Monday, December 17, 2012

New Year's Resolutions and Coconut Eggs

The semester is over!! Finally, I can quit worrying about homework. Sort of. I have to start studying (again) for my personal training certification, because I plan to get certified by the end of Spring semester, if all goes as planned. That's one of my goals for 2013. It's kind of like a New Year's Resolution, but what's really the point of starting on January 1? I can start now and be ahead later. BOOM. Success.

I've been think a lot about my 2013 goals/New Year's Resolutions lately, because it is getting so close to the end of the year. I've also thought about the things I've accomplished so far this year, and I'm pretty proud of what I've done:

1. I lost 30 pounds, putting me back in a healthy weight range, helping me feel more energetic, confident, and happy.

2. I started fighting again. I joined a new team that I love and have helped me improve my game a lot. I won all four fights I had this year.

3. I went back to school. College has been really frustrating for me, and almost feels pointless at times. I was tempted to stop going altogether at times. But I enrolled again because I know I'll be better off with a degree to fall back on if I need to.

I want 2013 to be even better though. I'm going to continue to progress in my fight game, fitness/health, and education. I also have some financial, career, and volunteer goal ideas that I'd like to put into action, but don't quite have a solid plan for yet.

Another one of my goals is to put more time and heart into this blog. My hope is that this blog will at some point, now or in the future, inspire and motivate someone to make healthy changes in their life. One way I hope to do that is to start sharing some recipes with you! Some will be recipes I've made up myself, others might be gems I've found on another site that I love. So, here goes nothin'.

My first recipe, created by me:

Coconut Scrambled Eggs

3 whole eggs
2 T canned coconut milk (the thick part at the top of the can)
1-2 T fat (I usually cook bacon first, then use the leftover fat to cook my eggs)
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Preheat a skillet on medium heat, add fat of choice (bacon fat and coconut oil are my favorites).

2. In a small bowl, whisk together eggs, coconut milk, salt and pepper. The coconut milk will probably be lumpy, but that's okay.

3. Pour your egg mixture into you skillet and scramble. If you don't know how to scramble eggs, I feel bad for you son. I got 99 problems but an egg ain't one. Bad joke.

4. If you seriously don't know how to scramble eggs, here you go: once your eggs are in the skillet, take a spatula or wooden spoon and mix the eggs around while they cook, making sure to scrape all sides of the pan so the eggs don't stick. Cook until they're not liquid-y looking anymore (I'm so technical).

No veggies. Lame. Bacon. Mmmm...

Eat 'em up! I seriously love these eggs. Don't knock 'em 'til you try 'em. I love them with veggies in them too. I like to saute onion, green pepper, garlic, and spinach in the skillet before I add the eggs. Yum. Also, if you need to feed more people, just multiply the ingredients by the number of people. This isn't rocket science people! Just guess on the veggies, there's no such thing as a wrong amount of veggies in this case. Now quit reading and go try the stinkin' recipe, and comment here to tell me what you think!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Progress Pics 12-8-12

77 Days until my next fight! This will be my first fight back at 135, and I'm very excited. I've been eating a mainly paleo diet and focusing on lifting heavy. I'm starting to finally get some width to my back, and even though my weight's about the same, I'm getting leaner. I'm going to start working on leaning down for the fight starting in January. I currently have 15 pounds to go and I'm eating pretty much as I want as long as it's paleo. And I'm not denying myself holiday treats!

Now that the semester is almost over, I'm going to try to make it to boxing practice more. I've also started to train other people, so I'm getting a head start on my goals for 2013. But that's another blog post entirely :)

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The Hell of a Shark Tank

Shark Tank: n. A training technique used by Mixed Martial Artists in which one person grapples and or spars with no breaks while their teammates rotate in every one to two minutes for as many rounds as there are team members.

The shark tank is hell.

The first time I did a grappling shark tank I think I had to grapple ten men, most of them at least 40 pounds heavier than me, and I cried through about half of it. I did the whole thing, but I cried like a baby.

That was an extreme case when my body was already exhausted form two-a-days and I trained with a lot of people who didn't know how to adjust to training with people of different strengths and levels.

Still, the shark tank is pretty much a cardio nightmare no matter what, because the people you're sparring/grappling are always fresher than you. You are frustrated and your arms hurt. You hate it but you know it's going to make you better. My coach makes sound effects to make things more frustrating and makes you laugh right before your teammate throws a kick right to your gut. It's a good time had by all.

After I got home from practice today (which consisted of circuits and shark tanks) I ate two egg muffins and a pumpkin smoothie, a couple dates and some cashews. It was a weird meal. I was starving. Then I showered and passed out for two hours in bed with my cat. I had planned on doing homework all day. Shark tank had other plans. 

I've been craving eggs a lot, so I had eggs again for dinner, with two paleo pancakes I made up that tasted like banana bread and and three pieces of bacon.  And a candy cane. Christmas made me do it.

Giving Thanks and Stomach Aches

Happy (Late) Thanksgiving everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful day and/or holiday weekend surrounded by the people you love and plentiful food. I hope you all have plenty to be grateful for. I know I do. I was so excited for Thanksgiving and to see family and friends I haven't seen for too long. I started out the day running a 5K Turkey Trot with my best friend Jaclyn, who goes to college a couple hours away and is busy becoming a fantastic nurse, so I hadn't seen her for months. An old teammate of mine, Sarah, and her boyfriend Mitch also came to town and ran with us. It was chilling and my legs were killing me from lifting legs the day before, but I kept up with Jaclyn's jogging pace (she's a cross country runner) and finished in 26 minutes and some odd seconds. Then I hit the gym and worked upper body before the festivities began.

