Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Another run

I made it out for another run today... it was great! The hills kind of kicked my butt! I persevered though and made it through. I ended up running 3-ish miles and coming inside to stretch and cool down. The weather was COLD but above freezing so it didn't feel too bad.

Yesterday I threw together a cross training workout with moves from Jillian Michaels' workout again. That also felt great! I even woke up sore today. A nice sore, of course!

I will most likely be MIA for a few weeks as I travel to see family and friends for the holidays. I hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas (or whatever you celebrate) and a happy new year! I will keep up with my workouts and I hope you will too!

And BTW, I was at 158 pounds last time I checked so I have confidence I can hit my goal by the end of the year. I also went to the salon today and someone noticed I had lost weight. Jackpot!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Winter Running

I made it out for a short jog today. I just love winter running! I hadn't been out really at all yet for my marathon training (it officially begins on December 28), so I'm happy I made it today.

It snowed in PA yesterday, but not that much where I am. Instead of a workout yesterday I actually walked around town and finished my shopping. I walked over 4 miles carrying everything I purchased, and when it was all over, my HRM read 1250 calories burned. Now that was over a period of two hours, but still... that is some awesome calorie burn for shopping!

Today's run felt great! It was in the high 20's, but there was no wind and the sun was shining. I don't mind the cold... in fact I love running in it! I had my winter gear on, and the cold air just felt great! The only issue I was having was snow. The sidewalks and streets were still covered, so I had to be careful and run slowly. The good side of that is that you have to work pretty hard to keep yourself upright, so it feels like you're getting a decent core workout too. After a 2-ish mile run, I decided to shovel a bit of snow to finish things off. I ended up with over 700 calories burned. Yay!

Tomorrow will be a cross training day, so I'm pretty sure I'll do Jillian Michaels' Trouble Zones workout. It definitely makes the muscles burn!

Friday, December 18, 2009


I just finished up Plyo Cardio Circuit, and it felt great! If you haven't tried out Shaun T's INSANITY yet and you really like intense cardio, you have to get it! Again I wanted to run today and I waited around until it was dark. I don't like running in the dark, so I did some INSANITY instead. I burned 663 calories!

Tomorrow I will definitely run! I found my iPod which was also something I was using as an excuse to do my indoor workouts. No fooling around anymore! I'm going to follow this for my marathon, and I'll be officially starting (and blogging about it) on December 28.

Must eat something... INSANITY makes me hungry!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

I Caught the Lazy Bug

Yes, that's right, I have a been a lazy bum (as compared to my usual self) the last few days. I had my last final exam on Monday afternoon, and I pretty much cratered after that. I did not eat like a crazy person, but I was just so, so lazy. It was all I could do to get off the couch! I guess finals and job interviews have really taken their toll on me. I did some working out but nothing near as intense as usual.

On Tuesday, I tried a Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader workout. Soooo, I hate to be mean, but seriously, anyone who takes their workouts seriously, please don't do this workout. The moves are fine, but I'm pretty sure I lost a couple IQ points. Is that mean??? Oh well... it was pretty bad.

On Wednesday, I tried to do some online yoga on yogatoday.com. They have one free yoga workout each week. Unfortunately, my internet connection was not so strong and it kept buffering and buffering. Doesn't make for a very focused and centered yoga practice! I stopped after 23 minutes and returned myself to my couch.... SERIOUSLY, I CAUGHT THE LAZY BUG!!!

Luckily, I woke up refreshed and feeling energetic this morning, so I threw together a strength training workout on my own. I combined mostly moves from Jillian Michaels, some cardio from INSANITY, and some kickboxing at the very end. All in all, it was 523 calories. Ahhh, it feels good to be back!

If I learned anything from this it's that sometimes I just need a break! I think I get so concerned that I have to do a kick butt workout everyday or I'm not working hard enough or something. But you know what... sometimes everyone needs a break! The key is not making a break a permanent stop. I've gotten to the point in my health journey where I know that will not happen, so occasional breaks are important for me. I now feel refreshed, recentered, and refocused. Ahhh...

PS - That sleepy cat is my cat, Shepard!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Monday Weigh-in

As I mentioned in previous posts, for the 25 Days till Christmas Challenge, I wanted to lose weight and be at 157 pounds by Christmas. I weighed in today, and I was at 159 pounds. Woo hoo! I was at 168-169 at the end of August, so this is some serious progress for me! Here are some triumphs related to this that I'd like to share:

  1. I have never been brave enough to weigh in on Monday. In the past, I always pushed this off to Thursday knowing that I had screwed up over the weekend and it wouldn't show a loss. Today, I knew that I had been reasonable over the weekend, getting in my workouts and having controlled splurges. It showed on the scale! This really makes me feel like I've turned a corner and I have made this into a lifestyle, not a diet. I am going to embrace Monday weigh ins from now on!!!
  2. I've been doing this on my own! What I mean by that is that I'm not following a plan or some prescribed diet. I'm not counting points, I'm not restricting foods, and I'm not working out like a crazy person. I'm eating what feels right (and journaling... not going to lie, journaling is very important for me) and I'm working out for less than an hour a day. And it's still working!
So I am full confident that I can hit my goals my Christmas. Today, I plan to do another Jillian workout because I'm busy at school until 4:30. After that, it will be getting dark, so I'm not going to do a run today. My last final exam is today though, so I am free until next semester. I'm going to get plenty of rest tonight and then I'm going to get up to run tomorrow. Woo hoo!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Just in case you feel like shopping...

Check out this website! It's an invitation only discount shopping site. I bought a $250 winter coat for $49 the other day!!!


Friday, December 11, 2009

Let the Running Begin

I decided today that I should get to running if I really think I'm going to run this marathon next May. It is absolutely FRIGID in Pittsburgh today. I wanted to run 3 miles, but the temperature was in the teens, the wind chill was negative, and the wind was blowing at 20 mph. Not pleasant! Instead of giving up, I decided to head over to the gym to do my 3 mile jog. That was both good and bad!

Good - actually ran 3 miles, didn't give up!
Bad - treadmills are so boring!!!

When I did my first marathon in 2005, I trained through the winter, and I've actually come to like that feeling you get when you run in the cold. The wind is just too much though because even with ear muffs, it hurts! So off to the treadmill I went... with no iPod. Ugh. I made it through my mileage, but I stopped once in the middle to walk. And seriously, in all honesty to myself, that was pure mental garbage/boredom. Oh well. Can't win them all right? At least I finished! I meandered my way back home, and when it was all said and done, I burned 924 calories. Nice!

So, all this running and talking of marathons makes me think about a post I read on another blog this week. It was about being a "try" athlete, which I thought was awesome! You can read it here. What really struck me is that throughout my life, even with my marathon, half marathons, P90x, etc. I still tell people that I am not an athlete. I started to wonder why I do that... you know, I have no clue! But I know I'm going to stop... just because I wasn't a HS or college athlete on some kind of team sport does not mean I'm not an athlete. I need to start giving myself credit! So thanks to Amazon Runner for the post!

I hope everyone out there who gets up everyday and presses play or goes for a jog or hits the gym gives themselves the credit they deserve. You are an athlete! And so am I! :)

Thursday, December 10, 2009

I'm going to run a marathon!

A close friend of mine at school told me yesterday that instead of running the half marathon in PGH in May (as I had been planning to do), he's going to run the full marathon. We're the same pace... so I decided to do it too! We have to start training on Dec 28 already for a May race! I did one marathon before in my life, so might as well do another! The only thing that concerns me is that it's really hard to keep up your other workouts AND to lose weight when running a marathon. I actually gained weight last time! I'm going to have to be diligent about my calories instead of just pigging out after my long runs. Very important!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Jillian Michaels... like whoa!

