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Thursday, June 22, 2017

My Mini Autobiography...

Day 1: The story of your life in 250 words or less 
(or one paragraph... no one will be counting your words... probably)

Ok, so here goes nothing. Enjoy!

I will be turning 36 in September! I married the love of my life on February 18th, 2011. I have 4 beautiful babies. They have all taught me things about life and have opened my heart to the deepest love I’ve ever felt. 

My husband works hard so that I am able to stay at home, raise our kiddo's and now cheer me on to finish my bachelors degree then onto my masters. 

I’ve been to the Bahama's, Ireland and currently live in England (UK).  We will be going to Scotland next month for a week, and I'm super excited about it. 

I’m very shy until I open up to you, but once I do there’s no letting go. I love with all my heart and live every day like it might be my last. 

Life so far has been an extraordinary ride and I can’t wait to see where it takes me. 

Challenging Myself...

I know, I know. I've seriously been slaking on my blogging. Every since my hip accident I've been the definition of a hot mess. This injury hasn't only effect me physically but seriously mentally. I've been in a downward spiral for about a month now. After lots of prayers and meditation I'm finally crawling out of that dark blackness of sadness and finding me again.

With that being said, I recently came across a challenge that I thought might help.
What's the challenge? 
To blog EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. 

Oh my Gosh! I can barely blog once a month, but now I'm being challenged to blog every day.
Can I do this? 
I'm totally up for the task.

Now for the rules:

1. There really aren't any rules. 
If you miss a day, you can make it up or skip it. 
The blog police will not come knocking.

2. You can still post other things every day, too. I'm sure some days I'll have more to blog about (a.k.a. our upcoming vacation to Scotland!)

3. Here are the topics. You can be as creative and awesome or as boring and bland as you like with these. Take 'em and run with it. Use creative post titles. Interpret each "prompt" however you like. There's no wrong way to do it. Have fun.

Day 1: The story of your life in 250 words or less 
(or one paragraph... no one will be counting your words... probably)

Day 2: Educate us on something you know a lot about or are good at. 
Take any approach you'd like (serious and educational or funny and sarcastic.)

Day 3: Things that make you uncomfortable

Day 4: Favorite quote (from a person, from a book, etc) and why you love it

Day 5: Publicly profess your love and devotion for one of your friends. What makes them great? Why do you love them? 

Day 6: If you couldn't answer with your job, how would you answer the question, 'what do you do'?

Day 7: The thing(s) you're most afraid of

Day 8: A piece of advice you have for others. Anything at all.

Day 9: A moment in your day (this can be just a photo or both a photo and words)

Day 10: Most embarrassing moment (s). Spill. 

Day 11: Sell yourself in 10 words or less

Day 12What do you miss? (a person, a thing, a place, a time of your life...)

Day 13Issue a public apology. This can be as funny or as serious or as creative as you want it to be.

Day 14: Ten things that make you really happy

Day 15: A Day in the life 
(include photos from throughout your typical day - this could be "a photo an hour" if you'd like)

Day 16: Something difficult about your "lot in life" and how you're working to overcome it

Day 17: A favorite photo of yourself and why

Day 18: Tell a story from your childhood. 
Dig deep and try to be descriptive about what you remember and how you felt.

Day 19: Five of your favorite books and what you love about them

Day 20: Get real. Share something you're struggling with right now.

Day 21: A list of links to your favorite posts in your archives

Day 22Rant about something. Get up on your soapbox and tell us how you really feel. 
(a pet peeve, a current event, a controversial topic, something your husband 
or roommate or neighbor or boss does that really ticks you off)

Day 23: Things you've learned that school won't teach you

Day 24: Your top 3 worst traits

Day 25: Something someone told you about yourself that you'll never forget (good or bad)

Day 26: Something you read online. Leave a link and discuss, if you'd like.

Day 27: A letter to your readers

Day 28Only pictures

Day 29: Five songs or pieces of music that speak to you or bring back memories. 

