Wednesday, December 22, 2010

It's been hectic...

I'm in the homestretch of my P90X journey....I have to admit the past week or so have been tough.  My baby boy hasn't been napping very well, I had a paper and finals due, a certification course for work to complete and of course all the holiday craziness.  I've been trying to get my workouts in but I haven't been doing nearly as well as I'd like to.  To compensate, I've been doing daily sets of pullups and trying to get about 3 miles in on the treadmill.  Not the strong finish I was hoping for but I am maintainig my strenght....I've actually gained some pullups! 

I know life is going to be full of these crazy times - it would be so easy to just put off working out until after the holidays....but that won't get me anywhere.  It's so easy to fall out of shape, out of the routine and to run out of motivation.  Once you start on that downward path, the task of climbing back up seems so daunting.  So my solution is not to let myself fall.  It is hard to find a straight 50 or 60 minutes to work out right now.  But that doesn't mean I can't break it up and fit it in.  I'll be posting my results in about a week!!!  I'm feeling good - hopefully it shows in the pictures!

Also, I registered for Tough Mudder!  Team name = XXX (Because we're DIRTY)  Thanks to my good friend Tim Collins for thinking of that one.  :) 

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

I did it!!

After coming off a rough week or two - missing workouts, feeling distracted and not myself - I am so excited to say that I just did 20 pullups!!!  9 weeks into P90X, I made it to one of my goals! :) 

I've also been doing some thinking - I know that a goal of 20 pullups isn't a easy or even realistic goal for a lot of people out there.  I am blessed when it comes to strength.  I have strong, athletic parents.  This summer, my mom hiked Machu Picchu.  My dad pretty much played every sport possible...good genes!  I was a gymnast in high school.  I was awarded athlete of the year my senior year and voted best physique.  I was a cheerleader in college and spent my days being tossed high in the air.  I was a Marine.  I'm really lucky - strength is just my thing.  20 pullups is an important milestone for me - it means I can do as many as the boys.  As someone who takes pride in strength and fitness, this is a big deal.  I can remember each of the other times I've reached this goal.  The first time I did 20 pullups was in 2003 - I was a brand new Lieutenant at 2nd Radio Battalion in Camp Lejeune.  I had just ended a long relationship and I was trying to put my new crush (who eventually turned out to be my husband) out of my I spent a lot of time in Gold's Gym.  So thanks to my hubby for driving me crazy enough to realize I really really liked being strong.  :)

In August 2004, I deployed to Iraq....leading up to the deployment, I wasn't focused on working out (more focused on beer) and I lost my 20.  During the last few months of the deployment I was moved to a new base and in all honestly, to a position that was much much easier.  I had time on my hands and not a lot to do.  And I had a pullup bar right outside my office.  Once again, I got back to 20.

Then I went home....  Same old story - there is much much more to do back here.  Things that are way more fun than spending hours in the gym.  Needless to say, a few months after returning I couldn't do 20.  Not to worry....just 6 months after I got home, I was getting ready to head back over.  I was augmenting the other Radio Battalion so I didn't know anyone I was deploying with....when I got there, I set the goal of 20 again and before I knew it, there they were.  This time I even exceeded my goal by quite a bit - I got up to 25!  That deployment was the last time I was able to do 20.  A few months after I got home, I was pregnant with my baby girl.

So as you can see, 20 pullups is a big accomplishment for me.  Its something I take pride in and something that I have lost in the past few years.  Marriage, babies, work, school....everything in my normal hectic life has caused me to lose focus on something that really makes me happy.  I truly enjoy pushing myself and getting stronger.  I don't want to forget that again. 

I know not everyone can set a goal of 20 pullups but that isn' the point of this post - I'm sure any mom out there has something they used to really love to do.  Maybe you used to be crafty and make things.  Maybe you used to read more or go to yoga classes.  Maybe you ran 5ks, 10ks, halfs or full marathons.  Maybe you always wanted to get your masters or start a company (like my amazing friend Rachel).  We have all made sacrifices for our families but that doesn't mean we have to lose who we were or forget what makes us happy.  These past couple months I have realized just how much better I feel about myself while I consistently and vigorously work out.  I'm more focused, happier and a better mother to my children.  I'm not going to let go of that again. 

