MESTRENGTH – A Creatine Product Review

I had the opportunity to review the new product MESTRENGTH last before my work outs. I would like to preface that I generally only drink a protein shake in the morning and the rest of my day is filled with green tea and water. I am not someone that drinks sports drinks nor am I someone that feels the need to.

Since I have been on a high intensity work out program, MESTRENGTH wanted me to give it a try for a week and tell you all what I think about the product. The week that I used MESTRENGTH, I did 4 hour long sessions on the stairmaster (7 miles) along with an added 30 minutes of abs/legs and the 5th work out I did my HIIT class which is an hour long. To give you a bit of perspective, when I am do 7 miles on the stairmaster and 30minutes of abs or legs, I generally burn around 950 -1200 calories per work out. My HIIT class I generally will burn about 700 – 850 calories. So I am pushing myself pretty hard.

Here is my Pros/Cons List:

Cons:

  • First off, I am not a huge fan of the taste. I found that they were all quite a bit more sour than I would have liked, however my fiancé tried all of them as well and LOVED the sour punch that the drink provided. So to each their own.
  • The powder didn’t mix well with the water, but that is pretty much the norm with most powdered sports drinks
  • After the first packet, I was a little nauseous for about 10 minutes and then it went away. I may have drank it too quickly as it only happened with the first one.
  • I didn’t notice any difference in my performance the first work out.

Pros:

  • After my second serving I did feel like I had quite a bit more energy and that continued for the remainder of my supply.
  • I burned 100 more calories after each work out.
  • I did notice that my muscles had a bit more definition and I felt quite a bit stronger, more sturdy.
  • Normally after my work outs I am crazy hungry and it takes everything I have to not eat the fridge… I didn’t feel that way after the work outs. I definitely felt more clean and energized.
  • I like that each packet is already portioned out for you and it is easy to carry with you throughout the day.
  • I also really like that there is no added sugars as that is something you have to watch out for with other sports drinks.
  • After my HIIT class I am usually really sore, wasn’t really the case this past class. I again felt stronger, clean and more sturdy.

Over all despite the taste and the fact that it didn’t mix as well as I would have liked, I believe that it is a good product. MESTRENGTH is something I would definitely use before my higher intensity work outs. Probably not every work out as I am not a huge fan of the sourness but the reward of feeling better after my work out beats out not loving the taste.

I did lose 4lbs last week which is not my norm. I usually lose 2 – 3lbs per week so an extra 1 -2lbs is great! Is it because of MESTRENGTH? I am not sure… but I know that I did have more energy during my work outs which led me to push harder. So it was definitely a factor in the extra loss.

If you want to try out MESTRENGTH for yourself, use the coupon code: Kelly20 to get 25% off your order. You can order it at http://www.mestrength.com

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Words Still Sting… A Weight Loss Journey

A couple weeks ago I wrote about how to find the right trainer and the experience I had with a trainer who was incredibly rude. Since that experience I haven’t felt the same. I am still pushing myself and having amazing skinny moments like when my fiancé could actually put his arm around my waist for the first time… or when I had my dress fitting yesterday and they had to take in 3.5 inches on the dress. I am also still losing weight and eating clean. People tell me daily that I am looking thin, fit, toned… they are telling me my weight loss is inspiring. People are asking me to give them tips, share recipes, and create their work out plans. So why then do I feel like a cow? Why do I feel like I am 239lbs again? Not doing enough to lose the weight and not feeling as confident as I once was.

I think a big reason is because words hurt. Someone treated me poorly and made me feel like whatever I used to do, doesn’t matter because I now in my current state, 60lbs lighter need to be fixed. I know that this person doesn’t matter to my life and that he was an ignorant prick… but it’s amazing how one person’s view of your body can also change your own view of yourself. Part of his words wanted to make me push harder, to show him he doesn’t know a damn thing. But the other part of me is trying to tell me that I am pushing hard right now, and that I have come a long way and someone who treats another human being that way isn’t worth my time or concern. That I do look good, and I should think of myself as skinny. I will never have the “perfect body”. I just want to be the healthiest version of myself.

