#PrincessBootCamp Recap

Disney Princess boot Camp recap blog post fitness Lizzie Nerd in the City happy nerd

Princess Boot Camp Disney Inspiration Fitness Plan Blog Series

So…8 weeks ago I embarked on an adventure to share with you my homemade fitness plan: Disney Princess Boot Camp. I told you at the beginning that I wouldn’t be stepping foot on a scale and I haven’t…for the whole of this 8 week plan, I have listened to my body and really relied on my senses to guide me.

Foods that didn’t sit well got cut out, surprisingly that included a lot of breads and dairies. Foods that energized me will be added to my permanent shopping list, like spinach and pork cutlets and all things coconut.


Here’s a recap of each week’s theme and fitness:

Week 1: Cinderella Week

Princess Boot Camp Cinderella Week Fitness Blog series

This week I shopped the diet of a 18th century peasant, lots of staple foods, very lean cuts of meat and fruits and vegetables that might be grown in an English garden. And the fitness routine this week included: deep cleaning my parent’s garage and pool, running down stairs and ball room dancing.

Week 2: Ariel Week

Princess Boot Camp Ariel Week Disney Fitness Blog

This week’s meal plan was all about the ocean. Fish, seafood, seaweed, vegetables that might translate like cabbage and lettuce. And the only activity I did was swimming. But I utilized a variety of strokes in order to change things up. This was the week that my arms really started to feel the burn!!

Week 3: Pocahontas Week

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For Pocahontas Week, I faithfully followed a traditional Native American diet. Lots of foods that come from the Earth. Nuts, grains, game meats like pork, berries and vegetables that might be grown by Native Americans like Pocahontas. The activities this week included rowing, running and canoeing. And I fell in love with canoeing. I really felt like it was the kind of full body workout that was both energizing and relaxing at the same time!

Week 4: Mulan Week

Disney Princess Boot Camp Mulan Week stick fighting nerd fitness blog post

This week I paid homage to China. The foods they eat, Chinese movies and fitness that one might find in China. My shopping list included things I had never eaten before like: bitter melon, rambutan, lychee, ya pears, bok choy and napa cabbage. The fitness routines this week really kicked my ass as I tried Tai Chi and Shaolin Kung Fu!!

Week 5: Rapunzel Week

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This week, my shopping list had a lot of items inspired by Rapunzel and the Disney movie Tangled, more than an actual diet Rapunzel might have eaten. Whimsical things like angel hair pasta (get it!) and flax seed items (a food that promotes hair growth) as well as other proteins good for hair growth and of course, Rapunzel’s favorite, hazelnut soup! For fitness I tried rock climbing and folk dancing (line dancing…I live in the South!)

Week 6: Merida Week

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Merida Week was spent eating a classic Scottish diet consisting of cabbage, leeks, berries, shellfish, wild game meats and yes, even Haggis. And while Merida didn’t exhibit a love for Scottish dancing in her movie, Brave, I felt I just had to add it to my fitness plan after seeing an ad at the local community center! As well as Scottish dancing, I went horseback riding and tried archery. This week was very active and exciting!

Week 7: Elsa Week

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I thought Elsa Week might prove a little harder for a Florida girl like me, seeing as how Elsa is all Frozen and stuff and in the middle of summer, a cool breeze is hard to come by in the sunshine state. But with a Scandinavian diet of foods like: root vegetables, nordic yogurt, whole grains, beans and fish and the surprising discovery of a virtual reality Winter Ski Club as well as ice skating at the RDV Sport’s Complex, I felt all those cool, frosty, Frozen vibes even in the midst of a balmy Florida summer!

Week 8: Moana Week

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I finished my plan strong with Moana week and a Polynesian diet of tropical fruits like pineapple and mango, chicken, pork, fish, coconut, starchy fruits and nuts. For fitness this week, I did a lot of paddle boarding and hot hula. This was one of my favorite weeks!


Because I’d given up weighing myself from day 1, I can’t actually tell you how much weight I lost. I like not weighing myself. I like listening to my body and not some number on a scale. Don’t ever forget that muscle weighs more than fat and numbers don’t tell the whole story!! I’m gonna go ahead and estimate it to around 20-25 pounds. What I can tell you is how I feel. I feel stronger. I feel happier in my own skin. I dropped 2.5 pant sizes and feel confident when I look in the mirror that what I’m seeing in myself is what I’m presenting to others.

