GOOD-BYE HOT BOD

My fitness journey is finally over, and so it my determination to work out.

It’s bittersweet knowing my time at university is over.  This semester was a wild ride that felt like it flew by in 8 seconds, but a very rough 8 seconds – I think I barely held on.  This includes keeping up with my blog posts for my learning project…it almost didn’t happen, but miracles never cease.

via GIPHY

My learning project was an assignment for EDTC 300 – one of the coolest classes I’ve ever taken, it’s all about incorporating technology into the classroom safely and positively – and what it consisted of was choosing a topic to learn about only using online sources!  So each week I would create a blog post to update my peers on my learning process, progress, and new ways I’ve learned through research on the interwebs.

I chose to learn about fitness, because I knew with the busy semester ahead of me, some “me time” in a gym would be just what I need – and this learning project gave me the accountability I so desperately need to stay motivated and dedicated.  I have also always been relatively active, yet sometimes I don’t know why I do some of the gym things I do (like why bulk once I get abs? Seems a bit counter-intuitive, yet I do it anyways because that’s what the fitness junkies do).  So this learning project helped me kill two birds with one stone: get a great grade, and deeper understanding, for doing something I should already be doing on a daily basis!

Now with all that being said… I bet you already know how my project turned out.  Was I able to blog every week? Heck yeah.  Did I learn everything I hoped and desired I would learn?  You can bet your socks off I did. Did I stay dedicated to the gym every week? Absolutely not.  Am I currently a chunky-monkey with the knowledge of an Olympic athlete?

via GIPHY

My peers were definitely supportive and encouraging, and this project definitely challenged me in more ways than one.  I had to stay determined and I also had to relearn lots of things that I already thought I knew (but clearly “knew” wrong).  I also had to continue to learn things even though I fell deathly ill with a horrible chest infection for over a month.  But through it all, I managed to come out on top and succeed in my final university assignment EVER.  If you’re still intrigued after reading this far, check out my recap of alllllll my learning project posts to internally laugh at all my failures and nod your head silently at my successes:

 

Blog Post (& Week) 1: First up: Fats, Proteins, & Carbs 

  • This post shares my learning project topic (fitness fads), why I chose that topic, and my first “in-depth” rationale of the Ketogenic Diet

Blog Post (& Week) 2: HIIT Me Baby One More Time

  • Update of my Keto process
  • An in-depth research post about the benefits of high intensity interval training

Blog Post (& Week) 3: Cheat Week

  • A post overfilled with gifs as a way to suppress the disappointment in myself for already having a cheat week the 3rd week of my learning project fitness journey,
  • I include apps that I’ve been using as well as explain the benefits of having a cheat day… (or week).

Blog Post (& Week) 4: Intermittent Fasting 101

  • Explanation of why I’m done with my Ketogenic diet, and am moving on to a new one: intermittent fasting
  • Includes cute pics of me and my friends
  • Also include video‘s that explain what intermittent fasting is to me really well so I can actually understand what I’m about to attempt to do.

Blog Post (& Week) 5: Juice Me Up

  • This is probably my favourite blog post of all time, having #bro. a close second.
  • A post FILLED with Biggie references (click here if you don’t know why)
  • I talk about juicing, providing recipes and videos (and even websites!) to fill your hearts deepest juicing dreams.

Blog Post (& Week) 6:  Post of Shame

  • As per the title of the post, I bet you can already assume that juicing didn’t go well for me.
  • This is post for you to laugh silently at my failure rather than nod your head at my success – but hey, the struggle is part of the journey, right?!

Blog Post (& Week) 7: #bro.

  • This post provides come cute pics of what I looked like when I was blonde and fit, back before university killed any time of determination, motivation, and self-discipline I obtained.
  • Also provides a pic of what I look like now:

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Yup.  Your eyes are not deceiving you.  That is indeed a land whale in its natural habitat.

  • It also provides of what a bro-splitting workout plan would look like, as well as the definition of bro-splitting and the perks (and cons) of working out with a bro-split routine, along with lots of resources to supplement your learning.

