Re-Visiting a Workout

This week I am doing a lot of random workouts.  Just having fun with things while I am getting back into the swing of things and have a lot of flexibility.  Come May 20th it's full time INSANITY so I'm enjoying this "free time" while I have it. Yesterday I did core synergistics for the first time since I did my month of P90x earlier this year.  I picked this workout because I remembered it as being a good recovery week workout...not too hard but not easy either.

Clearly my memory is foggy...or after doing 3 weeks of P90x my body was a well oiled machine.

I am straight up toilet sore today.  Don't act like you have never been there...toilet sore is when you can barely get yourself to sit on the toilet because your legs are so torn up.  It's that kind of sore where you kind of walk weird.  My stomach is not feeling too bad, but my behind and legs (especially my quads) are on fire.  I'm kind of shocked, I NEVER got this result before from this workout.  Ever. I also could do a lot more than I could do before.  More of the lunges and better form on the lunges I completed.  Better form is really probably the biggest difference.  It's easier to get into the different exercises and positions than it was before and to do more reps since I've lost more and more weight.  I'm really excited to get into INSANITY again significantly lighter and leaner than my first go around.  I'm thinking that I'll see some really different types of results just because my ability has morphed a lot.

For the next week, my general plan is to keep mixing it up.  I will be out of town a few days, so I will make sure to pack some travel friendly (read: workouts that don't require a bunch of stuff) dvds with me.  Some candidates for that are TurboFire, P90x core synergistics, or Les Mills Combat.  I'm picking up a bunch of travel friendly snacks too.  I'm going to be busy and I know that if I don't pack foods I can have in a pinch or if meals are served that don't really agree with me or go with my food needs then I'm going to be in a bad jam.

I will post the workout plan for the week tomorrow morning and some of my meals for this week!

Ultimate Reset Redux: Day 20!!

Well friends...I'm almost done with the ultimate reset for the second time!  I have only a few more meals left before I am off on my own to continue with the healthy changes I have made over the last 21 days for continued weight loss and health.  For the next couple of days I will share with you all some information about how to transition into post Ultimate Reset life, all things INSANITY and of course - my results from the last 21 days. Today however, I just wanted to share a few tips on getting through the reset and getting through the end.  These last few days are hard because you start looking to the future.  You know by day 19 or 20 that you have to start planning for day 22...the day where you don't have a reset plan and are on your own to eat what you want, when you want, and how you want.  So what do you do when all you can think about is that bowl of tomato soup that you have been craving is all yours in 48  hours?

1. Make a day 22 plan.  Right now.  Actually make a day 22-27 plan.  Figure out what you are going to eat menu plan style and write. it. down.  Then make a grocery list.  Do this so you don't lose your mind when you hit the store on day 19-21 to get food for day 22 and to give yourself some peace.

2. Connect with your challenge group, team, or coach.  Of any program I have ever done, this is the one that I feel like you really need support through.  Eating healthy is hard.  Eating a very specific diet for 21 days with no room for any options is incredibly hard.  Knowing that you can reach out to someone who is doing the program or has done the program for help can really be amazing because it just helps to know that it can be done and someone has struggled/is struggling like you are right now.

3. Remember your why.  The Ultimate Reset is not a free program and there had to be some reason that made you pick up your wallet and order it.  What was that reason?  Why did you feel like you needed to do this program at this time and what were you hoping to gain from it?  For me, my why is control over my cravings, control over food, and the ability to continue with a healthy diet after the 21 days so I can continue to lose weight.  My why is about control 100%.  Establishing it and maintaining it.  For me, it's not about falling off the program because I won't lose as much weight or see as good a result, it's about getting myself in the habit of eating healthy, ignoring every food impulse I have, and learning to tell myself no when it's appropriate.  Going back to the why helps clarify to your rational self your goals and helps give you the strength to finish this thing out.

4. Ingredients, not just recipes.  This one is my favorite tip.  During my research of this program one thing that has always stood out to me was the fact that for each meal, you are given the recipes but more importantly you are given the ingredients.  And you can play with those ingredients it make some changes if you need to keep with the program.  Another example from my personal experience is from this weekend.  The meal was supposed to be a spinach salad + a baked potato.  I cannot do raw spinach...something about the texture doesn't sit well with me.  I knew there was no way I was going to be able to get through the huge salad (the base was 3 cups of spinach) because I'm kind of over salad at this point.  So I took the spinach and steamed it a little first and made up a plate with the remaining salad ingredients.  Instead of suffering through a salad I (1) didn't like and (2) didn't want, I had a plate of veggies that was delicious and I ate the whole portion.  Don't add extra stuff, but do add some creativity if you need to in order to get through these last few days.  Also don't forget that Shakeology is also an option as a meal replacement - the vegan versions only - if you need it.  If there is something you really hate or can't get through you can blend something up that will give you all the nutrients you need with a different taste.

Hopefully this helps you with some strategies to get through the end of your reset.  It's a hard program at times, but it's certainly 100% possible to finish it with successful results if you focus on your why!  Interested in more info?  Shoot me an email (kimbfitblog@gmail.com) or check out the Ultimate Reset site for more on the science behind the program and configuration options.

Ultimate Reset Redux: What do you eat?

