Saturday, July 27, 2013

Finding Time to Relax

We all work hard, workout harder, and take care of families, but have you taken care of yourself lately?
Seriously, I have not.  Sure I shower here and there and run a razor across my legs when my toddler isn't taking over my shower, but really take care of myself and relax?  Not really.
I had seen this recipe on Pinterest not too long ago for a leg exfoliator that you make in your kitchen.  Since I am pregnant my husband has banned me from all the cool places like nail salons and hair color salons.  GRRRRRR!  The feet are worn from all the Fitbit walking I do and the legs are just tired from carrying around a growing belly.  So, what's a girl to do? 
I have to do it myself, sans the pretty polish at the end.  Here is the recipe I used for Leg Exfoliator. 
My review:  I started last night with a bath.  One long enough to actually scrub and shave my legs.   Oh my!  It worked pretty good on my legs and feet, but it clogs the razor with the oil.  I kept having to rinse out the razor in the hottest water I could get.  But, this morning my legs are pretty smooth and softer than normal.  The instructions say to do it twice, but twice seemed like overkill.  Once is enough if you don't have the added time.  Make sure to rinse off with your soap of choice before getting out of the tub.  I was using G's tub so baby shampoo it was! I am storing the rest of the mixture in my fridge and cleaned out the tub immediately.  Ants in the tub would not be relaxing.  I also am keeping a plastic spoon in the jar because it will need to be stirred up before each use.  (You can shake it too, but my lid does not seem to be fitting right)

After I got out I tried out some foot cream I found at Walmart. Works pretty good. 
What do you do to relax? 

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Focus T25 BETA Review


Since I am pregnant and therefore not following the program to lose weight, I thought I would skip ahead and review the 2nd phase of the program.  I did them all this week.  I was between 16 & 17 weeks pregnant.

I love the workouts in this phase for both pregnancy and beyond.  Tania continues to modify although sometimes the camera doesn't quite get to her fast enough. 

My favorite 2 videos of the entire program are Rip't Circuit and Upper Focus.  They fit my personal goals exactly and they were modifiable to my pregnancy.  There are some abs in the Rip't Circuit that I could not do since they were on the back.  I just did high knees instead during those exercises.  Both of those videos used your choice of bands or dumbells.  I used dumbells, but I know bands are suggested for pregnant women due to the potential to accidently hit your stomach with a dumbell.  So whatever you choose please be careful.

Core Cardio brought back a few Insanity moves, however they were called something different.  Overall, a fun and quick workout.  Low intensity options in this one also. 

I am going to work off my own hybrid.  It is advised that you do Alpha before Beta and I definitely suggest that.  For me I want to go ahead and incorporate upper body into Alpha which focuses on lower body so Upper Focus will be added. 

Here is a sample of my schedule, but will change it up each week since that is how this program is set up.  I am doubling up on 2 days to fit my needs.  It is not necessary for the program however.  My pregnancy research has shown that squats are really good for a natural birth so I want to make sure I get lower body in as much as possible but still work on my upper body.

Monday:  Alpha Cardio
Tuesday:  Beta Upper Focus and Alpha Lower Focus
Wednesday:  Alpha Speed 1.0
Thursday:  Beta Rip't Circuit and Beta Upper Focus
Friday:  Alpha Cardio
Saturday:  Alpha Total Body Circuit
Sunday:  Rest

I will review the Gamma phase next month and do a 1 month review of my progress using my schedule above.  This is my favorite program and I have used many Beachbody programs in the past.

So, are you ready to do this program with me (pregnant or not)?  Order it here now.   

What program are you currently using?  Is it helping you meet your goals?

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Perfection in Health and Fitness

I wrote a similar post on my Baby website concerning perfection in parenting recently (check it out here) and wanted to share the concept on here too. 

The common theme I read and hear from other mom's is that they are dissatisfied with their body and if they could just get a handle on perfecting their diet and committing to their workouts 100% of the time they will see magical and immediate results.  When that does not happen, the stress, depression and body image problems begin.  Is it just me or are we placing to high of expectations on ourselves to be perfect.  I understand having a goal and then knowing the steps to get there, but honestly do you believe that the average person goes an entire year without having a cookie or a latte or whatever you deem extra decadent.  Sure bingeing is not going to get you the body you want or even deserve, but nutrition, calorie counts and necessary workouts are still not an exact science.  They take experimentation and follow through.  So you splurged on something decadent one day or even an entire week, that does not define you and it doesn't have to defeat you. 

