Living your most healthy life.

No DVD Required (Part Deux)

Here’s another round up of great youtube fitness channels. I’ve been asked to start curating the ones I come across, hopefully you’ll start using them. As I’ve said before these are great alternatives for when you’re not able to get to the gym.

Millionaire Hoy

I recently stumbled across this channel, and what I like was that he previews the upcoming move and he shows you how to modify as well. He has a bunch that don’t require equipment, which is great for those looking for bodyweight workouts only.

Fitness Blender

Another great channel with various workouts, ranging from short to full length. They also have workouts catered towards beginners.

Melissa Ioja

I first found out about Melissa after she had been feature on BodyRock/The Daily HIITs Channel. She has her own page with HIIT workouts from her living room. She has since moved to Athlean-XX for Women, but her standalone page still has tones of workouts to choose from.

Go check them out, and as I’ve said numerous times don’t be intimidated if you see moves you’re not familiar with. Try them out (you’re probably stronger than you realize) or substitute another move in it’s place.

Do you have any other favorite fitness channels? Be sure to share in the comments!

xo,

Tam

Quick updates!

Hi, hello!

I was on a roll and then I spilled tea on my macbook, and all hell broke loose *smh*.

But I’m back! This isn’t a real update, just some quick bits on what I’ve been doing in the meantime.

1. LOTS OF COOKING

IMG_3174 IMG_3187

I haven’t been working (another story for another time), and without my laptop, I’ve had plenty time on my hands. I went to the farmer’s market a couple of weeks ago and bought an eggplant. Eggplant scares folks, but I love it. I especially love eggplant parmesan, but wanted to try a recipe that wasn’t heavy on the cheese or frying. I stumbled upon this recipe, and made my own modifications, and came up with a cashew cheese eggplant parmesan. Don’t let the cashew cheese perturb you, it’s SO good and you won’t miss the ricotta. Still the same amount of creaminess and flavor as the original version.

Another recipe tried my hand at was a white bean chicken chili that I saw Giada DeLaurentis make on Foodnetwork. It’s fall and I love all things soup and chili, but didn’t want to spend hours slaving over a stove.

I plan on making both of these recipes again, and will post step by step how-to’s then so stay tuned.

2. UP IN THE GYM, WORKING ON MY FITNESS

Processed with Moldiv Processed with Moldiv

Yes, Operation Snatch Back is still in full effect (fell off this week kinda), but I’ve been in the gym SUPREMELY hard. No, I don’t know how much I weigh because scales are fickle, but I do feel better mentally, and physically. I’ve been writing down the bodyrock workouts and doing them at the gym (more toys to play with there), lifting weights, intervals on the treadmill, AND the stair climber.

Phew.

ok, I’m done. I’m alive, more to come!

xoxo,

Tam

Today’s workout

I meant to post this last night, but didn’t feel like resetting my password. Sue me. 

I decided to do my workout at home, and was excited to see that one of my favorite YouTube fitness channels, Body Rock, had posted new real time workouts. The goal is to add the previous days workout to the new one, so on day 2 you’d be doing  two videos, day 3, two videos, etc. I was decided to do two videos since they were only 12-13min workouts, and wasn’t disappointed. There’s no music, so feel free to have your favorite workout mix playing in the background. I did substitute some moves (e.g. jumping jacks for skipping rope, high knees for burpees), definitely make the workout your own if need be. This challenge is great because a lot of their videos do 50 seconds work, 10 seconds rest, while this was 30 seconds of work and 10 seconds of rest. May be more doable for those of you who are a bit intimiated by the BodyRock crew.

Also, I ate pretty well yesterday! Lots of veggies, could do with less carbs, BUT they were whole wheat (LOL). Definitely a work in progress.

I’ll post the videos below, let me know if you try them!

xoxo,

Tam

Operation: Snatch Back

I really didn’t want to write this post. I mean really didn’t want to. 

One, it forces me to deal with my shit.

Two, vulnerability. That’s such a cringe worthy word, even typing it I’m like “yeesh!” Vulnerability is the thing all of us need to work on, and very few of us manage to do. In the age of social media, we’re flooded with images of our peers who seem to be flourishing and living well. Aside from the TMI folks, very few of us share the difficult aspects of our lives publicly, because that crap isn’t fun and who wants to be the Debbie Downer? 

A couple months ago, I wrote a post about getting sidetracked on your health journey. It covered not beating yourself up, reevaluating your goals and approaches, and jumping back on the bandwagon. That was June. It’s now September, and those extra 20lbs I mentioned have now creeped up another +5 lbs. 