We went to my Mom and Dad's house for Thanksgiving dinner. I got to see my grandma and grandpa on my Dad's side, my brother and his girlfriend (they're having a baby!) and I got to meet her grandma and grandpa as well. It was a nice time. Pictures from my childhood were broken out, which is not a pretty sight, but I've learned to laugh at it now that I'm so sexy (kidding, ish). The women-folk talked about babies, since a new one's on its way, and further convinced me that I will not be ready for a mini-me for some time.

After my parents' we went to Joseph's Mom's house. His nephew was there, and he is so adorable I just want to squeeze him. Which I often do. We watched shows about tattoos. His family is awesome. We also got leftovers at both houses. Double awesome. Plus, his sister gave us an entire Oreo pie. It tasted awesome, but now I'm craving sweets again like a mofo and I must stop.

I ended the night with two bottles of wine. Shame on me. I have such a low tolerance for alcohol these days, those two bottles were too many. I never drink.

Thanksgiving also turned out to be a learning experience for me, because it was the first time I had eaten anything non-paleo in about a month. My body was not a fan of it. I had half a cappuccino mid-morning with Joseph and had to give him the rest because I felt like my stomach was tying itself in knots. I didn't feel too terrible after lunch, just sluggish and blah. By the time I went to bed I was a tad drunk so I felt pretty good. The next day not so much. It wasn't even a hangover, I was just crabby and bloated and felt like crap. I still kind of do. It's been hard to get back on track the past two days. We're short on groceries and I've been short on time. I'm planning on going back to 100% paleo tomorrow though. I'll either get creative with what I have or I'll go a little hungry. Whatevs.

How did your Thanksgiving go? Are you suffering from holiday food hangover?

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

How I Plan to Keep Losing This Winter: Part 1

I told you in my last post about my progress over the last month and a little about what I've been doing to get there. I've been feeling great and extremely motivated, but the hard part is coming. THE HOLIDAYS. Not to mention my 21st birthday shortly after. Winter has always been my diet downfall. During summer it's warm and lovely and I am the queen of sweat and fresh foods. Winter comes and all I want to do is stuff my face and go into hibernation. Not the case this winter, no sir! I am on a mission and I have a plan to not just maintain my weight loss thus far, but to continue to lose so I can meet my goal weight by February! You want in on the plan, eh? I thought you might....


1. Stick to my freaking workout schedule. This is a pretty obvious one, but with all the festivities around the holidays, it's easy to start skipping a workout here and there, and eventually stopping going all together because you think you're too busy. DON'T DO THIS. Make working out mandatory, do it and get it done before your important plans and feel good about what a badass you are.

2. Gain control of my sugar cravings BEFORE the season gets into full swing. I've already done this part. I finished my 21 Day Sugar Detox two days ago. No sugar of any kind, real or artificial. I lost six pounds and feel more in control of my cravings. That's NOT to say I don't crave sugar any more, but my cravings are so much more manageable.

3. Don't say yes to EVERY treat I'm offered. Just because it's the holiday season doesn't mean you should have a treat every time they're around. A random Tuesday at work is not a good reason to engorge yourself on gingerbread men.

4. Make healthy dishes to bring to parties. I love pumpkin pie. I do NOT want to skip pumpkin pie. So I offered to bring dessert to my family Thanksgiving dinner. Little do they know it will be a paleo pie, grain-free, dairy-free, the works, and according the recipe it is just as good as the real thing. I will be doing the same thing for Christmas get togethers.

5. Indulge in the things I really LOVE, but don't forget MODERATION. There are some damn fine cooks in my family. If you think I'm totally going to skip out on all the delicious treats they'll be packing, you're high. The key is BALANCE.

6. PLAN PLAN PLAN. I've got an intense workout and maybe a 5k planned for Thanksgiving morning. I'll be killing workouts all week and keeping my diet pretty tight so I can indulge a little bit guilt free on Thursday. Same thing will go for Christmas parties and my birthday. Most days I will keep on my normal, healthy diet, because too many treats and days of slacking WILL add up.

My next fight is scheduled for February 23rd, and I'll be fighting at 135 pounds, so I've got approximately 15 pounds to go. It will be essential that I control myself this winter. You could join me and get a head start on getting ready for bikini season! Just a thought... ;)

Do you have any other tips to prevent holiday weight gain? I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Friday, November 9, 2012

This is what 8 MONTHS of hard work looks like!

Just a little over eight months ago, at the end of February this year, I was fed up with how I had allowed my body to become. Sick of it. I felt like crap all the time. All I wanted to do was sleep. I missed training and fighting MMA. So I decided to do something about it. I decided to I wasn't going to let anyone or anything stop me from reaching my goals and being happy. I decided I was going to make sacrifices even if it was hard. It would be worth it.

It's been damn well worth it. That first picture is from the beginning of March. I weighed 181 pounds. I felt disgusting. The middle picture is 6 days after my last fight, at the end of October. I weighed 154.8. I felt pretty good, only gaining ten pounds back after cutting to 145 for my fight.  The last picture is today, November 9th. I have a fight tomorrow, but my opponent wasn't going to make weight, so I didn't end up having to cut at all. I weigh 149.2. I've lost nearly 32 pounds in 8 months, and I'm pretty proud of that.

Looking at that first picture, I can hardly believe that's me. I'll never be that girl again. Ever. 

I had back rolls! No more! Between the second and third photos, two weeks apart, I stuck to a pretty strict paleo diet (by strict I don't mean I starved, I mean I stuck to paleo principles. I was never starving :)) and cut out ALL sugar, including artificial sugar and fruits. I've been doing the 21 Day Sugar Detox for 11 days now. Between those two pictures I lost 5 and a half pounds. BOOM.

