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.

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 :)

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!!

Oh Kenpo X

The description of Kenpo X by Beachbody is this:

"Kenpo X was created to give P90x users a high-intensity cardiovascular workout packed with lots of punching and kicking combinations to improve balance, endurance, flexibility, and coordination.  During this workout you'll learn some of the most effective ways to defend yourself, while at the same time getting your body in peak condition."

The description of Kenpo X by Kim after doing it twice is this:

"Um....hun?"

Okay.  I LOVE P90x so far.  I really do.  All the workouts are so different and focus on different areas of the body that I can already tell it will be one of my favorite workout systems.  But Kenpo X?

I don't hate it...I just don't get it for it's placement in the program.  It may be the fact that I started this pretty much right after finishing INSANITY, but this workout is not high intensity.  My heart rate only jacks up during the breaks when you do all the jogging and jumps.  And then it's back down, quickly.  Again, I know my cardiovascular strength is pretty good after insanity, but I read about people burning crazy calories and feeling wiped out and I just can't figure out how to get myself there.  I can totally see this as a fantastic beginner workout, I think it would have kicked my butt at 300 lbs.  But for an extreme workout program like P90x, I find it lacking.   Most of the workout is just too low impact and stationary for it to really get me going.  I barely break a sweat and can keep my sweats on...which is weird.  For most of my other cardio workouts I'm out of the sweatshirt by the end of the warm up and mostly down to a sports bra by the cool down.  This one, nope, I just am not ever uncomfortable.

Since the next day is rest and stretch and there are only two cardio days to begin with - it just is starting to feel like a waste of a cardio day.  I was so tempted to reach for INSANITY or Turbo Fire this morning...I doubt next week I will be able to resist.  I really want my cardio days to kick my butt so I don't know if this is really getting me max results that I want from P90x.

Anybody else struggle to get a good cardio burn from Kenpo X?  What do you do - grin and bear it for the duration of the program or sub?  I'm learning towards making that a day I dig out a different cardio DVD and play around with that right now.

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 :)





2 months

I am on day 62 of INSANITY and took some pics of my progress. I'm beyond thrilled at my body changes from the workouts + eating clean + shakeology.

I am not done, not even close. But I have come SO far this year. I have changed my life. I have found that this - health and fitness- is my passion. I want to help people become a healthier version of themselves. I want to open eyes and help people have a better life. You don't have to have a 6 pack, you just need to be healthier. Eat healthier, move more, sleep more, be more aware. It's January 1st. There isn't a better day to start working towards these goals. Please please shoot me an email if you are ready to start - healthyengineer@gmail.com. Right now I'm helping with Beachbody programs but I have big plans this year to become certified in nutrition so I can do even more.



Month 2 of Insanity

Still trying to figure out where December went!  Trying to get into a new rhythm with blogger.  Ever since they changed the iOS app, I haven't really liked it.  You can't save drafts which is really annoying since I usually do not write a post all at one time.  I'll figure something out soon though!

Anyway, wanted to give you a few words on the 2nd month of INSANITY now that it's almost over.

This month was REALLY hard.  Not just because it's a hard program - but because it was December.  I had a lot of social events and some travel and just a lot of life things.  Because of this I don't think I have really lost much weight.  I am a little disappointed with this...but at the same time I'm very happy that I haven't done what I usually do - which is gain tons of weight during the 31 days of December.  Adding to the usual December issues is the fact that the hubby is back full time...which makes it a little harder.  We have lots of habits that individually I think we addressed while he had to work in TN...but together we have to now address them.  We are working on that together though, so that's good.

Now for the workouts:

Max Interval Plyo.  This is pretty much my favorite of the month 2 dvds.  Not expected because I HATED plyo in phase one. This workout sounds like a cardio workout, but in my opinion, it was really more of a strength workout.  Lots of squats, lots of pushups in ways you didn't even know you could do pushups, lots of one legged exercises.  Very sore arms and shoulders from all those pushups.

Max Interval Circuit.  This is my dreaded workout of month 2.  It is WAY more plyo intense to me then the plyo...so maybe it's partially a case of the unexpected.  It's also super long at an hour and often by the end of it my tank is pretty empty.  This workout is often coupled with the fit test in month 2 - so that adds to the dislike of it.  Personally, I have to pick when I workout and do it all at one time.  So when this is combined with the fit test it is 1.5 hours of pretty much pure hell.

