Trying Harder

I haven’t posted in awhile, mostly because I have nothing interesting to report. Things have been basically the same. I’m stuck around the same weight as I was in July-August, and I am in the same pattern. I am still working out 6 days a week; I have not skipped any workouts. While I’m really proud of that, I have not lost any weight. I still have about 8-10 pounds (depending on the week) to lose, and I’m stuck.

Since I last posted, I started and completed a second round of Jillian Michael’s Bodyshred without any weight loss. I started to do the Power 90 Master Series after that, but I quit after the first week. It wasn’t challenging enough for me, and Tony Horton was WAY too annoying on the DVDs. I love Tony, but on this particular set of DVDs he was just way too overboard with the silly jokes, and I couldn’t take it for 12 weeks. I also wanted to up my game, so even though I SWORE I would never do it again, I started a second round of Insanity.

At this point, I am on my 4th week of Insanity, and I really like it! I feel as if I’m getting in a good workout for the time investment. Although I am still not losing any weight, I can’t blame the program – I know it’s my eating. This week with Halloween has been particularly bad, and I will be lucky if I even out this week. The Insanity workouts have been critical for me right now because at least they can stand up to my bad eating patterns at this time of year. Last year in October, I stopped working out altogether and gained 10+ pounds over the holidays. I really don’t want that to happen again, so I know I need to really watch myself right now. I see myself making poor eating choices right now and I can’t let it escalate.

I starting writing this blog almost two years ago as a form of accountability, and I need to get back into it and see this to my goal. I am so close, and I want it so bad. I’m drawing a line in the sand with my eating and drinking. I always thought it was not exercising that was my issue, and I now believe that I have that under control. I never let myself skip workouts anymore – exercise in my life is no longer an optional part of my day. While that was a MASSIVE feat for me, it’s only half the battle.

The thing is, I get depressed about the scale. I don’t seem to lose weight whether I eat perfectly, or splurge on wine, dessert or what-not every now and then. I was searching the internet a few weeks ago reading about “losing those last ten pounds” and everything I found was something I was already doing. I already restrict my calories, eat pretty well, drink lots of water, blah blah was getting so annoying not seeing any results I kinda threw my hands up and stopped.

Well, I know I can’t have that attitude and I need to keep going. On the bright side, I think I have the formula for maintenance when I get to that phase. For now, I have to try harder.

I won’t go on and on about all these things I plan to commit to do. I will just say that my goal for tomorrow is to try a lot harder than today.


Vacation Mindset

Time really flies, I can’t believe it’s been two weeks since vacation, and I’m already done with the first phase of BodyShred. Phase 2 is much harder! There is some form of unpleasant burpees in each segment of one of the workouts – woof. I’m doing much better at the program on this second round than I did the first time, but it’s still kicking my butt.

My problem is my vacation mindset; it’s lingering. I’m still eating and drinking as if I have no cares in the world. I am currently 3 pounds heavier than I was before I left for vacation, and it seems to be sticking. Since starting BodyShred, my weight loss has been basically non-existent. I was so worried about becoming lazy again and not getting back into my regular workout program, that I didn’t see this coming. On a positive note, BodyShred seems to be cancelling out my current eating and drinking habits, but I still have 10 pounds I want to lose, and I can’t stop now. The weight loss finish line is so close!

I guess I have two choices here – I either cut back on my eating and drinking, or work out more. Honestly I am not a fan of either option, but no one said losing weight was a big party. It’s hard work and involves sacrificing indulgences. Anyone that says different is selling something.

That being said, I think I am going to do both. I am going to cut back on all this drinking. I shouldn’t be drinking at all if I want to lose weight, and it’s time to stop with the wine, beer, and fun summer cocktails. Vacation is over. Don’t get me wrong, I will still have some limited wine and beer on the weekends, which I have done throughout my program. Typically I have 1 beer and 2 glasses of wine on the weekend, and that’s it. After all, I’m not made of stone. I think it’s important to integrate things you enjoy into your diet and find a balance. But, these cocktails need to go away completely, they are simply diet destroyers. I’ve found a new love called moscow mules, and we need to break up.

