Monday marked 20 days until 2022, which also meant it was check-in day. I weighed in at 146 pounds, 1-pound shy of reaching a 10-pound loss. Next Wednesday will be my final check in before Christmas, a total of 6-weeks following a caloric deficit.

While I could continue with my cut over the holidays, enjoying time with my family without worrying about tracking meals takes priority. Instead, I plan to head into a maintenance period. Being in maintenance doesn’t mean a free-for-all, it simply means larger serving sizes of the same nutrient dense foods (while allowing for an occasional dessert or extra side of potato chips), all the while still remaining at the current weight.

Not only does this approach allow me to enjoy the holidays without feeling as restricted, I also believe it to be extremely beneficial for the metabolism as well. When I head into maintenance (aka “a diet break”) it will be after following a caloric deficit for 6-weeks that has yielded on average a 2-pound decrease every 10 days. In order to keep these results consistent over another 6-weeks I would most likely end up having to create a greater deficit in my calories, ultimately leading to a slower metabolism. So instead, I will increase my calories over the next few weeks (putting me in maintenance), and then when I am ready to cut some more, I can get back to it without having to drop my calories drastically.

Another great benefit for incorporating maintenance periods/diet breaks is that tracking calories and/or macros can be especially mentally taxing, and for the newer tracker, completely overwhelming and exhausting. Taking these periodic breaks allows an individual to commit to a longer program while learning to implement maintenance calories around routined life events, like the upcoming holidays, or birthdays, and vacations. Breaks allow a person to feel in control, because they are in control. It is a scheduled break, and it too is part of the program. It is important to remember that while trying to reach a desired size or reach certain goals, real life events continue to occur.

Finally, in my personal and professional opinion, the number one, most important reason for implementing maintenance periods/diet breaks, it helps get a person into a mindset of what maintaining their weight will feel like when they finally reach their goal weight. This transition can be tricky for anyone that has been dieting for long-extended periods of time. There is almost always the fear of not being able to adjust to eating “normally” again, but when a person takes time to incorporate these breaks periodically, one can see that their weight can hold steady while enjoying and living life, normally.



Is it just me, or has this year truly flown by?! I cannot believe that January 1, 2022 is only 30 days away!! This also means that it’s check-in day!

down another 3.4 pounds

I have to admit that heading into this day, I didn’t expect much progress (luckily, consistency paid off). I took off and headed to Bama to spend time with my family for Thanksgiving, and we all know how the holidays can be. They tend to cause some disruption to our routines, which then often result in overeating and/or skipping workouts. Because I know these things, I tried to lean into the week being somewhat prepared. I planned my stops along the drive and worked in some egg white bites from Starbucks, along with a protein shake and pre-made green smoothie for lunch. I also packed a bag of food to take with me which included quick oats, 90-second rice packs, protein powder for shakes, Pop Corner chips, avocados, mixed nuts, and canned tuna. I also took a cold pack that included pre-made smoothies for the week.

While I did stick to my macros most of the time while away, I did allow myself anything my heart desired on Thanksgiving Day. I even had a piece of my mama’s butter-gooey cake that I simply cannot resist. My mama and step-dad don’t drink, so choosing a dessert over wine wasn’t a dilemma (just as I tell my clients, it’s best to choose one over the over).

Typically, when at home, I eat about 5-6 times each day. When away, I will usually have 3-4 larger meals which prevents so much time spent in the kitchen, and allows me a bit more flexibility. There is no right or wrong approach to how how many meals a person should consume each day, it all comes down to one’s schedule and preferences. For example, I typically opt for meals that consist of about 300-350 calories (give or take a bit) that are extremely nutrient dense, meaning meals that are lower in calories, but full of vitamins and minerals (for example, lots of vegetables, extra lean proteins, and healthy fats), where as when away from home and dining out more often, I will choose heartier meals made up of around 500-600 calories, that may be not so nutrient dense, like a beef burger and a potato. This approach allows me to go out to dinner with family and friends and choose a satisfying meal that will still accommodate my caloric and macro totals.

