Progress

Focus T25 Alpha Review

 

 

IMG_1589

OH MY GOODNESS!!!!  We completed the alpha round!!  This is such a good feeling, and I am so proud of me and my workout buddy for finishing alpha.  We did not skip one workout (believe me, we wanted to some days).  I distinctly remember an evening when my workout buddy had to work exceptionally late, not to mention this was double dip Friday.  She texted me several times telling me to work out without her and she would just come pick up the DVDs and do them that night.  I continued to tell her that we are a team and I am not doing it without her.  She came over at 10:30pm at night, and we kicked out TWO 25 minute workouts!!

Onto the alpha review…it was AWESOME!!!  During week three is when I really hit my stride.  After that, I felt like the workouts were still challenging, but I was able to keep up.  It was pretty fantastic how the workouts progressed the way they did.  I still think the workouts are quad focused; however, I never noticed my quads hurting or super fatigued.  They were the first things that started to burn within the first 30 seconds of the workout though.  this is also the only place where I gained inches, so I am thinking it is muscle since I lost everywhere else.  All in all, these are solid workouts that burn calories, make you sweat, but does not feel unattainable (a la Insanity).  Now, I will let the results speak for themselves…

 

IMG_1353 IMG_1586

 

Week 1                                                        Week 5

IMG_1354 IMG_1588

 

Week 1                                                        Week 5

IMG_1356 IMG_1587

Week 1                                                        Week 5

Week 1                                                            Week 5                                                         Total Loss

Weight: 252 pounds                                   Weight: 245 pounds                                Weight: -7 pounds

Bust: 46.5 inches                                          Bust: 45 inches                                          Bust: -1.5 inches

Waist: 47.25 inches                                     Waist:  44 inches                                       Waist: -3.25 inches

Arm: 17.5 inches                                          Arm: 14.5 inches                                        Arm: -3 inches

Thigh: 27.25 inches                                     Thigh: 29 inches                                         Thigh: +2.75 inches

I am SO EXCITED about these results.  They would have been better if I had been stricter on my diet.  I had a few weeks where I more than strayed along the path.  So, I decided to set a short term goal.  By the end of beta, I want to be 230 pounds.  I think that if I stick to my target calories and continue with all of the exercises, hitting my goal should be no sweat (or lots and lots of sweat depending on how you look at it).

The short version is: I am super proud for making it all the way through the alpha round.  Alpha was AWESOME, and now I’m going to kick some beta booty.

 

 

 

Personal

Blogs

I want you to know as I am writing this, I am trying to fight the urge to eat everything in sight.  For some reason, I really want to eat, even though I am not hungry at all.  My better half purchased a box of Nutty Bars because I really wanted a snack today.  I did not do very well this week because I have not done well eating (even though I have been tracking what I eat).  Ugh, I hate when I have days like this.  It is HORRIBLE!!

So, what have I been doing?  I’ve been looking at other blogs in order to help me remember why I am doing what I am doing.  I helps to see where others have been and where they are now.  It’s kind of like watching The Biggest Loser, which everyone knows I love, it helps to see others succeed and do well.  I start to think if they can do it, I can too!! 

So, here is a list of my favorite blogs that I look at often to inspire me to stay on track:

  1. Skinnytaste: this is my favorite food blog.  I often go on this site to find my meals for the week, and I have never been steered wrong.  Everything on her site tastes AMAZING!! I also like she has the calories and WW points listed.  I always recalculate my own calories with the ingredients I use, but usually it is not far off.
  2. Fat Girl Run: this is a woman who has had such success through becoming a runner.  She has lost a TON of weight and continues to critique different races she’s accomplished and products she has tried.  She has such as fantastic story.
  3. Fitnessista: She is just fun and quirky.  By day, she is a personal trainer and a nutritionist; however, you would never know it from her no-nonsense approach.  She has good looking recipes and fun stories to keep it motivational.
  4. The Jillian Michaels Show: Everyone who reads my blog knows I love Jillian Michaels, and motivation is no different.  I often listen to her podcasts in the car on my way to and from work.  She gives fantastic advice from fitness tips to personal thoughts.  She and her producer, Janice, have a fantastic chemistry, which makes it lighthearted and funny.   It is fantastic and just the pick-me-up I need most of the time.

