Archive | October, 2013

ChaLean Extreme Final Results

29 Oct

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Well it’s hard to believe, but 90 days with ChaLean Extreme have come and gone! I’m so excited to have officially ‘graduated’ from this program and thoroughly enjoyed the process.

What Is ChaLean Extreme?

ChaLean Extreme is an at-home fitness program that can be done right from your living room, with training by Chalene Johnson.  The program is broken up into 3 one-month sections that involve different weight lifting DVDs.  The workouts each last around 30-60 minutes, which is fantastic for anyone with a busy schedule (pretty much everyone ;)). While the focus of the program is lifting weights (go heavy or go home!), there is an intervals DVD (alternating between cardio and weight lifting endurance), and also a sole cardio DVD.  I really enjoyed the variety offered, and the fact that there are 5 days of workouts and 2 rest days. I filled one day with Yoga and the other I usually kept as a real rest day or danced (for my upcoming musical, White Christmas).  The flexibility of the schedule was really appealing to me, but it was also a challenging enough program that I never felt bored.

Final Results

These results are based on following the workout plan and completing most of the DVDs (I worked out on average 5-6 days a week).  Some weeks I switched out the cardio DVD with my 3-4 hour dance rehearsals. I figure it’s probably about the same ;)  Additionally while I did not strictly follow the 1300 calorie meal plan with recipes, I did eat well the majority of the time.  I packed my lunch daily for work and tried to do a higher protein, less carb mix.  I was probably eating on average 1300-2000 calories (depending on the day and the amount of other dance rehearsals I had). I did have occasional treats and was not super strict on completely avoiding things not on my diet plan (especially with special events like my brother’s wedding and bachelorette party).

Tape Measure (across the 90 days):

Waist: -.5

Hip: -.5

Chest: -1.25

Arms:  left +.5

Thighs: +25

Weight

-3.5 lbs.

Muscle Definition

I have noticed a definite improvement in overall tightness.  I feel like my body is lean, as promised!  There is much more definition in my arms and abs in particular.  My core is pretty tight!!

Body Fat

-3% (WOAH!) I am thrilled at this. And I feel like it really makes sense.  So although I haven’t lost tons of “inches”  I feel much tighter and muscular.  This makes sense.  I’ve already done P90X several times so ‘size-wise’ I’m probably about where I should be.  It’s just awesome that my body fat is going down and my muscle is going up! This is a huge health benefit and I’m really thrilled about this one!

Wedding Dress

I had a dress fitting over a week ago and shocker: my dress is a little bit big.  Yeah, caught me off guard.  Which is exciting…Yay!? But…  (A true first world problem if I’ve ever heard one). But… the fit of my dress was one of my favorite parts, it hit me just perfectly!  My game plan is to wait until 3 weeks before the wedding before altering anything.  It’s mainly big in the chest (as my numbers support), so the alteration would be a quick fix. PLUS I have the holidays before my wedding (yum Mom’s crack cookies) and TONS of dancing for 4 weekends of shows for White Christmas.  They will probably even each other out.  Let’s see what happens.

Picture

Please don’t hurt me, but I forgot to get a picture this weekend while I was around people.  I’m going to have Adam take a picture this weekend, so I’ll edit this post if I manage to get one.  But I will leave you with a picture from my Bachelorette party as a consolation prize. :)  More on the weekend to come…

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Pros:

  • Quick workouts, nothing over 1 hour
  • Great variety, with a different workout every day.
  • Goals and challenges with the 3 phase structure.
  • Awesome, fun, motivating trainer
  • Empowering program with a focus on weight training
  • It works!
  • Not a ton of equipment: weights are pretty much it.

Cons:

  • Meal plan, it’s really not for me since I’m not a huge fan of cooking for every meal.  I needed something that could be adapted to my lifestyle (like the portion plan in P90X).
  • You really need weights for it to be 100% effective.  There is a resistance band included and I used this whenever I traveled.  It’s a great option, but I do think weights are a better option.  I would suggest weights of three different sizes… really 4 or 5 is best.  This can be an investment.  I invested in them for P90X so it worked out great for me, but something to think about.
  • There is some great variety here, but not a ton of variety (I’m thinking P90X with its yoga and Kenpo DVDs).

Overall, an excellent well-planned program that I would recommend to anyone who is looking to become leaner and tighter in the comfort of their own home.  This program is very suitable for all levels: beginner to advanced, as many modifications are shown on both sides.  I can’t recommend this one enough!

Up Next:

This morning I took my “final” ChaLean measurements as I took my “before” measurements for P90X.  I’m so excited to start up with P90X again!  It’s extreme (more extreme than ChaLean), but it’s extremely effective.  With all my dancing and lifts in White Christmas (there are about 8 in one song), I need to be STRONG… not just lean.  I think P90X is awesome at getting you strong, exactly what the dr. ordered. More on my third cycle of P90X later this week!

Happy Tuesday!

Kelly

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Wedding Friday: Invitations, Limo, and Ceremony, Oh my!

