Oh Good Lord

My self-imposed 8 week challenge ends this Thursday morning with a weigh-in and measurements. I was doing really well until my friend’s health took a turn for the worse 4 weeks ago. Scrambling to help them and then be there for her widowed husband and grieving family took priority, and rightfully so. No regrets there.

But, it’s time to buckle down again after the ringing in of 2016. Some gals encouraged me to try the new beachbody program, Hammer & Chisel, and well…. I need a change so I said yes. Now that my box of DVDs and food measuring containers have arrived, I’m feeling nervous. Weight training is not my thing, and that’s what H&C is. I am going to be WAY out of my comfort zone during the first 8 weeks of 2016.

And that’s good. No, that’s great!

But damn, those food measuring containers are small.

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A New View Of Progress

A gal in my FB fitness group posted a picture of the back of her shoulders and it dawned on me that I’ve never even thought to look at what’s going on back there.  I’ve never assessed my progress other than from the front and side.

I’ve been missing a pretty important angle.

I’m starting a new fitness routine on January 4th, and when I take before and after photos, they will include this angle.  I was stunned today.  My husband was not – he’s been seeing this develop over the last 7 weeks – but I haven’t even thought to look.  Man, I wish I had before photos of this angle.  This is ALL thank to Beachbody’s PiYo program!

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Bring on the Hammer and Chisel!

8 Week Countdown to NYE – Weeks 5 & 6

Week 5 (Ending 12/09/15)

  • Week 5 Statistics
    • Weight:  ? pounds
    • Body Fat %:  ?%
    • Time Spent Being Active (>= 5 hours): 7 Hours 50 Minutes
      • Miles Run (20-25 a week when decent weather):  7.71 Miles
    • Days within Calorie Goals per MFP (1390): 4 days
  • Exercise: 
    • Thursday – PiYo Sculpt (27:00), ran 5.11 miles in 46:43 outside
    • Friday – TurboFire 60:00, PiYo sweat (37:00)
    • Saturday – PiYo Drench (48:00), Turbofire low HIIT 20 (18:00)
    • Sunday – Rest
    • Monday – PiYo Core (28:00), INSANITY Asylum Speed and Agility (56:00)
    • Tuesday – PiYo Drench (48:00); Turbofire low HIIT 20 (18:00)
    • Wednesday – Walked 2.60 miles in 33:25; PiYo Buns (28:00); PiYo Strength (22:00)
  • Notes: 
    • I’ve indulged a bit this week – making cookies and all.  It’s been tough to keep the scale under 140.8!
    • I need to regain my focus – step it up these final 3 weeks
    • It was a productive week in regards to fitness, it was a horrendous week in regards to eating

12 17 Spread

Week 6 (Ending 12/16/15)

  • Week 6 Statistics
    • Weight:  142 pounds
    • Body Fat %:  21.1%
    • Time Spent Being Active (>= 5 hours): 6 Hours 10 Minutes
      • Miles Run (20-25 a week when decent weather):  4.0 Miles
    • Days within Calorie Goals per MFP (1390): 4 days
  • Exercise: 
    • Thursday – Rest
    • Friday – PiYo from memory (35:00)
    • Saturday – Ran 4.0 miles in 47:00
    • Sunday – Rest
    • Monday – INSANITY Interval 60:00, PiYo Hardcore on Floor (33:00)
    • Tuesday – PiYo Sculpt (27:00), PiYo Drench (48:00), HIIT Low 20 (24:00)
    • Wednesday – PiYo Buns (29:00); PiYo Sweat (37:00); 12 Days of Fit-mas (30:00)
  • Notes: 
    • I am losing the running battle – moving the treadmill into the living room has proven to be a problem because it’s so noisy and bothers the kids
    • 2 Weeks left of PiYo!  It’s great – I’ll for sure still do it a few days a week!
    • I am pretty bummed about the weight gain, but let’s be honest – this has been one of the hardest 2 weeks of my life with the death of my friend
    • 2 Weeks before New Years and it’s time to get (more) serious!
    • In better news, I’m down to 21.1% body fat, which is a 1.8% loss in 6 weeks which is HUGE for me
      • To put it in perspective, when I started, I weighed 140 pounds (but was 141.2 the day before, so 140.0 was a touch lower than it should have been) at 22.9% body fat, so 32.06 pounds of my weight was fat.  Today, at 142 and 21.1% body fat, 29.96 pounds of my weight is fat – so I’ve lost fat while gaining muscle, which I think we all know is what you want.  Still hard though.  😉
        • I am down 2.1 pounds of fat, which is good… no GREAT
        • I took the photo yesterday at 142.2 pounds because I was feeling defeated and wanted to see if there was a physical change to see.  I think there is
      • With the weight gain, I will NOT be safely in the 130’s by the end of this challenge

