reality statement for those out there who think that just because someone has a degree in exercise science or worked as a trainer for years, they have it easy or aren’t prone to their own set backs.  I’ve kept my workouts going strong (while slipping a bit more than I did previously because Matty is an enticing snuggler at 5:15 in the morning), but it’s time to get this nutrition thing back in check.  Knowledge doesn’t necessarily equal adherence.  And they don’t provide a special shortcut to willpower with degrees and certifications.

So here is the plan:

  1. No beer during the work week.  Sorry Melissa, the whole “it was a stressful day” racket just isn’t going to cut it as a excuse for your desire to buddy up to a growler bottle that will likely equal you drinking two pint glasses full.
  2. Pacing.  I don’t drink beer for the buzz (odd sounding, I know) and while many of my favorites are high gravity, I don’t tend to get drunk when we go out.  So the normal pacing I would impose upon myself with liquor hasn’t been there.  There hasn’t been any “one drink/one glass of water” strategy going on.  Therefore, a night at the bar can mean 4-5 beers.  If I’m in a dark beer mood for that night, that could equal around 1,375 calories!  Simple math tells us that this isn’t going to do my abs and ass any favors.  So the new rule is one glass of water between beers.  Either this will slow me down or the fact that I need to make 15 bathroom visits will keep me busy.
  3. Curb those portions.  Beer isn’t the only thing that should be blamed here.  We’re foodies.  That means many of our weekend plans revolve around seeking out the best Atlanta has to offer in food.  Newsflash for anyone who thinks Atlanta doesn’t have an insanely amazing restaurant scene, it does.  This city has an abundance of wonderful places at which to dine.  And because the restaurant has been the focus of many of our trips, I feel the need to try way too many things.   Also, living with Bee for an entire year skewed my idea of portions.  He would load his plate up and I would end up walking away with far too much for a girl to be eating in one sitting.  Even when you eat super healthy, the amount still matters.  And I need to start checking in with myself on the difference between “hungry” and “wanting to have a mouth party”.  Two different things.
  4. Accountability.  I’m putting it out there for all to see and therefore I’ll be accountable to someone else besides myself.  Even if that someone is the wide expanse of the internet, it’s out there.  I’m a goal focused gal and merely putting it in writing and showing it to someone else will make this much easier for me.
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Yep, I look like one of those rap guys’ girlfriends.

Now, for anyone reading this who says, big deal, you’ve gained a measly 9 pounds, well it is a big deal to me!   And my thoughts are that if we wait until we’re buying a new size or feeling completely out of control, we’ve waited too long.  I recognize it’s an issue and will be saying so long to these pounds.  A closet full of designer jeans and my sanity are at stake!

Let’s end on something that is much more fun and is a calorie free source of enjoyment in my life, music!

Songs that pushed me through this morning’s workout:

Queens Of The Stone Age – Song For The Dead

Pearl Jam – Even Flow

Gorillaz – 19-2000

Hot Chip – Ends Of The Earth

Stay positive & love your life!

-Melissa

Today:

Listening to:  Queens Of The Stone Age – My God Is The Sun  Can’t get enough of this new album.

Eating:  Brussel sprouts and a veggie burger.

Drinking:  H2O

Reading:  The Book of Murder by Guillermo Martinez

Random fact:  I find it a bit ironic that I’m posting this the week after my Happy IPA Day post.  Ok, I guess that really isn’t ironic; it’s just a sad, sudsy coincidence.

Leg Day: There Will Be Pain

Oh leg day, you are the bane of existence for most gym going men.  This is probably why I see so many guys in the gym with huge upper bodies perched atop little weakling legs.  Not a good look fellas.

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“What up girl?  Your shorts look great on me.”

And ladies, there are plenty of other exercises for your legs besides those inner and outer thigh machines!

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Why does Spicoli come up when you Google inner thigh machine?

Here is a high volume leg workout guaranteed to have you walking like a granny for days.  At its core it’s pretty basic.  You’re only doing 4 leg exercise, but you’re doing multiple sets and variations.  If you haven’t been working out consistently, I recommend chopping this down a bit and going light on the weights for the first time through.  See how you do and then amp it up next week.  Also, this is geared toward leaning out, adding endurance and a bit of strength.  It’s not for someone attempting to “beef up” as the reps and rest aren’t geared toward that.

Squats (inches noted are the space between your feet)

Using a barbell for resistance.  Select a weight appropriate for your strength level and the necessary reps.

10 reps each set

x2 2 inches

x1 4 inches

x1 6 inches

x1 8 inches

x1 10 inches

x1 12 inches

During your “rest” between each set alternate these two core exercises:

Bird dog plank on Bosu

Get into a forearm plank on the blue side of the Bosu.  Simultaneously lift and extend your right arm and left leg.  Return to start.  Lift and extend your left arm and right leg.  Return.  That’s one reg.  Repeat for 10 reps.

Crunches on Bosu

Sit on the edge of the blue side of the Bosu, hands behind your head, knees bent, heels on the ground.  Perform 15-20 crunches.

*If you don’t have a Bosu, these can be performed on the ground.

Squat

Around the clock lunges

These can be performed stationary or alternating depending on your fitness level.

Resistance added via held dumbbells. Select a weight appropriate for your strength level and the necessary reps.

Standing upright, imagine you are in the center of a clock.  12 is directly to the front of you; 6 is to the rear.  Use this clock face to guide your step pattern. Each step counts as 1/2 a rep.

10 reps each set

x2 12 o’clock  & 6 o’clock

x2  2 o’clock & 10 o’clock

x2  3 o’clock & 9 o’clock

x2 4 o’clock & 8 o’clock

During your “rest” between each set alternate these two core exercises:

One leg crunch on Bosu

Get back into the crunch position.  This time lift a knee up to the chest with each crunch, alternating legs.  10-15 reps each leg.

