ALDS vs. Turbo Pump

So I’m a big baseball fan.  I follow my home team (go Tigers!) and unfortunately, this means that I’m stuck watching ALDS games that start at 9 or 9:30 pm here on the east coast.  Not Cute.  Not at all.  I’ve tried taking naps but that just doesn’t work when I’m totally not sleepy at all.  So my sleep is jacked up.  I decided that I would do evening workouts today and tomorrow to stay on track because when a game ends at 1 am, getting up at 5 am is obviously not happening.  Especially when one of my fellow fans calls me at 1:15 am to discuss how we both stayed up way too late to watch our team lose.  
But my “health” angle on this is that life happens.  Baseball playoffs.  BBQs with friends.  Surprise birthday parties.  And we need to find the balance between living life and having awesome experiences and weight loss/maintenance.  It’s good for us mentally to have fun with friends and do things we love so we can’t stop that for weight loss.  With that said, here are a few tips for dealing with the times that life interrupts our life.
  1. Plan ahead.  If you know the schedule (like say 9pm baseball games) or that the party is coming up, figure out your game plan ahead.  Does it mean switching to evening workouts so you can get your sleep and get your workout in?  Bringing a dish with you so there is a safe item to eat?  Thinking about these events and activities before they happen can help you be ready for them when the time comes.
  2. Be realistic.  So once a year this event/party/thing/food happens.  Just once.  Be realistic about what you will do.  Is this the one time a year your Mom makes that favorite dish of yours?  The annual trip you take with your girlfriends?  Sometimes the thing to do is look at portions and situation instead of abstaining completely.  There are certain dishes that are family traditions and I only cook them on Thanksgiving.  I don’t say I’m not going to eat them, but instead I make a rule about portion size/number of servings/what else I will eat.  I will have a small serving of dressing, but I will make sure that I have at least 2x the amount of vegetables on the plate as that dish.  Make a deal with yourself so you don’t get that serious deprivation feeling but you don’t overdo it.
  3. Employ an accomplice.  The buddy system and the community – it’s huge.  It’s one of the reasons I post links to my Beachbody coach page on here.  I want to build that community online for myself and for you guys as you join the team.  Having that friend you can text and say oh man this is rough, hold me accountable please or hey, let’s go to this event together and make sure we don’t screw up.  Or that buddy that you can call when you don’t want to workout and say, hey, let’s both do this workout together.  I do this with some of my friends and it’s huge.  Now that  my husband is involved with being healthy we definitely have these chats.  It’s how we got through the Reset, having that person who you know you don’t want to let down. You can never have too many accomplices to lean on when you need help.  
Any other tips?  Leave them in the comments and share so we can all learn from each other!
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Announcements:
1. INSANITY Asylum Volume 2 is officially available today.  It comes with a bonus DVD – Pure Contact- when you order through a Team Beachbody Coach.  I’ll be honest, I LOVE INSANITY.  I’m pretty pumped that it’s in the lead and I think it is the perfect challenge for not just November, but through the holidays.  It’s a kick butt workout that is guaranteed to work.  In just 30 days I lost a ton of inches and got a lot of compliments.  I can’t imagine how awesome the follow on workouts would be for inches lost.  Volume 1 and 2 are both 30 day workouts.  Pick them up here, just click on shop 🙂  
2. RevAbs is on sale for $29 right now (usually $89) and still comes with the usual bonus DVD you get for ordering it through a Team Beachbody Coach.  I am placing an order for this tonight (along with the jump mat) because I just can’t pass that deal up (again, reference post earlier where I discuss my exercise DVD collection).  If you don’t know, Bret Hobel, the trainer that created this program, was on the Biggest Loser as a trainer.  So you know he knows what he is doing to get the weight off.  You can also pick that up online by following this link and clicking on shop.  This is a limited time offer, so if you were thinking about ordering it, you may want to do it sooner rather than later.

On Motivation and Making it Work

So a few months ago, at some point between my experiment into Insanity and starting the Ultimate Reset I was kind of drifting.  I was sure I wanted to lose weight but I wasn’t sure that it could happen or would happen.  I was just kind of going through the motions.

Enter Pinterest.

