New Beginnings

I'm in a "starting over" phase it feels like.  NO I'm not starting over from my start weight or anything like that.  But just feeling like I'm mentally starting over. 

When I first started losing weight things were in a great spot for me - I had a job I loved and Omari was out of town for months for a contract job.  It was all about ME and it was fabulous for weight loss.  When you have nobody to consider at all except yourself - it's really easy to do all the things you need to do to lose weight.  Then the hubby came back and I had to figure out how to do things with someone else around.  And I did.  I kept losing and I was strict with myself because I KNEW that was what I had to do.  Over time I've lost some of that strictness and that focus.  I have really recognized that over the past few months because I find myself saying yes where I would say no.  Or ordering a much less healthy meal with no consideration.  Less salad and more meat.  More desserts out.  More dining out in general instead of cooking. 

The slow decline into old habits is so real.  If you have been a certain type of person for 90% of your life - it's easy to get back to that person if you don't fight.  I have lost a little fight over the last year or so.  Starting with the move to Minnesota I let a little bit go.  As I got more into my new job out here I let a little more go.  I have slowly let myself become old Kim because I once again have put more effort and focus into my career instead of myself.  I can do both - but it takes more effort mentally than I had to in the past.  My job is more demanding than really any job I have had before.  I love it...but I have to once again work on finding balance in my life before I find myself declining right back up the scale. 

So today is day 1 again.  I'm starting over.  I'm doing things differently this time though.  No insanity to save the day.  I'm going to focus on weights with cardio added in vs the cardio overload.  This works for me with my new life out here.  The cardio is honestly too much for me right now.  I don't have it in me for some reason.  I am going back to my mostly veganish diet though.  That is key for me.  I do very well on this diet and I feel better.  I've been sick for over a month and I'm convinced that the poor eating is contributing to it.  I was never sick other than allergies when I ate plant based. 

So that's the plan.  It's now time to get into this work out.  My 6 pack bag is stuffed to the gills with food for the day - oats with banana and maple, green juice, collards w/ onions cooked in coconut milk with veggie burgers (spinach and chickpea), and strawberries.  I will make a shakeology for breakfast once I'm ready to go to work.  I will check in later, watch this space!

LFHC, HFLC, and Other Random Letters

In 2015 I decided to try an experiment on myself.  It's not a really scientific experiment, but it's just one I need to do so I feel like I'm giving it my all this year.  The experiment centers around food and my diet. 

Last year there was a lot of talk about High Fat/Low Carb diets.  I kind of ignored it.  No real reason why, I just did.  Until Melissa McAllister posted a video series where she did a vegan diet for a month then a high fat low carb diet for a month and talked about her results.  Now, if you don't know who she is, know that she has an amazing physique.  She is abs and lean and amazing.  When she speaks about nutrition or fitness, she is one of the people I listen to in the noise of the internet.  So I followed her experiment closely. 

I was very intrigued to see that she lost weight with a vegan diet then lost MORE on the high fat low carb.  She was already fit and to see her lose all that weight was eye opening.  Mostly because I had been eating plant based (more vegetarian than vegan) for a long time and I did not see half the results.  Because I often cheated on it.  Honestly - I don't love vegetables.  I like them well enough but I don't love them.  And I don't eat enough raw fruit to be high carb low fat or raw in general.  My decision to go plant based was purely for weight loss after doing the Ultimate Reset but I wasn't really doing it.  So her results showed me that my stalled weight loss was a big indication that I was not eating the right diet for me and it was time to find out what that diet should be.

So I decided to try for the high fat this month.  My goal was to almost mimic her experiment in giving it a month and see what happens.  Since I was on travel the first week of the month I decided to wait and start the week I got back.  While on travel I did try to start cutting back on carbs, but I did still have wine soooo yeah. 

So far, I'm down 7 lbs.  I'm pretty psyched.  I know a big part of that is the diet because I was often burning MORE calories doing Body Beast than I am during Max:30..  I have not been exceptionally strict these first 2 weeks either.  I have dessert on date night with the man.  Or that one day when I forget my wallet and my breakfast at lunch (I have no clue WHAT was going on in my head that morning, seriously) and I pounced on a small little free cake pop because my plan to leave early and get home to eat was ruined by work being crazy busy.  And I'm sure my food choices aren't always perfect since we do eat out often.  But this is actually kind of nice to see results even with those circumstances because I was off the mark too much, especially with dining out.  I'm certain I could travel on this fairly easily.  I want to really lock it down the next 2 weeks though and see what I can do if I go all in.  Which means 1) I need to meal plan better because I always run out of food on Friday or Monday and 2) I have to be more on top of cooking on the weekends.  I will say this weekend has been meh.  I definitely have had dinner out too many nights in a row.  I still ate on track - a meat main dish with a salad.  But you know - when you aren't eating at home you don't really know what you are eating.

Anyway, I'm going to share my plan for next week's meals because planning will make me lock it down and be on it!  I will try to share more on my Instagram with food as well. 

  • Post Workout: Results and Recovery (1 scoop)
  • Breakfast: Shakeology
  • Mid Morning: Breakfast Casserole ( it's eggs with whatever you feel like eating or in my kitchen, leftover veggies or meat from cooking other meals)
  • Lunch: Caprese Meatballs w/ salad or Cream Cheese Pancake Rollups (will roll with arugula and ham and cheese)
  • Dinner: 10 Minute Chili or Mahi Mahi (season and pan cook) with Roasted Veggies or Chicken Thighs (season and bake) and Veggies (roast or pan cook or steam)

One note - Yes, Results and Recovery is pretty high in carbs.  But I find that when I don't have it after Max:30 I'm toast.  I work out first thing in the morning fasted and my tank is just empty by the end it.  I used a full serving the past 2 weeks (2 scoops) but I am going to experiment with 1 scoop next week and see if it works for me.  Shakeology right after workout does NOT do it for me.  It burns through too quickly and I find that my body is still looking for something to burn up when I'm done so I'm hungry after.  That's why I don't just have a Shakeology immediately after my workout. 

