Why Cant I Lift, Today?

It happens to the best of us. We wake up one day, groggy, no energy. Did I sleep funky? Did I not go to bed early enough? Did the toddler in my bed, kick and punch me all night long? Whats the deal? Why do I feel like I got hit by a Mac Truck? No IDEA! We chalk it up to a crappy nights sleep, chug a pre-workout, eat some breakfast and head to the gym for some strength training, all along, praying this expensive pre-workout lives up to its hype. Walking into the gym, feels like a chore. However we push through. As you begin your strength program, you notice your struggling to hit weights, on any other day, you would warm up with. Today, those weights feel funky, feel like they weigh a million pounds. Whats the deal? I could lift yesterday? What so different in the last 24 hours? There is one culprit, we as Women, always fail to remember. Our…..MENSTRUAL CYCLE! That dreaded time of the month, that sends every other part of our bodies into a down ward spiral. Its not until the evidence of our cycle, rears its ugly head, that we then think…..so that’s why I felt like crap!!! But WHY? Why does this affect our strength so much? How can this cycle make that much of a difference in our lifts, in a 24 hour period?

According to the Oxford Journal, during the mid to late Luteal Phase of your cycle, is when you begin to notice your feeling off. Your core temperature rises, your metabolic rate rises as well. So this explains those sudden uncontrollable appetite, and the need to turn down that furnace and strip down the clothes. You may begin to notice the change in mood, as well. This is believed to be caused by the increase in the hormone progesterone.  If your appetite has sky rocketed and your blood sugar is low, you may begin feeling lethargic, so weights that were easy a few days ago, are now just a stressor.  Also, mood plays a huge factor in your lifting. If you walk into the gym, in a bad mood, not feeling what is planned for the day, your already tired, you  forced your self to come, when you really didn’t even want to get out of bed, don’t expect your lifts to be phenomenal. Try something different. Something more relaxing, less taxing on your system. Yoga, meditation, Pilates. Throwing something new into a routine, to help you out of a funk, wont break your progress. Honestly, some days, your body just needs a break. And if, prepping your body for a baby is taking its toll, sit back, drink some tea, watch your recorded shows, and let nature takes its course. In a day or two, all will be back to normal and you will feel refreshed walking in to the gym, ready to kill some iron.

http://humrep.oxfordjournals.org/content/12/6/1142.full.pdf+html

 

MAN….Im Starving!!

Today is Wednesday! I have had 4 workouts since Monday, I still have one waiting for me when my husband gets home from work (our date). I have been going along with my day, cleaning, laundry, wrangling the toddler, took a 2 mile walk at the local walking trails, pushing a 30 lb toddler in a 30 lb jogging stroller, while I strutted my 16lb weighted vest. The hills are a killer. Going down, my shins and calves felt every single step. Going up, my arms, hamstrings, and quads were on fire. My lungs at the top of the hill, were on fire. My toddler, however, was enjoying the ride. Looking back at me wondering what all the noises were about. After that torture was finished, I had some errands to run. While running these errands, which included a stop at the mall to return somethings, I had to pep talk myself. NO PRETZEL!!! YOU WILL NOT GET A PRETZEL. Auntie Ann’s pretezel’s are so delicious. I am fully aware of my lack of will power when it comes to these delicious, salt, carb-loaded, buttery goodness. I ended up being strong…YAY GO ME!. My toddler got some. I have some how managed to  not eat any of it. Even as I type this, the left over pretzel nuggets are sitting on the table, within fingers reach of me, and I haven’t grabbed one!! That’s dedication. LOL. So, I get home, and I’m starved. Everything is frozen, because I failed to plan ahead. Lets see, what do I have in my cabinets? Albacore tuna, seasonings, I have some sweet potato’s, in the fridge I have parsley, eggs, cilantro. Lets see what happens.