The question I get most often from people is what do you eat on the reset.  I think because the weight loss is pretty significant, people think it's a starvation diet.  It's not.  If it was I wouldn't do it because I don't believe in that kind of thing.  I thought I'd share more pictures of the dishes that I'm eating.  Below are a mish mash of breakfasts, lunches, and dinners that I've been eating for the past 2 weeks.

I am doing the Ultimate Reset pretty much just as written.  My husband is selecting a lot of the reset in a hurry options and mixing in Shakeology as a snack.  I have repeated some things just because it's open and I'd rather use it all up instead of moving on and having to throw things away.  Like the Pinto Beans and salad.  I repeated that since the beans were already open and I didn't want to waste food.
Tabby mentioned to me that it seems like this is easier for me this time and I'd have to agree.  Last time all this food seemed totally weird and new and strange.  This time it's familiar and it's very close to how I try to eat anyway.  Lots of fresh food, lots of colorful produce, and being a vegetable vegan instead of a processed food vegan.  I do not eat this many salads (salad almost daily) even though I know I probably should.  I do like the simplicity of the recipes and that is why I will repeat them while I am trying to ease from the Ultimate Reset and into my Insanity program.
Speaking of Insanity, don't forget that today is the last day for the challenge pack sale of the program + Shakeology.  This is the program that I will do including the Shakeology starting May 20th and if you want to join me please shoot me an email (healthyengineer@gmail.com) and we can get you set up and add you to our Insaniacs Facebook group so we can support you and help you finish this program!

Ultimate Reset Redux: Recipes and Updates

Today is day 10 of my Reset Redux.  I was looking back at my pictures from the first day of my first reset and wow, I have changed.  I also apparently look really really orange under the lights at my old place.

Between these two pictures - 7 months, lots and lots of Shakeology, one full Ultimate Reset, 9 days of the current Ultimate Reset, one full round of INSANITY, a month of P90x and a lot of other workouts from Beachbody thrown in.  Most importantly I stopped dieting and started really focusing on eating right.  Between these two pictures other than the 30 days so far I have been on a Reset program, I have not been logging or following any specific meal plan other than Shakeology once a day most days.  I've just been focusing on eating healthy, finding delicious recipes with healthy ingredients and moving my body.  It's actually the simplest "plan" I have ever followed while losing weight...so I'm not really surprised it's sticking so well.  Because it's damn hard to fall off of a plan that is basically common sense, eh?
And with that, since I've had the request on Instagram a ton, I wanted to share a few of my favorite favorite recipes from the Ultimate Reset.  These are recipes that I either repeated a ton after my first reset or I plan on repeating after this one because I forgot about it before :)  All of the recipes below are vegan.
Pinto Beans and Rice (makes 1 serving)
Ingredients
1/2 cup canned pinto beans w/ liquid
1 cup cooked brown rice
1 tsp EVOO
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 dash ground cumin
1/4 tsp coriander
1 tsp Bragg Liquid Aminos
Salt (to taste)
Heat beans in medium sauce pan over medium heat for 3-5 minutes or until hot.  Drain.  Add all seasonings to the pan and mix well.  Gently fold beans into warm cooked rice.

Stir Fried Veggies (makes 1 serving) Ingredients 1.5 tsp coconut oil 1 tsp sesame oil 1.5 tsp Bragg Liquid Aminos 1.5 cups of vegetables to stir fry of your choice

Heat oils over medium high heat.  Add vegetables and cook stirring frequently 5-10 minutes depending on type of veggies.  Carrots and broccoli will take longer than more water filled veggies like zucchini.  When veggies are tender-crisp turn off heat and add Braggs.  Mix well and serve with rice or quinoa.

Sweet Potato and Roasted Red Pepper Bisque (makes 1 serving) Ingredients 1 cup water 1 medium sweet potato peeled and cubed 1/4 medium red bell pepper 1 tsp grated ginger root 1.5 tsp EVOO 2 tsp miso paste, mixed with 2 tbsp hot water 1 cup vegetable broth Bragg Liquid Aminos Herbal Seasoning blend to taste (Spike for me)

Add sweet potatoes to boiling water and cook for 7 minutes.  Drain and set aside.  Roast bell pepper in oven at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes turning to cook evenly.  Place in medium bowl and cover with a kitchen towel for 10 minutes.  Peel skin under running water and remove seeds.  Chop into 1/2 inch cubes.

Place sweet potato, bell pepper, bell pepper, ginger, oil, miso, and broth in a blender and blend until smooth.  Can do in 2 or more batches if necessary based on the size of the blender.  If consistency is too thick, add water.  Heat soup in a medium saucepan over medium heat; cook stirring frequently for 4 to 5 minutes or until hot.  Add Braggs and herbal seasoning blend if desired.

With all of these recipes, they are just a component of a meal, not a meal alone.  You can add salads or steamed or roasted vegetables to the side to make the meal more complete.  You could also add a meat side if you wanted.  Just play around with the meals to fit them into your nutrition needs and personal dietary preferences.  For example I have used the stir fry recipe many times as a base for making fried rice by adding a scrambled egg and about 3/4 cup cooked brown rice.  Other times I have added an egg and shrimp to make shrimp fried rice.

Any questions about the Ultimate Reset?  Leave a comment here or shoot me an email - healthyengineer@gmail.com.

