Sometimes You Have to Take a Break

Take a break Sometimes you need to take a break from everything, even fitness.  I’m 7 days post total hysterectomy and so I am taking that much needed break from pretty much everything.   I’m not worried about fitness,  food or anything else and instead I’m just taking my time to get back to whatever will be my new normal.

When I feel better I am looking forward to being able to exercise again,  but until then I’ll be resting, relaxing and not worrying about anything else.

Glamour and the Mainstream Media Should Shut Up about Being Plus Size

plus sizeI don’t usually rant, but when I saw a recent headline regarding Amy Schumer’s response to being included in Glamour’s “plus size” special issue I got really, really mad.  I don’t typically read women’s magazine unless I’m in a waiting room somewhere so I hadn’t heard about this magazine issue before hearing about her response.

The existence of a special “plus size” issue of a women’s magazine goes to show how utterly out of touch the media is when it comes to real women.  It’s offensive.  It’s offensive that women are labeled like this.  It’s offensive that a woman can’t be seen as beautiful in any issue of Glamour (or any other magazine) without bringing attention to her size.  It’s offensive that woman are singled out by their looks.  It bothers me so deeply on so many levels.  Is this the first time something like this has been published?  Of course not.  Will it be the last?  I am certain it will not.

So why does it bother me so darn much?  Because I am a woman.  Because I want to feel beautiful, but beautiful is a subjective term and magazines and other mainstream media outlets force insane ideals down the throats of the public which sways our subjectivity.  Because I want people to see that beauty isn’t just about the size of clothing you can squeeze yourself into.  Because you shouldn’t feel like you’ve been put into a box or a category because of your body.

Labeling someone “plus size” is not a compliment, but I wouldn’t necessarily call it an insult either.  I see it as a divider.  It conveniently divides the us and them, the fat and thin.  It says that we are different somehow.  It says that our size means something more than it should.  It furthers stereotypes, it creates complexes and body image issues.

I am an 8,10, 12, M, L and even XL on some days in various pieces of clothing.  I’ve been smaller and I’ve been even larger.  I’ve been called fat “plus size”.  I’ve lived by the number on the scale at times.  I have good days and I have bad days where I don’t like what I see when I look at myself.  I have bumps and lumps.  I have stretchmarks and sagging skin from weight gain and weight loss.   I am flawed, but I am me.  I refuse to let anyone tell me that I need to be slotted into a category because of my size. I don’t need anyone’s approval regarding how big or small my body is and I sure as hell don’t need Glamour or any other media outlet dividing me from other women based on our size.

About the Author
Alicen Ronan is a Kansas City personal trainer, fitness coach and writer. She has been a certified personal trainer since 2009 when she decided that she wanted to help others make positive lifestyle changes. She is available for personal training and fitness coaching 7 days a week both in the Kansas City metro and virtually.

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This post may contain affiliate or sponsored links. Any link which leads to items/services for purchase outside this website may result in a commission or flat rate payment to Former Fitness Flunky, LLC or it’s owner. Please be advised that this does not impact the price you pay. Please read the Affiliate Disclosure for additional information.

Meal Prep Monday

Meal Prep Monday Banner

It’s Meal Prep Monday!  Today I am sharing some of the meal prep items I’ve made over the past week.  I’ve continued to enjoy a little more leeway with the ingredients I can use in meal prep.  Even though I have opted to reincorporate things like rice in our post-Whole30 meals the portion sizes are significantly smaller than average which makes them more sensible.  This weeks meal include:

meal prepDeconstructed Cabbage Rolls
White Rice

I sauteed ground pork, onions and cabbage with the addition of salt and pepper only.  It seems like that may be kinda boring, but this is the way Grandma did it and she was one hell of a cook so I’ll stick with her on that one.  I mixed a cup of tomato sauce with a dash of coconut sugar, apple cider and white vinegars and some Worcestershire sauce to make a classic cabbage roll-type sauce.  Everyone seems to have their own take on how this should taste, but I was going for a hint of sweet and a lot of zip with the two types of vinegar.

Meal prep
Grilled Chicken Breast
Wild rice blend

I have discovered that brining makes nearly any meat more delicious, especially chicken breasts that can easily get dried out when overcooked or reheated.  I’ve tried this simple brine recipe twice now, tweaking slightly for anything I didn’t have on hand and both times it’s come out wonderfully.   I paired these grilled chicken breasts with a brown and wild rice blend that was seasoned with a bay leaf and a half tablespoon barbecue rub mix.

Meal prep

Scrambled Egg Cups with Quinoa

Sometimes leftovers cause you to get creative so when I had leftover quinoa and a whole bunch of eggs I decided to mix them up into scrambled egg cups.  Six eggs and about a cup of cooked quinoa yielded 10 standard muffins cups filled about 3/4 of the way full.  I baked these for 20 minutes at 350 until almost set.  I was careful not to overcook them since we would reheat them during the week and I didn’t want to chew on little hockey pucks.

What are you including in your meal prep this week?

Follow my Meal Prep Pinterest board for prep ideas, planning and tips:

Follow Former Fitness Flunky’s board Fit Food Finds – Meal Prep on Pinterest.
 

About the Author
Alicen Ronan is a Kansas City personal trainer, fitness coach and writer. She has been a certified personal trainer since 2009 when she decided that she wanted to help others make positive lifestyle changes. She is available for personal training and fitness coaching 7 days a week both in the Kansas City metro and virtually.