What are your favorite blogs that get you motivated?

Workout

Music

Yesterday, I (briefly) shared that I like to plug in my iPod and mow the lawn.  What I did not share is that music is a big part of my life.  I first discovered music really young during a period in my life when I needed it most.  I learned esentially to communicate though music, and I can communicate much better through music than words.  Throughout school, I played violin in orchestra, which is where this idea was reinforced even more.  Now, I feel like I cannot do anything without music.  I have to listen to it in my car to and from work, and when I am writing, and when I am studying, and when I am working out.  I am always finding new music to add to my collection, and my playlist is ever changing.  I thought I would share my current playlist that gets me through my day and my workouts.  While it is not all peppy and fast, I find it motivating just the same.

I am always on the lookout for new music (especially for exercise).  What is your favorite workout song?

Goals, Progress

STATurday and Sunday

Another week has come and gone.  Hard to imagine I have made it though WEEK 3 of Focus T25.  I will (obviously) be talking about my thoughts of week three on Wednesday, but I do have some exciting news to share, so I thought I would post my updated stats!  To know how far we have come, we have to remember where we have been…so here are last weeks stats

Last Week:

Weight: 252 pounds

Bust: 46.5 inches

Waist: 47.25 inches

Arm: 17.5 inches

Thigh: 27.25 inches

This Week:

Weight: 247 pounds

Bust: 45.75 inches

Waist: 46.5 inches

Arm: 16.5 inches

Thigh: 28.5 inches

Total Loss:

Weight: -5 pounds (HELL YEAH!!!)

Bust: -.75 inches

Waist: -.75 inches

Arm: -1 inch (goodbye wings!!)

Thigh: +.75 inches (I was told this has to be muscle….we will see)

I am SO PLEASED with the results from last week to this week.  I think it is definitely a testament to Shaun T and Beachbody.  My workout buddy also lost 5 inches total from the past three weeks, so this is definitely worth all of the hard work.  I am so blessed to have such a great friend to do this with as well.  She’s amazing and I definitely would not be doing as well if I did not have someone to come and push me to do workouts even when I don’t want to.  I am looking forward to see what I will continue to lose in the coming weeks on the program.

Today was such a great day.  As ya’ll may or may not know, I recently purchased a house in June (which was the contributor to some weight gain).  The house was beautiful when we purchased it, but we are slowly adding some things that we want to do.  I’ve noticed that since we bought the house, gotten the puppy, and I’ve started working out and taking care of me more, I have been so much more productive, which translates into also being more active.  I am glad my new life incorporates more activity.  Today we went to Home Depot and purchased a storm door for our front door so we can keep the windows open and have the option to let in some fresh air.  We have some amazing friends (one of which happens to be my supervisor) who are teaching us how to be handy around the house.  After we did that, I mowed the lawn.  Oddly, I find this relaxing.  I turn on my iPod, put my earbuds in, and go to town.  We have also neglected our flower bed out front, so I was able to work in that a little bit today.  My better half purchased some weed killer, and I trimmed two bushes that are in the front.  I wish I had taken before pictures, because the bushes were really bad.  They look better now.  It was my first time trimming bushes, so I will have to see what other people think in order to find out if I did a good job or not.

Onto my goals for the week…

I was reading someone else’s blog (sadly I do not remember the name of the blog), but they called their goals “target practice” as we always aim for the mark, but sometimes we miss (and that’s okay).  I really enjoy this mentality, especially because I am bad at making goals.  So, here is my “target practice” for the upcoming week.

