"

The most sacred place dwells within our heart, where dreams are born and secrets sleep, a mystical refuge of darkness and light, fear and conquest, adventure and discovery, challenge and transformation.

Our heart speaks for our soul every moment while we are alive. Listen… as the whispering beat repeats: be…gin, be…gin, be…gin. It’s really that simple.

Just begin… again.

"

Royce Addington

Tumblr Name:
daniellesphotodiary.tumblr.com

Danielle participated in the I Love My Summer Bikini / Bathing Suit Body Challenge.

In her own words:

My Goals Were:
I don’t want to lose weight necessarily although I will most likely drop a couple/few pounds, I just want to tone up, get more ab definition and become slightly slimmer throughout my lower torso and legs.  I want to eat healthier and work out regularly and feel amazing this summer! :)


How I Did on My Goals:

Well, first of all, I just want to say, I LOVE MY BIKINI BODY!  :) Secondly, I know the top isn’t the same as my before pictures, sadly there was an incident with the elastic in it starting to melt and ooze out of the seam (yuck!), but the bottoms are the same.  I do feel more toned now, and even though I didn’t work out as much as I originally planned, I definitely noticed that my body is a lot less resistant to bad eating/workout habits than I thought it was!  On the weeks where I didn’t work out, I could tell that I was losing definition and I just didn’t feel as good, so overall, my resolve to use every opportunity I have to work out has increased significantly, and I am so happy to have been in this challenge and given more attention to my fitness and health than I would have otherwise!  :)

Tumblr: healthyandhappyme

Happyandhealthyme participated in my I Love My Summer Bikini / Bathing Suit Body Challenge.

In her own words:
"I’ve really enjoyed partaking in this Bikini Challenge. I did set goals for myself and although I added more along the way, having a deadline to work to absolutely helped to keep me focused. Was it easy, was it hard? I can honestly say that I worked hard to reach my goals. There was never a point where I felt like anything was too hard for me to do or that I wasn’t motivated enough. Looking at my June pics - I feel like I have leaned out well and my derriere is noticeably firmer. I also have leg muscles appearing now! I’m pleased with my hard work. I love my body now! Seriously, I do. I know that I don’t have abs of steel or that I ran a 5k in 30 minutes (although I came close) - but for the first time in a long long time, I am confident with the body I have. Thank you for spearheading this challenge M. xx"

"My main focus is overall strength. My main goal is to not be useless and decrepit when I get older. What I’m training for is the sport called Life."

Noquit

File this under: things I find beautiful. 
xxx,M 
thebodyiwant:

doing yoga tomorrow! Can’t wait!

File this under: things I find beautiful. 

xxx,

thebodyiwant:

doing yoga tomorrow! Can’t wait!

(via reps-with-love)

WIW - Losing inches, staying the same weight

Highest weight ever: 154 lbs
Starting weight for the blog: 142 lbs 
Last week: 131 lbs

Today week: 131 lbs

This morning this guy came by:

 

which, of course, totally made with my number this morning go up. How do I know that? Well, two days ago I weighed in at 129.6 lbs. It’s perfectly normal to have some bloating during this week, of course, so I’m not beating myself up about it.

Moving forward, I’ve decided that I won’t be doing WIW during this week of the month, though. There’s no real point, seeing as it isn’t truly reflective of where I’m at. I don’t feel bad about my weight this week since, again, it’s not a “true” number. 

I also took my measurements this morning around the two key areas that I’ve been feeling extra bloated recently: the smallest part of my waist and the biggest part of my stomach. I took these measurements in the beginning of June (the exact date is written on a peice of paper at home and I can’t remember when it was). 

Beginning of June - smallest part of waist: 28.5 inches
Today - 27.75 inches
Loss: .75 inches 

Beginning of June - widest part of stomach: 32.5 inches
Today: 32 inches
Loss: .5 inches 

So, I’m very happy with that! My more frequent workouts and upped cardio are yielding good results there. :)

Breakfast this morning was two fried eggs, applewood smoked bacon, and coffee. I’m feeling very full because of the bacon so I may end up skipping morning snack. That’s still an hour away, though, so we’ll see! Leftover chicken breast for lunch from dinner last night and dinner tonight will be wild salmon and either kale or arugula (I’m undecided as of now).

