Measuring Your Success

One of the cool things about being a health coach is talking to people about their health goals and their plan to get to these goals.  I love it because everyone has a different take on how they classify weight loss success and I find that pretty cool.  For some people it’s to get to a certain clothing size.  Others aim for weight on the scale, a body fat %, a specific outfit, to feel a certain way, be able to do certain activities, or to look like a certain person.  Some people know exactly what they want their body to look like when they are at their goal and some just know what they do not want their body to look like.  Some people just know they want to do something different to change their life and just start moving to be healthy with no real goal at the end other than healthier than they were on day 1.

All of these are certainly acceptable ways to go about being healthier for sure.  But what I always find interesting is the case when someone gives me a goal but their way to see if they are actually getting to their goal is totally off base.  Most people use the scale as their measuring tool for weight loss.  For many it’s their only measuring tool and they live and die by the scale.  It’s not surprising this is a common measuring tool.  It’s easy to measure, it’s easy to understand, and for most of us, our doctors will applaud our weight loss on the scale before going into our body fat percentage or being excited that we dropped a pants size or two.

It’s also unfortunately not the only…and not the best in all cases…measure of your weight loss success.  For example, my first round of INSANITY I lost almost 2 whole pants sizes and 2 shirt sizes.  But only 10 lbs.  I lost a LOT of inches and that resulted in feeling great and looking great.  But some people hear 10 lbs and think that the program didn’t work for me.  If I was going by the scale I may have been disappointed, but by looking at more than the scale, I saw my success hidden in my body fat percentage and the inches lost.

My point here is NOT to get you to stop weighing yourself.  I think that it is a very easy way to see how things change and I also use my weight as a goal.  But I want to encourage you to look at your actual goal and look at other ways to measure your success.

Body Fat % – This is my favorite thing in the world honestly.  I get this done maybe every other month?  The readout gives me tons of info aside from just a percentage.  It tells me how much (in lbs) excess fat I have.  Essentially – how much fat I have to lose (even though you don’t necessarily want or need to lose all of the excess fat) and helps me figure out a better plan of attack for my weight loss.  It also tells me my BMR – which is how many calories my body burns at rest.  I do not count calories, but I do use this info as a check to see if I am eating enough.  Most of us retired dieters can estimate calories and this number is my target to make sure I’m eating enough to not screw my metabolism up.  You should eat at least your BMR.  It’s a struggle honestly, if you have fallen into eating a lot of raw produce, no dairy and minimal animal fats, but it’s certainly possible with some effort 🙂

Inches – This is the easiest and cheapest.  Go get a tape measure and measure your hips, waist, biceps, calves, thighs, bust (or chest for the fellas).  Then do this again in a month.  We all know that muscle makes us look sleeker and slimmer – so if your goal is to look fantastic – this is where it’s at.  Trust me that when I was 230 in 2000 vs this year, I was a whole size or two bigger in all directions.  If you are doing intense exercise then this is where you see your results (and BF%) because you will see the shrinking effect.

Pictures – Okay, maybe this is the easiest and the cheapest.  I take pictures ALL the time, which cracks the man up.  But seriously – take them.  Because no matter what the scale says, your eyes will show you the truth.  Take front, back, and side photos.  Flex your biceps in one.  Take them in workout (read: tight fitting) clothes and take a few in regular clothes too.  I like to use the same outfit as a measuring tape so to speak by taking pics in that outfit regularly.  I can see how it changes on me by how long my shirt hangs or how tight something is.  Visual evidence is the best way to observe your physical changes!

Jeans (or other clothing item) Check – This is something I do every time I change sizes.  I buy one pair of pants in a size smaller and use it to see how close I’m getting to wearing that size.  It’s fun and inspiring to see pants go from not going over your butt to going on to zipping with a muffin top to fitting.  And you can see you are making tangible progress!

Personally, I do have a weight goal, but it’s not a final weight goal, it’s just a weight I want to get under and never go over again.  I have no clue what weight I want my final goal body to be, but I do know that I want it to look fly 🙂  So I use all of these methods listed above to track my progress.  Some months I lose tons of weight and other months I lose tons of inches and other months I lose a little of both.  But by tracking my progress it helps me keep the faith and keep moving along even when things seem like they are not changing.  One of the best motivators you have is yourself…and this helps create that motivation cycle for you to see how far you have come 🙂

How else do you track your weight loss or healthy living progress?  Does your tracking method align with your real goal?  If not, how can you make them fall more in line?

