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Helloooo 2014!

2 Jan

I’m a big goals person.  I love to do lists.  I love tracking and information.  The new year is awesome because it’s a mental reset: a way to say goodbye to one year and hello to a new one full of opportunities and hope.  There is just something so refreshing about a clean slate.  With a busy, busy (and incredibly exciting) 2013 behind me, I’ve started thinking a bit about what I want 2014 to look like.  Some of my biggest lessons of 2013:

You Can’t Plan Everything

I had big hopes and dreams to hit a sub 1:50 half-marathon this fall.  My spring half-marathons were strong, my running kept getting faster and faster.  I was training smarter and better than ever before.  Better nutrition, better strength training, better mileage.  In my head I knew I had that sub 1:50 in the bag – bring it on Indy Monumental Half!  Well the race has come and gone, without me running it, and definitely not hitting any time goals.  With my knees, I probably would’ve considered myself lucky to finish it by walking.  And you know what my take away is?  It’s okay. Sometimes life can be a little unexpected, but honestly that’s the beauty in it too.  I WILL get my knees strong again and I will run again.  And when I do, I can stand proud knowing all the effort it took to get there.  One thing Chalene says at the end of her workouts that always sticks with me: “Aren’t you proud of yourself?  You can walk away proud knowing the effort you put into this workout.”  I may have to be patient and it may be a lot of effort, but I’ll get there with my knees and I’ll be proud!

You Can’t Have it All (…but treasure what you have)

This was a full year for me, stuffed with lots of highs personally.  I got engaged, got a dream part in a musical, and made countless amazing memories with friends and family.  2013 was particularly sweet to me.  But I also didn’t finish a lot of things I set out to do (fix my knees, spend more time cooking, train for a full marathon again, etc.).  And you know what?  That’s okay. As a type A, it can be easy to look back and say “But I didn’t complete this or that. Boohoo, wah.”  But seriously folks, how much better does it feel too look at the positive?  So today I celebrate what did happen and let go of any unfinished business.  HOLY COW look what happened this year.  It was AMAZING.  That’s what I want to take away from 2013 and really treasure.  And as far as that unfinished business…. that’s what next year is for :)  So here’s to a positive reflection and realizing you can’t “have it all” and holy moly, that’s okay!!

Love is Sweet

2013 was my first year back in my home state of Indiana after several years in different places.  It was so wonderful spending time with family and friends in close proximity.  What a difference that can make!  It was a true reflection on how much those relationships matter to me.  Not to get super mushy on you, but all you need is love.  Love from family and friends is the most precious thing, and something I had the chance to really treasure this year.  Here’s to bringing that love with me to Nashville and remembering to always prioritize those relationships!  It’s easy to take for granted, but I always want to push myself to spend time and energy on loved ones, even if I’m more than a quick car ride away.

2014 Goals

I want to keep it simple and sweet.  2014 will bring SO many changes that I honestly don’t know what awaits me, kind of hard to make goals when you don’t have a clear idea of the future.  A mix of thrilling and scary to say the least!  Here are my top “things I’d like to do”  – maybe I shouldn’t call them goals, more guidelines!

  1. Find resolution (or peace) with my knees.  I want to get more serious about a solution and spend some real time and energy getting back in the game.
  2. Complete P90X3 with Adam. Keep health and fitness a priority even when the wedding is done!
  3. Enjoy married life with Adam.  Soak up our first year as newlyweds and cherish time together.
  4. Find a yoga studio in Nashville.  Ready to take this yoga thing to the next level!
  5. Make time for the important people in my life.  2013 was pretty selfish (by nature of having so much going on), I’m ready to spend more time on friends/family in ways that have nothing to do with a wedding. :)

Alrighty kids, lets start off 2014 with a bang!!  HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

-Kelly

What are some of your goals for 2014?  Do you like making goals?  Or are you sick of rehashing the old year and planning for the next one?

 

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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

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

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

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!

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

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

ChaLean Updates!

26 Sep

Hey Friends!

I hope all has been wonderful!  It’s been a whirlwind of a two weeks for me full of a wedding (no, not my own, 114 days til that!), a time-out on working out (Dr.’s orders), and moving.  I always said that I wanted to blog because I had something helpful or valuable to share…and let’s face it folks – the last two weeks just haven’t been very interesting.  So I didn’t blog, because whatever I said would have been painfully boring.  Sure I’ve been busy, but who wants to hear “Oh my gosh I’m SO busy.”  Gross.  You’re welcome for not blogging.  Let’s try and keep this stuff relevant and interesting. ;)  Additionally, it’s one of those things where when faced with the choice of blogging about healthy living or actually trying to live healthy, I’m going to pick the latter every single time.