Day 30: React to this term: Letting Go

Day 31: A vivid memory

Who's going to do this challenge with me?

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Patch+Pill+Shake=Weight Loss...Yep just another SCAM...

Okay so the time has came that I talk about the lovely new product by Le-Vel. 


I keep seeing this bullsh*t all over my FB & IG and I just roll my eyes every single time.Y'all must have all gotten together and drank the Le-Vel kool-aid and are now all sales person. 

One girl on my IG went out of her way to send me a link...

{Hold up...pause, I feel like its important to first say I NEVER ask this chick about Le-Vel or anything about weight loss. Shit I don't even follow her, she just thought I would "totally be interested" in it. Okay now back to what I was saying} 

... So she sent me to this terrifying thread where I watched people with no flipping clue about nutrition or performance babble on and on about this "amazing" product that only pros in-the-know use. 

There were claims of how ...

"we don't get enough vitamins in our modern depleted soil," 
"disease can't survive in an alkaline body," 
and the old trope of "flushing" and "detoxing."  

On top of all that usual garbage, it is an obvious sales scheme to prey on the weak who haven't been properly educated on how to lose weight, or those who are just too lazy to even try or those who want quick/easy fixes.

So how does it (allegedly) work? 

Well, what you're supposed to do is take two capsules of Thrive for Women or Men on an empty stomach, first thing in the morning. 20-40 minutes after that, you are supposed to drink a Thrive Lifestyle Mix Shake and stick a Thrive DFT Patch on your skin, then go about your day. That's it! 

...Wait, what the fuck is a "DFT" patch? 

DFT stands for Derma (skin) Fusion (blend into) Technology (sticker). So it soaks into your skin through a sticker like a neon-colored quit-smoking patch or a birth control patch. 

I'm sure it looks real cool, tho. 

So what is all this mumbo-jumbo that I'm suppose to be swallowing and absorbing into my blood steam all day? Let's check...

B Vitamins, primarily. Let me break the "proprietary blend" down for you:

Guarana: stimulant, contains caffeine. Evidence does not support it does anything, other than contain caffeine. It can be used safely, but it's possibly unsafe if used in high doses and mixed with a lot of other stimulants.

Green Tea: Contains polyphenols, which may or may not be beneficial, another bit of caffeine. 

Glucosamine: Derived from shellfish (allergy alert!) Very little evidence to support it improving joint flexibility. There is some evidence it may provide relief from knee pain, specifically, in certain doses, when taken consistently for at least eight weeks. If that's your oddly specific issue.

White Willow: Anti-inflammatory. In layman's terms, it's aspirin. 

Glutamine: Amino acid that promotes muscle recovery. Evidence isn't what I'd call slam-dunk. And, besides, you need GRAMS of this stuff, not a sprinkle in a capsule. I cannot imagine this dose (whatever it could be) to be effective at all. 

Green Coffee Bean: Another stimulant. Caffeine. 

PEA: Phenylethylamine. A neurotransmitter that stimulates feelings of happiness and positivity, commonly found in chocolate. But it's metabolized too fast by the body to do anything. Useless in this form. 

Kelp: A blood thinner. Not to mention it can be unsafe. Too much iodine can whack out your thyroid, a lot of it contains arsenic because they're pulling it form contaminated waters to meet misguided consumer demand, and it's high potassium content can damage your kidneys.

Irvingia Extract: No evidence to support it's "fat burner" claims.  None.

BCAAs: Branched-chain amino acids, another recovery supplement for muscle repair and energy. The evidence is slightly better than the outright bullsh*t, but unless you are training really hard in the gym, you get these from your diet with no need for more.

Theobromine: A milder caffeine-like alkaloid found in chocolate. 

Ginger: My guess is to calm your stomach from having to digest all this garbage on an empty stomach. 

Synephrine: Another stimulant, because we clearly don't have enough already. On the "watched" substance list by the NCAA.

