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No Lift.

Red Light.

A review of the MDUSA Open.

Two Saturdays ago Ashley, Jason, and myself drove to Fort Mill, SC to witness the awesomeness that is the MuscleDriver USA Open.  After an eventful ride up there we arrived just in the nick of time for Jason to check in and weigh in.  Nothing like living on the edge.  MuscleDriver sells gym equipment and sponsors Olympic weightlifting athletes. Go check out their webpage! (http://www.muscledriverusa.com/)

We were able to see the last lifts for our two youngest athletes, Erin and Mina.  They crushed it! It is incredible to see these two young ladies so passionate about the sport of Olympic weightlifting. The best part is... they aren't even in their teens yet. Forces to be reckoned with... just wait.  Watch out boys... we are building beautiful strong lady beasts over at BSAX, you are going to have to learn to keep up with them.

After Jason competed it was off to the local Chick-fil-A for nourishment. While we spent all day being occupied with the competition, time flew by. There was never a point where I thought..."is this ever going to end". This might have been attributed to having such a positive atmosphere. Probably one of the neatest aspects of this sport is that you don't have to know the person that is up on the platform lifting to want them to do well. Everybody cheered and applauded. Everybody had something encouraging to say before and after lifts. Love it!

Towards the end of the day Jeremiah lifted. He is the one who really popularized lifting at BSAX! It slowly caught hold and now we are spreading it out into the community. All of Jeremiah's hard work has paid off because...HE IS GOING TO THE AMERICAN OPEN! It is the Super Bowl of weight lifting competitions.  He gave us heart palpitation during his clean and jerk attempts but he came through! He also took 3rd overall!

Aside from seeing the BSAX crew represent us well, I was very impressed with MDUSA as a whole.  Their facilities, staff, athletes, and coaches were all top notch. By the way their athletes are National Champions, World Team members, dominating the Pan-American and American Open... and they even have an Olympian. No big deal, right?  They are some of the BEST in their sport. I really enjoyed watching them lift! It was nice reminder that hard work and dedication produces results.

While Olympic weightlifting is not my everyday exercise I do appreciate the lifts and the sport. I am easing my way back into barbell club and look forward to spreading the word and supporting others who are interested in the sport. If you know anyone who wants to try Olympic lifting, send them our way!

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A Little Determination.

Determination. What comes to mind when you see this word?

We generally don’t think of toddlers and small children as being determined little humans. They toddle around from point A to point B and can get distracted by everything in between.  But, these little people are fiercely determined. Let’s take Austin as an example. If you don’t know who Austin is, then you are missing out... he is an awesome little smarty pants.

Like some small kids, Austin doesn’t like to be away from his mom and dad or be trapped in the child care room. It cramps his style. Those of you who have witnessed the following know what I am talking about… let me set the scene…. picture this…. Austin’s parents are on one side of the gym and he is on the other. The little fella wants to get to his parental units… this is the mission. There are obstacles all over the gym. People are in the way trying to grab him and kiss on him…he throws the Heisman on them and keeps moving. There are weights and ropes on the floor; he is hopping over them like Aries Merritt in the 2012 Olympics. But nothing stops him. I dare someone to get his way and pick him up… he will let them know exactly how he feels about that. He goes after what he wants (whether he should or not) with no fear and a firm determination. He isn’t even 2 and he faces the day with more determination than I do.

So where does our determination go? Right out the window when life gets the slightest bit crazy. We will never get from point A to B without determination.

 What is your (and my) excuse for not accomplishing your goals? What is holding you back? What keeps you determined? I understand life gets in the way and we derailed from our routine, but is that an excuse to stop and go back to square one? Nope. It is just an obstacle… Be Aries Merritt and get over it. Get back on track. Get back on the horse. Get it together and give up the excuses.

At this point you are naming a billion things you have going on in your life (kids, school, pta, sports, dance, church, the dog, the car, your significant other, work, house work, yard work, grocery shopping, etc). I get it. Don’t you owe it to yourself to present the best version of yourself to the world? To your family? Don’t put yourself on the back burner.

Keep fighting to accomplish your goals and give yourself the life you want. Small steps in the right direction are better than no steps at all. Reach out for help when you need it….we are always here at BSAX.

