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The End of 2013

31 Dec

To take a page out of Abby‘s book, a little review of 2013 in pictures!  I started this blog back in March and it was SO cool looking back on previous posts to jog my memory.  Pretty convenient for a gal with a pretty miserable memory (check out January – pathetic).  I’m a huge fan of reflecting on life (duh I have a blog), and making goals for the future…so hang with me while I recap some of the 2013 highlights.

January

I literally can’t remember anything that happened in January 2013.  Ooops.  Let’s move on, shall we?

February

Adam and I started P90X for REAL.  We did the workouts and the diet and started on an awesome experience.

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Bring it!

March

A musical!  Adam and I performed in our first musical together in Indy.  I also ran in my first 10K and ramped up training for my spring half marathons (including a St. Patty’s race!).  Adam also matched for his residency in Nashville, TN.  Oh and we put down a deposit on our reception hall.  Oops, did I not tell you guys we started planning the wedding before we got engaged?  And that is a real “we”.  Actually it’s more Adam – he started planning because he had to submit a vacation request for the following 1.5 years (ah the joys of residency)…so we booked the reception/band, forgot about it, and then started planning again in May.  Now does our early-in-the-morning-I’m-determined-to-surprise-her engagement make a bit more sense?

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Performing together.

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On stage for Match Day!

April

Costa Rica!! Adam and I took an awesome trip together and had a blast.  I ran my first 15K and we kept powering through P90X.

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After my successful 15K!

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Vacation bliss.

May

EngagementAdam’s Graduation!  Birthday!  Two half-marathons!  Half-marathon PR of 1:51Finishing P90X! May was a great month full of lots of celebrations.

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7 years after the initial rejection he finally got me to say yes.

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Ready to get a PR! Only cool runners wear tape all over their knees.

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Adam’s graduation from med school!

June

Family vacation in Hilton Head, Adam moving to Nashville, and the beginning of intense wedding planning. Started taking a big break from running to heal my Runner’s Knee.  Adam wrote his first blog post, aww isn’t that cute?

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Enjoying our vacation together.

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We got our engagement pictures back :)

July

I auditioned for White Christmas (woot and got the part!).  Adam and I continued wedding planning (are you sensing a theme?).  We sent out our Save the Dates AND picked out bridesmaid dresses.  I also started ChaLean Extreme.  I started adjusting to my life without Adam just down the road (literally… we used to live in the same complex).

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These puppies went in the mail.

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Working out with my girl Chalene.

August

I completed my first 30 days of ChaLean Extreme and really enjoyed the program.  Wedding planning and a week of Adam in Indy were the major highlights.  Still struggling through my Runner’s Knee.  I started rehearsals for White Christmas!

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Ooooo mock-ups!

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I MADE this, believe it or not.

September

Rehearsals for White Christmas were in full swing.  I attended the beautiful wedding of Adam’s cousin in Hilton Head.  I also blogged the least… and did the bulk of wedding planning in September.

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With the bouquet!

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With the bridesmaid dress and wrap.

October

My brother got married!  I finished ChaLean Extreme! I had an amazing bachelorette party in New Orleans!  October was pretty awesome.

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Yep they are models.

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NOLA Halloween style!

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Finished 90 days of ChaLean Extreme!

November

Can you say White Christmas!?  Rehearsals and shows took over my life as I sang and danced my heart out every day.  I also made more progress wedding planning and figured out my bridal look.

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I’m totally a natural blonde.

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With the wedding band! Eeek.

December

ChristmasBridal Shower!  Time off!  White Christmas! December has been a pretty great month.

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Guarding my table of bridal food.

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Hooray Christmas!

What were some of your highlights this year?  What do you have to look forward to in 2014?

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

-Kelly

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Sometimes All You Need is a Break

6 Nov

After returning from my whirlwind Bachelorette weekend I was excited to get started with P90X.  After finishing 90 days of ChaLean Extreme on Friday, I was pumped and ready for the next challenge.  Well… insert a little bit of standby travel drama and suddenly it’s Tuesday morning before I’m back home for a workout.  All my plans to complete my fitness test and my first whole week of P90X sort of crumbled.  Suddenly I didn’t have time to go to the grocery store (being delayed 24 hours can put quite a kink in the week!), and I needed more days in the week to get my schedule accomplished.  Throw in sleep deprivation from a fun filled amazing weekend (yes, worth it ;)), and I had the recipe for complete P90X failure.

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One of my fav bachelorette gifts. Oh the perks of getting married in winter!

