Category Archives: fitness

Hello Again :)

I finally am back in my groove and it feels oh so good.  I got the living room all cleared out and started back on Combat yesterday.  As I mentioned in my post the other day, I decided to just start over based on where I was in the program and the long break.  I knew I felt fluffy in the middle from not working out and eating different…but I KNEW I lost fitness when I was struggling to keep up with Combat 30.  I remember the first time I did it, it was hard, but it wasn’t impossible.  Yesterday I felt like it was the hardest workout ever.  I got through it, but I was struggling.  Today with HIIT: Power I had to drop weights a lot.  I was at 12/15 lbs…today was 12/9 lbs.  Definitely lost some fitness.  But that’s ok…because it’s temporary.  What’s funny is that my clothes do not fit any different.  This is just a feeling that I have now from not working out.  Change is happening…

My plan right now is:
1) Les Mills Combat Ultimate Warrior Schedule – 60 days of fighter fit baby!
2) Add in 2-3 days a week of weights.  Preferably Les Mills Pump or heavier lifting at the gym here at the apartment complex. 
3) Eat CLEAN.  
Yes number 3 is a biggie.  By packing up a kitchen and moving it over the last few weeks I haven’t been eating my ideal diet at all.  I’ve been eating microwave food (mostly Amy’s organic meals) and a random restaurant menu.  I’ve tried hard to eat right…just a few blatant slips here and there.  But now that the kitchen is back in action, I’m going hard core again.  As I type this, I have brown rice in the rice cooker, the Ultimate Reset fish recipe marinating in the fridge (I know…I’m cooking fish!) and am going to stir fry some veggies to make a delish lunch.  I miss eating my own food!  The buzzer just let me know it’s time to put the fish in the oven so I’ll catch you later 🙂

Starting Over vs. Starting Back Up

Scenario:  Happily going through your workout routine.  Loving every minute of it without a care in the world.  Then BLAM – curveball from life and now you haven’t worked out in too long and can’t figure out what to do next.

Have you been there?  I certainly  have and I’m there again right now.  My move is way more of a disruption then I predicted it would be, ugh.  I have been busy until late in the evening every day, which means I’m not getting up early to workout.  I am trying to bust my butt to get the new place unpacked so this week is the last week of this mess.  I have mentioned this before – I don’t do well in life when I’m not exercising.  It makes eating right a MUCH bigger struggle then it normally is for me.  I am doing a lot of moving – cleaning, moving boxes, lifting things, unpacking, ect.  I haven’t sat down much at all.  But that kind of movement is different than an hour of Combat, know what I’m saying?  Long story short – I’m at the point where it’s been a week since my last workout because I have only taken one day off work this whole time, so it’s been late hours packing and unpacking and moving.

Here is a handy checklist I have created for anyone else who is wondering when it is worth it to start a program over versus just picking up where you left off:

1. Has it been more than two weeks since your last official workout?
2. Was your break due to injury?
3. Have you been inactive during the break (meaning little to no physical activity outside of normal everyday tasks)?
4. Are you in month 1 of your program?
5. Do you feel that your fitness has decreased at all?

If you answered more yeses then nos….you have two options – start over (which if you are in the first few weeks of a program is easy to do without losing much) or repeat a lower intensity week (go back to month one, weeks 1 or 2 and repeat that.  see how you feel and go forward from there).  And if you answered yes to question 2, you should automatically start over.  Why?  Because you start to lose fitness within one to two weeks of stopping exercise. Yes, 7 days off of exercise will literally set you back in physical ability.  So this means that if you have been inactive or doing mostly nothing you are actually getting a little weaker/slower then you were before.  With the 60-90 day programs (all of them..not just Beachbody), the intensity tends to build gradually over the weeks.  When you take time off and lose fitness, your body recognizes that change, but your brain doesn’t.  Your brain is going to want to go balls to the wall and kick butt…but your body is not ready for that like it would have been with no break.  So you may end up injuring yourself, which does no good to anybody.

Obviously this checklist is short and there are other things that come into play – your beginning fitness being the main one.  If you are already someone who has lost a ton of weight and are in great shape – you may just need the one drop back week to get back into the swing of things before going back into the program.  If your program is Combat or TurboFire or P90x, you can probably get away with just a few shorter workouts, because the intensity of the workouts is very similar. Something like INSANITY – I would start that month over at a minimum.  If you are injury prone, definitely be careful.  I have horrific knees, so if I were doing INSANITY right now, I would most likely start over so I can build up again.  Combat I’m less concerned because the program is inherently low impact.

So what am I going to do?  I am going to start over with Combat.  By the time I get to a point where my living room is free and clear (and so it’s clear – I’m going from a whole basement to workout in to a living room of a 1 bedroom apartment…so that’s why it’s taking so long) it will most likely be this weekend – almost 2 weeks of not doing a workout.  I am going to try to get to the apartment gym…but with work and moving stuff left…it’s unlikely.  So I would like to do at least the first week of Combat over with the shorter workouts.  Well I was only finishing up week 2 anyway…so if I’m going to do week 1 over, I might as well just do the whole thing.  And I’m totally good with that.  I like the fresh start idea a lot, it’s something that I thrive on.