25 Oct

Happy Friday everyone!  This afternoon I’m headed out for my bachelorette weekend in New Orleans!!  EEEk!!!  Craziness.  I’m still in shock my sister successfully convinced me into this one.  Let’s just say the decision was made at a winery.  And we may or may not have been tasting the wine. Enough said.  I’m sure I’ll have lots to report when I return!! :)  But since I haven’t given a good wedding update in a while let’s have a little fun…shall we??

Ah the wedding, with just 3 months (officially 85 days) left before the big day the reality is really starting to sink in: I’m GETTING MARRIED…SOON!  No longer do I get the response “Oh you still have awhile” when I share my wedding date.  Not gonna lie, it sort of freaks me out!!   Adam and I really have most of the big decisions out of the way: reception, church, ceremony, dress, food, etc. etc.  Having these things in place is awesome, now we’re down to the details.  It’s the details that kind of stress me out hahah.. I’m the kind of girl that would prefer to hire someone to deal with all the details.  I mean I want things to look nice, but I guess I don’t really care? Well that’s not true, I care…I guess I just don’t care enough to make the decision.  I sort of wish someone would present three options and I’d pick one.  Oh and have an unlimited budget to make the decision.  That would be sweet too.  Dare to dream, eh?

Also, I’d like to insert this warning now: this post has many words.  If you’re not a fan of the words, apologies, please wait for another post. :)  Oh and it’s about wedding stuff.  So yeah, there’s your warning about that too.

In the beginning Adam and I selected our three priorities: Photography, Music, and Guests (i.e. bigger wedding that is less fancy, or more crappy as I like to tease Adam).  We allotted our money to these areas and have been aggressively cutting corners in other ways: invitations, dress, details, no favors, Adam’s suit.

But an interesting thing is starting to happen to both of us: we have lost touch with our normal standards of money.  In the beginning it was very easy to say “That’s RIDICULOUS, I will NOT pay that!”  But the more we pay deposits and write checks for a couple hundred or thousand dollars.. I’m losing touch with my old reality and my strong and fierce cheapness!  Sounds crazy, but it can happen!!  I think another factor is decision fatigue… there are just so many decisions that I often think, “Dear goodness just make them go away, sure that price sounds great. Just make the decisions stop!”  When in reality it’s not something I would normally be comfortable spending.  Adam and I have leaned on our family to help keep our brains sane.  Last week I stumbled upon a hilarious blog post that accurately detailed it: explaining that every 100 dollars = 1 wedding dollars.  Oh the limo is 300 dollars?  Oh that’s only 3 wedding dollars!  What a steal!!  Check out the article at The Anti Wedding for yourself, it’s pretty spot on! (Seriously, weddings make your brain crazy, see A Practical Wedding to attempt to return to sanity).

Anyways, the closer we get the less thrifty we are… which is dangerous.  But something I didn’t really anticipate, so keep that in mind if you’re planning a wedding soon!  This past weekend Adam and I reviewed our budget spreadsheet again… a helpful task to keep us on track!

Onto some recent decisions:

The Limo

Oh dear lordy, this was a DRAMA.  Seriously full on drama.  I actually had a pseudo mental breakdown over the limo. (It was a low point for sure, and yes, I’m quite embarrassed about it).  My issue: I just couldn’t justify spending a few hundred dollars on transportation.  I mean, we all have CARS and DRIVERS LICENSES for goodness sake!  Plus who says we have to have a limo on our wedding day!?  Alas folks… one simple fact pushed me toward the limo: our wedding is in the winter.  Which means when we take pictures outside…the 20 minutes the multiple cars were turned off and in parking spots will matter because the car will turn into an ice box (there is snow and ice in January in Indianapolis).  Plus, having a caravan of 4 cars to fit everyone sounds a little ridiculous.  In winter snow piles up in parking spots, which means it will be a total fiasco finding spots for us to park. Enter the limo: brilliantly it stays warm while we take our outdoor shots, conveniently we don’t really have to park it (or if we do, only finding one place for it, and I’m not the one parking it so no stress!), AND we don’t have to drive (talk about relaxing).  The tradeoff for me?  A little bit of a headache to get transportation in order now (and figure out funding), or have a fiasco of a wedding day doing all our transportation.  We looked into renting an SUV, little bus, multiple cars, party buses, school buses (yeah, check this puppy out), and the limo was actually the best deal (I know, right?).  So folks, guess who will be a fancy lady on her wedding day?  Oh yeah, this kid.

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Uh, did I forget to mention that I’m a high roller?