My eating actually isn’t too bad, I have been enjoying a dessert here and there, but otherwise, I keep it pretty clean. My big temptation this time of year, which was my same problem last year, is the darn fruit. Not the worst thing to be eating, but I have been eating way too much of it. I always have fresh cut strawberries, grapes, nectarines, or something in the refrigerator, and it’s SO GOOD right now. I can’t help myself when I go to the refrigerator to grab a handful of something. I already eat fruit as part of my morning breakfast smoothie, so I need to watch the rest of the day. Everything in moderation.

As for adding exercise, I keep saying I am going to run a few times a week, and I haven’t been doing that since the Spring. Instead my current pattern is cracking open some wine or a beer, or having a moscow mule after work and relaxing. Instead, I need to get off my butt and get outside and enjoy this awesome weather. I love it when I’m doing it but right now it’s hard to get motivated to get outside and do additional exercise for some reason. I think it’s just that “sitting around with a tasty beverage” mindset that I really enjoyed on vacation that I can’t seem to shake. It was way too much fun.

Also, this is going to sound ungrateful and completely whiny, but it doesn’t help that people keep saying that I look skinny. Not that I don’t love it, but I’d be more motivated to finish this weight loss if someone called me a fat cow. Of course, that would really upset me, so  I am just never happy. These last 10 pounds are going to be the hardest to lose, so I need an extra push. I need to really WANT it, and I realize I am feeling a little complacent. I go back to that fortune cookie I got last December, which I have mentioned before, and read, “it could be better, but it’s good enough.” I don’t want to have that attitude –  it’s not good enough, and I want it to be better. Screw that cookie.

I want to finish what I started. I’m not going to allow myself to fall apart at this point. I’ve come way too far. Time to get to work and make things better.

BodyShred Round Two!

I just got back from two weeks in Hawaii, and it was amazing! It felt a little too good to be a lazy slob for those weeks, but I jumped right back into my routine, and I hope it sticks. I weighed myself yesterday, and I did gain four pounds in that timeframe, but it was so worth it! My husband only gained one measly little pound, and I am really jealous. I will never understand the male metabolism!

I’m hoping that it’s mostly water retention, but time will tell. I started my second round of Jillian Michael’s BodyShred yesterday, and woke up early this morning to get my workout in first thing, so I’m off to a good start. Lots more work to do in terms of getting in shape, finishing up losing this weight, and sticking to my healthy living.

Since this is my second round of BodyShred, I decided to extend the time of some of the phases to be able to work my way up to doing the advanced moves without modifying as much. Each phase is usually 2 weeks, but I am going to just do Phase 1 for 2 weeks, and then Phases 2-4 I will extend to three weeks. After I started Phase 1, it seemed doable enough for me to be able to complete the moves without modifying within the 2 week timeframe. I could almost do the full version of all the moves right out of the gate. I remember my first time doing this program, and thinking how hard the beginning workouts were to get through, so it’s great progress that I am finding them a lot less challenging!

Although, I don’t think BodyShred offers enough cardio to continue losing my goal of 1lb per week, especially after finishing such a cardio-centric program like Insanity. The cardio sections of Bodyshred almost felt like taking breaks in the workout. I am sure once I get more into it that I will feel different, but I plan to run at least twice a week to get in some additional cardio and burn more calories. The problem is that it’s so hot outside right now, but I have to remember that I used to run in the Florida summer heat, so I need to suck it up. I’ve gotten accustomed to the weather in New England, so much that 80 degrees these days seems like sweltering heat.  But, in order to motivate myself to run, I am signing up for another 5K in September.

