That #gymdoll Glow!

Has anyone else noticed that incredible glow you get when you are sticking to a healthy diet and exercise program? It’s simply enchanting! I have always been one of those girls who wished for a genie to grant me one … Continue reading

Time To Get The Ball Rolling!

I finally took my ‘before’ pictures for the Dymatize Nutrition 100K Transformation Challenge! For some reason, transformation challenges really inspire me. The last time I did one it really helped whip me into shape, and I made some very positive … Continue reading

Rules are Made to be Broken?


Although I love and idolize Gizmo, I do not aspire to be him on the scale 😉

Today I broke my rule of stepping on the scale between weigh in’s. This can be just as dangerous to progress as eating between meals. When you step on the scale, you may be filled with optimism, reminiscing on that terribly difficult HIIT session you did the other day, or all the water you drank that must have flushed away the excess water weight you have been holding onto. Sadly, all your dreams may be dashed away in seconds when you see that your weight is the same as the last time you were on the scale, or even worse- went up.

When you are keeping this close of an eye on your weight, the scale is bound to lie, at least a little bit. Deep down we all know that the scale can only tell us so much about our progress, but sometimes it is hard not to fixate on a magic number that you desperately want to see. I have been dying to see my scale tell me I am 110 since 2008, but this isn’t going to happen overnight, and I also have to accept that it may never happen again. I have never really been the type of person who just drops 5 pounds fast. I have no idea how people do this, it can’t possibly be healthy, and it never happens for me.

After seeing my weight rise 0.2 lbs between Wednesday and Today, I decided to check out my weight history on my bodyspace to see how my weight changed the last time I did a transformation program, and when I was living a more sedentary lifestyle.


My body tends to like to stay in the mid to high 120s naturally. If I am inactive, and spend a lot of time in restaurants, I will get closer to 130. It takes a lot of effort and careful eating for me to get into the 110s now, but I tend to feel much better and more energetic when I live this type of lifestyle. When I started Kris Gethin’s 12-week transformation program, I was about 130 as well. I started on April 1, 2013. I slowly edged my weight down from 128 to 124 in four weeks, which is a healthy loss of about 1lb per week. The greatest changes started to happen for me between weeks 4-8, and by week 8 I was in the best shape I had been in since before grad school.

This demonstrates that it takes a long time for my body to adjust to a new exercise program, and that consistency is the key to seeing results. During that diet, I only cheated three times and each time it was an emotional binge on a chocolate bunny I had stashed away from Easter. This time, I am taking a different approach. I will be attending events, just like I did last year, but instead of restricting myself entirely, I will be allowing those to be planned cheat days. This may make my progress a little bit slower, but if this is going to be a sustainable change, I have to be open to cheating a little bit, considering I won’t be doing a show for quite awhile.

BF Percentages 2011-2013

I tend to see body fat as a better indicator of progress. It is hard to lose body fat, and since I am using a caliper, I need to lose an entire millimeter to see a change in percentage. My issue with measuring body fat is that I am not the greatest at it. A lot of my measurements were completely wrong because I had no idea how to use the instrument properly. Sometimes I would find websites to calculate body fat for me based on measurements. I am really happy when those measurements give me the same result as my caliper, then I start to think I am on the right path.

I can say without a shaddow of a doubt that all of my measurements for March 2013 are wrong. I calculated the 25.5% measurement using a website, and I believe that result much more, considering I have seen my body at 20% and it did not look like the pictures from March. Again, like with the scale, I slowly edged my body fat down to about 18%. It stayed there for quite awhile. When I get back there, I am fairly certain that I will probably be hiring a competition trainer to help me lose the rest.

After carefully scrutinizing these numbers, I feel very confident that I can achieve the same results again. I am starting in a slightly better position, as my body fat is lower, even though my weight is higher. I maintained some of the muscle I had built between April-June 2013, since I was going to the gym fairly consistently despite my questionable diet and lack of cardiovascular activity. I am excited to see my results over time, and I will be sure to keep an open mind about the numbers. After all, they are just numbers.

Starting Your Day Off Right

We hear time and time again about the importance of a morning routine and the effect it has on the rest of the day. Starting your day off with positive habits has the ability to improve your mood, while keeping you motivated. I notice a huge difference in my ability to be productive and successful if I have skipped over breakfast and exercise, opting to rush out the door or laze around and watch TV. Of course, it is easy to make a routine and not stick to it, especially when lack of sleep comes into the mix. The ability to have a strong start to the day really starts at night, and that has always been my issue. I often find myself stressed out about having to get up early and do cardio since it requires energy and motivation, both of which are often difficult to find in the morning, especially in the dead of winter when it is dark and miserable out.

