Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Week 8 Insanity: Taking a Breather

I am well into week 8 of my Insanity workouts - next week is the LAST WEEK - yay! It's been hard - hard as HELL - but I am so proud of myself, just for getting my ass out of bed every day and doing it. I'm not 20 pounds lighter or anything but my body is definitely changing. I'm wearing a pair of jeans today that I could not wear 6 weeks ago so there.

Today, however, I did NOT get my ass out of bed. I am dog tired lately. My muscles are sore and achy and I just wanted to stay in the bed. For hours after I finally got up, I felt the urge to beat myself up about being lazy and unmotivated and almost ate a giant bowl of cereal without counting the calories...SCREEEEEECH! Stop right there, I said - What is this? Why am I feeling bad for taking ONE slight break, knowing that I am going to do my workout tonight, anyway? That is how married to routine I get - If I break it, I feel, just, wrong. Well, I got over that shit and am feeling happy and, guess what, motivated! Looking forward to tonight's workout and I know that I will feel better having let my muscles rest an additional 12 hours. Seriously, they needed it.

So I received my NEXT workout series - It's called ChaLEAN Extreme. It looks rockin - It is weight training so totally different than what I am doing right now. I am going to be ordering some Selectech weights for the occasion. I am, however, going to take a one week respite in between the end of Insanity and the beginning of CE to just do whatever I want. I will still get up and exercise in the morning but I will do a variety of different stuff - like Hip Hop Abs and Turbo Jam and maybe even that evil workout queen, Jillian Michaels will get to take a stab at me now that I have done Insanity.

That's all I have. Nothing amazing to report except that life is good and I feel happy. THAT is amazing, actually.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Insanity Week Six: To the Max

I thought the workouts were hard during the first 5 weeks but I was wrong. They were mere child's play... This week I was welcomed to the world of "max" - 4 new workouts from hell, thanks to Beachbody, the makers of this program they call "Insanity." Right they are! Doing all of this IS insane but for whatever reason, I keep doing it. Probably because my pants keep getting looser.

So today I did "Max Interval Circuit." Get this - I burned 600 calories! 600! The heart rate monitor does not lie... These workouts are longer than the ones in the first 5 weeks so it makes sense that they burn more but I was pretty happy with today's result. I am still frustrated by the scale, though. I think I am just eating too many calories - that's all I can come up with. When I was on WW, doing Hip Hop Abs (a LOT easier than Insanity) I was dropping weight. Here, eating significantly more calories (and burning more, too) I am not dropping much weight at all. Inches, yes. Sleeping better, yes. Looser clothes, yes. Pounds, not so much.

At the beginning of all this, I went and had my body fat tested, as well as a full body sort of scan thing that tells you about your muscle strength in each limb, how much water is in your body, lean body mass and other useless bits of information that I didn't really ask for and wasn't really that concerned about. But now, after working my ass off this hard for 6 weeks and barely losing any weight, I am starting to feel really interested in some of that other stuff. Like, have I actually gained some muscle? By doing this test again in 3 weeks, I will be able to tell that, as well as if I have gained strength. Shit, I know I've gained strength - I can do several REAL pushups now - not girly knee push ups but REAL LIVE push ups. That is a feat in and of itself.

I am already planning my next workout series. I am going to order ChaLEAN Extreme from BeachBody. It is by the same gal that does Turbo Jam (who I actually really like) but it is totally focused on weight training - lifting heavy weight. I will take a recovery week and then jump on that train for 90 days. I really like having a plan for working out - I've got the Insanity calendar on my wall and every day I just look at it and it tells me which workout to do. It takes the choice out of it and frankly, that's what I need. If it were my choice, I'd probably be sitting on the carpet eating Pop Tarts, watching chick flicks. I also like getting to mark each day off and being able to see my progress. So these planned DVD workout series have a lot of great attributes as far as I am concerned. I am a huge cheerleader for working out at home to DVDs. Can you tell?

I hope everyone has a great weekend. My focus is going to be on drinking all of my water (2+ liters per day) and trying to keep the calories around 1700. We'll see - oh, I am praying I make it through tomorrow's Max Plyometrics!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Insanity Week 5 - Recovery, My Ass!

Well, I am STILL at it. I am just completing week 5 in my Insanity workouts. It is supposed to be my "recovery week" wherein I do the same workout DVD over six days. The workout is supposedly less "hard" on the body. Well, it is certainly easier than the original workouts but it is not EASY by any means. I am happy to report that I still sweat so much that my headband (I have to wear or my eyes turn to sweat pools) is soaked through. Eeew. Next week I begin a long visit to MAX hell... Max intervals, Max Plyometrics, Max whatever. Each workout is about an hour so I am basically looking forward to almost dying every morning (okay, six days a week).

I've been a little pissy about the fact that I have not lost much weight. I have lost, maximum, 5 pounds. Yes, I know, Jenny Craigs of the world, that 1 pound a week is a fine weight loss - don't start that reassuring, back-patting crap with me. I'm just plain annoyed. The thing is, I am working my ASS off and have worked out at much lesser amounts and lost more weight. Part of the issue is this - I can't fuel these workouts on 1200 calories a day. I am eating about 1750 per day, sometimes a little more, sometimes a little less. But generally, I keep it under 1900 all the time. Some might say, well, that is way too much to lose weight - but I'm burning 400-500 a day per workout. My basal metabolic rate is 1400-ish. So you do the math. I don't get it.

