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 downsides....like 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!!!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Obsessed

Hello, friends and happy Wednesday!

So I wanted to take you for a spin around my head.  It's a little frightening, I admit.  I also think that it's funny that I married a man who got his Masters Degree in Counseling Psychology and is currently teaching a college Psychology course on the side of his regular job.  I mean, I guess I'm a constant case study for him.

As I've stated here, I am very interested in clean eating and getting rid of the processed junk.  I've actually been interested in that for quite some time. I've been studying superfoods and detoxing on an infrequent basis for the past 10-15 years.

I'm also a frequent reader of health articles. And have become slightly....okay, maybe a bit more than that...paranoid with all of the toxins in the environment around me.

So, what have I done?  I've fallen down a black hole.  I've become CLEAN LIVING OBSESSED.

Yep.

I had a Norwex party recently, and now I'm stocked full of non-toxic household cleaning tools and products.

I have a house full of air - purifying plants.

I'm into natural deodorants/toothpastes, etc.

And my most recent obsession?  And the one that keeps propelling me further into the black hole?

Essential Oils.

Dude.  I mean, dude.  Have you ever cracked that door?

So my friend introduced me to Essential Oils over the summer.  I needed help with mood balancing and she invited me into her witch doctor lair full of these magical small viles of oils for every purpose on earth.

So after she very graciously poured me a number of samples, I started researching what they did.  And then I ordered the starter pack which had even more oils.  And now I'm too far in to go back.

Currently I'm working on making my own all-natural beauty creams/ bubble baths/ epsom salts.

I have treated sicknesses that both my children any myself have had.  I use them to help me sleep on those rough nights,  Before you know it, I will be researching what essential oils can help me time travel.  I mean, this is a slippery slope my peeps.

And the crazy thing is, you have to figure all of this out yourself.  The oils don't come with a list of instructions.  No, they say what they may be used for.  But one person might use one oil to cure a cough, and another one will use it as part of their beauty regime.  And someone else might use it for both.  Like I said, it's crazy.  I've almost broken down and gotten into Pinterest.  So far Google images have helped me out immensely.

But it's seriously fascinating.  I must say that I am loving kicking lots of extra chemical laden items to the curb, and using less medication.  I'm not completely granola....yet, but I honestly think I was a hippie in a previous life.

(And yes, Himalayan Salt Lamps...I'm very seriously looking at you right now on Amazon).

Anyway, just a stroll through my brain today. I think I"ll diffuse some Frankincense and take a nap now.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Back to Basics

Hello my friends!  Sorry it's been awhile since I've checked in.  I tend to get lost in my thoughts so often and I can't even begin to form a clear chain of sentences to construct a real blog.

So, I just wanted to say that it's the end of the second week of the 3rd and final phase of P90X for me!  I have 3 weeks left after today  - and the final week is the recovery week.

Progress???  Without a doubt I have muscles I never knew I owned.  I have really strengthened, defined and built some pretty serious muscle with this program.  Like for serious, my shoulders remind me of a swimmer.  Thinking of a cardio based program to focus on next to maybe switch it up.  Contemplating kicking it old school with the original Insanity next, but I still have a couple of weeks to figure it out.

But overall, this month I am just trying to get my head back in the game.  I feel like I lost my path in SO MANY ways last month.  And I'm trying to re-prioritize things right now.  In some aspects of my life I feel like a total failure, and that everything is falling apart.  And I don't know how to fix it.  I am giving it 100% every day and I just don't know how things are going to improve unless something flips in some way.  So I'm just trying to stay the course and praying that nothing else breaks.

So, back to basics.  Focusing on my family, our health and keeping us all together and in check.  And the rest will fall into place I'm hoping.  Seriously...hoping.

I have some other blog ideas floating around in my brain that I want to elaborate more on later.  Currently trying to re-ignite the fire within me, and in many ways that is the biggest challenge of all.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Well hello, abs. Nice to see you again!

I was going about my morning routine when I realized how awesomely my workout pants were fitting today.  Upon further inspection - um....abs.  I had to photograph this small victory and record it.


I guess I'm about 2/3 of the way through P90x so this should count as a mid-program picture I suppose?  I am bad about remembering to take the "during" photos.

But in the spirit of staying strong and looking at the bright side and counting my blessings, I decided I'd sit down and write a blog right now.

Because even though things haven't been super awesome and amazing lately, my body decided to be kind and reward me with a visual of my hard work.  And I will take it.

I will admit that there was a bit of comfort food eating a couple of weeks ago and my body completely acting out because of it.  And because my body doesn't react well to comfort food it took a good couple of weeks for it to detoxify itself.  And I seriously didn't think my abs survived.  But I woke up this morning and here they are.  And I am happy to see them.

So with this, I am going to go on about my day.  Had my delicious vegan strawberry Shakeology for breakfast, and still have my P90x workout to do.  And with those healthy habits in place I will be able to conquer the rest of the day and whatever demons decide to come along for the ride.

Have an awesome Tuesday, peeps!

Monday, October 26, 2015

Fall Down Seven Times, Stand Up Eight

If I had a word to describe my October - trying.

As I discussed in my last post, I haven't had the easiest of months.

I will admit that there are days I don't want to climb out of bed.  There are days I question everything I am and where I am in my life.  And it's all just so heavy and exhausting.

I feel sometimes that I'm screaming into an open hallway, but all of the doors are closed and no one wants to listen to me.  I wonder if anything I'm doing even matters?

But I don't let these days defeat me.

October has not been kind to me in many ways, but it's been character building.  If nothing else, I have learned to rely even more on myself and I've gained strength through the pain.

The depression has also been seeping in....dark and ugly and like molasses that encompasses me and threatens to swallow me whole.

Even writing those words makes me exhausted and pining for a nap.

Blogging has obviously taken a backseat, for I've currently run out of clever puns and LOST analogies to discuss.

But I wake up every day and know that this storm will pass.  The storms always pass.

