Friday, February 27, 2015

Monthly Weigh-In: February 2015

Weight Loss/Gain: -7.2 lbs 

Total Weight Loss (Round 2): 17 lbs

Total Weight Loss: 38 lbs

It's that time of the month! No ladies.... I am not talking about THAT time of the month! I am talking about my first monthly weigh-in for this round! An exciting part of the month for me, even if it's a NSV (non-scale victory).

This morning I stepped on the scale and my total weight loss for the month of February is 7.2 lbs. I am happy! I have already started seeing results again off the scale and I am satisfied. Round one of my weight loss (2013) I was losing 10-14 lbs per month, but I noticed that 2-3 months into it after I got a scale. I didn't own a scale right away. The only scale I stepped on for those 2-3 months starting out was at the doctors office. Once I got a scale and started weighing myself every month, that is when I noticed my weight loss pattern. 

My weight loss started out a little slow last time as well because of the muscle building process. Once I pass that process and have built more muscle then I will hopefully be back to my normal monthly weight loss pattern in another month or two. 

I am so excited for this second round! I will hopefully be reaching my 100 lb loss this year. I am thinking sometime between September and October. I will make this happen! Can't wait for next month! 

I usually only weigh myself 1-2 times a month because anything more than that in my opinion is not necessary. The more you weigh yourself... the more you will be focused on those numbers and scale victories instead of non-scale victories. This month I have weighed myself 4 times. I will not lie! I bought a new scale and was super excited to use it! I also did that during round one for the first month I had a scale. Haha! Then, I went to my 1-2 times a month rule and I no longer had an itch to weigh myself so often.

Let's see what next month brings..... I also have my first 5K of the year coming up in a few weeks, so there's quite a few things going on next month!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Ambassador Announcement: Polar Ambassador

2015 has already proven to be a great year so far and I feel like I have accomplished so much just within the first two months. I will be working with some insanely awesome companies this year! I have amazing news and have been waiting for almost three weeks to share the news with everyone.

I was selected and asked to be an Ambassador for Polar USA! This could not have come at a better time!

Polar is a leading innovative company that offers some of the most advanced heart rate based training equipment in the world. Polar listens to your body by getting under the skin of your training and breaking everything down to help you better understand your training and progress. I have incorporated heart rate based training into my fitness regimen for a little over two years now and I cannot imagine it any other way.    

"I originally wanted the M400 HRM GPS, but that is not within my budget at the moment especially with a new baby. Maybe next Christmas!!!"

Does that sound familiar? If it does, then you would know that came from a previous product review post I did on the Polar FT7 HRM that I had recently bought. Well, Christmas came early for me this year! It's like Christmas in February! Polar sent me some amazing things including the M400 watch!!!! Is it weird to say that I got teary-eyed when I opened the box?

What does it all mean? It means that I will be representing a company that I love and trust and have admired for years. I will be sharing sharing exciting news about Polar and my experiences working with them and representing them. I will also be receiving lots of support from them. It also means amazing giveaways!!!! WOOHOO!!

I am so grateful that I was chosen for the position of brand ambassador for Polar. I am honored to be partnering with a great company that is so supportive. The Polar family is awesome and I am just shocked and honored to be apart of a team with wonderful and ambitious individuals and athletes! 

Polar and I will be a perfect match. This is going to push me closer to my goals. I am extremely excited to start my journey with Polar. We will have a great year together.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Weekly Workout Recap: 02/15-02/21

Hope you all are having a great start to the week! Happy Sunday! For the past week I've been doing my same workout routines that I have mentioned in the last Weekly Workout post with Fitness Blender. I'll be doing the same routine for one more week for the month of February and then I will be switching it up.

I have a weigh-in coming up later in the week and I am super stoked! I can definitely feel changes and I sure as hell can see them! After giving it some thought.... I have decided that for the last two weeks of the month I will not be having cheat meals or cheat days. I usually have one cheat meal or cheat day a week (unhealthy foods, fast food, etc...) and it works tremendously for me. I have mentioned this fact years ago during round 1.

However, this time around I thought it would be better to cut out the last two weeks of the month and only have them for the first two weeks every month. Cheat meals/days work wonders for me because it helps me find my balance between healthy foods and not-so-healthy foods and my body could use a good carb shock every now and then. When I am maintaining... as long as I am working out on a regular basis, I usually set aside two days in the week for eating my favorite fatty foods. It's when I stop working out and being active that leads to trouble, e.g. fat and weight gain.