  1. Wear my body media armband while working out.  Sound familiar?  That’s because I haven’t done it yet, but recognize I really need to.  When I am done writing this blog, I am going to get my device out of my nightstand and charge it.  Luckily, my computer is in the same room in which I work out, so I will see it tomorrow when I go to put my DVD in.  This way I cannot miss it.
  2. Log my foods.  Same story as above…something I recognize I need to do, but have not done it yet.  I am not sure why either.  I eat relatively healthy, so it is not that I am trying to avoid things.  I think it is a time thing, especially because I make my own food.  It is a pain to add everything up and such.  However, I know this will tell a lot about my weight loss success, and I need to do it.  It’s just something I have to do.
  3. Ride my bike at least 2 times this week.  Long story short, my better half had foot surgery a while ago, and it still hurts.  While we are not up to doing T35, my better half thought about riding a bike as a form of exercise.  So…we bought bikes.  They are really nice ones too!!  My better half has been out riding once (in the last week and a half) and I have been none.  This is something I really want to do though, and I need to make time to do it.  We have plans to go for a ride tomorrow, so fingers crossed!!

Here is to another amazing week!!  Be sure to let me know what an amazing week you have had!  I’m sure we have all had successes in one form or another, and ALL successes should be celebrated!!

Food

Egg Muffins

As most great stories start, my workout buddy and I were talking, and she found this egg thing she wanted to try.  Of course, she could not remember where she saw it or what (else) was in it, so we searched pinterest.  She knew they were single serving eggs she could freeze and eat throughout the week.  We didn’t find exactly what we were looking for, so we got the logistics down and improvised the rest.  The end result was phenomenal!!  Here are the adventures of the egg muffins…

IMG_1367

First, I cracked an egg into each space of a muffin tin.  I then took a wisk, broke the yolk, and mixed the yolks and the whites together.  If I had to do it over, I would scramble 12 eggs in a bowl and then pour them into each muffin tin.  It would be better mixed that way. Or, you could leave it this way and have egg-celent sunny side up eggs (I am so punny…)

IMG_1368

Then, I chopped up the vegetables.  For these particular eggs, we used red bell peppers and asparagus.  However, you can literally throw in what ever you want….ham and cheese, spinach, mushrooms, bacon…what ever.  AND, if you like it in scrambled eggs or an omelet, you are going to love it in this, so get creative.

IMG_1369

We put all of the veggies in each muffin part.  I would not mix this with the egg as then the veggies would fell to the bottom, and you would not get even distribution….and wouldn’t that be a shame!

IMG_1375

You are going to bake these puppies at 350F for 20 minutes, and they turn out perfect.  They also freeze well, so you can make a bunch and pop them in the freezer for a quick, healthy breakfast to go.  I was surprised at how well they turned out.  A-MAZING!!  I would definitely go into your kitchen and try these now.  You can’t go wrong, and now there is never an excuse not to eat breakfast.

Egg Muffins

12 eggs, beaten and poured into muffin tins

1 red bell pepper

1/2 bunch asparagus

Pam or non-stick spray

  1. Pre-heat oven at 350F
  2. Spray muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray
  3. Beat eggs in bowl.
  4. Pour beaten eggs into muffin tin
  5. Put vegetable in each muffin tin
  6. Bake in oven for 20 minutes.  Let cool.
Workout

Focus T25

 

week-2

Week 2 was much better than week 1, and I am halfway done with the alpha portion!!  I was able to do more of the workout than I was able to do before.  I can feel myself getting stronger, which is a really awesome feeling.  I seem to still be struggling with some of the workouts, and I find myself taking mini breaks quite often.

Here are my thoughts of the workouts after week 2:

Pros: 

  • IT’S ONLY 25 MINUTES!!
  • I still enjoy all of the workouts, which I think is a big plus since I have half of a month left to go.
  • The workouts are challenging and engaging.  With having to do the same workouts as last week, I am glad I still feel challenged.  Although, I am still getting used to the workouts.
  • Shaun T, as always, is a wonderful and engaging motivator.  He keeps my attention and makes me want to focus.  My workout buddy and I are pretty sassy people, so it is always entertaining to hear the fantastic comments that come out of our mouths.
  • Have I mentioned it is really only 25 minutes?  I feel like I can workout and still live my life!!  I cook, my friend rides her bike with a group of gals, we chat, and we get work done.  It is awesome!

Cons:

  • The only con I can really think of is that I work my leg muscles all the time.  By minute one my quads are screaming because I have been working them so hard.  By the end of the workouts, my legs feel like jelly, but I guess that’s a good thing.
  • Double workout Friday kind of sucks.  It’s not terrible, but it’s not 25 minutes either.