*looks away sheepishly*

It’s hard guys, this shit is really hard. And a lot of the times it sucks. Not an excuse, but a reality of the process. A lot has happened between June and now (a story for a later date), but I think I’m finally fed up with my own crap to pull it back together. 

ENTER OPERATION: SNATCH BACK

photo (2)

my new “before” picture

This is the beginning of a series which will chronicle my efforts to lose these gnarly 25ish lbs. I’ll be posting workout reviews, some of my personal routines, food stuffs, and other tidbits along the way. If you have suggestions of what you’d like me to cover, shoot an email to: thecurvycakes@gmail.com or leave it in the comments. 

If anything, I hope this helps someone as much as it’ll help me. 

Let the journey to re-snatchment commence! 

xoxo,

Tam

No time? No Excuse!

15318_wpm_lowres

One of my favorite exercises to do when I’m short on time are Tabata workouts. Tabata is a form of HIIT training which involves 20 seconds of high intensity work, followed by 10 seconds of rest. You do this for 8 rounds to complete a total of 4 minutes of work. Tabata is great when doing interval training, because many times HIIT workouts will have you doing 50-60 seconds of work followed by 10-20 seconds of rest, which can seem like a long time. But with a Tabata workout, 20 seconds flies by!

I did a tabata workout yesterday while at the gym and used my Gymboss Interval Timer (free in the app store) and did the following for a 20 min workout: 

  • Squats with a 25 lbs kettlebell
  • Jump squats on an elevated step
  • Ball slams with a 14 lbs weighted ball
  • Burpees with 14 lbs weighted ball

You would do each exercise for 8 rounds before moving on to the next to the move, for a total of 20 mins. 

And if you don’t have 20 minutes? Take out a move and you can cut the routine down to 8-12 mins.

NO EXCUSES! 

xo,

Tam

Playlist Plateau

Music is such a crucial part of one’s workout. So much so, that the few instances that I’ve left my headphones at home, my workout has suffered as a result. Because who can really get into the zone to the generic gym music? 

Recently, I’ve been getting bored with my workout playlist, and wanting some new music to get into. I reached out to my twitter folks, and crickets as a response (thanks so much, guys!) As a result, I found myself listening to one of my Spotify playlists (rightfully entitled “Ratchet”), and when I tell you my workout was EVERYTHING, I was fully focused and lost track of time. I’m sure many of you suffer from Playlist Plateau, so here are the songs that breathed fresh life into my workout. 

**Don’t judge me advance**

  1. Nas f/ Ginuwine – You owe me
  2. Trick Daddy – Shut up
  3. Trina – Pull over
  4. Trick Daddy – Nann N***a
  5. Jay Z f/ UGK – Big Pimpin
  6. Big Tymers – Get your roll on
  7. Bubba Sparxxx f/ the Ying Yang Twins – Ms. New Booty
  8. Ying Yang Twins – Wait (the whisper song)
  9. Trillvile – Neva eva
  10. Travis Porter – Ayy Ladies
  11. Travis Porter – Bring it back
  12. David Banner – Play
  13. Juvenile – Back that azz up
  14. Lil Jon & the East Side Boyz – What u gon’ do?
  15. Crime Mob – Knuck if you buck
  16. Crime Mob – Stilettos
  17. Future f/ TI – Magic
  18. Wale f/ Juicy J, Nicki Minaj – Clappers
  19. Juvenile – Slow motion

Hopefully there are some gems on here that you can add to your playlist. And please share your personal faves!

 

xo,

Tam

Weighing in

image source

If you google “ditching the scale” you’ll find tons of articles on why you should throw out the scale. The biggest arguments being that the numbers on a scale aren’t always indicative of your overall health and fitness accomplishments. Also, for many of us we become obsessed with the number on the scale, it consumes us; what begins as weekly weigh-ins, turns into daily weigh-in. For those who’ve been on the journey long enough the hardest part can be when the body hits the inevitable plateau, which can last for weeks… sometimes months. We become fixated on that number glaring back at us from the scale. It’s a vicious love/hate relationship.

I’ve been on both ends of the spectrum; obsessively weighing, counting calories, measuring myself and conversely not weighing myself, counting calories (or watching intake), and not measuring anything. Both are unhealthy places to be in.

