Tagged health

End of October and Weight Loss Competition Results

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Starting weight: 220 on 8/1. Ending weight: 198 on 10/31. 22 pounds in 3 months!

The only bad news is I was not in the top 3 for the competition. I was number 6. Which I am not mad about. I didn’t get any money though which would have been nice. I also didn’t have a ton of weight to lose so I pretty much figured I wouldn’t win, but the possibility showed itself so I decided to try for it anyway. I am going to keep going after this because these are only the beginning of what I would like to accomplish. I am really liking the way my body is shaping up and excited to see what I can accomplish.

I have been working a crazy schedule lately and it is finally starting to slow down after this week. I will have more time during the day to get my workouts in and be able to continue where I want to go. I may lose a few more pounds then work on the bodybuilding idea I had. I haven’t started that because I have 2 jobs now and with Halloween and stuff, I had no time. Thanksgiving and Christmas aren’t super huge in our house so I can finally focus on what I need to do. I also have a burlesque show this week that I was getting ready for. After that show, I will have my mornings open for what I want to get done in the gym again.

I am getting to the point of having to do a new workout program again so I need ideas! Let me know if you have any favorite programs! If you have good bodybuilding programs, that would be awesome too!

Thanks for being with me on this wild and crazy journey!

Angela

*Fit Bitch in Training*

How Exercise Improves Your Sexual Health

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Of all the many benefits that exercise can give you, an improved sex life is my most favorite!

When I started exercising, I started feeling really good about myself. Exercise makes you feel better physically as well as mentally. When you feel better in both of those ways, you tend to be more confident. Confidence helps others feel more attracted to you. When you feel better about yourself, you are more likely to want to jump into bed with your partner. 

Exercise also improves mental health. When you have improved mental health, you are significantly less stressed. When you’re stressed out, you tend to avoid sexual contact, or the sexual contact isn’t as pleasurable. You can’t get turned on when you have a million stressors going on in your brain. Also mental illness medications can cause side effects which can decrease sex drive. 

Exercise increases blood flow, which improves many physiological factors. It can lower erectile dysfunction in men. Older males who are more active are less likely to have erectile dysfunction issues. Exercising can actually improve erectile dysfunction. Improved circulation in women can lead to better and more frequent orgasms. 

Doing yoga and strength conditioning can improve flexibility and stamina. That leads to better sex positions and longer sessions! Yoga has been known to improve the sex life in many ways. It helps the body be able to be more flexible which will mean that you can try a Kama Sutra book out! It also improves your mind and how to listen to your body. By listening to your body, you can get a better idea of what you like and dislike. 

Exercising as you age keeps you more sexually active as you age. Because of all the above factors, you will be more likely to have more sex. Men who start getting more physically active have said that they are having more sex. Exercise increases the libido as you age. I know that when I start working out a lot, I get horny more often. Especially after strength training. I am not sure what it is about it, but I really want to hop into bed afterwards. 

With all this, how would you not want to start being more active? 

Exercise releases endorphins, endorphins make you happy and happy people want to have sex!!

Angela

xoxo

Are Cheat Meals a thing?

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So much eye candy in these pictures….

When I started losing weight, I used to do a cheat meal pretty regularly. I have heard varying opinions about cheat meals. I have always thought they were a myth up until recently. I don’t like to do cheat meals once a week now. I do them about once a month to kind of have that as a celebration of all the work I did that month. Makes me feel more empowered to work harder & longer. If I give myself cheat meals more regularly, I am apt to cave easily. 

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The frequency of your cheat meal is completely up to you. Make sure the cheat meal is just a meal. Don’t turn it into an entire day. I always like to have my cheat meals on days that I did a lot of cardio. You burn more calories doing cardio and you’re more likely to burn off most of the extra calories and fat you consumed. When you’re on a weight loss diet, you should consume fewer calories than your Total Energy Expenditure. Overtime, though, your body will grow used to eating less and then adjust accordingly, which can lead to a plateau. A cheat meal high in calories and carbohydrates can actually assist in revving up your metabolism and regulating the leptin and grehlin hormones. This encourages the body to keep burning calories rather than adjusting to this lower intake.

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Now a cheat meal is something you are doing to reward yourself, but you still need to keep it pretty healthy. The ingredients in your meals should still be fairly healthy. Use healthy fats and less processed food. If you go with packaged foods, go with ones that have the least amount of ingredients on the package. It is recommended that you cook them from scratch so you know exactly what the ingredients are. It has been proven that people who cook their own food from scratch, tend to be healthier, because the food has more natural ingredients. One of the first things I did when I started losing weight, was to look for the healthy versions of my favorite meals. The biggest thing to keep in mind is that you don’t need to derail your weight loss by eating 3000 calories in a meal. Most people think it’s just a free pass to eat the worst food and binge in a meal. You’re only trying to jump start your metabolism, not gain 5 unhealthy pounds in a meal. If you know that a cheat meal could just lead to a cheat day, then take measures to prevent it from doing that. 

