4:30am — wake-up call! But for real, my alarm is set to this time 7-days a week. However, this morning I snoozed, twice, and got up at 4:45. Coffee is my only mission. I used to rely on caffeine to get me through the day – I don’t need it anymore, but I still like to start the day with one cup. After I’m up and slightly caffeinated, I go about my domestic duties that I likely didn’t finish the night before…start the dishwasher, laundry, etc.
By the time I send my hubs off to work, it’s almost 6:30 and I dig into emails to see what my day is going to be comprised of: work-work, Arrow work and other! I drink my “pink drink” and get organized for the day. (Note: If you want to know about my daily supplements, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.) My fellas are also early risers for the most part, so they’re usually up and ready for the day by 7a.m.
Today, I decided to get my training in early! My typical routine is a night time spot – about 7 p.m., but with summer soccer and other summer craziness, I have had to get it in wherever I can! Since we have almost a full gym here at home, I’m able to train while the guys are enjoying morning cartoons! The plan for today was cardio and shoulders – note: shoulders, AKA delts, are my favorite to train. I’ve been concentrating on them for about six months and rounding them out has taken some time, but it’s working! But, I can’t train on an empty stomach – especially since I’m planning to lift heavy. This morning, I’m having instant cream of wheat with 1 tbsp of brown sugar and about a 1/3 cup of blueberries. First of all, I know sugar is not great – but I was out of stevia. Another option is an English muffin and almond butter with a drizzle of honey! This is a great source of carbohydrates, which I need for energy, to fuel my heavy lifting session.
To start, I get on the treadmill (AKA dreadmill) and warm up for just a few minutes, then crank up the incline to about 80% and the speed up to about 4.5 miles per hour and walk/jog until I’ve been on it for 20 minutes. Most people think to lose weight you have to do crazy amounts of cardio – and while it’s important in the process of weight loss, it’s not the end all – be all. So, I usually do 3-4 session of cardio a week, resulting in a little over an hour total for cardio.
Then, my shoulder workout consists of heavier weighted, medium repetition movements. On a typical shoulder day, it looks something like this:
|Seated Dumbbell Shoulder Press||30lb Dumbbells||3 sets of 12-15 reps|
|Front Plate Raise with Twist||25lb Plate||3 sets of 12-15 reps|
|Rear Delt Flyes||15lb Dumbbells||3 sets of 12-15 reps|
|Arnold Press||25lb Dumbbells||3 sets of 12-15 reps|
|Underhand EZ bar Front Raises||EZ bar + 5 lbs||3 sets of 12-15 reps|
|Shoulder “Finisher”||5-10lb Dumbbells||3 sets of 12-15 reps|
Now, I’m HUNGRY!! My go-to breakfast is usually a protein pancake. Now, let me say they’re not for everyone. However, I am the kind of person that once I find something I like – and it fits my macros AND works for my schedule, I’m all over it. I also know that much of what I consume is not a convenient option if you work outside of the house, but I assure you there are options, if you can commit to planning ahead!
By now, it’s late morning and we have appointments for my youngest and I use the rest of the time to work.
When lunch rolls around, I usually have a few options all ready for the week (or at least a few days) so I can pick and choose. My go-to’s are grilled chicken breast with rice and Frank’s Sweet Chili sauce (if you haven’t tried it, you need to!) or a big chef salad – which for me is much like the “make any sub a salad option” as they resemble everything I’d like on a sub. As I mentioned before, preparing ahead of time is half the battle for me. It’s really likely that if I cook a few chicken breasts on Sunday night or Monday, I’ll eat it until it’s gone – no thinking or growling because I don’t have anything that sounds good. The same goes for my salad cut-ups.
I have always been, and likely always will be a “sweets” person. That being said, my cravings have drastically decreased for the daily Snickers but I always have something a bit sweet after lunch or for an afternoon snack. The most common option for me is a Quest bar – they’re full of protein and taste fantastic microwaved or based in a toaster oven. When I don’t have them on hand, I love an apple with almond butter or even a Fiber One oats and chocolate bar – although its nutritional value is less desirable than any others I’ve mentioned.
Today after our lunch, the fellas and I hit the playground. I was able to squeeze in a quick circuit workout there too! I took a book and magazine, but as I played with them I was able to use the equipment to do things that I do in the gym. Box jumps (bench jumps), pull ups on the monkey bars, swing ab work (like an ab roller) and mixed it up with some jump squats, lunges and planks.
Back at home, the fellas are chilling with a snack so I’m back to work – and on my 4th liter of water for the day. I drink at least a gallon a day. Most people don’t drink enough water – water is essential for everything! But especially important for those who are trying to lose weight. A good beginner goal is to drink half your weight in ounces, example: if you weigh 150 pounds, you should be drinking about 75 ounces of water a day.
Dinner is usually the one meal that I don’t always have pre-planned. I hate to cook something different for everyone, but sometimes it’s inevitable. Tonight, I’m also not as hungry as I could be so I’m making the fellas some pork chops, sauteed some summer squash with peppers and onion. I ended up with a heaping bowlful of the veggies with some parmesan cheese on top! But, I should have known that since I didn’t have any protein in that meal I wouldn’t last too long. Shortly after I cleaned up dinner, I was hungry. So, I made myself a protein shake – super powered! I took Oikos Triple Zero coconut cream yogurt (no artificial sweetener and great protein source!), one scoop of chocolate protein powder, one serving powdered peanut butter (you can use brands like PB2 or GNC PureEdge) and added one tbsp semi-sweet chocolate chips and one tablespoon almond slivers. Blended it with some ice and it was like a rocky road shake… for real! You can also mix all of this together in a bowl and put it in the freezer to stiffen up a bit and it’s like your own frozen yogurt!
Now, I want to remind you this is what a good day looks like for me. I don’t eat these things every day, although I am a creature of habit. As I mentioned in my last blog (catch up over here), I love pizza and beer too, so I have days that I enjoy those. You just have to know how to do so in moderation – and when those days come, to not beat yourself up over it. Instead, pick yourself up and use those carbohydrates and fat and fuel a sic workout – whether you dance to Beyonce for 40 minutes straight, stroll your kiddos around town, or hike your stairs 50 times to take care of every piece of laundry in your house (I need to do this as soon as I get off the computer). Food is delicious, but more importantly it’s fuel. Treat your body like the temple that it is, not a trash can.
Remember, this is just a typical day for me. My truths are: I work from home 98% of the time and more than half that time my kids are with me, so I have to get creative in finding ways to fit in training and carve out time to food prep. I have always been an early morning person – I know that 4:45am is not a time that
some most people want to see, and that’s okay. However, we all have the same 24-hours in a day and we all have different responsibilities and roles to fulfill. If it’s important to you, you’ll find a way!
Everything I shared with you today is what works for me – you don’t have to eat protein pancakes or train muscle groups separately to get results. You just have to find what works for you and be consistent.
Next time: We’ll take a better look at food prep and how you can make it work for you. Whether you work from your home office (err….kitchen) like me, or are on the go all day!