All posts by Melissa

End of Week 4 Fitness 2013 Progress


So, it’s been 4 weeks since I started my fitness routine.

Lets Recap

Week 1: I started Christmas day when we got home that evening and worked out through that Saturday doing only the Cardio section with Karen Voight’s Burn and Firm workout dvd the first 3 days, and then day 4 I did Lower Body/Abdominals and day 5 I did the Upper Body section.

Week 2: I skipped Monday and Tuesday because of New Years, and did the whole circuit on Wednesday, then Thursday I did lower body and cardio, and the same on Friday, and then I ended up taking a break Saturday and Sunday.

Week 3: I was sick toward the end, but I did get 4 days in a row in. I just did Cardio and Upper Body sections the first 2 days and then Wednesday I did Cardio and Lower Body/Abdominals, and Thursday I just did Cardio.

Week 4

So last week, I am glad to say that I was able to work out all 5 days, and then I took the weekend off, which is what I’m planning on doing. I was so tired last week, still hanging on to that cold I had the week before and then having my monthly visitor show up on Monday didn’t help either. But, I pushed through it and made myself workout. Made myself get up at or around 8am and do my morning workout, and then I did my afternoon workout even though I just wanted to curl up in bed and sleep! I also started somewhat of a diet last week too of Slim Right (like Slim Fast) in the morning, Green Protein Smoothie for lunch, salad and smaller portion of whatever I made for dinner (mostly chicken or burritos) and fruit for snacks. I stuck to that diet pretty well all week until Friday when we went out to Chinese food because my mom took the boys home with her to spend the night :)

New Workout DVD Review

Ok, so I ordered a new workout video as I said in the Week 3 update, Karen Voight’s Streamline Fitness (A.M./P.M. Workout). Instead of doing the full circuit every day last week like I had planned, I did the A.M workout in the morning and the P.M. workout in the afternoon the first 2 days I think, just so I could get the moves down and get a feel for it. Then I think I did the P.M. workout in the morning once or twice and the Cardio section in the afternoon the rest of the time. I probably should be writing down what I do each day. I’ll try and remember to do that this week.

So my thoughts on the Streamline Fitness?

I like it, I like it a lot! The A.M. workout kind of had a strange feeling for me at first with the set and the fact that she looks more muscle bound in that one than in the Burn and Firm dvd (I’m not crazy about the really muscley look for women, toned and firm is great, but looking like a body builder is not, which she doesn’t totally look like that, but it was just a bit different than what I was used to). But I’m getting used to it now and the morning workout is really great. It works your arms, butt and legs as well as some cardio too.

The P.M. workout is wonderful. It is a bit difficult and I have to quit a bit early during the abdominal workout which is more difficult than the abdominal workout on her Burn and Firm dvd (I can get through that one). But I’ll just keep doing what I can and eventually I know I’ll be able to keep up. After that is more of a Yoga workout which is very calming yet is also a bit difficult when you have to use your leg strength to hold some of the positions, but, again, it will take time for my body to get strengthened which is the whole point of this, isn’t it? I love the fact though that the P.M. workout does cause me to feel very relaxed afterwards.

I have yet to actually workout in the evening with the P.M. workout because I just don’t have time once I get the kids to bed and then the hubby is usually watching a movie at that time too. So I’ll probably just rotate between that and the A.M. workout in the morning.

Plan for This Week (Week 5)

So the plan for this week, which of course I’ve already started since it is Tuesday, is to rotate, like I said, between the A.M. workout and the P.M. workout of Streamline Fitness in the morning since they both workout different parts of the body and I may also throw in the Upper Body section and Lower Body/Abdominals section of the Burn and Firm dvd. And then I will continue with the Cardio section for my afternoon workout from Burn and Firm.

Progress Yet???

I am happy to report that I am finally seeing some progress in my measurements! I tried measuring myself last week on Friday but It seemed I hadn’t really lost much of anything, maybe 1/4 of an inch around the waist and possibly the thighs. Also, I hopped on my moms scale when we went to pick the boys up on Saturday and was very disappointed that I hadn’t lost any weight at all! (in fact it seemed like I had gained 5lbs, but that could have

So here are my measurements as of today:

Waist: 37.5″ (-1/2″)

Hips: 39.5″ (-1/2″)

Thigh: 24 &1/4″ (-1/4″)

Calf: 16&1/4″(-1/4″)

Now, I know my waist and hips are pretty accurate, but it’s hard to tell exactly where I’m measuring on my legs each time, so those could be a little off. I guess it’ll be easier to tell when there are more dramatic improvements.

So that’s my update! I’m feeling much more energetic this week, and I think my cough is finally gone, so I have hopes that this week will be more productive since I feel like putting more Umph into my workouts.