While on the subject of macros and meal flexibility, I want to offer some helpful information. The terms “flexible dieting” and “if it fits your macros” are things people often hear when looking to lose weight (or gain muscle, etc.). Unfortunately, there is a lot of information floating around on the web that can cause confusion and uncertainty.

Counting macros (macronutrients) means that a person has a set amount of carbs, protein and fat to consume each day. Macros are determined by what your body needs to support essential bodily functions. The reason for this approach is because some people tend to eat a lot more of one macronutrient, and not enough of another. Macro counting ensures that you consume the recommended balance of all three macros to accommodate your goals and daily activity. The “if it fits your macros” rule is simply that the foods you eat must fit within your macros, no foods are off limits. In other words, it doesn’t matter where those grams of carbohydrates, fat, or protein are coming from, as long as they add up to your recommended total grams by the end of the day. This is why flexible dieting is so appealing, you are free to eat whatever foods you like as long as they fit into your daily macronutrient totals, no matter if those foods are broccoli or bacon.

Unfortunately, when using this flexible approach, many people don’t take into consideration the healthfulness of a food, or important nutrients like vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients. So although it may result in weight loss for some, it can still be an unhealthy diet if followers choose highly processed foods over whole foods that offer more nutrition. For example, majority of your fat grams may be coming from animal sources such as cheese and meats (saturated fats) rather than foods rich in healthy fats such as avocados or nuts which provide nutrients like Omega-3s, fiber, and potassium. By solely counting macros, you may have inadequate consumption of several essential vitamins and minerals, which can ultimately lead to deficiencies, and/or other health problems. It’s important to remember that not all calories are created equal: 400 calories of bacon does not provide the same nutrients or volume of food as 400 calories of salmon mixed with vegetables, which means you may need much more food to feel satisfied. When it comes to health, food quality truly matters. A diet that provides a variety of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, lean and plant-based proteins, and healthy fats is a better choice nutritionally than fried or junk foods…even if they fit your macros. While macro counting does provide benefits, solely focusing on macros may overshadow the most important aspect of nutrition – nourishment. 

Secondly, while macro counting provides awareness to how much you’re eating, the constant measuring and tracking may create some excessively strict habits, and could even promote disordered eating for some. You may not feel comfortable eating out at restaurants with friends or family over the holidays if you’re constantly worried about how you’re going to measure your food or know the macronutrient breakdown of a meal. If you are mentally preoccupied with dietary choices, to the point it’s negatively impacting your mental health, social life, and relationships, this ‘healthy way of eating’ is no longer healthy. You may also feel guilty if you don’t hit your macro goals for the day, creating more restrictions the following day. This unnecessary guilt that comes from food choices will impact you more psychologically than it will physically. Believe me, I know!

Ultimately, counting macros absolutely works for some people, it provides structure in eating specific amounts and it’s a helpful method when trying to understand portion sizes and the makeup of meals. However, proper nutrition also needs to embrace nourishment, and extends far beyond just macronutrient distribution. You can be hitting your macro numbers every single day, but that doesn’t equate to health.

So, in closing, flexible dieting and macro-counting can absolutely be a wonderful approach, and one I typically go-to when helping clients understand portion sizes and what macro percentages best accommodate their lifestyle and activity level, but ultimately, first and foremost over anything else, the foods you eat and what their made of is far more important than how much you eat. For optimal health both mentally and physically, it is best to look at the whole picture beyond just macros; finding a balance that allows you to consume foods you enjoy while emphasizing healthy meal patterns. Before jumping into any approach, it is best to work with an educated nutritionist who can guide you along your nutrition journey to help you develop the best plan that will allow you to meet your goals while taking into consideration your nutritional needs. Find someone that will create for you a nutrient dense meal plan that will accommodate your needs specifically, making certain that you are getting adequate vitamin and mineral intake, all the while, still encouraging dinners out with family and friends.

Saturday marked 40 days until 2022, which also meant it was check-in day. I weighed in at 152 pounds, 3 pounds less than my starting weight of 155, with an overall loss of 2 inches.

