My 2016 Fitness Goals

In 2016 I want to challenge myself to continue being fit and active while also working towards new fitness goals. I’ve been an gym goer for three years now and I’m so happy I decided to give it a try! Going to the gym makes me so happy and feel great about myself – I’m honestly a huge gym and fitness activist. I love that I have the strength to do tasks at home or at work without asking for help from others. As I’ve continued to do weight training, I’ve surpassed weights that I never thought I would be able to lift. I’m a five foot, small framed young woman, and generally my body type is not seen as being strong. But I’ve definitely surprised some guys at the gym who are pretty impressed at the weight I can squat!

Just because I’ve already reached a lot of goals doesn’t mean I should stop improving. In 2016, during spring and summer in particular I want to try new exercises during my cuts that will not only help me reach my fitness goals, but also my physical appearance goal. Reaching that goal is about endurance training and personal perseverance. Even though it’s only the new year and Minnesota has at least three more months of winter, I’m ready for spring so I can get back to running outside and start cutting!

Running a 5K | Above all other fitness goals I have set for myself, running a 5K would be the number one goal I want to achieve. I was never good at running while growing up and my mile runs in middle and high school were embarrassingly slow. I’m so proud of myself to now be able to run a mile in eight minutes, and running continuously for three miles. Now I want to do an actually 5K so I can be times, get one of those stickers for the back of my car, and proudly wear my T-shirt around the gym showing I was able to do it.

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Photo courtesy of PicJumbo.com

My dad recently went through a huge lifestyle change and he also wants to go for a 5K this year! It would be great if we could run it together and say we both achieved our goals of running a 5K! It was only this past fall that I started running outside, either before work or on the weekends, and it’s 10 times better than running a treadmill. Winter cardio is going to be rough

Incorporating a jump rope | My dad gave me and Jake a few Amazon gift cards for Christmas so we decided to finally purchase a jump rope. I’ve seen people using jump ropes at the gym in between sets for the past three years, and it’s been something that I’ve wanted to add into my fitness routine for a while. For the past two springs, I’ve done resistance training with low weights, high reps on all of the same routines that I usually stick to. While these have worked for my routine, this spring I’d like to try some new exercises that involve more high interval training, and adding in a jump rope for more cardio and calorie burning. Ideally I’d like to bring the jump rope to the gym on squat and dead lift days to do a few intervals in between sets, but my gym sometimes does not offer enough space for that to happen. I’m definitely going to use the jump rope during backyard kettle bell workouts to add in some cardio.

Do my ab exercises.
As much as I love going to the gym and being active, I absolutely hate ab exercises. I don’t want to do them. Ever. But if I want meet my fitness goals, I’m going to have to stick to them. First, I should ALWAYS be doing leg lifts when I’m at the gym. On leg day, back day, cardio day, chest day, anytime. I also should be doing exercises with my five pound kettle bell in my living room when I’m watching TV. Five sets will do it, just as if I were at the gym, but I’m going to have to stick with it. I think I hate ab exercises so much because the old saying, “abs are made in the kitchen,” is totally true for me. I have to be EXTREMELY diligent about the foods I eat in order for my abs to make an appearance in summer. And it’s not just about eating healthy, it’s about eliminating foods that have a higher carb and sugar count.

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Photo courtesy of PicJumbo.com


Lift 200 | 
My strength went up a lot this year and I’m so proud of my current personal records! I’ve added my current personal records on my basic lifts below. The goal for 2016 is to break 200 on one of those lifts!

Squat: 185
Dead Lift: 185
Chest Press: 80
Shoulder Press: 65

Obviously it’s not going to happen on chest or shoulder press; those muscles are so weak on me. I have a feeling I’ll hit 200 on squats before dead lifts, even though it should be the other way around. My legs were made to squat!

Squat Jake | So I’m already able to squat Jake’s weight, but I’m so scarred to try squatting Jake himself! Squatting a person is so much different than a bar. People tend to move and be a little more lumpy than a barbell.

What Do You Know About Business Casual?

A lot of changes have been happening lately and one of those includes an overhaul of my closet. I’ve recently decided to take on a new opportunity and I’ve had to purchase new clothes that will update my slightly post-college, young style to business casual. This a new experience for me as my first job out of college was all casual wear so I never went out and consciously purchased nice clothes. I’ve had about two weeks to make this change and update my closet. My solution to all of this was found by mistake: Old Navy.

