Tag Archives: healthy-living

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?

Maintaining Fitness with Runner’s Knee

23 Jul

Okay folks.  It’s happening.  I feel like I’m finally having my “ohmygoshican’trun!??!” breakdown.  I have worked hard to maintain a positive attitude and a cheery disposition on my ‘vacation’ from running over the past 2 months – see I’m even using positive words like ‘vacation’ to fool myself into thinking this is a happy time.  Well this week I have really hit rock bottom.  I stare longingly at runners at times.  Other times I glare angrily at them as they joyfully jog along, smirking at me as I either a) walk slowly in my fitness gear or b) look out my car window.  Okay so maybe they aren’t smirking at me – but seriously, they might as well be…

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Is that dust collecting on my shoes? Gasp!

Signs you may not be dealing with a lack of running well (aka Runner’s Knee Negative Attitude, RKNA):

  1. Angry or jealous thoughts regarding anything running related.  Runners included.
  2. Turning to food to deal with the frustration.  Nope I didn’t have half a box of girl scout cookies this morning.  Or several scoops of peanut butter straight up instead of a breakfast.  Not at all.
  3. Angry thoughts targeted toward the injury.  Frankly I’m just really mad at my knees right now.
  4. Sense of hopelessness.  No, but seriously, sometimes I feel a little lost without running.
  5. Feeling depressed (not the clinical kind – just the meh this sucks kind).  Running helps me to stay cheery.  Not running isn’t good for my attitude.
  6. Feeling like you “aren’t a runner.”  Yeah I used to be one of those…
  7. Not eating well or hydrating enough because after all “I’m not training and it doesn’t matter”
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Step away from the peanut butter!

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I don’t even remember what this is… a pull-up bar? a push-up bar? Was there even a time when I could do pull-ups? (okay, maybe I’m being a little dramatic)

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Absolutely I’ve used my new yoga block. I just prefer to use it with the packaging still on. Helps me feel more yogi.

As of this week I am officially displaying all signs of Runner’s Knee Negative Attitude.  A non-life threatening issue that can wreak havoc on your attitude, outlook, and disposition.  It can have ramifications on your social life, loved ones, and anyone in your path.  Proceed with caution.  Now that I have been (self) diagnosed, I feel more prepared in coming to terms with my condition.  Over the past couple weeks I have done some things well in dealing with the condition, but I’ve also bombed majorly in other aspects.  Now that I’m in this sad, pathetic position I’m realizing there were some crucial steps I could’ve taken to avoid this unpleasant condition.

Bottom line: It all comes down to maintaining fitness and staying active.

For me, the double whammy is not being able to run, but also slowly moving backward fitness-wise.  Major bummer.  These are the steps I wish I would’ve taken when I first got diagnosed.

1. Stop. Okay, so you’re freshly diagnosed with an injury.  Hooray, right?  The most important thing to do: stop using it.  I cut way back on my running, but I should’ve stopped entirely and switched to another form of fitness.

2. Find another outlet.  This is my number one mistake.  Instead of researching a pool for swimming or taking my bike into a shop to get fixed, I just stewed and swirled.  For the first few weeks I did well with my workout DVDs.  But I know myself, and replacing running with a cardio activity like swimming or biking would help simulate the theurapuetic benefits that running accomplishes.  The repetition is calming and I should’ve stinking made the effort and committed to a new activity for a couple months.  This would’ve helped tremendously.

3. DO YOUR EXERCISES!  A big one.  Again – for the first few months I was diligent.  But as time passed and I didn’t “see” improvement I got discouraged.  Well here’s the thing folks – normally recovery isn’t instant and it will take some time for those exercises to provide benefit.  Stay diligent and eventually there will be a payoff.

4. Maintain a healthy diet.  I have been doing about a B on this one, but eating balanced meals more regularly would’ve significantly helped.  Now I feel a little out of sorts without running and not eating as cleanly as I could be.  You are what you eat.  Now that I’ve been eating more processed/sweet things I can feel it.  And I don’t like it.

Recovery is possible.

I truly believe that my RKNA is a direct result of not doing the above.  Instead I have let myself get a little bit soft, a little bit lazy, and allowed myself to pout just a little too much.

The biggest secret?  Stay active.  Do whatever you can to maintain fitness and stay active… you won’t be sorry if you do!  Here are some ideas on how to maintain fitness when you can’t run regularly.  I wish that I had done a better job overall.

