Dumbbell Only Workout Routine: Weeks 3-4

It has been a while since I’ve posted about my new workout routine, so I figured I would share with you what I’ve been doing the last couple of weeks. I already explained in my last post that I am loosely following Jamie Eason’s Live Fit Program from bodybuilding.com. I am using her program for ideas on how to progress, but most of the actual exercises I found from other sources. For weeks 3-4 an extra day of exercise is added for the muscle group/body part you want to work more. For me, that is definitely legs, so I have been working them twice a week now instead of just once. This also means I am working out 5 days a week now instead of  4. This has been kind of difficult because I had to arrange my split so that my off days are on Tuesday and Thursday because I just don’t usually have the time or energy to do anything on those days.

This is my routine for last 2 (or more like 3) weeks. UntitledI haven’t really been following the number of reps strictly, but I did try to increase the weight I was using for each exercise, so I usually can’t do much more than 10 anyway. There are still some exercises that I am pitiful at and can barely handle more than 8 pound dumbbells. Mostly I’m referring to my puny triceps! I will be adding some cardio in the mix starting next week, so that should be fun.

The Melt Method

I also wanted to share with you guys a new experience I had today. I took a Melt class this afternoon. What the heck is Melt, you ask? Well, I didn’t have a clue really either until after today, so I will do my best to describe it. Melt stands for Myofascial Energetic Length Technique and it is basically a connective tissue self-treatment. In the class you use tools like foam rollers and balls to work out your connective tissue. Melt helps to improve pain, increase range of motion and mobility, and helps with issues like arthritis and plantar fasciitis. Anyone can benefit from Melt, even if you don’t really have any aches or pains like myself. It is kind of like a massage you give to yourself.

Check out this video that shows some of what we did.


Melt was a totally new experience for me, but I really enjoyed it. I will definitely be doing it more and will probably add foam rolling into my stretching routine.

For more details about Melt please visit this website.

Hope you all are having a fabulous weekend. And as always, thanks for reading!

Bows and Arrows,


A New Fitness Challenge

Hey guys! So, I have to confess that I am a failure. I gave up on my last little fitness challenge because I realized towards the end that I was not really getting the results I wanted. This realization lead me to thinking about what I was really trying to change about my physique in the first place. I really thought hard about what my fitness goals are. I have always just said to myself, “I just want to be fit and more toned,” but what does that even look like?

To some people that looks like this:

For others that statement may look more like this:tumblr_lwzlj0tOjN1r981two1_500
In my opinion all of these women look healthy, beautiful, and “fit” on some level. But, what do they all have in common? The answer, CONFIDENCE! 

Now, I know confidence is a state of mind, but I also think that you are the MOST confident when you feel comfortable in your own skin/body. Not the body that society tells you that you should have, but the body that YOU feel comfortable with. For me, confidence equals feeling strong and feeling strong equals MUSCLES! I’m not talking Ms. Schwarzenegger strong (not that there’s anything wrong with that), but a little muscle makes me feel pretty badass, not gonna lie.



The thing is, I like doing cardio workouts occasionally, but I have always felt the best when doing strength training. BUT, for some reason for years I had it in my head that women can’t train the same as men. I remember discussing weightlifting with my boyfriend some years back and he would always encourage me to try the workouts he did. I would always say no, because I didn’t want to have huge, manly muscles. I just wanted to be “toned” and in my mind that meant tons of cardio and long drawn out total body workout DVDs. Don’t get me wrong, I still love my workout DVDs! Even though I have read many articles in the past that tried to convince me that my fear of becoming Incredible Hulk was unwarranted, I was stubborn. Throughout the past year or so I have spent some time researching exercises, workout programs, and fitness in general. Even though I had heard it many times before, it wasn’t until I read up on testosterone (and physiological differences in men and women) that I started to actually believe it. It has been a long process, but I now know that weight lifting is something I should have been incorporating into my workout routine a long time ago in order to achieve my fitness goals.