Links and Moving Update

Hey ya’ll!

Finally through the packing and into the unpacking phase of moving.  How we got so much stuff….I can’t figure out.  I have been throwing a lot of stuff away though….new start clean start kind of thing.  That’s why posting is a little slow lately…I just haven’t been really doing much except trying to stay on track, exercise when I can (and where…box jumping is today’s activity, lol), and trying to get this new apartment livable.

So today, I thought I’d share some of my favorite fitness/health links.  Please share some of your favorites in the comments too, I’m always looking for more good resources.

Michi’s Ladder – very good resource if you are trying to start eating clean.  It works pretty easy.  Figure out what tier your foods are in and try to swap out a tier 1 or 2 item for your tier 3-5 items.  It’s not a diet – it is a clean up your eating plan.

Daily Hiit – used to be BodyRock.  I started with this and UFC Trainer on XBOX in January 2011 at 300 lbs.  No, I couldn’t do everything and yes, there are probably better workouts to start off with that would have given me faster results because I was so big and out of shape there was so much I couldn’t do.  But I was SO pumped up and motivated after finding out about BodyRock and so wanting to start that I just jumped in and did what I could do.  This is what happens when you just wake up and decide to go forth and do something on a whim.  Anyway, long story short – I owe a lot to this program because it got me moving and starting the weight loss process.  A lot of the early posts on this blog are breakouts of my BodyRock workouts.

Fleur Meets Fitness – This blog has served as many a motivating moment for me.  Fleur is a Australian girl who lost a ton of weight in a very short amount of time.  It’s motivating for me because it’s a story of what you can do if you really put your money where your mouth is.  You can do pretty much whatever you want to do if you decide it’s your #1 priority.

Truly.Into.Fitness – I just like reading about the lives of people that change their weight.  And apparently aren’t from the US, lol!  Jess is French Canadian and is living the dream – lost the weight and became a personal trainer.  Motivation in leaps and bounds.

Team Beachbody – Great resource if you are doing a Beachbody program for sure.  Also if you just want recipes and a fitness community.  I use the message boards a lot, especially to research a program.  I spent a TON of time on the message board before deciding finally to take the Ultimate Reset and I still check the forum a lot.
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Don’t forget this month’s deals:

1. P90x and Ultimate Reset deals end on March 31st.  Don’t miss these awesome deals if you want these programs!
2. Shakeology greenberry and chocolate (non-vegan version) go up in price by $10 a month as of April 1st. Order on HD this month to lock in the price for life.
3. Challenge pack or Shakeology HD orders this month get a free Shakeology shaker cup!  🙂

One Week of Les Mills Combat

So as I’ve been mentioning – I tried out Combat when I got home from Michigan because I needed a boost. Since then, I’ve been following the ultimate warrior calendar.  It’s a 6 day a week schedule with 30-60 minutes a day.  I wanted to discuss some of the workouts and how I liked them.

Combat 30:  This is a 30 minute workout that focuses on kicks and punches.  I felt super sore in my core and across my upper back/shoulders after this one for sure.  I liked how intense it was for a short workout – it ramped up rather quickly so it got to the point.  The immediate thing I noticed about this program from the first workout is that the low impact option actually is a good one.  Some workouts (INSANITY) don’t really have a low impact option and others (TurboFire) have them, but sometimes it’s too low.  This one was pretty good.  I use the low impact sometimes when my knees are bothering me, but aim for high impact whenever I can.

HIIT: Power: This workout is stupid hard.  Lots and lots of burpees.  Lots of them.  And squats.  As much as Combat 30 is focused on the upper body, HIIT: Power is a butt workout.  The weird thing about this one is that weights are used.  Not for the whole DVD, but in parts of it.  It is short, another 30 minute workout, but also intense.

HIIT: Plyo: Burpees, burpees, burpees.  Which I’m ok with – I mean they work.  I think at one point you do like 40 in one set, that kind of erases your mind.  It’s a 30 minute workout.  This one was weird to me because it seemed not really a HIIT or a plyo workout.  It wasn’t bad, just not what I expected.

Combat 45: Very similar to Combat 30, just a little longer.

Lower Body: So I thought this would be a strength workout…it’s not really.  It’s a cardio workout with more kicks then punches.  Oh and burpees.  I guess martial artists love burpees.  Okay, it sunk in by day 6 of week 1.  This was a hard workout and I did feel the burn.  I am not sure I would really consider this a lower body workout…more of cardio workout with a bit more of a lower body focus.  I do think it’s a good workout, just not what I thought I was getting by reading the name of it.

Combat 60: See Combat 30 description.  I will say that this was closer to the full class that I’m used to from way back in the day when I took combat at a gym.  I liked the DVD and it’s pretty hard.  There is a section at the end, the last track before the abs/pushup track, that kicked my butt that I loved – probably my favorite track of the program to date.  Lots of punches and cross jacks.  The kick tracks on this one are some of my favorite as well.

