Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Broad Street Run - Check!

I did it!!!!

I ran 10 miles at the Broad Street Run!! I accomplished one of my goals!!

A year ago I was struggling to run a 5k, and here I was today, braving a whooping 10 miles, and I did it!

I "blame" GFit for this accomplishment. For keeping me fit, my legs strong. I hadn't really trained (not saying this was wise or the right thing to do) for this run, so all my strength came from the exercises at GFit. It would of course have been easier if I had trained, and I probably would have been in less pain and ran faster, but for someone who hadn't really ran much in the past few months, this definitely felt amazing. 

The last time I had done a 5k was November of last year, and then on April 27th I decided to run again, for 5 miles! I broke my record and that was the last time I ran, until today!!!!

Funny thing is I wasn't even planning on doing this run.. It wasn't until 4 days before the race that my brother convinced me to try it, and I found someone who was selling their bib and I bought it. I never in my wildest dreams thought I would be running 5 miles, let alone 10, just 2 weeks ago!

This goes to show that you can do anything you want, no matter what people tell you. Mind over matter!!!

I will leave you with my stats below... That map is my favorite part! Can you believe I ran for that long??? Me neither!!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Nutritional Challenge: Day 1

So my AWESOME gym started this Nutritional Challenge which will happen every month, and provide us with ways to improve our diet and eat healthy. This month, our challenge is to eat 3 servings of vegetables per day.

I am not a big fan of vegetables. The only vegetables that I can think of that I actually like and eat, are brocoli and asparagus. I never venture into the world of squash, artichoke, brussel sprout, and these weird named vegetables. Let me start by saying I don't even know the names in English of half of these vegetables. When I was in Brazil, my mom was doing all of the cooking and groceries, so if you ask me what they are called in Portuguese, I might not even know that! Plus, I would not even know how to start eating some of these vegetables. For instance, artichokes just look scary. Looks like something someone would feed you while you were being tortured. And don't even get me started on sweet potatoes.. Ew. I'm not a very picky eater, but sweet potatoes don't have a place in my heart.

So I decided to stick to the basics, and made a menu including the vegetables I do like and am familiar with. Since I was working today and am working the next two days, I created a menu just for tonight's dinner and the next 2 days. Here's what I came up with:


- Dinner: corn, asparagus + steak


-Breakfast: Omelet (incl. onion, mushroom, tomatoes, red pepper, spinach)
-Lunch: Asparagus, lettuce w/ carrots and red peppers, 1/2 steak
-Dinner: Green beans, broccoli + chicken pasta


-Breakfast: Omelet (incl. onion, mushroom, tomatoes, red pepper, spinach)
-Lunch: broccoli, lettuce w/ carrots and red peppers, 1 chicken
-Dinner: broccoli + sausage (pasta)

In order to organize myself with the prepping, I also wrote a To Do list so that I knew exactly what to make and prepare each night. So basically, I knew I had to prep the salad and the ingredients for the omelet for the next two days, as well as the amount and what to cook each night, in order to have left overs for the next day.
Once I did that, I knew what I needed to buy. So I made a grocery list based on my menu and went shopping.

After leaving work at 8pm, doing groceries and getting home, I didn't start getting dinner ready until 9:30pm as well as prepping for the next day. We ended up eating at 10pm, but I was able to pack my lunch and breakfast ingredients for the next 2 days.

Prepping is definitely not easy. This whole planning, prepping and storing takes a lot of time, not to mention the extra containers of food I need to take to work. But at the end, you save more money this way and stick to your diet, because you will have your food ready, waiting for you. You won't be going out to buy junk food, or grabbing too much or too little out of the fridge when leaving from your house in a hurry.

My plan is to write a menu Wednesday night for the rest of the week until Sunday, and then on Sunday write another menu for the whole next week, do groceries, buy extra tupperware because I will need it, and do all the prepping for the 3 days I will be working. This way, on Monday, all I have to do is grab the containers from the fridge, put in my lunch bag, and go.

I have a good feeling about this challenge and I am excited to stick with it and see how this will improve my body's energy and performance.

And who knows, I might even venture into eating an artichoke!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy Fit Year!

When I think of the first 3 months of 2012, I remember feeling very unhappy with myself, the way I looked, but I was not doing anything about it. I would stay home and not go out, simply because I didn't feel like wearing going out clothes, or clothes simply didn't fit me. I was focusing my time on feeling sorry for myself. It affected me in ways it shouldn't, because I shouldn't have let my physical appearance affect the way I feel inside. But the truth is it did. Some of the wrong choices I was making was eating out a lot, eating snacks and unhealthy foods all day, not watching my calorie intake, not drinking water, and not exercizing on my days off. I reached 160lbs.