I am working on trying to feel confident again. I am trying to focus on the positives:

  • I am now a size 8 in jeans (Can’t remember the last time that happened)
  • I can no longer shop for clothes online as I have no idea of my size in clothes other than jeans and I don’t know how items are going to fit my new body
  • They had to take 3.5 inches off my wedding dress due to how much weight I have lost in just 6 weeks
  • I have dimples… who knew?
  • I am told daily how great I look and how skinny I am looking
  • My fiancé can put his arm around my waist
  • My waist is tiny

It’s now a work in progress, changing my mindset back to being confident about my body and understanding how far I have come. I just don’t feel good about the way I look anymore and it’s really unfortunate that he was able to make me feel that way. Just remember to be kind to people, you don’t know what they are going through or where they have been. Understand that even though we would like to say that words don’t affect us, they do to a certain level. No one is perfect in life, love people for who they are and smile…. it can change someone’s day.

How to find the right trainer…

Recently I lost my trainer. At the time it felt like the end of the world. I was losing my support, the person who changed my nutrition and helped me get to where I am right now. After a couple days of sulking, I realized that change is good. Change can shock your body, can make you push harder and can help you get to your goal.

Last night I met my new trainer. NOT GOOD. After 15 minutes of him telling me that by the look of me, I clearly was doing everything wrong, my nutrition is completely off and I must eat white carbs, and asking me if I have fake boobs. I felt defeated. This guy who has no idea where I started, who never asked about what I was doing working out wise and didn’t ask what I was eating was judging me. He was judging me because I am not a stick figure. He was judging me because I don’t have a perfect stomach, and he was judging me because he thought that the reason I was being paired up with him was because I was out of shape. I don’t even know if he really looked at me, well maybe just my boobs. He didn’t listen, make me feel good or make me feel like he cared about my goals. Well he never even asked what those goals were. He just stood there judging me and showing me his biceps. Making me feel bad that I wasn’t a stick figure with a perfect stomach. And clearly by the look of me I eat white carbs.

It’s been a really long time that someone has made me feel that badly about my appearance. Made me feel like I have done nothing right and I should be killed for it. In 15 minutes this guy made me question my progress, lose confidence in my body and make me feel like that 239lb girl again. It was the most horrible feeling.

I know that you shouldn’t let people like that get you down and I should be confident in the work that I have done, but someone treating you like that never feels good. This morning on the stairmaster I was crushed. It was hard to push myself on the stairs and be motivated to keep pushing… why should I? Clearly everything I am doing isn’t making a difference and I look fat. After a good 20 minutes of oh woe is me…I snapped out of it. Fuck him. Fuck that guy who thinks that he is the know all of the fitness world. Fuck that guy who has so much low self-esteem that he needs to put other people down to make himself feel better. He is nothing but a bully and I shouldn’t give him the satisfaction.

All of this negativity got me thinking: What do you need to find in a trainer? I came up with these answers:

Compassion:

  • A trainer should be compassionate to your situation and your goals.

Listen:

  • A trainer should listen to you and understand what you need from them.

Positive Reinforcement:

  • A trainer should continue to give positive reinforcement for the work that you are doing or that you have done. Constantly being negative doesn’t help your progress, it just holds you back.

Ability to Change:

  • Not everything works for every person. A trainer should be ready and willing to change how they are training you if something isn’t working. Listen to what you have done and make tweaks to increase performance. There is no one way to get in shape.

Knowledgeable:

  • You would think this is a no brainer. But being knowledgeable about the body and how it works is key. Knowing about how nutrition affects the body is important too. If you get a new trainer, you have to understand they are still learning and won’t be as knowledgeable as someone who has been doing it for a while. Depending on what stage you are at in your fitness, that will gauge if someone new is a good fit for you or not.

Team Player:

  • You and your trainer are a team. You both have the same goal so you should work as a team. Communication with your trainer is important on how you are feeling, your struggles through the week, and how your progressing. Your trainer can’t make the appropriate changes without knowing how you are doing when you are not with them.

Caring:

  • Finally… the hardest one. They need to care. Finding a trainer that truly cares about your progress and is doing this job to make a difference in lives is the kind of trainer you want. You don’t want one who is just in it for easy money, or who wants to watch girls squat. You want someone who is going to invest in your health.

It sounds really hard to find trainers will all of these attributes, but it’s not as hard as you think. Like me, you may have to go through a few to find the right one… and when you do find the right one, they decide to move away so you have to start all over again. But that is the way weight loss is, you have to keep trying things to make progress, continue to make changes so that you can get to where you want to be. It’s a commitment but a worthwhile commitment!