And one way I've been fighting back has been through my fitness and nutrition.  I'm still on the P90x track.  I've stopped the doubles schedule (I could pick it back up next week if I'm inspired), but I'm still following the program.  I did have a very slight lapse over my grandmother's funeral week, so I repeated that week last week - adding an extra week to the program but I'm honestly okay with that.  So this week is my recovery week for phase 2 (more stretching and less weights) and I have completed about 2/3 of the program.  I will say that keeping my workouts consistent has helped immensely.  I'm still drinking my daily Shakeology and getting all of my nutrients in and working on eating cleanly (which lets be honest, is easier some days than others).

Just wanted to let you know that I'm keeping up the good fight, and I hope to once again be back to inspiring YOU, but until then I am keeping my promise to keep it real.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Strength Grows In The Moments Where You Think You Can't Go On, But You Keep Going Anyway

Hello, my beautiful readers.  I feel as though I've failed you for not checking in for so long.  I had a goal to blog consistently when I began and it seems as though curve balls have been thrown my way lately.

Some are laughable....getting broken up with by post it note (or more accurately - being let go of a job by having my email account and all of my logins deleted out from under me),   Some are annoying....this sickness that's settled into my chest for the past 2 weeks and won't leave.  And some are just heartbreaking.....

My grandma passed away on Saturday.

And life will never be quite the same.

I knew it was serious when I got the text on Friday to get to the hospital ASAP, and I knew as soon as I got there that she wasn't coming home.  I think she was aware that I was there in the room, but less than 24 hours later she was at peace.  No more chronic health issues, she was free of the pain.  But I wasn't.  My pain had just begun.

This weekend and past couple of days have been a blur of memories, supportive friends, constant family togetherness and sadness.

I'm still waiting for someone to piece me back together again, but I am also aware that this is not how it works.  I think we just learn to live in the brokenness of it all.

So, blogging has taken a backseat over the past couple of weeks.  But I also want to use it as a therapeutic boost, so consider yourself my personal psychologist, dear readers.

Eating well and working out completely went out the window Friday - Tuesday.  That's been the biggest gap I've had since last spring.  And I knew I was in trouble when watching TV last night with the hubs.  I saw an Arby's commercial and suddenly got hungry/developed a craving for fast food.  Prior to this I usually would feel disgust when I saw ads like that.

So today I made myself get up. And I decided to get back on the horse with Yoga X.  It's by far the longest workout of the series - 90 minutes.  But it was 90 minutes that I needed to just breathe.  And stretch.  And I honestly felt better afterwards.  Lunch was a salad - I miss and desperately need vegetables again.  I fell hard into comfort eating for those past few days.  At this point I think I will have to encourage myself on a daily basis to keep going.  But I know what I want to accomplish, and I know that sometimes you just gotta keep on keepin on.  Eventually the sun comes out again.  Just gotta push through the storms while I wait.


Monday, October 5, 2015

Sometimes You Just Gotta Push Through It

Good day my peeps.  The sun is shining today (which helps) but I am - and have been for the past 3 or 4 days - feeling sub-par.  Like I'm not quite totally sick, but I am fatigued and exhausted and just feeling run down, you know?  For the record, kiddo #1 has been dealing with an upper respiratory thing and kiddo #2 had a fever last week.  So, yay!?! LOL

Because of feeling not so hot, I subbed out my Yoga X workout for the easier X Stretch on Friday, took my designated rest day on Saturday.  And then I did something that I haven't done in like 6 months.  I took a day off that wasn't an assigned day off in my workout schedule.  Did I feel guilty?  Yes!  Did I feel weak and fatigued?  Yes.  So, I didn't want to push it but I woke up today feeling like a total slacker.

So, what did I do?  I went straight back to not just the classic schedule, but the crazy doubles schedule I started last week.  This morning I worked out for 2 hours.  And I just went for it.  I didn't feel energized, in fact I felt fatigued, but I dug about as deep as I could and got that dang workout in.  I have goals, I have reasons beyond "just getting in shape" to transform my body, and not even feeling sick is going to interfere with it.

Here is my sweaty selfie of the day.  I was not amused.....



Sidenote - this is the FIRST time I've even had any type of illness at all since I started drinking my daily Shakeology (the magical nutrient dense elixir that has otherwise strengthened my immune system).  So I'm hoping that this bout of the yuckies passes soon.  I'm still drinking all of my daily vitamins and nutrients so whatever has set up camp in my body is not welcome - at all...it better be gone STAT!

So that's what happening in my world.  Good times kids.  Just gotta keep pressing play.  Even when you don't feel like it, you just have to DO IT!

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

THe OFFICIAL Warm Chocolate Melting Cake Recipe

Hello my readers!!  As I mentioned before, I used to blog....like 4 years ago.  I was over on the old page for good old times and came across one of my most popular posts.


It has NOTHING to do with health and fitness.  Quite the opposite actually, but this recipe is amazing, and if you are looking for a small occassional indulgence, this one fits the bill.

I've had a rather rough day so this looks amazing to me right now....:)

Now let's time travel back to 2008.....

Warm Chocolate Melting Cake Recipe



Due to popular demand, based on my post about our cruise last fall, I am posting the infamous recipe that I mentioned in that blog. Yes, this is the OFFICIAL chocolate melting cake recipe from Carnival Cruise lines, handed to me by our waiter after I requested it one night at dinner.

I have not yet tried to make it yet, so I can't promise how it will turn out. One thing to note, however is that the recipe is measured in grams & the temps are in celsius... so you will have to find a way to translate it into tablespoons/cups, etc. That, I don't have for you....

Anyway, here it is...

MELTING CHOCOLATE CAKE

Yields - 10 portions

375 g Dark Chocolate
375 g Butter
8 ea Egg Yolk
7 ea Whole Egg
250 g Sugar
170 g Flour

- Melt the chocolate and the butter together until 64 degrees celcius

- Blend the egg yolks, whole eggs and the sugar together, then add the butter-chocolate mixture

- Add the flour

- Put it in 10 forms (prepare with butter and flour) and leave it for one day in the fridge

- Bake directly in the oven at 200 degrees celcius for 8 minutes

That's it! If someone makes it, please let me know how to translate all of the measurements/temps. That's been what has mainly holding us up from making it (well, and the fact that we don't need that many servings).