So I admitted in a facebook group today that I am a closet eater. I have never told anyone that before. Clearly I have maintained a sort of thinness throughout the years so it has never gotten out of control, but where did the need for secrecy come from. Why did I start feeling like I needed to eat only when others were not around? I have gotten somewhat better as I am more of aware of it, but it is still a part of me. Maybe it started because I sensed that people looked to me for advice regarding staying thin and I did not want them to see me at my lows, but that wasn't fair to them or to me. I am more aware of how my actions and even the things I say affect other's thinking and I do not want anyone to take something I say and feel failure when they cannot follow it.  The truth is that I am not perfect.  I do not want to be responsible for sending people on a wild goose chase.

I have been doing a lot of reading and questioning of diets, deprivation, eliminating, and just how we speak to ourselves in general. I know for myself when I "diet" there always comes that point of failure which spirals into so many things...all negative. I am just seeking healthy living where the word "cheat" is unnecesary because I eat great the majority of the time and having something decadent is not me cheating but me learning to accept living and being real and honest. I am tired of beating myself up over not being perfect. When we diet in this way, we are trying for perfection and as has been proven so many times, as humans, we falter. Perfection is rarely maintainable. In my quest for health I desire to be more like the tortoise, slowly progressing towards my goal of being healthy and less like the hare trying to make it there quickly with no regard to consequences and dieting does have consequences. Some of those consequences are not seen for years.  So often when find perfection, we lose it or take it for granted and ultimately we have to start all over.

The word "cheat" just doesn't belong in our vocabulary concerning food or even exercising. Think about how cheating is used in other situations. When you cheat on your spouse you hurt them, you hurt yourself, and to have any hope in getting that trust back you have to work extremely hard. Same as a diet, when you allow yourself to be governed by cheat days, you are saying my health is not important at this moment. I will just make it up later and many times that is by overexercising or undereating either leading up to that "cheat" meal or immediately following.  You start back at square one learning to trust in yourself to make the "right" decision next time.

There are times when yes, we need to eliminate something for the sake of our health and that is a different issue. I have done many eliminations in order to see the effects on my Crohns disease. I have yet to find a specific food or food group that affects my personal variety of crohns, other than sugar substitutes and sugar alcohols. They do tend to cause minor issues so for the most part I do stay away from those.

There are of course going to be a select group of people that can make their mind up and stick to a certain plan 100%, but that is not the general population.  This desire to be perfect is not working in our favor.  So, you temporarily end up #1 in a body building contest. It is temporary. Even body builders will admit it is not maintainable.

We talk about food and dieting so much more these days. It is a hot topic everywhere. I feel like this may be hindering us in some way. When those "sins" are in our face constantly and we start to feel like we cannot keep up with everyone else's perceived perfection it is easy to slip into the woe is me, I'm a failure mode.  The vicious cycle begins again.

I am not suggesting you never strive for better than you are at this very moment. Instead I am suggesting we take some of the pressure off and find a balance that is easily maintained. So the hare beats you to the finish line, once you make it there, he'll have been back and forth from the start to the finish many times. Going back to that starting point constantly is where the desperation and the poor body image takes over. Why cycle through that?

Even being pregnant, a time when my body kind of just takes over and does what it does even though I eat the same way and exercise the same way, I can get a little flustered and that is sad. I want my children to just see a mom that is active and happy, not one fretting if a certain food is going to cause me to balloon up or trying to make up for those "cheats."

I just worry about people looking for the next big thing or jumping on a train only to constantly bail and try the next big thing and then get on that vicious mental cycle.  What works for one, does not necessarily work for another. 

So now what?  I do love to work out.  It is good for my mental fitness, not just my physical fitness.  I will continue to share what type of workouts make me feel strong, powerful, mentally fresh, or even sore, but where food is concerned, know that I am not perfect.  I struggle but I power through and am working daily on finding a food balance and that is what I want for you. 

Can you relate?  Have you been seeking perfection?  Does it help you or hinder you?  I'm curious how others view goals and the means of getting there. 

Monday, July 15, 2013

What I'm eating July week 3

Some of this week's groceries

I am not the kind of person that can plan every meal by the day.  I just like to keep healthy things in the house so I can make healthy meals as I am inspired.  I love food, really love it.  I make up new recipes in my head constantly so trying to decide on Sunday what I am going to want at a given point is impossible, hence keeping healthy ingredients on hand.  I can wing it without a meal becoming a calorie/fat fest.  Plus, I am pregnant so I want to be able to give in to those cravings while making them more healthy.  A win for me. 

