Saturday, October 31, 2009

Day 33 - Happy Halloween!

Today wasn't good as far as workouts go. I feel so guilty. Since I didn't get to do my yoga yesterday, I thought I would really bring it tonight. Well, I got halfway through my Legs and Back workout, but I just was not in the mood. In previous times I pushed through the bad mood and it's always turned into a good mood.. Tonight was different, and it's hard to describe.

So, tomorrow we're scheduled for Kenpo. Chris recently got P90X+, and he did the Intervals workout today and he loved it. So, since I missed nearly two days, I'm going to do Intervals tomorrow, and instead of Kenpo (since I don't find it works super well) we're going to do another higher intensity workout. I haven't seen any of the workouts yet, so we'll choose tomorrow.

I spent last night with my cousins and sisters, having our yearly catch-up night. We picked up some fruit and veggie trays, and I took a six-pack of Heineken because it's surprisingly low in calories. I had four and went to bed at midnight, while everyone else stayed up until 6:00 am and shared a quart of rum. Glad I missed out on that one! I was absolutely exhausted and I was falling asleep in the hot tub. But I still had a really great time. I love spending time with my family.

Tonight we had a low-key Halloween, handing out candy with Chris's family. I didn't have any, and it wasn't hard to resist it. I'm finding it easier to resist chocolate and candy, whereas before, I'd be drooling and imagining how tasty it would be (but I still wouldn't eat it!). On the P90X Facebook group, there is a discussion about how people resist Halloween candy, or if they give up and eat some. Most people said they'd have one or two, which I think is fine, but some people said they ate whatever they wanted, had no control, went on a binge, etc, etc. This led me to the conclusion that I'm taking this program far more seriously than most people. I get upset with myself when I miss workouts when most would shrug and say "oh well", and I always pass on junk food when most would say "I'll work it off later".

Speaking of which, I have a subscription to Women's Health and this month had a great fact: it takes 35 minutes of brisk walking to burn off a sugary donut. Doesn't seem worth it to me!

Sugar city!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Day 32 - More time constraints

I'm posting early since I won't be home to post tonight. I'm unable to do my Yoga workout (again!), which I hate, but I spent the last hour and a half waiting for an influenza vaccine, so it was time well spent. In less than an hour I'm going out for the night, so I'm aiming to have my Yoga done tomorrow! Plus the other two workouts. We'll see how that goes.. I might just have to miss it. Sigghhh..

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Day 31 - Chest, Shoulders and Triceps

Today was my first Chest, Shoulders and Triceps workout. I love the triceps workouts.. I hate the push ups. Why oh why are there so many push ups?! Clearly my shoulders and arms are too weak if I'm still finding push ups hard. So, despite hating push ups, I'm happy that they're included because it only means that I'll get better at them! I really like the triceps kickback workouts. I'm impressed with Tony's creativity - he takes one move and turns it into four or five moves, which keeps in interesting. This is key! There's nothing worse than pushing yourself through a workout that you hate doing. Breaking up a brutal triceps workout into five shorter, different workouts was brilliant.

We had chicken breasts and boiled squash for supper tonight, and if you know me, you know I LOVE squash. Chris cooked it, god love him, and it was very tasty. We're always on the lookout for meal ideas, so if you have any, post a comment for me! I'd love to hear some suggestions.

Otherwise, that's it for me - I have an early early morning tomorrow. Story of my life!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Day 30 - 1/3 complete!

Day 30! DAY 30! I'm so excited that I reached this milestone knowing that I gave 100% in my workouts and my diet. I celebrated by switching Cardio X for Plyometrics - talk about a celebration! I was jumping around and throwing my hands in the air like you wouldn't believe. This was my first time doing Plyo, thanks to a suggestion from Chris. I like the Cardio workout, but it's so short! I feel like I'm just getting going, and then it's over. Plyo is the full hour, which I love, and there is NO rest time between moves. I finish up a set, I'm sweating like hell, I'm breathing heavy and I'm tremendously thirsty, but no! No break! On to the next move! Though Tony's gracious enough to give us 30 seconds between every 8 moves. Enough time to wipe the sweat out of my eyes and have a sip of water, then back at it! I'm telling you, it's brutal at the time. I sound like a primitive animal, grunting, panting and whining. But as soon as he says we're done, this incredible feeling of achievement washed over me and I feel like I could do it all over again! (I never would, but you get the point.)

I'm still adjusting to the diet change. One less protein, one more carb. I had a 6-inch sub from Subway today (280 calories, 1/2 serving of protein, 1 serving of carb, 1/4 serving of fat), and it was really delicious. The back of the Nutrition Guide gives you some guidelines for fast food joints, in case time isn't on your side. There are 12 items from Subway listed, 3 items from McDonald's, 2 form Burger King, 3 from Pizza Hut, 5 from Wendy's, etc. There are also guidelines for buying microwave dinners, which - thankfully - we haven't had to resort to yet. We went out and bought these cute little mini bagels, as well as some real bagels and English muffins (which, ironically, rang up as "Muffins Anglais" on the receipt...). Our cart held more bread than I had seen in the last month.

Can you tell I'm excited about the carb increase? I know, I know, "is she seriously still talking about the damn carb?" Okay. I'll move on.

