Make 2015 Your Best Fitness Year Yet

So it’s 2015 and you’re revved up and ready to go… who isn’t? It’s 2015 and that means upping the personal fitness and body readiness goals. Bring forth your manifesto of self-care and personal betterment! Go you! No seriously, charge on forward with your bad self! However, do proceed with caution before signing yourself up for a zillion different 5k runs, stacking up your memberships at the yoga studio, CrossFit box, gym, and spa.

What do you want to be this year?

What do you want to be this year?

In making the leaps and bounds forward to our future selves, it is important to go forward with a very open mindset and the awareness that not only will your goals change in time, but you should be gentle with yourself and realistic in what you write down as law to follow and with the person you see when you look in the mirror.

So what is your goal for the year? Do you simply want to try something new? Are you looking to make some seriously drastic changes and go into a new arena like fitness modeling or Olympic/Powerlifting competing? Just think about it.

As a powerlifter I didn’t step into the arena of considering powerlifting as an option for my life when January 1st hit three years ago. I’m pretty sure I felt tired with myself and knew that I wanted something to change about myself, but I wasn’t sure what. I didn’t start my New Year’s resolution until months later in July 2011. Instead, for months I passed by the box (a CrossFit, Starting Strength, and Olympic lifting/Powerlifting training facility) with the continual mental reminder to myself that I should “check it out” at “some point in time.” I didn’t overly chide myself when I didn’t.

I already belonged to a gym, I ran three times a week on the treadmill and completed a weightlifting circuit that I felt gave me some fulfillment. Yet, when I stepped into the box in July, the first free week of my summer, I didn’t event expect the results that have come almost three years later. I completed a simple initial stretching sequence that was monitored by the box owner, Peter Nathan, and then proceeded to complete a basic WOD (Working Of the Day) designed to address conditioning (strength and cardio). When I completed the WOD I felt winded, flushed, and above all things… invigorated. I certainly hope that you would feel the later no matter what your endeavor.

Gradually, my personal goals changed from wanting to become more “toned and fit” into wanting to know what I was doing when I was under the Rogue barbell. My goals changed from what I consider to be a typical ambiguous goal of both men and women to something more concrete. I decided that I wanted to complete the box’s Starting Strength 6-week course, learn all the finite aspects of the lifts used the strength and conditioning aspects of the box. I wasn’t without my bad days; there were evenings that I left the box both frustrated and upset with myself. However, there were also days that I practically skipped out of the box because I exceeded by first working lifting sets.

For some, lifting is the answer

For some, lifting is the answer

It was while I was working with the Starting Strength coaches that I discovered that I had outgrown the “regular” gym. When I would go in on the days I couldn’t conveniently go to the box’s hours, I would go to complete WODs utilizing the materials available. Yet, what I did notice was that not everyone in the gym was happy to help with spotting me during lifting sets, nor were the coaches and staff members at the gym all equip to spot and/or advise with aspects of my growing interest in lifting. No one demanded me to make the change and cancel by gym membership so I could solely attend the box; it simply felt that it was the right time for me to let go of the wonderfully comfortable gentle yoga/Pilates classes, running on the treadmill in the air-conditioned movie theater, consistent strength circuit, and avoidance of the free-weights section of the gym.

Ten months after initially walking into the box, I attended and competed in my very first local powerlifting meet. At no point, up until I passed from one year, into the next and attended sessions and courses outside of my typical comfort zone did I think that any of it was possible. I placed second in my weight class and received an inordinate amount of positive support from the men and women lifters attending, as well as the judges. It was a very positive and supportive experience.

I learned very quickly when I began attending the box, it is advisable to maintain a notebook with your personal goals, notes, workouts, and your personal results. This is not something to share with everyone else or broadcast unless it is YOUR intent to do so. It is a personal record of your personal growth and personal records (PRs) over the course of months and years.

