Friday Flex Break.

So I wanted to post an updated flex break pic to see if I’ve made any progress.  And you know, this is one of those things that drives me nuts because I feel like when I am standing there flexing in front of the mirror (don’t even act like you don’t do this when no one is watching), I can see muscle definition, but then whenever I take the picture, I don’t see anything.  So, here it is, so you all can decide if I’ve made any progress:

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I feel like my little 2 pack above my mama tummy is a bit more defined now, but my arm still looks the same…at least in the picture.  I swear there’s a difference in real life!  Anyway, everyone should take a second for a flex break today to check your progress!  Happy Friday, y’all!

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Writer’s Block.

Woah, so I haven’t posted since April 16.  And I don’t even really have a good excuse for not posting.  I haven’t been all that busy or anything, I just haven’t felt like I’ve had anything to say.  And the longer I go without posting, I feel like I need to have some epic awesome post when I come back.  So the longer I stare at the blank screen, the more the pressure builds to have something really important to say. And the truth is, I don’t really have anything important to say!  But, I will update you with what I’ve been doing the past month and a half.

First off, I finished my second round of Insanity Max: 30 on May 8.  The second month felt harder this time around.  Like WAY harder.  And I found that I was struggling more with the cardio workouts than with the strength workouts, which had never been the case for me.  I really just felt sort of “off” for this whole second round, and I have to wonder if it’s because I wasn’t following the nutrition plan.  I tried to generally eat “healthy” and keep my protein high and my carbs low, but I was not following the plan really at all.  I think I set out on this second round with the goal of following the nutrition plan, but it just didn’t happen.  My husband has been training for a marathon, and that means that he has to EAT ALL THE THINGS ALL THE TIME because he’s burning like 2000 calories just during his runs.  So without him following the plan with me (and thus being wedded to the idea of being diligent about planning), I just really lost all will to be a stickler about my food.  So, even though I got down to my lowest weight of 124 something right before we went on spring break in April (after month 1, round 2), I just couldn’t keep it up during the second month.  I drank alcohol; I ate sweets, and I was really ok with that.  I also learned that now that I’ve trained my body to get away from that 135 point, it will happily settle right around 130.  Each week I can usually get down to 128 by Friday morning, and then I’m right back around 130/131 by Monday, and that’s all good to me.  I’d rather be eating pretty well and still enjoying what I’m eating and be sitting around 130 than be miserable and starving sitting at 124–and really, that’s what I had to do to get my body to be at 124!

So, because I wasn’t diligent about my food, I didn’t really see any real changes in my body after the second round on IM:30, and that was sort of disappointing.  BUT, it totally proves my point that I’ve made here a million times–IT DOESN’T MATTER HOW HARD YOU’RE WORKING OUT IF YOU’RE NOT EATING CORRECTLY!  I busted my ass on these workouts for two months!  But I ate crap I wasn’t supposed to, so I didn’t get the results I wanted.  I finished up my first round of Max 30 at 128.6 lbs, and I finished my second round at 128.2 (even though I ended the first month of this round at 124.8) and I didn’t lose ANY inches this second round, and I think I even added back an inch on my abs!  So that really sucks.  And as you can see in these pictures, there was no real visible change either:

results round 3 back results round 2 side results round 2 frontThe picture on the left was taken on Day 60 of my first round of Insanity Max 30, and the picture on the right was taken on Day 60 of my second round.  I basically look the exact same.  But I guess I’m glad I didn’t gain weight, when you consider that in between those two pictures I took a trip to New Orleans and a trip to Destin, where I ate and drank a ton.

But I would be lying if I said that I wasn’t disappointed by the lack of results.  I guess I thought that these workouts were so damn hard that there was no way that I wouldn’t continue to tone and lose weight even if I wasn’t paying much attention to my food.  But DUH, totally not the case.  I know, I know, you can’t outrun a bad diet.  Abs are made in the kitchen, not the gym, blah blah blah.  Maybe someday that will sink into my thick skull!