Ultimate Reset Redux - Day 6 Check In.

1. I want to do a workout so bad I could cry lol. Ok not cry, but I would love a good workout. 15 more days. 2. Resting on the reset is really hard. Resting in the literal sense is fine. It's the trying to actually really slow down and rest that is hard. My life is go, go, go and it's been hard to find time to just chill. Today and yesterday were better relaxation days because it was the weekend, but I'm going to have to work hard to try to find this Monday - Friday. Maybe I will start sitting outside at lunch since its nice? It would certainly break up the day.  I know quite a few of you are working a 9-5 same as I am - so what do you do during the day to get a breath of fresh air?

3. Reset food. Here are collages of the food of days 3-5. Day 1 was posted here and day 2 here. As you can see, this isn't a starvation program, you eat a lot. Sometimes it's too much almost. But when you eat fresh whole foods your portions are just larger.  And when I duplicated a meal I sometimes forgot to take a pic, oops, lol.  You can catch that I'm sure.  I didn't eat exactly the same fruit portions I'm sure, but it was in general the same thing.

I don't do snacks, I just don't really honestly have time to fit them in with the supplement timing and I am not really hungry.  In addition the the food below I'm also drinking around 100 fl oz of water a day...so I'm really honestly not hungry, I'm just full of water and full of food :)  I take the alkalinize with a decent amount of water and that happens right when I would want a snack in the afternoon.

Ultimate Reset Redux - Quick Changes

So today starts the 3rd day of the reset.  I feel SO much better after 2 days of super clean eating that it's amazing.  I know that food can heal and that food is the best medicine, but it's always amazing to feel the change.  As you can see in the picture below, the food on the reset through day 2 still includes meat and also has a lot of grains and variety.  I was definitely full all day. I don't typically eat oatmeal, but maybe I need to add it in more again...it's always really good when I have it...then I guess I forget, lol!

So that is what I ate yesterday. This morning I took this picture.  My body looks better, closer to how I looked when I finished Insanity.  My stomach bloat is almost all gone and my stomach aches I started to get again have disappeared again.  I really am starting to feel back to normal..the way I felt back in early February.

I am shocked honestly at how little cravings I have.  Before this I was craving everything again....crap food, junk food, sugar, quantity over quality...all of the things that made me 300 lbs before.  And it scared the crap out of me.  I know it was stress related, because that is when all of this started.  But I didn't really appreciate it until I started doing this reset.  Right now I have more free time because I'm not working out, not doing so much laundry, not rushing to bed...essentially creating the me time I need by making my life a little simpler.  And that then means my stress is naturally much lower...and that makes everything with diet so much easier.  I need to file this little lesson away - next time I feel like I can't handle myself and food it's time to s l o w it down.  Take more time for myself.  I'm taking that right now.  I'll be focusing on doing more personal development, talking to positive people, sleeping, spending time with my husband, spending time with my sister....just taking the reset literally. Letting go of the baggage and crap and letting in the positive and calm.

 

Ultimate Redux - Day 1 Completed

All together now!

Lots of green, lots of colors. That salad was too massive and I honestly could not finish it. Micro green salads are my reset nemesis - it's the first thing that annoys me...but I am going to go all out. That said - it was great to eat this clean, it's been a while since a whole day was this clean. I'm feeling good tonight, feeling strong.

I did start noticing changes right away, mainly that there is only one piece of bread for breakfast now, booooo lol! I'm not booing because I'm a big carb hound actually, it's because I can't sandwich up the ingredients lol. I didn't notice until I was making my plate, so I was late to work because I had to sit and eat vs making a sandwich for the road. Lesson learned lol. Although there was always only one piece in the pic, so it was probably always supposed to only be one. Oh well. Anyway, I think I'm going to go for a walk or something to chill out then bed early!

Ultimate Reset Redux - Day 1

I took my starting pictures last night to get ready for today!  I know night time isn't ideal, however in my new place I really don't have a good mirror for full body shots so I had to recruit my husband for pictures.  Which meant taking them last night because he is probably still sleep and I left the house an hour and a half ago, lol. Anyway, I wish I had morning pics or at least realized I needed his help before dinner but I didn't, so you get me about an hour after I ate dinner.  Not the best, but it's me.
I've lost some "definition" in my stomach for sure the last few months but I'm not too worried about that, that will return quick once I start insanity, lol. My main goals for the next 21 days are to reset the stress hormones in my body.  I've been stressed out from funerals, moving, my hubby's job situation which goes into financial stress.  And all of that is jacking up the stress hormones.  I haven't been sleeping well, which means I'm tired all the time which means that my exercise sessions have been less intense or non-existent and my willpower meter is at an all time low.  I've said yes to meals out more than I usually do and definitely been eating way more meat, dairy, and quick grab and go snacks.  Essentially - I've been taking the easy way out and letting the poor influences around me bring me down to their level because I've been tired and too tired to keep fighting for myself.  
In the last few days I've been giddy about doing this again because I NEED this structure right now.  That's why I moved it up - because I needed to start this now.  Somehow even though the hubby starts the reset conversation every time, I've found by the time it starts that I need it just as much if not more than he does.
I'll be posting my food on my Instagram as well as my running commentary on how it's going (@kbrooksfit or here for the web version).  If you have any questions on what's going on just leave comments on my blog posts, my instagram, or email me at healthyengineer@gmail.com

Scheduling

Ok I'm going to start working on my party post later. But for now - done quick schedule updates.

