Posted in Anti-Inflammation, Emotional Eating, Fitness, Life + Living, Strength Training, Warrior Dash

MegsFitness on Nerd Fitness – Battle Logs!

I’ve blogged in the past about how much happier and more content I feel when I am following the core strengths of health and wellness – including eating well, sleeping well, exercising, and making time for personal goals.  So, it stands to reason that now, more than ever, I need to get back into the patterns of healthy eating, getting enough (and higher quality) rest, exercising, and making time for personal goals. 

This blog has become more of a personal journal for me, which will definitely incorporate health and wellness, but it’s always been about more than that.  For me, it’s been about recognizing the fact that my journey — whether it’s to weight loss, muscle gain, social changes, or family life — is going to be completely different from someone else’s journey, even if we share many of the same characteristics.  To that end, I still have every intention of maintaining this blog and getting back into writing about things that are fun, interesting, or relative to my personal narrative.  

My day-to-day fitness narrative is going to be captured at Nerd Fitness.  It’s a community of fitness-minded individuals and I really feel like that’s the sort of encouragement I could use at the moment.  What that means for the MegsFitness blog is that I’ll be cross-posting my weekly summaries here, so that at least part of this journal can resonate with the “-Fitness” part of the name 😀

I’m ready to get back to good.  I’m ready to lose weight, gain muscle, find my confidence, and conquer the world.  If you’re interested in joining The Rebellion, my “battle log” is found here:

[Begin Crosspost]:

Name: Aminarra, aka “MegsFitness”


Occupation: Corporate Fleet Management Resolution

Previous Fitness Experience: 2 years on SparkPeople, 3 years with Weight Loss Warriors, 3 attempts at Weight Watchers, 1 attempt at Herbalife; 4 years high school strength training, 1 obstacle 5k, 10+ regular 5k Races, greatest weight loss 42lbs.


Current Level of Fitness: Sedentary.  It’s been 2 years since I’ve worked out consistently due to a severe back injury after the Warrior Dash.

“End Game” Goal: Working out 4+x/week, Settling at a healthy weight, ideally ~180, but more importantly having functional strength and physical health.

Short-term Goal: Begin working out 1-3x/week, at a beginner level to become re-acclimated to the fitness world. Begin reintegrating Paleo Lifestyle into eating plan  

Plan of Action:  Use Nerd Fitness to launch new fitness goals; integrate fitness guild with gamer guild for inspiration.  Generate weekly goals in the areas of nutrition, exercise, and personal.  Update status on goals at least weekly.

Outside of NF:

Posted in Fitness, Food, Life + Living, Recipe, Strength Training

I-i-i-i Work Out


So, now that vacation is over and I’m climbing out of my funk, I’ve got a new routine that I’m establishing.  This is going to be another one of those short posts because I’m writing it as I’m sippin on a smoothie when I should really be heading out the door instead.  I’ve got, oh, 10 minutes maximum.  Here goes:

Monday/Wednesday/Friday: Wake 5:45, make breakfast/lunch, leave by 6:30. Strength routine at the gym until about 8:15.  Work until 5:30, then it’s home to cook dinner by 7.  After dinner, go for a 30 minute walk/play racquetball.  Then, from 7:30 on, lollygag–er, I mean, study, work on my blog, and generally have free time until bed at 9. I give myself leeway to read until 9:30pm, at which point I’m generally nodding off anyway.

Tuesday: Wake 5:45, make breakfast/lunch, leave by 6:30. Physical therapy (for my back. Finally. After almost 3 months) until 7:30am. Go for a morning walk/jog/bike for 30 minutes. Work on blog/browse the internet until 9am. Then the rest of my schedule is the same as M/W/F.

Thursday: Wake 5:45 just to stay in the routine.  Make breakfast/lunch and watch My Little Pony until it’s time to go to work.  Work. Then evening is the same as M/W/F.

Saturdays and Sundays are not nearly as structured except to say that there will be at least 8 hours of studying and at least 3 hours devoted to menu planning and grocery shopping, an hour to working out (on Saturday) and 30 minutes cardio on Sunday.

