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Thursday, December 31, 2015

The Masters Hammer and Chisel take one......Trying to get chiseled.Trying.....

Hola my peeps!!!!

I hope today is treating you well.

As I mentioned in my last blog, I started the Masters Hammer and Chisel.

Yesterday was my FIRST day.  Technically you are supposed to start on a Monday, but the designated rest day for the program falls on a Thursday.  That just doesn't work so well in my world.

So, I decided to begin on a Wednesday.  Because by shifting the schedule back 2 days, the rest day falls on a Saturday.  I had originally decided to start on January 1st, but that would put my rest day on a Monday.  Not a good choice.

Here is my before picture taken yesterday just prior to my first Hammer and Chisel workout.  I decided to step away from the black sports bra and black shorts this time. AND I also decided it was only fair to take a brand new pic after my week of holiday indulgence.  I could have started with my after picture of 21 Day Fix Extreme as my current "before".  But REALLY, last week consisted of approximately 3,626 Christmas cookies, and that switched things up a bit in my fit world.

No filter peeps.  I was so tempted to Instagram the heck out of this thing.  This is what I looked like after I rolled out of bed yesterday morning.

 I will say that I ordered this bikini on Christmas Eve while I was still feeling fab and excited for my upcoming cruise.  Ummm....not so fab when I came home from my 5 days in Chicago where I ate said 3,626 cookies and found this delightful 2 piece of truth sitting on my front doorstep as a cold reminder of my regrettably indulgent reality.

But I found my brave to put it on for my before pic.  I hope that I can make some awesome changes in the next few weeks.  I could pinpoint all of the flaws that I want to correct in this pic, but honestly it would just depress me.  So I will just go all in and give it my best.

The very first workout in Hammer and Chisel was Chisel Balance.

My homegirl Autumn Calabrese led this one and I will say that it did not disappoint.  Through a series of exercises using moderately heavy weights and using your core to stabilize yourself, it was the best burn I've felt in awhile.  Not sure what the upcoming workouts will bring, but this was delightful in that it wasn't stressful cardio, but it was still challenging and I felt it everywhere. I don't have a weight bench, just an old aerobic step, so I modified with that a bit.  Weights I used were 12 lbs and stepped it down to 10 lbs near the end, but I think I can increase next time.  I prepared and now also have 15 and 20 lb weights.  Ready to take on whatever challenge is ahead.

Nutrition follows the standard 21 Day Fix guidelines, but it can be modified to fit your goals.  If you want to get shredded, there's a plan for that, as well as a plan for building muscle or majorly bulking up.

For right now I've decided to stick with my  current body shredding plan in the 1,200 - 1,499 calorie range with my specified number of containers, BUT I am modifying with one major change.  During the 21 day fix extreme I NEEDED a sweet and/or alcohol more than 3 times a week.  I ended up swapping out 1 carb container a day for one treat or another and that would only give me 1 healthy carb a day.  That made me cranky and irritable.  I am now allowing myself a small after dinner sweet and/or adult beverage in addition to my normal container count.  This program is 60 days long and I need to find a way to manage comfortably or I might accidentally murder someone out of anger from missing chocolate after a couple of weeks.

So, we will see where things go from here.  After day one I like where I'm seeing this is headed.  More to be updated as I feel like blogging :).

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

21 Day Fix Extreme Results!!!

Good evening my peeps!!

So, holidays.  Holidays and travelling are to blame for me not getting this blog posted in a timely manner.

Excuses are lame,  I know.  And I'm always seemingly full of them when it comes to updating my blog.

But I WANTED to share my 21 Day Fix Extreme results with you guys.  And since I got back home last night I have no more excuses to put off this blog.

Soo,,,if you will recall, my 21 Days officially ended on Christmas Day.  Am I crazy for fixing during the month of December???  The answer is definitively yes....and no.  (See what I did there?).  Yes, I am insane for trying to keep up with such a strict diet plan during the most tempting and challenging month of the year.  But NO, for the exact same reasons.  This is probably the only December I've lost weight in my whole life.

So, I didn't weigh myself (as I've mentioned many times in previous posts), but I have a feeling the pictures tell the story.

Behold, my "after" pic for P90x on the left which became my "before" pic for 21 Day Fix Extreme.

And the official "after" pic.

Let me break this down....I seriously whittled down my figure more dramatically in 21 short days than 3 long months.  And you know why?  It all boils down to nutrition.  Yes, the workouts WERE challenging (lord help me if I EVER do the Plyo or Cardio Fix again in my life), but they were only 30 minutes long - such a great amount of time to push yourself and know you are then DONE for the day.

But dude....those magical little containers.  I absolutely believe in those portions.  Once I honed in and allowed myself the proper amounts of carbs (2), proteins (4), greens (3), fruits (2), healthy fats (1) and seeds and dressings (1) per day I started seeing crazy fast results.