Hello Summer

This weekend is the unofficial start of summer. The weather is supposed to be warm, pools open, and everyone has a bbq party to attend.  But I was looking forward to something more important….the sales.  See, I had not really gone shopping for new clothes in bulk since around November.  I was squeezing into a size 18w.  It fit, but it was not loose at all and I felt like I was barely in them.  So this weekend I decided I would take a bit of money and go shopping for some new clothes.  All of my work pants are way too big in the I can take them on and off without unbuttoning them kind of way and if I don’t wear a belt you might see the undies.  Same with one of my 2 pair of jeans that was also an 18w.  I figured this weekend would be a good way to cost effectively shop for essentially most of a new wardrobe.  And it was!  I found some goodies on sale for sure and my most FAVORITE thing is this top!

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This top is a size MEDIUM from Express.  I can tell you that me, this girl who has never shopped at Express in her whole life felt like Miss America.  I honestly cannot remember the last time a medium anything fit me…or if it ever did before.  My eyes were opened like my friend Lauren suggested they would be on this trip.  I ended up buying 5 pairs of new work pants to replace my current pants (all size 16 regular, not womens), a few new tops (size L mostly but a few M), a new pair of jeans (size 16), a new belt, 8 new bras (two band sizes smaller than the too big ones I had been wearing), new workout shoes (with all the pounding of insanity, you wear out shoes fast!), and some new shorts (size L – mostly for hot yoga, but I will use them for workouts too).  I was pretty impressed with my haul since I shop at an outlet mall that had huge sales, I didn’t spend nearly as much as I thought I would.  If you took the bras out, I didn’t spend much at all (you boys are lucky!!!).  As things went into my drawers the too big stuff was taken out and trashed or put in the donation pile because I really was on a mission to replace with things in the right size this trip 🙂

Since it’s the start of the BBQ season, I’ll leave you with a few of my BBQ tips for having a healthy meal without any pain.  Let me say – a BBQ is the easiest type of challenge for a healthy eater.  For one – people are usually perfectly fine with you offering to bring a side to share.  And for two – bringing your own thing to throw on the grill is painless for the host, so it’s less intrusive than say bringing your own food to a dinner party.

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This was most of my prep for today.  I made the following:

  • Veggie Kebabs – so easy and usually appreciated by all attendees, even the meat lovers.  Chop up your favorite produce (I did mushrooms, peppers, onions together and pineapple and tomato together) and marinate.  Marinate in your oil of choice and your favorite seasonings or in your favorite salad dressing and throw on the grill
  • Corn – another easy one.  Place the corn on a piece of foil shucked and cleaned.  Brush with EVOO and sprinkle on salt and spike seasoning.  Wrap up foil and throw on the grill.
  • Raw Zucchini Salad – today I made a real simple recipe.  I’m not sharing because it needs work, LOL.  It was a great base but I want to play with it a little more to get it right.  Today’s was okay and since there was so much flavor in the other food it worked out.

These are just a few ideas and they can be modified for your diet.  Want meat that’s clean?  Just add chicken breasts to your kebabs.  Kebabs are a great share and eat type of food that everyone pretty much loves.

Okay that’s enough from me tonight.  I’m going to get to bed – week 2 of insanity starts BRIGHT and early tomorrow.  Well it’s a holiday – so not too early…but early enough since we have a brunch to attend!

 

Deep Dish Pizza

Can I be honest with you all?

I am getting tired of being put in situations with free pizza.

Me, miss I LOVE PIZZA.  Miss Pizza is the BEST.  I am falling out of love with pizza faster than Taylor Swift can write a song about it.  Not because it’s a “bad food” or a trigger food or anything else.  But because I’m starting to realize that it’s become a go to food whenever a large group is present because people take zero thought and order it.  And that is why I’m tired of being put in situations with free pizza.  When I have decided to abstain from pizza I have gotten the DIRTIEST looks.  I don’t know why – more pizza for you right?  Dairy is not my friend and makes me feel like garbage, so I’m lucky enough to actually have a legit excuse for not eating it.  But why do I *have* to have an excuse for what I put in my mouth?  Pizza parties just are one of the things that become WAY more of an event than they should once you decide to really change your diet.