I do have a few ideas for the week and will put up recipes as I try them and decide they are worthy. 

Stir Fried Quinoa
serves 2

1.5 cups of cooked quinoa
1/2 cup parmesan blend
1 avocado, cubed
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
2 whole eggs
2 egg whites
olive oil or non stick spreay of your choice

Mix the first 4 ingredients together.  (yes, even the avocado.  I promise it will be worth it.)  Warm in a skillet in either the olive oil or non stick spray.  You want a slight brown to come on the quinoa.  Mix the eggs and the egg whites and pour over the quinoa.  Stir the egg/quinoa mixture until the eggs are set.  Serve with a little extra parmesan on top if you wish. 

My Favorite Snack
serves 1

2 TBLS Pecans (rough chop is fine)
1 TBLS dark chocolate chips

Measure, mix and eat!  Simple snack for those chocolate munchies and not too unhealthy.  Antioxidants are good for you after all. 
If you are one of those people that remembers to buy snack size plastic baggies, you can make up a few to have on hand at work or to keep in your purse when you are running errands. 

Friday, July 12, 2013

Fitbit One Review

I have been using a Fitbit One for a little over a month now.  I love it.  It motivates me to keep moving as much as possible.  I look at it constantly throughout the day to ensure I am on track to at least get my 10,000 steps in each day. 
I have also used it to challenge myself for steps, mileage and floors.  So far my best days were 20,000 steps, 8.8 miles and 75 floors (not all on the same day).  I still need to get that 10 mile badge. It is a goal for this month. 
Oh, did I mention that I am pregnant?   I am 16 weeks along.  If you have never worked out, but are encouraged by the research that says walking is great for pregnant women, this is a great tool to ensure that you are really getting the most benefit from your walking program.  Walking is low intensity and you can do it anywhere.  No equipment necessary.  The last month of my pregnancy has been symptom free.  So much so that I told my midwife I was concerned I was no longer pregnant, but the baby is still busy growing in there.  I think staying active helps.
I still do other forms of exercise, but this just gives me the edge to stay active all day. 
It also tracks your sleep by wearing it on a wrist strap.  You start the timer and then it tracks how long it took you to get to sleep, how many times you woke during the night, and overall how long you slept.  Interesting information, but I don't wear mine to bed that often.  Being pregnant I already know I sleep horribly and get up often.
The Fitbit comes with free access to their website that logs all the information from your fitbit.  It syncs to a tiny USB device you keep plugged into your computer.  You can view your stats by date or over a period of time. 
The battery life is great.  I only charge it once a week.  It charges using a very tiny USB cord.  Keep it plugged in so you don't lose it.  It is a very tiny cord, maybe 6 inches max.
Overall this is a great tool for maintaining activity and even challenging yourself to do more. 
If you have one or get one, let's be friends My profile is here

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Focus T25 Day 5: Lower Focus review


Day 5
15 w, 7 d pregnant

This video is all squats, lunges, calve raises, and deadlifts.  No weights, just your body resistance.  There are some holds in this one that can get intense and a 1.5 minute burnout towards the middle.  The cool down is separate as in the other videos. 

I struggled a little through this.  My legs felt unusually tired when I got up this morning.  Day 5 is actually a double day with cardio added, but I will probably skip to the 25 minute stretch tonight instead.  I have the ramps today at work so I will get plenty of leg and cardio work. 

So, are you ready to do this program with me (pregnant or not)? Order it here now.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Focus T25 day 4: Ab Intervals Review

Focus T25 day 4:  Ab Intervals
15 weeks, 5 days pregnant

Great workout for the non pregnant women and post partum women that have checked with their doctors to make sure they are clear to workout and do not have diastasis recti.  I think a lot of women still do not know to get checked for that, but now you do.  Check out my friend, Heather, on Facebook.  She promotes getting checked all the time and she had it herself.  I did not have it with my son, and hoping I get as lucky this time.

OK, PSA over.  Review starts now.  Lots of good ab exercises.  Basically every move has 3 parts:  a beginner, an intermediate and an advanced version.  No matter what fitness level you are starting at, you can do this workout.  For a lot of the moves, I stuck to the beginner method and there were a few that I could not do at all safely being pregnant.  Tania does not modify as much in this video, but I think that is the nature of ab exercises so stick to the beginner if necessary.

The format of the workout is an ab workout with a cardio break before moving to the next ab workout.  Like the other workouts, the cool down is a separate portion at the end so it is not included in the 25 minutes. 