All this took was a goal, some hard ass work, motivation, inspiration. I've had plateaus and setbacks, gained a few pounds back then kicked them to the curb, and I'm not done yet. I'm only 5 pounds from my original "goal weight", but the number on the scale isn't my only concern. I want beast muscles and my abs to show. I have more of a "look" goal than a number goal.

Whatever you do, if your not happy, change something. If you have a goal, chase after it with everything you've got. When you make progress, be proud of yourself.


Thursday, November 8, 2012

20 Random Facts About Me

1. I love crafts. I have so many projects that I want to try stockpiled, they will probably last me the rest of my life.

2. I'm addicted to Pinterest. Admitting it is the first step. Except I don't want to quit. I love all the ideas and inspiration! Follow my boards!

3. I still can't sleep on Christmas Eve. I know, I am a child.

4. My wardrobe consists of more workout clothes than it does "go out in public looking decent" clothes. Cut-off t-shirts and sweats are my uniform.

5. I love to bake. Cupcakes are my favorite, but just about anything baked in my kitchen makes me happy.

6. I am super jealous of girls with abs. I'm working on mine, but they're still a little buried.

Goal Abs!

7. I was never super athletic or intimidating in high school. Now people fear my face-punching skills.

8. I work as a housekeeper as a hotel. I'm terrible at keeping my own house clean.

9. When I was little my mother made me get a bowl cut hair cut. I was often confused for a boy, and it was traumatizing.

10. One time I fell off my bike and smashed my face on the gravel road. My face was all bloody and an old lady walking by took me home. When my mom answered the door, the old lady said, "Your son fell off his bike." My bike was pink.

11. I am still as clumsy now as I was then.

12. I have nice new slippers, but I still wear my old ones because they are worn-in comfy, contoured to my foot, and I don't have to worry about them getting dirty.

13. I would rather spend money on food than clothes.

14. I am going to college for an associate's degree. I have a Perry the Platypus notebook.

15. I almost cried watching the most recent Batman movie. Alfred was so got to me. If you haven't seen it, do so as soon as it comes out on DVD! Seriously!

16. I am a pathetic typist. Please don't judge me based on my typos.

17. My hair is naturally curly and it drives me insane. It's almost as temperamental as I am.

18. When I was little I wanted to grow up to be a horse.

19. I have a cat named Zebra.

20. I desperately want a dog. A miniature pinscher. I had one, named Rufus, and my old apartment building made me get rid of him. A**holes.... you know more about me than you did before. Congratulations! Come back soon.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

21 Day Sugar Detox: Days 1-3

I'm in love with cashews. I'm even more in love with the cashew butter I made today. I think I love it as much as peanut butter, which I've been avoiding since it's a legume which is not a paleo food.

I've been eating paleo for almost a month now, with a few cheats here and there, and I like it a lot. I just feel better. Plus I get to eat bacon. Mmmmm bacon. Even though I love the paleo lifestyle, I was still having a hard time saying no to chocolatey processed sugary carby nonsense. Like the bag of cookies and cream chex mix and mocha frappacino I consumed Sunday night. That is when I decided I needed to crack down, and decided to start the 21 Day Sugar Detox the next day.

For my personal detox, I've chosen to eliminate all sugar, natural and artificial, including fruit. Since I've already been eating paleo the simple carbs like bread are a given. I am thinking that I will probably cheat with the carbs once, because I have a fight in 11 days, and will need to refuel, but I'm not going to eat chocolate and drink sugary sports drinks or have pancakes and syrup like I often do.

I'm currently on my third day. Days 1 and 2 weren't bad at all, I just had a few cravings that were easy to ignore. Today is Halloween, so of course it's been a little more difficult, but I haven't strayed. I feel like I may be eating a little bit more fat, mostly in the form of nuts, but I think that I can level that out as much cravings subside.

Here's an example of what I ate today:

3 whole eggs
2 slices bacon
Water with lemon (I'm not counting the small squirt of lemon as sugar. That's just ridiculous.)

Morning Snack:
3-4 Tablespoons roasted pumpkin seeds (I haven't been measuring much lately, so that's a guess)

Roasted chicken (some white and some dark meat)
Coconut almond cauliflower "couscous"
A couple tablespoons of cashews

Afternoon Snack:
A few tastes of the cashew and almond butter I made
Baked sweet potato fries (probably about 3-4 ounces)
Water with lemon

2 Bacon meatloaf muffins ( adapted from a recipe on check this site out, the recipes are awesome and the writer is hilarious!)

Not perfect, but sugar free at least. I'm going to take progress pictures each friday, so we'll see about visual progress in a couple days :)

Monday, October 22, 2012

Caged Aggression 8

Shame. On. Me! I haven't posted in ages. If only I was getting a grade on this, I would be much better at sticking to it. But I'm not, so it gets pushed to the side. I'm a terrible blog owner. Anywho...I had a fight this past weekend, it was a ton of fun, and I'm still undefeated! Woo!

Since I've left you in the dark for such a long time, I'll rewind a bit, go through what I did to prepare for this fight and all that jazz. I did things a little differently this time around.

It's been two months since my August fight, and my diet for most of those two months was a freaking roller coaster. I'm a stress eater. *forehead slap* That's the main reason I decided to fight this fight at 145 pounds. I've had enough on my plate with work and school that I didn't want to have to crash diet for two weeks to get to fight weight. It was a good decision.