The Case for Personal Development

So much of our success is based on mindset.  That's why a lot of personal development gurus suggest you have a mantra or a power word.  It's to make sure you start your day/work with your mind in the right place.  I believe the Law of Attraction is mostly based around being positive in your thoughts because that translates to others who you interact with.  You know that person that you don't like being around because they are always negative - the Debbie Downer - and they bring you down?  Imagine if you are that person and you take that aura of negativity into your workout.  Think you are going to have an amazing fat crushing workout?  Or are you going to just get through it putting nothing extra in? 

I think that last year even though I didn't intentionally set out with a negative mindset, I had it.  I was too desperate to achieve my goals on a timeline that wasn't really realistic for me.  I was angry that I wasn't meeting milestones I had for myself.  I was overwhelmed after a huge move and career change.  I was frustrated with injuries that prevented me from doing my soul mate workout.  I was not focused.  I wasn't meditating as frequently as I did in years before.  I didn't sleep well. 

I'm not ashamed of any of those feelings.  I don't think I really understood what was going on because I wasn't doing the activities that would have made me look at my actions in a different light - like personal development and meditation.  So I just got more and more frustrated.  Once I started reading and focusing myself a little more, I found a way out of that frustration. 

I'm not saying personal development is a magic tool - but I am saying it can really help you have a strong mindset and dig up where you are getting stuck before it leads to total frustration and plateaus.  I sometimes struggle on taking the time out of other things I want to do for this, but it is so valuable to do, I see that now.  And there are ways to do this without it becoming a burden.

So I challenge you to read/listen one personal development book or do one online course (totally suggest 30 Day Push - it's free and amazing) before March 1st.  I will start listening to - You are a Badass by Jen Sincero this week.  I like listening to books because it's a great way to turn my drive to and from work into a positive growth opportunity.  Also when cleaning or doing other chores (way for this to not be a burden time wise while you build the habit!). 

Let me know what you read/listen/do!


Shaun T Made Me Do It!

Do what?  Restart Insanity Max 30.  It's kind of not really a restart since the program is the same for the first 2 weeks anyway.  So it's more of adding a 3rd week.  But Shaun T started the program Monday and is posting daily tips and motivation on his facebook page and you know what - that's worth doing an extra week.  I've said it before and I'll say it again - the program that works best for you usually is the one with the trainer you love and want to hang out with in real life.  And that's why I rock with Shaun T.  That and I KNOW I will get results.  And in 30 minutes, yes please. 

Food wise, the hubby and I are doing lowish carb right now.  I'll admit - it's not something I would do if I wasn't married to someone who wants to do low carb.   But in our house of 2 it's just easiest to do the same diet and for right now, this is it. It's lowish carb because it's not really keto or Atkins.  I drink a Shakeology every day, usually in the morning with a little fruit.  But the rest of the day I don't do processed carbs.  I do try to eat higher fat because that helps tremendously with satiety.  The Shakeology is the BOMB for digestion.  Not to get too TMI - but if you eat lower/low/no carb you know it does impact the body when it comes to the bathroom and how often you go.  Some people take fiber supplements to stay lower carb.  I choose to drink Shakeology to give me a good dose of good for you with my fiber.  My hubby started drinking Shakeology again despite the carbs because he still loses weight and it handles that side effect of low carb and immediately noticed the difference as well. 

Anyway - that's where I am right now.  I really am excited to see what happens.  I originally planned to do a Beast/Max 30 hybrid.  Now I think I'm going to just stick with Max 30 (getting up in the morning again - it's been a rough adjustment) and throw in Beast on the weekend or on days I have spare time.  I've been working hard this year on the productivity so I just have not had the time to do more than one workout some days.  Which I'm absolutely fine with because time management is a BIG problem I am tackling in 2015.  As long as I do one workout 5-6 days a week, I'm a happy woman. 



It's January 1st.  A new year and a whole lot of things that I want to get done before 2016.  2014 was amazing.  I got what is essentially my dream engineering job with an amazing company.  I get to work in a field that I believe is helping people live better lives.  We live in a place where the hubby was able to get off the contract job merry go round and get a full time position again.  Moving to Minnesota has been one of the BEST moves we have made as a couple. 

But now it's time to dream bigger.  The biggie for the hubs and I is a house.  A home of our own with room for a little gym, a nice kitchen to cook in and just a place to call permanently ours.  We have moved a zillion times to different apartments and different locations.  Now that we are in Minnesota we want to stop feeling like nomads.  So half of my goals have to do with the house situation.  Saving up, paying down debt, trying to be responsible with money.  The rest have to do with me. 

My biggest goal is honestly weight loss (duh).  My second big goal - time management.  I'm TERRIBLE at it and I used to be a rock star at it.  My new job takes a completely different time commitment and it has thrown me for a loop.  I also have struggled with my morning workouts in the dark fall/winter of Minnesota so I've been working out at night because I have needed more sleep.  So essentially my to do list that I used to tackle at lunch and after work lingers for weeks/months because I just can't find the time to get a lot of the things on it done (note the date of my last blog post if you want any indication of my complete failure to be a reliably responsible human being).   I've handed off some of my household to dos that I have had forever to the hubby because I have not had the time to do them or the mental capacity to track them properly.  I was always a pen and paper girl but the reality is that with this schedule and this lifestyle I have now, that isn't working for me. 

