Tag Archives: ChaLEAN Extreme

My Week So Far + Five Things

This week started out dragging and then suddenly flew by!

My weekend was nice and quiet. Saturday was a rest day for me, which my body truly appreciated since I’ve been pushing it so hard. As I was lazily laying in bed, I stumbled upon a Groupon for the Color Me Rad 5K, which is taking place in May. Of course I couldn’t resist signing up for another Fun Run…especially since it was only 20 bucks! After a lazy day and dinner, the hubs and I watched “Oz The Great and Powerful”, which I enjoyed but had some issues with. Have you seen it? What were your thoughts?

Sunday I earned my final badge in the #FurtherFasterFurther Road ID Challenge, by doing a 3.17 mile run, wearing green for St. Patty’s Day. After my run, I begin cooking our St. Patty’s Day Feast and then we spent the rest of the day relaxing and eating.

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I ended up earning 31 badges….some had double or triple worth so I think I ended up 37 or 38!

The rest of this week has consisted of my usual. I took another rest day and just stretched on Monday, Tuesday I ran, did some time on the trainer and then went and cashed in on my last massage. The hubs had given me a three month membership for Christmas and it was hands down THE BEST GIFT EVER. Since this was my last massage and I had a $5 off coupon, I decided to upgrade to a 90-minute session! It was painfully-blissful and just what my body needed!

Wednesday I did ChaLean Extreme, Push 1 & 2 and then followed it with 10.5 on the trainer. I also took a ride up to The Vitamin Shoppe and picked up some Quest bars. I’ve seen the lovely RunEMZ rave about them on Twitter and Instagram, so I had to check them out. Upon returning to my vehicle, I immediately tried the Chocolate Brownie and I was not disappointed at all! I need to get my booty over to GNC (since Vitamin Shoppe sucks and had limited stock of these) so I can try the other flavors she recommended.

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Today has been a rough day. The hubs woke up puking around 1am, then my son woke up at 3am puking and finally the girl woke at 6am and followed their lead. I honestly don’t know how I escaped this, but I am truly grateful, as I am a total wuss when it comes to vomit. I did however complete a 15.5 mile ride on the trainer a little while ago and I’d like to do a short run as well as some yoga later.

Now for the Five Things…

The lovely Jackie, from Nora & Jac, tagged me in a Five Random Things post (which I didn’t realize was “random” so I’m winging this as I go) the other day, and I’ve been a super slacker about blogging, but I’m finally completing it soooo…

1. I was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York in this apartment building:

Brooklyn

2. I HATE mayo…loathe it. I’m so against it, I don’t even like to touch the jar in the fridge. There is something about it that creeps me out.

3. I have “corpse extremities”. Seriously… my hands and feet are ALWAYS ice cold. I can have socks and boots on all day, take them off and I have toesicles. The hubs just LOVES when I stick my icy, dead hands on his back.

4. I love taking road trips. Granted, I am referring to road trips sans kids. I love driving, seeing the landscape and listening to whatever I want on the radio.

Finally, I’m borrowing one from Jac’s post, because my brain isn’t really functioning due to lack of sleep…

5. I’ve had many people tell me that I look like Mary-Louise Parker…you can be the judge.

Twins?

Okay…there you have it. My week in review as well as Five Random Things about me. If you want to join in, please feel free and leave a link to your post below!

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P90X: Day 5 Round 3.5

Wall squats, sneaky lunges and skaters….oh my!

Three reasons why I curse on Fridays and walk funny while going up and down the stairs on Saturday.

Tonight was a tough one. I don’t know if I didn’t give myself enough time after eating one of the Gluten-free Brownies I blogged about earlier, if I was just tired or if I was just pushing my body to it’s max, but I was exhausted and wanted to puke when this routine was done.

Now that I’m showered and in bed, I feel great and I’m happy I pushed myself to do the workout. It’s so easy to get tired, feel unmotivated and not want to push yourself to press play. Chalene Johnson had some great advice in ChaLEAN Extreme. She said even on the days you don’t feel like working out, just press play and give it five minutes. If you still don’t feel into it, stop, but she guarantees you’ll end up feeling better about yourself and you’ll complete your workout for the day. So far, she’s been spot on. There have been many days that I haven’t felt like doing my workout, but I get up, get into my gym clothes and press play. An hour later, I’m done, sweaty and feel like a million bucks and that is something to be proud of.