I have a new appreciation for Lululemon. I have a duffel bag of theirs from a while back, and a couple headbands, but I never got any clothing because of the price. A few weeks ago, I bought my first Lulu sportsbra (love!!). A couple weeks later, I bought a pair of shorts. Then the other day, I bought another pair of shorts. Because they're INCREDIBLE! Seriously! Those shorts are tight enough that they don't budge, but they don't ride up or chafe or anything, even during the most intense workouts. So, I'm officially a Lulu addict. This is not a good thing for the bank account. There will definitely be some Lulu items on my Christmas list..!

Love the fit of these ones             These are my favourite
                                              (and they were on sale!)

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Day 29 - First day of Phase Two

Phase Two feels a lot like Phase 1, except I'm allowed to eat an extra serving of carbs. Hooray! I did Core Syn again today, and I was feeling less than up to it (let's just say I had a bad experience at the hair salon, and I'm still adjusting). But I still brought it, and I did more walking push-ups than ever! I find that this Core workout works my arms and shoulders more than my core, but hey, what do I know?

I need to get out and get some groceries to account for this extra carb that we're allowed to have now. I'm probably going to have one with breakfast, a half one with lunch and a half one with supper most days. I'll have to feel it out and experiment though, that's how I got into my Phase One groove!

Anyway, it's really late and I need to get to bed. Adios - until tomorrow!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Day 28 - Measurements!

I just finished my X Stretch workout, and Chris and I went through our measurements and a few exercises from the Fit Test. Not much change overall as far as numbers are concerned, but I feel - and look - a hundred times better. The biggest change was in my flexibility. So, without further ado, the numbers:

124 lb
123 lb




Right thigh:

Left thigh:

Right arm:

Left arm:


Wide-grip pull-ups:
3/4 (these did not get easier)

Toe touch:
-5" (5" away from touching toes)
+2" (2" past toes)

The number on top is from 28 days ago, the number below, from today. I had a SEVEN INCH INCREASE in my toe touch! That is major major, because I was never flexible, not even as a child. To see such an increase in my flexibility is so motivating! As far as the other numbers are concerned: not much change, like I said, but the photos should show a change. I'll post those side-by-side in the next few days.

So, that's it. The first measurement day is done, hooray! On to Phase Two - Land of Chest, Shoulders and Triceps and two servings of carbs! :)

Day 27 - Internet FAIL

I'm so sad. This is the first time in 27 days that I missed a day posting. And it's not even my fault - my internet was out all evening last night!! Booo... So, this is yesterday's post, today. Still moping about it. :(

Day 27 was Yoga day, and I must say that I'm seeing huge improvements in my yoga form. My balance is definitely getting better, but there's one move that I still can't master, and it's because we're in a deep lunge for about two minutes and my leg burns too much. I'm really hoping that will get better with time, because it's really disappointing to have to come out of a yoga pose!

Depending on how well I do at the end of the 90 days with the Yoga, I might join a yoga class in the city. I can see how it builds strength and tone, which is what I want, and it helps with flexibility, too. Speaking of flexibility, I can do my standing hamstring stretch now with my palms on the floor (!!!), and I can touch both toes sitting down!! I was something like five or six inches away when I first started P90X, and now I can reach past my toes! I'm SO excited about this!

Also along those lines, today is X Stretch day, which I'm looking forward to. I'll be back later today to post about that!

P.S. Phase Two is almost here...!

I can reach further than he can! :)

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Day 26 - Another short one!

Early post today! Usually I'm posting at 10:00 at night, right before I go to bed. It's 4:30 right now, and I just finished Core Syn. I'm done early because I'm going out tonight, but it feels great to be done so early. Usually I'm just getting home at this time!

I attended the conference again today, which means more diet-cheating. Nothing too bad though, soup and sandwiches again.. Though I did help myself to a raspberry dessert square (I'm a sucker for raspberries!), I don't feel like I need to make up for it at all.

I'm running out of time, sorry for the short post! Yoga tomorrow! :)

Friday, October 23, 2009

Day 25 - A quote from the man himself

Today was rest day, so nothing to report workout-wise.

The conference I was at today had soup and sandwiches for lunch, which was better than I was expecting. I took the top piece of bread off the sandwich, and had a small bowl of soup. Not too shabby! Then for supper Chris made Island Pork Tenderloin and veggies.. We're suckers for that pork tenderloin recipe.

Speaking of recipes, I was asked to post the recipe for the slow cooker beef stew that we had for supper a few nights back. There's not much for a recipe! Chris just threw together some stewing beef, a few cups of veggies and a bit of Club House Slow Cookers Beef Stew seasoning. Instead of adding just water to the seasoning, he added half water, half tomato sauce. Then he cooked it on low for 8-9 hours, and it turned out perfectly! It's hard to get a slow cooker recipe wrong, so just try mixing things, but remember to keep enough sauce in it so the meat can get nice and tender.

Since I don't have much else to write, I want to post a quote from Tony from the Kenpo workout. While it's a little harsh, it's very true: with healthy eating and exercise, you get what you give. Take it away, Tony!

I don't believe in age. I don't believe in aging. Whatever. I got your aging right here! I believe in moving and eating good. [...] Take care of your body, and it will take care of you. Because time keeps ticking, you keep getting older.. You can get better, or you can get all gooey.. Crotchety, old, pathetic, icky, gross.. Not me, not into it.

Can you believe he's 51?!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Day 24 - A lot about food

In contrast to yesterday, I feel magnificent today. I'm surprised at this, because I've barely drank any water at all, when I usually try to drink 2-3 litres a day. But I'm not complaining! We just finished Kenpo X, and as usual, it made me sweat like hell. Starting out, my right shoulder was sore, but that seemed to dissipate once I threw some punches and got moving.

