Tag Archives: 90 days to a better you

New Horizons


Arriving at one goal is the starting point to another – John Dewey

 


As I looked in the mirror over the weekend, it hit me that I have almost reached my goal.

It is a point in my life I never thought I would reach. A dream I had and wanted for so long, but never had the drive to go after. I would wish for it…pray for it…and basically beg for it, but I would never do anything to go for it.

Thankfully, I finally put one foot in front of the other and now I am finally reaching the finish line and grabbing my dream. It is a moment that still hasn’t fully registered,  however, it is empowering and an achievement I am very proud of.

Reaching this goal has shown me that I am capable of great things and it has left me wanting to help others start on out on their journey. I realized it is time to set new goals and to go after them.

As with this journey, I am sure I will stumble and fall. I will get frustrated and question myself as to why I am doing this, but it is all part of the process. The growing as a person, discovering who you are, what you are capable of and most of all…helping others to do the same.

This year, I want to start taking steps to become a certified personal trainer. I want to learn everything I can so I will be able to help people like myself, to take those first steps and finally reach for their dreams.

I hope to start a local fit club this spring, where I can meet people face to face and give them the tools and encouragment they need. I know that this will also help me to overcome some of my fears. (Like group workouts – ha!) It will allow me to share my story, and let others know that health and happiness isn’t just a dream. It can be achieved…and I will be there to give them a boost so they can reach for it.

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10 Tips For Staying On Track


I am often asked about what I do to stay on track during my health and fitness journey, so I decided to put together 10 tips that have worked for me. These are in no particular order, as I randomly chose a few for this blog with the hope to shed a little light on things and help to jump start you, if you are just starting out.

1. Regular cardio exercise and resistance training: Cardio is one of the most important things you can do in order to reach your weight loss goals. Team that up with 3 days of resistance training  a week, to build lean muscle and you will be a fat burning machine in no time. The cardio exercises that burn the most calories and get you into shape the fastest are, running, bicycling, swimming, step aerobics and inevitably, jogging. If you are just getting into the fitness game, try some brisk walking or spend some time on the eliptical. (I started out by using the stationary bike 3 times a week for 30 mins a day and worked my way up)

*If you prefer a DVD based program contact me and I can help you select one that’s right for you.

2. Drink lots of water: Water actually increases your body’s ability to metabolize fat and greatly helps in shedding your first couple pounds also known as, water weight. It will also help to keep you hydrated and curb your appetite. (I am a huge water drinker and can easily consume a gallon or more per day)

3. Meditation/Yoga: People recommend it because it reduces stress, but why is stress a bad thing? Well, when you are stressed your body releases high levels of cortisol and this is not good. If you are a stressed out person (like me), try doing some yoga (there are different styles to choose from, so play around until you find one you like) or try some gentle stretching and breathing exercises. If yoga is not your thing, play music, dim the lights and just relax. Your body and mind will thank you.

*Going to bed at an early hour and making sure you get at least 7-8 hours of sleep will help, as well.

4. Eat more fruits and vegetables: You’ve heard this one a hundred times but, it’s that important. In a world full of processed foods it’s important to go back to basics and up your intake on whole foods. They will help you feel full and energized and your digestive track will thank you. Opt for leafy, green vegetables and aim for a rainbow of colors  on your plate for maximum nutrients. (Limit fruit intake as they are higher in sugar)

5. Eat more protein: This is essential in weight loss. Especially if you want to keep the weight off, and I’m sure you do! Who wants those pounds coming back…right?! Protein takes longer to digest and as a result, keeps you feeling full, longer. Protein is also necessary for building lean muscle, which in turn will rev up your metabolism and burn more fat. Some recommended foods that are high in protein: nuts such as almonds, eggs, fish, low-fat yogurt and string cheese, lean meat and skim-milk.

6. Eat frequent, small meals: Forget the typical 3 meals of breakfast, lunch and dinner. You should eat 5-6 smaller healthy meals per day. This will help to keep your blood sugar steady, curb binging due to hunger and keep your metabolism fired up.

7. Eat your food slowly: Many people tend to gulp food down while on the run. Take your time and enjoy what you are eating. It takes about 15 minutes for your brain to register that you are full, so slowing down will save you calories.