Anyway, Legs and Back is a lower body killer. I bitch about wall squats often, but as a female, the one legged ones have come in handy many times while using public restrooms. You ladies know what I’m talking about. We hover to pee as it is when using these restrooms and there is nothing worse than ending up in a stall with a broken lock… enter the one legged wall squat and give a huge thank you to Tony Horton for being the prick of all pricks by making you do them every week for 90 Days, cause now you can squat to pee AND hold that door shut with one leg!

Tomorrow is my FAVORITE workout in the P90X program, KenpoX! There is something about jab, cross, hook, uppercutting, that makes me very happy!

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P90X: Day 1, Round 3.5

Yep…after a bunch of debating and procrastinating, I decided to give P90X another go.

I’ve been skeptical about what I should do for a workout routine since I am technically not cleared by my surgeon to do ab work yet. At first, I was going to hold off until my next appointment in a few weeks and then start Insanity if he gave me the all clear, but then I was talking with the hubs and he mentioned that he wanted to start P90X again since he fell off the wagon after getting sick during Phase 2.

After lots of thought, I decided to start P90X again. I’ve already been lifting using ChaLean Extreme and I’ve been doing lower body and some running here and there, so I figured why not?! I will just skip Ab Ripper X and listen to my body during the workouts.

Tonight was Day 1, which meant Chest and Back and I was very nervous going in. For those of you not familiar with the program, Chest and Back requires a lot of push-ups, and push-ups require core strength. I definitely paced myself for Round 1 and I made sure to really “Bring It” during the pull-up segments (I did pull downs and hubs used the pull-up bar). I felt some pulling and tightness in my core as I began to max out during push-ups, so I made sure to spend a little time in child’s pose at the end of each move.

Overall, I felt really great doing the workout. Push-ups are still a weakness of mine (unless they are of the wide variety) and my numbers were much lower than my last round, but I’m working things the best I can, and that means I’m doing laps around everyone one who is just sitting on the couch.

Tomorrow is PlyoX but I think I will be subbing with CardioX so I can see how my body feels about my starting P90X again.

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Post-Op Update

It’s been a little over 6 weeks since I had my surgery and I can’t believe how well I am healing!

A few weeks ago I was depressed, swollen and second guessing my decision to have the tummy tuck and abdominal repair. Today? I am on cloud nine and loving my results!

I have almost no restrictions on activities now. The only thing I am not allowed to do are any abdominal workouts until I hit the 5 month mark. I am currently on week three of my routine, and I opted to do ChaLEAN Extreme’s Push month, three times a week, to build up my arm strength again. I toyed with starting from month 1 of her program, but Push has always been my favorite so I figured why not?! I am definitely lifting lighter than I was pre-surgery, but I don’t mind at all and I’m sure I will  be back where I was in no time. The only parts I’ve had to skip are the push-ups since I feel too much of a pull in my core, and some of the single leg squats for the same stability reasons.

The other great thing is I no longer have to wear the compression garment and I have had zero swelling in the past two weeks. This really surprised because I read a lot of blogs and boards about tummy tucks and everyone struggled with swelling and still felt like they needed their compression garment at this point. I am by no means complaining, and hopefully I didn’t just jinx myself …that would however be my luck.

Over the past two weeks I have been filled with a new found sense of joy when it comes to my body. I no longer second guess what I am going to wear. I don’t stare at myself, nit picking the imperfections that only I would notice. It’s a feeling that is so foreign to me but feels so wonderful and rewarding. I love seeing what I truly accomplished over the past 3 years with my body. I worked damn hard to achieve this and I am FINALLY getting to see the true results.

Today, I tried on a bikini and after the initial shock and awe of seeing my very pale stomach exposed, I loved my reflection. It felt amazing to stand there in a two piece bathing suit and not want to cry my eyes out. As a matter of fact, I felt so comfortable and happy, I took this photo to share with everyone here.

Please pardon the pastiness of my complexion. If it ever stops raining here, I may be able to lay out in my yard and get a slight tan.

So…there you have it. My post-op update, the first time I have ever shared a photo of myself, in a bathing suit, for all of the internet to see, and my new found confidence, all rolled up into one neat little blog post.