The Invitations…

Have gone out!!  It’s that time, and boy am I SO excited.  To me this is where it really gets real.  Now we get to see RSVPs coming in (online because we’re cheap technically savvy like that) and really get an idea of what our wedding will shape up to be!  I just feel tingly thinking about it (sorry for the mush gush).  It’s just hard to believe it’s happening sometimes!  Adam and I are just SO ready to begin our life together and for us, our wedding will truly signify that.  We’ll be a unit, team awesome, him+I, and it will be amazing.  And because I’m sort of weird and old fashioned it means we’ll get to officially live together!  Which also sort of scares me…I mean, I will have had my own thing going on for almost 27 years by the time we get married!  Any tips from all of you already living with a boy?  Anyways I have seriously rabbit-holed.  Back to invitations!  Ours are great and I’ve been convinced to be pleased with how they turned out.  Honestly when they first arrived I was a little disappointed with the weight and printing of the design, but many family members and friends have convinced me that was crazy talk.  So out they went!  And I am pleased.  They are wintery and modern and very us.  We wanted a “no frills” invite with no inserts or extra pieces.  This is because we both get annoyed when we have to remember both the card with the church address and the separate reception time and place (yeah we’re lazy).  So we just went with one page!  Simple (and cheaper, score).  Hopefully people won’t find it too “un-classy.”  Adam created the beautiful labels and ordered stamps.  I’ve been stuffing and stamping with Adam’s mom.  It was thrilling when I dropped them off to get mailed out.  And also sort of anticlimactic.  “Oh, that’s it?  You just are going to put them in that bin there?  Oh, okay.”

invite

So with all the crap all over this, hard to see. But you can see there are blue snowflakes on them :)

The Ceremony and Vows

So we’ve finished it.  Yep.  You heard that right, it’s finalized.  It’s typed up into a big beautiful word document of life and amazingness.  And I am so happy about it.  To me, the ceremony is really the priority and I wanted to make sure we had ample time to really think through it and plan a ceremony that is memorable (at least to us ;)) and meaningful.  I think we’ve accomplished just that!  We have a more traditional feel, but inserted a few things that will help us add those personal touches.  We have several readings, songs, and more fun.  Once the ceremony is over I’ll share what happened specifically :)  Gotta keep it under wraps!  (cuz I’m weird!)

In the end we actually decided to say traditional vows.  A big shocker for me – we had always talked about writing our own vows.  But we settled on traditional ones for a few reasons:

  • Saying the words that have been spoken by thousands of others will be incredibly powerful and we look forward to saying them to each other.
  • Writing vows is potentially stressful.  I mean, it’s trying to put your feelings and promises into words and I think I will always feel that my vows aren’t enough!  I’m a perfectionist and I could really see myself totally obsessing over vows.
  • Sharing vows with a large guest list is a little intimidating.  Honestly it feels a bit vulnerable.  If we were having our small wedding we always discussed that would be one thing, but now with our larger guest list… it just doesn’t feel the same.

Because we were so torn, we ended up deciding to still write personal vows.  I know, confusing right!?  But we decided to write them and read them only to each other after the reception.  That way we can express our feelings and thoughts in an intimate way AND we get to say the traditional vows we wanted.  Plus we can still do cute things with our vows, like frame them etc.  We’re excited about our “personal vows” even if they aren’t a part of the ceremony.  Works for us :)

This is us after saying our personal vows. SO excited.

Well that seems like plenty of wedding updates for now… until the next wedding post! :)

-Kelly

Editor’s note: Oh my gosh, I just discovered the hilarity of gifs.  Holy amazing.  My life has changed.  Just spent the last 15 minutes dying from funny wedding gifs.. like this one, (CAN YOU IMAGINE?!!):

wedding fail 21 gif

One Year of Strength Training!

22 Oct

Just a quick hello to say “Happy Anniversary of Healthiness to Me!”  Yeah, what a narcissist. ;) But, but… I’m SO happy!  (And dare I say, shocked?)  I’m happy I’ve been able to keep up this lifestyle for a full year!!   When I started P90X exactly one year ago today I was hoping and praying it would be a long-term change.  I wanted to make some improvements in my health for the better.  And I’m beyond delighted that I’ve stuck with my new habits for a full year.  Here’s to the next year of fitness and healthy eating being a regular part of my life!

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Now my fridge looks like this! (Well, when I remember to grocery shop ;))

Kelly Back Oct-May(2)

At the start of my journey exactly one year ago today!

Once I Can Run Again

21 Oct

Hello Monday!  Hope you all had a great weekend.  This weekend got me thinking a lot about running.  Truthfully, I try not to think about running.  It is kind of depressing, and I don’t particularly enjoy moping about…though it does happen.  My knees are still giving me pain even after a visit to the Doctor and Physical Therapy last May.  I know, I know… I need to go back and get it figured out.  More tests = more time, more money.  Between planning a wedding, performing in a musical, and trying to stay sane (Adam, I’m seriously trying to not be crazy I swear) I’ve decided to just put off figuring out why my Runner’s Knee isn’t improving until after the wedding (let’s call it my February project).  There’s only so many things I can handle at once.  And truth be told, I’m afraid of what the doctor will say.  Will I need to give up running for good?  By delaying a diagnosis I’m holding onto the hope that this is just an injury that can be overcome once I have more time to deal with it.  Brilliant plan I’d say.  Denial.  Works every time.

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Remember this happy runner girl after my 1:51 half? Yeah, me neither :(

Today was the first day in a while that I really allowed myself to think about running again.  At least think about it in a positive, hopeful sense.  I wanted to make some goals for ‘once I’m running again.’  Some of these may be impossible given whatever my knee injury might now be… but dare to dream right?

