Yesterday, we wrapped the last of the six LG Sister Meet Ups across the country! I want to keep the community momentum going with a Fitness Switch Up Schedule + Ebook Sale.
To continue spreading the LG love, I would love to give you ladies a discount on the ebooks so you can incorporate in a plan you’ve never tried or perhaps you can join us in training / eating for the very first time!
It’s so important to me that health and fitness be affordable and accessible! I’ve also kept that at the center of all I do. I don’t want finances to hold you back from becoming your best self, so EVERYTHING is on sale for you to jump in as we take this journey of becoming stronger, healthier, happier and more confident together!
PS – if you haven’t already jumped into the Eat Your Way Lean Meal Plan, now is the perfect time! As a Meal Plan Member, you receive all future installments for free! I’m so excited to introduce the SECOND INSTALLMENT coming this fall!
You can put a big, beautiful check mark next to the Summer Fitcation Challenge! Congratulations! I want to take a second to say how proud of you I am for the incredible commitment you made to a healthier, happier, stronger self all summer long!
To keep the progress going, I put together a schedule to switch things up! It incorporates all the plans I’ve created in a fun, new way!
It’s the perfect way to reuse LG plans you may have already worked through and to shake things up to keep our bodies guessing. The more changes we can create in our training, the more we force our bodies to work and adapt =RESULTS!
Hobbies: Baking, Crafting, & I’d love to travel more!
When and how did you first begin your health and fitness journey?
I went to the gym on & off throughout college but never made it consistent or paid any attention to my nutrition. Once I graduated from college and moved out on my own I had time for myself so I started regularly going to the gym. I followed a plan from Bodybuilding and absolutely loved the way lifting made me feel and realized I was capable of so much more than I was giving myself credit for. My nutrition started improving as I learned more but I still wasn’t all that confident. I competed in a bikini competition about 2 years ago but I still wasn’t comfortable in my own skin. There’s so much comparison and impossible standards in that “world” that I struggled for a while afterwards. I started to focus on really enjoying my workouts and the feelings that came along with it. I got more comfortable trusting my own workouts, taking things my boyfriend had shown me when we would work out together, and constantly researching new things. I’ve been killing it for 2 years now and I can’t even imagine what I did with all my time before I started working out nearly every day! What results have you experienced from a healthier lifestyle?My results have been so much deeper than physical. I was never comfortable with my body and always wished by hips weren’t so wide, my stomach was a little flatter, my arms not so scrawny, and on and on. My focus was always on less cellulite and a flatter lower belly and I made myself miserable stressing about the physical appearances that honestly only I saw so flawed. My self-image is 100 times better because I feel better on the inside. 80% of the time I feed my body food that makes me feel good and therefore makes me enjoy being active. I have truly learned to love myself, the way I am and who I’m becoming inside and out! What’s a healthy go-to restaurant order of yours?Honestly, if I spend the money to go out to eat it’s usually for a treat meal! But if I’m trying to stay on track I really just try to remember the meal plan guidelines & portions. I’d opt for lean steak or salmon as I don’t normally have these at home and keep conscious of the sides and oils, butter, etc that they use to cook with. A current favorite is the Prime Rib Fresh Mex Bowl from Chilis…probably not the best but it’s delicious! Do you have any tips for those days when you don’t feel like working out?There are days that my alarm goes off and I want so badly to turn over and go back to sleep but I remind myself how much more energy I have to get the day started. My attitude is much more positive and I feel so accomplished once it’s done. Focus on how you feel when you DO workout but never beat yourself up over not feeling it or giving your body needed rest. How has the LG Community played a role in your journey?I came across one of Lauren’s posts on Pinterest and wandered to her website. I was a little skeptical as I’m not much of a joiner so I started off with the Meal Plan. I also completed one or two challenges without much involvement and really enjoyed how I felt and the progress I saw. I decided to jump into LGSummerFitcation with a new mindset and offered encouragement and support to girls I didn’t know! It’s a strange feeling to be “connected” to people you’ve never met and that are so far away but the results are amazing! So many girls reached out and offered the same encouragement and support, I was honestly overwhelmed. This community has really pushed me to see the positive and push past limits I set for myself. I’ve only just begun & I can’t wait to see what friendships develop and hopefully get to meet LGSisters in person! Do you have any advice for a fellow LG Sister looking to make a healthier change?Everyone starts somewhere! I had to explore what worked for me and what I was comfortable with so don’t be afraid to try new things and fail at some of them. You don’t have to like or enjoy everything and you don’t have to make yourself miserable. Having a healthy lifestyle is about so much more than the physical changes so don’t stress about that, just have fun doing whatever it is that makes you happy! Small steps in the right direction are better than large steps in the wrong direction.
