Twas the Night Before 2014

I can barely believe it… but the year is almost over.  This year has been a challenge, a breeze, and a whole lot of living.  Lots of friends getting married, a new job, and I learned so much about myself, how I operate, and how I think.  It’s been a year of accepting that my new lifestyle is health and fitness and learning to live as that Kim.  But most importantly…I had a lot of fun 🙂

I am hoping 2014 will be even BETTER.  I have a lot of things in the works to help my life change and be better.  Planning on going to Las Vegas for my first Team Beachbody Coach Summit.  Planning on pushing myself and get to my goal weight this year.  Working on really being the best me I can be.

And all of this starts tomorrow, right with the start of the year.  Tomorrow morning I’m going to get up bright and early and start my new fitness program.  I’ve been sick for about a week now so it’s going to be interesting as I haven’t worked out since Christmas Eve.  But I’m ready to get back into it even though I’m still not 100%.  I’m mostly there though and can finally get through a day without a ton of cold meds, so I’m declaring myself WELL.

If you want to join me for this new program – check it out hereor any other challenge pack this year then let me know if you want to join a group for this year!

Lastly – a little rewind for the year 🙂

The Year of Shaun T

I just realized that this was the year of Shaun T.

Finished round 1 of Insanity in January

Round 2 of Insanity May – July

Round of Focus T25 August – November (alpha through gamma)

Round of Asylum volume 1 November – December

And now back on Insanity for the rest of the year (will probably mix a few other workouts in as well).

Maybe I think I have a favorite trainer? For the record January – May I did a month of P90x, a month of Les Mills Combat, and a full Ultimate Reset (round 2).

Insanity – is my soulmate. It’s the workout that makes me happy because you don’t think, you just do. You never master it. You never can just totally nail a workout, there is always progress to make and work to be done. You will get results even if you modify like crazy. You don’t have to be in shape to start but you DO have to be willing to push through and always do a little more every workout.

Focus T25 – was good, but not right for me when I did it. I did it immediately following a round of insanity and it wasn’t doing it for me. By the time it picked up in beta phase I was softer than I came into it. I think it’s a great program for a beginner, to pick up after a layoff (I imagine a new mom would love this because of duration and the progression), or to mix in with running/weights. It does in my opinion set you up well for Insanity, especially if you do through gamma.

Asylum Vol 1 – great program and mix of strength/cardio. I saw good progress with this one and I imagine if I did it after insanity vs. focus t25 I would really beast mode on it. I did get a little tired towards the end as there really are few days off and I have been going pretty hard with exercise since May on top of starting to play volleyball on weekends. Asylum to me is very different than Insanity. It’s definitely more strength than cardio. I can tell now the progress I have made with strength because certain insanity moves (quad strengtheners) I can do now that I NEVER could do before. A hybrid of this and insanity (and maybe vol 2????) I think would be dynamite. Anyway, I think Asylum can be done by mostly everyone. Lots of the moves I knew from insanity and focus t25 but that daggum ladder is a mess.

So, are you a Shaun T junkie?? My 2014 plans include more diversity. P90x3, 21 Day Fix, and possibly a full round of Les Mills Combat to name a few!

Pre Workout Showdown

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Last month I decided to try a new pre-workout – Cellucor C4 (blue raspberry flavor). I decided to try this mainly because I have seen SO many people talk about it being the best pre-workout and since I workout at o’dark thirty in the morning I am a fan of the pre-workout movement. For the past year I have been using Beachbody’s Energy and Endurance (E&E) as my pre-workout so that is my “baseline reference” so to speak. I will note: I do not use a pre-workout every day. I don’t believe in taking a supplement just to take one, I only take it when I’m tired and need a pick me up. This means that I do typically take it on Mondays though J But seriously – I have some weeks where I use it almost every morning and some weeks where I just have it on Monday. The one side benefit of this is that I have never noticed that I’m adapting to my pre-workout and I’ve never had to take more than the normal serving size of 2 scoops of E&E…so my tubs last a while.

The reason I wanted to lay out my use is because I am using C4 in exactly the same manner that I used E&E. I did not want to do anything different to ruin the results of my little experiment. So here is the run down:

Taste: C4

Clear stand out winner here is C4, at least the blue raspberry flavor that I bought is WAY better than the lemon-lime flavor of E&E. As my hubby says – it tastes like kool-aid. Maybe that’s why people drink it every day…it tastes really really good.

