Lizzy Lives in L.A.

Living Healthy and Fit in L.A.


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It’s Hard, But Not THAT Hard

…that’s what she said?

It’s an age old saying “Fail to Plan, Plan to Fail”.ย 

They will tell you that if you don’t prep all of your food on Sunday, then you won’t succeed.

They will tell you that if you eat carbs at dinner, then you won’t succeed.

Eating after 8pm? You might as well have done nothing all day.ย 

Ladies and gentlemen, I’m here to dispel some of these MYTHS and give you some tried and true advice that will help.

If you picked out 10 different fitness/health professionals and asked them how to lose weight, you would likely get 10 different responses. Honestly, maybe even 11. The debate is ongoing, but I highly advise that you take the pieces that work for YOU and piece together what is in YOUR best interest. There is no “one way” and it doesn’t have to be insanely hard. (Yes, that means I’m telling you to take what I say with a grain of salt, because I’m not you and you’re not me, and Dr. Seuss would be proud of me.)

When I was preparing to compete in the NPC, I looked like this:

Oh hello there.

Oh hello there.

I sometimes ate 8-10 apples a day (not joking, fruit all hours of the day), oatmeal for dinner was quite frequent (sometimes even at 9 or 10pm!!!), and I rarely prepped all of my food on Sunday. I was lean as f*&^. I got even more shredded than the picture above.

Now I look more like this:

Ab Progress January 14, 2014

Ab Progress January 14, 2014

…but I’m fine with that and still like my body!

The point of the first picture is to prove to you that it doesn’t have to be the hardest thing in the world to lose weight or even get super lean, if that’s your goal. (Clearly my goals are different now than they were in 2009. I want to be leaner, but not as lean as the first picture. I had my fun having the chest of a 6 year old boy, but I appreciate that I’ve stopped confusing my chest size with a very popular automobile club ahemAAAahem).

It DOES take dedication, and I won’t discount that. I was a really clean eater and didn’t eat any processed foods (except for my cheat day once a week).

What I AM here to do, is to give you some helpful tips that will help you get through the parts that are made to seem so difficult. I truly believe that with a little discipline, anyone can make a good change in their life. It doesn’t have to derail your life, and you can still enjoy food. In fact, I think depriving yourself is only a quick fix and can backfire on you over time. Somehow people started getting the vibe that food should be fuel and nothing more. I disagree. While food should primarily be fuel, food is to be enjoyed! There’s a reason that you feel happy when you take a bite of that chocolate chip cookie that’s fresh out of the oven. It’s not an accident.

With that said, here are my tried and true suggestions for anyone looking to get started on the journey to a healthier body (this includes losing weight or just becoming a healthier person)

-Eat a few times per day

This will help to keep your hunger levels in a comfortable place so that you don’t get so ravenous that you start devouring food without even knowing what hit you. No, you don’t have to eat 6 times per day, but try to get at least 3 meal times in. In the end, do what’s comfortable. I don’t necessarily think you should eat 1 meal a day, but if that’s what works for YOU, then who am I to change that? It comes down to….

Eat balanced mealsย 

For your main meals of the day, I truly believe in eating balanced proportions of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. This is not only good for your body (as it needs all three of these), but also keeps you much more satisfied than you would feel if you left something out. Try to include a portion of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates into each meal.

For example: If you order a baked potato(carbs) and butter(fat) and call it a meal, you’re missing out on the protein. Pair that with chicken, tofu, steak, eggs, or whatever protein choice you’d like. (You can even add plain greek yogurt instead of sour cream, and I bet you won’t know the difference!)

-Watch your portion sizes

…but LOAD UP on fruits and veggies. For example: A medium container of strawberries like this is about 65-75 calories.

strawberries Eat the entire thing and tell me if you don’t look 6 months pregnant after that. I’ll likely tell you to eat another and report back. You’re only 150 calories into the hole at this point, so I don’t even feel bad. I’m not saying you HAVE to do this, but I’m telling you it’s one of my tricks. Giant bag of broccoli, a bunch of baby carrots, a container of strawberries, 1-2 apples. While they taste really good (and the fruit options double as a sweet-tooth queller), they also help fill you up so that you don’t feel unsatisfied after a meal and start digging into junk foods. This is definitely one of my best kept (okay, it’s not that well kept) secrets. I usually use the vegetables as my “appetizer” before a balanced meal and the fruit serves as my “dessert” when I’m feeling a hankering for something sweet.