Favorite Quote: God is within her, she will not fail
Favorite Travel Spot: Seems so lame but I haven’t been too many places! I’d really love to just visit NYC, Washington DC, State Capitol in Austin, TX & probably a cruise for a future honeymoon!
Favorite Book: I’m not much of a reader lately but I’d love suggestions ☺
Favorite Movie: P.S. I Love You
Favorite Weekend Activity: Working out with my boyfriend & being lazy
There’s nothing like a push up to leave you feeling completely bad ass #LGBadAssBabes <- I’m kind of liking that lol. Movements like push ups and pull ups are a great way to test our strength simply with our body weight as resistance. Still, they aren’t easy. In fact, if you can’t complete a single pull up or push up, you’re in the majority.
I’m here, however, to change that! I want you to feel and know all that you’re capable of, so I’ve put together a little “Up Your Push Up Game Plan” Let’s get started.
(1) TEST YOUR PR
Before we can improve, we’ve got to find our starting point. Test your Push Up PR by seeing how many push ups you can complete to failure, how many push ups you can complete in 30, 45, 60 seconds, or any other way you’d like to assess. Personally, I like to know how many push ups I can complete until failure, but just be prepared to be sore the days following! If you haven’t yet tested your push up PR, allow for at least 3-4 days to recover before jumping into this game plan.
(2) IMPROVE YOUR UPPER BODY STRENGTH
Lifting weights to improve our upper body strength will help us improve our push up game. The muscles primarily involved in a push up include the pectoral/chest muscles, the deltoid/shoulder muscles, the triceps/back of arm muscles and, of course, the core. By including exercises in our weight training regimen that include those muscles, we will be strengthening to improve our push up performance.
NOTE: your LG workouts already include plenty of upper body strength training. Also, it’s important to train the back just as often as the chest to keep from inducing strength imbalances and for posture alignment. Don’t worry… your LG Weight Training Plans have you covered there too!
(3) WORK THE MOVEMENT | MUSCLE MEMORY
Most importantly, if we want to improve at a specific movement, we must work the movement. It’s kind of like riding a bike. The only way to learn to ride a bike and improve is what?! To ride the bike! Push ups are pretty similar. Muscle memory refers to using repetition to form a procedural memory that can be stored in the brain. Just like with riding a bike! To improve our push up game, we will have to practice those push ups and push up variations.
(4) IMPROVE YOUR FORM
Proper Push Up Form Reminders
start with your hands slightly wider than shoulder width apart; if you’re on a yoga mat, your hands should be on either sides of the mat
bring your shoulders directly over your hands
ensure your fingers are pointing forward and slightly out to either side
keep a straight line from your head to your ankles; this straight line should be maintained throughout the movement
squeeeeeeeze those glutes
to engage to core think of pulling your belly button back to your spine
(5) PRACTICE FOR IMPROVEMENT
I’ve put together a series of 4 movements to include in your Push Up Game Plan. Complete each of the first 3 exercises for 8-10 reps (beginner to intermediate) or 30 seconds each (intermediate to advanced) before moving onto the next exercise. When you get to the traditional push ups, go for as many reps as you can. You can complete this for multiple rounds OR add this into an upper body workout.
Incline push ups are a great place to start. Preforming push ups on an incline makes the movement slightly easier, which is beneficial for beginners. You can even do these on a staircase! As you progress, work down the stairs for a greater challenge.
Push ups off the knees are a modification of a traditional push up that will make the movement a little less challenging while working the motion for that muscle memory.
A chest press will improve our push up performance by strengthening the muscles making the push up motion possible.
All of these exercises will lead up to an improved push up. Try your hardest here to complete as many as possible whether it’s an attempt at one rep or a ridiculously challenging amount!
The Monday Mindset Motivation series is a weekly read to get our week started off right through opening up and strengthening our minds. There are many things that will happen this week that are out of our control, but the one thing we always have control over is: our thoughts. When we focus on improving what’s going on inside of us, everything on the outside will fall into place. Today’s mindset motivation was inspired by the ever-so-popular hashtag #DoYouBooBoo
I seem to always give my friends the advice of “just do you” and I’m constantly promoting “do what makes you happy.” But… does anyone else seem to think it’s hard to “do you” in a world that’s telling you how to do life?!
