half-marathon training – Day 2

by Deena on August 3, 2016

30 minutes of Strength Training and Stretch was the workout plan for today.

I decided to change things up a little by taking a Barre class at one of our local exercise studios.   Barre is a low impact workout combining ballet, weights and Pilates.  The goal is lengthen muscles and increase flexibility.  The class started with 100 walking lunges and ended with me using a foam roller to help to massage sore leg muscles.  The core of the class was held at the barre – holding isometric movements to the point of fatiguing various muscle groups.

I actually think this class is a perfect addition to running.  There is no bouncing or jumping (to jar my knee) and I was drenched in sweat by the end.  There were various ages and body types in the class.  Everyone  completed the exercise movements to the best of their ability.  There was no judgement just encouragement… everyone was too busy watching their own legs shake from effort.

I forgot to take a post-workout photo.  But here is a photo of the toe socks I wore – gotta love a workout where you don’t have to wear shoes.  Some women in class were barefoot – I just like having a little bit of grip (I’m clumsy).

deena iphone 288

I also got in an impromptu 2.5 mile hike in the afternoon.  I was researching new locations for a charity 5K event for this fall.  So, I convinced my dad to hike a wooded trail with me to see if the location would work.  Loved the location… though I could have done without the sweltering heat.  Here’s a image from our hike.  Beautiful right?

deena iphone 286

 

{ 0 comments }

Here I go again…

by Deena on August 2, 2016

hard_great_quote

I truly have a love/hate relationship with running.

I love the idea of running.  A cool breeze blowing my hair back as I place one foot in front of the other.  The freedom of taking a narrow path to well anywhere… The sense of accomplishment after finishing a hard run.

The reality is much different.

The reality is I become a hot sweaty red-faced mess two steps into my run no matter what the temperature outside reads.  That I’m never completely at peace on my run because well the “boogey-man“.   And that sense of accomplishment when finishing a run is usually followed by a collapse into the nearest chair while I probe at my “wonky knee” to determine if I’ve pushed it to hard to run again in the near future.

But…. here I go again.

I’m training for my next half-marathon.   The race isn’t until January so I have plenty of time to focus on mileage.  I recruited a friend to train with me.. granted she’s not local so we won’t be running together during training we’ll just keeping each other motivated and accountable.  And lastly I found a training plan that I think will accommodate my knee flare ups (only running two or three days a week).  The plan is a 16 week training program – yes that means I’ll be way ahead in training for my January half-marathon by the time the 16 weeks are up.  I’m sure there will be hiccups along the way.

Sooo….

Why don’t you join me in training?  It doesn’t have to be a half-marathon.   A 5K  has a nice ring to it also.  Don’t want to run?  Walk.  Hike.  Kayak.   Anything that gets you out of your comfort zone.  Set a goal and stick with it.  Just think… by the time the new year rolls around you won’t have to make that same ‘ole resolution to start exercising.  It’ll already be imprinted.  You’ll get to pick something new for a resolution like … traveling more.

This website was founded on Angela and my beliefs of taking conscientious steps towards making small healthy lifestyle changes.  I’m taking the steps to document the ups and downs in  my journey in the hopes that those of you that need a little inspiration to get started… start.

Day #1 workout: Run 2 miles & 20-30 mins of Strength Training/Stretching:

Ran on the treadmill since it was 90+ degrees outside and a million plus humidity.  Running inside didn’t help.  I was beat-red, sweaty and  glaring at the timer by the time one minute had passed.  Only upside was the 80’s music blaring in the room.

IMG_4620

Completed Pilates (DVD) workout for strength and stretching.  Let’s not pretend that I haven’t been doing this DVD on and off for a year.  When I started using this DVD last year – I could only hold a plank if I was on my knees.

IMG_4614

 

Tomorrow’s (Day #2) workout will be 30 minutes Strength Training and Stretching

 

 

{ 0 comments }

What’s in your pill box?

by Angela on July 6, 2016

Who takes vitamins every day?  I go through phases.  For about 10 years, I took a daily birth control pill.  That was easy.  It was small and I could take it without water. It kept my periods predictable and, well, kept me from getting pregnant!  For 6 years I took a daily breast cancer preventative pill.  That was easy because it was small but the impact was BIG. It was saving my life. But vitamins and supplements…not so easy for me to take.  The pills are big, which I hate, and I just don’t feel committed to them. There’s no instant gratification.  That’s a big culprit in my lack of motivation. I don’t have the patience to wait for results so I give up. But I dusted off an old pill box and I’m making an effort to fill it every week with the following:

Women’s One-A-Day:  I figure this is a general, all-in-one daily vitamin.

