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.

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.
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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!  :)



INSANITY Finishing T-Shirt

I have posted a few pictures on Instagram (@healthyengineer) of myself in my INSANITY "I Earned It" shirt.  From the comments I've gotten, I've realized that a lot of people don't know how to actually get their shirt when they finish.  I wanted to share how to get your shirt because if you are like me, you are so ready to sport that bad boy when you finish.

  1. Look at the INSANITY t-shirt form and figure out what your proof of purchase will be.  They aren't hard, but you do need to think about it just so you can take the picture or remember to keep the email.  And you have to have a proof of purchase of some form to qualify for the free shirt, so don't forget this!!
  2. Before you start, take your before stats.  First up are the pictures.  Take the ones in the form and make sure you wear something that shows your shape.  You don't have to wear a sports bra and shorts, I certainly didn't.  But don't go for the baggy, because then you can't see anything.  Take your measurements and starting weight.
  3. Do the program - all 63 days.  Curse Shaun T out daily during this endeavor while praising him when you realize you are actually shrinking.  Neither the cursing or the praise will stop for 63 days, don't worry.
  4. Repeat step 1 with your new after body.
  5. Fill out the INSANITY t-shirt form and email it to Beachbody (email address is on the form) with your pictures and your proof of purchase.
  6. Wait for your new favorite t-shirt to arrive.  While you are waiting, submit your results to the Beachbody Challenge.  Why?  Because for just filling out the info, you can win anywhere from $500 to $25,000.  For something you already did.  Seems like a no-brainer to me.
Easy enough right? Hopefully this helps someone who doesn't know how to get their t-shirt :)

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.


Size 16 Mission and More

Today is the 3rd day of my new hybrid program. So far - I'm in love with it AND I'm already feeling awesome from it. I am glad I found it and took the steps to see if something else would work better for me. I have done 2 days of Chalean Extreme and I am sorry I thought it wouldn't be that great before. I bought it at least 4 years ago after falling in love with Turbo Jam. Then I got it and didn't have the weights and just never got into it. I've had it forever and just never picked it up again. If not for one of my fellow Beachbody coaches posting amazing progress on instagram I may have never actually picked it up. Anyway, what I am learning to appreciate about the program are the compound movements. The weight exercises are very different from P90x and the sessions are full body instead of very focused on a certain area. So it's just totally different. I didn't really appreciate that before trying them out. I'm thinking that this is better for me while losing just based on a few sessions and the way I feel afterwards. I think P90x is going to be amazing for me once I am closer to the end of this weight loss journey.

It was also fun to do INSANITY again!  I did plyo intervals yesterday and it's JUST as hard as it used to be, which is the nice thing about INSANITY - it can't get easier, ever.  I was able to do so much more than I could when I was in month 1 in November.  It's kind of amazing how much more to me, because I felt like I was rocking it before, ha.  I didn't really realize how much room I had to grow.  I want to do the fit test again one of these days to see how I do on that.

Now I'm heading off to the city to meet my friend for lunch.  We are going to a vegan restaurant so I'm excited about that!  But before I go, this week's pictures from my size 16 mission.


This is week 1 to this week, so quite the difference.  I started doing more cardio and I can tell.  All the cardio programs I do are very ab focused, so I think that is why my stomach is shrinking so much.  I took these on Wednesday, and I'm pretty pumped for next week's picture.  I can already see a difference in my stomach from the last few days, so I am really excited to see if I can pull this off in the next few weeks!


Time for a Change

Okay, so if you read my blog regularly or follow me on instagram (@healthyengineer) you know that I haven't really been all that excited about my P90x journey so far.  I LOVE the workouts...but I am not getting the results I should be getting 30 days in.  Maybe I'm not lifting heavy enough.  I don't honestly know.  I have really no clue since I have seen people shrink with this program. The only thing I do know is that me +P90x right now aren't working out so fantastically.  


For a while I was determined to push through it.  I thought that since I made this commitment that I would be a failure if I quit the program.  I thought that I wouldn't be giving it the good old college try and it would be unfair to not give it the full 90 days.  But then I started realizing that honestly - who gives a damn.  Really.  My goal here isn't to best any program but to get in the best shape and health I can get in.  And if a program isn't giving me what I need, then I need to stop and re-assess.  