Excuses will always exist, and persistence is the key to a successful morning routine. I suggest starting off with some easy to manage tasks, and repeating them every day until they become habitual. Getting up early and completing my morning cardio not only gives me pride, but also gives me a necessary energy boost. I have heard conflicting arguments when it comes to morning cardio, whether it is fasted or completed after breakfast. I have done it both ways, and I am no closer to the answer as to which one is better for you.

Right now, I am sticking to fasted cardio because I am taking fat burners, which need to be taken on an empty stomach (with water) 30 minutes before breakfast. This is a perfect opportunity to fit in my morning cardio without having to wake up half an hour earlier just to take the pill before breakfast, followed by cardio. The cardio I do in the morning is low intensity, another well debated topic. After completing Kris Gethin’s 12 week transformation plan, I came to agree with him that cardio that raises your heart rate, but is not intense enough to surpass the fat burning zone, is perfect for bodybuilding. Intense cardio burns off that hard earned muscle I have worked so hard to build, and that is not what I am going for at all.


My Routine:

I start my morning off with a huge glass of water, and a fat burner (Ripped Freak). I fill my 1L bottle with 1 scoop of xtend and water, and get on the treadmill for 20 minutes. Right now, I am using an incline of 4 and a speed of 4.2 mph. This is perfect for raising heart rate, but keeping it steady and low enough to burn fat and keep muscle. Over time, I will raise the number of minutes I do cardio in the morning. My last 12 week program began with 20 minutes and increased to 30 minutes. I will be doing the same thing again, raising my time by 5 minutes every 4-5 weeks.

Once I complete my cardio, I make a breakfast that is high in protein. I require 30g of protein in each meal (6 meals a day). I like to switch up my breakfasts to keep it interesting, this way I don’t get bored and want to snack before my next meal. I choose a breakfast option, prepare it, and take it with my vitamins and supplements (OptiWomen, Vitamin D, Calcium Magnesium, Creatine). Simple, but effective.

Breakfast Ideas:

1 cup egg whites, 1 piece toast, no sugar added jam

Oatmeal and protein powder (mixed)

Breakfast Shake (recipe and image below)

Protein Pancakes- made with egg whites, oats and protein powder

P28 bread and no sugar added jam

Turkey Bacon Slices (4-5) and Toast

photo 2

On mornings where I am rushed for time, I love making protein shakes in my Magic Bullet. These are great because they can be taken to go, and require less prep and clean up than eggs!

Magic Bullet Morning Shake

1 cup water

1 cup berries (I used blueberries)

1/4 to 1/3 cup oats

1 scoop protein powder (I used Chocolate Coconut)

1 tbsp splenda (optional)

1 tsp vanilla

1/4 tsp cinnamon

Ice Cubes

A breakfast that is high in protein and contains good, clean carbs will keep you alert and well fueled in the morning. I eat every three hours, and I require a good breakfast to keep my mind off snacking between meals. This is especially a problem working in a building with a cafeteria and vending machine close by, offering an assortment of unhealthy options. Having a routine definitely helps in the struggle to keep away from these tempting items. I also find that when I drink enough water and take morning vitamins and supplements that I do not have as many cravings.

Who doesn’t love a giant bottle of water with Xtend?


Cheers to the morning!

About Me

Welcome to my blog!

My name is Melissa and I am a young professional. As a recent graduate, I am trying to find a balance in my life between career, hobbies, and social obligations. Until recently, I didn’t understand the need for interests outside of school and friends. Since I have been submerged in the 9-5 lifestyle, I am constantly working to fill my extra time with useful activities. I have always found balancing a social life and a fit life to be a challenge. The two never really went together, what with peer pressure to drink and consume terrible carb and fat-filled snacks. I also have a strong love for travel, which inspires me to get fit, then destroy all of my efforts while on vacation.

I have always tended to flip flop with fitness. I am terrible at basically all sports, except for things I can do on my own. Growing up I was a swimmer, and when I got to University I discovered weightlifting. I absolutely love it. I love to see the changes my body goes through, and the strength it makes me feel. My issue is that I can never stick to it long enough to maintain results. I drop 10 pounds, and gain 15. Fluctuating has been the name of my game for the past 6 years. At my highest, I was 142 and at my lowest, 108. Being 5’3″, neither of these numbers ever really fit.

As a competitive, goal oriented person, I have decided to take my passion for fitness and make it more than something I flip flop with. I have decided to take the next year as a personal challenge, and do something I have never done before: stick with the fitness lifestyle CONSISTENTLY, maintain my results, and go over and above and enter a bikini fitness competition. The next year will be a struggle, and a constant challenge, and I am hoping with support and determination that I will be able to achieve my goal of going on stage in November, 2014!

So here’s to me putting down the wine, and lifting some weights!