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Gettin' Ripped...I Mean Fatigued...Eventually Ripped

Good Tuesday afternoon to you peeps.  Today is dreary and rainy and I just kind of want to lounge around in pajamas and drink coffee and snuggle with a warm fuzzy blanket.

But I didn't allow that to happen.  I exercised my willpower muscle this morning and got started with a new-to-me workout in the P90x catalog....Back and Biceps.

Now that I'm in month 2 week 1, this workout is new to the rotation for me.  And it was pretty much everything I expected it to be.  Tony....and heavy weights.

Honestly, when I looked at the professional shots used throughout this program of Tony and Dreya and the advertisements for P90x, this kind of workout always came to mind.



Lots and lots of reps with heavy weights and a pull-up bar.  The program was a bit shorter at only 51 minutes (they are always around an hour) and you did a good 10 minute warmup to get you into it all.

But I worked my bicep muscles...and this was AFTER I had done Cardio X for the doubles schedules.  So when I say I worked my muscles, I mean I WORKED my muscles.  Previously in other workouts I'd worked my shoulders to the point of fatigue, but for the first time my biceps were toast.  At the beginning I was starting with 15 pound weights, middle I was pretty consistent with 10 lbs and at the end I was just getting by with 8 lbs.  I seriously thought I would drop the weight on my feet in the last exercise.

The back part was great as well.  As I have been doing all along, I have been using a band in place of the pullup bar, and it's been working well for me.  I am a bit afraid of the pullup bar if truth be told.  But the band, while not as strenuous as the pullup bar, gives my back a great stretch and I love the good hurt.

So, basically it was rotating between back and biceps and back for a good 40 minutes and then there was a 2 minute or so cool down.

And then I finished with Ab Ripper X.  So, instead of just lounging in my pj's, I did 3 workouts that took about 2 hours total to complete.

And now I'm pretty done...so you can stick a fork in me (and then I'll change into my pajamas and grab my fuzzy blanket :)).  Have a great day!

Monday, September 28, 2015

I Am Officially Certifiable

As if you didn't already know it, I am declaring it so in the title.  So, let's go into that a bit.  (This could get fun, kids).  My husband will honestly attest to this little nugget as well....when I get into something I have a tendency to get WAY into something.


So it goes with P90x.  If you recall at the beginning of all of this I said there were 3 different ways you could do the program...classic, doubles and lean.  Classic was what I said I'd focus on....but doubles man.  Doubles was in the back of my mind because the first month of classic and doubles was identical on the schedule.  But, dangit.  I want to look like those ripped people in their after pictures.  And I know I need more cardio.  So, doubles is a more feasible way to get there.  If you do doubles you essentially add 3 days of cardio to the calendar which means that on 3 of the 6 days you work out TWICE  a day - basically 2 hours a day for 3 days a week.

Yesterday I decided I'd just try it.....and now I am like this.....feeling like I have to be some sort of crazy overachiever.


Today was just one workout (Plyometrics), so we will see what tomorrow brings.  Yesterday was a new workout that I was eventually cover and tomorrow is another new workout as well (while adding the second hour of cardio).  Lots of fun stuff ahead in the schedule.

Just going to keep pushing play to see what happens.  My size 2 jeans are sitting in my drawer...eventually they are going to be a wardrobe staple again here.  Hopefully sooner rather than later.....

Let's see how far I make it through the doubles schedule...yes I AM certifiable...to be continued....

Thursday, September 24, 2015

All About the Core

Bonjour my peeps!  So today was day 5 of my recovery week in cycle 1 of P90x.

So the schedule of the recovery week for cycle 1 goes like this:

Day 1: Yoga X
Day 2: Core Synergistics
Day 3: Kenpo X
Day 4: X Stretch
Day 5: Core Synergistics
Day 6: Yoga X

As you will note (because I know you are all super observant, right?), this was the second time I did Core Synergistics this week.  I've already covered Yoga X and Kenpo X a few weeks ago, and I covered Stretch X yesterday, so this was the workout lacking a review.

The big reason I didn't cover it on Monday?  I was on day 3 of my 3 Day Refresh, and I couldn't push myself very hard...and I didn't even get to the bonus round.

So that brings me to today and a new stab at Core Synergistics...with extra energy!!

As I have discussed previously, my abs and core are where I want the greatest results.  After having 2 babies, they don't firm up as easily as they used to.  I have to work twice as hard on them these days it seems.

One day I want to be like the pretty people with the perfect 6 packs....


Lol, who am I kidding?  I like food too much...  But it would be nice.

Anyway, so this workout is actually pretty nice.  As Tony does, he leads you through several rounds of exercises.  In this workout he constantly rotates between different muscles in the core.  Many are standing, some are on the floor.  And there is a definite degree of cardio involved.  He also incorporated weights, arms and legs in this well rounded workout.  So, it definitely extends well beyond the core itself.  

I kind of liked a few that he did which started you on your stomach which worked your back, and then flipped you on your back which worked your abs.  Felt like a good burn and stretch all in one.

And I did press on to the bonus round today and it was a challenge boost at the end.  

Anyway, overall it was a nice little shakeup of a workout.  I will look forward to it again in a month when I get to my next recovery week.

Have a great Thursday, peeps!

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Serenity Now

Hello my readers!

As you may recall if you've been following me all the WAY back to the VERY beginning of this blog (like 30 days ago, but who's counting really??), I kicked it all off as I was starting the P90x program.

Now you may or may not know how the program works.  Essentially it takes place over 90 days.  And there are three cycles.  Each cycle has 2 phases.  The mastery phase (which in 2 of the cycles lasts for 3 weeks) and the recovery phase (which lasts for 1 week).  I have successfully covered each of the workouts in the first mastery phase but I have yet to discuss the recovery phase.

So I hit my first recovery phase on Sunday.  And the timing was glorious as it clicked with my 3 day refresh.  Now, the recovery phase DOES incorporate some of the mastery programs - Yoga X and Kenpo X specifically, but it also now adds in Stretch X and Core Synergistics.  So, the theme of this week is stretching and core work with a bit of cardio thrown in.