Aspartic Acid: Not sure if it's d-aspartic acid, considered a testosterone booster or Aspartic Acid which is some Aruvedic bullsh*t. (What's Aruvedic? Mystical/naturo/homeopathy of Indian origin.) 

L-Serine: Amino acid that helps your body perform the chain reaction to create serotonin and relieve stress and anxiety. I'm sure there is a bs claim as to why it is here and zero evidence to support it, especially in this dose and for what.

L-Arganine: Another amino acid used for nitric oxide boosting (it widens your blood vessels to improve blood flow), also stimulates growth hormone and insulin production. Mixed evidence as to whether it improves athletic performance or not. 

Grape Seed: Antioxidant bs.

CoQ10: Antioxidant bs.

White Tea: More antioxidant bs.

So far, we have stimulants for "ENERGY" and "FOCUS", blood thinners/anti-inflammatories to make your aches and pains go away.

A bunch of WOO WOO herbs that do nothing and amino acids that might do something but not at such a small dose. 

A cup of coffee and an aspirin might be cheaper, 
but whatever.

Let's "drink the kool-aid" and move on to the Lifestyle Mix Shake.

I see a weak vitamin profile. But, with pills, shakes and patches, you wouldn't want to overdo it. Let's look at the "Proprietary Blend": 

Garcinia Fruit Extract: Do you remember that time Dr. Oz was dragged before congress for being a lying, scamming, piece of shit con-artist, hawking weight-loss supplements that didn't work? Yeah, Garcinia Cambogia was that weight-loss supplement. 

Oat Fiber: To make you feel full, appetite suppressant. 

Black Tea: Surprise! More caffeine! 

Lactobacilius Acidophilus: Probiotic. 

Bromelian: Another anti-inflammatory.

Rice Bran: No evidence to support claims of enhancing athletic performance, supporting the immune system or being an antioxidant. But it has a lot of fiber, which might help you feel full. 

Amylase 5000, Cellulase 1000, Lipase 1000, Papain 6000, Protease 1000, Protease 5000: Enzymes used to help digestion, break down fat, usually used only when people are really sick with pancreatic cancer or things like that. Can cause nausea, cramps and diarrhea. 

Cardamom, Ginger, Cinnamon: Spices. They don't make you healthier, cure cancer or fight your diseases. 

Protein Blend: 15 grams of protein is weak. Not only that, but it is mostly cheap soy protein. With so many excellent proteins on the market, this is C-List shit. 

In conclusion, we have FIBER and ENZYMES that make you un-hungry and more stims!

Now, who wants to put on the patch?

ForsLean: Forskolin. Only one study has shown this supplement to increase lean body mass, and that one is from Sabsina, the same herbal supplement company that makes this stuff. Coincidence? 

Green Coffee Bean: Holy shit, how much caffeine have we taken so far?

Garcinia Cambogia: More Dr. Oz snake oil. (see above)

CoQ10: a coenzyme for boosting energy in muscles, little to no solid evidence that the supplement form works, but high doses cause insomnia. 

White Willow Bark: More Aspirin. Since all this other recovery shit doesn't work, we need to feel like we're not sore.

Cosmoperine: Piperdine. Black pepper, supposedly helps enhance absorption. Interestingly, I can only find one study from a Doctor in India that supports this claim. My guess is if I dug deeper, he probably works for Sabsina.  

What can we take away from all of this?

Stimulants, Appetite Suppressants, and Aspirn/Anti-Inflammatories.

Energetic?

Pain Free?

Not Hungry?

DUH!

You're basically drinking a few cups of coffee, taking some aspirin, and drinking a lump of fiber all for $100-300 a month. All the rest is nonsense.


Look, supplements are a totally unregulated industry. Questionable studies, conclusion jumping and over-hyping efficacy are standard practices in the quest to create the next big miracle. $$$$$! 