So right now I am on the 2nd week (did day 1, week 2 this morning).  I’m really enjoying it and now that I’m finally healthy and over this cold (I’m claiming it…even if it’s not 100% true yet) I want to try to add some activity in the evenings like I talked about a few days ago.  I am so ready to really boost it this month.  I took some photos this morning and I’m not really happy about it.  Yes it’s a little remaining bloat from that time of the month, but it’s also from the fact my eating has been meh ever since going home for my Grandma’s memorial.  I am really now back in the buckle down mode.  Beast mode if you will.  Let’s go.

Operation size 16 – Mission Complete!

So my goal in February was to fit nicely into my size 16 jeans.  I think I made it…do you?

I definitely think I could wear these out the house now and be good to go!  I’m really REALLY happy with the changes in my body and I learned a valuable lesson – leave the scale ALONE.  The scale right now has me up in weight.  Partially I know from that time of the month and partially from leftover stress from February.  But obviously I haven’t gained weight in the sense of my body getting bigger or flabbier.  I get compliments about having lost weight and looking smaller, weird.  I feel really good going into March and the March Madness challenge.  I know I can keep making big changes in my body if I stay dedicated and CLEAN with my diet.  It will be hard since I have very little in person support for that.  But I know I can do it if I try really hard.  

Operation Size 16 – Entering the Home Stretch

It’s already February 21st – how did that happen??  Either way, I’ve been trying my hardest to get to my goal – of fitting into these pants – by the 28th.  I have 7 days left, so I’m in the home stretch of this challenge.  I didn’t feel like I made much progress this month at all, but that’s why I take pictures instead of listening to my inner voice.

I’m so close.  Like thisclose to these being wearable.  I could probably wear them now out if I really wanted to…I’m sure I’ve worn tighter and more ill fitting jeans, lol.  But I am just going to keep working until they fit RIGHT, especially in the back.  I’m going to really be pushing this week to see how much better I can get these to fit 🙂
I’ll be at home for my Saturday and Sunday workouts, so I will probably bring a DVD to do while there.  It’s going to be a hard weekend – lots of emotions, lots of family, and lots of out of my control meals – and I would like to not compound all the feelings I will have by doing lots of emotional eating and feeling out of control that will just make me feel worse in a different way and at the end just feeling horrible physically and mentally which isn’t the point.  I just want to keep something feeling “normal.”

Tenacious Health Challenge Group

As we get deeper into 2013 I already have had some friends drop off the healthy living resolutions they set for themselves and some others struggling to figure out what to do next.  So with that in mind, I am setting up a Tenacious Health Challenge Group that will start February 18th!

Why Tenacious Health??  Because tenacious means persistent, stubborn, and tough.  My Beachbody coaching team is called Team Tenacity so I wanted to play on words so here we are.  Point is that we are going to KICK butt together and get healthy.

Why Now?  Now because it’s a good time to get committed.  Starting a  program mid February takes you through to the spring time when the weather is nicer and it’s easier to be healthy because the sun is out more, the fruits are out in abundance, and the weather is nicer.  This is to help you through the dog days of winter and push you to start working on your health and wellness during a time where it’s easy to slip.  It’s also a good time to think about not just the exercise programs, but the Ultimate Reset as well.  I did the Reset, then rolled into exercising and I think my results were better for it.

What is it? The challenge centers around Beachbody’s challenge packs and 5 very committed challengers.  Any program you want + Shakeology + your commitment for the duration.  Challenge packs vary in price depending on what program you would like and can save you upwards of $70 on the program + shakeology.  There are ways to get discounts if you are interested in them so don’t let cost be a deterrent.  We will also enter the Beachbody Challenge.  What is the Beachbody Challenge?  It’s a contest that Beachbody runs that pays you for your awesome results for using their products.  I just entered my results from INSANITY and have my before pictures taken to submit after I finish P90x 🙂

Your coach?  Me 🙂  You get me as your coach for the whole of the program and beyond.  I’ll be here to answer questions or go find an answer if I don’t have it, to help the group stay focused, and to motivate when times are rough.  I will set up a place for us to communicate – email group or Facebook or Google Groups depending on what the people involved want and use for communication.  This isn’t just about a one on one coaching situation, it’s about a team moving forward and getting healthy together.  I’m a graduate of the Ultimate Reset and INSANITY programs and am currently working on P90x.  I have also used Turbo Fire, Turbo Jam, and Les Mills Pump, so I am familiar with a lot of the Beachbody programs and drink Shakeology pretty much every day, sometimes twice a day.  I drink my own kool aid because it tastes like weight loss, lol.

So if you are interested, please shoot me an email at healthyengineer@gmail.com and I can help you select a program or get signed up as a Coach if you are interested (this is the moolah saving option).  If you just want to check out what the challenge packs are in general look at my general site, my Ultimate Reset site, or my Shakeology site.

Hope you are interested in getting started on a healthier life this spring 🙂