Today was Stretch X.  And I LLLLOOOOOOOVVVVVEEEEDDDDD it.  Like seriously loved it.  To keep it real, I COULD have done Stretch X prior to today's assigned workout, as it is always an option on your specified rest day.  But I mean really, I am resting on my rest day.  Who am I kidding?

So, it took me getting to week 4 of P90x to experience this little gem.  And it rocked my world.

If I could give you a visual....


Serenity now.  I felt stretched, centered and less exhausted than Yoga X.  (And on a side note...I've started adding sweaty selfies of the day as shown above...click on my JUST ADDED Instragram account link up top to check them out if you are so inclined to indulge in my narcissism :)).

X Stretch was 57 minutes of pure stretching.  And it used a few of the same moves from Yoga X, but really it was like the glorious feeling of a cool down after a hard workout.  But for 57 minutes.  57 minutes of pure perfection.

Can I just do this one every day???  Seriously, it was amazing.

Okay, I guess that wraps up my post.  Thanks for spending 5 minutes of your day with me!

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

3 Day Refresh - It Got BEYOND Real

Hello everyone!  I officially completed my 3 Day Refresh yesterday and I have been so anxious to comment on how it all went down.

So as I mentioned in my prior blog, I chose not to say ANYTHING about it until I was done.  I thought this was fair because there are many many many ups and downs on a cleanse of any sort and to chose to write a blog when I was in a rough spot would be unfair to the whole process.

But the main takeaway is that I feel AMAZING today!  As I have mentioned time and time again, the scale and I do not speak.  We are not friends.  So I decided to to use an old favorite pair of jeans as a barometer for my experiment.  Please note that these jeans have not been worn regularly for over 2 years...they've been sitting in the "skinny clothes" drawer of mine and I bravely slipped them on Friday afternoon for my "before" picture.  I was pleasantly surprised to see that they zipped up, but they didn't really "fit" all that well, you know?


So I am beyond pleased to say that I slipped those puppies back on today and they fit like a dream.  Based on my estimates I'd gauge that I lost a good 5 pounds. But it was definitely a process.  Let me take you through it all...and I promise you that I will absolutely keep it real.  Yes, I am a Beachbody coach, and one of the reasons I wanted to try this out for myself is because I want to try all of the products out at some point so I can give real insight and help to others looking for a product or program (I'm a self appointed guinea pig here).  But I am not going to blow smoke and say it was the easiest breeziest 3 days I've ever experienced.

So let's rewind to Tuesday afternoon, shall we?  I got this pretty little box in the mail.  Doesn't it look so lovely?  It contained 3 fiber sweep packets, 6 vanilla fresh packets and a 3 day refresh program guide.  (Note: you can order the kit with or without 3 additional Shakeology packets, but since I already drink it daily and have my own supply I didn't get them in the kit).


The pamphlet very easily lays out your plan and you repeat the same cycle for 3 days, but you can swap out different fruits and veggies, you don't have to eat the same meals.  Me, being frugal, decided to eat practically the same meal every day for 3 consecutive days.  Which turned out okay...I picked my favorite items and stuck with them.  Would I mix it up next time?  Maybe?  TBD really.

So after I made my list of allowed ingredients I went to the grocery on Friday afternoon.  Look at my haul?  Isn't it glorious??


I will point out that pink bottle in the middle - Himalayan salt.  Totally allowed and absolutely worth your purchase.  Other cleanses I've done do not allow any salt and to me that becomes nearly unbearable.

So, Saturday morning I woke up and it was GO time!  The first thing you do upon waking is drink 8-10 oz of filtered water.  I had it on my nightstand and drank it.  Easy peasy.  Next was breakfast and I got to drink my shakeology (they recommend the vegan version for this refresh as it has no animal products).  Luckily one of the bags we get monthly is vegan strawberry.  I couldn't mix any almond milk or anything....strictly filtered water.  So I added the water and some basil from my garden (herbs are allowed) and blended it with ice.  Refreshing.  I also had a peach as you are supposed to add a fruit option for the morning.

An hour later we could have green tea, and since I couldn't have any other caffeine over this 3 days you'd better believe I drank it.  I ended up bringing it to my son's cross country meet, drank it there and then an hour later I also brought and drank what may be the hardest part of the refresh - the Fiber Sweep.  It's pretty much exactly what it sounds like - fiber...that you drink.  It had flax, psyllium husks, etc. and tasted very earthy.  I highly recommend chugging that quickly - FYI.  Got home in the afternoon and kept working on my water (you have to drink an additional 64 oz of filtered water daily) and made lunch.  


For me, lunch was identical all 3 days.  You could have a veggie, a healthy fat and certain free seasonings.  I basically made a more solid version of my guacamole recipe.  Days 2 and 3 I added red onion.  But I chopped up a tomato, some avocado, fresh lime juice, cilantro and Himalayan salt.  Was very satisfying, and I paired it with 2 plums.  Lunch was also the first time that I got to have my first Vanilla Fresh shake.  This was MUCH more pleasant than the fiber sweep.  Maybe not my favorite thing ever, but I added some nutmeg and cinnamon to spice it up.  This shake contains a ton of protein so it helped keep me feeling full.

Shortly after lunch I started feeling SLEEPY, like I had taken a major sedative.  I googled around and found out that this can be a side effect.  I also developed a very mild headache that lasted all 3 days.  Based on research this is also incredibly common.  I chalked mine up to caffeine withdrawl, in addition to my body detoxifying itself.  I think I two 2 consecutive naps and then woke up in time for my afternoon snack.

Afternoon snack might have been the best part of my day.  I got to eat hummus (you get a healthy fat plus a vegetable option), and I LOVE hummus.  So carrots and hummus it was for 3 days straight.


After that was the long wait until dinner.  This was admittedly the hardest part all 3 days.  An hour after snack you could have optional herbal tea.  I did opt for it 2 of the 3 days as it helped.  Also, I chugged water during this time to keep me full.


I also found that this time was when I was the most moody and exhausted overall.  I was ready to call it a day for the first and second day by this point.