I realized that it was this thinking - that I'm quitting or I'm failing - that has been something I have struggled with for YEARS with weight loss.  I have the wrong mentality.  It's not quitting, it's fixing or re-adjusting, or just doing something new because I want to do something new.  This isn't a 90 day mission to lose weight, it's a rest of my life mission to be better for myself.  So that means that if it's broke I need to fix it.  Because if I don't fix it, this P90x feeling, then will I be able to give my all for the next 60 days?  Did I miss an opportunity?  Exactly.  

So with all that said - it's time for a change.  I scoured the internet and found a basis for a new program - a INSANITY ChaLEAN Extreme TurboFire hybrid.  What?  Yes.  I have owned ChaLEAN Extreme for years and never actually done the program because I never had the weights for it.  Then once I did I was just kind meh on the program.  Recently I've seen some amazing results from my teammates that have been awesome and have me re-thinking it.  What I didn't realize was that those workouts are shorter - most under 45 minutes, which is also a plus because I would get to sleep in just a little more than I do now.  I already adore INSANITY and TurboFire as you know, so I feel like this is an opportunity to add in the weights but still get the cardio I think I need right now.  I never thought of combining these programs like this at all.  

So the plan is to take this schedule and stick it on the wall and start this tomorrow.  I'm going to do this like P90x - give it 30 days and see.  I believe that I will know relatively quickly - I did with every program so far - if it's going to be right for me or not.  I'm excited for this but a little nervous since it's got some hard hard cardio days.  I will keep a log here of course and let you guys know how I like it!!

Life Happens

Doesn't it?  The first 5 days of February have been pretty annoying, not going to lie.  I have that feeling that everything I do is wrong, have you had that?  It probably is a combination of hormones and work and life.  I am feeling very stuck lately and while I can give myself a challenge in weight loss to get moving, I'm not sure I know what to do for other things to jump start them.

Part of this is the fact that it's that special time of the month (sorry boys) and I have massive cravings.  I am trying to get through it.  I made healthy nachos for the super bowl and that was a good substitute for junk.  Just took a layer of real fresh tortilla chips and pilled on refried beans, ranchero beans (some random organic can I found at whole foods, lol), fiesta cheese, and a TON of onions and red/yellow/green peppers.  A ton.  Popped it in the oven for about 20 minutes and then put salsa on top. Boom.  Done.  But I still want to eat EVERYTHING. I hate my new prescription...this didn't happen on the old one.  Alas it is what it is and I'm trying to work through it.  I did have chocolate yesterday...and I really didn't feel better.  I still felt cravings and I felt bad for eating when I KNEW it was just the hormones, not an actual want.  I am doing better today and continually reminding myself throughout the day that yesterday was yesterday and it won't ruin me.  I am a firm believer in the fact that ONE day won't kill you...it's just one day.  But it's what happens after that one day that determines your success.  So I'm focusing on the fact that I know in my heart that one chocolate bar, no matter how large it is, won't make me a size 26 again.  I also missed my workout yesterday after sleeping in after the Super Bowl and I know that really mentally messed with me.  I don't miss workouts often...literally 2x in the last 6 months.  And the reason I don't is because I feel so restless.  I don't even like rest days...I just have gotten into a move it all the time mode lol.  Today I attacked P90x Legs and Back with vigor!

The other thing is that I am really really focusing on my career and my future lately.  I am focusing on finding training and learning opportunities to make me a better engineer and a better project manager.  I have not been doing as well at that as I should over the last few years...which I have been disappointed in myself with.  I have been focusing on the work - which I should of course - but I also need to focus on how to make myself smarter so I can do the work better.  I'm adding that as a goal this week to my weekly goal writing session - I literally JUST decided that.  That will be my jump start.  I need to stay on top of what is new in the project management industry...that will help me not only at work, but in my LIFE lol.  If that doesn't get me unstuck I really don't know what will.  I already am reverse engineering that goal...this makes me excited.