About a week ago Chris bought some weighted gloves, and I thought I'd never see the day when I wanted a pair for myself, but.. I want a pair for myself! I did the workout holding 1lb weights, and I found that it improved my form drastically. My punches and blocks were much more fluent with the extra weight, so that's added to my "To Buy" list (along with a second yoga mat, so we can stop having to share ours).

I have a pretty solid routine going with my nutrition plan. A normal day would be as follows:

Breakfast - Scrambled egg whites, three slices of chicken bacon, half an English muffin and a coffee later
Snack - Two yogurts and my fruit
Lunch - Whatever I packed (usually a chicken breast sandwich on an English muffin) and a veggie serving
Snack - A delicious chocolatey protein bar
Supper - Varies
Snack - Protein shake post-workout, and frozen yogurt for blog posting

From a nutritional perspective, I hate when the weekend comes. It completely throws off my routine. The biggest issue is breakfast; I'm used to eating at 6:00, and on weekends that gets bumped to 9:00 or 10:00, which is usually the time I'd be eating my first snack. So, long story short, I dread weekends because it feels like I'm stuffing myself and eating all day. Yes, it could easily be solved by getting up at my normal weekday time, but honestly.. I'd rather have the extra sleep!

Tomorrow and Saturday I'll be at a conference, where there is food provided. I'll do my best to stay on track, as far as portions go. And tomorrow is X Stretch day, hooray! The easy one! :)

This is our serving charts, made by yours truly. This way we
can keep track of what we've eaten as the day goes on. It
works incredibly well! Chris's is on the left, mine on the right.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Day 23 - Feel like garbage

If you've been reading my posts, you'll know that I usually go into a workout feeling like crap, and come out of it feeling wonderful, exhilarated and energized.

Not tonight.

I just finished Core Synergistics, and I feel lousy. I'm dizzy, my head is pounding, and I can hardly keep my eyes open. I'd blame it on exhaustion, but I was more tired earlier in the week than I am now, so that won't fly. I guess some days are just better than others. Today, hands down, was the least satisfying workout yet. That's pretty good though, 1 out of 23 isn't bad!

We had the roast chicken for supper, and it was delish. I didn't think to take any "after" pictures of the bird, but I can assure you it tasted wonderful. With roasted brussels sprouts, no less! It was definitely a tasty dinner. Speaking of meals, I can't wait until Phase Two of the nutrition plan starts next week. I get a whole extra carbohydrate serving!! I've missed my carbs! It'll be tough cutting down on the protein though, I have my meals to a science now. Guess I'll have to learn it all over again (but for the extra carb, it's worth it!).

Early early morning tomorrow, so I should hit the hay. Night!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Day 22 - Yoga was a victim of time constraints

I've been really proud of myself for managing to fit in an hour or more of exercise every night, on top of everything else I'm doing. Today, however, time was not on my side. I got home at 4:30 and had to eat supper, get ready and leave somewhere for 6:00. Since Yoga is an hour and a half, that wasn't going to happen. But I really wasn't okay with saying, "Oh well, guess I won't do any workout today", so I did Ab Ripper. I sweat like hell so I know it worked something, and it was better than doing nothing at all. Not exactly ideal, I know, but hey.. I can't win 'em all.

Chris's slow-cooker chili was amazing. Walking home into the scent of cooking chili totally made my day! It tasted better than it smelled, and it made enough leftovers for lunch tomorrow. Don't you just love that?

Tomorrow is Core Synergistics, and it will get done. Supper's half done for tomorrow already (we have a chicken sitting in the crock pot in the fridge, stuffed with garlic and limes), and I'm home at 7:00, so no excuses!

He will be delicious!!
(It's on the floor because I slid it out of the fridge for this photo
and couldn't be bothered to put it on the table..)

Monday, October 19, 2009

Day 21 - Three weeks!

Because of our schedule switcheroo, we did Kenpo today instead of taking our rest day. I'm still on the fence with Kenpo. I noticed today that Tony takes a lot of breaks, where he gives you five seconds to get some water,  then gets you running, doing jumping jacks and X's. Cardio, cardio, cardio. I suspect that this is to get our hearts pumping, since the Kenpo doesn't really do that. Well, I shouldn't say that.. It just doesn't do it as well as jumping jacks. I strained my neck too, which has settled a little. Chris bought weighted gloves that he used during the workout, and he found they made a huge difference. I might look into that down the road, when I get a little better at my punches. As far as my opinion on Kenpo goes... Meh. It's not looking good, but it still has time to win me over.

We have chili made up to put in the slow cooker tomorrow morning. Lean ground beef, kidney beans, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, cumin, chili powder, and other spices. Pretty simple! We tried to get ground turkey, but there wasn't any at the grocery store today for some reason. I'm really excited to come home tomorrow and smell it cooking.. Mmm-mmm!

So, today marks 21 days! That means Phase 1 is almost complete! This week is rest week, which hardly constitutes "rest". Yoga, Core Synergistics, Kenpo, Stretch, Core Synergistics, Yoga, Stretch. Intense! Tomorrow is Yoga again, seems like I just did Yoga. Oh wait, I did! Looking forward to it though, still. I only wish I didn't have to do so many damn downward dogs.

Also, my cat found my yoga block (silly me for leaving it on the floor), and he decided to use it to sharpen his claws. I wasn't mad, because really, it still serves its purpose. This is what I have to contend with. Who could be mad at that face?