Ummmm, seriously, Jillian Michaels!?!?! Seriously!?!?! I just finished the approximately one hour long Jillian Michaels Boost Metabolism workout. I am lucky to have her workouts On Demand through Comcast cable. OK, let's just say that was freaking hard! Take all of your favorite moves from Tony Horton and Shaun T and throw them together with not one break. Woo! I loved it! And I burned a total of 831 calories!!!! I have not burned that many calories on a workout since I did Pure Cardio and Cardio Abs from INSANITY in the same day. No wonder people on The Biggest Loser lose over 200 pounds!

I may be slightly addicted to her workouts right now! I think I'll stick to these for a little while! Her favorite motivational saying is "Don't Phone It In!" So don't phone it in, folks... get in that workout and DO IT!!!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Easy Yummy Marinade

All is well in the 25 Days till Christmas Challenge! Yesterday, I did an awesome Jillian Michaels workout On Demand! It was her Trouble Spots workout, and I was impressed to see two moves I had never done.

  1. Chest Press with a Crunch - combine a regular crunch with a chest press so you end up with a weighted crunch
  2. Chest Fly with a Straight Leg Lowering - combine the lower ab move where you lower your legs (straight) to about an inch or two from the ground while you perform a chest fly
I loved those! I always feel like I'm resting when I get on the ground to do chest exercises, so adding in the ab moves was awesome to me.

Also, I made an easy and yummy marinade tonight for my pork chop. I combined ~1/2 cup of low sodium soy sauce, 1 T of ground ginger, and a dash or two of hot sauce. Mix it all up and marinate the pork chop as long as you like. I'm impatient, so I did about 15 minutes. I baked my pork chop afterwards, and let me tell you, the taste was awesome!!! And I combined a really great, anti-inflammatory ingredient (ginger) with something as boring as a pork chop. I will be doing that again!

Time for The Biggest Loser finale! Woo hoo!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Monday again!

It feels like the last few days have been a whirlwind. I flew out of town on Thursday for a job interview, returned late Friday night (keep your fingers crossed for me because I loved it!), moved all day Saturday, went to a Christmas party Saturday night, and unpacked all day yesterday. Phew! My exercise for the weekend was moving/unpacking. I don't know where my heart rate monitor is right now (still packed somewhere) so I have not been tracking calories officially.

So where does this leave me on the challenge? The weekend was a lot less structured than I would hope, but I don't feel like I fell off the wagon in any way. Today, I am doing quite well, so I'll move forward with this momentum! I totally forgot that I decided to throw out my toaster oven because it was so old. Part of the reason was also to force me to eat eggs for breakfast or oatmeal. I usually have toast with peanut butter, which is also a great breakfast, but I wanted to be a little more high protein over the coming weeks. Today I made two eggs with some baby bella mushrooms mixed in. I also had some berries and pineapple on the side with my usual coffee and organic milk. Excellent!

As for the workout, my DVD's are still in an undisclosed box! Luckily, I have On Demand workouts, so I'll pick out some cardio on there and do that before I head out to class. I hope all is well out there! Have a healthy day!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Weigh-in and Eating on the Go

I'm traveling for a job interview today and tomorrow, so I have to eat on the go. So far, I'm doing well! I had my favorite breakfast at home today, which is whole wheat toast with peanut butter and jam. I know, I know, jam has a lot of sugar in it. When I'm done with this jar, I'm going to try to make my own with frozen berries and agave nectar. I had a layover around 11, and I found myself a Subway and had a sandwich. I typically don't like Subway but when your options are bagels, pizza, donuts, or Subway, you eat Subway!

When I got to my hotel, I had some extra time, so I went to the fitness center! It felt great to workout again. My cold is definitely almost gone. I had some reading to do to get ready for tomorrow's interviews, so I brought that with me and did 35 minutes on the elliptical. After my workout, I weighed myself, and I'm happy to report I was at 160 pounds! That was the middle of the day and fully clothed! My goal for Christmas is 157, so I am well on my way! PLUS, that means I've lost at least 8 pounds since September, and I'm happy about that.

Tonight is dinner out at an Italian restaurant. According to myfooddiary, I have 959 calories left to reach my lose 1 pound per week total. I don't plan to have wine because I'm still taking some cold medicine, so that should save calories. Their salads look great, so I'll definitely start with those, and hopefully have a fish or chicken entree. The menu had a few chicken dishes on there that looked good, but I'm hoping there's a fish special. I'll skip dessert but I will most likely have one piece of bread. That should keep me satisfied but in check!

Hope everyone is doing well in their health journeys!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

3 Fabulous Days in a Row!

This second challenge is going quite well. It's the 25 Days Till Christmas Challenge, and I'm just trying to eat clean and workout. My cold has sidelined the working out, but the food is going so well! I can actually feel the difference. It makes you wonder why you ever step out of the clean eating habit. It feels like crap! I'll have to remember that whenever I want a cupcake or pizza! I wish you could bottle the feeling and take it out whenever you need it.

On the workout front, I'm thinking I can do a little workout tomorrow. My cold is much better today than the last few days. On Monday I'll be starting up my P90X-half marathon training hybrid. Can't wait!

I'm moving into a new apartment this weekend, and I'm also really looking forward to that. It's on the ground floor as I've probably mentioned before, so I can jump all I want. I dropped my keys at my old apartment tonight, and it was kind of surreal. I don't know why, but I always get a little sad when I leave one place and move to another. This apartment even bothered me a lot, but I think I get a little contemplative because it symbolizes change to me. I've left behind the life I had in that apartment, and I'm moving on. And, I've had so many changes in my life over the last 9 months that it is a welcome change! It's kind of like the icing on the cake... or maybe the peanut butter on the apple!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Fighting a Cold

Ugh, I am still fighting a cold. It makes me realize how important working out is! I can't workout right now because I'm so exhausted, and that leads me to have to eat way less to be healthy! OMG, that is hard!!! Today I'm around 1400 calories, and I could probably fit in 200-ish for a snack later. I think I'll have some dried fruit or maybe some yogurt. I've been drinking a ton of decaf tea for my throat, so I'm sure I'll have some of that too!

My challenge officially started today, but the cold is getting in my way. My scale is also packed (I'm moving this weekend), so I'm going to have to really kick it off in full gear on Saturday!

At least I have The Biggest Loser to watch tonight! Usually I end up working out during that because it's impossible to sit still watching Jillian and Bob work with everyone. Sigh... today will be a relaxed BL session for me!

Monday, November 30, 2009

My virtual models!

I went to virtualmodel.com and created these for myself.

Me now:

Me at goal:
Fun! I also joined in on another challenge for December so I have a group to keep me accountable. Excellent! Today is going well. I've tracked my food and I have about 650 calories left to meet my goal for the day. My only exercise was walking to and from school, but I'm feeling healthier today than yesterday, so I'm sure the workouts will be up and running in no time.

Have a healthy night!


I've thought about things a bit, and I have come up with goals for myself.

Goal #1: Reach 157 pounds by the end of 2009
Goal #2: Goal Weight of 142 pounds

Another step in the process was to visualize myself at the goal so I can begin to expect that it will happen, instead of just wishing it would like I've always done. I found this website, although I'm not quite sure I have a photo that works well for this exercise. I found something on Fitness Magazine's website once too, so I think I'll go searching for that. For now though, I have a short term goal and a long term goal. That's progress!

So, now what I am doing to reach the short term goal? First, I've got to be logging my food. It's just not possible for me right now to get by without logging. I will of course be exercising, although not today because I have a ripping cold. So I'll have to take it easy and rely on food choices today. And rest so I get better!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Do you want it? Or do you expect it to happen?