  1. Run some 5Ks.  Believe it or not, I’ve never run a 5K for time.  There was that one time I ‘illegally’ ran with my brother, but spent the race running backwards to keep him moving.  And hmm… I think that’s it!  I really want to see what I’m made of when it comes to shorter distances.  These may also be more knee friendly to me.
  2. Run another marathon.  My last full marathon was “pre-ankle injury” and I really want to get back out there and make it happen.  I have a goal of running Boston someday (yes, I realize that with my times I might have to wait until I’m 80), but I will never get closer to Boston if I never get back to marathons.
  3. Get better at hills.  Nashville is hilly, enough said.
  4. Improve my asthma.  I really want to get it under more control.  Right now I feel like it’s okay, but I’m hoping to really be able to say “yeah my asthma doesn’t affect my running potential at all.”  Not there yet.
  5. Do fun runs!  Whether they are 5Ks or half-marathons, I want to do more races with friends or groups of people.  I think those types of runs really shake up the “I’m running this for serious for time” and always help me remember the fun social aspect of running.
  6. Be a Runner’s Knee success story.  I’m not there yet, but I want to be able to say to other sufferers, “Hey!  You can get through it!  You can run again, it’s just a speed bump.”  Fingers crossed that will be me.

Happy Running!

Kelly

What are some of your running goals?  Have you ever overcome a big injury?

ChaLean Extreme: Lean Phase

18 Oct

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It’s hard to believe I’m in the home stretch of ChaLean Extreme (just 1 week left!).  I am now in the 4-week “Lean” phase.  The first 30 days: Burn, the next 60: Push, and finally LEAN!  This last phase is similar to the rest of the program in that every day I’m doing a different workout.  This is so important to me and keeps me motivated (and interested!).  There are 3 days of weight training (Mon, Wed, Fri) with Tuesday yoga (they have a rest day, but I threw in my yoga DVD), and Thursday an interval day and Saturday as a cardio.  It’s a great mix of some variety filled fitness!  Woot!  The great thing about the lean phase is there are more full body movements.  In the Push phase we focused on one body part at a time, for example: Bicep curls.  We maxed out at a heavy weight, aiming to do 6 bicep curls.  Now in the lean month we are combining two movements.  For example, bicep curls with calf raises.  This engages the core (awesome benefit) and helps get the heart rate up a bit more.  The sets are up to 12, but with a lower weight to survive all those curls!

The structure of the lean phase workouts is great and really makes things fly by.  I look forward to the workouts, though they definitely are challenging.  AND the Extreme Abs workout?  Holy difficult!!  There are moves in there that I’ve never seen before (hello, clap sit up?) which is really fun, but also challenging.  It’s great.

The length of the lifting workouts is a bit longer: on average 40-50 minutes.  And when I add in Extreme Abs (16 minutes), it does make for quite a bit longer workout than phases 1 or 2.  But I love that it’s been a gradual increase of time and will really help when I go back to P90X (gah… 75-90 minute workouts).

The workouts themselves are accessible to a wide range of levels, with modifications offered for every move.  I really love this.  Chalene instructs you how to care for your body with good form.  With my knees there are some moves I just can’t do and it’s great to have a lower impact option.  I think ChaLean Extreme has been a great prep for P90X and also break from it!  Though I am doing less push-ups and pull-ups in ChaLean Extreme, so I feel like I may be losing a bit of strength there.  Let’s see when I start P90X in a couple weeks.

ChaLean Extreme has been a great, well organized program – the lean month is no exception!  Ready to bring it for just a bit longer. And I promise to try and get an after picture next week!  What a slacker…

Happy lifting! (and more importantly, Happy Friday!!)

Kelly

Dedication to Fitness and Healthy Eating

16 Oct

The last few weeks I slowly came to a realization.  I officially started my “lifestyle change” in October of last year, so I’m coming up on a full year of fitness (hooray!!!!). Perhaps it’s the length of time, or the stress of wanting to fit in my dresses for all these weddings. ;)  But I kept having the thought, “oh my gosh, I’m going to have to do this for the rest of my life.” (Editor’s note: duh). “This” referring to eating well (and fitness too).  And you know what?  I was pretty grumpy about it.  Dear goodness, I’m going to have to put in ALL this work for the rest of my life to stay this way???!!  I’m going to always have to pack and plan food?  Always have to get up super early to work out??  Never have a week of eating Qdoba for lunch and pizza for dinner every day?  Nooooo……

I cannot carry on at the thought of not eating delicious Qdoba multiple times a week.

