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 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 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'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 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.

Top Five: Whole Body Health in 2013

So I went back and forth about what I wanted to share with you guys this week while Tabby is away.  I wanted to share something that you guys would be interested in while still talking about something that I actually know about.  And I after deciding and writing up almost a whole post I completely changed gears.  I decided to talk to you all about five quick things you can do today to improve your family's health.

Why did I decide to talk about this?  Easy - because I think from talking to friends that people find today's health environment overwhelming.  Eat this.  Don't eat that.  Test this.  Read about this.  You are a bad mom/friend/wife if you cook this.  So on and so forth.  I think people get overwhelmed, I certainly have gotten that way, and don't know what to do. This list isn't inclusive, but it really is a great way in my experience, to start making some changes for your family that will make you all healthier and happier.

1. Meatless Mondays.  Adding one vegetarian or vegan dinner for your family a week will change your family in many ways.  First of all, it's typically cheaper to cook a simple meal without meat and second it also is a day to try out new recipes and try new vegetables.  Most of us eat the same foods a lot.  I know I did growing up.  Now I get a lot of strange looks from my mom when she realizes that I really never repeat recipes except for a handful of favorites.  Branch out!  Try new things!  Eat some seasonal fresh vegetable based dishes and for bonus health points have a bowl of fresh fruit for dessert.  My new favorite thing is to whip my own whipped cream (incredibly easy, cream whipped until it's stiff, then add to taste powdered sugar and a touch of vanilla extract) and put on top of sliced banana and strawberry with a few chocolate chips.  It's so so good and so so easy. It's a dessert you can serve your family daily and feel good because you have a nice healthy fat and carb combo that makes your body happy.

2. Shop Organic - Economically.  I tend to go for the organic if I can whenever possible because I'm really trying to cut back on the chemicals in the foods I eat.  Typically the canned and frozen organic foods are very similar in price, so it's easy to choose organic there.  But sometimes there is a HUGE difference in price when it comes to fresh produce between organic or not.  I've seen the difference be sometimes 100% of the price of the non-organic food.  Obviously that will make a huge impact on your grocery bill.  Enter the Dirty Dozen and the Clean 15.  The Dirty Dozen are the fruits and vegetables that tend to be highest in pesticides in the non-organic version.  The Clean 15 are the fruits and vegetables that are lowest in pesticides in the non-organic version.  So basically - if you have to make a choice, buy the regular Clean 15 items and spend the extra money on the Dirty Dozen.  I use this list regularly when shopping and it's a great way to make educated decisions on organic food choices.

3. Move as a Family.  This is my favorite one, because it's by far the most fun.  My husband and I have bikes and we go biking together when the weather permits.  It's the one exercise we have in common and it's nice to head out for a ride.  We also play Xbox kinect together - those dance and sports game work up a sweat.  These are ways for us to spend time together and also spend time not sitting down.  Other ideas are to go bowling, a walk after dinner, or play a board game like Cranium where you get up and move while playing.  Just think about what your family or significant other likes to do and go do it.  Get up and go do something now, I'll wait...

4. Relax and Find Your Me Time.  This one is so so serious everyone.  I know between work, trying to blog, studying about nutrition/fitness, and being a wife, I feel incredibly busy.  I cannot IMAGINE how some of you feel with children or are taking care of other relatives.  But one of the worse things we can do for our bodies is to put ourselves in a state of constant stress.  Stress impacts the body in many ways, some of us overeat, some under eat,  and no matter who you are your hormones are not fans of the stress hormones.  Being over worked and over tired just leads to burn out.  So for our #4 tip - we are going to take a woosah and find time for ourselves.  Every day.  Even if it's only 20 minutes some days.  Find some time and make it your own.  Exercise, pray, scrapbook, meditate, read a book, take a long hot shower or hot bath...whatever you need to do to feel relaxed find this.  It will make you a better person, believe me.  Not that you aren't fabulous already, but you feel so much better when you nurture your person.  One of my favorite new habits is to do my P90x stretch DVD at night by candlelight.  I slept SO well after doing this that I wanted to do it every single night.  Work out a deal maybe with your partner to watch the kids for 30 minutes while you have your down time, then take over and let them do their thing.  Let's take care of our minds and souls as well as our bodies.

