Thursday, April 30, 2015

30 Days of Fitness Challenge: Week 4 Update- Final Week!?

Today is technically the last day of my 30 days of fitness challenge. Dealing with a sick family member this last week made it really tough to get my workouts in and although it was on my mind, it wasn't the first thing on my mind for obvious reasons. Due to this, I would like to extend this challenge by a week and kind of pretend this week never happened, and I will make next week the final week of this challenge.  

I did get in a couple of workouts this week and will list and link them as usual, but there's really not much to report this week.  Also, the stress of dealing with a sick family member certainly didn't help with eating a healthy diet. The usual stress cravings kicked in as well as time being an issue so I was reaching for quick foods like pizza more often.. not that I'd ever stop eating pizza anyways, I just ate more of it!

Here is what I have accomplished for the last 7 days:
  1. Toning- The Firm's Hi-Def Sculpt complete workout (45 min)
  2. Toning- YouTube- Jessica Smith Full Lower Body Exercise  (40 min)- Awesome workout!
  3. No workout
  4. No workout
  5. No workout
  6. No workout
  7. No workout 

Weigh in:
  • Starting weight: 145 lbs
  • Last week: 143.0 lbs
  • Today's weight: 143.5 lbs 

Wow, it was almost more painful for me typing "no workout" over and over again in the days listed above rather than doing a workout.  But family comes first and I am just reminding myself that there's always tomorrow. And one rule I've always lived by (sometimes to my detriment) is that rules were made to be broken, so I'm breakin' em, and I will continue the challenge this coming week-starting tomorrow.  I am also thinking that once the challenge is over, I may start a Fitness Friday to keep up my workouts and progress, keep me accountable and make sure that I reach my goals and stay there.

As far as my weight goes, I have found from A LOT of past experience that my weight is mostly affected by my diet and not exercise, so yes, i need to tweak my diet too. But, there are so many benefits and results that I am looking forward to from exercising that I really want to keep it up. I don't focus so much on the scale but rather how my clothes fit, how I feel and am I gaining muscle and losing fat, those are my objectives.

If you've been working out, I would love to hear any tips, tricks or even great workout resources that you have found or use yourself.

Xo Amy

Friday, April 24, 2015

30 Days of Fitness Challenge: Week 3 Follow Up + HUGE Skinny Teatox giveaway {over}

The last week has really been up and down with my workouts. I've had some rather large obstacles that made it impossible to workout on some days but life happens sometimes and you can't beat yourself up about that. Despite this I am sticking with the challenge and will update my progress and workouts completed in this post. If you missed the post regarding the challenge, here is a link to it 30 Days of Fitness Challenge.

Here is what I have accomplished for the last 7 days:
  1. Yoga- Seane Corn Detox Flow Yoga (35 min)
  2. Toning- The Firm's Hi-Def Sculpt complete workout (45 min)
  3. No workout- family outing
  4. Yoga- Trudie Styler's Weight Loss yoga, total body yoga (24 min)
  5. Toning- The Firm Hi-Def Sculpt Express workout (25 min)
  6. Yoga- Seane Corn Detox Flow Yoga (65 min)
  7. No workout- sick :(
Weigh in:
  • Starting weight: 145 lbs
  • Last week: 143.5 lbs
  • Today's weight: 143.0 lbs
The scale doesn't seem to want to budge very much but I'm definitely firming up and that's enough to keep me going. Hopefully next week will be better. I know that if I keep at it I will eventually see the results I want and that keeps me motivated!

If you haven't heard of Skinny-Teatox yet, they are currently holding a HUGE giveaway right now! I haven't tried their products yet but have been hearing a lot of buzz about them and hope to soon. Check out the contest if you are interested, it's a big one!!

$1,200 Victoria's Secret & Teatox Giveaway- Enter here!

Here is a link to their website if you just want to check them out- skinny-teatox

See you next week!

Xo Amy

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Pure + Simple and Holistic Vanity #earthday Celebration Specials!

I have been shopping at Pure and Simple Spa's for a few years now. For the last two years, I have participated in their amazing Earth Day celebration and I already can't wait until next year!

All you have to do is bring in some empty skincare products from any brand for recycling and they will give you 50% off of their products (Maximum 3 products per person.) Included in this sale is the Pure + Simple line, Holistic Vanity as well as their Minimalist line. They have 3 spas in Toronto and  1 in Waterloo. If you live out of town they even offer a mail-in program to participate. 