Now, in 2015 I can move forward with a clear expectation of what I want to and WILL succeed at this year. I have running goals, PR lifting goals, and roller derby goals. I consult my notebook, reconstruct my motivation wall, and consult with my team (coaches, family, and friends). I would suggest that you do the same. No matter what the goal, everyone around you should be a positive contributing member of your personal support system and help you in constructing and reaching your goals this year. Go forward with a sense of positive inquiry, child-like wonder, and optimism.

Be inspired every step of the way!

Be inspired every step of the way!

Hey there I’m Bubble T, professor of Psychology and Physical Education here at Vixen Varsity. Based out of NY, I am a CrossFit trainee, competitive powerlifter, and roller derby girl. The crux of my days revolve around developing fitness goals and psychological well-being. I currently run the blog, The Cosplay Body, and am an active advocate of developing tips, tricks around healthy nutritional needs and positive self-image in the cosplay community. Questions regarding psychology and physical education class material can be fielded directly at [email protected]; follow the Psychology and PhysEd Professor on Twitter @Blondie_BubbleT

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Rapper Biz Markie Loses 140lbs After Being Diagnosed with Diabetes


Biz Markie was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes three years ago and decided it was time for him to get his health in check.

“I wanted to live,” Biz Markie tells ABCNews. “Since I have to be a diabetic, If I didn’t make the changes, it was going to make the diabetes worse. I’m trying to get off [the Diabetes meds]. The way you gotta do it is lose the weight. I’m off half my meds, I just got to get off the rest.”

How did Biz Markie lose all that weight? He eats organic, practices portion control, does cardio and doesn’t “pig out”. Biz says he had no energy when he was on stage performing. “When I used to be on stage, I used to be out of breath, I couldn’t walk that far,” he said. “Now, I got so much energy. I can do a whole show.”

Kudos to him. Biz Markie joins Missy Elliott who has dropped over 100 pounds for health reasons.

Here is a list of common symptoms of diabetes:

Urinating often
Feeling very thirsty
Feeling very hungry – even though you are eating
Extreme fatigue
Blurry vision
Cuts/bruises that are slow to heal
Weight loss – even though you are eating more (type 1)
Tingling, pain, or numbness in the hands/feet (type 2)

For more information on diabetes visit Diabetes.Org.

StrongLifts 5×5 Workout: App To Help You Get Stronger and Increase Your Gains

Stronglifts 5x5

So, you have been going to the gym for months, and you have hit a wall. You have plateaued, and don’t know what to do to kickstart your routine. This happened to me, and I started to do some research to see what I could do different to help myself get stronger. I came across this one routine, Stronglifts 5×5.

I have been doing a couple of different workout routines as of late, to help prevent hitting the fitness wall. You plateau when you keep doing the same routine over and over, allowing your muscles to get used to the routine, and they just aren’t stimulated the same way. This can happen to anyone, so you have to switch it up to help prevent that. I was running out of ideas, so I decided to try Stronglifts 5×5. It is a pretty simple program. Just 5 exercises are used: squat, dead lift, bench press, overhead press, and bar bell row. You start at a certain level, and then each workout you add 5 pounds, except the dead lift which you add 10 pounds. This continues until you decide to switch up your routine. The purpose of the routine is to get stronger. After using this program for a month, I have definitely have noticed an increase in strength.

I downloaded the free app(in-app purchases) from the Apple App Store(also available in the Google Play Store). The app is very handy. The app tracks your workout, keeps the time for you to rest between sets, and tells how much weight to add for the next workout. The in-app purchases are for warm-up sets and to switch to a 3×5 routine. The free version is more than enough for my needs. There are no ads, and the layout is pretty intuitive.

Stronglift 5x5 Setting Screen stronglifts 5x5 workout calender stronglifts 5x5 workout homescreen stronglift 5x5 workout trackingStronglift 5x5 workout screen

This is a really cool routine to use when you are ready to switch things up. I plan on using it for the winter, to get stronger for stuff I have planned for next year. Time to shock the system. When you get ready to add gains, I highly suggest you give this a try.

Missy Elliott Reveals Her New Look, 30lb Weight Loss; Insanity Workouts

Missy Elliott took to the stage at an Alexander Wang event for HM and showed off her amazing 30lbs weight loss.