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Goals for the Next 8 Weeks:

  • Finish on 12/31/2015 SAFELY in the 130’s (meaning a couple of weeks prior to 12/31 weighing in in the 137-139 range)
  • I’d really, REALLY love to see a body fat percentage in the 21% range again on my handheld body fat monitor
  • I want to see major changes in my physique since I’m so dedicated to PiYo
  • Complete 5+ hours a week of dedicated exercise
  • Run 20-25 15-20 miles a week on average
  • Complete the full PiYo 8 week program
  • Supplement my fitness with at least 2 BOD (bea.chbo.dy on dem.and) workouts a week
  • Stay within daily net calorie goal of 1390 calories at least 5 days a week

Starting Statistics on 11/05/2015

  • Weight:  140 pounds
  • Body Fat %:  22.9% with the handheld (22.2% with calipers, 22.8% with the Tan.ita scale)
  • BMI:  21.9

18 Months Ago

18 Months ago, I made the decision to get myself back into shape.  I’d been in shape before, had pioneered a successful running and adventure club for 2 years, and had lived the healthy life that I wanted to live.  But somewhere along our road down infertility, I quit taking care of myself because I just could not take the questions anymore from the people we worked out with.  “When are you going to have a baby?”  “Your eggs are screaming, you need to get on it.”  “Tell that husband of yours to get you pregnant.”  And my favorite, “Do I need to send my husband over there to get you pregnant?”  I watched women lap me in the baby-making department, and when those who already had had one child as we struggled to just get pregnant started coming to kickboxing class pregnant AGAIN, I just could not take it.

So… and I hate saying this… I quit.

I was on synthetic hormones for almost two years as we tried IUI’s and then quickly moved onto IVF.  It took 3 rounds of IVF to finally have a successful pregnancy and by that time, I had climbed to 192 pounds.  I only gained 17.8 pounds during that first pregnancy, but that put me into the 200’s and that hurt my head.  I lost the weight very quickly, but remember, I only had to lose 18 pounds.  By the time my first child was a year old, I was back in the 160’s due to eating a very strict paleo diet and doing some exercise (walking).  We quickly moved into IVF for our second child, thinking it would take 3 rounds again, but it worked the first time (a frozen cycle with our first son’s cycle twin – conceived on the same day in the same IVF cycle 2 years earlier).  I started that pregnancy at 167.6 pounds and ended up gaining 35.4 pounds that time.  The weight came off almost instantly again, but I was not happy in the upper 160’s and lower 170’s.  I was nursing with a pretty low milk supply, so I wasn’t going to do anything to interfere with that, including exercise, no matter how uncomfortable I was at that weight.  I hovered in the 170’s for a year.

In June of 2014, I decided I’d had enough.  I had nursed my son for a year and if exercise diminished my supply, well, that was how it was going to be.  I enrolled in an extreme fitness class (the same one I’d done 8 years earlier where I met my husband) and did my initial testing on June 14th.  I weighed 180.6 pounds and my body fat percentage was 33.9% on day one.  In that 10-week program, I lost 25.0 pounds and dropped my body fat percentage to 25.8% (a loss of 8.1% points which was 24% of the fat on my body).