But then dinner finally arrived.  Of all of the recipes included, the cucumber tomato salad stood out firmly above the rest as the clear winner to me and it didn't disappoint.  I ended up modifying the recipe every so slightly, removing lemon juice and parsley by day 2, but otherwise it was delicious.


You were also able to add organic veggie broth as an option and I'm so glad that I did because it helped me feel fuller.  And you paired you dinner with another Vanilla Fresh shake.

Tea was again optional an hour after dinner.  I drank it the first day and opted not for days 2 and 3 because I was already so full of liquid that I had to pee enough anyway (TMI, sorry).

That first night I slept like a freaking log.  I was already super tired.  In fact my Fitbit said I logged 10 hours of sleep.  That was just slightly incredible to me - lol!  The next morning I was tired but I got up and repeated the process.  The guide tells you not to work out or to do mild to moderate exercise only.  Saturday happened to be a rest day in my P90x program, so I was able to avoid a workout, but day two was Yoga X.  Yoga X, if you recall is 92 minutes long.  And my body was simply exhausted from only 900 calories a day, plus the fact that it was expending it's energy pulling toxins from my system so I ended up skipping some of the harder first part and focusing on the static poses (which were challenging enough).  

The rest of day 2 was a repeat of day 1.  But day 2 was the hardest for me.  I just felt lacking in all energy and a bit lousy...again that is actually incredibly normal.  But I got through it.  And I was glad.

Day 3...this was a breakthrough for me, really.  I slept like a log on day 2 again so I had a ton of sleep in my system and I woke up with energy!!!  It's like the toxins were actually working their way out of my system and there was a break in the fog.  I had clarity and more focus. And I got through my P90X workout (Core Synergestics...reminder that I need to cover that one in another blog) and felt good!

So, if you read my blog yesterday you will recall that yesterday was also the day that I found out that they were eliminating my part time job.  On day 3 of the refresh.  And one of my coping mechanisms is eating comfort food.  I think I actually laughed out loud because I was strictly prohibited from that vice yesterday.  And trust me, I stuck to my guns and kept to the refresh.  I wasn't going to screw it up.  I had put so much heart and effort into it and I wanted to experience the full benefit of it all.

So I ended up NOT cheating at all on any of the 3 days, and by the time I went to bed last night, the ginormous jug of filtered water I'd purchased was empty.


I had to take a picture of it because I was actually pretty impressed with myself :).  

Which brings me to today.  Am I glad I did this?  You bet your money, absolutely!!! I feel amazing...like I had my oil changed.  Seriously, refreshed is exactly the word for it. 

Would I do it again?  Yes.....for a reboot from time to time, but definitely not a monthly thing.  I know some people do, but I think maybe twice yearly reboot is more my style.

Is it easy?  Not exactly.....my advice to anyone going on this....take a week to completely eliminate caffeine from your diet.  I think that would have helped me immensely.  But it's manageable.  And the food is actually good, and stuff I would eat in real life anyway.  You do cut out dairy, meat, carbs and all of that though - so definitely know that going in. But it's only 3 days and  you can do ANYTHING for 3 days.

Is it worth it?  Definitely!  See the before and after picture above.  I worked for that and I feel super accomplished!!!!  And for anyone looking to restart their system and get going on a new workout program or something, the 3 day refresh is an amazing way to kick it off.

That's my recap folks.  Thanks for sticking with me.  It was a long blog but I wanted to take my time and walk through it all with ya.  And keep it all real :).

Monday, September 21, 2015

Crossroads

So, no.  This is not about the 3 Day Refresh.  I have been pondering whether to blog or not to blog as I've been going through it day by day.  Since there are definite highs and lows on a refresh (which I'm on day 3 THANK YOU!) I decided I'd wait until I finished it to give the complete synopsis.

So stay tuned for that....

This is about something unexpected that occurred this morning.  And to talk about it I am going to give you a little bit more info on my personal life. I've been going back and forth about incorporating my family into this blog because my posts really haven't focused on them thus far, and unlike Facebook, where I know who I've friended and what posts I've dedicated to Friends Only (my family posts mostly) I'm not aware of who reads my Blog.  But it seems that in order to explain I will have to give you guys some BACKSTORY!!!

I am a mom of two amazing kids.  I love them to the moon and back.  Especially since they've reached this amazing age of early childhood where we have awesome conversations and they still want to snuggle with me, but they are old enough to pour a bowl of cereal.   And I know how fast they've been growing and I know time is fleeting and all I want to do is spend precious time with them.

I've had a convenient part time job over the past 6 months.  It's not a lot of hours but it helps pay some of the bills and it's super flexible in that I've gotten to spend all kinds of time with the kiddos. Win - win.  So, I just got a call today where I found out that they are eliminating my position entirely.  While I knew this wasn't a forever job, I was REALLY hoping it would last me at least a few more months...or real talk...when I have finally built my business to the place where I would make it my only paycheck.

So, that brings us back to why I created this blog, and why I run challenge groups, and why I'm constantly looking to better myself and others.  My HEART is in being a Beachbody Coach.  Let's get real...I never stayed up at night dreaming of my soon-to-be-gone part time job.  I never spent hours and hours doing personal development and seminars and training for that old job.  No, my passion and focus over the last 4 months has been in my business.  But a business is not created overnight.  It takes time and effort and heart, along with amazing support which I have been so blessed to receive.  In many ways it feels like my calling.  Like someone is holding my hand and pulling me very firmly in that direction.  They say the last thing you think about at night and the first thing that comes to mind in the morning is where your heart is...well my friends, my heart is in being a Beachbody Coach.  100%.

But, I wasn't ready for that break just yet.  So now it's off to look at more job options and really, is this where I want to go?  Will I be able to find something so perfect as to have the right pay, along with the flexible hours I need and most importantly, be enjoyable???  My heart is heavy and confused at the moment.  Looking for some clarity and guidance for the path I'm supposed to take.  Do I go ALL IN on Beachbody and take the risk?  Or do I continue to work a "day job" in the meantime.

I hate big decisions.  More to come, kiddos....

Thursday, September 17, 2015

The Reboot Is About To Get Real

Alright kiddos, starting this weekend I'm about to do something I haven't attempted in a hot minute.  A detox/cleanse if you will.  I have done a few in the past and they normally end up like this.....