With this plan, I will be done with BodyShred in 11 weeks, which will take me to October. After that, I plan to do this older program that I never opened, the Power 90 Master Series with Tony Horton. Tony Horton is probably my favorite trainer, and I received this program about ten years ago, back when I was really into the basic P90 program. I don’t think Beachbody even sells the Master Series anymore because everything is all about “P90X” these days, but this program was designed as a middle ground between P90 and P90X. I would love to do P90X someday but I don’t have a good doorway for a pull-up bar in my house, and from what I’ve read that’s a big part of the program and there’s no substitution. This Master Series program does not have pull-ups, so that works way better for me. In addition, I hate owning a workout program that I never opened, so even though this workout series might be a little dated, I am doing it anyway!

The plan doing of Bodyshred and the P90 Master Series will take me to Christmas, and then it will be time to buy something new! I am open to suggestions if anyone has thoughts on a good at-home DVD program to try – I’m currently looking at T25, Pound, Body Beast, TurboFire, and maybe even Cize (although I don’t know about that one..dancing?). I want something that’s full body, around 35-45 minutes a day, and will kick my butt. I’m hoping by the time I get to Christmas  I will be in more of a weight maintenance and toning phase, so I need something that will help sculpt, while keeping my weight in check.

I’m happy I made it through vacation with a minimal weight gain, and I feel I am over the worst temptations of the year. The next challenge will come around Halloween, when we starting getting into the holiday season. That’s a problem time of year for most people, but I have more confidence this time around, knowing I’ve come this far without slipping into my old bad habits. I’m so ahead of where I was this time last year, I look back at myself and I hope to never see that person again.

These days I take each day as it comes, and I strive to do my best. Time to shred it up!

Insanity Wrap Up

Insanity is done! I completed the program, and I feel very proud. I have come a long way since I attempted this last year, when I quit in the 4th week. I’m happy it’s over, although I am still going to be doing the Insanity workouts until I go on vacation soon, but  when I get back, I will start a second round of BodyShred. Looking forward to it!

Here are my final results for the Insanity Program:

Pounds lost: 8lbs

Inches lost:

Waist: 0″

Hips: -1.5″

Chest: -1″

Thighs: 0″

Arms: -.25″

Neck: -.25″

Compared to BodyShred, I lost the same amount of weight as I did on that program, but I lost more inches with BodyShred. I have to say I am surprised by my current measurements, I thought it would be more, at least it feels that way. I will admit though, I was a lot more careful in regards to my eating and drinking during BodyShred, so it’s not an apples to apples comparison.

I lost inches and pounds with both programs, and I think they are both great. But, I will probably never do Insanity again. It just takes up too much time in comparison to other workout programs on the market, and overall I think the workouts are too hard on my knees. My knees, hip flexor, and shins are having a rough time right now, and are craving a change from all the intense squatting, jumping, and lunging at a fast pace that is required by the Insanity  program.

So far, this year has been going very well, and I am so close to my goal. To date, I have lost 36 pounds! Just 4 more pounds before I hit my initial goal of 40, although I will probably keeping going and try to lose an extra 5-10 pounds for an extra security blanket. I also expect to gain a few pounds on vacation, so I might be down 36 now, but I can’t party too hard just yet. Still a long way to go, not to mention I would really like to see some inches lost in some of my problem areas, particularly my nemesis, my granny arms.

Lots more work to do, but for now I celebrate that I made it through 9 weeks of Insanity without skipping any workouts.

Happy 4th of July everyone!




Insanity: Last Week!

Almost done! I can see the finish line of Insanity, I just have 5 more workouts to go and it will be over – finally! I am really happy because these workouts in the second phase are just plain bananas. I really don’t like the time it takes up to get them done. As I am not a morning person in general, having to wake up an extra 45 minutes to complete some of the workouts has been difficult. For example, today I have to do the Max Cardio Conditioning and the Cardio Abs, which combined takes about an hour and 10 minutes. That’s a long time for an at-home workout in my opinion, and I can see why Beachbody now offers “T25,” which I assume is the Insanity version that takes 25-30 minutes. Might have to buy that program down the road.