I have gotten great results from DVD’s in the past, but I feel like I need to do things differently to see the change I’m looking for. Most DVD’s I have done have focused more so on muscular endurance while never really progressing to muscular hypertrophy (Enlargement of skeletal muscle fibers in response to overcoming force from high volumes of tension). To build noticeable muscles you must put down the 8 pound dumbbells and pick up something a little heavier. Heavier weight and fewer repetitions and you’ll have muscles popping up in no time (well, it will take some time). :-p

So I have decided to switch things up completely and do something out of my comfort zone…no DVD’s, just weights, a weight bench, and my body. I hope you all will follow me on this new little workout challenge. I will continue to post weekly updates about my workouts and progress. My next post will describe what I am doing in detail, so be sure to check back for that. If you want to read more on weight training for women here is an article that breaks it all down for you and is an easy read.

Thanks for reading!

Bows and Arrows,


Long Lost Fitness Diaries Update

Hey guys! I bet you thought I had given up on completing this little fitness challenge. Well, I haven’t, but I did get a little off track the last couple of weeks. I finished week 8 and half of week 9 and then my schedule got all crazy and I have been struggling to workout period. You may have read in my last WIAW post that I got a new job. I actually feel like a big kid adult now about half the time because I get to dress up and look all professional 3-4 days a week, but then I’m back to my tomboy self the rest of the days making delicious coffee beverages. This new job has been great, don’t get me wrong, but it has greatly interfered with my precious workout time. You guys know how important it is to me to exercise regularly (well, maybe you don’t, but I’m telling you it is) so I have spent the past few days devising a new workout schedule that will work with my busier work schedule. No one told me how exhausting sitting at a desk could be by the way. What is up with that? I have also discovered that I would much rather get up at the crack of dawn (4:30am) and get home at a decent time, rather than going in later (by later I mean 9:30) and getting home MAYBE right before sunset. Okay, now I just sound like a complainer pants. Anyway, the point is on most days now I cannot come home and take a quick nap to re-energize before a nice long afternoon workout. Instead I have to come home, cook/eat dinner, clean up, and then basically it’s almost time for bed. Um, being an adult sucks! Some of you are probably thinking “wah wah, cry me a river…wait until you have kids!”….and you are probably right, I’m pathetic. In my defense, I am making it work. I’m still in the adjusting period though so give me a little break, okay!

So, here’s the plan! I am doing week 10 this week, so that means I have 3 weeks left until I am finished. I will post picture updates when I am completely finished, because I am sure I have regressed some from my break and there is not really any change in inches/muscle to report. I’ll be back Sunday or Monday to report how my week went and to explain my workout schedule in detail. Lastly, here is a nice little picture I found on Pinterest (of course) that I like and it goes along with Rachel Cosgrove’s philosophy of “ditching the scale”. I have not weighed myself since starting this program, but I recently went to the doctor and they, of course, weighed me. I gained weight! When I first saw the number I had some negative thoughts, not gonna lie. But, then I stopped being silly and realized that I do weigh more because I have more muscle. It doesn’t mean I’m getting fat! I’m okay with that number going up if it means I’m getting stronger. It’s just hard not to be obsessed with the number on the scale or the number on your pants. But, in reality, none of these numbers define how healthy you are or how good you feel!


Bows and Arrows,


The Fitness Diaries: Week 7

Hey guys! I didn’t do my usual update on Sunday because I was enjoying Lynda taking over for a while with her fun travel updates! I just started week 8 today so I figured I would go ahead and post this so I wouldn’t get behind. I completed all of my workouts for this past week. I am pretty proud of myself because I feel fully committed to my workout routine and feel more and more motivated every week. I don’t feel like I have to talk myself into working out on most days. It’s something I look forward to doing now. It’s a great feeling! I am taking care of Lynda’s dog child, Gabi while she is away on vacation, so I will be walking dogs like crazy for the rest of the week. It will just give me an excuse to go outside even more which is always great. Thankfully the weather has been really nice the past few days, but who knows how long it will last.