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Back in the Saddle, Again!

I just completed my first workout in weeks, and I gotta tell you…it felt great!

Yesterday, I was completely stoked when my surgeon said I could start working out again and that upper-body weight lifting was fine. I knew right away that I wanted to jump back into ChaLEAN Extreme’s PUSH month, as it’s my absolute favorite for building and gaining quick muscle definition.

Upon waking up this morning and felt a little nervous about attempting my first workout. I haven’t really lifted or done anything in months and over the past two weeks, I haven’t been allowed to even lift laundry baskets.

I headed down stairs to the “Get Fit Or Get Out” gym (AKA: my living room), found the DVD and carefully began selecting and moving my weights of choice to the center of the room. I knew I couldn’t lift as heavy as was before, but I also didn’t want to baby myself and not provide some kind of challenge. I settled on a selection of weights ranging from 8 – 12 lbs and began to warm up.

I had no discomfort during any of the exercises and I quickly figured out which weights worked best for which moves. The most difficult part for me was making sure I didn’t strain my core by holding it in too tight. It’s a little difficult to tell, since I don’t have much sensation but if I felt some pulling, I knew I had to easy up and adjust my stance. I had a little difficulty with the over head tricep extensions, since my muscles and skin are very tight. It makes standing straight with you arms over your head VERY difficult, but I did what I could and tapped out once I realized it wasn’t comfortable or worth it to push. Instead, I simply did some more single arm tricep extensions. The important part is working the muscle until it’s fatigued and I certainly did that.

Overall, I had a great first workout and I look forward to my next one. I was happy I didn’t experience major discomfort or swelling from it, because I was afraid of both. It feels good to have my motivation back and I’m excited to fall back into a routine.

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We All Have Secrets

…and I’m about to share one of mine:

“I have loose skin around my abdomen.”

There! I said it. (As embarrassing as it is to do so.)

Despite 2.5 rounds of P90X, 2 rounds of Insanity, ChaLean Extreme, running, other workouts and eating healthy, I am left with a reminder of what my body once was, in the form of sagging skin. I can’t say that I am surprised by this at all. I neglected my body for years, packed on the pounds and I also gave birth to two beautiful children. I knew my body would never be “perfect” but I did have hopes that my skin would bounce back more than it did.

A year ago when I reached that 100lb+ weight-loss milestone, I began to research tummy tucks and started to really contemplate having one done. Of course the thought of going under the knife scares the shit out of me and I don’t exactly have thousands of dollars sitting around collecting dust, so I tossed the thought into the “maybe someday” file in my brain. However, I knew if it was something I was ever going to do, I would have to prove to myself that this truly did become a lifestyle and that my old habits wouldn’t creep back up on me.

As you have read here, over the past year I have had struggles with nutrition as well as my workouts, but thankfully never at the same time. Despite these struggles, I have never gained more than 8lbs and I have always dropped it as soon as I felt I gained it. (Yes, I can totally feel when my weight shifts now…it’s weird, but I can call the number on the scale before I even step on it). My measurements have even stayed consistent over the past year which really made me happy and brought the thought of a tummy tuck back to the front of my mind again.

A few weeks ago I had a discussion with my husband about how upset this extra skin made me. How frustrating it was to look in the mirror and not be able to see past it despite all of the hard work I have done over these 3 years. I broke down into tears, which is something I hate to do, but this is something that I’m really embarrassed about. (You have no idea how hard it is to even type this blog right now). For the first time, he saw the pain I felt and we discussed going for consultations to see how much it would be to have the tummy tuck done and to find out if I was even a candidate for it.

Yesterday, I went for a consultation with a plastic surgeon who came highly recommended by the doctor I used to work for. I studied photos of his work and looked at patient reviews  on-line for the 2 weeks leading up to this appointment. The anxiety I had going into that office was unreal but I womaned-up, put on the pink paper gown they left for me and stood before the surgeon to have all of my imperfections examined. After the exam, we sat in a conference room and discussed the procedure in detail. He answered all of my questions, gave me all of the information I would need to make a decision and he then walked me down to the hall to another office where the financial portion of the consultation would be handled. I sat there nervously as I prepared myself for number anxiety. This portion of the consultation should really come with a shot of Patron or Jack Daniels…a person needs something to take the edge off when a tiny piece of paper with a large number is about to be presented to them. The woman entered the room with said piece of paper and there was an extra digit before the coma that I wasn’t quite prepared for. At this point some smelling salts would have also been nice to revive me and bring me back to present time so I could have heard her going over “payment policies”.  I managed to smile even though I was discouraged by the price and I left the office when she was done, with some information on financing in case I needed that as an option...uh yeah! Last time I checked the money tree in my backyard hadn’t sprouted yet.

