Saturday, March 12, 2011

{Oh those emotional roller coasters}

This week has been an incredible workout week and an emotionally difficult week.

Let's start with the workouts. I pumped up some great tunes during the workouts - more specifically I rocked out to Mika. In between each set I did step ups (like where you step up and down on a box like in step class), jumping jacks, ran in place, did crunches, and pretty much anything I could think of to keep me motivated. The time flew and my heart rate stayed high the entire time. It was awesome. I felt reinvigorated with the workouts and ready to give it my all these last 4 weeks (three regular weeks and that crazy recovery week).

I'm still debating what to do after P90X. I realize that I am more motivated now doing it and have lost my boredom, so I am contemplating doing another round. But, the idea of doing a new, fresh workout has me excited. I think the ones that I'm most looking into are: Insanity, Turbo Fire, Chalean Extreme, or, trying Jillian Michael's the Shred. So, we'll see. Cost is a major factor, especially because I don't have a heart rate monitor. I'm going up the States in two months, and I need to order something in the next month or so if I want it to be at my parents house during my visit. I don't know if I should plunk down the money on a HRM, a new workout, or just save my money and keep doing a couple rounds of P90X sans HRM.

Okay, now onto the emotional roller coaster. I consider myself to be a fairly strong person, so typically when things happen to me, I'm fine. The things that kill me are when things happen to people I know that I have no control over.

You know that cliché expression, when it rains it pours, well it was most definitely true in my life this past week.

First my mom called me to tell me that apparently her doctor has been monitoring her left breast for the past few years (I had no idea) because she had a mass there. Well, the doctor called her and told her that she needed to come in ASAP to have another mammogram done and they would have a specialist standing by to read her results.She told me this on Tuesday and her mammogram was scheduled to be on Friday.

Then one of my dear friends is going through an awful, AWFUL divorce and just several things happened this week that broke my heart with what she is going through.

On Thursday my husband came home with a terrible muscle spasm. I know muscle spasm doesn't seem like it's that intense, but it's an emotional trigger word for me because last year (well, in 2009 in July/August) he had such an intense, full back muscle spasm for a MONTH (he was almost completely bed-ridden during that time b/c he could barely move.) It was so bad and the spasm was pulling on his spine. Thankfully, this muscle spasm was just on the lower side part of his back, but it was still intense.

So, having my mom possibly having cancer, trying to help my friend cope, and my husband being in intense pain was definitely difficult. Not to mention the intense tragedy felt by those in Japan and subsequently over the world yesterday.

Thankfully, after my mom went in for her appointment they found that she doesn't have cancer. My husband was able to start his medication fairly quickly and, while he's still in pain, it's manageable and he's still able to do all of his activities.

I did feel that being in shape, I was better able to cope with everything that was going on. Even though I was sleep deprived and stressed last week about everything, I felt strong enough to cope with everything, which is a great feeling. At other times I have felt overwhelmed and I start to shut down.

Unfortunately, sometimes life sucks. Sometimes things turn out to be awful. You just have to take each day at a time and handle it as best you can. Here's to a weekend turning out to be better than this past week.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

{From January 24th to March 5th, Lookie lookie I've made some progress}

Okay, when I first started P90X I was OUT out out out out of shape (whenever I say the word "out" my mind immediately goes to Lady Macbeth's "out out damn spot" quote - I taught British Literature for a couple years, so the fact that my mind goes to random literature quotes is understandable, OK, and a little nerdy). I mean, I didn't even do ab ripper the first couple weeks as I eased my lazy self into the program. I kind of saw my first round of P90X as my get in shape time. I haven't seen dramatic results, nor was I expecting to. I've seen myself get a little more toned, lose a little weight, and feel better, but I hadn't really seen results - well results anyone else could notice.

Buuuuut, today I have proof. Living actual proof that I am making slight slight differences in my body. And this proof is what is going to keep me motivated while I finish phase three (which is 5 weeks, and I did not realize that before).

