Still going strong with the Tone it Up Fit For Fall challenge over here! It is still challenging me and what I really love about it is the way it makes me switch up my routine – rather than just running every day. I’m never bored with the workouts + the added strength training has already done wonders. It’s been preeeetty awesome so far.
Thought I would share with you one of my favorite HIIT workouts so far from the challenge if you wanted to switch it up along with me!
(Not too strenuous but still gets your heart rate up big time – in a very short amount of time. 30 minutes is quick & easy for a great calorie burn!)
So today for Fitness Friday we have a guest author – my good friend Lindsay. (Yes, the one who told me to practice my hurdles. 😉 )
Lindsay will be talking a bit about her fitness journey and where she is at currently with her fitness goals.
[Sidebar: Although Lindsay has been working with the Beach Body 21 day fix – I have not tried this system. I have found other things that work for me personally – myfitnesspal, TIU, running, etc – that I personally prefer. So I cannot comment on this method myself. But the whole point of this Fitness Friday segment is to show that there are many ways of staying fit & active and everyone has their own preference! As I mentioned before – I want the Fitness Friday segments to be a safe place where everyone can share what works best for them!]
Here is Lindsay’s story:
So here’s the deal. I am fat. I have been fat roughly 80 percent of my adult life. To be honest, I have never hated my body, or had some gross ideal that I thought I should fit. The 20 percent of the time that I’ve been in the healthier range has been for no other reason than I want overall better health for myself.
So, as you read this, keep in mind I am not doing this from the perspective of a size 26 aiming for a size 2.
I’m doing it as a former size 26 aiming for a healthy, happy life full of kids, and craziness, and the desire to keep up with all of that in addition to a career.
As most women do, I’ve gone up and down in weight most of my life. At my lowest in college, I hit 230 lbs. At my highest about two and a half years ago, I hit 360 lbs.
Yep. That happened!
Recently, I gained 75 of the 100 lbs. I lost two years ago back. I blame the happiness of my relationship and how easy Papa John made it to order far too many pizzas with far too many dessert options.
At the prodding of my good friend Mary, I signed up for Autumn Calabrese’s “21 Day Fix.” Now, I assumed I would add this to the ever-growing list of diets and lifestyle changes I tried, such as, but not limited to:
- Weight Watchers (how I lost over 100 lbs.)
- LA Weight Loss (lost over 80 lbs., as well as our deposit once they went under without telling anyone – YES CORPORATE AMERICA)
- Slim Fast
- Crossfit programs
- South Beach
- Expensive thermogenics like Oxy Elite Pro that made me feel super energetic but also super nauseous – I’ve never felt so ecstatic about vomiting before …
- Not eating as much bad for you stuff but still eating a good chunk of it because it was delicious and made me feel better about sucking at losing weight
- Giving up and eating everything I’ve ever deemed delicious … then repeating at Weight Watchers
As you can see, it’s a pretty extensive list. I’ve been there. I’ve done that. Probably more than once. Or twice.
Aw hell, it’s been an experience.
But when Mary sent me all the stuff from the Fix, one of Beachbody’s most rounded programs (in my opinion), I was pleasantly surprised.
You get a few things in the 21 Day Fix Challenge Pack (what most people purchase when they begin). You get:
- Portion controlled, colored containers
- The nutrition guide and meal plan
- 21 Day Fix DVD workout series (to include 10 minute ab blast)
- An additional DVD with the plyo workout series
- A 30-day free trial of the Beachbody streaming workout service, where you can also do P90X, T25, etc. if you so choose
- A bag of Shakeology in one of a few flavors: chocolate, vanilla, strawberry, greenberry or vegan chocolate/vanilla
When you get all of it, it can come across as pretty intimidating, especially for a fat girl who hasn’t done much physically since her football team didn’t come out and she ran her last half marathon over a year ago. But the thing I love about it is that it’s not even remotely a hard thing to do.
It can be a process at first, but I’ve found the more I do this, the easier it gets.