My proud moment of the week was the amount of fat burned during one of my workouts. It was the workout with the least caloric burn for the week, but the ENTIRE workout was fat burn! All of it!!! Except for a minute of it, haha! That was my stretch/yoga day! Gotta love my Polar!! Without my ft7 I wouldn't have knowledge about the amount of fat that I burn during a workout. Since 2013 I couldn't imagine completing my workouts without a heart rate monitor.... A Polar HRM at that!

I will be sure to post links to the workouts I have done for the past 4 weeks in my next Weekly Workout Recap.

My burns for the week.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Throwback Thursday: Stairway to Heaven Hike

Today I am doing something a little different. I am going to do a "Throwback Thursday" post! Whether it be Facebook, Twitter, etc.... I have never really participated in throwback Thursday. I decided to share one of my many hiking adventures from 2013. There are a few things that inspired this post and I have been missing Hawaii like crazy lately!

In my mid 20's I moved to Hawaii for a few years and that is where my journey to an active lifestyle really began. How could you live in a place like Hawaii and not be active?! I did everything from swimming laps in the ocean to hiking some of the most beautiful and difficult trails that led to some of the most beautiful places, including the infamous Stairway to Heaven hike, which is also known as Haiku Stairs. It was one of the scariest, hardest, yet rewarding endeavors I put my body through, besides giving birth!

Stairway to Heaven is an Illegal hike in Hawaii on the island of Oahu. I am not going to get into why the stairs are there and why it's illegal. Just my experience doing the stairs! You can read about it on Wikipedia if it interests you. This adventure hike had been on my bucket list for almost 2 years at the time. I talked my husband into doing it. Luckily he was already active. You have to be in pretty good shape to do this and you definitely can't have a fear of heights, or you will have an incredibly awful time. Even people who are experienced with hiking and in the best shape struggle while doing this, so that's saying something right there. This hike has 3,922 steps to climb. 

Hubby and I did this hike on October 4th, 2013. I started this hike at 2:30 AM (to beat the guard that sits at the entrance of the stairs) with a lovely dark tan and no more than 30 mins into the hike my skin turned completely pale. After the first set of stairs my hubby started dealing with altitude sickness and he vomited on the side of the stairs. A lot of the guys were getting sick around that same time frame. We had people not too far ahead of us and not too far behind us and all of the guys got sick. Yuck!! Hubby and I took frequent breaks. To make it possible for people to pass you during a break on the narrow stairway you have to move on the outside of the rail to let them pass. After we reached the first of five lookout platforms, I started dealing with altitude sickness as well. Luckily, mine came in the form of nausea and a slight headache. After some time had passed... my symptoms also passed.
You will find inspiring messages all along the stairs heading to your destination.

Weather conditions were constantly changing. I got muddy, rained on at least four times, which was kind of expected for being on the windward side and in the mountains. It was also windy at times. The stairs and parts of the ladder were slick at times and dangerously steep. There were times when I actually feared for my life and started panicking thinking that I might not make it down because I kept feeling like I was going to eventually lose my grip as my hands were getting tired and kept cramping. This hike was not only physically, but mentally challenging. This was a once in a lifetime adventure and I am really glad that I did it and pushed past many obstacles to accomplish it and that my hubby and I completed this adventure safely without any major injuries or worse.

H3 Highway

What a lot of people, especially tourists don't know is that a lot of land in Hawaii is restricted for one reason or another. Over half of the hikes I did in Hawaii were illegal. This really gets my blood boiling! I don't think the state should be taking over land in Hawaii.

With a lot of these illegal hikes there are ins and outs people need to learn first and experience to gain before attempting these hikes. I learned about Stairway to Heaven and completed it successfully with no injuries or legal troubles. It was exhilarating! Yes, I took risks.... life threatening risks, legal risks, but it was well worth it. I had the experience of a lifetime, took photos that I only dreamt about up until then. Would I do it again? For weeks I asked myself that question and said it was unlikely. For the next two months, every time I passed Stairway to Heaven on the H3 highway and I looked up at it, I would feel nauseous and say to myself that I couldn't believe I did that.

Now... if you were to ask me that question... Yes, I would do it again in a heartbeat and I will do it again... one day. Assuming that the stairs are still in good shape. With recent events dealing with the stairs, that doesn't seem likely though. It is owned and maintained by the Honolulu Board of Water Supply, but after recent damage to the stairs in a few wind storms just this past week, they no longer want to be responsible for the stairs. Will I ever attempt other dangerous hikes like the infamous Sacred Falls in the future? You bet your ass I will.

When you're exploring and doing any of the hikes in Hawaii.... Always remember... Do it with respect and respect the aina (land).

