Books

Slim for Life Review

It occurred to me as I was thinking about what to write for this post that I posted several posts about the points for Jillian Michael’s book Slim for Life, but I never gave my opinion on what I thought of the book.

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I am a huge Jillian fan, so I’m sure it will come as no surprise that I love this book.  I am an avid reader and own a Nook.  Originally, I started reading this on my nook; however, I found that I really wanted to write in it and flip back and forth between pages.  Therefore, I ended up purchasing a hard copy of this book.  Also, books with inserts or special blurbs on pages format funny on the nook.  That is really my only complaint about the book, and it is not really a complaint.  So, for those e-readers out there, go for the print on this one.  It will also be much easier to total your points.

The book is arranged by category (food, fitness, motivation, etc.).  Within each category is a piece of advice that will help you achieve your fitness goals in each category.  Each advice morsel is given a point value.  3 points is the advice you should really follow, 2 moderately follow, and 1 point is optional.  At the end of the chapter you add your points and you can determine if you are implementing enough strategies to achieve your goals.  I like this because you can pick and choose what you do/think you can easily accomplish.  It make it less overwhelming.

Additionally, the advice in this book is simple and easy to follow.  Each piece of advice is only five sentences long.  Quick, easy to understand, and move on.  That’s the way I like it.  I don’t know that I could follow all of the fitness advice if left to my own devices.  I mean, I get that I should work front of the body one day and back of the body another, but what exercises should I do on each day?  I use her DVDs most of the time, so this concept is introduced to me naturally.  This is why I like programs (body revolution, T25, Insanity) because I just know what to do next and don’t have to figure it out.  I would be horrible at developing a workout program on my own, even with the advice in this book.  For people more fitness savvy than I, this would probably be beneficial to you.

Overall this is a solid book that is practical, easy to follow, and fun to read (you can hear Jillian talking to you as you are reading it).  I have not referenced it as often as I should, but I haven’t been doing much of anything fitness wise until recently.  I probably need to take it off of the shelf again.  Imagine that…

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Personal

You are more than a number

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I need to remember this more.  I was prepared to talk about fun ways I use to motivate myself, until I got on the scale this morning.  The only scale I have been on in the last few months is the one in the doctor’s office.  That actually went well and I was the weight I thought I was.  I bought a new scale over the weekend in order to better monitor my progress, and weighed myself this morning.  It said I weigh 252 pounds.  Really?!  That’s 7 pounds more than I weighed at the doctor’s office less than a week ago.

Needless to say, I started to get really down on myself and said some really ugly things about myself.  Then, I remembered the quote above.  If I have fat, it is an external thing I can do something about (namely change my diet and continue to exercise).  However, if I am fat, that is a whole different ballgame.

I really need to concentrate on monitoring what I am eating.  I have not been the best eater (at all).  I did well this weekend though.  I have planned out a week of healthy meals, so I know that I have something to eat and do not rely on going out or picking up fast food.  Also, all of my meals (except maybe one) have fruits and vegetables in them, so I know they are healthy and I am continuing to put good things in my body.

I am also trying to stay away from emotional eating, which can be a really big problem.  Especially since I am not having a very good day and there are cookies in the kitchen area (at work).  Cookies are my kryptonite.  It really is kind of a problem.  I am doing good to resist them so far though.

Now I am going to go log my foods, so I can put my money where my mouth is…instead of stuffing it with a cookie.

Goals, Personal

Construction Zone

 

 

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This is how I am feeling lately, like I am under construction.  I take a few steps forward and then several steps backward, but I am always thinking about how to better improve myself and am conscious of when I am undoing work I have already done.  This week I have given a lot of thought to the changes I want to make, and I thought I would share a few.