Caltrate with vitamin D: I’ve historically been low in vitamin D, as is a lot of the US population. But for some reason my oncologist was really concerned with this and at one point put me on high dose vitamin D. Caltrate was something she suggested as a maintenance vitamin. So I figure I’ll try to keep up with it so my vitamin D levels don’t drop again. Plus I need the calcium so I don’t get osteoporosis, right?

Vitamin C: I did go through one winter taking vitamin C pretty regularly, and I felt like it really kept up my immunity and I didn’t get sick much that winter.  So I’ll continue to take that daily so I don’t get sick. I ain’t got time for that.

Fish Oil: I’ve been reading many, many benefits of adding a fish oil supplement and my husband just so happened to have some, so I’ve added that to my daily pill organizer. It seems to help with everything from cancer prevention to joint pain to skin care and stress.

Hair, Skin and Nails: This is something new I purchased recently, definitely for my peeling nails, but more for my skin. Some background…when I came off Tamoxifen, an estrogen blocker because I had estrogen positive breast cancer, my hormones went haywire. I put on about 20 pounds (I used that excuse for about a year then decided it was probably time I faced the truth), my periods became extremely heavy and long, and I developed melasma (dark skin pigmentation) which I didn’t realize at the time was hormonal. I was treating the melasma as a giant freckle on both sides of my face and purchased prescription skin bleachers. I used this stuff religiously and used sunscreen like I’ve never used sunscreen before.  But through the long, cold winter, I noticed minimal difference in the discoloration. Not to mention I’m trying to reduce chemicals in my life, not add to them. The more I researched melasma, the more I learned that it was more hormonal and many had success treating from the inside out. So, introduce the Hair, Skin and Nails supplement.  No clue if this will do the trick, but I figure it can’t hurt, plus it’s a gummy vitamin!  Talk about EASY to take. 🙂

So that’s what’s in my pill box.  What’s in yours?

IMG 9982

{ 1 comment }

Getting Healthy…Again

by Angela on July 4, 2016

I’m making a commitment to document again. I don’t say “write” because I’m not a writer. But I haven’t documented in a while because I keep discouraging myself. So this documentation is for me. It’s my motivator to get healthy.

I stopped posting things on this blog because it made me feel insufficient and incompetent. I’d post about something I was starting to do, or planned on doing, and I’d never follow through. I became a person of words but no actions, and it was making me feel a bit like a failure and a poser. So I stopped posting…a LONG time ago. But I’m going to try and use this blog to motivate me to follow through with things. Hopefully it works!

I need motivation, not just for my physical health, but my mental health as well. Overall health isn’t just about exercise and eating right. It’s taking care of the body and the mind. I lost focus on both of those things:

Physical health – I stopped exercising. I kept making up excuses and not finding the time. Last summer I didn’t want to take time for myself while the kids were home from school but then school started and I had to catch up on work that was neglected over the summer. Then the holidays came and it got cold and snowy and I never wanted to go out. Then spring came and I was busy with the kids or keeping up with work. Then end of school activities took up my time followed by vacation, and here I am a year later in a downward spiral. Excuses. I have no energy to get moving, but I won’t increase my energy unless I start pushing myself to exercise. It’s a vicious cycle.

I also stopped eating right.  Spring 2015 I started this protein diet that my husband was following. It seemed counter-productive because I was eating ALL the time. But I was eating RIGHT and it worked!  I was getting in shape again, building muscle and increasing my energy. But then I stopped. I gave myself permission to fall off the diet during vacation, and I never started back up again. I don’t eat horribly, but I definitely have cheat meals, cheat snacks and cheat days, a lot more than I should. We recently got back from a Disney vacation where I ate Mickey ice cream bars every day, and had a soda with almost every meal. Even my son asked, “why are drinking soda all the time lately?”  Busted.