Blog Post (& Week) 8: Cardio for the Hungry

  • This post is about fasted cardio!
  • This post contains videos to supplement learning, as well as a suggestion of a great app to help you succeed with your fasted cardio workouts.
  • I also provide many videos and gifs to help make a not fun topic fun.

Blog Post (& Week) 9: Couch to 5k

  • This post explains a new fitness fad that I saw originally on Jimmy Kimmel – “Couch to 5k”
  • Along with explaining my exhaustion (with life) in this post (lol sorry for the low-key diary entry), I give a short over view of what this workout plan looks like, the app to aid in your success, and the forum to vent to when you’re also exhausted with running (and your life).

Blog Post (& Week) 10: Catchin’ Up

  • Once again, another post for you to internally laugh at my failures.
  • This is a reflection post filled with thoughts about my journey so far, including mental and physical barriers I have encountered.
  • Also includes SO MANY CUTE PICS of my AMAZING friends, who I love so much and support me more than I ever thought possible!!!!!
    (SHOUT OUTS: Charles, Andrew, Ana, Kelsey)
  • With that, I provide insight on yoga, since it’s a great way to relax when feeling overwhelmed, and I include great yoga apps to help y’all get started if you don’t know where to begin.

Blog Post (& Week) 11: Not chunky, just bulking.

  • Last, but not least, a blog post providing a million excuses as to I’m only a chunky monkey because I’m bulking, duh.

via GIPHY

  • I provide an overview of what bulking is, the different types of bulks, as well as videos and links to help provide my explanation better.
  • I also found a link that show’s people’s before and after pictures… If that isn’t motivation enough, not sure what will be.

Assessment of my learning

It’s tricky to pin point a specific place or week where I can say, “look at how much I improved!”  But what I can say is that I now have the knowledge to spice up my work out routines in ways that I know will be beneficial for my body, rather than just doing a routine because someone told me to or because I saw someone else do it.  I also know I saw progress, because after my first month of this journey I lost over 10 pounds – accounting that at least 5 pounds was probably water weight, this is still great for only a month of casual exercise and a change in diet.  It is also weight that I have managed to keep off so that is also proof of progress (also, I suck – I have no before and after pictures, granted that I more than likely wouldn’t post them even if I did, but I was not smart enough to take any in the first place).  But overall, I can also work out for longer, pushing myself to do more weights etc., without feeling like I’m paralyzed in my bed forever the next morning – so I would also have to say that’s another “win.”

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Reflections on the Process of Learning Online

  1. Being able to share trials, tribulations, and triumphs with peers on the same journey as I.

Aside from my peers that I can confide in, I found hundreds and hundreds of forums full of people who were on the same fitness journey as me.  They shared their struggles and their motivations, and it was really encouraging to read and be a part of because it helped me realize that I’m not alone in my journey.  I was also able to share freely without fear of being judged, because I knew that the people I’m sharing my personal struggles and successes with are strangers to me, and know exactly what I’m going through.  So that was really cool to experience.

 

2. Having peers to come to for feedback and encouragement who were doing the            same learning project (in sorts) as I.

While I may not have taken advantage of this as much as I should have, I know there were others who were also incorporating fitness into their learning projects.  This allowed me to not only follow what they were doing silently, as I’m kind of shy to approach someone head on, and to learn from their progress as well as their suggestions.  Julia was someone I checked in on a regular basis, because she was very open about her ketogenic diet and journey, which is something that I was also doing.  She also provided me with lots of encouragement on  my keto posts when I was struggling, which encouraged me to persevere through the breadless world.

3. Having the ability to learn from fitness gurus all around the world.

There are many “famous” fitness people whether it be from real gyms or Instagram, and they are available to connect with!  I never did this, because I’m a poor student, but you can pay these people to personally provide you with personalized fitness workout routines, diet plans, and they will check in with you weekly to ensure you’re successful!  This allows anyone the ability to learn from the best, just through the click of a button.  It’s seriously super neat, and if I had a disposable income I would be extremely interested in seeing what some of these fitness gurus provide and see if it even bettered my success with my fitness journey!

