Category Archives: Personal

My First HIIT Class!

I taught my first HIIT class! Every Saturday there’s an hour-long HIIT class from 9-10am. We have a rotating instructor schedule so the class format is always changing based on who’s teaching it. For those who don’t know…

  • H – High
  • I – Intensity
  • I – Interval
  • T – Training

Now, an hour is QUITE a long time for a HIIT class. A good HIIT workout can you leave you exhausted after just 30 minutes. I thought I had seen another instructor shorten their cycling class (another rotating instructor schedule) to 45 minutes so I thought I’d do the same. Now, it’s been almost a year since I went to that class so I’m probably not remembering that correctly. Anyway, I pushed and wiggled my way into the HIIT rotation schedule and my director finally agreed!

And then she told me I had to keep it to the full hour.

This was pretty much my reaction:

Yep. In instances like this, when I’m in doubt, I smile and fake it. I was freaking out a bit on the inside, but the more I thought about it, the more I liked the idea. Let’s face it, the longer the class, the more the money. And then being able to do that intense of a class for a whole hour?? Yeah, I was happy and super nervous.

Well Saturday came around and BAM! I nailed it! I was really wanting to do a PIIT class but, as you know, that’s a paid-for program so that would be a big no-no. Stealing is a bad thing. But they gave me permission to make it my own. PIIT wouldn’t have worked for an entire hour anyway.

I kept with the intervals of cardio and strength training moves but obviously did more with it. I can’t work the lower body for an hour at that intensity. What about the rest of the body? Nope. Not happening.

My HIIT plan:

8 moves in a round alternating cardio and strengthening. 6 rounds total: 2 rounds for legs // arms // core. 45s for each move with a break between each move and each round. Warm-up in the beginning and Stretching at the end. In an added attempt to change it from PIIT, I made sure the moves I used were moves you’d find in other classes/workouts.

I didn’t bother timing the breaks. Just long enough for me to show the next move and then enough time to get some water between rounds. My students came in a bit late so I had to cut up the 2 rounds of core to stay in our 1-hr time frame. Stretching still knocked us over but there was no class after ours so it was okay.

After class I was all…

I definitely want to do that again! Turns out my hubby was really anxious too. I had told him it would be a difficult class (I was right, it was) so he was worried for me. Now we’re both proud I can kick people’s butts without killing myself in the process.

Next time I’ll do 30s each move to accommodate for any longer breaks that might accidentally happen (or students arriving late) so I don’t have to cut into the rounds of core. I’ll also do harder core moves (cardio moves that incorporate the core more) because my core wasn’t sore or tired at all. My arms were pretty darn pooped though. I may incorporate weights sometime in the future too. I like body weight moves but we’ll see.

Warrior Dash Training Plan

New fitness training plan! Because in my heart of hearts I want to be a ninja like Jessie Graff. I mean, how can you beat a real-life superhero? You can’t. End of story. My son and I both love her and think she’s beyond everything. My husband thinks her physical prowess is amazing. Every time we see her doing something (it’s always a physical thing like scaling a wall or leaping around like gravity is meaningless), we’re motivated to do an impromptu workout right then and there. Why fight it? So we do some pull-ups (or assisted in my case) and push-ups. Not much. Just enough to get our arms warm and a sense of productivity to make us feel good.

With my bad joints, there’s no way I can throw myself into ninja training though. I’ll most likely never be able to do that. And that’s okay. That doesn’t mean I can’t aspire to be stronger though.

“Be Your Own Superhero”

I read that on signs and shirts people had at American Ninja Warrior lately. Jessie Graff fans. I love that idea. It makes me want to work harder at my goals.

So! I may not be ninja quality, but I’m currently satisfied with becoming a Warrior. I saw there was a Warrior Dash race here in Nebraska just outside of Omaha. July 15th. HA! That is NOT happening! However, I can start training now for 2018. With that in mind, I took a look at their training plan and am trying to incorporate it into my weekly plan.

I have to modify nearly everything but you have to start somewhere and this gives me something to work toward while I wait. My goal is to not modify anything by the time the Nebraska Warrior Dash race comes around in 2018. And, yes, it’ll take me that long to safely train because my shoulders, having been injured in the past, are my weakest point.


