How to Get Back on the Wagon

I got this text the other day:

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How many people are saying, “amen” right now? See, my friend has been crushing her goals and she’s now hit the inevitable point in everyone’s diet/exercise routine where you just fall off the wagon.

 

 

Believe me, it happens to EVERYONE. And, if you don’t find a way to reign it back in and crawl back up on that fitness wagon, you can let all the results you worked so hard for go right down the drain.

 

You know, healthy eating/exercise is so finicky. Sometimes it’s so easy to eat right, hit the gym and stay motivated. You’re just in the healthy “zone.” And other times, it’s like every fiber in your body wants to eat pizza, sleep in and skip the gym. #slothlife

 

 

I had some recent eye surgery (yuck) and, per doctor’s orders, haven’t been able to workout for three weeks. Yes, you read that correctly – I have not worked out for THREE WEEKS!! So, instead of tightening my diet up to make up for it, I did the other logical thing: I’ve eaten every piece of comfort food in the house. (I heard that Nutella is good for surgery recovery, right??)

 

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So, now that I’ve been given the okay to slowly start exercising again and am over the “poor pitiful me” recovery it’s time for me to, well, get back on the wagon. And, I thought I’d share with you guys a few suggestions on how you can do it, too:

 

Sign up for a Race: I’m a program follower. Seriously, I love them. And, one of the best ways for me to get my booty going again is to sign up for a race. Pick any race, a 5K, 10K, Half Marathon, it doesn’t matter. The fact is that you pick a race. Then, print out a race plan (I always use www.halhigdon.com to find a race training program) and tape it to the refrigerator. That way, every day, I have the number of miles I’m supposed to run right in front of me when I reach for my morning breakfast. The program is set, and it gives me an end date of the program (race day.) Now, a key thing here – don’t just say you’re going to run a race, actually send in the check and your registration so you can’t back out. This is a stellar way to get you back on track with your workouts.

 

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Set a Goal: I’m a huge goal setter. I love setting a definite goal and putting a reward out there when I reach it. It’s fun for me and an easy way for me to work toward something. So, set a goal. It can be anything: lose 5 pounds this month, keep your calories under your allotted weekly goal for a month, cut out soda from your diet for three weeks, complete a half marathon, go to the gym every day in July – seriously, it can be ANYTHING. Then give yourself a reward if you do it. I like to pick out something I’ve been eyeing but don’t really need (hello, blue Lululemon pants) and then go buy them when I reach my reward. That’s called a win/win. (And, if I stick to my goal, my booty looks better in those fancy pants.)

 

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Mix it Up: Ok, sometimes the thought of going to the gym and getting on the treadmill AGAIN is just too much. The monotony is unbearable. You should try mixing it up. Try a new group class. Sign up for a POUND class, try Jazzercize, take up running, go hiking, try hot yogasomething that is different from what you normally do. It’ll make working out fun again and reignite that “healthy you” spark.

 

Tell Your Friends: If I want to make sure I stick with something – I tell my friends what I’m doing. Seriously, I text/call every one of them and say, “I’m going to lean up in July” or “I’m going to start watching my calories closely.” Then, I know I have to stick with it as I’m made it public. If they see me eating cupcakes, they’re going to call me out on it (as they should.) Plus, my friends are my accountability partners. So, they’ll help keep me on track with my eating/exercising. They’ll text to see if I want to join them for a jog. Or, I can call them to tell me to “step away from the cookie dough.”

 

 

Get Your Eating in Check: Ok, if you’ve read my blogs at all, you know I’m a huge proponent of counting calories. So, download Loseit (or any other calorie counting app) and start logging your calories. It’ll make you see what you’re actually eating (I bet you’ll be surprised.)

 

Tell Your Husband What You Ate: Ok, I wanted to throw this one in there for you guys, because I did it a few years ago and it worked wonders. I told my husband (hey, Stephen) that I wanted to lose weight. No lip service but REALLY lose weight. So, every night before bed, I told him everything I ate for the day. Now, want to make sure you tighten up your diet? Try telling your husband you ate a pack of M&Ms that afternoon when you “really” want to lose weight. It actually helped me be accountable for what I was eating in the day.

 

Guys, it’s impossible to stay motivated every single day. Motivation comes and goes. And no matter how much you may be crushing your diet/exercise right now, the day is going to come when you’re going fall off that wagon and dream about eating the wagon. But, the key is knowing what helps you to get refocused, remotivated and ready to climb back up on the wagon.

 

BTW – did anyone ever decide if it’s “on the wagon” or “off the wagon”….

 

Get Back on the Wagon!