Around two and a half weeks out, my nutritionist/personal trainer Danny J made a new meal plan for me, and she wanted me to try paleo. I was excited because a lot of people I know have had success with it, and I get to eat bacon. And whole eggs. And BEEF. It's fantastic. I've been experimenting a little with some paleo recipes and ingredients, making my own almond butter (which did not turn out the first time by the way) and coconut flour, so I can have a treat now and then. And I bought a Ninja food processor. Best gadget EVER. Chops veggies in like 2 seconds flat. Anyway, paleo really seems to work for me. I only had to cut 8 pounds the entire week of the fight, and 4-5 pounds of that was water weight. I didn't have to sit in the sauna nearly as much as other fights, and that was awesome. The sauna is the devil.

My Dad and I after my fight

My opponent was unable to make it to weigh ins, so I didn't get to see her pretty much until the fight started. I was excited. I knew what I wanted and I knew I was going to get it. My coach told me ahead of time that she was going to come straight at me, fast and furious, throwing bombs, and that's exactly what she did. I could have stood and banged with her, but I was looking for a submission or ground n pound win. I went for a takedown right away, but it was kinda sloppy and she stuffed it. I got her in my guard and basically just waited...because I knew she was going to leave an arm open for me if I could catch it quickly. I took a lot of shots there on my back and was really worried the referee was going to stop it, but luckily he let it go on. I'm not sure exactly how long it to me to submit her, she almost got away when I first threw my leg up for the armbar, but i fought for it and secured it and cranked hard. I was going to get that armbar if I had to break her arm. Dead serious, I was thinking that to myself as I bent her elbow backwards. She tapped. My hand was raised. She was not a happy camper. I was pumped.

My totally non-paleo fight day french toast

Right to left: my Uncle Pat, Me, my Dad, cousin Patrick, and family friend Megan

Part of the reason I am excited about this win is because I learned something new about my abilities. There have been times where I've wondered if I was getting pounded on my back if I could fight through and win. I'd never really taken a beating on the ground, and I'd never submitted anyone of my back. I found out I can fight through it. I'm pretty proud of that.

Some of my battles scars-my eye is more purple today, I have a couple vicious scratches behing my ear and on my back, and some little bruises here and there. I like them :)

Now that the fight's over, I let myself eat what I wanted, paleo or not, I chilled, I finished my homework. Now it's Monday and I'm back to the paleo plan. Next weekend I have a couple family parties and I'm going to let myself have some treats there, but for the most part I'm gonna be good. I want to get back to fighting at 135. I'll be lifting tonight and back to training tomorrow. I can't wait for my next fight!

My training partner Courtney and I

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Sometimes life knocks you down...

I can't believe its been three weeks since I last posted anything! Sorry I've left you in the dark for so long, but life just got a little too crazy in those three weeks, I was near a major meltdown several times, but (for now) I feel like things are starting to stabilize a bit.

Here's some of the things I've had on my plate these past few weeks:
1. COLLEGE. Ugh. The semester started the Monday after my last fight. This is my third year going to community college. I've been part time most of the time, and I have to admit the past two years I haven't been the best student. I just did enough to get by because I hated it so much and wanted to focus on other things. But I want to get it over with and I want to do better because I know I can, so homework has gotten top priority these last few weeks. I'm giving this year my all so I can be the proud receiver of an associate's degree :)

2. Work. I've been at my new job for just over two months now, but it seems like it's been forever. Let me tell you, housekeeping at a hotel is not an easy job. It's exhausting. If you can, tip your housekeepers after a stay in a hotel, because we work our a**es off! The hours vary depending on how busy we are, but I'd guess that I'm averaging about 30 hours a week now. The hotel has been sold out every weekend, and I have one weekend off this month. I am soooo looking forward to that weekend!

3. Dieting/Training: With just the two above things on my plate, it's been hard to get enough training time in. Basically I'm just doing the best I can. Time and money have been an obstacle lately. I'm looking for a cheaper place to live right now that's also closer to the gym, but it'll take a little time to get that all worked out. Dieting has been tough too lately. My craving are always kinda out of control after cutting for a fight, especially after a tough cut, so I've had lots of ups and downs, good and bad moments. I'm starting to get back in the swing of consistent healthy eating though, and a good thing too, because my next fight's not too far away!

4. Housework. Last but not least, keeping up the house. I'm not the cleanest person in the world, definitely not a clean freak or a germophobe, but when my life is chaos AND my house is disorganized as %^&*, that's when I get near meltdown stage. I'm working on doing a little bit everyday to get/keep the house in better shape, because when it all builds up and I have a ton to do all at once, I dread it. I feel much more relaxed in a clean(ish) house.

So these are the major things I've been dealing with while I was away. And of course there's life's little everyday stressors trying to get at you. I know fall is a busy time for everyone, so if you're dealing with being overwhelmed right now, here are some things that I've been doing to help:

-Take deep breaths. Believe you can handle anything that comes your way. Know that things will calm down at some point (even though they won't stay calm forever).
-Prioritize. Obviously, you don't have a choice whether or not you go to work, and if you have kids you have to take care of them, etc. Figure out what is most important that you get done, and focus on those things first.
-Do a little bit every day. I have a bad habit of getting overwhelmed, so I end up not doing anything I'm supposed to do, but in the end that only makes things worse. So do SOMETHING. Do half the dishes, or just start on that research paper, or go for a quick run instead of a long run. Doing something will get you much further ahead than doing nothing.

Don't be too hard on yourself, keep going, cause I'm right there with ya.

Monday, August 20, 2012


Victory! I won my fight last night against Adrianna Runyon via tapout to strikes in the second round.

At the start of the fight, she didn't rush at me as I'd suspected she would (no surprise there, the fight never goes as you imagine ;) ) and I had to come to her. She started throwing haymakers anytime I got close to her, and for most of the first round I got stuck in my old habit of standing and taking blows and exchanging and punch or two at a time. But after that I started to listen to my corners better and my movement and combos improved. Throughout the fight I landed several body kicks that she didn't like, but I didn't unleash as much power in my leg kicks as possible, as I'm still a little uncomfortable with them and need more practice. I'm not sure how far into the second round it was when we locked up, I scored a takedown and full mount and started to rain down punches. She tapped after two or three hard rights hands to the face.