Instead of following my own advice of waiting until you’re really ready to begin P90X, I just jumped in and tried to stay afloat.  There was a bit more sinking than swimming so I decided to redub the week “Pre-P90X week.”  And I’m so glad I did!  This translated to finishing 3 of the workouts which started to get my body and brain used to the intensity and length.  I also got the fit test out of the way (umm so much weaker when I don’t have Adam to compete against encourage me).  I managed to stay pretty active, but also allowed myself time to rest and relax from the weekend.  I took a few glorious days to sleep in and not feel guilt free about my workout.

This was my best “break week” yet!  Mainly because it was a break week of moderation.  I still worked out, but not every day.  This left me feeling refreshed, but not uber lethargic from no workouts at all.  Sometimes when I take a week or two off, I just totally jump off the wagon and IT’S SO HARD to get back on.  Moderation break week = awesome. Additionally, food-wise,  I enjoyed some Halloween splurges that were fun, without going overboard (which is sometimes what happens when I allow myself a break day or week).  This nice moderation allowed me to get more excited about P90X, but allow some freedom… the perfect blend.  Everything in moderation as my Mom always says!

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Yes I will enjoy this cupcake in moderation.

This week I ‘started’ P90X strong and I’m feeling great about it.  I got my chopping party in on Sunday and have my food ready for the week (YUM!  I forgot how much I enjoyed eating by post-it note).  With my measurements and fit test out of the way, I’ve really been able to focus on the workouts.  Perfection.

It’s fun working out again with Tony, he really is pretty ridiculous.  So far the longer workouts aren’t killing me yet, but it’s definitely an adjustment (let’s just say I’ve been running late all week).  So far I have completed Chest and Back (push-up city), replaced Plyo with ChaLean Intervals (my knees are still bugging me, and I softly rolled my ankle last week in rehearsal… don’t even want to talk about it. ), and did Shoulders and Arms this morning.  Tomorrow brings 1.5 hours of yoga. Yikes.

I will say folks… I’m sore.  Even though I’ve been doing ChaLean Extreme, it’s amazing how different exercises bring out different muscles. This is why I love variety!  There is truly no end in sight to pushing my body.  I guess I thought at a certain point I’d have more trouble getting sore… simply not the case!  Hmm.. I wonder what it’s like for professional athletes??  Do you guys still get sore when you switch to a new workout?

In other news, just 3 weeks until White Christmas opens!  I’ve been tapping, dancing, singing, and acting my little heart out every night.  Things have sure been busy (most nights eating dinner in my car, thank goodness for food prep).  I constantly feel my to-do list growing (hello thank you notes!) and my time shrinking!  I imagine the poor little blog may suffer a bit, but I’ll do my best to document my progress with P90X (and of course the wedding, we all know that’s my favorite part!).  Just know I send my love even if I send no posts :) In two weeks I’ll see my sports med doc for ankle/knee issues, looks like I’ll be facing my demons after all.  A bit nervous about what he’ll say about my running future.  Say a little prayer.

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The whole group heading to do some promotional photos!

And in wedding news… things are trucking right along!  Adam and I had our LAST premarital session Sunday (we’ve had to do like a million because we’re getting married at his family’s church, but I’m catholic so we need to do both… let’s just say fiasco).  We feel thoroughly “tested” (we had to take 2 multiple choice tests through the process) and know our strengths and weaknesses as a couple.  Knowledge is power right? As much of a “pain” it has been to fit in all these sessions, it is really nice going into things with every stone uncovered (okay many stones uncovered).  Should help make the whole marriage transition a bit easier!

Adam also finished up our wedding programs this week (I’m in LOVE) and we finished up “Our Story.”  This is a little book about how we met that we’ll have in the pews.  The story how we met is pretty unique and we thought it would provide some entertainment to our guests, and if you can’t tell…we both enjoy writing just a bit.  :)  Happy to have those big projects out of the way.  At this point I’m trying to switch my focus to the musical and off the wedding.  Easier said than done.

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Our rings! We went with simple gold bands. Because we’re cheap, I mean traditional.

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Happy after our last session! Sad because I had to say goodbye to Adam. :(

Anyways, have an awesome week!!  Power Yoga in the morning… GAH.  Wish me luck. 1.5 hours of yoga is a lot even for a ‘yoga-liker’ like me…I’m getting there Lucy and Catherine.  Slow and steady I’m starting to ‘like’ it.

-Kelly

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 ;))

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

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.

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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!

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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

Recipe: Simple Egg Scramble

4 Sep

So guys, I have a confession… I’ve been cooking.  Gasp!  I know, it’s pretty amazing.  Now let’s get this straight – I haven’t been doing anything fancy.  But there’s still something yummy about some warm, home-cooked food.  At least my Mom is impressed.