All and all, I have found Insanity to be very effective. I just traveled this past week for a couple of days for work and saw some co-workers I haven’t seen in almost 3 years, and everyone commented on how skinny I looked. It was a great feeling and gave me such a boost of motivation! I don’t think Insanity is as good of an overall workout as Bodyshred, but in terms of trying to lose weight, the extra cardio it offers has been a perfect fit for me at this difficult time when I am down to losing the last 10 lbs.

I knew these last pounds were going to be the hardest to lose, but so far it hasn’t been much of a problem with the high level of intensity in the Insanity workouts. With the exception of a week or 2, I have been consistently losing 1 pound per week, despite the fact it’s been a rough time with my eating. June is “celebration” month – my birthday, wedding anniversary, friends’ birthdays, Memorial Day weekend getaway, etc. It has been a tempting time, and there has been a lot of eating out and sweet treats, which would normally equate to weight gain. But, I’m still seeing results on the scale and I feel I owe that to Insanity.

To date, I have lost 34 pounds since I started this 40 pound weight loss journey. Six of those pounds have been since I started Insanity. I don’t want to jinx it, but I have a good feeling about this week, and I predict I will lose another 2 by the end of the program. On Sunday, I will take all my measurements again and I will post my final results. I still don’t feel as if I have lost a lot of inches in my upper body, but it’s not like I’m going to stop after this week. After Insanity, I am going to restart Bodyshred, and hopefully I will do better than I did the first time I did that program. Once I reach my weight loss goal, it will be time to focus on toning. I now realize that exercise has to be a part of my life forever, so there’s plenty of time to become happy with my measurements.

I am getting a little nervous though, we have a big vacation coming up soon. A few people have been commenting that this vacation has been a “great motivating factor” for me to keep exercising and losing weight. I don’t like that comment, I like to believe that I have made a lifestyle change, and the fact that I am going on vacation has nothing to do with it. Yes, it’s true that I want to look good in our vacation photos, and not feel like a fat slob in my bathing suit, but if this vacation has been my primary motivator and I end up falling off the wagon after I get back, I’m going to be really upset. It’s 12 nights, and I refuse to let 12 nights derail over a year and a half of progress. But I still fear it in the back of my mind. I fear getting a taste of the laziness that I used to love, and not being able to go back to the work it takes to be healthy.

Also, I fear the vacation weight gain. Drinking fruity drinks, eating out every day, and the general sloth that goes with relaxing on vacation  – how can I not gain weight? Do I want to be the type of exercise fanatic that works out in the hotel gym everyday on vacation? I used to think people like that were crazy, but I am considering it. At the minimum, I plan to bring my running clothes and try to run a few times.

I am mentally prepared to gain a few vacation pounds, but a few is all I can handle. I  have to keep my eating and drinking in check, and not go crazy overboard. At this point, I would hope that I wouldn’t even enjoy that kind of thing, but I guess this will be the first BIG test. At Easter time this past March, I kinda binged on Cadbury mini-eggs one day, and I was shocked at how easy it was to just keep eating them. If it’s something I really enjoy, I still find it hard to control myself. I guess the good thing in that situation was that I stopped (after they were gone!) but I didn’t let that completely derail everything else I was doing. I picked up the pieces and kept moving. I have to be sure that I do the same after we get back home. I will probably weigh more, but I need to get over it and continue on my track.

I also don’t want these fears of falling off the wagon ruin my time. I want to enjoy my vacation, and not feel guilty about everything I eat or drink, or feel bad that I slept in and didn’t go out and run. I am so sick and tired about stressing about my body all the time. I love that I fit into smaller sizes now, and I have so much more confidence, but with that has come all these worries about maintaining this new me. I’ve been here many times, and I have failed every time, and each time I thought I had it all figured out. If I allow myself to fail this time, I really don’t know where I would go from here.

It might not sound like it, but I am TRYING not to stress so much about everything. I’ve worked really hard, I deserve a vacation, and if I work out while I am there, great. If not, that’s OK too. The important thing is to get back to real life when we get home, whether I gain 2 pounds, ten, or twenty (jeepers, I hope not 20 although that would be impressive!). Vacation is fairy tale time, not reality.