In general though - I do just need to start doing the woosah a bit more.  The last 2 months I have been go go go.  Life changed a LOT in November when the man finished his job assignment in Tennessee and I don't think I've really had the break I need to deal with that.  Deal with it sounds wrong...more like process it.  Yes, that's it.  I need to process how my life changed while he was gone and how it's different now that he's back.  I was so busy soldiering on through the summer/fall while he was gone...I don't think I have changed gears back into a more relaxed life.  It's time to start really doing that and start mentally getting out of get through it mode and get into the living life mode.



Operation Size 16: The Beginnings

Morning everyone :)

Woke up bright and early this morning to get the stats and pictures done before my workout.  It was cardio day, which is one of the shorter days, so I had a little extra time :)

First up the pictures.  So the jeans go on and zip up.  But as you can see- they are not ready for prime time yet.  Too much muffin in the pan for me and I have too much junk in the trunk for these to leave my house...



And here are the stats:

Weight: 236.8
R arm: 15.5
Chest: 40.75
Waist: 33.75
Belly: 45.5
Hips: 52.5
R thigh: 30

This is my starting point this month...I am so excited to see how these numbers change.  That leads into the challenge this week, which is to PUSH.  One of the things that is very different with P90x than I am used to with cardio only challenges or a classic weight lifting program (where you are in a gym in a rep based program instead of a time based lifting situation) is that I have had a harder time figuring out how to push and get results.  I think I am starting to figure that out because I'm pretty sore today from yesterday's chest and back + ab ripper x workout.  And I need to continue it and really push.  It was easier to figure out the push level for chest and back because it's push ups and pull ups mostly.  It will be harder for shoulders and arms tomorrow but I am determined to figure it out.  It also means for cardio, sometimes not listening to Tony's cues (this means you Kenpo X) and going at a speed and pace that gets me that hot sweaty mess look that I want.  If the goal is to move the dial, then the plan has to be intense enough to get the results I need.  So let's go!  

What is your area to PUSH in this week?  Leave it in the comments :)

February Challenge

It's time for a new challenge for me!  You guys know how I am - I like challenges and I like to make up imaginary deadlines for said challenge.  This month I thought it was time to bring back the monthly challenge instead of the program challenge only.  What is the challenge?  Watch the video and see :)



I am a dork and I'm nervous you all will think I am super crazy so please be nice :)  Apparently according to one of my besties who previewed this for me - it's exactly how I am in real life...oye, lol!  I will do more videos over the next month on this challenge and other things!  

I will post my pictures and measurements and weight tomorrow on the 1st.  If you are joining me please let me know!  I will use #operationsize16 on Instagram and Twitter on my related posts.  I will post a focus area for each week of the challenge with specific goals for what areas I need to hit that week.  That will also go up tomorrow.  I'm excited, I love a good PUSH goal for a month in order to get me motivated. 

I think that's it for setting up the challenge.  Talk to you all soon!

Tenacious Health Challenge Group

As we get deeper into 2013 I already have had some friends drop off the healthy living resolutions they set for themselves and some others struggling to figure out what to do next.  So with that in mind, I am setting up a Tenacious Health Challenge Group that will start February 18th!

Why Tenacious Health??  Because tenacious means persistent, stubborn, and tough.  My Beachbody coaching team is called Team Tenacity so I wanted to play on words so here we are.  Point is that we are going to KICK butt together and get healthy.

Why Now?  Now because it's a good time to get committed.  Starting a  program mid February takes you through to the spring time when the weather is nicer and it's easier to be healthy because the sun is out more, the fruits are out in abundance, and the weather is nicer.  This is to help you through the dog days of winter and push you to start working on your health and wellness during a time where it's easy to slip.  It's also a good time to think about not just the exercise programs, but the Ultimate Reset as well.  I did the Reset, then rolled into exercising and I think my results were better for it.