"You never know what you are capable of until you try"

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Chicago Pride 2015: Proud To Run 5K

This year, I am celebrating LGBT pride in a different way! Aside from attending the annual parade, I am participating in a special race event called Proud To Run

It takes place during Chicago Pride Weekend, a day before the big pride parade. This year, the race is taking place on Saturday, June 27th. Proud To Run has annually celebrated the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning community since 1982. Since Proud To Run's inception in 1982, the entire board has been solely on a volunteer basis. They raise funds to support the LGBTQ community in the Chicago area and many organizations. They have raised over $380,000 for the LGBT community and local organizationsThe three beneficiaries for this year are Affinity Community Services, Chicago House and Social Service Agency, and AIDS Legal Council of Chicago. 

Proud To Run offers a 10k run and a 5k run/walk and welcome anyone and everyone who wishes to join the celebration to show support, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, or expression. The course starts and ends at Montrose Harbor and it will run along the beautiful lakefront path and turns back around at Belmont Harbor. The race is stroller friendly, but request that you start behind the runners for safety reasons. People will gather near Montrose Harbor as there will be pre and post-race events, raffles, performances and where the Athlete's Village with sponsors and vendors will be located as well as the partner organizations!

Super cute finisher medals from 2014. Can't wait to get my hands on one of these.

With marriage equality support skyrocketing and more states continuing to recognize and legalize same sex marriage, I feel that there's even more to celebrate this year during pride weekend.

I am super excited to take part in this and show my pride in a different way! The fact that I get to share this experience with my daughter makes it that much better. I have been a part of the LGBT community for as long as I can remember. I have never had a gender preference and I love showing and celebrating my pride every year! I have a feeling this event and organization will hold a special place in my heart.

All of my local friends, come out and join me the day before the big parade and celebrate pride this year doing something different!!

As always..... would love to meet up with you! 

See you guys soon!

Disclosure: I have received a comped entry to the event in exchange for posting about the event and reviews of the individual race experiences.

Weekly Workout Recap: 02/08-02/14

How is everyone doing on this fine Sunday? The past week has been extremely busy for me, online and off. I am getting ready to start my race season next month at the Green Beer 5K and I have been preparing and training when I can for that. I haven't really been able to train a whole lot in terms of running this week because I usually go somewhere to run and my hubby has been working a ton of hours this week so I am stuck at home with the little one. I don't own a dreadmill (treadmill) just yet, but I plan to get one to make weeks like this a little easier for my training. I also got AMAZING news this week as well! It's so hard to keep it a secret!! I will spill the beans later in the week. I had a great Valentine's Day for the most part, despite a little mishap with someone I was suppose to be buying a jogging stroller from. Long story short, she gave it away to the wrong person by accident!! As much as I wanted it, I didn't let it ruin my whole Valentine's Day. I had a cheat meal because I went out for a Valentine's dinner and I had a short strength training session that night. Something is better than nothing, especially when you have a cheat meal!! Am I right? 

My burns for the week.

This week consisted of cardio, strength training, yoga and stretching. Currently, I am not following a certain program or DVD workouts. I am pulling workouts from the internet and planning week by week right now and that is how I started out Round 1 until I found a workout program I wanted to do. It drives me insane planning workouts day by day, week by week!! Right now I am pulling workouts from the awesome peeps at Fitness Blender, whom I absolutely adore. 

I prefer following workouts from a program because it's easier and it's what I like. I like to do the occasional gym visit, but I don't go nearly enough to buy a membership to ANY gym! Although, it is nice to go here and there for a change of scenery. Things are probably going to be this way for the next month or 2 until I can afford to buy the workout programs I want. I am a HUGE fan of Beachbody workout DVD's, but they aren't cheap.

Hope you all had a good Valentine's Day!! 

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Get Your Shine On: The Color Run Shine Tour & Valentine's Giveaway

What do you get when you mix brightly colored powder with tons of glitter? One hell of a good time!!! Get your shine on at The Color Run with their new Shine Tour for 2015!! The Color Run is a gigantic celebration. A celebration of health, happiness, and life! In previous years The Color Run splashed it's runners with colored powdered, but this year they are switching things up. Not only will they be dousing their runners with colored powdered, but they will also be dressing them up with sparkly glitter. Who doesn't love a little glitz and glam?! This year, the 5k course will have what they call, sparkle zones. There will also be awesome photo-ops throughout the course, which I am totally looking forward to! I can't wait to take tons of one-of-a-kind, beautiful, creative, fun photos! This run is "stroller friendly" and I am totally doing my happy dance about that! I am excited that I get to have my daughter (who will be almost 9 months on race day) involved!