Image courtesy of Imgur

It was the realization that I enjoy being fit, that I like fitting in my clothes, and I love the stress of not worrying about pictures ‘getting a bad angle’  … all things I worried about before I started my ‘get fit’ kick almost a year ago.  But this mood brought up not so pleasant feelings like:

  • Dear goodness, am I ever going to be able to enjoy eating junk without the thought of gaining the weight back? (or falling off the wagon)
  • Will I ever be able to just go out to lunch regularly like a normal person and not pack and plan meticulously?
  • Why can’t I just be like Adam and several of my other friends that don’t gain weight no matter what they eat?  Will I always have to carefully watch what I eat? Life is so unfair, wahhhh…
  • Why do so many people seem to eat whatever they want and live so happy and care free?  Some blogs only reinforce the thought, “Oh look at how much I can eat, I’m not a girly girl. Being careful about what you eat is for the birds!  You must be obsessive or weird to watch your food closely.”  When the reality is: some people gain weight much more easily than others.  And it’s okay to be that way too.  I mean right?  I am normal, right!?  Right??
  • Does it make me weird to have to watch what I eat?  I get razzed all the time at work about my affinity for avoiding sweets and packing healthy.  I’m not doing it to make others feel bad, I’m not doing it to prove my healthy supremacy, and honestly I just wish I could eat my weird healthy food in peace and quiet (and maybe hide it ;)).  AND, and… I don’t do it every day and I’m not perfect at it.  It doesn’t make me a bad person to have to watch my food.  It’s just my reality. Heck, it might be your reality too.

I was feeling sort of bogged down by all of these feelings.  A big contributor is not being able to run.  I think I never realized how much my running allowed me to be more flexible with my eating.  Now that I can’t run I do have to be much more careful.  I don’t want to say that I look at cake and gain weight, but let’s just say I’ve never been blessed with a super fast metabolism.  Such is life.

See! I’m running!

Image courtesy of Imgur

I have let the thought of meal planning for the rest of my days overwhelm me.  I sort of sulked about it and went to the “woe is me, poor Kelly will always have to be careful because she doesn’t have a killer metabolism. Life is so unfair.  What a tragedy.”  Yeah… let’s just say it was a pretty pathetic thing. Generally I just read the news and that helps me figure out there are much bigger problems in the world (seriously I recommend this tactic if you’re ever feeling some self-pity).  But still, it was a mood killer to be filled with these thoughts.  I continued to packed my lunch, still ate well, but I did so with a certain bitter flair.

Let’s face it… living healthy is a lot of effort.  I’m certainly not perfect at it, but I do try my best to be healthy (garh, cupcakes, cheese, and pb nom nom nom). To me my ideal ‘healthy-living’ looks like:

  • Packing a balanced lunch everyday
  • Grocery shopping once a week to make sure I have fresh stuff
  • Chopping parties to make sure I have easy to eat veggies/fruits.
  • Exercising 5-6 days a week.  And I love sleeping, so this is a big one.
  • Avoiding yummy, delicious foods in an office with treat bowls and tons of snacks/candy.
  • Will power. Using my stinking will power. Gosh it’s draining.

The past weekend I didn’t have full control of what I ate, (and I ate many sweets because, duh, it was a wedding) so I splurged a bit.  I was left feeling pretty lethargic, out of sorts, and honestly, kind of grumpy.  It sort of shook me out of my pathetic sadness funk and made me realize: Healthy living IS SO WORTH IT.  So I  dedicate this post to those days where you don’t want to keep living the healthy lifestyle, when you feel jealous that you can’t eat whatever you want all the time, and when you’ve forgotten why you keep at it every day.

Why it’s worth it:

  • Healthy living makes you feel your best.  It just does.  It’s like filling your car with the right fuel… it runs better.  When I’m eating well and exercising I feel more energized, less stressed, and happier.
  • Healthy living can help with other health problems.  When I’m eating well I also gain a clearer complexion, and less chronic aches and pains (less headaches mainly). Awesome side effect.
  • Healthy living to me means moderation.  It doesn’t mean I can’t ever eat sweets again (like mopey Kelly was convincing me), it just means that they stay treats.  They stay something I eat and enjoy on occasion.
  • Being stronger is awesome.  Seriously I love feeling like I can step up to the plate whether it’s moving boxes, cleaning, running, or dancing… I just feel more durable.
  • Eventually it is a great coping mechanism (instead of turning to food when I’m stressed).  For me, I FINALLY feel like this is starting to happen.  Honestly, I still turn to food when I’m super stressed (oh gosh, huge wedding decision must eat peanut butter.  THE WHOLE JAR YUM!).  But… it’s getting better.  I don’t feel the need to emotionally eat all the time.  It still happens, but I want my new coping mechanism to be exercise or yoga.  It’s taken me about a year to fix this habit (honestly I didn’t realize that I did it until a few months ago), but changing habits is hard.  Again – so worth it.
  • And a little vanity – heck it’s awesome fitting into clothes, it makes shopping less stressful, and I’m not scared of getting my picture taken.
  • Long-term.  I’m taking care of my body to last a long time.  I’m doing it for me, but also my future husband (eek!), future kids (I’m on the 10 year plan), friends, family, or anybody that wants me around for a while.  I want to be healthy for me, but also for them!
  • Healthy living makes me feel more ambitious and outgoing.  When I’m healthy I feel like I can conquer the world.  It’s an awesome feeling and is worth all the effort to make it happen.
  • Living my old lifestyle was JUST as draining, though not in the same ways.  Sure I’m not spending all the time up front… but I pay for it in the long run.  I feel more sluggish, less happy, and not nearly as optimistic.

Any more to add to the list?  Leave me your thoughts in the comments.  Let’s get pumped up on why it’s worth the effort!!