At best, you may get a decent product that doesn't do much for you.

At worst, you could get hurt. 


Makes you re-think having who-knows-what seeping into your skin all day. 
(Or at least I hope it does.) 

Do you want to know the BIGGEST SECRET in the industry?

Fitness model bodies are unattainable without years of hard work, micromanaging your diet, and having special enhancements. Whether they be surgical, hormonal or simply good ol'photoshop.

I personally lost 85 lbs by working out at home, and filling my body with SUPERFOODS/Clean foods. No supplements. No magic. No wraps. No patches.


There is no wrap, no pill, no magic ANYTHING to make it easy. Be the best you, first. Don't try to be some magazine body type. 

Later on, if you decide you want to get serious about your training, or be an athlete, there are supplements that do help promote lean body mass, aid recovery, and boost short-term energy. 

But, until then, a shot of Beachbodys all natural Energize, perhaps a a daily dose of Superfood Shakeology for variety is all you really need. 

The only thing you don't get is the way cool stickers and the placebo effect that the $100-$300 buys. But then again, you still have your $100-$300. 

Don't fall victim to this stuff, guys. Just don't.

And if you need help to start your journey or continue on your journey you can always email me direct. I'm always here to help. {MandyIrizarry@gmail.com}


Friday, March 24, 2017

Let go of “fine” and embrace what could be...

The transformation story…
I didn’t realize how badly my body had slipped away from me during my 4th pregnancy.  I hardly had time to eat, let alone shower between everything we had going on.  Then few months (6 weeks to be exact) after Rowans birth, I was using the medicine cabinet mirror to put my make up on.  I had just gotten out of what probably was my only shower in three days, and I caught a glimpse of myself in medicine cabinet mirror.  I cringed.  And then I cried.  What happened to me?


I’m pretty sure that up until that point, I had managed to fool myself into thinking I could eat whatever I wanted, and still look and feel just “fine” to others and even myself, hiding in loose-fitting clothes.  My tears revealed the truth.  I wasn’t “fine.”  I didn’t feel comfortable in my skin and I wanted to be as beautiful on the outside as I felt on the inside.  
So… after a good cry in my underwear, I decided to take some full body pictures of myself.  I was adamant that this was the last time I would be “fine”.  I didn’t want to be fine, I wanted to LOOK and FEEL GREAT.  I wanted more energy.  I wanted to make it through to the end of the day without a melt down.  In my new world of motherhood and doing everything and anything for everybody else, I wanted something for MYSELF.
I’m no fitness supermodel.  I wasn’t a college athlete.  I’m just a mom that wanted to regain her identity.  I wasn’t born with the “skinny gene.”  Obesity runs in my family lines.  However, I was born with the “try hard” gene and I strive for personal growth.


Lipstick & Lunges is bringing you the “5 Steps to the Best Shape of My Life” series.  Regardless of where you are on your journey for personal health and fitness, I hope that you’ll take a look at what I believe are the KEY factors for success in our own lives.  Let today be the day you decide to change your mindset.  Let go of “fine” and embrace what could be. Join a community of women who are striving to be the very best version of themselves.
Follow us Instagram@Lipstick.Lunges  and on my personal Facebook where I love getting personal.  You can also subscribe to Lipstick & Lunges blog for healthy recipes, workouts, and most of  all inspiration and encouragement!

Check back tomorrow for Step 1 in the 5 Steps to the Best Shape of My Life series.
You can do this and we are here to support you along the way!  We can’t wait to see you shine!


Thursday, March 23, 2017

"Dieting" is a made up concept...

  

Diet: the kinds of food that a person, animal, 
or community habitually eats.

Everyone has this misconception that a diet is a restriction or limitation of foods.

A deficit of calories or cutting out food groups.
                                                         
No. No. No!

My diet is my lifestyle. I choose to eat healthy, but it’s a maintainable consistent diet. 
I don’t deprive myself of calories, I don’t miss out on social gatherings 
because I’m “dieting” and I definitely don’t cut out food groups!