The progress made this week was the result of consistency. How does someone create a consistent routine that allows them to remain focused? You plan out your days in advance. I like to make time every Sunday to sit down with my planner and schedule out my week. Sure there are appointments or tasks that occasionally arise and throw things off a bit, but the general layout of the day allows me to get in the things that are considered most important to help me reach my goals.

For example, I know that my morning routine is extremely important in regards to how I begin each day. When I don’t make time in the morning to have a cup of coffee in silence with my thoughts, meditate and pray, then I feel as if my whole day is somewhat out of order. For someone else this may look completely different, but as long as you begin the day with something that allows you to get your head in the right place, the rest of the day seems to flow a bit smoother.

Also, I know from experience over the years that I workout best in the mornings when I have the most energy. I find that my mind is free of clutter so I can focus on the task at hand, whereas, if I workout in the afternoon I tend to fatigue quicker and my mind seems to wander a bit more through the scenarios of the day. Because I know this already, I make certain that I don’t schedule appointments until after my designated workout time, and this ensures that I get my workout in early in the day.

In regards to remaining consistent with my nutrition, again, it’s all about planning in advance. I make time 2 days each week to meal prep. I don’t necessarily create the entire meal at once (although that is a great approach too), but I do cook up proteins in advance, chop vegetables, make smoothies, and have a general idea of what I will be eating each day. This little bit of extra effort each week ensures that I stay on track by making things easier when it comes time to prep a meal.

In the end, not every day can be pre-planned and laid out exactly as you wish. For instance, Saturday some of our friends called and wanted to meet up for the day. We went to a little restaurant on the water and had a couple of cocktails and in the evening I had a slice of pizza. This wasn’t scheduled into my weekly planner, but I do allow myself some flexibility on the weekends so I can still enjoy the little things.

What about the holidays coming up, going out of town, being away from the gym, and sweet potato pie rearing is sugary head? You do the best you can, and just like anything else, you plan in advance. If I know I’m traveling and will be on the road for several hours, I pack a lunch and make certain that I have a few healthy snack options. I know from experience that the roads traveled from Florida to my mom’s in Alabama don’t offer the most nutritious stops along the way, and even the pit stops and convenient stores seem to cater to the obesity epidemic in America. I also write out workouts in advance that I can perform using only my bodyweight, or I pack a couple of bands and a set of dumbbells for some added resistance. When it comes to Thanksgiving dinner, I will treat this day as if it were my flexible day. I will enjoy a serving of anything my heart desires, and then the next morning, I will fall right back into my normal routine.

Overall, the key is consistency. Often times, we will allow a small indulgence to turn into an all-weekend free for all, and this is particularly true this time of year. A reoccurring pattern that I have seen over time is people will get into a “screw it” mentality and overindulge all the way until the new year. The thought process is, “beginning January 1st I will hit it hard and get into a healthy routine.” This way of thinking almost always leads to weight gain, followed with over-restriction at the new year, and ultimately metabolic disturbances that prevent goals from ever being reached throughout the year.

If you can create consistency day after day, it will eventually become a habitual pattern that will overall lead to a more-balanced lifestyle. Ultimately, that’s what we should all be striving for (at least that has been my ultimate goal over the years), to create balance that allows me to enjoy some simple pleasures in life while still working on reaching my goals.

Hello everyone! I cannot believe that 2021 has come and is now almost gone! What a crazy year it has been! A lot has happened throughout this last year, so let me catch you up!

To start things off, we moved! We left Las Vegas and headed South, back to Florida. We last left Florida in 2013 when we headed to Korea, and really didn’t know when (or if) we would ever come back. It was a hectic few months with selling our house, buying another (especially in this market), and moving cross-country, but we are finally settled and getting back into somewhat of a routine.

One can only imagine the wining and dining and evenings out while wrapping things up in Vegas, and the same since being back and catching up with old friends here at the beach, but it is now time to get back to the grind. I tried really hard throughout the move (and while living in hotel for a month) to remain diligent with my training and mindful of my eating since I knew we would be back at the beach for the end of summer, but as soon as Labor Day came and left (the big end of summer hoorah), I’ve stacked on a few extra LB’s. While I still feel confident in my skin, I am storing a bit more fat than I typically like for the winter. Usually, I wait until the end of January or February to begin shedding the winter fluff, but I think I had rather begin slowly decreasing now, so when spring comes I won’t wish I had started sooner.

