Saturday, May 18, 2013

Days 12 and 13

So, yesterday was Burn Circuit 3 and I got to use my brand new 8 pound dumbbells. They were definitely a challenge, but a very welcome challenge. When I first started using them I was afraid my shoulder would start acting up again, but nope, I'm perfectly fine and actually not terribly sore from it either. I only use the 8 pound dumbbell for 5 of the 9 workouts, and the others I bumped from 3 pounds to 5 pounds for yesterdays workout. She's right when she says in the video that really don't know how strong you are until you try it out and see what happens. I kept telling myself my shoulders were too weak to handle more than 3 pounds, and I was able to use 8 pounds yesterday!!

Today was Burn It Off and Recharge, basically super intense cardio followed by super intense flexibility training (aka yoga). Great workout with a 500 calorie burn. Now sipping on some delicious Shakeology before hopping in the shower and then getting ready to go have a girls day with the mom and sister! So exciting! We're going to see Gatsby, have lunch at Fazoli's I believe (where I'll probably end up with a kid size meal as those are the more accurate portion control - and only two breadsticks). No candy at the movie, but definitely some water!

Tomorrow is a rest day! I have definitely earned my rest day this week and will make it a legit rest day, although I will have to take care of doing laundry, but that's fine.

So, halfway through Phase 1 of ChaLEAN Extreme. I haven't seen any huge results yet, but I can feel them on their way. Exciting!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

ChaLEAN Extreme Day.....11!

So, today's workout was supposed to be Burn Intervals and Ab Burner, but I only did Burn Intervals since I had a lot to get done tonight with several things!

I'm finding that Burn Intervals is going to be my most loved and most hated workout. In this she goes for maximum endurance in both muscles and aerobic. So, you have cardio bursts that rocket up your heart rate (my highest today was 181 I think) and for your 'rest' you lift light weights for 'a bazillion' reps. And, yes, it does feel like a bazillion reps! But nevertheless, i shouldn't complain too much as it was a 500 calorie burn in 45 minutes. I love workouts that let you get in and get it done! Also, really enjoying having this E&E to help power through the workouts in the afternoon and will probably be purchasing more of it soon!

Will be back tomorrow after doing Burn Circuit 3! Hopefully I'll get it done first thing in the morning!!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

ChaLEAN Extreme

So, I'm a week and a half in to this program, but decided I'd like to go ahead and blog about my progress! First off, week one was a world of hurt and soreness, but I have already noticed such an increase in strength that those four days of ridiculous sore muscles were totally worth it! Secondly, I started the program with three pound and five pound dumbbells along with some resistance bands. While the resistance bands do provide a great workout, I am finding myself preferring to use the dumbbells for now. This may change as my strength increases and my budget may not meet the need for additional dumbbells, in which case I will use some of those heavier duty bands that I currently can't use.

It's insane that I'm talking about increasing the amount of weight I'm lifting on week two of this program considering the history I've had with weightlifting and strength training programs. My past with this type of workout was that I simply didn't do them, especially after I got a door kicked into my back which messed up my left shoulder significantly. It took several years before I was finally referred to physical therapy, then after two months of physical therapy I was finally pain free and ready to do more weight bearing exercises. Instead of heading for a strength training program first, I decided to go for a cardio program that had occasional sculpting and toning days - TurboFire. Now, don't get me wrong, TurboFire is an amazing workout and I do plan on continuing to do this workout, but I wanted to do ChaLEAN Extreme from start to finish the way it's designed to be done before creating it as a hybrid with TurboFire (which I plan to do come August!). I am so thankful for a pain free shoulder/upper left back, and super excited about increasing the weights!!

I took my before pictures and measurements last Monday, May 6 with the assistance of my sister. I'll be sure to post the before and afters once I complete the program in July and I hope to see some pretty awesome results! With how much strength I'm already gaining in just a week and a half, I know my body is going to see lots of changes over these next weeks and I'm excited for those changes!

