Category Archives: Monthly Challenge

New May Challenge

Happy May Day! First day of a new month and the month is spring! In my part of the world, April ended in a blast of cold, wind, rain, and snow. Ick. Good riddance to April. It was such a nice month until the end. Winter gave one last swing to knock us flat. But it’s May now and that won’t happen anymore! Right? Right?? Fingers crossed.

New Month = New Blogilates Calendar

Normally I don’t announce this because Cassey Ho always comes out with a new calendar for each month, but this one is different.

Usually Cassey has us doing about 5 videos 6 days a week (not counting the Beginner’s 2.0 Calendar). You might balk at that number of videos but they’re pretty short – she aims for around 60 minutes total for the day. This month, however, she’s getting us prepped for PIIT28 and the workouts have been zapped down to 30 minutes (not including warm-up and cooldown).

Now, if you have no desire to do PIIT28, that’s not a problem. This is free, PIIT28 is not – totally understandable if you’d rather steer clear of it. You can stick with these videos or use the free PIIT videos that are on her Youtube channel – Blogilates.

If you’ve tried PIIT28 or the PIIT videos on Cassey’s Youtube channel, you already know how difficult those workouts are. For a lot of people, they’re not really doable because the cardio is filled with high impact moves that can seriously jar the joints. While I was able to complete PIIT28 1.0 when it first came out in March 2016, my knees have prevented me from doing so a second time without serious modifications. I was just doing the program in April as a matter of fact. No, I didn’t finish it because I got bored and it became a chore. When a workout becomes a chore for me and I no longer feel accomplished or productive doing it (when it’s accompanied by boredom or dread in fact), I don’t see any point in doing it any longer.

I finished the first half which was going through all 11 workouts. Already with just that and eating cleaner than I had been, I lost a few pounds (which I gained back, of course, when Easter hit and there was my favorite candy right at my fingertips), lost about 1/2″ off my waist and saw an increase of muscle in my arms and legs. Add to this the increases I felt rather than saw – butt strength, happiness, self-confidence, energy…I was perfectly content to stop at the halfway mark.

Every BodyPUMP class I marvel at how deep my squats are now. Changing PIIT’s high impact cardio to low impact gave me lots of squats and my butt has become so strong. The muscles around my knees must be getting stronger too because my lunges are so much better (usually with less pain too but that depends on the day really).

It was good that I ditched the last half of the program though. My butt had gotten used to everything and had ceased to be sore so gradually that I didn’t even realize it. I had also really wanted to start Cassey’s new 6-Week Bootcamp. The first video she released was a booty workout so I did that last Monday…and was SO SORE for the rest of the week!!! That’s when I realized my butt had stopped being sore from PIIT28 1.0. And this new video just KILLED my poor tush.

Cassey listened to everyone’s pleas (and complaints) and made the cardio for this new program low impact. Even if you live in a 2nd+ floor apartment, you can still do these moves without annoying your downstairs neighbors. Unless you have your music, you know, turned up really loud in which case that’s on you.

This low impact bootcamp is designed for everyone. It continues in the PIIT style with 45 seconds for a move followed by 15 seconds of rest on and on for 7 moves. That’s Round 1. You get an extra 10 seconds of rest between rounds and repeat for a total of 4 rounds. Her videos only show 1 round so if you want to follow along with her, you’ll have to start the video over each time. If you do the moves during Round 1 and you’d prefer not to listen to her anymore, you can continue on your own.

The bootcamp itself calls for 1 video done at least 1x the first week, 2 videos done at least 1x the 2nd week, 3 the 3rd week, etc for 6 weeks. By the end of 6 weeks, you should feel a lot stronger (unless you’re sitting on your butt watching the videos, anyone should feel stronger after doing any kind of exercise for 6 weeks) and maybe you’ll be ready for PIIT28 1.0 (unless you have injuries or medical difficulties in which case you can still modify the high impact moves in PIIT28).

The calendar is a bit different. Not all of the bootcamp videos are out so Cassey has filled in the extra days with similar workouts. So we’ve got the Fat Burning and the Booty videos from the bootcamp this week while the rest of the week has some of the free PIIT videos as well as the Snowbunny Blast and some stretching for the rest day. Next week will have 4 of the bootcamp videos along with 2 PIIT videos and some stretching. Etc for the rest of the month.

Despite the fact that I’ll be unable to really complete the last week of the calendar due to personal stuff, I’m still super psyched about doing this. This is probably the first Blogilates calendar in a long time that has piqued my interest enough to work it into my schedule.

One last thing! As you see on the calendar, there is a $15 off coupon code for the PIIT28 Transformation Pack. Here’s what’s included in that pack:

  • PIIT28 1.0, 2.0, 3.0
  • 28 Day Reset (meal plan – reg or vegan)

If you got each of those individually, it would cost $186. Yikes! If you get all of it in the Transformation Pack, you pay $99. This coupon code takes off $15 so you’d get it for $84. Best. Deal. EVER! True, it’s a lot of money but not nearly as much as $186. You’re saving $102! And the program works so well if you put in the work and effort.