Doing you isn’t always as simple as it seems. I mean, so many of us are still figuring out who we are, making “doing you” even more of a challenge. If I don’t know who I am, how am I supposed to do me?! Personally, I don’t ever think we figure out ourselves completely because we are constantly evolving.
I’ve gotten to a place where I feel really good “doing me” and it mostly came to be by going through a lot of times not feeling comfortable being me. Just because you’re not comfortable with who you are right now or confident in your own skin doesn’t mean that one day you won’t be. Like I said, every day, I feel more confident with who I am and “doing me,” but there are days and moments when I’m not always ask comfortable with that. This mindset motivation is a little bit of how I create the confidence in myself to go “do me.” I hope it helps lead you to leave with the mindset of “I’m confident and comfortable doing ME.”
Let’s start with… E X P E C T A T I O N S
Let them go! To sum it up… this is what I personally found makes us the most miserable: reality not meeting expectations. We set expectations for ourselves. Our parents, teachers, bosses, and friends set expectations for us. The world sets expectations for our lives. We hold an image in our minds of how our lives are supposed to be. When our reality matches that picture, we are happy. When our lives don’t pan out like the picture depicts, we feel sad.
Think about this…
What are you “supposed” to do after high school? I was taught you go to college. They say you have to go to college in order to become educated and get a good job.
Is that the expectation you were taught too??
nFirst off, there are a laundry list of people who prove this wrong. Secondly, now I ask the question, what defines a good job?! Is it the salary? I’ve had jobs where I earned a comfortable amount of money and I’ve had jobs where I didn’t earn a lot of money. Money makes some things easier but it doesn’t make you happier.
Hmmm.. is it prestige that makes a job a good job? Am I supposed to work my entire life to see “manager” in black ink on my business card? To, maybe, have a secretary or an assistant answer my phone calls or manage my calendar? Does that define having a good job??
I know a few of those “good” job holders who talk about what their real dream job is. So clearly, that definition doesn’t include fulfillment.
Remember when I lived life according to expectations…
I loved health and the sciences. I wanted to help people. The world’s expectations told me I needed a formal education followed by a 9-5 type of job. I could be a doctor, nurse, dentist, pharmacist. I tried those career paths. I even got into dental school. I was following that expectation blueprint. My family, friends and professors all congratulated me on my success, but I was not at all happy or excited about it.
Deciding not to go to dental school was the first time in my life where I really ever made a decision for myself that broke the norms of society and all the expectations both others and I set for myself.
Your expectation struggles may not be what your college major is or the type of job your supposed to get. How about when you’re supposed to get married. Or, what type of mom you’re supposed to be. How you should act in situations. What you should wear or look like. Expectations are very real in our lives. They tend to shape everything we do on a daily basis as we live in accordance with those expectations.
Do you catch yourselfcomparing the reality of your life to the picture of how things should be in your head? Are you willing to let those expectations go?
When we let go of expectations, we are left to play by our own rules. This is exciting and scary all at the same time.
I remember when I was first got to college. I had this expectation in my head that, to be cool, I had to party on the weekends, drink in excess, stay up late, sleep in and all that. Most of you know how that went for me… I hated it. I didn’t like feeling icky in the morning. I felt like I was trying too hard. It was like that picture in my mind of how college was supposed to look was the only reason I was doing what I was doing.
When I let go of that, I was left with making my own rules. What do I do on the weekends now? I’m not going to lie… I spent a lot of weekends in by myself. Sometimes I enjoyed it. Sometimes I didn’t.
Side note… this is the time where I began blogging. Talk about destiny, huh?! I created the LG Community with this exact thought in mind… when it was Friday night and I was in my dorm, I could have only dreamed to have a community like this to turn to.
It fits so perfectly with today’s mindset motivation because often, it’s the mind that keeps us in those expectations.
DON’T LET YOUR MIND RUN THE SHOW!
You know how crazy people talk about hearing voices in their head?!
Well, my head is constantly chatting to me. I know I’m crazy, but I hope it’s just LG craziness lol. Anyway… I’ve had to learn to stop letting the thoughts in my head distract me.
Do you know what voices I’m talking about? Gosh, I really hope I’m not digging myself into a crazy hole here hehe. The voices often sound like this….