I always have great intentions I do, but I normally crash hard a couple of days in.  One cleanse I used to on a regular basis was the "Fat Flush".  I drank an unholy amount of cranberry juice and ate eggs covered in paprika for a week.  It was a 2 week plan and I never got to week 2 in any of my half dozen attempts.

But this is a 3 day Refresh and I'm actually really thinking this one will be manageable.  They let you eat throughout the entire program (although you cut out dairy, sugar, caffeine alcohol...all the fun stuff - lol).  The recipes look good and the snacks provide options for things that I would actually choose to snack on and there are several shakes included that give you protein and fiber.  Plus I still get my beloved daily morning Shakeology as part of the plan.

I sat down to make my grocery list this morning and it suddenly got super real.  Saturday - Monday my body will be in boot camp mode and I plan to document the experience (good/bad/if I end up throwing a chair out the window...stay tuned).  Not quite sure how I will document my weight loss as the scale and I are permanently on non-speaking terms, but I am hoping to slip into some of my smaller jeans by the end of it all.  That's the goal anyway.

More to come....

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

What Makes You Tick???

Happy Wednesday, friends.  The sun is shining and it's kind purdy here in the Midwest USofA.

So, I recently took this little assessment that I had to pay for....so I take stock in the results JUST a little bit more than your standard "which celebrity do you look most like" quiz on Facebook.

And I have to say that it was kind of cool.  It assessed your top 5 strengths.  And, I want to try to tap into these to be the best that I can be.

So mine were (in order)

1    Empathy
2    Adaptability  
3    Intellection  
4    Input  
5    Connectedness  

Interesting.

So to break it down with the SHORTEST description possible I could find for each category...

"Empathy - People who are especially talented in the Empathy theme can sense the feelings of other people by imagining themselves in others’ lives or others’ situations."

Okay, I buy this.  I have always gotten sucked into other's emotions.  And if I am having a really deep conversation with someone who has a serious problem and needs my listening ear, it honestly sometimes exhausts me so much that I need to take a nap afterwards.  This is NOT saying that I don't like listening to their feelings and wanting to help, it's the opposite, I get very invested...I just think I just naturally pick up their energy and hold onto it, it's part of who I am.

"Adaptability - People who are especially talented in the Adaptability theme prefer to “go with the flow.” They tend to be “now” people who take things as they come and discover the future one day at a time."

I'd agree with this one as well. Maybe it's all my years working in property management and having to turn on a dime, but I can usually rebound from things fairly well.

"Intellection - People who are especially talented in the Intellection theme are characterized by their intellectual activity. They are introspective and appreciate intellectual discussions."

This was my major... like... "what is intellection?", but I actually agree with this one as well.  I need some introspection every single day.  I need to have down time where I can focus on my thoughts and ideas without interruption.  And if you know me, I'm always down for good intelligent conversation for sure!

"Input - People who are especially talented in the Input theme have a craving to know more. Often they like to collect and archive all kinds of information."

Yes, definitely.  But it has to be something I'm interested in.  Sorry, it's not going to be anything about a Fantasy Football Team.  But when I really get invested in something I tend to read every resource out there about it.  

And finally...

"Connectedness - People who are especially talented in the Connectedness theme have faith in the links between all things. They believe there are few coincidences and that almost every event has a reason."

I smile when I read this because maybe it's my corny romantic/optomistic side, but I feel like everyone who crosses our path does so for a reason.  Like the TV show L,O.S.T., right?  (I think I've already mentioned that show before but seriously people, it is good...catch it on Netflix if you missed the phenomenon).

So that was it. Thanks for ready my little narcissistic post.  I kind of love me for me, you know what I mean?  It's awesome to nail down exactly what makes you tick.  And I appreciate my quirks and nuances even more :).

Have an awesome day, peeps!!!!




Tuesday, September 15, 2015

I Came For the Free T-Shirt

That phrase reminds me of my Freshman year of college.  How many times did I get suckered into attending some volunteer function or to find out about a group on campus because they gave you a free t-shirt for showing up?  For a poor college kid, that was some serious swag man!!!  I am sure I proudly walked all of Butler's campus for shirts promoting a million products.

But now I am getting the free T-Shirt because I WANT to promote the product!!!

So if you have never done a Beachbody program, lemme explain.  First of all, it's like Christmas when the shiny Beachbody box arrives at your door with your brand new workout program. And when you start digging into the materials involved, they explain that if you successfully complete the program with (as accurate as possible) before and after pictures, you can be entered to win awesome prizes.  For example if you lose an insane amount of weight while doing a certain program you could win like $10,000.00.  But if you accurately submit all of your info, they will nonetheless send you a free t-shirt for the program you completed.



So last Friday I received my second t-shirt for finishing Les Mills Combat.  I can now add this one to my collection (along with my PiYo shirt).  I have also completed CIZE and will be submitting info for the CIZE socks (they are too cool for the t-shirt, I guess) shortly.  So, this works.  Not only am I getting in great shape, I'm building my wardrobe!  You'd better believe I'm going to wear that P90x one when I finally get it like a badge of honor!!  I'm earning that one fo sho!  Update on the P90x workout today: Arm Day, and Ab Ripper X...currently my fave day.  I increased my reps all around and my arms currently feel like jelly so I'll call it a win!

Have a fabulous Tuesday, my friends!

Monday, September 14, 2015

Blue

Dear readers, I love you...hundreds of you it seems (so thank you for reading my random musings).  I've been trying to think of a fun upbeat blog for a few days now, but it has been far from my grasp.

Which has lead me to write about my truth.  I suffer from depression.  Most of the time it is manageable.  Sometimes it's debilitating.  Like I want to stay in bed all day debilitating.



I've dealt with it most of my adult life, and winters in the Midwest are literally unbearable.  I almost moved to NOLA a couple of years ago and I think it's always a possibility that we could fly away from here at some point.  I dream of California.  That's where I want to be.

So, this is one reason I'm so big into health and fitness.  It helps keep me in check most of the time.  Clean eating, plenty of water, a good workout can help/cure a lot of what ails me, but not everything.  It can keep the darkness at bay for awhile.