My workouts have gotten pretty darn good, too.  My personal trainer really listens to me and I think we’re going along at a good pace.  My strength training routine has an “A” day and a “B” day that alternate.  My “A” Day looks like this:

Warm Up: Bird Dog, Adductor Mobility, Hip Flexor Mobility, Wall Slides, Ankle Mobility
Abs: Plank 1 minute; rest 30 seconds; Plank 1 minute [When I asked for more ab work, she said that if I’m doing the movements right, everything involves abs]
Strength: Squats (30lb DB); Chest Press (20lb DB); Static Lunges (10lb DB); Cable Cross-over Pull-Downs (25.7); Glute Bridges with a Bench (18lb Bar); TRX Rows; X-Band Walk

And that’s what I’m up for this morning. So there we go.  There’s the old me that would struggle with cuddles vs. muscles  and then there’s me: ready and rarin’ to go.

Blueberry Shake: 

2 Tbls (Plain, non-fat) Yogurt

1/4 Cup Blueberries

1 (medium) Banana

2 Rounded scoops protein complete (meal replacement) powder

splash of milk

(smoothie button until blended)

Ice cubes

(Icy drink button until blended)

Eat right away and rinse of all components before protein turns to glue.  🙂

Posted in Fitness, Menu Planning, Self-Reflection, Strength Training, Warrior Dash

Warrior Dash training: Upping the weights!

The word of the day is POWER!!!  During my workout today, I really felt powerful.  It was so invigorating and it inspired me to push a little harder than usual.  

Warm-Up: 5 minutes, 3.5 MPH
Running (in between each set): 5.5mph 1 Minute; Ball Tuck Roll (3x)
Running: 5.6mph 1 Minute; Ball DB Chest Press (3x) 15lb Dumbbells
Running: 5.4mph 1 Minute; Body Bar Front Squat (3x)
Running: 4.7mph 1 Minute; Angled Lat Pull Down (3x) 5th plate
Running: 5.5mph 1 Minute; Ball Roll (3x)

A little extra:
Warm-Up: 5 minutes, 3.5 MPH
Running (in between each set): 5.6mph 1 Minute; Ball Tuck Roll (3x)
Running: 5.7mph 1.5 Minutes; Ball DB Chest Press (3x) 20lb Dumbbells
Running: 5.7mph 1 Minute; Body Bar Front Squat (3x)
Running: 5.0mph 2 Minutes; Angled Lat Pull Down (3x) 5th plate + 1/2 plate
Running: 5.5mph 1 Minute; Ball Roll (3x)

In the beginning, I whined about the ball exercises because I couldn’t do more than 3 at a time.  Today, I rocked out 12 before I had to reset and then I finished the last 3. SO GOOD!  For the chest presses, I added 5 lbs per dumbbell… first set was cool! The plates are bigger so I was just feeling cool watching them rise into the air and knowing I was doing that work.  Then I went for my run and I pushed it just a bit further.  “Come on!” I thought to myself, “go 30 more seconds! Your mind is bored, not your body!” and I pushed the run. Set 2 was harder and I was really timing my breath to manage the exertion.  It felt good to run afterwards.  Set 3, I had Ms. Trainer spot me because my arms were like Jell-O by rep number 5.  But I finished! So strong! hehe…

The Angled Lat Pull Downs were so hard in the very beginning.  I could only do 5 at a time on day one.. and I’d need to rest for about 10-20 seconds, then do 5 more, rest, then do the last 5 to complete a set.  Today, BOOM! baby! I was able to complete the sets.  With the 1/2 plate added, it was pretty challenging still, but I was able to complete all of the reps.  I felt really proud of my progress. More running.. my ponytail going swish, swish, swish… and sweating!  Did you know, at one point, I never sweated during a work out.  Is there such thing as being too fat to sweat?  Seriously–when I first started trying to lose weight I would kick ass like this–I would be winded and huffing and puffing and trying my damndest… but I wouldn’t sweat! Go figure.  Today? Pssh.. drenched. 

 The other exercises went just as well.  I finished the workout in about 50 minutes total and then stretched out and headed home.  Dinner tonight was salad with lasagna with pretzel M&M’s for dessert. If you noticed a missing ‘menu monday’ post, it’s because I didn’t make a menu or go grocery shopping =P Mr. Roomie has been doing all the work this week since Rah-rah’s parents were in town last weekend.  Stay tuned for a new menu for next week, though.

What did you do to feel good about yourself today?