1. Reset is moving up. I'm going to start on Wednesday now instead of next Sunday. I have no reason to wait another week and with all the parties on top of bring out of sync - my body needs a reset ASAP. My goal was to wait until after the parties. I'll have less time to shop, but I'm ok with that. A lot of things I don't have to buy again, so it should be a simple shopping trip anyway.

2. Insanity is a definite go in May. It's my body's happy program...so I'm going to give it what it wants. I'm trying to lose 50 lbs this year which means being aggressive!

Insanity Relapse

I have mentioned a zillion times how I have just not gotten my groove back since moving.  Part of it I know is that with this being a smaller place I don't have my little Kim-den to go workout (re: by myself without an audience) in when we both are home.  I have had to really tell myself that I just have to get over it and sometimes I'll be working out in the living room and he will be at the computer and oh well.  That has helped me with consistency these last few days.  I also have started mixing it up on days I have no desire to do anything.  The last 2 days I went back to old faithful - INSANITY.  I am so glad I did, I feel more invigorated and ready to go than I have in weeks.  I love TurboFire and I think Les Mills Pump is growing on me.  But neither of those bring the pain like INSANITY does and I'm realizing that is what I need to jump me into a routine again.  I haven't been this sore in a while and I missed that feeling.  Now that I have it I am so ready to get back into a routine again.  A big part of this journey is about learning how you operate.  How you tick and what gets you moving...then using that information to help you along the way.

I will share the two workouts I did - they were the two INSANITY workout that I didn't do before, the deluxe package ones.

First up was Max Interval Sports Training which is 55 minutes long.  First I will say that there really aren't any intervals.  This workout really reminds me of Core Cardio and Balance (CCB)  in it's format.  Not the usual interval warmup, but it again mimics CCB with a slow warmup.  I really like this warmup because it actually helps me go from cold to warm without being out of breath immediately.  Next you go through drills from 4 sports - football, basketball, gymnastics, and track and field.  I'm pretty sure Shaun T meant to save the "this ish is bananas" for this workout.  I was sweating buckets by the end of the football drill section.  Each section is on it's own a pretty good workout so adding them together is mega intense.  Expect abs, cardio, and strength as you move through this one.  I really liked it and definitely would do this again.

Next I did the Upper Body Weight Training workout.  This one is basically all weight training with a little bit of cardio in each section to boost your heart rate up.  This workout is full of very basic exercises that every person can do regardless of fitness level.  Shaun T doesn't show any modifications as usual, but you can make some up if you need them.  There are some lower body and abs included, but it is pretty much all upper body focus.  The only thing I will say to you is that you need to lift heavy here.  Not light.  The ladders go down, so if you go too light you will not get the benefit of the workout.  Go heavy and if you can and your equipment allows go heavier on the last set.  You can pair this with either Fast and Furious or a Turbo Fire HIIT workout and get a solid hour or so of weights plus cardio.

At this point, the only INSANITY workout I haven't done is Insane Abs.  Considering I can barely get through Cardio Abs, I probably won't do Insane Abs for a while.  I'm seriously considering doing another round of INSANITY this summer after I finish the Ultimate Reset :)  I'm back in the Insane Ward I guess, lol!  I think I am at a fitness level that maybe another round of INSANITY I might be able to try Asylum...who knows.

31

Today I turn 31.  I know most people are anti-birthday after they reach a certain age....but I'm not.  I'm healthier, happier, and stronger than I have been at any other birthday.  I've worked my butt off (literally) over the last year or so especially, because I want to be better and healthier every year.  The last few months have been really really rough and I've been up and down and not really doing as well as I know I could do because I've had to really deal with some stress.  It's in general just been a really hard 2013 so far.  I have maintained...which I'm really happy with because usually this stuff makes me gain weight like crazy.  But I am over maintaining and ready to really push forward.  And a birthday is a FANTASTIC day to kind of reset my goals and reset my brain. So, a few of my teammates have some big weight goals for this year and we are working together to try to get to our goals this year.  My goal is to lose the rest of the weight (I'm guessing 40-60 lbs....but really it's going to be a visual check + a maintainable lifestyle) and to get back into a routine and by the time I hit 32 be happily at goal and maintaining.

I also want to hit emerald in my beachbody coaching business.  I have realized that I LOVE talking to people about health and fitness.  I LOVE helping people reach their goals and working on my own.  I want to be in a position to have more options with my coaching business and advancing will help me get there.  I want to use my beachbody income to pay for a nutrition certification so I can really help my team get the best results possible.  I'm saving all my income towards that goal, then towards a personal trainer certification.  I have BIG dreams and while part of the goals have to do with getting myself in shape the rest have to do with helping others and being in a position to help others.

More than anything I want to spend my year of being 31 really living. I always put things off to the future because I'm too big or I'm too scared or I'm not ready.  I know some of the decisions I've made have been the right ones for me but I don't necessarily want to make decisions out of fear - I want to make decisions out of really knowing it's the right decision for me and being confident in that decision.  I want to try new things and do more things and reach out to more people and try new things.  I want 31 to be the BEST year I have ever lived.  I want every day to be lived to the fullest.  I want to live a life free from fear.  I am so ready for you 31.  So ready.