 

 “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith”  2 Timothy 4:7

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Hey girl! Do you even lift?!?!


 Why the female population of the world should lift weights:

Prior to BSAX I did not lift weights. I was a cardio queen.  Then one magical day my life changed and weights became my bff. Along with a new found hobby, all the myths about women and weight lifting were debunked.  Ladies… you won’t look like Mr. Universe Arnold Schwarzenegger or the Hulk if you lift big weights.  On the contrary, you will become a lean mean calorie burning machine. BOOM.

Because I want ladies to lift…. Here are a few cool reasons to encourage the female population to lift.

**DISCLAIMER:  I have not conducted any research to support the following statements… but I am sure that someone out there in the world did…so if you aren’t sure about what I am talking about just ask.**

1.  Cheap Therapy

Having a bad day? Significant other annoying you?  No worries! Just go lift some heavy weights. There is nothing like a good workout session (with weights) to get those endorphins flowing. Endorphins will send you on a trip to happy land and weights make you feel strong!

2. Bone Health

I know there is some scientific evidence out there to support this- weight lifting is good for your bones. It improves bone density. Women are susceptible to osteoporosis, so lifting provides an opportunity to protect yourself and build a strong body.

3. Calorie Burning Machine

Weights help develop muscle. Muscle mass = calorie bonfire.  The more muscle you have on your body, the more calories you will burn. Yippie!!

4. Girl Power

The common misconception is that weight lifting is a male activity. Um…no.  That’s just a silly idea. If guys can lift weights why can’t the ladies? We may not be able to “out lift” the guys but we can sure give them a run for their money. And lets be real… ladies look better lifting weights… we do it with more style and grace than the fellas! ;)

5. Self Confidence 

Beside the endorphins kicking in…self confidence spikes when lifting weights. I have had a huge boost in my own self confidence since I started pumping some iron. It is so empowering. Lifting more than your own body weight…how can you not feel good about that?? You set personal records and then that weight becomes a working set….BOOM. What up strong ladies?!?

Last but not least…

6. Your Butt

Ladies, think about your butt. You either love it, hate it, or pretend like it doesn’t exist. Regardless, you need your butt. Butt strength is sooo useful for a number of exercises. Lifting weights helps increase that booty strength, thus making life even better.  Think about it... when you bench press… you squeeze your butt. Plank? Squeeze your butt.  You want to squat? Squeeze your butt.  See my point?

 

The moral of the story is this, weight lifting is great for ladies! Weight lifting is great for everyone!!

So ladies (and gentlemen)- if you don’t know how to lift or just want to improve, lets us know! 

Be strong. Be empowered. Be a Proverbs 31 woman.

 And yes... I am wearing a scarf in the above photo... :P 

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Why would you want to be skinny?

 

To whom it may concern,

I firmly believe in setting attainable resolutions or goals for 2015.  BUT, I cannot support your goal to get “skinny.”  In the last few days of 2014 I have seen numerous individuals use the word “skinny” to describe their goal for 2015.  A few years ago, “skinny” was my goal and “skinny” was what I got. I also developed a distorted view of my body along with serious eating issues.  I was obsessed with losing weight and chasing a body weight that was not meant for me.  I could not get to a place where I was “skinny” enough.  This word is what society has inappropriately set as a standard for women.

 Let’s be real… “skinny” is overrated.

“Skinny” has no place in 2015, but STRONG, HEALTHY, and FIT do.  Truthfully, STRONG sounds wayyyy cooler than “skinny.”  So ditch the fries and candy bars and start nibbling on some quinoa and brussel sprouts.  Set some personal records. Lift some heavy weights and run really far. Love your hard working body.  Oh and eat more real food.  As result of making positive lifestyle changes you will feel better and the scale just might move in your favor.  

Obviously you want to lose a few pounds in 2015… I get that. Me too! But I don’t want to be “skinny.” As for me, instead of criticizing my body in 2015, I am going to love it. I am going to love every pound that I have to lose. Wanna know why? Read Psalm 139:14. In 2015 I will strive to build a better body and a better me. I cannot attain this goal with negativity. With self love and dedication I will gain strength and create new personal records for myself. Building a better me requires working hard everyday.