Along with the new workout program, I am also making a commitment to eat ONLY home-cooked meals from here on out! So far so good this week! I've tried several of the Thin Kitchen recipes. Tonight's dinner consisted of Oven Baked Chicken and Roasted Seasoned Potatoes along with some boiled carrots. Positively delicious, can't wait to eat the leftover potatoes for lunch tomorrow along with some grilled chicken slices!

Tonight's dinner - mmm

Tomorrw's workout is  Burn Intervals, where you build muscle endurance in between cardio intervals. Talk about a crazy workout. Definitely going to need some Energy & Endurance to keep up that intensity!!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Importance of Willpower

The hardest part of starting a workout program and keeping the weight off all comes down to one simple thing. Its not nutrition, its not how hard you workout, although these are definitely enormous factors. But the one thing that can make the absolute most difference is all in your head. It's the willpower to push play every day. It's the willpower to get up off the couch and get moving. It's the willpower to say no to the unhealthy habits. It's the willpower to be the absolute best you can be!

In the current program I'm doing, RevAbs, the trainer Brett Hoebel seems to end almost every workout with reminding you that you have to get your head in the game. Sure, you can get up and push play and watch the people on the DVD do their thing, but if you don't get up and do it with them then you obviously didn't have the willpower to make it through. As such, you have to tell yourself every day when you wake up not only that you will eat right and workout that day, but when you will work out and exactly what you will eat. Willpower doesn't just happen, it is your decision to make that difference in your own life that creates the willpower in you to succeed and become the absolute best you can be!

So, write down your goals. Remind yourself of them every day. The more you remind yourself of those goals you want to accomplish, the stronger your willpower will become!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

A Cheat Day

For some of you, this may be the very beginning of a new health and nutrition program For others, you may have been at this for months, or even years. And yet, we all trip up sometimes. Yes, we feel guilty about this. Sometimes we trip up once and decide the day is already ruined so might as well just keep going, right? Have you ever thought that? Well, I have an idea for you that, as a beginner in changing your health and nutrition habits, it will help you stay on task. At first you may think it odd, but I've seen research that shows it works and helps you stick to your goals.

What is this day? Well, obviously, its the title of this blog. A cheat day. What is a cheat day, you ask? A cheat day is where you allow yourself that one thing you've been craving all week. It could be a chocolate bar, a chocolate cake, a cheesecake, a piece of pie, a meal at McDonald's, whatever it is, you can pick one day out of the week where you can eat that one thing you've been wanting to have all week long. But, there is a catch. You can't have a cheat day every day of the week - it completely defeats the purpose of having a designated cheat day! So, pick a day - I prefer to use a day on the weekend, either Saturday or Sunday - and on this day tell yourself you can have that one thing you keep thinking about all week that you know you shouldn't eat. For me, it will definitely be a bar of dark chocolate or perhaps a piece of lemon meringue pie, or maybe one or two chocolate chip cookies, or some almond dream vanilla almond bites. Obviously, I have a lot of sweet things I crave - in fact, I've said often that I have an insatiable sweet tooth. However, I've found that on days not my cheat day, I can have a cupful of green grapes and that sweet craving starts to go away because fruit has all of that natural sugar in it! If you don't crave anything unhealthy - well, I may not believe you if you tell me you don't crave anything unhealthy with how much those foods have saturated our nation and most of the world actually.

So, moral of the story, create your designated cheat day and only cheat on that day. For me, it will be either Saturday or Sunday, but definitely not both! That being said, my nutrition accountability for today is as follows:

Breakfast and Lunch: Chocolate Vegan Shakeology with unsweetened almond milk
Snacks: Banana, piece of sara lee wheat bread, and half a bar of 70% pure dark chocolate
Dinner: Olive Garden (I'm thinking of doing just soup and salad?) - and we're only going because we have a gift card!

I also did get my workout in today - Day 6 of RevAbs, Power Intervals, another 400 calories scorched off of me! Feels great! Tomorrow is considered a rest day so I'm thinking of doing P90X X Stretch or a 10 Minute Trainer DVD, we'll see what I feel up to in the morning!

Feel free to leave comments, questions or suggestions, I would love to hear from you guys!!