Even my doing a low impact version of PIIT28 gave me results. OMG! And pair it with BodyPUMP and the muscle gains are AMAZING! Remember I stopped after only 2 weeks and was impressed with my muscle gain. I watch my arms in the mirror and marvel at how much better they look. My back as well. Yeah, I ogle myself and I admit it to people. I actually invited my friends in class one day to look at my butt.

Aaaaanyyyyywaaaaaaay!

If you’re interested in getting the PIIT28 Transformation Pack, click on the below picture. Don’t forget to use your coupon code at checkout to get $15 off!

$15 OFF CODE: “sweaty15”

PIIT28 Transformation Pack – $15 off code: “sweaty15” – expires May 31, 2017

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April – 2nd Week PIIT28 1.0

We’ve moved into the 2nd week of PIIT28 1.0 and already I did an oopsie. Saturday was a rest day, sure, but Sunday I was supposed to get back into things with 1.6. Yeah, I didn’t do it. I suck at pushing myself to exercise on the weekend. But, ya know what? My knees really enjoyed the extra day of rest and on Monday I was back to being able to push myself to the max again. So I guess I needed that extra day after going past my limits on Th/F.

From now on I won’t stress about resting 2 days in a row. Stress is NOT what this program is about. It’s supposed to be a stress-RELIEVER not a stress-MAKER. So forget it. This means it’ll take longer for me to get through the program however I’m still on the fence about repeating that 1.5 cardio workout considering it wasn’t really cardio for me since I had the modifications aren’t intense.

In fact, I was considering not repeating the workouts at all. I have all 3 programs and I’ve already done 1.0 the whole way through. I’m considering going through all 11 workouts in 1.0 and then, instead of repeating them for the 2nd half of the month, doing the 11 workouts from 2.0 to finish the month. It would be so fresh! So new! I’m really liking that idea. Other people who have been doing these programs for awhile combine all 3. Of course, you need to complete each program before you can do this.

I get bored easily and I remember getting bored in the 2nd half of the month with 1.0 last year. Switching to 2.0 for the 2nd half might be just what I need to keep pushing to make it through.

Anyway, here’s the 2nd week of PIIT28 1.0!

PIIT28 1.6 Booty Lift

Round 1:   Round 2:  Round 3:  Round 4:

Work that booty! Uh huh. My butt is seriously sore and on fire. I’m glad I saved it for Monday else I’d be more sore. Good way to start the week! I like it when Mondays start like this. Productive and butt-burning in a non-hemorrhoidal sort of way.

PIIT28 1.7 Core Crusher

Round 1: Round 2:  Round 3:  Round 4: 

Sometimes exercise is super fun, sometimes it’s not. I wasn’t feeling it today to be honest. Tons of crunches. Though every crunch move was “different,” they were all crunches so I got super bored in the very first round. Not my favorite workout (PIIT or otherwise). We all have off days and this was mine. It happens. We move on.

PIIT28 1.8 Dancer’s Legs

Round 1:   Round 2:  Round 3:  Round 4:

HOT DAWG!!! Easily my favorite PIIT workout so far. This was so much FUN!!! Sometimes I moan and groan and count the seconds till I’m done. Not this time. Each move was like a whirlwind. Time whooshed by till I was done and going “I’m done? HELL YEAH!!! WOO!!” My legs were on fire the whole time but in a good way.

BodyPUMP served as my warm-up (yikes!) but the format used was much easier on the legs than usual so the two complemented each other wonderfully. Instead of hopping with squats/plies/etc I would squat/plie and then lift up on my toes when I stood. Excellent calf work! My calves are gaining so much muscle and definition! I’m super excited about this.

PIIT28 1.9 Sleek & Sexy Back

Round 1:  Round 2:  Round 3:  Round 4: 

Oooooh this was hard. So so hard. Did I give up though? Hell No! My back is looking better than it has in month because of all the POP Pilates. I want it to look EVEN BETTER!! And what did I get for my efforts? There is a move called a Piked Hop where you start in plank and then hop your feet forward a bit (it doesn’t have to be much) and as you hop you pike your butt up into downward dog.

When I first did the 1.0 program I couldn’t really do this move. First I had to find the groove of how to do it. After I got that part done, I found I didn’t have the strength to hop so I’d have to walk my feet forward. By the end of that first month, I could do a Piked Hop and I could do it the whole way through a round or at least close to it. Fast forward a year later and I’m attempting the Piked Hop again. I know the groove already but no longer have the strength in that first week to do the full move the whole time. 2nd week later (only the SECOND WEEK LATER) and I’m rocking the Piked Hop the whole time!

Just 1 week into this program and I’m blasting through Piked Hops for the entire 45 seconds during all 4 rounds! DAMN! I’m a power house! I was so psyched by the end of the workout that I took a muscle selfie.