So what has been so important to keep me away from all my blogging friends!?  Well, a picture essay for you all to enjoy:

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A lovely South Carolina destination wedding!

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This lovely beach wedding was for Adam’s cousin, though sadly Adam couldn’t attend (stupid residency). I sang “Lucky” during the ceremony and had a lot of fun!

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Oh yeah, and I wasn’t the most healthful eater. Oops.

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But I caught the bouquet! Hooray! :)

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Packing up my apartment! My lease is up and I’m moving in with my soon-to-be in-laws (the coolest people in. the. world.) until the wedding. Call me old fashioned.

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I made egg scrambles for my parents. Let’s just say they were overwhelmed with my sheer amount of culinary talent.

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My Dad picked out his suit for the wedding! Isn’t he dashing?

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The bridesmaid dresses came in! I tried it on to show my gals! One lives in Seattle and the other in Atlanta, so pictures are everything! Please ignore the moving mess behind me. :)

Yeah – so life is crazy.  Anyone else out there a perpetual let’s-make-things-busier-than-needed person?  I do it every time.  But again, I must enjoy it :)  And if you’re crazy like me, I’m sure you do too!  Okay, onto some relevant updates!

ChaLean Extreme

I’m still pumping iron with Chalene and loving it!  I feel strong, lean, and really haven’t noticed adding any bulk.  This week I “restarted” week 4 of Phase 2.  Last week I had a non-emergent medical procedure that forced me to take 5 days off from working out (stir-crazy!).  I decided to just re-do my week and will begin my FINAL phase of ChaLean Extreme next week.  I’m still really enjoying the program and would HIGHLY recommend it as a terrific beginner program – because Chalene is so patient.  BUT, it’s also great for advanced folks because she really pushes you to lift heavy.  An awesome program.

I’ve also been doing some thinking on P90X vs. ChaLean and will have more words with a complete post – but I do find ChaLean to be an excellent introductory program to P90X.  I think it could really help people get ready to complete P90X successfully.  If you’re worried P90X is too extreme, ChaLean is a great thing to try, because it really offers many modifications (more modifications than P90X).  Additionally, ChaLean is shorter (avg. 40 minutes a day vs. 75 minutes a day).  If you’re not used to working out daily, adding just 40 minutes a day is more doable than the full 75 of P90X.  So if you’ve been wanting to give lifting a go – give P90X a try (I’m thinking of you Lucy!!).

That being said – coming from P90X to ChaLean hasn’t seemed like a huge step-down for me.  Sure it’s shorter and not as intense (time wise and variety of movements), but I think it’s been a needed break and variety while still pushing myself.  Honestly I recommend it either way.

I’m still struggling with the eating program.  It is not as structured as P90X, so I’m having a hard time sticking to it.  I’m doing sort of a hybrid of P90X/lower calorie thing.  It’s been semi-successful, but mainly I’m just trying to eat clean, healthy food.  Which I find difficult if I’m not structured, a struggle for me.  I’m not really doing ChaLean for weight loss (though I wouldn’t hate losing a pound or two) – so I haven’t stressed too much about staying to the recommended 1300 calories.  I will say – I would probably have better results if I followed that, but that’s just common sense!  Not practical for me at this point though.  But please note – your results will differ largely from mine if you do incorporate the eating program.

Knees

Yeah it stinks and still hurts and I still can’t do anything about it.  I try to run every couple weeks just “to check” to see if it’s better.  I ran yesterday to wake up to excruciating knee pain today.  I don’t have anything nice to say about it so I won’t say anything at all.

I’ve decided to abandon running to protect my knees for all the DANCING I’m doing.  I’m rehearsing choreography often and I feel like that’s enough strain on my knees.

Post-wedding I’m planning to get more serious as far as doctors, tests, solutions to my knees.  At this point I’ll just settle with being happy I can dance and do my lifting programs.  I don’t want to inflame them to the point I can’t work out at all.  Smart?  Yes I do agree.  So much for my “running” blog.  Yeah.  Poor me.  Hahah.  I think I’ll survive.

I think that’s enough for now.  Happy almost-Friday!

Kelly

When You Get Off Track…

11 Sep

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Maybe if I had an alarm clock like this I could get up…

Hi folks!  Happy Wednesday!  This week has been an awesome one and will continue to bring more excitement (eek!).  With a visit to Nashville on Monday/Tuesday (sigh, 3 weeks is too long without seeing Adam), and a wedding down in South Carolina on Friday and the rest of the weekend-  it’s completely full of awesomeness!  It’s during times of awesomeness (or complete crazy unpleasant stress) that I find it hardest to get my workout in.What to do when things are all out of sorts!?