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving! Mine was very nice. Headed home to see my family and had some fabulous quality time with everyone. I didn't work out on Thursday because we went into NYC to watch the parade, but I got in a long walk and some lunges, squats, and abs on Friday. Today I did a 30+ minute interval workout with some Kenpo X moves, biceps, back, and shoulders. It was around 450 calories burned. I'll take it! I'm moving this week so I am now surrounded by a sea of boxes and very little to eat or to exercise with.

Over the last few days, I signed up for a daily motivational e-mail called the PEERtrainer (by Jackie Wicks... you can go here to find it). I came across when I googled the Fat Smash Diet, which is actually one of my favorite ways to eat. It's pretty similar to the way the eating plan is set up for P90X. Anyway, the tip I received in the mail a couple days ago had this:

"One generally gets what the expect, not just what they want."

That has got me thinking... do I expect to reach a goal weight? Or do I want to reach a goal weight? Do I even know what that goal weight is? I think I do well in that I exercise on a regular basis, but I do not do well in that I haven't set concrete goals and I don't actually expect things to happen. I just sort of hope for it... and we all know that doesn't work! I think I feel like exercise is enough, but there's so much more than that! Now, I'm not saying I workout and eat like crazy, but if I put in as much effort with what I eat as with what activity I do, I'd be doing so much better! I'm going to take some time over the next couple days to do a few things that will get me on track:

  1. Set a concrete goal weight for myself.
  2. Visualize and believe that I can reach that goal.
  3. Set up a series of smaller goals that will allow me to work toward the final goal I have set.
I hope it works!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I hope you have a wonderful day! I will be heading to my parents' house today and then we'll be off to NYC for the day tomorrow to see the parade. Fun! We haven't decided where we're going to eat yet, but plenty of places are open in NYC on Thursday. We're going to do an official Thanksgiving dinner on Friday. My plan for my health for the weekend is to eat more veggies on the side and to exercise as much as possible!

Speaking of exercise... today I'm doing a yoga routine from the November Fitness Magazine. It was written by a woman named Kristin McGee, who just so happens to be engaged to one of my classmates. It looks great! It's a bit cardio because of some flow moves, but then there are slower moves for strengthening. I'll let you know how it goes!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

End of Challenge and Beginning of the Next One!

Only a couple days left in this challenge. I'll give myself a B+ for this one. I did well for the most part, but I skipped two days of workouts! I got back on track yesterday though. I did a 22 minute high intensity circuit in my living room before school. It went something like this:

  • 5 min warmup using marching in place, jogging in place, jumping jacks, and other P90X/Insanity warmup moves
  • pushups to exhaustion
  • 1 min of high intensity cardio like Heismans, 1-2-3 Heismans, jump squats, Mary Katherine lunges
  • bicep curls to exhaustion
  • 1 min of high intensity cardio
  • bent over rows to exhaustion
  • 1 min of high intensity cardio
  • tricep pushups to exhaustion
  • 1 min of high intensity cardio
  • overhead shoulder press to exhaustion
  • 1 min of high intensity cardio
  • bicycle abs to exhaustion
  • 1 min of high intensity cardio
  • cool down and stretch!
It works well for me when I squeeze those workouts in. I burned around 300 calories and I save a lot of time. I walked to school and back then, and that totals around 500-600 calories too. All in all a good day!

Today I promised myself I would get out of bed to go jogging. I am planning to do a half marathon in May, and I need to start my base building now. I did it! Woo hoo! It was hard to motivate because it was raining, but I did it! I was out there for 35 min and burned around 585 calories. Excellent!

Now on to my next challenge... I have done okay this fall by losing ~8 pounds of the weight I gained while I was traveling for work this summer. I really only have about 2 left, but I was trying to lose weight before. I'm really at a point where I'd like to lose 20 pounds, so my challenge for the rest of the year (ie the month of December) is to lose 5 pounds. That would bring me down to 157. Then I'll make myself a new challenge come January so I have defined, quantifiable goals.

Have a wonderfully healthy day!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Long Weekend

It felt like quite a long weekend at least! I am moving on November 29, and I did some packing this weekend. I hate it! Not only is there so much more to do, but it cut into my workouts. I didn't do an official workout on Saturday or Sunday. I guess I fell off the Challenge Wagon this weekend! I don't have much time this morning, but I plan to do at least a 20 minute circuit workout before I get ready for school. Most of my food is gone and my workout gear is packed, so I'm going to be a little off for the next two weeks. I'll do my best!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Day 4 of 10 Day Challenge

Hmmm, so today's plan might be thrown slightly off. I have an appointment to have the headlights on my car replaced (one of the bulbs went out), and I decided to just wait for it. After that, I was going to head home and do P90X Arms and Ab Ripper X before a meeting at 12. Now, it seems as though my appointment is going to go long because they're busy... so what to do now?


I'll squeeze it in sometime I guess! If all else fails, I'll walk to school and get in my 300 calories burned there. Plus the walk home will give me even more!

My meal plan for the day is a turkey sandwich for lunch and some chicken for dinner. I have tomato sauce so I think I'll just cook the chicken in a pan and then put it in the tomato sauce. I'll serve it over Barilla Plus pasta, which is pretty high in the protein category. I also bought myself some Greek yogurt the other day so I can mix it with pumpkin puree and some agave nectar. That idea came from Chalene's twitter page... I hope I like it!

Have a healthy day!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Challenge Day 3

Day 3 of the challenge is going well so far! My workout today will be cardio only, and I have a dance class at 6 PM for that. Tomorrow I definitely want to do another P90X workout! I understand why I loved it so much... I'm sore and it feels great! I'm going to stick with P90X as much as possible to the end of the year. It is like an old friend I haven't seen in a while and missed so much!

Today's food will be leftovers. I actually made my shrimp in lemon juice and a little olive oil with some Italian seasonings. It was so good! Lemon juice makes everything taste better! Yum! I'm going to make sure I have whole lemons on hand all the time. I made some brown and wild rice on the side. Good stuff!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Chest and Back, P90X

So that's a picture of the beautifully challenging divebomber pushup. Well, at least it's the first step in the divebomber pushup. Today I did P90X Chest and Back, and I forgot how crazy those little guys are! I have obviously lost some strength since I had my rough summer plus just doing Insanity lately. I'm so happy I did some P90X again today! It was DIFFICULT and FABULOUS all at the same time!

The 10 Day Challenge is going well. I had a bit of a headache yesterday so I was kind of sluggish, which led me to just walk for exercise. It ended up being 500-600 calories total though, so not too bad for a lazy day. I had some turkey chili for dinner and relaxed after that until I fell asleep on the couch. I am much better today!

My plan for today is to walk to school so I get in some extra calorie burn. I have some frozen shrimp defrosting, and I'm going to cook that in some tomato sauce for dinner. I don't have any pasta so I won't be eating that with the shrimp. I might make brown rice instead or just make some other veggies so I have a bunch of veggies to eat with the shrimp. We'll see!

Back to doing work around the house... fun fun!

Monday, November 16, 2009

10 Day Challenge!

Another beachbody enthusiast (and coach actually) has decided to do a 10 day challenge to get through the last few days before Thanksgiving. The challenge is to exercise everyday and eat clean... not too difficult, right? I've decided to join in because this short term goal is just what I need! In fact, I think short term goals are going to be the key to getting through the holiday season. If you want to read more, go here:

We all know the holidays are hard, and workouts and focus are what you need to get through. I'm going to start with this 10 day challenge and work my way through the holidays with more challenges like this.

I was quite excited to make my way back to the P90X world this weekend with some legs. OMG, my legs are sore! I LOVE IT!!! I'm going to try to motivate to do Chest and Back tonight when I get home from school. If for some reason I don't have enough time to devote to it, I will do a modified version of it by following the book.

My modified versions of workouts went really well last week. With my "fly by the seat of my pants" structure, I was able to burn 2946 calories!!!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

How do you choose your workouts?