Final Thoughts

Overall, my fitness learning project was very beneficial to my learning and use of the online world.  My biggest challenge was definitely staying motivated and encouraged to continue on every day at the gym or with my diet, especially when I felt so stressed out and all I wanted to do was veg out on my couch.

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via 69420 at MemeCenter

It was learning to persevere through those feelings where I really struggled, and to find the time to still want to do this project when I had 6 million other assignments also on my plate.

This was important to overcome, because it was when I went to the gym anyways or stayed away from that piece of bread (because a ketogenic diet is carb free essentially) that I found my best progress.  This can be related to students in any form, because it’s when they overcome their struggles, challenges, and trials that they will perform the best, because they’re learning how to overcome such obstacles.  I feel like many students feel overwhelmed, and instead of choosing to get no sleep (like us uni students) they just choose not to do anything, because they haven’t developed such coping strategies yet.  Maybe if students had an online forum where they could vent to without fear of judgment, such as I did with my fitness journey,  they would gain the encouragement and motivation they need to succeed with whatever they’re struggling with rather than just ignoring their non-ideal situation.

I wasn’t able to make this connection until this part of the reflection, and I think it’s really neat to see myself understand and grow (no pun intended) throughout this journey in more ways than one.  It’s becoming rather surreal to know that my education time is up, and it’s time to get out into the real world and implement all these things that I’m learning to my students.

Through this learning project journey, I learned the skills to teach myself rather foreign to me through an online setting.  I found how beneficial it is to learn through videos, websites, forums, and I am able to make the connection to students – if my learning is only aided and supported through online sources, in such a tech-savvy world, students will obviously also only benefit from the use of online sources.  These things that I found, such as apps and videos, will support students’ learning and understanding just as it supported mine.  Maybe I will even be able to share my progress with students one day!  I am happy I took this class, completed this project, and grew to understand the importance of being technologically literate.

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Nice Guy Jessi

Well, here it is, folks.  My final networked learning post.

Throughout this semester I contributed to my peers’ learning by commenting on their posts.  Sometimes the information I provided was helpful, and sometimes it was just encouraging to let my friends know that I think they’re awesome and that they’re doing a great job.

The first person who I commented on regularly, with suggestions and encouragement (and humor of course) was my good pal Alyssa.  She was doing her learning project on playing the guitar, to which I have no first-hand experience, as the only instrument I can even pretend to play is the piano.  Check out some of the comments I provided on her blog:

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Another blog I tried to stay current on and add my (limited) knowledge to was my other good pal, Rebecca.  She was teaching herself sign language for her learning project, which I think is extremely interesting and relevant as an educator!  As I previously stated, my knowledge is limited so I did what I could to provide suggestions and encouragement to Rebecca.  Check out some of my comments!

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But I also commented so much more on so many other people’s blogs!  Some of my peers were learning some really cool stuff, that even though I didn’t have much to contribute, they’re posts still definitely peaked my interest.  For example, Laura was learning about cooking with an Instant Pot.  While I thought that was definitely cool, I was worried about some of the horror stories one hears to do with the pressure cooker (like exploding) – I asked Laura many questions about it, she reassured me that she’s not nervous cooking with it, which made me actually go out and buy one!  I was all the more excited that I got one once I saw her post about Lasagna.  Or while I was learning how to be on a Ketogenic diet, reading Julia‘s posts about being Keto definitely gave me encouragement to persevere on with my journey!  So many of my other peers were learning about very neat things, too much to talk about each individually, so I incorporated all my screenshots of my little comments on their posts in a little slideshow, which I hope y’all enjoy!

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Sometimes, I even incorporated others’ learnings and referenced such learnings in my blog posts, such as I did in this example, as I referenced one of Amy’s blog posts in mine:

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But that’s not all the knowledge I contributed to our online community.