Mental health – I don’t feel peaceful. I don’t know how else to describe it.  I feel overwhelmed with things to do. I have my bookkeeping business and help run a charity organization, on top of my priority job of stay-at-home mom. My house feels cluttered and disorganized and just not the peaceful abode I’d like. A friend’s dad said you should spend a certain percentage of your home value on home improvements every year. I’m pretty sure that percentage is not 0.001%, which is about what we have spent per year in the 13 years we’ve lived in the house. I feel like I need to get my life in order, and a simple start would be tackling some home improvement projects. Of course just thinking about where to begin is stressful in and of itself. Every single room in our house needs something fixed or updated.

But here I go. I’ll try to document this roller coaster of real life health ups and downs. Hopefully I don’t give up again.  Off to the gym….wish me luck!

Quote

{ 0 comments }

Wait, where did 2015 go?

by Angela on January 1, 2016

I blinked my eyes and 2015 was gone.  I don’t know if it’s because I’m a mom trying to hold on to my kids’ childhoods or because I’m just so busy that the days slip by so fast, but either way another year has gone by.

I was actually surprised my blog editor still worked. It’s been almost a year since Deena and I have written anything, yet we won’t let go of the domain. We must be keeping it around for something.  Since we’re not using it for anything in particular right now, I’m going to use it as a journal of some sorts. Not sure what I will be journaling or how often, as I am NOT making any New Year’s resolutions, but I could just write about whatever comes to mind, who knows.  So why no new year’s resolutions, you ask?  Because they don’t work for me.  I set myself up for failure EVERY YEAR.

So instead, let me reflect on 2015.

Early 2015 my dad was in the hospital (hey, I didn’t say I was reflecting on all things positive!). It was a rude awakening for me. One, that my parents are getting older and my time with them could come to an end sooner than I’d like to imagine. And two, that life is just SHORT. I’ve had this realization a few times in my life, obviously, as most of us have.  But it was just another reminder. My dad is well, by the way, and I’m expecting many, MANY more years with them, but I will count every day as a blessing.

DSC 0284

In February my brother and sister-in-law had their second baby. If there’s one thing that makes you reflect on life, it’s the creation of NEW life. Gosh how I miss that time in our lives when we had newborns and there was so much emotion, change, love, happiness and fear all at once. The love, hopes and dreams you have for this new, little human being that you created is so great that you feel like you could burst. So to experience it once again with my brother and sister-in-law was such a blessing. I never thought I could love other kids as much as I love my own, but nieces and nephews pretty much squash that whole thought for me. Which is why there’s definitely an emptiness felt with my brother’s family living so far away.  You reading this, little brother?!  😉

DSC 0296

In May, my youngest (2nd grader) made his First Communion. I’ve had many powerful religious experiences in my life, but for some reason my kids’ First Communions really just left me in awe of everything….God, my children and even myself. I was his religious education teacher this past year and it was probably one of the best volunteer positions I have held in my life. Now I know why teachers do what they do. I had 1.5 hours a week with these kids, hardly the time a full-time teacher gets with a group of kids, but this 1.5 hours a week was so rewarding.  To think that I was given the opportunity to impart some sort of knowledge on this young group of sponges truly gave me so much pride in myself and my class. Don’t get me wrong, it was NOT easy. I respected teachers before, but now?  Whoa, they deserve so much more recognition and thanks than they get. When I had a desk job, if I was having an off day, I could hole up in my office and keep my interaction with people to a minimum. But when you are on the job as a teacher, there is no holing up.  You are ON all the time.  It’s exhausting. Rewarding, but exhausting. Kudos to all teachers out there!

DSC 0033

There are many highlights of 2015…my charity organization, The Step Sisters, continues to do great things for local breast cancer patients and we had 3 successful events, once again. Our kids excelled at school and sports. I celebrated 7 years of breast cancer survivorship. But the events that stand out every year, consistently, are just times spent with friends and family. From my annual girls’ weekend in the spring with my long time high school friends, to beach vacations and holidays and just every day life with family, the consistent theme of happiness in my life revolves around the love I have for others and the love they have for me. My friends and especially my family, are who drive me to be a better person, to live a better life. When things aren’t great, we lift each other up, when things are great, we celebrate together. In the end, they are who matters most to me.

May 2016 fill you with the love and support of family and friends and may you help each other be better people and live better lives. In the end, that’s what most New Year’s resolutions are pretty much about, doing better and being better.