Cost: E&E

30 servings of E&E is $29.99 and 30 servings of C4 is $49.99 (list prices from the company websites). NOW – both can be cheaper if you please (wait for a sale online, using a discount card at GNC, or a Beachbody coach membership). With my coach discount E&E is still cheaper than the discount price I got on my C4 (sale for $34.99). Both also come in larger containers (90 servings of E&E / 60 of C4) which can also get you more bang for your buck.

Ingredients: E&E

Hands down. E&E uses natural sweeteners and ingredients. C4 uses artificial flavors and coloring agents.

Effectiveness: Tie

Not going to lie…I bought the hype. I expected to get a huge kick in the face of energy from C4. I felt a boost sure…but it was the same boost I get from E&E. That’s not a BAD thing…I don’t want to make it sound like it is. I just bought the hype on C4 being ridiculous from all the reviews I have seen and it wasn’t anything more than what I was already taking.

So at the end of the day – C4 is a solid product. It tastes great and it delivers an energy boost. I’m glad I took a chance to try it out for sure, I love having a reference for products I don’t regularly use because I do get questions about them from my team and some of my IG followers!

Have something you want reviewed? Leave a comment!

Asylum: Day 18

I am now officially into the 3rd week of Asylum – day 18 is tomorrow.  I am SO freaking in love with this program it’s not even funny.  The blend of strength and cardio is really right up my ally.  Considering Asylum vol 2 is pretty inexpensive (because it’s just the dvds and not all the equipment over again) it’s a done deal that I have that program in mind.  I actually have my programs mapped out from now until SUMMIT.  Yes, I already bought my ticket and am going to be in Vegas next year (omg can I tell you I just typed Vegans, lol) for my first Beachbody business convention and my first trip to Vegas.  I’m pumped.

Anyway I digress and I will share my exact breakdown soon!  Back to Asylum vol 1 I want to dispel some myths.  For starters the cardio is VERY different from Insanity.  I know this is considered an Insanity graduate program, but it’s very different because of the introduction of the ladder.  That damned ladder is a PUNISHER.  There is a lot of jumping in this program and things like power jumps are now incorporated with other moves/bands so you have to have endurance and ability to do the move.  But other than seeing some of the same moves, the format doesn’t follow the HIIT style that he perfected in Insanity of 3ish min on/30 sec off, so it feels very different.  Lastly, Asylum is a strength program more than a cardio program.  This starts to put some serious lean muscle on your body.  Great shift if you have used mostly cardio to lose weight like I have.

One thing I have been focusing on with Asylum is getting my diet back on the consistency train.  I had fallen off the tracks and was bumping up and down.  I have been eating mostly vegetarian. Actually a lot of raw vegan to be honest.  I don’t classify myself as either – I like to eat what tastes good and is healthy but my body definitely prefers a lower fat/higher carb situation when those carbs come from produce mostly and grains secondly.  I’m not saying this is what you should eat.  I’m saying that through trial and error I am finding that I feel really amazing eating a mostly vegan diet.  When I am not eating vegan I am finding fish and eggs to be the animal proteins that my body is happiest with.  I do think everyone is a little different with their happy place and we should take time to experiment and see what works and I am happy to help you start those trials if you would like!  Anyway – I am being really great with my diet lately.  Eating clean and eating a lot of organic produce.  Since I started the program I am down 4lbs and I feel really energized again.  I also noticed that once I started eating more raw foods guess what?  My sleep is MUCH better.  Score and score.

I’m going to end here because it’s bedtime for me but I do have more I want to share with you about everything going on.  I have been SO busy the last few weeks but I’m going to definitely make time to share all this stuff!  I have a challenge or two starting soon, Asylum, the man’s new program, and my P90x3 start date!!!