I found out I was 160lbs on the same day my brother ran 60 miles in one day. We were measuring his blood pressure and weighing him to ensure he was healthy, and while he was out in one of his runs, I decided to weigh myself. The shock of having reached that weight, and seeing my brother achieve such an amazing goal, all at the same day, made me realize I should start doing something for myself. One week later, I had signed up for a GFit intro class, started doing a c25k program and started eating healthy. So I have my brother to thank for inspiring me to make this change in my life.

I started this blog at that same time, and looking back, despite a few set back (which I will discuss later) I see how far I have come.

Running Progress:

I started the c25k program not being able to run for 2 minutes straight. But then, 8 weeks later, I ran my first full 5k. I kept running and the most I have dones was 4 miles straight. I did a couple of 5ks while in Brazil in November, and those were the last ones I did. December came and after I arrived back from Brazil and I haven't gone running since. But I have gone running during a couple Gfit classes and my speed has definitely improved.

GFit Progress:

I started using 10lb dumbells, 15lb kettlebells and 10lb wall balls. I now use 20lb dumbells, 25lb kettlebells and 15lb wall malls (depending on the exercises and intensity I might go lower or higher). I also went from jumping on and off the lower box at the gym to the highest (20 inches I believe). Those are the visible changes I have taken notes of, but I know I have gone up on weights in bench press, deadlift, as well as used thinner bands for assisted pull ups.

Weight Progress
Overall, I lost 25lbs and reached my goal weight, but I have fluctuated, and gained 5lbs over the Holidays, which I will talk about more later. I also went from being a size 12/14 to a size 6, which despite the weight fluctuation, I still am a 6 :)

Eating Progress

The biggest change I made was drink more water. I try to drink at least 2 liters a day. I rarely drink juice, soda or milk. This also changed a bit over the Holidays and when I was in Brazil. I track my calories and before travelling to Brazil end of October, I had started to only eat organic food and little carbs, but then the trip to Brazil came and my eating got a bit out of track..

Affecting others:  

The best part of this journey for me has been inspiring people. Since I started GFit and this journey, 8 people have come to tell me they decided to join because they had seen my progress. Two of them have stuck with it, and two will begin the intro this month. I can't express how great it makes me feel that my choices to become healthier also inpired others to do the same, in the same way my brother's choice inspired me to become better. It's definitely a very humbling, amazing feeling

Set Backs:

So here's what happened, and here's what life and reality will bring:

I was doing really well with my eating and exercizing. I had lost 22 lbs by the end of October, which was when an opportunity to travel to Brazil for 5 weeks for work came, and I took it. Travelling to Brazil caused a few set backs for me, since I didn't have my usual intense GFit work outs, and easy access to the foods I had already implemented in my diet. Being from Brazil, I also really love the Brazilian food, and for that month I didn't restrict myself so much. So although I did go for a couple of runs, did a few at home work outs and tried to watch what I was eating, it wasn't as efficient as when I was home. Luckily, I only gained 4 lbs from when I had left.

So I come back to the US beginning of December, and had to get back on track. It was really difficult going back to GFit, my body felt as it did in the first week I had ever started. But soon I had lost the pounds I had gained, plus a couple more, which was when I reached my goal weight: 135lbs.

But then came the Holidays and a wedding I was in. Needless to say, I had little time to work out and lots to eat. I am now back at 140lbs, which means I gained 5lbs over the holidays. 

Looking Forward:

I am excited to get back on track now, back to my healthy eating and exercizing more often. I'm sure these 5lbs will come off soon. Even before I went to Brazil, the weight fluctuated, and I had days where I kicked butt at the gym versus days where I did terrible. There were days I ate too much, and there were weeks I did amazing. But I have kept going, and after almost 9 months, I am happy to say I am still strongly motivated and goal oriented. The bigger picture shows improvement, and progress, and a happier self that I used to be.

I can't wait for what this year will bring. I can't wait to see what much more my body is capable of. I can't wait to come back here and write about all of the progress I will have made. And I can't wait to keep inspiring others to do the same!

Of course, we can't talk about a New Year and not talk about resolutions, especially when it comes to fitness, right??

New Year Resolutions:

- Run a half-marathon, and possibly a marathon by the end of the year
- Go up to 35lbs kettlebells when doing KB Swings or Goblet Squats
- Go up to 25lb dumbells for thrusters, push press, etc
- Do at least one unassisted pull up
- Eat healthy 100% of the time, minimizing processed foods as well cutting sugar
- Lose another 10 pounds or go to a size 4, no less than that.