So step 1. I started the 30 Day Push again.  I need to completely re-evaluate things and frame them in my new reality. 

Step 2. I'm trying to be digital.  I need things to beep at me and buzz and flash or something for a while.  I need something to say KIM REMEMBER TO DO THIS NOW!   And since no matter where I am, even when I'm in a country where my phone is turned to airplane mode because I don't have international data plans....I have my phone with me.  And now that I have a 64 GB phone - there is room for all the things.  I just can't rely on memory or even remembering to check my paper list right now.  This is the #1 reason my other goals were short in 2014 - failure to follow through.  The only thing I DID do consistently is workout.  So there's that I guess.  But that isn't enough for 2015. 

Step 3. De-clutter.  I have too much crap.  I have no place to put some of my crap.  I have crap I don't use but WANT to use but don't have the time scheduled now so it takes up room where crap I need to have should go.  You might be thinking - what does clutter have to do with weight loss or time management?  A lot.  Clutter is a distraction.  It means looking for things harder than I should.  It causes chores I don't need (like dusting things you never look at or having to organize things you should sell anyway).  It means buying furniture that you don't want to hold things you don't need (budget drain  and more cleaning).  I'm not saying I'm going straight up minimalist.  But it's time to let go of some things in 2015. 

Step 4. Meal planning.  I abhor it at times.  But bottom line - when I plan a week in advance and eat that food, I lose weight, I don't cheat, and I don't waste time trying to figure out what to cook during the week.  I'm going to use my containers going forward for portioning but plan out the meals in advance so everything is cooked and ready to go.  I'm also going to cook more casseroles and meatloaves and the like because it's easy to eat and easy to portion and generally delicious.  And I'm going to drink more green smoothies because there isn't a better way to stuff 2-3 cups of spinach down your gullet than drinking them.  To be honest if I worked in a place where I could have a blender (don't laugh, we had one in my old company office) then I would probably drink a Shakeology for breakfast, a green smoothie mid morning and another one in the afternoon then eat a snack at some point during the day then eat dinner. 

And lastly - step 5.  Which I am about to do right now - I need to get to bed on time again.  I let my sleep priority slip a LOT.  I was working out at 11pm a lot. Too often.  Then too amped up and up until 1 in the morning.  I was in bed 6ish hours but sleeping only 4-5.  This is a big problem.  Not enough sleep impacts weight loss and impacts your ability to function highly.  This is why I was so messed up on time.  I was sometimes coming home, cooking dinner (failure to meal plan/prep), taking a nap, waking up then working out.  As I said earlier - working out was my priority and I honored that.  But my life got a weird rhythm to it this fall.  Not ok. 

So that's my 2015 plan.  I'm going to share as I go what I do and hopefully I can have a more productive year! 

Still Beasting

Well. I'm on bulk phase. 30 days into Body Beast just like that. It's been a really good program for me. I have lost 7 lbs. I can't seem to shake to the next weight decade right now, but I'm working. I do notice I'm getting tighter. Smaller. So I know things are working. As typical for a pear, my upper body is shrinking first. So my upper body is really starting to lean. I wish I had the time or desire to add running in because I know if I did I would shed fat like crazy. But I hate running. So slow we go. 


I have been traveling so my meal planning has been weird. But still pretty good. This week I have some work engagements where I have to eat there so I just planned around that. Next week I'm going to essentially repeat week 1's menu with a few mods.  That worked extremely well for me and it was yummy. It's been a few weeks so I feel like I can repeat again. 


And just because I'm a dork. A snap from today's workout! Hello shoulder. You look beasty 👍


Rest Day Eve

Well I have completed another block of 5 straight days of beasting up and earned the right to the beloved rest day. I will spend it getting a new hair color and my nails done. A little pampering. Because after all: 


Anywho. This block of 5 days was easier because I wasn't nearly as sore as I was week 1. So I was able to up my weights and go a little harder in the cardio workout. I feel my upper body responding already. That's where I usually see things happen first, I'm a classic pear. I'm going to have to get the fat off the top before my hips/thighs join the party. I will be curious when I get my body fat done in another week (between build/bulk) to see what changed and what didn't I would love to see some body fat difference but I'm not sure if that would happen in just 3 weeks. 

I do think I might try a different approach to macros next week. Cooking from the Book of the Beast it's very easy to do macros. But branching out a bit it's gotten harder. I think I will use the calorie conversions and use that to figure out what to eat during menu planning.  I might give classic logging calories a try for a bit and see how that works.  I know right nutrition is my key at this point, just need to figure out what that means for me and how I can consistently do it right.  

Legs and Eggs

Today was leg day and man did I hit that workout hard.  I increased weights in almost every exercise since (1) I was more familiar with it and (2) I knew I needed to push.  Build phase is only 3 weeks.  3 weeks to get a solid base before heading into the bulk then beast phase.  So I better move.  I hit 21 lbs today on some of my moves and started at 12 for all but the calf raises instead of 10.  Improvement.  Next week I'll bump what I can up another notch.  I know I worked hard because my body was soaked with sweat.  Every bit of my shirt and shorts.  Leg muscles are HUGE and require a lot of work to make them change and you can tell by how sweaty and hard leg day is.  Your body works if you do it right and you leave leg day feeling like you could eat a house.  Or sleep for hours.  I noticed last week after leg day, I slept like a baby (why is that an expression?  from my research, babies don't sleep in any type of desirable way, but I digress). 