For your main meals, you don’t have to go around measuring all of your food, but a good rule of thumb for each meal is this:

-make the protein part of your meal about the size of your fist

-the starchy carbohydrates portion of your meal should fit in the palm of your hand

-vegetables should be abundant and eat as many as you want (see above.if you start getting fat from eating too many vegetables, write me a letter and send it via pigeon. and P.S. let’s be honest with ourselves, it’s probably not the veggies’ fault…)

-fats should be around 1-2 TBSP

-fruit should be about 1-2 fist sizes, ideally

This is only a starting guide, and can vary from person to person depending on SO many things. Start with this and see how you feel.

Watch ingredients

One of the biggest and healthiest changes I’ve made over the years is watching my ingredient list. My boyfriend and I have become a bit obsessed with checking to make sure that we aren’t being fed random, awful ingredients that aren’t necessary. Thank you, but I don’t need any BUTANE in my food. Yes, they put butane (or as they like to call it BTHQ) in many packaged foods. For “freshness”. And maybe spontaneous combustion. The added high fructose corn syrup and hydrolized palm kernel oil that is put into practically EVERYTHING is also unnecessary. Find brands that choose to use REAL ingredients. Eat fresher foods. Eat local foods (that don’t require so many preservatives). I guarantee you will feel better and healthier by making these simple changes only.

Snack Well

(Not SnackWells!!!)

If you choose items like fruit, vegetables, nuts, nut butters, whole grain or sprouted grain breads, greek yogurt, minimal ingredient snack bars, chicken sausages, etc. you will be good to go! Snacking on empty calories does nothing more than keep your mouth busy. If that’s your goal, you might as well just make out with someone and save the calories! Eat a snack and make it COUNT. Some ideas: almonds and fruit, carrots and hummus, almond butter and celery, hard boiled eggs, Larabar or QuestBar, protein shakes and more!

-Eat the damn cookie

If you NEED a chocolate chip cookie (although you don’t really NEED it, but you catch my drift), eat the damn cookie. Just don’t eat 5 damn cookies.

In the end, it all comes down to having some discipline and a level head while wanting the best for yourself. You don’t have to starve yourself, you don’t have to deprive yourself of your favorite foods, and you don’t have to stop enjoying food. You have to decide that you want to be healthier, first and foremost. While you should enjoy your foods, the majority of them need to also be fuel to you. You will start to notice the difference in how you feel during your workouts (and in life!) as you slowly make these changes. In time, you will find that the foods that fuel you will also satisfy you, and will become the foods you crave. It doesn’t mean you won’t ever want to eat a plate of nachos again, but I do believe that over time, the desire will become less and less. The constant desire for junk will become just an occurrence here and there.

I hope these tips serve you well. I could probably go on for pages with all of the tips I have, so trust me, more blog posts on this subject will be coming!

I am not a doctor, I am not an expert, I am not a magical wizard (although sometimes I like to think I am), so please check with one of those before making any dietary changes or starting a new eating regimen. Listen to your body and go with your gut.ย 

What is the best dietary change that you’ve made?

What do you struggle most with when it comes to eating?


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HIIT It!

It’s only Tuesday?! Monday was crazzzzzzy. I feel like I say that every day actually, but it’s true! I wear many, many hats and sometimes I start losing my mind. ๐Ÿ˜€

This cracked me up!

This cracked me up!

Yesterday I hit up the gym for some HIIT action before my climbing action. I had a few questions as to what I do for HIIT. Maybe you’re even wondering, “Lizzy, why do you keep talking about beating people up?!”. Let me dispel….

HIIT is short for High Intensity Interval Training. It sounds just like it is. The intensity is high, and you’re doing intervals. (Thank you Captain Obvious)

The idea behind it is that you are working at 90-100% for, say, a minute or two, and then giving yourself ample rest (walking, jogging, doing nothing for another minute or two before doing it all over again…and again…and againandagainandagain.