I know I slacked off this week during recovery week and I know my weight loss stalled because of it. But that's OK, because I got to catch a glimpse of what my life would be like if I wasn't exercising. I got to experience what life would be like if I still lived like a sloth. I still ate within my caloric range and didn't go crazy, but (and as excited as I get about lower scale numbers) I'm not doing this just to lose weight. If I were, then I would just do cardio and only eat the bare minimum amount of calories for me to function. I'm doing this for my health and I need to make exercise a priority. But I have pictures so show that, while I'm making baby steps (too bad "snail steps" isn't a real phrase, because I think baby steps are too big for the changes that I'm making), I am making changes. I am seeing my body improve. So here are results from when I took pictures Jan 24th to today, March 2nd. I know I started the program before January 24th, but that was the day when I felt like I was in shape enough to "bring it" (yes, there is the bring it word vomit again, I can't help it - I think they add it as subliminal messages throughout all the workouts so it constantly goes through your mind - DAMN you Tony Horton, I kid I kid, I love that man).

Da da dum my results from the past 36 days....
(the gray shorts pictures are from Jan 24th and the Blue Bottoms pictures are from Today, March 5th (10 minutes ago to be precise)


Before :(



So, there you have it. I know, I know they aren't dramatic results, but they are still results and they are mine. So I'll take what I can get. I have 5 more weeks of my first round (regardless of boredom, I'm going to BRING IT bitches) and then I'm debating about doing another round of P90X or purchasing Insanity and going back and forth between the two. Eventually I'd love to do a hybrid, but I would like to complete the individual workouts at least once or twice before I mix things up.

More than anything, these pictures are my dedication to myself to kick next week's workout in the boo-tay. I know last week was a failure, but I'm going to turn this past week's failure into next week's success.

So good morning and happy weekend to everyone in blogland.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

{Re-bringing It}

Boredom is setting in. This is  coming from a girl that gets stir crazy if she lives in the same place for more than 2 years. I love constant change. And now I'm finding that I'm getting slightly bored with the P90X program. (Okay, by slightly I mean a lot bored). I got a few good suggestions that I'm going to employ in order to keep my interest and to keep myself "bringing it."

Side note: What is it about this program were the phrase "bring it" comes up like word vomit? I can't help it, it just comes out of my mouth.

Okay, so here are the tips that were given to me to help keep up my interest and prevent boredom:
1. Put the dvds on mute and rock out to my own music
2. Each time I do the video, focus on one of the background people and try to mimic their workout.
3. Anticipate what is coming next in the video and either do more reps with the extra time or fast forward to the next exercise as soon as I'm done.

So now's the time to re-focus, re-group, and kick boredom to the curb (or however the phrase goes).

Until next time,

Karen "keeps on bringing it" Baker

Saturday, February 26, 2011

{Abs are Made in the Kitchen but if you Want to Keep Them, You Gotta Work Out}

Health articles have always interested me. I love reading about new research and studies on nutrition, diet, and exercise. I came across this interesting article from the New York Times about Weighing the Evidence on Exercise.

Essentially what the article says is that working out doesn't necessarily help you lose weight. Limiting your caloric intake does. However, while exercise doesn't necessarily aid in weight loss, it aids in helping people REMAIN slim.

I mean, we've always heard so much anecdotal evidence of people who are frustrating because they have been working out for X amount of time but haven't lost weight. I know when I begin a new workout regiment I feel like I can afford to eat a few extra calories (and boy do those extra calories add up) where I don't see any change on the scale, or I see a significant change in the wrong direction.

I know somewhere on the BeachBody website, Tony says that "abs are made in the kitchen." If you want a slim tummy, you have to have the nutrition to back it up. If you want your tummy to remain slim, you gotta have the exercise to back it up.

While doing P90X it's easy for me to be slack about calories. I know I was during my first four-ish weeks during the program. It's easy to justify that I"m doing so much extra exercise that I don't need to watch the amounts that I'm eating as long as I'm eating cleanly. WRONG. This article helped cement in my mind how crucial diet is for weight loss and how crucial working out is for maintaining my health and new physique.