Cooking is not my forte.  I repeat, cooking is not my forte.  But, I do understand and value home-cooked quality meals.  Over the past few months I’ve worked to slowly add simple, quick recipes to my repertoire.  My simple asparagus and simple arugula are still some of my favorites that I rotate in pretty often.  Lately I’ve been switching up my routine a bit from my normal shake (shakeology and protein) in the morning.  I have been cooking in the morning, with a shake for dinner.  I find that sometimes when I come home from work I really crave something sweet and often don’t have the patience for a meal.  Living alone, this swap has worked pretty well.  I don’t do it everyday, but I’ll throw it in for some variety.  And who doesn’t love variety?

This egg scramble is super simple and is a great way to get in lots of veggies!  It is one way that I ‘trick’ myself into eating more vegetables!  Additionally I’ve used the same principles to make many spin off dishes, like breakfast burritos or sautéed veggies and pasta.  Now I’m really getting fancy.

Ingredients:

  • Eggs or Egg Beaters (when I use whole eggs I do three egg whites plus one whole egg, lately I’ve been using egg beaters and do 1/2 or 2/3 of a cup).
  • Morningstar sausage patties (made of soy, but you could substitute for any other protein source).
  • Pepper (I throw a whole one in!)
  • Spinach (a handful works well)
  • Zucchini (I’ve been using half of a small one, cut into small pieces)
  • Salt/Pepper
  • Nonstick spray

Directions:

  1. Heat a large frying/sauté pan (see I don’t even know what cooking things are called!). Normally I put mine at about a 4 on my stove.
  2. Once the pan is hot, spray with the nonstick spray, and throw in the cut up veggies.
  3. Let the veggies cook for around 10 minutes, flipping them occasionally.  Often I’ll turn down my stove and let them cook a bit longer if I’m getting ready for the day as well.  Multi-tasking at its finest.
  4. Once the veggies are cooked to your liking, throw in the 2/3 cup egg beaters and cooked morningstar sausage (I normally heat it in the microwave for 30 seconds).
  5. Stir everything about and scramble it!
  6. Let all ingredients cook until they are to your liking.  I tend to like them a bit on the browner side – I know, I’m weird. Often I will turn down the stove once everything looks dandy just to keep it warm.  Right before I walk out the door I’ll throw it into a tupperware for a delicious hot breakfast at work.
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Cook the cut veggies on their own first.

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Next, add in the eggs and sausage.

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Ta da! Hot food on a plate. Amazing.

It’s fast, it’s easy, and it’s an awesome way to get in those veggies!  I have experimented with all sorts of different chopped veggies.  Instead of eating a salad, I’ll eat my egg scramble full of veggies.  Much yummier.

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The breakfast burrito variety – just add a wheat tortilla!

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Look at these fancy veggies!

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Look! Veggies with pasta!! Yum.

When I showed my breakfast to my co-worker he responded, “Oh so I can see that you’ve learned you can put anything in egg beaters and it’s delicious.”  Apparently it’s a thing.  :)

Enjoy and happy eating!

-Kelly

What have you thrown into eggs?  Are you a lazy chef?

ChaLean Week 1 Complete!

5 Aug

Happy Monday!  I’m excited to start my second week of ChaLean Extreme.  And when I say excited, no sarcasm here.  I am truly excited to keep at it.  Perhaps I’m still in the honeymoon stage, but I am seriously loving ChaLean (and Chalene :)).  Since I already gave you all the reasons I like it so far, I thought I’d share a bit of the schedule and type of workouts I completed this first week.

The first 30 days (of 90) is the Burn phase.  Each phase is 30 days and has a different focus (Burn, Push, Lean). I’m only assuming that each of the workouts reflect this focus.  I’ve definitely been feeling the burn with this first week!  There has been a big focus on lifting (heavy weight) and combination strength training.  Another nice thing about this program: 2 rest days a week!  This is perfect if you’re like me and enjoy variety.  I plan to do stretching or yoga on my days off to mix it up.

ChaLean Extreme Schedule:

Monday: Burn Circuit 1

  • This workout is about 35 minutes long (awesome!) and starts off with a nice warm-up.  I used 5, 8, 10, and 15 lbs. throughout the video doing squats, curls, and presses.  I probably could’ve gotten by with less variety in weight, but I have them so might as well use them! I was sweating by the end of it and really liked each of the exercises.  Throughout the video there was always a low-impact option (which I always took).

Tuesday: Rest Day!

