Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Weigh In Weds. - Insanity completed!

Yes, you read that correctly, I completed the Beach Body workout program called, Insanity. I'll bet you thought I quit since I hadn't posted in so long but just the opposite, I've been focused on fitness, life, some quilting and then there's that always present work taking up 8+ hours of my Mon. - Friday. :)

When asked about the program I find 2 things pop to mind right away.
1) It is aptly named. It's insane, and
2) I took a leisurely tour through Insanity.

Shaun T, Insanity's creator and coach on the DVD has taken to calling those who've graduated the program and still want more hard core workouts, "Insaniacs." My friends, I'm now an Insaniac.  One day, I'll start my Dear Jane Quilt and I'll be an Insaniac Janiac! LOL
Back to the program, though. If you've never heard of it, feel free to check out this You Tube video. It's a condensed version of the infomercial.  If you've heard of it, let me explain why I say I took a leisurely tour.

It is a 2 month (60 day) program that offers a year's results in that time frame.  I took just about 3 months to complete it.  I repeated a couple weeks to ensure I was feeling okay about and strong enough to progress to the next step and there were the weeks I stepped back to start back up with a friend who took a break. I also took a week off. When I decided enough was enough, I dug in and finished the program.  So, instead of 2 months, it took 3.

There were a couple times where family members joined me. Okay I got everyone but teenage daughter to join. Either she's brilliant to stay away or super lazy. -wink- She'll say she's brilliant! LOL

Before I get into the show and tell, I should also add that there is a nutrition plan with the workout. Highly recommended, of course, but not required.  I chose to skim it then not pick it up again until the end of month 1. At that time, I skimmed it again, set it down and I still haven't picked it up. Here's why.  I wanted to learn to take my own diet habits, likes and dislikes, and find a way to make those work along with better choices.

Let me restate that. I wanted to learn how to eat properly on my own with the amount of exercise I was putting my body through. To choose better foods and meals but not lose out on what I love. The glass of wine, the steak, the ice cream, maybe. :) In other words, I wanted to make better choices but I wanted to live with what I choice I made, right or wrong. I wanted a lifestyle change in eating and exercise that I could/would maintain.  That was my goal and no matter what the numbers say, I met that goal and I'm thrilled. Could I have had better results, I think yes. I also think, however, that this was the beginning of a life long change for me and I needed to do it this way and that is why I'm not short changing the effort or results I did achieve.

I'm also still accountable for every bite I eat using the MyFitnessPal app on my iPhone.
I have a daily caloric intake I should be achieve. After month 1, I saw NO results. Zero.  Wait, that's not quite true. I did feel stronger and I could do a lot more of the workout after 4 weeks than I could in the beginning but I started wondering, where's all this weight that's supposed to come off? Why haven't my measurements changed? I thought about my food.  I was eating a lot healthier and making better choices but then, something clicked.  I was eating a light breakfast, working out, grabbing a snack and eating a decent sized lunch and dinner.  I needed to eat 4-5 (preferably 5 for my body, I found out) balanced meals a day. That was hard.  I think figuring out meals and making sure I get them all in and with generally correct calorie intake  took me a full month of really close attention. I chose healthier meals out, and tried to cook better foods than ever that I could eat in smaller portions but would have a great impact on my needs.

I'm glad I did. Within a week, I dropped 2 lbs and it seemed like clothes were starting to fit better. People were telling me they could see a change even if I couldn't. I didn't weigh myself or measure myself until the end b/c well, if they were just being polite, I didn't want to be discouraged, I wanted to see this through. With the new eating habit, though, I remembered what I knew before and had forgotten. Smaller and more frequent meals help keep your metabolism moving.  Aside from the weight and inches coming off (which, remember, I was still not seeing at the time), I was feeling stronger and had more energy and I found I could work out with efficiency at any time of the day instead of the previous scenario where I was sluggish if I tried for an afternoon workout.

One additional note, when I didn't lose, I asked a lot of questions on my fitness board and found a lot of people had little to no results, like me, when they started their 1st program ever.  Turns out, there's this thing call a cortizol response to the stress where you reatin water like a crazy person & as a response to the stress, water is trapped around the muscles.  After about 4-6 weeks, it starts dropping off. That could have contributed to my lack of seen results in month 1.

Now, onto the fun photos.  These were the first couple of days.

 Remember this one?
There was a lot more sweat and I started to feel better.

 Note: my jumps didn't look like Tanya's I thought they did until I took the video. hehe But I'm getting there.

And there was #sweatnsew! A super fun distraction.  One day Amy over at Amy Lou Who Sews was chatting with Kelly from Kelbysews on Instagram (which is a great little app & a nice daily distraction to see what everyone is up to.  Who needs Facebook? lol)  They mentioned there should be a hashag for quilters who are also exercising. I think Kelly coined "sweatnsew".  The way it works, post your pic and type in the hashtag and name. Then your pic is tagged in a group, of sorts. The hashtag becomes a hyper link and anyone who searches under that hashtag or clicks on the hyperlink is taken to the group page of photos with the same tag.