Posted in BTHR, Fitness, Food, Menu Planning, Recipe, Strength Training, Warrior Dash

Meatless Monday! P1W2D1 ST + Veggie Chili

I feel as if the more I do that is ‘mature’ or ‘adult’, the more I feel matured and like an adult, and the easier it is to do those things.  As an example, I made the menu for our household yesterday and got the grocery shopping done.  Originally, we were going to have stuffed peppers for dinner tonight but when I realized that I wasn’t going to be home this evening (Gotta get my Warrior training in!), I switched things up.

Before I even changed out of my pajamas this morning, I was in the kitchen loading up the crock pot for vegetarian chili.  It is such an easy thing to do… open up 10 cans of  various types of beans and sauces, add chili powder, add veggies, cook for 10 hrs on low.  🙂  Note to self: 6 Quarts of Chili is probably too much for 4 adults.  Since I wasn’t going to be home to cook dinner, I got it cooking before I even left the house.  Aren’t I nice? 😛

I thought that the chili had really good flavor.  I’d mix it up a little and add probably twice as many mushrooms next time and half as many black beans.  Total cost for this recipe was only around $20, though, and it makes 24 1-cup servings.  Not a bad deal!

Veggie Chili:
3 16oz cans Bush’s Best Chili Beans (Hot Sauce)
3 16oz cans Bush’s Best Dark Red Kidney Beans (Rinsed Well)
3 16oz cans Goya Black Beans (Rinsed Well)
1-2 pounds white mushrooms (Quartered)
46 oz Campbell’s Tomato Juice from Concentrate
Chili Powder to taste

Toss it all in a crock pot and cook for 10 hrs on low.

I tried to take a picture of it, but honestly, the lighting was not great and it was not so visually appealing.  I think this might even be a vegan dish if you skip the sour cream or cheese on top, but I don’t know enough about vegetarian- or vegan-ism to know for sure.  If you know, please chime in!
The rest of the day went really well as far as my eating goes.  I only had 1 “slip up” where I bought a pack of Sour Patch Kids, but the rest of my food was on-par.  I had my oatmeal for breakfast, an apple and peanut butter for snack, 1/2 sandwich and cottage cheese for lunch, sour patch kids in the afternoon, HELLIFIED WORKOUT!, banana, apple, 1.5 cups vegetarian chili.

Feels so good.  Now about that hellified work out… This is the 3rd round of strength training so far.  Just starting Phase 1, Week 2, Day 1 and I’m using the same methods as we were working on last week.  This time I made it all the way through the workout and didn’t skip any sets.  The gym was closing by the time I was done, though, so stretching and hitting the showers was kind of out of the question.  When I came home, I approached Rah-rah and asked if I could have a “Nice big sweaty hug!” and he said “Sure!” and swung his arms open for me.  Then he retracted and said “Uh.. how about you go through the shower first?” I didn’t notice, but apparently I had a big line of sweat on my front and a big patch of sweat on my back.  Are you workin’ hard or hardly workin’?

After I cleaned up, it was time for dinner (8pm by now) and I listened to my roomie’s reviews of dinner.  They missed meat and commented about throwing in some beef or bacon and a stick of butter next time.  They’re tolerant of my cooking adventures, but they definitely have their preferences in place.  I hate to admit how appetizing bacon chili sounds…

All in all, it wasn’t too bad at all!

[Edit: Cassie at BTHR is doing a give-away!  She opened a new online shop.  Check it out, show some love, get some swag:]

Posted in Fitness, Strength Training, Warrior Dash

Warrior Dash: Week 1 Day 1 (Phase 1)

I tried for a few minutes to find a photo to represent how I felt after my first personal training session yesterday.  I googled the words “triumphant” and “proud” and scrolled through a few pages of photos of people caught in those feelings, but none of them really grasped what it was like.   So then, I read a small book of Wisdom from Ariel Books. I found the following quote to be most suiting: 

Don’t wish me happinss–I don’t expect to be happy….Wish me courage and strength and a sense of humor–I will need them all.  – Anne Morrow Lindbergh

Yesterday morning, I showed up for personal training at 6:50am and changed into my workout clothes.  My mom, who had come for the core class at 6:00am was just finishing up with her workout.  I got a sweaty hug from her as we crossed paths.  I bid her good job on her work out and she wished me luck on mine.  It started out innocently enough on the treadmill.  3.5MPH for a little bit.  Just to warm up, then he wanted me running 5.5MPH, then 5.7.  After that he started adding in the strength exercises.  Over here to the ball–chest presses, go! Back to the treadmill, no stopping! 3x. Now over here to do standard-stance squats with a bar, now back to the treadmill–go go go!