That being said, I'm setting several goals for the next year or so.... 
1)  Insanity - my next workout program
2)  May 2011 - Tough Mudder!!!  (I am super excited about this one...check it out
3)  June 2011 - San Diego Rock and Roll Marathon
4)  Oct 2011 - USMC Marathon (with Rachel)

And a few others - not sure when but I'm going to do these too....
5)  Future of Fitness in Oxygen Magazine
6)  Compete in some sort of fitness or figure competition

I want to keep going, staying focused and motivated.  If I set goals, I know I'll push myself and continue what I've started with P90X.  I don't want to lose sight of the things I have always loved, the things that make me, me.  Just because I am a mom and a wife doesn't mean I can't take the time to feel good about myself and do what I enjoy.  I encourage you all to do the same - your goal might not be to do 20 pullups.  Maybe you want to learn how to paint or read War and Peace...we all have something that makes us feel good, something we've always wanted to find whatever it is and go for it!

Oh and I recommended doing it with a yummy cup of Teamotions Tea :) 

Tuesday, November 30, 2010


I'm in the home stretch - my last month of P90X!  I feel so much I did Chest & Back - my total numbers were so much better than when I started.  I did over 250 pushups and over 40 pullups in 45 mins!  Not too shabby for a mom with a 3 month old!  I feel stronger with each workout but I'm still not completely satisfied and I know myself well enough to realize that the only way I'll get the complete results I want is to increase my running.  Not exactly easy in central PA this time of is nasty out! 

As the end of P90X approaches, so does my time back here with my family.  I'll be moving back to SoCal in just 4 weeks!  I can't believe how fast this time has gone - before I know it we will be counting down the days to my hubby's return in February.  Going back to California is going to make running a whole lot easier - I'm actually really looking forward to it.  I have my BOB double jogger ready to go!  I can't wait to put some more miles on it. 

I am planning (along with Rachel) to do the Marine Corps Marathon next year....  But now I feel like I want to do more, sooner.  I think I'm addicted to working out - it could be worse, right?  I'll probably only be living in California for another year.  my husband is approaching his retirement from the USMC and when that happens, we plan to move back east.  Maybe before I leave, I should get a good San Diego marathon under my belt.   So now I'm trying to decide if this is something I can do in 6 months....train for a marathon.  I think I want to try....  Am I crazy?  Any good training programs out there?


Monday, November 22, 2010

Recovery Week # 2

Here I am in Week 8 - my second recovery week and I feel great!!  I love knowing I am getting back in shape.  I still have a ways to go....some more weight to lose but I feel so much stronger.  I think I forgot how good it feels to be in great shape.  I've been there before and I want to be there again....not just good shape, GREAT shape. 

I haven't been perfect in my workout schedule so far - I've had to bend and flex to accommodate the craziness it is to be a mom but I'm proud of making it this far and excited to finish up the last month.  This doesn't just mark the last month of P90X, it also means this is my last month back here with my family.  My last month of having my little Sawyer home with my every day.  When this is done, I'll be boarding a plane back to southern California and anxiously awaiting the return of my hubby.

We've decided we are going to Mexico with our babies in early what does that mean?  I'll be wearing a swimsuit in just a couple months!!  I am so proud of my results so far but I want to look a-ma-zing come March.  So I've decided once I complete P90X, I'm going to jump right into Insanity - another workout program from Team Beachbody.  No weights, no bands, no bars...just your body.  Its a 60 day program so the timing will be perfect.  Hopefully I'll be able to juggle my workout schedule once I'm back to Cali. 

I've also decided (with Rachel as my motivation) that I need to eat better - I am not a great cook and mostly its because I don't take the time to BE a great cook but its time for that to change.  I need to make the effort, not just for me but for my family.  I don't think I eat unhealthy but I definitely don't eat clean.  So come the new year, I'm going to bring on Insanity and clean eating.... 

One more thing....I'm renewing my subscription to Oxygen when I get back.  About 8 yrs ago, I had dreams of being on the cover of Oxygen and competing in fitness competitions.  I was about to register for my first competition but it was just a week before I was scheduled to deploy to Iraq.  I decided I'd rather spend those last weeks eating out and drink beer, not dieting and lifting.  Since then, I've never been back to the level of working out....and I want to be!  I'm ready again - I feel it in me and I'm super excited!  I haven't been this motivated by exercise in such a long time! 

Also,  I think I'm setting a good example for my little girl....she was doing some funky, sort of pushup looking thing the other day and I asked her what she was doing.  She told me "I'm doing my work like you mommy."  That's what she calls my workouts - doing my work. :) 

4.5 Weeks to Go!!!! 

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

GoWear Fit

I just wanted to take a minute to tell you all how much I LOVE my GoWear Fit Armband.  It is an amazing weight loss and fitness tool.  Everyday (or almost everyday) I plug my GoWear Fit into my computer and see exactly how many calories I burned that day, how many steps I took, how much sleep I got the night before, and how much exercise I am getting.  I also record what I ate and get to see a breakdown of the calories I consumed as well as the carbs, fat, protein and nutrients.  It is fascinating. Truly.