  • Walk.  Lace up those shoes, listen to music and go on nice walks.  They are relaxing and get you outside, moving, and active.
  • Swim.  See above – but seriously I should’ve made this happen.
  • Bike.  Again, see above.  Biking is a nice lower impact way to be active and outdoors.
  • Join a gym.  If you can use the elliptical and don’t own one, consider joining a gym or Y.  Generally these facilities have equipment that can be used with Runner’s Knee or other injuries.
  • Complete an at-home DVD program like P90X or ChaLean Extreme – one that is more focused on lifting.  I’m starting ChaLean next week and I CANT WAIT.  I think getting back into the swing of a program will really help.  Be careful not to choose something high impact that could cause more injury (in my case, Insanity).

Now that I know what I should’ve done, I’m trying to work on my attitude to try and turn this ship around!  I start ChaLean Extreme next week, which should be a big help.  I’m also going to research both joining a gym with a pool, and getting my bike fixed.  They may be out of my price range, but it’s at least worth taking a look!  August 5th is my start date with my first foray back to running.  It’s just 2 weeks away and will be an indicator of whether or not a fall race is happening this year.  Let the countdown begin!

-Kelly

What activities have you done when you couldn’t run?  How have you dealt with injuries?  Have you ever experienced Runner’s Knee Negative Attitude?

And the winner is…

22 Jul

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After about a week of researching, thinking, deciding, and putting off my decision… I have finally decided my next workout program!  In the battle between T25 and ChaLean Extreme, it was an extremely close call.  And honestly I will probably do both over the next 6 months.  But, for right now…because I miss the lifting and variety of P90X, I have ordered ChaLean Extreme!  I’m really excited, though still not 100% sure I made the right call – don’t try to change my mind, I think it’s already in the mail ;)  Here are a couple of the main reasons:

The Reasons

  • I miss lifting.  I really started seeing benefits from it, and I’m excited to do that again.  I sort of feel weak now…whomp.
  • A gut thing.  I’ve been thinking about ChaLean Extreme for a long time, and just think I’m really going to like it.  My curiosity is getting the best of me – I’ve gotta try it!
  • A time thing.  I have a bit more time through October (when rehearsals for White Christmas start ;)).  I can do T25 when I’m truly ‘busy’ and 25 minute workouts will come in really handy. For now, I can handle the 45 minute or so workouts from ChaLean.
  • I feel ChaLean might be lower impact than T25, though I could be wrong…again an instinct thing. I watched a couple clips of both programs and feel this might be a better fit for now.
  • ChaLean is a bit older so there is a small cost savings there.  I can use every penny I can get!

The Plan

After ordering it today, I’m hoping it will arrive sometime this week or next.  That being said, I’m tentatively planning on starting next Monday, July 30.  When I did P90X I was careful to plan ahead and make sure I was truly ready to begin the program.  Having seven days to mentally get prepared for my start will be awesome.  Next weekend I can do my before pictures, take measurements, and get serious.  I can start mapping out my meals and have a chopping party Monday night.  With P90X I marked my milestones on the calendar so I knew exactly when pictures would take place.  Mentally that was really helpful.  Fingers crossed that the program arrives in time for my projected start date!

Until Then…

Until I start I’m going to focus on staying active in other ways.  I’ve been going on a lot of walks lately and have found them helpful. Though, not quite as awesome as running (yeah not even close). :(  I want to take a break from DVD workouts until I begin next Monday, so no random P90X or Jillian Michaels workouts this week.  I want to start fresh and ready!  A huge part of success for me is feeling mentally ready.  Now that the program is ordered I have roughly a week to get my mind wrapped around the idea “that this is happening.”  Then there is no turning back!  I have found that if I just start something without really planning and thinking about it, I’m much more likely to abandon it.  Now I’m really just ready to get committed to a new fitness program and make sure my eating is healthy – I think ChaLean Extreme will be just the ticket!  I have made the financial commitment and the public commitment to all of you: so it’s on!

Weekend Wrap-Up

This weekend I spent in Nashville (yay!).  Three weeks was just too long without seeing Adam.  We are so happy to be around each other once again.  Though it was funny, both of us mentioned a few times, ‘I really gotta get back to working out like we did before’.  With Adam’s residency crazy work hours, my knees, and losing our regular workout partner, we’ve both been a little under-motivated.  Hey, it happens!  Though Adam is actually considering doing T25 now, hooray!  Which would be convenient for me… I could just borrow it when he’s done. :)  With his crazy schedule, it could be perfect.  Though really he needs something that doesn’t cause weight loss!  I swear that boy has lost weight since I last saw him.

We rounded out the weekend with a huge day of wedding planning yesterday!  I know, aren’t I kind?  ‘Hey Adam, your first day off in 10 days, let’s wedding plan!’  Okay I swear it wasn’t that bad – but we did make a lot of the big decisions that I’ve been waiting on his input.  That’s success!  Invitations are ordered, save the dates are addressed, and ties are picked out.  And he managed to squeeze in a few video games as a real treat.  A day off of perfection :)

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Some possible ties! 40% off at Macys… sweet. Adam’s is the gray one in the center. But which one for the groomsmen?