Wednesday: Burn Circuit 2

  • Similar to Burn Circuit 1, this one is about 35 minutes long and focuses on lifting.  Many exercises had similar moves to circuit 1 and a similar lay-out – but it didn’t feel repetitive to me.  Again – another thoroughly enjoyable workout!

Thursday: Burn Intervals and Ab Burner

  • What a fun little change!  The heavy weights were gone in this workout, instead focusing on reps.  I used much lighter weights (I don’t think I went over 5lbs), but we did about a billion reps.  I sweat a lot and loved the upbeat feel of this one.  This day is a bit longer with Ab Burner (10 minutes).  I think I was working out for about 50 minutes total?

Friday: Burn Circuit 3

  • Back to heavy weights for this one!  More squats, push-ups, and curls.  A similar style to circuit 1 and 2, but again a nice new variety.  Loved it.  Around 30 minutes?  (Clearly I should’ve paid more attention!)

Saturday: Burn it Off and Recharge!

  • Made up of two different segments, this workout was more about cardio.  We did some classic plyo moves and a few with some light weights.  Again, there was always an option for low-impact with I always took.  Fun and energetic, I enjoyed the variety.  The recharge element consisted of yoga-like stretching.  This was the longest day or tied with Intervals, at maybe 45-50 minutes.

Sunday: Rest Day

Progress So Far:

Call me crazy, but I feel like I’m already getting results!  Yes, they are very minor…but I am feeling stronger and healthier.  I’m watching my diet more closely and even attempting to cook!  It’s amazing what really clean eating can do.  I feel more toned and can’t wait to see actual results.  I think my results of this week are more a mental thing – I’m just feeling great!

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This is real life. I actually made this. BY MYSELF! Egg whites, peppers, soy sausage on a whole wheat tortilla. I’m fancy.

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This week I’m taking it to the next level with pre-chopped bags of veggies to add to my egg whites. Extreme fancy.

After upping my calories to around 1500-1600 calories I’m in a much happier place.  It seems to be a more doable amount of calories for my size and activity level.  I’m not quite as angry :)  I’ve decided to continue to use the MFP app to track my food during the week.  With this program I’m giving myself the weekends off – at least from strict tracking.  Honestly tracking your food is hard work, and allowing myself a bit of a break will hopefully allow me to return each Monday refreshed to track again.  I’m still planning to eat well on the weekends, just not quite as intensely! This weekend I attended a bridal shower and enjoyed some of the tasty yumminess as a treat. :)  During P90X I allowed myself treats around once a week and this strategy seemed to work well.  Everything in moderation!

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Working on drinking more water. I even added these fancy cut limes to the water. Are you noticing a fancy trend?

I feel like I’m just gushing about this program, sorry for the annoying enthusiasm about it – but I have just been so happy with it.  It could also be a rainbow of happiness just to have a program I can follow again that I enjoy, and that my knees will allow!  My heart is just happy to be working out again!

Kelly

Beginning ChaLean Extreme: First Impressions

31 Jul

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With Day 1 officially behind me, I can happily say: I am loving ChaLean Extreme!  Like in-an-excited-mood-all-morning love it.  Now… I’ve only done the fitness test and one workout, so I may not be the best judge yet… but I thought I’d give a few first impressions of the program.  I can’t wait to continue and see what the next few weeks will bring.

Initial Good Impressions:

  • The workouts have a time countdown clock on the screen (in usual beachbody fashion), so I knew exactly how long I’d be sweating this morning.  Very convenient for planning purposes.
  • The workouts are different everyday!  There is a calendar telling me exactly which workout to do when.  I love the structure, but variety.  I really hate doing the same workout each day.
  • Chalene is awesome.  She is motivational, but also sincerely sweet.  I feel like she’s just training me and not putting on a show or making a video.  I’m really looking forward to working out with her.
  • I love lifting, and that was pretty much all we did for the first workout.  LOVE.  The first workout was 35 minutes and consisted of a warm-up, several exercises (squats, shoulder presses, chest presses) in sets of 12, and a cool-down.   Perfection.
  • Holy injury prevention.  Not only can all moves be modified, but they are done slowly and correctly.  I was massively impressed with Chalene’s ability to fully explain how to do a move.  I’ve completed P90X, so I’ve done a workout or two .  Chalene explained things in a way that was straight forward without either talking down (if you’ve worked out before), or talking up (if this was your first day picking up a weight).  I’m thrilled I chose this program and if the next few workouts are similar, I think it will truly help strengthen my runner’s knee issues.
  • I’m actually excited to see what tomorrow’s workout brings.  I’ve been feeling on the burnt out side for awhile now – it’s awesome feeling jazzed about fitness.