I believe the last time I followed and blogged any sort of fat-loss program or shred series was at the beginning of the year, but that was cut short just a few weeks in once we began planning our big move; so, let’s see if I can give it a successful go once again, and share some insight along the way!

11/12/2021

This morning I weighed in, took measurements, and snapped progress photos. I am sitting at 155 pounds, which is 5 pounds heavier compared to when I ended my last bulk; unfortunately, I don’t believe I can count the additional 5 as added muscle. I can see I gained a good amount in my waist, inner thighs, and the area just below the butt cheeks, and these are areas I tend to carry excess fat stores.

Starting Stats:
Weight: 155 Lbs
Arm: 11.5″
Chest: 36″
Waist: 32″
Glutes: 40.5″
Thigh: 24″

The biggest changes that will be made initially within my training are reps and rest. For the last 8-weeks I have been training intuitively (meaning I haven’t been following any custom programming or structured format). I simply go into the gym and whatever muscle group of my body feels strong (or not sore), I will workout by completing (in total) about 25-30 working sets. To kick things off, I will be incorporating more supersets (completing 2 exercises back to back with minimal rest between the 2 sets), along with an increase of reps. This will ensure the heart rate stays a bit more elevated throughout the workout, and then as time progresses, you will see how I adjust training even more (incorporating giant sets, interval training, and plyometrics).

As far as nutrition, I have the most consistent results when I track macros, so that will be my approach over the next several weeks. I will be sharing lots of tips and tricks regarding meal prep here on my blog, and then, all of the foods I eat along the way will be available (along with an educational ebook that will teach you all about customizing your own personal macros to reach your goals) at the beginning of the new year.

Follow along over the next several weeks to see what changes can be made within 50 days.

Hello friends and Happy New Year! While 2020 threw the entire world a curve ball with COVID-19, and most of us are eager for a fresh start in the new year, I have to say that 2020 was actually really good to me. Being in lockdown allowed me to slow down and focus on my ebook, a project that had been in the making for a while.

https://mycolorfulfoodjournal.selz.com

While in lockdown, I focused a great deal on creating habits and a daily routine. I am the type of person that relies on structure and without it, I am easily distracted. I knew that destructive behaviors such as endless social media scrolling, overeating, and binging on Netflix could possibly mean the return of some old bad habits, so I was determined to not let that happen.

Since I was no longer in the gym coaching, my 15,000 steps a day would be cut in half, so I knew this meant cutting my calories a bit, and adding in additional cardio throughout the day.
I continued waking up before the sun, and made certain that a workout was the start to each day. After lunch I typically jumped on zoom and completed a HIIT session with some of my mates, and evening walks with Jack O’doodle after dinner ended each day.

Thankfully, grocery stores remained essential, so keeping stocked with fresh foods and keeping meals prepped was never a problem.

In the end, because of self-destructing behavior in my past, I knew that creating consistency and regular routines throughout quarantine was imperative. Establishing a plan and remaining persistent over lockdown enabled me to make some positive changes in my physique, and more importantly, allowed me to remain unwavering in my wellness journey.


Since pools and social festivities were put on hold this summer, I decided to begin my final bulk of the year a bit early. August 1st marked day 1, and I’ve been grinding hard over the last 25 weeks! I do believe this bulk has been my most successful to date, and I can’t wait to see what’s hiding under this current 150-LB frame!!


