Fitness Progression & Strawberry Almond Smoothie Recipe

The last 6 weeks I have been using the Tammie Hembrow Program and let me tell you it is tough.  I was so unbelievably sore the first week.  I stuck to it and slowly started adding more weight each week as I got stronger.

Tammie’s program is a 3 day a week for 8-weeks program focusing on your bum.  This may sound silly but this area is very important to me and I feel it is often neglected in most workout programs.  The reason why I am pursuing it is for several reasons.  First, I want to work out every part of my body equally.  I don’t just want a strong back and then weak legs, that doesn’t make sense to me.  Second, as you age your glute muscles get weaker and your bum flattens out so naturally I want to avoid that.  Third, I have sciatica and it stems from my piriformis muscle which is basically in your glute.  For whatever, reason whether it be stress, improperly lifting something or lack of exercise my piriformis will squeeze my sciatic nerve and cause pain and weakness in my right glute and leg.  The best way I have found to deal with this is consistently working out and de-stressing which I combat through daily meditation and of course my sewing hobby.  Fourth, workout programs have an ending, a goal, something to work towards.  I like that, I thrive on that.

In this program, you do need to use a gym.  I don’t have all the exact equipment in my gym but I make due.  This program focuses on the smith machine, leg press, arm pull down machine, barbell and free weights.

I also decided to use her arms and abs YouTube video 2 days a week.  That exercise probably lasts about 30 minutes.  It’s pretty simple but it burns. I do find myself plateauing a bit so I will be upping my weights pretty soon.

I’m just about done with week 7 and after this program I will be taking a vacation so when I get back I will start up a new program or repeat this one.  We shall see.

In the meantime, I’ve been pushing clean eating although it can be tough.  The days where I don’t follow it well I find that I am sorry not too shortly after eating as the bloating, nausea and headaches kick.  I’m still associating the “bad” foods with pleasure but soon enough I’ll have to condition myself to make more and more better choices.  I’m not aiming to do this perfectly but I am aiming to do it in the best way possible to fit my lifestyle.  It will always be a work in progress. 🙂 I am loving my morning routine of making a Strawberry Almond Smoothie.  I’ve changed this up to cater to my tastes.  It is very filling at about 200 calories and slightly sweet. (My recipe below.)

Finally, I’m also trying to eat more because the more you lift the more calories you need to turn into muscle.  In order to do this, cardio is no longer a part of my work out because it burns off too many calories.  However, I do take enough steps in the day to keep my cardiovascular system healthy.  Right now, the best way for me to do this is to add a protein shake to my daily calorie intake.  I’m only doing half a serving at the moment but soon enough I will need a full 310 calorie serving.  In time… 😉

Strawberry Almond Smoothie Recipe

1 cup almond milk

1 frozen banana

5 frozen strawberries

2 tablespoons flax seed

Blend!

BBG – Take 2

 

What do you think about this workout outfit?  I love exercise clothes… maybe it’s the compression that holds everything in nicely or maybe it’s the everyday ease or maybe I like that they push me to workout.  Who knows?!  This is my exercise sewing dream outfit not necessarily in the cat print although I love the kitties – now just for getting it done. 🙂

Top left: Colette Patterns – Astoria pullover, Right: Colette Patterns – Aries Fitted Athletic Tights, Bottom left: Asics Gel Fit Tempo 2 MT – Love love love these shoes!

Anyway, it has taken me a couple years to really workout regularly.  I started with P90X and did that for about a month and a half then I did 10 minute daily workouts using YouTube videos then back to P90X but the 30 minute version then back to 10 minute videos.  As time went by I hired a personal trainer for 3 months.  That was great!  I loved it and thought I could learn how to work out properly then workout on my own.  Once those three months ended I found BBG – Bikini Body Guide.  I skipped the 4 week pre-training because I had been working out regularly and was in the best shape of my life.  I was about three weeks in when I pulled an intercostal muscle.  I had no choice but to take a break for a few weeks and let it heal.  As much as I wanted and sometimes even tried to start working out again I couldn’t without aggravating it so I stopped working out but I didn’t stop eating right.

Instead, I started to pay more attention to what I eat and dabble into different diets like paleo, vegan, vegetarian or no sugar.  I never dove in completely to any but I would try them for about a week.  It was always tough especially since so many of the foods I love involve meat or seafood or sugar.  I realized that I didn’t want to give everything up and I didn’t want it to be noticeable that I have a certain diet so the best route for me was moderation.  Cut down on sugar, cut down on meat, cut down on fast food and drink more water but don’t deny a good meal when it is offered.

Back to BBG, my muscle finally healed up.  It took longer than expected but then the holidays came and my schedule was a bit crazy.  I wasn’t able to work out and a part of me was discouraged.  My husband who is also my workout partner (even though we don’t follow the same workouts) fell off the wagon with me when I pulled my muscle.  We do almost everything together so even though I encouraged him to work out it just didn’t feel the same.  Soon enough my husband started to realize I was in a funk and kept asking me about working out.  I wasn’t into it but finally he was very direct with me and told me I was not being myself and that I am usually so on top of everything and I need to snap out of it.  He was right.  I wasn’t myself.  I’m a list-maker, I read every day whether it be books or articles, I work out at least 3 times a week, I’m always running errands on my lunch break and making dinner at home and preparing lunch the night before, I even have time for my sewing and working on my business.  I wasn’t doing all of those things and I really needed to be doing those things to get out of my rut.  The next day, I went to work and I wrote my very first list in some time.  I was going to work out.  I was going to start the BBG – this time from pre-training.  So I did it.

I’m on week 1 of BBG after 4 weeks of pre-training and it is kicking my butt.  I am doing the Monday/Wednesday circuit training and the Tuesday/Thursday LISS.  I have a long way to go but I wanted to keep track of that here.  I’m looking forward to it.  I’m also looking forward to more lists, good books, great meals at home, and running my sewing business all the while working full-time.  🙂