I stocked up on 2 of my favourite skin serums: 100 ml Algae Serum
And I traded in my empty Holistic Vanity Argan oil to try their Camellia Oil: 100 ml Camellia oil
I even received a free sample size of their all-natural deodorant. 

Remember, you will get 50% off on Earth Day, April 22nd. If you miss this sale they always have monthly sales on different products, usually 15%-20% off.

I'm excited to try the Camellia oil. It's not only for Rosacea! It's supposed to be very calming to the skin and it has great reviews on their website. After a quick "google" search, I see that Camellia oil has numerous skin benefits and it's non-comedogenic (won't clog pores or cause acne.)

If you're in the Toronto or Waterloo area and want to participate, they are open until 9pm tonight (Waterloo is open until 7 pm.) Or you could call their head office and ask about the mail-in program.  
Pure + Simple Contact info

How are you celebrating Earth Day?

(this is not sponsored and I purchased everything with my own money. I just love their products and service!)

Xo Amy

Monday, April 20, 2015

Haul: Makeup, Beauty and Clothing- Marshalls, Elf, Wet n Wild, Jordana, Sinful Colors with Swatches!

I have a small haul that I wanted to share today. It's mostly inexpensive drugstore makeup, a few dollar store finds as well as a fashion item that I'm loving and one I'm crying over leaving behind. :(

I scored these floral pajama bottoms pictured above at Marshall's for only $12.99. They are so comfy and light and perfect for summer. They are 3/4 length, cotton blend and have front and back pockets. They are super-flattering on. The manufacturer tag is still on them. They are made by a company called Jane & Bleeker New York and retail for $38.00. 

Since I'm on the topic of Marshall's here are the Michael Kors shoes that I left behind! 

I came across these shoes in a size 7 (not my size). They were on clearance for $80 and since I'm on a budget right now I didn't go looking for my size and I'm regretting it. I swear I could get rid of all the high heels that I currently own if I just owned this one pair! The picture isn't even doing them justice. They have rich gold hardware as well as a gold zip up the back.  Maybe I will go back and try to find my size- I need these in my life!

Dollar store finds:

Just a few finds from the dollar store. I didn't add the food items since I didn't think they were too exciting. I thought this pack of price stickers would come in handy for our yearly garage sale. I found this great eye mask for only $1 and this Sassy + Chic foot file that I've heard is pretty good.

Makeup Finds: 

As you can probably see I couldn't control myself and I broke into everything already!

Clockwise: Wet n Wild Lipstick in Will You Be With Me/ Elf Smudge Pot in Cruisin Chic/ Jordana Twist & Shine Moisturizing Balm Stain in Gorgeous Peony/ Jordana Easy Liner for Lips in Rose Crush/ Elf  Eye Shadow Quad in Blushing Beauty/ Sinful Colors nail colour in Tempest (Bonus: These brands are cruelty-free)

Elf Smudge Pot and eye quad in Blushing Beauty:

Elf eye shadow swatches:

From left to right: Elf Smudge Pot in Crusin Chic/ Elf eye shadow quad in Blushing Beauty (the cream colour and mid-tone brown in the palette are matte,)  I did a quick eye look with these yesterday and I was very happy with it!

Lip Swatches:

From left to right: Wet n Wild lipstick in Will You Be With Me/ Jordana Easy Liner for Lips in Rose Crush/ Jordana Twist & Shine in Gorgeous Peony (the Wet n Wild lipstick goes on much brighter than it appears in the tube)

Sinful Colors in Tempest

I've been addicted to purple and lavender nails for at least a year now and I'm still loving them!

I hope you enjoyed my little haul and the swatches. Let me know if you'd like any reviews on these products or if you've tried them, what are your thoughts?

Xo Amy

Thursday, April 16, 2015

30 Days of Fitness Challenge: Week 2 Follow Up

It's been 2 weeks since I challenged myself to 30 days of fitness. It's been a challenge alright. Trying to find the time and having enough energy are my biggest challenges so far. As much as I feel good after completing a workout and keeping up with the challenge, some days I feel like I just can't do it. Despite this, I am pushing myself and that's part of the point; sometimes we need a push and it has to come from within ourselves, no one else is going to do it for us. The motivation comes from whatever it is we desire; wanting a better body, better health, better sleep, a better outlook or just being able to fit into all our clothes.  Whatever our motivation is, we have to use it as a powerful tool to get ourselves going and to stay on track.