Sidenote....soooo.....since Christmas morning I have indulged a bit.  Yeah, I know.  I let myself enjoy some cookies and treats.  And you know what?  I enjoyed those treats as I was eating them.  But I felt disgusting after they were in my body.  I'd trained my body to properly process a certain amount of each food group per day (and no, Christmas cookies were not a food group my body was used to).  Eating clean does have some your body can't recover from the decadence the way it once did.

But!....this morning I started fresh again and took my before pic for the NEW program I started today.  Stay tuned for my update on the Masters Hammer and Chisel.  So excited to see what new changes are in store for my body!

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

The F Word

Good morning my fabulous friends. We are so close to Christmas I can almost taste it!  (Literally, I end my 21 day fix on Christmas and I'm SO looking forward to some well-earned goodies). Yes, I have 3 days left in these 21 days and I cannot wait to share my results with you guys. It's crazy how drastically my body has changed just by fine tuning my nutrition for 3 weeks. 

But this post is not about my results.

Rather, how carefully I must talk about my body and how I feel around my kids. 

You see, in my house the f-word isn't the regular old f-word. The f-word that I personally find highly hurtful is FAT. I've hated it since I was a kid. And I used to use it to describe myself when my self esteem was low as a teenager (and I battled a minor eating disorder in high school, in retrospect).  There is a reason the scale and I don't get along. I become obsessed with the number and my entire life revolves around decreasing it. Yes, I have a lot of emotions tied to the word FAT. And I won't use it to describe any person's appearance. 

I guess I was conscious about how I spoke about myself when I had my first kid, a boy. I wanted him to think of his mother in a way that didn't revolve around her obsession with her size. But when I had my second kid, a girl, I became super aware of what I was doing. The pressure for girls especially to have a perfect body, is appalling. I realize that now as I'm on the other side of childhood. 

Luckily I worked to lose the baby weight when they were very small. I got to a very healthy size when they weren't very old and maintained it for awhile. 

However I did gain a bit of weight a year ago due to a medication, and as I've been working to take it off (and I will say that it's gone - thank goodness) I've had to be super careful about how I approach talking about it. My daughter is now 5 and she notices things like how big her thighs are already (and they are perfect). I can't believe how early that body perfection desire kicks in. 

So it's been a little trickier this time around. I focus on using words like "strong" and "healthy". We all drink our daily Shakeolgy and we focus on the fact that it is nutrient dense and is good for your body. I get them involved in my workouts. We make it fun. They understand what foods are better choices than others (although my daughter is a Nutella addict - she gets that from me). But I don't scold them or make a big deal about choosing one food over another. They end up eating their fruits and veggies one way or another. 

I just don't want them to become stressed or obsessed about calories and numbers on the scale. I want them to focus on how they feel and how healthy food gives them energy and junk food makes them tired. I want them to grow up living this healthy life. But I want it to come naturally and because they want to feel good. My daughter is into ballet and my son runs track and plays basketball. They know how good it feels to move their body and they enjoy it. 

So no, the f-word is not allowed in our house. And I think we are all healthier and happier because of it. 

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Um...I Blinked???

Hey guys!!!

So wow, I feel like I just wrote my last entry like a couple of days ago, and I went back and looked and saw that it was over a week ago!  I guess that if I was to blog in real time about my experience with the 21 day fix I would have needed to check in WAY sooner because as of today I only have 8 days left.  Seriously.  How is that even possible?

After feeling like P90x was infinity times 1,000 I have basically blinked and I'm 2/3 of the way done with the 21 Day Fix Extreme.

And the truth is that it has seriously been JUST THAT EASY.   For real.  I have a sweet little app on my phone that tells me how many containers of food I get for my day (for the record I get 3 greens - veggies, 2 purples - fruits, 4 reds - proteins, 2 yellows- carbs, 1 blue - healthy fats, and 1 orange - seeds and dressings).  And I have my approved list of foods I can eat to fill those containers.  And it's a breeze to just plug in what I am going to eat when and know what I have left.  And seriously, I was thinking only 2 carbs a day would kill me but the truth is that it's working.  And I'm mostly full all day.  And on a couple of occasions I haven't finished all of my food for the day.  Crazy, right?

Now I will say that I am following the 21 Day Fix Extreme - and that is a bit different from the 21 Day Fix in a few regards.  One being that there are NO CHEATS allowed.  Like on the 21 day fix you could occasionally sub in a treat or a glass of wine for a yellow (3x a week only) or add honey or agave into your coffee.  Extreme does NOT give you ANY of those options.  I will say that I still add a touch of agave to my coffee in the a.m., but I didn't fall prey to a treat until last night.  I did swap out one of my yellows yesterday for a Quest bar.  So I'm not perfect, but I didn't feel too bad about it.
The other way that extreme is different is that the workouts are seriously ramped up.  I feel like I get a very good sweat on while usually holding my own pretty well most days, but the one kicker for me so far has been Extreme Cardio.  I didn't do a lot of cardio in P90x, and it's kind of apparent right now.  But I like the challenge it brings and am feel accomplished when I finish.