Even though my opponent was not as experienced as me, she was tough on the feet and I got a chance to improve my stand up which was incredibly valuable to me. I went in there looking to have fun and become a better fighter and I did that. Now it's time to get back to work and become even better for my next fight, which should be in October. Watch out, world, I'm on my way up :)

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Weigh Ins and FIGHT DAY!

Woohoooooo! Fight day is finally here! I'm pumped to get back in the cage!

Sorry I haven't posted in a while, but the last week or so leading up to the fight is always a hectic one. I recorded some video blogs during cut week that I'm working on editing for you all, so stay tuned for those!

This cut was a somewhat difficult one, it was my first time attempting to cut to 135 in over a year, and my body is much different now, plus my schedule is much different, so it was kind of a trial run if you will. After I hit 140 my body refused to sweat any more, and after no eating or drinking all day I weighed in at 138.4. My opponent was a last minute match-up and weighed in at 143, so I'm glad I didn't overwork myself trying to get to 135 for nothing.

We weighed in at Hooters, where the event will take place outdoors, and then it was time to drink and eat! I always start off with a Pedialyte to rehydrate quickly, then I had one thing I've been craving for WEEKS: peanut butter, banana, and honey on wheat toast =D It made me very happy. That was followed up by a smart water and some Hooters fries. They had free wings for the fighters, but my stomach is sensitive after crash dieting and dehydrating, so I stayed away from those. We went to an awesome Italian restaurant called Avanti's. I had spaghetti and meatballs, although after all the liquids, the sandwhich, and an appetizer and fresh baked bread, I had a lot leftover to take home :) We ended the night with a couple movies, including Warrior, and snacking and rehydrating more.

This morning started off with pancakes, eggs, and bacon with water and chocolate milk, then I went to get my hair braided and I'm ready for war. There will be more relaxing and eating until the fights tonight..and then it's time for action!

Make sure you come back and check out my first video blogs and results!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Holy Legs Batman!

So, after a CRAZY week at work and computer troubles, I'm finally getting to post this!

Monday I annihilated my legs. I wanted to get in a killer leg workout this week, since next week I won't be lifting because I have a fight on Saturday (possible news on an opponent coming soon!)

So, if you're looking for punishment, give this a try.

The key to a good lifting workout (in my opinion/experience) is to choose a challenging weight, for whatever number of reps you're doing. If you don't, you're wasting your time.

Leg Workout 8/6/12

Leg Press 15, 12, 12, 10reps
Sumo Squat w/ Dumbbell 3x15reps
Single Leg Deadlift 3x12reps each leg
Leg Extensions 15, 12, 12, 10reps
Squats 15, 12, 12, 10reps
Leg Curls 3x15reps
Calf Raises 3x12reps

As if that wasn't enough pain for my legs, I decided to hit the track after.

Track Workout 8/6/12

Warm Up:
400m run

Bleacher Set:
5 minutes stair running
5 minutes stair climb with glute extension

Track Set:
400m run
4x100m sprint
400m run
4x100m sprint
400m run
2x100m sprint

That's probably not a ton for seasoned sprinters, but I haven't done that much sprinting since high school track, and I'm learning to love it again! Sprints definitely rev up my fat burning and have made my footwork faster.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Workin' It Out!

Today's Workout:

"Push" Group-

DB Bench Press 3x12reps
Decline Push Ups 3x12reps

Single Leg Squat 3x12reps
Incline DB Flyes 3x12reps

Decline DB Press 15, 12, 10reps
Triceps Pressdown 3x12reps

Cable Crossover 15, 12, 10reps
Tricep Bench Dips 3x15-20reps

Sprint Workout-
1 mile warm-up
6x100m sprint
8x stair run (up and down = 1)
10 tractor tire flips

Sweated Buckets!

Friday, August 3, 2012


The pictures on the left were taken July 7th, one week after my last fight. The pictures on the right were taken this morning, August 4th. When I first took the pictures this morning, I wasn't satisfied. I felt like I should be leaner, more muscular, etc. etc. Then I compared them to a month ago, I felt so much better. My waist is tighter, I'm leaner all over, and even though four pounds doesn't sound like much for a month, I look smaller all over.

I'm not quite where I wanted to be two weeks out from my next fight (August 18th) but I'm happy that I have improved, because that's what I'm always striving for. :)

Wednesday, August 1, 2012


Last night Joseph and I were talking about our upcoming fights on the ride home from training, and as usual, the subject of visualization came up. Joseph and I are supremely different in the way we prepare mentally for a fight. I personally have learned to use visualization as a tool to keep my confidence high and stay positive. I don't know when I developed this skill (and I do consider it a learned skill, not everyone has it, but everyone can practice it) because I wasn't always so confident in my abilities, although I've always been a hard worker. Somewhere along the lines though, I unlocked this ability in my mind to see the things I wanted to become reality...and found that many times, that's exactly what happened.

Over the last two years and five victories, I've used visualization thousands of times...and not just before fights. I visualize myself lifting heavier weights-and then I go do it. I visualize myself having tons of energy in training-and then I do. Sometimes I even visualize just having a good day, and while this doesn't always make my day perfect, I usually have a better outlook all day. And when I am visualizing how I want a fight to go, I always, always make sure to see my hand being raised at the end.

Knowing that not everyone uses visualization as successfully as I do, and wanting to possibly improve my own visualization practice, I looked up "how-to" for visualizing success.