There’s a reason it’s called a “change of lifestyle” – it means learning new habits and acquiring new skills.  And it’s hard.  If it was easy we’d be a population of lean, healthy, fit people!  And there wouldn’t be such things as “healthy-living” blogs.  But at the end of the day… it is so worth it.  Now next time I’m complaining about being burned out or not wanting to chop another pepper, just point me to this post.  Truthfully, I just needed to write this letter to myself to remind me why I began it all!  And what an awesome journey it has been!

Happy Fitness, friends!

-Kelly

My Brother’s Wedding!

14 Oct

What an awesome weekend!  And the best part – my brother is officially a married man!  My family all gathered together to celebrate the wedding of my big bro and his beautiful fiancée this past Saturday!  After a lovely ceremony, the reception ended the night on an amazing note with a fabulous sparkler getaway.  Truly a stunningly beautiful wedding.  I don’t have any ‘real’ pictures back yet, but I’ll post some once they are done.  Sadly, I only took a handful of pictures on the actual day.  With my sister acting as the DJ and me acting as the “day-of” wedding coordinator – we had our hands full!  It was busy (maybe add in a few more busys), but it all turned out wonderfully, plus it was a great experience for me with my wedding coming up in 96 days (not that I’m counting!).

The venue was at a winery with an outdoor ceremony and indoor reception within the winery.  The weather was absolute perfection and every detail was accounted for – it was truly one of the most beautiful weddings I’ve ever attended!  I can’t wait to see the real pictures.  Adam and I had the chance to sing together during the “Unity Canvas” ceremony.  We sang the song “Lucky” by Jason Mraz and Colbie Caillat.  It was so fun, and went pretty smoothly!  Performing also helped me control my tears, I knew I had to get up and sing!

Some Wedding Mishaps

A few pretty ridiculous things happened including:

  • Meeting the family for the first time.  Carolina is from Brazil originally so we had an international night meeting all of her family.  Hilarious language barrier issues ensued. So much fun.
  • Adam becoming a groomsman the day before the wedding.  When the child of a groomsmen was in the hospital, Andrew let Adam know he was the sub!  I drove around all of Atlanta trying to find the matching suit.  Crisis averted when we finally found the right one.  All this hunting occurred without Adam – he was working both Friday and Sunday.  When I bought the suit I had my fingers crossed it would fit.  It did!!
  • Getting about an hour (or more?) behind the timeline…  Let’s just call this one a cultural difference :)  Though, all’s well that ends well!
  • Running the show.  Once I realized that a few aspects of the day needed some coordination (who was releasing tables for dinner, who was pushing the timeline, etc.) I realized I should to step up to the plate.  I spend part of the evening barking orders and making sure things ran smoothly.  It was fabulous.
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Thursday and Friday we were running around like crazy. We picked up just a little bit of water on a Costco run.

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Oh the suit… we finally found the correct color and size after checking with about 15 stores. Hooray!

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Of course we had to pick up some Starbucks for the bride (and ourselves) to get Saturday started on the right foot!

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Why heck yes I’m a fancy lady! Look at what professional hair and make-up can do! :)

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Every wedding morning needs some mimosas!

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This gem of a photo is the only picture I took of Adam. Love it. Though, please note the beautiful vines in the background!

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My sister and I, ready to go!

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Taking some couple photos right after the first look. PERFECT weather.

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What can I say? We were excited.

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Julie caught the bouquet! And by caught, I mean if she didn’t put her hands up it would’ve hit her in the face. It was amazing.

Other Updates

So…when you are not in control of anything, it is REALLY hard to eat well. The past four days I had to go with the flow, work, and eat whatever was thrown in front of me.  Man alive, it was a reminder of how hard eating on the go can be, especially when you don’t have a car and aren’t really in control!  I really should pack more food when I do these sorts of trips that way I can at least control my snacks or breakfasts.

Just 2 weeks left of ChaLean!  I’m excited to wrap up the program – it’s been great, but ready for a new challenge.  I have officially decided on starting P90X again- can I get a woot?  Hey, why fix what isn’t broken?  I LOVED my experience with P90X and I’ve had about 5 months off from it, so I’m ready to tackle it again.  Additionally I know that it works – what a perfect thing right before my wedding!  Though I must say, it will be really hard not having Adam around to tackle it together.  I’m starting to mentally prepare myself for beginning it again.  Can’t wait.

I survived my yoga class.  Yes, I survived pretty painlessly!  I still don’t enjoy yoga – but I do value the benefits, so I’m planning on sticking to my lunchtime Mon and Wed yoga classes.  I am hoping it will help my body in the long run…and maybe my knees??  The good news is I have to cancel 24 hours in advance or I lose the money for it, which means I can’t wimp out an hour before because “I don’t feel like it.”  Talk about accountability!

Hope you all had a great weekend!

Kelly

Yoga Class and Fun Updates!

9 Oct

Hey Gang!