The day before as well as the day after a cheat meal, I like to make sure my eating is extremely healthy and clean. I like to make sure I do more cardio and drink a ton of water. I also never do a cheat meal right before my weigh in days. You tend to weigh more the next day due to your body swelling with the additional carbs. This is why you drink more water to counteract the swelling and make it go away faster. 

In the end, cheat meals can be extremely useful when they are done properly. You have to plan them out just like you do your healthy lifestyle. Cheat meals are part of your healthy lifestyle. They are a tool to aid in your weight loss when used properly. I hope this helps!

Here’s a link to my Healthy Recipes Pinterest Board

Angela ❤

 

 

 

Clean Eating 101

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What does it mean to eat “clean”?

Clean eating is essentially eating foods that are not processed. Food processing is any deliberate change in a food that occurs before it’s available for us to eat. The processed foods that I am talking about is really anything that comes in a box or bag with preservatives to keep it edible for a long period of time. These are foods that, when you look at the ingredients list, have ingredients that can’t even be pronounced. Only scientists know what the ingredients actually are. I know that we cannot get away from processed foods altogether, but you can definitely cut them out most of the time. This can be accomplished by just taking the time to make the items you liked that were processed.

I am not saying that I am perfect and don’t eat anything processed. I will say that I eat mostly unprocessed food. The processed food that I do consume has a lot of good ingredients and I trust that I am not consuming a bunch of high fructose corn syrup, sugars, sodium, etc. Our society is a very “on the go” society. We don’t want to take the time to prepare meals. We want everything to be grab and go. I was part of this mindset for a long time. I would just say I was too busy and didn’t care what the ingredients were.

I know that if I eat a ton of bad foods, my MS will let me know really quick. If I eat clean and fresh foods, I feel great. Since I started eating cleaner last month along with exercise, I have slimmed down really fast. My diet has consisted of mostly lean proteins (chicken, lean beef, fish, nuts), fresh or frozen vegetables, and fresh or frozen fruit. I also have been drinking a ton of water. I try to limit myself to water, tea, or black coffee. Every once in awhile I will drink coffee with very little cream. If you want to put cream in your coffee, try to get an almond milk cream or use something unsweetened.

The time factor is what keeps most people from the whole clean eating business. People are busy and have to work, take care of their kids, workout, etc, etc, etc…. Who has time to cook these days?? Well the answer isn’t great, but you have to make the time. You can meal prep for the week and have everything ready and waiting for you to just grab and reheat when you need it. You take one day and make everything up and then it is ready to go for you later. This helps with controlling your eating habits extremely well. If you know you have these healthy foods that you prepared and can just reheat, then you won’t hit that drive-thru or throw a frozen pizza in (well unless you made that frozen pizza yourself). Meal Prepping is an awesome way to control what ingredients are in your food too. You know exactly what you’re consuming because you made it. Some people also use those meal services that advertise fresh ingredients. I know that can help with not having to go to the store and buy everything, which can be time consuming. I can’t really afford that service, but I do hear good things about them.

If you are unsure how to prepare fresh foods, just get on pinterest or google and look it up. When I first started eating fresh foods, I had no idea how to even prepare them. I had to learn what eating clean even meant. I had to learn how to even cut stuff up and how to cook them. I was used to having everything boxed or frozen with the instructions on it. In this day and age we are lucky to have the internet at our fingertips so we can just look up what we need to know. Take advantage of that. Use that knowledge and then make the time to take care of yourself by eating clean fresh foods.

I dreaded eating cleanly because I thought it wouldn’t be good. I will have to choke down these terribly bland meals. I was totally wrong! I have found really delicious AND clean meals. Most of the meals I eat don’t even taste like clean meals. Because of this, my daughters will even eat a lot of what I make. That part is the best part, because I know my kids are eating the things they need to be healthy while they’re still growing.

My motivation for this blog is really is to get the fact that eating a lot of processed foods is like putting a bunch of foreign products into your body. Your body doesn’t know what to do with them so it’s like a gigantic science experiment. I feel like if we as a society get rid of a lot of processed foods, then we wouldn’t have most of the cancers, autoimmune diseases, mental disorders, etc. Diet is a huge factor in all of these. What we put into our bodies affects how it operates. If you put diesel into a car that doesn’t run on diesel, it will not run. Think of your body as a machine. It needs the right fuel. If you don’t put the right fuel in, then don’t be surprised if it doesn’t run properly.

Peace Out!