I don't want the challenge to end after 30 days, I want this to become a habit, a way of life. That is another point to this challenge for me- to make fitness a part of my daily routine, to find the time, to make the time, to find forms of exercise that I enjoy and keep at it!

Over the past 7 days of this challenge there were some days that I just wasn't up to doing much of anything. But, for the most part, I chose to do some form of activity rather than do nothing (with the exception of one fail day.) I will list the exercises that I chose to do over the last week and you will see that I found many options for those days that I didn't have the time or energy. I will link to items I used in my workouts this week where possible.

Here is what I have accomplished for the last 7 days (Day 9-15):
  1. Fail
  2. Yoga- Trudie Styler's Weight Loss yoga, total body yoga (24 min)
  3. Yoga- Sara Ivanhoe's Candlelight yoga (45 min)
  4. Toning- The Firm's Hi-Def Sculpt complete workout (45 min)
  5. HIIT- 7 Minute Workout App -it's free! (7 sweaty
  6. Toning- The Firm Hi-Def Sculpt Express workout (25 min)
  7. HIIT- Youtube video- Fitness Blender's Brutal Fat Burning Cardio HIIT (27 min)
Weigh in:
  • Starting weight: 145 lbs
  • Last week: 143.5 lbs
  • Today's weight: 143.5 lbs

Despite my one fail day, I chose an activity on 6 out of the 7 days, which I don't feel bad about at all. I'm not beating myself up over a fail day or even a shorter workout day as it's better than what I was doing before this challenge ie. nothing! Even on some of my most limiting days I found a way to squeeze in a little workout. For instance, some of the DVD's I have offer shorter workouts, and I finally used an app that I've had on my cell phone for eons- the "7 Minute Workout." It was a great workout and I actually worked up a sweat! Even though it was only 7 minutes, it felt good to get in a workout that day. I'm impressed with the app. and will definitely use it again.

I've read a lot of research over the last few years which says that they are finding out that short bursts of exercise are more beneficial than longer more traditional workouts.  Along those lines, HIIT or "High Intensity Interval Training" is gaining more and more popularity due to its purported benefits over conventional workouts. Many of you are probably familiar with or have heard of it. HIIT is basically a form of exercise where you alternate high intensity exercises with low intensity ones. One example would be running quickly for a few minutes and then walking for 1 minute (your rest period). This style of exercise is supposed to burn fat much more effectively than a steady paced workout. Here is Wikipedia's description of HIIT.

I may not have lost any weight but that's okay, I feel I am toning up already!

If you know of any great workout DVD's or app's please let me know.

Xo Amy

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Target Canada Closing Liquidation Sale- Final Haul: Health, Beauty, Makeup, Home

I did a few Target hauls during their liquidation sale here in Canada. The stores near me closed their doors for good this past Sunday and I decided to make a couple few more trips before they departed as I heard they had everything marked down to 80% off! I wanted to see if there was anything worth getting and take advantage of 80% off of course.

Just before the 80% markdown they were at 70% markdowns and the stores were still brimming with products. By the time I went back during the 80% markdown the store was pretty much bare. They had some health and beauty products, home products, a TON of Sonia Kashuk products as well as racks and racks of basic T-shirts for only $2, but that was pretty much it.

70% off sale

Above is the what the store looked like just days before the 80% off sale. I wasn't able to get photos during the 80% off sale due to crowds and security but as I mentioned it was mostly bare.

Sonia Kashuk!

Sonia Kashuk palettes (drool!) This is the only bin I was able to get a picture of. This is the  highly coveted Eye on Neutral Matte palette and there were even more of them in other bins! They were marked down to just $3.99!!

Haul #1

All of these items were 80% off, so most items were around the $2 range! woop woop!

Pictured above, clockwise starting on the left side. ("SK" will be abbreviated for Sonia Kashuk):

up & up waterproof makeup remover
SK body butter in Yellow Alluriana
SK Eau De Toilette in Yellow Alluriana
SK body brush 
SK Beautifying Blush in pink
SK Eye Duo in Leather & Lace
SK All Covered up Corrector in Ivory
Pixi Succulent Lip Twin in Opal Orchid
Pixi Fairy Light Solo eyeshadow in Nude Nouveaux
SK nail colour in Golden Ticket
SK Shine Luxe Sheer Lip Colour in Sheer Pink Lust (x2)
SK Satin Luxe Lip Colour in Nude Pink
SK Dramatically Defining Longwear Gel Eyeliner in Ebony