Anyway, for now, I just need to focus on this week, my last week of Insanity. That is a hard enough challenge on its own, but the end of this program is near, and nothing is stopping me. Stay tuned next week for the final results!

Month 1 Insanity: Ouch..

I just finished my first month of Insanity. My hairdresser asked me yesterday if I felt great with all this working out. I really don’t! I am so sore all the time, I keep waiting to have that “great” feeling. I have more confidence; I can see how my clothes are loose, and my flab is seriously decreasing, but I am always in some type of pain. I have a new sore muscle area on my body at least once a week, my back has been hurting, and my knees have been better. There’s a lot of jumping around in Insanity and it’s taking a toll. So, do I feel great? No, I just feel really old!

I am so happy that I hit the recovery week of Insanity. I get a slight break for the next 6 workouts before moving into Phase 2. At least I hope it’s an easier workout, I haven’t done the recovery workout yet, but I know after this week things kick up several notches. I can’t even imagine how hard things are going to be for the final 4 weeks. I’m scared.

One a very pleasant note, I hit a milestone last week with my weight loss! 30 pounds lost to date! That leaves me with 10 to go. I’m in the final stretch of this journey. Well, technically it’s a lifelong journey, but it will be nice to make my 40 pound goal that I set out to accomplish almost a year and a half ago now.

I don’t really think of it as “weight” anyway as much as I think of it as “baggage.”  I have mentioned this before, but I have this photo of myself from 2012, 40 pounds lighter than I was a year and a half ago, and it was the last time I remember being really happy. It was taken before a lot of bad things happened, one after the other. I am back to a happy place now, but I still carry around the “baggage” from a few bad years of stress and bad memories. If I can dump this last bit of baggage, it will be my final step in letting go and moving onto better things.

My husband and I are going on vacation at the end of June for 2 weeks, and I am very excited. He needs the vacation as much as I do. We went through these stressful times together, and I don’t know what I would do without him. He really deserves to unwind and chill out. I’m so proud of him too, he has lost over 30 pounds himself! But with this upcoming vacation, of course I have a huge fear of getting out of my new routine and slipping back into old habits. It will be the first real test this year to see if I’ve successfully made a lifestyle change, instead of just another temporary fix.

Typically, I don’t gain weight on vacation. We’re usually pretty active, so weight gain doesn’t really happen, or not a lot anyway. Historically, it’s the after-vacation period that has brought me down a dark path. I’m sure some people can relate to this – you feel so good after a vacation, especially if you didn’t gain a bunch of weight, so you let things continue to slip and slide for another week, then another, so on and so on, and then it’s back to Fat City.

I can’t let that happen, I have to get right back on that horse! I know I won’t reach my 40 lb goal before we leave, I never thought that I would, so there will still be work to do to reach my final milestone. I don’t want my vacation to result in any extra baggage!

For now, I am just focused on the next week. I have another 5K on Sunday. I don’t expect to do much better than I did last time, since I’ve been pretty sore lately and I’ve only run a few times this month. It’s suppose to rain on Sunday too, and if it’s down-pouring I am not going to participate. I have a massive fear of falling on my face due to a bad running accident I had in 2010, and it’s not worth the risk to me.

I’m going to keep plugging away at Insanity and running and do my best to conquer these last 10 pounds. You don’t stop when you’re so close to the finish line. I’m going to give it my all and finish strong!

Week 1 Insanity

I finished the first week of Insanity and I’m halfway through the second week at this point, and it’s been a strange time. It’s a hard program because Shaun T and the crew on the DVDs move so quickly. On one hand, it’s difficult to keep up with them, but on the other, it feels as if I’m not working as hard as I was in BodyShred. Sunday (my official weigh-in day) was the first time in over 8 weeks that I had not lost weight. I even weighed myself after finishing a 5K race earlier that morning. The scale was stuck and there was no convincing it to move.