For me being pregnant, I may sub this workout out with the cardio instead.  I'm not convinced it is worth working my abs to this extent while pregnant.

So, are you ready to do this program with me (pregnant or not)? Order it here now.

I would love to hear your opinions and research you have done though.  Please share in the comments.

July workout log

 2nd trimester

Monday, July 8, 2013

A pregnant Beachbody Coach?

Maybe that sounds strange, but consider this definition of coaching. 

Coaching is a teaching, training or development process via which an individual is supported while achieving a specific personal or professional result or goal.  Occasionally, the term coaching may be applied to an informal relationship between two individuals where one has greater experience and expertise than the other and offers advice and guidance as the other goes through a learning process. This form of coaching is similar to mentoring.  Wikipedia

So a coach essentially helps you be successful.  In some way a coach has been on the journey before and has navigated to a point of success.  That does not mean their journey is complete, but that they have a clear path to follow to reach the goal. 

My entire life I have worried about my health and wellness and to a degree my fitness.  In high school that is what my internet searches were about.  I would make these healthy salads with my sister for lunch each day during the summer.  You would have thought my perfect job would have been in exercise science or nutrition or personal training but that never occurred to me and it really was not offered back when I was headed to college.  So I went to school and graduated with a degree in Social Work and ended up in management in a distribution center.  Life sure does take you down some interesting paths. 

Back to being a pregnant coach.  I actually signed up when I was pregnant with my first child.  I had never done a program before but watched the infomercials on TV all the time and dreamed of doing them one day.  Somewhere along the way my cousin signed up to be a coach.  I had no idea what that was or what it had to do with those infomercials.  Honestly did not even realize P90X, Insanity and Turbofire were from the same company.  I just thought the workout craze was finally hitting America.  Thank goodness!

Fast forward to 7 or 8 years of marriage, finding out I had Crohn's disease, finding a way to manage the symptoms and finally getting pregnant with my first after a long 14 months.  Around this time my cousin started talking constantly about her new venture and thanks to getting connected again on Facebook, I signed up.  Remember I had never actually bought one of those television workout programs.  I had no idea if they worked, but I saw her passion and got to know the company and I was hooked.  This was my way into the fitness world.  It never occurred to me that anyone would discount  pregnant woman, but that never mattered to me.  I just wanted to continue spreading my love of health like I had already been doing to those around me.  This just gave me the world, well, America and Canada to be exact. I ordered TurboJam and did that for awhile until the moves got uncomfortable.  Even then I kept up a gym routine even if I only had an hour or 2 between both my jobs.  I was working nights and weekends making snocones after leaving my management day job every single day.  Snocones, ironic, huh?  I remained active even though I was pregnant. 

I had my son and went back and forth between Insanity and Chalean Extreme and lost all my baby weight (40 pounds...YIKES!) plus an extra 10.  Shortly after Christmas of this year I finally weaned my son from nursing (ok, not exactly weaned, but that is a post for my other blog Growing Baby #2) and did the Ultimate Reset and lost another 10 pounds and 12 inches.  Two months later when my son turned 18 months I found out I was pregnant again.  We had been "trying" for most of those 18 months.  I am very slow to conceive apparently.  Currently I am growing a baby but continuing to workout.  I just started Focus T25 and love it. 

We all have a crazy path that has led us to where we are today, but we still have a chance to shape our future and our bodies.

If you need some fitness motivation and accountability, let's chat and see if I would be the right coach for you.  My services are free.  Find me Facebook, Private Ladies only FB group, FB Our Virtual Fit Club page, or by EMAIL

So, if you have a passion for fitness and everyone comes to you for advice, why not get paid to live your passion?  Become a coach today or email for more information.

Focus T25 Day 3 Review: Total Body Circuit

Day 3:  Total Body Circuit
15 w, 4 days pregnant

This workout really got my heart rate up.  I'm not sure if that is because I did it straight out of bed at 4:30 AM or if it was just that intense.  I had to pause about 10 minutes in but that was mainly because in my hurry to get started I had forgotten to put my hair in a pony tail. 

The modifications were very good for a pregnant woman in this one.  Tanya did stand up abs in place of the pikes the rest of the crew was doing.  I think downward dog is not an acceptable pregnant pose which is basically what a pike is so it was good that I didn't have to fumble to figure out a replacement. 

This DVD was a lot of squats, lunges, planks and running.  You cycle through all of the exercises the first 20 minutes and then the last 5 you do all the exercises for what Shaun T calls the Burnout so you are working from the moment you push play until the 25 minutes is up.

