My Current Favorite Workout Routines

Hey y’all! I hope you are doing well given the circumstances. This past week I attempted to conduct a Q&A Session on my Instagram stories in order to write a blog full of questions from you all and answers from me. I think next time I want to use my CuriousCat instead because I know some people are shy. If you would like to ask questions anonymously, please see my CuriousCat here. For this round, I only got one question, but it was such a great one! Someone asked me for my “fave workout routines.” I’ve been trying to find my flow for working out at home for the last few weeks and I think I finally found some routines and a schedule I don’t hate. Full disclosure, my dad has always been a super-duper homebody and has some workout equipment that many people might not have at their homes and some of my routines do incorporate that. I also already own resistance loops for booty work and was able to snag some 10lb dumbbells and a yoga mat before things got super crazy, so I use those as well. Find a perfect substitution for you. I also want to say while I do enjoy working out, I am by no means a certified fitness trainer. The only format I am certified is MixxedFit which incorporates dance moves with body weight toning. These are just workouts that work for me, please make sure to look up how to do the moves properly before you attempt any of these routines.

Full Body Workout

I think if you want to get a good workout in, it always a good idea to have one longer workout routine that incorporates various parts of the body. When I was able to go to the gym, full body workouts were my absolute favorite and they still are now that I workout from home. This routine has become my go-to on the days I have more time to dedicate to working out and relaxing afterwards.

First things first, it’s important to warm up before you workout. For my full body workouts I usually workout this way:

  • Resistance Band Walk 30 Secs 2x
  • Resistance Band Hip Adduction 12 reps 2x
  • Resistance Band Kickbacks 12 reps 2x

After warming up I get into the workout:

  • Lateral Raise & Front Raise – Dumbbells (Superset) 10-12 reps 3x (click here for an example) (these are great for when you want to get more of a workout in but use less time)
  • Squats – w/ Dumbbells or Bodyweight 10-12 reps 3x (click here for an example)
  • Seated Overhead Press – Dumbbells 10-12 reps 3x (click here for an example)
  • Bent Over One Arm Row – Dumbbells 10-12 reps 3x each arm (click here for an example)
  • Plank 35 secs 3x

Abs/Core Workout Routine

I have a love/hate relationship with core/ab workouts because mine used to be really strong and I kinda took it for granted and let it fall to the wayside. I used to always skip my core days and just recently started embracing them. Core strength is important because it helps you with your balance in every other type of workout and your overall balance in general. I don’t have examples for these ones but they are all pretty well known in the fitness world.

  • 3 Jumping Jacks or any cardio just to get your heart rate up
  • Side Bend – Dumbbell 10-12 reps 3x
  • Ab Wheel 6 reps 3x:
  • Side Plank 30 secs 3x
  • Russian Twists 10-12 reps 3x
  • Planks 35 secs 3x

Listen, I barely incorporated the ab wheel because I found one in my dad’s workout area and figured what the hell, I’ll try it. I could only do 6 at a time and couldn’t even go all the way out.. The next day I was sore as all hell! I have never been THAT sore in my abdominal area from a workout. This has given something to work towards during this time and by the end of 2020 I want to be able to use it effortlessly. I’m also currently working on my lower body/glutes routine for the days I have to recover from my ab wheel like I did yesterday! I tell my friends all the time I have until mid-2021 to build a booty or I’m gonna buy one and I haven’t decided if I’m kidding yet.

If you are interested in my glutes and lower body routine once I figure it out, leave a comment below and let me know. I will put it on the blog if it’s something people actually want to see.

I hope you enjoyed this post as much as I enjoyed writing it! If you want to participate in my next Q&A blog (or first one rather) write a question on my CuriousCat  or you can leave a comment with a question or any other feedback you’d like. Have a great day!