Overall, I am loving this workout.  What I love even more is that I feel like I am actually going to finish this program.  I attribute to the easiness of it, and by easy I mean into my schedule…NOT an easy workout.  I also think that I have the best workout buddy on the planet, which makes life more fun.  So far, this is a great workout.  I think it will be fantastic when I start seeing some results, but I know that will take time.  If I just stay focused, I know the results will come!

 

Food

Green Monster Smoothies

One of the most fun things I have done recently is have a green smoothie party with my workout buddy.  This started with wanting to try a green smoothie, but never having the guts to try it.  I was talking about it with my workout buddy, and we decided to make the plunge together.  It’s much more fun that way!!

I did some research and found the green monster movement website.  This is from the person who kick started the green smoothie movement according to her blog.  I found a bunch of recipes from her website, tried a couple, and find out the results.

Step one: put all of the ingredients in a blender

IMG_1373

Step two: Turn the blender on

IMG_1374

Step three: Enjoy!

IMG_1370

IMG_1371

The result? A couple of fantastic smoothies!  I loved them!  What everyone says is true, you really can’t taste the spinach.  It takes on the flavor of what ever else you put in it.  I think this would be fantastic for breakfast.  And, you can really flavor it with any fruit you want.  We did banana and then banana and blueberry.  The one with the blueberry was definitely the favorite.  I had tons more flavor.  It would also be good with strawberries or peanut butter.

Here are the recipes I used.  They both were found on green monster movement website.

Virgin Green Monster

1 cup spinach

1-1.5 cups milk (I used skim)

1 banana

1/2 cup ice

Blueberry-Banana Green Monster

1 cup spinach

1-1.5 cups milk (I used skim)

1 banana

1/2 cup blueberries

1/2 cup ice

Workout

Calendar Tracking

Happy Monday!!  My Monday has been nuts, which is why this post is so late.  I had an impromptu client over lunch, and I could not get to my blogging.  I am going to sit here and write all of these fun posts that I have in my head.

Today, I wanted to share one of my simple but awesome motivators that I LOVE to use.

IMG_1377

THIS is my workout calendar!  For each workout, I write my workouts for the month.  This allows me to see what I am supposed to do for the entire month.  The one above is my workout calendar for Focus T25 alpha.  I try to plan out what I am going to do each month.  One reason I like programs on DVDs is because the schedule is already thought out for me, because coming up with a plan myself would not put me on the right path.  With the calendar, I know what is coming and how far I have already gone….which leads to the best part of the calendar….

CROSSING OFF THE WORKOUT!!  Putting that fat, red X on each workout feels so good.  It is like the exclamation mark on the end of the sentence.  It says, I came, I saw, I conquered.  This also allows me to track progress.  The more red x’s, the better.  Notice that in the above calendar, I have not skipped a day, which is AWESOME considering that when I did Jillian I would skip at least once per week.  This is because of my workout buddy, which is a whole other blog topic (but for the record, I have the best workout buddy in the world).

This is a big motivator for me as I find I want to put the red x on the calendar.  This reminds me, I have a red x to go place now…until next time.

 

Progress

STATurday and Sunday

Like I said, I am a little behind on my blog posts, so I am rolling two into one.  First, my stats…These are a little weird because the pictures are before I started Focus T25, but the measurements are from after week one.  My wonderful better half threw away the scrap piece of paper I wrote my original measurements on, and sadly I do not remember them, but I am sure they were not that far off from these.

I have to say, I have NEVER posted pictures of myself before, and I am a little nervous to do so.  I have pictures from when I very first began my weight loss journey and blogging, but I never got the balls to actually post them.  I guess here is a new chapter.  To be honest, just looking at them makes me a little nauseated, but it is good to know where you are so you know where you are going.  Needless to say, I hope the next time I post pictures there is notable progress.