I called my husband after the appointment and almost immediately lost it. I felt all of my hope for ridding myself of the “old me” slipping away after seeing the price tag on the procedure and he quickly calmed me down. He talked me off the ledge and said all of the things I needed to hear. Another phone call to my mother and I was feeling better again. There were a few more wishy washy moments that evening but after the three of us sat down over dinner, went through all of my options and scenarios, it was decided that I earned this procedure.

Yes, you heard me correctly. I decided to go ahead with the tummy tuck and this morning, I called the office and made the appointment to say farewell to the last remaining reminder of the “old me”. In three short weeks, it will be nothing more than a very painful incision on my abdomen….Dammit! I wasn’t supposed to think about that now.

I know this is not going to be an easy road, but they say anything in life worth having, isn’t easy. Heck, the past 3 years of my life weren’t easy either, but with hard work and dedication, I proved that I wanted it bad enough to get it.

So there you have it…the big secret I’ve been hiding is out on the web for everyone to read…and I feel a slight sense of relief now that I’ve shared it.

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Have you had a tummy tuck? If so, please share your recovery tips with me.

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Two Years and Still Going

This month marks two years since I started on  the road to health and wellness, and I couldn’t be happier.

I never in a million years thought that I would be 35 and in the best shape of my life.

As I’ve mentioned before, I spent the majority of my life overweight and unhappy. I would start a new weight loss program, become frustrated and go back to my unhealthy ways.

Every January 1st I would join Weight Watchers or the gym, like the rest of America, only to fall off the wagon by Valentine’s Day when chocolate took over the stores.

What is it that made this attempt different? I’m not sure exactly, but something just clicked. I did approach things differently this time and maybe that was the key.

I set small goals for myself instead of only focusing on the big picture. As I hit those goals, I felt my confidence grow and a new excitement take over. I liked working out and I liked how I felt when eating healthier food. Before I knew it I decided to take on P90X and that was a true turning point for me. I finally saw what my body was capable of and knew that I had the power to break the cycle and become a healthy & fit individual….I haven’t looked back since.

Since starting on this journey in May of 2009 I have completed:

  • P90X – 2.5 times (I had issues my 1st attempt & some workout ADD)
  • Insanity
  • Turbo Jam
  • 10 Minute-Trainer
  • ChaLEAN Extreme (I’m currently on my second round)

I have also done some Zumba, completed my first group workout (I have a phobia of working out with others), started jogging and become a vegetarian.

Was it easy? Heck no! There was a lot of sweat and tears shed (not to mention some vomit spewed during Insanity), but all of the above have helped me to lose over 100 pounds and completely change the person who I was.

I owe a lot of that to some amazing people I’ve met along the way. Without them I may not have come as far as I have. They’ve all inspired me to be my best and keep pushing forward.

However in the end, only I had the power to make the changes that needed to be made. It was up to me and no else to find the time, to make it happen and to reach for the happiness and health I deserved.

What’s my advice to those looking to make the change?

  • Start off slow You didn’t gain the weight over night and you’re not going to lose it over night. Plus the slower you lose it, the longer you will keep it off. You need to form a healthy lifestyle, there are no miracle pills.
  • Set small goals –  Don’t obsess over the total amount of weight you need to lose. Set 5-10lb goals for yourself.
  • Reward yourself when you reach those goals – You will be working hard to achieve this and you should reward yourself. It’s not easy to wake up early to fit in a workout or give up some of your favorite junk foods. Celebrate the victory!
  • Surround yourself with positive people – This was a big one for me. It’s hard to keep an “I can do this” mentality, when the people around you call you crazy, offer you foods you are trying to avoid or are waiting for you to fail. You need people who are willing to support you and cheer  you on. This is one of the hardest things you may ever do. You need a good support team.
  • Believe in yourself – Hands down….The. Hardest. Thing. – especially if you haven’t done the above mentioned yet. Most of us psych ourselves out before we even try. You need to embrace the “I got this” attitude. Get out of your own way!