Last night I got in super late from Nashville and this morning I. Could. Not. Get. Up.  My alarm rang and rang and I just kept pressing ignore (I have a bad habit of not being fully aware of this).  Suddenly I have 15 minutes until I have to leave, let alone workout!  I scrambled around, managed to get clothes on and throw together a lunch (I call that success).  Yet I sit here now kind of disappointed I didn’t get my workout in (that feeling always happens!).  There are several options when you skip a workout (if you have a set weekly schedule).

1. Push the workout back.  I could continue about my day as if it were a rest day.  Tomorrow I’ll do what I planned to do today.

2. Do the workout in the evening or afternoon.  I’m a morning worker outer (note, not a morning person), so the afternoon is always a great back-up.  And I would…but I have 2 hours of dance rehearsal tonight.  I won’t get home until 8:30 and likely won’t be in any physical shape to lift.  But… I could make it happen. No excuses right? Chooo Choo… do you hear the excuse train??

3. Skip the workout.  Come on Kelly, live a little!  Just skip the workout and tomorrow start “Thursday’s” workout.

Honestly I’ve done all three, and they all work.  :)  My favorite tends to be 2, as normally I can find a way to squeeze it in.  But what’s better on your body?  Switching up the routine?  Keeping at it?  Here are some thoughts on each of the options.

When to Push it Back:

If you have built in rest days and pushing back the workout by one day will not ‘mess up’ the next week, go for pushing it back.  This keeps your week on schedule, but just slides things back a bit.  Generally if I’m out of rest days and pushing back means I spill over into the next week I’ll stay away from doing this.  It’s okay to slide, but I hate getting that out of routine.  Getting so out of sorts makes it SO easy to skip more workouts.  Other times I won’t push back?  If I’ve already skipped a workout in the week.  One change up is great, two… is a slippery slope.  (I’m naturally so lazy, I gotta watch myself! One minute I’m working out and the next I’m laying on my couch pinning and eating white cheddar cheezits, yikes ;))

When to Do it No Matter What!

Some days if I sleep over my workout, I just have to make it happen no matter what.  If I have a free or ‘freeish’ evening I generally try to make this happen.  Also, if I’ve skipped workouts previously in the week, or had a pretty treat filled weekend (a la Labor Day) I will make the workout happen!  Generally I decide in the morning what option I’m going with.  This helps me mentally plan and prep for an evening workout.  I’m a huge expectations person, so talking myself into the workout nice and early is helpful!

When to skip the workout

Sometimes no matter how hard you try, you just can’t make it work!  Times when I’m okay skipping?  If I’m sick or completely exhausted (like crazy-land exhausted, not just ‘meh I’m tired and don’t want to workout’ <– duh, that’s everyday).  I’ll also skip if somehow in my day I replaced the workout – i.e. went on a run at work, or a 2 hour dance rehearsal.  And finally, I’ll skip if I’m out of rest days and my day is so jam packed that I can’t do anything else.  Even if I’m disappointed in myself for not getting my rear in gear, I have to ‘forgive’ myself and move on!  Tomorrow is a new day – channel that energy to make tomorrow the best workout ever!!  Or just working out, I’ll settle for that too ;)

A fourth option – swap the workout.  If you don’t have time for a full workout but can get in something shorter, say yoga?  Do it!  I’ll do this option if I just ‘want to get something in’.  Something is better than nothing!

So what am I going to do today?  Honestly I’m not sure!  I’m hoping that I can talk myself into lifting after my dance rehearsal.  This is one of those situations where I won’t really be able to push back with the destination wedding this weekend.  Fingers crossed I’m not dead after my dance rehearsal!

Speaking of which… the first dance rehearsal for White Christmas was on Saturday!  I danced for 8 hours.  There was a dance workshop for 4 hours in the morning and 4 hours of learning the choreography to “The Best Things Happen While You’re Dancing.”  (Swoon!)  I felt like I had signed up for Dancing with the Stars. Seriously – imagine beautiful waltz, fabulous dress, spinning, lifting, dancing!  Oh dear goodness, excited and nervous!

Though…I am still sore (yeah, it’s Wednesday, that was Saturday).  I think that rehearsal was more difficult than most of my races – half or full! (except for that one marathon I didn’t really train for, yeah that sucked).  My knees gave me a bit of trouble so I’ve cut back on running – I may even have to kiss my November half-marathon goodbye (tear).  But I really feel like I have the responsibility to take care of my body with all of this dancing.  And if running is a known irritant… it just makes sense to lay off it for awhile.  It’s still a bummer to me that I can’t run normally without pain, but that’s another sob post. There are FIVE lifts in this ONE dance number, just to give you an idea of the physicality required.  I may spend my time doing abs and planks instead of running (cuz lordy, I’m gonna need it!).  I’m SO excited for the show – it should be amazing.