Have a great day, everyone!

xxx,

Sprinting & Running: Two Very Different Experiences

I just got back from my 5 mile run. It took me 54 minutes. I made sure to check the clock the minute I left and the minute I returned. That means I ran a little over 10 minute miles. Having not timed myself since high school, I’m pleasantly surprised by that number. :) I ran at a medium speed, not pushing all out like I do when I run sprints because that’s not a realistic and sustainable pace for me.

When I started my run my legs felt light. Bouncy. Completely fresh and energized even though I ran sprints yesterday morning. I ran along in the hot sun looking at the white and grey geese bathing in the “Los Angeles River” (It’s concrete.) Past them, a male mallard duck, clearly well-fed, waddled across the pathway and down toward the river to join allll his buddies. Buddies like: grey heron, white heron, more white and grey geese, more ducks both male and female, swallows, and even more birds I couldn’t identify. I observed them as I ran, totally absorbed in what they were doing, not at all thinking about if I was in pain or feeling incapable of running this distance. I only stopped once in that first 2.5 miles to quickly double knot my sneakers which were coming undone. I didn’t want to have to stop again. 

After I hit the 2.5 mile mark, I turned around and began to head back. I was definitely feeling the burn at this point, but it wasn’t brutal. It was a background, buzzing kind of burn. A mellow burn. An oxymoron, I know but it was completely bearable. All the plants I was noticing had more of my attention than the burn: lots of low lying bushes with white flowers that look like trumpets, vines of all different shades of green, agave plants, cactus, spiky bushes that looked like they’d hurt if I bumped into them, jacaranda trees (which are PURPLE. Yes, we have PURPLE trees in California - again - why I’m never leaving), palm trees, and a passion fruit vine and flower, even, which is very uncommon and incredibly beautiful.

There is a point when I’m running a longer distance that I realize that my legs are numb. Not numb as in I can’t control them  but numb as in I no longer feel any pain whatsoever. For me today, that point was at about mile 3.5. I didn’t feel any burning anymore and was even able to run up a ramp that normally slows me to a walk. Whoo hoo! This is me, kicking ass!

Miles 4 to 5 were automode. I just focused on my breathing: in, in, in, in, out, out, out, out, in, in, in, in, out, out, out, out. I do it to the beat of my steps. I alternated doing in my nose out my mouth to in my mouth out my mouth. I have no idea if those are “correct” or anything but it is the instinctive way I breathe while I’m running. I’m proud to report: I had no running cramps in my side today. :)

I came home, showered, got some water… and felt peace and quiet in my mind. A real deep peace and quiet. It felt/feels divine. I’m still riding that wave as I type, actually. :)

When I’m sprinting it’s an entirely different experience. It’s maximum energy, a burning, burning, burning in your thighs and lungs and it’s ohmygod my legs are going to fall off or I’m going to collapse or I can’t take even one more step or I’m going to fall over. When you’re walking you’re gulping air while trying to slow down your insanely fast beating heart while trying to remain standing. Then, too soon: it’s time to go again. Remember to bring your knees high. Relax your shoulders. Almost kick your butt with your feet. PUSH HARDER. GO FASTER. There’s no two ways about it: for me sprinting is brutal.

With respect to sprinting, though, I don’t think my experience of running today would have been quite so incredible without the conditioning I’ve gotten from sprinting.   

Doing this run today felt amazing, refreshing and left me feeling really positive! It makes me want to incorporate one 2 mile run and one 5 mile run into my weekly schedule in addition to doing sprints once or twice a week and doing floor exercises 3x a week. Seeing all that working out in one sentence looks like a lot, but running honestly gave my mind the “break” it needed. I outran all of my thoughts. 

And it was freaking awesome.

So, how was your workout? 

xxx,

It’s YOU.

Sometimes we need to remind ourselves this: 

It’s me who has done all the hard work that has gotten me to where I am today.

It’s me who got sick of “the old me” and one monumental day decided to overhaul my life.

It’s me who is making the choice day after day after day to workout and push myself as hard as I can.