Damn! Demi Lovato's song Confident was playing as I finished my PIIT28 workout today. It inspired me to take a pic of my arm muscles. I am proud and confident these days. I'm building muscle and, instead of wondering if I can accomplish something, I go out and do it! At one point I had despaired of ever getting my muscle back but look at that arm and shoulder! That's some crazy definition for me! Life is good. No one showed up for my POP class today (which I expected). After practicing some tracks for later I thought, "All right. If no one wants to POP, I'll PIIT and get home sooner." And I did. It was crazy hard but I stuck with it and rocked the whole workout! #piit28 #bodypump #poppilates #poparmy #popsters #goodvibesonly #blogifam #strength #musclegain #fitness #confident #demilovato #piitprincess #piitsters #ymca #hastings #hastingsymca #nebraska

A post shared by Katie Shin (@kstjshin) on

I won’t go through this next round of 1.5 Cardio Camp again. Suffice it to say that I will be doing it rather than skipping or replacing it. My knees are feeling awesome strong this week, but I promise to hold myself back and be responsible in today’s PIIT28 activities.

By the way, here’s a little something Blogilates has been working on a video for PIIT28 (I can’t seem to embed the video from FB here so the link is just sending you to the video)…

https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fblogilates%2Fvideos%2F1307443935971198%2F&show_text=0&width=560

Niiiiice! Proof that you really can do PIIT28 anywhere you go! Well, maybe not in the grocery store or other such public places. People might get a little grumpy with you if you bust out in plank jack donkey kicks there. And especially don’t do it in a movie theatre. Interrupting movies is bad and the floors are super nasty. But, you know, at the park, at home, at your kid’s baseball/soccer/etc game or in some other non-crowded safe place. You get the idea – you’re not confined to the gym.

I’m usually at the gym doing my workouts but that’s because I work there so it’s convenient. The days when I’m not teaching a fitness class, I’ll do my PIIT28 workout at home. I have my mat to keep my sweaty back off the carpet. If you live in an apartment and don’t want to go outside, find an appropriate time during the day to do the workout instead of 10pm or 2am etc. A little consideration goes a long way with people.

Happy PIITing!

If you want to try the Power Pack and get all the programs (1.0-3.0), click the above pic!

 

 

1st Week of PIIT28 Round 2

PIIT28 1.2 – Perfect Legs

Round 1:  Round 2:  Round 3:  Round 4: 

There should be a dead and twitching emoji. I would’ve put that for Round 3 if I could have. This was SO hard!! I remember Perfect Legs being easier? Maybe I’m remembering the 2nd go at it in week 3. Of course, I had also taught 2 classes prior to this so I was pretty tired already. But can I get round of applause for sticking with and doing my PIIT28 workout after teaching 2 classes AND having a cold?? Booyah baby! If you could see me, you’d see me flexing and striking strength poses…and then laughing my butt off at how silly I most definitely look.

Here’s where I die though. When I woke up the next morning I thought for sure my legs were broken. I did the whole icing and rolling out yesterday afternoon, but there was no getting around the ultimate soreness the next morning. But did I stop? Pfft. As if I’m that nice to myself.

PIIT28 1.3 – Ultimate Upper Body

Round 1:  Round 2:  Round 3:  Round 4: 

Why on earth would I have such positive emojis for a workout I remember as being one of the toughest??

It’s simple – I didn’t do the whole thing.

WHAT?!

Before you freak out and call me a cheater, let me explain. My shoulders are injury prone, as are my knees. I woke up feeling like death but I pushed myself to go to BodyPUMP anyway cuz I had told the instructor I would and I had been looking forward to it since last Friday. I told myself to suck it up and ended up feeling AMAZING by the end of class!

BodyPUMP is an intense workout for your entire body and I went as heavy as I dared on most of the arm tracks. Almost too heavy on the chest track (holy freaking push-ups of death!!). I maxed out my upper body during the class and rather than push further and injure my shoulders…again…I took someone’s advice to cut the strength moves out of the PIIT workout and stick with the cardio moves. That brought the workout down to 4 moves for 4 rounds. But I couldn’t do the jumping because of my knees so I had to modify to the low impact versions…which are a lot less intense.

So while I got a good workout, PIIT28 by itself today wasn’t all that intense. HOWEVER, by the end of all that, I saw signs of having maxed my legs out as well. The rest of the day included resting, icing, and elevation to counteract my cruelty.

PIIT28 1.4 – Lean Body

Round 1:  Round 2:  Round 3:  Round 4: 

Despite this workout having come after having taught 2 fitness classes, I totally rocked it. I may or may not have gotten a little too gung-ho during that last round and did the high impact version of one move. I’ll try to take it easier tomorrow and see what happens.

Lean Body was beyond awesome even with the moves modified for low impact. I swear, my butt seriously felt the burn and I was sweating and out of breath even before round 1 was over.