Pinterest has a health and fitness section and I often peruse it looking for recipes and fitness blogs and cool sayings.  It’s great for that.  One day I ran across the Fleur Meets Fitness blog as a post that someone put up.  I saw the before and after that made me want to go to the site.  So I did.  And I ended up reading every single post on her blog.  Short story – she has lost an amazing amount of weight by deciding that she was going to take a year and dedicate it to weight loss.  I feel like I haven’t found a lot of blogs on weight loss that I identify with like this.  She had one blog where she wrote about giving up and how this was going to be the time she didn’t.  Well right on sister.  So much that she said were thoughts that crossed my mind and .  And I got pretty amped up.  Because I started to have “I can do this!!” thoughts that started to push out the “Why are you still bothering?” thoughts that had taken over.  You see – you can’t actually win at anything – weight loss, career goals, life goals – if you don’t actually believe you can make it happen.  To reach the hard goals you have to have motivation and  you have to believe it is worth it and it is possible.  If you don’t have that, then it is almost impossible to convince yourself the sacrifice, changes, challenges, and hard work are worth it.  And you start to slip.  A cookie here.  A skipped workout there.  And next thing you know you are doing 25% of the work necessary to achieve 100% of your goal and wondering what happened.  You have to have that believe in yourself and believe it is possible, bottom line.

So what did I too next?  Made a 3 step plan to success   Well the Ultimate Reset was step 1.  Because if there is anything I had to accept it was that my sugar addiction and my inability to deal with my cravings (and just say NO sometimes) was killing me (literally and figuratively).  And the fact that it was advertised as helping with both of those meant it was worth the money to go for it.  With the food part handled, on to step 2 – Get serious.  If there was anything that I realized while reading her blog it was that I had to make a conscious decision to do this.  And decide to put in the work.  So that’s what I did.  I picked a program (Turbo Fire with some Les Mills Pump mixed in) for the month of October and printed a schedule and posted it in my “gym” (what you don’t have a home gym?  ok me either, it’s just what I call the area in the basement where I do my workouts, haha).  And then I committed.  I committed that I was going to do this and do it right.  Which meant if I was going to keep bitching about how I couldn’t lose weight I had to be 100% about this.  So back to 5am workouts and 10pm bedtimes.

Step 3?  Well that’s were I’m at.  It’s continuing the work I established in steps 1 and 2 until I get to the goal.  I don’t really have a goal weight.  I never really have and probably never will.  My first goal is to get under 200 lbs because while I don’t have a goal weight I do know that a healthy 5’9″ girl is probably not over 200 lbs.  I know the kind of body I want and I think that I can get there if I continue to stay focused, keep planning, stay motivated, and keep believing in the outcome.

Weigh In!

My first weigh in of October and the 2nd one after the Reset and the first with the challenge of the month.  Drumroll please……

For a loss of 2.6 lbs!  I’m VERY excited about this for several reasons.  One being I’ve put in lots of hard work.  I’ve been drinking shakeology for breakfast 90% of the time, sticking to my aggressive exercise schedule and working hard to make the best food choices.  I’ve been eating vegetarian since the reset and the husband and I decided we would keep a vegetarian household and save our meat eating for when we go out whenever we decide to eat meat.  Honestly the few times I have gone out since the reset I have eaten vegetarian still.  The second reason is that I’ve read a lot of people that have come off the reset and put all their weight loss back on.  The reason is that they tend to go back to all their old habits.  And by old habits I don’t mean eating meat.  I mean old habits like eating lots of processed foods and lots of sugar.  I DID NOT do this, which was a big win for me.  If you remember, one of the goals for my husband and I was to change our mindset about food and use it as a kickoff for a healthy life after the reset.  At this point I feel confident saying that we are doing that and will continue to do that.  When I wrote that the reset changed our lives – I was serious about that.  I didn’t realize how far from right I was on eating until that 21 days happened and we started living a much healthier life.
This week is another heavy Turbo Fire/Les Mills Pump week!!  I’m excited because these workouts are crazy hard and I know that they are working in combination with my diet to whip this weight off of me.  I’m having a lot of fun because both programs have the best music of any of the Beachbody programs in my opinion and it is a big boost!

October Challenge: 1 Week In!

Two posts today since I forgot to actually post yesterday’s post on time 🙂

Today I have officially finished one week of my October Turbo Pump challenge.  It has been a good week, a really good week.  One of the things I have always loved about the X day programs are the schedule and consistency.  I love not having to really think about what I’m going to do other than wake up and get it moving.  This was my first time playing around with the schedule and I like what I did this week and am going to model the rest of the weeks with it.  The first month of Pump is pretty light, so it makes it easy to combine the programs.  I’m really feeling my stamina and strength improving with every workout.  It’s also nice that the reset did a number on my stomach in terms of inches lost.  Today I did the Stretch 40 workout which is a good yoga based stretch dvd.  It was MUCH easier to get into poses than it has been in forever because my stomach is so much smaller.  It’s nice and I feel like yoga was actually a workout because I was just able to do more and really push into the pose.  I have always had a good level of flexibility – but now I can actually use that and push farther.  
This week’s workouts were:
Monday – Fire 30
Tuesday – Pump Challenge + HIIT 15
Wednesday – Rest
Thursday – Fire 30 + Flow
Friday – Fire 55 EZ
Saturday – Pump Challenge + Fire 30
Sunday – Core 20 + Stretch 40
Not going to lie – this week pushed me.  These workouts are not easy and I’m doing about an hour a day.  But I’m pushing for results so that means workout hard.  Turbo Fire is a 6 day a week program, so it just means I need to work hard to keep up with it. 
Tomorrow I’ll be posting my weight for this week’s weigh in, see you then!
 