8. Watch your portion sizes: In a society were everything is super-sized and all-you-can-eat, this is so important! Use smaller plates at meal time. This will help trick you eye into thinking you “ate a full plate”.  Another downfall is snacking. Ever eat a whole bag of mini rice cakes in one sitting? We’re all guilty of it, and it’s not ok just because they are a low fat snack. When eating snacks like rice cakes, nuts, or dried fruit, put a portion in a small bowl and then put the bag away. That way you won’t mindlessly eat a larger portion than you had intended.

9. Think before you eat: Do not snack when you are bored. It’s a terrible habit that many people do without even realizing and it plays a huge part in obesity. Before you reach for a snack, ask yourself  “Am I even hungry?” If you are not sure, have a glass of water. Many times people mistake dehydration for hunger.

10. BE CONSISTENT: This is the most important rule and I cannot stress it enough. Be consistent with your exercise and eating. We will all have good days and bad days but you have to be dedicated and work hard to see results. If you slip up on a meal, don’t view it as a failure and continue to eat poorly the rest of the day. Dust yourself and make the best of the rest of your meals THAT DAY. Same holds true for exercise, there will be days you miss a workout. No sweat! Next day, dig a little deeper, or add some bonus time to make up for it. I don’t want you to beat yourself up, sulk over it and miss the next day, too. There are no miracles on this journey. You didn’t gain your weight overnight, so don’t expect to lose it overnight.

Healthy weight loss can be achieved and maintained if you are consistent and continue with your healthy eating habits and exercise even after your weight loss goal has been reached. This is a new way of life….embrace it.

*Bonus tip: Journal! Keep a food log everyday so you can look back and see where you can improve your diet. I wrote a blog on this not too long ago and it has truly helped me the past two months. “If you bite it, you write it”

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A Look Back at Week 1

I had made a promise to myself when I made my first vlog that I would overcome my fear of the camera by making them more often. I realized today, that I broke that promise to myself.

Oops…I better fix that….now….

 

Be gentle if you comment….I’m still trying to overcome my camera shyness. If you have questions for me, feel free to ask them here or join me over on my Facebook accountability board by clicking here. Don’t forget to click the “like” button while you’re there :)

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I Met Tony Horton!

I know this post is a few days late but…

I MET TONY HORTON!

On January 4, 2011 – exactly 1 year to the day of my starting Round 1 of P90X, I met the man who changed my life.

Tony Horton was doing a book signing for his new book “Bring It!” in Melville, Long Island. A coach I know from Twitter (@TabBenedict) told me about it and asked if I wanted to join her. I could think of no better way to celebrate the anniversary of the “new me” than to do a live workout with the man who started it all AND have an opportunity to meet him and have a photo with taken with him.

The one part of this that had me nervous was the “live workout”. I had never, ever, EVER participated in a group workout before. (I don’t count gym class back in junior high school…if you do, well, that was my last group workout.)

I have always done my workouts alone. Well, I did a few with my husband during our adventures in Insanity, but I wasn’t even a fan of that. For some reason I have always just worked out by myself…it’s usually my time…when I get to clear my mind and just do what I need to do.

Anyway, off to Long Island I went to meet Tab and Tony Horton!

When I entered to room at the hotel where the event was being held Tony was already talking to the crowd and I felt nervous. There were more people than I expected in the room. Being that it was in Long Island on a Tuesday night I didn’t think there would be a good 200+ people there. We quickly found another coach we knew (@MariaPaulercio) who claimed a spot as ours and I had no idea what to expect next.

We listened to Tony talk, then some people shared their success stories and before I knew it he had us warming up for the group workout….ok….I can do this. Right?

Tony took us through a series of push-ups, lunges and ab moves that left me exhausted and sore as heck! I was mad at myself for having to take a break during  a Kenpo sequence but it was about 1,000 degrees in that room and I started feeling lightheaded. (It also gave me a chance to take a little video.)

At the end of the workout the lines formed to meet Tony and Tab, myself and my husband had a chance to talk and joke around.

When it was my turn to meet him I truly didn’t know what to say besides “thank you”. I took my photo with him and then listened to him and my husband joke about the “Tony and the Kids” DVD we brought with us to have signed for my son.

Overall it was a very surreal experience. I met the person who helped me to change my life, conquered my fear of the dreaded group workout and met a wonderful person who I had been speaking to on-line for almost a year.

Here’s to another year of workouts – Bring it!