Susie: see’s an article on Facebook of Girl lives 6-Figure NYC corporate job to scoop ice cream in Aruba and thinks “wouldn’t it be nice to break out of these corporate cubes and get away from this job I don’t even enjoy and do something I love. I’ve always love crafting. I wonder how I could make a career out of it?”
Voice in Susie’s Head: “You’re fooling yourself. You couldn’t do that. How would you pay your bills? You just bought that new car.”
That darn little voice keeps you locked into those expectations.
Like I said in that Instagram post, Anthony and I were watching a program where they said when we start feeling those negative emotions like confusion, overwhelm, stress, anger, etc., it’s an indication we are too much in our own minds, which is a focus on ourselves. The solution to that is to get out of your own way. Go do something with a focus outside of yourself.
THINK LESS. LIFE MORE. It’s the only way you’ll feel comfortable doing you.
Doing you is like taking baby steps. We all have to start with those little steps that seem meaningless, but before we know it, we’ve conquered something great.
I want you to think right now… what’s one little thing you could do today that would align with your soul’s desires?
Is there a park you’ve been wanting to stroll through?
How about a friend or family member you’ve been wanting to forgive?
A funky dress you’ve been dying to buy?
A blog you’ve been dreaming of starting?
…can you do it today? Or take a baby step in that direction??
If you do, congratulations, you’re on your way to confidently and comfortable doing you. If you keep this baby step up system up just think where you could be. One baby step over the course of 3-4 months in nearly 100 steps in the direction of doing you on your own terms.
Doesn’t seem so scary, does it?!
Take this mindset with you today as you make decisions. With every choice you make, celebrate in your head “I am confident and comfortable doing me.”
It’s the eighth and final week of the Summer Fitcation Challenge! All summer long you’ve been sweating, squatting, and seeing what you’re capable of in and out of the gym! I hope by now you feel stronger, healthier, happier and more confident than ever before. I am so proud of you and all you’ve put into this summer challenge. Let’s finish off strong!
PS – you know when a plan is “over,” it’s never really over. I’ll have something awesome for you starting the week right after this!
Here’s what you need to know…
(1) Your daily workout is found in the brand new Weight Training Plans (see here)
(2) The schedule below will be posted at the start of each week and is to help you plan out the week ahead
(3) The #LGSummerFitcation daily photo challenge is fun way for us to practice making these healthy mind and body habits a lasting lifestyle; the summer is about enjoying and these photo challenges will remind us to do just that
You can check in here for that daily photo upload #LGAccountability #LGSummerFitcation
(4) Swing by here each AM for your daily dose of motivation, juicy knowledge nuggets, training tips, yummy eats, vlogs, lifestyle posts, community member spotlights and more!
Phase 2 Schedule:
[ ] Optional Workout B: Low Intensity, Steady State Cardio
Can we hear about your weekend? Give us a weekend recap! It’s a wonderful practice to pick out the highlights of your weekend to stir up those feelings of gratitude. Share your weekend recap with the community!
Let’s put our inspiration in black and white today. Write an inspirational quote down somewhere you’ll see it often… on your planner, on a post-it, etc. Share your handwritten inspiration with the community!
[ ] Workout B: Chest + Back + HIIT
[ ] #LGSummerFitcation Photo Challenge: “Push Up Challenge”
Want to improve your push up game?! I’ve got a challenge for you today! Swing by the site to see what it is. I hope you’ll take me up on it and post a picture of you getting your push up on! Any push up tips you have that you can share with the community?
As a way to celebrate your amazing self and everything that you are, share a photo of yourself with something you recognize as amazing within yourself. Showing ourselves that self-love isn’t always easy, especially sharing it with others. As LG Sisters, we see the very best in each other! Hopefully that has helped give you the confidence to show your amazing self that love!
These past 8 weeks have been incredible and I cannot help but recognize how much this LG Community has played a role in that. This community is there to support you, celebrate you, motivate you, challenge you, and most importantly, have fun with you. As a thank you to all the wonderful women in this community, share a thought to let them know just how much they mean to you! Let the LG love flow!
Let’s go for a Summer Fitcation Progress Pic… it can be a standard side by side body progress picture, showcasing all the physical hard work you’ve put in or a side by side smile selfie, sharing how you have improved within your body and mind! Can’t wait to see your progress inside and out!