 

Oh heyyyy November

I guess I win the bad blogger award.  The last few weeks/months have been a time of crazy in the Brooks house.  Not bad crazy… just lots going on.  Lots of things to decide and lots of movement.  I also have been trying to get my focus back on with the health and fitness thing.  I have been working the whole time but in September especially things were just not as good as they could have been.  Too many cheat meals.  Too many excuses.  October I got a step back in the right direction.  November I went ALL in.  Joined a no cheat challenge.  Finished up Focus T25.  Started Asylum.  Signed up and WAS ACCEPTED to a business bootcamp for my Beachbody business.  Officially started my own branch of the Tenacity family by naming my team Trendsetter Fitness.  Focused on what I LOVE – fitness, health, personal development, reading, stupid intense exercise.  I ignored the crap.  And so far I feel amazing.  Bought a pair of size Medium sweats today. The medium version of the xxl pants in that picture in my banner up there of me in the blue tank and black pants.  I’m going IN ya’ll.  Are there things I could still work on – of course.  I’m not perfect and my version of going hard core is limited by the fact I’m not a single woman living in a world I control.  I don’t work at home.  I have a husband who is not interested in a strict diet.  But I’m going as in as I can and stay sane 🙂

So that’s that.  I’m back in best mode and ready to flourish.  I have a big goal for the end of the year to get into some serious inch losing and hopefully into a size 12.  I’m very much limited in non-stretch clothing by the booty…. it’s my pear in action.  Asylum has a LOT of saddlebag focus so I’m hoping that I will see some big changes this month with that.  I am still finalizing exactly what I will do post Asylum and I’m starting to drift towards Asylum/Insanity hybrid and pushing P90x3 back to January so I can do it with my teammate Erin.  I don’t know yet.  I have SO much I want to do lol – Combat, Asylum 2, another round of Insanity, hybrids for DAYS!!!  I need to sit and look at the calendar and my travels for the holidays and see what really makes sense.

Push Drive and GO!

Well team, I am a few days away from finishing the core of Focus T25 (alpha + beta phases).  10 weeks of work.  I have enjoyed the process but now it’s time to move on and start looking at my workouts and my goals and figuring out what to do next.  I think I FINALLY got this straightened out today with the help of Team Tenacity HCIC (head coach in charge) Shaina:
Octoer 14 – Focus T25 Gamma Strength Hybrid (4 weeks)
November 11 – Insanity: Asylum Volume 1 (4 weeks)
Whenever it arrives in the mail (around December 10) – P90X3
This is going to be a challenging push for me this year between the holidays and these intense programs.  Gamma phase is stupid intense, Asylum is well where crazy people go, and P90X3 is built to shred.  I am stepping out of my comfort zone again like I did when I determined Insanity would be my workout du jour and making myself work hard because I know I CAN and because I know that I THRIVE on the insanity.  I thrive on workout programs that make me want to cry.  If I didn’t realize that before, I realize it now because while this is going to be crazy, I am so excited for the changes that I will see in my body.
On top of working the heck out of my workouts, I’m setting up THREE challenge groups right now:
1. October 21st – Lose a Turkey Challenge – Between the 21st and Thanksgiving – how intense can you be and how many inches/lbs can you shed?  We will motivate and encourage each other along with my fellow team cup coaches to stay on track through Halloween and right up until Thanksgiving.  There will be sweat, tears, and prizes.  Pretty much an awesome push.  Purchase of any challenge pack is required and please contact me if you are interested in joining and need help with picking your workout. Purchases should be made this week to be ready to start on time!!
2. November 4th – Shakeology Taste Test – If you have been wanting to try Shakeology but have been turned off by the idea of having to purchase an entire 30 day supply at one time this is for you.  We will all use the new Shakeology sampler (2-chocolate, 1-vanilla, 1-greenberry) and try new flavors and recipes.  The great part about this is that this will help you see the benefits of Shakeology with 4 days in a row of tasting and also give you an opportunity to see which flavor is for you before you buy your large bag.
3. November 11th – Asylum: Tenacity Style – This is my personal workout starting November 11th and I invite all who want to join me with this to the group.  You can join this group if you want to start the program on this day with me whether you need to buy the program or not. If you need to pick it up or want to know exactly what it is, just click here!
If any of those sound like a challenge group for you – please email me – kimbfitblog @ gmail.com and put the name of the challenge as the subject line and let me know so I can add you to the group.
Lastly – new coaches to my team get a bonus box this month.  Some fitness goodies and team peri to help you get started right with Team Tenacity will come to you 🙂  Questions about becoming a coach or what the deal is with coaching?  Shoot me an email.  Note that all coaches get 25% off of everything Beachbody has to offer, so if you are a workout junkie or a Shakeology devotee, you save a pretty penny monthly.  Sign up here if you are ready right now to join or if you are going to sign up for one of my challenges with a purchase, let me know and I’ll help you sign up so you save the max $$.
Ok lots of info so I’m leaving it here for now.  I’ll be back with some info on how my Karma Cleanse is going and finishing up Beta Focus T25 🙂