Here’s hoping the next trainer is a good one!

Patience or Fad Diet?

The definition of patience – the capacity to accept or tolerate delay or suffering without getting angry or upset. As Americans and human beings, we have evolved to not tolerate or need as much patience as we once did. I am someone who has a very difficult time with patience. I work hard, move at a fast pace and get things done at a pace that most can’t keep up with. I push myself to be great in every aspect of my life and I see results. Whether it be my career, hobby or relationship, I WANT TO BE THE BEST.

Something I could never get the hang of was pushing myself physically to be the best. Being as healthy as I can be, being at the appropriate weight for my body type, being physically fit. I have never had any patience for it.

My weight fluctuated over the years due to not really caring… and then caring… and then not really caring again. I have fluctuated from 165 – 220… losing that weight to be 170 and then back up to 195, losing that weight and going down to 165 to then skyrocket to my highest, 239lbs. I have never been a consistent weight in my life and that is because I have never had a consistent healthy pattern in my life. I lost the weight usually by diet pills, slim fast, not eating, only eating salads, and well… more diet pills. Any kind of product or fad diet that said you would lose 20lbs in a month, I would try it. I wasn’t patient enough to put in the work, figure out nutrition, and stick to a plan every day. I wasn’t patient enough to lose weight the healthy way. Which means slowly.

In April of last year I decided enough was enough. I couldn’t keep taking diet pills and not eating to lose the weight. It was no longer a good solution for me.

Making the choice to lose weight the right way was REALLY hard. It was no longer easy, it didn’t happen fast, and it took patience. Something I have very little of. Fast forward to 57lbs lighter. I still have no patience, lol, but I understand the value of it. I understand the worth in putting in the work and seeing the results that I have worked so hard for. The fad diets are still there, the diet pills getting even better with advertising. But one thing I learned is that if it were easy, it wouldn’t be worth it. You will gain the weight back, probably double. You will rely on it being easy to lose that extra 10lbs… and then all of a sudden it’s not. Taking diet pills and doing fad diets will help you drop lbs, but it doesn’t mean that you are healthy, you are just skinny fat.

I get a lot of requests to try wraps, month long weight loss cleanses, energy pills, and diet supplements. Where I appreciate that sometimes something like that can boost you in to a healthy workout routine, it’s not how you become healthy because it isn’t a life change. It’s not the norm that someone comes out of that and continues on a healthy journey without those products.

People ask me how I lost the weight, I made a major lifestyle change. I am more aware now than ever what it means to say “it’s a lifestyle change”. I no longer take diet pills, I work out every day, I don’t eat crap anymore, I cut out bad sugars, I work hard and make the right choices and the best part is it is no longer hard. It’s my life every day and I love it. I have my days, but mostly I get excited for the coming months and to see where my blood panel is, to see what size I become and to see how fit I can get. I want to be my best and I finally am!

Final Deep Cleanse Results!

Happy Monday!

Well I hate that I have to say this, but I gave up. I gave up this cleanse that I was so excited to start and see through the end.

I don’t think that my body could handle the cleanse. After each serving of the cleanse for life juice I would throw up after 10 min or so. 😦 I gave it a solid effort of three servings. At that point it just felt like torture.

I was told that some people just can’t do the cleanse. A small percentage of people, but some people. I was lucky enough to be one of them.

I am back on the stairmaster this morning starting my 22 miles for the week and killing it. Plain old hard work and clean eating is what is going to get me there.

Too Many Toxins?

Well…. Took my second shot of the day of the cleanse for life Isagenix 9 day Cleanse… And promptly threw it up.

There are many factors to why I got sick immediately.

– I drank a full glass of water right before my second serving of the cleanse juice and I had an empty stomach.

– I took the juice as a shot.

– I downed a second glass of water right after the serving… Again all on an empty stomach.

– I am filled with so many toxins my body can’t handle it.

I am going with the fact that I downed too much liquid on an empty stomach and need to sip the cleanse juice. I feel fine now, but we will see after the third serving of the day.

Deep Cleanse Day 1

At the end of the shake day 1, I was extremely nauseous and couldn’t get off the couch for 3 hours. I was also very dizzy and ready to give up. The my fiancé said those fateful words: “you are already ready to give up?” Dammit… I need to stick through this.

I did some research and apparently the first couple days that can happen. So I am not giving up.