Here are some of the reasons I love HIIT:

1. It is anaerobic, which means that your fast-twitch muscles are recruited, engaging strength and speed. I could get extremely technical on this, but I’ll let you do some googling if you’re really curious (or feel free to e-mail me fitlizzio (at) gmail (dot) com). Your body response with anaerobic work is different than that of aerobic work (such as jogging, walking, etc.). In addition, the “after-burn” as they call it can last up to 8 hours after exercises (sometimes more or less depending on how hard your body worked). This means that your metabolic rate (calorie burning furnace that lives inside your body) will be higher long after your workout finishes.

2. My favorite: It’s quick! While it can be much tougher than just jogging steadily for 30 minutes, it is done in about half the time. You can pick and choose how long you want to do it, but if it’s more than 20 minutes, odds are you aren’t working hard enough during your “working” intervals.

3. It makes me feel strong and keeps me focused. While a nice jog makes me feel refreshed, a hard HIIT session makes me feel like a badass. I like feeling like a badass ๐Ÿ™‚

The beauty of HIIT is that it is different for everyone. My “working” interval may be your rest interval and vice versa. The point is to work to YOUR potential, not mine or anyone else’s.

Here’s a HIIT workout I’ve been doing before my workouts a few days per week. This can be done on a treadmill, or outside. It can be done on a bicycle, elliptical machine, or swimming laps too. The point is simple: Work hard for 1-2 minutes, rest 1-2 minutes, and repeat until you’ve completed about 15-20 minutes.

HIIT IT AND QUIT IT (:-o)

Minutes 0-2: Jog at a leisurely pace (for me, this is 6.5-7.0 mph)

Minutes 2-3: Sprint! 90-100% intensity..go go go!!

Minutes 3-4: Either jog or walk, depending on what you want to do. I like to jog for my “rest” intervals, but walking is completely acceptable. It’s your REST so rest as you see fit.

Repeat minutes 2-4 five more times

This workout will be done in 15 minutes, and if you’re truthfully working to your full potential, I guarantee you will be a sweaty mess by the end!

Happy HIITing!

Okay, not this kind of hitting...

Okay, not this kind of hitting…

Do you prefer HIIT or steady-state cardio?


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5 February Goals

It’s been a crazy week! (Don’t I say that every week?) It’s been a good, productive week, but I’m tired! Going to be nice to hopefully relax a bit this weekend. This week was full of all kinds of exercise: full body metabolic workouts, heavy lifting, bouldering, and a spontaneous Pound class! I’m super sore and excited to close out the week with a little bouldering tonight. I even have battle wounds from punching a rock this week….oops….

Battle Wounds

Battle Wounds

 

As we close out January, it’s time to start figuring out goals for February. It’s a really easy time for people to fall off the wagon as the excitement of the new year subsides, so it’s important to keep on truckin’ along!

 

My 5 Goals for February:

1. Drink more water! Somewhere along the way, I’ve been drinking less water than normal. I’m still drinking enough, but should definitely be drinking more. That is definitely my number one goal!

2. More whole meals. I’ve found myself running out of the house in the morning and grabbing a protein bar and coffee to start my day. I know I could be doing better by giving myself an extra 15 minutes to throw together a wholesome breakfast.

3. Try something new. While I definitely spread myself out with activities (crossfit, bouldering, gym, outdoor activities, etc.) it’s never too late to try something new (or even something old that you haven’t done in a while)! I’m thinking that getting back into boxing or the occasional hip hop dance class will be in my near future.

4. Be more present.ย (And read a book!) We are all trying to do this more. Technology has really messed us up in this way, and staying off of my phone sometimes would be healthy. While it’s tough because of the nature of my job, I am going to try to at least take one evening a night where the computer and cell phone are nowhere in sight until the next morning. {anxiety ensues…}

5. Take a trip. While I have some small trips planned to take care of some things, I want to plan at least one little weekend getaway with the boyfriend so that we can spend some good quality time together away from our normal, daily lives. I truly believe in doing this every month or other month to keep my mind clear and fresh!