PIIT28 1.5 – Cardio Camp

Round 1:  Round 2:  Round 3:  Round 4: 

Yeah, I paid for that gung-ho stint at the end of 1.4. Knees are none too good. I thought it would be fine but even my front kicks had to be modified. Instead of kicking toward someone’s chest like I usually do, I had to be satisfied with causing shin pain. I couldn’t even put enough power behind to break shins; I had to satisfy myself with bruising them. Sigh.

Let that be a lesson to everyone out there who know their limits but try to push past them anyway! If you have bad knees and you KNOW you’re not supposed to do high impact moves, DON’T DO THEM!!! Your knees will turn to poodoo and you’ll end up heavily using RICE for who knows how long.

RICE

  • Rest
  • Ice
  • Compress
  • Elevate

Okay. Lecture over. These moves were seriously too easy as low impact to count as cardio…except for the mt climbers. Those are always killer. Darn plank moves. Thank goodness I did this workout after a full hour of BodyPUMP. I most DEFINITELY got a good workout there!

Next week when 1.5 is due again, I’ll have to see how my knees are doing. If they’re doing better, I’ll be able to put more effort into the moves so get a better return. However, if my knees are poodoo again, I’ll consider combining other cardio moves such as nasty plank moves. Or I could, ya know, be careful next time at sticking with low impact moves rather than pushing past my limits.

I hope everyone’s first week went well! Despite this hiccup at the end, mine went REALLY well! I’m feeling super strong and super confident in myself. Oh! And I was watching myself in the mirror in BodyPUMP on Friday and noticing how much more muscle I have now in my arms and back. And my squats are so deep now! I’m SO happy!!!  

Click the above pic to buy the Power Pack (1.0, 2.0, 3.0)…or any of the programs

PIIT28 1.0 – April Attempt

Here I go again! Fingers crossed that I make it through the month this time. Last time I had to stop because my hip flexors couldn’t take it. It sucks but I’d rather stop and heal than make pain worse. I feel really good now minus a groin injury that I’m nursing. It’s only really affected certain stretching moves though so I don’t foresee a problem from that area.

I’ll be posting each week like I did the first time a year ago and give feedback on every workout in this program. We’ll see how different everything feels a year later. I’ve been regularly doing POP Pilates 2-5x a week since June/July of last year and have gotten a lot stronger because of it.

Here are my current measurements to start the program off:

Measurements 2/2/17:

  • Weight – 179.2 lbs
  • Arms – L 12 1/4″, R 12 1/2″
  • Thighs – L 23 1/4″, R 23″
  • Waist – 35″
  • Lower Belly Pooch – 41″
  • Hips – 43″
  • Chest – 32″
  • Bust 40″

One thing…Yay for finally getting back into the 170s! I’ve been flitting in and out for 2 months now. Technically I still am but at least this month I’m starting off there instead of 180 or 181. Woohoo!

PIIT28 1.1 – ABDOMINATION

Round 1:  Round 2:  Round 3:  Round 4: 

I did it! Woohoo! Two cardio moves in particular kicked my butt as they always do because they’re in plank. Anything in plank and it’s pretty much guaranteed that I’ll be switching to my knees at some point. However, I did my best to go back to the full move whenever I could rather than stick with the modified version. After all, my body was tired, not injured. If you don’t push yourself, you won’t get stronger.

The core moves were surprisingly easy. I mean, I got tired doing them but it wasn’t like with the cardio and it didn’t leave my core feeling tired or sore afterwards. Last year this workout was super hard on my core. POP Pilates has done its job and really strengthened those muscles. WOOHOO!!!

I didn’t use the warm-up or flexy moves given in the PIIT28 booklet. I got bored of those a long time ago. No point in sticking with them when they could be my breaking point of not wanting to do the workout. Instead I did the POP 8 Kick Butt Cardio track twice to warm up. To cool down I did the POP 8 Flexibility track once. I wanted to practice a new song to see if it would work with that track and it does. Yay! I’ll add it to my class playlist tomorrow.

At the end of this week, I’ll write up how the other workouts for this first week went. I’m super excited about this. It’s a really good start to the month! Good luck to everyone doing PIIT28! If it’s your first time or you’ve done it so many times that you’ve moved on to 2.0 or 3.0, GOOD LUCK and HAVE FUN!!!

Click on the above picture to buy the PIIT28 program

 

January Dietary Challenge Ends + Confession

Thank goodness January is done! The beginning of Cassey Ho’s dietary challenge was super easy. I didn’t completely cut anything out (except alcohol which I already cut out years ago) but instead cut back on everything.

My normal daily eating habits included several slices of American cheese, a ton of French bread, summer sausage, cookies, misc pastries, coffee etc. And then there were the special meals where we went out for eat – Burger King, Jimmy Johns, misc diner, Subway. Really, I think Burger King is the worst one there and we don’t do it all that often because I’m in love with Jimmy John’s sandwiches. I only get the sandwich but it’s still too big for one meal so it becomes 2 meals. I’d say that’s healthy enough and if it’s not, I don’t really care.