Negative First Impression:

My biggest beef is the nutrition plan.  1300 calories is the recommended amount based on my weight.  And let me tell you folks, that’s just not very many (for me).  I did pretty well yesterday, but when I came home from work I was grumpy, irritable, and starving.  I just about bit Adam’s face off – it wasn’t pretty folks.  He did make the comment “well it’s definitely extreme.”  Hah.  Good point.

I ended up scarfing almost a whole bag of baby carrots on top of my dinner (that already put me at 1300).  I was still dying so I went with some cheese, grapes, and a whole wheat tortilla.  I ended up going over my calorie allotment yesterday.  It was an important lesson that I’d rather eat a bit more throughout the day than get to a crash/crazy lady person point.  Essentially if eating 200-400 calories more in oatmeal or fruit prevents me from eating 800 calories in cheese and crackers – that’s completely worth it!  I want to focus on whole, fresh foods – not numbers.

Additionally my goals with this program are not truly weight loss.  Sure, I’d love to lose 3 or 4 pounds (who doesn’t?).  But my main goals are fitness, muscle definition, and a trim body.  Of course I need a low enough caloric intake to make this happen, but I am not looking for any extreme weight loss (remember, that wedding dress still needs to fit, I don’t want to get it taken in!).  I’ve decided to up my calories to 1500 for today.  I’ll give it a whirl and push it up to 1600 or 1700 if that’s killing me.

I would prefer if the nutrition guide gave ratios of protein/fat/carbs and a range of calories.  I don’t do well with strict allotments.  But I’m just going to modify the best I can and keep moving forward.  I learned a lot from the P90X nutrition plan even though it was hard in the beginning, so I’m going to do my best to glean info from Chalene as well.

The good news?  At this point – no other negative thoughts.  :)

Tips to Begin

  • Print out the workout sheets!  I forgot about this one and was bummed this morning when I didn’t have them.  They are available online.
  • If you’re doing your measurements and pictures on your own, plan a little extra time.  I was surprised how long it took me to measure and photograph myself without someone around to help (and it was also hilarious/frustrating).  A little bit late to work because of it…oops. :)  But – also make sure you do take measurements and pictures…they are so inspiring at the end!
  • Watch the beginner DVD.  I actually didn’t get around to watching it until I was making breakfast this morning and it was very motivational.  I enjoyed it and should’ve started it before I began the program to get all pumped up.
  • Do your best.  I was a little disappointed that I didn’t stick to the nutrition plan entirely, but today is a new day!  Time to just press play again and use every day to get a little bit better.  It’s easy to get frustrated with a new program either by not being able to do all the exercises or following the guide.  Don’t let the frustration get in the way of keep pressing play!

So far I’m very pleased with the program, and I’m excited to keep moving forward.  I love the set-up of a 3 month program.  I will do a different workout every day, but each of the four weeks within a month will be the same.  Then the following 4 weeks will be new DVDs.  And so on.  It progressively builds and changes.  The variety is there, but consistency as well.  Perfection.

Happy Wednesday!

-Kelly

ChaLean Extreme Prep

29 Jul

Happy Monday!  I’m coming back from the most wonderful weekend out in Seattle with my little sister.  She moved there this winter and it was my first chance to get a peek at her new life out there.  We did a little of this…

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Checking out the AMAZING views Seattle in the summer has to offer. We did lots of exploring!

 

And then we did a little of this…

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Took lots of selfies to show Mom we were still alive.

 

We threw in some of this…

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Wedding fun! Trip to Ikea for some cheapo wedding decorations.

 

And we can’t forget, some of this…

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Ahh, relaxing at the pool.

 

All in all – a completely awesome trip.  I wish I were still there!

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And of course silly pictures to send our family. Love ya Jules!

 

Unfortunately I had a bit of a flight snafu and instead of my nice early flight (with time to prepare for ChaLean!), I had to take the red eye.  Yeah.  So I flew home last night, landed in Indy, hopped in my car and went to work.  A day running on just a few hours of sleep.  Absolute madness.

I had my fingers crossed I would have a certain package waiting for me.  And sure enough: ChaLean Extreme had arrived!  This evening after getting home from work I skimmed the program manuals and got familiar with the program.  I plan to officially start the program in the morning, and I wanted to be prepared.  My flight situation threw off my plan, but I decided to do the prep work tonight and start tomorrow.

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Hooray! Look what arrived :)

So, how do you prep?