I also participated in many Twitter discussions, with many of my peers.  Here’s a little slideshow screencap of some of those convos:

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And with that, that’s the overview of my participation in our online community.  I could’ve contributed more, yes, but I also could’ve contributed less.  And with such a busy semester, I am proud of the work I was able to put into my digital citizenship, and contribute to the learning of my peers (hence the reference to the nice guy meme).

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Via QuickMeme

And with that, I hope you enjoyed my FINAL NETWORKING POST.  Woohoo to being done uni!!

 

Not chunky, just bulking.

 

Today on the Jessi blog: bulking.

If any of y’all frequent the fitness world, you’re privy to the term “bulking.”

General understanding of bulking is to eat rather poorly to improve your fitness and get sick gainz.

But many people won’t attest to this method or recommend it to others because it seems rather unlogical.  And after doing some research, this is what I found:

According to this forum, there are two types of bulking; clean and dirty.   A bulk involves packing on muscle mass and fat as part of a training regime.  One cannot gain lean muscle mass, without a fat gain, it’s simply impossible. Even if the fat gain is negligible. People bulk for two main reasons: jump up a weight class, and look bigger. The more muscle one has, the bigger (and with correct training) the stronger they are.

The dirty bulk is what it sounds like: a three-hour Smolov squat session followed by 8 Happy Meals and a small Ugandan child deep-fried in pure seal fat. You’re packing on raw size and don’t care how. This leads to quicker gains, but more fat.

A clean bulk is a caloric excess of good food. So the guy weighing 225 eating 4 chicken breasts and his bodyweight in vegetables is probably clean bulking.  It takes time but often lacks the huge fat increase.  Bulking is follow by cutting: basically means you’ve gained muscle and fat, now it’s time to keep the muscle and drain the fat – you “cut” weight.

Still confused? Check this out:

 

Bulk is a GREAT app that is basically like a workout coach.  It curates meals and workouts for you to help you gain weight, but cleanly.

Also, while I currently find any photos that I could legally post on here, I did find a link that posts many before/ afters of bulking and cutting (here).  It’s really neat and so fun to see so many people be successful on their fitness journey!!

Catchin’ Up

So I have failed in the fitness world lol.

I know my learning project was about teaching myself all about the gym and latest fitness fads and what not, but it’s incredibly hard to keep up with such a busy semester. I have something due every week, so going to the gym and actually applying the knowledge I have learned has not been a priority.

So with that being said, I guess I’ll just make a reflection post.

It definitely has been interesting to learn about all these gym things, especially since I thought I already knew what there was to know about. You know?

I had really good progress, in the beginning, then life kind of got in the way.  I also find it difficult to apply many of the things I learn because of 1. I forget them instantly; and 2. My knee is prone to dislocation (so I’m always scared of blowing it out again.)

But this previous week I went to B.C. and spent a lot of great time with quality friends: hashtag pics or it didn’t happen

And it made me realize how necessary it is to just take a break and realize, and appreciate everything we have.  Especially this Easter weekend.  Pushing yourself (in this context, in the gym) would only create injury and make me dread going rather than be something I look forward to every day.

Feeling overwhelmed, I also decided to switch up my work out style and implemented yoga into my daily routine just so I could have some “me time” and give my body a stress break, so to speak.

Here are the links to some of my fav yoga apps:

Yoga.com Studio

Pocket Yoga

Best apps of 2017

What do you guys do when you need a break from life?

Couch to 5k

Sorry for the lack of creativity in my title.  It’s too close to the end of the semester, I’m tapped out.

But I heard of something cool from Jimmy Fallon recently, and it’s called “The Couch to 5K.” And I guess it’s an exercise plan for even the laziest of couch potatoes to get fit enough to run 5k.  LOL right?

I know nothing about this, so this entire post is just going to be a learning post.

