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,


The Fitness Diaries: Weeks 1-2

Hello! I’m back for my Sunday fitness update. I kind of dropped the ball for last Sunday’s update. I was having a bad day and didn’t want my negativity to rub off on the post so I just decided to skip it. I hope you’ll forgive me!

So, I’m feeling pretty good because I have successfully completed 2 weeks of consistent working out. I have been following the Drop Two Sizes DVD program and also walking and running on almost every other day. For me the hardest part of keeping a workout routine is actually starting a routine and staying committed to it.  After a while it starts to become just another part of your day, but in the beginning it may really feel like a chore. Now that I already have 2 weeks behind me, I’m feeling much more motivated to continue. Before I get into the details of what I’ve been doing the past two weeks I wanted to briefly talk about my thoughts on fitness and working out. If you don’t care so much about this part, you can skip over it, but I just wanted to share.

Becoming more physically fit and living a healthy lifestyle is just that- a lifestyle change. It is not accomplished by some magic pill or by a certain special workout program. Losing weight and getting fit is all about dedication and repetition. There are so MANY ways you can achieve your fitness goals, but your motivation and dedication will be the determining factor in your success. How often you workout is much more important than how you workout. But, obviously you want your workouts to complement your fitness goals. If you want to gain muscle mass you’re not going to just cardio all day everyday. My point is, I don’t want you guys to think that because I am doing this DVD program I am promoting it as being better than any other workout. Because that is not the case at all.  I think people should do what works for them, whether that is going to the gym or working out at home/outside with your own equipment.  Personally, I get very distracted by other people at the gym and it causes me to lose focus.  In a way I view my workout time as personal “me time.” I feel most focused when I am alone or outside in an open space. Sure, I could just do sets of exercises on my own instead of following a person on a DVD, but I like the variety and encouragement that you get from a DVD. Anyway, if you happen to like working out to a DVD like me then great because this is an in-depth review of one. And if you don’t particularly enjoy working out to a DVD that’s okay too, because I’ll be sharing other workouts and also just showing how being consistent (with pretty much any workout) will give you results.

My Workout Schedule

Week 1:

Monday: Strength 2IMG_20140106_160505_087

Tuesday: Short walk with Rose (~1 mile)

Wednesday: Rest (I was sore and I worked all day!)

Thursday: Strength 1

Friday: Run/walk with Rose (~2 miles)

Saturday: Strength 2

Sunday: Rest again

Week 2:

Monday: Rest..again. I was supposed to do a “Timed Metabolic” workout from the DVD, but I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. I was really worn out from week 1. I was also really regretting that workout hiatus that happened around the holidays at this point.

Tuesday: Strength 1

Wednesday: Short walk with Rose (~1 mile)

Thursday: Strength 2

Friday: Run/walk with Rose (~2 miles)

Saturday: Strength 1

Sunday: Rest (again I was supposed to do a “Countdown Metabolic” workout from the DVD, but it didn’t happen)

It seems like I have a hard time getting motivated to workout on Sunday and Monday, so I’m going to have to try a little harder next week! Instead of working out today I went to TJ Maxx and bought a sports bra and a Nike tank top. That’s at least workout related, right. Haha!


So far, I feel like I am getting pretty good results with the workouts. Obviously there has not been any drastic changes in anything yet, but I can tell that I’m getting stronger and my legs, shoulders, and arms seem to be toning up some already. Two more weeks and Phase 1 of the DVD program will be over and I will have completed 4 weeks of workouts. I plan on doing updated measurements and pictures at the end of week 4, so that should be interesting to see. Hopefully, there will be some noticeable changes…*fingers crossed*! Until then, be sure to check back next Sunday for my weekly workouts and a brief description of some of the workouts I’ve been doing.  Lastly, what are some things you guys do to get motivated to workout on the days when you’re not feeling motivated? Leave me some comments! 🙂 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,