Ultimate Reset: Part Deux

My hubby has been talking about the reset a lot lately.  He has had to go to the doctor because he wasn't feeling well and because he has strayed way farther from the post reset life than I.  With him being in Memphis and me being in Virginia last time, he kind of just went back to what he knew.  Since he got back from that job and has been home, we both have struggled.  Him with my cooking not being as processed/not healthy as before and me with trying to keep on my healthy path someone who is not quite there with me also in the house.

Rewind to a few months go when he asked about doing the reset again.  I was like um...didn't we just do it? It's not a cheap program and I really didn't know about diving in again so fast.  But then I stopped to listen really to what he was saying.  He wanted to do the reset again to get back to that place of health and he knows this time with us in the same state, I'll be there to catch him as he comes off of it.  To keep him from having such a large relapse because I won't go there with him.  Now the money seemed to not really matter or the fact that we already did this...this started to be something bigger...something that was about him taking back his health again.  It became clear that he felt he needed this to be back in control of his eating and that made it clear to me as his wife that I needed to support him on this.  I had to stop thinking about the fact I wanted to finish Combat or that I wanted to do something for me.  It became about the fact that he needs me to do this to help him and it will not hurt me one bit to join him and support him.

So, today we ordered the dual Ultimate Reset kit.  I was just going to order the refill kits - but it's actually cheaper with the sale to just buy the whole dual kit.  Considering since we did it last year there have been a few program changes (the soothe supplement, reset in a hurry, and shakeology incorporated into the meal plan if you want to drink it) I was glad it worked out that way.  We aren't starting right away - we are starting April 21st - so in about a month.  This gives us time to get the new kits (regular shipping from Beachbody is about a week) and time for us to adjust to a new schedule (the man is going to be taking on a new position with a very different commute in April) and avoids the April celebrations (I have 2 bridal showers, a bachelorette party, and a birthday all going down in April and while I am trying to lose weight, I'm also a human who really demands a piece of birthday cake on my birthday) so I don't have to face a delicious cake on day 2 of the reset or something equally insane.  It is manageable to do the reset and have events...but it's definitely not preferred if you can avoid it.  And since we have some open time between the party madness and the wedding I am in...just makes sense to wait until the open time.  Of course...I am lucky that my dress for the wedding is a corset back so I have some room to lose without fear because I can just tighten the heck out of that sucker if I need to do so :)

Anyway...I'm working on getting a facebook like page up and running so if you want to join me on this crazy venture we will have a place to discuss the whole process.  I am hoping to have a challenge group of 5 people...but the more the merrier.  If you order before the end of March, you can save on the reset.  If you can't order in the next few days, you can still order in April and have your kit in time to start with us on the 21st.  Here is my before and after shot from when I did the reset in September 2012.


I lost 21 lbs and felt really good by the end of it.  I was sleeping better and had way more energy and was able to handle stress a LOT better.  I'm getting excited to feel that way again...I have never felt as great as I did during week 3 of the reset and the month or so after before going back to a less regimented diet.  And as you can see, I was in a hotel at the end - I finished the last 4 days of the reset on travel for work.  It can be done!

Are you in?  Email me at healthyengineer@gmail.com for questions or check out my Ultimate Reset site  All the deals are listed on my March Promotions page for a break down of what you save with each version of the reset.  If you are interested in signing up as a coach you can do that by going to my main site here and you will save some extra on your kit (it's an extra 25% off for a coach...which is huge with this kit).



Hello Again :)

I finally am back in my groove and it feels oh so good.  I got the living room all cleared out and started back on Combat yesterday.  As I mentioned in my post the other day, I decided to just start over based on where I was in the program and the long break.  I knew I felt fluffy in the middle from not working out and eating different...but I KNEW I lost fitness when I was struggling to keep up with Combat 30.  I remember the first time I did it, it was hard, but it wasn't impossible.  Yesterday I felt like it was the hardest workout ever.  I got through it, but I was struggling.  Today with HIIT: Power I had to drop weights a lot.  I was at 12/15 lbs...today was 12/9 lbs.  Definitely lost some fitness.  But that's ok...because it's temporary.  What's funny is that my clothes do not fit any different.  This is just a feeling that I have now from not working out.  Change is happening...


My plan right now is:
1) Les Mills Combat Ultimate Warrior Schedule - 60 days of fighter fit baby!
2) Add in 2-3 days a week of weights.  Preferably Les Mills Pump or heavier lifting at the gym here at the apartment complex. 
3) Eat CLEAN.  

Yes number 3 is a biggie.  By packing up a kitchen and moving it over the last few weeks I haven't been eating my ideal diet at all.  I've been eating microwave food (mostly Amy's organic meals) and a random restaurant menu.  I've tried hard to eat right...just a few blatant slips here and there.  But now that the kitchen is back in action, I'm going hard core again.  As I type this, I have brown rice in the rice cooker, the Ultimate Reset fish recipe marinating in the fridge (I know...I'm cooking fish!) and am going to stir fry some veggies to make a delish lunch.  I miss eating my own food!  The buzzer just let me know it's time to put the fish in the oven so I'll catch you later :)

Open Gym!