Hope you all had a wonderful weekend!

-Kelly

Did I make the right call with ChaLean Extreme?  Any tips for getting started?

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?

Workout Program Showdown: ChaLean Extreme vs. T25

16 Jul

The showdown begins!  What showdown?  The big decision: now that I can’t do Insanity, which program will I do?  The opponents?  ChaLean Extreme and T25.  Both of these programs are by Beachbody (the makers of P90X and Insanity), which is a company I really like, and have found success with lately.  Why do I like their programs so much?  Well, frankly, I am kind of lazy.  I enjoy the pre-packaged style of these programs.  They normally are for a set length of time (2 or 3 months) and include a diet plan as well.  Essentially all I have to do is follow the recipe to success!  I don’t have to reinvent the wheel.  For me, this system works great as I really enjoy structure.  I like making and meeting milestones, and seeing progress.  Both of these programs will allow for structure, direction, and motivation.  Personally, without a set plan I tend not have quite as much success with fitness.  I will definitely remain active on my own, but having the structure is the little oomph I need (especially with all the weddings coming up – no pressure or anything :)).

Thanks to Beachbody’s satisfaction guarantee,  I actually was able to return Insanity and will now buy a lower impact program due to my knees.  What a win!  I’m so excited to select my next program and get going.  I have not done either ChaLean Extreme or T25 before, so they will be a completely new experience to me.

Wedding Fitness Goals

With 90 days until my brother’s wedding and 186 until my own, let’s just say my desire for fitness might be taking on a slightly more vain approach than usual.  Well, to be perfectly honest, I just don’t want to have to pay to get either dress altered (haha just call me el cheapo).  My bridesmaid dress for my brother’s wedding barely zips.  I’m talking barely.

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It zipped…thank goodness!

My own wedding dress fits snugly, but I don’t want any anxiety about either fitting.  I’m looking for a program that will help me tone and lose just a few pounds.  I also don’t want to lose too much weight – that means alterations as well!  Thanks to P90X I’m pretty close to where I’d like to be, so I’m also not looking for anything crazy extreme.

Detailed Personal Fitness Goals:
  • Trim and tone – looking for a lean look (think of all the pictures!!)
  • Working out up to 1 hour per day.  Ideally 5 days a week. (I like making fitness a priority, but want to also have a life :))
  • Low impact.  I can’t do anything that would mess up my knees.  My doctor said any exercises with heavy squats or angles on my knees are a no-go.
  • Enjoyable.  I tend to work out in the morning and I hate the morning (it’s a problem).  I want something I can look forward to.
  • Variety!  I love programs that have different workouts every day and give a lot of variety in the type of workout.
  • Easy to follow – make it simple for me.  I don’t want to think (remember, I’m lazy).
  • Lifting component.  I feel like I’m losing my strength from P90X – okay I’m definitely losing my strength.  I miss weight training.

Let’s take a closer look at each of these programs.  First up… ChaLean Extreme.

ChaLean Extreme

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From Beachbody’s website:

Get ready to burn fat, boost your metabolism, and get lean with ChaLEAN Extreme®. Trainer Chalene Johnson will help you build toned muscles so you can lose up to 60 percent of your body fat in just 3 months. ChaLEAN Extreme is designed to give you visible results in only 30 days.

Chalene’s Lean Phasing® technique shifts your body’s fat-burning focus from cardio to resistance training. By using weights or resistance bands, you’ll build lean muscle and ramp up your metabolism. When you have more muscle, you’ll burn fat long after your workout.

The details:

  • 90 day program
  • All days are under an hour, with the shortest around 35 minutes.
  • 6 days a week.
  • Nutrition guide included (Recipes though, which I stink at)
  • 15 workouts included
  • Variety of strength-training, cardio, and abs
  • Focus on lifting – similar to P90X in this sense.
  • Very positive reviews on Team Beachbody
  • Low impact and modifications shown in the DVDs

And on the other side of the ring, Focus T25, the brand new program from Beachbody.

 Focus T25

Focus-T251

From Beachbody’s website:

25 MINUTES. 5 DAYS A WEEK. 100% RESULTS.

The only thing standing between you and the results you want is TIME.

Shaun T experimented for the last year to design a program that delivers the same kind of results you’d expect from an hour-long program, in under 30 minutes. He’s pulled out the rest to give you everything you need, nothing you don’t.

The result is FOCUS T25—and the name implies the intent: If you focus your intensity for 25 minutes, and you do it 5 days a week, you WILL get results.

