INSANITY: Max Interval Circuit

Month 2 started yesterday and as I expected, I struggled through my workout.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, month two of Insanity is all mental.

For those of you who have done the program before, you know what I am talking about.

Month one  is basically a warm-up. It physically prepares you for what month two is getting ready to dish out. The workouts in month 1 are all under 40 mins and end right around the point you start to psych yourself out and say “I can’t do this”. They build up your confidence and show you just how amazing your body is and what it is capable of doing.

Enter month two…

Max month (to me) is a smack in the face. You pop that disc in, ready to make this workout your bitch and you are greeted by a countdown bar at the bottom of your screen that says you have 59 mins remaining. “59 minutes?! Are you kidding me?!” At that moment, doubt begins to creep into my mind and the game begins. The warm-up feels never ending, the stretch a welcome relief and then…the first interval. (cue dread filled music)

Round one of Interval 1, I kept telling myself  “You got this”. I pushed myself through, but my eye….it kept wandering to that damn countdown bar and it didn’t like what it saw. My mind began to tell me I couldn’t complete this. With that, the mind vs. body struggle began.

Round two of Interval 1, my mind was winning. I kept looking at the clock and before I knew it, I was kneeling on the floor after in & outs, crying. “WTF?! I’ve done this before! I’ve completed this! Get up, bitch!”  is all I kept telling myself.

Round three and beyond, my body took over. I made a decision to NOT  look at that clock again. I REFUSED to allow my eyes to wander over to the lower left hand corner of my screen. I pushed, I screamed, I cursed, but I finished and I felt accomplished.

Fast forward to this morning and I feel like I was hit by a damn bus, but I conquered a demon yesterday morning in my living room and it feels good.

Today, I have Max Interval Plyo. I’m a little nervous about the inner battle that will take place again today, but I’m going to put my money on my body! I didn’t come all this way to give up now…plus I am stubborn and don’t like to lose!

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The End of Month 1

The end of Insanity, month 1 has arrived and I am on day 3 of my “recovery week”.  Anyone who has ever done Insanity knows why I put recovery in quotes…it’s not really a recovery, it’s just torture at a slower pace.

I have to say, I feel great this round. Month 1 flew by and I am noticing plenty of change in my body already. My last week of workouts was a little sketchy due to work, but I doubled up when needed and switched my rest day around to accommodate.

This week I have also incorporated some weight lifting into my routine. I love lifting and it’s the one thing I miss most when doing Insanity.

Now to be honest, I am not looking forward to month 2….Max month. Those of you who have been following my blog or my tweets know that I struggled viciously with Max month during my last round of Insanity. I cried. I cursed. I threw temper tantrums. In the end, I completed it and felt like I accomplished something huge, but once again I am filled with dread and self doubt as I prepare to face it again.

Insanity is a mental game and this time I hope to be stronger than the demons in my head. Afterall, I’ve done this before and I survived it…I really have nothing to fear.

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I’m Still Alive!

It’s been awhile since I posted a blog here and I am sorry about that.

I’ve been very open about my current fitness struggles and there wasn’t much to blog about, since my diet and workouts were all over the place.

Yesterday I hit my fitness-funk bottom. I felt unmotivated, lazy and disappointed in myself. I knew I had to get up and get back on track, so I decided to start Insanity again.

I didn’t start with the Fit Test because I didn’t want to face the drop in numbers that I would see. I knew that would either work in my favor by motivating me OR depress me and send me further in my downward spiral….so….I played it safe and jumped into Plyometric Cardio Circuit.

Some people may wonder why I decided on Insanity as the program to get me back on track. Well, to me Insanity is just as much mental (if not more) as it is physical. I need to get my head back into the game in order to make the progress I’d like to see with my body, and this program forces you to be in it mentally.

This will be the first time I do this program on my own without the support of the #insanecrew, whom I truly miss. They kept me going when all I wanted to do was quit last fall. I’m hoping to find the strength to keep myself going…I have to, because going back to who I used to be just isn’t an option.

Wish me luck, and if you are starting a new routine let me know. Maybe we can keep each other motivate and moving forward.

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A Milestone Along the Way


Many months ago when I started this journey and decided to once and for all take control of my weight…and my life…I didn’t quite realize just how much weight I needed to lose. I never sat down and said “I want to lose ___ amount of pounds.” I didn’t weigh myself constantly hoping to drop weight quick or look for any quick fix “magic pills” like I did in the past. I just decided to make healthier choices with my diet and become more active.

As the weeks went by, I saw results, felt better and made more changes. I fell in love with exercise and realized I could cope with thoughts and feelings without a bag of cookies or pint of ice cream. I realized that I was a strong person who was capable of more than I could have ever imagined. I was proud of ME. I was driven and no one was going to stop me from reaching my dream of finally being in shape.