I was thinking today as I was choosing my workout that I sometimes have no rhyme or reason to what workout I do. I can definitely see how there could be problems with that approach. Research has shown that people who have a plan to reach their goals are much more likely to reach their goals. That's why fitness experts suggest having concrete goals like:

  • I will eat 1600 calories per day this week.
  • I will exercise for 45 minutes per day Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday.
  • I will lose 1 pound per week.
You get the picture! For some reason, concrete, quantifiable goals help you reach your goals. If they aren't working, you can always change them, but it really helps to define (and even write down) your goals.

So this brings me to my state of mind recently... I wrote about how busy I've been, and that makes it hard to workout. What I find, during times like this, that putting too much pressure on myself actually makes me crater. So what I've been doing is leaving things completely undefined, and then I can figure out what I'm in the mood for that day. The only thing I've done is committed that I will do some physical activity everyday. That has led me to walking one day, doing a hybrid P90X-Insanity (short) workout, and also doing some true P90X today.

It's working for me, so for now I'll stick with it! I do want to read more about this whole goal setting stuff though because I think that a lot of what holds me back from reaching my goal weight is not setting concrete goals and not actually (deep down) believing I can do it. Hmmm....

Today's workout was legs from P90X... OMG! I haven't done some of this stuff in a while and I can tell! My quads were definitely feeling it, and I have a feeling I'll have a nice little bit of soreness tomorrow. Love that feeling because then I know I worked!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Busy day workout

Today was/is another busy day for me, so I did what is now becoming a "Busy Day Workout" for me. I start off with five minutes of cardio a la INSANITY to warmup. Most of the time I used Shaun T's moves, like jogging in place, jumping jacks, Heismans, etc. For some reason, I absolutely love the Heisman! Then I did a back a bicep routine, inspired some by P90X. I did about a minute per exercise of the strength move followed by a minute of intense cardio (also from INSANITY or P90X plyo). It worked out really well! I only had 20-ish minutes, and I finished up with some sun salutations at the end which brought me to 25 minutes. Wonderful way to start the day! I'm enjoying the creativity when I need it, although I'm itching for some P90X workouts. I saw a pic of me in May and I think my biceps have gotten smaller... not good! Must get back to my P90X muscles!

Monday, November 9, 2009

What do you do when you're sooooo busy?

OMG, I am so busy right now! I actually took a much needed mental break this past weekend and took my time to do more personal/family things than school things. Now I'm so busy! It is going to be a hectic week! So that is what led me to think to myself... what do I do when I'm so busy? How do I fit in my workouts, my school work, my family/friends, and not go totally insane?

Tactic #1: Make a list! I just made a list of everything I need to get done for school through Thursday so I can check it off when I'm done. There's something satisfying about checking things off and knowing you're accomplishing something.
Tactic #2: Don't overextend myself! That means, don't commit to too many social events, don't commit to 2 hours of working out per week. Don't overcommit! I know a lot of us have an issue with this one, and I think it puts a lot of undue stress on you if you aren't honest with yourself about how much you can handle.
Tactic #3: Stay focused! Today, that has meant making my list so I can be more focused. I've got to keep myself focused and motivated to stick to my schedule or I won't get it all done!

So what does all this mean for workouts and food? For one, I may have to be extra creative this week. Today, I walked to school with my backpack filled with stuff, and I burned 350 calories. Done, and done! I'd normally do more, but I just don't have time! If I only have 20 minutes, then I better make it a good 20 minutes with some interval work inspired by all I learned from P90X and INSANITY. As for food, convenience does not necessarily equal fattening foods. Last week I made turkey chili, and I'm still finishing it off. When I'm really busy, I'll make myself a turkey sandwich on whole wheat or a baked chicken breast with frozen veggies. Whatever it takes, right, even if it isn't exciting?!?!

Oh, right, and I can't forget to sleep. Ahhh!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

It's yoga week!

I decided that since I was experiencing some hip pain which then sort of turned into low back pain that I am making this week YOGA WEEK! I started on Sunday with a 45 minute yoga routine that was on Exercise TV On Demand. I did a shorter one yesterday morning that was a little too beginner for me. I did appreciate the extra explanations of postures, etc. I'm going to try out a new one tonight. My only gripe with the workouts is that I find they're trying to be a little too heavy on the cardio and not so heavy on the mental side of yoga. I'm actually looking for yoga... not some beast of a workout that makes me sweat and burn killer calories. No doubt I love those kind of workouts sometimes... well most of the time. But this week is all about taking things easy and stretching out.

Will keep you posted on how some of these other yoga workouts go... Exercise TV should be putting some new ones on there tomorrow!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Pumpkin Treats!

Since I've been reading up on anti-inflammatory foods, I've been trying to add more of them to my diet. Some things are easy, like reducing/eliminating sugar and moving to Stevia or agave nectar. In other cases, you have to get a bit more creative. Being that Halloween just ended, I figured I'd write a little bit about the wonderful pumpkin and how I use it for more than just desserts.

First of all, pumpkins are jam packed with lots of good nutrients, so it will be hard to list them all and why we should all be eating more pumpkin. The orange color comes from an abundance of carotenoids, which help to neutralize free radicals in the body. Free radicals wreak havoc in the body actually, and they can cause damage to regular healthy cells. Pumpkins have lots of iron, zinc, and fiber as well. I've decided to try using pumpkin year round since it has such great health benefits.

Today I'm going to be making a pumpkin chili. Sounds kind of odd, but I've done it before and it's yummy! The pumpkin tends to thicken the chili so it feels much heartier. Here's the plan:

2 cans Rotel tomatoes (I like the spice!)
1 can diced tomatoes
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 pound ground turkey breast
chopped carrots (makes a nice crunch)
chopped celery (also great for crunch)
1 can black beans
1 can kidney beans
chili powder to taste
cumin to taste

If you couldn't tell, I don't use recipes. I just use ingredients I like and figure out how to make it work. I have a feeling I'll need some veggie broth to thin out the chili a little. I could also add some tomato sauce if I want some more tomato flavor. If I had onions, I'd be throwing those in as well, but I am unfortunately all out. In any case, the key is using pumpkin for more than just pie! There's tons of recipes out there on the internet for pumpkin chili. Try it out!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Taking things easy

For a few days, my hip has been bothering me, so I've had to take it a little easier than usual. It's kind of an odd very dull ache that actually is worse when I'm sitting. Not sure exactly what that is, but I'm thinking that high impact workouts aren't a good idea. Yesterday I just used a long walk to school as my workout, which was thankfully 343 calories, so I didn't feel too lazy! Today I made up my own workout using my favorite moves from P90X, Slim in 6, and countless other sources I've used in the past.

I really like interval-type workout, so I warmed up for 5 minutes using classic low impact moves like marching in place, low kicks, hammy curls, etc. After that I moved into some resistance band work (totally inspired by Debbie Siebers). I did 25-30 reps of each exercise, and I alternated biceps, triceps, chest, back, shoulders, and abs with some cardio mixed in. All in all it was 30 minutes and 300 calories. I finished with some much-needed sun salutations and a bit more stretching.

Hopefully the rest will help my hip feel better!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Changing things up

I've decided I want to change up my blog a little bit, but I'm at a loss for inspiration. One of my favorite bloggers (http://annie-shrinkinggirl.blogspot.com/) has a cool little rotation she follows, like Weigh-In Wednesdays, Motivational Mondays, etc. I definitely don't want to copy her format, but I want to do something a bit different... any ideas? Anything you want to try to do but don't have time to do it? I can be your guinea pig!

My only thought so far is my quest to learn about foods the reduce inflammation. There are so many out there, and nobody knows what to do with some of them. I could always highlight some of those foods here and there and how to incorporate them into your diets. Hmm....