What I like most about it is that it doesn't lie. It is hard to be in denial with my stats right there on the computer screen.It tells me if I am pushing myself or not, if I am improving or not, and if I am doing the work or not. It motivates me to compete with myself and keep going.  Everyday I can't wait to see if I burned more calories than the day before or took more steps or had more minutes of exercise. Seeing my progress right there on the screen is an instant reward.

The bottom line is: I recommend one if you are really looking for serious accountability in your weight loss and fitness pursuits.  It is certainly working for me.


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

My progress so far...

Kasey's previous post was quite motivating.  She is killing it and I am so impressed.  I am not making even close to the strength gains she is and am struggling daily to get my workout in.  I do what I can though. Being weak sucks!  I completely underestimated how out of shape I have become. I fooled myself into thinking that because I ran a half marathon 10 weeks after my last c-section that I could just jump into P90X, and that is SO not the case.  The workouts are really hard for me, especially Ab Ripper X.  I have not made it through yet. I also hurt my wrist (just more evidence of how weak I am) and have had to lay off the push-ups and pull-ups. And I am not being a baby, I really did something to my left wrist.

However, after reading about the progress Kasey has made I wanted to see what kind of progress I am making, if any?  So, I jumped on the scale...137!  I have lost a solid 5 pounds.  And I took all my measurements and have lost an inch each on my waist, hips, each thigh, and my butt.  So then I felt brave and tried on a pre-pregnancy pair of pants and I could actually button them up. I was encouraged.  Although I can't do a single pull-up and have yet to make it through Ab Ripper Xtremely Hard and Painful, I am making progress.  Little by little.

I am still absolutely convinced that the P90X program works and once I get stronger I want to do it a second time without missing a workout.  I am still frustrated with how inconsistent I have been.  I'd really like to see what kinds of strength gains I could make doing the program right.  I'd like to experience a bit of Kasey's success.

For now though I will continue to do my best and be motivated by the progress I have made so far. Anything is better than nothing right?


P.S.  I will post a recipe for a fat burning salad dressing tomorrow!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Bad Day Turned Good

The past couple days have been rough - I haven't felt motivated and I've been struggling to make myself workout.  I'm worn out and I've had some frustrating moments with my little girl lately.  Today, the absolute last thing I felt like doing when I got my much needed quiet and alone time was plyometrics.  I just wanted to lay down and take a nap.  Or read a book.  Or watch mindless tv.  Anything but jump squats, airborne heisman and all the other craziness that make plyometrics the "X in P90X." 

So I posted a status update on facebook and said just that...........I'm not motivated and don't want to do plyometrics.  A few minutes later one of the Marines I worked with way back in the day replied and basically called me out (even Devil-ed me!) and asked what our blog followers would think.  He was right - I knew I'd feel guilty if I didn't do it and I at least needed to make the effort.  So I got my lazy butt off the couch (all the while praying my little boy would wake up and give me an excuse to sit back down) and put the DVD in...  50 minutes later I was sweaty and tired but I feel so much better about myself.  I even decided to get on the pullup bar and knock out a set (reverse grip, in case you were wondering) and I got a new personal best - 14!!!  I am almost to my goal.  I didn't think it could get much better - I just did a workout I didn't want to do, feel accomplished and motivated and I set a new personal record.  Well, then I went upstairs to check on Sawyer and decided to weigh myself.....I'm under 125!!  Over halfway to my goal weight and halfway done with the program - surprisingly, I'm right on track!!!

What started out as a depressing, unmotivated day has turned out to be full of positive and uplifting achievements.  All it took was getting off the couch and doing something active to turn around the negative feelings I was experiencing.  So thanks to the "devil" that called me out on facebook.  Sometimes you need that little extra push to get yourself going and today you did that for me.  One more workout down and one day closer to my goal. 


Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Sorry Everyone!

No I didn't fall off the face of the planet, my internet went down at my house.  I will spare you the details but AT&T is lame and it took weeks to get it back up. I cannot even express to you how much that complicated my life.  Anyway...