Food is not just fuel in our society – it’s social.  It’s a date.  It’s love and camaraderie.  It’s how we say hello to a new neighbor, goodbye to a friend leaving town, and YAY at a celebration.  Changing what you eat – eliminating certain foods or making a conscious decision to eat a certain way most of the time – means that you start picking and choosing what events you go to, what situations you want to be in and eventually who you spend your time with.  You and your friends who like to drink go drinking.  Your friends who are foodies go foodie-ing.  And you and your friends that workout hit the gym together.  If you are lucky, these groups all cross over and yay!  But it seems for many of us who are making a dramatic life shift, that seems to not be the case.

I certainly know that there are certain people/groups where I get NO flack about my diet choices.  Others where it’s like ugh, really?  Or where everything is about food all day every day.  I tend to just not go to the later events because I just don’t want to be bothered. I don’t want to explain myself, don’t want to feel like I’m in the wrong.  So I just drift naturally towards the path of least resistance.  Places where nobody bothers me and may actually be on the same path as me.   I’ve posted before about being torn about this.  People get after me for not showing up to things….but then get after me for bringing my own food, lol.  It’s a hard balance and deciding what is special enough to change your diet is hard.  Hard because you really don’t want to be a bother, hard because you don’t want to insult people, and hard because you know after eating so clean certain foods just do NOT sit well anymore.  But in general, what happens is that your friends start to change.  They say you are like the 5 people you spend the most time with and I can say with certainty that 2011 Kim’s 5 looks a little different than 2013 Kim.  Not because the people have changed, but because I have.

And that’s not a bad thing.

 

INSANITY!

Today is the start of my 2nd round of INSANITY!!  It’s my favorite program because it’s short, intense, and gives you visible results fast.  Well as long as you are sticking to a good clean diet along with 100% commitment to the program that is.  The first day of INSANITY is the fit test.  You repeat this test many times over the course of the program to track your fitness levels and progress.  This test is only 25 minutes long (including warm up, stretch, and cool down) and you rest about a minute between each exercise.  So you only are intensely moving for 8  minutes…yet I still burned almost 300 calories, lol.  It’s a sign of things to come.

Today’s fit test for me was the first time that I was going to put my action plan for this round of INSANITY into play – by focusing on form.  The last time I did this program I was a lot heavier and had to modify a lot.  I focused on getting through the workouts the best I could.  This time I want to focus on form and getting the max results I can.  So for items like power jumps, I focused on making sure I went into the squat at the bottom and pulled my legs up, instead of just going as fast as I could.  The same for suicide jumps – I wanted to make sure my plank position was on point at the bottom and I pulled my legs forward right.  Last time with my bigger gut I had trouble getting my feet pulled up and had to go wider.  Little performance changes like that will result in MUCH better results this time!

So, today’s fit test results were as follows:

  • switch kicks – 42.5
  • power jacks – 38
  • power knees – 93
  • power jumps – 31
  • globe jumps – 9
  • suicide jumps – 14
  • push up jacks – 22
  • low plank obliques – 49

In comparison to my first round of INSANITY, I improved or performed the same as my first fit test on everything except the power jumps.  I performed the same as my last fit test on suicide jumps and was only one away from my results for globe jumps.  I’m pretty pleased with that especially considering my focus on form right now.  I did the fit test at 6:30 am this morning and I ALREADY feel the burn in my hips and thighs and arms.  I’m pretty pumped to get into the program and get this body into awesome shape!  I was running late so I didn’t take my photos this am because taking them would have meant turning on the light and waking up the man, but I will take care of that tomorrow before the official workout start 🙂

Ciao buddies!

Yogi Kim

Hey friends!