Milestone!!

I just had to share – I’m almost a size 18W 🙂  At my biggest I was wearing a size 24W. To be able to put on and zip and sit in an 18W seems like a far off dream. But it’s not. It’s still a little tighter then I want and gives me lots of muffin top – but I’m so close, I’m excited.  I wouldn’t have thought this possible a few months ago. Hard work and sacrifice pay off.  I’ve invested a lot of money into my health and fitness this year – equipment for BodyRock, Insanity, Ultimate Reset, loads of healthy groceries.  And it’s worth every single penny to be able to put these pants on and zip them up to get that non scale victory!

Today is the active rest day of my turbo pump week. Core 20 and Stretch 40 from Turbo Fire. That is going to be on deck after the Tigers game is over this afternoon.  Should be a great stretch and recovery day before heading into week 2. I’m going to make a few schedule adjustments to make sure my weekday workouts are one hour or less and I will be set.  That time limit is there so I can get to work on time 🙂

Don’t forget to vote on my poll for November!  And please join me with the challenge or if you have a suggestion for something different.  As I’ve said before, my goal is to one day have a job where I promote health and fitness as a trainer or exercise instructor and for now, this is my way of doing that.  I want to see your Non-Scale Victories and success to being a healthier, happier you!

November Exercise Challenge Poll!

Yes, I know October JUST started, but I wanted to open up voting on the November challenge. I want to do this for two reasons – because I want to do a challenge that you readers are interested in learning more about and because I’m hoping that if I get the voting done early enough some of you can join in with me next month!  This month was a day of decision…but next month I want to plan better and make it more interesting for me and for you!  Plus I’m all about the group motivation and we can all do a challenge together to make things more fun.  I set the poll to end on the 22nd and will post the results ASAP so anyone who is interested can go about procuring the program of the month or just get geared up.

So just go right over to the right hand side and vote on the exercise program for November.  I offered 4 options (Insanity, BodyRock, Strength/Cardio (Gym), and JM Body Revolution) and a write in option (leave a comment here).

Option #1 – Insanity
I plan on doing the first 30 days of the Insanity program if that option is selected.  Don’t know about Insanity?  It’s a sports training total body conditioning program that is pretty hard core but works.  When I did a month this summer I lost quite a few inches.Check it out here:

Option #2 – BodyRock
I will follow the workout of the day that is posted (typically mon – fri).  In the past when I have done this I had really good results.  The workouts are short (12-25 minutes typically) but use high intensity intervals to really get a great burn. Check it out here.  
Option #3 – Strength/Cardio (gym)
I will follow one of the programs I have on my computer or from one of my books (like the New Rules of Lifting or something like that) for a gym based strength and cardio month.  Generally about 4 days of lifting and 3 days of cardio (no more than 5 days a week).
Option #4 – Jillian Michaels Body Revolution
I will follow the first month’s schedule.  This is a strength and cardio program that in typical Jillian fashion kicks your butt and leaves you crying.  Check it out here.  
Option #5 – write in!  Whatever you suggest.  Even if it doesn’t win, I certainly will check it out and it may pop up on another month’s poll.  The only thing I will say – don’t suggest swimming – I have no pool access!

Habits

Let’s talk stress.  There are SO many things that stress people out and between work and all of the other things going on outside of work I have been STRESSED out.  Now that I’m back into the exercise, I’m realizing how much I missed it during the reset because I have been SO stressed.  That’s why for me exercise has always been really important to me.  Not just because of weight loss, but because of stress relief.  I realize when I look back at my life that a lot of the times I had a lot of rapid weight gain they were times that I didn’t exercise regularly.  I think because the exercise helps me to keep the stress eating at bay.  I just had this revelation in the last week or two and it’s been really eye opening.  It tells me that especially when I’m stressed, I need to make sure I take the time to get to the gym or even do a quick short BodyRock workout.  Workout doesn’t need to be super long or super crazy – I think the key is just to move my body so I get that mental relief.  I’m going to really work on planning ahead for weeks when I am super busy and stressed out.  And with the holidays coming up, clearly that means I will need to lock it down.  I still use my fitbook to plan my week and this helps a lot.  