Say hello to the new LG Weight Training Plans! Offering both home and gym workout versions, these plans bring the very best. You girls truly deserve the most effective and educational weight training plan. What’s inside…Weight Training Manual: 30+ pages of background information, teaching you everything from how to activate different types of muscle fibers to the most effective cardio choices, rep ranges best suited for women and hypertrophy (muscle building) and much more! The more you know, the more muscle you can grow hehe.Weight Training Program: perhaps the best, most effective training split and workout to build muscle, reduce body fat and sculpt to reveal your fit and lean body. These weight training workouts WORK! You’re body, booty, and best self will prove it! Plan contains 8 weeks worth of workouts + an optional 4 week beginner phase. Both plans follow the same schedule, so YOU choose to workout at home, in the gym or both!
Name: Sarah Wellner Instagram Handle: @swellyfit Age: 34 Location: Near Milwaukee, WI Occupation: Practice Manager for Orthodontist Hobbies: Reading, yoga, running Meet Sarah:When and how did you first begin your health and fitness journey?
I have always suffered from stomach issues from the time I was in high school. Years of tests and procedures led to a diagnosis of Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Gastroesophageal Relfux Disease. I would constantly be bloated, sometimes in such severe pain that no matter the situation, I would either have to unbutton my pants or just go home to get out of any tight-fitting clothes. Sometimes my belly looked like I was pregnant. I tried medication after medication trying get the issue under control. I even had my gallbladder removed. Finally, a doctor suggested that maybe stress was playing a role in my medical issues. It turned out that I was actually suffering from anxiety, something that at the time, I associated with depression and hadn’t recognized it.
Once I was put on medication, my symptoms became much more manageable. I was still living off of Gas-X, but life was good. I tried going off a couple of times, thinking it was under control, but ended up going back to the doctor every time. In the fall of 2009, I had started a new med and was having some annoying side effects. That’s when I decided that I needed to find an alternative way to treat my anxiety.
The doctor had told me for years that exercise can be an excellent tool for managing anxiety. I decided to take a beginners yoga class and I fell in love. And there started my interest of working out. I started a routine of yoga and running and saw immediate results in my levels of anxiety. I was amazed at what exercise could do! I felt like a entirely new person!
In 2012 I had a baby and was able to continue treating my anxiety through physical activity, up until the spring of 2015. I noticed increased anxiety and experienced the onset of panic attacks a handful of times and knew that I needed a little more help managing it. I started seeing a therapist and started medication and continue with my yoga, running and started participating in the LG challenges.
Lauren taught me about a part of working out that I never experienced and I have learned how strong I can be inside and out. I want everyone to know that physical activity can play a huge role in treating anxiety, depression or any mental illness! But also know that you are not a failure if you seek out medical assistance. At this time in my crazy life with a four year old and a full time job, I need a little more help, and I’m okay with that. 🙂
What’s been the greatest result from this lifestyle change?
Obviously my mental health has been greatly affected by daily physical activity. This is a lifetime commitment. And my arms! Didn’t know I could look so strong!
If you only had 15 minutes to workout, what would you do?
I am not a fan of HIIT, but you can really make an impact in a short amount of time. Even one round of 30 x 30. But if I wanted to like what I was doing for that 15 minutes… Biceps and triceps 😉
What is a healthy eating tip that works for you as well as not-so-healthy eaters you may have in your family?
80/20 rule. I don’t deprive myself. I also try to view that 80% of nutritious food as fuel. It helps to remind me that even though those hard shells smell so good while my husband is eating tacos, I can still get the Mexican feel with a taco salad. I also know me. I can’t just have one of anything. So I try to stay strong and avoid the naughty treats most of the time.
How has the LG Community played a role in your journey?
My one year LG anniversary is coming up at the end of this month!
Do you have any advice for a fellow LG Sister looking to make a healthier change?
Take advantage of this amazing support group Lauren has created! I wouldn’t be where I am if I didn’t have the other LG sisters sharing their journeys with me and reminding me that we aren’t perfect and we shouldn’t set out to be. Everyone has challenged in life and we are all here to help each other through them.