I am so so excited because I am going to spend the next few weeks doing YOGA in addition to INSANITY!  I have never done yoga in a real studio more than a one off class here and there.  I’ve done a lot of yoga with P90x One on One Fountain of Youth and P90x Yoga X over the past few months.  Also every workout program from Beachbody has a stretch/recovery workout at least once a week if not daily….so I have been stretching quite a bit lately and finding that it is something I really enjoy.  Increased flexibility is a HUGE athletic goal of mine.  It helps improve your range of motion (which means that I can get into better position for the different exercises and not get injured), relieves stress, and helps reduce recovery time post exercise.  It is in general really good for your body, especially when you are doing body punishing workouts like INSANITY.  You can’t expect to push your body to the limits without giving it the care it deserves and still function.

Yoga memberships are pricey and I don’t really know if I will be able to use it as much as I would want.  A lot of studios offer a very inexpensive 30 day rate for new students (mine was under $40 for a month of yoga, they want to get you hooked!) and it’s a good way to try out different types of yoga classes and see how often your schedule allows you to attend classes.   Most studios have varying packages – pay a year in advance, monthly rates, drop in rates or class punch cards – and doing the 30 day yoga challenge so to speak will let you figure out which type of membership is the right price or none of them are the right price because you hate going to a real live yoga class regularly 🙂

Anyway, I’m super excited to try this out.  I wanted to do it in conjunction with INSANITY because I’m going to be beating my body up pretty good in my AM workouts and I figured that the yoga classes in the evenings a few times a week will really help me stretch it out, especially the hot yoga classes!

Anybody else a yogi out there?  Any tips?  I have gone to hot yoga classes here and there, but not in many years (like 6).

Also sharing a progress photo.  The pic on the left is the side view of the picture in the same shirt in my header taken in September.  The pic on the right side was from this week wearing the same shirt, but different pants.  I had to finally throw those left side pants away because they were finally just way too big.  I’ll probably wear this shirt forever though, it’s a great reminder of how far I have come and how much I have changed my life and my outlook over the past months.  The crazy thing is, I had already lost 22 lbs BEFORE that picture was taken.  Definitely glad I am on the path that I am on these days.

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Wedding Week Workouts

This week my wonderfully awesome friend is getting MARRIED 🙂  I’m so so happy for her and her groom.  So my week will be a little weird because I will be traveling to the wedding locale for all of the festivities.  I will be taking my workout gear…because it’s me and that’s how I do 🙂  I’m going to think ahead and be smart with my plans and have flexibility.  The flexibility is key when traveling especially for events where there is a lot going on and you do not control the schedule.

There are lots of super short workouts (hello BodyRock!  10 Minute Trainer!  YouTube!) that you can do to get a quick burn in.  Doing a 10-15 minute workout in the morning and at night gives you 20-30 minutes and you can easily fit those in before you hop in the shower or in bed for the night.  Or if you can’t workout when traveling, then focus on your food intake.  Eating clean is MORE effective for weight loss than exercise is.  Don’t believe me?  Look at my Ultimate Reset results.  I didn’t exercise for 21 days but ate SUPER squeaky clean.

Okay, so for this week, I will be doing another mashup week.  Lots of fun workouts to keep me moving and keep me motivated during a week where there is a lot going on. Mostly short but intense workouts this week because I am so busy with wedding/travel prep!

  • Monday: Les Mills Combat Upper Body Blow Out
  • Tuesday: Les Mills Combat Lower Body Lean Out
  • Wednesday: Turbo Fire 30 Class
  • Thursday: P90x One on One Fountain of Youth (yoga)
  • Friday: Rest
  • Saturday: Turbo Fire 55 EZ Class
  • Sunday: Rest

This schedule is a fun mix of some of my favorite workouts that I want to do one last time before they get packed up for 63 days!  I reserve the right to change my mind based on how I feel and how sore I am and if I need to do wedding stuffs.  I may end up choosing one of my short workout options and I’m totally okay with that.

Speaking of sore, I just today was feeling ok after that whole Core Synergistics situation from Saturday afternoon.  My quads are still a bit sore, but after today’s workout I felt much much better.  I knew moving would help them today, but I picked an upper body workout (which wasn’t my original desire) because I didn’t want to push it too much.  The Les Mills Combat Upper Body Blow Out does have a few squats/lunges, but it is really an upper body strength training workout.  It gave me a decent cardio burn but gave my legs a reasonably lighter workout than any other dvd.