Haul #2

All items were 80% off with the exception of the cardigans which were 70% off:

Pictured above, clockwise starting on the left side:

Mossimo Cardigans at 70% off
Method Laundry detergent, bag and bottle (should have grabbed them all!)
Pixi nail colour in Mink Grey
SK Perfectly Neutral palette
SK Satin Luxe Lip Colour in Nude Pink (2nd one-love this!)
Pixi Fairy Light Solo in Boho Bronze
Pixi Fairy Light Solo in Bronze beam
Pixi Fairy Light Solo in Fairy Pink
Annabelle Single Eyeshadow in Suedine
Threshold pillow cases

How did I forget about my last little jaunt to Target before they closed!?

I almost forgot about my last trip to Target. I just popped in quickly on the last day and picked up a few last things (shown above). As you can see, I have already dug-in to some all of them.

SK Lash and Brown Enhancer
SK Pearlescence Longwear Creme Eyeshadow in Tiger's Eye
SK Brightening Powder
SK Monochrome eye Quad in Textured Taupe

So, it looks like I have a ton of products to enjoy and to play with. This was a lot of fun and I really got some great deals to try some products that I probably wouldn't have tried otherwise.  Saying that, I am really going to miss my trips to Target and all the great product lines they carry.

If you would like to see swatches or reviews for any products, please let me know!

Xo Amy

Monday, April 13, 2015

At Home DIY Facial: nu-pore Cucumber Collagen Essence Korean Sheet Mask

A while ago a friend of mine gave me one of those Korean face masks to try. It's one of those creepy looking one's with the eye and mouth holes cut out. It's been sitting around in a box that I have that's full of samples to try out. With my skin feeling a little dry and itchy lately, I finally decided to break it out and give it a try.  This one is the nu-pore Cucumber Collagen Essence Mask.

Claims: Purifying, soothing and moisturizing. It also says on the pack that it contains vitamin E and collagen. It claims to make your tired skin moistened, elastic, clear and relieves your stress. Use 2-3 times per week.  The package also contains a number of warnings like not to use on blemished, irritated or sunburned skin.

Ingredients: Water, glycerin, butylenes glycol, hydrolyzed collagen, cucumis sativus fruit (cucumber) extract, methylparaben, PEG-60 hydrogenated castor oil, carbomer, sodium hyaluronate, ceteth-20, steareth-20, tocopheryl acetate, glyceryl stearate, cetearyl alcohol, neopentyl glycol, dicaprate, cetyl ethylhexanoate, phenoxyethanol, sodium hydroxide, fragrance, allantoin, panthenol, disodium EDTA

Out of the package comes 1 pre-moistened mask -pictured above. It is very saturated. It says to apply to clean and dried skin and then to soothe your face with a toner before applying, unfold the mask and leave on for 15-20 minutes. Then, peel off the mask and massage the remaining collagen essence into the skin. After that I applied my normal toner and moisturizer.

It's a dark an rainy day here so I tried taking pictures in different lighting but couldn't seem to get rid of the shadowing. Seeing close ups of your own skin isn't much fun (just look at those pores!) But, hopefully you can see that my skin is hydrated after using the mask (I'm wearing a lip balm so my lips look super shiny). I have a lot of sun damage, scarring and imperfections on my skin and I didn't expect this mask to get rid of those problems (I probably need lasers for that!) What I found was this mask really did hydrate and soothe my skin as it claimed and that's just what I was looking for today. This mask was extremely easy to use and there was no mess to clean up afterwards. I would love to use these types of sheet masks but I will definitely be on the hunt for some without parabens in them.

Have you tried any sheet masks? Please let me know, especially if you know of any that are paraben-free and cruelty-free. 

Xo Amy

Thursday, April 9, 2015

iHerb Haul for Y'all: Health, Beauty, Skincare, Makeup, Supplements!

Health and Beauty Haul!

I received a package from iHerb today and thought I'd share my little haul with y'all. Maybe you will get some ideas for things you want to try. I love finding out about new products to try out. Some of these items are repurchases and other are some new discoveries for me.

As usual, I tore into everything right away! Not pictured in the haul pic above is an Elf eyeshadow that arrived as dust. :(

This is Elf's Pressed Mineral Eyeshadow in Lunch Break it's currently on sale for only $2.10! The great thing about iHerb is that they immediately refunded my money and I am reordering this with my next order. I did manage to swatch this and it's BEAUTIFUL! I actually didn't expect it to be such a nice colour from the swatches I found online.