My Failed Attempt At A 30 Day Yoga Challenge (and What I Learned From It)

Hey readers! Long time no…post? I’m sure it’s of no surprise that life has been extremely hectic over here (and everywhere else, I imagine). Prior to my spring break from school I suffered somewhat of a writer’s block. Just as I was brainstorming new topics to write about and was struck by inspiration, the COVID 19 chaos escalated extremely quickly. I’ve been coping with that and trying to figure out how I was wanting to move forward with both the blog and podcast. Yes, I started a podcast! Click here for Apple podcasts, here for Spotify, and here for Soundcloud. Anyways, I want to acknowledge that the deaths and tragedies from COVID 19 are deeply upsetting to me. I’m praying for everyone affected by it. On my blog, I will be blogging as if it’s business as usual but that’s only because it is helping me not lose my mind. I don’t want people to think I don’t care about this tragedy, but I honestly want to use my blog as a distraction for others and myself.

Now that I’ve made that disclaimer I’m going to talk about something I TRIED to do at the beginning of March that quickly fizzled out prior to any of the current madness going on. In February I had the wonderful idea of starting a 30 Day Yoga Challenge for many reasons. One reason was that I had always wanted to get into Yoga and I figured a 30 Day Yoga Challenge was the perfect way to do some. Another reason was that I’m nowhere near flexible and I figured Yoga was the perfect way to gain flexibility, agility, and strength all at once. It was also perfect for relaxing. Finally, I wanted to do the 30 Day Yoga Challenge so I could document my journey with it for this blog of mine. Everything was going to be great.

Spoiler alert: everything was not great and I definitely dropped the ball pretty earlier on in my Yoga Challenge. Now that I look back on my preparation and attempt, I know exactly where I messed up and where I can improve the next time I attempt a Yoga Challenge (hint: coming soon!)

In preparing for my 30 Day Yoga Challenge I thought I had taken the necessary steps to ensure my success. I downloaded some free Yoga apps, I picked the Yoga Classes I wanted to go to at my local gyms, and I “scheduled” them on my calendar. However, in retrospect many mistakes were made by ya girl. I’ll name them.

Mistake #1: Picking a long time span for my challenge

If I can say one thing about myself it’s that sometimes I can be an all or nothing type of person. If I can’t do something exactly as it should be or perfectly then I can (not always, but often) become discouraged and just say EFF IT, I’m not doing this. Since I knew this about myself, I should not have “committed” to such a long time span for a Yoga Challenge, especially since I had never really done yoga before this. I think I missed a day pretty early on (like day 7 or so) and it made me not even want to do the challenge anymore because I wasn’t perfect and technically already failed the challenge.

What I learned: Make the challenge span shorter, especially if you’re new to an activity. I think next time I will go with 5 or 7 Day challenge. I can do anything for 5 to 7 days!

Mistake #2: Not buying the necessary materials for the challenge

Although I did download the free yoga apps and had my gym membership, I never bought a yoga mat and looking back that was so foolish! How could I expect myself to fully commit to an entire 30 Day challenge if I didn’t even have the most basic yoga necessity: a mat! Improvised by doing bed yoga and standing yoga on the days when I did yoga at home. However, the days I didn’t make it to the gym and grew bored of bed yoga, I really wished I had a mat and just didn’t do the yoga.

What I learned: This one is simple, make a full list of EVERYTHING you need for a challenge and make sure to actually buy it and not put it off. This is especially true if you are a busy person and don’t know how or when you’ll have to time to buy a mat.

Mistake #3: Not fully committing to the yoga session I scheduled

I would always tell myself when I was going to go to Yoga but it was really rare I actually wrote it down in my planner, set my google calendar reminder, and stuck to it. If I even did it at all (I don’t think I do more than write it in my planner a few days). I wasn’t fully committed and that was definitely reflected by the lack of yoga scheduled into my life. I would always say “I’ll just do it before bed” if I skipped a session I had written down. God forbid if I got too tired, I would just skip the yoga all together and tell myself “I’ll double up tomorrow.” Like no, schedule it like you do all your other workouts and just get it done!

What I learned: Setting reminders to complete your daily challenge is key. It is not enough to just write it down or put it somewhere you only see once a day. As a busy person, alarms and reminders are lifesavers for me and this challenge was no different. Next time I will make sure to have daily reminders to stick to my schedule and not neglect it.