The details:

  • 25 minutes a day
  • 5 days a week
  • Nutrition plan included
  • No reviews yet on Team Beachbody – it’s too new!
  • A little concerned it could be too high impact, though I’ve been told it’s not. Also seems that there are low impact modifications.
  • 10 week program
  • No equipment needed
  • 11 workouts
  • Variety of workouts
  • Simple movements and straight-forward instruction.

The Decision

Such a tough choice!  It seems like I’ll be in great shape (no pun intended, though it is a clever one ;)) with either option.  I may eventually do both of them, it’s just a matter of which one first!  I’m leaning toward ChaLean Extreme first to give my knees more time to recover…but I like the idea of T25 first because it might be more cardio focused and requires less time…remember the tiny Bridesmaid dress, yeah I need that to fit.  Will all the lifting in ChaLean Extreme cause me and my ginormous muscles to be busting out of the dress?  I’ve been thinking over the decision a lot lately and still can’t quite make up my mind.  Any ideas from those of you that have done either of these programs?

Until the decision is made… Happy Tuesday!

-Kelly

Have you done ChaLean Extreme or T-25?  What do you think is better? 

(Note: I do not work for Beachbody, coach, or have family/close friends that do, additionally I will be purchasing either program using my own money).

Ripped in 30: Midway Thoughts

9 Jul
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At just 30 minutes, you’ll still get a great workout!

 

Now that I’m a bit over the half-way point of my Jillian Michaels Ripped in 30 DVD, I wanted to share some thoughts and give a midway review.  So far I’m really enjoying the DVD, and it has been a great change from P90X and can’t really run :( (womp, womp).  Because the workouts are shorter and more efficient (more exercises squeezed into less time), it’s just what I was looking for following the intensity of P90X (1 hour+, 6 days a week).  Mentally I was ready for a bit of a break, without totally falling off the bandwagon.  Here’s how I’ve been doing with the program:

  •  Minimum of 4 days a week – my average has been about 5 times a week.  Jillian suggests 5-6 times a week for maximum results.  I was hoping for 6, but life happens!
  • I have not been following the diet plan Jillian provides online (for free!).  If you are looking to fully complete the program, I’d suggest following it.  I have been tracking (loosely) using My Fitness Pal (except for 4th of July…I couldn’t resist my mom’s chocolate chip cookies that I’m convinced are filled with crack they are so addicting).
  • I have not been following it as a “30-day program” – though it’s designed for that and would be excellent.  This is more a ‘filler’ for me in between programs – something to keep me active on a regular basis.  So I did not take before/after pictures or measurements, though part of me is wishing I had!
  • The DVD contains 4 separate workouts with the idea that you graduate to a new workout each week.  For week one you do the first workout 5-6 times and then the following week move onto workout 2 and so on.  I have been following this pattern.
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I’m gonna make you sweat!

So in usual fashion, let’s get a little pros/cons list going, shall we?

Pros:

  • Length.  These workouts are short.  I’m talking you-can’t-really-find-an-excuse-not-to-do-them short.  Including the warm-up and cool-down they run somewhere around 30-35 minutes.  It’s easy to squeeze 30 minutes into the day!
  • Intensity.  At just 30 minutes it is amazing how intense these guys are!  By the end of the workout I am definitely sweating.  Even though the workout is on the shorter side, I feel Jillian really gets you moving and makes the time you do spend working out very worthwhile.
  • Convenience.  These workouts are done at home , no need to drive to a gym!   If you’re always on the go and need the ability to quickly get a workout in, this is a great option.
  • Limited Equipment.  Not a lot of equipment for this one: just hand weights.  Additionally the weights needed are pretty light – we got away with using water bottles as our weights while on vacation, and still felt the burn!  Jillian does use a mat in the video, and if you are on hard wood floors you would likely want a mat for some of the ab exercises.
  • Inexpensive.  I got my DVD on amazon for around 12 dollars!  Not bad for something I’ll be able to use again and again.  12 bucks for 4 workouts seems like a deal to me!
  • Low Impact.  I purchased this DVD on the advice from my Physical Therapist – and it was good advice!  This is relatively low impact – most exercises I can complete without causing issues to my knees.  There are a couple higher impact exercises, but I have been modifying them with little issue.  Even though it’s low impact, I’m still managing to sweat!
  • Full-body.  Jillian targets everything!  The workouts are divided into a warm-up, 3 circuits of cardio, strength, and abs, and a cool-down.  The circuits really target everything which provides a nice well-rounded workout.