I drain the tuna, remove it from the can and place it into a plastic bowl. I place the average size sweet potato in the microwave and cook until tender. While that’s cooking, I chop some cilantro, parsley and add it to the tuna. Crack open an egg, add that to the tuna. Melt some kerry gold butter, add 2 tbsp of that to the mixture. Stir together evenly. Now that the sweet potato is finished, I cut it in half, scoop the insides out, add to the mixture, and mash it all together. Once evenly mixed, I set the oven for 350 degrees, grease a muffin tin, and begin placing small balls in to the muffin tins. Then I press them down flat, and place them in to the over for 20-25min. Once done, take them out, let them cool and enjoy! They are actually really good. I expected it to taste fishy, but the sweet potato, I think softened the fish taste a bit. The original recipe calls for jalapenos, I didn’t have any, so went without. Which I don’t mind, Im not in the mood for heartburn later. I recommend trying these. If you store them correctly, they can be a great on the go snack, or even a quick lunch, pop them into the microwave and BAM, lunch is served. Carbs, protein and some fat. Paleo for those of you who follow that trend. You can find the entire recipe  at:

http:www.shemusclefitness.trainerize.com

Snack Proof

imageIf your human, then you have suffered from the snack attack. The moment in time, when the hunger pain strikes, you have wondered aimlessly around your kitchen, opening cabinets, drawers, scouring the pantry and fridge for that perfect snack. Your not sure what it is that you want, and everything you have, has no appeal to this insatiable desire for that unknown food. Three things happen in this moment, you finally decide on the snack, it may not be exactly what you wanted, but its cured that nagging hunger pain, you have snacked on almost everything you have in the house, nothing hit the spot, or you have chosen to not eat anything, and will walk around HANGRY, until you figure out what it is exactly that you are needing. Does this sound like you? I know I have many days, sometimes a few times a day when I feel famished. The snack attack is even worse, if your trying to change your nutrition habits. The need to eat and curb that craving can make you angry, irritable, tired, frustrated, etc etc. You don’t want to destroy all the good you have done that day, week(s). So what do you do? How do you feed the craving without destroying all you have worked for. EASY. Prepare. First off, take a good hard look at these cravings. When do they hit? What are you doing in that moment? How long has it been since you last ate or drank something? What did you last eat or drink? These are important questions, and you need to be honest with yourself. Are you really hungry, or are you bored, thirsty?  Personally, I noticed that my cravings hit, when my children napped. Its was quiet, first time I have had a second to think, to sit down. That’s when the cravings hit. HMMMMM…..I’M HUNGRY!!! What do I want? EVERYTHING AND ANYTHING!!! In most cases, I try to take a hard look at the situation and determine if I’m really hungry or not. Some times I discover, this moment of craving, is actually the first time I have thought about food all day. I haven’t eaten breakfast, had a snack, nothing. Ive consumed water and coffee, usually numerous cups. So in this case, I’M FAMISHED and I need to eat. On the other hand, on days when I have eaten breakfast, had a snack and eaten lunch, the moment of craving, is pure and utter boredom. So, what do I do. Well, in the case of boredom, I decide if I really wanna push my next meal time up. Do I have another workout planned? If not, I move my snack time up, and have whats on the menu. If I have a workout later, then the snack time needs to stay put, so I can be fueled for the torture I will be enduring later that day. So, if I’m starving and I cant eat, I get up and do something. I chug some water, fold some laundry, vacuum, do some reading, take the dogs out, yoga, stretch, write programming for clients, etc. You get the idea. Get moving. Nine times outta ten, that boredom craving will subside, because you are busy and have forgotten about it. If you get busy and you cant seem to shake the craving, then you need to take a look at what your eating. That’s a different post.

PREPARE! I try to keep all my trigger foods out the house, Oreo’s, fruit snacks, chips. You know what I’m talking about. I purchase things that are light, but have good nutritional value. I keep measuring cups and spoons handy. Its important to understand how to read the nutritional information on packaging as well. Keep to your serving sizes, watch your portions. Pack your snacks if your going to be out and about for the day. Doing so, you will avoid drive thru and convenience store junk.