The first is the changes I want to make to the blog.  I think I do not post as often as I would like in order to be able to properly document my journey and hold myself accountable.  In order to do this, I think I am going to create more structure to my blog.  I am going to have a theme for most days of the week.  These themes will also cover everything I need to have a balanced, healthy life.  It is not just going to be about food and workouts.  I want to make sure I am healthy body,mind, and spirit.  Here is what I have so far:

  1. Motivation Monday: Here is where I will post things that motivate me to workout and eat healthy.  These can be quotes or items or whatever I can think of.
  2. Talkie Tuesday: This is where I will discuss my favorite things of that week or what I am reading….fun stuff that I enjoy that I want to share
  3. Workout Wednesday: Here is where I will discuss my workouts from the previous week.  Right now, it will be about Focus T25 and will expand to other things I find.
  4. Thoughtful Thursday: I always talk about how stress is the main thing that sabotages my progress on my journey to a better self.  Therefore, this will be a day to discuss (and sometimes vent about) what is going on that week in order to write it all down and log it rather than eating my feelings.
  5. Foodie Friday: On these days I will post fun, healthy recipes I have made throughout the week in order to share fun recipes and such.
  6. STATurday:  I have to admit, I got this one from Shaun T and Focus T25.  On this day I will post measurements and weight loss.  Occasionally I will also post pictures in order to document my progress.
  7. Haven’t thought of a fun title for Sunday, but I would like to reflect on my goals and create new ones for the week.

I am hoping this will keep me accountable.  I can always work on blog posts during my lunch hour at work.  Additionally, I can work on them at various times during the week and schedule them.  This will also allow me to write a little at a time, and it will just post on the appropriate day.  Gotta love modern technology.

I just said on Sunday I want to reflect on goals and create new ones for the week.  I didn’t really write goals, so there is nothing on which to reflect.  However, I am proud of myself for completing the week of T25, especially the double workout.  I will discuss this more in detail on Wednesday.

As far as goals for this week, I am going to keep the list short.  This way it is obtainable.  Here are the fantastic four:

  1. Make it through another week of T25.
  2. Log all of my foods in Jillian’s app
  3. Wear my bodymedia armband when I am working out.
  4. Make it through my week of blog posts.

Now, I am tired as it is late and I am in bed.  My puppy and better half are asleep….and I think I will join them.  Until tomorrow!!

Workout

Focus T25 – The Beginning

It’s About Time

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I am delighted to say that I started Shaun T’s new workout, Focus T25 this week.  I have a good friend who purchased the set and is kind enough to be my workout buddy.  Can I just say that I have the best workout buddy in the world!! She is so positive and makes working out incredibly fun, which is exactly what I needed to kick my butt back into gear.  I have been so scatterbrained since I found out I was moving (really it started a little before then), and I have not been able to get my ducks in a row.  I am finding that when I stick to my routine, I feel much better, choose healthier options, and function much better in life.  For this I am so grateful, and I am very much looking forward to getting back into a steady routine to become a better me!

Onto the review….I compare this workout to Jillian’s Body Revolution (ya’ll know how I feel about my girl).  I have to say, I really enjoy this workout; however, I have to say I enjoy Jillian’s a bit more.  With that being said, here are the pros and cons I find to the T25 workout so far.  Understand that I have not completed the program nor have I completed all of the workouts, so this is just a first impression and could change at any time.  I am a girl after all!  🙂

Pros

  • It really is only 25 minutes.  There is an additional 2 or 3 minutes at the end (depending on the workout you are doing) for the cool down.  The ENTIRE workout is like 28 minutes, but who is counting?  Po-ta-to, Po-tah-to, right?
  • There is a timer and counter for the entire workout.  The timer starts at 25 minutes and counts down to the end of the workout.  The counter tells you what workout you are currently doing and has a bar for how much time you have left for that particular move.  I find this extremely motivating as you are never wondering when this is going to end and you can think to yourself, I can do this for that much longer.  It’s pretty awesome, and something I enjoyed about Insanity as well. But this one is a little different than the one in Insanity.
  • Shaun T. I find him to be extremely motivating.  He is just awesome!!
  • There are great modifiers to every workout.  Tonia is the modifier, and she is working out just as hard as the other people.  You feel it too, even if you are modifying…