Max Cardio Conditioning. This is the pure cardio of month 2 and while it is intense, I feel like pure cardio is harder.  I do like the workout though.  It's a good length and in general a pretty awesome workout.  I also like the switch up of the non-interval style training once or twice a week.  It's nice to just go all out and be done with the exercise for the day.

Max Recovery.  Okay this workout is a blend of the recovery workout and the strength workout from month 1.  It breaks down into 5 segments and each one has a slightly different focus area of the body or skill.  It's a really refreshing change up because these workouts this month have a TON of jumping.  It's nice to stay on the ground and stretch it out.  It's not an easy workout - don't think that.  It's got a lot of strength moves and the yoga moves are a challenge (at least for me).  I always leave this workout feeling pretty good.

You also do the Core Cardio and Balance workout through this month, which I like.  That is one of my favorite workouts because it really works my problem strength areas.  I have had poor balance and poor core strength for a while and this workout really tackles them both.  I also like the slightly slower pace because it allows me to focus on form, which I feel gives me the best burn.  I am the most sore after this workout while not being so exhausted I just want to sleep.

I'll be done with INSANITY on January 2nd.  I am very excited to be able to say I completed the program and put in for my t-shirt!!!  Am I crazy for being hype over this shirt :)

Anyone with questions about either of the programs I have completed (totally claiming it already!) - the Ultimate Reset or INSANITY - please drop me a comment or an email at healthyengineer@gmail.com!  I would love to help you out or coach you through completing these programs!




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!!

Progress

Well, it's December 1st. One whole month on insanity. How is it going?

Pretty freaking fantastic I would say!!

I have lost about 6 lbs, but I have definitely lost some inches. I'm a size 18w now in all my bottoms and am a XL or L in my tops. I feel great and am in the midst of recovery week.

I think I love insanity. Everyone talks about their soulmate workout. I'm 99% convinced this is it. Why 1% of doubt? Because I haven't tried everything. I don't mind the repetition of DVDs and still push hard in the mornings. Every workout I try to improve my form or add another rep. This is the key - keep pushing!

Meal wise, you already know my drill. I'm a vegetarian with commitment issues. That seems to keep me balanced and healthy and I like it.

Here is a pic of me pre workout this week. Whoa body!! I will be taking my next fit test on Thursday, I also am including my fit test 1 to 2 progress.



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.



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 :)

Bend but Don't Break November

This month has been a really rough one and I really wish I knew exactly why so I could change it and make it a little easier.  Seriously...I just feel somewhat out of sorts.  Maybe because there was so much going on -

The superstorm and worrying about my sister who was out of power and couldn't stay in her building in lower Mahnattan for a week.
The election and staying up for the returns because I'm just a political nerd like that and I could NOT get to bed not knowing the outcome and seeing all the speeches.
My hubby's contract job ending 2.5 months early and us having to re-think our entire life plan and come up with a decision for what he was going to do in about 72 hours while we were in different states...so not even able to have a face to face to sit down and talk.
My team leader at work taking a new position and a new team leader coming in during a time where we have a million things going on and I'm the second in command and now wondering what my job will be with a new leader.

So yeah...just a few things going on that pretty much hit every aspect of my life in just the last 2 weeks and it has left me pretty run down and a little worn out.  So the past few days I pretty much have done just the basics - eat, sleep, exercise, work - and relaxed the rest of the time - read, sleep, relax.

But - I have my priorities in tact.  Seriously.  I have stuck to eating clean, even though Halloween was stressful and I have noticed as I get more tired that I'm more susceptible to the pull of the crap food.  I have not missed an INSANITY work out, oh hell no.  That's important right there.  Still cooking clean at home. Still focusing on the light at the end of the tunnel.  I may be bending by being at home a little right now and struggling with some things...but I'm not breaking.  I've come too far for that mentally and physically.

I told some friends that I knew would be very judgmental about becoming a Beachbody coach.  It was interesting how that went over.  They think of Beachbody as just being a sales organization and really didn't realize that there was anything else to it.  I think most people don't - I didn't.  I think they still don't realize what I get from this situation.  I was told that "oh it's going to be fun to tease you about this!"  It was hurtful to me that I would be teased for something that I'm doing to improve my health (that statement was made after I explained to them what I was doing)...but it reinforced to me that I needed to find a supportive community and I did the right thing.  These friends were my weight loss buddies before and I've always been different from them when it comes to certain things - clean eating and fitness.  And I think this made it clear how different.  It makes me even more driven to make a community for everyone that needs it to be open, friendly, and supportive. No judgement.  No bias - just success.  You should not be afraid to do what YOU need to do for YOU.  If you need to do WW or Jenny Craig, or Shakeology, or anything else - do it for YOU if it's what you need.