I don't have my "after" picture yet, but oh my goodness I can already tell a huge difference in the way my clothes fit.  And it's an awesome feeling.

I end this thing on Christmas Day.  I can't wait to share my results with you guys as well.  I'm going to be lean and mean for 2016!!!

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Fixin for a Change

Hello my friends. Decided to go ahead and give reviewing the 21 Day Fix Extreme a go. I hope to blog more consistently through this process. 

If you can't tell, I'm a bit excited to move onto this program - I was seriously itching for a change. 

So why did I pick 21 Day Fix Extreme to tackle next after P90x?  I must say I was REALLY considering Insanity. I love Shaun T and I do plan on getting around to doing Insanity eventually, but for all of the reasons I was over P90x, I was excited about 21 Day Fix Extreme. 

Let me say that I'm the rare Beachbody coach that has yet to "Fix". It's not that I was ever against it. I just started as a customer last spring when PiYo was on special and then got a great deal on LesMills combat when I became a coach (I wanted CIZE the day it came out over the summer and P90x kind of fell into my lap). So I never got the 21 day fix challenge pack. The timing was never quite right. 

But after 90 long days of 60-90 minutes workouts with P90x, a 21day program with 30 minute workouts a day was exactly what the doctor ordered. Plus I was super excited about the meal plan. I know several 21 day fix junkies who swear by it. And to be honest, while I work diligently toward healthy eating every single day, I almost always have a post dinner sweet and I do love my bourbon. Plus, I don't really count calories or watch how many veggies verses proteins and/or carbs I put in my body. And I'm almost 100% positive I have several food allergies or intolerances.  So I wanted to really streamline what I was eating and go all in for 21 days on this. 

I know I'm crazy trying this out during the holiday season. Trust me, I know. But I also thought it would be a great way to keep me away from all of the decades. As any 21 day fixer knows, holiday treats don't fit in a container. 

And I decided to just do 21 Day Fix Extreme vs the original Fix. I figured that P90x would have gotten me ready for the more advanced option. 

So, here I am on day 4. And I'll say I'm doing really well. I have been eating all of my containers every day (more on the containers later) and I feel fabulous.

The workouts are definitely no joke. Autumn WORKS you hard for 30 minutes. She knows it's a short duration of time and she doesn't mess around. My first workout on Saturday was Plyo Fix extreme and I did something to my already very muscular quads that made them hurt for like 4 days. Stairs were torture. So I KNOW I'm getting my money's worth with this program. 

Anyway, more to come later.... I promise????  Let's just say I have very good intentions of picking blogging back up and reviewing this further. Have a great night my peeps!!!

Sunday, December 6, 2015

And the Results Are Here

What?  She's blogging?  Yes, I finally made it back.  I haven't had a blog in me for a long time.  I was honestly beyond over P90x a month ago.  I was finding myself digging in super deep just to get my workout in and a million excuses flooded my brain every day as to WHY I wasn't going to work out.  Maybe it was because most programs I'm used to end in 60 days and I was just bored with the workouts?  But I think a lot of it honestly had to do with the fact that I had to psych myself up every single day to find a way to workout hard for a minimum of 60 minutes.  More like 75 minutes or 90 minutes to be honest.  I was used to an average of 30-45 minutes before P90x, so I was itching to get back to that shorter duration.  But I did it.  I stuck it out, and now I'm here 90 days later feeling like I gave it my best and forgot the rest.

But anyway, so to recap, Tony Horton is an awesome trainer (duh).  If you stick with it and give it your all, you will get the results.  I will say that I am FAR more muscular than I've ever been in my whole life.  My quads and shoulders are especially ridiculous.  I feel STRONG.  Like much stronger than I have, maybe ever?  Even my wimpy wrists feel like they've strengthened.

I will say that I was very very surprised to find that my flexibility is better than it's ever been in my life.  Well, or at least since I've been like 5.  I can do yoga poses that I had never attempted before and that's after I did PiYo for 60 days.  So that was one perk/benefit that I did not see coming.

As I have stated previously, I did not weigh myself.  I have a very very unhealthy relationship with the scale and it can send me into a spiral of all kinds of bad if I step on it, so I went with other factors like how my clothes fit, how I was feeling, etc.

And I will venture to say that I didn't lose weight.  I feel like my waist slimmed down a bit, but my muscle tone replaced all of the fat I lost. I feel seriously buff.  But here is my after picture.  I am still not exactly my perfect "after' picture, but look at the abs!  Major improvement there - yay muscle tone!!!

I just started 21 Day Fix Extreme (no need to do the regular ole fix in my opinion right after P90x, I wanted to take it right to the extreme level).  I am hoping to lean out even more as it's more demanding cardio-wise, plus it's forcing me to cut out any bad habits for 21 days (sugar and alcohol are included) in a very tight nutrition plan.  If I get my blogging muse back, I am going to attempt to cover 21 Day Fix Extreme, as I've really liked the program a lot thus far!

Night peeps!!!