If you liked this article please share it with your friends! Use the share buttons to post it to Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest and more.

Sign up for the Newsletter

This post may contain affiliate or sponsored links. Any link which leads to items/services for purchase outside this website may result in a commission or flat rate payment to Former Fitness Flunky, LLC or it’s owner. Please be advised that this does not impact the price you pay. Please read the Affiliate Disclosure for additional information.

30 Day Squat Challenge

Looking for a squat challenge to increase your squatting prowess? Try this 30 day version to gain increased strength and balance. There are many benefits to doing squats: they’re equipment free and like many body weight exercises there’s at least one version almost anyone can do. Squats also target several muscles in your lower body including your quads, hamstrings and glutes.

This 30 Day Squat Challenge is geared more towards the beginner.  It starts off with a basic/standard squat, moves to a sumo squat and then ups the difficulty by moving to single leg, squat jumps and plié-style squats.  If you are more advanced feel free to add additional reps or styles to the challenge.  Here’s are some helpful videos on how to do each squat version:

Basic/Standard Squat

Sumo Squat

Single Leg Squat

Squat Jump

Plié Squat

30 Day Squat Challenge

I recommend printing off this graphic and crossing off every day you complete:

30 Day Squat Challenge

Improving your squat should be a challenge, but don’t hesitate to modify things if you need to.  Squats can be hard on your knees if you don’t maintain good form. To get the best results make sure to check out the video links above for form reference. You can revert to an earlier day in the sequence, shorten the number of reps or substitute one kind of squat for another if needed. The goal here is to gradually add activity and improve a little each day no matter what your fitness level. Pain is not an indicator of progress with squats so if you feel pain discontinue squatting until the issue can be addressed with a medical professional. And remember, you should always check with your doctor before beginning this or any exercise program.

If you want to participate in more fun workouts give these a try:
30 Day Push Up Challenge
30 Day Wall Sit Challenge
30 Day Plank Challenge
20 Yard Dash Workout Routine
Killer Countdown Workout Routine

About the Author
Alicen Ronan is a Kansas City personal trainer, fitness coach and writer. She has been a certified personal trainer since 2009 when she decided that she wanted to help others make positive lifestyle changes. She is available for personal training and fitness coaching 7 days a week both in the Kansas City metro and virtually.

If you liked this article please share it with your friends! Use the share buttons to post it to Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest and more.

Sign up for the Newsletter

This post may contain affiliate or sponsored links. Any link which leads to items/services for purchase outside this website may result in a commission or flat rate payment to Former Fitness Flunky, LLC or it’s owner. Please be advised that this does not impact the price you pay. Please read the Affiliate Disclosure for additional information.

Meal Prep Monday

Meal Prep Monday Banner

It’s Meal Prep Monday!  Today I am sharing some of the meal prep items I’ve made over the past week.  I was so excited to be able to cook some different things like beans, rice and other grains that I started  prepping  on the last day of our Whole30 just to be ready.

Meal Prep

Cheddar Jalapeño  Sausage 
Quinoa with sautéed kale and onions

I’ve used Miller chicken sausages in past preps, but they don’t get old for us. It’s an easy and fairly nutritious choice, though I sometimes find them a bit salty. To counter that I made simple quinoa with sautéed onions and frozen chopped kale. I didn’t use any salt to counterbalance the sausage seasoning.

Meal Prep
Kalua Shredded Pork
Speckled butter beans
White rice with jalapeño cream

Kalua pork has become one of my favorite go-to recipes for meal prepping. It’s so easy and hands-off and yields a huge batch of incredibly versatile meat. This week I paired the shredded pork with plain rice and boiled speckled butter beans. Simple sounded good, but to add a twist I charred 4 cloves of garlic and 8 jalapeños under the broiler and then peeled and pureed them once cool with coconut milk, a little salt and some lemon juice. Zing! The sauce was a bit more spicy than anticipated, but when you mixed everything together the heat leveled out. I think you could sub any pepper into this mix, even bell, depending on your spice preference.

I am so excited to be able to expand my repertoire with grains and beans again. While it can be nice to take a break and explore other options I personally feel like beans, rice, quinoa, lentils, etc. are a healthy part of our diet and I am glad to have them back. One part of the Whole30 I really struggle with is cutting out things I feel are solid nutritional choices (especially beans).

I need to get back in the kitchen and finish cooking for the week. Next up is a recipe I found on Pinterest for blender muffins. I really like having prepped breakfast options available so I am hoping they come out well.

What are you including in your meal prep this week?

Follow my Meal Prep Pinterest board for prep ideas, planning and tips:

Follow Former Fitness Flunky’s board Fit Food Finds – Meal Prep on Pinterest.
 

About the Author
Alicen Ronan is a Kansas City personal trainer, fitness coach and writer. She has been a certified personal trainer since 2009 when she decided that she wanted to help others make positive lifestyle changes. She is available for personal training and fitness coaching 7 days a week both in the Kansas City metro and virtually.

If you liked this article please share it with your friends! Use the share buttons to post it to Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest and more.

Sign up for the Newsletter

This post may contain affiliate or sponsored links. Any link which leads to items/services for purchase outside this website may result in a commission or flat rate payment to Former Fitness Flunky, LLC or it’s owner. Please be advised that this does not impact the price you pay. Please read the Affiliate Disclosure for additional information.