 

So what are your goals for February?

They can be fitness/health related, or not at all! They’re YOUR goals, so make them something that YOU want to achieve.

HAPPY FEBRUARY!

HAPPY FEBRUARY!


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5 Tips To Get Yourself To The Gym

It’s almost Friday!!! Weeeee. I’m excited because this is the first weekend in a while that won’t be TOO crazy. I have a friends birthday to attend (we’re going paddle boarding and doing yoga!) and I’m filming a short workout with the WBBC crew on Saturday afternoon. Sunday will be spent lazing around and of course, watching the SuperBowl. Is it bad that I’m hoping for an epic storm so that the game is even more intense? {evil grin}

I get asked ALL the time from friends, co-workers, members of the gym, etc. how I stay motivated to work out as much as I do. The truth is, there are PLENTY of times when I want to do nothing more than sit on the couch and be lazy. If I did that every time I felt like that, I’d probably work out 1-2 days per week. Once I get going, I’m all about it, but getting there can be tough. Ya feel me?!

5 Tips To Get Yourself To The Gym

  1. Get dressed. Plain and simple. It sounds weird and stupid, but once you have your workout clothes and shoes on, sometimes it feels just a bit easier to get in the car….which brings me to my next tip…
  2. Get in the car and GO. I don’t care if you have it in your head that you are going to drive there, walk in, and walk right out. At least give yourself the chance to stay. I truly feel that 95% of the battle is showing up. I think that is just in general life too. ๐Ÿ™‚
  3. Do something you enjoy. If I had to take yoga every day, chances are I’d just be lazy and never go. Why? Because I don’t like yoga. Sure, it’s good for me, but I don’t like it. There are plenty of things that I do like that others don’t like. The secret? Find something you DO like. There is something for everyone and I truly believe that. If you haven’t found it yet, don’t give up. Keep trying new classes, new workout styles, etc. I guarantee you will find something you enjoy!
  4. Don’t feel pressured. It’s not all or nothing. Something is better than nothing. If you get to the gym and only do half of your workout, then you did half more than you would have done originally. Now, I’m not saying that you get to use that pass EVERY time, but it’s okay to not finish sometimes. Some days, your body just doesn’t want to work, and that’s okay. Do what you can for that day, and do it to your best ability. There will be plenty of days where you’re feelin’ the fire and will just knock your workout out of the park!
  5. Make a date. Sometimes, you just know you’re not going to do it on your own. If you make a date with a friend to do it, the odds of you showing up are much, much better. I can tell you from personal experience that there have been many times that I’ve wanted to skip a workout or bouldering session, but I knew someone would be disappointed if I bailed on them so I went anyways. The result most of the time? I have a blast, get to hang with my friends, and get a good workout in to boot.

BONUS TIP: Writing your workout down on paper, in your calendar, on your Facebook page, on your forehead, etc. can make you feel more accountable to do your workout. Try it for a week and see if your success rate is better. ๐Ÿ™‚

So there you have it. We all have good days and bad days, but if you stick to your guns and only rest when it’s *truly* needed, I can guarantee you will start showing up to more of your workouts.

I hope this was helpful! I would love to hear your additional suggestions in the comments! Let’s get a good discussion going!


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Coughing Sucks and Workouts for the Week

Today starts the beginning of week 3 of boot camp, but I thought I’d recap the first two weeks of it.

These workouts are FUN! I’ve never worked out in a setting where partner work was such a big portion of it. Sure, I’ve worked out with other people or in groups, but you always went off and did your own thing. This is different because the work is done with a partner very often. I’m finding that this “i like to work out alone” girl is quite enjoying this change of pace!

Unfortunately, I’m battling a gnarly cough at the moment. It started with flu-like symptoms (minus the puking, thankfully) and by the 3rd day, the achiness had left and the coughing had begun. I’m on day 7 and really, cough, any day now would be a great one for you to get the hell out of here! Regardless, I’m still pushing through. Taking more rest days than I’m used to, but trucking along nonetheless.