Day two went much better. I did my HIIT class and killed it burning 700 calories. I still had a little bit of a weak stomach but nothing too bad. I did have my annual summer bbq so I splurged on a turkey burger and my brussel sprout salad so I went over the allotted 600 calorie meal but I also knew that I have 9 more days of this cleanse.

Refocusing this morning, I started the cleanse for life two day deep cleanse. The juice smells pretty bad so I was reluctant that this was going to be my meal for two days.

The first 4oz down the hatch and it wasn’t that bad! It tastes like a berry tea with too much sweetener. I also had the two “snacks” that I find hilarious that they call them that because they look like chocolate horse pills. They didn’t taste that bad and actually took away my morning food cravings.

We will see how I feel at the end of the day. Hopefully I don’t become hungry and at least I don’t feel ill right now!

8.5 days to go….

To Cleanse or Not To Cleanse?

There are a lot of different types of cleanses out there with a multiple studies on why you should cleanse and why you shouldn’t cleanse. Sometimes it can be hard to navigate through all of the research and figure out what your next steps are. I have been researching for a while and I have decided that I want to try the 9 day Isagenix cleanse. Out of all of the cleanses, I feel that it has the best nutrients, it is all organic, it will flush your system but won’t make you be in the restroom all day. The Isagenix 9 day cleanse will help you lose a little weight but not the crazy amounts that other product lines promise.

I decided it was time for a cleanse because I tend to feel bloated often, even though I am eating super clean, drinking loads of water, and eating a lot of fiber. I also have never been “regular”. I know it’s not healthy to not be regular, but I can go days without doing anything. I have talked to doctors about it in the past and they all say it’s my nutrition. Now that my nutrition is on point, I have experimented with adding additional fiber every day, colon teas, meditating… you name it. So now I am trying this cleanse and being skeptical of these types of products, I thought I would share my experience and how it makes me feel.

Today is Day 1 of the 9 day cleanse. It really is an 11 day cleanse as you need to do two shake days before you do the two juice cleanse days and then 7 days of shake days.

So far on Day 1 the shake in the morning is definitely not as good as my daily protein shake, but it filled me up and I am not hungry at all. In fact, I could have missed lunch if I wanted to because I don’t have my normal hangry pains. I had my kale salad with chicken for lunch and will have my shake for dinner tonight. I think the biggest challenge will be to see how I feel after I have worked out for an hour. Normally if I don’t eat enough I get really tired and lethargic… let’ hope that doesn’t happen!

I will keep you updated on the cleanse, but if you want to join me, you can purchase it here: http://kellyzilar.isagenix.com

What Happens After You Lose Weight

I recently read a great article online about what happens when you lose weight.  Especially a lot of weight.  Not only does your body change visually, but there are a lot of things you don’t expect to happen to you internally and to your personal life.  I have experienced quite a few of these changes and I thought I would share my experiences about three of the points. You can find the full article here: http://www.fitnessmagazine.com/weight-loss/expert-advice/quick-answers/weight-loss-effects/

  • You’re Freezing
    • One of the things that you don’t realize when losing weight is that you will not longer be hot ALL THE TIME! I used to constantly be hot when I was in bed, next to my fiance, sitting at work, etc. Air conditioning is now miserable, I want to add more blankets to bed, I also now consider my day and if I am going to need to wear pants to not be freezing all day. As annoying as it is, I wouldn’t have it any other way.
  • You Still Have Fat Days
    • The funny thing about losing weight is that where your body has changed, your mind doesn’t always see it. I still have days that I look in the mirror and think I am fat and I am uncomfortable in the clothes that I am wearing, even though they are too big.  I get just as frustrated about my clothes being too big as I did about my clothes being too small. I hope that the “fat” feeling will become less frequent and I will get more comfortable in my new skin, but I also know that its ok to have those days too.  It reminds me of the person that I used to be and helps me remember that it’s all in my head.
  • You Find Out Who Your Real Friends Are
    • Unfortunately shedding weight can also make you shed some of your friends. During this process I have had people who get upset with me because I will no longer binge drink, share dessert after a heavy meal, not cancel my work out for a last minute happy hour.  I have had people tell me that at 239lbs, I was fine and not everyone who is bigger is unhealthy.  I have had people tell me that I am more fun when I am drinking, and that this isn’t a lifestyle that I can keep up…. I will gain it all back.  People have even said that I must not enjoy my life because I won’t eat badly. I don’t quite understand any of their logic.  I have gone through being upset, questioning my journey and wondering why people would say such things. After a lot of thinking, me turning down outings, and sticking to my journey, I have found that some people who you thought were your friends, hate that someone who was always down to go out drinking, eating and splurging is now losing weight. It makes your “friends” look at themselves and they don’t like what they see. Part of me also thinks that they liked me as the fat friend. They always were hit on more than me, they got more of the attention, and always looked cuter and more put together. I was also the friend that never said no and always put them first.  For once I am putting myself first and they don’t like it.
    • In order to correct this issue, you can either address the issue with your friends and tell them how you feel, or you can just let it go and they will eventually fall off.  I am going with the latter.  I feel that anyone in my life who isn’t supportive of my healthy life change, shouldn’t be in my life anyway.  The people who are supporting me are phenomenal.  Checking in, invested in my progress and proud of everything I am doing.