IMG_20140311_190708_384 (1)

A friend from work was kind enough to help me with walking Gabi because I wasn’t sure I would be able to walk them both by myself. My dog likes to walk in a zigzag at times. She’s a silly goose. My friend’s daughters were super excited to help out as well! I guess I am getting off topic here, but walking the dogs is exercise so it’s relevant I think. 🙂 On to the workout schedule for week 7…

Workout Schedule

Week 7:

Monday (3/3): Strength 2

Tuesday: Rest

Wednesday: Strength 1

Thursday: Rest

Friday: Walk with Rose

Saturday: Strength 2

Sunday: Rest

Monday: Timed Metabolic

Tuesday (today): Strength 1 (week 8)

**If you are new to these posts and are wondering what the heck I’m talking about with this workout schedule, click here for an explanation of what I’m doing.

The workouts in this phase are still feeling challenging because I try to increase the weight I’m using each time I do it. Strength 2 still feels more challenging to me. The exercises in this workout are just more intense for me and it really works my legs! There is one exercise in strength 2 called rear-foot elevated split squat and boy does this one hurt so good! Here is a picture from my book of the exercise.IMG_20140311_204654_673

On a side note,  I wanted to show you guys my latest fitness related purchase -my new beautiful Nike trainers. I really only owned one pair of sneakers and I was using them for running/walking outside and working out indoors. I realized this was not working out when the last time I put them on to workout inside I got dirt (and who knows what else) all over the carpet. I run/walk on unpaved paths sometimes so my other shoes were getting dirty. This was justification for needing a pair of sneakers for indoor use only. Yes, totally justified! 😛 To make myself feel even less guilty about this purchase I paid for the shoes with the change in my hello kitty coin bank! Another benefit to working as a barista….tip money! Don’t worry I cashed the change in at the bank, so I didn’t literally give someone $80 in coins.

IMG_20140311_214454_042I think that is all I have to report this week. I am excited for the measurements and picture updates coming after week 8. I think there will be some change this time. If you have any questions about the Drop Two Sizes DVD’s or book I would be happy to answer them for you. Also, I would love suggestions for a workout program to try next after I am done with this one. I love trying out new programs and seeing how effective they are/can be, so if there’s a program you are wondering about please let me know.

Thanks for reading!

Bows and Arrows,


The Fitness Diaries: Week 6

Hello again! I’m back for my weekly fitness update and it may actually go up on the right day this time. Shocking, I know. It was a really good week of working out. I made out my workout schedule for this past week and I successfully completed every workout that I set out to complete! I also did a lot of walking with Rose this week, plus a little jogging. We walked/ran around 15 miles total for the week. I think I actually tired her out for once. I am tracking my walking/running distances now with the Nike plus Ipod thing. You know that little thingy you put in your Nike shoes. It seems to work pretty well. I have now completed 2 weeks of the second phase (6 weeks total) of the Drop Two Sizes DVD’s. The second phase is similar to the first, but some of the exercises are a little more challenging and utilize heavier weights and fewer repetitions. These workouts definitely make me feel like I’m working hard and using my time efficiently. Both strength workouts in this phase are challenging, but “Strength 2” is the most challenging in my opinion. I think that is mostly due to the fact that the workout starts off with “alternating clean to squat thrusts” and they pretty much suck. It gets your heart pumping and the sweat flowing pretty quickly.


No fun!

Because I ended the last update on Wednesday (Feb. 19th) I decided to start week 6 on the following Monday so I could get back into a better schedule. Here is what my workout schedule looked like starting with Thursday, February 20th.

Workout Schedule

Week 6:

Thursday(2/20): Rest

Friday: Time metabolic (technically this was the last workout for week 5)

Saturday: Rest

Sunday: Run/walk with Rose (~3.5 miles)

Monday: Strength 1 and a ~5.5 mile walk with Lynda, Rose, and Gabi (her doggy)

Tuesday: Walk with Rose (~3.2 miles)

Wednesday: Strength 2 and a ~2.5 mile walk with Lynda, Rose, and Gabi.