 

boot camp day 3Doing abs after the workout Saturday

This week’s workout plan:ย 

Monday: Rest (coughing lungs up, no bueno)

Tuesday: 30 minutes of cardio; WBBC

Wednesday: Strength Train; Bouldering

Thursday: 30 minutes of cardio; WBBC

Friday: Strength Train; Bouldering

Saturday: WBBC

Sunday: Rest or Yoga?

I have a really hard time settling down for yoga. I just have never been able to get into it. Maybe it’s because I’m not good at it? Any tips to help me “find my center?” Everyone says its all about the teacher. I’ve tried several and while they’re great, it’s just not me. I like to run and jump and lift heavy things. But I do think it would be good for me. HELP!!

 


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The 6-Week Challenge: WBBC

Wowza! It’s been a while. I’ve been a busy little bee, working my tail off. But hopefully I’ll be posting a bit more as of now. Hope you’re having a great week! November is truckin’ along….

News:

This past Saturday (November 2nd) marked the 1st day of the WBBC 6 Week Challenge. What is the WBBC you ask?

WBBC Logo

The World’s Best Boot Camp is just as it implies. It was started by a former Desert Storm Vet, John Burch. I met John at my gym in Santa Monica and when he told me about the upcoming challenge, I was all about it.

WBBC Day 1 StretchHere’s a photo of me doing a dynamic stretch on Day 1

So what does the 6 week challenge entail? Well, as you can imagine, I will be attending a boot camp 2-3 times per week that focuses on a lot of the basic movements mixed with CrossFit movements: squats, push-ups, sit-ups, burpees, kettlebells, and more! The other part of the challenge includes cleaning up my diet (which is pretty clean already, but tightening up a bit), and doing my personal best to accomplish my goals.

To give a little insight, on Day 1, we did a baseline workout and took measurements. I will be doing some video diaries each week to update my progress (I’ll post the links as soon as they’re posted each week) and I’m hoping to come out with successfuly results at the end! By December 14th, I will be re-testing my baseline workout from Day 1 and taking measurements again. I’m IN IT TO WIN IT and hoping that I will have some GREAT results to share!

There is no better time than now as the holidays approach, so I’m pretty excited. While I’m pretty comfortable in my body and like the way I look now, I am excited to lean out a bit more and as the slogan says, “have the most fun proving myself!” Love that.

Goals:ย 

I want to be 100% compliant. What does this mean for me?

-I will attend bootcamp 2-3 times per week

-I will stick to my diet 6 days per week with one day to splurge (within reason of course)

-I will get enough rest and WATER

-I will continue running, rock climbing, weight lifting, and all of the other activities that I do in between boot camp days.

For the first time since I competed in 2009, I feel ready for this. I’ve actually felt ready for a while, but I needed something like this to come along to spark my fire and get me going again. In good fashion, I dragged my boyfriend into the competition as well. On a weekly basis, he tells me he needs to lose 10 lbs, so I’ve enlisted him in the challenge with me! While he won’t do all of the workouts that I do, he will be following the diet with me.

I would love for you all to follow me along on this journey! I will be posting pictures, videos, thoughts, challenges, and more!

Have you ever done a challenge?

What motivates you the most?


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Race Recap: Malibu Canyon Dirt Dash 2013

Hey all!

 

Wow, what a week/weekend/month this has been. Can you believe we’re in the final week of September? I can’t. I’m definitely ready for the holidays and fall weather!

Race Recap

This past Saturday, I participated in the Malibu Canyon Dirt Dash. As I was looking for races online a few months ago, this one caught my eye. The price was right, and the challenge seemed like a fun one. You had the option to run a 5k Trail Run, 10k Trail Run, or 5k Obstacle Course/Mud Run. You could also choose to run the trail run AND the mud run. I decided I was up for the challenge and signed up for the 5k Trail Run followed by the 5k Mud Run. A decision that made me question my insanity multiple times on Saturday…

hm_header

5am: The alarm clock went off and it was time to get ready and head out. We hopped in the car, made a few stops for staples like gum and egg/cheese bagels (this was a gamble as to whether it would sit well in my stomach; it worked fine), and made the 30 minute drive to Malibu.