I Tried Skinny Girl Cocktails: Here’s My Review

 

Summer time is officially here!

 

And for me, Summer is filled with swimming, grilling out and, my favorite – cocktails on the patio with friends.  And, if you’re also like me, I love my patio and cocktails, but the thought of million-calorie cocktails is a bit scary (sugary, high-calorie cocktails and bikinis don’t mix….)

 

So, I thought I’d give the new Skinny Girl Cocktails a try and see if they were the answer to the low-calorie, yummy cocktail conundrum.

 

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Our five Skinny Girl cocktails.

 

I called up a few of my good ‘ole drinking friends (and a few hubbies tagged along) and decided to do an old fashioned Skinny Girl Cocktails Taste Test.

 

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Seriously, how cute are my friends?

 

What We Drank:

I made a trip to Liquor Barn and picked up one of every pre-mixed Skinny Girl cocktail they had – that totaled five types: White Peach Margarita, Sparking Margarita, Sweet ‘n Tart Grapefruit Margarita, White Cranberry Cosmo, and the Mojito.

 

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Scoring:

We all started with a simple taste test of each one and ranked them 1-5 (one being awful and five being awesome.)

We tasted each out of small tasting glasses, then scored each.

 

 

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Here’s my scorecard. (Please overlook my chicken-scratch handwriting.)

 

The Winners/Losers:

The findings were pretty interesting.  The overwhelming favorite was the Sweet & Tart Grapefruit Margarita.  Earning a score of 26.5 out of 35 (yes, my friends decided to make their own scoring rubrics and add partial points…..one person *ahem, Joe* scored a drink a 3.761)  And, the overwhelming consensus for worst was the Mojito.  Earning a measly 8 points out of 35 (yikes.)

 

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The group’s total scoring (0-35 possible points.)

 

After we tasted all the cocktails, we decided to get a glass of our favorite ones to drink.  We rimmed our margarita glasses (because, honestly, who doesn’t want a rimmed cocktail glass) and made our choices.  Now, here’s where it gets interesting to me…

 

 

Remarkably, I don’t think anyone finished their cocktail.  Some even opted to drink beer or Diet Coke instead of drinking the Skinny Girl cocktail in front of them.  Though we had a great time tasting them, these cocktails just didn’t quite hit the mark with us.

 

 

When I was cleaning up for the night, I asked if anyone wanted to take any of the leftover cocktail bottles home with them…..and no one wanted them.  I think that pretty much sums up the review of these cocktails.  When no one wants free liquor, that’s a pretty bad sign.

 

Calories Saved:

Most of the Skinny Girl cocktails listed their calories as 35 calories for 1.5oz of the pre-mixed cocktail.  Now, 1.5oz is only about 1.5 shots (which does not even come close to a regular pour of a cocktail.  So, depending on the drink, you could only be saving a few calories drinking Skinny Girl pre-mixed cocktails vs the original drink.  Click HERE for a great article comparing the Skinny Girl calorie counts to their cocktail counterpart.

 

My Review:

I thought about these cocktails for a long time after our tasting.  Trying to decide who would like these and when they would be appropriate.  And here’s what I came up:

  • Super Strict: Perhaps if you are being incredibly strict on your diet and still want to have a low-calorie drink, this may be an option for you.  It’s definitely not the best tasting cocktail you’ll ever have, but you could sip on one Skinny Girl cocktail all night and not kill your diet.
  • Trade Off of Taste/Calories: Seriously, there is a pretty significant taste/calorie trade off here.  You may be cutting calories, but you’re sacrificing some taste. You’ll want to decide where you fall on the taste/calorie scale.
  • Is it Really Worth It: After seeing the difference in actual calories per a whole glass, you may need to determine if saving, say 50-100 calories, is worth it for the Skinny cocktails. (For me, I’d rather have only one real cocktail than three Skinny Girl bad ones.  Sorry, Bethenny.)
  • We Are Real Drinkers: Another thought, most of the people at my cocktail tasting are what I would call “gourmet cocktail drinkers.”  Man, that sounds snooty, but it’s certainly not. We just don’t drink a lot anymore (thank you toddlers, early bedtimes and our 30s…) but when we do, we go for quality over quantity (think real lime and lemon juice in Margaritas vs bottled pre-mix.)   So, perhaps an Equal Opportunity Drinker (someone that is less picky with their drinks) would find these a bit tastier.

 

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Selfie with the Cocktails

 

My Review:

For me, I don’t think I’d buy the Skinny Girl cocktails again. I think when I’m being super tight on my diet, I’ll just stick to Diet Coke and skip all cocktails.  And when I really want a cocktail, I’ll order one (only one) regular cocktail and drink it.