The most important thing for me – remove all barriers.  Essentially, I wanted to set myself up so that tomorrow I don’t have any excuses not to begin.  It’s easy to push things off, “Oh I’ll do it next week” or “I’m too tired and I can’t start now.”  I want to start strong and motivated, and that requires effort.

Step 1: Read and Plan

It’s crucial to understand more about the program.  Tonight I didn’t do my deep dive of planning, but I got familiar enough to begin tomorrow.  This week I’ll spend more time specifically mapping out recipes and workouts (once I’m running on more than 2 hours of sleep).  Tonight I skimmed the books and made a plan for the morning.  Because there is a fitness test prior to working out, I needed to plan for it… I can’t just start workout 1 tomorrow.  I’ve decided to do my fitness test in the morning as my day 1.

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Doing some light leisure reading.

Step 2:  FOOD!

Diet is 80% of results and I knew I needed to get some fresh food to start strong.  I cleaned out my fridge, made a list, and tackled Target.  I broke my cardinal rule of always throw a chopping party immediately – but with my restful-sleep-on-a-plane night, I cut myself some slack.  The chopping party will be tomorrow evening.  :)

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1. I threw out all old/expired food and made a list of what I needed.

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2. I gave the old fridge a nice cleaning.

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3. Weeeee! Fresh food purchased and ready to go!

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4. Voila! Instant full fridge of yumminess.

It looks like the ChaLean program follows a high protein diet, limited by calories.  This isn’t typically my favorite style – I really loathe calorie counting.  I’m planning to give it a solid go though, as I want to follow the program as closely as prescribed as possible.  I was pretty disappointed that my calorie intake is set to 1300 calories.  Yikes.  I miss the P90X diet of 1800.  But I know what I’m up against now, and filled my fridge accordingly.

Step 3: Equipment

Because I have a lot of equipment from P90X, I was pretty much set and ready to go.  Tonight I picked up a cheap scale, as I know that’s one of the metrics used in the before/after.  It was a little annoying not having a scale with P90X, so I splurged on a $7.99 dial scale at Target.  It doesn’t show half-pound increments, but that might be a good thing.  I really don’t like to obsess over numbers.  General trends is what I’m looking for.  Other equipment like resistance bands and a fat caliper came with the program.

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The newest piece of equipment.

Step 4: Bring it!

My alarm clock is set and I’m ready to start my day with photos (this will present an interesting challenge alone), measurements, and a fit test.  I’m excited to give myself a baseline, though I know “Day 1” can often be a somewhat depressing place to start (I think most people can agree!).  I know I’ve lost a bit of fitness in the last 2 months.  But the good news?  There’s no where to go but up!  I’m already looking forward to day 30, 60, and 90!

I feel as ready as I can be to start, and that’s so crucial.  My foundation is set and there’s nothing left to do but press play!  Wish me luck on my first day!

-Kelly

How do you start a new workout program?  

Reasons to Exercise

24 Jul

The past few days have been a little rough.  Last week I decided I was going to just totally unplug and take a break from working out.  I finished up Jillian Michaels Ripped in 30 and I was planning my next program.  I was feeling kind of un-motivated to work out, so I just went with it.  For several glorious days I pushed my alarm back and basked in the glory of several guiltless workout free mornings.  It was fantastic.  This past weekend I relaxed a bit and enjoyed some delightful culinary wonders like girl scout cookies and Indian food.  Again, fantastic.

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Oh yum… yeah a few too many of these.

Doesn’t really sound so rough huh?  Well yesterday I feel like I finally hit a wall from all my wild and fancy-free living.  And then it hit me: my body truly has been trained!   After months of P90X and focusing on better eating, my body craves healthy food.  My body wants to be active.  Saturday and Sunday I had a dull headache and just felt sort of blah.  My lack of healthy-living may not be entirely to blame, but it certainly played a part.  Call me crazy, but this is pretty awesome!

It’s common sense: eat a bunch of candy and you’ll get a tummy ache.  But now I feel like I’m at a new level – my body truly has gotten used to a regular diet of fruit, veggies, and working up a sweat.  When I deprive my body of these things, I feel it.  It took 3-4 days to really feel it, but this is such a change.  It used to take a few weeks of living unhealthy to really notice it (Christmas break in college ehem).  What a cool revelation.  When I changed my life style back in October I was really hoping that this would happen!  (Doing a little happy dance).

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Now I crave these things! Okay not all of these things and not all the time… but I’m making progress!