Today was the first day back in a workout mode in a long time.  Didn't I mention how I cleaned up the living room so I could get back on combat?  Well that got ruined last night when I moved some stuff around to play carpernter and put together my IKEA dresser.  I'm going to finish unpacking into the dresser today...but that meant at 6am I had to find another place to workout or wait until after work.  Ya'll know I do NOT do after work well or consistently...so that wasn't an option.  So I figured I'd check out the morning rush at the apartment gym and scope it out.  I figure some mornings I will want to bring my laptop down here so I can do the DVDs if they are high intensity (I don't live on the ground floor) so today was a scouting trip.  I was beyond surprised to see.....


Right....nobody.  I was in the gym for about 40 minutes and there wasn't a single person that was there when I got there or came in while I was working out.  Perfect for me...it's like my own private gym :)  You can see from the picture that the apartment gym is pretty well stocked - treadmills, arc trainers, bikes, yoga mats, medicine balls, swiss balls, free weights and weight machines.  There is some free room by the free weights that I could use if I set my laptop up with a DVD.  Plus I could probably do some kick butt P90x in there if I wanted to since the weight rack is close.  

Today I was pretty all over the place to be honest...I'm usually better with building my circuits.  But I was just antsy to workout.  So I did a 5 min warm up on the arc trainer then did a low weight/high rep circuit alternating legs and upper body.  Added abs at the end and cooled down with the bike for 5 minutes.  The good thing about this gym is that I will definitely get some practice building my own circuits and routines :)  

Also - if anyone out there is a personal trainer/health/wellness coach and would not mind me asking them some questions, can you please shoot me an email - healthyengineer@gmail.com.  I am currently researching certifications and getting wildly confused about all that is out there!


Starting Over vs. Starting Back Up

Scenario:  Happily going through your workout routine.  Loving every minute of it without a care in the world.  Then BLAM - curveball from life and now you haven't worked out in too long and can't figure out what to do next.


Have you been there?  I certainly  have and I'm there again right now.  My move is way more of a disruption then I predicted it would be, ugh.  I have been busy until late in the evening every day, which means I'm not getting up early to workout.  I am trying to bust my butt to get the new place unpacked so this week is the last week of this mess.  I have mentioned this before - I don't do well in life when I'm not exercising.  It makes eating right a MUCH bigger struggle then it normally is for me.  I am doing a lot of moving - cleaning, moving boxes, lifting things, unpacking, ect.  I haven't sat down much at all.  But that kind of movement is different than an hour of Combat, know what I'm saying?  Long story short - I'm at the point where it's been a week since my last workout because I have only taken one day off work this whole time, so it's been late hours packing and unpacking and moving.

Here is a handy checklist I have created for anyone else who is wondering when it is worth it to start a program over versus just picking up where you left off:

1. Has it been more than two weeks since your last official workout?
2. Was your break due to injury?
3. Have you been inactive during the break (meaning little to no physical activity outside of normal everyday tasks)?
4. Are you in month 1 of your program?
5. Do you feel that your fitness has decreased at all?

If you answered more yeses then nos....you have two options - start over (which if you are in the first few weeks of a program is easy to do without losing much) or repeat a lower intensity week (go back to month one, weeks 1 or 2 and repeat that.  see how you feel and go forward from there).  And if you answered yes to question 2, you should automatically start over.  Why?  Because you start to lose fitness within one to two weeks of stopping exercise. Yes, 7 days off of exercise will literally set you back in physical ability.  So this means that if you have been inactive or doing mostly nothing you are actually getting a little weaker/slower then you were before.  With the 60-90 day programs (all of them..not just Beachbody), the intensity tends to build gradually over the weeks.  When you take time off and lose fitness, your body recognizes that change, but your brain doesn't.  Your brain is going to want to go balls to the wall and kick butt...but your body is not ready for that like it would have been with no break.  So you may end up injuring yourself, which does no good to anybody.

Obviously this checklist is short and there are other things that come into play - your beginning fitness being the main one.  If you are already someone who has lost a ton of weight and are in great shape - you may just need the one drop back week to get back into the swing of things before going back into the program.  If your program is Combat or TurboFire or P90x, you can probably get away with just a few shorter workouts, because the intensity of the workouts is very similar. Something like INSANITY - I would start that month over at a minimum.  If you are injury prone, definitely be careful.  I have horrific knees, so if I were doing INSANITY right now, I would most likely start over so I can build up again.  Combat I'm less concerned because the program is inherently low impact.

So what am I going to do?  I am going to start over with Combat.  By the time I get to a point where my living room is free and clear (and so it's clear - I'm going from a whole basement to workout in to a living room of a 1 bedroom apartment...so that's why it's taking so long) it will most likely be this weekend - almost 2 weeks of not doing a workout.  I am going to try to get to the apartment gym...but with work and moving stuff left...it's unlikely.  So I would like to do at least the first week of Combat over with the shorter workouts.  Well I was only finishing up week 2 anyway...so if I'm going to do week 1 over, I might as well just do the whole thing.  And I'm totally good with that.  I like the fresh start idea a lot, it's something that I thrive on.