The rest of my items and all the deets:

Rainbow Light Multivitamin

Rainbow Light Just Once Women's Food Based Multi 150 tablets for $32.89- this is a repurchase. I love this multi because it's made from food-based ingredients so our bodies recognize the ingredients more compared to manufactured ingredients and it has some herbs specifically for Women's issues and you only need one a day!

From iHerb's website:
#1 Natural Women's Multivitamin Brand
    • Promotes Bone, Breast, Heart & Skin Health
    • Provides Energy & Stress Support
    • Easy to Digest with Probiotics & Enzymes
    • Gluten Free
    • Soy Free
    • Dietary Supplement
    Naturally nourishes, energizes, and protects the major systems of a woman's body.
    Just one tablet of our food-based Women's One multivitamin goes beyond minimal daily values to deliver clinically researched key nutrients in forms that are easy for your body to absorb.
    • Bone, breast, heart, skin & immune health
    Vitamins B, C, D3, E, K • 2:1 calcium : magnesium ratio • antioxidants • whole foods
    • Energy, mood & stress management
    Women's Nourishing Blend • potent B complex
    • Brain & nervous system health
    B6 & B12 • choline
    • Easy to digest: can be taken on an empty stomach
    Fast-acting probiotics • plant-source enzymes 

Country Life Coenzyme B-Complex

Country Life, Gluten Free Coenzyme B Complex Caps, Veggie Caps 60 caps for $11.99 or 120 caps for $17.99- this is a new purchase for me. It's supposed to be easier for our bodies to absorb because of the Coenzyme formula.  

From Iherb's website: "Coenzyme B-Complex contains essential B vitamins in its active, "coenzymated" form. This complex that you've known and loved for over 15 years now includes Methylfolate (Quatrefolic) - the most advanced form currently available. And as always, you don't need to worry about the typical vitamin B taste or odor."

Reviva Labs Rosewater Facial Spray

Reviva Labs, Rosewater Facial Spray  8oz for $6.51- this is another new purchase. I love my facial sprays and I'm so excited to try this one, it has great reviews on iHerb`s website. 

From iHerb's website: With Aloe, Herbs, Minerals & Hyaluronic Acid, Refresh Skin & Set Makeup, Spray Away Perspiration, Moisturize Skin & Hair in Dry Weather, Use as a Sensitive-Skin Tonic. "Natural extract of roses makes this Facial Spray very refreshing and stimulating. Helps moisturizers and night creams have better effects in making skin look better with makeup, or "setting" makeup; you'll find dozens of other uses. For male and female athletes, this mist is a great refresher and cleansing aid."

Now Foods XyliWhite Neem & Tea Tree Toothpaste

Now Foods, XyliWhite Neem & Tea Tree Toothpaste 6.4oz for $4.57- This is another new product that I'm trying. I usually use this product in the regular XyliWhite cinnamon flavoured toothpaste and have had great results. Once I saw this formula with Neem and Tea Tree I had to get it. 

From iHerb's website: XyliWhite is a remarkable fluoride-free toothpaste gel that uses natural Xylitol as its main ingredient.
  • Formulated with the purest ingredients
  • Free of SLS (sodium lauryl sulfate)
  • Vegetarian/vegan ingredients
  • Cool, minty, refreshing taste
  • White, stronger teeth
  • Contains 25% Xylitol, one of the highest contents available
  • For adults and children

Healthy Origins 5-HTP

Healthy Origins 5-HTP Veggie Caps 50mg/ 120 veggie caps for $10.98- This is another new product that I'm excited to try. It has great reviews and I'm hoping it will help with sleep and mood etc.

From iHerb's website: 
  • Economy Size
  • Naturally Sourced
  • Non-GMO
  • Soy Free
  • Supports a Positive Mood
  • Vegetarian Formula
  • Dietary Supplement
``Healthy Origins 5-HTP (5-Hydroxytryptophan) is a naturally occurring substance extracted from the seeds of the Griffonia Simplicifolia plant. 5-HTP is a precursor to serotonin which is a vital neurotransmitter in the body. Serotonin is one of the primary neurotransmitters which supports healthy mood, appetite, and sleep.``
Healthy Origins 5-HTP is guaranteed to be free of "peak x" contaminant.