Not sure about that one, so I'll continue searching for the idea I need to spice up the blog... until then, I shall continue working out and writing about my journey!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Variety is the spice of life!

So is flexibility! I've decided that tonight I'm going to do some Kenpo X instead of my normally scheduled INSANITY workout. Two reasons:

  1. I am sore from INSANITY! To the point where my calf really needs a day off of all the jumping, hence the Kenpo X.
  2. I need some variety! And I miss P90X...
The best part about Kenpo X for me is that I can do the workout in front of the TV while I watch my favorite shows. I have no clue what I'll watch, but for some odd reason, I am quite excited about my evening plans of watching TV while I do Kenpo X. I'm glad the simple things in life keep me going!

I think the best part about my decision for tonight is the flexibility. I used to be the kind of person who was very rigid and if I couldn't do what I planned, I didn't do anything at all. That person would've said, "I can't do INSANITY tonight so I'm going to do nothing but sit around my house." Instead, I decided to change things up. I know this may seem like a small feat to some, but I find that I used to let inflexibility derail my efforts. So making these little decisions makes me realize how much better I am at a healthy life than I used to be. Good stuff!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Max Cardio Conditioning

Aaaaahhhh, just finished up Max Cardio Conditioning! It's a great workout! I think this one is most similar to Pure Cardio because you don't actually get breaks during the moves. Technically, you get an active break where you do some slow front kicks... but is it really that much of a break to kick your leg as high as you can??? Not really, but it is more relaxing since you aren't jumping around too much! I burned 721 calories on this one! Woo hoo!

It's been quite a busy week for me... my landlord decided to sell my apartment, and she just sprung that on me and told me my lease ends Nov 30. Ugh! Luckily I found another place, but now I have to move. I graduate in a little over 6 months too, so I'll be moving into a place for only 6 months. Kind of annoying! The good thing about the place (besides that it is overall much nicer) is that I'm on the ground floor so I can jump around like a maniac and no one will care! YAY!

The only other thing going on is that I'm seriously thinking I'd like to be a fitness instructor some time. I've thought about it forever, and I really think it's about time. I know I won't be able to swing it while I'm in graduate school but once I move this coming spring/summer, I'm going to figure out what it takes to do that. Why not make a hobby a little bit of a career? Right?? :)

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Max is awesome!

Max workouts in INSANITY that is... I just finished up Max Interval Plyo and it was so fun! There are lots of new moves that are pretty challenging, but it's quite obvious everyone thinks they are because people are taking breaks when they need them in the video. I just paced myself and kept to it! Here are some of my favorites:

Squat Pushups - start in a squat and basically fall forward and catch yourself on your hands, then do a push up (keeping legs bent for the most part). Push yourself back up to squat when you're done... nice!
Side Pushups - really??? really, Shaun T??? These will take some serious work but, man, did I feel that in my obliques!
Pogo Jumps - balance on one leg with knee up, touch the floor, and then jump up. FUN!

I'm quite excited I did this workout today! I had been feeling really lazy for no reason at all, and I pulled myself out of bed and just did it. Phew! I'll have to keep myself on track from now on!

Dig deeper, right??? Off to WOWY to log my workout!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Month 2 begins tomorrow!

I've made it through the recovery work of INSANITY, so that means the real business begins tomorrow. I've heard these workouts are tough, and they are an hour instead of being around 40 minutes. I'm really excited to try them! The recovery week workout was so nice and relaxed! And by relaxed I mean that you took a break between exercises, but you were still doing high jumps. :)

I've noticed that Shaun T is big on pulling in your core, so I've been trying to concentrate on that. Like even when I'm walking to and from school... I figure it never hurts to pull in your core and flex those muscles! Today is my final rest day but I walked about 3.5 miles with my laptop/backpack (that's my round trip for school), so I probably burned a few hundred calories. Now I'm going to relax and make sure I get a good night of rest so I'm ready to burn it tomorrow!

On the food side of things, I've been reading much more about anti-inflammatory foods and how you can improve your health with your food choices. My first food FOE that I'm going to take on is sugar. I'm not a big sugar person, to be honest, but I do use SPLENDA, which is bad, bad, bad! I'm going to try to switch over completely to agave nectar and stevia. Agave nectar has less of an impact on your blood sugar because of its chemical makeup, so it then has less chance to cause inflammation in the body. I could go into boring chemical details (I'm a chemistry nerd-type), but that's not necessary. Another benefit should be better skin as well. I've read that people who reduce sugar and refined carb intake actually improve their skin... it's all inflammation! Boo inflammation! That's the ENEMY! I'm planning to make my own berry jam with frozen fruit and agave nectar so I have a better alternative to the sugar-laden varieties they sell in the store. If I make something yummy, I'll be sure to post it on here!

Off for now but I will report how day 1 of month 2 goes... I'm pretty nervous!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Some Weekend Variety

I made my way out to Philadelphia this weekend to visit my best friend, so I did a little bit of a different workout. The good news is that she is really into working out and I was able to get a free two week membership to her gym (SWEAT). We went over there on Saturday morning and did some upper body lifting. It was great! I hadn't been in a gym in so long, so I haven't been able to use heavier weights. We even did some dips and pullups on the gravitron machine. I was able to do much more of my own weight than ever before! We also put in 30 min of cardio, which I did on the elliptical. Very nice variety for me! This was the overall workout, done in pairs:

Bicep Curls, Tricep Kickbacks
Pullups, Dips
Overhead Press, Side Raises
Rows, Rotator Cuffs
Lat Pulldowns, Chest Press

Hmmm.... think that was it. I was lucky enough to get to watch Tool Academy during my cardio too. Have you seen that show? What a mess!

On Sunday, the weather was beautiful so we went for a jog along the Schuylkill River. I think we were out for about 35 minutes total. The odd thing about both of these workouts is that I burned about 660 calories in each. For some reason, I burn that amount of calories a lot in my workouts. No matter how long they are even! I wonder why that is...

Today I'll get back to the Core Cardio and Balance. I did that on Friday and loved it! I start up the second half of my workouts this Thursday!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

We're not tap dancing here...

That's a line (or something like it) in one of the INSANITY workouts. I don't know why, but I have to put INSANITY in all caps. Just have to! Anyway, Shaun T says something in one of his workouts to make people pick it up a little... something about not tap dancing. WELL, I was tap dancing tonight, and let me just tell you, it is not a light workout! In 50 minutes I burned 774 calories! Sooooo, tap dancing ain't so easy. Just sayin' people.

Tomorrow is a new workout for me... looking forward to it! I'll let you know how it goes. Happy workouts!

4 Weeks Down

I have finally finished my first four weeks! Woo hoo! I have lost 6 pounds in the process, which I'm loving. I can see my abs and I'm feeling the difference. This has definitely gotten me well on my way back to the weight I should be. Yay!

The food is going well too. Last night I had whole wheat pasta with tomato/basil pasta sauce and sautéed mushrooms. Mushrooms are also a super immunity boosting food, so I'm trying to eat them more often too. I was surprised by how low calorie that meal was! I definitely had to add in some calories later on. I've bought myself some dried fruit from Whole Foods that is literally just fruit, and it makes a nice addition to some cottage cheese. Oh the excitement!

I have a week of 'recovery' and then the real workouts begin. Thanks for the support!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Tough Workout + Healthy Dinner = Happy Alissa

Today's workout was Pure Cardio and Cardio Abs. With my hiatus, I hadn't done this one in a while. It was tough! That is an awesome, killer workout though! Suffice it to say I was dripping! In the abs workout, there are a couple crazies that I just have to explain. Most of your exercises take place from a C-sit which is basically sitting on the ground with your knees bent but your feet out sort of far and leaning back slightly so your abs are engaged. The KILLER move on this is when you lift both your legs in the air and then down, then bend your knees into your chest and back out straight. The most impressive thing is that the people in the video have completely still backs! You can't use your hands at all and they're balancing! That is some serious strength! I can do 3 at a time and then I start to wobble so I rest. The other CRAZINESS is when you change from plank on your hands to plank on your elbows, back and forth. Gets pretty freakin' tiring after a little while! Of course, being the crazy that I am, I love it and feel awesome when I'm done. So YAY!