 

Before I wrap u,p, I want to make sure to give a shout out to my sis, Mandy Jane, for letting us crash on her patio (she has the best back yard in downtown Cynthiana.)  And, while I’m on the subject, I want to take a second to give some serious props to living downtown in Cynthiana. Seriously, I LOVE living in downtown Cynthiana….it’s awesome. The growing number of young, fun people is fantastic.  The houses are as unique and charming as the people. And, not to mention, you can walk home from your friend’s house after cocktails…. 🙂

 

Cheers!!

 – Rebecca

 

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My USS Nationals Wrap-Up (Pics Galore!)

 

Well, the 2016 US Strongman National Championship is in the books.  The day I’ve been training for for months has come and gone.

 

I thought I’d give you guys a little recap of the day, the incredible roller coaster of emotions and the surprise ending (hint: think Miss Universe…..)

 

This competition ended up with 314 total competitors.  And my weight class totaled 11 girls – with some crazy tough competitors (and lots of tattoos.)

 

 

It’s hard to explain the emotions that come along on the day of a competition like this. It’s like your nerves are electric.  Like you could bubble over with tears or screams or throw up at any moment.  Thankfully, only one of those happened this weekend. #waterproofmascara

 

I had an awesome cheering section.  Seriously, my mom is the best cheerleader ever. Her “You are so strong” will never get old.  And somehow, I always manage to hear Mandy’s voice in the roar of the crowd.  And Stephen, once again, managed to calm me down and keep my head in the game – even after an incredibly disappointing showing on the Log Press.  Jen and Heather that were to listen to my “what-ifs” and remind me of our training cues.  And, of course, all the BBR and Cynthiana folks that were there cheering, high-fiving and encouraging me all day long.

 

 

Not every event went as planned.  Some events that I planned on rocking (aka log clean and press) straight sucked.  But others I planned on hitting the middle of the pack, I ended up crushing (hello tying first place on deadlift.) But as a wise Strongman trainer once said, “In order to win a competition, you don’t have to win every event.  You just have to be at the top of the pack in every event.” (Thanks, Robby.)

 

 

With 314 competitors, we didn’t know scoring after each event.  Didn’t know exactly where we stood throughout the day.  And, the winners weren’t going to be announced until at the banquet.

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At the banquet, they announced me as the Third Place winner.  Though I was glad to place at all, a little bit of me was sad.  I had already crunched the numbers, and was almost certain I had placed second.  But, I took my plaque and smiled for the cameras.  Then, in true Steve Harvey/Miss Universe fashion, they noticed their error and had to recall my weight class and correct the awards – giving me SECOND PLACE!!

 

 

Mad props to my trainer, Robby, for once again, setting my training program, pushing me and making sure I was ready for competition. (Even though I tell you before EVERY competition I’m not…) 🙂

 

Needless to say, I am incredibly proud.  I don’t know when I have ever set a goal so high and worked this hard, for this long to reach it.

 

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Today, I’m suffering from a bit of Strongman Hangover (sore muscles and bruises galore.) And, since the climatic event I’ve been working up to for months has come and gone, I’m left with an usual feeling – almost like a hole.  It’s a little like I don’t remember what to do when I’m not eating, sleeping and breathing Nationals.

 

But, while I’m taking a little time to nurse sore muscles and come down from the “Nationals high,” I’ll start thinking about what my next challenge will be.  I don’t know what goal I’ll set or skill I’ll try to tackle.  But I do know this – for now, I’m proud of Jen, I’m proud of Heather and I’m proud of me…..and I may (or may not) have slept with my plaque beside me in bed.

 

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Loving My New Hardware,

 – Rebecca

 

 

If You Can’t Tone It, Tan It: Spray Tans

It’s Competition Week (Here’s What I’m Doing)

 

Well, it’s competition week.  Woah.  US Strongman Nations happens THIS SATURDAY.  I am both incredibly excited and incredibly nervous.

 

Yesterday, I touched the last Strongman implements I will touch until the day of competition.  Now, it’s time to make sure I go into Saturday as ready mentally and physically as I can be.

 

So, are you wondering what goes on the week of US Nationals?  Well, here’s the rundown of what I’m doing (and not doing) this week.

 

Exercise: This week will be a very light week for me.  Lots of resting.  I’ll skip all my morning cardio.  I’ll do my two HIIT/Strength classes this week, but they’ll be super light and pretty easy.  Just something to get the blood pumping a bit, but not enough to make me sore.  I’ll take this week to make sure my body is rested and my muscles ready to go come Saturday.