What is it? The challenge centers around Beachbody's challenge packs and 5 very committed challengers.  Any program you want + Shakeology + your commitment for the duration.  Challenge packs vary in price depending on what program you would like and can save you upwards of $70 on the program + shakeology.  There are ways to get discounts if you are interested in them so don't let cost be a deterrent.  We will also enter the Beachbody Challenge.  What is the Beachbody Challenge?  It's a contest that Beachbody runs that pays you for your awesome results for using their products.  I just entered my results from INSANITY and have my before pictures taken to submit after I finish P90x :)

Your coach?  Me :)  You get me as your coach for the whole of the program and beyond.  I'll be here to answer questions or go find an answer if I don't have it, to help the group stay focused, and to motivate when times are rough.  I will set up a place for us to communicate - email group or Facebook or Google Groups depending on what the people involved want and use for communication.  This isn't just about a one on one coaching situation, it's about a team moving forward and getting healthy together.  I'm a graduate of the Ultimate Reset and INSANITY programs and am currently working on P90x.  I have also used Turbo Fire, Turbo Jam, and Les Mills Pump, so I am familiar with a lot of the Beachbody programs and drink Shakeology pretty much every day, sometimes twice a day.  I drink my own kool aid because it tastes like weight loss, lol.

So if you are interested, please shoot me an email at healthyengineer@gmail.com and I can help you select a program or get signed up as a Coach if you are interested (this is the moolah saving option).  If you just want to check out what the challenge packs are in general look at my general site, my Ultimate Reset site, or my Shakeology site.

Hope you are interested in getting started on a healthier life this spring :)





P90x Time!!!

So I'm now 2 days into P90x and wow is it different from INSANITY lol.  I have done two workouts:

Chest and Back + Ab Ripper - which could be renamed pushups and pull ups and ab exercises I can't really do yet.  It was a GREAT workout and kicked my butt...well my arms really.  I don't have a pull up bar and I can't do pull ups anyway.  My door jam thing for my bands went MIA since the summer.  So I used my Leibert Equalizer and pulled up on that.  Gotta make it work however I can.  I feel it in my upper body so I know it was good.  This workout is pretty awesome.  The Ab Ripper workout is intense.  Many of the exercises I just can't do yet so I modified as appropriate.  Total workout time is about 65 minutes.

Plyometrics - which is AWESOME.  After doing a full round of INSANITY, this was a great change up.  Yes you jump and yes you jump a lot.  But because of the format of the workout it just feels so different.  I still got a crazy awesome workout, there are a lot of squats in this bad boy.  But it was so so good.  I felt this in my hips and buns today.

Tomorrow on deck is shoulders & arms + ab ripper.  I find it interesting how often ab ripper is done during the workout.  I wonder how quickly I will either (1) get tired of it or (2) get used to it.  I'm excited for arms though!!  I am desperate for my arms to tone up, I have quite flabby arms.

Equipment wise, I didn't buy anything new for this.  I have a lot of misc weights and bands in the house...and other equipment really...so I figure I will work with what I have until it's just too light and not workable anymore.  I would love the power blocks or selectechs or something like that but it's just not in the budget right now.  Perhaps later this year.  It would be nice to have them to be able to switch weights easily and to not have so much random equipment lying around.

Before starting P90x I took new pics and wrote my info down so I can submit it for the Beachbody Challenge :)  I love love that I get a shot at winning some cash just for exercising...that makes me happy.  Added perk to something I do for myself.  I will post pics every 30 days from p90x to hopefully see some PROGRESS!!!!!

In other news, I got my new webcam today!!  I am so excited you guys.  I am going to do some vlogs about P90x and health and fitness topics.  Is there anything that you would like to see/hear?  Leave a comment and I'll add it to the list :)

Hotel Circuits

I am on travel again - this time all the way to the west coast.  I'm in California trying to live the good life between finishing stuff up for work and working on my 30 day push to do list.  Before I get into my travel fit post I'm going to wax poetic about the 30 day push program Chalene Johnson has.  It's a FREE 30 day program that talks about how to align your goals to your priorities and to create a pathway to getting your goals accomplished.  I'm on day 8 of the program and already I've made some serious realizations.  It's been good and I've been able to better talk to my husband about where I want to be and that leads to just better overall communication.  It's good.