So, I finished up Round 2 on May 8.  My 35th birthday was on Mother’s Day…May 10.  And that same day, I hopped on a cruise ship with 3 ladies I work with, and we went on a 5 night cruise to Cozumel and Grand Cayman.  It was my first cruise, and, despite being skeptical of cruises in general, I really had a great time!  But, I also ate and drank A TON.  I mean, how can I not when there was late night buffets and 24 hours a day soft serve ice cream cones?!  And, while our ship had a really awesome looking gym, I never visited it!  But, I did go out to the top deck and run on our very last sea day.  It was SO hard to run up there because it was incredibly windy.  As you can see from how lovely my hair looks in this picture.

shiprunSo, since I’ve been back from the cruise, I’ve just been sort of winging it in terms of exercise.  I’ve done some Max 30 workouts.  I’ve done T25 Beta upper focus a few times, and I’ve even busted out old school Insanity Pure Cardio.  I’m not really following a plan right now, but I am trying to stay active and not eat *too* much.  I want to keep my weight right around 130 while I’m deciding what I want to do next.  My husband’s marathon is this Sunday, so that means he’ll finally stop eating nonstop when that’s over, and maybe we can get back to some more healthy eating habits.  I know he wants to run another marathon in the fall, and I think he’d like to do another full round of Insanity Max: 30 before starting his training for that, because it really gets him in great shape before doing all that running.  So I guess we’ll see what happens.  I’ll try to remember to post somewhat regularly here, even if it’s not fitness related!

 

Max:30 Round 2, with a slice of humble pie.

Month 2 of Max:30

Well, we have finished the first week of month 2 of Max:30. I’m not going to lie to you and tell you that I wasn’t *slightly* dreading re-entering month 2. I knew it would be tough; it was still fresh enough in my mind from the last round. I knew those dreaded Iron Legs were waiting for me. And all those switch kicks. Good Lord, the switch kicks.

Just as I expected, it was hard. Like, way hard. A and I talk on the regular and are fitness soul sisters, as you’ve probably gathered by now, and we both agree last week was really tough for us. We both felt like our legs weighed 1,000 lbs and lacked the energy needed to get through each workout. I know I felt weak and I had to modify a lot last week.  Every workout kicked my ass.  Did it get harder?  I mean, dang!  I think I was expecting that going into this for a second time would be easier.  I’m more mentally prepared and I’m stronger now.  Right?  Well, last week served me a giant slice of humble pie.  Humble-PieIt was not easier by any means.  But I survived and you will too!   If you’re familiar with Max:30 or have read our reviews, you know that Friday Fight Round 2 is what we consider the hardest workout in the series. I maxed out really early on that workout, basically right after the warm-up during Iron Legs. Ugh–IRON LEGS–I love to hate you! That set the tone for the rest of the workout. I maxed out a lot last Friday. I made it through and worked as hard as I could, but my energy was lagging. We all have days (weeks) like that and at the end of the day, I pushed play and tried my best.

So why did we both struggle last week? I’m speaking for both of us, but I think it’s mostly food related. We are both coming off a vacation and getting back into our healthy habits. It’s been really hard for me personally, because we have been so busy with family and friend get-togethers. There has been so many dinners and/or parties lately that involve all the delicious things. You know, like cake, fried foods, and alcohol. Personally, I think it’s ok to have a few treats here and there and I don’t want to be miserable going out with friends and eating a dry salad. I mean, I’d go CRAZY if I ate 100% clean all the time.  85/15 baby!  

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Yup.
I do have a confession.  Last week I was feeling a little blah and was craving chocolate.  I broke off a piece of a Hershey bar and dipped it in peanut butter.  Then, I ate 3 bites of a glazed donut.  It was so delicious.  I normally don’t have chocolate or donuts in our house, but last week I did.  I wanted sugar and sugar I had.  I wanted to motorboat all those donuts and make them mine.  Luckily, I only had a few bites.  You know, it happens.  Mindless snacking is/was my forte and I know it’s not what I need.  I’m human and I’m not going to beat myself up about it.  I’m sharing this with you because you’re human too!  It’s ok to have a down day.  We all have them and the most important thing is to recognize it and move on.  I just need to reset and make sure I plan out healthy meals and dial it in on the diet.  Self control.  It’s a b!tch, isn’t it?

21 Day Fix Extreme

I wanted to also share that I recently bought the 21 Day Fix Extreme.  I wanted to incorporate some weight training and another food plan into my last month of Max:30.  The Max workouts will come first, and then I will plan on doing the 21 workouts if I have the energy or time.  Really, I was more interested in the food plan/containers. 21 Day’s food plan is exactly the same as the Max:30 plan, so that was a nice surprise.  What wasn’t a nice surprise is how freaking TINY the food containers are!  I literally laughed out loud when I got them out.  They are like the little baby stackable cup toy.   For reals…this is no exaggeration.  Then I cried a little when I saw the size of the carb container.  And I cried some more when I realized that my portion sizes have been too big!  Dudes, I thought for real, that I was eating small portions the past few months.  This has shown me that I’ve basically been doubling my portions.  What?!  Time to get to work on my food portions!