I found a great article that puts it this way:

"The first time we have a new thought it is a weakling of a thought that has sand kicked in its face by stronger thoughts and beliefs. Each time you re-think it though it grows in strength as the physical pathway becomes more and more well defined. Not only that, but if it is a belief that contradicts one you already hold, the older belief starts to atrophy and die."

Some people have a hard time contradicting the beliefs they already have in their head, but if you practice, I guarantee you it will become second nature

For the full article, go here:

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Injuries and Sickness

Did you miss me? I had a rough weekend...starting on Thursday.

Injuries are a common part of MMA. When your'e training hard preparing for a fight, there's almost always something, bruised, broken, or hurting for one reason or another, but that just part of the sport-you have to fight through the pain. But me? I get worse injuries at home than I do in practice half the time. Thursday evening, just before I was supposed to leave for practice, I was chopping an apple for the baked oatmeal I was making for breakfast the next day, with our brand new chef's knife, all thrilled with how smoothly it cut...then one quick slip and a chunk of my middle finger was gone! Luckily Joseph had just gotten home because I panicked, and he jumped to action getting a CLEAN towel on it, something that did not even cross my mind. After 20+ minutes of bleeding, not getting into the clinic, and visiting two different emergency rooms, I got a tetanus shot and a band-aid for my finger. And it wasn't even a cool character band-aid. Hmph.

The first couple days trying to work with my finger were horrible, and I woke up the next day with a really bad cold, so the hotel I work at being sold out really sucked. I rested as much as possible when I wasn't working, and by Monday the cold had started to go away and my finger had scabbed over some so it was a little less sensitive.

I returned to boxing at GYAC with Coach Carlos Duncan. I had had to stop going for a weeks because I couldn't afford an extra drive to Galesburg three times a week, and I was anxious to get back, despite still having a good amount of pain in my finger and having a hard time breathing from my lingering cold. I wrapped my finger up tight and went for it.

Boxing class usually goes as follows:
1.7 mile warm up run- I pushed the pace as much as possible even though it was hard to breathe through my nose
6 x 3min rounds of jump rope-this went pretty well
20 minutes of push-ups, crunches, burpees, etc.
6 x 2min rounds of heavy-bag work- since I couldn't put hardly and pressure on my finger, I focused on keeping my punches fast and moving around a lot

Even though I encountered a few obstacles over the last several days, I'm glad they happened now and not closer to my fight. I'll be healed and 100% healthy soon, and ready for war!

Thursday, July 26, 2012


I've been thinking about trying Crossfit for a long time. I've seen so many athletes who credit Crossfit for their superior strength and conditioning, many of them MMA fighters. After watching tons of videos on youtube studying some of the exercises I was unfamiliar with, I did my first Crossfit workout on Tuesday. Since I live over an hour from the nearest "Box" I had to go it alone, but luckily the workout was one I didn't need too much help on-just some strength, cardio, and stamina.

The "WOD" (workout of the day) for Tuesday, July 24th:
9 rounds for time of the following-
Squat Clean, 7 reps
Burpee Box Jumps, 8 reps

Since I'd never done squat cleans before (I'd done hang cleans, so the movement wasn't totally unfamiliar) I just used the bar so I could focus on form. It was a little rough, but I felt like I started to get it down after the third set. I had upper body work today and running, sparring, and grappling to do after, so I did seven sets, and was beat! I soaked my whole shirt and definitely felt like I got a cardio workout.

Training later I was a little extra tired, but sparring felt good nonetheless. I'm definitely improving and gaining confidence. My team is awesome and I'm progressing so well, I can't wait to get back in the cage.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Lean Dessert

If you're like me, you've tried a bunch of different protein powders, many of which claim to be the "Best Tasting Protein in the Whole World!" but really taste like chemical crap...and you end up with a 3 pound tub of powder you can't think about ingesting without gagging that you wasted 50 dollars on...ugh. I also have an issue with protein that have 100g protein per scoop, or 500% of you daily value of vitamin C...I may be exaggerating a bit but you see my point. Why am I paying this company for all that protein in one serving when I can't even digest that much protein at once!? It's a waste. So I'm constantly looking for a protein that tastes good, is affordable, and has the right amount of calories/nutrients for my fitness goals.

One product I like is BSN's Lean Dessert protein. I've tried two flavors: Chocolate Fudge Pudding and Chocolate Coconut Candy Bar. They also have delicious sounding flavors like Cinnamon Roll and Banana Cream Pudding. YUM!

Here's my ratings of the product in a few categories overall:
Taste-7.5  It's not the best protein I've ever had, but it's pretty darn good. I can drink it everyday no prob.
Mixability-9  I've mixed this in a blender, blender bottle, and with a spoon and it always comes out great. I usually mix my shakes with unsweetened almond milk, and the creamy milk mixed with the protein almost has a chocolate mousse consistency. MMM...
Nutrition Facts-8 At 130 calories (for the chocolate coconut flavor), it's perfect for a snack on a restricted calorie diet. It also has a reasonable 20g of protein per scoop for repairing muscle after training.

Price-7  I got a 1.39 lb jug for 17.95 on, and last I checked it was 19.99 on bad, but the jug is small and doesn't last long...there's only 18 serving per container and I usually have one and a half servings per day, that's about the only thing I don't like about this product. 

Overall Rating: 8

Have you tried this product? Tell me your thoughts on it!

Four Weeks Out

After a weekend without training, I'm dying to get back in the gym! I was so relieved to have the day off, as work this weekend was stressful and tiring and I need to catch up on sleep a bit. I woke up rested and determined to work my a$$ off tonight, and get back on my meal plan 100%.