Also, let's talk about how I feel after tempo last night.  Whoa Nelly.  I definitely feel that fully in my upper body.  From my first week on the program, I feel like my biggest changes will be in my legs and my underarm area first.  Yes underarm area.  That area that pudges out of your bra when you put on weight if you are wondering.  That is where I am most sore every week after chest day.  Yes I'm sore (to the touch....made my breast cancer screening at the doctor today quite the experience) in my chest, but that underarm area is the real area of soreness.  Tris are sore - but I guess I don't use them that often because I only feel them in certain moves.  I'm going to definitely notice when I wash my hair though. 

Ok moving on to something else on my heart today.  IIFYM aka the dieting method known as if it fits your macros.  Essentially it's calorie counting with the added step of making sure your protein/carbs/fat meet specific goals in order to hit your overall calorie goal.  It's really popular with bodybuilders or serious exercisers because with those two categories you do truly notice performance changes when you are way off.  Weight Watchers when I did it back in the day, was also a form of this.  Essentially with IIFYM, you can eat whatever you want as long as it fits your macros.  The thought is that it's the calories that matter, not necessarily that quality of the calories.  And hitting those macros is the guiding principle. 

A lot of people I follow do this plan and eat really good wholesome healthy meals.  I personally do a type of IIFYM with Body Beast as each phase has a macro count for what they want us to hit in order to hit our overall calories.  I focus on eating wholesome healthy meals.  Mostly because I want to live a lifestyle where I eat mostly healthy and have junk food in moderation when I truly want it.  Not because it's there.  I want to retrain my eating to be healthier and not eat junk all the time.  And most people I see are on the same path.  Not eating crazy restrictive but not eating junk every day.  Maybe every few days a treat or having their pizza night weekly or a beer here or there or whatever.  I had a donut on Sunday as my treat because I really wanted one.  I had one and I moved on.  That's how I want to live.  I don't want the junk food to control my eating which is what happens to me when I eat a ton of sugar.  It's biologically what happens in our bodies to sugar and why we should learn to eat in moderation and not eat crazy. 

Okay, so what's the problem?  It's when companies and trainers who are advertising that they will calculate your macros for IIFYM talk about all the pop tarts you can eat.  When every post advertising their services for IIFYM is centered on junk food.  When the focus is not eating balance but "look at the crap you can eat and lose weight!" it just irks me.  I am not against eating junk.  Like I said, I had a donut this weekend.  It was delicious.  But I don't think the point of weight loss should be trying to fit all the crap you can in or that you should aim to fit all the crap you can in daily.  It effs with your head an your body.  Because quality DOES matter.  It really does. 

So my point - who knows.  I just needed to get that out of my brain tonight.  I personally have major issues with sugar.  And I know it's extremely common for a lot of us overweight people to have that problem.  I think we have an issue as a society with sugar and obesity.  And I in general am wary of systems that promote the junk food part of the plan.  I believe that macros are important and that the quality of them is just as important.  I believe you can count macros and lose weight/gain muscle/whatever.  I just don't believe that the focus should be the junk food.  I believe in moderation, balance, and eating mostly good healthy foods.  I believe that you should have a donut when you want one.  But not just because you are trained to think you should because you can. 

And that's all I have to say about that. 

Body Beast: Week 1 Catch Up/Wrap Up

Okay and here is my week 1 catch up post.  Work and life got a little crazy and I got behind on posts.  So first,  to catch up on a few workouts I didn't cover yet:

Cardio - I actually really like the cardio workout.  It was the first one I tried of Body Beast and I like the weights/strength component quite a bit.  That said, when you do it a few days after let day it is a TOTALLY DIFFERENT experience!  I was so sore that I could barely do some of the moves.  I used 5s and 10s but more 5s for arm exercises.  When I do this stand alone, I do 10s for everything.  Big difference when it's in the middle of the Beast program.

Back and Bis - This workout wasn't want I expected.  It was hard during the workout but I barely broke a sweat and didn't feel so sore afterwards.  I'm sure it was a good workout, it was just different than some of the other ones in that I wasn't totally wiped out at the end.  That was kind of nice for a change :)

Shoulders - Shoulders is when you find out how truly sore you are after doing all the other workouts.  During the warm up you are supposed to lift low weights.  For me, I grabbed 5s...that's the lowest weight I have.  And I quickly saw that I was super sore.  I usually can lift a decent amount on shoulder workouts but not this day.  I was much lower than I thought I would be on every move.  I also don't like doing shrugs on the ball.  I can't figure out what to do with my ball that likes to deflate.  I think my next purchase will be a bench only because the ball really limits me on some moves.  The perk of the ball was obvious here today though - I was struggling to keep my core tight, it was sore.

Tempo Chest and Tris - This was today's workout.  You have the option week one to do this or the regular Bulk Chest and Tris and I wanted to mix it up.  Tempo sounds like oooh, this might be a fast workout.  But no, no it was not a fast workout.  It was the opposite.  Let's move really slow and see if you can hold on.  I used 5 lbs for most of the workout because of the slow 6 counts.  I did like mixing this up, even if it was hard as heck, just so over the week I did 2 different style workouts of the one that is repeated. 

Okay now we are caught up!  I did a weigh in today - down 7 lbs.  I am pretty pumped because I spent a lot of effort on food this week and that allowed me to take off fluff I put on the week before.  I know that sounds like a ridiculous amount of weight for one week - but considering the yo yo up and down I've been doing, it's not that weird for me right now.  I have been bouncing in a 15 lb range for the last few months.  When I break out of that range for more than one wee - then I'll really celebrate.  This week I'm not celebrating the actual lbs lost, but instead the fact that I stuck with the meal plan.  I'm excited to see what this week brings. 