As a Libra (yes, I’m one of those folks), I’ve found that I’m at my best when things are in balance. With that in mind, I recently ordered myself a brand new digital scale. This wasn’t the easiest decision, one I mulled over for the past 2 months, asking friends for their opinions (lots of “NOPE”), adding it to my cart, deleting it, and finally last week, I just bit the bullet and did it.

While weighing, measuring, counting, helped me lose 70+ lbs, it wasn’t the best mind state to be in. Everything becomes a numbers game, and since being healthy is a lifelong journey, it’s not sustainable for me. However, neither is completely ditching the scale and being intuitive, I just haven’t gotten that good yet! I don’t want to count calories, I’m at the point where I can pinpoint my issues, and I don’t want to only go by how my clothes feel either.

It’s simply about adding some structure back into my regimen. I’ve been doing this long enough to know that what I weigh isn’t a reflection of my strength or how I feel. But after some reflection I’m ok with seeing a number that I’m not necessarily pleased with. Doesn’t mean I’m not gonna cringe, but I’m not going to beat myself about something I did to myself. It’s part of taking accountability for being a bit reckless and falling of the bandwagon. I’m committed and determined to not making it become about a number, but using it to add some structure back into my routine.

Scales do have the potential to be a burden, but only if you allow it. Knowing how your body, and acknowledging the non-scale or weight related victories along the weigh definitely serve as a buffer. But hey, to each their own.

What are your thoughts? Do you choose to weigh? Why or why not?

xo,

Tam

 

Workout of the Day.

Today’s workout. I only did it once through because I’m fasting.

Note: I don’t have a weighted sandbag, I used my dumbbells and kettlebells instead. 

Food is Bae: Thoughts from an Emotional Eater

I love food.

So much.

It’s an experience. I attach it to memories, both good and bad, to food, to people, everything.

Such is the life of an emotional eater.

Some folks emotional eating is triggered by sadness or depression. Mine is triggered by literally everything. Celebrating something? Let’s eat (and drank). Mad at something? Food. Sad about something? You guessed it, more food. It’s a vicious cycle that has lead me to where I am now; a 25lbs mostly happy induced weight gain. Which then leads to sorta sad feelings about said weight gain, and then fighting the urge to go eat the sad feelings.

Are you following me?

Food is my bae. It’s there for me for better or for worse, but I’m pretty tired of what tends to be an abusive relationship. I could give you tips on how to fight the battle against emotional eating, but clearly I haven’t put them to use too well. What I can say is that self-awareness has helped me to be cognizant when about to go on an emotional eating splurge. Most times I can reel myself back in, but sometimes I honestly don’t care. And with apathy, comes a not-so-sneaky 25lbs weight gain.

*exhales deeply*

Currently I’m observing Ramadan. I’m not Muslim, but I admire the amount of dedication that is put into the fast. For me it’s about finding a renewed sense of discipline and self-control that I’ve seemed to misplace. It’s about being still, listening to my body, and really thinking about why I eat the way I eat. Why sabotage almost 4 years of hard work?

This is a lifelong journey for me (and probably for most of you), learning to stay the course is one of the hardest parts. Are you an emotional eater? What are some of the ways you combat it?

No DVD Required.

The gym is not for everyone, especially beginners who can be intimidated by the vast array of machinery a gym has to offer. I lost my first 50lbs working out in the comforts of my own home with various dvds, but even that can get pricy. 

Here comes YouTube with the save. There are YouTube videos for literally everything, only right there would be FREE effective fitness video on there. 

Here’s a roundup of my favorite fitness vloggers. 

BodyRock TV/The Daily HIIT

One of the most popular fitness channels, The Daily HIIT has 100s of HIIT (High Intensity Training) videos at your disposal. They even have 21-30 day workout challenges as well. Most of their workouts are 12-15 mins, with a few between 30-60 mins long. Don’t be intimidated by their use of equipment, I’ve been able to complete the workouts without it, occasionally modifying or substituting one more for another. 

Zuzka Light

Zuzka is one of the founders of BodyRock, but has since formed her own brand. Her older videos are also short HIIT workouts, which require less equipment, but are a killer! She also has various workout dvds which can be found on her site. 

HangTight with MarC

I love MarC because she’s high energy, bubbly, and her workouts pack a punch. She also focuses on health and nutrition in her vlogs as well. 

SuperHeroFitness TV

This channel was created by dancer, singer, and personal trainer Keira LaShae. Not only is her body amazing, her workouts are great for those of us who love to dance in our living rooms. 

Are there any other great youtube channels I missed? Let me know!

-Tam