Additionally, I don’t go more than 3 hours without eating.  This is especially important if you are trying to lose weight, and feel free to disagree with me on this.

​When you go hours without eating, to the point where your stomach is aching, maybe you have a headache or your energy levels are low, your body is in catabolic status. Meaning it thinks it’s in starvation mode. If you are in this status once every day, or more than once a day your body starts to store all the fat it can, making it impossible for weight loss! If you’re familiar with this, you may even be having a hard time building muscle. Yes, this is because your body is utilizing the proteins as an energy source because that’s its last option!

Eating every hour and half, allows my metabolism to be turned on all the time. I’m burning the energy I’m eating and constantly keeping my system active.

So if you’re someone whose been trying to lose weight, going to the gym every day, maybe twice a day, and eating 1000-1200 calories but not seeing any weight loss, maybe even weight gain, that’s because you’re not eating enough! If you’re on a workout routine and you’re highly active, eat AT LEAST every two hours.

FUEL YOUR BODY!


Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Change the way you think about yourself...

We have all heard the saying “You are what you eat.” 


While what we eat and what we do for physical activity are important aspects of maintaining a healthy lifestyle, it is important to try and keep balance mentally as well.

Today I am going to touch a little upon the mental side of things.  I’m going to put myself out there and say that this is probably my biggest area of weakness.  I’m going to give you some tips to help retrain your brain to think and believe the good and positive things you have going for you.
In general I like to think of myself as a happy and positive person. I’m great at encouraging and motivating others, I can help others find the silver lining in a rain cloud, and I can help people keep things in perspective. What I sometimes have trouble with is doing these same things for myself. Doesn’t really make sense does it?
Some negative thoughts that I sometimes find floating in my head.
I could never start my own personal training business
There is no way I could run a 5K
I’m  not good enough for this or that
I don’t have what it takes for {fill in the blank}
What do these thoughts have in common? They are all negative and none of them are based off of any definite truth.
These thoughts are toxic.
When these negative thoughts creep in and set up camp in my head it becomes hard for me to focus on what’s important. I find myself worrying about the future instead of living in and enjoying the present.
If left alone, this can start to wreak havoc all over, on relationships with family and friends, on making poor food and fitness decisions, losing sleep, missing great opportunities, being happy, increasing stress hormones…
How can we expect anything awesome to happen if we are only thinking the worst?
Maybe you look in the mirror and think, “My legs are too big or my belly isn’t flat enough.”   This may lead you to get discouraged and skip workouts or eat unhealthy because you think “It won’t matter. I won’t ever look the way I want to anyway.” Just as it is important to speak words of life into others, it is just as, if not more, important for you to speak words of life into yourself. Believe in  yourself, love yourself, give yourself grace if you are having a bad day or make a bad choice.
Embrace who you are and the process of your journey.
Here are some ways that I try to train my brain to produce and believe positive thoughts:
  1. Post an affirmation on your dresser or bathroom mirror where you will see it every morning. Read this out loud every morning.
  2. Hang out with encouraging and positive people. “Surround yourself with people who are only going to lift you higher.” – Oprah Winfrey.
  3. Read, listen, or watch only positive things. 
  4. Write down one thing you are looking forward to in that day every morning. In the evening write down at least 3 positive things that happened that day.
  5. Keep a journal. I just started my very first journal recently. I have always been afraid to write down my raw unedited thoughts on paper but have surprisingly found it very therapeutic.
  6. Encourage someone else. Volunteering fits in here too. Send a text, make a call, have a visit. I find that when I am putting my energy towards helping others it not only acts as a distraction but it makes me feel good too. :)

So the next time you catch yourself with recurring negative thoughts take a moment to really think about if it they true or not. There is a good chance they are not and you have the power to stop that destructive thinking in its tracks.
Change the way you think about yourself- 
watch your life change!