{ 0 comments }

More Mason Jar Salads

by admin on February 9, 2015

Wow, I really fell off the bandwagon. I was all gung-ho about training for this 10-miler, then snow days (or non-snow days in our case) happened, work got busy, just excuse after excuse. And here we are less than 3 months away from this possible 10-miler and I just have to admit, I am not going to be ready. So when my race training motivator suggested something shorter and maybe even later in the year, I didn’t hesitate to agree. If training for a race becomes too stressful for me, then it’s not worth it in my opinion. 

So I’m restarting….again. Not just with exercise, but with my eating habits as well.

You know when you’re watching your weight, and you start to creep up, pound by pound? You may start at 1X5 lbs, then you creep up to 1X6. You may even get up to 1X9 and STILL be okay with it. But then the day comes when you step on the scale and 1X9 becomes 1(X+1)0, you know what I mean? 119 becomes 120, or 129 becomes 130, or 139 becomes 140…you get the picture? Well that happened to me the other day and it was like a punch in the gut. How could I have let the pounds pile on like that?! I guess working out only a couple times a week and not watching what I eat really did effect me. There was a time when it wouldn’t, but ever since I turned 40, it hasn’t been as easy.

My friend of Kelly Nelson Photography recently mentioned starting to track her diet and exercise with the MyFItnessPal app. When I read her blog post, that app rang a very faint bell with me. When I looked through my previously downloaded apps, there it was! It was a little dusty and cobwebbed, but I put it back on my phone. I don’t know if I’ll keep up with it, but I’m going to give it a try. At least forcing myself to record what I eat will give me some sort of accountability, as long as I remain honest with myself!

And one of the diet changes I am re-implementing is the mason jar salad. Why does this work for me? Because it’s pre-made and sitting in my fridge staring at me, for one. 

DSC 0085

When I open the fridge to figure out what I’m eating for lunch, it’s so easy to pull out this jar, dump its contents in a bowl, pour on a little dressing, and eat while I work. But the key for me is finding a mix I like. And anything that starts with something like this:

DSC 0076

is sure to be good!

 

Mixed Berries Antioxidant Salad

Slide1

If you want to add dressing to the jar, just add that as the bottom layer. I used a little balsamic vinegar on this salad and it was the perfect addition. You could also change it up with a different type of seed, chia seed or pumpkin seed, for example.

 

And another I tried and liked:

 

Waldorf Salad in a Jar

Slide2

This one I didn’t like as much as the mixed berries salad but I think it was because of the dressing I used. Typical waldorf salad dressing calls for sugar, but I was trying to find one without it and didn’t like the recipe I used. Next time I may use the typical recipe but substitute the sugar with honey or something. But the base of this salad was a good, crunchy combo and I will definitely be adding this to my fridge.

The weekdays are always packed with work and errands, so having something quick on hand just makes life easier. And success at eating healthy I believe has a lot to do with prepping and planning. The mason jars help keep the salad fresh for up to a week so you can make enough at the beginning of the week to have a daily salad waiting for you every time you open the fridge if you like! 

{ 0 comments }

Flourless Pancakes

by Angela on February 6, 2015

I have to admit, I was skeptical. This recipe came up on my Pinterest feed as “3-ingredient pancakes” and it showed a picture of a banana, 2 eggs and baking powder. Hardly the necessary ingredients to make the delicious, fluffy pancakes I make my kids almost every weekend. But I decided to give it a shot. I looked up a few more similar recipes and noticed some that substituted the baking powder with almond flour or coconut flour, or omitted it all together, but I wanted it to be allergy-friendly for my boys in case I decided to spring these on them one day. So here’s what I used:

DSC 0090

 

The cinnamon and vanilla gave it more of the breakfast pastry flavor that I like, but they can be omitted.

The first batch wasn’t pretty. These things don’t flip very well because they are very delicate. But I tried again the next day and I got the hang of it.

 

DSC 0092

 

The banana and 2 eggs made a pretty decent stack and could easily be split between 2 people, but I poured on some maple syrup and ate the whole thing myself (all for the benefit of the blog, of course). I would compare the flavor to a thick crepe or french toast bake. And the best part, it was super easy! I plan to try some variations on this recipe as I always have bananas and eggs on hand. Yum!!

 

Flourless Pancakes

Serves 1-2

Ingredients:

1 ripe banana

2 eggs

1 tsp baking powder (or almond flour or coconut flour, or omit all together)

sprinkle of cinnamon

dash of vanilla

 

Mash banana in a bowl and mix in remaining ingredients. Cook on griddle or stovetop. Serve with maple syrup.