I kept pushing myself and got into running again, then into INSANITY and TurboKick and BodyPump at the YMCA, and kept kicking and hitting the kickboxing bag in our garage.  I shed more weight and more body fat percentage points.  I dropped another 15 pounds and shed another 3-4%-age points of body fat from September 2014 through the end of January 2015.  I was on a roll and I’d never been so fit in my life (including my youth), so I wasn’t going to let anything stop me.  I’ve maintained that weight (140’s) and body fat range (no higher than 24%) through all of 2015.

Today, I weigh anywhere between 138 pounds (on a good day) and 141 pounds (on a bad day).  My body fat percentage is between 21.2% and 21.6% from day-to-day.  I keep pushing, I keep working, I keep changing it up.  I have goals, goals that I’m not sure I can meet (comfortably in the 130’s, a body fat percentage consistently below 21.0%), but I have them anyway.  Goals are important.

I’ve never been one to be happy standing still, no matter what I’m up to at the time.  Crafting, career, getting pregnant, parenting, fitness – I’m always pushing the envelope and working harder.  I’m not going to stop setting goals now that I’ve reached goals I never thought I’d meet – I’ve worked too hard to get here to just stop.  It’s been a fun, grueling, high-energy, sometimes painful, but always successful 18 months.  I intend to keep on going, to keep getting stronger, to get a little leaner, to become even happier.

I look back on my “before photos” from June 14, 2014, and I don’t even recognize that gal.  I look nothing like her, I feel nothing like her, I think nothing like her.  I’m a new person (or rather, the person I was before infertility took me into its grip), and I like the current me a lot more than I liked that gal back in mid-2014.  I know that my weight and body fat percentage will fluctuate throughout the rest of my life, but I better NEVER be that gal from June 2014 EVER again.

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8 Week Countdown to NYE – Week 4 – HALF WAY DONE!

Week 4 (Ending 12/02/15) – Half Way Done!

  • Week 4 Statistics
    • Weight:  139.8 pounds
    • Body Fat %:  21.4%
    • Time Spent Being Active (>= 5 hours): 5 Hours 56 Minutes
      • Miles Run (15-20 a week when decent weather):  5.35 Miles
    • Days within Calorie Goals per MFP (1390): 5 days
  • Exercise: 
    • Thursday – PiYo Sweat (37:00)
    • Friday – Rest
    • Saturday – INSANITY Asylum Speed and Agility * 1.5 (67:00)
    • Sunday – PiYo Hardcore on the Floor (33:00), PiYo Buns (28:00)
    • Monday – PiYo Drench (48:00), TurboFire HIIT 20 * 1.5 (26:00)
    • Tuesday – Ran 5.0 miles in 51:00; walked 0.35 miles in 5:00; PiYo Strength Intervals (24:00)
    • Wednesday – PiYo Sweat (37:00)
  • Notes: 
    • I’m only officially down 0.2 pounds in these four weeks, but the day before my initial weigh-in, I weighed 141.4 pounds, so looking at that (I always thought the initial weigh-in of 140.0 was strange), I’m down anywhere from 0.2 – 1.6 pounds – and considering I’m truly in maintenance mode, I’m pretty happy with where I am
    • Body fat is holding nicely at 21.4%, and I started at 22.9% (or 22.4% the day prior to weigh-in) so I’m down anywhere from 1.0% – 1.5% which is HUGE for me – losing body fat has been really hard since I plateaued in weight 15 weeks ago
    • I have met all of my goals in regards to doing every.single.PiYo workout and getting at least 5 hours of exercise in a week.  My mileage goal was NOT met this past week, but I’m OK with that
    • PiYo is working for me.. loving it.  My arms are constantly sore and my ass is hurting most days – which means it’s working (remember Binactin from when we were kids?  “the burning means it’s working.”  HA!)
    • Here is my workout schedule so far – I’ve made up every PiYo workout if it was skipped and have stuck to the amount of BOD workouts – so it’s going really, really well and I’m enjoying it
    • Also below are my “before and after” photos for the first 4 weeks.  The lighting was different, I look like death warmed over in the after photos, but it’s just mid-challenge so I don’t really care  😉  I do see changes, even if just slightly.  There is less padding on my belly for sure.  In the mirror, my abs seem to pop and so do my shoulders – the PiYo is working! (These photos are all with flexed abs.)