Fast forward to when I completed INSANITY…I stepped on the scale and realized I was very close to a monumental weight loss number. It had never really dawned on me before that I had lost THAT much weight but I also never realized I needed to lose THAT much weight.

I thought I had reached my all time high weight while pregnant with my daughter (240+ lbs – only around 10lbs gained while pregnant) but to my horror and surprise I found photos from before and I looked much heavier. (I was never a fan of the scale and have always struggled with my weight so just how much I have lost will remain a mystery)

Well, the other day I weighed myself and I reached that major milestone. I’ve lost 101 pounds since that all time high weight! (Probably more since realizing that wasn’t my all time high…eek)

It has not all been done on this journey (I had lost 20lbs over a few years before fully committing). It has not been because of a diet program or with any “magic pills” (although P90X, ChaLEAN Extreme and Insanity have all played a large roll). I has been done over the course of years in a gradual way until I made that decision to take control. I reached this milestone with hard work, sweat and plenty of tears. It may have taken me years to do, but it has been done and that feeling is priceless.

While sitting and looking at old photos of myself  I cried. They were tears of joy that I was no longer trapped in that body, unhappy and unwilling to make the changes I needed to make. They were also tears of sadness, because I wasted so many years of my life being miserable and unhappy when I had the power to change myself long ago.

Overall, it was a surreal moment. I didn’t jump up and down and shout it from the roof tops. (Heck, it took me three days to decide to even blog about it). I felt a range of emotions, but mostly…….I felt empowered.

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**A special thanks to everyone who has believed in me and helped me along the way. XOXO

 

 

New Horizons


Arriving at one goal is the starting point to another – John Dewey

 


As I looked in the mirror over the weekend, it hit me that I have almost reached my goal.

It is a point in my life I never thought I would reach. A dream I had and wanted for so long, but never had the drive to go after. I would wish for it…pray for it…and basically beg for it, but I would never do anything to go for it.

Thankfully, I finally put one foot in front of the other and now I am finally reaching the finish line and grabbing my dream. It is a moment that still hasn’t fully registered,  however, it is empowering and an achievement I am very proud of.

Reaching this goal has shown me that I am capable of great things and it has left me wanting to help others start on out on their journey. I realized it is time to set new goals and to go after them.

As with this journey, I am sure I will stumble and fall. I will get frustrated and question myself as to why I am doing this, but it is all part of the process. The growing as a person, discovering who you are, what you are capable of and most of all…helping others to do the same.

This year, I want to start taking steps to become a certified personal trainer. I want to learn everything I can so I will be able to help people like myself, to take those first steps and finally reach for their dreams.

I hope to start a local fit club this spring, where I can meet people face to face and give them the tools and encouragment they need. I know that this will also help me to overcome some of my fears. (Like group workouts – ha!) It will allow me to share my story, and let others know that health and happiness isn’t just a dream. It can be achieved…and I will be there to give them a boost so they can reach for it.

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10 Tips For Staying On Track


I am often asked about what I do to stay on track during my health and fitness journey, so I decided to put together 10 tips that have worked for me. These are in no particular order, as I randomly chose a few for this blog with the hope to shed a little light on things and help to jump start you, if you are just starting out.

1. Regular cardio exercise and resistance training: Cardio is one of the most important things you can do in order to reach your weight loss goals. Team that up with 3 days of resistance training  a week, to build lean muscle and you will be a fat burning machine in no time. The cardio exercises that burn the most calories and get you into shape the fastest are, running, bicycling, swimming, step aerobics and inevitably, jogging. If you are just getting into the fitness game, try some brisk walking or spend some time on the eliptical. (I started out by using the stationary bike 3 times a week for 30 mins a day and worked my way up)

*If you prefer a DVD based program contact me and I can help you select one that’s right for you.

2. Drink lots of water: Water actually increases your body’s ability to metabolize fat and greatly helps in shedding your first couple pounds also known as, water weight. It will also help to keep you hydrated and curb your appetite. (I am a huge water drinker and can easily consume a gallon or more per day)

3. Meditation/Yoga: People recommend it because it reduces stress, but why is stress a bad thing? Well, when you are stressed your body releases high levels of cortisol and this is not good. If you are a stressed out person (like me), try doing some yoga (there are different styles to choose from, so play around until you find one you like) or try some gentle stretching and breathing exercises. If yoga is not your thing, play music, dim the lights and just relax. Your body and mind will thank you.

*Going to bed at an early hour and making sure you get at least 7-8 hours of sleep will help, as well.