November is Here!

Ok, it's a week old.  This week has been so crazy that I just realized I hadn't posted about starting INSANITY yet!  Or my weigh in from Monday.  Or anything else I'm supposed to do.  I have been 100% on track...just really all over the place.  My sister

So I'm a few days in - and of course I'm loving it so far.  This kind of workout - athletic drills sweat dripping so much that I can't see, ect is one I really enjoy sometimes.  Especially in the mornings.  Sometimes with Turbo Fire my brain is not really awake at 5:30 am and I would get so confused about the choreography even though I knew it.  Which makes very little sense because at heart I have all the rhythm.  But anyway, this is easier - do this one move until I say do this other move.  Ok.  I can do that.  And I can push hard because I don't think, I just do.  I just finished week 1 today.  Followed the schedule as is, no adjustments, no additions.  Have that bad boy posted on my wall and I check off the box when I'm done.

Insanity is so weird.  Like how jumping jacks in the warm up are crazy hard but the cross jacks later are easy (easy in comparison to how the jumping jacks feel, not easy in comparison to laying on my floor like I do after the workout).  They are effectively the same motion, with a very very small difference.  I sometimes wonder if I just really need the long warmup/stretch before I can really do that move effectively?  Or has my soul been worn down so much that hard doesn't exist?  I don't know...but I will keep working at it.  For now I do what I can do for that warm up interval and if I really can't do any more I do the modified ones with as much jump as I can.  In general if I need a break, which I do sometimes, I first try to downgrade the move (so maybe a power jump becomes a squat for a break until I catch my breath and get back into jumping).  Next step is to gulp some water and walk around my basement until I can get back into it.  Some moves don't really have a good downgraded move, but most do.  I just try to move as much as I can in general.  I also saw improvements in my fit test!  I will have to do another post with my changes from the summer :)

Diet wise, still doing the same thing.  I have had meat - when the man was in town we went out and had meat.  I still don't cook it at home, but I do occasionally indulge when on the town.  I haven't noticed any stomach issues, even with the first meal.  But I still think I enjoy vegetarian meals 95% of the time.

Weight - I know you have been waiting :)  My signal here is so busted, so I can't add the pic (will add later) but I am 245.4 as of Monday :)  Very happy with this of course.  Of bigger news, pretty much all of my clothes are too big, a lot of my XL tops that I was working to get back into are starting to be too big.  My pants are all falling off except the 18W and some of the smaller cut 20s.  In general, I need about $200 to go shopping and buy all new pants, a few new tops, and a sweater or two.  Oh I'm good with a sale, I can make $200 go very very far :)  I'm also apparently only 9 or so lbs away from just being obese (as opposed to severely obese) on the body mass index.  I know this index is not exactly the best for everyone and I tend to carry mad amounts of muscle so I don't always look as big as my weight would indicate.  But it is nice to know that I'm not gonna be severe anymore, ha!

Signing off for now.  I hope you all went out and voted today :)  It's a big responsibility to elect the leaders of our country, so research your candidates and your referendums/amendments/proposals and let your voice be heard :)

Also a reminder - instagram.com/healthyengineer for daily pics and lots of details on upcoming challenges.  I'm putting together a fighter fit challenge for January 2013.  Main program is Les Mills Combat, but any program is welcome!  The goal is to plan now for a commitment in January so you are already good to go, resolution already started.  And if you want to join me through the holidays on any program, please shoot me an email at healthyengineer@ gmail.com (new email!) and let's discuss.  Have questions?  that works too :) I really want to help people get through the holidays losing weight and maintaining health - so let's goooooooo!



October Wrap Up

Just some stats/info for how my October went:

Programs: Turbo Fire (main) Les Mills Pump (strength 2-3x a week)
Supplements: Shakeology (most days, only about 3 days a month did I not have it)
Weight loss: 9.8 lbs (weight from 10/29)
Sizes/physical changes: Huge.  I have basically gotten out of all of my size 22 and up pants.  My size 20 pants range between fitting ok and getting too big.  My size 20 jeans are definitely too big.
Photographic evidence:



Thoughts: I'm so freaking pleased!  I mean I am finally getting to that place where I am really noticing the differences in my body instead of trying to find them.  I am really giddy for what INSANITY will bring and how I will look in 60 days with the same dedication and focus.




Weigh In!!