If you want to join me on Monday, May 20th with 63 days of INSANITY, today is about the last day you can order and still start on time. I hope you will consider joining us and check out the info here 🙂

 

Re-Visiting a Workout

This week I am doing a lot of random workouts.  Just having fun with things while I am getting back into the swing of things and have a lot of flexibility.  Come May 20th it’s full time INSANITY so I’m enjoying this “free time” while I have it.

Yesterday I did core synergistics for the first time since I did my month of P90x earlier this year.  I picked this workout because I remembered it as being a good recovery week workout…not too hard but not easy either.

Clearly my memory is foggy…or after doing 3 weeks of P90x my body was a well oiled machine.

I am straight up toilet sore today.  Don’t act like you have never been there…toilet sore is when you can barely get yourself to sit on the toilet because your legs are so torn up.  It’s that kind of sore where you kind of walk weird.  My stomach is not feeling too bad, but my behind and legs (especially my quads) are on fire.  I’m kind of shocked, I NEVER got this result before from this workout.  Ever. I also could do a lot more than I could do before.  More of the lunges and better form on the lunges I completed.  Better form is really probably the biggest difference.  It’s easier to get into the different exercises and positions than it was before and to do more reps since I’ve lost more and more weight.  I’m really excited to get into INSANITY again significantly lighter and leaner than my first go around.  I’m thinking that I’ll see some really different types of results just because my ability has morphed a lot.

For the next week, my general plan is to keep mixing it up.  I will be out of town a few days, so I will make sure to pack some travel friendly (read: workouts that don’t require a bunch of stuff) dvds with me.  Some candidates for that are TurboFire, P90x core synergistics, or Les Mills Combat.  I’m picking up a bunch of travel friendly snacks too.  I’m going to be busy and I know that if I don’t pack foods I can have in a pinch or if meals are served that don’t really agree with me or go with my food needs then I’m going to be in a bad jam.

I will post the workout plan for the week tomorrow morning and some of my meals for this week!

Quick Core Circuit

Last night I wanted to get a quick workout in after getting home from the baseball game.  I had so much extra energy and I needed to tire myself out. You know, like one would do a 3 year old 🙂  I had only a few requirements – only spend 30-45 minutes max, needed to focus on core, and I didn’t want it too cardio based since I am still building my calories up for exercise post Ultimate Reset and didn’t want to burn too many calories and have too huge a deficit.  Not cute (and it’s actually NOT good for weight loss to starve yourself folks, despite what you may have heard).  Anyway, I came up with this little fun circuit below at my hotel gym.  Remember I am not a personal trainer…I just play one on my blog.  So be smart about this and modify as necessary for your own fitness level and equipment.  I have linked to descriptions of all of the exercises so you can see how to do them if they are new to you 🙂  Note on Bodybuilding.com they list if an exercise is beginner or not, so use these ratings as a guide!

Warm Up: Exercise bike: 15 minutes on random at a decent level.  You want to break a sweat here, this isn’t a ride in the park deal.

Core Circuit – perform 2x through:

This morning I’m feeling my core and my buns, so I feel like I got a pretty good workout in about 40 minutes last night.  If you try this, let me know if you like it 🙂

Ultimate Reset Round 2 Results

I am completely RESET ya’ll 🙂

How do I feel now that the Ultimate Reset is over?  Pretty freaking FANTASTIC.  I’m sleeping better, my stomach issues are gone thanks to the lack of dairy, I’m not craving sugar, and I feel strong.  Energized.  Feeling so refreshed and positive and in a great mood.  I lost 24.6 lbs and 15.75 inches overall.  Most of the inches were in my core but they came from all over – bust, waist, hips, thighs, arms.   Comparison photos…night before I started to the last night of the reset.  I didn’t post the morning as the comparison because I wanted to keep it consistent.