I will also say that I haven’t been as strict on my diet this week, though I still plan on doing my shakes each day, but I was reading that sometimes when we start working out and trying to get in shape, that we could start cutting out too many calories, therefore giving us less energy. So I’m still watching what  I eat, but I may try eating a little more this week.

Give Your Body a Rest

Also, I think it’s important to give your body a rest at intervals, which is why I’m taking 2 days off instead of only 1 on the weekend like I had planned before. Now, last week I was still getting over sickness, I had just upped my workout, and was on my period, so I’m pretty sure that all accounted for my being so tired, but on Saturday, with the kids all gone, my husband and I slept in. Well, I had woke up earlier in the morning, but didn’t look at the clock, thinking it was still somewhat early. The next thing I knew, I looked at the clock and it was nearly 2pm in the afternoon!! Apparently my body was needing the rest because I haven’t done that in a very, very long time.

So, I hope this report was helpful. Feel free to post a comment below about what has worked for you, or what you are doing to lose those extra pounds or just get in better shape this year!



Progress Report for End of Week 3 Fitness

So last week was my 3rd week of working out with Karen Voight’s Burn and Firm. I didn’t quite make the whole week last week since I was sick toward the end, but I did get 4 days in a row in. I pretty much just did the Cardio and upper body sections the first 2 days and then Wednesday I did Cardio and Lower Body/Abdominals, and Thursday I just did Cardio.  All last week I drank a Slim Right shake in the morning (Fred Meyer brand similar to Slim Fast.) and other than that, I didn’t change my diet much more.

So Friday was payday and the cupboards were getting bare anyway, so I went grocery shopping and decided to buy what I need for my green shake that I will use for lunch this week, and lots of fruit, and just the bare minimals for what I’ll need to make meals for all of us mostly from scratch so we won’t be eating much processed foods (which I really don’t think we did that much anyway) and less fat and sugar.


You’re probably wondering what my progress has been. Well, as I said in my first post, I didn’t measure myself until Jan. 4th, so I’ve only had a week of working out since I’ve actually took measurements. Also, I know that I was at 170lbs before starting to work out 3 weeks ago, but I don’t have a scale yet, so I can’t weigh myself at the moment.

As for progress in my measurements? I checked on Saturday and everything was still the same. :(  But, like I said, I didn’t change my diet too much last week and I didn’t workout as many days as I had hoped. Plus it will probably take some time to see those inches come off. The other drawback is that it is about “that time of the month” and I always get bloated at this time, so it’s really hard to say lol.

Plan for This Week…..

But this week the plan is to do my Slim Right shake in the morning, make my Green Shake with Whey Protein Powder at lunch. Maybe have some fruit for snacks and then do a salad for dinner with a small portion of whatever I’m making for everyone else (spaghetti, burritos, etc…..).   Also, I am going to try and do the full circuit every day this week. That’s 45 min. of doing Cardio, Upper Body, Lower Body/Abdominals.

I’ve already started this today and got through the day pretty well, even though I’m still not quite over my sickness, but I am feeling quite a bit better.  I stuck to my menu today even though I really, really wanted to eat more of the biscuits and gravy that I made for dinner tonight! lol And I got my workout in today.

Also, I ordered some Now Foods Eve, Women’s Multi vitamins that sound really good from Amazon (I ordered the men’s for my hubby also), and I also have another of Karen’s workout dvd’s coming called Streamline Fitness (A.M./P.M. Workout). So I may start with adding the morning workout this week too to kind of get me going for the day and then maybe add the PM workout next week right before bed.

So I’m very optimistic about seeing some progress by the end of the week. I have to keep reminding myself not to think too far ahead, but to just focus on each day and doing what I need to do for that day. Trying to focus on the whole week just gets too overwhelming. It really goes for anything you’re trying to accomplish. Sure you need to have short and long term goals, but then you have to keep your focus on the daily things that need to be done in order to accomplish those goals eventually.

Well, that’s it for this progress report! I’ll be posting again next Monday with another update :)

What are your fitness goals this year?


Green Smoothie Recipe with Spinach and Whey Protein Powder

Green Protein Smoothie with Spinach, Banana and Peanut Butter

Here is a very yummy green smoothie recipe that my mom gave me. I think she found it in a magazine or something but I don’t know which one. Anyway, it is really really good. You would think that with as much spinach as it has in it, it would taste too much like spinach. The nice thing about spinach is that it is pretty mild to begin with, so just adding a small amount of some other ingredients, it takes on the flavor of those other ingredients pretty readily so that you really don’t taste the spinach! My kids love it, and I always end up having to share with them ;)

I have been using this shake recipe as my go to health smoothie because it tastes so good and it is easy and affordable! You can just buy a huge bag of spinach at Costco for pretty cheap and also a big tub of Adam’s natural peanut butter, and the bananas. I think it’s probably best to buy the Whey Protein Powder (make sure it’s made using Whey Protein Isolates) online since I’ve checked in my stores around here and they seem more expensive and many don’t use much of the isolates. Plus the cool thing about is that with some of their items, you can do the Subscribe and Save option which gives you a little bit of a discount and free shipping.