Side plank on Bosu

Forearm side plank on the blue side of the Bosu.  Hold for 30 seconds to 1 minute on each side.

*If you don’t have a Bosu, these can be performed on the ground.

Side plank

Clock Lunge

Super Set on Machines

Lying Leg Curls 2×10

and

Leg Press 2×10

1 minute rest in between each set

How’d you do?  Do you have any questions?  Leave me a comment and feel free to share!

Stay positive & love your life!

-Melissa

Today:

Listening to:  The Limousines – Love Is a Dog from Hell

Eating:  Black bean burger

Drinking:  H2O

Random fact:  My brother once ran over a live armadillo.  He hit it while riding his bicycle.

Everybody Sweat Now!

What do I have in common with Al Pacino, Jack Nicholson, and Anthony Hopkins?  I’m ridiculously wealthy!  No, wait that’s not it.  I’m an old dude who isn’t aging very well!  Close, but no cigar (see what I did there) !  The correct answer is that they have all expertly played villains.  And I get to play the bad guy every morning I visit the gym with my workout partner!

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I like to smoke cigars while I count push-ups. 

I’m completely fine with the eye daggers and cuss words hurled at me.  It is a nice reminder of my days in the gym as a trainer. Matt is the current president of the “I hate Melissa’s sadistic workouts” Club.  He dethroned my best friend Bee when he made the move here from Birmingham.

*I need to take a moment to inform you that Matt is definitely NOT from Alabama.  Don’t even try to joke with him about this.  He just doesn’t find it funny for some reason.  He is originally from the best state in the U S of A, Florida.  And don’t you forget it!

I  love creating a plan and having a good workout buddy, because it makes me push myself a lot harder.

Today I share with you this morning’s workout.  It’s a doozy.  So pop in your ear buds and fire up a playlist that motivates you!  This routine is great for all fitness levels and can be modified to just the right amount of torture to elicit a few F bombs.

You’ll need:

  • An area that allows you to take roughly 15 full lunges (an empty group fitness room, your driveway, a hallway…I could list open spaces ad nauseum)
  • A weight:   I like using a medicine ball.  But anything you have around the house that can provide a little resistance will work.  For this workout, a weight as light as a few lbs. provides a challenge.
  • A treadmill or the good ‘ole great outdoors.  If running isn’t a possibility for you (due to injuries and not because it’s hard and you don’t like it!), you can substitute the elliptical trainer or biking.

Start with a 5-10 minute warm-up.  A quick walk into a jog is ideal.

CIRCUIT

In your open space, mark out the distance it would take you to complete 15 lunges (total).  That’s your goal distance and turn-around point.  Each of the exercises in this circuit are there and back; meaning you work from your start point to your finish line and then turn around and work all the way back.

  1. High Kicks:  Start with the medicine ball above your head, arms extended.  Step forward with a straight, high kick bringing your arms down as you kick up.  The medicine ball should almost meet your toe.  Keep stepping forward repeating this motion on each side.
  2. Sumo Squat Walk:  Holding the medicine ball to your chest, get down into a low sumo squat.  Staying low in this position, stride forward taking short, controlled steps.
  3. Walking Lunge/Shoulder Press:  Start with the medicine ball at your chest.  Step forward into a lunge (making sure your knee does not extend beyond your ankle.)  When down in the lunge position,  press the medicine ball over your head. Lower the ball back to your chest, come up and step forward with the opposite foot.
  4. Figure 8s (basketball dribble):  Taking wide steps and staying low, weave the medicine ball through your legs in a figure 8 as you walk.  It helps to imagine basketball players dribbling through their legs while walking. *medicine ball does not hit the ground.
  5. Bear Crawl:  Get into a crawling position with your legs and arms fully extended (like an upside down V).  Crawl forward being sure to maintain a somewhat straight leg/arm position throughout.  This one should really burn in hamstring/glute tie-in area & your shoulders.
  6. Inch Worm (optional push-up):  Start in a standing toe touch.  Walk your hands forward until you’re in a plank (start of a push-up position).  From there inch your toes up to meet your hands.  Repeat.  If you want a bigger challenge, do a push-up (or 5) at each plank position before walking back up!
  7. Side Shuffle (basketball defensive position):  Hold the medicine ball to your chest and get into your sumo squat position again except turn it sideways this time.  Staying low, shuffle sideways to your finish line.  Come back leading with the opposite leg.

RUN

10 minute run-  Push yourself.  Try starting out with a manageable jog,  building to a sprint at the 5:30 mark and then tapering back down to a manageable jog.  Or try some intervals:  one minute sprint/one minute recovery (jog or fast walk) for 10 minutes.

REPEAT CIRCUIT

RUN

Perform another 10 minute run.  This is the last 10 minutes of your workout!  How far/fast can you go?  How hard can you push?!

Be sure to end with a cool down (a few minutes of walking to let your heart rate come down) and spend some time stretching out or doing some work on the foam roller.

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If you did it right, this is the face you’ll make. 

How’d you do?  Are you sweating?  Cussing?  Feeling awesome?  I’d love to hear your success story, so drop a comment!  Or feel free to cuss me out here via the interwebs.

Stay positive & love your life!

Melissa

Today:

Song:  Tame Impala – Elephant

Food:  Leftovers- Malibu veggie burger, rosemary smashed potatoes, and lima beans

Drinking: H20

Reading:  Latest edition of the Running Times

Random Fact: The first movie I remember watching in theaters is “Big”.  My Mema & Papa took me to see it at the Oaks Mall in Gainesville, FL.