Okay more on that later.  But for now - traveling fit!  Okay so I will say that I'm SERIOUS about my fitness now - as you can tell.  And this means that I seriously refuse to be in a situation where I can't get my workout in.  This means 2 things.  #1 - I check the gym status at the hotel before I book.  I try to only stay places that have gyms.  And #2 - I bring DVDs with me.  This week I brought Turbo Jam and the Fast and Furious 20 min INSANITY workout.  So basically I have a plan and a backup plan.  This allows me some variety, especially right now while I'm between Beachbody programs, to mix it up.  It also was crucial to me in case one plan wouldn't work - like a tiny gym or a gym with limited equipment or no room to do a DVD.

So tonight was gym night.  I hit the gym pretty hard for some circuit training.  This gym was stocked with a full set of dumbbells, medicine balls, and a swiss ball - score!

Warm - Up - 5 min elliptical

Circuit 1 x2
25 crunches
15 pushups (started on feet, ended on knees)
15 squats w/ medicine ball
12 bicep curls
12 deadlifts

Do circuit 1 2x before moving on to circuit 2

Circuit 2 x 2
L side Woodchop (w/ weights)
10 frog jumps (INSANITY call back, lol)
L side single leg squat

R side Woodchop (w/ weights)
10 frog jumps (INSANITY call back, lol)
R side single leg squat
Weighted leg raise

Cool -Down - 15 min exercise bike

Pretty good workout if I say so myself.  Hit all the important body parts plus got a good sweat and cardio burn.  I did go a little light on the arm workouts because I am so sore from Turbo Jam and Les Mills Pump already.  So I focused a lot on core and the "basic strength moves" aka pushups, squats, crunches.  I am really really pushing towards doing more on my toes.  Insanity has gotten me far with that goal.  I did 5 on my toes the first circuit and 6 on the second go around.  So I definitely am improving.

As I get ready for P90x I'm getting SO excited for more weights.  My body feels different after a weight workout for sure and it's been a log time since I've put a circuit together.  I really enjoy putting workouts together - a reason that a PT cert is something else that I have been thinking about because I love this kind of stuff.  If anyone tried the circuit out please leave me a comment and let me know how you liked it!  I am not a trainer - just a girl who likes this stuff.



Month 1 plus Recovery Week Progress Pics

Started month 2 today. Before I get into my month 1 pics, can we just figure out who thought the fit test plus max interval on the same day was ok. Seriously, I burned almost 1000 calories today before 7 am. Ridiculous. It was like oh, you thought you had it in month 1?? Ok, lets take you down a notch. Mission accomplished.

Ok, whine session over. I have to be honest - I was pretty impressed by my pictures. I didn't think I made a lot of body changes the last few weeks. I actually started feeling a serious lack of progress. I was tired during recovery week and really struggled. But I really did try hard on diet, even though I was on travel. I took my shakeology, my gnc travel blender, and my insanity DVDs and pushed through. I had bad days where I was barely lifting my legs up - but I did what I could instead of giving up. I remember in Pump last month the one guy always mentioned that when it's hard that's the range that makes the change. That's where I was I think.

Anyway, here are my day 15 to 36 progress pictures. I am pretty proud of them :)



Insanity: Month 2 Coming Up!

I officially finished Month 1 + Recovery Week today!  I am so pleased with myself for sticking to the workouts and am excited (and just a little bit terrified) of Month 2.  I wanted to give a little bit of a review of the first part of INSANITY and give you an idea of what you will see.

The first month of INSANITY consists of 4 workouts + the Fit Test (descriptions from the Beachbody website)

Pure Cardio and Cardio Abs - Skip the intervals—this nonstop cardio workout is all extreme.
Cardio Power and Resistance - Build lean muscle and upper-body definition with strength-training and power moves. 
Cardio Recovery - Shaun goes easier on you once a week so you're ready for the next round.
Plyometric Cardio Circuit - Burn fat with intervals of intense lower-body plyo and sweat-inducing cardio

These workouts repeat for 4 weeks, typically 2x each Plyometric Cardio Circuit and Pure Cardio.  The last 2 weeks of the month the Cardio Abs are added in.