It’s me who decides to eat balanced meals and to hydrate my body properly.

It’s me who is putting my health as a priority in my life.

It’s me who has taken the time to prep and prepare my meals for the day - everyday.

It’s me who has taken control of my life - not anyone else.

Be proud of yourself. You have every right to be.

xxx,

Plans for the day:

Workout 1:
2 miles of HIIT sprints with Chippy 

Workout 2:
200 jumps with Jump rope
5 push ups
10 crunches
10 oblique crunches (left)
10 oblique crunches (right)
10 crunches
20 bicycle crunches (left)
20 bicycle crunches (right)
10 crunches
15 leg lifts
10 crunches 
20 lower ab/hip lifts
10 crunches 
(3 sets) 

Workout 3:
Jump rope - 150 x
Dumbbell Step Up - 15 of each foot up first
Dumbbell Stiff Leg Deadlift - 15 
Seated Dumbbell Press - 15
Standing One Leg Dumbbell Calf Raise - 15 on each foot
Dumbbell Shrug - 15
Dumbbell Side Bends - 15
(Repeat all of the above 3x)

Why?

Because I’m feeling like I need a swift kick in the ass today, that’s why. Time to pump hard. Time to push beyond what I’m comfortable calling a workout. I’m not seeing the changes I want to see in my stomach area. It’s time to cut down on my fat intake a bit & up my workouts. Let’s see a firmer stomach, yes?? Yes.

Plus… there is fondue tonight. Yeah… so there’s that.

After all my workouts (or perhaps between them) I’ll be working on the submissions for the I Love My Summer Bikini / Bathing Suit Body Challenge so I can get posting next week!  

xxx,

True Story.

100% of my motivation during my workout today was from this picture of TheFameOfHealth's abs:

She is on a fitness competition journey and is killing it! While that’s not my thing and don’t ever see that in my future, I completely respect her journey and admire the incredible and extreme dedication she has shown for the last 51 days.

So, for Tumblr Tuesday I recommend her!

If you’re in a rut and need something fresh on your dash, someone who is always on point, someone who works out even when she’s tired, even when she doesn’t feel in the “mood”, someone who doesn’t make excuses, someone who goes into high gear every time, someone who gets it done no matter what - she’s your girl! 

Who was your Tumblr Tuesday recommend? I don’t think I saw even one on my dash today!

xxx,

At Home Workout Routine

I found this great at home workout routine that I’m going to give a try today after work! I will start it out with a 20 minutes jog, then do the workout as outlined, and then pop in one or two rounds of my floor workout and then call it a night. 

Tomorrow morning Chippy (who hasn’t updated his blog in a while) and I are going to run sprints. :)

This morning’s breakfast was an omlette with goat cheese and fresh roma tomatoes. Sorry for no picture, my phone was being weird this morning. It’s fixed now though.  Dinner last night was slow cooked beef roast with sweet potatoes and onions. And it will be lunch, too.  As for my salad for the day: that will be with dinner tonight. Yes, yes, yes!

I drank my 100 oz of water yesterday, as per my June Goals so things are looking good and on track! Today I will do the same. :)

During my lunch break today I’ll be working on some of the submissions for the challenge and posting a few this afternoon (hopefully! They take a long time to do since I’m not a photoshop pro).

What goals are you accomplishing today? What is your workout for the day? What healthy foods are you grubbing on?

xxx,

So worth it.

Sometimes I think about how easy it would be to revert into my former couch potato self. How easy it would be to go buck wild on a whole bag of tortilla chips with guacamole, sour cream and salsa.

How I could stay up late and sleep late, as long as I got to work on time.

How I could drink as much as I wanted to or smoke as much as I wanted to … and who cares? 

But then I remember this:

I used to slouch really badly with my arms crossed front of my stomach to hide it. I used to look down at my flabby stomach and hate myself for having it, all the while not taking responsibility for actually being the one who created it. 

I used to wear clothes that were baggy or loose to hide; or alternatively pants that were too small and gave me a muffin top; shirts that stretched over my boobs or my stomach.

I used to cross my legs in the hopes that it would create the illusion of smaller thighs. 