After a few great weeks of positivity, my inner demons have caught back up with me.  I just can't seem to shake them permanently.

I will say that I've still NOT missed a single workout of P90x.  I did week 3's Plyometrics workout today and it definitely got the blood pumping for awhile.  And I spent a good deal of the morning in the sunshine.  I've even invested in essential oils this year.  Trust me, I've researched like every single option out there.

Hoping this spell passes quickly.  I have limited days of sunshine (my "good" days) left before dark and dreary skies decide to hang out for a good 6 months around here.

Thanks for checking in on me.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Timing...All About Timing



Feeling slightly deep-ish today.  Maybe it was the lavender and frankincense that I diffused during my 90 minute Yoga X this morning.  Maybe it's because a somber anniversary today.

But I've been thinking about timing today.  Man, it can be your BFF but it can absolutely be a bitch sometimes, but lets focus on the first part shall we?

I've especially been thinking about how I've started on this (warning - facepalm word coming)... journey as a Beachbody coach.

It involved catching up with an old friend.  A friend who I hadn't really seen in well, years.  And it was like divine timing that she stepped back into my life at that moment.  She had just started on with Beachbody as a coach and let me know how life changing it had been for her.  I had quit my full time job awhile back, and had been searching for something part time for a short period of time when I saw her.  While I ultimately landed a part time job like a week later, she got me into Beachbody as a customer.  As I had always been into health and fitness, my health had been suffering as of late.  I'd known about Shakeology for some time and I'd never taken the leap.  But the timing was perfect.  It was the answer I needed.

So I signed up, got the challenge pack with PiYo (see my blooper real worthy video a few days ago) and thought - eh, I'd drink Shakeology for a month until I felt better.  Well I DID feel better and decided to keep getting it at the discount coach price.

And then I decided that I wanted to help people who were struggling with their health and fitness goals, like I had, and it was a natural evolution to become involved with this organization.

But it was all about the timing.  If I hadn't caught up with my friend, if I hadn't had my health issue I wouldn't be here right now.

Now I am looking to expand my team.  And I'm finding that it's all about the timing.  And it's the coolest thing really.  Some people I've reached out to could care less, but others - it's like I had some weird premonition to message them because they were ready to take the leap.  And it just works out.  So, I wasn't trying to make this into an open call to action really, but if you are here and reading this and have a sincere desire to help others reach their health and fitness goals, have a helpers heart and are generally an upbeat/motivational/inspirational person, maybe it's YOUR time.  Facebook message me with the link, comment below, send a telepathic message - apparently I've picked up on a few of those too :).  I'd LOVE to talk to you about how this opportunity has changed my life and how it can also change yours!!!

Have a fabulous day, friends.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Distrac.... Squirrel!...I mean Distractions

Hello my friends.  So, I told you how my weekend went - redoing my kitchen cabinets basically turned my entire house into a tornado.  And my brain followed.  And I have been working to get things organized again (ahem - I mean blogging is clearly HELPING the process), but I still feel like I'm going in a million directions right now.

I mean we all feel like this from time to time, right?  Like we are skipping from one project or obstacle to another - never completely finishing the first one?



So that's where I'm at right now.  Oh, must pause blog to fix something....

Okay, I'm back.  See???  Distractions, man. Seriously

But I am staying consistent with a few things.  I don't care WHAT is going on in my life, I am GETTING my workout in.  Every single morning come hell or high water it's happening.  Even though this week has been challenging I haven't skipped a single day.  Today was leg day part 2 (and it really wasn't as bad), along with good ole Ab Ripper X.  I'm loving to hate....or is is hating to love? that one.  I'm also focused on my nutrition.  Even if I'm stressed I MAKE myself pick the healthier option. It's a total struggle some days - but that big mac is only going to make you happy for the two seconds it takes to inhale it and then it's just lethargy and food coma for the rest of the day.

So, I am keeping that on track.  Trying to feel less like a hamster in a wheel and I think I'll hit a settled place again here at some point soon.

Keep on keepin on friends....just wanted to keep it real with ya today...

Gotta go...another distraction (I can't make this up, I'm being led away by my hand.......

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Sooo.....I made a PiYo video.

So no lengthy post today.....


But, but... you guys!  I made a video!!  It's a little Blair-Witchy shaky (sorry but I can't afford a professional camera crew at this moment in time, rather a 4 ft tall phone camera operator who gets paid in snacks), but I wanted to tell you a little bit about the awesome Beachbody promotion this month.  PiYo is on special for the first time in what seems like forever and it's the first Beachbody program that I ever did.  I achieved great results and I know that sometimes people get a bit overwhelmed when looking at a product...should I buy it?  Should I not?  This is less than 5 minutes (filmed at a less than flattering angle, but I do keep it real on here) so check it out!  I hope you will see why you need to try out PiYo.  And if you are interested, check out my Beachbody site link, comment below, Facebook me, use telepathy...you know, something.  And I'll get you more deets!!!!

Monday, September 7, 2015

It's All Real. Really Really Really Real.

This picture is me right now, finally after getting cleaned up for the day.  It sums up how I feel.  Beyond tired.  Exhausted.  Cooked.  Stick a fork in me.  I'm DONE.


 

Long story short, we bought a new (new to us anyway) house last year.  And I thought sometime last winter - let's restain ALL of the freaking kitchen cabinets, and add a tile backsplash!!!  I bought all the stuff, got the backsplash up....and couldn't figure out how to get the faceplates back on.  Then I watched the DVD that came with the restaining kit.  It seemed like a massive amount of work...so the kit sat in the garage.  For months.  Until I realized we had a whole 3 day weekend for Labor Day.  Yay!  We can get all of this done AND still do fun stuff!!! I even told a friend we would get together.  Nope.  Nada.  I spent all FREAKING WEEKEND on this kitchen project.