On the nutrition side of things, I cooked myself a well-balanced meal tonight, and I even tried to use some antioxidant rich foods! :) I have a nice salad with tomatoes (rich in lycopene) and carrots (full of beta carotene). I made a piece of orange roughy, and I used an old Weight Watchers recipe for that. It's 1/4 cup of grated parmesan, 2 T of breadcrumbs, and a little paprika, which you dredge the fish in, then bake. It's really yummy! I actually substituted Turmeric for paprika because I read it was really good for you. It actually tasted good! I didn't use too much but it added some color to the fish.

All in all, a yummy meal! With that crazy workout, I still need a few hundred calories before bed, so I'll probably have some Greek yogurt and some dried fruit.

Nice to be back on the wagon!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Sore Muscles and Smiles

I'm back in the saddle as I mentioned in my last post. It feels oh so good and oh so bad! I was definitely a bit sore today from my latest INSANITY workout, but it was a good sore. I was pleasantly surprised then to see that today was a recovery workout. Again, I forgot how much BURNING goes on in your muscles during that, but I did very much appreciate the abundance of hamstring stretching that was going on. Love it, love it, love it!

I'm almost to my recovery week in INSANITY. I'm excited to try a new workout! Then the SERIOUS business gets going with all the Max workouts. Anything called Max in this series is frightening. Like seriously frightening. The good news is I'm seeing my abs define themselves, and I'm getting stronger with my pushups. I'm not going to lie though... I can't wait to start P90X again. I miss the lifting! As soon as INSANITY is done, I'm going to be on 3 days of running with 3 days of P90X (the lifting portions). I can't wait! I hope it's not 7 degrees everyday in Pittsburgh again this winter. That just sucks!!!

In other health-related news, I'm trying to alter my diet even more to be uber-healthy and immunity boosting. I am going to start experimenting with pumpkin in savory recipes (like soups and chili), and I bought turmeric. Now I have to figure out what to do with it! I'm reading this book about changing your lifestyle to keep you healthy, and it has a lot on diet change and most importantly for me STRESS RELIEF. Sometimes I think I'm batty because I let myself get so stressed! I'm in job search mode right now and not sure how that's going to end up, so I let it get to me sometimes. I think I might start meditating! I'll let you know how that goes...

For now, it's back to studying and searching for jobs. Oh yippee! Thank God for INSANITY, cause at least that gave me a little break from responsibility today!

Monday, September 28, 2009

10K and Getting Back to Business

Okay, back from my short hiatus. I had stitches in my leg which ended up preventing me from working out for a week. No big deal, and all is well now, but it took a little while to recover. It would have been mucho uncomfortable to workout with those!

I ran a 10K yesterday and I am seriously sore today! The INSANITY workouts definitely had me ready for the cardio involved, but for some reason my quads were so tight afterwards. Being sore is not a bad thing though, so I'll deal with it. I finished faster than I had ever finished for a 10K, although I'm not exactly a fast runner. I averaged somewhere around 9:45 min per mile. Not bad for not officially training! I think after INSANITY is over I'm going to get back to running so I can improve my pace. I think I'll do a modified P90X where I do the lifting and on the non-lifting days I do a running workout.

I'm going to rest today and then pick up where I left off with INSANITY. I was considering starting over so I could have an uninterrupted 60 days. Any thoughts on that??? :)

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Short Hiatus

I'm taking a short break from the workouts/blog. I have a minor health issue to tend to that is making it difficult to workout. Nothing major but the INSANITY just won't work. I'm hoping to be back into it by the end of this week or beginning of next. I have definitely noticed a drop in energy level during my break... I'm hating being so inactive! Just a few more days....

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

How many calories are burned in 3 weeks of INSANITY?

I'll tell you!


I've been keeping track of everything in a spreadsheet (I'm definitely a nerd), and that is my total for the first 3 weeks of INSANITY. All I can say is that's insane! Or maybe I should say it's bananas!?!?!?

Today was Pure Cardio and Abs, and I was feeling like a major slacker beforehand. I didn't get home until almost 7, and I knew I had to make dinner. I really, really had to convince myself to do it. Oddly, blogging is a big reason I did it! I would've felt guilty if I didn't because there are people (even if it's only a few!) who are tracking my progress. That means no slacking! And so I pushed play on the most intense day of INSANITY when I really just felt like chilling on the couch. I'm happy to report I finished and I didn't slack while I did it AND I burned 758 calories. That's on top of those 10000 I mentioned above! :)

Happy Workouts!!!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Busy busy busy!

This weekend was a busy one, so I ended up taking two rest days instead of the one in my schedule. I hardly had time to sleep... hate when that happens! I finished up week 3 today with the Plyometric Cardio Circuit. The good news is that I felt stronger with this workout even with the days off. Guess two days is no big deal! :) I'm getting much better with those plank-ski jump things. For those without INSANITY, you essentially are in plank and you jump your feet up and to the left, then back center, then up and to the right. Doesn't sound too crazy, but my shoulders get tired!!! All in all, I burned 619 calories. My heart rate is definitely stabilizing at a lower level than the early workouts. I was usually around 185 bpm and now I'm at 175. That's progress!

Lots of work to do... I'm going to start week 4 tomorrow, and I'll adjust if necessary later in the week. Happy Workouts!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Lactic Acid Craziness!

So today was the "easy" workout again, Cardio Recovery. Love, love, love the stretches but the lactic acid buildup is killer! I'll be honest, I'm a bit crazy and I love the lactic acid burning too, but man oh man it is rough!!!

Since I've been feeling some serious lactic acid buildup in my legs during these workouts, I decided to do some googling on lactic acid and exercise. Sounds like way back, scientists thought that the lactic acid actually diminished performance of athletes. They actually thought that was what caused muscle soreness after a workout. Turns out that lactic acid is actually a fuel source for the muscles and can improve performance!

I'm hoping I can see the results of all this crazy burning in a couple weeks. I signed up for a 10K, and I'm not actually running right now. The Insanity workouts though are high intensity and there is impact, so I think they'll be a great training source. I can't wait to see how I do! For those who haven't read my P90X portion of the blog, I actually ran a half marathon in May during my P90X program, and I didn't train for that. I actually finished faster than one of the races I ran that I trained for. If that's not a testament to the quality of these workouts, I don't know what is!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Pure Cardio, Abs, and TAP!

Today was a big workout day for me. I had Pure Cardio, which was awesome! I'm taking way fewer breaks than I've ever done, AND I actually felt like I hit a runner's high. Any runners out there probably know what I mean. Four years ago, I ran a marathon and raised money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (Team in Training). I never believed the whole runner's high thing until I noticed that I felt awesome after mile 5 and beyond. Like literally, 45 minutes in, I was almost in an ethereal state. I felt like I could run forever!

I felt that today with Insanity! I made it into Cardio Abs, and the jumps were cake. Okay, maybe not cake, but much better than the other day! At the end of the workout, you do these crazy plank moves where you go from planking on your elbows to planking on your hands. I definitely need to put something down so I can't slip! My first time I did this was at the hotel over the weekend, so I was on shag carpet (it was a trendy hotel!). Today I did this on wood floors, and I was slipping all over (of course because I was dripping with sweat).