Now I will be honest - I have to modify during the workouts.  I do most of the pushups on my knees and as I get more tired some of the more plyo moves become static.  I did notice over the month of the program that I could do more and more though.  My point here is that you shouldn't feel like you can't do the program because you can't do certain moves or can't do every workout start to finish.  I STILL can't do that move where you balance on your toes and hands and do leg lifts.  Yeah.  But I found a sub (I did it on my knees, but I did do the balance move w/o the leg lifts as well to get stronger) and kept working it out.

These workouts are about 30 - 45 minutes each.  Not too bad at all, and pretty easy to fit in my morning schedule.  (Phase 2 is a little longer - about an hour each workout - which will be a good challenge for me for another reason I will discuss in another blog post pretty soon.)  I also really liked the format, it was pretty different for me.  The warmup was about 11 minutes - then you go into a long 6-7 minute stretch.  So by the time you actually start the meat of the workout for the day, you have burned quite a lot of the workout.  Mentally I think this was really helpful.  The stretches are fantastic and I have noticed that my flexibility has improved a lot.  I do add some stretches to my warmup stretch, as I have some that were given to me by a trainer long ago that have really helped with old injuries.  I probably could just do the ones on the DVD - but I'd rather be safe then sorry sitting up in the bed with my leg in ice.

Now for the fun part - results.  I haven't taken my pictures yet - I will do that the morning of my fit test.  But I have lost at least 7 lbs and have gone down to a size 18/18w on the bottom (started with a loose-ish 22w).  These are big changes that I worked hard for!  I am significantly more flexible.  I also have finally really rid myself of my really bad knee pains.  I have always had bad knees from injuries in high school sports.  I work out in the basement of our home and sometimes I literally wondered how I would get upstairs post workout. It was a problem that doctors told me unfortunately would not get better until I (1) got in better shape and (2) lost weight.  So I just pushed through.  I was smart about it and it's one reason why sometimes I don't do the full plyo move or will switch mid set to a less jumpy modification (a power squat to a regular squat), because I didn't want to turn a sore knee into an injury.  But I knew I needed to keep working out.  At some point in the last few weeks I realized that post workout I'm running up the stairs like nobody's business with absolutely no pain.  And that I'm feeling less soreness in general in the knees during/post workout.  This is a huge thing, as I've just had to live with it for ages.  I'm so happy that finally, I am feeling good.  This doesn't mean I will change my knee strategy for workouts, but it's just nice to feel something different that is a health/fitness improvement.  My mom saw me last week for the first time since starting INSANITY and she told me she hasn't seen me this small since high school.  Which is pretty awesome since I weigh at least 10 lbs more now.  But I wasn't working out in this manner, so it was a flabbier 225-230 then I am now at about 240.

Would I recommend INSANITY?  HELL yes.  I would.  I love it so much.  I was really concerned that I wouldn't be able to do it, but I found that I could do a lot more then I though I would be able to do.  I love the changes to my body and how good I feel now.  If you feel like you are in ok shape, even if you are overweight, you will benefit. I would not do this program if I was an absolute beginner to working out, as it is really advanced.  It could be done - and you would lose weight.  But if you are completely out of shape there are other programs/plans you could do that you would get more benefit from.  If you have old nagging ankle/knee injuries like me, you could do it for sure - but you just need to see a doctor and make sure you won't damage things worse or to find out what modifications you need to do.

I'm simply terrified for month 2, but I was simply terrified for month 1 and I managed that ok :)  I think it will be totally fine - just have to dig deeper - right!!

Post Thanksgiving Recovery Plan

It's the Monday after the holiday and as we all head back to work it's evaluation time for Thanksgiving health and fitness goals:

For me, I was 100% on exercise.  I sometimes had to workout late (10pm start = ouch) but I stayed on track and pushed hard.

For food I was maybe 80%.  I did eat tons of veggies and my healthier options.  But I also had too much mac and cheese (ironically not even on Thanksgiving - but Friday night.  the man makes it 2x a year and I just went a little overboard), too many meals out (spent all day in the city on Wednesday, out shopping Friday, out for the game Saturday) and too much meat (I had meat 2x a day for 3 days in a row - big big change for me).  I also skipped shakeology one morning, which is a disaster for me.  Seriously.  I don't know why I do that...every time I do I really struggle with cravings all day.  Lesson learned, I haven't skipped again.