These are the main lessons I learned from my short-lived stint at trying a 30 Day Yoga Challenge. Now that I have failed, I’m excited to try another Yoga Challenge with this new information I have. I’m going to have a lot of free time in the foreseeable future, so this is the perfect time for me to learn a new activity/pick up a new hobby. I can’t wait to see how my next attempt will go (coming soon!) Be on the lookout for my next yoga shenanigans.

Have you ever done a 30 Day Yoga Challenge or any other month long challenge? How did you do? Let me know in the comments below!

9 Things I Want To Do Before 2019 Ends

I have a confession to make. I’m a list making addict. If you’ve been following my blog for a while this comes as no surprise but I thought I’d give a heads up to the new readers or whoever has stumbled across this post. One of my favorite types of lists to make is my annual bucketlists. Each year I pick a certain amount of things I want to do/try/experience before the year is over. This year is no different. Some of these things are leftover from last year’s bucketlist and others are from sheer curiosity or wanting to challenge myself to something new.

Here’s my 2019 Bucketlist:

  1. Run an entire 5K without stopping to walk
  2. Have a photo-shoot at 7 Magic Mountains
  3. Try 5 new Vegan restaurants
  4. Travel to a city I’ve never been to before
  5. Go to a Soul Cycle class
  6. Hike a new trail (or 3)
  7. Find a cute coffee shop to study/write in
  8. Become 50% fluent in Spanish on Duolingo
  9. Stay in a cabin with a fire place somewhere snowy

I didn’t accomplish everything I wanted to last year due to not knowing how to balance all I had going on in life and having no real strategy to achieve everything. This year, I know where I messed up last year and I will plan around that silly mistake. I’m excited to experience all of these things. Hopefully I’ll even be able to blog about some of them too! I’ll definitely keep you all updated.

What’s one thing you have on your bucketlist for this year? Let me know in the comments below!

How I Chose My Word of the Year for 2019

January Calendar Chs
We are almost a week into the NEW Year and it has been interesting already! While the practice of making New Year’s Resolutions is common, that doesn’t mean that it is the most effective method of achieving your New Year’s goals. I personally haven’t really been in the practice of making New Year’s Resolutions for the last two years. When I have made New Year’s resolutions in the past, it often discourages me from trying at all if I don’t move towards them quickly enough. In the last few years I have chose a word of the year that guides all of actions towards reaching the goals I hope to accomplish in the New Year.

Createherstock Biz Besties 22
My word for last year was DISCIPLINE. I chose the word Discipline because that is what was lacking from my reaching some of my goals in 2017, especially in regards to weight loss. I hired a trainer, I meal prepped more, I went to the gym more often, even when I didn’t feel like going. I also was more disciplined in putting out content for my blog (before my Nana passed away, and I started law school). After a few a set-backs, I stopped really embracing the word discipline because I was really just trying to…get over the sadness from different things that happened earlier in the year. I realized that at times I was disciplined but at other times I wasn’t. That led to me choosing my word for 2019.

C11
My word for 2019 is CONSISTENCY. This is what was lacking from my life last year in many areas from health + fitness to blogging to even studying for school. Similar to the reason I chose the word discipline last year, I need to consistently do things (even when I’d rather not) in order to reach the goals I’ve set out for this year. The times I did manage to remained disciplined, I lost a decent amount of weight, I got into law school, and I posted some quality content. (Read my favorite posts from last year HERE). By being consistent this year, I know I will be better off when the countdown for 2020 happens.

GoalDigger ShenayeSuggs CHS 0416
This doesn’t have to be the way you choose your word. What’s important is that YOUR WORD is chosen by YOU after reflecting on your principles, values, and goals for this year. Once you do this you can take out the sense of overwhelm with long lists and just ask yourself “does this action align with my guiding word for this year or bring me closer to my goals?” If it doesn’t, you know you might need to make a better decision. It won’t be easy at first, but it might be easier for you than keeping a laundry list of resolutions.

So get out there, reflect, and choose your guiding word for 2018!