5.Call the Doctor.  This is probably the easiest thing to do, but it's the thing we don't do.  When is the last time you went for a physical?  I think everyone is really good at taking the kids to their appointments, but most of us don't go ourselves until something is wrong and it becomes an emergency.  This week add make an appointment for a physical and an appointment for the dentist to your to do list (don't get me started on to do lists...Tabby knows I love them!).  Keep up with your health BEFORE it is a problem and you will save yourself and your family a lot of stress.  Oh and ladies...this is a gynecology appointment AND a physical with a general practitioner   Not just one or the other.  If you haven't been in a while or are going to a new doctor make sure you know your family history, especially if you have immediate family members with illnesses that make your at higher risk for something so you can discuss this with the doctor.  Discuss with the person making your appointment that you want a full physical and that you want to fast before so they can take your cholesterol and all the other blood tests.  Make sure you are honest about anything you are feeling like being sluggish or tired a lot.  Most importantly, make a note in your smart phone to make another appointment right after you finish if you can, or to call back later for your next appointment.

I hope that you found something in here that you can use to help you and/or your family be healthier in 2013. Health is about so much more than your weight and if you are sick or not.  It's a whole mind/body/soul connection :)

ALDS vs. Turbo Pump

So I'm a big baseball fan.  I follow my home team (go Tigers!) and unfortunately, this means that I'm stuck watching ALDS games that start at 9 or 9:30 pm here on the east coast.  Not Cute.  Not at all.  I've tried taking naps but that just doesn't work when I'm totally not sleepy at all.  So my sleep is jacked up.  I decided that I would do evening workouts today and tomorrow to stay on track because when a game ends at 1 am, getting up at 5 am is obviously not happening.  Especially when one of my fellow fans calls me at 1:15 am to discuss how we both stayed up way too late to watch our team lose.  

But my "health" angle on this is that life happens.  Baseball playoffs.  BBQs with friends.  Surprise birthday parties.  And we need to find the balance between living life and having awesome experiences and weight loss/maintenance.  It's good for us mentally to have fun with friends and do things we love so we can't stop that for weight loss.  With that said, here are a few tips for dealing with the times that life interrupts our life.
  1. Plan ahead.  If you know the schedule (like say 9pm baseball games) or that the party is coming up, figure out your game plan ahead.  Does it mean switching to evening workouts so you can get your sleep and get your workout in?  Bringing a dish with you so there is a safe item to eat?  Thinking about these events and activities before they happen can help you be ready for them when the time comes.
  2. Be realistic.  So once a year this event/party/thing/food happens.  Just once.  Be realistic about what you will do.  Is this the one time a year your Mom makes that favorite dish of yours?  The annual trip you take with your girlfriends?  Sometimes the thing to do is look at portions and situation instead of abstaining completely.  There are certain dishes that are family traditions and I only cook them on Thanksgiving.  I don't say I'm not going to eat them, but instead I make a rule about portion size/number of servings/what else I will eat.  I will have a small serving of dressing, but I will make sure that I have at least 2x the amount of vegetables on the plate as that dish.  Make a deal with yourself so you don't get that serious deprivation feeling but you don't overdo it.
  3. Employ an accomplice.  The buddy system and the community - it's huge.  It's one of the reasons I post links to my Beachbody coach page on here.  I want to build that community online for myself and for you guys as you join the team.  Having that friend you can text and say oh man this is rough, hold me accountable please or hey, let's go to this event together and make sure we don't screw up.  Or that buddy that you can call when you don't want to workout and say, hey, let's both do this workout together.  I do this with some of my friends and it's huge.  Now that  my husband is involved with being healthy we definitely have these chats.  It's how we got through the Reset, having that person who you know you don't want to let down. You can never have too many accomplices to lean on when you need help.  
Any other tips?  Leave them in the comments and share so we can all learn from each other!

1. INSANITY Asylum Volume 2 is officially available today.  It comes with a bonus DVD - Pure Contact- when you order through a Team Beachbody Coach.  I'll be honest, I LOVE INSANITY.  I'm pretty pumped that it's in the lead and I think it is the perfect challenge for not just November, but through the holidays.  It's a kick butt workout that is guaranteed to work.  In just 30 days I lost a ton of inches and got a lot of compliments.  I can't imagine how awesome the follow on workouts would be for inches lost.  Volume 1 and 2 are both 30 day workouts.  Pick them up here, just click on shop :)  

2. RevAbs is on sale for $29 right now (usually $89) and still comes with the usual bonus DVD you get for ordering it through a Team Beachbody Coach.  I am placing an order for this tonight (along with the jump mat) because I just can't pass that deal up (again, reference post earlier where I discuss my exercise DVD collection).  If you don't know, Bret Hobel, the trainer that created this program, was on the Biggest Loser as a trainer.  So you know he knows what he is doing to get the weight off.  You can also pick that up online by following this link and clicking on shop.  This is a limited time offer, so if you were thinking about ordering it, you may want to do it sooner rather than later.