Links and Moving Update

Hey ya'll!

Finally through the packing and into the unpacking phase of moving.  How we got so much stuff....I can't figure out.  I have been throwing a lot of stuff away though....new start clean start kind of thing.  That's why posting is a little slow lately...I just haven't been really doing much except trying to stay on track, exercise when I can (and where...box jumping is today's activity, lol), and trying to get this new apartment livable.

So today, I thought I'd share some of my favorite fitness/health links.  Please share some of your favorites in the comments too, I'm always looking for more good resources.

Michi's Ladder - very good resource if you are trying to start eating clean.  It works pretty easy.  Figure out what tier your foods are in and try to swap out a tier 1 or 2 item for your tier 3-5 items.  It's not a diet - it is a clean up your eating plan.

Daily Hiit - used to be BodyRock.  I started with this and UFC Trainer on XBOX in January 2011 at 300 lbs.  No, I couldn't do everything and yes, there are probably better workouts to start off with that would have given me faster results because I was so big and out of shape there was so much I couldn't do.  But I was SO pumped up and motivated after finding out about BodyRock and so wanting to start that I just jumped in and did what I could do.  This is what happens when you just wake up and decide to go forth and do something on a whim.  Anyway, long story short - I owe a lot to this program because it got me moving and starting the weight loss process.  A lot of the early posts on this blog are breakouts of my BodyRock workouts.

Fleur Meets Fitness - This blog has served as many a motivating moment for me.  Fleur is a Australian girl who lost a ton of weight in a very short amount of time.  It's motivating for me because it's a story of what you can do if you really put your money where your mouth is.  You can do pretty much whatever you want to do if you decide it's your #1 priority.

Truly.Into.Fitness - I just like reading about the lives of people that change their weight.  And apparently aren't from the US, lol!  Jess is French Canadian and is living the dream - lost the weight and became a personal trainer.  Motivation in leaps and bounds.

Team Beachbody - Great resource if you are doing a Beachbody program for sure.  Also if you just want recipes and a fitness community.  I use the message boards a lot, especially to research a program.  I spent a TON of time on the message board before deciding finally to take the Ultimate Reset and I still check the forum a lot.
----------------------
Don't forget this month's deals:

1. P90x and Ultimate Reset deals end on March 31st.  Don't miss these awesome deals if you want these programs!
2. Shakeology greenberry and chocolate (non-vegan version) go up in price by $10 a month as of April 1st. Order on HD this month to lock in the price for life.
3. Challenge pack or Shakeology HD orders this month get a free Shakeology shaker cup!  :)



Snow Day Announcements

Being from Michigan I still get a kick out of the fact that this little bit of snow means the entire WORLD in the DMV area shuts down!

So I'm going to take this day to catch up on some work that I am behind on from being so busy this week, do a little laundry, do a little packing, and do a little work on my Beachbody business.

Also I wanted to let you guys know that if you sign up for a challenge pack this month, you get (1) this discount on the Shakeology for life (2) a bonus Shakeology shaker cup (3) and me as your coach for one on one support via text/email/Facebook/Instagram - all of these, none of these, whatever you are looking for.  Why a challenge pack?  Because you get the meal plan, the Shakeology, the workout program, and the one on one support for one discounted price.  It's a good deal and one of my favorite discounts that Beachbody does.  Pile on the current discounts on P90x and the Ultimate Reset this month (both end on the 31st)...and you can really save some money going forward on your healthy journey.  Questions?  Email me at healthyengineer@gmail.com.  I want to help at least 5 people...hopefully more...with their health journey this month.  Do you need a little help and support?  Let's team up together and work on our goals!

One Week of Les Mills Combat

So as I've been mentioning - I tried out Combat when I got home from Michigan because I needed a boost. Since then, I've been following the ultimate warrior calendar.  It's a 6 day a week schedule with 30-60 minutes a day.  I wanted to discuss some of the workouts and how I liked them.

Combat 30:  This is a 30 minute workout that focuses on kicks and punches.  I felt super sore in my core and across my upper back/shoulders after this one for sure.  I liked how intense it was for a short workout - it ramped up rather quickly so it got to the point.  The immediate thing I noticed about this program from the first workout is that the low impact option actually is a good one.  Some workouts (INSANITY) don't really have a low impact option and others (TurboFire) have them, but sometimes it's too low.  This one was pretty good.  I use the low impact sometimes when my knees are bothering me, but aim for high impact whenever I can.

HIIT: Power: This workout is stupid hard.  Lots and lots of burpees.  Lots of them.  And squats.  As much as Combat 30 is focused on the upper body, HIIT: Power is a butt workout.  The weird thing about this one is that weights are used.  Not for the whole DVD, but in parts of it.  It is short, another 30 minute workout, but also intense.

HIIT: Plyo: Burpees, burpees, burpees.  Which I'm ok with - I mean they work.  I think at one point you do like 40 in one set, that kind of erases your mind.  It's a 30 minute workout.  This one was weird to me because it seemed not really a HIIT or a plyo workout.  It wasn't bad, just not what I expected.

Combat 45: Very similar to Combat 30, just a little longer.