How is my P90X journey going?  All I can tell you is that I am doing the best I can.  My little one is old enough now to go into the daycare at the YMCA so I have been going there to do my workouts.  Sometimes I take my little video player and find an empty room and workout there.  Sometimes I just bring the worksheets and go down the list making sure I finish in under an hour. Some days I can't get a workout in or can only get part of a workout in, but I just do what I can. My life is crazy, my baby is so sweet but completely unpredictable, my tea company obligations grow by the day, and my husband has a constantly changing schedule.  This makes it tough for me.  But I am not giving up.  Since Kasey is doing so ridiculously amazing it pushes me to remain dedicated.  I am not doing 9 pull-ups (as if!), but I did 25 push-up (the boy kind) in a row last week which is a huge improvement for me since I could do ZERO when we started.  I am not losing weight as fast as I hoped, but I finally dropped below 140lbs so at least it is coming off slowly but surely. I am struggling the most with my abs.  It is a long, slow process after a c-section.  I do get frustrated however.  What is that saying? "Pain is weakness leaving the body..."  That would be me these days. 

Anyone having trouble with their wrists?  My left wrist is hurting.  Any advice?

I also wanted to tell you all that I love my GoWearFit by BodyMedia.  It really holds me accountable.  I love to see how many calories I burn everyday and I try to beat it the next day!  I recommend it.

Lastly, I promised recipes.  So here is one I love and it is perfect for a busy life like mine.

Easy Foolproof Slow Cooker Chicken

All you need is a slow cooker and a whole (preferably organic or all natural) chicken.  I usually get a six-pounder or so because I like to make soup from the left-overs.  Rinse the chicken in cold water and clean out the cavity.  For extra flavor, cut up a lemon and onion into large chunks and break off three or so whole cloves of garlic and stuff them into the cavity of the chicken.  Add any herbs you like to the cavity as well, thyme is always good with chicken.  Season the outside with salt and pepper.  Put the whole chicken into the slow cooker.  Cover and cook on low for 6 hours.  That is is!  When it is done it is so tender the meat just falls off the bone. I usually serve it with some root vegetables like carrots and potatoes (but celery root is also awesome) and brown rice or quinoa and spoon the juices from the cooked chicken over everything.  Try it and tell me what you think.  I can almost guarantee this will become a weekly staple meal.


Monday, November 1, 2010

Day 1 Week

Today was my first day to try the Chest, Shoulders & Triceps isn't introduced until the 2nd month.  And wow am I going to be sore!  I guess that's part of the whole P90X logic - change things up so your muscles don't get bored and you don't plateau.  Well, that's exactly what they did with a whole buch of crazy new types of pushups.  I was feeling great on the last pushup was definitely a different story.  I struggled with pretty much every exercise they put out there - I hurt during regular arm circles and now we have to add weights???  Seriously Tony?  I'm going to be feeling it tomorrow...and the next day....and probably the next.  But that's the point right?  I'm excited to tackle a new set of exercises and see how much I can improve.  I was also able to get a little in on the treadmill today - I'm hoping that will step up the weight loss a bit.

And to anyone out there looking for recipes - sorry, I'm not the cook of the group.  Once Rachel is back up online, I'm sure she'll post a couple for you!  My food challenge right now is resisting all the candy my little Tinkerbell brought home!  Also, if I don't do better on the weight loss I'm going to have to suck it up and make the ultimate sacrifice.....peanut butter.  I wish I was a better cook - maybe once my husband comes home I'll set that as a goal.

Keep on P90X-ing that booty away! 

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Recovery Week!!

3 weeks down and into my first recovery week!  Recovery defintiely doesn't mean take a break - I'm modifying the schedule a bit (to avoid yoga) and substituting in Cardio X.  This week defintiely gets you sweating!  I just finished Core Synergistics and its defintiely my favorite.  When I finish, I feel like my whole body got a workout.  I enjoy body weight exercises and that workout really gives you a good and different variety. 

I've been feeling really good so far - still not seeing the weight loss I'd hope for but there is still a ways to go.  Patience......  These workouts have really become a relief for me.  I've had a few rough days....frustrated, impatient, missing my husband, tired but I've been making P90X a priority and afterwards I always feel better.  Even when I have to pause the DVD to tend to a crying baby or anwser a silly question from a curious 3 yr old, it is still better than nothing. 

Hopefully anyone else out there doing this workout is enjoying it as much as I am - believe me, I know how hard it can be fitting it in but you can find the time and you will feel better about yourself.  I'm back to work part time right now, taking a class for my masters and a certification course for my job.....definitely have a lot going on but I am determined to do this and the farther into the program I get, the easier it becomes to carve out an hour a day to get it done.  So moral of the story....stick with it and I promise you will feel better.  I'm speaking from experience. :)


Friday, October 15, 2010

Slow and Steady...

Almost done with week two and so far I have mixed feelings.  Like Rachel, I've had a hard time staying on track.  There are interruptions during almost every workout - typically a little sweet baby boy that waking up from his nap.  I've been able to make it through but I'm feeling a little guilty.  If Sawyer wakes up, I'll typically put him in the bouncy chair next to me and try to keep him quiet until I finish....definitely not ideal.  I think once we get in a little better routine, things will get easier and I'll be able to make it through my workouts.