Don’t read this and think that you need to change! Don’t read this and think that I don’t believe with all my heart that all sizes and shapes are beautiful…they are and I do believe that! But I also know that I wasn’t comfortable in my own skin anymore. The 20-30 pounds I had gained were from stress and sadness. And I couldn’t seem to get over the hump of releasing that garbage from my soul and from my body.

Leave it to Disney to inspire me to get off my ass and get fit in a really fun and magical way (it’s not like magic is their thing or anything!) But listen, this worked for me!

I’m not a doctor…don’t do what I said and think that this is medical research. But guess what…if you take the pressure off of yourself by putting your focus on something fun, eat a moderate and healthy amount of foods that are good for you and up your fitness level…you’ll probably lose a little weight or at the very least feel a little happier in your own skin. That’s all I can offer. That’s all that I did! And damn…it feels good!

Disney Princess boot Camp recap blog post fitness Lizzie Nerd in the City happy nerd

If you want to try my Disney Princess Boot Camp, let me know!! I am a great encourager and would be happy to send thoughts, memes, gifs, encouragement and inspiration your way, as well as offer the tips and tricks I used to stay motivated!! If I can feel this good…you can too!

#AvengerinTraining – Iron Man Week

Introduction

I would consider myself a fairly fit person. I enjoy running and Soul Cycle and walking and when I’m vigilant, I eat marginally well. But then came the winter and I was discontent. Chilly weather caused my motivation to disappear. The running stopped. The Soul Cycle stopped. I still tried to walk and get at least my 10,000 steps a day. But I counteracted that by overeating fatty ‘comfort’ foods.

One day, I realized I had gained 20 pounds that I did not want on me (it may not sound like a lot of weight, but it sure felt like it.) Somehow I’d let the weight sneak up on me. And that wasn’t ok with me!! My sugar intake was at an all time high, due to eating a lot of macaroni and cheese and mint chocolate chip ice cream (my favorite comfort food!) And I am genetically at risk for diabetes, but I just didn’t seem to care. This was the heaviest I’d been in quite a while. All the previous progress I’d made in the fall was being wasted thanks to laziness and a complete lack of discipline.

One night, while watching Avengers (for the 19th time), I realized that if aliens did invade Earth or the zombie apocalypse finally happened or some other menacing force became reality, I’d be one of the first to go. And as I watched Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow kick serious ass on screen, I knew…that wasn’t gonna work for me!

So I embarked on a journey that would eventually become a transforming experience.

A lot of what I’ll share is not ground breaking. It’s not even new information. It’s constantly posted and reposted in many forms. You just have to tailor it to you. That’s what I did. I made something that would be fun, inspiring and made just for me!

Now, I prefer fantasy to reality sometimes…it’s true. But I know I’ll probably never be called on to fight for my life or to save another person’s. But if I ever was called upon, I wanted to be ready.

I delved into each of the 6 characters that make up the team known as The Avengers, Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. Iron Man, Hulk, Black Widow, Thor, Hawkeye and Captain America. I researched what each individual actor did to prepare for their roles, then I went about crafting a 6 week fitness plan that I thought would be fun and that I knew I could accomplish. Most of the workouts I found online that were based on the Avengers, were mainly geared towards men. The meal plans too. I’m not about to start eating 2300 calories a day. That just wouldn’t work for me. This plan is meant to be tailored to individuals, men or women. If you like it, keep it in the plan. If you don’t, take it out. (Keep in mind I am not a fitness or medical professional. Just a nerdy fangirl who wanted to make a change.)

I do not have the money or the time to dedicate to actually looking like an Avenger. (and I am not being paid by Marvel to do this either.) But I knew that I wanted to do more than I was at the time and I decided to use the inspiration I felt while watching the Avengers to help transform my lazy habits into constructive discipline.

Below is the complete breakdown of Week 1, including the things I turned to for inspiration, the weekly challenges I made for myself, my food shopping list, and the amazing classes I took all in my endeavor to get healthy and become an #AvengerinTraining

Photo by Cristina Fowler
Photo by Cristina Fowler

Week 1: Iron Man Week

Watercolor Art by Blule
Watercolor Art by Blule

The first Avenger on my the list was Iron Man. I decided to go in order of their introduction to the franchise. And who better to start it off, than the Iron Avenger himself. Robert Downey Jr., at 50 years old, is in the best shape of his life. Physically and in his career (as of 2014, RDJ tops Forbes’ list of highest paid actors in Hollywood). His onscreen alter-ego is Tony Stark who, after getting kidnapped by terrorists, witnesses the damage of what has become a destructive legacy at Stark Industries. While incarcerated in an Afghanistan prison, Tony discovers himself to be more than just the “genius, billionaire, playboy philanthropist” that he always had been and starts down the road to becoming so much more.