Tasty Tidbit Tuesday: Curds and Whey

They were on to something in the early 1800s with the coining of the name cottage cheese for the milk left over after villagers make butter in their cottages.  While looking like not the quite so appealing cousin of silky smooth butter, cottage cheese has made it’s way up the food chain from leftover to key ingredient in the kitchen.  Cottage cheese has held on as one of the many weight loss staple foods over the years.  However, it isn’t just the food of our grandparents to enjoy with their morning meal, so get excited about the little things or big things… depending on how you enjoy your curds that is!

Who knew such a bland food could look so appealing?

Who knew such a bland food could look so appealing?

So why all the hype about cottage cheese? For the majority of us looking to either add on muscle, drop some a few pounds, or maintain a stable weight range, cottage cheese is a go to mainly for its high protein and low carbohydrate content.  On average, the protein content may vary from about 10-14 grams in a half cup serving.  Not to mention it isn’t just about eating cottage cheese entirely on it’s own in a bowl.  Some classic versions include fruit (a half cup or more allows for a high enough protein and sugar content to let you continue to feel full for longer than a 2 hour period).  Some of the larger companies, like Hood, have created some amazing savory versions of the versatile dairy product.

Mixing it up: Radishes and scallions for a savory mix

Mixing it up: Radishes and scallions for a savory mix

Particularly for the fairer sex, dairy intake can be difficult to manage.  For the gents it can be easier when downing half a quart of milk is factored into meals, but for the majority of the ladies, it isn’t as common.  The addition of cottage cheese into a woman’s monitored food intake can help with variety of healthy living aspects, including but not to: healthy weight, pre-menstrual syndrome, ovarian cancer prevention, kidney stone prevention, and urinary track infection preventions (who knew?!).

However, unless you have an intolerance to dairy, cottage cheese is great for both men and women.  It can be a staple for some bodybuilders to eat prior to bedtime (no that doesn’t mean you’ll wake up looking like The Hulk if you scarf a cup of curds before hitting the sack).  At most, you may not feel so inclined to cook up a huge omelet or scarf down an entire bagel laden with butter or cream cheese.  Cottage cheese contains a specific kind of protein, casein, which most individuals digest at a slower rate.  As a result, individuals consuming cottage cheese tend to feel satiated for a longer period of time (no growling stomach two hours before it’s lunchtime).  Casein in particular will clot in the stomach; the amino acids will then be released slowly over an extended period of time, hence no being a grump before lunch.

Below are a list of some of my favorite unconventional cottage cheese included recipes; shake up your usual routine and try something different to keep the food choices from getting boring!


Cottage Cheese and Blackberry Sandwich

Cottage Cheese Muffins with Ham and Cheese

Cottage Cheese Pancakes

Cottage Cheese Parfait

Cottage Cheese with Jam and Cereal

Garden Veggie Egg Bake

Spinach and Egg White Omelet



California Cottage Cheese Bowl

Cottage Cheese Salad

Cottage Cheese Sandwich

Cottage Cheese Tuna Salad

Spicy Tuna and Cottage Cheese Jacket



Bean and Cheese Enchiladas

Creamy Baked Spaghetti

Crustless Mushroom Spinach Pie

Eggplant Casserole

Lasagna Roll Ups

Spinach Lasagna Roll Ups



Blueberry and Cheese Blintzes

Cucumber Cups with Cottage Cheese

Lasagna Dip

Mini Mocha Cheesecakes

Pumpkin Protein Cheesecake Mousse

Spinach Dip

Hey there I’m Bubble T, professor of Psychology and Physical Education here at Vixen Varsity. Based out of NY, I am a CrossFit trainee, competitive powerlifter, and roller derby girl. The crux of my days revolve around developing fitness goals and psychological well-being. I currently run the blog, The Cosplay Body, and am an active advocate of developing tips, tricks around healthy nutritional needs and positive self-image in the cosplay community. Questions regarding psychology and physical education class material can be fielded directly at [email protected]; follow the Psychology and PhysEd Profession on Twitter @Blondie_BubbleT.