The mountains are calling, and i must go

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Jessica, y'all.

SW: 185 lbs
over 40% body fat
CW: 123-125 lbs
20% body fat
UGW: 110 lbs HEALTHY & FIT

I am a 4'10" 27-year-old southern belle living in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains: Asheville, North Carolina. I find beauty in simplicity. I have 3 dogs (Yoda, Oliver, Dallas), 1 cat (Gibson), and 10 chickens (Ladybird, Buckbeak, Jerry Lee Lewis, Fleur, Dolly Parton, Miss Audrey Williams, Dixie, Jolene, Lucy & Ethel).

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I lost 55 lbs between December 2011 and December 2012 through exercise and healthy eating and am currently working on burning off the little bit of fat I have left and building more muscle. I love hiking, kickboxing, turbo kick, lifting weights, and tabata/athletic conditioning/circuit training. In 2014 I will be completing my Spartan Trifecta. Races I have conquered thus far: Hero Rush, Run for Your Lives, Charlotte Spartan Sprint, Mont Tremblant Super Spartan, Tough Mudder Carolinas.

(here is my face)

(here are my weight loss posts)

(here are frequently asked questions)

(here are posts about raising urban chickens)

(here is my Facebook fitness/fan page)

I’ve been lacking in the selfie department lately. I’m still kickin’.

I’ve been lacking in the selfie department lately. I’m still kickin’.

No pain, no gain.

No pain, no gain.

Anonymous asked: I've been using myfitnesspal to help me become fitter (therefore ultimately leading to weight loss). I'm currently 240lbs and have a short term goal of 220lbs. I'm sticking to 1600kcal/day as mfp suggested but finding it incredibly hard to make up the calories on my training days. Should I stick to my 1600kcal on training days or make up the extra ~500kcal I'm loosing via exercise. If so, what kinds of food would be best on training days?

I personally don’t use MFP, but I used to, and although I liked it for helping me track calories, I did not like the recommendations it made. Use this IIFYM calculator. It will calculate your BMR (how many calories your body burns at rest, which does not include normal daily activities) and your TDEE (how many calories your body burns at rest, with normal daily activities, and with regular exercise). That will give you a better idea of how many you should be eating at a bare minimum per day on rest days v. days you exercise in order to maintain your weight. Use the Mifflin-St Jeor formula unless you know your body fat % and then use the Katch-McCardle formula for better accuracy. Subtract approx. 20% of your daily calories from your TDEE for healthy fat loss.

For example, using the Katch-McCardle formula, my BMR is approx. 1300 calories and my TDEE is approx. 2000 calories (5 days/wk intense exercise). That means I should be eating around 1600 calories a day on my days of intense exercise for healthy fat loss, and a MINIMUM of 1300 calories on my rest days. As a rule of thumb, I always make sure I eat my minimum, but I also always eat when I’m hungry. If I’m not hungry, as long as I’m meeting the minimum, I’m fine. If I’m hungry, I’ll eat more. Your body is good at telling you what it needs :)

As far as what to eat, I try to eat around 80% whole/minimally processed foods. Lean meats, fruits, veggies, eggs, nuts, seeds, and small amounts of sprouted, whole grains. Once a day I let myself have something more processed…a Skinny Cow ice cream is usually the culprit, haha. I think you should treat your body nicely whether you are working out that day or not. Nutrition plays a huge role in your fitness results.

Hope this helps! :) IIFYM will also help you calculate your macros if that is something you are interested in.

#imadouche

#imadouche

My co-teacher and some of the students’ parents got together a huge basket of goodies for me to use in my own classroom. They have already done so much for me, and this was just above and beyond. All the kids signed a school shirt for me, too. So so sweet. I can’t believe they were able to keep it a secret! They were all so excited to see my reaction (I almost cried). Tomorrow is my last day of student teaching and it’s going to feel so weird to not wake up and head to my grade 2 every morning. 😢

My co-teacher and some of the students’ parents got together a huge basket of goodies for me to use in my own classroom. They have already done so much for me, and this was just above and beyond. All the kids signed a school shirt for me, too. So so sweet. I can’t believe they were able to keep it a secret! They were all so excited to see my reaction (I almost cried). Tomorrow is my last day of student teaching and it’s going to feel so weird to not wake up and head to my grade 2 every morning. 😢

God, I hate running.

God, I hate running.

I made chicken tacos for dinner 😋

I made chicken tacos for dinner 😋

The 5k I ran today was the same 5k I ran in 2012, 4 months after I began my fitness journey. It was my first 5k and I finished in 45 minutes. Today, I finished in 32 minutes. I’m still not the fastest runner, but shaving 13 minutes off my finish time feels like an amazing accomplishment.

Run for the Paws 5k! All proceeds went to Brother Wolf Animal Rescue 🐾 (at Fletcher Community Park)

Run for the Paws 5k! All proceeds went to Brother Wolf Animal Rescue 🐾 (at Fletcher Community Park)

Post-race noms: a grilled chicken sandwich with cheddar, bacon, lettuce, tomato, and onion & a spinach salad w/ onions, tomatoes, cucumbers, and soy ginger dressing. (at Universal Joint)

Post-race noms: a grilled chicken sandwich with cheddar, bacon, lettuce, tomato, and onion & a spinach salad w/ onions, tomatoes, cucumbers, and soy ginger dressing. (at Universal Joint)