The other piece of this is sleep.  Between vacation which went straight into the reset and then straight into a trip for work my schedule is a MESS.  I have been staying up later, waking up later, and just not really on my sleep schedule.  I’ve pretty much realized through experimentation that I need a good 7.5 – 8.5 hours of sleep.  So I used my exercise rest day yesterday to get that back on schedule.  I went to bed closer to on time then I woke up at 5:30 and hit my basement for my workout.  Already I feel better.  For one, starting my day with exercise usually helps me start it in a good mood.  For two, getting up an hour earlier to exercise means that I actually get to spend my evening doing whatever I want.  When I exercise in the evening I come home, exercise, cook, and by the time all that is done, I stay up way too late because I am not really in my free time until like 9pm.  When I exercise in the morning, I come home from work and from 6 or so on, it’s whatever I want to do.  Which means that getting into bed at 10 pm is easier because I’ve had ample time to take care of whatever I need to take care of.  I know people don’t like going to bed so early.  My mom is always telling me I’m crazy because I miss my tv shows.  But I just watch them on hulu.com the next day.  It’s not as important to me to watch the 10pm show, even if it’s a favorite, as it is to get my sleep and make sure I get that workout in.  Plus working out before work eliminates a lot of excuses.  You aren’t too stressed/tired/annoyed/running late, ect to get it in.  It’s done and you can move on.  But it can only happen if you go to sleep early enough to get enough sleep before that alarm clock goes off.  I’ve done a lot of reading on creating a great sleep environment and I’ve put a lot of that into action in my bedroom.  One of the biggest no-nos is the cell phone and I haven’t quite broken that habit yet.  But most other ones are already addressed.  
My goal in life is not just to lose weight – but to figure out what things are going on that are prohibiting that from happening so I can keep the weight off when it’s all gone.  I have had the yo-yo for years without ever really realizing how important the two things above really are to me.  It’s only recently (this year) that I started doing morning workouts and researching creating a good sleep environment.  This weight loss thing is a continuous improvement effort.  For most of us, it’s bigger than just moving more and eating less.  It’s trying to fix the behaviors that have allowed us to gain the weight.  That means looking a little deeper which is hard, but quite rewarding.
Anyone care to share what habits they have had to change on this weight loss journey that are outside the obvious answers of diet and exercise?  

Butternut Squash and Chickpea Stew

I have an amazing recipe to share.  My husband actually found this one on vegetarian times and we both give it 5 stars.

Butternut Squash and Chickpea Stew (link goes to original recipe on vegetariantimes.com)

Serves 6

30 minutes or fewer

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 medium carrot, diced (¾ cup)
  • 1 small onion, diced (1 cup)
  • ½ red bell pepper, chopped (½ cup)
  • 1 Tbs. whole cumin seeds
  • 1 bay leaf, crumbled
  • 2 16-oz. cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained, divided
  • 1 32-oz. container butternut squash soup, divided
  • 1 ½ cups couscous

Directions:

1. Heat oil in saucepan over medium heat. Sauté carrot in oil 3 to 5 minutes, or until softened. Add onion and bell pepper, and sauté 3 to 5 minutes more, or until soft. Stir in cumin seeds and bay leaf.

2. Purée 3/4 cup chickpeas and 3/4 cup butternut squash soup in blender until smooth. Add to carrot mixture along with remaining chickpeas and soup. Simmer 15 to 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
3. Meanwhile, place couscous in heat-proof bowl, and stir in 1 1/2 cups boiling water. Cover, and let stand 3 to 5 minutes, or until all liquid is absorbed. Fluff couscous with fork. Divide couscous among 6 shallow bowls. Ladle chickpea stew around couscous in each bowl.

Note: The recipe on the site has a picture on the site. I”m not sure what that is a picture of but it is not the picture of the stew. The picture I posted is representative of what two of us got when making this recipe. It’s truly a stew and not at all as dry as the picture on the site would lead you to think.

The one modification I made is that I had this with millet, not couscous. Because I had millet at home and I didn’t have couscous. It was still amazing. I think it would be just as awesome with couscous and next time may use that if I happen to have it or don’t have millet left to cook up. It was SO filling. Perfect if you are trying to eat light. I also had a side of roasted vegetables with it because I’m all reset-afied and think that every meal needs vegetables with it now 🙂 The portions are very generous as well!