Overall I think we did 4 strength exercises spaced by sessions on the treadmill.  I hadn’t eaten breakfast yet and so we were really tapping into the harder-to-access energy reserves that I have.  It felt weird and challenging and difficult and once I thought I might just toss my cookies.  But I pressed through it–because I signed up for this.  I asked for this.  I need this.  On and on it went and it was challenging enough to push me but not so hard that I would give up.  I could hardly think about what I was doing let alone anything else.  It was kind of liberating, in a way.

When I was all through and he told me I made it, I was already laying on a mat and he just rolled the exercise ball out from beneath my feet.  Unexpectedly, I found tears cascading down my cheeks and I just felt momentarily overwhelmed!  I was so proud that I hadn’t given up.  He gave me a few minutes to collect myself and when I was back to good, he told me that he was proud of me for pushing through–that a majority of his first-timers need at least 10 minutes rest at the 30-minute mark because they feel the overwhelming desire to or have given in to the desire to throw up.  He also told me that since I have a track-record of working out and an established fitness base, he is starting me at something more like Phase 4.  He said I could be ready by December.  I could have 6 months to do anything I wanted.

The other trainer called me last night to finalize registration for the Warrior Dash.  She asked me what size shirt I wanted.  I said Medium.

Posted in Fitness, Measurements, Strength Training

Perception as Reality

I am enrolled in a program through work called the Inbody230.  It is a 16 week program designed to promote weight management and a healthy lifestyle.  For my initial assessment in may, it was a caption of my body “as is.” A baseline to measure my progress against.  For the past year and a half, I had been working on my own to lose weight and get in shape and I had lost about 50 pounds, and regained 20, for a net loss of about 30 pounds.  Still, though, the results–the most accurate screening I’ve had to date–made me cry my eyes out.

Female, 24 years, 5’6″ | Dry Lean Mass: 32.2lbs, Body Fat Mass: 103.0lbs, Weight: 222.5lbs | BMI: 35.9 | Percentage of Body Fat (PBF): 46.3%

The weight was evenly distributed and I had a good proportion of lean mass in my limbs and in my torso–I wasn’t bottom or top heavy at the time.  On the other hand, I didn’t need to lose weight fat from one place, I needed to lose it from everywhere.  I was completely overwhelmed, and rather than giving me the motivation to continue my weight loss progress, it actually kind of kicked me into a negative spiral because “why bother, when my efforts aren’t paying off anyway?” 

I didn’t drop out of the program and I told myself that I was still trying, but when I went back for my 2nd assessment in July, the results were even worse…

Female, 25 years, 5’6″ | Dry Lean Mass: 31.8lbs, Body Fat Mass: 105.3lbs, Weight: 223.6lbs | BMI: 36.1 | Percentage of Body Fat (PBF): 47.1%

What happened to me?! Why did I rebel against… myself? If the first reading made me cry my eyes out, this reading just made me go quiet. It is a complete and direct illustration of the impact of my choices.  MY CHOICES, not anyone elses.  I am the only one responsible for the way that I spend my time and the things that I put into my mouth.  It’s easy to fall into a pattern of excuses, and I’m sure it’s not the last time that I’ll vote for chocolate over carrots and cuddles over muscles, but I really need to get out of the negative spiral and make sure that I’m choosing the carrots more often than the chocolate, and the muscles more often than the cuddles.  The next assessment is in about 1 month.  I’ve gotten “more active” than I was in my rebellion, but I’m not as active as I still need to be.  I think the key to changing my numbers is going to be incorporating more strength training and keeping the walking/running inclusive.

exercise illustrations
This is an illustration of the strength training that I did yesterday… 3 rounds, 15 sets per round, 30 minutes total.  I like my strength training to be short and sweet.  It was an upper-body work-out for the most part, which means I really need to challenge my lower body this weekend.  With any luck, infection and injury will stay at bay and I can take the next four weeks to really improve myself and see that reflected in the next scan.  I know I can do it.