Here is a pic of the red container, which is the protein container, next to my nail polish for sizing purposes.

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As you can see, it’s not very big.  It really puts things into perspective.  I’d say about 4 ounces of chicken breast will fit into that red container.  The veggie and fruit containers are a little bigger; however, I could fit only 5 strawberries into the fruit container, but could get a fair amount of grapes in there.  Again, puts things into perspective.  The containers are color coded for each food, which is handy.  Here are a couple pics of the color-coded containers and food items that are approved.  Remember, this food plan is the same as Max:30–4 proteins, 3 veggies, 2 fruits, 2 carbs, and 1 healthy fat.

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I’ll review the 21 Day Extreme workouts this week, so stay tuned on my thoughts on them.  Also, stay tuned on how I do with the food containers.  I’ll post pics of my food so you can get an idea of food sizing.

Good luck to you all this week.  Make it a good one and never give up!  🙂

Pura Vida!
K

Baby Steps.

I’ve mentioned on here several times how my upper body is the weakest part of me.  And unlike K (who posted a pic of her badass muscles in her vacation post), it takes me forever to get any sort of definition in my arms.  Basically my body prefers to stay in its natural blob-like state, so getting any sort of muscle definition is damn near impossible for me.  But, since my arms/chest have been so damn sore this week from Max Power and Max Strength, I thought I’d take a little flex break after my workout this morning and see if anything has changed in the 3.5 months that I’ve been doing this.  Here’s what I saw:

arms(btw, these pics have not been edited or filtered in any way…I just stuck them into the pic collage app)
Not a drastic change, but I swear I can see a teeny tiny bit of difference, mainly up around the shoulder, but also a bit in the bicep area.  And then if you compare the arm holding the phone in the two pics, i feel like you can see a tiny bit of definition in that arm and it’s not even flexing.  So even though I’m not getting drastically ripped over here, I’m proud of the little bit of progress that I can see, and it just makes me want to keep going to see if it can keep getting better.  I’ll have to take another flex break when I’m done with month 2.  🙂 Happy flexing, y’all!

Some days are harder than others…

Wow, so I’m three days into the second month of my second round of Insanity Max: 30, and yup, these workouts are just as hard as I remember!  I think I was sort of holding out hope that they would be so much easier now that I have already completed the program, but NOPE! STILL HARD!  Monday was Max Cardio, and that one honestly was *too* bad.  I made it to 10:22 before maxing out, whereas the first time I did it back in February, I only made it to 6:45.  Then yesterday was Max Power (for some reason “Max Power” always makes me think of cheesy action movies…oh, side note, I just googled “Max Power” and apparently Homer Simpson changed his name to “Max Power” in one episode…)…and yeah, that one sucked.  I did greatly improve my max out time from the first time I did it in February (8:40 to 12 minutes), but all of those plyo push-ups are no joke.  So this morning was Max Sweat, and I was just not feeling it this morning.  I was super sore from Max Power yesterday, and I could seriously barely straighten out my arms during the punches.  And I already naturally hate all of the various ab in and out moves, so all of those coupled with the soreness made this a very difficult workout for me to get through.  I maxed out so early–at only 7:26 (vs. the 8:48 I made it to when I did this workout for the very first time), and then I had to keep taking breaks and modifying moves throughout the rest of the workout.  I just felt so out of it–both mentally and physically exhausted.  Then I did Ab Attack, and maxed out at like 4 minutes, and I haven’t maxed out before 9 minutes in Ab Attack since January!

So what is my point in telling you this?  Well, my point is that you are going to have some days that just absolutely suck donkey balls.

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It’s going to happen, and I’d venture to guess that even Shaun T has crappy workouts sometimes.    So what can we do about it?  Well, for starters, we can keep pushing play.  When my alarm went off this morning, I wanted to just keep sleeping, because I could tell that it was going to be a rough morning, BUT I DIDN’T.  I got my ass up out of bed and got my workout done even though I didn’t want to, and even though it was ROUGH.  But I knew I’d feel better about myself and my day if I got it done, and sho’ nuff, I was so glad when it was over.