So today, I had a desire to eat. I have Class tonight, Olympic Lifting to be exact. 1 hour of high volume, heavy weight, self induced torture. Its what I love. Its important that I fuel myself for that. So, I eat. Today, it was 1/2 cup of 2% cottage cheese, and a 1/4 cup of Real Medley Super Grain Granola (apple cinnamon). I get my carbs, fat, protein, and some sweetness all in one. It holds me until I eat again before class. If your not a cottage cheese kinda person, switch it up for some Vanilla Greek yogurt.

Welcome to She Muscle Fitness

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Welcome to the She- Muscle Fitness blog. My hopes for this are simple; to reach as many people as I can, and share my journey. I hold many titles: Personal Trainer, Coach, Stay at Home Mom, Wife, Sister, Aunt, Daughter, friend and entrepreneur.  As a SAHM of a toddler, life is a challenge most days, attempting to muster up the energy for a workout, let alone laundry, cooking and cleaning. However, my hope is to entertain, inspire and encourage other woman and men to add a personal fitness journey to their list of “to do”, and reap the whole mind body and spiritual pleasure they will endure.

A little about my journey, I am a Certified Personal Trainer, Certified USAW Weightlifting Coach, Certified Strength and Conditioning Coach and Certified in Fitness Nutrition. I served in the United States Army for 5 years, and had the pleasure of serving my Country in the Iraq War in 2005-2006. During this time I met a man.  He later became my Husband and the father of my children.  I do owe all that I have become to the strength, support and love that this man has shown me over the years. He is the reason all that I love to do is possible.  A decade later we have three children, 13, 8 and 2 years old. To say that our lives are boring, is an understatement. I don’t think any part of our day is boring. With a toddler around, life never stops.

In the last few years my life has taken a turn down the road of fitness. I whole heartedly believe, looking back that this was the road that was intended for me all along, it has just taken me a long time to accept it and work towards it. As a teenager, I suffered from anorexia and bulmia. My idea of perfect, was not what I was looking at everyday in the mirror. The tailspin only got worse, when I felt as though, the people who were suppose to love me no matter what, only noticed the imperfections I had. I spent years suffering, and recovering. Now, into my 30’s, I cant say that I am fully recovered. While the binging and purging may seize to exist, my disorders come out in other ways. You never fully recover from an eating disorder, there is only control and understanding of your triggers.  Some days are easier than others, only because I have learned my triggers and in most cases, I can deal with them in a safe and effective manner. Then there are the days, when keeping my self in check goes out the window, and my disorders rear their ugly heads in the manner of cumlpulsion, anger and self loathing. . While I wont currently go into detail, we will save that for another post, I hope that those who come across my blogs, and are struggling with eating disorders and their fitness journey, feel comfortable and safe, to come to me, looking for answers, encouragement and help getting past this. I hope, to those, they will understand that I can offer support, encouragement and the understanding needed during this process.

During my journey, my goal has been to reach as many women as possible. Full grown women and young ladies, are subjected to the mass media and their photoshopped idea of what “perfection” is.  We have visions of thigh gaps(what?), 6 pack abs, extremely low body fat and tiny size meals. But this is not reality. We come in so many shapes and sizes, we are all beautiful in our own way. We need to embrace our beauty, embrace our differences, encourage and uplift each other. We need to embrace our stretch marks, accept our touching thighs, thinning hair, and mom bellies. We need to do what we can to make ourselves happy; inside and out. Fix what we can change, accept what genetics has graced us with. The moment you begin loving yourself, flaws and all, you will see others in a different light. That light as to start inside you, first and foremost.

I encourage everyone, Man and Women, to reach out to me. I have many options and can help in anyway that i can. I sincerely hope that beginning this blogging adventure will increase the amount of people I can reach, and help to change their lives for the better.

 

Love yourself,

Rachel Hobbs