There are several great benefits to drinking coconut water. I want to share with you why I personally choose this beverage, almost daily. Coconut water is full of potassium, an electrolyte that has numerous jobs. It helps conduct nerve impulses and muscle contractions and regulates the flow of fluids and nutrients in and out of the body’s cells. While these alone are great benefits, potassium isn’t typically the mineral that is depleted during a workout though, it’s sodium. So, while coconut water is loaded with potassium and many more essential micronutrients, I choose it surrounding my workout, specifically, for its primary macronutrient, carbs. One cup of coconut water contains 15 grams of sugar. While I prefer to do HIIT training on an empty stomach, I like to consume both carbs and protein before and after my weight training workouts. Many refer to this time frame as the “window of opportunity.” It is during your workout and just after, that blood flow to the skeletal muscle increases. Because of the increased blood flow, the muscle is primed to accept nutrients. Once these nutrients are accepted they immediately stimulate muscle repair, strength, and growth. It is because of this “window of opportunity,” I like to have nutrients there, ready and available. But why coconut water, specifically? For one, I train early in the day, and I can’t force a solid meal down my throat that early. Second, I want the energy supply and nutrients there immediately, but I don’t want to feel it in my belly while lifting, so consuming a liquid form of nutrition that contains rapidly digesting carbohydrates and protein is best (for me). I could just as easily opt to mix my protein with water and consume a handful of sour patch kids for my fast-absorbing carb source (the macros are exactly the same as coconut water), however, if I chose the second option, I would be missing out on all of the amazing micronutrients and their amazing benefits. The importance of nerve impulses and muscle contractions when it comes to Weightlifting is crucial. Every explosive movement begins with firing up your Central Nervous System, which then allows you to transfer power from your core to your extremities. Without the body’s ability to execute these impulses correctly, you can’t possibly find your greatest maximum power output.
As always, this is something I have found over time that works well for me. On average, most individuals don’t work out long enough or hard enough to really even need an electrolyte replacement drink, so water is perfectly fine, but for those that train outdoors, or at a higher intensity for longer than 60:00, electrolyte replenishers are great additions. Do keep in mind though the mineral most depleted for athletes is sodium, so other sports recovery drinks may be a better fit for some. As you can see, I keep plenty of G2 on hand. I enjoy training in the heat, and I love to sweat, so I do occasionally supplement with a sports recovery drink, as well. 

I wanted to share with you all my most recent personal journey, 100 days of Yoga. I have incorporated yoga off and on over the last year, but by no means has it been practiced consistently (even when I had the greatest of intentions). This time around incorporating a session every day will be a priority.

Today marked day one. I followed along with a beginners yoga video from Youtube this evening with basic (and familiar) movements that allowed for an easy and relaxing introduction to my journey.

I find when I incorporate yoga, mobility sessions, lengthier warm-ups, and make more time for recovery, my body appreciates the dedication, and less pain is the reward. It seems so basic, right? And really, it is. It doesn’t require science to understand the why’s, but it does require taking action and putting in the effort.

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Now, let’s fast forward 100 days and see how it all went! You can head over to my Instagram and view all 100 days in my stories!

To start, I began this journey with hopes that practicing yoga could help relieve the lingering back pain and elbow pain that I have had off and on for several years now. In the beginning, however, I found that my elbow would flare up when practicing, and my wrists would take a beating too- honestly, it was really frustrating. But, within 15 days or so, I found that my wrists were feeling stronger and my elbow pain was becoming less and less, not only on the mat but when lifting weights too. Soon after, I realized I was no longer thinking of the pain in my elbow, or how weight-bearing I felt on my wrists, but rather began focusing on two key points: mindfulness and the breath. 

My understanding when reading into the practice was, in yoga, “the breath does the work for you.” That’s because getting fresh oxygen into your blood while moving through the poses allows you to cleanse the body, loosen tension, and experience its full benefits. Deep breathing requires mindfulness and concentration, which I found myself practicing beyond the mat. It’s easy to let our mind wander when completing less technical movements like walking or running, but yoga requires paying attention to your breath and constant refining of your movements. The same goes for our day to day tasks, we often get caught up in our routines and simply roll through the day without truly being present. In yoga when my mind began to wander I would bring my eyes back to a focal point and bring my attention back to my breath. A few weeks in, I realized I had yet to have an entire session where I didn’t have to bring awareness back to my breath or use a focal point to still my mind. I never did make it an entire session without having to remind myself at least once to focus, but by the end, I found that I could bring awareness back relatively quickly. Being aware and present was something I found I was applying to all parts of my day. It’s astonishing at how you recognize great moments in the day when you are truly present and aware. Not only do I recognize more moments of happiness throughout the day, but I find happiness in the smallest things.