It’s an exciting day all the way around.  Today I leave to head South for my big brother’s wedding (tear!). I’m thrilled for this weekend and literally just can’t wait to be down with family and friends to celebrate.  It will truly be a magical weekend.  AND…today is my first yoga class! Yep, you heard that correctly! Recently my gym at work started offering fitness classes during lunch and after work.  Talk about score!  Since I can’t run during the lunch hour like I used to, I decided to look into a nice alternative.  And brilliantly enough there are Mon/Wed yoga classes.  Double score.  Before I dive into the exciting events of today, let’s take a look back on the past week!

Visit from Adam!

Remember him?  Yeah, my fiancé was back in town this weekend.  The past two weeks he was on an outpatient rotation that allowed for weekends off.  Can you imagine, two weekends off in a row?!  Gosh, pure heaven.  We had a super productive, yet relaxing weekend.  In terms of wedding things, we finalized our ceremony and music (I LOVE it!), we had a bachelorette dress fashion show (see below), we went to THREE of our premarital requirements (including a half day premarital retreat with other couples), and we worked on printing labels for our invitations.  I have been blissfully giddy with all our productivity.  It is INCREDIBLE how much I love wedding planning when Adam is around, and how much I hate it when he’s away!  It was great to feel wedding-refreshed and really jazzed up about the whole thing.  Wedding planning seems to go in waves of excitement/stress, so this weekend was perfect.

We also had the chance to be fancy people and went on our first date in forever.   We dressed up and I even put on make-up (gasp!) for a visit to the symphony. It was a fantastic show and we really had a wonderful time just going on a date.  So. Much. Fun.

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Oh yes, such fancy people!

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We even had fancy people drinks!

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Funny story about this outfit: we bought it about an hour before our date. Adam forgot his dress clothes in Nashville!

Bachelorette Dress Showdown

My bachelorette party is coming up in a few weeks (crazy it’s so soon!!), so it was time to get more serious about finding a dress. I really hate shopping.  I know, I know, what’s wrong with me!?  Well, let me rephrase that: I hate shopping for specific items that I must find.  If it’s just a casual day roaming, great.  But a marathon day of hunting for every white dress in any store – BAHHH.  Somehow my sister talked me into a bachelorette party in New Orleans.  Yep, you heard that right.  A whole ridiculous weekend.  I have long felt ‘anti’ any big inconvenient weekends for these sorts of events…it somehow felt like an imposition on my friends.  My sister used some pretty good logic to talk me into it though: people won’t come if they don’t want to (true), AND all of my friends are incredibly spread out…meaning 90% of them would have to buy a plane ticket to come to the party no matter where it was, why not give them an awesome tourist destination and perfect weekend getaway.  I followed her logic, so to New Orleans we go!  12 girls will be there in total, so Julie was definitely right that it would be a hit decision!  For many of us, it will be the first time to NOLA :)  So onto the dress dilemma, here are the runner-ups and winner!

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Runner-up! I LOVE this dress, but it was deemed not “bachelorette” enough. My sister wants a real bridal look, and I’m happy to oblige.

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Runner-Up! Adam deemed this dress ‘a bit aggressive.’ Haha. Let’s be honest, it’s a little more risque with the leather skirt and tight fit. The picture doesn’t show off it’s full “aggressiveness.” Back to the store it went…

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Runner-Up! A comfortable dress, but didn’t have much of a wow factor. I ended up wearing this on our symphony date instead ($15.80 at Forever 21, score).

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WINNER! This dress is flappertastic and amazing to move in. The picture doesn’t do it justice, but all the tassels are so fun and flattering when I move. Can’t wait to wear it!

Winery Wedding

So this weekend is my BROTHER’s wedding – and I couldn’t be more excited about it.  I’m heading down early in order to be a slave happy, helper wedding bee.  I am so happy I could take some time off to be there to help get things organized and hopefully reduce stress in any way I can. My sister is flying in from Seattle, my Dad from somewhere (he’s a pilot, haha I don’t know where he is), me from Indy, and my Mom drove down so we’ll have a car for pick-up and errands.  I can’t wait to post pictures next week from the whole weekend.  The wedding is set in a winery, which is the place my brother and his fiancée went on their first weekend getaway.  Aww, so romantic.  They have been working so hard to make it a comfortable, beautiful, and memorable wedding.  I can’t wait to experience it.  Both my sister and I are bridesmaids and I will be singing with Adam in the ceremony.  Should be nice.

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Remember this dress? Time to wear it!

Yoga Benefits and Nerves!

Alright, onto the whole point of this post… my first yoga class.  Well truthfully, I believe this is actually my second yoga class ever, but this will be my first in what I hope is a new regular habit.  With all my dancing and strength training, I really wanted to add in a new activity that will help in flexibility and injury prevention. Especially now that my knee is even worse (don’t want to talk about it :S), I think yoga could be just the ticket.  I brought my own mat from home (yeah, I’m a total yogi) and will head over there around lunch time.  Honestly I’m a bit scared.  I’m so used to the comfort of my own living room to do yoga, and more specifically, the comfort of being ALONE! I’m not incredibly balanced or flexible so I know I will feel a bit silly.  I’m hoping this class will push me, help me have correct form, and make me more confident in my yoga skills. AND the big thing – make me enjoy it.  I’ll be honest, I’ve pretty much always hated yoga.  But I do understand how helpful it is, and over the last year I have learned to like it.  Or is it, tolerate it?  Either way, I know I do feel more relaxed and calm after I finish yoga, I just don’t know how I feel about the actual doing yoga part.  :) If you’re on the fence or just can’t get your mind around yoga, I’d suggest starting with a beginner DVD.  Forcing myself to do it just once a week has been very doable and has eased me into yoga very gently.  To help pump me up for class today I did a little research to find some health benefits of yoga.  Here’s what I found:

Yoga Health Benefits
  • According to the Mayo Clinic, Yoga can help reduce stress, lower blood  pressure, and improve heart function (sweet).  And it can be done by almost anyone.
  • The Yoga Health Foundation even goes as far to say it can ease chronic back pain, depression and nerve impulses with diabetic patients.  It also listed something very near and dear to me: asthma and breathing. Several studies have shown increased lung function with regular yoga practice.
  • The Yoga Journal lists myriad benefits including improving blood flow, warding osteoporosis, and improving strength.

And that’s just after a quick google search!  The benefits are there, and I’m looking forward to stepping up my yoga practice from a once a week video to a twice a week class.  I look forward to more variety…  I feel like I’m ready for the next level!  Honestly I always hated yoga because I wasn’t good at it, and because it wasn’t a huge calorie blaster.  But, with my chronic knee pain I want to work out not only for a svelte figure, but for my health and longevity of being active.  I think yoga is a great answer for me.

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Remember, Adam and I got engaged using my Yoga Mat, hopefully those happy thoughts will push me through today :)

Send me your positive vibes as I nervously step into my first class today – I really hope it isn’t too hard and or ‘in touch with my feelings’ for me, fingers crossed I can get some practical yoga ;)

Happy Wednesday and have a great rest of the week!

-Kelly

ChaLean Extreme: 60 Day Results!

2 Oct

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Wow – it is hard to believe it has been 60 days of working out with Chalene (Well really 67, I pushed back a week per Dr.’s orders). It has been an awesome 60+ days and I am still enjoying the program.  I feel strong, I look forward to the workouts, and the time needed to complete them is working out quite nicely with my unusually full schedule.  Because I’m not following the diet plan prescriptively, I am likely not seeing maximum results.  Nonetheless I’m still pleased with my progress – at least what I can see with my eyes!  The numbers haven’t really changed, somewhat as expected.  Maybe my body has reached its happy place numbers-wise?  Totally possible.  I’m a few weeks from celebrating my “anniversary” of starting P90X and rededicating myself to regular fitness.  That’s one year of pumping it and working out – perhaps my body has found its new normal!  Either way, ChaLean is still a program I’d highly recommend, just keep in mind I didn’t use the program for huge changes…but based on others’ experiences, it is possible to have a transformation.

These results are based on:

  • Completing almost every ChaLean Extreme Workout (except for the week skipped for health reasons, and I missed the cardio video twice).
  •  Increasing the Ab video from once (as directed)) to 3 times a week.
  • Aiming for around 1500 or 1600 calories per day.  There were some cheat meals in there (the wedding and usually on weekends), during the week I am pretty disciplined. If you are looking for big results you’d have to be more strict.  Personally my balance of strict during the week and more relaxed on the weekends works well for me.
  • I’m not following the ChaLean diet Guide.

Tape Measure Results:

Waist: -.25

Chest: 0

Hips: 0

Thigh: 0

Bicep: -.25 on the left, 0 on the right

Weight:

-1 lb.

Muscle Definition:

Tough to measure, but again, according to my eyes I feel more defined.  My back and shoulders seem much tighter.  And really my arms are much stronger and tighter as well.  So far so good!

Body Fat %:

No change.

Up Next:

I just started the “Lean” Phase and the very last phase of ChaLean Extreme!  Hard to believe I’m coming to a close here soon.  I feel ready to really push it and make sure I finish strong.  The lean phase seems to be a bit longer (workouts 45 min instead of 35) so I’ll have to plan accordingly.  After ChaLean I’m considering doing another round of ChaLean Extreme, or possibly a round of P90X.  With the wedding falling during that time, I really want something structured.  Yep, I’ll admit, the desire to look trim and great for my wedding is alive and well.  What is that?!  I’ll be happy to have it behind me so working out can always feel fun again (okay mostly feel fun).  Sometimes when I feel like “I have to,” I don’t want to, and it begins to feel like a job.  Funny how that works.  Anyways…structure it is, because it does make it most enjoyable and doable for me!  Because I’m still having pretty significant knee issues I will stick to something lower impact.  But we’ll see, looking forward to finishing up!

And pictures… I forgot to have Adam take pictures of me last weekend (it was a busy, busy moving weekend full of pouring rain, crazy mishaps, and all sorts of ridiculousness).  BUT, he will return this weekend, so I’m going to ask he take some pictures then.  Hopefully I’ll finally get some stinking pictures up (cough cough, slacker, cough).  I have found it’s much, much harder to document my progress living alone.  Here’s to next time getting some better pictures.  Have a wonderful week!

-Kelly