the name of the game is protein.

These weeks are flying by, I swear.  I can’t believe I’m done with Week 9.  I really enjoyed this week.  Legs and Arms this week were by far two of my favorite circuits, but I didn’t really care for Abs to be honest.  That being said, I realllly felt it the next day which is always fun.  I just wanted to flex in every single mirror I passed, but I think that happens to every workout warrior out there who does an ab circuit.

I’m starting this week off strong.  It is incomparably nice here and I am loving every single minute of it.  I am really appreciating spring because I feel like we earned it.  My April goal of running outside more is going swimmingly.  I knocked out 3 outdoor miles (one of them not logged here) before heading in to make a bowl of protein filled oatmeal.

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I don’t know if it’s because of the BBG circuits or what, but my runs these days have been feeling really solid.  I think it is because I’m focusing more on building up my muscles than just cardio-ing after cardio-ing.  If you are a runner and are looking to improve your endurance and speed, definitely check out Kayla Itsine’s Bikini Body Guide.

In other news, I am trying like crazy to up my protein game.  Recently, I have been doing whatever I can to sneak it in as much as I can.  I have added two egg whites to my oatmeal in addition to peanut butter, I have added more protein to my lunches and snacks, and now, I have started adding protein shakes to my daily regimen and I have finally found the perfect recipe.

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I have a really hard time just drinking the powder straight, so this recipe was everything I could dream of and more.

Vanilla Banana Smoothie of Dreams

-1 scoop of vanilla protein powder

-1/2 cup of almond milk

-1/2 cup of water

-1/2 a frozen banana

-ice as needed

-dash of cinnamon

Blend it all together and the frothy deliciousness does not disappoint.  I’m not much of a meat eater, so any way I can up the protein, the better.  Protein is the building block for bones, muscle, cartilage, skin, and a whole host of other things in the body.  It is essential for anyone who works out and especially for those who are kicking things up a notch.  Don’t know how much to consume?  Check out apps like myfitnesspal that can help you track exactly how much you’re getting and how much you need.

-sj

building a better me.

These past couple of days have flown by.  I have been incredibly busy with work all week so I am eagerly awaiting the arrival of the weekend.  In the interim, I have been channeling all of my work related stress into some pretty stellar workouts.  If there is one thing that I have learned from taking on this new BBG challenge, it is that sticking with something will bring progress.  You just have to trust.

I learned this in full force when I went to do the Week 9 Arm workout this week.  I read through the exercises, set up my torture chamber and got started.

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As you move through the Bikini Body Guide, you see some of the same moves resurface time and time again, but, to keep it interesting and keep your body guessing, Kayla adds little twists.  Like instead of doing 15 burpees one time throughout both circuits, let’s do 15 burpees with push-ups, and also 15 burpees with a jump forward, and also 15 burpees with a Bosu ball and then a push up.  Lord have mercy.  This workout was a welcome challenge though.  When I first started the BBG, I didn’t have a problem with doing burpees, I just didn’t really like them.  Now, on week 9, when I see a regular burpee I am literally thankful.  These new variations are really testing me and helping me grow though.  The other day, I was casually flexing in the mirror (as one does when they spend a good hour and some of their day at the gym 6 days a week) and I saw a shockingly visible change.  I was so proud.  My arms have been very small, perhaps too small, for a very long time and to see them now harnessing power is amazing.  While the physical changes aren’t too drastic, the mental ones and internal ones are.  I feel faster, I feel stronger, and I feel more fit overall.

My boyfriend used to ask me what my intention was when I went to the gym since I seemingly did the same thing over and over.  A couple miles on the treadmill, some ellipticalling, and then some light weights.  This took me back a bit.  Why was I going to the gym if I wasn’t looking to get something out of it.  I searched far and wide for a program that I enjoyed doing that would help me become a better version of myself.  I started out with a BodyBuilding.com weightlifting routine, but it just wasn’t for me.  Things moved too slowly, I barely broke a sweat, and I just felt like I was lolly-gagging throughout the gym, dragging my feet and counting down the seconds until I got to leave.  I was seeing no results and I think it was ultimately because I wasn’t happy and I wasn’t having fun with my workouts.

When I looked up the Kayla guide with my friends back in February, it seemed like a welcome change.  Fast paced, challenging, and I could do it at home if I so chose.  Now, 9 weeks later, I am so glad I made that decision.  My two friends I started with may have stopped, but I really wish they hadn’t.  If you want to see a true change in yourself and learn about the power your body alone has, try the BBG.

On that note, I will leave you with this beautiful sunset on the river right behind my apartment where I often do some of my workouts.

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Blissfully peaceful and serene.

-sj