At the end of my 100-day journey, the lingering elbow and back pain had subsided tremendously! I began seeing improvements in my lifts and less inflammation and aggravation following training sessions overall. If that weren’t enough, the rewards that have stemmed from simply being more present and aware have yielded life-changing practices.

While I cannot incorporate both yoga and Weightlifting every day, I plan to keep yoga as a staple in my training at least 2-3x each week.

I would like to close this entry with a big thank you to my friend, Amanda Sides.
Amanda is a fellow coach and yoga teacher, and because of her great range of content available on YouTube, I was able to follow along seamlessly as I progressed. Below I have shared links to three of her beginner yoga videos, and here you can find the other 10. This is the perfect 13-day series when beginning your very own yoga journey! I hope I have encouraged you all to give it a go!

Beginner Yoga 1: Get Going!

Beginner Yoga 2: Just Breathe

Beginner Yoga 3: Calm

Today marks one week since being back from our cross-country road trip.

One can only eat so healthy while on the road without packing a lunchbox of prepped meals. Here are a few snips of some of the on-the-go snacks I had on our drive.

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coconut clusters paired with an iced latte (almond milk and sugar-free vanilla) from Starbucks, kale chips with a sugar-free Monster, hard-boiled eggs and a veggie cup (tomatoes and broccoli)

I do occasionally enjoy a good loaded sub; fortunately, there are more subway restaurants attached to gas stations than any other on-the-go eatery. Needless to say, Subway was my go-to. I also took along a bag of corn tortillas, so I would eat half of the sub on bread, then tortillas for the other half.

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Finally, after driving 2000 miles, we found our way to Fort Walton Beach.

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Seeing that we were at the beach, I did indulge in a skinny margarita that paired perfectly with my Mahi tacos (minus the tortillas).

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The highlight of our trip to Florida was definitely seeing my wingman, Michelle. Michelle and I trained together (religiously) before Wes and I moved to Korea. She recently began coaching CF as well, and while I would have loved to have taken her class, Florida was all about chilling and celebrating my birthday, so we opted for a local brewery 🙂

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After Florida, we made our way to Alabama to see my family. Although it rained literally the entire visit, it was nice to have some downtime. My favorite part of visiting home is sitting around the kitchen table with my mom. We will drink coffee and kiki for hours and hours. They finally got to meet Jack, and of course, they were obsessed with our little muppet.

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Immediately upon waking our first day in Bama, I found a gym and got a pass for the week. Every morning began with a quick 30:00 workout, followed by 20:00 on the tread. It felt great to sweat after all of the birthday celebrations.

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After a few days in Bama, we continued north to Indiana for more time with family. Although we ate out for every meal, we had plenty healthy options.

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I didn’t go to the gym while in Indy, but I did manage to go for a run every morning and squeeze in some yoga.

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Throughout our trip, I was somewhat stressed regarding the fact that we were driving back cross country, and I had to be back to coaching immediately upon arrival. My sweet husband bought me a plane ticket to fly home so I could have a couple of days to recover before returning to work, which left him driving back solo cross-country with Jack O’doodle.

While walking through the airport I was trying to decide what to eat when I stumbled upon the Farmers Fridge. Is this for real? Can I really get a salad loaded with chickpeas, grapes, apples, cashews, and avocados from a vending machine, and it is fresh and crisp?! Oh my God, yes, please! It was absolutely delish!

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I had a straight flight back to Vegas and landed just after midnight. And just like that, vacation was over, that’s a wrap. While my physique was nowhere near what it is when competing, I felt comfy in my skin.

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An end of vacation check-in. Feeling a bit fluffy  after birthday/vacation indulgences, but a couple of days of cardio and I’ll be back on track. It has been worth the fun!

 

We wrapped up the F45 challenge this weekend with a kickball game to celebrate all of the challenge participants and everyone’s progress! Y’all, it was so much fun!! The weather was perfect, and it sure didn’t hurt that my team won!