FAVS: Favorite Quote: Whatever is good for the soul… Do that. Favorite Travel Spot: I haven’t been there yet! Favorite Book: This is embarrassing: the Shopaholic Series and anything by Sophie Kinsella. Favorite Movie: Home Alone Show: Friends Favorite Weekend Activity: coffee and snuggles with my little while he watches cartoons Favorite Healthy Food: right now, carrots and PB. There is nothing better than a good chopped salad. Favorite Treat: Taco Dip
I’m always intrigued by how people organize their schedules and manage their time. Time is the one thing we can’t buy, reverse or get more of. It’s so precious, yet so many people (include me at times) don’t value it enough. Today, I wanted to share my daily schedule. As an OCD/organizational fanatic, I somehow find it fun to structure my day and tweak the structure with time so that I feel most peaceful and productive <- a weird combination, I know, but it’s always my goal.
Productive: as a goal-getter, I love the feeling of accomplishment whether it’s as simple as checking off “take out the garbage” on my to-do list or achieving a goal years in the making. I always want to feel like I’m spending my time in accordance with my purpose and living intentionally, which is why I strive to be productive with my time
Peaceful: if I don’t feel peace of mind and peace within my soul, nothing else matters. I lived stressed out and on edge for far too long to know it’s just not worth it! Sure some stress is inevitable, but I’ve learned much of it can be controlled by how we spend our time and by planning ahead.
When I took a little bit of time to structure my days, I began experiencing more peace and, surprisingly, more productivity than ever before! I’m excited to share how I spend most of my days but also 6 things that I do nearly every day that set me up for success and help me stay healthy and happy!
6:45 AM | WAKE UP
There’s not much to this other than being grateful I woke up to another day hehe
645 – 8 AM | MORNING ROUTINE
I’ve talked a lot about my morning routine and morning routines in general. There’s so much to this that I could do an entire additional post on my morning routine – if that’s something you want to see. Mornings are mighty important! Our first waking hour sets the tone for the entire day. I’m crazy about my morning routine! Like, nuts! I won’t miss it! If I have to be somewhere super early, I’ll wake up even earlier just to complete my AM routine… it’s the one thing that brings more peace and productivity to my day than anything else I do all day long.
My morning routine, in short (because I could go on and on about this) includes a super short meditation… sometimes I turn to my guided meditation app but most mornings it’s just a few minutes of silence before I even get out of bed. It’s my way of not grabbing my phone, jumping on social media, or reading emails/texts first thing in the morning. I then spend make myself breakfast… typically a protein smoothie and sip on it while I read. I then go through Instagram check ins, connect with the community and finalize my to-do list as I sip my pre-workout in a champagne glass (try it… it’s pretty stinkin’ fun) and get pumped up to workout.
*Meal Note: this meal takes me all of 5 minute to make. It’s why I almost always opt for protein smoothies for breakfast. I’ll even put all the pre-measured dry ingredients in mason jar and make 5 at a time for the week.
8 AM | WORKOUT
I workout at my home gym, which is right in my garage. Within this hour, I spend 15 minutes stretching during a warm up and cool down and 45 minutes weight training. I love beginning my day this way! The sweat session stirs up so many good feelings and taking time for yourself is a smart way to start the day!
9 / 9:30 AM – 12 PM | AM WORK SESSION
After a quick shower, I head upstairs which is where my home office is located. The first thing I begin with is emails then onto my daily tasks, which always vary!
12 – 1 PM | LUNCH + FOOD PHOTOS
My lunch is almost always a reheatable meal, except for days when I’m creating new recipes. This hour lunch block is when I eat and when I come up with new yummies and photograph them. Surprisingly, I spend more time on the food photography than I do the actual preparation or consuming of the meal lol.
*Meal Note: reheating my meal takes all of 2 minutes, which is all my brain can handle at this time lol
1 – 2 PM | COURSES
The first thing coming to you in 2017 is something I’ve already been preparing for for months. To expand the ways I can bring the very best to you, I’m always looking for ways to expand my knowledge. This is BIG! Can’t wait to share more!
2 – 2:30 | SIESTA
My siesta as I like to call it is a nonnegotiable. I need some time in the middle of my day to reset. In an ideal world, I would siesta by taking a leisurely stroll outside and maybe do some yoga poses. In reality, it’s just a time where I plop down somewhere, put away my phone and chill. So many studies have shown that our brain and bodies need breaks and that we are more productive with regular breaks and short bursts of work.
A siesta is something that you can make your own. Maybe it’s only a 12 minute trip to the bathroom in your office building where you really just siesta (I’m giggling thinking of so many LG Sisters escaping to their office bathroom to siesta today lol). Perhaps, it’s the time when your kids are napping. When I worked in retail, my 30 min lunch break was a siesta… I would sit outside by myself to allow myself to center and reenter the world with my best foot forward.