Workout wise - I'm such a beast fan right now.  I really love the workouts and yes...I'll say it again...I was ready for a cardio break.  I have also really enjoyed this schedule.  I love getting to work earlier (I'm getting in about an hour earlier) and I love the extra sleep.  I really need that time and not forcing myself into a 5 am workout is just having me loving life.  Waking up a full hour's glorious!!  I am really anxious to see results from this program and I can't wait for my next body fat check in 3 weeks.  I know that's weird...but I'm really curious about how it will change!  I'm actually considering going back between the Build and the Bulk phases instead of waiting a full month.  Then going again between Bulk and Beast, then a final one after Beast, at the end of the program.  That way when I do my between phase calorie/macro re-calculation, I have good data to use.  We will see.  I don't know if it's logic or if I'm just anxious to see results, LOL!

Body Beast Week 2 Meal Plan

I got pretty busy the end of the week and missed out on a few days of my Body Beast daily diary.  But don't you worry - I'm going to make up for it today.  I'm going to split this into 2 posts though, so it's easier to read.  This post - it's all about the food.

Week 1 meals were pretty awesome.  There was nothing I really disliked.  All recipes from last week were from the Book of the Beast (the nutrition plan from Body Beast).  This week I had to mix it up a little bit so I could have enough food.  I did stick to all Beachbody nutrition guides though.  I have so many and since I have skipped around with meal plans I have a lot of recipes I have never made.  In my meal plan outline below I have the program nutrition plan the recipe came from listed with a link to the program. 

Day A:

  • Shakeology w/ banana, unsweetened almond milk, ice
  • Sunrise Quasadilla (Chalene Extreme) + Fruit
  • Egg Salad Sandwich (Body Beast) + Fruit
  • Rice with Lentils and Red Peppers (Focus T25)
  • Beef and Broccoli Stir Fry (Body Beast) + Rice

Day B:

  • Shakeology w/ banana, unsweetened almond milk, ice
  • Egg Muffins (based on a recipe in Body Beast) + fruit
  • Italian Style Roasted Vegetables + Sweet and Sour Meatballs (both from Thin Kitchen, sauce omitted from the meatballs)
  • Asparagus Blue Cheese Salad (w/ goat cheese instead) and Black Eye Pea Salad (both from Thin Kitchen)
  • Power Turkey Meatloaf (Body Beast) and Roasted Potatoes

I spent HOURS today working on food.  To be honest, about half way through I started wondering WTF was I doing.  Was it worth it to spend so much time working on this?  But I decided that yes...yes it is worth it.  It's worth it because last week I was down 7 lbs.  It's worth it because I didn't fight myself on food choices daily since I spent the time necessary to find and execute delicious recipes.  It's worth it because it was the easiest week ever. 

This weekend I ate some modified menus.  I didn't have all the portions of everything because mid-week the hubby jumped on my delicious food.  But I still stayed on track.  So that to me indicated I can do this w/o a plan on days I need to adjust on the fly.  Usually my weekends are basically me setting fire to my good work.  This weekend it was not that way, which was a huge reason I can sit here now with a goofy grin on my face that I actually might make this elusive goal of mine of getting to a healthy weight.


Body Beast Day 3: Surrogate Body Please!!

Today I felt that leg workout more and more as the day went on.  I figured this out by looking at my fitbit.  I usually am 10000-12000 steps a day.  Today, right now at 9pm at night?

5045 steps.

Yep, the DOMS is real. 

I will tell you though - 3 days into Body Beast and I really think that it was the right choice for me.  I knew I was getting irritated with cardio and I didn't realize it until I got to workout for the last 3 days with no cardio.  If you do not like this program.  Seriously.  I have not been hungry since I started and I am eating delicious clean food - yay!  My daily routine for food is killing it right now.  Essentially it's Shakeology first thing in the morning, then 3 meals per my menu at work.  I then have 70-100oz of water at work.  Once I get home I mix up my BCAAs and pre workout together and start drinking that while I change clothes.  By the time I start my workout I have about half that down and finish through the workout.  Post workout, I do Results and Recovery (which tastes amazing!) and cool down/shower.  After my shower I eat dinner and then go to bed about 2 hours later.  It's a pretty solid routine for nights but I really am digging it.  I'm going to be curious how it works going forward and I'm really interested to see my measurements as I go.  I haven't decided how often I will measure/weigh in yet, just not sure what makes sense.  I'm hoping to see a difference in my clothes sooner rather than later really. 

Tonight's workout was Build Back and Bis.  This one was weird because I didn't feel like I sweat that much.  I know I lifted pretty hard though, I went up to 18 lbs on some of the bicep moves for the drop set and I was feeling it by the end for sure.  I noticed by the end of the workout I was starting lower (6 lb start vs. 10 lb start) as there are so many bicep workouts in a row and I was struggling.  I loved the back portions though.  I really want to shape my back so that by next summer I'm able to wear some of these cute little shirts with lower backs and swimsuits without chub anywhere.  Plus I do feel that my core is really weak and a stronger back will really help me out with that. 


Body Beast Day 2: LEGS

Today was the dreaded build legs day. It's cardio and lots of lunges and squats. I really enjoyed it but I KNOW my butt is gonna be sore tomorrow. 

The one downside to week 1 of a new program is not knowing exactly what weights to start with. But I Am tracking everything so next go round I will pick better weights to start with. I will also know tomorrow by how sore I am. I worried I worked too low weight yesterday but today I feel sore in the right areas so I know I did ok. 