Last week I was really feeling some pressure that I was entirely putting on myself.  I found out I got the part and Adam and I were in the heat of several big wedding decisions.  Definitely exciting things, but I sort of felt my edges cracking from my own pressure (I think all other type a-ers can relate to this!).  So while the good news is my body craves healthy-living, and I will naturally want to get back on the healthy train…the bad news is that I sort of turned to food to deal with my stress.  Feeling stressed about needing to be an athletic dancer to play the part in the show?  Yes, eat more peanut butter and cookies…brilliant strategy to achieve your fitness goals.  Yeah…not such a great habit.  My eventual goal would be push my stress away by making a delicious yummy healthy or doing some yoga.  Now those are coping mechanisms I can get on board with!  Patience Kelly, one thing at a time.

The past week has been a great discovery of how far I’ve come fitness-wise, but also seeing that I still have room for growth.  As I left Adam’s apartment yesterday I made the comment, “You know I think the number 1 reason I work out is for balance and attitude.”  All of these thoughts got me really thinking about why I work out.  Why is it such a part of my life, and why do I want it to continue to be a priority.  In usual fashion, I present to you a list!

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Hooray exercise!

Reasons to Exercise and Stay Active

  • Attitude.  Working out keeps me mentally sane and balanced.  I just have a better attitude when I’m active.
  • Health.  From preventing heart disease to avoiding diabetes to controlling my asthma, health-related reasons to be active abound.  I want to be around a long time and I want to be healthy while I’m around.
  • Outlook. (And not the microsoft kind). Holy positive.  I am a much much more positive person when I take the time to invest in myself.  Suddenly the birds are chirping and I’m thrilled about the rest of my day.  Yes it may sound cliché, but come on… there are definitely endorphin side effects to exercise (and happy people just don’t kill people!  What movie?? :))
  • Confidence.  When I’m active, I feel like I can take on the world.  Whether it comes to pushing myself out of my comfort zone socially, pushing myself physically, or pushing myself to go stinking shopping even though I don’t like it – I’m more confident!!  And believe me, confidence just makes life easier.
  • Keeping up!  When I’m in great shape I’m much more of a “yes” girl.  Want me to join a dodgeball league?  Yes.  Want to run a 5K with a day’s notice in green tights?  Yes.  Want to go hiking?  Heck yes.  I just don’t have the excuses to say no.  “I can’t keep up” or  “I’m not in good shape” aren’t in my vocabulary!
  • Taking care of myself for others.  My friends and family receive major benefits when I work out.  I’m kinder, more balanced, and more passionate about life.  In addition, I’m healthier and more durable for whatever life throws my way.  If I can’t get myself to work out for me, often thinking about them will be the extra push to get me out the door.
  • Nutrition.  Fact: when I’m active, I make better food choices.  There is such a symbiotic relationship between food and activity  – I love reaping the benefits from both!
  • Looking good.  Let’s face it, one of the side effects of fitness is looking your personal best.  It’s nice to look good and feel comfortable in your skin.  It helps with confidence and being a “yes” person!
  • It’s relaxing and therapeutic.  Or at least it can be…eventually. :)  It took me a long time to view running as a ‘relaxing’ activity – but it’s awesome to just take time away and focus on yourself.  Be one with the run (or zumba or crossfit or whatever)!
  • The challenge.  I love setting goals and reaching them.  Fitness is an awesome place to compete against yourself for yourself.  It can be very motivating and satisfying to see yourself reach them.  The first time I did a pull-up I just about cried!
  • To enjoy treats.  Okay I had to add this one… regular working out makes the occasional crack-filled cookies from my mom totally doable (Note: not filled with actual crack).  Everything in moderation is one of my favorite phrases, and working out regularly allows me to really live this phrase out!  Because I just can’t say no to cupcakes every time.

So if you’ve been in a rut like me, there are a few reasons to push play or get out the door!  If you’re looking for more reasons or motivation head over to Catherine @ A Two Storey Home.  Ironically she had the exact same thoughts today, and beat me to the punch (which is good, because she’s been thinking about working on her defense skills)!  She lists a lot of great reasons to focus on strength over skinny – I love it!

In other news, ChaLean Extreme officially shipped yesterday, woot!  I’m so excited to share the process and my next phase of pushing myself!  Until then, I’ve climbed jumped back on the healthy train with a quick stop at the grocery store for some fresh produce and some invigorating yoga this morning (thanks Lucy for the motivation to get back at yoga!).  Man does it ever feel good to be back on the train.  Next stop: ChaLean Extreme!

-Kelly

HAPPY WEDNESDAY!

What are your reasons to work out?  Why do you maintain your fitness?