So to you who think “skinny” is the answer to 2015… you are WRONG. “Skinny” is for your Starbucks lattes and jeans.  “Skinny” is cliché and a resolution that nobody keeps. Commit to something better than “skinny.”  Commit to STRONG, HEALTHY, and FIT.

Please let the New Year empower you. Make positive changes in your life. May 2015 bring you happiness, good health, and peace in your life.

 

Sincerely,

“The girl who has no desire to be ‘skinny’“

Brittany

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Surviving The Funk


Every so often the funk hits.

 

No, not like a foot funk or a smelly funk. It's the kind of funk where you feel like you are just going through the motions. The kind of funk where the intensity... the drive... the motivation to work out just isn't there. Where did it go? I feel like lately I have had a mild case of The Funk. My eating has been decent... of course it could be better (a pecan pie got the better of me this weekend). I have been sweating a little each day (half hearted attempts at sweating). It's not like I don't have goals to work towards. As of late, I would rather stay home and bake all things pumpkin spice and hangout in my onesie than workout. But the tiny voice of reason reminds me that trying to be Martha Stewart in my PJs just won't cut it, and that I need to go workout (also the fact that I work in the fitness industry and not working out just doesn't make sense). Does anyone else get the funk? Or am I the only one?

I think The Funk is starting to diminish. I can see the light at the end of The Funk tunnel!  My motivation is slowly but surely coming back. Fun Fact: I have the same number of hours in the day as Serena Williams soooooo... that should be enough motivation to get up and get going. My fitness fire is being stoked and it's getting ready to start blazin'! I HAVE GOALS TO REACH! Complacency and going through the motions will get me nowhere. The end of 2014 is fast approaching and I want to end the year feeling accomplished and strong. Also, coming up is the holiday season that is filled with delicious pies and casseroles. I don't want to enter this season unmotivated and fall victim to consuming an excessive amount food. It's time to get going.

 

FUEL THE FITNESS FIRE PEOPLE... AND NOT WITH COOKIES.

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Learning to bail...and fail.


If you were at BSAX at any point  this summer you more than likely had the opportunity to witness history in the making. Jeremiah was in here every single day (often multiple times a day) putting in work. He spent countless hours preparing for a very important Olympic weight lifting competition. His dropping of weights  could have easily registered on the Richter Scale. BOOM! BAM! SLAM!  Jeremiah's awesomeness and dedication inspired a few of the staff to further our knowledge and  give this Olympic weight lifting thing a try. Our early morning sessions have allowed for the proper teaching of movement, techniques, and great staff bonding time. I enjoyed the challenge of lifting and this experience of Olympic lifting has only exemplified that enjoyment.

 

When learning to snatch and clean our fearless leader/ instructor/ boss also taught  us how to bail on a lift. Bailing is required when you cannot complete the lift or are at risk of hurting yourself. It is essentially removing yourself from the weights downward path.... get your body out of the way.  Upon learning how to bail I started associating  bailing with failing. In recent months I have become a little bit of a perfectionist when trying new things. I automatically want to be comfortable with what I am doing and I want to do it well. I don't want to fail. This overly critical way of thinking has lead to a great deal of frustration. Instead of accepting failure and using it as motivation to do better, I internalize the frustration and let it defeat me. Isn't failure and disappointment apart of all aspects of our life? We don't reach that weight loss goal. We don't get a job promotion we had hoped for. We don't  reach our max out on a lift. We aren't selected for a position on a committee. Disappointment and the feeling of failure can be crippling, but we are the only ones that can control those feelings. I am challenging myself and you reading this to add those negative feelings to your fitness fire. Let it motivate you. Accept your bail or fail. Try again with more passion and determination. I dare you to fail and work your way to achieving your goals.

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Fill in the blank.

After coming back from camp I felt fat. I felt as big as a house. I felt like a wildebeest.  I kept saying " I am soooo  fat ".  Who knew a week of poor eating could make you feel so awful.  I realized that I kept using the word fat to describe myself and my state of being. Think about the word fat. Think about all you associate with that word. I cannot think of  one  positive, beautiful, or joyful word to associate with fat. So why would I use that word to describe myself?  As the summer continues and we keep parading around in our bikinis and swim trunks let us remember that fat may reside on our bodies but it does not define who we are. We are beautiful. We are strong. We are loving. We are magnificently made. We are not fat.  When you are frustrated and feeling down because you haven't reached a fitness goal yet...don't throw that word around.  Instead , fill in the blank, "I am _________."   Fill that blank with something positive. Lift yourself up instead of putting yourself down. This is my challenge to you, take fat out of you fitness vocabulary.