Here’s what I did today:

Cardio & Strength Circuit 1

Warm-Up: 30s each, 1-2x (I did 1x)

  • Squat
  • Jumping Jacks
  • Squat to Reach
  • High Knees (walked for low impact)
  • Reverse Lunge Rotation (realize now I did wrong – only a reverse lunge with a twist)
  • Butt Kickers (walked for low impact)

Obstacle 1 – Crawling 10r each, 90s

  • Army Crawl (on my knees)
  • Frog Squat Thrust (walked through instead of jumping)

Rest 30s // RUN! 90s

Obstacle 2 – Pushing 10r each, 90s

  • Tricep Dips
  • Med Ball Slam (no med balls available and I didn’t want to slam anything down, switched to Kettlebell Swing…which I realized afterwards was not a good substitute because it worked my legs rather than my arms. I’ll find a new substitute later.)

REST 30s // RUN! 90s

Obstacle 3 – Jumping 10r each, 90s

  • Bench Lunge Step Ups
  • Tuck Jumps (modified to squat with calf raise)

Rest 30s // RUN! 90s

Obstacle 4 – Pulling 10r each, 90s

  • Pull-Ups (equipment not available, substituted with shoulder presses…a pull-down machine would’ve been better but I was in the wrong room and didn’t feel like running all over the building trying to find it again)
  • Squat Thrust to High Pull

Rest 30s /// RUN! 90s

Obstacle 5 – Agility 10r each, 90s

  • Jump Rope (did without a jump rope)
  • Over the Bench

Rest 30s // RUN! 90s

Obstacle 6 – Balance 10r each, 90s

  • Squat on Toes (used a bar for balance)
  • Plank with Ankle Touch

Rest 30s // RUN! 90s


I desperately needed some stretching after this so I added in the Core & Flexibility Workout as well.

Core & Flexibility Workout

45s each, Rest 15s between each

  • Squat Chop (I messed up and did a squat with a twist)
  • One Leg Front Bridge (alternated between on my toes in plank and on my knees in modified plank)
  • Twist (no tubing available, used a 10lb BodyPUMP weight)
  • Dead Bug
  • Glutes Stretch
  • Side Bridge Crunch (on one knee)
  • Alternating Superman
  • Scorpion Stretch
  • Lower Back Stretch
  • Hamstrings Stretch
  • Hip Flexors Stretch
  • Quadriceps Stretch
  • IT Band Stretch

Felt good up till the end with the IT Band Stretch. I remember that move from physical therapy. OUCH!! My legs desperately needed it though. I haven’t used the foam roller in forever! It made me feel professional. Feel free to laugh at me, I am.

That core workout wasn’t really big for core moves but wow! That stretching felt good. I’m definitely going to be incorporating that a lot more from now on.

If you’re interested in this training plan, click on the picture below:

Instructor Change

Scenario:

You have a class you regularly go to. You love the class, you love the instructor. One day there’s a sub. That’s okay, you still go, but it’s not the same. The sub is just as good a teacher, probably even better qualified for all you know, but she’s not YOUR instructor. Personalities are different. The feel of the class is different. Even the music is at a different volume. Boredom creeps up on you. Motivation is seriously lacking but you push yourself for as long as possible during the class until you can’t take it anymore. 30 minutes out of an hour is still a respectable workout. You’ve worked enough to be plenty sore the next day.

The original teacher has to leave for awhile and there’s no sub available so the class is temporarily cancelled. NOOOO!!!!

Months later you see there’s a new sub so you check it out again. SURPRISE!!! They’re funny and motivational and the room’s energy is beyond awesome. You start coming again…only to arrive one day and find yet another sub who’ll be taking over. Your energy plummets. Everything is dull again. 30 minutes later you’re out the door just as before. This new awesome sub will not be coming back not because of any issues but because that was the time agreed upon behind scenes.

You’re left in the same situation as before except with tons more muscle and a much deeper feeling of disappointment because you don’t want to lose that hard-won strength but neither do you want to struggle through an hour of boredom 2x/wk.