Did you have a word or two in mind when you read this? Leave your word(s) in the comments and tell me why you chose it!

Goal Check: End of the 2nd Quarter of the Year (Apr-June)

The month of June end a little bit ago which means that we are now 1/2 way through the year. Just as I checked in with myself and my goals at the end of quarter one, I will be seeing where I’m at now that quarter 2 is over. Now is the perfect time to reflect on what has worked this first half of the year and what needs to change. Y’all know I’m always trying to 100 dif things so I’m just going to focus on the main goals I have.

  • Travel out of the country:

I am officially going out of the country for the first time since after my EuroTrip when I graduated high school (not including Tijuana). I’m going to the Dominican Republic for about a week later this month! I will definitely be writing about this experience once I get back and having time to settle so make sure you keep your eyes peeled for that!

  • Save $2,000 in a savings account

Okay so I’m not ashamed to say I suuuuuck at saving money but that’s mostly because I spend all my money on doing hoodrat shit with friends, and having a trainer! Lmao. Once I start school I want to be more conscious on being financially literate and establishing savings account. I think for the rest of the Summer I’m going to save a little bit of each check. If you have any tips for saving money let me know!

  • Lose fat & gain muscle:

I’ve made some decent progress on this goal since my quarter 1 check-in. Honestly, all things considered with my grandmother passing away back in April, I’m proud of myself for not turning to food for comfort, which I would have done in the past. I have been killing it at the gym and follow my meal plan 80% of the time or so. I’ve only lost about 5ish lbs since April but I feel myself getting stronger and I lost some body fat %. I think I’m on track to hit my first major goal weight for the end of 2018

  • Take my blog to the next level:

My blog has NOT been a priority for me since April and I’m okay with it. I don’t have regrets about putting my blog on the back burner once my life got crazy. The gym became my outlet so all I have been doing is going to work and working out. I’m just getting back in the hang of writing and managing my instagram so we’ll see where I’m at once quarter 2 is over.

  • Read one book every month:

I have read 2 other books since quarter 1 ended, both which I enjoyed a lot. In April I read The Mastery of Love by don Miguel Ruiz and Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes. I recommend both to everybody. I want to write a review on both of them but we shall see how that goes.

  • Get my driver’s license and a car:

This hasn’t been a priority this quarter so no progress has been made on it. I’m going to have my license by the end of this summer. However, I’m not really sure about the car. We’ll see.

All things considered for how HARD life came at me in April, I’m proud of myself for at least staying on track with my health + fitness and doing everything I needed to do to go out of the country. I also read 2 out of the 3 books I wanted to read so that’s I’m happy about that to. I do want to get back on track with my blog but I still have 6 months to make it happen. Quarter 3 check-in I will have made some progress on that goal for sure. Overall, I’m happy and that’s what matters.

What are some goals you set for yourself at the beginning of the year? What goals have you made progress on? What goals could use improvement? Leave me a comment and let’s talk about it!

Goal Check: End of the First Quarter of the Year (Jan-Mar)

The month of March just ended which means that we are 1/4 through 2018. Wow. Time is a flying by! Due to us being 3 months into the year, I decided to check-in on where I’m at with my goals. Now is the perfect time to reflect on what has worked this year and what hasn’t. There are 9 months left in the year which is more than enough time to learn from my errors and still accomplish my goals before the year is over. I have many, many different goals that have sprouted from 8 main ones so I’m going to just tap into some of those 8.

