Thursday, February 6, 2014

Top Ten Gym No-Nos

If you have been to the gym, you have either been a victim or witness of a gym no-no or have committed one yourself. Most of the time people aren't even aware they are committing a gym sin and go on their merry way to fitness bliss. Don't be one of those people! Here are my top ten gym no-nos.

1-Leaving your weights racked- This isn't your personal gym. Do us all a favor and un-rack your plates once your are done. If I need the leg press, I don't want to have to remove ten 45 pound plates from it. It takes a lot of energy to take all those plates off and honestly, if you had the strength to press all of it, you can take them back off.

2-Putting equipment back- Put your damn dumbbells back to where they belong. Don't get lazy and put 50 pound dumbbells where the 20 pound ones go or leave them on the floor for people to trip over them.

3- Being a slob at the gym- Just because you are at a place to break a sweat, it doesn't mean you shouldn't shower or be hygienic. Please be courteous to those around you, no one likes to smell old food, body odor or any other sort of foul smells from other people when they work out.

4-Hogging cardio/weight machines- Don't leave your water bottle, towel, gym bag, phone etc., etc., to hold a machine or bench for you. It's rude when it's an empty gym but it's downright wrong in a busy gym. This is not a personal gym where you can do your circuit training and hog all the machines.

5-Sweating all over the machines and not wiping it down- You know all the horror stories you hear about infections and germs at the gym? That's because people don't have the decency to wipe down machines or benches after they stain them with sweat. Carry a towel and use the sanitary wipes/sprays the gyms offer.

6- Lurking- If you need to use a certain piece of equipment or machine, open your mouth and say so. Don't shoot dirty looks or stare at the person using the machine. It makes for an uncomfortable environment. If you see they are taking a while for rest breaks, ask to work in your sets with them. Chances are they won't mind at all.

7-Loud grunting or screaming- I understand if you are lifting a heavy weight and grunt from exertion. I got that, but when you are screaming like Tarzan or bellowing like a frost giant, it's time to shut up, for serious. What gets me even more upset is when a person will wail and scream with his trainer but alone he's as quiet as can be. Don't grunt or scream to seek attention. Everyone is here to do the same thing.

8-Having a full fledged conversation on your phone- I know sometimes we all need to answer that one important phone call and that's fine. However, having a full conversation while on the stairmaster or treadmill is distracting to those around you. Another thing, if you can talk easily while on a cardio machine, you aren't burning as many calories as you think.

9-Treating the locker room like your personal bathroom- My ladies locker room is pretty small as it is. What drives me up the wall is seeing locks on lockers and knowing that I'm the only female present. If you aren't there, don't keep a locker. I've also noticed that women tend to take up all the counter space with their cosmetics and toiletries as well. It's a communal place, treat it as such and be aware of your surroundings.

10- Judging others- This has got to be one of my top gym no-nos. We all go to the gym to work out and better ourselves physically and mentally. There is no reason for you to look at someone and critique what they're doing. There is also no reason for you give unsolicited information/advice to a person if they did not ask. Instead, be supportive!

No, no, I don't want your advice...thanks though!

Have you done any of these gym faux pas? Or what irks you when you work out? 

Monday, December 16, 2013

Fashion and Fitness (My Recommendations!)

For many people, throwing on a pair of old sweats and a ratty t-shirt is the perfect gym outfit. I mean, you're only going to get sweaty and gross anyway so what's the point in looking nice. That's how I used to think. I would throw my hair up in a messy ponytail and throw on an outfit I didn't give two hoots about and would make my way to the gym. When I got there, I found that I really did care about how I looked and looking all grubby did not motivate me at all to work out or push myself to get results.

My mindset began to change when I noticed how awesome fitness apparel was. There were so many options and I was missing out on them completely! Being the fashion lover that I am, I decided to change up what I wore. I threw out my raggedy looking tanks and worn sweatpants and replaced them vivid cutoffs and sweat wick leggings. I found that changing my wardrobe definitely motivated me to go to the gym more. By looking good, I felt good and it only pushed me to get my results to feel even better.

Sometimes wearing motivational things helps me focus

This showed me that I should strive to be the best and in this case, look my best in all aspects of my life. Think about it, when take the time to put yourself together and look your best, you feel like you can conquer the world. This can be applied in everything that you do, including fitness. Now I'm not saying you have to put on a whole face of makeup (though if that makes you comfortable, go for it! Those who judge don't matter), but wear something that is comfortable but also makes you feel good. I enjoy matching my outfit with the shoes I'm wearing or choosing that will add a pop of color, whether it be my socks or top.

 One of my favorite pair of sneakers

Whether you are a gym veteran or noob, think about changing your style once in a while. If you're stumped on what to wear, here are some of my recommendations and favorites!