What do you do??

This is the dilemma I’m currently facing with BodyPUMP. Let me be clear that it is NOT the instructor’s fault. I’ve experienced 6 different BodyPUMP instructors and they ALL rocked. They knew their stuff, their form was on target, they were all nice and friendly and energetic. I don’t know what it is about an instructor that makes me want to take their class. I can go to a boring class but if I click with the instructor, I’ll keep going. Likewise, I can go to an awesome class but if I don’t click with that instructor, I won’t keep going.

I considered getting certified in it and teaching the darn thing myself cuz I always have awesome fun teaching fitness classes. It’s like a win/win – I get moving (sometimes I get worked seriously hard too), I motivate others to exercise and be healthy, and I get paid for it! Learning the choreo etc wouldn’t be all that difficult. I mean, it would take a lot of time, but it’s totally doable. It’s the training itself that’s not doable. A couple days of intense training and it’s not guaranteed that people pass that workshop to even get to their eval videos.

Unfortunately, I’m not physically strong enough to do that. I’m tons stronger than I used to be, but I’m not yet strong enough to tackle that monster. But it is a certification I’d like to get at some point because the class can be super fun and it works soooo well.

I’m not the type of person to push myself through an hour of fitness boredom (part of the reason I stop my workout plans so often) so I won’t be going to BodyPUMP class anymore. However, that doesn’t mean I’m s.o.l. Here’s my tentative schedule to make up for this loss:

  • M – Walk/Jog Intervals // Tone It Up
  • Tu – SilverSneakers Cardio Circuit // POP Pilates
  • W – HIIT or PIIT
  • Th – SilverSneakers Cardio Circuit // POP Pilates
  • F – Walk/Jog Intervals // BodyPUMP??
  • Sa – HIIT or PIIT
  • Su – Rest

That schedule is subject to change on any given day but it’s the basic idea of what I’m currently planning on. My doctor said I shouldn’t be running at all because I have mild arthritis in my knees. However, I’ve been reading articles about it. They all differ of course but most seem to concur that osteoarthritis isn’t a 100% game breaker for running. If I was an athlete whose job was running etc then, yes, I’d be done. But there’s a possibility that cross-training and keeping it mild etc along with RICE blah blah blah…Maybe I could start running again. Nothing big, but maybe I’d be able to do 5k races again with the proper precautions?

I’m probably grasping at straws here, but I miss it so much. My legs are much stronger than they were too…I’ll have to talk to the doctor about it. He might relent and point me to a physical therapist or personal trainer who could help.

Anyway, so in lieu of BodyPUMP classes, I’ve made a new schedule. That’s what I do when I lose classes or instructors I really enjoy. I’m excited about starting this new schedule too. I love changing up my workouts! Except now my son’s school is out for the summer so I’ll have a mini-me in tow wherever I go. Oh joy. Oh rapture. At least he’s being a good sport about going to all of my classes etc and so well-behaved when we’re there! I’m lucky I’m in a gym where I can legally do that for the most part.

April – 3rd Week of PIIT28 1.0

Sooooo…this week sucked with PIIT28. I took the weekend off as usual but by Monday I was feeling super unmotivated. My son was out of school for a late Spring Break so he was out of school on Monday. All I wanted to do was stay at home and relax with him.

So I did.

Tuesday rolled around and everything was back to normal. It was easier to get my butt in gear because I had to teach fitness classes and it was going to be a super busy day so I was in GO mode the whole day. Luckily, my POP class was canceled (no students) so I was able to get PIIT28 in early and have extra time to recuperate at home.

PIIT28 1.10 Fat Burn Fest

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

My POP Pilates class was canceled so PIIT28 was easier this time around. Nobody POPed so I PIIT…ed…hmm…Anyway, the title would suggest that it’s a cardio workout but, in actuality, it’s the 2nd total body workout in the program.