Cons

  • The program is advertised as 25 minutes a day, 5 days a week.  Of course this is a gimmick.  Fridays are “double down” Fridays.  This means you complete two 25 minute workouts that day.  So, you are really working out for 50 minutes on Friday.  Sunday is considered a “stretch” day.  Of course, there is a DVD for that, and it is 25 minutes long (go figure).  My problem is not that these things are incorporated, my issue is with the fact it is not advertised this way.  I think the program is great just the way it is, but be honest!
  • You work the same muscles all of the time.  I have this same thought for Insanity as well.  I find that I am using my quads and leg muscles all of the time, back to back to back.  I think I am even more bothered by this after completing Jillian’s program because I think she does a fantastic job of splitting everything up (front of the body and back of the body).

I have pictures and measurements to post later.  I have been wanting to write this post for a while, but just have not had the time.  I figured while I was eating lunch at work, I would take some time to post my thoughts.  I will write another (more fun) post with my pictures and measurements so I can keep track of my results as well.  ‘Cause I can love Shaun T all I want, but if he does not produce results I will not be a happy camper.  Tonight is Ab Intervals!!  Sexy 6-pack here I come!!  Until next time, DIG DEEPER!!!

Personal

Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder

It’s been awhile….

I have to say, I was doing really awesome on my fitness journey, until my better half received a new job, which required a move.  My better half works for a univeristy, and the previous position was in residence life, which required us to live in a residence hall (also known as a dorm).  Don’t get me wrong, we had a nice two bedroom apartment, but it was loud and my better half worked all of the time, and we were just ready for a change.  The same univeristy had an opening in a different department, and the short story is we had to find somewhere else to live.  What did we do?  We bought a house!!  We started looking in April and actually moved in a couple of weeks ago.  I LOVE our new house.  It’s just so…us.  My fitness regimin has been pushed aside for moving plans and unpacking.

A few says after we moved in, my better half surprised me with a puppy!!  She is a mix between a Bichon Friese and a Shitzu, and her name is Sadie.  She is the new love of our lives, and we have spent the last two weeks spoiling her.  Right now she is curled on my desk asleep.  Currently we are working on potty training, which has proven quite the challenge.

On top of all of this, I currently have pnemonia.  Luckily, it is going away and I am able to do everyday life things again, like go to work and clean the house.  I go back to the doctor on Wednesday in order to ensure all of the fluid is cleared up and I am good to go.  I am feeling pretty good, but I have a horrific cough.  This has also put a damper on my workout regimin.  It has also, inadvertantly, crashed my healthy eating plan.  When we found out we were moving, my better half went into a “we have to save every penny” kick.  Therefore, we ate in the dining hall most of the time.  Not only did this take away from my love of cooking, it was not quite as healthy either (think LOTS of fried food and starches).  When we moved in, things got better (for a week).  Then I got sick, and when I get sick I crave fast food.  Seriously, I could survive off of chicken nuggets and coke when I am sick.    Slowly I am starting to cook more, which should significantly help!!

Another piece of good news is I have a good friend who loves Shaun T and recently ordered his new workout, Focus T25.  My friend is currently training to become a weight lifter (and be in competitions and everything), so she will not do it everyday, but she has offered it to me to borrow so I can follow the program.  I am pretty excited to see if it lives up to the hype and compare it with Jillian’s Body Revolution.  I do feel like I’m cheating on my girl Jillian a little, but I have to mix it up, right?  No worries, because I do still LOVE Jillian!!

I am excited to get back to my blog.  I have missed it quite a bit, and I have been thinking about this post for a while.  It looks like life is looking less like a roller coaster, and I should be getting back into a routine (I think I have forgotten what a routine is though).  I look forward to blogging about my fitness adventures as well as other fun happenings in my life, as I feel I really can’t change or blog about just one thing because they all influence each other.

Now, I am off to shower and make dinner.  We are grilling tonight…hamburgers, zuchinni and squash, and corn!!  It’s gonna be yummy!!  Until next time!