Now that I have had both days menus I'm happy to report everything is delicious. I really enjoy this method of food prep and I feel like it's easy to keep up with. I wasn't sure how much to make of some things, so I just need to keep an eye on it. Since I had to cook enough for the week plus my hubby, it was weird to count portuons. But I think next week I will just pick up extra ground turkey because that is a key ingredient and I can make most of these recipes in about 30 min in the evening for the next day if I run out before the end of the week. 

Speaking of food, I will leave you with a peek at some of tomorrow's meals. I am eating the day A menu tomorrow, all recipes from the Book of the Beast! 


Shakeology Taste Test!


Alright team, it's time again for another Shakeology taste test!

What is that?  Simple. It's you trying Shakeology for 4 days and seeing how it works for you and how you feel with it. You have 2 options - you can join with the 4 day sample pack or you can commit to a longer trial - 30 days- and get a full workout program at a huge discount. Eithet option is fine, it's really up to you to do what makes you comfortable. If you are really interested in a Beachbody program I recommend going with the 30 day trial as you will boost your results. If you are just not sure about that commitment, join the 4 day trial.  

I am running a private group with recipes, tips, and workout program previews so you can see if Beachbody is truly for you! 

if you are interested, email me - and let's get this taste test started!  

Body Beast Day 1

It's finally here!  After weeks of waiting I started Body Beast and my transformation with weights has begun. 

The menu was Day A and I was a fan of everything. I made zucchini fries for my dinner veggie. The only thing I was meh on was the tuna. It was just a little dry without mayo. I bought some beast approved olive oil mayo to add to it next time. But in general the food was all delicious and I was full and not hungry. 

The workout today was Bulk chest and tris. This was hard for me as my tris are WEAK!  Especially after the last few months of random workouts. But that's going to change with this workout. I used 6-18 lbs depending on move and where I was in the superset.  I pushed hard but I definitely think next week I will know better where to start after one workout under my belt. 

Tomorrow is the dreaded leg day!  I have done this workout before and it's a killer. I'm prepared to walk funky for a few days afterwards.

Body Beast Prep

So tomorrow I start Body Beast and I'm pretty excited about it.  I've been doing a weird mesh of programs lately and tired a lot and my body is mushy because of it and I'm not really feeling that.  Once you lose weight, if you put any back on or start to lose tone you start to realize how shitty it feels to be overweight.  Being fat doesn't feel good.  It just doesn't.  And if you tell me it does, I'll just think you are lying to yourself about it.  It's ok if you are.  I did for a while, I still do sometimes when I want to feel ok with stuffing my face with pizza or skipping workouts before reality slaps me in the face.  In general I think we all lie to ourselves sometimes based on where we are in life and whether we are truly prepared to make a change about our weight or not.  But truth facts?  Being overweight isn't comfortable and once you start changing that and feel how good it feels to not be overweight (or be less overweight) you notice immediately how you feel when you start to slack off and you get a little soft.

That said - it's going ALL in with Beast time. 

Today I grocery shopped and meal planned.  I'm NOT the one for counting macros and logging all my food as I go into a web app.  I have no problems logging what I eat but calculating and adjusting on the fly to meet any kind of calorie/macro goal?  NO.  It's not going to happen.  Since I know this, I decided to make menus for the week.  I spent about 2 hours with Excel and my Book of the Beast figuring these out.  It's not easy.  It's a pain in the ass honestly.  And that made me appreciate how much better this plan is going to be than just to try to eat to macros every day as I go.  All the work is done up front as long as I stick to my meal plan.  This week the 2 meal plans are:

Day A:

  • Shakeology w/ banana, unsweetened almond milk, ice
  • Goat Cheese, Tomato, and Parsley Egg Muffins w/ an English Muffin
  • Tuna Salad w/ Chickpeas and Fruit
  • Turkey Roll Ups w/ fruit
  • Beast Meatballs + Veggies

Day B:

  • Shakeology w/ banana, unsweetened almond milk, ice
  • Oatmeal with nuts and fruit
  • Beast Turkey Chili + fruit
  • Sweet Potato and Black Beans
  • Shrimp Coconut Curry w/ Rice

These menus are laid out to match my required macros for the Bulk phase of Body Beast perfectly.  So the portion of each I will eat is set up based on that.  All my recipes are also from the Book of the Beast this week.  The way the macros were set up were a little confusing and the recipes in the book made it easier to plan with this week to get started.  I'm very pleasantly surprised with the meals in the book.  I tasted as I went and everything was freaking delicious.  The only thing I was iffy on was the tuna salad.  It's not bad, but it's not full of unhealthy miracle whip like tuna salads of my youth. I did add some mustard to it and that made it a little creamier so that works. 

I will be doing Body Beast Lean.  I entered a 90 day transformation challenge so I will NOT be doing any other workouts for 3 months outside of Body Beast.  I have some travel days so yeah, I'm going to have to be really on top of things.  Not too much travel - but a few days for work (only one of those days is really going to be a tough day) and then home for Thanksgiving.  Thanksgiving will be tougher for food than working out though.  But either way - I'm going to be hard core because I want to WIN.  This isn't some contest with the winner getting the pride of winning.  It has legit prizes :)



Beast Comes Out At Night

For most of us with a job, you have to pick when you workout.  Most of us with a 9-5 (or truly more like an 8-5) can't decide that 10:30 am is our workout time.  We have to decide between:

  • AM (before you start work)
    • Pros: Get it done and out of the way before anything can interfere
    • Cons: It typically means pushing your wakeup time at least an hour earlier and it's really hard to get to bed earlier. 
  • Lunch Break
    • Pros: Great way to break up the day, gives you a good break from stressors and I often come back refreshed and invigorated for the end of the day
    • Cons: Once you are at work, your job believes it is the priority and you may not be able to get away when you want if something is going on.  Also looking professional after a workout can be hard if you get a good sweat going and your hair looks...well like you did a workout. 
  • PM (after work)
    • Pros: Usually you have more time after work before bed anyway, so it's not going to alter your sleep schedule much/at all.  You are already awake and may get a better workout because you aren't waking up for part of the workout. 
    • Cons: Everyone is up and awake and may want your attention.  If your work day was stressful you could be worn out and want to skip a workout.  If you have trouble getting to sleep after a workout then you may struggle getting to bed on time afterwards.