So now it's Monday.  The family members have all gone home (one with a ton of mac and cheese left overs), the football games have been played and my gym is now my gym again instead of the spare bedroom.  So how do we get back laser focus after a holiday like Thanksgiving that is very much a food and sit on your butt kind of weekend?  Four super easy steps, that's how:

  1. Water.  Like you are crossing Death Valley folks.  Guzzle a gallon today.  Why?  A few reasons.  One being if you drank a little more than normal (which is kind of typical during the holidays, especially when surrounded by family, eh?)  then it's time to rehydrate.  Two being you probably didn't drink enough over the holidays (I didn't - I struggle at home anyway, and when I'm crazy busy cooking and entertaining it's easy to forget to guzzle).  Three being it will help you stay full while you bring your food intake back to normal levels (something has to replace that mac and cheese!).  Four being - it's just healthy for you and you should drink a lot of water anyway for life.  Pick your number, ponder it over a glass of water.  No flavoring of the water with anything in a packet either.  Fresh fruit and/or veggies (like cucumbers) if you need a break from plain water.  
  2. Eat Clean.  Alright, it's time to be a little strict on yourself this week. Check out Michi's Ladder and stick to the top 2 tiers.  Personally, I don't do non-fat cheese, I stick to regular cheese, that's my only mod.  But I don't have much or have it often.  I also will be really focusing on building mainly vegetarian or vegan meals home and on the road this week.  Lots of veggies and lots of fruit too.  If it comes in a bag or box and isn't onion, oranges, grapefruits...you get the drift - leave it alone.
  3. Train Mean.  Whether you stayed on your exercise plan or not - today is the day to move.  Doesn't matter what you do, just sweat it out.  I am still doing INSANITY and got my workout in today as I did through the holiday.  Go move.  Now.  I'll be here when you finish :)
  4. Sleep.  Yes, you heard right.  Sleep.  I was so off schedule this week staying up late to hang out with family and waking up early to cook or watch football.  I'm going to definitely focus again on my 7-9 hours of sleep a night like I usually get.  Sleep is important for health, lots of studies talk about how people who don't get enough sleep are more likely to have health problems and be obese.  Combat that by hitting the pillow on time tonight.  Figure out what time you need to wake up and try to be in bed 7-9 hours before that.
Something else to start thinking about this week - what are you going to do to keep it solid through the holiday calendar that officially kicked off last Thursday?  For me, it's INSANITY obviously.  It is a 63 day program and will take me all the way through new years day so it is perfect for right now.  What's yours?  I realize now how big a fan of laying out your workout plan for a long chunk of time, then working that plan.  Beachbody programs (all of them), Jillian Michaels Body Revolution, and I'm sure tons of other programs, these are just the ones I'm really familiar with.  If you can't afford a DVD program or simply don't want to spend the money on one - totally ok, you can DIY this.  Sit down RIGHT now and plan out a program in whatever your exercise of choice is on a calendar.  Then do it.  Even if it's Dance Central for exercise - print off a calendar for now through January 1st and write down every single day you will workout.  Then daily cross it off.  This is powerful - it's the contract with yourself to stay on track and move.  

Do the same for food.  Time to think about your diet too.  There are tons of options.  Beachbody and JM programs have food books with them to help guide you.  There are other in person options like Weight Watchers.  You can also take the opportunity right now to start the Ultimate Reset, which you guys all know I think is just the best thing ever and totally changed me and my hubby.  If you are not feeling me - add one good thing as you take away a bad thing.  Example?  No more McDonalds for breakfast - have something from home.  One simple change that will go a long way.  Do that every week an you will be on your way.  There is a nice chunk of time to do it right now and especially if exercise isn't your thing - this is the best way to get started on health.  In general - diet > exercise for weight loss.  You can't exercise out a bad diet - but you can have a great diet with no exercise and be crazy healthy.  So don't just focus on exercise - focus on your diet while exercising.



