New Beginnings

I’m 8 days in a 12 week cut. Alas, it starts again.

I’m blessed by the people I work with everyday, they push me to be better. They challenge my world view. And even though they don’t realize it, by starting a 12 week “biggest loser”-esque challenge, they provided me with the jump start I forgot and didn’t realize I needed until today. 

2018 has been a weird year for me. A lot has happened, personally, professional, educationally.

My personal life has been weird. Not unmanageable, just weird. There’s been a lot of questioning of worth, am I worthy? 

My professional life feels stable for once. But also full of new challenges. But am I worthy of my title? And more importantly, am I worth more?

Educationally? Well… Of course I started a Ph.D. Program. Full-time. Yes, I’m still working full time. With what time? Beats me most days. 

Fitting in fitness has been a way for me to process my progress and for me to think my thoughts. And today I really need to process; today, I really needed to think.

My fitness goals is something that’s continuously fallen to the way-side with work getting crazier and crazier. Throw in a doc program… I had 0 motivation. Thankfully my coworkers have given me the exact nudge that have pushed me into full gear with my own fitness, my own health. And for once — my mental health.

When fitting in fitness began as a concept and a log, it was about how to jam pack everything in. I talked about meal prep, I talked about lifting, I talked about work-life… But fitness was physical, it was never mental. Now, I’m finally allowing myself an opportunity for that to change.

Part of my doc program involves a coaching certificate through the ICF — yes, me as a coach. Scary. But fun! (PS if you need a coach, I’m always looking for clients). I have to think about developmental lines, how do I want to improve? How can I be better. Ironically, on day 1, I said my mindfulness. I can’t say that I’ve done a ton.

Now with this fitness challenge in full swing… I’m throwing in a focus on mindfulness. Thankfully work is helpful (once again) as I also embark on a 30 day challenge through MindwellU. Let’s see how this all goes.

PPS. I can’t promise that this will be the most well documented journey aside from the IG sphere — I write far too much these days. But I also know that I need to just process elsewhere. We’ll see how this goes…

DietBet: a jump start once again

It’s been 8 months since I last posted. Where did the time go?

Since January I’ve been in a new job: a new environment, a new workplace, and (of course) brand new challenges. I can’t even figure out where to begin with how busy things have been… or how out of control my life has gotten. Or how I’ve felt a little lost as it relates to… well, me. I’ll spare you the boring details (for now) — for now all you need to know is that I finally got back into it.

It was June. I weighed in. 220. I was 15 pounds away from where I was when I first started all of this.

The academic year was coming to an end and I knew that if I was going to find a time to try to fit in fitness again, June would be the best time to start. I wasn’t wrong. A few weeks and a DietBet program later… I’m down to 197.

For those of you wondering, a DietBet is an online bet where you enter a “pool”. The particular challenge I looked at involved splitting the pot with folks who successfully loss 4% of their weight in 4 weeks. For those of you who’ve read my blog in the past, you know how closely I follow Kris Gethins. And you guessed it — he hosted. My best friend and I were enthused… and also skeptical. But between the two of us joking around about entering, we finally did. The pot was at 53k by the time the game officially started.

In case you’re wondering..we did it!

It was not an easy 4 weeks by far. DietBet added a whole new level of accountability, even though entering only costed $35. A financial incentive made challenging your peers that much easier and it helped that I had known other people who participated with me.

I stepped into the gym this evening, proud of my win, and ready for a light day in the gym as a reward to myself. By the end of my workout, I realized I had stayed 20 minutes longer than my usual 50 minutes, and I still had energy for more. This was my non-weight win for the week. I finally remembered what it was like to push myself. I’m starting to find me again… and figuring out how I might fit fitness back into my life.

I knew I had to quickly jot some thoughts downI can’t forget that I need to be accountable, with or without a financial incentive. And yes, I know, I know: accountability ultimately has to come from within… but for now I need to make sure I don’t lose steam. So… I’m putting my thoughts onto paper (technically screen) and into the (internet) universe.

My Next Level: Goals and expectations

4% bf down. I’m officially putting this on paper.

Two week ago I registered for’s newest My Next Level Challenge sponsored by the one and only Kris Gethin and Kaged Muscle Supplements.

For the longest time I knew my goal was dropping more body fat. Today I checked my body fat percentage on my scale and I dropped two more pounds, while maintaining the same body fat percentage – likely water weight dropped from starting an anti-inflammatory diet.

I’m not sure if this is even realistic at this point, mostly because I’m measuring everything on a foot scale body fat meter… but I’m going to try my hardest. So far, I’m 1 week in and going strong. I haven’t started the 4weeks2shred program yet because I’m still “bulking up” from the last cut. We’ll see how this goes…

Tomrrow, the 4weeks2shred will start up in full force. I can’t wait and I’m super excited!

There’s some doubt in myself that exists in this process.. I’m going to be starting school and work. Time to not procrastinate and schedule gym time….

#4weeks2shred: 5% down and 7 pounds shredded

I’m finally back in San Diego! I apologize for being so MIA on my status but as the title suggests – #4weeks2shred is tried and true.

After a short 4 weeks, my weight has gone from 194.7 lbs to 187.7 lbs. What’s even more shocking, is that my body fat percentage dropped from 25.2 to 20.4. What this means is that my “fat-levels” in my body went from 49.1 lbs of fat to 38.3 lbs of fat.

Furthermore, my lean body mass increased by 3.1 lbs, which could really be anything from water content during the time. I’m going to tell myself that it’s all muscle though (positive thinking).