 

Food/Drink: I’m incredibly lucky that I don’t have to cut any weight for this competition. As a matter of fact, I’ve spent the last few weeks really eating and trying to get as close to my 123.4 weight cut off as possible. I even ate a donut last week (please don’t cuss me fellow Strongmen that are cutting weight.) So, this week, I’ll eat normally.  Lots of eggs and fruit and yogurt.  Foods that are my go-tos.  Ones that I know how they make my body feel.  Nothing new or super greasy.  I don’t want any surprises or an upset stomach this week.

 

Sleep: I normally do early morning cardio. But this week, I’ll skip that and sleep in.  I’ll try to turn off my mind when I lay down at night (seriously, how many times can you pretend press a log) and get some much-needed rest.  After all, you know the saying, “Early to bed, early to rise makes a man, healthy, wealthy and so tired that she doesn’t perform at Nationals.” Isn’t that the saying??

 

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Massage/Chiropractor: I saw the chiropractor Saturday (shout out to Arena for once again working miracles on my shoulders and hamstring.)  And, I’ll see my massage therapist, Dana, this week so she can work out all the kinks and trigger points in my back.  These guys are both vital in keeping me (and my muscles) relaxed, limber and ready to pick up those Atlas Stones come Saturday.

 

Strongman Takeover: If you see me this week, I can guarantee that I will be thinking, talking, dreaming or doodling about Strongman.  Because – this is it, guys.  I set this goal to compete at Nationals last June.  I’ve worked hard.  Trained hard.  And, all those hours and weeks of training will come to a climax this weekend.

 

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Anxious does not even begin to scratch the surface of what I’m feeling.  I have no idea what the other competitors in my weight class can do.  I only know what I’m capable of. And, I’m going to rest, eat and go into this weekend giving myself the best chance I can.

 

So, if you see me this week, give me a nod in solidarity.  And know that even though I may look like I’m listening to your story about the selection of produce at Walmart, I am probably daydreaming about pressing that log….again.  (Sorry.)  🙂

 

T – Minus Four Days…..

 

Rebecca

 

 

 

Ugly Hair Band on Your Wrist? I Found the Solution (You Can Thank Me Later)

 

Look down at your wrist. Go ahead, do it. I bet you a dollar to a hole in a donut that it looks like this…

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Standard uniform of a black hair tie on my wrist.

 

Yep, that’s my wrist with my trusty hairband around it. And that’s about how I spend every day of my life.

 

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Now, this “hair tie wrist look” isn’t too bad when I’m in yoga pants and workout gear. But when I’m dressed for work, this is not a great look.

 

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Little black dress, pearls and black hair tie. Ugh.

 

Well, for all you ladies out there, I have the solution for you. Seriously, you’re going to love this. I found the Bandit Bracelet. It’s an adorable little bracelet that lets you wrap your hair band around it making a cute, fashionable bracelet (but keeping that emergency hair elastic close by.)

 

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Seriously, how stinkin’ cute is that? (PS – I was not meant to be a hand model.)

 

 

When I ran across this little guy, I knew I HAD to give this a try. So, Bandit Bracelets sent me a bracelet to try out.

 

Now, the website sells three colors: silver, gold and rose gold. I opted for the Rose Gold, and I love it. It’s a not as “yellow-gold” as a lot of jewelry. But rather, a softer, almost pinky gold (hence the name.)

 

I have teeny tiny wrists, but this fit fine. It stayed on well – wasn’t too tight, wasn’t too big. There was still plenty of room for people with bigger wrists (the website says it fits wrists 6-6.75”) I wore mine both alone and with a big, ole stack of bangles. Super cute either way.

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My Bandit Bracelet with a stack of bangles. (There is no shortage of bracelets in this house.)

 

Also, one other benefit of the bracelet…… 

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BuzzFeed’s list of “Things Guys Will Never Understand….”

 

The Bandit Bracelet gets rid of that “too tight around the wrist line” by keeping the hair tie off your actual wrist and stops it from completely cutting off your circulation. And, really, circulation is probably pretty important.

 

My Review:

I am a HUGE fan of these. Go buy one of these now. Or buy one in every color. They are super cute, very affordable and keep you ready for any emergency hair moments with an adorable hair tie close by. And, want to know something even cooler?? Bandit Bracelets is offering a discount of 30% to all Cynthiana Strong readers! Can I get a what, what?? Just use the Promo Code: CSTRONG30 at checkout. (Click HERE for their website.)

 

So, ladies, lift up your wrists and unite because now you can stay active, stay stylish and be ready for any impromptu workouts.

 

And stay active….and stylish.

 – Rebecca

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