A face only a mother could love.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Day 20 - 22% done!

I have a confession to make. We have a small apartment, so from the beginning, we've taken turns doing the moves in Ab Ripper. Well. Let me tell you something. Doing the moves back-to-back, as they were intended to be done, is so much harder than taking breaks in between. I mean, duh. I just never realized that I was making it so easy on myself. At the bitter end, during Mason Twists, I really thought I was going to vomit. And just sitting here now, my abs hurt. So what did I learn? Do the workouts properly!

Because we skipped our workout yesterday, today we did yesterdays workout, which was Legs and Back. Easily my least favourite. I love the whole thing, except the wall squats, which makes me dislike the whole thing. We finally figured out a way that we can use the chin-up bar with a chair without it sliding all over the place, so I did more chin-ups and pull-ups (with chair assist) than I've ever done. That felt good. I find I can push myself harder now too, which I think is a combination of getting stronger and knowing when Tony will say "that's it, we're done!".

By the way, I know too many of Tony's lines. The pterodactyl line is one of my favourites.. CAAAAWWW!

We went grocery shopping today. It was successful, which means it was expensive. We got a small chicken for the slow cooker, a pork tenderloin, some pork chops, a few ingredients for turkey chili and the chicken recipe, and some regular stuff like avocados, tomatoes, onions, garlic, broccoli, brussels sprouts, and so on. My credit card took a beating, that's for sure!

That's all for now. We're doing weigh-ins, measurements and picture-taking in a week, so in preparation for that, a photo from tonight:


Saturday, October 17, 2009

Day 19 - Cheaters!

Nothing to write today - we skipped the workout! Well, we wanted to see a movie tonight (since it's Saturday and all), so we made today a rest day and we'll do today's workout tomorrow, tomorrow's workout the next day, and so on until we're caught back up.

Sounds like a plan :)

Friday, October 16, 2009

Day 18 - Beef stew, Yoga and sulking

Because today was Friday, I was exhausted. Added on top of spending my whole week studying for and writing midterms, writing papers and going to meetings, I had a long stressful day today. This is why I was curled up in bed at 6:00 this evening, whining about how I couldn't possibly do Yoga and that I was sooooo tired. I was so warm and comfortable in my pajamas. I really didn't want to work out tonight. But then my determination kicked in, and I found myself up and changing out of my cozy pajamas. I was tired, and cranky, but I managed to finish the hour and a half of Yoga. By the end of it, I was laughing with Chris, who stuck it out with me.

I know I posted about this before, but it really is amazing how exercise can change my mood. And not just my mood; my entire energy level. Laying in bed, I wanted to just stay there and watch movies all night. But after I got moving, I got a workout done and we spent the evening with family playing Scene It. Which was a much better option than sulking in bed. So, this will help motivate me when I don't feel like working out. I just have to remember how great I feel post-workout, and how much it elevates my mood. It makes such a difference. If it didn't happen to me, I would never believe it.

So, Yoga. I love it and I hate it. I love it because it's challenging, it's effective, and it's helping with my balance and flexibility. I hate it because it's an hour and a half, and because I can't do half the poses with perfect form. Maybe that will come at the end of the 90 days, who knows. All I know is that Yoga is not "relaxing", "soothing" or "calming". It makes your muscles shake, and it makes you sweat like hell. It also makes you realize just how inflexible you are. Although, my flexibility is still improving, as I can sit with my feet straight out in front of me and touch my toes with both hands. I could NEVER do that, ever! I'm so proud of myself. And my hamstrings. :)

Chris made a tasty beef stew for supper tonight. We invested in a slow cooker (I use the term "invested" loosely here, since it was $18 from WalMart), and we've made a whole slew of meals in it since. Mainly pork tenderloin, and now this stew. Slow cookers are a godsend. Literally, you throw in meat, some veggies, some sauce or marinade of some kind, and turn it on. Then you leave all day, and when you come back, it smells like someone's cooking you supper. It's wonderful! No idea what to make for the next few nights. We have to do some grocery shopping. Maybe I'll look up some more slow cooker recipes.. If I find any tasty ones, I'll be sure to post them.

That's it for now! I can't wait to take Day 30 measurements and pictures... Eeeeee!

This looks exactly like the stew Chris made.. Yum!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Day 17 - I can do 2 chin-ups!

It is very late, so this will be a short entry. Sorry!

I just finished Shoulders & Arms and Ab Ripper. I love the stiff feeling my muscles get with weight training - likely a result of the increased blood flow to the muscles, but it feels great. The one exercise I can't do well is the lying down triceps extension. I can tell it's working at first, but my elbows get sore and painful long before my muscles get tired. I compensated by switching to a lighter weight and doing them a little faster, but it's still a little discouraging.

But, on a positive note, I can officially do TWO reverse-grip chin-ups!! Someday, I would love to grab onto a chin-up bar and just give 'er, doing 5, 10, even 20. Maybe 20 is a little ambitious, but just imagine how good it would feel to pump out 20 chin-ups. What a high I would get from that!

And on that note, I must head to bed. Yoga tomorrow evening - bring it!

I bet she can only do 1!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Day 16 - Getting curious about Plyometrics

Life is starting to slow down a little right now, enough that I can at least think clearly. This is a change from earlier in the week, where I was so busy I could hardly see straight. I'm very happy that it's a little more calm, especially for this Friday when Yoga comes around again. Maybe this time I can actually enjoy it!