{ 2 comments }

Ever walked into your laundry room and been overwhelmed by the musty smell coming from your washing machine?  No?  Oh me either.  But lets say I had… Here is how I would go about cleaning it using a natural eco-friendly solution.

You’ll need the following ingredients:

 

IMG_1394

 

  • 1/3 cup of Water
  • 1/3 cup of Baking Soda
  • 2 1/4 cup of White Vinegar

Directions:

  1.  Mix the baking soda and water together.  (I did this in a glass measuring cup to make it easier to pour into the washing machine.)
  2. IMG_1403Pour 2 1/4 cup of vinegar into a separate measuring cup.
  3. IMG_1405Add the baking soda water mixture to the container for detergent in your washing machine.  (My washer has a piece that has to be moved depending on whether I am using a liquid or powder detergent.  If yours does too make sure its on the powder option to help ensure that the mixture doesn’t get stuck in the detergent container)
  4. Dip a clean sponge or washcloth into the vinegar.  Wipe down the door, the inside of the washing machine and in the rubber ring that goes around the outside of the washer drum.

IMG_1409

IMG_14105. After you’ve wiped everything down pour the remainder of the vinegar into the drum (center) of the washer.  Place your washer on the hottest setting.  Mine has a Sanitize setting so I used that one.

IMG_1412

There are some sites that will recommend doing this monthly.  Honestly, I’d say whenever the washer starts getting a funky smell go ahead and repeat the directions above.

 

{ 0 comments }

Beachbody 21 Day Fix – week 2 & 3 review

by Deena on January 5, 2015

Surprise. surprise – I finished the 21 Day Fix workout plan.  And… well I don’t plan on stopping this workout anytime soon.  I absolutely love this workout.  I love the variety.  I love that it can be as quick as 30 minutes a day.  I love that I’m drenched in sweat when the workout is done… And that I feel just sore enough the next day.  People who know me would probably be like well… she just enjoys working out.  Which genuinely isn’t really the case.  I think I could be a perfectly happy couch potato if I didn’t have concerns about all the health impacts, setting a good example for my kids and lets be honest fitting into my clothes.

Meal Plan:

My meals for week 2 & 3  remained pretty close to what they were for week 1.  Thanksgiving day fell within those weeks and I just gave myself permission to enjoy the day and eat whatever I wanted.  I didn’t go crazy with serving sizes but I did eat a little bit of everything that I wanted. Since I am making a point to eat something every couple hours I can’t say that I’ve ever been overly hungry over the past few weeks.  My energy level has stayed consistent throughout the day which is something I struggled with prior to this plan.  I do drink a chocolate shakeology shake once a day – usually mid-afternoon.   I indulge in all the foods I like to eat (pasta, pizza, etc) and wine – but I pay attention to serving sizes and don’t eat them daily.

There are probably some people who would manage the meal plan differently and could see significant weight loss with it.  I’ve chosen to stick to the guidelines but not cut out the things I love but rather keep the serving sizes in check.  This is my way of knowing that it’s something that won’t just be a 21 day effort but that I can do ongoing.

 

Workout Plan:

I described all of the various workouts on my last post so I won’t rehash those.  What I will elaborate on are the changes I made for week 2 and week 3.

 

IMG_1580

Me after a doing cardio fix and the 10 min ab workout = sweaty #proof

  • In the workouts you are supposed to have a lighter set and a heavier set of weights.  In week 1, I had used  3 pound and 6 pound weights during the workouts.  For week 2:  I wasn’t ready to increase the heavy weights but the 3 pound weights seemed too light.  So I just used the 6 pound weights for all of the weighted exercises.  Then in week 3:  I used 6 pound and 10 pound weights.   The 6 pound weights were challenging in week 2 however the 10 pound weights kicked my a$$ in week 3.  With the 10 pound weights I have had to slow down the moves and not complete as many reps as I could with the 6 pounds.  And the last few exercises in each set really burn.

 

  • Added the 10 minute Ab fix: So I thought previously that there were 2 ab workouts on the 21 Day Fix DVDs, but it is actually the same ab workout on each DVD.  It is a 10 minute ab workout broken up into 2 sets.  So you do the first set of moves for 5 minutes then you start the whole process over for the next 5 minutes.  At the end there are 2 bonus moves that add on maybe an extra minute to the workout.  I must say that after the first 5 minutes I’m like Thank God that’s over and then I push myself to do the next 5 minutes.  By the time the bonus moves come around I figure “well crap I’ve come this far might as well finish it“.  And that it pretty much what goes through my head every time I do the video.  It has not gotten easier but it is ONLY 10 minutes.   Some days, I complete the ab workout right after the regular workout and other days I do it before I go to bed at night to break up the workouts.