Lower Body: So I thought this would be a strength workout...it's not really.  It's a cardio workout with more kicks then punches.  Oh and burpees.  I guess martial artists love burpees.  Okay, it sunk in by day 6 of week 1.  This was a hard workout and I did feel the burn.  I am not sure I would really consider this a lower body workout...more of cardio workout with a bit more of a lower body focus.  I do think it's a good workout, just not what I thought I was getting by reading the name of it.

Combat 60: See Combat 30 description.  I will say that this was closer to the full class that I'm used to from way back in the day when I took combat at a gym.  I liked the DVD and it's pretty hard.  There is a section at the end, the last track before the abs/pushup track, that kicked my butt that I loved - probably my favorite track of the program to date.  Lots of punches and cross jacks.  The kick tracks on this one are some of my favorite as well.

So right now I am on the 2nd week (did day 1, week 2 this morning).  I'm really enjoying it and now that I'm finally healthy and over this cold (I'm claiming it...even if it's not 100% true yet) I want to try to add some activity in the evenings like I talked about a few days ago.  I am so ready to really boost it this month.  I took some photos this morning and I'm not really happy about it.  Yes it's a little remaining bloat from that time of the month, but it's also from the fact my eating has been meh ever since going home for my Grandma's memorial.  I am really now back in the buckle down mode.  Beast mode if you will.  Let's go.

March Madness

Oh yes, it is ON for March peeps.  My birthday is in April.  I already am the smallest I've been since I was 17.  I'm ready to hit my birthday looking as smoking hot as I can and as healthy as I can.  So it's going to be an aggressive month with diet and exercise.

Eating
Clean clean CLEAN is the plan.  Better meal planning because the last few weeks have been meh with all the ongoings.  More vegetables, more fruit, more nuts, more seeds.  Less dairy, less miscellaneous snacks, less dirty junk.  Essentially, I'm going to go back to those favorite Ultimate Reset recipes and those other favorites.  I need more veggies in my life and in March I'm going to find them ALL.  Shakeology every morning for breakfast because I will need the help cutting cravings and that seems to be the only thing that does it for me lately.

Exercise
Les Mills Combat in the mornings - sticking 100% to the schedule.  I shouldn't have tried it in the middle of this hybrid because I like it WAY too much to go back to the hybrid.  New stuff wins.  Always lol.  Adding in some of these short Fit Girl Army workouts as a warm up or post workout before the cool down burst.  In the evenings I will start taking at least 30 minutes to do something 4 or so days a week.  My new place I'm moving to in March has a gym there, so I may just go there and walk while watching tv (because we don't have cable and the gym does, ha!).  Or add some heavy lifting in sometimes. I just need to get out of this habit of sitting on my butt for hours every night.  Especially since we are moving to a smaller place - I think this will be my way of giving the hubby some space since we won't have our separate little domains anymore.

Life
Sleep baby.  I'm going to be in bed by 10pm every night, end of discussion.  Bed by 10 and up at 5:30.  One reason I'm deciding to do Combat in the mornings is that it's a shorter workout for the most part.  I like that because it means I can sleep in a little longer :)  I also am going to really push to get the hubby to participate in my evening workouts a little so it's time we can spend together along with time we can get fitter together.  I'm going to try to slow down a little bit on the weekends and take some extra time (like today - I'm taking a half day at work) to rest and rejuvenate.  I've been a busy madwoman lately and it's starting to catch up to me.  I don't need to do that.

Are you in for a hardcore March?  I'm on a mission this month - not just to improve my health and fitness - but to help at LEAST 5 people do the same.  If you are ready to be one of those 5 people who is taking on a similar challenge and would like me to coach you please send me an email healthyengineer@gmail.com.  There are some fantastic challenge pack deals to help you get started PLUS this is the last month for the chocolate and greenberry Shakeology at the current price.  If you don't lock in Home Direct now, the price is going up $10/month starting in April.  You can cancel whenever you want if you don't like Shakeology, and there is a 30 day empty bag refund policy, but if you have been thinking of getting started with it, I would highly suggest you think about doing that now to save yourself $10/month on the product + on HD there is no shipping, so you save another $12/month for a $22 total savings.  More if you decide to sign up for the coach discount.  Check it out on my Shakeology page or watch Tony Horton's silly little video on it and shoot me an email if you have any questions about it or want more info on the coach discount.


Operation Size 16 - Entering the Home Stretch

It's already February 21st - how did that happen??  Either way, I've been trying my hardest to get to my goal - of fitting into these pants - by the 28th.  I have 7 days left, so I'm in the home stretch of this challenge.  I didn't feel like I made much progress this month at all, but that's why I take pictures instead of listening to my inner voice.


I'm so close.  Like thisclose to these being wearable.  I could probably wear them now out if I really wanted to...I'm sure I've worn tighter and more ill fitting jeans, lol.  But I am just going to keep working until they fit RIGHT, especially in the back.  I'm going to really be pushing this week to see how much better I can get these to fit :)

I'll be at home for my Saturday and Sunday workouts, so I will probably bring a DVD to do while there.  It's going to be a hard weekend - lots of emotions, lots of family, and lots of out of my control meals - and I would like to not compound all the feelings I will have by doing lots of emotional eating and feeling out of control that will just make me feel worse in a different way and at the end just feeling horrible physically and mentally which isn't the point.  I just want to keep something feeling "normal."