Despite the interruptions, I feel myself getting stronger.  I had noticable improvements in my numbers this week.  I did more pushups and pullups during Arms & Back and I just made it through Ab Ripper X, doing all the reps (some were pretty sloppy but I finished).  I am definitely encouraged and motivated to keep going even though I can't actually see the results.  I am disappointed with my weight loss - I was hoping to drop a few pounds in the first couple know, starting a new program and all....but that hasn't happened.  I might be down a pound or so - definitely NOT the amazing results I was hoping for.... but I am still motivated.  As I build my strength, I know the rest will come, slowly but surely.  I did improve my pullups quite a bit!  Still a ways to go to get up to 20 but las week I could only do 3 or 4.  This week I did 7....maybe next week will be 10! :)

Also, just to let everyone know I have missed 2 workouts.  I missed Wednesday during week one and Monday this week.  I'm disappointed in myself for missing those days but I am also realistic about this process.  I know there are going to be days where I simply can't fit it in.  So instead of missing workouts I considered to be a little more important, I didn't do yoga either week and replaced it with my skipped workout.  My goal next week is to complete every workout and get at least 2 (short) runs in.  I'm hoping adding in extra cardio will help with the weight loss.

So even with mixed feelings and a little disappoint in my first two weeks, I remain hopeful and motivated.  Still waiting for those jeans to fit but I know I will get there....


Saturday, October 9, 2010

I want a do over!

Hello P90Xers,

I had an interesting week. I got off to an ok start.  I did the first two workouts with gusto but was so sore (those dive-bombers killed me!) I skipped my Wednesday workout but made it up on Thursday by doing it instead of Yoga X. I did Friday's workout but was interrupted constantly by a little 11 week old who decided to pick this week to take really short naps and wake constantly at night.  By Saturday I was exhausted and decided I WANT A DO OVER.

One thing about me is I am a bit of a perfectionist.  I don't like difficult adjustments. My first week of P90X didn't go as smoothly as I hoped and I feel a little off my game. I want to start off better than that. I decided that I am going to start week one again on Monday.  This may sound crazy to you, but for me I will never feel right if I don't do it over and do it right. Don't get me wrong, I don't expect to go through the next 90 days without challenges, I do have realistic expectations. But I want a first week I can be proud of and this past week was full of interruptions, frustrations, and three-quarter workouts...and I just can't seem to let it go. 

So, tomorrow I will do Stretch X as planned but Monday I will repeat day 1 instead of start day 8.  And my P90X adventure will end Jan 9th instead of Jan 2nd.

Also, I wanted to tell you that I decided to buy a Bodymedia GoWear Fit.  It is sort of like a Bodybugg but a little better in my opinion.  I will let you know how much I like it.

I also promised a recipe!  This is my favorite sauce for rice, fish, chicken, and veggies.  It is delicious, keeps forever in the refidgerator, and has almost no fat.  You'll love it. I put it on a bowl of brown rice and vegetables just this afternoon.

Soy Ginger Sauce
1/4 cup reduced sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup water
2 1/2 tsp sugar or agave nectar
2 tsp fresh ginger, grated
2 tsp chopped scallions or 1 tsp chopped garlic
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1 1/2 tsp toasted sesame oil

Combine all ingredients.Stir until sugar is dissolved. Use immediately and store leftover in an airtight container in refrigerator.  It is yummy.


Monday, October 4, 2010

Day One, Week One Done!

I finished my first workout about an hour ago and although it was tough, it was a relief after a hectic morning.  My 3 yr old, Samantha had a doctor's appointment today.  Nothing out of the ordinary - just a routine checkup but for some reason it seemed a little more stressful than usual...I guess that's probably because this is the first time taking my baby boy along for the ride.  I swear Samantha can sense when I'm preoccupied with thoughts of the baby and takes advantage of those moments to run from the office, grab one of the various tools within her reach or whatever other shiny object catches her attention.  Today the doctor that examined her even wondered if perhaps she has ADHD - I don't think that's the case (although her dad does have ADHD)...I think I just have an extremely active, smart and stubborn little girl on my hands.  Anyways, I am rambling...the point being that after a rough morning, we got back to my mom's house (where we are staying while my husband is deployed), I put Sam in her room for some much needed quiet time and took advantage of the down time to take on the P90X Chest & Back workout and Ab Ripper X.... 