Today I did Cardio, and as usual, it felt great. My abs are still sore from Core yesterday, which made today's Superman-Banana pretty tough and my form definitely wasn't as good as yesterday. As far as the Kenpo kicks go, I must look like a total goof because I can NOT kick well and keep my form; I don't know how those guys do it. (Chris also makes fun of my punches, but I tell him it's because I'm a lover, not a fighter.) I managed to finish both sets of swing kicks at the same pace as Tony, which is very fast, I assure you. I'm kind of sad that I never get to do Plyo, but I'm thinking that one of these weeks I'll switch my Cardio with a Plyo and do it with Chris. I'm conveniently never home when Chris does his Plyo workouts, so I've never seen how intense they are. I'll have to spy on him during his next Plyo day and feel it out.

I have some great news: my sister and her fiance have just started P90X! They're getting married in March or April (still waiting on a date!), so their goal is to get more lean in time for their wedding. They're both in good shape and they both eat well, a lot like Chris and me. My sister said that her first Core workout felt like it worked everything but her core, and I remember that because I was walking around like I had been horseback riding for four days after my first Core workout. I'm REALLY excited that they're doing the program.

Well, another early morning tomorrow, so off to bed I go!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Day 15 - Best workout yet!

After a long day of exam-writing and studying, I came home and had the BEST workout yet! I did Core Synergistics, and I can finally do a proper banana! I know how weird that sounds. Banana is when you lay on your back with your legs straight out and off the ground, and your arms above your head. Basically, you look like a banana. Then Tony gets you to roll and hold it on your right side, then belly, then left side, and so on. And I rocked it! I'm so proud.

I love this workout because I'm completely into it. I enjoyed running, but it got boring and I really plateaued after a while.  That was frustrating, because I was working at something that I wasn't seeing any results from. Mind you, I wasn't following this strict diet plan either. I'm not ruling out running entirely, but I'm glad to be done with it for a little while. It was getting tiring.

As busy as I am, I love coming home to do these workouts. I look forward to them throughout the day as a chance to blow off some steam, and I always feel so much better afterward. After tonight's workout, I ate supper, then sat down and studied for two hours. I usually have a hard time focusing this late in the day, but I had a really clear mind and I attribute that to the exercise. And - the best part! - I'm thisclose to putting my palms flat on the ground during my hamstring stretches. I couldn't even touch the ground when I first started! Yaayyyy!

Tomorrow's a 10-hour day, and I'm already looking forward to my one hour of solace: Cardio. Can't wait!


Monday, October 12, 2009

Day 14 - Two weeks in!

It's hard to believe it's been two weeks already! I can honestly say that I've improved over the last two weeks, definitely physically, as well as having better form during the workouts. It's been hard at times to find the time for the workouts, but it means a lot to me, so I squeeze it in every night before bed. Being in school, the time constraint is the hardest part for me. The workouts are fine, the diet is easy, but it's the time that the workouts take that is the challenging part.

Today was rest/stretch day, and I would feel guilty not doing anything, so we did Stretch X. I have scoliosis, and just tonight I discovered that there are some stretches that I can't do because of my back, like plough. I really have to be careful, so I plan to swap those ones out for easy ones like cat stretches. I don't think Tony will mind!

That's all for tonight. Not much to say, I know! Thanks for reading.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Day 13 - Working out with a (very!) full belly

Tonight, we had a lovely Thanksgiving dinner with family. Turkey, stuffing, potatoes, sweet potatoes, broccoli, carrots, cranberries, gravy, pumpkin pie, pecan tarts and tea. It was absolutely delicious, and I feel no remorse for breaking the diet today because a) it's Thanksgiving and b) I planned for this. Once we got home, we started right in with Kenpo. Seriously, how many people stuff themselves with Thanksgiving dinner, then go home and work out for an hour? Some people think we're crazy (and I think so too, sometimes) but I feel really great right now. There are still beads of sweat running down my back, because I just had to blog before I showered. Niiice!

I can't decide what I think about Kenpo. It's a great workout, IF I maintain my form and really push it. If I slack in the least, or don't give it my all, I'm just punching the air and looking foolish. Versus, for example, Ab Ripper, which leaves no room for slacking. So you can see how it would be easy to say "oh yeah, I did Kenpo tonight" and to not have done much of anything.

But! I'm not a slacker and I really do push myself to my limit. I see no point in maintaining the diet and scheduling the time to exercise, then doing a half-assed workout. No results will come of that.

I weighed myself this morning. Again, another disclaimer: I'm not doing this to lose weight, I'm doing it to become more fit. Starting out, I weighed 124 lbs. This morning I weighed 123 lbs (at the same time of day and on the same scale). Then - get this - I weighed myself after Thanksgiving dinner, and I clocked in at 128 lbs! I actually gained 5 lbs throughout the day, and after my massive meal. This gave a little insight as to why some people get so upset with numbers - consistency is key. Like my grandmother used to say, weigh yourself first thing in the morning, after you empty your bladder and your bowels, and once you're stripped completely naked. Only then will you get your true weight. I think she was onto something there.

So don't fret about numbers. Monitor how you feel, physically and mentally. And remember: muscle is heavier by volume than fat!