I'm especially excited to lift tonight, because for the first time ever, my boyfriend Joseph will be joining me and starting his lifting plan (designed by yours truly). I've been trying to convince him to start lifting and eating properly almost since we started dating. I don't know exactly what made him change his mind, but I think the other guys at the gym helped convince him. Part of the reason he's never wanted to lift is because he has a very physically demanding job, a construction-type job in which the heavy Joseph. Combine that with 110 degree heat index most days and you get one exhausted man. Still, I think eating the right foods will help his energy level a lot.

For me, tonight I will be working my shoulders, arms, and abs, one of my favorite groups to train. Really I just adore lifting in general. It makes me feel like a badass when I can push around a heavier weight each week, sometimes surprising myself with my progress. Anyway, here's the plan, although I often get a burst of extra energy and add in more when I get to the gym:

Front Shoulder Press: 3 set of 12 repetitions
superset with
Front Barbell Raise: 3 sets of 12 repetitions

Barbell Curl: 15 reps, 12 reps, 12 reps, 10 reps
superset with
Overhead Tricep Rope Extensions: 15 reps, 12 reps, 12 reps

Hammer Curl: 3 sets of 12 reps
superset with
Reverse Crunch: 3 set of 30-50 reps

Skullcrushers: 3 set of 12 reps
superset with
Close Grip Bench Press: 3 sets of 15 reps

Plank: 3 sets of 30-45 second holds
superset with
Knees to Chest Crunch: 3 set of 30 reps

I prefer to do supersets because it keep my heart rate up and I get done faster. I keep my rest periods super short, under a minute. For those who might not know, a superset is when you do one set of one exercise and follow it immediately with one set of another exercise, then after minimal rest go back to the first exercise and repeat. It's like a mini circuit.

After lifting, we will probably run. I need to work on my speed, so my goal is to let Joseph set the pace (because he's much faster than me) and go as long as I can at that pace. I'm hoping for at least two miles at an eight-minute mile pace. That might not sound fast, but normally my long runs are at least four miles at a ten-minute per mile pace. I need to start pushing that pace and then add mileage.

I also hope to work on some body conditioning, combinations, and takedown technique. It should be a good night :)

Crazy Weekend!

My weekend was exhausting, and not in the same way my normal days are exhausting with working and training. I had to work Friday through Sunday, so there was no training for me this weekend :( It's a good thing I kept busy when I wasn't at work or I would have been verrryyy cranky.

Saturday I was hoping to get off early since Joseph and I had plans to drive to Peoria for a little shopping spree after I got off, but of course we were short on staff at the hotel and i had TWENTY rooms to clean in seven hours. That's the most I've had since I started working there two weeks ago and it was rough. Add on the sore legs and butt from my leg day the day before and not being able to sleep the night before, and I wanted to die. On top of that, I didn't drink enough water with my breakfast, so my thermogenic supplement made me feel yuck! Eventually, though, it was all over and time for some fun...if you call shopping fun, which I'm often not sure I do.

Don't get me wrong. I can be girly and love treating myself to some nice clothes, shoes (especially shoes!) and other frilly, girly things. I just find it difficult to spend money on something I might only wear once a month, and trying things on can be so damn frustrating! Especially with an athletic build like mine. But I enjoyed getting out of those house with my man, and I did score some nice duds. Even if I did get more sporty stuff than girly :) 

We also bought a few things for around the house and made a stop at Barnes and Noble. We FINALLY bought some new knives that are gloriously easier to chop with than our old, dull, cheap ones we've had since I moved out of my parents house. 

Barnes and Noble is probably one of my favorite places ever, because I can always find a book that fits. I could spend my whole paycheck and hours in that store. This time, I chose a book I've been thinking about checking out for a while, Curly Girl. My curly hair drives me crazy, and I finally decided that if this book could help me embrace my hair, it would make my life that much easier in those times when I do choose to be girly...and because I may have some photo shoots coming up and I want to look my best! I have to say, after reading the book, I'm convinced that it's going to change my hair forever. But I'll leave that for another time.

Note: I don't always choose such girly books. My hair problem just needed addressed. You'll normally find me in the fitness or sports sections. Don't judge. 

All this time we spent shopping, I was super hungry! Not good. It was pretty late when we got back to town, and we hadn't been able to get groceries, so we chose the "least bad" restaurant we could...and ended up at a favorite little diner downtown. Since there wasn't a lot of choices that fit into my meal plan...I did the best I could...and filled up on eggs and salad, with a little rice. Not the best, but could have been worse, sometimes you gotta roll with the punches.

Now it's Monday, we've stocked up on healthy groceries, and I'm ready to get some work done! There's just under four weeks until my fight (and my boyfriend Joseph is fighting on the card too, I'm excited to fight together again!) so it's time to buckle down and become hermits until fight night!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Frugal Fitness: Part 1

How to Make Your Own Medicine Ball (and how not to)

I've wanted a medicine ball for ages. Even on Ebay, the suckers aren't cheap, but they're so valuable when it comes to working out! So when I heard about making them yourself, I kind of thought, "DUH, why didn't I think of that? It's so simple!" Well, I found out that yes, it is pretty simple, but there are still mistakes to make, so I'm going to share my experience with you :)

1 ball- a basketball is recommended, I ended up using a volleyball I had but never used. Cost: FREE (if you already have one) or a cheap basketball is about $6 at WalMart

1 roll duct tape- bonus points if its funky colored. Cost: $3.50

Sand- I got mine from my construction worker boyfriend, so it was also FREE. But I'm sure it's not to costly to buy play sand at WalMart or Menard's.

Exacto knife or razor blade- again, I already had this on hand, so it was FREE. A few dollars at WalMart if you don't have anything sharp that works.