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As I mentioned before, moving and everything else in the month or two before the reset had really given me a fluffy middle and stress was causing me to have some bad habits resurface.  My goal of the ultimate reset for me is never an amount of weight.  It is a tool in my portfolio that I use to bring my habits into alignment with my goals so I can continue with success down the line.  And for the second time I feel like this program has done that for me, so it’s definitely rated a successful endeavor for me for that reason.  I’m in this for the long haul 🙂

So what is next for me?  Right now I am getting back on the workout train with all the DVDs I have at home and yoga.  I am planning on a mix of Les Mills Combat, Les Mills Pump, and TurboFire.  I am doing these workouts to get back into the groove of things and to start getting my body ready for INSANITY.  My INSANITY challenge group starts May 20th (deets here!) and I know that after not working out for 21 days I need to ramp up for that.  I did Les Mills Combat 30 min Kick Start today and it whipped my butt…that’s why I need to ramp up.

Diet wise, I am going to continue eating vegan for a few more days at least, then adding in eggs and very limited dairy to slowly build back up.  I don’t plan on being vegetarian for life, but I do plan on sticking to a mostly plant based diet again.  That has been working for me very well for the last few months.

Ultimate Reset Redux: Day 20!!

Well friends…I’m almost done with the ultimate reset for the second time!  I have only a few more meals left before I am off on my own to continue with the healthy changes I have made over the last 21 days for continued weight loss and health.  For the next couple of days I will share with you all some information about how to transition into post Ultimate Reset life, all things INSANITY and of course – my results from the last 21 days.

Today however, I just wanted to share a few tips on getting through the reset and getting through the end.  These last few days are hard because you start looking to the future.  You know by day 19 or 20 that you have to start planning for day 22…the day where you don’t have a reset plan and are on your own to eat what you want, when you want, and how you want.  So what do you do when all you can think about is that bowl of tomato soup that you have been craving is all yours in 48  hours?

1. Make a day 22 plan.  Right now.  Actually make a day 22-27 plan.  Figure out what you are going to eat menu plan style and write. it. down.  Then make a grocery list.  Do this so you don’t lose your mind when you hit the store on day 19-21 to get food for day 22 and to give yourself some peace.

2. Connect with your challenge group, team, or coach.  Of any program I have ever done, this is the one that I feel like you really need support through.  Eating healthy is hard.  Eating a very specific diet for 21 days with no room for any options is incredibly hard.  Knowing that you can reach out to someone who is doing the program or has done the program for help can really be amazing because it just helps to know that it can be done and someone has struggled/is struggling like you are right now.

3. Remember your why.  The Ultimate Reset is not a free program and there had to be some reason that made you pick up your wallet and order it.  What was that reason?  Why did you feel like you needed to do this program at this time and what were you hoping to gain from it?  For me, my why is control over my cravings, control over food, and the ability to continue with a healthy diet after the 21 days so I can continue to lose weight.  My why is about control 100%.  Establishing it and maintaining it.  For me, it’s not about falling off the program because I won’t lose as much weight or see as good a result, it’s about getting myself in the habit of eating healthy, ignoring every food impulse I have, and learning to tell myself no when it’s appropriate.  Going back to the why helps clarify to your rational self your goals and helps give you the strength to finish this thing out.

4. Ingredients, not just recipes.  This one is my favorite tip.  During my research of this program one thing that has always stood out to me was the fact that for each meal, you are given the recipes but more importantly you are given the ingredients.  And you can play with those ingredients it make some changes if you need to keep with the program.  Another example from my personal experience is from this weekend.  The meal was supposed to be a spinach salad + a baked potato.  I cannot do raw spinach…something about the texture doesn’t sit well with me.  I knew there was no way I was going to be able to get through the huge salad (the base was 3 cups of spinach) because I’m kind of over salad at this point.  So I took the spinach and steamed it a little first and made up a plate with the remaining salad ingredients.  Instead of suffering through a salad I (1) didn’t like and (2) didn’t want, I had a plate of veggies that was delicious and I ate the whole portion.  Don’t add extra stuff, but do add some creativity if you need to in order to get through these last few days.  Also don’t forget that Shakeology is also an option as a meal replacement – the vegan versions only – if you need it.  If there is something you really hate or can’t get through you can blend something up that will give you all the nutrients you need with a different taste.

Hopefully this helps you with some strategies to get through the end of your reset.  It’s a hard program at times, but it’s certainly 100% possible to finish it with successful results if you focus on your why!  Interested in more info?  Shoot me an email (kimbfitblog@gmail.com) or check out the Ultimate Reset site for more on the science behind the program and configuration options.