I keep telling myself that I went from the 8th and hardest week of BodyShred to starting a new program at the “easiest” week, so obviously I am not working out at the same level. After Sunday I considered ditching Insanity and restarting BodyShred, but I figured it wouldn’t help since I’d still be restarting at the first and least intense week of the program.  I also think it is good to switch it up and keep things interesting with a new program and trainer. But, I really want to continue to lose weight at my previous 1 lb per week pace. I don’t think that is a lofty goal, but I am not sure what to do about it. I unofficially weigh myself almost daily, and the scale still hasn’t budged, so Sunday was not a fluke. In fact, this morning I was up a pound. Not that I count that, I only go by my Sunday weight as I know it can fluctuate mid-week, but it helps to give me a slight outlook of the future and if I want to lose weight, I need to step it up.

I will admit that last week, aside from my 5K race on Sunday morning, I did not do my extra runs during the week. In all honesty, I just plain didn’t feel like it. I was lazy, and paid the price. I had a lot of work last week and used that as my excuse. I kept telling myself that I had completed my morning workout, so it was ok to relax. It was a stupid move since I had that race on Sunday and it would have been beneficial to limber up with a couple of easy going runs during the week. In addition, since I was starting a new workout program at level 1, it would have been great to get in some extra cardio and burn some more calories. I guess just writing this I am realizing why I didn’t lose any weight last week.

I finished pretty average in the 5k race – 33.37 minutes. That’s a good time for me at this fitness level, but I know I could have done better if I had run more during the previous weeks.  I have another 5K race in 3 weeks, and I’d like to shave a minute or 2 off that time. As an overall goal, I’d like to see my 5K time fall under 30 minutes at some point and then maybe progress to doing longer distances.

I really try to not to compare myself to other people, but I always feel so slow and gross out there on the course with all these people whizzing by me. Women young and old fly by with their cute bouncy pony tails. By the time I’m done, I’m a sweaty mess with a matted down pony tail that I can literally ring out. Over the last 10 years I have run quite a bit, and trained for and completed several half marathons. When do I earn my bouncy pony tail? It’s not like I’m running all that fast, and I’m always a sweaty disaster! My friends tell me that after a race they go out to breakfast, and I can’t fathom sitting in a restaurant post-run. I’m not a pretty sight when I finish a race at any distance, and all I want is a towel and a shower. Don’t even get me started on the race photos, there’s one I keep printed out as motivation to lose weight. Most of the time, they are horrifying. Oh well, everyone is different, and at least I’m out there and doing it.

Maybe one day I will have a race photo that I look at and feel proud, but I know that is both a mental and physical goal. I’ll get there  – hard work and patience with a side of self esteem. A tall order, but I like to dream big.

BodyShred Wrap Up

It is done. I completed Jillian Michael’s 8 week BodyShred DVD program. I’m an average, not-too-fit person and I can say now from my experience that it can be done at my level. I modified moves throughout the whole program, but I kept moving the entire time and here are the final results over the 8 weeks:

Pounds lost: 8 (I lost 1 lb per week)

Inches lost:

Waist: -2″

Hips: -2″

Chest: -2″

Thighs: -1.5″

Arms: 0″

Neck: 0″

I am not an expert at any of this kind of stuff, so honestly, I don’t know if these results are good or not. I watch these fitness infomercials in the morning on occasion (and get really sucked into them!) and I see people talking about losing “35 inches across my body” or “6 dress sizes” in 90 days or 8 weeks from doing the latest fad fitness program, and I just can’t believe it. You’ll see in tiny print on the screen that “results are not typical,” so I guess that my results fall into the “typical” category. I never skipped a workout over the 8 weeks, and one some days I also ran in addition to BodyShred. I ate very healthy, although I don’t follow a specific eating plan, but I watch my portions and calories, as well as what I eat very carefully. I rarely ever splurge on food.

I celebrate any improvement, so I am happy with my “typical” results. I am disappointed with my arms though, they are my problem area. I just don’t know how to get rid of these fat areas dangling from my arms! I have done extra arms exercises, but apparently they aren’t working. I know my upper body is stronger, but they look the same and the tape measure doesn’t lie. Maybe things will get better on this next round of exercise.