But, this blog is about health and nutrition and fitness (not just fitness entire pizza in my mouth - which was Saturday night dinner because we had no access to any cooking utensils - including the oven.) so I should discuss how I got through the weekend otherwise unscathed for the most part.  So, nutrition.....started each morning with Shakeology - I found my blender and made it happen.  I drank them out of blue solo cups, but it happened.  I literally CANNOT start my day without my ShakeO.  Lunches were - day 1 - Arby's roast beef sandwich and day 2 - Subway 1/2 roast beef sub on wheat - no tempting sides either day.  Dinners were - day 1 - pizza (my bad point) and day 2 - we actually went OUT to dinner and I had a delicious paleo burger and fruit.  Today for lunch I had a turkey burger and a salad for lunch and grabbed a peach and protein bar for dinner.  

So, even though I was scattered - all over my kitchen, I was still about to keep it (mostly) together on my food choices.  And even though I was exhausted, working from sun up to sun down for 3 solid days - guys, I got in my P90x.  As I mentioned yesterday, I got week 2 of chest and back in, and man did I feel it today as I was staining wood.  I also got plyometrics in today after a full day of manual labor (I didn't do it immediately because I wanted to get the other stuff done - which meant that I didn't get to my workout until 7 and my reserves were spent, but I DID IT.  I didn't want to wake up tomorrow with regrets that I had already screwed up my workout schedule just into week 2.)

So, that brings us to the picture at the top of the page.  I wish I had something fun, or witty or snarky to say.  I just don't.  I have nothing left to give.  

The cabinets do look pretty awesome, though.  Even if it meant giving up my entire holiday weekend.  I think I need a glass of (healthy) red wine in bed before I fall asleep here :).

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Laboring over Labor Day

Hello my friends.  I took my rest day (kind of) on Saturday, but we've been staining our kitchen cabinets ALL WEEKEND LONG.  Aint no rest for the wicked here.



Regardless I jumped right back into P90x today, thinking I'd kill it.  Chest and back was up again (week 2 and week 3 are identical to week 1), and at the end my arms were seriously numb again.  I've never done a workout where I lose feeling in my extremities, but this one does it.

Longer posts later...I have a lot to talk about.  But now all I'm going to do is dream of cabinets. Maybe I'll count cabinet doors as I fall asleep...... Zzzzzz....

Friday, September 4, 2015

Mama Said Knock You Out

Finally!!!!

I made it to the end of of week one of P90x!!!! (Unless I chose to do the 57 minute stretch DVD tomorrow - but clearly REST DAY is a REAL option for day 7).   And I didn't die!!!! Hooray!!!!

So this morning was another cardio workout.  A martial arts themed, heart pumping. sweat inducing workout called Kenpo X.  The huge P90x introductory book (more like a novel, really) lies and tells you it is 55 minutes.  When you pop that sucker into your DVD player you see that the countdown clock says 58 minutes.  But you've already committed yourself to an insane workout so I guess you just suck up those extra 3 minutes and go.  At least that was my attitude.

From hereon out, I think to keep the normal schedule of strength day followed by cardio/stretch day, I am just going to switch Kenpo X and Yoga days because I have more time on Fridays to get the longer workout in.

So I started up the DVD, Tony gave his little intro (and Tony just kills me man.  He's so like Superman or something.  He's got perfect hair and he's just this super confident perfect person.  I think when he ends his workouts he goes off and saves the planet or something), and it was go time, or "Bring It" as the graphic on the screen advertises before each workout.

I was kind of excited to try Kenpo X.  As I had mentioned in my first or 2nd post I had just completed the entire Beachbody Martial-Arts Themed "Les Mills Combat" over the past 9 weeks before starting P90x. And I even stepped it up a notch from their starter schedule to "Supreme Warrior" which was definitely more intense.


(Me doing Les Mills Combat.  And I love the picture because it makes me feel like a badass - kind of...as much as an awkward girl can be a badass).

So I even stepped it up and got my Combat gloves out because they help my punches.  And I have to say......Tony is a brilliant trainer, but #keepinreal here, the original P90x program was made a good 5 years or so before Combat.  And I think that Beachbody learned and improved on a few things.  Mainly, Combat is choreographed to awesome music.  Like heart pumping "in the club" kind of tracks, and it's infectious and you burn 4,516 calories before you even blink your eye.  And P90x had some zen type of track playing in the background while Tony did sets and counted down kicks and punches.  So it seemed to take 3 times as long to get through that program than a normal Combat program.

Don't get me wrong, I still enjoyed it but I'll be honest and say that I had the thought in the back of my mind that I want to throw in Combat's Extreme Cardio Warrior 60 as a substitute on occasion.

But I still feel like I got an awesome workout. I was covered in sweat (so lovely, I know) and ready to take on my day when it was over!

Have an awesome Friday, peeps!!!

Thursday, September 3, 2015

The Meme-Worthy Workout: Leg Day

Ah yes....I knew it was coming....



Leg Day had finally arrived....

And I was anticipating the pain.  I knew that I couldn't escape it.


So, in typical P90x fashion, leg day is a whole HOUR of like 467,932 DIFFERENT leg exercises that work every muscle in your legs that you own (and even some muscles that you don't own) approximately 4,521 times each.  I know in an early post I mentioned that I hated burpees and push-ups.  I forgot to mention that lunges are on par with those exercises in my book.


 And you do a TON of lunges.  Along with squats.  And hold them and HOLD them until your legs are numb.  But you finally get through...


There are a couple of nice parts about P90x legs and back (see the "and back" part?).  First, you take breaks when your legs are super jelly and work on your back.  Since I still haven't put my pull up bar up, I used bands and I really liked the burn in some other muscles that are not related to the lower half of my body.  Secondly, you don't repeat a single one of the leg exercises.  Which honestly in my book is a great thing, because after getting to the halfway point I didn't want to anticipate what was up next.  It was MUCH BETTER to have Tony throw new material in there to keep me thinking.  If I knew what was coming next it would have been harder to pull through.

Finally, after about 55 minutes....we hit the stretch section.  Ahhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!  Best. Stretch. Ever.  And I EARNED it!


I followed it up again with Ab Ripper X, which I know a little better by now but is still a challenge, and will continue to be throughout the 3 month program.

Proud of myself for making it through and had a nice protein shake after it was over, but I'm a little afraid of what tomorrow might bring.


See ya later, gators!!!