If this doesn't sound like the Happiest 5k on the Planet, then I don't know what does.

This year The Color Run has awesome limited edition race swag!! All participants get a color packet, a glitter packet, tattoos (which I am definitely going to use for the run), a headband, and all finishers get a medal this year; my absolute favorite thing about the swag bag besides the glitter!!! 

The Shine Tour has already started in the U.S. so don't let The Color Run blow through your city and miss out on this awesome opportunity. If registration isn't open for your city yet, then you can sign up for the VIP list and you'll be the first to know when tickets go on sale for your city and special pre-sale prices. 

I am attending The Color Run at the Chicago location on Sunday, June 7th. This will be my first year attending and I couldn't have picked a better year for my first Color Run!! It's going to be a BLAST!

As always.... would love to meet some of you!! Can't wait to see all of your glittery and colorful faces.

Enter Below!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

If you don't win the free entry, don't worry! I am hooking all of my lovely Valentine's up with $5 off of the entry fee. (This code will NOT work on newly launched cities for the first month)

Disclosure: I have received a comped entry to the event and a comped entry to host a giveaway in exchange for posting about the event and reviews of the individual race experiences.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Polar FT7 Heart Rate Monitor Review

I decided it was time for a new heart rate monitor. I replaced my old heart rate monitor, Scosche myTREK Wireless Pulse Monitor with the Polar FT7 Heart Rate Monitor. I used the Scosche monitor for about a year and I really liked it, but it definitely had it's cons... I didn't like the fact that it was an armband, I couldn't swim with it, and I had to use a phone app with it (Digifit iCardio), which I ended up loving though. I had been eyeing a Polar HRM for a few years and finally was able to get one!

So far what I am liking about the Polar FT7.... I can get it wet (water resistant up to 30m), I can look at my watch for info during a workout rather than having to look at a phone app to get my information, I like the comfortable chest strap and it's way better than wearing an armband in my opinion. 

I am not liking the way the watch gives me information about my fat burn and fitness heart rate zones. It's not as detailed as I would like it to be as in where you are within zones during a workout. I would LOVE to use this watch with the Digitfit iCardio app! I love how detailed it was during a workout when I used it with the Scosche and it told me when I was switching zones and what zone I was in. I did find out that I can use the app with my Polar HRM. Which was good news! However, the current chest strap I have that came with the FT7 is not compatible with the app because it's not bluetooth. I would have to purchase the H7 bluetooth chest strap. To make this watch more enjoyable I feel like I am forced to buy it to make this product better and more to my liking, which I am not too fond of at the moment, but will do it if need be.

I am also not liking the fact that I lose connection with the watch during workouts where I am not sweating like crazy to keep the strap moist. To fix that problem I use electrode gel to moisten the band before a workout. I usually have no issues with the connection when using the gel. A little gel goes a long way so the 8.5 oz tube should last awhile.

Overall, for what I can afford, it's a nice product that I can definitely get my money's worth out of until I upgrade again. I originally wanted the M400 HRM GPS, but that is not within my budget at the moment especially with a new baby. Maybe next Christmas!!!

Thursday, February 5, 2015

A Crazy Good Time: Insane Inflatable 5K

I am so pumped for the month of September!!! It will be my daughter's 1st birthday, and the Insane Inflatable 5K is coming to Illinois! 

Have you ever seen those kiddie inflatable slides and bouncy houses at a birthday party, or at an indoor play place? I'm sure you most likely have. I have always been super jealous because usually those things are for kids and adults who are on the lighter side of the scale.

Insane Inflatable 5K is an inflatable obstacle course. There is no weight limit! FINALLY, a bouncy paradise full of crazy fun for adults of any size! Let's not forget about the kiddies! There is no minimum age requirement, however they need to be at least 42" tall by event day to participate.

The event isn't timed, so you can enjoy the course without rushing through it for the fastest time. The course is approximately 3.1 miles (5k). They have added new obstacles for 2015! You can see the entire course layout in the video below! 

The race I am taking part in is the DeKalb, IL location. It will be held at NIU in DeKalb, IL on September 19th. 

This will be my first year at the Insane Inflatable 5k and I am crazy excited! I'm in for a crazy good time full of crazy insane moments, possibly some embarrassment (all in fun), and laughter at the Insane Inflatable 5K!! 

Wanna have some crazy fun? Is the Insane Inflatable 5K bouncing to a city near you? Enter code: HUFF10 during the registration process for 10% off of your entry fee. 

Would love to have a meet up!
Hope to see you guys there!!

Disclosure: I have received a comped entry to the event in exchange for posting about the event and reviews of the individual race experiences.