There is a separate cool down at the end like in all the DVD's so far.  Today's was 3 minutes, but I just stretched on my own on the way to the shower instead. 

For me this was the most intense workout of the series so far.  I did finish an entire bottle of water during the workout.  While the video does not give water breaks per se, it is always best to listen to your body and hydrate as necessary.  If you are pregnant and doing this like me, definitely drink your water and be mindful of your heart rate.  I did find I needed to slow down a bit here and there. 

Tomorrow I have Ab Intervals.  Hopefully the modifications will suit my current needs, but I will let you know more then.

So, are you ready to do this program with me (pregnant or not)? Order it here now.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Focus T25 Day 2 Review: Speed 1.0

Day 2:  Speed 1.0
15 w, 3 days prego

Woke up and realized the baby was still asleep so I put a sports bra on and some shoes and got this workout in.  Sidenote for the pregnant or nursing mommas; wear a good sports bra.  Mine yesterday was not supportive enough.  I remember needing to double up when I was nursing because I never did find one that was supportive enough.  This pregnancy they seem to be growing faster than I remember from baby G.   

The 1st 15 minutes are 30-60 seconds of a move with a stretch in between each new move.  Then the last 10 minutes are all the moves one right after another. 

The very first move looks simple but I never did get it down in that 60 seconds, but I'm sure eventually I will figure it out.  Might practice it some today.  Overall the moves in this video are fun.  They involve all body parts and he uses some jabs and crosses in this one.  I did have a hard time following Tanya this time.  She seemed to be too low intensity for me, so again today I did somewhere between her pace and the rest of the crew. 

Did you know there was a modification for a burpee?  I had no idea and it is awesome.  Perhaps a video on that later.  It really was that cool! 

So, are you ready to do this program with me (pregnant or not)? Order it here now.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

My ShaunT FocusT25 arrived early!!!!!

Late last night when I was tracking my package, the crazy FedEx website was still showing it was on a truck coming from Ohio and would not arrive to my doorstep until Monday .  So, of course as I am looking out my kitchen window baking some cinnamon blueberry muffins for my son (he loves them...silly kid) I see the mail man pull up.  He wasn't in and out as usual, he seemed to be digging through his truck.  Is it finally here?  I thought.  Yes!!! I see the word CHALLENGE written on the side of this blue box.  It is here.  I race to the front door and open it before as he is laying it down.  Startled the poor guy so I just played it off like the baby was sleeping and I was trying to beat the door bell.  Shhhh, it was partially the truth. 

So, today became known as DAY 1. 

I quickly checked out the calendar and saw that Cardio was up 1st.  Stuck it in the DVD player and got to work.  I somehow missed the warm up that a friend told me was on this video.  I will look for it next time.  There is a counter at the bottom, but it is not just any counter.... it is a GIANT counter that only begins with 25 minutes.  Thank goodness.  Did I mention the baby was asleep? 

Let me start off by reminding you that I am 15 weeks and 2 days pregnant, but that did not matter because Tanya is on this video.  She just had a baby not too long ago and is the modifier in this program.  Her modifications were low intensity so perfect for someone new to working out or a pregnant woman that needs to keep her heart rate from spiking too high. 

I found that the overall cardio moves are simpler than the ones in Insanity, but the fact that you never stop for the 25 minutes is what makes it so intense.  All body parts are working from the top down to your calves.  Many workouts leave out the calves, this one did not.  There are basically several drills during the 25 minutes and each one builds so you start a drill off in a basic motion, then intensify that same motion a couple different ways until you are doing the move at maximum. 

Overall I loved day 1.  I did somewhere in between Tanya's moves and the rest of the crew's moves, but I have been working out for most of my life so I just modified to a middle ground.  As I continue to grow this baby belly though, I will definitely have to follow Tanya more for the simple fact that she does not go as low on some of the moves.  The crew may touch the floor, she may only go as far as her knee or shin.  That is what makes this program great.  It will continue to adapt to me while I am pregnant and then I can adapt to it once I am not. 

Day 1 gets an A+

A sweat/bump shot
Want to check it out?  Click here.  Shaun T FocusT25

*If you are pregnant, please consult your OB, your doctor, or your midwife prior to starting this or any other workout program.  Your pregnancy may require unique modifications. 

*I am a BB Coach, however, my views are sincere.  Fitness has been part of my life forever and I have tried many workouts and programs.  If you want to read an unbiased review of the program, check out my friend's blog Focus T25 An Honest Account

So, are you ready to do this program with me (pregnant or not)? Order it here now.