Cons:

  • Monotonous.  Though there are 4 different workouts on the DVD, I have found the repetition on a daily basis a bit blah.  Once I finish the workouts, I think I will plan to shake it up and do a different workout each day, rather than each week.  The workouts themselves aren’t monotonous, I’m just used to the variety of P90X – doing something really different everyday.
  • Personality. This could be a pro or con, but Jillian definitely has a strong personality.  If you don’t respond well to the whole “Macho-man” thing, this might not work for you. I have found her to be entertaining and it doesn’t really bother me.  However, I did the workouts at my parent’s house and she does swear in workout 3, which didn’t impress my mother very much…
  • It’s Hard. So another pro/con…but these workouts are hard!  It can be discouraging to not being able to complete something fully – and I just finished P90X!  Jillian doesn’t use the whole “Do your best and forget the rest” so at times I feel a bit meh when I can’t do things all the way (partly due to my knees too).
  • Targets Women. If you like to do your workouts with a male (or are a male), this might not be the best DVD.  Not because guys won’t get a great workout, but because it seems like a workout targeted for females.  I tried to get my brother to workout with me last week and got the comment “That’s for girls!” (We don’t need to touch on the maturity of this statement).  This DVD focuses on toning, not building, so it might not strongly appeal to guys.  If you get over the whole “this is targeted for women” thing, I think the actual moves would still get a guy in good shape!
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Grrr!!! Come on Shelly!! Push it!! Arrghhh!!

Overall I have enjoyed the DVD and would recommend it to someone looking for a quick full-body workout.  If you’re serious about pursuing this DVD, here are a couple other tips.

General Tips

  • Take before/after pictures.  I always find these to be incredibly motivating as you mentally feel you are “following a program.”  It makes you more accountable.
  • Follow the nutrition guide, or some nutrition guide.  Diet is 85% of fitness – make sure you aren’t sabotaging your workouts!
  • If you have always wanted to become a “morning work-out person” this could be your gateway drug.  At just 35 minutes, it’s something you could tag onto your morning routine without totally rocking the boat.  I have done these in the morning and really enjoyed it.
  • Take the DVD with you if you travel.  This is a great one for summer, as I seem to be gone every weekend.  I have been substituting water bottles or soup cans and managed to still get my workouts in (though slightly less intense).  I may use this in the future as my “travel workout” because of the minimal equipment needed and length.

I have been impressed with this DVD and I would definitely consider another Jillian Michaels DVD in the future.  Personally I tend to prefer the whole-program-in-one-box style of the Beachbody programs (as I’m quite lazy and also like variety), but the JM DVDs are a nice inexpensive alternative to home fitness.  For now I’ll keep working out with Jillian for another few weeks until my next adventure, or my knees heal up… let’s see what happens first!

-Kelly

Have you used a Jillian Michaels DVD before?  Do you like her workouts?

Updated Shakeology Thoughts

2 Jul

Chocolate-Shakeology

I have officially gone through my first entire bag of Chocolate Shakeology!  This equates to about a shake a day for a month.  A few months ago I gave a review on Shakeology based on a one packet taste.  Adam and I made a shake and gave it a whirl.  We loved it!  You can check out the full review here.  When I ordered the Insanity workout program I received a month’s supply of Shakeology as part of a Challenge Pack (a great way to bundle costs).  I knew from the sample that I wanted to give it a more everyday try.  Now that I’ve been drinking it more often I feel obliged to give an update as a regular user.

The Good:

  • Taste.  I still really like the taste.  Though I will say when I got my first bag it seemed different than the packet – but I think that might’ve had to do with expectations and anticipation waiting for it to arrive.  Overall I still give it an A for taste!  I mix mine with ice and water everyday.  It’s simple, but the ice makes it more smoothie-esque.  I know there are many recipes out there, but this easy one suits me just fine!
  • Ease.  This is a huge one for me.  It is so easy to drink a shake and know I’m getting some awesome nutrients.  I’m not a great chef and with my real chef (Adam) gone, I have to be more conscious about being a better eater.  Shakeology helps me know I’m getting lots of good stuff in one drink!  I love that I can mix a shake right before walking out the door – it’s awesome.
  • Cravings!  I actually sort of miss it when I don’t drink it for a few days.  When I was on vacation I didn’t bring any with me and boy did I miss it! That was one thing I couldn’t wait to get home to!  I knew I liked it, but I was a little caught off guard by the, dare I say, craving for it.
  • Health Benefits. I like the way it makes me feel.  I won’t say that wow bang boom my face is clear and my skin looks great and my health is at 100% (maybe I need to use it longer for those effects ;)), but I do like the way I feel when I’m drinking it.  A little bit could be a placebo effect (I know this is supposed to be healthy and make me feel great – oh look, now I feel great).  Either way I feel healthier and better when I drink it.