I found this quote online: "A woman weighing 150 pounds with 19% fat will look much smaller (and be much healthier) than a woman at 150 pounds with 35% fat. They weigh the same, yet the composition is different. Because muscle is more dense than fat the person with less fat and more muscle will look smaller." Gaining 5 lbs in a month doesn't mean your exercise isn't working; it likely means that you've lost fat and gained muscle. I bet you look and feel better, so forget the numbers! Those muscles have to grow before they start showing. 

Doesn't the muscle look so much more appealing?

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Day 12 - Playing catch-up

Yesterday, I had no time to do my workout. I tried to squeeze it in anyway, so I started the Yoga (which I had been looking forward to) and I got about 1/3 of the way through when I realized that my mind was racing and I wasn't into it at all. All I kept thinking about was that I didn't have enough time. And it was true, I didn't. So I stopped, got ready and left, and had two glasses of wine and a couple appetizers. First time I broke the diet! I'm really quite proud of myself for that. Not for breaking it, but for going so long without breaking it.. You know what I mean.

So today I did Legs & Back and Ab Ripper, and I got into it. I did every move as best as I could, and really pushed past my comfort zone to make up for yesterday. And right now, I feel pretty damn good! I'm starting to kick ass at Ab Ripper, perfecting my form and keeping up with Tony. Physically, there's a noticeable difference in my stomach (which makes me happy!!), and my calves are getting more noticeable, too. We're almost two weeks in, and I read somewhere that results start to show between two and three weeks. VERY exciting!

Tomorrow is Kenpo. Coincidentally, it's also Thanksgiving weekend here, and we're having our turkey dinner tomorrow night. Starting P90X, we gave ourselves three exceptions to the diet: Thanksgiving dinner, one night out, and Christmas dinner. All other breaks to the diet (i.e. last night) go on the "naughty" list, to nag at your conscience and force you to work harder. So, because we set aside these allowances, I can't wait to have a delicious turkey dinner with stuffing and potatoes and pumpkin pie!! Oh, the carbs.. Sweet, sweet carbs!

That's all for tonight. It's almost midnight and we just finished our workout.. Talk about tired! Thanks for reading :)

Ooohhhh yum

Friday, October 9, 2009

Day 11 - This is not a real post

I have to go to bed. I'll write about today tomorrow. Night! :)

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Day 10 - 9% done! (That makes it sound pitiful..)

As a result of school, I'm still ridiculously stressed out. Today though, instead of not wanting to work out, I REALLY wanted to work out. I think I learned from my mistakes yesterday.

And so, I worked out. Our programs aligned again, so Chris and I did Arms & Shoulders and Ab Ripper together. This is a really great workout. They'll do three exercises in a row, for example, curls, shoulder flys and tricep kickbacks, then they do those three over again. I like this because I know what's coming so I can be ready, and also because I know how many reps I did the first time, and I can try to match that number the second time. Plus, there were no exercises in Arms & Shoulders that I couldn't do - yippee!

The diet was good today as well, I still haven't faltered with that one. I made Island Pork Tenderloin for supper again, because it's absolutely delicious. We had it with mixed sauteed veggies, and Chris had a salad too. Really great supper. I used to think we ate pretty well, but at night time, we would snack and munch on junk. That's been the biggest change, but like I've said before, I never go to bed hungry. In fact, I can't even sleep if I'm hungry, so I really can't go to bed hungry. I've been known to get up and get something to eat before I could fall asleep.

Speaking of sleep, I have to get to bed. Another early morning tomorrow. We have a social event that we're going to tomorrow night, which will be my first time "breaking" the diet. I'm going to have a few hors-d'oeuvres, but I'm certainly not going to use it as an excuse to pig out! There will also be (free) wine, which means I'll be helping myself to a glass or two. I'm not worried in the least, because I want these results more than I want that glass of wine. I'm still extremely motivated, and one little night out certainly won't deter me!

Yes, please!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Day 9 - The Power of Exercise

Today wasn't good. Well, I shouldn't say that. This evening wasn't good. Allow me to elaborate.

I was at school all day. My classes ended at 6:00, and then I had a meeting to go to. After that, I realized I couldn't catch a bus from where I was, so I had to walk a kilometre to the nearest bus stop in the pouring rain and 50km winds. No boots, no raincoat, no umbrella (although that wouldn't have done me much good, since I saw a few people struggling to keep theirs right-side out). I get to the bus stop and I'm mulling over everything on my to-do list, totally stressing myself out. The bus comes, I get home, and Chris is making a stir fry. I'm soaked and tired and hungry, and the last thing I want to do is a stupid workout. Chris is trying to talk me into doing it, saying it won't take long. But all I can think of is my massive to-do list.

Then I sat down and flipped through the book of DVD workouts, landing on Cardio X. There Tony stands, every muscle in his body highlighted in the black and white picture. I'm thinking, "I feel shitty right now. I'm cranky, I'm tired, and I'm stressed." Then I looked at Tony again, and flipped through and looked at the other photos. The Plyometrics sleeve was empty, from Chris's completed workout an hour prior. Then I thought, "There will be days when I feel like garbage. There will be days when I'm so tired I can't function, and days when I'm so sick I can't get out of bed. Those are the days I should take off as rest days. I ate extremely well today, I don't want to waste that. It's only one workout. I can do this. I should do this."

And so, I got changed, got my water, set up my mat, put in Cardio X and pressed play. And pressing play, folks, was the hardest part of my workout.

Within minutes I was less cranky. I even smiled when I did my hamstring stretch and touched the floor. As I warmed up, the stress left me. It literally melted away. I suddenly felt rejuvenated, and with some stretches, strain, and lots of sweat, I finished the workout I had been dreading only 40 minutes prior. And now I have a clear mind to focus, and a clear conscience to boot. And I'm much, much happier. That's the power of exercise.