In other news... I am still closely following the nutrition plan.  I am very thankful for all the wonderful veggies my summer garden is producing. I am back to running! I struggled getting back in the grove but I am happy to be hitting the pavement again.  I hope everyone is having a great summer!!

 

-b

 

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The "GBPs" of the World

 I am very blessed to know people of all shapes, sizes, and walks of life. There is a very special group of individuals that I use to envy. These are the individuals that can eat a double cheeseburger and large fry 5 days a week and not gain a pound. These individuals have to make minimal effort to keep their slender shape. These are the individuals that get frustrated that they can't gain weight. Wait. What?  Who wants to gain weight?? Know anyone like what I just described? These people are the "GBPs" of the world. The "Genetically Blessed  People." Their inability to gain weight blows my mind. Do you know how hard I have to work to just maintain? The way their body processes food is just downright unfair. I want to be able to eat cupcakes and cookies and not have the scale move. Yes... I know just because they eat what they want does not mean they are exactly healthy.

             After a few conversations with some of the GBPs at Bodyshop X  I have learned that these individuals struggle too. They struggle, get frustrated, and get off track just like I do. While some may see it comical that GBPs want to gain weight, they are just as passionate about gaining their weight as I am about losing weight. Being green with envy of their  ability to not gain weight will forever and always be a waste of time and energy. Just like my progress takes time so does that of GBPs. So instead of wanting to look like someone else and wishing I had their freakishly fast metabolism, I will embrace where I am and my abilities and strive to be better each day. 

As for my nutrition plan.... I am done. I have completed Weeks 5&6. During these weeks I was able to incorporate back into my diet. I continued to have 3 meals and 2 snacks. The incorporation of fruit back into my diet has been great! I was able to enjoy the local strawberry crop and now local peaches.  My summer garden is providing me with  a lot of great veggies! So I have no excuse to not eat my veggies. The information I learned on meal structure, appropriate meal size, and proper planning will continue to help me stay healthy.

Next week I will be off working at a summer camp and will be tempted by pop-tarts and cookies daily. Let's hope I don't go all crazy and eat everything in sight next week!

 

-b

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Gettin' Back on the Horse

I must confess... I had half a doughnut  the other night. I am not even a huge doughnut fan. I caved. That sweet little glazed circle of deliciousness was calling my name so like any other individual with a sweet tooth the size of Texas...I caved. I gave in. So critics  could say I fell off the horse, I got off track, I cheated on my nutrition plan, or that I am a failure. Yes, I fell of the horse but instead of eating the remaining 3.5 doughnuts that were in my house for breakfast I had my oatmeal, spinach, and eggs. I got back on the horse. I got back on track. Little advice to the world... If you stray from the straight and narrow a little, you will survive. The world will continue to turn and you will not gain 600 pounds if you eat something unhealthy every now and then. Just make sure that you "get back on the horse" and back on track of eating healthy. A very wise man  named  Jason once said  "YOU DON'T HAVE TO START ALL OVER."  Say it with me.... I DON'T HAVE TO START ALL OVER. Get back on the horse and keep moving forward. Do not roll around in self doubt, pity, or anger. Shake it off and eat your celery sticks. This same principal applies to workouts. If you miss a workout it will be ok. Just make time for yourself the following day and workout.  

So last week I completed Week 4 of the nutrition program. It was not by best effort. Last week I was distracted, unprepared, and fighting school stress. So I have decided to hold off on progressing to Week 5 of the nutrition plan and give Week 4 a better effort. This week has been so much better! I have made time to work out and sweat away my school stress. Snacks and meals have been carefully planned out. My snack of choice  this week has been celery and peanut butter. I am ready to see what Week 5 of the nutrition plan has in store for me! 

 

What is your favorite snack? 