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I had my final in-body scan on Friday and had some pretty good progress with the challenge. I lost 4 pounds, and while that is amazing in its itself, my greatest improvement was my cardio game!

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Over the next 8-weeks I plan to continue implementing 2 F45 classes each as we prep for our trip to the beach!

We are currently wrapping up week 4 of the F-45 Global Challenge, and I am on my way back to Vegas after a fun filled weekend at the Arnold Sports Expo.

At the moment I am sitting in the airport in Columbus, Ohio waiting to board my flight. I have been in Ohio since Tuesday afternoon working with my fit fam, Gorilla Wear at the Arnold Sports Expo. While it was an absolute blast, I am more than ready to get back to my little doodle man (and of course my main man).

Tuesday began with meeting up with the team to get settled into our hotel. They originally had us an apartment rented for the week so we could all hang out together, but we were informed Monday morning that the apartment had an unexpected pipe burst, so we were relocated to the Hilton, downtown. The Hilton is one of the host hotels for the Expo so it actually worked out pretty well. The main thing that had us all a little aggravated was the fact we no longer had a kitchen to meal prep, which left us eating out every. single. meal. The breakfast buffet was actually re-vamped to cater to the Arnold and competitors so there was plenty of variety: eggs, egg whites, boiled eggs, steel-cut oats, greek yogurt, fresh fruit, nuts, potatoes, and grilled veggies. We began every morning with a group meet up at the buffet before heading to the venue. During the day we were all so busy that we didn’t have time to think about food. We kept a cooler on hand jam-packed with fruit, protein bars, sandwiches, and protein drinks for those quick few minutes throughout the day that we could squeeze something in, but for the most part, we saved our feast for the evening. We ended up eating at the same restaurant every evening (with the exception of one night). The restaurant was literally right next door to the venue, so it was perfect for our raging late-night appetites. The menu was pretty limited, but they did have a veggie burger that was pretty scrumptious. This ended up being my go-to four out of five days. While yes, it was good, almost anything after a ten-hour day would have sufficed. I will say however, they had a Scottish Ale that surpassed just about any beer that I have ever had. By evening two, everyone at our table had tried it and made it part of their regular order. Is beer considered acceptable on the F45 challenge menu?! Um, no. No, it is not. But after an eight to ten-hour fast each and every day and working my booty to the bone, I drank that beer along with my black bean burger without a single trace of guilt.

Expo days are insane, intense, exhausting and motivating all at the same time. It is so inspiring to be surrounded by like-minded individuals that share the same passions and desires. We had several Gorilla Wear athletes that made appearances: Erko Jun, Felice Herrig, and William Bonac .

While all three were super warm and welcoming to everyone that came to the meetups, Erko, has a presence that cannot be dismissed. He is an extremely funny guy, and after a couple of days, I have to say that I am a total Erko Jun fan!

I got to meet a handful of people that I had only interacted with through social media. Meeting Jordan Edwards was a huge highlight for me this weekend. I have followed her for the last couple of years and always flip to her Instagram when needing a good ab workout. I was walking from the restroom back to our booth and recognized her and her boyfriend. I went up and introduced myself, and she just wrapped her arms around me and squeezed me big. She was (genuinely) so sweet. We spoke briefly about the industry, and of course, had to grab a quick pic to document my fan-girl moment. 

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I met the hilarious Jen Heward, aka @hunnybunsfit while roaming around and while we did get a selfie, her eyes were closed and I looked a mess after a 10 hour day, so we’ll just leave that one in the mysterious cloud. I caught glimpses of several influencers that I admire and just being in the same venue sharing the same passions is enough for me. I didn’t have time (nor the patience) to stand in line to meet anyone.

I mentioned at the beginning of this post that I am sitting in CHM airport. I have to share with you all that I am sitting in the general food court and Jessica Arevalo is sitting to the right of me, and Bradley Martyn to my left. So on that note, I am going to hit pause on this entry, perhaps go say hello, make my way to my gate, and I will pick back up with you guys once back in Vegas.