I’ve rarely shopped at Old Navy in the past. I have one gym shirt from their active section, purchased a pair of khakis for a previous job, a pair of jeans, and of course flip flops. Other than that, I’ve never been able to find clothes that fit me well from their store. A few months ago I purchased some black denim from Old Navy in the Rockstar style and I thought I liked the fit, but it’s too high waisted for me and the material is too stretchy; who even says that denim is too stretchy? Anyways, one of my coworkers was telling me how she always strikes good deals from OldNavy.com with coupons and free shipping, plus she had found the perfect fit in her clothes by shopping exclusively in the petite section. I never even thought to try petite styles, since it’s only offered online I had no idea it even existed.

I made a few purchases from Old Navy’s petite section back in September, buying the same dress my coworker had been rocking over the summer plus a few other staples. I fell in love! Everything fit perfect. Not too long after I made another purchase, this time I added a few skirts, cute basic tops, and some fun slacks that I could wear to a business casual environment. Again, everything fit perfect. Well, nearly everything, but the great thing about purchasing from Old Navy’s website is being able to do in store returns. I’ll never be able shop at an online store without having that offer. Especially seeing as the petite clothing is only available that in-store return option is important. Before making any of these purchases I made sure to refer to their size chart to make sure I was in the ballpark of sizes I should be ordering. Most of the items I’ve purchased have been an extra small and I’m enjoying their fit. I had to return a few items that I purchased in a small, but I feel like Old Navy sizes run a little on a large size, for your reference.

What’s also great about shopping online at Old Navy is their never ending sales; I haven’t purchased one item at full price yet, Old Navy Cash when it’s going on, and you get cash back shopping through Ebates. I feel like everyone should know about Ebates at this point, but in case you don’t please sign up. I’ve had Ebates for years but only started utilizing it the past few months and I’m addicted to it. Add the Ebates button to your browser too!

I’m still trying to bridge the gap between business and casual style. If anyone has a definite answer of what business casual is, leave your thoughts – I’d love a clearer explanation that what I think it is! Hope this helps and introduces you to my new favorite store. Don’t worry, Old Navy also carries regular and tall styles, in addition to petite!

Summer is Almost Over

I know that nobody wants to hear it, but summer is coming to an end.  Most colleges start classes in about three weeks, many 18-year-old’s will be starting classes for the first time. Today is last day of of Warped Tour, which to many music fans is the end of summer.  I realized yesterday that I need to start wearing my summer dress and crop tops before I can no longer wear them next month when the leaves start to change.  I’m not that sad about it; my favorite season is fall.  I’ve already seen some fall scented products out in stores.

This summer has been one of the better in my recent memory.  My job has been going very well.  I won’t get into the details of my job or where it is I work, but I will say that I’ve gotten two new titles over the course of summer.  I feel welcomed at my job and like I’m making a difference, which is really what I look for in many aspects of my life.

I unintentionally took quite a few weeks off from my part-time job because my life starting getting busier than I expected.  The first weekend of July was Independence Day which I spent with my friends having a barbecue.  The second weekend I went up to my friend’s cabin for our annual summer party.  My boyfriend introduced me to these seasonal parties a few months after we started dating, and they are one of highlights of every season.  I spent time paddle boarding and kayaking on the lake at this cabin, something that not many people could see me doing; I’m more of an indoor girl.  The third week of July was my boyfriend’s birthday as well as Warped Tour in Minnesota; they actually landed on the same day.  I don’t get too giddy over bands anymore, but when I got offered to watch my favorite band, The Devil Wears Prada, on stage I couldn’t contain myself.  It’s not the first time I’ve been on stage for a performance, but it’s much better when it’s your favorite band.  Then next week of July I got to go to Warped Tour again, this time in Milwaukee.  I can’t say that Wisconsin is my favorite place to go, but there is Dunkin’ Donuts there so I had that for two days.

As we move into August, I still have so many good plans for the remainder of summer.  My dad’s birthday is this upcoming week, as well as our family’s picnic next weekend. My boyfriend and I are attending a wedding in a few weeks, and we’re getting very well dressed for it.  I got my dress on a bargain and I must say we look quite amazing dressed at our best.  I’m going to see who used to be my favorite band Linkin Park at the Minnesota State Fair.  This is the second time I’ll be seeing them, and I will probably be very giddy that day.  Finally, I’m planning a new tattoo either this month or early next month.

Even though its 86 degrees today with humidity, within a month or so the leaves will be changing colors and I will have pumpkin anything.  Enjoy the rest of your summer.  Cherish the warm weather and sunshine.  Get outside to a lake.  Live your life.