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I’m Squatastic!

Day 5. P90X. Legs & Back.

Today was a rough one.

Last night I worked out live with Tony Horton and then today I spent the whole day walking around NYC with a friend.

While sitting in traffic on the way home, I calculated that we walked roughly 100 blocks while chatting, window shopping and being tourists.

With my legs already sore and tight I stretched out my hamstrings, pressed play and got the show on the road!

Tonight was also my first workout with my new pull-up bar. I have never used one in my other rounds since we couldn’t find a bar that fit the doorways near our workout space properly. Today, we hit the jackpot as my husband decided to pick one up he saw in the store. After a little adjusting he got it to work and I became the guinea pig to test this thing out and make sure it really worked.
Luck me!

I had to use a chair and put an area rug under it to prevent it from sliding, but otherwise it worked great and I loved it. I have plenty of room for improvement in the pull-up department so I welcome the challenge.

Wall squats, sneaky lunges,
iso toe rolls and chair stance were all a challenge tonight. My quads and booty were on fire after this workout and I can feel the major squatastic soreness setting in as I type. I also feel it in my shoulders and back from all of the pull-ups.

I am honestly glad that my rest day is almost here. I am looking forward to doing X Stretch and just taking it easy for a day. Tomorrow however, I’ll have to conquer KenpoX (which is my favorite workout) if I want to earn that rest.

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Namaste, Bitches!

Day 4. P90X. Yoga X.

Yes, I know, my title sounds very tranquil and relaxing. For those of you who have done Yoga X, you know there is nothing tranquil and relaxing about it, especially during Yoga Belly X were he yells at you to reach higher and “Get Em Up“!

I have done two rounds of P90X and I have never developed a love for this workout like some people I know. I have always enjoyed doing my Rodney Yee AM Yoga and meditation style yoga dvd’s, but this is not either of those.

First off, I struggle with the vinyasas. I loath them and I know I mentally talk myself into this funk. If I would just truly focus and lose myself in the motions I am sure I would be ok. However, being a mom of two it is often hard to get 90 mins of quiet so you can truly focus. No excuses….just telling the truth here. I still do it…just not as dedicated as I should.

I will also admit that during the 1st two rounds of P90X I often skipped ahead to the last vinaysa and started at the balance posture sequence. I know it’s cheating, but to me something was better than nothing and I KNOW I am not alone in this. If I didn’t skip ahead I would opt for one of Tony’s One-on-One series yoga DVD’s – either Patience Hummingbird or Fountain of Youth Yoga, because they were shorter.

For round 3 I have decided I need to leave my comfort zone and face Yoga X head on….all 90 uncomfortable minutes of it. This time around, since I didn’t start on a Monday, yoga falls on my day off and the kids are in school so that should help a lot. I have decided that I will truly “do my best and forget the rest” and not just go through the motions. It will be an uphill battle but it is the only way I can grow as a person and better myself.

Plus, I am grateful that Daniel Haas is in this workout. He represents the average person. Not all of us are Gumby and it’s nice to know that I’m not alone with my shaky legs.

As for today’s session, it went well. As some of you who follow me on twitter probably saw, I fell over and busted my ass during the vinyasa section while doing right angle pose & grab. I of course laughed at myself, had to share and then moved on.

The first half of the workout seems to drag on forever to me, and that is because I am not comfortable doing it. Once the second half begins, it’s smooth sailing. I could probably stand in tree pose all day with a clear mind. It’s one of my favorites, followed by happy baby and corpse pose…haha!

Yoga Belly X is definitely a challenge, especially after doing an ab workout late the night before. I can feel that my core is gaining strength since I last did Yoga X which was a pleasant surprise.

Tomorrow is Legs and Back for me….Sneaky Lunges, Wall Squats and Groucho Walk….Oh My!

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Glamour Muscles, Baby!

Round 3.  Day 3.  P90X.

Shoulders and Arms.

Time to work the glamour muscles, baby!

This is hands down my favorite resistance workout in the P90X program. I love the shoulder and bicep definition I get and I think shoulders can be very sexy, so I tend to focus on mine quite a bit.

I was very sore going into today’s workout and to be honest, I almost skipped it since I’m off from work tomorrow. I figured I would just pull a double and go to bed early. Then I remembered I am going to MEET Tony Horton tomorrow and workout with him, (squeeeeeeeee!) so a TRIPLE wouldn’t be a good idea.