4. Eat more fruits and vegetables: You’ve heard this one a hundred times but, it’s that important. In a world full of processed foods it’s important to go back to basics and up your intake on whole foods. They will help you feel full and energized and your digestive track will thank you. Opt for leafy, green vegetables and aim for a rainbow of colors  on your plate for maximum nutrients. (Limit fruit intake as they are higher in sugar)

5. Eat more protein: This is essential in weight loss. Especially if you want to keep the weight off, and I’m sure you do! Who wants those pounds coming back…right?! Protein takes longer to digest and as a result, keeps you feeling full, longer. Protein is also necessary for building lean muscle, which in turn will rev up your metabolism and burn more fat. Some recommended foods that are high in protein: nuts such as almonds, eggs, fish, low-fat yogurt and string cheese, lean meat and skim-milk.

6. Eat frequent, small meals: Forget the typical 3 meals of breakfast, lunch and dinner. You should eat 5-6 smaller healthy meals per day. This will help to keep your blood sugar steady, curb binging due to hunger and keep your metabolism fired up.

7. Eat your food slowly: Many people tend to gulp food down while on the run. Take your time and enjoy what you are eating. It takes about 15 minutes for your brain to register that you are full, so slowing down will save you calories.

8. Watch your portion sizes: In a society were everything is super-sized and all-you-can-eat, this is so important! Use smaller plates at meal time. This will help trick you eye into thinking you “ate a full plate”.  Another downfall is snacking. Ever eat a whole bag of mini rice cakes in one sitting? We’re all guilty of it, and it’s not ok just because they are a low fat snack. When eating snacks like rice cakes, nuts, or dried fruit, put a portion in a small bowl and then put the bag away. That way you won’t mindlessly eat a larger portion than you had intended.

9. Think before you eat: Do not snack when you are bored. It’s a terrible habit that many people do without even realizing and it plays a huge part in obesity. Before you reach for a snack, ask yourself  “Am I even hungry?” If you are not sure, have a glass of water. Many times people mistake dehydration for hunger.

10. BE CONSISTENT: This is the most important rule and I cannot stress it enough. Be consistent with your exercise and eating. We will all have good days and bad days but you have to be dedicated and work hard to see results. If you slip up on a meal, don’t view it as a failure and continue to eat poorly the rest of the day. Dust yourself and make the best of the rest of your meals THAT DAY. Same holds true for exercise, there will be days you miss a workout. No sweat! Next day, dig a little deeper, or add some bonus time to make up for it. I don’t want you to beat yourself up, sulk over it and miss the next day, too. There are no miracles on this journey. You didn’t gain your weight overnight, so don’t expect to lose it overnight.

Healthy weight loss can be achieved and maintained if you are consistent and continue with your healthy eating habits and exercise even after your weight loss goal has been reached. This is a new way of life….embrace it.

*Bonus tip: Journal! Keep a food log everyday so you can look back and see where you can improve your diet. I wrote a blog on this not too long ago and it has truly helped me the past two months. “If you bite it, you write it”

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A Look Back at Week 1

I had made a promise to myself when I made my first vlog that I would overcome my fear of the camera by making them more often. I realized today, that I broke that promise to myself.

Oops…I better fix that….now….

 

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Be gentle if you comment….I’m still trying to overcome my camera shyness. If you have questions for me, feel free to ask them here or join me over on my Facebook accountability board by clicking here. Don’t forget to click the “like” button while you’re there :)

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I Met Tony Horton!

I know this post is a few days late but…

I MET TONY HORTON!

On January 4, 2011 – exactly 1 year to the day of my starting Round 1 of P90X, I met the man who changed my life.

Tony Horton was doing a book signing for his new book “Bring It!” in Melville, Long Island. A coach I know from Twitter (@TabBenedict) told me about it and asked if I wanted to join her. I could think of no better way to celebrate the anniversary of the “new me” than to do a live workout with the man who started it all AND have an opportunity to meet him and have a photo with taken with him.

The one part of this that had me nervous was the “live workout”. I had never, ever, EVER participated in a group workout before. (I don’t count gym class back in junior high school…if you do, well, that was my last group workout.)

I have always done my workouts alone. Well, I did a few with my husband during our adventures in Insanity, but I wasn’t even a fan of that. For some reason I have always just worked out by myself…it’s usually my time…when I get to clear my mind and just do what I need to do.

Anyway, off to Long Island I went to meet Tab and Tony Horton!

When I entered to room at the hotel where the event was being held Tony was already talking to the crowd and I felt nervous. There were more people than I expected in the room. Being that it was in Long Island on a Tuesday night I didn’t think there would be a good 200+ people there. We quickly found another coach we knew (@MariaPaulercio) who claimed a spot as ours and I had no idea what to expect next.