The containers correspond to certain food groups, for example, green is veggies (easy enough to remember), red is proteins (like red meat, HA, I see what you did there Ms. Calabrese), so on and so forth. Based on your current weight and a simple mathematical equation, you figure out how many of these containers you get per day. For example, I get six red, six green, four purple, four yellow, one blue, and one orange.
Certain foods correspond to each, and you can use them to create recipes that fit into the fix program.
Easily, the most doting part of this is the food prep. The program really encourages food prep to make the rest of the week easy. But the struggle is taking part of football Sunday to chop up veggies, cook meats, and set foods and snacks aside.
No, the most doting is not even the exercising. I mean, minus the entire physical exertion thing …
I get really red and I sweat a lot. It is a very odd feeling to love/hate something so much.
Truthfully, the great thing about the program is that the DVDs are geared toward all fitness types. You can modify if something is too difficult or hurts joints (Kat is the woman who does the modifications, and you best believe she and I were besties for the first two weeks of my first round …), and you can amp up the difficulty if stuff is getting too easy. Shout out to Beachbody for thinking that out – no one is going to touch exercises that feel unachievable.
Now, Autumn is your stereotypical video trainer in that she only does about 10 percent of the workouts (and talks for the other 90 percent about what everyone else in the video is doing), however, she’s not so annoying or petty that I can’t handle hearing her voice every day of the week.
There’s a great app for iOS that Beachbody developed that allows you to take down all your measurements, both before and after, and is super user-friendly. It allows you to put your weight and such in too, to help you figure out how much of each container to eat for the day. It was my saving grace.
Let’s ignore the fact that my hips magically gained 2.5 inches even though I lost everywhere else. You can’t hide there, fat! I’ll get to you!
Things that are awesome:
- It’s not unrealistic or extreme. It’s good diet and constant exercise with supplements.
- Anyone can do it.
- There’s a lot of support in challenge groups, with coaches, etc. and it’s all online so there aren’t any meetings to worry about.
- The foods for it can be purchased anywhere from Wal-Mart to Wegman’s.
- Workouts are achievable and only 30 minutes a day.
Upper fix is easily one of my favorite days – pushups and planks for days!
Some items that are less than desirable:
- To get started, it’s a bit on the pricey side. Challenge packs start at $160 prior to shipping.
- Shakeology on its own is $130, and it automatically renews on a monthly basis until you tell it to stop.
- You have to do some trial and error with the shakes to figure out what you enjoy best.
My two go-tos are chocolate, banana, and PB2 (a powdered peanut butter) and cold coffee with the chocolate (it makes it like a mocha Frappuccino)!
Truth be told, out of all the health programs I’ve done, this is top two. I’m not sure if I would place it higher than Weight Watchers, but they’re in a pretty dead heat.
The money part sucks, truthfully, but the way I see it the money I spend on that is money I am not spending on awful food or alcohol. And by awful I mean delicious, but awful-for-you … 😉
It may not look like much, but after round one it was a loss of 9.1 lbs. and 9.25 inches! If you are having a hard time telling, look at how the pants fit. That’s how I could tell!
So take it from the former size 26 … it’s worth it! Next Monday starts round two – with fiancé in tow!
I think we all can agree that maintaining an active lifestyle can be hard to juggle with all the other things we have to deal with in life – work, family, relationships, children, etc etc. To me, making fitness a priority has made me a better wife, mom & friend – because I’m just plain happier when I’m happy with how I feel about myself. (Plus, the body image issues that women struggle with in our society are frightening! As a mother to a daughter in particular… I find that it is especially important to give her a good example of what a healthy & active lifestyle should look like.) So overall, maintaining that active lifestyle is worth it to me in the long run!
…Even if your jacket & pants don’t match and you end up looking like a hood rat to your kids school drop off.
(Actually TBH I skipped yoga that day. But I jogged later. So. You caught me. I just looked like this for no reason whatsoever. #thatmomlife)
Hope you have an awesome weekend.