 

So even with all I have done there is still a bonus DVD of Plyo workouts that I have not even touched.  Mostly because I’m envisioning it to be similar to the Insanity workouts that I’ve done in the past… and I’m just not mentally ready to start that up again. I will.  Soon.

So the results of the 21 day fix.  Weight loss is only 4 pounds total- which I have to admit was a little shocking to me at first.  Mostly because I could tell my clothes were fitting better than prior to the workouts.  So on a whim I got the measuring tape out and remeasured my waist (not sure if I mentioned this in week 1 but you will need to write down all your measurements).   And my waist is 2.5 inches smaller than it was 3 weeks ago – and personally I’ll take that over the number on the scale any day 🙂

I plan to continue using this entire plan for the foreseeable future.  I’ll keep everyone updated if there are anymore significant successes (or failures) to note.  And of course I’ll write about those plyo workouts once I finally convince myself to do them 🙂

We would love to hear your comments if you are doing the 21 day fix too or have another program that you think ROCKS.

 ***Note: This article was originally written on 12/10/2014 but for some reason the system didn’t post thus the lag in the week 1 article and this article.  ***

{ 0 comments }

Beachbody 21 Day Fix – Week 1 review

by Deena on November 26, 2014

So I’ve finished week 1 of Beachbody’s 21 day fix and I must say I really love this program.  I love the variety of the exercise program and the simple eating plan.   I’ve been doing the program with my Beachbody coach (who also happens to be a friend) Elaine and a group of 7 other women.  A closed Facebook group page was created for our challenge group which we use to track our progress, encourage each other, and to keep ourselves motivated.   I believe you can also do this on a larger scale through the Beachbody website.  However, I like having the smaller group page.  It makes it more personal and you feel like you’re all in it together.

Meals:

So my daily eating plan looks something like this:

Breakfast:

  • Oatmeal (yellow container)
  • Coffee

Morning Snack

  • almonds or pistachios (blue container)

Lunch

  • mixed salad (green container) with either grilled chicken or a hardboiled egg (red container) & vinaigrette dressing (orange container)

Afternoon Snack

IMG_1390

Chocolate shakeology shake with PB2 & 1/2 banana (red container & purple container)

 

 

Dinner

  • Grilled or baked (chicken, fish, steak) (red container)
  • Steamed veggie (broccoli or green beans) (green container)

This is a typical day’s meal… But I’m not perfect and I’m thankful that this plan allows me to “cheat” a little bit.  So if I know I’m going to want a glass of wine after a long day.  I know that 4oz is a yellow container so I will adjust accordingly.  I try to stick the the plan but there was a day when I wanted a cookie(s) (which is allowed) and it put be over my recommended container allotment for the day.  I accepted that I was making a choice to go over my suggested plan and that I would be back on track the next day.  I’m striving for improvements not perfection 😉

So, you’ll notice I haven’t given any specifics really on how many containers are recommended per day.  This is because my plan is based on my caloric level.  If you decide to go forward with the 21 day fix plan your caloric level may be different than mine.  I will say that my energy level has dramatically changed since starting this plan.  I actually feel like I’m eating more than I did prior to the plan – which is crazy right?!? I think the plan for me forces me to think about the type of food I’m eating.  So for instance I don’t overload on eating nuts  (which are healthy) but split up my snacks between some nuts, fruit and maybe a veggie or hard boiled egg.    I noticed this week I wasn’t having that feeling of exhaustion hitting me midday.

Exercise Plan:

For the workouts – I have to say this is my favorite part of the plan.  I LOVE the variety of workouts.  I love how each day there is something different to do.  I didn’t get bored or lose interest at all this week.  I got all my workouts in because mentally I just told myself it’s only 30 minutes (and that INCLUDES warm up and cool down).  Now don’t get me wrong the workouts are tough, you will feel sore the following day.  But nothing I couldn’t work through.   There are also a woman named Cat in the workout who modifies each move to be less strenuous for those who may need it.