I’m Dreaming of a…

18 Jul

Crazy awesome week!! :)

Well folks, it has been a pretty nuts around here.  First – last Monday I auditioned for White Christmas, a huge favorite musical of mine.  It turns out it was a joint audition for 2 shows (White Christmas and Sunset Blvd.)… and I ended up getting a call back for both!  Talk about lots of quick learning, excitement, stress, and lots of showing people what I could bring to the table!  My callback for Sunset Blvd. went okay at first (there were 3 other ladies there going for the same part), but then I choked (no!!), and I knew when I left that I wouldn’t get the part.  I remained hopeful, but got a very thoughtful condolence email Saturday night, stating that they decided to go in a different direction.  Le sigh.

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A no go on Sunset Blvd.

I held out hope for my dream part: Betty (Rosemary Clooney in the movie) in White Christmas.  I got the exciting news on Monday (a whole week later!) that I was invited to a callback Tuesday evening!  I was thrilled, but also very nervous.  I notoriously choke during call-backs, yeah it’s a problem.  The pressure, knowing who I’m up against…gah!  It always kills me.  My nerves aren’t the strongest when it comes to auditions, yeah again, a problem.  I showed up on Tuesday and to my surprise the director had me read for Judy, not Betty.  To fill you in – Judy is the younger, dancing sister, originally played by Vera Ellen in the movie.  I could hardly contain my shock.  Yes, I dance… I even could say I’m a dancer (I did take many, many years of dance, but many years ago).  But a showstopper lead dancer of the caliber of Judy??… that might be more of a stretch.  I did have a dance audition and thought I did pretty well, so they have seen what I can do in that department.

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Va va VOOM! This is Judy!

Yesterday morning I got the shocking news: the director offered me the part of Judy!  I got in the show!  Can you believe it??  Well I’m still in shock a day later.  It really hasn’t set in.  I am SO excited.  So so so excited!  I’m thrilled to be in White Christmas, but I must admit that I’m nervous about all the lead tap dancing scenes.  I took many years of tap classes, so it’s in there… I just need to dust the rust off.  Immediately.  Like 6 months ago immediately. Rehearsals don’t start until October so I’ve got a bit of time to get myself into Judy shape!

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You may recognize this! The song “Sisters” is from White Christmas. Can’t wait!

Additionally I’m a little nervous because Judy is notoriously an athletic, thin, dancer.  Though I love fitness and being in good shape – I don’t know if I exactly have a dancer’s build (If you’ve seen my P90X results, I think you might agree! ;)).  My Mom said I need to not compare myself against the movie: if they picked me, they want me!  And they know what I look like!  It’s just very strange suddenly feeling pressure to be thin and in shape (I know I’m putting it on myself!).   With the weddings and this show I now feel like I don’t have as much wiggle room with fitness and nutrition.  Honestly, I like to live a more balanced life of enjoying treats every now and again.  And well… I still will.  :)  But now, I will probably feel a bit more guilt.  Whomp whomp.  Especially now that I still can’t run – I don’t really have an awesome way to rationalize my box of white cheddar cheez-its treat consumption, or burn off the stress (Oh I ate an enormous cupcake – I’ll just run 8 miles).  My way to handle stress: eating a box of cheez-its.  Not exactly the path to a thin dancer body.  Yikes.  Say a little prayer for me (and my box of cheez-its). :)

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Wearing fun dresses and doing cool moves like this?! Holy awesome!

In other news, I get to see Adam this weekend.  It’s been 3 weeks and I’ll admit: it has been really hard.  I miss him being in my life on a day to day basis.  I just miss being around him!  What I’d do for a little hug!  Le sigh.  Another side effect of no Adam: I sort of feel like I’m swirling!  My structure and discipline have been slipping, I’m just struggling to get into my new routine without him!  I’m hoping the start of a new Beachbody program (the jury is still out on which one) will give me a new spark and something exciting to look forward to!  Is it Friday evening yet??  I’m so excited to hop in trusty Little Star (my car) and get on down to Nashville.  Adam will only have Sunday off – but any time will be better than no time!  Can’t wait!

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Yeah…I miss this kid. A lot.

And just so I can end on a thrillingly positive note: HOLY MOLY I GOT A PART!!! :)  What an amazing opportunity – I know I will treasure it!!  What an exciting next few months.  3 months until my bro’s wedding.  4.5 months until White Christmas.  And exactly 6 months until ‘I do!’ :)

Happy THURSDAY!  We’re almost through the week!

-Kelly

Have you ever felt pressure to be thin for an event?  Have you ever eaten a whole box of cheez-its to deal with the stress you feel to be thin for said event?