So I did my best this month to cut out desserts, cut out that cheese, bread, and summer sausage. We still went out to eat every weekend and I didn’t change my coffee because the sugar content on that is as low as I’m prepared to make it. When we did go out, I tried to keep it to Jimmy Johns as that is the tastiest and healthiest. Some might argue and say Subway is but I get pizza when I’m there sooooo…yeah…Could be better, could be worse.

Let’s shrug it off.

IMG_4585

To buy the 28-Day Reset meal plan, click above – Eat Healthy, Be Healthy

On top of the dietary changes, I added in at least 30 minutes of exercise. It was cardio and it wasn’t intense because I don’t like to be intense these days but it was 4-5x a week. I’m doing a Couch Potato Triathlon challenge at my YMCA so I’m working my butt off trying to get everything in.

My cardio:

  • swimming
  • cycling
  • walking

Strength training:

  • POP Pilates (30-min, 45-min classes)

Every day opens my eyes to a new sore spot. It’s good though. I tell my students that that pain is weakness leaving. It’s screaming and holding on for dear life and that’s why it hurts so much – it’s putting up a fight. But we master it with every workout, every class. And we’re getting stronger and stronger so it hurts less and less.

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Before/After measurements from eating cleaner (not clean, just cleaner). On the left is 1/1/17, on the right is 1/31/17, in bold/italics is the difference.

  • Weight – 182.4 lb // 180.6 lb ( – 1.8 lb)
  • Arms – L 12 1/4 in, R 12 5/8 in // L 12 in, R 12 1/2 in ( L – 1/4 in, R – 1/8 in)
  • Bust – 40 1/2 in // 39 3/4 in ( – 3/4 in)
  • Chest – 32 in // 32 in ( 0 )
  • Waist – 36 in // 35 in ( – 1 in)
  • Lower Belly Pooch – 42 in // 41 1/2 in ( – 1/2 in)
  • Hips – 44 in // 43 3/4 in ( – 1/4 in)
  • Thighs – L & R 23 3/4 in // L 23 1/2 in, R 23 1/4 in ( L – 1/4 in, R – 1/2 in)

And to think these numbers would have been even better had I not had junk food over the weekend and on Monday. Bloating is bad if you’re only worried about the numbers.

Here’s my confession…

To be honest, I was seriously stressing this last weekend over what to eat because I wanted to give the best possible numbers here. In fact, I was stressing about it so much that I realized I wasn’t eating.

If you know me, you’ll know that that is sooooo NOT like me. I love food. That’s why I’m overweight – I LOVE food and I LOVE to eat. Now, during the month I wasn’t stressing about it and I was only focusing on eating healthier. When I was hungry, I ate something and I was happy. It was just at the very end for about 3-4 days when I started stressing about it. By Monday I realized I was skipping meals and only lightly snacking. I was constantly hungry and I was depressed because I was hungry and because I wanted my numbers to be as low as I could get them. I wanted to be as small as I could be in my After pictures.

My body was not feeling good after all the salt from the nuts, and the celery and PB was not leaving me feeling good because I had eaten so much of it (and I was worried about running out before I could go grocery shopping again). The Kind bars were only upping my blood sugar levels because I wasn’t eating anything else so I wasn’t feeling good from that. Nothing I ate made me feel better.

I didn’t know what to eat because nothing was making me feel good anymore. I was surrounded by snack foods along with food for sandwiches and I didn’t want to eat a sandwich because then I would be eating processed foods, dairy, and gluten on non-cheat days. For 3-4 days, I was afraid to eat. I wanted actual food and I wasn’t seeing it. All I was seeing was snack food and then I thought if I didn’t eat, my numbers would be smaller so then I was doing things to distract me from eating and it was working all too well.

Monday I realized what I was starting to do and I had forgotten that the challenge had ended on the 29th so I thought I was still in the challenge. By Monday I was dizzy and tired. I’ve been drinking plenty of water so it wasn’t that. I gave in and had 2 hot dogs (no buns…we don’t have any) wrapped in American cheese. Damn did that taste good. And damn me if my dizziness didn’t go away soon after I had finished eating.

I realized then how stupid I was being putting numbers before my health so for lunch I had a sandwich. Raisin bread, mayo, a slice of American cheese, and some honey ham. It…felt…AWESOME! And so did I.

And now for my pictures!

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I see a difference in both shots but only a good difference in the front shot. From the side I can see that I’m bloated from what I ate yesterday. And you know what? I’m okay with that. It beats being dizzy and hungry. I didn’t like seeing it at first but then I thought back to what I ate yesterday and I’m okay with it. I needed actual food in my stomach and that sandwich, while I knew it would bloat me, was exactly what I needed.

Don’t punish your body. Don’t skip out on meals to have better numbers. It’s just not worth it. I was miserable for those few days. I can’t imagine what it’s like for people who actually have eating disorders and have to deal with this sort of thing every day of their lives.