6:45am: We arrive at the destination. I got my race bib and chip and we walked around for a bit to see what the competition was like. I’m not competitive at all. ๐Ÿ™‚ There weren’t many vendors, as it was a small race. I was nervous for this race, as I’d been training a bit but mostly on flat roads, not trails. I wasn’t sure what to expect.

7:45am: They called all of the 5k Trail Run participants to the starting line. I grabbed my headphones, got my music going, and stood near the front while my heart raced. It was serious mode time and I was ready to go. I was excited and nervous all at once. I was really hoping to break a PR, but just didn’t want to finish feeling disappointed.

8am: The gun went off and out I went. The first few hundred yards of the race was through wood chips. If you’ve never done this before, it’s a cross between running through dirt and running through loose sand. It was difficult and kind of nerve-racking since my ankles didn’t feel very stable. Soon enough, we settled into dirt trails and I was feeling pretty good. I knew I was pushing myself hard, but when my 1st mile pace was around 7 minutes, I knew I had started way too fast. I am an 8-8:15 pace runner. I was surprised with how long I was able to sustain that. I came up on mile 2 and was still feeling like I could keep it up for a bit longer (although I was definitely feeling it). I think at this point I was running at about a 7:15 pace.

At mile 3, I realized we were about to run UP THE MOUNTAIN. I didn’t look at the course map too well beforehand and failed to realize that the final part of the race was almost completely uphill. My pace slowed a ton and I even had to walk for a few seconds at the top of one of the hills. I tried not to, but I couldn’t breathe at one point. I think I was at around a 9-9:15 pace through this.

After my short walk break, I started running again and decided that even if I felt like I was going to puke, I was going to run my heart out. The course actually ended up being longer than 3.1 miles (3.31) so I knew my time wouldn’t be the 25:30ish I’d hoped for.

I crossed the finish line feeling like I was going to die, but feeling that I had given it everything I had. I knew that I couldn’t have given it any more. That’s a good feeling. My final time was around 27:22. I was good with that considering the uphill and the extra .2 miles.

Since my genius brain had signed me up for the first wave of the mud run (I picked the 9am start time, so I basically got a 30 minute break before my next 5k on the SAME TRAIL, but not with obstacles too!), I didn’t have much time to chill. At this point, I was quite sure that I was crazy for signing up for both races. I didn’t have a ton left in me and made the executive decision that I didn’t have any time goals for this and it was going to purely be fun. If I needed to walk, I would walk (although I didn’t end up having to). I ate a few Sharkies and headed to the start once again.

9am: Once again, the gun went off and I set out on the same trail. My legs literally felt like led stumps. They were HEAVY. The first 1.5 miles was just running. I fell into a comfortable pace and just waited until I came up to some obstacles. I was probably running around 8:45-9 min. miles. At around 1.75 miles, the obstacles started. This was all new to me, but I knew I’d love it. There were piles of tires to climb over, walls to climb over, slippery hills, mud crawls, tunnels, rope climbs etc. I was tired and pushing everything I had, but it was SO much fun.

I crossed the finish line in about 38 minutes. I was done and felt completely exhausted. In an amazing way.

As I was showering off and trying to decide if I should just throw away all of my clothes and shoes (and maybe myself?), I heard my name over the loud speaker. It took me a second to realize what was going on, but my boyfriend and I looked at each other and realized what the announcer had said. “1st Place, Lizzy Ostro!!!!” My eyes got wide and I ran to the stage to collect my medal. It was SO unexpected and it solidified all the hard training I had put in and the hard work that I had mustered out throughout the race.

photo

This race was SMALL, so it wasn’t like winning the Rock n’ Roll Marathon, but I was still happy with how I did. I got 1st place out of 10 in my age group, 4th female overall, and 10th runner overall out of 66 participants.

I would highly recommend running this race if you are local in LA. It was a small but well put together race. Everyone was extremely nice, the course was mapped out pretty well, and the price of the entry for both races was very reasonable. I think I paid around $65 total for both races.

What is the best race you’ve ever run?

Any fun races in LA I should know about?