Thursday: Walk with Rose (~2.5 miles)

Friday: Strength 1

Saturday: Complex Metabolic workout

Sunday (today): Rest

Love this new tank top and leggings I picked up recently from Target. hehe

Love this new tank top and leggings I picked up recently from Target. hehe

So, that’s my workouts for last week. I’m still really happy with this program and am motivated to keep going to finish it. I am about half way through, so that is exciting! I also wanted to mention that I have also been eating a lot “cleaner” lately. I mentioned in the last update that I was going to try to clean up my already sensible diet even more by using some of the meal plan suggestions from the Drop Two Sizes book. I did give myself a lot more freedom on the weekends, of course, but I did really well on all the other days. I ate some delicious veggie pizza from Marcos one night and I also had a bit of a chocolate craving/meltdown/emergency situation one night that resulted in my eating some chocolate covered pretzels… and okay maybe a Reese’s peanut butter cup too.

If I really want something, I usually eat it. I’m not going to beat myself up over it, and neither should you guys. There are times when I have eaten junk food out of boredom or sadness, but that is a different story and I am certainly not encouraging anyone to do that. But, if you focus on making sure that the majority of your food is healthy and doing your body good, then there is no reason why you cant eat something a little not-so-healthy every now and then. I aim for a diet that is 75-90% “healthy.” I’m not perfect and I’m not trying to be. I want to be fit and healthy, but I still want some Bojangles every now and then, okay. Is that too much to ask?!  😛

I hope you guys enjoyed my update and my rambling. I’ll be back next Sunday for another fun update. As always, thanks for reading.

Bows and Arrows,



The Fitness Diaries: Week 3

Well, this is a day late, but yesterday I was busy doing tons of laundry and then I watched the Super Bowl, of course, and that left no time for the bloggity. I guess I was just keeping with the theme of failure this week because overall week 3 was definitely a failure. In my defense, it was a busier than usual week for me, but I still could have done better than I did. I was considering doing week 3 over again, but instead I think I’ll just keep moving forward. I don’t want to feel like I’m not progressing in the program. I did manage to get in 3 workouts since last Monday. Better than nothing!

Workout Schedule

Week 3:

Monday: Timed Metabolic (cardio workout)

Tuesday: Nothing

Wednesday: Strength 2

Thursday: Nothing

Friday: Nothing again

Saturday: Nothing..again (I worked and then rode in the car with Lynda Lou for over 6 hours to pick up her dog child…long story short, I had an excuse lol)

Sunday: Nothing, yet again (it was a busy day/week okay!)

Monday (Today): Strength 2

So, no week 3 did not go so well, but I’m not going to worry about it. I am going to continue on to week 4 and work extra hard. As I mentioned last week, I want to describe the strength workouts I am doing so that you guys can do them or add them to your own workout routine if you’d like to. Most of the exercises in this DVD program are basic, easy-to-follow moves and it’s pretty straight forward. There’s no difficult choreography to memorize or anything too complicated. Personally, I like that in a workout. Because I did the Strength 2 workout this week (and failed to do strength 1) I will share with you some of the workouts I did in that routine.

Strength 2 Workout

The strength 2 workout is 38 minutes long, but with the warm-up it ends up being a total of 52 minutes.

This workout starts off with core work. Some of the exercises done are side planks with rotation and active leg lowering. The rest of the workout consists of all kinds of fun? exercises like pushups, dead lifts, lunges, and step ups.  All of the exercises are repeated once during this phase of the program and are anywhere from 8-15 repetitions.  Many of the exercises incorporate weights. I have been using 10 lb. hand weights and will gradually increase that as the number of repetitions decreases in later phases of the program. I really appreciate the adequate rest time that is given in between difficult exercises on this DVD. You are given between 45 seconds-1 minute to rest in between. Sometimes it is “active rest,” but it still allows you plenty of time to recover before attempting the next set. The workout ends with what is called a “finisher.” This is basically your chance to make sure you are exhausted and have done all that you can. 😛 The “finisher” is either mountain climbers, lunges, or squats. You just do as many repetitions as you can in a certain amount of time.

That is all I have to report for this week. I will talk about the Strength 1 workout next week and it will also be my 4 week update with new pictures and measurements! Ahh! I’m going to have to work hard this week to make up for last week. Hope you all have a fabulous week. Thanks for reading!