To make the day crazier, I went to a tap class tonight at a local university. It was fun! I've been tapping since I was 5, so I was happy to be in a class. The style was different than I'm used to, but I'll ease back into it. The teacher was very nice, and there are people of varying levels... like other adults like me and then some students in the musical theatre program at the university. All in all, good time and I burned almost 500 calories! Insanity was around 800, so I hit some big numbers today!

So, that in turn made food a challenge. I had planned on eating this monster chicken breast for dinner because of the need for INSANE calories, but I got so sick of the taste. I had rice and beans on the side, and I decided to add in some baby carrots and hummus plus strawberries for dessert. It brought me up to 2200 calories, and MFD told me I could still eat something crazy like 500 more calories and meet my "Lose 1 Pound per Week" goal. I'm tired and not hungry though, so I am DONE.

Tomorrow is a Cardio Recovery day for me. Woo hoo!

Keep pushing play! :)

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Week 3 begins, some results are showing!

I just finished up my first non-fit test workout of the third week. Things are going well! I weighed myself this morning, and it looks like my resolve from last week has worked. I'm down about 3.5-4 pounds. I'm not uber-serious about tracking my weight, so it could be give or take a half pound. Based on comments and some stuff I was reading, I'm going to do no alcohol unless it's a special occasion, in which case I'll have a glass or two of wine. A special occasion does not equal a night at happy hour with friends. A special occasion equals a wedding, a special date night, or something like that. So far it's working!

Also, as a gesture of solidarity to a blogger friend who is doing Insanity at the same time I am, I have decided to post my before pics and a post-workout pic. Now, the before pics are horrendous in my opinion, but it is what it is. I am now going to get rid of that awful summer weight and then some. I'm at 165 (eek!) right now and hoping to get down to 140. I'll keep you posted!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Fit Test, Day 15

Two weeks down, and it's back to the fit test. It's been a fun two weeks! I went away this weekend for the holiday, and I brought my DVD's with me. Saturday was Pure Cardio and Cardio Abs. I had never done the abs workout, so I didn't know what to expect. Shaun T kind of plays a cruel joke on you, having those back to back! You've just finished youre 15-16 min of pure cardio HELL, and then during your warmup for Cardio Abs, you do POWER JUMPS! Ugh. I was doing all this in a tiny space in my hotel room, but I managed to do well. The biggest challenge was that I was working out on shag carpet, so it was really hard to pick my feet up quickly. It was actually kind of funny... I felt sooooo slow! That was a total of 828 calories burned! My total for the week was 3530!!! NICE!

Fit test take 2 went well! For some of the moves, I pretty much stayed the same, give or take one rep. My main improvements were:

Squat Jumps - Increased by 9 (went from 49 to 58 in one minute)
Switch Kicks - Increased by 10 (went from 112 to 122 in one minute)
Push Up Jacks - Increased by 6 (went from 24 to 30 in one minute)
Low Plank Oblique - Increased by 18 (went from 44 to 62 in one minute!!!)

I still want to improve my switch kicks. I think as I get stronger abs, I'll kick higher, which might actually make my number stabilize or go down. I'd say at this point my leg is still not quite parallel to the floor but it's definitely going higher than knee level... probably somewhere in between but hopefully closer to the high end!

This week should be a good week! I don't have any major challenges standing in my way, and I'm actually starting dance classes this week. I signed up for a tap class and a contemporary jazz class to supplement my business classes. I danced as a kid, so I think this will be awesome!

Hope everyone had a wonderful holiday weekend! Good luck with your health and fitness journeys!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Cardio Recovery

Today was a much needed cardio recovery day. I can really tell my muscles have been working. The lactic acid build up was insane during the lunges and squats! It felt great though, and I am much more relaxed than when I started. It was a grand total of 279 calories! I did a ton of walking today too, so I've burned quite a few calories.

As for food, I'm between 2000 and 2100 calories, so that should be good. Dinner is grilled mahi mahi, a side salad, "greens and beans," and maybe some couscous if I have room. "Greens and beans" is one of my favorite summertime treats in PA. Greens are in abundance during the summer and fall, so I wilt them in some chicken stock, throw in some Italian-ish seasonings, and some white beans. Yummy! It's one of my favorite healthy sides! I tend to spice it up with crushed red pepper too because I love spicy food.

Now I'm starving... must eat!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Plyo Cardio Circuit Again!

I just finished up Plyo Cardio Circuit again, and I am soaked! That seemed harder to me today! I've definitely got the warmup down, but once we moved into the pushup section, it was rough. Basically, you jump down, do 4 pushups, then stay in plank and run for 8 counts, then jump up and repeat. Tough, tough, tough! After all that, you do a bunch of different jumps from plank position. Whoa, my legs were losing it. All in all, it was 661 calories!

As for food today, I'm doing well. No temptations thrown my way, and I've managed to keep myself full all day. I'm already starting to feel healthier, so that's a huge improvement from 2 days ago. I seem to be getting myself easily to around 1900 calories, but myfooddiary and INSANITY want me to eat more.

Here's a question for all of you! Which do you think is better?

a) Eating when you're hungry even if you "don't eat enough." Of course, I'm certainly not condoning starving yourself, just the difference between 1900 calories and 2200 calories.
b) Eating more because it's what is recommended, even if you're not hungry anymore

Time for dinner... have a healthy night! :)

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Another day of INSANITY!

So today is going much more smoothly for me... I don't feel like quite the mess I felt like yesterday. I have been telling all my wonderful friends that I'm giving up drinking and eating completely clean for the next 8 weeks, and they look at me like I'm insane! Haha... no pun intended. I guess I am! I already feel much better today, even if it's just the mental resolve that's making me feel better.

Positives for yesterday:
  1. I had a fantasy football draft last night where there were tostitos and salsa, plus beer. I had NONE. I have a soft spot for salsa, tostitos, and guacamole, so that was some serious restraint.
  2. I felt much stronger while doing my workout, and I walked to and from school carrying my laptop (it's actually kind of hilly here). I burned over 1000 calories!
Areas for improvement:
  1. I only slept 6 hours, and I definitely prefer 7 - 8 hours.
  2. I didn't eat enough! By the end of the day, I had logged 1508 calories. INSANITY says I should eat 2100 calories a day, and myfooddiary said I still needed at least 900 more calories to be at a safe weight loss level.
As an aside (I've said this before but I'll say it again), if you're looking for a food diary, I highly recommend www.myfooddiary.com. They have a huge list of foods, so I hardly ever have to enter foods manually. They will track all your major nutrients in addition to calories in and out. Then you get a little report at the end of the day to tell you how you did. This is what it said to me yesterday:

At a glance ...
Exercise! You burned 1218 calories.
A high-fiber breakfast can help you lose weight and reduce your risk for heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes.
No dessert! You easily saved yourself hundreds of empty calories.
You have eaten fiber-rich foods. This is a good indicator of a healthy diet.
Saturated fats only accounted for 3.2% of your calories. Good job staying below the 9% limit!
You consumed 1313 mg of calcium. This is 131% of the recommended daily value (1000 mg) for adults under 50 years old.
You consumed 3778 IU of vitamin A. This is 126% of the recommended daily value for women.
Too few calories. Consuming too few calories can decrease your metabolism. This will hurt your long-term weight loss efforts.
Note: Make sure you have entered all of your foods for the day.
You consumed 2718mg of sodium. Ideally, this number should be below 2300mg.
Only 13.6% of your calories came from fat. Fat should account for a minimum of 15% of your calories.

Cool huh?

So here's the scoop on today. I did Pure Cardio, which AGAIN, is BANANAS. Shaun T's words, not mine... now every time I do that workout I think of Gwen Stefani. It's bananas, B A N A N A S! :)

For the food, I was much more thoughtful about what I ate/am eating. I'm going to be in school till at least 9:30 tonight, so I had to do some quick planning. I was home from 11:30 to 1, and in that time, I did my workout, I cooked my dinner, I made my lunch, AND I packed snacks. The key to my success today was literally having my laptop next to me so I could log all my food and figure out if I needed more. Turns out, I did! I added in a bag of walnuts and dried fruit, and now I'm all set.