Anyway, I was looking for some daily motivation and accountability and got the idea to make it a challenge. I offered up 10 FQs, 5 each to 2 winners.  I invited anyone who wanted to get a healthier lifestyle to join. Better eating habits, exercise, whatever.  Deal was, take a pic. describe how it relates to yoru healthier lifestyle and hashtag it.  1 entry per day.  After 2 weeks, I choose winners at random from those who participated.  It grew like crazy and a we developed a nice little community of support! Not everyone is exercising. Some exercise only 3 days a week, some are doing the same programs like Jillian Michael's Shred and some no programs at all. There's been a lot of discussion about better food choices and some folks have started paleo eating or WeightWatchers. Recipes occasionally get shared and we are all at different fitness levels. It's awesome.  So much so that if you are on Instagram, maybe you want to join in? I'm going to be starting a new challenge real soon. :-)
Additionally, I was checking in and participating more regularly with my Coach's challenge/support group. (Beach Body will assign you a coach or if you know one you can sign up with a coach when doing a Beach Body program for support, questions, assistance).  I happened to meet this coach at just about the same time I was starting Insanity and she invited me in.  Oddly, we met through Instagram photos tagged for vizsla. We both have vizsla pups. :)  Anyway, she invited me in and it worked for me. They are wacky and nutty, I dare say "crazy silly." Committed to being fitter and healthier but they know how to laugh. They can empathize, motivate and offer support.  I would not be half as energized today as I am if I didn't have these people "in my corner" so to speak.  It's actually making me consider being a coach myself but that's a conversation for another day. For all of them, and especially my coach who welcomed me and has been a great supporter, thank you, I am so lucky to have landed with you.
Finally, the day came and I took my final fit test (you take fit tests throughout the program so you can track how much stronger you are and how much more you can accomplish as time goes on. It's really a great idea.) I was surprised at the change in my numbers. It really is easy not to see progress when you are in the day to day but when you see side by side numbers and/or pictures and measurements. My friends, you can't help but be proud of yourself and know it was worth it.

So how did the #s look?
First, fit test #s  (day 1/last day):
Switch Kicks - 59/ 96                         Power Jacks - 25/ 56                     Power Knees - 50/ 82
Power Jumps - 15/ 35                        Globe Jumps - 2.75/ 8                    Suicide Jumps (Burpees) - 7/ 15
Push-up Jacks - 5/ 16                         Low Plank Oblique - 10/ 33

Weight Loss: 12 lbs.   Total Inches lost (all msmts): 16.5"

My before and after photos!

What's next?
I just started Insanity the Assylum on Monday.  After the 25 min. fit test alone, I was dripping in sweat. Insanity was hard and insane but this... this one, I think, is going to be so intense that being committed to the Assylum is about the only way to describe those of use doing it.  With this one, it's 30 days so while I'm not following the nutrition guide fully, I am trying 2 things different. 1) to incorporate a good portion of the nutrition guide into my daily routine and 2) to drink a Shakeology shake every day. I have started the second part of this already and the first will be started this weekend when I can prep meals for next week. After I'm done, I'll let you know how it all went & give you my honest 2 cents.

Whle this program may not be for everyone, health and fitness is.  If you want to get healthier, no more excuses. Make a decision and step into it. Find a way to be accountable to yourself, to family, and/or to me, even. I'll help where I can. I am being honest when I say that even if I'm not at my goal weight, I feel good. I feel fitter and healthy and energized.  I want you to feel that way, too.  I hope you enjoyed the photos and forgive the long post. I'm just trying to keep it real!


Monday, March 25, 2013

Mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival, Hampton, VA Feb 2013

It's been so long since I've posted I thought my first post back in should be quilt related and, well, just plain fluff.

Mom and I attended again this year, together. We make a full day of it and have a great time just hanging out. Here, I made her pause in the cold and windy weather to take a photo for you.  She'll always stop for a photo!
Also, I was sucked in. Sucked in, I tell you, in purchasing the following fun items:
This bundle of fabric that I love but have no use for.  It was a 5 yard bundle for $30. There was another lady petting it but her friend talked her out of it, told her it wasn't very pretty. What's up with that? I think it's beautiful!
Fat quarters for the #sweatnsew challenge I was running on Instagram (now you know that between home life and work, my other free time has been on Instagram).
A nifty tool for making Lemoyne stars blocks. I'm convinced this is going to make my life easier with these stars that I love and will be reporting soon on this particular tool.
Small, pre-printed whole cloth fabrics. I want to use these and practice some tarpunto quilting by machine. This is a quilting bucket list item for me.
A paint kit so I can dye my own fabrics.  I've seen this for years but this year, I decided to take the plunge and get some tools. I think I'm really going to enjoy letting a little creative out of me with this but as with the star tool, I want to clean some things off my plate first before I add more to it.
Lastly, one of those things to clean off, mom bought these fabrics so I can make her a tote. Don't you think this will look great! She's got a love of batiks and the price of these was unbelievably good. Almost a steal!

As for the rest of the show, I think I'll let most photos speak for themselves.  The labels first, then the quilt.  Enjoy.

I really wanted to take this one home! :)