I used to grab a muffin, chocolate croissant or other pastry on the way to work to eat, scarf it down and still be hungry. 

My energy would crash at about 11 am, I’d be famished by lunchtime and then I’d have another energy crash in the afternoon. By the time I got home all I’d want to do is collapse on the couch.

Overall, I hated myself. I hated my reflection, I had low self esteem, I hated having attention drawn to me because then people would look at me… and I was embarrassed at having eyes on me.

And I go on to remind myself of this:

I now stand tall and proudly show off my much-flatter, stronger stomach and slimmer thighs.

I am very comfortable wearing skintight clothes.

When look down at my legs, I see muscle definition. Even while sitting. I don’t need to create any illusions by crossing my legs.

And while waking up at 6:15 AM to run sprints isn’t my favorite thing, feeling the energy in my body all day long from a great workout is.

Nowadays I am so very proud of how I look, feel, and am perceived by others.

It’s been a long road, but at 29 years old I can truly say: I love the woman I have pushed myself to become. 

xxx,

Cravings

We all get them, especially those salty, sweet, cold, chocolaty, or starchy ones. Amiright? What do I do, personally to overcome cravings when all I want is ice cream or macaroni and cheese or the world’s biggest bowl of mashed potatoes? 

I don’t give in.

I’m sorry if that wasn’t the answer you wanted to hear - but it’s the truth. I think about how many times in the past I gave in; how many meals I “splurged” before I started taking care of myself (hint: probably 80% of them!); and remember how eating those things never, ever made me happy with my body and never made me feel good after eating them. This is not to say I never splurge - if you’ve been following me for a while, you know that I do, but I believe in controlled splurging, i.e. Friday night through Saturday night. 

Teaching yourself how to substitute your unhealthy cravings with foods that will both satiate the craving and make you happy is hard, though, right? Right. "What do I do, then, M?” - make your meals interesting!

For example, let’s say what you really want is a cheese burger topped with greezy sauce, fries and a shake - well, that’s too tough, man, because you aren’t going to have that. You’ve committed to a healthier lifestyle now. You know that eating that cheeseburger is only going to bring you farther away from your goal of a healthy body and a body you love; bring around Regret and Guilt (your least favorite “friends”); and leave you looking and feeling bloated.

Instead, you go for a salad - but decide against eating some boring “diet food” salad like iceburg lettuce with tomatoes, carrots, cucumbers, red onions and the protein of your choice, a la this garbage:

Sure, maybe it’s pretty - pretty boring!

Or this:


A prime example of what most people think “diet” food looks like. That looks SO G-R-O-S-S! I don’t want to eat it and I’m sure you don’t either! 

Instead, you refuse to be bored to death by your new “healthy diet” and you decide to create a salad with all the best quality, yummiest, most interesting healthy ingredients you can find! 

You want even more specifics than that? I know you do, you crazy kids, because I get messages asking me all the time.

How about a mixed baby greens salad with some fresh herbs mixed in (dill, basil, cilantro, thyme and parsley all work amazingly well) topped with any of the following: heirloom tomatoes, hearts of palm, pine nuts, artichoke hearts, sun dried tomatoes, sunflower seeds, beets, pepperoninis, Persian cucumbers, garbanzo beans, avocado, strawberries, spinach, specialty olives, radishes, jicama, sauteed mushrooms, goat cheese, grilled veggies of any variety, pears, apples, Parmesan or feta cheese - and then topping it with a protein of your choosing?

Maybe something more along the lines of this:

or this

Mmmmm, yummy looking, right? And certainly NOT boring!

And what do I do for dressing, you ask?

Lemon juice; extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar (infused even, like fig vinegar, or basil EVOO); or I make a dressing myself at home. Lemon slices tend to be my personal go-to, though, and they are always available at restaurants.

So stop making yourself miserable with your salads (and all your meals!) - get creative!

xxx,

Workout

Jillian Michael’s 30 Day Shred, level 2.

I.

Am.

Dripping.

In.

Sweat.

:)

And you? What workout left a smile on your face today?

xxx,

"When you’re committed, there’s no such thing as an obstacle."