I’m all for being happy. If I’m fat and happy, that’s fine. At least I’m happy. But if I’m starving myself to look better on social media, then I’m not happy and that is not okay. Not only does it affect me but it affects my family. My kid shouldn’t have to feel bad because I do. He’s a kid. He should be happy. But if I’m starving and tired then I get super cranky and emotional and I can’t handle anything as well as I should be able to and then he suffers for that. Not to mention the strain it puts on my husband. That’s not fair to anyone.

Don’t do it to yourself. Don’t do it to others. Just don’t do it.

P.S. I’m not belittling people who do have an ED. I know their struggle is real  – unbelievably real – and I wish them all the luck and strength in the world. This was meant for those people who don’t have an ED.

New Challenge from Cassey Ho

Cassey Ho’s newest challenge starts January 2nd and continues through the month to the 29th. Although the challenge is simple to explain, it won’t be simple to do and I’ll admit right off the bat that I won’t be able to succeed 100% in it.

It’s an eating challenge. While it’s a “diet” challenge, it’s also not. It’s not an “I’m going on a diet and I’m going to lose weight and get thin this year” kind of challenge. It’s an “I’m going to change my dietary habits and see how certain foods affect me” kind of challenge.

Here it is in a nutshell:

Cut Out 5 Types of Food/Drink:

  1. Dairy
  2. Gluten
  3. Added Sugar (as opposed to naturally occurring like in fruit)
  4. Processed Foods
  5. Alcohol

Hey! I’ve already got 1 out of 5 perfected! I don’t drink alcohol. Ever. I’m not against it or anything. I used to love beer (and there are times I miss the taste). That was my go-to alcoholic beverage. Then I found out I have a gluten sensitivity and the way I felt after drinking a beer wasn’t normal. It felt like my blood was poisoned. Not a hangover, just poisoned blood flowing through my veins. I got the same feeling after eating too much gluten. I’ve never cared for other types of alcohol and eventually I came to dislike feeling tipsy so I stopped drinking altogether. Not a big deal. I don’t miss it at all. If I could get some non-alcoholic, gluten-free Sam Adams beer, I’d be a very happy camper. But I doubt it would taste the same so there’s really no point.

Keeping dairy out won’t be a problem since I’m lactose-intolerant and I don’t have a whole lot of dairy anyway. Here’s what I’ll have issues with during this challenge:

  • cheese
  • bread
  • processed foods
  • sweets

But I’m going to do my best to erase cheese and sweets from my diet and cut back on the bread as much as possible. Processed foods…well…my favorite soup (which I eat 1-2x a day) has hot dogs and spam in it and my fav snack is peanut butter and celery. So that’s going to be extremely difficult. But I’ll cut back on it all. As in no extra processed foods outside the soup and eat less peanut butter with my celery…and only eat it with my celery.

There isn’t a challenge in the world that will make me cut down on the amount of sugar I put in my coffee every morning. I already went through the process several years ago of cutting that down as much as possible. It took a month of slowly cutting back so my taste buds could adjust before I reached the point where it was unbelievably nasty so I stopped and stayed where I was. Everyone else in my family who tries it thinks it’s nasty and needs more sugar so I figure I’m good.

Cassey has provided a free PDF that people can download which you can download on her blog post – Take the 28 Day Reset Challenge. This is a FREE challenge. You can buy the Blogilates 28 Day Reset meal plan (there are 2 versions – a regular version for meat eaters and a vegan version) to help you with this. In fact, it would be really helpful if you did because it gives you meals so you don’t have to guess at what to eat.

I have the 28-Day Reset meal plan (non-vegan) and I can attest to the meals being super nutritious, tasty, and easy to make. Some of them can get pricey (in my opinion), but that’s because I’m not used to buying a lot of those ingredients. “Expensive” and “cheap” are relative terms, but the meals are good and that plan would make the challenge a lot easier to accomplish. However, you don’t need to buy it if you don’t have the money for it. The free PDF provided on her website should be help enough to do this.

If you have questions about what you can and can’t eat, you can ask me here or you can ask people on her blog or on FB page – Blogilates. Tons of people are available to help you out if/when you need it. I’ve done a challenge like this before – it’s how I found out dairy and gluten are bad for me. I’m really glad I did find out because I spent my entire life thinking I wasn’t a breakfast kind of person because I always felt sick to my stomach after eating breakfast. Well, I always had cereal or shakes etc that had milk in it. I cut out dairy and have stopped feeling sick (unless I eat it, gluten, or too much sugar).

It’s true that I lost beer because of gluten but I’m still super happy I discovered my intolerance. I get super gassy and bloated and can seriously win (against men!) belching competitions if I eat the “right” kinds of food beforehand. As for the smell…damn. Just damn. I’m like Shrek farting in a fish pond – fish die. That stench is no joke. And the acne can get super bad. Ugh.

It’s all kinds of badness when I eat the wrong foods. But I don’t experience all of that with every kind of dairy and gluten product. I know what triggers the worst side-effects and I treat that stuff like it harbors ecoli or the plague.

As for the fitness portion of this challenge, it’s even more simple.