For my next phase, I have started Insanity, the original program. I am halfway through the first week, and it’s been easier than the first time I attempted to do this program, but still tough. Shaun T (trainer) goes extremely fast, and it’s hard to keep up, but it’s doable. I still have to modify some moves, such as push-ups on my knees but I’m really going to push hard throughout this program and see if I can do everything the hard way by the end. This is going to be 9 weeks of hell.

So, my total to date since I started this 40lbs-in-40 weeks blog comes to 28 pounds! I may not have made the 40 weeks by a long shot, and I still have a way to go, but this year has been a turning point. I finally believe I’ve found a sustainable way of living, which is way more important than losing weight in a specific time period.

Exercise has become a routine over the last three months.  It’s still a chore, but not one I consider to be optional. I finally took a step back and looked at where I was failing each time I tried to get healthier. My new success lies in working out first thing in the morning, before anything else, and getting it out of the way and off my list. That small change in my lifestyle has made all the difference. I’ve never been able to do this in the past, but now I can’t ever imagine going back to end of day workouts. I still run 1-3 times a week after my work day, but that’s like a bonus. I run if I want to, and if I don’t then that’s just fine because I already got my morning workout completed.

I continue to lose a little each week, and I know I’m on a great track to the finish line. It just takes time for us “typical” people.

BodyShred: Final Stretch

This week I started the final level of Jillian Michael’s BodyShred (Zenith & Apex), and I can almost see the finish line. I am on the 7th week, and half way through already, so just a week and a half left until I take my measurements! I have not missed a workout throughout this whole program. I’ve lost 1 pound per week doing BodyShred so far, so I’m 6 pounds lighter than I was when I started, and my pants are getting loose.

This level is extremely challenging, and there are barely any moves I can do without modifying, and even so I still find them difficult. Some of the moves I even find comical. Jillian takes some of the exercises from the previous levels and takes them up a few notches. For example, in weeks 3-4, I was having a ridiculous time doing the rock n’ roll squats, and in this new level you are suppose to do them on one leg. Well, that isn’t even close to happening, but I do find that I have an easier time doing the standard rock n’ roll squats.  They are still quite challenging for me, but I don’t feel quite as pathetic as I did back in week 3. It’s progress and you can feel how moves are becoming more doable! That makes me happy.

I can feel my core is getting stronger and that I have lost inches. I fit into some of my older pairs of pants. I will say that I don’t see much progress in my upper body. I am curious to see what the tape measure says next weekend, but I’m not expecting  much in the arm and bust area. I can pretty much tell from the fit of my bras and shirts. It’s a big problem area for me, and very frustrating. I feel not matter how much weight I lose, as a busty person with chunky arms, I still look beefy. I’ve lost 26 pounds total and hardly anyone has made a comment. Not that I care what other people think, but hearing about how I look different is a nice treat.

Next weekend I will move onto Insanity and I am hoping that will help with my upper body. I need to lose fat, and there’s a lot more cardio in Insanity. I am very nervous about completing the program. When I attempted Insanity the first time, I quit at the 4th week. It is a big time commitment –  the daily routines are almost an hour each, and the workouts are exactly as advertised, insane. I dreaded doing them everyday, and one day I just stopped and couldn’t bring myself to do them again. Right now I am really used to the BodyShred 35 minutes a day routines, they are very doable and the short time commitment leaves me with no excuse. I’m a little tempted to just restart BodyShred from the beginning instead of Insanity, but I really want to get through Insanity at least once in my life. I bought it years ago and it wasn’t cheap. I am hoping BodyShred has prepared me to be able to complete it this time. I want to at least get through it and get my money’s worth before I put it away and never look at it again! It’s a moral imperative.