At 8:30pm, I dragged my sorry self downstairs to the living room and pushed play. I am so flipping happy I did, too! As soon as I started warming-up, my soreness started to disappear and I felt good. Jumping jax and arm circles were a little rough due to the chest soreness but it quickly worked itself out and I was able to get to it.

Here’s a break down of the moves you do. It works Shoulders/Biceps/Triceps and repeats for each round.

Round 1:

  1. Alternating Shoulder Presses.
  2. In & Out Bicep Curls.
  3. Two Arm Tricep Kickbacks

Round 2:

  1. Deep Swimmer’s Presses
  2. Full Supination Concentration Curls
  3. Chair Dips

Round 3:

  1. Upright Rows
  2. Static Arm Curls
  3. Flip-Grip Twist Kickbacks

Round 4:

  1. Two Angle Shoulder Flys
  2. Crouching Cohen Curls
  3. Lying Down Tricep Extensions (*Tip of the Day – don’t smash your face.)

Bonus Round:

  1. In & Out Straight Arm Flys
  2. Congdon Curls
  3. Side Tri-Rises (*Do more of 26 of these and Tony is coming to your house!)

I followed this routine up with Ab Burner from ChaLEAN Extreme instead of Ab Ripper X. As I have mentioned before, I have 2 herniated discs in my lower back and ARX tends to aggravate them. As long as I feel an abdominal burn, I’m not really picky as to which program the workout came from.

I’m actually looking forward to Yoga X tomorrow. I normally HATE doing it and would prefer to poke my eyeball out with a chopstick than do 90 minutes of this torture Tony calls yoga. However, I actually think my muscles will appreciate and it will be a good thing to do before going to the group workout tomorrow.
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Round 1.

  1. Alternating Shoulder Presses.
  2. In & Out Bicep Curls.
  3. Two Arm Tricep Kickbacks.

Round 2.

  1. Deep Swimmer’s Presses.
  2. Full Supination Concentration Curls.
  3. Chair Dips.

Round 3.

  1. Upright Rows.
  2. Static Arm Curls.
  3. Flip-Grip Twist Kickbacks.

Round 4.

  1. Two Angle Shoulder Flys.
  2. Crouching Cohen Curls.
  3. Lying Down Tricep Extensions.

Bonus Round

  1. In & Out Straight Arm Flys.
  2. Congdon Curls.
  3. Side Tri-Rises.

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Get Your Jump On

Today was Day 2 of P90X which meant I had a date with Plyometrics – “The mother” of the P90X workout program.

Now, I’ve dealt with “the mother” before back in the spring during my second round, when I decided to give classic a shot. Apparently I didn’t listen to her, because I met “the father” (Insanity) and he kicked my ass for not listening to mom and doing what I should have. Lesson learned.

Safely back in mothers arms today, I pressed play. The warm-up got my heart rate up and those lunges got me sweating. I like that there are two rounds of each set of moves. It’s gives you a chance to really “Bring It” in the second round if you are still adjusting to the moves and learning them in the first. As with every workout I have my least favorite move, in Plyo, it’s the Mary Katherine lunges. Meh!

Tony’s famous words in this workout are “You can do anything for 30 seconds” and it’s true. He also points out that one of the guys in the cast  is doing this workout on a prosthetic leg, so no excuses! Point taken. Thank you, Tony.

Overall I have no issues with this workout. Ok. I lied. I have an issue with Dom. One might say I’m jealous of how he hops around like a bunny and makes everything look pretty, effortless and easy. One day I too shall hop around all graceful like that. Until then, I will continue to be like a fish, flopping on deck after being pulled out of the water, and I’m ok with that. No. Really. I am.

Plyometrics is a very challenging workout, but coming off of 63 days of Insanity I felt like I was moving in slow motion. My other issue, was due to the slower pace, my mind had a chance to second guess itself and plant that little seed of doubt. Don’t worry….I did everything and completed the workout…it’s just going to take some readjusting and taking it all 30 seconds at a time.

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Round 3…Day 1…Fight!

Happy New Year, everyone! I can’t believe it is 2011 already.

It feels like just yesterday that I made the choice to give P90X a try…..no really….I’m so sore right now that it feels like I just started this program for the first time.