Exercise 6 Days A Week

That’s it. It could be walking, bike riding, a POP Pilates class, anything! The PIIT28 program (1.0 or 2.0 if you’ve progressed that far) goes perfectly with this but I’m not asking you to join that as well. As with the Blogilates 28-Day Reset meal plan, you can if you want but they’re both going to be difficult so you’re forewarned. I’ll be doing POP Pilates and walking. Also, my YMCA is holding a Couch Potato Triathlon from Jan 9 till Feb 24th so when that starts I’ll also be biking and swimming. I even have a new swim top for it! High necked so I won’t have to worry about my boobs falling out. Yeah, my ladies have issues staying put and my swim tops are low cut.

So join me (or not) this new year in a new challenge to get healthier and see how food affects you. We’re trying to reset our bodies here or at least get as much of the bad stuff out as we can. Good luck to everyone!!

#OwnYourMat Instagram Challenge

There’s a new challenge coming to Instagram!

#OwnYourMat

The other hosts and I are pleased to announce our new IG challenge, starting Sept 1st!

Description:

A yoga mat can be such a unique and personal space. They provide a platform for us to practice, meditate, sweat, grow and challenge ourselves. Join us as we explore how you #OwnYourMat over the next 15 days. We’ll provide a topic to reflect on or an exercise challenge each day and ask you to share your own individual take on it. At the end of the challenge, we’ll be choosing one lucky winner to receive a yoga mat!

Dates:

Sept 1st – 15th

Rules:

If you’d like to join us, please:

  1. Repost the above picture
  2. Follow all hosts & sponsors
  3. Tag 2 friends to join

Also! Don’t forget to use the hashtags #OwnYourMat and #bondiband

If you don’t follow all hosts and tag us in every post, we won’t be able to keep track of your daily posts. If we can’t keep track of your posts, you won’t be in the running as a winner. The same goes for the two hashtags – #OwnYourMat and #bondiband. You won’t be considered for a prize if you don’t have those 2 hashtags. Very important.

List of Hosts to follow:

List of Sponsors to follow:

The challenge only lasts 15 days. Only half a month. You can do something for 15 days, right? The challenge is open to everyone. Not all of the moves are exercise moves. We’ll be starting out with a plank (whatever one is your favorite for whatever reason) but then the next day we’ll move on to something entirely different. We’ve got some Yoga in there, POP Pilates, sitting back and thinking, etc. There’s something for everyone and people can make it as hard or as easy as they want!

Join us for the fun starting Sept 1st! We’re really excited about hosting this challenge and we want to see lots of people join so we can have fun with as many people as possible. It’ll be great!

Jooooiiiiiin uuuuuuuuusss.

…..Yeah, I totally just had an Evil Dead moment and I’m laughing my nerdy little butt off right now.

Sore Today Sore Tomorrow

Thank goodness for rest days! Although this is technically my second rest day because I took yesterday off from PIIT28 1.0. I’m tiiiiiiiired! Give me a break! Every muscle in my body is super sore! And, actually, I deemed it wise to take an extra break because the back of my knee was acting up during 1.4: Lean Body. Eep! Definitely don’t want to be hurting my knee right before I start my new job as a POP Pilates instructor. That would…suck. Big time.

“Oh I don’t get sick all that often and when I do I usually power through it.” Great! You’re hired! Day of class. “Oh! Did I mention how often I get injured? And that I’m injured now?”

injured

No! I’m not going to get injured! Not now. I will rest my knee and make sure it doesn’t go buggy on me again. It’ll be totally fine. Minor ouchies I can deal with because I know how to modify.

Is it just me or does anyone else hear Mater from Cars yelling “Modify!” whenever they hear or say that word? He and other cars say it in the Cars short film, Tokyo Mater, where Mater goes to Tokyo. The lines are going through my head verbatim now. I think my son and I watched those cartoons a few too many times.

In the mean time, I’m SO SORE! It feels good to feel sore again. The second day was hard to push myself to do because I was so sore and wasn’t used to feeling like that anymore. But then the 3rd and 4th days were easier because I was getting used to it again. It’s too bad about my knee but the rest felt good.

Although I took an extra PIIT28 rest day, I haven’t taken a day off from the #adorethecore challenge. Each day (except for the 3rd day when we were planking) has been difficult. I’ve been doing short videos for the most part. The 1st day has been my favorite so far.

If you haven’t started #adorethecore, you can jump in any time. I don’t know if you’ll win anything, but winning something shouldn’t be your main motivation anyway. It’s all about building up core strength. If you’re already doing it, good job with what you’ve done so far and good luck with the rest of the challenge! What’s been your favorite move so far?

Another Round of PIIT28

True to my word, I did my first day of another round of PIIT28.

PIIT28 1.1: Abdomination

Boy were my abs dominated! And my legs for that matter. Although I was out of breath, my legs are no longer strong enough to work me hard enough with these moves to kill my lungs. Hardest moves for me? Same as always – Plank Jacks and Mountain Climbers.