And because it’s Wednesday: here’s a wedding craft for you to enjoy.  Adam is a whiz and put these together for our tables – me on one side and him on the other.  Yay!

Kelly 00Adam 00

Kelly 02Adam 02

Have a great rest of the week! :)

-Kelly

Edit: Also totally spaced that today is 9/11.  We must never forget!  (clearly I’m talking to myself).

How do you handle missed workouts?  Do you do option 1, 2, or 3… or another way of dealing? Any tips or advice when you get off schedule?

Strength Training for Women

9 Aug

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If you’ve been around here a time or two before, you know I LOVE lifting.  It keeps me strong and has been super helpful keeping my mind off running (or the lack there of).  It hasn’t always been this way though.  I used to be a little cardio monster…pretty much only doing cardio.  I had it in my head that I would bulk up with weights.  Genetically, it seemed completely possible to bulk up, as both my sister and I have always had arms a bit on the thicker side (really helpful in things like tubing behind a boat :)).

When I first started P90X last October, there was always this little bit of fear…am I going to turn into a manly lady?  Not that that’s a bad thing, just not what I’m going for here. Throughout round 1 of P90X, I found myself not bulking up, but actually toning up.  The heavier I lifted, the more it seemed to work and the tighter I got.  By round 2 of P90X I lifted as heavily as I could and guess what?  No evidence of going hulk!  In fact, I loved what the strength training was doing for my body!  As a previous cardio monster, I wondered how I was ever going to get that toned look.  “Come on, I’m running 40 miles a week – shouldn’t that be enough?!”  Well, for me the secret has been strength training.

P90X and ChaLean Extreme are both programs with a heavy focus on strength training.  Meaning we do curls, lateral raises, squats, tricep extensions, and presses – all with weights!  Most of the time I’m fluctuating between 5-15 lbs. per exercise, but this far exceeds my previous days of  my 5 lb. limit: “if I lift over 5 lbs. I will get bulky.”  In my experience, it seems that the only way I would get bulky is if I was trying to: supplements, hormones, or other means.  Amazing.  Mind blown!  (In a good way!)

Inspired by my experience of shattered ideas (that I’ve held for most of my life), I went to the internet to find some support.  Of course I found articles on bodybuilding.com or bodybuilder about the importance of strength training.  But what surprised me was the other locations that touted strength training for women (and training more than just the 2 or 3 lbs. that I thought would get me looking toned).  Discovery Health, the Huffington Post, Prevention, and Shape all had a few articles pop up in seconds, and there are literally hundreds more.  If you’re curious about women weight-lifting you’ll find all that you need in just a couple of clicks.  These were some of the highlights from my research (articles above) that stuck out to me, talk about empowering:

Reasons for Strength Training

  • You burn calories after the session.  A study by the Journal of Strength and Conditioning found that up an extra to 100 calories were burned in the 24 hours after a weight-training session.  Take that cardio!
  • Bye bye Belly Fat!  A study by the University of Alabama found that women who lifted lost more belly fat than those choosing cardio alone.  Yes please.
  • Injury prevention.  The stronger you are, the less prone to injury you will be!
  • A stronger core will make you faster (running).  This happened to me, and I was shocked!
  • Strength training revs up your metabolism!  Chalene is always saying that we’re waking up our metabolism.  And that’s a great thing!  As she said, “higher metabolism, more food” Yay :)
  • Strength training lowers blood pressure for 10-12 hours after the session according to William Haskell at Stanford.  This is one of plethora of health benefits – I’m not even talking vanity.
  • Strength training gives you a sculpted, defined look.  Period dot.  My arms didn’t change “size” in measurements during P90X but holy cow did their look change.  Much more toned!
  • Lifting weights is excellent for women because it can help with the battle against bone loss.  This is especially crucial to prevent osteoporosis.  Now that I think about it… I should really be talking my mom into this!
  • You feel like a champ.  I mean, I feel like a lot of words after a good strength training session.  But let’s just say champ.  Or maybe like Will Smith getting out of the space ship after kicking the alien’s butts in Independence Day.  Yeah, like that.

So if you’ve never considered lifting or strength training, I highly encourage you to give it a go.  It may surprise you, just like it surprised me!

HAPPY FRIDAY!!

-Kelly

Are you a fan of strength training?  What benefits have you found?