So I started my workout on Monday with the Total Body Cardio Fix and ended the first week on Sunday with Yoga.  There is an extra DVD with a series of Plyo Fix workouts along with two 10 minute ab workouts that are provided as bonus workouts that I did not do for week one.  I figured I will add them on in the upcoming weeks (maybe) 😉

If you are curiouhqdefaults as to what any of the workouts look like, I recommend checking out Autumn Calabrese’s YouTube page

Monday: Total Body Cardio Fix
The Total Body Cardio Fix is a fast paced cardio workout that is done with a set of hand weights. I used 3 pound weights this week as I wasn’t exactly sure what I was getting into.  The 28 minutes include 4 rounds with 2 exercises per round. Each exercise is done for 1 minute interval for a total of 2 times. There is a short 20 second rest period in between each round for recovery. I was drenched in sweat by the end of this video.

Tuesday: Upper Fix
The Upper Fix works the upper body, including arms, chest, shoulders and abs. You will need 2 sets of hand weights.  I used 3 & 6 pound weights for this week.  (My arms were already sore from Monday’s workout so I didn’t feel inclined to up the weights any higher.) There are five exercises that will be done for two rounds with a 20 second rest period in between. This workout is a little longer than Monday’s workout at 32 minutes.  Exercises include push-ups, rows,  twists, planks and presses, etc…

Wednesday: Lower Fix
This workout focuses on the lower body, specifically the butt and legs. You will need 2 sets of weights again.  I used 3 & 6 pound weights to stay consistent.  There are  4 rounds with 2 exercises each round.  There is a 15 second break in between each round.   A couple of the moves the instructor has you holding for the last 10 seconds.  This is a leg workout but your arms get a pretty good workout from the moves too.  Exercises include things like squats, lunges, etc… As you are finishing your 4th round if you look at the clock that is running down the time left on this workout, you’ll notice that there is a lot of time left still.  That is because there is a “bonus” round.  I personally would have rather it just been stated up front that there were 5 rounds but whatever… by that point I figured you might as well just finish the workout.

Thursday: Pilates Fix
The Pilates workout was different than the previous workouts in that you aren’t doing timed rounds and you aren’t repeating moves.  This was more of doing a series of Pilates moves for certain number of reps.  You do not need weights for this workout.  This workout is about 33 minutes long.  There is a strong focus on breathing and stretching throughout this workout.  Exercises include planks, scissor kicks, ab exercises etc..

Friday: Cardio FixIMG_1423
Well after the Pilates workout – which makes you sweat but you aren’t huffing and puffing through.  This one was tough.  My muscles are still sore from the previous workouts.  There are no weights needed for this workout.  This workout is 32 minutes long – 4 rounds with 2 exercises each round.  20 Second break between each round.  Exercises include jumping jacks, high knees, skater jumps, mountain climbers, etc.  The 4th round of exercises slows down some but you’ll feel those moves specifically the next day.

Saturday: Dirty 30
This workout is honestly the hardest workout of the group.  You’ll need 2 sets of weights.  I used 3 and 6 pound weights again.  This workout is about 28 minutes long.  4 rounds with 2 exercises each round.  15 Second break between each round. Exercise lunges, rows, squats, etc all with hand weights.  One of the last exercises is the side plank which I actually had to do the modified version of because I could not hold both legs off the ground.

Sunday: Yoga 
Yeah! Made it to the last day of this week’s workout and it’s Yoga.  This workout was awesome after all the strenuous workouts.  You don’t need any weights just maybe a yoga mat if you have one.  This workout just stretches out everything.  If you’ve taken any yoga classes then there won’t be any surprise moves here.  The workout is 30 minutes long.  Again similar to Pilates you just flow from one move to the next.  Exercise include sun salutations, poses (warrior 1), balancing moves, etc…  All in all a perfect way to end week 1’s workout and prep for starting next week.

 If you are interested in joining a Beachbody challenge group, I would recommend contacting my coach Elaine. You can review her Facebook fitness page.  She has clients nationwide.  She’s motivating and I like that she makes it easy to stay on track regardless of where you’re located or when you work out.

elaine james fitness

I’ll provide an update for week 2 and week 3 as I finish them.  I’ll probably be increasing my hand weights to 5 & 10 pounds and (maybe) trying out those bonus exercises on the DVDs.

Let us know if you end up trying this workout program and how you like it.

Previous articles on this topic:

{ 1 comment }