Why are they the hardest moves for me? Out of all the different moves for cardio that I can do without a machine, moves done while in plank are hardest for me. Think about it, how many muscles do you work when you stand and kick your knees up really high? Now how many do you work when you’re in plank and kicking those same legs up so your weight is temporarily held by your arms?

Try it. Stand and do 10 jumping jacks. Now get down on the ground and do 10 plank jacks. You can feel a difference, yes? Yes. And if you can’t, then you should do more and more until you can feel a difference. I can 20 jumping jacks no problem, but I start to feel the strain with plank jacks around the 10th one. My arms are fine when I’m standing and jumping. They want to die when they have to hold my weight on the floor as I jump. That’s not even mentioning how much my core is working keeping my body straight instead of dipping down or piking up.

I had a helluva time getting ready today because I kept getting sidetracked but I finally did it! And before lunch too. I realized before I was even done with the first round that, while I still had muscle to do POP Pilates, PIIT28 was kicking my butt all over again. Must’ve been the cardio aspect. As I said before, I’ve been pretty lazy with cardio since, well, since the last time I did PIIT28 back in March. I had tried to do a second round before but I only made it a couple days in before I got injured or sick or something that made me stop for a bit and then I didn’t start back up.

While I believe my new Before pics haven’t changed since March, my measurements certainly did…for the worse. As much as I hate to do it, I’m going to post the measurements here. I’ll wait on the pics though.

Measurements:

  • Arms – L 12 3/4″, R 12 7/8″
  • Bust – 41″
  • Chest – 32 1/4″
  • Waist – 37″
  • Lower Belly – 43″
  • Hips – 45 1/2″
  • Thighs – L/R 24 1/2″
  • Weight – 190.4 lbs

abs fat

Bigger and bigger. You know what this is from? All the freaking carbs I’ve been eating combined with sitting on my butt reading and playing games. While I do POP Pilates to practice, that doesn’t even begin to equal the amount of time I sit around and read. I love reading. It makes me forget how big my ass is getting. I’m oozing out to fill in my recliner.

I’m like the blob…except on a much smaller scale. But all of that’s changing because I don’t like my numbers. I’m fine with how I look for the most part but I don’t like how much muscle definition I’ve lost. I like seeing my muscles. I miss seeing them.

Good luck for tomorrow! I’ll update again at the end of the PIIT28 week.

Click on the above picture to buy the PIIT28 program

Click on the above picture to buy the PIIT28 program

Ways To Challenge Myself

My parents are visiting these days so I’ve had to change my gym schedule. This might have caused difficulties in the past but not anymore. It’s been true I’ve neglected my cardio despite having various plans that don’t require any equipment whatsoever as well as a number of DVDs. But I haven’t neglected my strength training.

In fact, the other day while searching through Pinterest I stumbled upon a 30-Day Arm Challenge. Oo! A challenge! 2 sets of only 5 push-ups, a 15s plank, and 5 chair dips? No problem!

The amount of each changes daily and each morning I wake up eager to tackle the latest increase. If you want to see more challenges like this Arm Challenge, visit shrinkingjeans.net

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But that’s not the only challenge I found. Next I came across a 30-Day Easy Squat Challenge. Oo! I’m good at squats. I’ll take that challenge!

Squat challenge

These first few days it’s comforting to know that I can actually do that many squats. When I think back to when I first started exercising and struggled to do a mere 10 squats, I’m quite proud of myself.

Most of the core challenges I found only had crunches or planks and that’s not very helpful. I mean, they’re great (especially the planks) but I’d get so bored doing only one kind of move the whole time. I have a feeling I’m going to get bored doing a million squats too but I’m hoping my butt looks awesome by the end so I’m okay with the monotony (at least for now anyway).

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I looked at this ab challenge and thought it would be too hard because of the sit ups, but the first day I buckled down and cranked out those 15 sit ups. I was shocked at how easy it was! All I could think was when I was in middle school and couldn’t even do 1 sit up. I’ve come so far since my couch potato childhood.

The last challenge I added is the 30 Day Lunge Challenge. Boring to do only lunges, true, but they’re also so great for the butt and thighs.

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I wish I could say that 20 lunges means 10 lunges with each leg but I doubt that’s what the creator of this challenge intended. Unfortunately. My legs are still really sore from my own lunge-heavy workout from several days ago but I cranked out 20 lunges with each leg that first day and felt all the greater for it.

For more challenges like the above 3 (squats, abs, lunges), visit www.30dayfitnesschallenges.com

My butt really aches now. My legs feel stronger, more muscular, as do my arms. My core feels fat but that’s because my parents are visiting and my diet always goes down the poop-shoot when I’m with them. Purely my own fault. I need to stop neglecting my cardio so I don’t feel/look so much like a chubby bunny. More like Garfield the cat actually.

What kind of challenge would you be most likely to try?

*Disclaimer: I’m not responsible for any injuries sustained while trying any routines/moves from my blog. Always consult your doctor before trying new exercises and always listen to your body. If you feel pain, it’s your body telling you to stop.*