The inspiration!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Day 8 - Core, encore!

Today's the first repeat day in my program.. Back to square one: Core Synergistics! I'm pretty sure that Core Synergistics is one of my least favourite, probably because I don't have good form for most of the exercises (like banana, and the sphinx push-ups). But they definitely work - I felt it most in my back and shoulders today. I find my abs aren't getting sore or tired, maybe this is a sign that I'm not working them hard enough? At the time, though, I can't hold them very long, but then I don't feel much from the workouts. Next week, I'll really push myself to hold the positions longer. Aiming for achy abs here.

I don't want to get all big and muscle-y, but abs are on my agenda, for sure. I want to have a great stomach. I saw a picture once of this really fit girl sitting, leaning over and doing a stretch, and she had no fat rolls. None. She had little folds of skin, but no underlying fat. That's what I want - maybe it's a little ambitious, but hey, maybe someday I'll have that!

I bought a new (pink!) sports bra today, and we found foam yoga blocks just like they use in the video. This really made me want to do yoga, but no yoga until Friday. I'm thinking that after the program is done, I'm going to look into some yoga classes. It's such a great workout, and contrary to popular belief, it's not relaxing. At all. On the P90X forums, the Yoga X workout is one of the most hated because it's so difficult. Personally, I loved it, and I can't wait to do it again.

Until tomorrow..

This will be me someday!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Day 7 - Only 83 days to go!

Mondays are my rest days. I use the word "rest" loosely here, because there certainly wasn't any rest in my day. We did the X Stretch workout tonight, which felt really good. Chris found it boring, I found it relaxing.. To each their own. (He's the one out running 5k while I eat frozen yogurt!)

As much as I tease him, it's really great to be doing this program with Chris. First of all, we live together so it's ultra-convenient. Secondly, it's a huge bonding experience since we're supporting and encouraging each other. And third, he's great at motivating me; when I feel like I can't possibly do any more in's and out's, he just says "good job sweetie", and I can magically push out five or 10 more.

Plus, he's a great cook, which comes in handy when I'm feeling lazy. :)

I'm still in love with the Kenpo workout, and I can definitely feel which muscles I worked and where. My biceps and my forearms near my elbows, for example, are very sore. This is because in Kenpo you're not supposed to snap your joints straight, but keep them supported and a bit flexed. Obviously, I was doing that correctly.

So today marks SEVEN DAYS! Seven days of strict diet and exercise every day! I'm definitely keeping this up, I've never been so determined to finish something as I am with P90X. And, I can now touch the floor during hamstring stretches! This is big news because I'm very inflexible. I'm also close to touching my toes in a seated hamstring stretch, but it's not quite there yet. Almost. Stay with me!


Sunday, October 4, 2009

Day 6 - Kenpo, whoa!

Of all the workouts in the Lean program, Kenpo takes the cake for making me sweat the most. Ho-ly cow. Kenpo X is based on a form of martial arts, and, according to the fitness guide, is "a raw streetfighting style" that gives "a high-intensity cardiovascular workout". Before we started, we were reading all these discussion threads with people saying it doesn't work, they didn't feel anything from it, it hardly got them sweating, etc etc etc, so we didn't know what to expect. 

Well, I'm pretty sure that a constant stream of sweat in your eyes and a heart rate of 160 means it's working. I loved it! It felt great, I felt great, and I can still feel it in my upper arms. It definitely is a high-intensity workout.

Earlier, despite the pouring rain, Chris and I headed to the grocery store since he failed to tell me that we were out of eggs. You really can't run out of eggs when following the nutrition plan, so off to Superstore we went. Chris mentioned a few days back that we should compare prices of a dozen eggs versus a carton of egg whites, since we throw away the yolks anyway. Turns out, 500ml of egg whites (which is equivalent to 16 egg whites) was $2.69, which was a little cheaper than a dozen eggs, plus, we got 16 instead of 12. So we bought two cartons.

On that same food tangent, Chris made supper tonight - turkey meatloaf! I don't know why, but I'm crazy about meatloaf. I love it, and turkey meatloaf was no different. It was delicious! The recipe is in the nutrition guide that comes with the program, so if anyone has it, I recommend it. Along with the Island Pork Tenderloin. Mmmm..

It's hard to believe I'm on day six already. Tomorrow is rest day, which means I can either rest and not work out, or do the Stretch X workout. I think I'd feel like I was failing Tony if I didn't do ANYTHING, so I'm going to do the Stretch workout. I hope it feels as good as it sounds, because this sore body could use a good stretch.

And now, a picture of me, immediately post-Kenpo workout:

Beautiful, glorious sweat!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Day 5 - Oblique V's are my nemesis!

I just finished my first legs and back workout, and one thing is clear: I suck at chin-ups.

Well, in my defense, this time last year I wouldn't dream of grabbing on to a pull-up bar. I can only do one, but it's better than none. And on good days, I can do two! Not exactly a number to boast about, but hey, I'm happy with it.

I also did Ab Ripper for the second time, and my movements were a little more coordinated since I knew what to expect. The oblique V's still kill me, but I managed to get about 10 in on the left side.. Right side wasn't so good, so I did a plank instead. Someday I'll get those damn oblique V's.