Just like Tony says - I loved it and I hated it....  I know I am going to be sore and I might have pushed a little hard but I feel so much better about myself, just after one workout.  During the first round of exercises, I did pull ups (a majority were chair assisted) and during the second round I switched to the resistance band.  By the end of this, I want to make it through the entire workout doing real deal pull chair, no bands.  The push ups kicked my booty one point (during the second set of military push ups) I couldn't push myself back up and just sort of collapsed....  But it was a start and I definitely have a lot of room for improvement!

Then came Ab Ripper X......dang, that hurt!  Yes I know it should hurt - I just had a baby but you are never really ready for the reality of it.  But once again, I pushed myself and did as much as I could.  I know that in a few weeks I'll be flying through the ab portion (right?) and by the end of this, I won't have to suck my gut in. 

For everyone else out there that is doing this too, just remember it will get easier.  I keep reminding myself of that.  When I struggle to pick up my chubby baby boy tomorrow, I'll be reminded of this kickass workout I completed.  I love being sore - it just a sign that you are pushing yourself in the right direction.  During the workout, Tony said one of his many many cheesy saying but it made sense....he said "Rome wasn't built in a day and neither was your body."  So true - this is going to take more than a day, a week or a month but in the end, the pain and soreness will all be worth it. 


Be Inspired

Good Morning P90Xers,

Some of you might have finished your workout already (I have not. I'm waiting for Colt's afternoon nap). If you have, good for you!  I read through the comments this morning and two very interesting things were said that I think are worth mentioning.

The first is that Christy suggested in the comments that we not only post our fitness journey but that she would be extra inspired if we also included a nutrition log and some healthy recipes because a healthy diet is as important as an effective workout plan.  I agree completely and I think that is a great idea. I can't emphasize enough the importants of a good diet in your overall health. I personally take what I eat EXTREMELY seriously.  I have adopted a sort of alternative diet over the years. I read constantly about nutrition and have used my own brain to piece together a food/health philosophy I can live with. Here are a few of my rules:
1) I NEVER go on fad diets or any sort of diet that doesn't involve a lifestyle of health and wellness.
2) I also NEVER count calories specifically but I have made myself aware of the calorie content of food in general.  For example, fried rice has more calories and fat per serving than a hamburger and large fries combined. Gross. I ALWAYS choose steamed rice, and when available, brown rice instead of white. To me that is just common sense.  The reason why I don't count calories is this: reducing food consumption to a basic mathematical equation completely negates the importants of the quality of the food we eat.  It is one thing to be thin and another to be healthy.  I like to be both thin and healthy so I choose to put quality ahead of quantity and consume as much nutrition as possible.
3) I do my best to eat whole, natural, non-GMO foods.  Prepackaged, artificial, processed foods are good for no one.  Hydrogenated oils and artificial sweeteners are the worst!
4) I also eat lots of good fat: extra virgin olive oil,  flax seed oil, cold pressed coconut oil, and raw, organic butter from grass feed cows. Some fats have gotten a bad wrap. Read a book called Nourishing Traditions if you want more info from verifiable sources.

I could go on and on about all my healthy habits but here is the bottom line: Eating to be thin and eating to be healthy are not necessarily the same thing.  I encourage you to put nutrition first and a healthy weight will follow by default. Not everyone shares my philosophy and that is OK, we all have to make these decisions for ourselves, but at least now you have an idea of how I approach food.

I won't speak for Kasey, but I promise to include what I eat in my posts.  I love to cook, I love to eat, and I love to be healthy so I have a ton of recipes worth sharing.  I'll pass them along.

Next I'd like to talk about Karol's comment regarding Kasey and I putting a lot of emphasis on our strength goals.  Kasey and I like to be strong.  It is important to us.  But those are our goals.  You can set whatever goals you like.  However, I would like to encourage you to push yourself in ways you may never have.  Our culture is consumed with vanity and losing weight is always the default goal of every fitness program.  Thin, thin, thin. But what if we stepped outside the box a little and made our fitness goals less about weight loss and more about muscle gain, improved cardiovascular endurance and increased flexibility?  What if we made the focus less about how our body looks and more about how well it works?  Don't get me wrong, I want to look good too.  I'd be lying if I said differently.  But I also want what looks fit to be fit. No one likes a poser (in my opinion).

To sum up: step outside of the box people.  That is my two cents for today.


Sunday, October 3, 2010

Rachel's Measurements and Goals...

OK, after a whole day of procrastinating I finally had my husband take my pictures. Then I jumped on the blog to post and saw Kasey's photos...Kasey my girl, you already look awesome. If I didn't love you so much I would hate you. You have upped the ante for me. I'll let you have the 20 pull-ups goal though...I expect nothing less from you Marine.