I decided to head to UCSD today and grab lunch with mentors, spend some time with my friends and catch up with a former supervisor. Every person at some point made mention about how I looked fitter and thinner and asked about it. The answer: good time management! The majority of them read my blogs so… thanks all of you! The words and positive thoughts keep me motivated to continue towards my goal 🙂

For the time being I plan on registering for the 6-Week Challenge on but that’ll be a post for another time 🙂


3 days into 4Weeks2Shred

I don’t usually post twice in a day but Kris asked how we were doing… so I guess I felt obligated to say something. I’m currently on Kris Gethin’s 4Weeks2Shred program available through his own site (not I won’t lie… it is brutal.

I will say that I don’t whole-heartedly follow an “online trainer” for training, nutrition, AND, supplementation advice, not even Kris during the 12-Week daily video trainer. But I’m making an exception. I’ve dived in the deep end and boy is it deep.

The reduced carbohydrates and going wheat, dairy, and gluten free cold-turkey was a bit of a shock. Day one I kept feeling hungry… probably because my body is used to all the junk. It’s not impossible because I know when I feel “hungry” I just need to feed my body clean calories to shut it up. I’m making sure that I’m feeding myself the necessary macros (230g protein, 130 complex carbs) and eating green veggies to keep me full.

So far I’ve had a back/bicep day, shoulder/tricep day, and active rest day. The workouts are brutal. All the sets follow his DTPXtreme principle, which incorporates the concepts of rest/pause and drop sets. The longer rest time between sets remind me of training for strength — short reps to failure and longer rest time to recover.

It’s a pretty different style from the workout I was previously doing so I’m definitely feeling it — all in good ways of course.

Supplementation isn’t too out of the ordinary but I’m definitely taking more BCAA’s than usual. I’ve officially converted to using his BCAA powder (branded under Kaged Muscle) and it’s pretty fantastic. It’s flavorless so when I take it first thing in the AM, I mix it in my water and take it with my other AM supplements.

While brutal, I’m definitely enjoying myself on this program — can’t wait to see results in 4 weeks!

I’m in DC! Yay steps!

With the end of my Spring semester throughout the past couple of months, blogging has been a luxury that I could not afford. At least not at the cost of my gym time. I’m grateful to say that I’ve finished my second round of the 12 week plan liked I had planned and I’ve officially started my internship in Washington, D.C.!

DC has been interesting to say the least. I miss my car a lot, but my Apple Watch seems to love the fact that I’m walking more. I’ve managed to hit my move goal on a near-daily basis since the first day I’ve been here – Yay!

I don’t have a scale during my time here so my weight won’t be recorded… But I can definitely say that I’m noticing changes in appearance and in how my clothes are fitting as well.

In many ways, my training hasn’t changed in intensity, but I’ve added additional cardiovascular workouts through the amount of walking that happens. Yesterday I managed to walk over 5.5 miles, but because I rely on the metro and walking to and from the station to work and home…. I try to work in power walks to amp up my low-intensity cardio and raise my heart rate just a little to get some work out in.

This alone has made recovery a little easier because the blood is pumping all the time… and the calorie burn has allowed me to feel good about trying new eateries in the city.

If anything, this has become motivation for me to walk more and move more when I return to San Diego so I can gulf down some carne asada fries here and there!

Goals and Expectations

For those of you student affairs folk, the idea of “SMART” goals aren’t unfamiliar. When we do goal settings with our students we always talk about having goals that are Specific, Measurable, Action-oriented, Realistic, and Timely. We talk about creating goals that are achievable and realistic. Most importantly, we always talk about goals and outcomes and their impact.

When I first started my DTP portion (last 4 weeks) of the 12 week program, I was weighing around 195 lbs. I thought it would be a realistic goal to be at 190 by the end of the program. Since then, I’ve started taking HMB supplements which have helped a lot with muscle retention and growth, but my weight loss has stunted.

I think I’ve reached a point where I need to be more realistic about my goals and expectations. It’s a little frustrating to weigh and not see changes in my scale even though I feel like I’m killing myself in the gym with DTP. Kris mentioned its time to cut out the creatine in our diets at this point to lose some water weight. While that’s definitely an option, I don’t want to lose weight for the sake of losing weight. If I’m losing weight, I want it to be fat.

I hope the slowed weight loss I’m experiencing isn’t a plateau and more so due to the HMB. Taking HMB has definitely been an interesting process. 6 additional pills a day is a little hard to keep on schedule but the results have been phenomenal. For the first time I feel like I’m noticing results at the end of each workout and I definitely feel a little strong even when I’m working out in a fasted state. Its probably the most expensive supplement that I’m currently taking but with the results that I’ve been getting, I’d definitely say its worth it.

That being said — my goal was to weigh 190, due to fat loss not muscle loss. At this point I’m becoming increasingly less confident about this goal. That being said, I don’t expect to slack off. I plan to push as hard as I can in the next two weeks and see where that takes me. The DTP process is definitely challenging and my body has responded in weird ways. I don’

When this program ends, I plan on taking a week off from the gym, resting and allowing myself to reset. From that point forward, I plan on starting a new program to continue this process. I’m thinking of something completely different, something I’ve never done before. If a plateau is what I’m experiencing, its time to reset my metabolism, and challenge my body in new and unexpected ways.

Not meeting a goal isn’t an excuse to give up. Not meeting a goal is reason for pushing harder. One of my amazing colleagues and I agree that the SMART model is a little flawed because often times if one of the 5 elements of the SMART acronyms go wrong, you might be less inclined to fulfill your goal. I won’t let this stop me. I will push harder.

If I don’t meet my goal, I know its because I’ve gained muscle mass, not because I’ve gained fat. I know that I’ve done my absolute best and all I can do is continue to do that. Recomposition is something unique to people new to bodybuilding, and if anything I should be grateful that I’m gaining lean mass while I’m on a calorie deficit, not complaining.

Thank you to all of my friends who’ve supported me through this process. Even though I’m doing this for me and myself alone, the words of encouragement help fuel the drive that I have.