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Because even if it’s not my best effort, I know that it’s going to be good for me.  The other thing we can do when we have these shitty or sluggish workouts is try to figure out what’s causing it.  I think I had a few things at work this morning: 1) Still recovering from vacation last week; 2) Sore from these Max workouts; 3) Because I’ve been eating clean this week, I feel like I’m starving all the time, so I’m sluggish and tired from sugar detox, change in diet, etc.; 4) Didn’t get enough sleep last night.  So, knowing that, I can try to make some changes to prevent this from happening (as much) in the future.  I know to continue to work on my nutrition, keep my protein up, and make sure I get enough sleep each night.  Whenever this happens to me, I also scroll through my Instagram feed and look at all of the different fitness accounts that I follow, and without fail, at least one of them will have posted about having a rough morning themselves, so it makes me feel better.  Misery loves company and all that.

So tonight I’ll get my butt in bed on time, and I’ll get up tomorrow to tackle Max Strength, because I won’t let one bad workout knock me off track!

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Well…I tried.

Alright everyone, I’m back from vacation and ready to get back on track!  If you’ve been following along, you know that I set three goals for myself before vacation:

-Get at least 30 minutes of exercise everyday.

-Track my food.

-Try to watch what I eat enough so that I’m not too far over 130 when I get back home.

So how did I do?  The honest answer is that I didn’t do such a great job with these goals.  The exercise goal I met with no problem.  I did Insanity Max: 30 workouts Monday-Friday (including an extra 10 minutes with Ab Attack on M, W, F) and on the other days, I made sure to bike/swim for at least 30 minutes.  Plus, we had a few long bike rides on Max 30 days.  We rode a total of 12 miles on Tuesday and several other rides of 3-5 miles throughout the week.  So I’m proud of myself for that.

beach

But I basically failed at the other two goals.  I didn’t track my food a single day that we were gone.  I have no excuses for why I didn’t do it, I just didn’t.  I also ate and drank a TON.  I ate a lot of fried seafood, burgers, fries, milkshakes, etc.  I drank alcohol every day–usually one or two frozen daiquiris or mixed drinks while we were out at night, and then I’d come back to the house and have a glass or two of wine.  Obviously I NEVER drink like that at home.

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This was me being shocked that this big ass drink was only like $6.

In addition to the alcohol, I also had some sort of sweet treat everyday–ice cream, sno balls, lava cakes, whatever.  Hell, we even baked cookies at our vacation house at night.  Side note–these were on sale at the local Publix and they were basically THE BEST COOKIES EVER:
cookiesSo, needless to say, when I stepped on the scale this morning, I was not happy with what I saw.  I was up to 132.6–so that’s a gain of 7.8 freaking pounds from where I was when we left for vacation!  I’d hate to see what I would have gained if I hadn’t worked out everyday!  I think that has to be some sort of record for vacation weight gain.  Of course my husband ate and drank twice as much as me, and only worked out three days, and yet he only gained 4 pounds, and had already lost that by the time he weighed in this morning.  I’m trying to not be too down on myself, but it’s hard.  I think I just went overboard because it had been a really long three months of following the nutrition plan and I had been so stressed at work for the past month that I just wanted to eat and drink everything in my path.  So now I’m hoping I got that all out of my system for awhile, so I’m back at it.  I got up this morning and started month 2 of Insanity Max:30 with Max Cardio (and I did Ab Attack).  We planned out healthy meals and snacks for the week, and obviously I won’t be eating any molten fudge cookies or drinking any daiquiris this week, so I’m hoping the weight comes off relatively quickly, because I actually have another vacation (girls’ trip cruise with friends) in less than 30 days, so I have to get back in shape!  So stay tuned as I go through all of this again!

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‘Tis the Season for Vacations, Indulgences and Bathing Suits

Hey friends,

While A is on her vacation this week, I’m back from mine! I got back mid-week last week and while we had a great time, I’m still not ready to be back to reality. Does anyone else feel like they need a vacation from a vacation?

I know I do.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m very grateful to have the opportunity to travel and let loose. And let loose I did! We were able to play on the beach and even made it to Universal in Orlando for a day of thrill rides and to get our Harry Potter World fix. It was great to get away but coming home is always such a drag. Sigh.