Height: 5'6"
Current Weight: 142lbs
Chest (I measured under my boobs since I am nursing and they constantly grow and shrink): 29.5 inches
Waist (across belly button): 30.5 inches
Hips: 36 inches
Thighs (both together around the largest part): 38 inches
Left mid-thigh: 21.75 inches
Right mid-thigh: 22 inches
Left Bicep Flexed: 12 inches
Right Bicep Flexed: 12 inches

My Goals:
Primarily I just want to tone up.  No more flab.  No more cellulite.  And I want my abs back. I have been post c-section before and was able to get a flat stomach again so this time should be no different. Truthfully I don't care what my measurements are as much as I care how my clothes fit.  I have a pair of jeans in my closet that fit pre-pregnancy.  I want them to fit again.

My goal weight: 128

My strength goals are to do 60 push ups in a row (yes the boy kind), 5 pull-ups, and last but not least, I want to be able to bend over and place my palms flat on the ground.  That might not sound like much of a goal, but I have struggled with flexibility my whole life.  To reach past my toes would be a huge accomplishment for me.

And finally my pictures.  I didn't choose the most flattering shorts but I purposefully wanted to show my most problem areas. They speak for themselves unfortunately.

All I have to left to say is that I'm ready. So very ready.

Kasey's Measurements and Goals....

Well, here we go.....  Tomorrow is the big day and I seriously can't wait, esp after looking at my pictures.  I also took my measurements (as recommended by the P90X program) and weight.  Here are my starting stats:

Weight: 130 lbs
Chest: 34 inches
Waist: 30 inches (at belly button)
Hips: 36 inches
Right Bicep: 11.5 inches flexed
Left Bicep: 11.75 inches flexed
Right Thigh: 20.5 inches (mid-thigh)
Left Thigh: 20.25 inches (mid-thigh)

My biggest goal right now is to lose weight and tighten my abs.  I'm not sure what my measurements should be or or how I should set some of the goals because I tend to put on muscle pretty easily and I don't know what my normal measurements are.  I'm guessing my bicep measurements will stay the same or increase.  Hopefully the rest all go down.... 

GOAL WEIGHT: 120 lbs

I also have a strenght goal I'm going to set for myself - I want to be able to do 20 pullups.  That might be asking a lot.  I've done it before but I don't think I've ever started out this far out of shape.  Its a pride thing for me - while I was still an active duty Marine, it was always my goal to be able to do as many pullups as the boys.  Us girls aren't required to do pullups - we do a flexed arm hang instead.  In order to max the fitness test for the guys, you have to do 20 once again 20 pullups is my goal. 

Last but not least....the pictures.  The worst is the profile view for me - they you can see just how much I need my abs back to hold everything in.  Ab Ripper X, here I come!


Before Tomorrow...

Here are all the names of our blog followers:

I am assuming that all of you are participating in our P90X challenge? Please post a comment to confirm that you are part of our team so that we can look after you. Hilary, are you in or just observing?  I know you are pretty pregnant about now but I wouldn't put it past you to do a fitness challenge in your third trimester. Heather, you mentioned having some neck issues.  Did you get the OK from your doctor? Anyone else with limitations?

Kasey and I will post our pics and stats later tonight. We are excited to get started. I hope you are too!


Friday, October 1, 2010

Tracking It All...

As Rachel mentioned, I have a great spreadsheet that can track your progress and your workout schedule.  I couldn't upload the file directly to the blog so I am sharing it through google docs - the link is below.  On the overall workout calendar, each day is hyperlinked to the corresponding workout.  If the links don't work, please let me know and I'll figure out another way to share it.

2 days to go!!!  And no, I don't plan on giving up peanut butter.....

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Before We Get Started...

I (Rachel) wanted to take a minute to go over a couple P90X particulars before we get started on Monday.

First I just want to throw out a short disclaimer: P90X IS HARD SO DON'T INJURE YOURSELF.  In case that didn't fully soak in I will repeat it one more time. P90X IS HARD SO DON'T INJURE YOURSELF.  Kasey and I have debated if we should do the fitness test P90X recommends.  At first we thought we should skip it since we know that we are not in shape and we don't need a fitness test to confirm it.  But on second thought we have decided that we are going to do it because it will serve as a very important reality check.  It will not only help us set our goals and monitor our progress, but more importantly it will help prevent us from crippling ourselves by WAY overexerting ourselves right out of the gate.  Both of us have been minimally physically active for almost a year and just had babies, but we still think of ourselves as the athletes we once were...that is a dangerous combination.  Taking the fitness test not only brings us back to reality but will be our best defense against hurting ourselves.  We highly recommend that you take the fitness test too.  Be smart and set yourself up for success.  Go slow, modify, and adjust as necessary.