The Bad:

  • Expense.  It’s still expensive.  At $139 a bag (that lasts about a month) – it ain’t cheap.  It’s about 5 bucks a shake, which is a lot for me.  (Edit: Shakeology is a little under 139 per bag – so comes out to more around 4.5 per shake). At this point it is a cost I’m willing to work with (Adam is gone and I am buying less groceries :)).  If the cost becomes too much of a burden (remember, I’m planning a wedding people!) I will likely suspend it for a time until I’m able to budget for it.
  • Appropriate Expectations.  It’s not a miracle drug.  Shakeology is an awesome health drink, but I’m not going to expect it to cure my asthma or runner’s knee.  As long as your expectations are correct you’ll like it!  But maybe at 139 /bag you might think it should cure cancer ;)
  • Auto-Delivery.  Beachbody automatically enrolls you in auto-delivery.  Yeah – this was a shocker for me.  I knew you could do auto-delivery, I just didn’t know you had to opt out instead of opt in.  If you want to just try one bag be aware of this feature.  As soon as I figure out how to opt out I’ll let you know.  :)  Because I’m happy still using it I haven’t spent much time investigating.  But it was irritating seeing an unexpected charge on my credit card.  (Edit: check out Heidi’s comment below to see the logic behind auto-delivery aka Home Delivery).

Overall:

Personally I am enjoying the benefits of Shakeology and it allows me to spend less time on one meal of my day.  It makes more confident that I’m getting healthy foods in on a daily basis (hooray!) – because we know my Ramen dinners might not be doing the trick. ;)

I’d recommend it to folks that are looking for a convenient way to get better nutrition and are willing to spend a few extra bucks on it.  For me, at this stage in the game, it is a worthy expense!

-Kelly

Edit: I am not a Beachbody coach or affiliated with Shakeology in any way.

When Running Hurts

27 Jun

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I have to admit – I’ve been a little bit disenchanted with running lately.  Running and I have been in a long relationship for 10-15 years and we’ve had our ups and downs, so these feelings are to be expected from time to time.  We have moments of pure joy and ecstasy, followed by hurt and frustration.  It happens with any relationship.  At this point, I don’t let these bumps ruin what we have – but I tell you what… they are a pain!  My runner’s knee has been frustrating to no end- I still am not really running “pain free.”  Honestly, I’m feeling a bit discouraged – will my knees ever allow me to run wild and fancy-free again?

My other running frustration, asthma, has been flaring it’s nasty head lately too.  What happened to my gleeful runs of just 2 months ago?  You know, the ones where I was fast, fierce, and head-over-heels for running?  Yeah, they are gone for now.  Instead they’ve been replaced by their slower, asthmatic, heavy-breathing, painful stepsister.  It’s not a pretty sight.  Like usual I’m really trying to remain positive and be patient (key word: trying).  But it’s hard!  I want to be back to where I was… can’t I be, pretty please?

Well, since I’m not a fan of pity parties… let’s get productive.  I’ve been doing some brainstorming… what can I do when running hurts?  What can I do when I’m frustrated with running?  How can I feel more at peace about running, or my lack-of?  So instead of letting this frustration eat me up – here are some ideas for moving past the hurt in running.

What to do when running hurts:

  1. Stop.  This may seem like the obvious one… but why is it so hard to do?  As soon as I “shouldn’t” be running, it is ALL I want to do.  Taking a break from running helps your injury (or whatever hurts) recover, but also has the added benefit of giving you a mental break.  Normally when I come back at running following a break, I’m mentally fresh and recharged.  I’m trusting (and hoping) that will happen this time too.
  2. Try something new.  Noooo… I like running, I don’t want to do anything else!  I know, I know.  It’s hard.  It’s even hard for me to type it.  But, it’s possible that a little break from running might allow you (and me) the time to discover a new hobby.  And that’s exciting right?  When I trained for my first marathon I was experiencing stress-fracture symptoms and dove headfirst into swimming and biking (oh yeah, pun intended).  I essentially taught myself how to swim in a lane (a whole story for another day), but it gave me something to supplement my running.  Additionally I enjoyed the challenge of trying to not drown master something new.
  3. Stay away from running.  Sometimes when I’m really down about running, I just stay away: mentally, literally, in every way etc. etc.  I will stop reading Runner’s World (save it in a pile for later) or reading intently all my favorite running blogs or doing anything that could make me feel worse about not running.  It may sound a little extreme, but for me even a slight reduction in running related activities can be mentally helpful.
  4. Get involved with running. So in contrast to the point above… sometimes getting more involved in running “stuff” can be helpful.  Volunteer at a local race, plan for races in the future, or cheer on your friends from the sideline (or blogosphere).  I think it really depends on what particular issue is causing the pain and how you cope.  I’ve used both strategies at different times in my life and they both can be helpful.
  5. Be proactive with injuries.  The best way to avoid a serious injury is to listen to your body when you have a not-so-serious injury.  Take it as a cue to slow down, stretch more, ice more, or reduce mileage.  The sad fact is that running can cause running-related injuries.  Makes sense though.  Sometimes using your head to reduce miles instead of following your heart’s desire to run, run, run, can be most helpful in the long-run (no pun intended this time).
  6. Add in strength-training.  Want to make your body more durable?  Add in some weekly strength-training!  Getting your core and legs stronger will help your body once you do return to running.  Or if you haven’t stopped running, adding strength training now can help prevent injury in the future.
  7. Up the stretching.  This one is a hard one for me to remember.  I think it is for a lot of people.  Time is such a precious thing that spending 10 minutes to stretch after a run seems unnecessary or wasteful.  A whole ten minutes?? Well earth-to-kelly: it’s not wasteful!  It’s incredibly helpful in the prevention of running related injuries.  Can we make a pact that we’ll remind each other to do it?  Everyday?
  8. Don’t play the comparison game.  Gah – another one I stink at.  Don’t compare someone else’s running story with your own.  The reality is: I’m on my own running path and nothing anyone else does will affect my injury, ability, PRs, or races.  That’s a fact.  Try to stay away from letting your mind compare, “I wish I wasn’t injured so I could run an awesome race like Courtney.”  “It’s all because of my knees that I won’t get my PR like Katherine in the fall.”  “I’m not a real runner like Jane because I haven’t been able to run over 2 miles in months.”  It’s just a waste of time and in the end doesn’t result in anything positive.  The comparisons don’t even have to be against another person…sometimes I’m my own worst enemy/critic.  Take the names out of those thoughts and it’s still a negative comparison that doesn’t end well, “I won’t PR because of my injury” or “I’m not a real runner because I’ve been living it up on the coach for weeks.”  There is no winner with the comparison game.
  9. Stay positive!  Most running-related injuries can be overcome with proper rest, care, stretching, and fixing the root cause.  I have overcome running injuries in the past, I just need to remember I’ll do it again this time.
  10. Focus on nutrition.  One thing that often happens when I go from running 40 a miles a week to 10 is I eat the same way no matter the mileage.  This can lead to even more feelings of self pity because then I feel lethargic, and eventually a bit heavy.  This makes it even harder to get back at running when your body/injury is finally ready.  Don’t throw an ice cream pity party – save that for a real break-up.  You know you and running will make-up at some point.  Patience and take good care of your body in the meantime.

Man alive, I feel better already about my little running situation.  Here’s to hoping I can listen to my own words and continue to be patient as my knees recover.  Isn’t that always the hard part though?  It’s always easier said than done.  Well, if you’re struggling with running injuries – know you aren’t alone!  Sometimes that simple fact is helpful enough.

Happy almost-Friday!

-Kelly

What do you do when running hurts?  How do you channel it?

Guest Post: P90X from a Guy’s Perspective

20 Jun

After an awesome guest post from Lyndsay, engagement pictures, and vacation – could this week get any more exciting??  The good news – it sure can.  The second and final guest blogger of the week: Adam!  Yep Lucy, you were right!  He’s going to share a couple thoughts on completing P90X as a guy – adding a little different perspective!  Enjoy :)

View More: http://emilyweisphotography.pass.us/kellyandadam

Adam’s the guy on the right – okay you saw through me, this was just an excuse to post another engagement picture.

Hello races, reps, and ramblers, and happy almost Friday!  Kelly and I are still on vacation with my family, but before we head back to the real world, I’m making my first foray into my fiancée’s blog.  Since we just finished P90X about a month ago, I’ve decided to give you some thoughts on the program from the perspective of a guy trying to gain weight.  I’ll do a quick recap of my results before discussing a couple points I feel are important to guys trying to pick or progress through a training program: P90X vs. the gym, and how to handle a nutrition plan (especially if you’re looking to gain weight).  I ask only two things of you as readers: 1) if you love this post, make some comments about how awesome of a guest I am; 2) if you hate this post, make some comments about how awesome of a guest I am.  Should work out well.

Results Recap

Overall, I was very pleased with my results from P90X.  I gained a ton of strength (increased the number of pull-ups I could do by about a billion percent), and I saw a lot of physical change as well.  By the numbers, I gained some inches in my chest and lost some in my waist (always nice), but I didn’t gain any inches in my arms.  I also lost weight throughout the program, which was not intentional (I’m a pretty slim dude to begin with).  You can check out this post for full results.