California Gold Curcumin C3

California Gold Nutrition, Curcumin C3 Complex 30 Veggie Caps (at the time I purchased they were on a trial special for .90cents) iHerb always has super specials and trial specials going on, you just have to click on those links on their site. I have taken curcumin before but not by this brand. Curcurmin has so many purported health benefits. Info on Curcumin.

I love shopping at iHerb. The products are much cheaper than if I were to buy them in retail stores and they have superb customer service (eg. it took me about 3 minutes on their live chat today to tell them about my broken eye shadow and they quickly refunded me.) They operate out of California and because I`m in Canada I use international shipping. Even with international shipping, this entire order cost me a flat $5.34 USD for shipping. Depending on the weight I often get shipping for a lighter order for just $2! Everyone will receive a discount on orders over $40 and if you`ve never shopped with them before, they will give you $5-$10 off your order by using this iHerb coupon code  . I`ve shopped around and always find they have the lowest prices and lowest shipping charges. 

I hope you enjoyed seeing all the new products I purchased. I know I`m excited to try all of the new ones! If you have any questions or would like any reviews on any of the products please let me know. 

Xo Amy

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

30 Days of Fitness Challenge: Week 1 Follow Up

Today marks the one week period since I started my 30 days of fitness challenge.  Here is the link to the original post Day 1: 30 Days of Fitness Challenge . I'll be honest, I have had a few fail days where I just couldn't squeeze in a workout for one reason or another. The point for me is that once I fall off I do climb back on. I am not discouraged. In fact, I feel more motivated to do better next week. I am doing this challenge to try and get back into shape, to challenge myself and to try and develop the habit of workout out. I think they say it takes 27 days of doing something consistently for it to become a habit, so I may have to challenge myself to this again once this challenge comes to an end. And, the reason I allow myself to choose to do whatever workout I'm in the mood for is so I enjoy it! If I'm not enjoying it, I wont want to do it.

I think one of my issues is time management. I always plan to workout but some days time just gets away from me. I also struggle with insomnia and severe fatigue on some days and this is a work in progress.
Today's workout

Here is what I have accomplished for the last 8 days (Day 1-8):
  1. Yoga- Seane Corn Detox Flow Yoga (65 min purify workout)
  2. Fail- migraine kept me down an out
  3. Tony Little's Easy Shaper workout
  4. Yoga- Trudie Styler's Weight Loss Yoga (18 +24 min workout)
  5. Fail- too tired
  6. Yoga- Trudie Styler's Weight Loss (24 min)
  7. Yoga- YouTube video (15 min)
  8. Yoga- Seane Corn Detox Yoga Flow (65 min purify workout)
Weigh in:
  • Starting weight: 145 lbs
  • Today's weight: 143.5 lbs

I weighed myself at the same time of day- in the morning before breakfast. I didn't lose a lot of weight, but I am happy that I lost something. With such a small difference in weight it could even be a difference in water weight. Although, I did eat a TON of salty popcorn last night (fail) so I would think that I would retain water. I do feel that I am slowly gaining muscle as I can see some toning going on in my legs. *gets excited

It seems like I really was drawn to yoga this week and a little bit of weights and toning exercises. I think I have steered clear from the cardio partially due to a bad knee. Although, since I have started this challenge my knee seems to be getting a little bit better. The yoga DVD's that I have been doing have mostly been the weight loss kind where you use your body own body weight as resistance and I definitely feel it in my muscles the next day.

Yoga has served me well for weight loss in the past. I had a large weight gain (for me) at one point in my life and I worked out hardcore to Turbo Jam every single day only to gain weight after a month of this. And, it wasn't muscle gain as my clothes became even tighter and my scale showed a higher percentage of body fat. So, I dropped that like a hot potato and I started doing 20 minutes of yoga a day using Sarah Ivanhoe's Yoga Body Makeover Series and suddenly the pounds started melting off! I guess that's what my body wanted and needed. Hey, whatever works right!?

I am excited to continue with this challenge and looking forward to the next week of workouts. That's what's great about allowing yourself to do what you want when you want, you don't end up dreading it!

Let me know what tips you have for staying in shape or keeping on track. Or if you want to join this challenge at any point it's never too late! ;)

Xo Amy

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Day 1: 30 Days of Fitness Challenge- Yoga, Cardio, Weights and HIIT!