That sounds doable right??

Here's to a fit, strong and healthy new year!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

How Do I Stay Motivated?

I have a secret weapon for the days I don't feel motivated. It's called PINTEREST! That's right. I go there, look right past all the foods and click on "Health and Fitness" category or simply go on my Fit and Healthy Board and start looking at motivational pictures and words. It always works!! Here are a few of my favorites:

You can follow me on Pinterest at

Stay motivated!!

5 Months Progress!

It's hard to believe it's been 5 months since I decided to change my life for the better. I now know this is not a phase, it's a permanent change and I'm sticking with it!!

And of course, it deserves a progress pictures. Here you go: 

Where did all that fat go??? I don't know, but all I know is I'm really happy that all my hard work is paying off!! I can finally wear tight pants and small shirts to the gym and not be embarrassed. 

So, on to the measurements:

Shirt Size
Normal J

I just love doing these little comparison tables! Specially on days I feel unmotivated, to keep me going and realize change comes, even if it takes time. 

I am pretty happy where I am right now. I don't have a set goal weight. I'm focusing on being a size 6 and that's it. I think that's where I want to be. But more than that, I want to keep on getting stronger and be able to run more often. I'm yet to run more than 4 miles. 

Thanks for reading, whoever you are :)

Thursday, August 30, 2012

I Lost a Car Tire!

That's how much weight I have lost so far... 20 lbs! Which equals a car tire, according to this awesome list below I came across online. It helps you get a better idea on how much you really are losing!

What have YOU lost?

1 pound = a Guinea Pig 
1.5 pounds = a dozen Krispy Kreme glazed donuts 
2 pounds = a rack of baby back ribs 
3 pounds = an average human brain 
4 pounds = an ostrich egg 
5 pounds = a Chihuahua 
6 pounds = a human’s skin 
7.5 pounds = an average newborn 
8 pounds = a human head 
10 pounds= chemical additives an American consumes each year 
11 pounds = an average housecat 
12 pounds = a Bald Eagle 
15 pounds = 10 dozen large eggs 
16 pounds = a sperm whale’s brain 
20 pounds = an automobile tire 
23 pounds = amount of pizza an average American eats in a year 
24 pounds = a 3-gallon tub of super premium ice cream 
25 pounds = an average 2 year old 
30 pounds = amount of cheese an average American eats in a year 
33 pounds = a cinder block 
36 pounds = a mid-size microwave 
40 pounds = a 5-gallon bottle of water or an average human leg 
44 pounds = an elephant’s heart 
50 pounds = a small bale of hay 
55 pounds = a 5000 BTU air conditioner 
60 pounds = an elephant’s penis (yep, weights more than his heart!) 
66 pounds = fats and oils an average American eats in a year 
70 pounds = an Irish Setter 
77 pounds = a gold brick 
80 pounds = the World’s Largest Ball of Tape 
90 pounds = a newborn calf 
100 pounds = a 2 month old horse 
111 pounds = red meat an average American eats in a year 
117 pounds = an average fashion model (and she’s 5’11”) 
118 pounds = the complete Encyclopedia Britannica 
120 pounds = amount of trash you throw away in a month 
130 pounds = a newborn giraffe 
138 pounds = potatoes an average American eats in a year 
140 pounds = refined sugar an average American eats in a year 
144 pounds = an average adult woman (and she’s 5’4”) 
150 pounds = the complete Oxford English Dictionary 
187 pounds = an average adult man 
200 pounds = 2 Bloodhounds 
235 pounds = Arnold Schwarzenegger 
300 pounds = an average football lineman 
400 pounds = a Welsh pony 

I think this is a great way to motivate and inspire people to stay strong. My goal is to lose a mid-size microwave in total :)

Thursday, August 16, 2012

TL;DR: Don't Give Up!!!!!

Eating healthy is an arduous, expensive, annoying process. It's so much easier to grab a back of chips and curb your hunger that way. But I also realized the way you feel after eating a healthy meal or snack is much better. You don't feel sick, or too full or guilty. You feel satisified, energized and healthy... Not to mention the reward in the long run... Not being bloated, losing inches around your waist, having better skin, fitting in clothes easily, feeling sexy in underwear... Those things are far better than not caring about what you eat. I know, because I have experienced all these things. I don't miss eating a lot. I learned to know when I am satisfied and keep within my calorie limits. When I do eat a lot, I just feel sick and bloated. It's not a pleasant feeling.