There is no real “official website” to explain this program, but this site here explains the steps pretty well.  I guess you listen to a podcast a week (the program is 9 weeks) and run according to the podcast.
Take a look at a short overview of weeks 1-3:

Week one

For your three runs in week one, you will begin with a brisk five-minute walk, then alternate one minute of running and one-and-a-half minutes of walking, for a total of 20 minutes.

Week two

For your three runs in week two, you will begin with a brisk five-minute walk, then alternate one-and-a-half minutes of running with two minutes of walking, for a total of 20 minutes.

Week three

For your three runs in week three, you will begin with a brisk five-minute walk, then two repetitions of one-and-a-half minutes of running, one-and-a-half minutes of walking, three minutes of running and three minutes of walking.

Here is a forum where people who are doing the program to communicate and share their progress with each other.

Here is the app.

I, unfortunately, couldn’t find an informative video on this program.

amy-reed-408611-unsplash.jpg unsplash-logoAmy Reed

I’ve provided a 4 leaf clover for good luck in your couch to 5k journey.

Cardio for the Hungry

 

Today’s topic: fasted cardio

A.K.A.

#nothanks

The appeal is that it targets “stubborn” fat allowing you to lose weight “quick” (we all know that’s not possible, but you get what I’m saying.

I kind of do this already… but not properly.  I go to the gym twice a day: morning: cardio, evening: weights.  I’m hella lazy, and find that running then lifting things is just too much for my motivation and energy level, so I split it.  I can do this because I also don’t have a life and going to the gym is seriously the only time I leave the house… might be a good place to insert this here.

But I always assumed that fasted cardio meant running on an empty stomach.  After reading this, I learned that I was way off.  The article explains this a lot better than I am going to, but basically cardio done when the body is not processing food (and therefore insulin levels are at a low) is considered “fasted cardio.”

So I’m going to implement this into my daily routine and see how much of a difference it makes.

If you still don’t quite get it from reading the article, here’s a good descriptive video from the health nerd:

MyZone also explains this pretty in depth in their article,  and recommend using their app to help keep track of your prime fasted cardio opportunities.

#bro.

Alright.

This might be my favourite blog post I’ve made yet.

Today’s Theme: Bro-splitting.

So, as a little background knowledge: bro-splitting is when you isolate one muscle group and work it out to THE MAX, but usually only once a week.  So your workout may look like this:
Monday: Back
Tuesday: Chest
Wednesday: Quads/ Hamstrings
Thursday: Shoulders/ Calves
Friday: Biceps/ Triceps
Saturday: Rest (cardio)
Sunday: Rest (cardio)
The reason why the bro-split has appeal is that it’s an easier way to workout, especially for beginners.  It also incorporates a wide variety of workouts and intermittent cycles to “spice” things up.

And I’m reluctant to say this after watching modern day Thor‘s video on this subject, but I actually used to bro-split and I had great results.  However, I did only do a 6-12 week program incorporating it, then moved on to a different workout scheme.
(Here’s 2 pics of me when I was fit and bro-splitting)

(Here’s a pic of me now so you can see my downfall)
image1 unsplash-logoMichael Blum

I know what you’re thinking….

But that’s not the point – the point is that apparently if ya wanna be ripped, bro-splitting is not the answer.  According to this article, you may have good luck with bro-splitting when using the method short term (as I did), but if you want to grow and increase muscle mass, you’ll actually never be able to make progress.  Your muscles only need 3-4 days to “heal” and when you’re giving them a 7 day break, you’re over doing the recovery stage.  And, I mean, it makes sense I guess.

Remember when I mentioned modern day Thor? Well here’s his video I brought up previously, and I recommend you watch it all because it’s hilarious and cringy at the same time.

I also found this thread on reddit that explains all the pros/ cons about bro-splitting from many different people’s perspectives, so if you’re interested you can give that a look.

TL;DR: Basically, if you want to build muscle mass, don’t isolate your muscles and do full-body training sessions – you will see better results.

Oh, one more thing: Here’s a list of 10 songs that will make bros cry.  Enjoy.