Bottom line is that things change when you lose weight and your life changes. Embrace this new life and the new you. It can be hard to navigate around at times but know that you are doing something completely selfish and its ok.

It really is a wonderful journey!

My Trick to Losing 55lbs!

Losing weight and getting healthy isn’t easy. No one said it would be. But there are some tricks that I ignored for years that really do work and have lead me to succeed thus far. Here are my tricks:

  • Consistency
    • I love a good routine but that is not always realistic in the lives that we lead. One way that I stay consistent is that I plan for the week on Sundays. I do the grocery shopping, plan out all of my lunches, meal prep for all of the lunches and make a plan for dinner each night.
    • There are weeks where making a plan for certain days isn’t realistic, or you have so much going on that it’s hard to cook.
      • Make a backup plan! I carry almonds with me at all times, get the location of lunch ahead of time so you can look at the menu online, make a decision on your meal and stick to it.
      • If dinner is your problem, make sure to order small and portion control. Also – ALWAYS have breakfast. It’s not an option to not have it.
    • Consistency is about sticking to a plan, make that plan to get healthy and lose weight. Every choice you make affects your body. So work hard at making the healthy choices.
  • Set Small Goals
    • Sundays are my jam. Every Sunday while I am meal prepping for the week, I silently set my weekly goals. I set the number of times I want to work out that week, I set the goal that I am going to eat the food that I prepped, not exceptions and I set my weight loss goal for the week. I also make a promise to myself that I am going to remember these goals every day during the week so that it is top of mind. Eventually it becomes a habit and you don’t even need to think about it anymore.
    • This week I have set the following goals:
      • I am going to work out 8 times this week and give it my all in each work out.
      • I am going to do 22 miles on the stairmaster this week.
      • I am going to make good choices, not give in to stress, temptations or changes.
      • I am going to enjoy my current weight loss daily and see the successes that I have already had and not see the changes that still need to happen. #positivethoughts
      • I want to lose 3lbs this week. If I don’t, I am going to remember that I am probably gaining muscle so I want to see a difference in my body.
      • I am going to make a solid effort to work on my abs, both with nutrition and with my work outs.
      • Lastly, I am going to remember that where my weight loss journey is important, and something that consumes my life, I am going to remember that I need to focus attention on my fiancé and not let my journey consume his life as well. A healthy lifestyle is about balance and I am striving to find that healthy balance.
    • Make It Important
      • One of the ways that I meet my goals each week is I make it important. I make it an appointment to myself that I can’t cancel. Think of it as an appointment that will save your life. Because it is. Every day you show up, you are closer to that healthy goal. Every day you push yourself beyond your limits, you are making a change in yourself for the better. I don’t just make appointments with myself and the gym, I make it with food. I make it important to fuel my body with the right kind of foods and at the appropriate times. I make sure that I always have a protein shake in the morning, load my day with clean proteins and veggies and to stay away from carbs that are bad for you… ie: pasta, white bread, baked goods. Etc. Obviously sometimes we need to cheat and enjoy the things we love, but when you are making these choices daily, your cheat food change drastically. My cheat is now a bowl of grapes, roasted sweet potatoes in the evening, a ½ serving of whole wheat pasta, a couple bites of ice cream. My body no longer craves the foods that made me unhealthy in the first place.

I know these tricks sound hard, but losing weight doesn’t happen overnight. It really is a lifestyle change, a mindset adjustment and a commitment to yourself. Keep pushing every day and you will get there!