  1. Get my driver’s license and a car: i have not made any substantial progress on this goal besides looking at cars. This is first on this list but the list is in no particular order. This first 3 months I’ve been focusing on getting my health and fitness in order, applying to law school, and paying off my credit card. That brings me to my next goal.
  2. Pay off my credit card debit: So far I have paid a little over $600 into my credit card debt, which is about where I wanted to be by this time of the year. However, my goals regarding this have changed. I’m now more focused on saving money to go out of the country this summer. I will still be making payments on my credit card but not as aggressively as I was.
  3. Save $2,000 in a savings account: It has been hard to establish a savings account so far this year. I’ve noticed I’m really bad at it haha. I have a small amount. I also need to open another savings account because anything I have in this one is going towards my trip this Summer!
  4. Start Law School: This goal is happening! I was admitted into UNLV William S. Boyd School of Law at the beginning of last month. I will officially be going back to school in August which is why I’m taking a trip out of the country this summer.
  5. Lose fat & gain muscle: I’m making great progress on this goal. I hired a trainer in January. Even though he quit and I got a new trainer I had to get used to after taking a 2 week hiatus from the gym, I’ve still managed to lose about 15ish lbs. I can also feel myself getting stronger in every part of my body. I’m excited to see where I will be in the next 3 months from now!
  6. Take my blog to the next level: I like to believe I’m taking steps towards taking my blog to the next level. I created a bi-weekly newsletter (still working on sending out my first e-mail), I hosted my first GIVEAWAY (of many to come), and I’ve started posting more regularly, and I’ve upped my social media engagement. Hopefully in 3 months I will have really made some solid progress.
  7. Read one book every month: I’ve been slacking in regards to reading one book a month. I tried to read 7 Habits of Highly Effective People in January but I underestimated how dense and long that book was and I decided to read a little bit of it each month throughout the year. It also took me all of February and a little over half of March to finish The Autobiography of Malcolm X. I highly recommend this book. I wanted to at least finish 2 books by the end of March so I picked an easy ready for the last week of the month. I chose The Defining Decade. I have really enjoyed this book and will be reviewing in a post later this month. 
  8. Move out: so as I have officially gotten into school and given a full tuition scholarship, this has become the least important of my goals. I have to keep a 2.3 (which sounds easy but I’ve never been to law school so I wouldn’t know) GPA to keep my scholarship. My cousin has moved out of my room and this has made living at home much more bearable. I’m in the process of redecorating my room and giving it the personality I wanted it to have when I first moved back home. The only thing that makes me really want to still consider moving out is having company over when they come to town and visit. If I have any updates on this goal they will definitely be towards the end of the year.

All in all, I’ve very pleased with the progress I’ve made on achieving my goals this first few months of the year. I do have some areas that could use improvement (getting my license/car and staying on top of reading for fun). However, I have also had some major wins (YAY for getting into law school and getting a full tuition scholarship). I can’t wait to write this post at the end of the second quarter of the year and see how far I’ve come and what else I’ve done. I might have some different goals listed to reflect the changes in priorities I’ve had since getting into law school but the post will be similar in format. Here’s to working towards our goals all year long!

What are some goals you set for yourself at the beginning of the year? What goals have you made progress on? What goals could use improvement? Leave me a comment and let’s talk about it! 

 

My First Color Run 5K Experience

At the end of last year I got this crazy idea to do twelve 5Ks in 2018 (one for each month of the year). It sounded like a good idea to have a way to keep me healthy and track my progress throughout the year. One of the 5Ks I’ve always wanted to run was The Color Run 5K. Not only would I be able to get covered in vibrant colors, I’d be able to get some fun cardio in and rewarded for my efforts with a unicorn medal. I was all for it and even got my best friend to agree to run it too (unicorns are one of her favorites). I was excited for my first ever Color Run and I couldn’t wait.

2018-home-video-logo.png

The Day Before:

The week prior to The Color Run was a strange time in Vegas weather. It suddenly became even more cold and windy. This was something I had a hard time coming back to from my getaway to Florida the week before. I’m talking cloudy with a 100% chance of crazy winds and the next for more than a regular light jacket I was used to wearing. I had to pick up mu packet Friday after work and I felt that I was going to freeze to death in Container Park (okay, maybe not freeze to death but ya girl was cold!). I asked myself “what if it’s even colder at 8 in the morning? Do I really want to do this run this badly?” The answer was YES, of course! I need that unicorn medal and I had already paid for my packet. This Color Run was happening: rain, sleet, nor snow was going to stop me!