Friday, January 4, 2013

When to Weigh Yourself and Why

A lot of people have a specific number in mind when they start working out for the purpose of losing weight. For some, its of the utmost importance to know what your current weight is constantly, but it turns out this is not the best plan for you. Our bodies change weight on a daily basis, based on water retention, what we have that day, the intensity of our workout. For example, a higher intensity workout doesn't necessarily mean you'll see lower numbers on the scale the next day. I remember weighing myself the day after running a half marathon and seeing I had gained five pounds. It made no sense to me at the time, until I figured out that my body had retained fluids to heal the muscles from the long run! As such, make a schedule of when you are going to weigh yourself - once a week would be best. By weighing yourself weekly, and you should definitely make it the same day of the week at approximately the same time for the most accurate measurement, it will give you a progress report of your week. If you don't exactly see the healthy two pound loss you were hoping for, then it should push you to do better for the next week. If you have seen a two pound loss, keep going strong and don't reward yourself with any high calorie foods (we'll talk about rewards later!).

Why am I mentioning all of this? Because up until recently I was one of those that weighed myself daily - and was often daily dejected because I wouldn't see the results I wanted! Now, I have determined a weekly weigh in every Sunday morning before breakfast and probably before my workout as well (which will be the easiest workout of the week, a stretching/yoga workout). This means my next weigh in won't be until the 6th! I thought about weighing myself this morning after doing the first three days of RevAbs - but I told myself to wait.

As for how I did yesterday, I unfortunately ate more of those chocolates. And today is the rescheduled Christmas parties for the kids since school was canceled on the day they were supposed to be before break, which probably means more sweets around. I just have to remember to say no! If you want to check out my daily diary of nutrition, you can add me on myfitnesspal, username cjfaulkenberry12.

What workout are you doing today? What is your nutrition going to look like? Accountability is key! Don't forget to push play today!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

One Step at a Time

So, yesterday was my first day back to work of the new year. Working in an elementary school, I've found that teachers often bring treats to school to share (or get rid of), especially the teacher I most directly work for. This makes it a daily challenge at work to not go after the goodies hiding in one of the cabinets. And when I say goodies I'm talking about jolly ranchers, sweet tarts, starbursts, skittles, airheads, all of those little candies that are straight up sugar and also painfully addictive. However, yesterday the teacher had left over chocolates from the last week of school in December. She had received them as a gift and opened them up as free game for everybody. I am sad to say I did have a few of these chocolates, all the dark chocolate versions of course, but I still should not have ate any of them. The rest of the day I did really well though. Breakfast was chocolate vegan shakeology with unsweetened almond milk, snacks (besides the chocolates....) was baby carrots and deli turkey, lunch itself was sara lee wheat bread with deli turkey and the remainder of the baby carrots while dinner was another chocolate vegan shake with unsweetened almond milk.

My two cents on the chocolate vegan shakeology:

The first time I had it, I did find it grainy and a bit hard to get the whole thing down, but over the last couple of months I have found myself eager to make this shake in the morning. I love its dark chocolate taste, the texture makes me feel like its more of a real food then a shake, and its so easy to make with so much good stuff in it that I can't help but be glad to have one every morning.

Aside from nutrition for the day, I got in a good hard workout. As part of Day 3 of RevAbs, I did Power Intervals. The title most definitely aptly describes this workout as it takes tons of power to get through it and contains multiple interviews. I burned just under 400 calories in a mere thirty minutes by doing this workout!

As for today (as I did fail to post yesterday, but I will post again later this evening on how today goes), I will be doing Total Strength and Mercy Abs when I get home from work. Tomorrow will be Fire Up Your Abs, and I may toy around with some of the 10 Minute Trainer DVD's and give my two cents on how those workouts compare to some of the longer ones people are used to!

In my schedule, I was supposed to do my workout today at 5:30am. Unfortunately, I woke up with a headache and knew my body needed extra rest. So, I went back to sleep for an hour and the headache was mostly gone. However, this doesn't mean I'm going to skip on doing my workout today, it just means I'm going to do it a different time and still push myself to do the absolute best I can.

Keep pushing play and never give up!!