2:30 – 6 PM | PM WORK SESSION
Back to work I go. This is the time I go missing on Snapchat because how many times can I take a picture of my computer screen and desk?! hehe
6 – 7:30 PM | DINNER
Anthony and I make dinner together every night. It’s kind of our bonding time and I find it incredibly cathartic especially after work. We like to eat fresh dinners every night, so we don’t meal prep our dinner meal. I do, however, make a double serving of whatever we are having for dinner to serve as lunch the following day!
Growing up, my mom always made a point to have our whole family sit down for dinner… a habit I hope to carry on with my family. Anthony and I do that together almost every evening. It keeps us close and connected (maybe too much after a day of working together haha). If it’s a night like tonight and I’m glued to the Olympics, we will eat on the couch, which somehow still feels just as awesome as it did when I was 10 and my mom let my sister and I have a meal on the family room floor.
7:30 – 8:30 | HUSBAND XO
After dinner, Anthony and I have our own little routine, which includes: a walk or drive to watch the sun set and vegging on the couch to watch our favorite shows. If you follow me on Snapchat you know I’ve got him hooked on Law and Order SVU and the Bachelor.
8:30 – 9:30 | WORK FOLLOW UP
I try not to follow up with work late in the evening, but most nights, I do. Finishing up tomorrow’s blog post and social media normally hook me here!
9:30 – 10:30 PM | FREE TIME
11:15 – 11:30 PM | PICK UP
When you work from home, one of the greatest challenges is not to do home/personal tasks while you should be focusing on work. A few minutes picking up before bed makes for a more productive work space the following day. I clean up the mess Anthony and I somehow always seem to make and I get everything set out for the following day… workout outfit, daily outfit, bags if I have work out of the house, accessories if I’m shooting workout pics/videos, etc.
11:30-12 PM | EVENING ROUTINE + BED
And there’s an entire evening routine too haha. Random note… I’ve stopped watching TV in my bed before falling to sleep and now, I get in bed and I’m out!
INCLUDED IN MY SCHEDULE FOR SUCCESS, HEALTHY + HAPPINESS
(1) DO SOMETHING FOR YOURSELF BEFORE YOU GIVE
Starting the day by doing something for yourself leads to being able to give even more throughout the day! I always love the example of that the more full you are, the more you have to spill over to others. When you’re running on empty because you haven’t taken care of yourself, what good are you to your family, your job or those around you?! This is why I love my AM routine and working out first thing.
(2) AM/PM ROUTINE
It’s not that my AM and PM routines are the best, it’s just that having a way to begin and end the day with intention makes all the difference. This kind of speaks to the point above!
(3) SIESTA = HAPPINESS
As I mentioned, my siesta is seriously the highlight of my day. I heard Bill Gates talk about some really awesome thoughts about the benefits of unplugging: unplugging not just from technology but almost from life. Even if for just a few minutes, my siesta is a time to step away from me day so that when I come back, I can be my best self!
(4) PRIORITIZE PEOPLE
Never get so busy making a living that you forget to make a life. I LOVE what I do and that can sometimes be a problem because I literally work every day of the week and I enjoy it. Only recently did I start implementing this schedule to better prioritize the people in my life. My schedule proudly includes designated time for my husband and I, Sunday evenings are official “family dinner” nights with my entire family, and my to-do list always has space for phone dates with my family and friends near and far.
(6) TO-DO LISTS
Part of my AM + PM routine includes making a to-do list. Every evening, I start a to-do list for the following day. Why is it that the second you lay your head down at night, all the thoughts of what you have to do tomorrow flash into your mind?! I keep my notepad on my night stand and I simply start my to-do list right before bed. The following day, I add to it and it forms the framework for my day. I get so much more done in less time when I make to-do lists!
Quick and effective aren’t typically two words we would put together in a fitness sentence, but with the description of this ab workout, we will! You know I’m a science nerd, so in this post, I want to share the why behind this approach because I believe when we understand why something works we are so much more likely to give it a try and stick with it. Also, fitness is about training smarter not harder. If we can achieve results in less time, it’s worth a try!
About the Workout:
This ab workout focuses on one main thing… the time under tension also known as TUT. Time under tension refers to the length of time a muscle is under strain during a set. Let’s create an example…
Set #1: you complete 10 crunches and each crunch takes you 2 seconds to complete… TUT = 20 seconds.