For most of us we decide when we will workout based around when it is going to consistently happen.  And for me, that's been in the morning for the last 3 or so years.  I have gotten up somewhere between 5-6 am and done my workout.  It's been consistent, strong, and successful.  I've lost all my weight that way and I've sucked it up and fought myself to do it. 

And now, all of that is changing. 

Starting Monday when I start Body Beast, I will start working out after work.  My plan is to wake up about 45 min to an hour later, get out of the house and to work earlier.  Then I can leave for home earlier and get my workout (mostly) done before the hubby is home from work.  I've mentioned it to a few people and they are like WHAT???  I know.  It's a huge shift for me from my normal at home operations.  But it's time for a few reasons.

One of the reasons is that I'm shifting to a weight lifting program and I don't want to do it fasted.  I typically do a fasted workout because I have to do that.  Otherwise I would have to wake up another 30 minutes earlier and I just can't do that and maintain sanity.  I already can barely get to sleep when I'm supposed to go to bed to get up at 5:15.  Which brings me to another reason - I'm not awake.  I'm really not awake.  I'm going to bed around 9:45 pm and when my alarm goes off at 5:15 I'm really not at all ready to wake up.  I have noticed over the last few weeks (and even the hubby has commented on how little sun we have ALREADY here in Minnesota) and I have a feeling that is part of it.  I have always noticed the winter was a rougher time for me to wake up, but here it's starting much earlier and I'm honestly not sure I can fight myself for 4-5 months.  I've thought about how it's going to work when I'm doing the close to an hour long workouts in Body Beast some days and I honestly do not know how I will get them done.  At least get them done and get to work at an acceptable time.  Lastly, with feeling so tired lately, my workouts are shit.  I feel distracted and some days I really just want to sit down.  It's been a big fight with myself and it has to stop. 

My shift really is about only one AM con for me: it's not working right now. 

I have thought about this for a little while now but being on travel for work last week really was what made me decide to go with it.  Travel for me has always been a time when it's really easy to workout.  But one thing I have always noticed is that my workouts are on POINT.  Like extremely on point.  Good calorie burns, energy on point (without pre-workouts), and I slept like a baby.  I went to sleep around the time I normally sleep here and woke up around 6-6:30 am and life was good.  This really made me realize that for whatever reason, right now in my life, I need that extra bit of sleep and I need to do what's necessary to make that happen. 

I talked to the husband about these and laid out my plan for how I want to get this done and why so he would understand.  I'm using our 2nd bedroom which is our sometimes workout room as my Beast Dojo for this experiment.  That way if the door is closed he knows I'm working out. 

I'm excited for this experiment and to see how this works.  I'm hoping that this change will be a positive one for my workouts.  I'm sure over the next weeks with this change I'm going to figure out how to make this work better.  In my head it should be ok.  The one big issue is going to be when I have things after work.  But I'll figure that out as I go. 



Traveling with 6 Pack Fitness

This past week I took my Camille bag with me on my first international trip for work. 

I traveled to the Dominican Republic then back to the States for another work trip then home.  So that ended up being 5 flights over 4 days all in coach.  Fun times.  The picture above was all of my carry on and checked luggage.  One big suitcase (checked), my laptop bag (carry on) and my Camille (carry on).  I was a little nervous about my first travels with my bag being international because I have NEVER flown international before but I figured hey, if this bag can handle this, it can handle anything.  So first things first, I loaded it up before I left with goodies. 

image2 (1).JPG

Now for this trip, I removed all the shelves from my bag.  I did this so I could stuff it as full as I could with food.  This is one of my favorite things about this bag - that I can change the config at a whim.  I usually have one open side and one side with shelves, but I change it up as needed.  Inside my bag in the two side cup holders I had an empty water bottle (I filled it up with water inside the airport in the US so I would at least have some water upon landing since Americans are recommended to avoid non bottled water in the Dominican) and a shaker cup. 

Now this to me is the MOST important test for the bag.  The reason I wanted to bring this style bag is that I wanted to be able to put both of my carry ons under my seat.  My old travel bag was a bookbag and by the time I filled it up it was the only thing that fit under my seat.  It was too tall to sit straight up and when on it's back it was too wide.  The net result was that I ended up not having all I needed for a long flight in handy reach and often ended up not getting food or my computer or whatever out because it was a pain.  I am pleased to say this bag fit easily under my seat! 

Ignore my bony feet. 

Ignore my bony feet. 

I unfortunately totally forgot to grab a photo until my last flight home, on the smallest plane.  But it did fit fine under the seat on every flight, dividers or none, and I was able to get my food out as needed.  I absolutely love the easy access to the side pocket because it was easy to just reach over and tilt the bag and grab food out without having to dig like crazy for something, especially a protein bar or something small that easily can drop to the bottom of a bag.  Also hello and thank you for no more crushed broken protein crunch bars!   When the food was gone on the way home I just used it to put my portable charger and my magnets and stuff I brought back home.