To prepare for the role of Iron Man, Robert Downey Jr, “started training using the Wing Chun technique, made famous by Bruce Lee.” (MensFitness.com) He also cut way back on the cardio in favor of increased weight training. By the time filming for Iron Man began, RDJ had backed on 25 extra pounds of muscle. Check out his full training regiment over at MensFitness.com

Inspiration

Sometimes the hardest part is taking that initial first step out the door. Being inspired is a fleeting experience, but it doesn’t have to be. Movies and music are two of my favorite things to partake in. So while preparing to take on this 6 week challenge, I thought a lot about what would keep me moving towards my goals.

Movies

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Obviously, Avengers and Age of Ultron are on the movie list for each of the Avengers as they serve as inspiration for all 6 characters. For Iron Man Week, if I needed a little extra oomph of energy or motivation I watched some or all of the above movies. Iron Man and Iron Man 3 are also obvious choices. Spiderman may seem like an unlikely choice (Peter is a poor college kid, Tony is a wealthy man), but I think there are a lot of themes that overlap between Iron Man and Spiderman. And Casino Royale has billionaire, playboy written all over it. Plus I LOVE James Bond!!

Music

This list is comprised of music from Iron Man and music that makes me think of Iron Man. Anything to get me in the mindset while on a run in the morning. Hope it pushes you like it pushed me!

Meals

I created a meal plan (you won’t hear the word diet in this blog series, I don’t believe in them) based on the foods that Robert Downey Jr ate while training. Again, I’m not being paid by Marvel and I don’t have unlimited time on my hands. So I had the master list of items that I used to stock my refrigerator and pantry and then I made meals out of them that I knew I would enjoy and would be easy to make on a daily basis. I did a lot more cooking this week than I had been doing and I liked it!!

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Weekly Workout Challenge

For Iron Man week I chose a plank challenge. Here’s the daily breakdown:

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Photo by Cristina Fowler

Day 1: 2 sets of Kneeling Side Planks (60 hold second, rest in between)

Day 2: 2 sets of Kneeling Side Planks (60 second hold, rest in between)

Day 3: 3 sets of Incline Side Planks (30 second hold, rest in between)

Day 4: 2 sets of Front Elbow Planks (30 second hold, rest in between)

Day 5: 3 sets of Front Elbow Planks (30 second hold, rest in between)

Day 6: 2 sets of Full Front Planks (30 second hold, rest in between)

Day 7: 2 sets of Full Front Planks (60 second hold, rest in between)

When Iron Man week ended, I took the last day’s challenge activity and rolled it over into the next Avenger’s weekly workout schedule. So Day 7 of the above plan will be used for the rest of the 5 weeks of training.

Extra Credit

If you were to call me an overachiever, you might be right. Especially when it comes to doing things I love and enjoy. I’ll go the extra mile and I’ll run the whole way there. So when I came up with this idea for my time as an #AvengerinTraining I chose a couple different workout classes and gyms for each week that I thought might represent the Avenger of that particular week. For Iron Man week I did:

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu @ Lifestyle MMA Academy

Photo from Lifestyle MMA Academy
Photo from Lifestyle MMA Academy

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is not for the faint of heart or the shy wallflower. If you are squeamish about being up close and personal with complete strangers… this isn’t for you. If you find the prospect of hand to hand combat daunting… turn the other way. But if you want to be pulled out of your comfort zone and challenged beyond what you think you can do… find the closest Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu studio and give it a try. Channel your inner Iron Man. And if you live in the New York City area, head to Lifestyle MMA Academy in Astoria. They will kick your butt. They sure kicked mine and, bonus, the first trial class is free. So you have no excuses!!

Power Pilates @ The Art of Fitness

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I’ve done pilates before, it’s one of my favorite ways to workout, but Power Pilates at The Art of Fitness will take your practice to a whole new level. And at just $10 a class, it’s a really great deal for a whole lot of workout!

Other options for Iron Man Week:

Rock Climbing

MMA

Stay tuned for the following Avengers: Hulk, Black Widow, Thor, Hawkeye and Captain America

And make sure to comment below with any questions, comments, etc!