 

The Reason for my Fitness Journey: Controlling my MS

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When I was 21, I woke up one day with my vision all screwed up. I thought my glasses were bent and I realized quickly that it was my eyes that were messed up. As the day progressed, my vision would slowly go back to normal. I consulted an eye doctor who ran some vision tests and couldn’t find any issues. So they recommended I get an MRI and even blood tests to check for diabetes. Diabetes runs in my family and I was pretty overweight at the time. I had the MRI and blood tests on the same day. I had to fast for the blood tests. The MRI was first and by the time I got to the blood tests, I was super hangry. I am sitting in the chair getting blood drawn at my doctor’s office. In comes the doctor who says to the nurse “Don’t let her leave. We have to talk to her about the MRI test results.” I am like seriously? I am so hungry!! My mother was there with me and I told her that it was probably a brain tumor and they will have to remove it because it was compressing my eyeballs. She wasn’t extremely amused by my humor. After they sucked the life out of me, we were lead to an exam room to wait for hours on the doctor while wasting away to nothing, because I hadn’t eaten yet and it was around 2 pm. The doctor came in and showed us the MRI scans. They told us that he thought that the lesions on the white matter in my brain were active as well as old Multiple Sclerosis lesions. This would be causing my vision to be screwed up. The next step was to admit me into the hospital and run other tests which included a spinal tap and putting me on steroids to control the exacerbation. So at this point my mother is crying and I am just like can we get food before we have to go to the hospital? I literally only wanted food at this point and could care less that I was just given this scary diagnosis. They told us it would take a couple hours for the hospital to be ready for us. As we leave to find sustenance, I looked at my mother who was still crying and told her “Well at least it wasn’t a brain tumor right?” She was still not amused by the morbid humor. I spent a week in the hospital getting tests and prednisone to control my symptoms. I went into a deep depression after that. I did do a ton of research though. I was given injections that made me feel sick every other day with these hideous injection site marks. They were big round and red circles. I still have a bit of a scar on my stomach. I decided that something had to give.

I was tired of feeling like shit all the time.

When I was diagnosed, I was told that some of the lesions were probably from about 4 years before. I read that marijuana high in CBD was really good for controlling MS symptoms. It has been shown to help with managing symptoms like:  improving spasticity, chronic pain of extremities, tremors, emotional dysfunctions, fatigue, double vision, bowel and bladder dysfunctions, dysfunctions of walking and balance and memory loss. It hit me that I had actually just quit smoking it on a daily basis because my job didn’t allow it. I realized that I was actually self medicating the entire time and the minute I stopped, my body freaked out. I actually had to stop taking the injections anyway due to getting pregnant. I decided not to start them again.

In my research, I read that diet and exercise were also huge factors in controlling MS symptoms. Some of the best diets to follow are: Paleo, Mediterranean Diet, Gluten Free Diet, and Swank Diet. Almost all the diets recommend avoiding highly processed food, foods with high glycemic index and food that is high in saturated fat. Most of the diets also recommend reducing consumption of fatty red meat and increasing consumption of fruits and vegetables. They are all based on eating fresh food and nothing that’s boxed.

My work gave us a personal trainer and a nutritionist really cheap to promote health and wellness, because we worked in a call center. We sat down the whole time we worked and the insurance company was offering lower rates if we participated. So I started working on losing weight after I had my first daughter. I lost over 100 pounds even with my work laying us off and I had to continue my weight loss journey without the personal trainer and nutritionist. Jillian Michaels became my new trainer. Doing her videos really helped keep me on track.

I decided to try the Paleo Diet. It really did help me lose weight, but it was really expensive to keep going. I did eventually switch to just eating fresher foods and and lean meats. I have tried many different diets. I have found that low carb diets work better for me. Foods that aren’t processed and low in carbs work really well for my system. Highly processed foods make my body feel really crappy. If I start eating really badly, my body will instantly let me know. Most of the time I get pain in my ribs.

I do not regret getting this diagnosis because it told me that I have to change my ways. If I didn’t take care of my body then it was going to make my life hell. Not too long after my diagnosis, my mother started having health issues as well. She chose not to heed the advice of her doctors. My mother was not going to give up the bad food and drinking only Pepsi all day. My mother’s health continued to decline and I didn’t want that for myself. My mother passed away at 56. I don’t want to be like her. I want to live my healthiest life and live as long as possible.

There is no real cause or cure for MS. There are only ways to control it. Here lately I have met several people who have it. I had not met very many who had it until this year. I am not sure if that means that it is something more and more people are getting diagnosed with or if I just happen to meet more people with it all of a sudden. I am hoping it is the latter. I am lucky that mine isn’t aggressive and I am able to live a very normal life.

If you would like to learn more about MS or think you might have it, just google Multiple Sclerosis and you will find many great resources. If you think you may have it, definitely get with your doctor. Don’t ignore your body if it is trying to give you signs. My huge sign before the eyesight issues was extreme fatigue all the time. I can now tell you if it is raining before looking out the window. Rain has a huge impact on my energy levels.

Do you or anyone you know have MS? What lead to your diagnosis? Comment below and let me know!