I have been running as well, but definitely not as much as I should be. I have two 5K races in May and one of them is in less than 3 weeks. I didn’t run at all last week, so I need to step it up. The weather has just been lousy, not that I should use that as an excuse, but all I want to do at the end of the day is curl up in my pjs instead of going out and getting sweaty in the cold, rainy weather. But I need to suck it up, I need all the practice I can get and the extra cardio won’t hurt either.

I don’t have much else to report. Things are going pretty well. I am happy with the results I am seeing for the most part, and I am going to keep plugging away. Stay tuned in a week and a half for my final BodyShred results!

BodyShred Week 3

I’m almost done with my third week of BodyShred. I have to say switching up to the next level of BodyShred DVDs (Amplify and Escalate) has been a deflating experience. The first level (the Launch and Rise DVDs) seemed achievable, but this week I have been struggling – big time.

I want to do this program (at least this first time) as it was designed, so I am going to keep going and moving forward, but if I do this again I will extend the first level for another 2 weeks before moving onto the next level. I can barely accomplish some of the moves on the Amplify and Escalate DVDs, even if I modify them. After the first time this week attempting the workouts, I was stopping the DVD constantly to figure out what the heck they were doing, and making sure I had the correct form. Then, if I was doing it correctly, I would only be able to do a few of the moves, such as cross over push-ups, before collapsing on the floor. Either that or the moves would take me so long (rock and roll squats!) that I’d only get a few in before they moved onto the next set. If I can only get in 2-3, am I getting any benefit from it?  Jillian says things to make you feel better, such as “these moves are tough, so if you can only do 10, that’s fine, tomorrow you will be able to do 12.” I wish I could do 10! Am I suppose to be able to do 10 at this point?

The second round of doing the Amplify and Escalate DVDs this week, I sat and watched them before starting to work out. I thought if I studied the moves, I might feel better about it. They go so fast on these workouts, and you’re not suppose to stop, so I wanted to be sure I was doing everything correctly. Well, that may have helped a little with my form, but didn’t help me complete more reps. I hate feeling as if I’m not getting the most from my time investment, and I have felt that way this week. It’s only 35 minutes a day, so it needs to be intense if you’re going to see any results. I am dripping in sweat for the 30 minutes doing these levels of BodyShred, but at the end of it, I haven’t been getting that feeling of accomplishment. It’s very possible that I’m in over my head.

On the other hand, I started to run this week in addition to Bodyshred, so at least I’m getting in some extra cardio. I always forget how much I enjoy running. It’s such a simple form of exercise, but it has so many great benefits – clears my head, gives me a sense of accomplishment, and allows me the time to just zone out and listen to music. Plus, there is a defined way, through pace and time, to see how you are improving. I haven’t run in a long time, so I wasn’t going very fast, and I mixed in some walking. I need to take it slow but I will get better over the weeks. I had slight noodle legs this morning during my BodyShred workout.

Despite my current struggles with BodyShred, I will say that I think it’s having a positive effect on my body, just in the last 3 weeks. I hope it’s not all in my head, but I feel like I see a difference when I look in the mirror. I am very tempted to measure myself, but I am going to wait until the end. Measuring myself at this stage would be a lose-lose scenario. Either I would feel great about losing inches so fast, which could result in becoming complacent, or even worse, if I haven’t lost many or any inches at this point, it could really bring me down.

I’m still weighing myself weekly, and this past week I was another pound down. I’ve been on a steady 1-lb-per-week trend right now. I wish it was more, but I am happy it’s not less. I don’t really like to throw out weight loss goals for short periods of time, but in my mind I keep saying to myself that I have 6 weeks left with Jillian before I start Insanity, and I’d like to lose 8 more pounds. That would be a total of 10 pounds for the entire BodyShred program. That’s probably a pipe dream, but it’s my hope. That would mean I need to lose 2 pounds for 2 out of the next 6 weeks. I rarely lose 2 pounds a week, but hey, one can dream, right? Maybe this will be my week! I’m hoping for some March madness to happen with the scale.

The real challenge is going to be not gorging myself with Cadbury Mini Eggs on Easter! If I can accomplish that, I can do anything. I got this.