I could keep listing things but to me, these are the most important. The majority of the changes are going to be mental. I didn’t realize this when I started and I am amazed at how many road blocks I have hit along the way. I thought this would be purely a physical challenge but to be honest…that’s been the easiest part, especially when I listened to the last bit of advice and stopped being my own road block.

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Two-A-Days….Wait. What?

The warm temps we are experiencing here on the East Coast, are a great reminder that summer is right around the corner!

All too soon it will be shorts and tank tops everyday, not to mention the dreaded bathing suit (gasp) and I want to be comfortable in them.

For way too long I was self conscience and unable to wear the things I really wanted to. This year….I know I have control of that and I am going to seize the moment! It’s time to kick things up a notch and I have decided that for at least the next week, I will be doing two-a-days.

Yep….two-a-days!

I will be doing my ChaLEAN Extreme weight workouts three times a week (Go heavy or go home), Insanity twice a week (Dig deep) and a yoga or stretch workout everyday to improve my flexibility (Namaste).

Now, I would love to get out and walk or run more, but this is prime allergy season and I don’t know how well that will work out for me. I’m pretty good at improvising but I plan on sticking to above schedule for at least a week. (I’ve already made it thru 1.5 days so it shouldn’t be THAT hard).

Nutrition has been pretty good for me. Of course I had my stumbling points with Easter candy and a small Coldstone ice cream binge, but I’ve recovered.

So….let the two-a-days begin! I’ll see you all in a week…..with a possible Vlog!

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30 Days…

Recently I discovered that I work well with 30 Day goals.

That’s a good thing, cause I have a little over 30 days to get my booty in gear and hit a few goals before meeting the lovely @TabBenedict at the Beachbody Game Plan event, being held in Rochester, NY!

I had the pleasure of meeting Tab for the first time at the “Bring It!” book signing event in Long Island, back in January. We followed that up with a fun day in NYC and I’ve been wanting a chance to hang with her again ever since.

Lucky for me, she messaged me last week and told me about this event. Granted it’s a 6+ hour drive away but why not?! Every girl deserves a weekend getaway, right?

Now, it’s stuff like this that makes me bring my “A game”. I KNOW Tab is pushing play daily and working hard to hit her goals….I can’t show up like an out of shape slacker, especially since I believe there is a group workout involved as well. It’s bad enough I took breaks at the last one due to the heat. SMH. And yes, I do have a competitive side to me….it’s part of my charm.

To prepare for this event and meet up, I have started another round of ChaLEAN Extreme. I just completed week 1 and feel great so far. I need to up my protein which is a little tricky with the vegetarian aspect of things (those who follow me, know I cheated last week, but I’ve been good since the rib incident) and my booty has been screaming all week which is a good thing….especially with summer coming!

So that’s where I’m at right now. Anyone else attending this event? If so, let me know! I’d love to meet up with you.

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Just Checking In.

Hello everyone. I’m still alive and I’m still working toward my fitness goals. Thank you to those of you who asked if I’m still blogging or said you missed my blogs. That means a lot. Things have just been a little hectic with work and I’ve been trying to test the waters to see if I can maintain my results with just good nutrition and short workouts. After all….

I’m happy to report that the maintaining has been going well and I even made some more progress with the 30 Day Shred. I’m not sure exactly how much since I didn’t take measurements…I just wanted to do it. Sounds crazy since I’m always telling people to make sure they take their measurements, but I wanted a pressure free experience for a change.

Today I started another round of ChaLEAN Extreme. I figured with tank top season right around the corner, it would be the perfect way to achieve sexy shoulders and tone arms. I also just love the slow, heavy lifting method Chalene uses in this program. I received amazing results, FAST, with it last time, so I’m sure I’ll get them again.

Originally, I was planning on starting INSANITY again, but after really thinking about it, I know my knees couldn’t handle another 63 days of it right now. I will most likely toss in some Plyo Cardio Circuit or Pure Cardio instead of CLX cardio workouts from time to time. I also plan on running more often, I really want to reach a respectable time on a 5K.

Well….that’s were I’m at right now. I’m almost at the 2 year mark on this journey and I couldn’t be happier!

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