The main con I found during flights was that I noticed that if you had a taller container in the cup holders it was usually too tall and I had to lay it flat.  Other than that, my only other complaint has nothing to do with traveling, it's that I wish I could fit at least a small blender bottle standing up inside of the cooled area so I could carry a smoothie to work.  Not that I could do that when traveling, but it's just a desire of mine as I used to be able to do that with my Innovator 300 and I miss that. 

Oh and one HUGE travel plus - the pockets.  Oh all the pockets.  I had my passport and boarding passes in one pocket with my kindle.  My phone in the back pocket.  Medicine easily accessible in another.  Lip glosses and cough drops in another.  It honestly is the best big bag (meaning when I'm flying with more than just a purse) that I have ever flown with because of those pockets. I'm typically fumbling with where to put my boarding pass and I was absolutely terrified of losing my passport so the easy access to put things away immediately was aces 10. 

I absolutely LOVE this style for the actual plane trip.  It definitely wont itself more travel.  I did find myself wishing I had the Renee (the business lady model of this bag...which people who use business lady probably aren't classy enough to use...) when I was traveling to the supplier just to be more professional.  I wished I had the backpack version when I was standing around in customs lines and waiting for cabs.  It doesn't ride well on top of a suitcase like a smaller bag would so you do have to carry it around.  I guess that just means I should lift more and get stronger so it feels like air. 

This is my 3rd 6 pack bag.  I had an Innovator 300 (which I totally ruined as I said before by leaving food in it by mistake).  I made a dumb decision to get an Innovator 500 as a replacement for that and ended up selling it off because it was just too big for me.  I thought I needed it and I didn't and it was so big and bulky that I ended up not using it.  I do miss the old ice packs (the old ones were definitely much better, they would keep my bag cold for 12+ hours, these do not).  But other than that - these bags are the best.  A new one JUST came out and I may or may not have ordered it....I'm addicted.  I decided to get the Innovator Mini for a few reasons.  One reason was that I wanted another bag to swap out with my Camille bag because I don't need a full bag for work every day.  I really only need it on days when I'm traveling, going from campus to campus, or hanging out and want to bring my food to a friends house or something.  Some days a lunch box like my Innovator is all I need because I'm just going into the office and then straight home. 

So that's my little Camille travel review :)  Now I'm going to go hit my meal prep and be ready for the week!  I had a GREAT week of travel and hung a little loose on the weekend hanging out at the Renaissance Faire (mead is pretty boss).  My next cheat will be this weekend as the hubby and I celebrate our 4th wedding anniversary.  Then after that I start BODY BEAST baby!!!!

Cardio Break-Up (for now)'s true.  Me.  Little miss cardio queen.  I'm making a change for the fall.  I'm changing from a high cardio mostly cardio program to a mostly strength program.  I'm both terrified and excited to make this change but I know it's time because I'm just not excited about cardio anymore and I do know my body responds to weights (heavy weights, not light ones) very well.

You know me - I'm a home workout girl.  Even though I have access to a gym at my apt and at work, since I need to work out first thing in the morning to be consistent with working out, home just makes sense.  Having to get up and go somewhere else at 5:30 am is just not happening.  I've tried. 

So starting September 28th, I'm starting up Body Beast with my bestie Keyshia and a few other friends. 

Why Body Beast? For one, the workouts are not all an hour long a la P90x.  For two, I like listening to Sagi over Tony (so so sorry Tony...but it's true).  And for three, because it has a program option to help you lean out (for me) or for packing on muscle if you are already at/near your desired weight (for the bestie).  In my research on it some of the stories of the women who have transformed their bodies with this program are pretty awesome.  Like this one here. 

It's a program almost anyone can do and it's not very expensive (you can pick it up for less than $40).  Equipment wise you just need weights, bands or a pull up bar, and a bench or stability ball.  I have weights, bands, and a stability ball. 

If you want to join us, check out the program here:

Along with my option 2 kit, I am also going to use Results and Recovery post workout.  I am going to modify the meal plan a smidge as I will be eating more plant based than protein based. 

If you are interested in joining me, please drop me a line and let me know!!!  I'm really excited for this shift and to do this together with some other Lady Beasts! 


It's been a few weeks since I decided to buckle down, get strict, and get my butt moving towards my goal instead of towards the kitchen.  Progress so far:

Weight wise I'm not sure since I have not weighed in for a minute.  But visually I see a huge difference in my middle.  And my energy levels.  I feel AWESOME.  Freaking awesome. 

The plan this month: keeping food simple, almost no dairy since Sunday, cutting processed sugar by a HUGE amount, and being focused in general. The focus is huge.  My workouts are focused.  I think about how I feel before I go into a workout.  I put the phone away.  I close the door if I'm in our little dojo.  I sometimes swap a workout out if I need it mentally. Every workout is 100% of whatever I have that day.  And if I am really tired - then I rest.  I follow a woman named Amy on IG who is a fitness competitor and she talks a lot about that last part.  Listening to your body and letting that guide you instead of a calendar.  And I've been copying that mentality and as you can see - it's been working well for me. Speaking of fitness my workout has been mainly Insanity with Focus T25 thrown in (mainly because I sometimes lose track of time in the morning trying to wake up and boom - it's too late for a longer workout) and Body Beast (I love it so much) thrown in. 

The plan going forward - more of the same.  Focused clean eating.  Cooking much of my food.  Saying NO when it's appropriate.  Working out hard and burning all the calories. 

I'm going to start doing progress pics every 2 weeks.  In this outfit.  Let's see what 2 more weeks gets me.  My goal is to get that shirt a little looser :)