Measuring cup or other cup for pouring sand- had around the house, FREE

Step 1: Cut a v-shaped slit in your ball of choice.

Step 2: Pull back flap, and begin to fill with sand. As you fill, shake the ball a bit and pack sand with your hands so the sand will settle and fill the ball nicely.

Step 2.5: Ball rips in half, get new ball, repeat steps 1 and 2, move on to step 3.

Step 3: Tape slit closed.

Step 4: Cover entire ball with duct tape, making sure the slit is securely closed.

Optional Step 5: If you are going to be sweating when using your medicine ball, which you ought to be, it will get slippery if you just leave it duct taped. To add grip, add strips of the tape that hockey players put on the sticks to make the grip better. I didn't feel like hunting this down so at this point, I'm taking my chances with a slippery ball.

A helpful tip:
DO use a sturdy ball.
DON'T attempt to use a playground ball, it won't hold up to being filled with sand.

My ball ended up weighing 15.2 pounds. I think I will get a basketball soon and make a slightly larger one as well. Overall, this ball cost me about $6.00. I could make probably make at least 5 more for the cost of one at a sporting goods store. WINNING.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Leave a Legacy

"If you stay ready, you never have to get ready"

I want to thank the coaches at Legacy Martial Arts in Quincy, IL, Mr. Robert Bentley and Mr. Dominique Jackson for the awesome shirts they sent me a few weeks ago. (My camera is broken or I would have pics already...hopefully soon.)

The quote above is on the back of one of the shirts, and I loved it in particular, because it hit me like a brick. I want to be the fighter who is always ready. I've been hard on my body since I was in Jr. High. Gaining and losing weight, starving myself, binge eating...I've had issues to say the least, but when I started fighting I wanted to change all that. Fighting gave me a goal to always be working towards. I always want to be getting better, looking ahead at the next fight, getting my body in better shape and working more efficiently all the time.

Dieting is hard. Cutting weight is hard. Training is hard (but is actually the easy part for me). But I've found that it is so much easier to diet and train hard all the time, especially when it comes down to cutting time, than it is to try to sweat out a bad diet, or starve off those last couple pounds because I didn't run when I should have. It's almost a science, and it requires some trial and error to figure out what works for you, but when you get it right it feels so good. 

I've been on a journey the past six months...getting back into shape, eating right, fighting again...and I've come along way. This time, I'm going to stay ready for good...because getting ready is way more work.

Get ready, stay never know what might come your way.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Jenna Fox vs. Brittany O'Day 6/30/12

For those of you who haven't seen it yet, here's the video of my last fight. That's me in the blue camo shorts. I wasn't entirely thrilled with my performance, but it was my first submission win and my first fight in over a year, so I considered it a fight to shake the ring rust and learn what I most need to work on. My training is a little more tailored to what I need to work on now, and I expect an even better performance at my next fight, August 18th at Hooters in East Peoria, Illinois.

Breakfast of Champions

Breakfast: 1/3 c PLAIN OLD FASHIONED oatmeal (measured dry) (did I mention plain?)
                 4 egg whites, scrambled (I actually "scramble" them in the micowave...its faster and makes for fewer dishes later)
                 1/2 apple
                 20 grams nuts (I had pecans)

If you had suggested a few months ago that I eat PLAIN oats with NO SUGAR or artificial sweetness or any of the fun stuff, I probably would have chosen to starve instead. Plain oats just grossed me out. But then, some time after hitting my highest weight ever of 181, something snapped inside me and I got this "f*** you excuses" attitude and I decided nothing was going to stop me from reaching my goals...not even oatmeal.

Several months later, now down to 153.4 pounds and dropping, I look forward to my morning oats. GASP! How did I do it? I learned to experiment, and somewhere along the way, I got this crazy idea that maybe if I ate a bite of egg whites with a bite of oatmeal, it might not be that horrific. And what do you know? I find the combo delicious! I win!

My point here is (a) anything is possible, and (b) don't knock it til you try it.

Recently, I saw a picture posted online of a woman before and after cutting out splenda, and thats it. She looked good before, but after, she had so much more definition, and I thought, what would happen if I cut out the artificial sweeteners in my life? 

I don't drink diet soda or anything like that (except maybe a diet 7 up when my stomach's upset) but I would drink Crystal Light and Powerade Zero, or a sugar-free energy drink when I'm feeling drowsy. I love them, but I also don't know how they might be hampering my progress, so it's time for them to go. Instead, I plan on drinking even more water, and trying to get used to unsweetened green tea, or flavor it with some lemon and orange slices. If I can do it with oatmeal, I can do it with tea.

I hope you all challenge yourselves today! Stay positive :)

Hi! Welcome to my brand spankin' new blog! If you're already a fan, you're awesome, and I hope you'll keep visiting, because I have all kinds of plans for this page. If you've never heard of me before, I hope this blog with put me on your radar and keep you wanting more. I plan on updating this blog with videos of my daily life and training, progress pics and photo shoots, recipes, workouts, and more! I want to let you in on my life...and show you all how hard I'm working to put on a show.

For those of you who don't know me already, here's a short intro:

My name is Jenna Fox. I'm 20 years young, an amateur mixed martial artist (currently 5-0) and I've got BIG dreams. Living in this small town in Illinois, sometimes they seem impossible, but I'm a believer, and I hope you will be too!

I'm currently working as a housekeeper at a hotel in town, studying to become a personal trainer, keeping my ears open for a second part time job, and training at least six days a week, between an hour and three hours most day, sometimes more if I have time. I've been training for about two years now, although I took about a year break from fighting for personal reasons. But now I've found a gym I love and have an even better support system than before, and I'm back!

So tell me, what would you like to see most of on this blog? I want your input!