MUCH BETTER!!! Thanks for reading! Good luck with your health and fitness goals today!!!

Monday, August 31, 2009


Okay, so this is now week 2 of INSANITY. The workouts are going well, so that's great. Unfortunately, as is always a fact with me, I fell off the food wagon this weekend. I don't know why I do it because I can be so focused with my workouts. It's totally unacceptable to me that I will workout and then eat crap on the weekends and think things will turn out well! So not good!

This summer, I was traveling all week for work, and I COMPLETELY lost all control. I was working long hours, I was eating out at every meal (living out of hotels), and I wasn't working out. This caused me to gain back the weight I had lost on P90X and then some. UGH!!! Again, so not good!

I really need to focus on my eating so I can get the real results of these fitness efforts! Here are some of the things I'd like to do to keep myself on track for the next 8 weeks:

  1. Log my food and workouts on www.myfooddiary.com, including my walks to and from school (35 min each way with my laptop bag on my back... that's actually pretty tough!)
  2. Eliminate alcohol, even the occasional glass of wine for this next 8 weeks. I can go back to the occasional glass of wine when I'm done with INSANITY and I really feel like I've got myself in a good food pattern.
So, I'm not sure where else to focus. Do you guys stick to your plan all the time? Or do you subscribe to the one day off philosophy?

So today is not going too hot. I'm at the too few calories level... oh boy! This is so difficult but it's worth the effort! I'd really like to lost 30 pounds, so I've got to FOCUS!!! Any and ALL advice is greatly appreciated!

On the topic of INSANITY, today's workout went well. My power jumps are getting much better! I still had to take some breaks at the end, mostly when I was transitioning from move to move. Today was the Power Cardio Resistance workout... not sure if that's the exact title, but it's got a bit more of the toning moves in it... some dips, more pushups, etc. Quite nice! I burned 612 calories... woo hoo!

Friday, August 28, 2009

This better work!

I just finished up day 6, ie the last workout of week 1 for insanity. All I can say is this better work! I can't imagine it won't, but you know... gotta say it. This is tough work! I've done really well with the workouts this week. Today was a repeat of Plyo Cardio Circuit, and I already felt stronger. Man, I can kick butt in that warmup already! :) That sounds sort of funny, but if you've done the warmup you know what I mean! I still have a ways to go in the pushup section, but those were even better than a few days ago.

As for the food, last night I strayed a bit and had some wine. I totaled up my calories and was around 2200 instead of 2100. Not the end of the world! My dinner was still healthy and balanced, and if I hadn't had a glass of wine, I would've been good to go. I just finished the first week of my fall semester at school so I took the chance to relax. In my opinion, a girl's gotta live, and this is part of my life. I like a glass of wine here and there... so be it! :)

Today's calorie burn was 646 calories. Woot! Tomorrow is rest day, so I plan to spend the day at the local farmers' markets getting all my good for me food for the week. This week, I have eaten so many yummy healthy things! My favorite for the week has been greek yogurt with fruit and walnuts. I highly recommend it!

For all those INSANE people out there, best of luck!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Day 5 - Pure Cardio

So you know you're in trouble when Shaun T finishes the warm up of his workout and proceeds to say he's scared to do the workout. Ummm, really???

The warm up was the general warm up he uses for all the other workouts where you mix up jogging, high knees, butt kickers, etc. and vary your speed as you move along. My favorite move in this part is definitely the 1-2-3 Heisman. I'm getting better at that already! My feet are moving so freaking fast! I love it! After you finish the warm up and the stretches, you move into fifteen straight minutes of cardio. And by cardio, I mean the type of cardio where you feel like you are sprinting up a hill. For 15 minutes... in Shaun T's words, it's bananas!

In total, that was 596 calories!

Still having issues getting the food balanced out during the day. I'm at 1100 calories, and I only have dinner and a snack to go. I shall continue trying...

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Day 4 - Cardio Recovery

Ahhhhh, that felt nice! After two days of crazy workouts, my body needed that relaxing workout. It definitely wasn't easy but it was way more yoga-based, so I now feel awesome! I noticed in the first two workouts that he hardly stretches your calf muscles, so I've had to do that on my own. This workout included a little downward dog action, and my calf muscles really needed it!

Shaun T channeled my favorite squat and lunge guru, Debbie Siebers, in this workout too! We did slow squats with some pulses and slow lunges with some pulses too. Brought me back to my Slim in 6 days! He even did leg lifts but of course they had to be INSANE. Instead of doing leg lifts on all fours just lifting one leg, you actually balanced on one of your toes and did the leg lifts. Nice!

All in all, it was 338 calories, and a much needed stretch/break from the INSANITY!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Day 3 - INSANITY Cardio Power and Resistance

Wow! I just finished the second full workout since the fit test. This is TOUGH!!! I am seriously dripping... like it looks like I showered in my clothes. I get like this by the end of the warmup! This workout included that crazy power jump that you see in the trailers. I think I'm getting pretty high off the ground, but I'm definitely not coordinated enough yet to just jump, jump, jump. I have to reset! Shaun T stressed form, so I take my time when I need to. Not like "taking my time" makes the workout any easier! All in all, I burned 636 calories. Phew!

I'm still having a bit of trouble with the food. I'm at 1400 calories for the day and all I have left is dinner. I'm definitely going to need a snack after dinner. I seriously never believed anyone who said they had a hard time eating enough. I'm going to try my hardest to eat the 2100 calories a day this is telling me to eat though. Tomorrow I'll try harder to eat more in the morning!

Monday, August 24, 2009

INSANITY Day 2 - Plyometric Cardio Circuit

I started the first official workout today for INSANITY... it was definitely tough! I made it through, so that's an accomplishment! The warm-up starts you off with a bunch of familiar moves like jumping jacks, high knees, Heismans, etc. The first round is "slow" and then you continue to build up speed. By the end of the warm-up, I was drenched! Shaun T has a really great stretching circuit he does before you move into the really intense stuff. That has to be one of the biggest things I appreciate about these Beachbody workouts... they definitely do what they can to teach you the right way to workout!

As for the rest of the workout, it was HARD!!! I can't wait to see how I progress through this. Some of the moves were decent, like squat jumps and ski jumps. I can't always go as fast as the people on the DVD although you can definitely tell they're really pushing it (and suffering) too! The drill circuit in the middle is pretty intense! You have to jump down and do pushups and then move into mountain climbers and just do that over and over and over. That's definitely one of the moves that I can't do as fast yet!

The great thing about this workout is that it flies by! Shaun T is very motivating, and he breaks the workout up really well. There's certainly never a dull moment! :) Just like you see in the trailers, I was dripping ALL OVER MY FLOOR! It was pretty hard to keep myself steady in some of the moves where you're in a plank... my hands were too slippery! I didn't have my yoga mat out, but I think I'll use that in the future.

Craziest move for me: the plank ski jump thing! You're in pushup position, and you stay there while you jump your feet up to the left, kind of like a slalom and then back center then right etc. I could not go as fast as they could and that whole circuit definitely kicked my butt!

My nutrition went pretty well today too! I figured out I need to eat much more earlier in the day because by the time 8 rolled around tonight, I had only eaten 1600 calories. According to the nutrition plan, I should have 2100! I ended up having a Greek yogurt with some strawberries and walnuts, which brought me up to 1900. We'll see how tomorrow goes!

Total calories burned on this workout: 680

All in all, a good day! I expect to have sore quads and sore core muscles tomorrow... those were burning and used a TON with this workout! I'll report in on day 3 tomorrow!