4 weeks

12 3 spread


Goals for the Next 8 Weeks:

  • Finish on 12/31/2015 SAFELY in the 130’s (meaning a couple of weeks prior to 12/31 weighing in in the 137-139 range)
  • I’d really, REALLY love to see a body fat percentage in the 21% range again on my handheld body fat monitor
  • I want to see major changes in my physique since I’m so dedicated to PiYo
  • Complete 5+ hours a week of dedicated exercise
  • Run 20-25 15-20 miles a week on average
  • Complete the full PiYo 8 week program
  • Supplement my fitness with at least 2 BOD (bea.chbo.dy on dem.and) workouts a week
  • Stay within daily net calorie goal of 1390 calories at least 5 days a week

Starting Statistics on 11/05/2015

  • Weight:  140 pounds
  • Body Fat %:  22.9% with the handheld (22.2% with calipers, 22.8% with the Tan.ita scale)
  • BMI:  21.9

8 Week Countdown to NYE – Week 3

Week 3 (Ending 11/25/15)

  • Week 3 Statistics
    • Weight:  139.6 pounds
    • Body Fat %:  21.4%
    • Time Spent Being Active (>= 5 hours): 8 Hours 43 Minutes
      • Miles Run (20-25 a week when decent weather):  15.25 Miles
    • Days within Calorie Goals per MFP (1390): 5 days
  • Exercise: 
    • Thursday – Ran 5.0 miles in 51:06; Walked 0.25 miles in 4:00; PiYo Upper (20:00)
    • Friday – INSANITY Max Cardio Conditioning (38:00); PiYo Buns (37:00)
    • Saturday – Ran 5.0 miles in 49:55; walked 0.75 in 11:00
    • Sunday – Rest
    • Monday – PiYo core (30:00), PiYo lower (20:00), INSANITY Asylum vertical plyo (40:00); HIIT 20:00
    • Tuesday Jogged 4.0 miles in 51:00; walked 0.25 miles in 5:00; PiYo Sweat (37:00); HIIT 15:00
    • Wednesday – PiYo Strength (22:00); 12:00 weight machine; INSANITY Max Circuit Interval (60:00)
  • Notes: 
    • Going from one BOD workout to another is really easy and I like the HIIT series with various durations.  It’s easy to get a full hour in if you do a 40 minute INSANITY but want another 20 minutes of something
    • Heartburn got me on Sunday – so bad I didn’t even know what it was.  I was in tremendous pain and decided to take a rest day from everything.  I made it up on Monday with almost 2 hours of workouts
    • When there’s a little break in your routine, like between getting one kid to bed and then singing to the next one, it’s really easy to dial up HIIT 15 or 20 to kill the time
    • Lots of active time this week, with a slight hike in weight and holding steady in body fat – I’ll take it

Week 3


Goals for the Next 8 Weeks:

  • Finish on 12/31/2015 SAFELY in the 130’s (meaning a couple of weeks prior to 12/31 weighing in in the 137-139 range)
  • I’d really, REALLY love to see a body fat percentage in the 21% range again on my handheld body fat monitor
  • I want to see major changes in my physique since I’m so dedicated to PiYo
  • Complete 5+ hours a week of dedicated exercise
  • Run 20-25 15-20 miles a week on average
  • Complete the full PiYo 8 week program
  • Supplement my fitness with at least 2 BOD (bea.chbo.dy on dem.and) workouts a week
  • Stay within daily net calorie goal of 1390 calories at least 5 days a week

Starting Statistics on 11/05/2015

  • Weight:  140 pounds
  • Body Fat %:  22.9% with the handheld (22.2% with calipers, 22.8% with the Tan.ita scale)
  • BMI:  21.9