As you know (or now know after you read this), there are 11 workouts in PIIT28 1.0. Here’s how they’re broken up:

  • 1 Cardio day
  • 2 Core days
  • 2 Upper Body days
  • 4 Lower Body days
  • 2 Total Body days

I know it seems like the lower body has more work than the rest of your body but…Yeah, it’s true. Your legs work more than 4x as much as the rest of your body will, but that’s because your thighs have the biggest muscles. The more you work the big muscles, the bigger the calorie burn.

The moves are different every day so you’re not working them the exact same way 2 days in a row. However, because you are working them so strenuously 6 days a week, if they start feeling not so good, LISTEN TO THEM and take appropriate measures to prevent injury. Our bodies feel pain for a reason. Pay attention to it. Don’t ignore it.

PIIT28 1.11 Bubble Butt

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

During the 1st round I was super bored. I didn’t want to exercise, I just wanted to take a shower and relax. I was at home, my bicep hurt from taekwondo the night before, and I had already done 20 minutes of hula. I pushed myself to get that 2nd round done and sometime during that round I was cool with doing the whole thing. But man! My butt hurt by the end!!

Afterwards I went on IG and did some temporary videos saying Bubble Butt. Try it. It’s super fun overemphasizing the B sound. Bubble Butt.

And that’s all of the workouts in PIIT28 1.0! From here on out is the struggle to do it all again in order to complete the 2nd half of the program. I know the moves and the modifications. Now I just have to power through it all again to finish. Am I going to finish is the real question.

Only halfway through and my strength and endurance are way up while my measurements are already down. My mental stamina though…Fighting against that mental weakness can be harder than fighting through physical weakness.

PIIT28 Flat Abs 1.0

 

Yeah, I was supposed to do 1.1 Abdomination but I was feeling super blah. There are 2 bonus workouts you have the option of including if you’re in your Round 2 (or above) of PIIT28 1.0 – Flat Abs 1.0 and Stronger 1.0.

Round 2 = You’ve already completed the entire 28 days of PIIT28 1.0 and now you’re doing the whole thing again.

It’s optional and there in case anyone finds they’ve gained so much strength that they want/need more.

I thought perhaps if I did Flat Abs 1.0 first then it would help motivate me to get my PIIT workout done as well. It kind of did but didn’t at the same time because I was feeling super blah. But I did get up to start 1.1 Abdomination so I was going to do it. Fortunately (or unfortunately depending on how you see it), some POP students walked in at that moment.

 

Teaching POP Pilates put me in a better mood but then I was tired because that class is all about core work and the last thing I wanted to do was another bout of core work so I packed it up and rested. And also went back into blah mode until after dinner.

I wonder if it’s the sugar from all that rotten Easter candy. I’m feeling pretty blah again today but I’m more determined to do 1.1 Abdomination. I hate getting halfway through the month and then quitting because I don’t want to do the same thing for the next 2 weeks.

I need to get off my butt and just do it.

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

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

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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.

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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.

Couch Potato Triathlon & Practice Makes…Better

It’s almost time! The Couch Potato Triathlon starts at my YMCA tomorroooooow! That’s Monday, 1/9/17, in case this post is read on any day other than Sunday, 1/8/17.

In the past I bought tankinis and bikinis for swimming because I wanted to show off all my hard work with my belly. It was much smaller then though I never got it flat. I also wanted to embrace my feminine side by showing off my boobs. Heck, I wanted to wear a bikini so I did! But then I was always so self conscious about wearing them around kids that I almost never did. Pools are crawling with children. I felt immodest showing off that much skin especially when it came to the boobs. Then I gained a lot of weight again and even my tankini didn’t fit so I felt doubly uncomfortable.

Why not wear a single piece swimsuit perhaps? Because they never fit properly. My torso seems to be a bit on the longish side so it was a bit difficult to find a suit that didn’t pull the boob part down. And then I have large boobs so I needed a lot of support. I was never comfortable with the amount of support given with those suits. So I moved to tankinis and the fit was always awesome…when my weight wasn’t fluctuating on a large scale.

Anyway, so the triathlon-type challenge is starting and I only had low-cut swim tops to wear. My fear that I would fall out was a real one I found when I tested out swimming half laps and noticed my boobs would start to ooze out a bit, so I got a high-necked swim top (with matching swim bottoms to hold in that lower belly pooch) to fix the problem.