Beachbody Black Friday Deals

If you have been thinking about investing in your health and wellness - you still have time to hop on these deals :



Go to my shopping page to pick up all these deals.  If you sign up as a coach today at beachbodycoach.com/kimmibear you get an additional 25% off plus me as your coach and membership into Team Tenacity.

Questions?? Hit me up at healthyengineer@gmail .com :)

Thanksgiving!

So Thanksgiving is in just a few days!!!  Are you planning a healthy Thanksgiving?  Health(ier)?  Or not really looking to do anything different than the norm at all?

I am doing a combination of all of the above.  I do not believe in complete absence of tradition or self deprivation.  I also believe, above all, in being realistic.  I remember when doing WW some of the members would say they would just have a turkey sandwich and an apple and then be confused why they fell off that plan around 3 pm.   Before you finalize your Thanksgiving plans, think about the following to help you have the Thanksgiving you want without battling yourself the whole time.


  • Where are you celebrating?  Are you at home, a friend's house, a family party and are you going to know the menu in advance?  Can you bring a dish or two if not at home to help you plan?
  • What food requirements are in the crowd (vegan, vegetarian, low fat, low carb, no special attention, ect) and how do these align (or not align) with your own diet?  If it is not your diet, what are you going to do for food before/after to make sure you really get enough food for the day to be satisfied?
  • If you are cooking at home, do you have a few healthier than normal options this year?  I am going to make the dressing and mac and cheese because they are my sisters' favorites (and dressing is mine!).  But I also am eliminating most of the other sides that are not vegetable based and replacing them with different clean veggie options because we just don't need more bread/carbs beyond those.  Making a clean cookie recipe in addition to the sweet potato pie my family wants.  So I can make a plate that has some of the favorites - but still have mostly healthy options.
  • Any good swaps possible?  I am going to delete the usual green bean casserole and making regular green beans instead.  A friend is making mashed sweet potatoes with a little butter and honey instead of candied yams.  There are many awesome ways to clean up something so you still get the essence of the item so to speak, but with a little healthy added.  Mix these in with some of the really awesome traditional foods you want and you have a nice mix for everyone in attendance.
  • What are your actual limits?  Decide in advance.  Are you eating dessert?  Are you going to have Auntie's famous sweet potato casserole?  Are you going to stick to eating clean?  Decide right this minute what you are going to do and where you are going to give.  Write it down and read it ever so often and right before you go into the meal.  This step will take into account everything above so really think about it.

My Thanksgiving plan is pretty simple.  I will be picking up the honeybaked ham and roasted turkey breast because it's just easier to buy that stuff and it tastes amazing.  Making cranberry sauce, dressing, mac and cheese, fresh green beans or collared greens, spinach salad with homemade dressing, roasted root vegetables, and a baked fruit side (probably pears or apples...not final on this one).  Dessert will be a sweet potato pie and pumpkin pie cookies (very clean recipe I found from @josiephelps on instagram).  A nice mix of new healthier traditions my husband and I want to start with some old family traditions.  

The swaps I am making from my usual Thanksgiving are:

      Old                                                       New
Potato Salad                                      Spinach Salad
Green Bean Casserole                        Roasted Root Vegetables
Canned Cranberry Sauce                   Homemade Cranberry Sauce

Last thing I will say about planning a health(ier) turkey day - burn some extra calories.  Agood way to help the fact that this is a food based holiday and for most of us not celebrating at home alone, it's just what it is.  I plan on getting up and hitting INSANITY hard in the morning and getting my family up and moving with a walk or Dance Central (or both!) as the day goes on.  The moving is as much about working off some mac and cheese as much as it is to just get us away from the kitchen for a little while.  I tend to graze on Thanksgiving, even when the food is put up, because it is totally acceptable on that day to do it and nobody gives you that look you get 99% of the other days of the year of are you going to eat THAT??  Go put up holiday decorations, go shopping (stores apparently open at 8pm, whoa), dance, walk, crochet, knit, do SOMETHING that takes you just away from the food and keeps you busy when that feeling hits. I personally plan on making much smaller quantities than normal to help us not have leftovers for days, but I know for some of us that isn't really possible because we aren't in control of the menu.  

Okay...that's long but I hope it helps.  Add on if you would like in the comments :)