The hubs and I getting a nice dose of Vitamin D

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I did my best to keep my food under control. I definitely had a few margaritas and brewskis because, duh, I’m on vacation! I tried to order as much fresh fish as I could but did indulge in some fries from time to time. On our last night, we went to this steak house and I had 2 margaritas, an appetizer, bread, and a salad. Then I ordered a filet that was so delicious, I nearly made love with it.  Are you face palming yourself thinking of my disastrous night of eating?  Don’t!  My motto is: Always indulge whilst on vaca! I applaud those of you that stay on a strict diet while on vacation, but I personally choose to have a few days to just enjoy life, you know? I know what I need and I need margaritas and a freaking steak every once in a while. On a beach.

Willpower

“How can I stay on track with my exercise and eating when ‘life’ happens?” you may ask yourself.  I believe the answer is two-fold.  I believe it’s planning and willpower.  Last week, A wrote a great post about planning.  Take a minute to read that if you haven’t already.  I couldn’t agree with her more.  I notice that I start to slip on my food when I don’t plan out my week.   It’s so easy to just order a pizza or make an unhealthy frozen meal when you need a quick meal.  It’s all about being proactive in organizing your life and time!  I think if you plan accordingly, then your willpower isn’t tested as much and you can implement better self control.  Makes sense, right?  Ever notice how successful people are proactive?  They know what it takes to get things done because they are proactive in their actions and their goals.  If your goal is to get into a certain bathing suit, or be able to do ‘x’ amount of push-ups or eat a certain way, then write that down!   Keeping track of your progress and goals is huge in keeping your willpower strong.  Buy a notebook or log your food with an online program.  There are tons of free apps you can use to track progress.  Take progress pics so you can see your results.   Also, try not to procrastinate on your workout.  I’m very guilty of this myself. I don’t have a set time when I do my workout.  I need to be better about this!  And of course, reward yourself every once in awhile. If your reward is food–great.  Maybe it’s new shoes or a massage.  Come up with a reward and give it to yourself.  You’ve earned it!  So how can you stay on track and have strong willpower?

1). Plan and Organize

2). Be proactive

3). Keep track of progress

4). Don’t procrastinate

5). Reward yourself

Vacation workouts

I managed to get in at least 30 minutes of exercise nearly every day. I took Max:30 with me, but I never did any Max workouts and ended up running most days with my friend that we vacationed with. The two of us busted out some Max moves on the beach–we did jumping lunge punches, burpee lunges, ab attack, and 10 & 2’s. Dang, Burpees are SO much harder in sand! I’m also going to count the hours of riding and jumping the ocean waves with my son as a workout. That kid is a fish and wouldn’t get out of the water, EVER.

So because I didn’t technically do week 4 of Max, I’m starting it over again this week.  This works out best because when A gets back from her vacation, we can start month 2 again together and b!tch about how hard that ish is.

I also noticed I had much better endurance while in Florida. I ran 4 miles without stopping and I was running just under a 9 minute mile, which is fast for me. I honestly think that can be attributed to two things: no allergies and warm sun. Dudes, when I got back to Indiana, my allergies kicked in and I have NO energy and I can’t breathe! I restarted week 4 of Max (first month) and it’s just as hard as the first week for me.  I struggle to even push play.  Annoying.

Progress

So how am I doing?  I have a few successes I’d like to share.  I haven’t weighed myself since we finished the first round because it’s not good for me mentally.  I really struggle with whatever my number is which is really dumb, I know.  I measure my success on how my clothes fit and with my measuring tape.  My measurements haven’t changed since my last measurement, which was when we finished week 8 four weeks ago.  I’ll consider that success#1 after a vacation!  I do feel more confident in my body and wasn’t *too* afraid to wear a bathing suit. Success #2! My husband still is attracted to me, which makes me more confident.  Score.  Success #3!  I’m extending my max out times. (I’ll post those later.) Success #4.  I’m actually getting muscle definition.  Success #5.  This is my arm flexed in the restaurant on our last night.  I flexed when I finished all my steak and my husband told me to do it again so he could take a pic of my arm.  :-O

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Thanks Max:30 and Shaun T for getting me some muscle!  My arms are always the first thing to get definition, so hopefully the rest of my body follows suit.

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Also, thanks Shaun T, for helping me get some serious ups from all the plyo work.  😉

Pura Vida!
K