Today was beautiful, so Chris and I had a nice day together about town. We went into this grocery store here called Planet Organic, and I was overwhelmed since I'd never been there before. It was much bigger than I was expecting (and smelled strongly of patchouli). We wandered, noted some soy cheese cake, and left with a bulk bag of soy nuts and some pesto flavoured veggie crisps. I've already sampled them, and they're delicious. Then we made our way to our regular grocery store to buy some soy cheese to try.

We had those veggie sausages for lunch today, and they were amazing! They tasted more like hot dogs than sausages, but they had a smoked taste and they were delicious. I'm very impressed. I also made chicken scrambled eggs for breakfast, which was a great change from plain old scrambled egg whites. But I have a confession: I really, really, really miss my cereal. I used to eat cereal for breakfast every single morning, and I'm surprised at how much I miss it. In Phase II, I get two carbs a day, so I'll be having cereal some mornings.

Besides that, not much else to tell! I haven't noticed a huge increase in my energy levels, but I'm definitely getting stronger. My abs look pretty good right now, which makes me very excited to see them in 85 days. And at the end of the day, when I'm eating my frozen yogurt and relaxing, it's great to know that I ate clean and did my full workout. Since I'm doing P90X, I may as well bring it, and it feels phenomenal to know that I  gave it my all!

Sweaty and poor quality, but there's some progress there!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Day 4

Since starting P90X and its strict nutrition plan, I've been offered candies and donuts and treats every day. Mind you, it's only been four days, but it's interesting because it seemed like an odd coincidence until I started thinking about it. Then I realized that, likely, I was offered treats before starting P90X, and I would always accept them. Hard sugary candies, chewy sour candies, leftovers from bake sales.. I would have been fine without them, but I would take them to be gracious, and only harm myself in the process. One of my favourite treats were passed around today - the mini chocolate bars for Halloween - and I said 'no thank you, I have a banana'. My friends laugh, but they're all really supportive, which is great because no one likes the "Oh, go ahead, surely YOU can afford to have a cookie" friend.

Which gets me on to another topic. I've noticed something. When I mention to someone that I'm following a strict workout and nutrition regimen (using those words), they're fine with that. But the second the word "diet" leaves my lips, their jaws hit the floor and they look me up and down and say, "Why do YOU need to DIET?!" First of all, I'm not dieting in the classic sense of the word, and secondly, thank you for judging me outright in front of (presumably) all these people and putting me on the spot to defend myself.

Seriously! This happens all the time. Yes, I'm thin. No, I don't think that just because I'm thin I should forget about keeping myself this way. Why praise a 170lb woman for dieting, yet discourage me from doing it? I just don't get the double standard.

Sorry, that was a little tangential.

This morning for breakfast (at 5:45am) I tried a soy sausage muffin, and I hated it. I keep saying that it was too early for meat, and Chris is quick to correct me and say that they're meatless. Fine, but it's still too early for simulated meat. Chicken bacon I can do. Soy sausage patties, not so much. They did last me until 9:30 though, so bonus points for that. Lunch was a chicken breast sandwich with a yogurt, banana, tomatoes, a small can of tuna, and half a protein bar. Now, supper.. was.. amazing.

There's a recipe in the nutrition guide for Island Pork Tenderloin Salad, and I HIGHLY recommend it. We kept the pork separate from the salad (because it was so delicious it needed to be savoured alone), and it's kept me full all night. It's bedtime, we ate at 5:00 and I'm not hungry in the least bit. My god, it was so delicious.

I finished my first ever yoga workout tonight, and I'm really happy with it. There are some crazy advanced moves, but for the most part, they were manageable and I was covered in sweat by the time I was done. Tony says this is a good thing. I felt it most in my quads and glutes, which makes me sad since they were just starting to heal from my first core workout. BUT! It's the weekend, and it's bedtime, and I'm sleeping in tomorrow - yessss!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Day 3

I was just formally introduced to the Ab Ripper workout, and I have to say, I loved it. It was extremely hard, and there were definitely areas that need improvement, but that will come. When I first started going to the gym back in January, I couldn't do a sit-up (with unweighted feet) to save my life. Now I can do 25! So, I'm not letting myself get disappointed because I know that progress will come.

One exercise, the oblique V's, I absolutely couldn't do. In place of those, I did side planks for the same amount of time which was still very challenging for me. For some reason, I find planks really tough, and I've never been able to hold them very long. It'll be interesting to see how that changes, as well.

Before Ab Ripper, we did Shoulders and Arms. It was great, but I really need to get 7.5lb weights. For the bicep exercises the 10lb was fine, but for triceps and shoulders I had to use my 5's which weren't enough. So, note to self.

My inner thighs and glutes were very, very sore today. So sore that I couldn't walk at my normal speed, sitting down was torture, and I was walking like I had a stick up my ass. Nice!

As far as the diet goes, so far so good (I typed food there by accident and laughed.. I'm getting tired!). We've had three days now of breakfasts consisting of chicken bacon and egg whites, so tomorrow we're switching it up and trying soy sausage muffins (soy sausage patties on whole wheat English muffins with skim mozza). Chris also noticed these veggie sausages that boasted 170 calories, 6 grams of fat and 20 (!!) grams of protein per sausage. We both love sausage, but since your classic sausage has almost 300 calories, over 20 grams of fat and half the protein, we always skip on it because it's really not worth it. I'm clearly obsessed with these sausages, so they better not disappoint! We'll be trying them in the next few days.

Another early morning tomorrow. Goodnight!