Adam Back Oct-May

The Battle Royale: P90X vs. the gym

Round 1: The Time

Performing an intense workout regimen takes a ton of time and dedication, whether that’s at home or at the gym.  While P90X is rather lengthy for a DVD based workout (averages >1hr/day for 6 days a week), it carries a lot of benefits over traditional gym-going. (Random side-note: who decided that Yoga X needed to be an hour and a half?!  Someone needs to have a talk Beachbody.)  With P90X, your workout time is not constrained by the hours of the gym, you eliminate travel time to and from the gym, and perhaps best of all, you don’t have to plan workout/work clothes and materials in advance (I find this last one to be a huge time saver).  P90X takes Round 1!

Round 2: The Iron

Working out at a gym has long been the standard for weightlifting and building mass for the average guy.  P90X claims to be able to get you nice and jacked from the comfort of your own living room, without all those big machines and huge weight racks.  Well… can it?!  Yes and no.  P90X can definitely be as effective as lifting at a gym; however, you need a broad range of dumbbell weights to do so.  With most dumbbells costing about $1/pound, it can get very expensive to accumulate the appropriate weights.  One option to get around this would be buying adjustable dumbbells.  I don’t particularly like them (they can be awkward to lift with and usually only go up to about 50 lbs anyway).  Also, you could use the bands that they suggest in the videos to avoid buying dumbbells.  I’ve tried the bands, however, and while convenient for traveling, I don’t think they’re intended for maximum bulk gain.  In the end, if you’re planning on slowly building your way to a home gym (as I am), investing in the weights for P90X makes sense.  If you don’t see that in your future, then you might be happier spending your money on gym fees.  Tough call, but I’ve gotta give Round 2 to the gym.

Round 3: The Accountability

One of the best ways to succeed in a workout program is by doing it with a partner.  The added accountability does wonders for your workout motivation wherever you may be training.  So what does P90X have over the gym in this regard?  Well, most of the moves in P90X can be done simultaneously with your partner.  Whether it’s camaraderie or competition you’re looking for, it’s just a little more fun if your partner is doing the same move at the same time.  It’s easier to shout at your wimpy roommate for not doing enough pushups if you’re in the privacy of your own home, too.  In the gym, however, a partner can still motivate effectively and provide accountability.  Also, if you’re not significant others, roommates, or neighbors, a gym can often be a convenient place to meet up with a partner for a workout.  Round 3 ends in a draw.

The Skinny Guy’s Nutrition Plan

I have always been on the thinner side, so you might imagine the horror when I realized I was losing weight (10 pounds off at first weigh in) during P90X.  I was following the nutrition plan to a T, and I couldn’t figure out why I was losing so much weight.  I did end up gaining a pound of that back before finishing, but I was still disappointed that I wasn’t able to gain weight during the program.  A few weeks later, we read through the Insanity program to get Kelly started on it, and it suggested eating an extra 300 calories per day if weight gain was the goal.  Whether this was omitted form the P90X nutrition guide or I just missed it I can’t say.  But I can tell you I wasn’t eating an extra 300 calories per day.  That would have added up to 2100 calories per week, and maybe then I would have been gaining weight!  In the end, I learned that as a skinny guy with a high metabolism, I probably need to be eating even more than the guide’s suggest to actually gain weight.

To clarify, this doesn’t mean I can have an extra Snicker’s bar or two.  You still need to eat healthy foods that are within the realm of whatever plan you’re on, but you just need to eat a lot more :)  For some guys, even sticking to a specific nutrition plan can be tough.  When eating out with friends, it can be socially embarasssing to order a salad, or perhaps veggies instead of fries.  If anyone gives you crap about it, I say forget ‘em; just say, “I’m trying to be a little healthier, and every bit counts.”  And if the still give you crap, just take solace in the fact that your six-pack will be laughing at their beer gut in about 3 months.

Final Thoughts

So in conclusion, I think P90X is an excellent at home workout plan for guys, especially if you are thinking of working towards a home gym in the future anyway.  It gives you an excuse to start building your army of dumbbells!  With that said, the variety of weights and machines available at a gym may still be more attractive to the most hardcore of lifters.  Secondly, if you’re looking to gain weight, it may be a good idea to eat an extra 300-500 calories per day above your nutrition plan (depending on your metabolism).

Before I sign off, I just want to take a minute to thank my amazing fiancée.  I’m so proud of her for achieving a dream of hers in starting this blog and putting her ideas out there to help others in a similar situation.  Thank you so much for being a part of her readership and helping me support her in her goals.  It means the world!  Have a good weekend, everyone!

-Adam