Checking in

This week I have been ON it. Very focused and on my game again mentally and back to eating the way I need to eat for my body to work at its best. I have pretty much confirmed that gluten is my problem. I cannot tell you how sad this makes me. Eating gluten free isn’t very hard and honestly most of my favorite recipes are gluten free already so it’s not a big transition. And when I think about it, most of the gluten in my diet came from junk so in that way it’s good – no random cookie runs. But when coupled with eliminating dairy and sugars it starts to be overwhelming sometimes. The sugar but isn’t a food sensitivity issue. It’s an addiction issue. I am a sugar addict and the amount of sugar in many processed foods is enough to spiral me out of control. I eat fruit and I’m fine. Same with honey, maple, and agave added to recipes/oats. I can do a lot with those for sure…but in general these new realities are just a new challenge for me to tackle right now. But I’m tackling it head on and noticing that when I eat according to my body’s needs I feel freaking amazing and my workouts are incredible 🙂

Karma Cleanse Day 1

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Well today was day 1. I am doing this group cleanse lead by Missy Costello (the author of Karma Chow) for a few reasons. The biggest is that it is gluten/dairy free and I need to learn to live that way. It’s a cleanse in terms of what you eliminate but unlike the reset, it’s a maintainable way of eating. I really enjoy eating vegan but I have no clue how to put together days/weeks of simple but nutritiously sound food. That’s what this is!

One day in, my stomach feels great! Best it has felt in months. I’m following her advice and learning a lot about how the body works regarding digestion. The picture was my dinner – baked tempeh, creamy tahini kale, and brown rice. I was happily satisfied with my food today. Not hungry. And I didn’t have any candy/processed sugars. Just organic pure maple syrup in my oatmeal earlier and in my marinade at dinner.

My intention with this is to re-focus my eating on clean vegetable based meals too. I have been relying on potatoes, veggie burgers, and pasta too much. I will be focusing this month on being plant strong, not box strong 🙂

October Planning

October is going to be a serious focus month for me. I was good in september with hitting my goal of getting serious again. But now my goal for October is to step it up even more.

On the exercise front, I will be continuing Focus T25 as my main program. I will do the Gamma add ins that Start with week 4. As lam prepping for 2 things-insanity certification and indoor track season, l will be adding in P90X (for strength) and insanity (to prep) all month. May sub some strength based T25 workouts for P90x just to get what I need for training.  I need to add strength so this goal will drive my decisions week to week.

On the food front, I will be doing 30 days of plant based eating. I am really determined to figure out my Gl issues this month-so no dairy or gluten for me for awhile. This is going to be REALLY hard-but it is what I need to do. I nave some fantastic recipes and cooked a few dishes today to be ready for the week. l will post some here as I go. Get ready for me to wax poetic about bread in 3 days. I want to avoid “fake” foods so you won’t see A Lot of substitute fake processed foods. Just veggies. produce, beans. gluten free grains, and the like. I also really want to cat mere raw veggies.

On the Beachbody front a new challenge group is starting October 21st. It is open to any one not currently working with a coach. or any of my team members not on a program right now. We will do Shakeology + the fitness program of your choosing. P90x and P90X2 are both going on save Oct 1,  so if you wanted away to go strong into 2014. that could be your awesome Start. The other great thing is that there will be , l prizes-DVDS, shaker cups, and other things to support your fitness journey for participating so your investment into your self this fall will come back to you in many ways. Our group will support you through the holidays and help each other succeed during this hard time of year. To join- email me at kimbfitblog@gmail.com and we will determine the best fitness program to get you started. I hope you will join us with Team Tenacity this fall to get healthy+ fit and get a serious head start on your 2014 goals.