Set #2: you slow down the exercise by counting 1 second as you crunch you body in and counting 3 seconds as you extend your body out of the crunch for a total of 4 seconds to complete 1 rep. You complete 10 total reps at 4 seconds each rep… TUT = 40 seconds.
Comparing these two examples, while we completed the exact same number of reps, in set #2, we spent 2x as much time under tension.
Why it’s Effective:
Personally, I believe a lot of methods are effective. I believe methods are most effective when they are cycled. Unfortunately, we don’t always learn new methods or even if we do, we forget to apply them. Luckily for you, that’s why I’m here! I’ll help remind you (or bug you hehe) to try all sorts of new approaches.
Most of us think of core training as quick bursts of energy within ab exercises. You fly fast from side to side in a bicycle crunch or contract quickly in a sit up. Instead, the effectiveness of this approach comes from spending a significant amount of time under tension without rest.
Studies (like this one) have showed the effectiveness of muscle time under tension. Get how cool this is… in their experiment, they had participants train each of their two legs in two different styles. On one leg, participants completed reps of 12 secons per reps of leg extensions and on the other leg, those same participants completed the same number of reps but took only 2 seconds per rep. Protein synthesis on the cellular level can be measured as an indication of muscle growth. Researches took measurements of protein synthesis in these participants after training and found that on the leg that spent more time under tension, protein synthesis rates elevated sooner than and to a higher degree as compared to the leg that completed reps of 2 seconds. How awesome!
Clearly, the amount of time under tension during exercises makes a difference, especially in muscle hypertrophy aka how we see what we call “results.”
We will cycle through 4 abdominal exercise. The exercises themselves aren’t as important as the overall approach. In these 4 exercises you will keep your hands behind your neck/head as a support! Keep from pulling on your neck. As we complete 30 seconds of each exercise (as the standard workout… there are modifications below), the key is to move from one movement right into the next without stopping. As you transition, do not allow your ab muscles to relax and do not rest your neck and head on the ground throughout the entire workout.
I want to stress again… the time under tension approach comes from you not allowing your ab muscles to relax and you not allowing your head and neck to rest on the ground! It will only take you 2 minutes to complete this.. push through! It’s worth it!
My Tip – use your music as your guide. Pick your favorite song, fast forward until the screen shows a total of 2 minutes remaining in the song, hit play and GO with these exercises until the song stops. Just guess when 30 seconds has passed to move onto the next exercise. If you finish all 4 before your song stops, just keep going! Only stop when your song stops.
Beginner + Advanced Modifications:
Standard – 30 seconds each exercise, 2 minutes total
Beginner – 15 seconds each exercise, 1 minute toal
There are a million and two types of healthy eating approaches as I’m sure you’ve noticed by now.
When it comes to me, my nutrition approach and what you can count on your LG recipes to provide… it’s your favorite, delicious foods made lighter and healthier.
Chicken Parm has always been one of my favorite things to order out. The Wisconsin in me loves that pound of cheese they slap on top lol. There’s something about chicken parmesean in any form that is so satisfying!
Today’s Grab + Go Chicken Parmesean Sandwich is a healthier alternative to those dishes that you can eat on the fly! Enjoy!
I N G R E D I E N T S
1 cup shredded rotisserie chicken
¼ cup pasta sauce2 tablespoons shredded Monterey Jack 1 tablespoon fresh basil, roughly chopped2 Ezekiel tortillas, or other gluten-free tortillas (I like Udi’s brand) 1 tablespoon olive oil
I N S T R U C T I O N S
Mix together the chicken and sauce. Either microwave it for 1 minute, or place in a small saucepan and warm though on low heat.
Heat the tortillas in a large skillet over medium-low heat, for 30 seconds a side. Quickly divide chicken mixture between the tortillas. Then, divide the cheese between the tortillas. Quickly wrap them up like burritos. Heat olive oil in a medium frying pan over medium heat. To test the oil to see if it’s hot enough, drop a tiny piece of tortilla into it. If it sizzles immediately, the oil is hot. Place the sandwiches seam side down in the pan. Brown the sandwiches on both sides, and slice in half with a serrated knife.
Recipe makes 2 servings
During the Summer Fitcation Challenge, I highly suggest you combine the Weight Training Plans with the Eat Your Way Lean Meal Plan!