Bows and Arrows,



The Fitness Diaries: Introduction

Hey guys! I am so excited to introduce this new series of posts I will be doing!  Now that the holidays are officially over it is time that I get my butt back in gear and start working out regularly again. I took a two month hiatus because well, it just always happens to me around the holidays. I went from working out at least 3 times a week to doing basically nothing 😦 There was just so much going on and as much as I enjoy the feeling of satisfaction I get after a good workout, I can also enjoy being lazy just as much sometimes.  But, in reality working out makes me happy and when I’m not working out I’m a less happy and less confident person. And that’s just no good! So, to motivate myself, and you guys, I have decided to do “fitness diaries” to share with you all my workouts and my progress and results. I don’t know if I have mentioned this before, but I actually prefer working out at home or outside over going to the gym. My love for at home workouts has lead to my acquiring a pretty large collection of workout DVD’s. Trying out new workout DVD programs has kind of become a fun little hobby of mine.  Part of what I hope to accomplish through these posts is to provide reviews on some of the DVD’s that I own by completing the programs and tracking my progress and experience with them. For my first review/fitness diary I have decided to do my most recently purchased DVD program combined with stationary biking, jogging, walking and whatever else I feel like doing.

The Program: Drop Two Sizes

drops2sizesdvd_046120_700x700_1 Description: The program is 12 weeks long. There are 6 DVD’s broken up into phases (1,2, and 3). Each week consists of alternating strength workouts (3 per week) and one metabolic workout (1 per week). This program focuses more on strength training. The program also emphasizes the importance of ignoring the number on the scale and looking at how your clothes fit as a better indicator of progress. Click here for more details about this program.

So, I completed 4 weeks of this program a while back before the holidays and I really enjoyed it. Even after only 4 weeks I noticed my biceps, back, shoulders, and legs shaping up, although sadly most of that is gone now and my biceps are looking puny again.  I can’t wait to see the results after 12 weeks! To accurately track my progress I decided to take body measurements. I also took some really awkward photographs that I should be embarrassed to put on the internet, but I’m doing it anyway! 😛 I did not weigh myself because I don’t own a scale and I try VERY hard not to worry about that number and focus more on how I look and feel. Plus, this workout program is really all about “ditching the scale” anyway. I know I am at a healthy weight for my height and age, so it’s not really important for me to pay close attention to the number on the scale.

My Starting Measurements (1/12):

Waist: 26.5 inches

Hips: 37.5 inches

Thigh (R): ~22 inches

Thigh (L): ~22 inches

Upper arm (R): ~10 inches

Upper arm (L): ~10 inches


Sorta flexing? I dunno...

Sorta flexing? I dunno…









My right  little bicep. Yes, that's a big scar on my arm. I was a clumsy child.

My right little bicep. Yes, that’s a big scar on my arm. I was a clumsy child.

My left little bicep. Yeah, look at those stretch marks..proof that I am a yoyo exerciser :-/

My left little bicep. Yeah, look at those stretch marks..proof that I am a yoyo exerciser :-/









So, I know it’s hard to really tell what my body looks like, but I was not about to make it even more awkward and take bikini pictures, so this will have to do. Sorry to disappoint you. haha! I kid, I kid. Today is technically Day 2, because I did the first strength workout yesterday. Today I worked for 8 hours on my feet (hey, that counts!) and then took my dog for a 20 minute walk. Tomorrow will be Day 3, another strength exercise. I plan on posting once a week, on Sundays, to update you all on how the previous week went. I will also be describing the DVD workouts in greater detail, while also explaining any other workouts I do that are not a part of the Drop Two Sizes Program. When I complete this DVD program I would love to try out a new one and track my progress and results for you guys again. If you have any suggestions for at-home workouts (DVD’s or otherwise) please leave them for me in the comments.

If you read all of that I am really impressed! I promise every week will not be this long, so please keep an eye out for my Sunday updates. If you have any questions, comments, and/or encouragement I would love to hear from you! Thanks for reading 🙂

Bows and Arrows,