I hope this was helpful! If you have any questions please let me know in the comment section, I will try my best to answer it!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Surviving the Holidays

So, let me start by saying that I have tried to write a post multiple times since I've created this blog. For some reason, I've hated each one and those entries are sitting in the draft box looking all sad and lonely until I fix them up. To be honest, I don't know why it's so hard for me to come up with an entry for you all. Perhaps, since it is so personal, I tend to find myself thinking about what to write instead of just letting my thoughts form.

Anyway, enough about my writer's block. We all know the holidays are here. Along with them comes social gatherings and heaping amounts of delicious, but high caloric foods. Like this lovely photo:

And we've all been in the same predicament. You've been good with eating right and exercising. Your palms get sweaty as the absorbent amount of dishes are spread on the table and you have a tough decision to make. Do you offend your hosts and decline to gorge yourself in the deliciousness or do you stuff your face? Now I'm going to tell you something that may surprise some of you. I say that you should eat whatever you want till your little piggy is content. I'm not one to tell people to completely deprive themselves of foods they enjoy, especially during the holidays. I've learned that deprivation often leads to gorging and binge eating.

Before you pick up that fork and stuff your face with twice baked potatoes and cream spinach, know that when I say enjoy yourself, it only means that day. Many people think they can just blow their eating habits the week of Thanksgiving or Christmas because, "hell, I'm only going to stuff my face in a few days anyway, these few days won't hurt." That's the mistake. The week of Thanksgiving, I made sure not to indulge myself and to go the gym to bust out some kick ass workouts. Failure only happens when you don't plan accordingly.

Here I am the morning of Thanksgiving

If you find that you are hosting this year's holiday get together, then you are lucky. There are so many recipes you can find on the internet catered to those who prefer to eat healthier and lighter. You can opt to make a few of those dishes instead of the traditional high calorie dishes. For those of us who can't host or need to travel to different families, plan out your week. Take into account that your favorite Aunt will be making her famous Silk pie you've had a hankering since last year and skip the fast food joint. That way, when the day comes, you can have a big slice of that pie and thoroughly enjoy it knowing you behaved yourself the days before. 

Surviving the holidays isn't really hard. In fact we make it harder for ourselves with the continuous gorging before and after the social gathering. 

My final thoughts on the topic: Put on your stretchy pants and enjoy yourself during dinner. If you want seconds, go for it. This just means that the next day, you hop out of bed and go have a great workout and resume your routine of watching what you eat. You have to remember that life will always throw curve balls (or cupcakes if you prefer) at you. It's how you handle it that will determine the end result. 

Wednesday, November 20, 2013


Hello out there!

First off, thank you for taking your time to read this fitness blog of mine. I have to admit starting this is a little intimidating because it's revealing a very personal side of me. Fitness has always been in my life in some way, shape or form. When I was young, I always played some sort of sport and loved it. As I got older, aka the high school and college years, being fit took a backseat to boys, fashion and of course school. That's when I began to notice the weight gain, tighter clothes and the chubbier cheeks. It didn't help that I loved to eat (this is still one of my vices) and ate out all the time. My metabolism couldn't keep up with the amount of food I stuffed in my mouth and my body began to retaliate. 

I had tried on and off for years to get back in shape. I took classes and went to the gym three times a week. I made sure to eat breakfast and portion control. But I was getting little to no results. There was a time I even got desperate, limiting myself to about 1000 calories a day. Still, I didn't like what I was seeing in the mirror and would fall back to my usual terri-bad eating habits and inactivity within a few weeks. 

Things began to change about a year ago. The Mister and I just moved to a new place and signed up to a new gym. We were both tired of being out of shape and really wanted to push the limits of what we could physically do and be the best versions of ourselves. So I decided to wipe the slate clean of all past assumptions and conclusions. I created a workout plan fit for me and changed my diet. I told myself to give it more than a month and stick to the plan. To my surprise, my body began to change and I became stronger, more focused and energetic. I had a revelation and finally understood that in order to achieve what I wanted, it needed to be a lifestyle change, not just a habit. I had finally found my golden ticket. 

Of course, I am not perfect. I still binge and stuff my face. I take breaks from the gym. Am I where I want to be? No. There is still a lot more work to be done. The difference between my former and current self is the knowledge and patience I have accrued in this journey. Changes do not come over night and anything worth keeping needs to be earned. 

So this blog won't just be about the rainbows, daisies and unicorns in fitness. This is to show the more vulnerable side and the highs and lows that come with this journey. Believe me, if everyone had the self-discipline and motivation they claim to have, we would see healthier people. 

That being said, please come and follow me on this path towards being a better version of yourself. I hope that this blog will motivate you to finally take that leap of faith in whatever it is you wish to accomplish. Remember, we are never ready, we just have to jump and see what comes.