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Bikini from Freya brand through Amazon

Yes, this is a bikini despite my weight gain. I deliberately got a bikini for 2 reasons. 1) I seriously loved that top. 2) One of my New Year’s Resolutions was to learn to love my body. That includes my Jelly Belly. While I feel super self conscious showing off my blobby belly, I don’t think I’ll feel as bad with my cleavage being hidden. I mean, I’ve posted pics of myself in a sports bra on IG. This is the same…right? Except I’ll be face-to-face with people instead of hidden behind a screen.

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Nobody ever said this was going to be easy.

Anyway, I’m super excited about starting the Couch Potato Triathlon tomorrow. It’s going to be so much fun!! Swimming is the only problem I foresee. I’ll also be walking instead of running. Walk a couple miles to warm up and then swim as far as I can tomorrow. It’ll be a great start!

My other bit of news is that I tried something new and succeeded! Eventually, for the most part anyway. The #FaerieYogiTales IG challenge called for a Fallen Angel pose on the very first day. emoji screaming face I’ve seen this move but never tried it myself because it looked super hard and I didn’t know how to get into it. Really, I had no desire to learn how to do it as it looked way beyond me. Here’s a beautiful version from @moonyogini, one of the hosts of the challenge:

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She’s an angel falling from the sky, her brains about to be splattered all over the ground in a 30 foot radius. It’s much less glamorous when put like that… But the pose is very pretty when caught before brain-splattering.

I resigned myself to attempting the modified side crow that I knew:

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It always hurt my wrist and thigh so much though having the legs pressing against my elbow so hard. It’s not my favorite pose and I wasn’t looking forward to it. Luckily I had the brilliant idea of looking up fallen angel how-to videos on Youtube to see exactly how it should be done. I clicked on SarahBethYoga‘s “How to Fallen Angel Pose | Arm Balance” video and that’s where my search ended. Awesome how-to video! Really really helpful. And it showed me how easy and painless Side Crow could be! I had no idea my thigh could survive bruise-free. My wrists argued about the painless part toward the end but those are my wrists for you.

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As you can see, I “successfully” completed the pose and am super excited about it. The way I define success is that I was able to be in side in crow, get my head down and my leg up. Even better was that I was able to do it more than once and on both sides and I was able to hold it for a few seconds. After awhile, my wrists got super tired and started hurting big time. That was my cue to stop practicing. It was so awesome though!! My fallen angel is awkward and not pretty but I did it and that’s the first step. I’m so happy! So happy in fact that I made a video of my practice. All my attempts cut up into a 1-minute video following as I went through getting Side Crow and then Fallen Angel.

I never thought I'd be able to do a #fallenangel . It looked way too hard for me to ever accomplish. But the #faerieyogitales called for it on day 1 and I was all 😱. I had been shown a variation of side crow before and it was so hard! And now I had to lift a leg as well?! So I looked up a video on YouTube for directions and found I was making side crow much harder than it had to be. After mastering #sidecrow I went for Fallen Angel…and I did it!! I'm not graceful or anything and there's a lot to work on still but I got my leg up and that was the first step. This video shows my first round of trying as I slowly progressed. My wrists were really hurting by the end but I didn't give up! I took breaks for my wrists but I kept on. 😁 Just because you think you can't do something, don't let that stop you from never trying. Try and try again if it's what you want to do. I always thought this pose was beautiful. Mine might not be beautiful but it's a start and I'm so glad I tried. Learn how to do something and then go do it! Don't give up if you don't succeed the first time because you probably won't succeed for awhile. Good luck! If you set your mind to it, you can do great things!! 💖✨ Wearing: POP Army tank and Pointe Leggings from @popflex_active Music: Who Says by Selena Gomez #practice #willpower #determination #perseverance #poparmy #popsters #poppilates #yoga #goodvibesonly #success #nevergiveup #keeptrying #popflex #strength #balance #careful #arms @blogilates @poppilatesofficial

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If you want something, never give up on it! You’ll be amazed at what you can accomplish if you set your mind to it.

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!!