IMG_1353 IMG_1354 IMG_1356

Weight: 252 pounds

Bust: 46.5 inches

Waist: 47.25 inches

Arm: 17.5 inches

Thigh: 27.25 inches

For this next week, I only want to set a goal of tracking my food and wearing my bodymedia when I workout so I know how many calories I am burning.  I did not do well at all doing either one of these last week.  The only thing I can think of is that I am just busy, which is really no excuse as I used to do this before.  I also think that I secretly like the my fitness pal app better than the jillian michaels one, which makes me really sad.  I love the integration, but it is a pain to put the calories into both applications.  We will see what I end up doing, as long as I am doing something….

Here is to week 3 of T25 and a week of good eating!!

Workout

Focus T25 Week 1

So sorry for the late (and obviously incorrect) blog post.  I need to do better about setting these up.  I started this one, but I could not schedule it to publish as I had not finished.  It arrived….Like I said in a earlier post, my friend purchased T25 and has been so nice to allow me to share the experience with her.

IMG_1322

I cannot tell you how excited I was when my friend brought over this box.  It came with the DVDs, a schedule, a meal plan, and a 5 day kickstart plan.  She and I are almost done with week 2 and will start week 3 on Monday, so when I post these, I am going to be a week behind.  In the first week, you do all of the workouts associated with the alpha (month 1) part of the program.  I thought I would give my two cents on each of the workouts.  I know I gave my overall opinion, but I think it is fun to discuss each individual workout.

IMG_1323

Cardio: This one lives up to it’s name.  It is a lot of high energy moves designed to get your heart rate kicking.  It is done in progressions that lead to a more challenging exercise.  For example, you go from alternating knee lifts, to a slow jog to a quick jog.  That’s obviously the warm up, and there are many more challenges throughout the workout.  There is something called the burnout that is found in every DVD.  This is where you do just the challenging moves from each set and “give it all you have got.”  This is where Shaun T really asks you to focus.  Really, it just gives you that kick in the pants you need in order to push it out.

Speed 1.0: This workout is more interval training.  Think Insanity.  You have quick, fast feet moves designed to (imagine this) increase your speed and agility.  It also gets your heart rate up, like cardio.  However, it has some slower intervals as well.  This workout focuses a lot on the lower body, which gets to be a lot because most of the DVDs have a lot of lower body work…hello quads and hammies.

Total Body Circuit: This really does work your whole body.  It has a lot of plank work and a little bit of boxing/tae-bo moves in order to incorporate the upper body.  It also has similar moves to the cardio DVD that will incorporate lower body moves as well.  It also incorporates lots of stabilization exercises to increase balance and strength.  After I did this DVD is when I really started to feel the workouts when I wasn’t working out…like when I would go up and down stairs or reach for something high or straighten my hair.

Ab Intervals: Hello abs!!  This one lives up to it’s name…it’s nothing but ab work.  Shaun does give you some breaks by incorporating more cardio moves that focus on abs.  My workout buddy and I joke that we are refrigerating our six pack and with this workout we are definitely taking it out of the fridge!!

Lower Focus: Again, more focus on the lower body, but this ONLY focuses on the lower body.  Literally, the only thing Shaun tells about the upper body is to keep your chest up.  All of the workouts wake up your lower body, but this just drives the message home.

Stretch: I was so excited to learn that this is a real stretch DVD!!  For those who did Insanity, you know that the stretching was kind of a lie.  This however is true, genuine stretching, and it feels amazing.  After a week of hardcore workout, this is such an amazing break and way to stretch and relax the body.  After I did this DVD, all of the soreness went away.  It felt amazing!!

Overall, I LOVE this program.  I knew I would because I love Shaun T, but what I really love about it is that it is literally 25 minutes long.  You do all the work of a productive workout, but it is over before you have really realized what you have done.  It’s amazing.  I am super excited to see the results.  Aunt Flo has come to visit, which reeks all kinds of havoc on my body for two and a half weeks.  I know that my results (especially this week) might not be the best, and I have to remember that I have worked hard.  The calendar scheudle allows you to check either “barely made it” or “nailed it” for each workout.  For week one, I would say we “barely made it.”  part of it is just learning the moves and the pace, but the majority of it is that this workout is no joke.  It is only 25 minutes, but it packs a strong punch.