Since I started 2010 with P90X, I thought there would be no better way to celebrate my Beachbody anniversary than with another round. Being reunited with Tony Horton just seemed like the right thing to do, so I bagged the hybrid, joined a group of fellow coaches and rebooted the “90 Days to a Better You” challenge.

Today, I kicked off Round 3 of X with some Chest and Back, which is the first workout in the Classic version on the program. Let’s just say I forgot how hardcore this program is. I still don’t have a pull-up bar set up (I know. This makes me sad too.) so I used my bands to do pull-downs instead. I have definitely improved in the push-up department, although declines, diamonds, military style and the dreaded dive-bomber push-ups are still my nemesis.

I managed to truly push myself to physical failure on every move today, instead of the mental failure were I would tap out in the past. That fact alone proved to me how much I have grown, both mentally and physically in the past year. My mind would always get the best of me and I would tell myself “I can’t” or I would watch Tony do a move and say “No way, I’m not doing THAT”. Now, my mental conversation is more along the lines of “You’ve got this!” and “Ok, this might take some practice”.

The result of my new mindset? Wobbly, shaky, jello arms that make washing your hair post workout very interesting…and painful.

Today’s workout also included Ab Ripper X (ARX), which I have always struggled with due to my herniated discs. I have a hard time doing any core movements that require me to kick my arms and legs out, while balancing on my butt. I tried my best to make it through most of the DVD but I could feel the strain in my back (most likely due to lousy form) so I reverted back to the ab workout from ChaLEAN Extreme, which is effective and doesn’t aggravate my back.

I’m looking forward to this round of P90X and after 63 days of Insanity….I’m really looking forward to Plyometrics tomorrow.

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The New Year Is Approaching…

It’s almost time to say good-bye to 2010 and hello to 2011…are you ready?

For most people, the new year means making resolutions. Topping that resolution list is usually “lose weight” or “start working out” which creates a surge in people going to the gym. After a month of waiting on line for the treadmill and elliptical or dealing with overflowing classes, many people throw in the towel and begin to find reasons not to go anymore. Sound familiar? You know it does…fess up!

It is this very cycle I battled for years. “January 1st is coming, I’ll join the gym” or “This year I’ll try Weight Watchers“. Year after year, I would make these resolutions and NEVER stick with them…..until January 2010!

What happened in January 2010, you ask? Well, that is when I made a promise to myself…a promise to start P90X and FINISH it! I was hell bent on completing this program, even though I knew I might not be ready for it. I HAD to do this for ME….for my children, and for my health. I grabbed my brand new calendar and started marking my 30, 60 and 90 day goals. I printed out check lists for my daily food and water goals….I meant business this time.

The plus to P90X for me? Well, you don’t have to climb into the car and head to the gym. You don’t have a class time schedule to follow (not that I have ever taken a class….more on this at a later date). There is no line for a machine that you end up having to wipe someones sweat off of. It’s just you and the DVD’s in your living room. (or any other space you declare your “home gym”)

People thought I was crazy and many told me I could not do this. They didn’t have faith in me…how could they? I never completed any of my resolutions in the past. The more negative they felt about my new journey, the hotter I felt the fire within me burn…it fueled me and pushed me to great heights.

The key to my completing this resolution and still being committed to it today was my support group. I managed to find an amazing group of people on-line who were all doing the program. Some were already really fit, some were working out the first time, some had a lot of weight to lose and some just wanted a challenge. None of that mattered though, as we were all there to cheer each other on and reassure one another when we had doubts or bad days. Ok…the fact that I was seeing phenomenal results after 30days and felt amazing helped a bit too.

I sit here now as a 2 time P90X graduate. I’ve completed ChaLEAN Extreme and I’ve earned my INSANITY t-shirt. I am somewhere I never though I would be. I am 40 pounds lighter since starting the P90X leg of my journey. I gained a lot of lean muscle and I’ve lost over 10 inches from my waist alone!!

Was it easy? No! It was the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. It was not only a physical journey, but a mental journey, as well. It is the thing I am most proud of that I have accomplished in my life so far. (Well, besides my two kids)

So, my question to you is….As the New Year approaches and you make your resolutions, are you truly ready to carry them out? If losing weight and getting healthy is at the top of your list, I would love to help you get started. You will be amazed at what you are capable of, if you simply allow yourself to push forward.

Have a Happy and Healthy New Year!

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