Friday, February 25, 2011

{Procrastiantion Friday}

Hello and welcome to procrastination Friday. I'm your host, Karen Baker. *cue applause*

OK, so this is how I feel every Friday. Friday is my free day. My lazy day. The day that I don't have to officially be at work (I know, I'm spoiled). I get to relax, run errands, catch up on e-mails/phone-calls, and have that extra energy for my workouts. But somehow that's not what happens. I have yet to skip a workout (with the exception of this week where I only did Cardio X on Monday but am making up the extra workout) but I don't give that extra umph on Fridays. I laze around during the day, but feel stressed lazing around because I haven't earned the right to laze about because I haven't done my tasks.


I have noticed a pattern in my life where the busier I am, the more organized and focused I am. If I have a busy day, then I wake up early to ensure that I get my workout in. I plan my meals ahead of time, and I am productive because I know every minute and second matter. On Friday my time is leisurely, so I slack off during the day.

But not today. Today I am going to attack my tasks full on. I have a list with tasks (and time amounts that I think each task should take) and am going to accomplish said list within my alloted time frame. Have no fear, I have allotted this time for blogging (I am not using this blog as a means for procrastination.. yet).

I have several tasks to do today that I do not enjoy and are not pleasant but I intend on accomplishing those first and working out last. The reason why I am doing my workout last is because today is my Yoga day (remember this week is screwy) and I know if I have these tasks hanging over my head, then I won't be able to push myself during yoga. I want to enter my yoga workout this evening with all the energy and umph I can muster.

It is time for me to start whacking away at my task list. Usually I would ask you to wish me luck, but today I don't need luck. I have a plan.

I did everything that I needed to do!
Now it's on to an hour of reading (one of my great passions in life) while my lunch digests and then on to Yoga X. I can't wait to push myself with that workout.

Here's to productivity, not procrastination and having a plan. (And maybe a little bit of luck, too)

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

{It has been Brought-en}

Monday was kind of a funny day. I did Cardio X in the morning, like always, but then my husband stayed home because his back was hurting (he has a lot of severe back problems) and was laid out all day. Instead of doing my second workout, I took care of hubby. It was sad to miss a workout but I'm glad that I did.

On Tuesday I made up my workout and did Chest, Shoulders, and Triceps. And let me tell you that I brought it.

It was a fantastic workout. Okay, so clap pushups are still nonexistent and my one-armed pushups are a joke, though the rest of it I nailed. It also helped that I bought 4lb weights and was using actual weights instead of books that I used instead of weights. So now all of my workouts are pushed back a day, but it's fine that I'm not getting a rest day because next week is the "rest" week.

Nutrition hasn't been awesome. I've been feeling pms-ey, and have used a good portion of my calories on chocolate. Okay, so a block of chocolate yesterday and today.. Other than that I've been eating lots of fruits, veggies, fish, and chicken. Not counting the chocolate, I've eliminated white sugar. I've really enjoyed making my own salad dressing with balsamic vinaigrette and spices, it's so hard to find good, natural salad dressings. Another thing that I've enjoyed is drinking apple cider vinegar, honey, and cinnamon mixed together as a post-workout beverage.  It really helps keep me hydrated.

I have to work for two hours this evening and then it's on to Plyo. Can't wait to jump and burn some calories tonight.

Bring. it. on. Tony Horton.

Saturday, February 19, 2011


I went on a blog adding spree today. I just need to jump start myself out of this rut. It's strange because some days I feel like I'm kicking ass and doing awesome and the next day I feel like a complete failure. I'm still eating clean and I'm still working out 6-7 days a week. I've been consistent pushing play, but I haven't been consistent with pushing myself. I know I am capable of so much more than what I'm bringing in more workouts.

So, that's why I added other people to read their blogs. Hopefully they will serve as motivation to me as I continue on this journey.

As of today I am HALF-WAY DONE!! Six weeks down, six weeks to go.