Well, I am off work today and tomorrow as Hurricane Sandy comes to shore.  I am so far lucky enough to have power still so I figured I would go ahead and update with my weigh in this am.  New weight is:


Oh yeah!  Inching ever so close to that 60 lbs lost mark.  I am starting to really notice awesome changes in my body shape, especially my upper body.  My lower body is getting smaller, but not really any changes in shape while my upper body is really slimming down and shifting.  It's pretty awesome and I'm feeling really good about it!

Things have been really status quo lately...nothing special to report unfortunately.  I had family in all week, until yesterday, so I have been busy with that.  When I wasn't with them, I was doing the storm prep thing - gathering water, batteries, canned food, ect.  If the power does decide to go out, I am ready.

I gathered all of my stuff for INSANITY and am ready to get going.  Will most likely take my before pictures and measurements on Wednesday and post them.  I'm really getting excited to start as I see more and more before and after transformations from people.  I am really REALLY looking forward to seeing some serious change in my body.  I'm putting this out there for the world:  I want to be a straight size 16 or smaller on Jan 1 2013.  I haven't been that size since college...probably sophomore year?  Right now I can fit a size 18W in some stores but mainly still in 20W comfortably.  I want to start 2013 in a straight size and never ever ever go back.

More than Meets the Eye

So I've been a Beachbody coach for a few months now.  As you may remember, at first I just wasn't sure what I wanted to do with it other than the discount for the mega purchase my hubby and I made.  I didn't really get too involved with the other coaches on my team until after the reset because of this...and the few interactions I have had with my teammates and upline coaches have really changed my focus.  These people are some of the nicest, most caring, and awesome people I have met in a long time.  Some of the Diamond coaches in my organization are so inspiring that it just really encourages me to stick with my plans and work even harder on my body and to share the healthy information.  I have always wanted to work in health and fitness and what I have learned is that I can build my team and build a community that allows me to do what I'm passionate about - which is help other people reach their health goals while I'm working to achieve all of my own goals.  On our team webinars I learn so much about not just the business - but myself.  And all of that is really helping me focus on my goals.  All of my goals - financial, physical, career, and personal.  I started writing down my goals list again and affixed dates to each of them.  I am waking up every morning with a renewed sense of purpose and a drive to meet all of these goals so I have a life that is fufilling and whole instead of feeling like I'm just going through the motions.


All this to say I'm SO happy I found my Beachbody coach and my team.  I'm finding that what I am getting out of this for my emotional and health well being is so much more than I thought I would get out of it.  This my friends, is the real benefit of becoming a coach.  The network of people.  I wish I knew that, I would have bought in a long time ago.  But maybe I didn't know because this is the "right time" for me to be in this position.  I may never really know why...but I do know I am going to do the best I can with what I can with this opportunity.

Any rate - I'm throwing my first post-ultimate reset get together at my home today with friends.  We have fruit and veggie and hummus and cheese and pecan crackers (I know...these are new to me too).  Hopefully everyone isn't too freaked out by our 180 degree change (we used to be the pizza and beer and wings kind of people) ha!  

I also had meat for the first time post reset yesterday.  I didn't have much at all...I was worried about the post effects of having meat for the first time in almost 2 months.  But it was fine.  I had a shakeology this am and feel very normal.  That's good because I don't plan on having much meat at home...but occasionally when I am out of the house.  Good that in small doses I don't have any stomach issues.  

I'm also almost ready for INSANITY!!!  Is anyone joining in with me?  I would LOVE to support you through your 60 days as I work through mine :)  I will be searching for a good before and after picture (after all...the beachbody challenge prizes are pretty freaking awesome!!) outfit and posting lots of pictures of my progress on instagram (healthyengineer).  My ultimate goal is to end the program wearing non-plus size pants for the first time in oh...maybe 12 years??  It's a big goal and I know if anything can do it before January - it's  Shaun T and the gang.  

Still hoping to form a challenge group soon and bring you guys into the Team Tenacity family :)  Please message or email me if you are interested (healthyengineer @ outlook.com).

Last note - if you are on the east coast please be safe and careful over the next few days as Hurricane Sandy approaches.  I live in Virginia and I have my emergency kit packed with cans of veggies/beans, emergency radio, batteries, candles, and flashlights.  I also have some fresh fruit in the refrigerator that will last a few days if needed.  And of course, lots of shakeology that I can just shake with water and drink for some nutrition if this thing lasts a while.  I'm sending lots of well wishes and prayers to everyone and please be safe.  Gas up your car, get some cash from the ATM, charge up your electronics, and work out an emergency contact plan with your loved ones.  I hope this will not be as bad as they are saying, but being diligent in my preparations just in case it is.