Green Smoothie Recipe with Spinach


  • 3 cups of fresh Spinach
  • 1tbls Peanut Butter
  • 1/2 banana
  • 1 scoop Whey Protein Powder
  • 3/4 cup Almond Milk

Now throw all of that into the blender and blend. You may need to do a pulse blend at first to get it going. I like to use this drink for a lunch replacement since I usually try to work out a little bit after lunch.

I hope you enjoy the recipe! Try it out and let me know what you think!


Fitness Goals for 2013 and My Favorite Workout Video!

Karen Voight Burn and Firm Workout Video

Hey there! So I don’t like to make yearly “resolutions” because I think that sometimes causes the mindset that I’ll wait till the first of the year to change.

Well, I am on a mission this year to get fit. Not only lose weight but just get in great shape overall like I used to be.  So I pulled out a workout dvd that I’ve had for a few years, but haven’t used in a long time! Anyway, I got it out just before Christmas and when we got home Christmas Day after stuffing ourselves at my parents house, I decided it was time to start working out. So last the week before last, starting Tuesday night, I worked out 5 days in a row! Pretty cool! The first 3 days I think I only did the cardio section, just trying to get the moves down and then I did lower body/abdominals and then upper body. So then I took 3 days off over New Years, and then started again on Wednesday last week doing the whole circuit the first day, then Thursday I did lower body and cardio, and the same on Friday, and then I ended up taking a break Saturday and Sunday.

So this week I have worked out yesterday and today so far. Yesterday I did just the cardio section and it kicked my rearend! Today I did cardio and upper body. So I’m feeling pretty good about the way this week is shaping up so far.

So, what workout dvd am I talking about? Well, it’s called Karen Voight: Burn & Firm . I really enjoy working out with her. She seems real and not obnoxious as I’ve heard some workout dvd instructors can be. I really have not worked out to any other dvd yet, so I don’t know what some of the other trainers out there are like. But Karen is wonderful and I plan on buying some of her other dvd’s to keep a good variation to my workout routine.

So I didn’t measure myself until Friday, but I don’t think I’ve lost much of  anything yet anyway. My plan is to document on this blog weekly about how things are going and give my measurements for the week. I ended up throwing away my scale last week, only because it is sooooo old and I need to get a new one. I do know my beginning weight though, but I’m not going to focus on weight at the moment. Only measurements.

Also, I have not changed my diet much, aside from naturally not eating as much now that the holidays are over. This week I decided to do Slim Rite drink in the mornings though (store brand similar to Slim Fast). And I may try doing green smoothies next week. We’ll see.

But I am loving working out. And this workout dvd is great for someone like me who is just starting getting back into it. I will say that some of the movements take some time to master, but they aren’t overly difficult, just a bit for someone who is a little uncoordinated lol. A few years ago when I first bought the dvd, I kind of gave up on it partly because of that. But this time around, since starting with doing just the cardio section and just taking my time and not worrying if I mess up, I have actually picked up pretty much all her movements and I can do most of them with confidence now!

So measurements…..

Here are my measurements as of Friday, January 4th

  • Waist: 38″ (Ouch!)
  • Hips 39.75″ (Yikes!)
  • Bust 39.75″
  • Underbust 33.5″
  • Thigh 24.5″
  • Calf 16.5″

And what’s my starting weight? I shudder to say on here, especially since I was nearly 10lbs lighter before Thanksgiving…..

170lbs(at 5′ 4″ in height) according to my old scale, which, of course is usually 5lbs less than any other scale I weigh myself on.

So, that’s that for now! I’ll be posting my progress on Friday and we’ll see if all this work is paying off ;)

My first Youtube Video in Person! Check it out!


Okay, so I’ve been thinking of doing a Youtube video on soy candle making for awhile now and I finally did it! Just so you know, I am not an outgoing person and I hate hearing my own voice usually, let alone seeing myself on tape, but I did the video and thanks to a wonderful camcorder that recorded it all very nicely, I got through it and actually really enjoyed it!

So it is now up on Youtube and I would LOVE it if as many people as possible would go view it. You don’t even have to watch the whole thing if you don’t want to, just a few seconds will do ;)   And if you’re feeling especially generous I would be eternally grateful to anyone who would click “like” on the youtube page for the video :D

This video was done for my other website