This weekend Kasey and I will be taking our measurements and current weight and posting our "before" pictures.  I am absolutely dreading posting my pictures. DREADING!  But like a good girl I will humiliate myself for the betterment of my fellow P90Xers. Even though you won't be posting them, I encourage you to take "before" pictures and measurements as well.  They will inevitably serve as your greatest motivation.  Nothing will make you more proud of yourself than to see the pounds and inches falling off. 

Lastly I want to talk about our diet.  Kasey and I are not going on a formal diet.  We are both nursing babies and feel a calorie restricted diet is not wise at this time.  P90X comes with a recommended eating plan and you are more than welcome to follow it or whatever kind of diet you are comfortable with, but we will be doing our own thing. Our own thing being making good food choices, staying away from junk food and sweets, and drinking plenty of water.  I personally have very strong convictions when it comes to what I eat.  I eat my food as natural and whole as possible and I never eat artificial sweeteners, hydrogenated oils, or soda.  But I do enjoy a good piece of chocolate and I have every intention of enjoying some seasonal goodies when the holidays roll around.  I am sure Kasey will not be giving up her peanut butter either.  Somethings are just not worth going without.

Kasey also has this awesome spreadsheet that will help us record our progress.  She will post it here soon so you can download it. If you have any other questions shoot me a comment.


Sunday, September 26, 2010

The Plan....

I think it's safe to say that Rachel and I are both a little obsessed with health and fitness....  Rachel knows more about herbal supplements, eating right, what is safe, and what is not than anyone I've ever known - if I ever need advice about what type of vitamins I should be taking, Rachel is the person I call.  She is also one of the most determined people I know, able to convince a bunch of non-runners to run a half-marathon.  As for myself, I've always loved working out.  I've had phases where I lift or run...or maybe do only body weight exercises or spin but no matter what phase I'm in, fitness has always been part of my life.  As you would expect, quite often Rachel and I find ourselves talking about the challenges and frustrations of staying in shape while raising a family, getting older and pursuing new challenges in our lives.... 

When we both found ourselves pregnant, we made a promise to help each other get back into shape.  Both of us have experimented with P90X in the past but never completed the entire 3 month program.  We know how effective it can be....well, at least we hope it will be effective...  We decided to set a date after both of our deliveries and P90X our way back into shape.  Then we decided to share this adventure with anyone out there that wants to read about it. 

Hopefully our blog will serve as an inspiration to other moms struggling to shed some post-baby weight.  And hopefully this blog will serve as our inspiration and motivation throughout the next 3 months.  We'll be held accountable through our partnership, our promise to each other and our decision to blog our progress for the world to see. If we skip a workout, I won't just have to deal with it myself....I'll have to tell Rachel and share it with everyone reading our blog.  When we feel overwhelmed with all our other responsibilities, we'll have each other to pull us through. 

It can't be that bad's only 3 months right??

So when are we starting?  Here are the details:

Start Date: October 4, 2010
End Date: December 26, 2010
In Between: Tony Horton kicking our booty!

We will be posting our starting weight, measurements and yes....even pictures.  That might be the most challenging part of this whole thing - taking a picture in a sports bra just weeks after giving birth and posting it for the world to see. Yikes!

As for supplies (in case you care to join us), we'll be using:
- P90X Workout DVDs
- Resistance Bands
- Pullup Bar
- Light hand weights

And finally, here is a list of what we have going on outside of our P90X journey...

- Crazy, active 3 yr old daughter Samantha
- Sweet newborn baby boy Sawyer, born August 25
- Husband deployed to Afghanistan
- Breast feeding my baby boy
- Maternity leave until mid October, then returning to work 3 days a week
- Online Masters courses

-Constantly talking 4 1/2 yr old son Dustin
-Momma to twins Aubrey and Ellie who went to heaven in July 2008
-Darling chubby cheeked newborn baby boy Colton, born July 23
-Military wife, husband currently not deployed
-Post C-section
-Breast Feeding
-SAHM and Entrepreneur getting a new company off the ground

We've made the decision to complete this program, in the midst of our everyday crazy lives.  If we can do this, you can too!

I am so glad that Kasey and I decided to do this (even though we will probably have moments of wondering what in the world we were thinking).  The accountability and support will make it almost impossible for us to fail despite our crazy lives. Kasey undersold herself shamefully in her description above. She left out that she is an amazing athlete and one of the most disciplined people I know. She was who inspired me to run a half marathon in the first place. She is also a fiercely loyal friend.  I don't know what I would have done without her these last two years.  It is a privilege to reach yet another goal together, supporting each other every step of the way.