We listened to Tony talk, then some people shared their success stories and before I knew it he had us warming up for the group workout….ok….I can do this. Right?

Tony took us through a series of push-ups, lunges and ab moves that left me exhausted and sore as heck! I was mad at myself for having to take a break during  a Kenpo sequence but it was about 1,000 degrees in that room and I started feeling lightheaded. (It also gave me a chance to take a little video.)

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At the end of the workout the lines formed to meet Tony and Tab, myself and my husband had a chance to talk and joke around.

When it was my turn to meet him I truly didn’t know what to say besides “thank you”. I took my photo with him and then listened to him and my husband joke about the “Tony and the Kids” DVD we brought with us to have signed for my son.

Overall it was a very surreal experience. I met the person who helped me to change my life, conquered my fear of the dreaded group workout and met a wonderful person who I had been speaking to on-line for almost a year.

Here’s to another year of workouts – Bring it!

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I’m Squatastic!

Day 5. P90X. Legs & Back.

Today was a rough one.

Last night I worked out live with Tony Horton and then today I spent the whole day walking around NYC with a friend.

While sitting in traffic on the way home, I calculated that we walked roughly 100 blocks while chatting, window shopping and being tourists.

With my legs already sore and tight I stretched out my hamstrings, pressed play and got the show on the road!

Tonight was also my first workout with my new pull-up bar. I have never used one in my other rounds since we couldn’t find a bar that fit the doorways near our workout space properly. Today, we hit the jackpot as my husband decided to pick one up he saw in the store. After a little adjusting he got it to work and I became the guinea pig to test this thing out and make sure it really worked.
Luck me!

I had to use a chair and put an area rug under it to prevent it from sliding, but otherwise it worked great and I loved it. I have plenty of room for improvement in the pull-up department so I welcome the challenge.

Wall squats, sneaky lunges,
iso toe rolls and chair stance were all a challenge tonight. My quads and booty were on fire after this workout and I can feel the major squatastic soreness setting in as I type. I also feel it in my shoulders and back from all of the pull-ups.

I am honestly glad that my rest day is almost here. I am looking forward to doing X Stretch and just taking it easy for a day. Tomorrow however, I’ll have to conquer KenpoX (which is my favorite workout) if I want to earn that rest.

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Namaste, Bitches!

Day 4. P90X. Yoga X.

Yes, I know, my title sounds very tranquil and relaxing. For those of you who have done Yoga X, you know there is nothing tranquil and relaxing about it, especially during Yoga Belly X were he yells at you to reach higher and “Get Em Up“!

I have done two rounds of P90X and I have never developed a love for this workout like some people I know. I have always enjoyed doing my Rodney Yee AM Yoga and meditation style yoga dvd’s, but this is not either of those.

First off, I struggle with the vinyasas. I loath them and I know I mentally talk myself into this funk. If I would just truly focus and lose myself in the motions I am sure I would be ok. However, being a mom of two it is often hard to get 90 mins of quiet so you can truly focus. No excuses….just telling the truth here. I still do it…just not as dedicated as I should.

I will also admit that during the 1st two rounds of P90X I often skipped ahead to the last vinaysa and started at the balance posture sequence. I know it’s cheating, but to me something was better than nothing and I KNOW I am not alone in this. If I didn’t skip ahead I would opt for one of Tony’s One-on-One series yoga DVD’s – either Patience Hummingbird or Fountain of Youth Yoga, because they were shorter.

For round 3 I have decided I need to leave my comfort zone and face Yoga X head on….all 90 uncomfortable minutes of it. This time around, since I didn’t start on a Monday, yoga falls on my day off and the kids are in school so that should help a lot. I have decided that I will truly “do my best and forget the rest” and not just go through the motions. It will be an uphill battle but it is the only way I can grow as a person and better myself.

Plus, I am grateful that Daniel Haas is in this workout. He represents the average person. Not all of us are Gumby and it’s nice to know that I’m not alone with my shaky legs.

As for today’s session, it went well. As some of you who follow me on twitter probably saw, I fell over and busted my ass during the vinyasa section while doing right angle pose & grab. I of course laughed at myself, had to share and then moved on.

The first half of the workout seems to drag on forever to me, and that is because I am not comfortable doing it. Once the second half begins, it’s smooth sailing. I could probably stand in tree pose all day with a clear mind. It’s one of my favorites, followed by happy baby and corpse pose…haha!

Yoga Belly X is definitely a challenge, especially after doing an ab workout late the night before. I can feel that my core is gaining strength since I last did Yoga X which was a pleasant surprise.

Tomorrow is Legs and Back for me….Sneaky Lunges, Wall Squats and Groucho Walk….Oh My!

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