Here is what I have been doing.. On the days I work, I eat a yogurt for breakfast, and sometimes a banana. But mostly just a yogurt. Then for lunch, a have a Lean Cuisine or a low calorie lunch, because on the nights I work, me and my husband go for easy dinners such as Pizza or hot dogs, which are usually high in calories, and everything else, so I try to keep at a very low calorie intake throughout the day.

The days I don't work, I have a nice breakfast consisting of eggs, and maybe some other meat like Turkey bacon or a bagle. Depending the time I wake up, I'll skip lunch and have a fruit, or have a low calorie lunch. Those days I can control my dinner better, because I cook then, so I make sure to cook brocolli, and something healthier, like grilled chicken. I also pay attention to the fat, sugar, carb and sodium contents of the foods I eat, so I try to go for healthier alternatives. For instance, I really like tacos. But I decided to make them with Turkey ground beed and a low sodium Taco mix instead of regular ground beef and regular taco seasoning. Or even if I go to McDonald's (because trust me, my husband will want to go to McDonald's and use his puppy eyes for me to gog with him), I will have a smaller burger and medium fries, and drink water instead of a large meal with a Coke.  I feel like those little changes really make a difference.

Little by little, you learn the healthy things you like and make them part of your routine. I also learned that it is impossible to cut off foods you love completely (at least for me). I tried the Paleo diet, the keto, and even fasting, but what has worked for me was keep count of my calorie intake, and every once in a while eat the things I like, in moderation. Maybe if I did cut off carbs or sugar completely, I would be losing weight more quickly, but why lose weight quickly, if I know I won't be able to stay off these things forever? Just so that when I eat them again, I gain all the weight back? I rather lose the weight slowly, and make it a permanent loss, and still eat the things I like.

Plus, it's not easy to be on a diet when you are married to someone who is not. You feel tempted to eat the same things he does, and you also don't want to cook only healthy things if he won't eat it. Therefore I end up having more junk food than I would like to, but I still try to compensate with eating healthy during other days or other times. I still want to be able to go to a restaurant with him or fast food every now and then, and be normal, rather than obsess with every little thing I eat, thus making it an unpleasant experience for him. I found that the secret is, have everything in moderation, know your calories, and your limits. If you pig out one day, make sure you stay in line during the week.

Finally, water, water, water!! I try to drink at least 2 liters a day.

As far as activities go, let me start by saying, once again, that on April 7th, the day I decided to start this whole thing, I was nowhere near an active person. I didn't walk, run, or even lifted as much as a feather. I was really sedentary. All I did was go home, watch TV and eat, and then clean the apartment the days I was off. I started the c25k program on April 17th and I remember how tired I was from running up some hills near my apartment for 30 seconds straight. My lungs were in pain, my back hurt like hell, I did NOT enjoy it at all. Last week, I ran around those same hills, for 25 minutes straight. The only reason I stopped, was because I was getting late for my eye doctor appointment and had to get ready. But I have done 5k's and even ran 4 miles once.

I started crossfit the same week. I remember my whole body was hurting just from doing overhead squats with PVC pipes and body weight squats. Now I can do the work outs just like everyone else, and even did a barbell back squat with 75lbs on my shoulder. I didn't even shake. I have been seeing improvement little by little, on the amount of weight I can lift, reps I can do, distance I can run, etc. It just feels great to be able to do the same things the strong girls are doing. I'm one of the strong girls now! :) I try to go to my crossfit classes 3 times a week, and run at least once. 

So now you ask, what has all this done for me?

I have lost 16 pounds in about 4 months. I have gone down 2 sizes of clothing (from 12 to 8). My work pants are all too big. I can wear anything in my closet and look great. It's so funny how, on a daily basis, it doesn't seem like I'm losing weight according to scale, because it feels like I'm always on a Plateau. At first, I plateaud between 155 and 158, then I plateaud between 148 and 153, and now I am at 143 and 145. But when I look back, I went from 160 to 143! So, when they say your body is just getting re-adjusted, I really believe it. So now, when I weigh myself everyday and I see either 144 or 145, I know it's just temporary. Plus, my pants keep getting baggier and baggier, so either they are getting larger or I am getting smaller :)

SO basically, no matter how long I plateau or how many times I might feel weak or fall, as long as I don't give up, I see results eventually!

I think the most rewarding aspect of all this, is having people look at you and be inspired by your changes. Since I started this whole thing, 3 women I know joined crossfit and/or started running. Even my husband started running! People are always commenting on how much weight I lost and how good I look, and that is the best feeling in the world.

I haven't reached my goal yet, but I am more than halfway there, and damn, it feels good.