 

-B

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VANITY is unFAIR

I always catch myself in line at the grocery store or Walmart eyeing the magazines and thinking... "Why can't I look like her?" or "How is her stomach that flat?". It's the age old battle of  women  (and men) feeling that they don't have the right look or they aren't the size society pressures them to be. Our media is filled with images and messages promoting the thinness and model look of women. Why? Why are we so consumed with physique and physical apearence? Where are the advertisements that demand for everyone to have a healthy heart and strong lungs? Forget the crash diets and 6 minute ab videos. Weight loss and reaching goals isn't suppose to be easy, it takes work. Hard work. Its suppose to be a challenge. It's a mental, physical, and emotional challenge. How about lets promote good character among people, health, and forget the vanity.

         The majority of my life I took the messages society has delivered to be truth. I had to be thin. I had to have the model look. I had to be flawless. However, the wonderful truth is I only have to look like me. I only have to strive to be the best version of myself possible...that's it. It's easy to get sucked into the vortex of lies and negativity that are projected in the media. We have no reason to be hard on ourselves. And to the mothers of the world... don't buy into the nonsense. You housed a child (or multiple children) in your body for 9 freakin' months. Cut yourself some slack. You don't have to look like a 22 year old model.

           As for my progress with the nutirion plan, its going well! I have just started Week 4! Yippie! For Weeks 3 and 4 I can incorporate a little oatmeal or quinoa into my breakfast meal! Everything else food wise stays the same. So far I have learned if I don't prepare and plan meals ahead my whole schedule will be thrown off. Also, I struggle a great deal on the weekends because the structure of my week days are gone and the urgency to do anything productive is gone.However, my energy level has continued to stay up and  I am progressing with my running. The cravings for strarchy and sweets have definatley subsided and if I do have a tiny portion of them at dinner they aren't as satisfying as they use to be. 

 

Let me know what you think! 

 

-B

 

 

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Little Debbie Cakes

Celery Selfie!!!I grew up with Little Debbie Cakes being the snack of choice. You cleaned your plate at every meal, and sweating was my least favorite activity. I was obese all throughout middle and high school. But one day at the ripe ol' age of  17  I had this life changing idea... I HAD to lose weight.  I wanted to look like the other girls my age and feel comfortable in my own skin.  I began my weight loss journey and continued all through college. I struggled a great deal with the change my body was making and  accepting  my body as it was. While at times I still struggle with this acceptance, I have realized that being overly critical of myself will in no way shape or form help me progress  or allow me to reach my goals.

                After  hitting a plateau with working out and needing  more motivation after college  I found myself at Bodyshop X. My time at Bodyshop X has been filled with personal records, increased strength, and a huge boost in self confidence. Now after months of riding a plateau, I have decided to kick it up a notch, and make a change.  I have now embarked on a 6 week nutrition journey. I am hoping that with an increase in cardio and a change in eating I can continue to progress. The plan comes in phases, every two weeks what I eat changes. To start off, Week One and Two have me eating protein, veggies, and good fats throughout the day. At dinner I can eat what my family is having - I was told to "not get crazy".... that means no double cheeseburger and chocolate shake for me. While the plan is fairly simple and totally doable, I am devastated I will be without my steady supply of fruits and simple carbs for these next few weeks, (I have also learned that vegetables can be classified as carbohydrates).... but I am sure I will survive.

            Fast forward to now..having survived my first week and a half of this nutrition plan, I feel great! I am eating every 2-3 hours so I do not feel deprived of food in any way. My day of food consists of scrambled eggs and spinach for breakfast. Snacks are made up of a combination of cheese, yogurt, peanut butter, and veggies and hummus. Lunch is usually cooked veggies and chicken. Dinner is a balanced healthy meal that dabbles in each food group.   Water and milk have become my beverages of choice and to keep life interesting I will add a Crystal Light packet to my water every now and then.

            Over all I feel wonderful! My energy level is up and I feel that my body is being properly nourished. Thus far the biggest has been training myself to eat on a schedule and being mindful of what I can eat.  I do miss my morning banana and almond snack! (However, I know that's only temporary) My sweet tooth cravings have subsided and I am no longer in a sugar craze. Stay tuned for the next installment of this continuing saga.....  

A few things I've learned this week: 

Vegetables supply carbohydrates

"Carbs" aren't bad

I have to eat to make my body work correctly

 

 

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