The Day of:

I should have known I was gonna be a struggle bus when I tried to apply the free tattoo they gave me in my packet and I forgot to take the plastic off before putting it on my skin and holding a wet paper towel on it. It stuck to the plastic and perfectly good golden lighting bolt tattoo was wasted. Oh well. Luckily for me the clouds were gone the next morning and it was somewhat warmer than the evening before. My best friend Dom picked me up at 7am and we were off to downtown Vegas for our race. We met Dom’s sorority sister Michelle and her friend in the parking lot and we went to put on the stuff we needed for the race (bibs, armbands/fanny packs for our phones, etc.). One problem, I had not realized the significance of the headband twisty thingy they had given us with our packets. It was obviously to keep me from getting colored powder in my mouth. Also, I couldn’t find my safety pins. Thankfully, Michelle had extra ones. We put on our bibs and headed to the start line.

The Color Run Starting Line

A picture at the starting line while I waited for the wave before us to go

We made it to the starting point and although it was warmer than the evening before it was still pretty cold. There was music playing so I started dancing to get warmed up because the thing I needed was to try and run with cold muscles. I was over the fact that I didn’t have the  bandanna for my mouth but I was kicking myself for not bringing it because I could have used it for my ears, they were cold as shit. I loved how everybody was dressed up in different costumes, tutus, and unicorn headbands. Me and Dom vowed we would go all out next year.

Finally, the countdown for us to start begins and we start jogging when they say “GO!” My nose was really stuffed from the day before and the wind messing with my allergies (damn playground duty at work) and from the cold. I couldn’t breathe through my nose so running was just a struggle.

My best friend and I got to the first color: PURPLE! The volunteers threw colored power at us from a squeegee bottle and we continued on to the rest of the race. As I mentioned I couldn’t breathe through my nose and had to stop often. I was determined to do my first mile in under 15 mins and I did…14:59 exactly hahaha.

One thing that caught me off guard about this run was that there wasn’t a water station until we got to mile 2. I felt really bad because I told my best friend she wouldn’t need to bring a water bottle because in my other 5Ks there was always a water station at mile 1 and mile 2. I don’t usually carry water bottles because I had have extra stuff to hold on to during my runs and I get a stomach cramp if I drink too much water. I will definitely bring a water pouch next year because ya girl did get thirsty before mile 2.

The Color Run 5K Finish Line

The Color Run 5K Finish Line

After about 45 mins my best friend and I finally reached the end tunnel before the finish line! To my surprise there will bubbles on the floor. We crossed the finish line, got our unicorn medals, and went to check out the tents while we waited for Michelle and her friend (they weren’t too far behind us).

I was not covered in colors from head to toe like I had thought I would be based on the instagram pictures I had seen but that is because they give everyone who crosses the finish a packet of color and you and your friends throw it on one another after your done. I thought this was a great way to keep up the fun of The Color Run after the race was over. We all through color all over each other, took our pictures and boomerangs, went to the area in front of the stage for a little bit, cleaned off, and went to brunch. We had a quite a fun morning.

All in all, I enjoyed my first Color Run even if it wasn’t what I was expecting. I have some tips for those who are thinking about doing it this year or next year and for myself:

  • If you get a packet, bring the bandanna thingy (even if you don’t think you’ll need it). It’s better to have something you don’t need then to need something you don’t have.
  • Bring a water pouch if you hate carrying water bottles. I’m not sure if each city is the same in water station set ups but I would have loved some water before I reached mile 2.
  • Get a phone that takes better pictures. Okay I know this sounds dumb but my best friend has the iPhone X and the pictures she took of the run and of us were amazing. Next year I want to be able to take some good pictures on my own!
  • Don’t focus on time and pace, focus of having FUN! The first mile I was worried about my time and even after I finished I was beating myself up about my time. What I didn’t realize was that The Color Run is not your typical 5K. You can’t run the whole way through if you want to be covered in the colors so just make sure you bring a buddy and have a good time!

IMG_2751

Now that I finished my first Color Run I have two 5Ks down, 10 more to go for 2018! What are some goals you’ve accomplished so far as February winds down? If you’re s runner, what has one of your favorite FUN race been? Let me know in the comments below!