Talk about perfect timing! With a new month starting today, it's the perfect time for me to start my 30 days of fitness challenge. I've packed on a few extra winter pounds and I'm definitely not happy about it. I did well for most of the winter and I didn't feel like I gained any weight until the very end of winter, sometime around February, when I just felt my body suddenly packing on some pounds. Although, I'm not sure why because I hadn't changed anything. It seems like I have put weight on all over, but, I really notice it in my abdomen area as well as my hips and butt. Most of my jeans had become WAY too tight and I started looking like a sausage in them (best way to make you look even bigger!) And, yesterday, I was more than filling out my biggest pair of jeans!

I had been toying with the idea of challenging myself to either a 30 days of yoga or a 30 day workout/HIIT (High-intensity interval training) challenge. Since I prefer to do a little bit of everything: yoga, cardio, weights and HIIT, I just couldn't make up my mind! So, I decided that I will just do a "30 days of fitness" challenge. This way I can do any of the above as long as I do one form of exercise every day for the next 30 days! And, I will use this blog to keep myself accountable and on track.

I did the dreaded "weigh-in" and it wasn't good, but it also wasn't as horrible as I had expected. I guess I was expecting worse considering the extent that I was busting out of my biggest pair of jeans. Sadly, this indicates that it's most likely all fat that I;ve gained and no muscle- since muscle weighs much more than fat. (Picture 5 lbs of fat vs 5 lbs of muscle.) But, I guess it would be wishful thinking to hope for muscle gain when you're not even working out...

Time for change. I wish I could keep working out all the time once I get started. Not only do I look better when I workout but I also feel better! I go through phases though; I'll work out regularly for a while until something sets me back and then I fall off the "workout wagon." This time I stayed off the wagon for far too long,

The Challenge:
  • I challenge myself to do some form of exercise activity daily; whether it be yoga, cardio and/or weights. (workouts can range from 15-60 minutes, depending on how I'm feeling and how much time I have.) note: my workouts will mostly be on a treadmill or following along with DVDs as I do not have a gym membership
  • to lose weight and gain muscle.
  • to fit into ALL of my jeans.
  • to lose 5 pounds, minimum! (it doesn't sound like a lot, but I don't even want to picture what 5 pounds of body fat looks like!)
  • and hopefully reap some other benefits along the way! 
 My Stats: 
  • My start weight today is exactly 145 pounds and ??% body fat (trying to get my height into the scale to find out my % of body fat)
  • My goal weight is 140 pounds (my ideal weight is 135 pounds)
  • I am 5.7 and a half (just for reference)
  • I have taken my measurements and will share how much I lose, if any 
My Tools:
  • variety of workout dvd's (yoga, cardio, weights, HIIT)
  • free workouts on YouTube 
  • treadmill 
  • mini stair climber
  • kettlebell
  • free weights
  • resistance bands
  • my body weight (lots of squats and push-ups)
  • Old Navy workout clothes, I LOVE their workout gear (seriously, check out their compression pants!) hehe.. had to throw in some fashion!
Some of my gear:

From experience, I know that I look and feel my best around 135-137 pounds, and, I also know from experience that it's a little unrealistic for me to STAY at that weight. Usually, 140 pounds is pretty easy for me to maintain without too much effort.

I will be trying to eat healthier as well, but I will not be going on any "diet" per se. No calorie counting, no diet restrictions. Although, I do try to limit my sugar (especially) and carbohydrate intake as I have for years after a rather large, unexpected and sudden weight gain many years ago (and that's what worked for me to lose the weight.)

I will be keeping a journal and I will weigh in once a week (I don't like to weigh-in daily as our weight can fluctuate daily due to water weight as well as many other factors.) I will also document anything else that comes up during this 30 day journey, such as: stress level, sleep, mood etc. It will be interesting to me to see what changes, if any, may occur during the challenge. I could definitely use a boost in the mood and sleep department!

Here I am in a before shot. I knew I had gained weight, but, I didn't realize that I got this large (for me) until I took this pic a couple of days ago! (I once heard a professional photographer say "a camera doesn't lie"-yikes!) ps. don't mind all the cat toys... lol

Day 1 of 30 (April 1, 2015):

Wow, a picture is definitely worth a thousand words. Didn't realize I got so out of shape! (not sure why the picture is stamped March 2015, it was taken today, April 1, 2015)

Note: I have been having problems with my right knee. If it worsens, I may have to modify what I am doing during this 30 day challenge.

If you like, follow me on Instagram. I'll be posting updates on there as well.

Wish me luck! And, I hope you will join me!

xo Amy

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