The BRIGHT SIDE (because there always is one, isn't there, Pollyanna?) is this - my clothes are looser and I have definitely lost some inches. I've had two people tell me that my "shape" is changing. So that's cool. I just wish the scale would register something meaningful. I'd really like to see something in the 150's - that would be LOVELY. So - I commit to work my ass off some more over the next 4 hellacious weeks and will hopefully be able to say that I lost at least 10 pounds in 9 weeks. That would be an accomplishment. Plus, I will be in the best cardiovascular shape of my LIFE. Seriously, I already feel like a machine sometimes... These workouts will at least do THAT for you!

More later - work beckons. Also, I think I hear the coffee pot calling my name...

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Still Insane and Loving It

Just finished week 3 of "Insanity." I am amazed that I have continued this long. Even more amazed that I am actually ENJOYING this abuse, looking forward to the heavy breathing and more sweat than I have ever seen fall from my body. REALLY - it falls off of me onto the carpet. Today, I was working so hard that something actually blew out of my frickin' NOSE and fell to the floor. Let's just say that it's a good thing we will be steam-cleaning these carpets when we move. But I've left more DNA in my workout room lately than I ever have. Anywhere.

Okay, so I know my one reader is dying to know...What are the STATS? Have I lost weight? Do I look different? Well - as of last Sunday I had lost 5 pounds. I measured myself today - I've lost 2 inches from my boobs already (that's fine, they were way too juggy to begin with), 2 inches from my waist, an inch off my arms and a half inch from my hips. I think that is good for three weeks of hard ass work. Of course, I want to have lost ten pounds and ten inches already but you know - patience is a virtue and all that garbage. I took photos at the beginning and actually had my body fat measured so - once I am fabulous and can say, "See how great I look?!" then I will post the before and after photos and body comp stats. Until then, the before photo stays under serious wraps. I can't believe I let my husband take it. I am wearing only a sports bra and a tiny pair of undies.

Still practicing being kind to myself. It's not easy. Sometimes I don't feel very kind toward anyone, including my son, who is 3 and a half and driving me crazy with the "why?" thing. And the interrupting - OMG, the interrupting. Six months ago he could barely talk - now I can't shut him up. It's so wonderful, really, but that doesn't mean I can't get annoyed or want to stuff a few monster trucks in his mouth once in awhile. So I haven't been feeling very kind or patient these last few days. We've just had a lot going on and frankly, I feel the premenstrual crazies, even though I am not PM right now. I guess I am just bitchy.

I have been peeing on those ovulation predictor sticks every morning for a week - still haven't dropped an egg yet. I must have been way off on my cycle. I guess that explains why I am not knocked up yet. Oh well - that leaves more time for me to continue the INSANITY and get in the best shape of my life. I am down with that. It would me nice to have a healthy, happier pregnancy. Speaking of which, my blood pressure today was 115 / 77 - THAT is amazing, folks. I am normal for the first time in a long time. Must have something to do with the exercise and diet.

Imagine that.

Monday, August 10, 2009

HYC - Insanity...One Week Down

I made it through week one of my "Insanity" workouts. Unbelievable. Frankly, I amazed even myself. And the fact that I got up this morning at 6:15AM to begin week TWO is even more amazing. I am totally motivated right now and can't explain it, other than I am tired of being chubby, unhealthy and uncomfortable with my body.

I suppose my motivation also comes from the fact that I've lost a few pounds, and I can absolutely TELL, yes I can, that I my cardiovascular abilities are already improving. Next Monday, I will do the Insanity "Fit Test," a test involving a series of soul-crushing, life-sucking exercises that make you want to lay down on the floor and scream (if you have the breath available and are not puking). I was not too "fit" on my first attempt, which obviously is expected. But I already know I will see improvement next week. When you work this hard every day, it is inevitable. There is no way around it. I WILL get healthier.

And I've decided that I want to be an EATER, damn it. The way I see it, there are two camps. There are people who exercise so that they can eat. And then there are those who don't want to exercise (or just don't DIG it, I guess) and don't seem to mind depriving themselves of food all the time. The whole deprivation thing is just not healthy for me - mentally. I would rather work my ass off six days a week, sweating and wheezing until I am practically crying, just so that if I want to have a latte and a scone or maybe a big cheeseburger on occasion, I don't have to worry. And I can eat plenty every day - plenty of healthy food that I love. I don't have to do the 1200 calorie a day thing. I don't have to freak out if someone gives me a sandwich with cheese on it. I don't have to "bring my own" gross diet dish while everyone else eats spaghetti and I just end up looking weird. I'm sorry but that is just a misery that I am not willing to bear anymore. Feh! Not going to do it. Done.

My diet this last week was for the most part, very clean. And strange thing is, I enjoyed it. If I am not being all militant about carbs, I am a pretty happy camper. If I can have awesome greek yogurt, berries, tomatoes and spinach, low fat dressing, chicken breasts and quinoa, and my favorite whole wheat english muffins with eggs and turkey, I am DAMNED happy. On Saturday, I made myself a very healthy, super thin crust pizza (two pieces only, mind you) with turkey pepperoni, part skim moz, tomatoes, peppers - it was fab, and less about 5oo calories for those two pieces. I realized that I can eat healthy, and still have most of the stuff that I truly enjoy.

I've been trying very hard to cut down on my artificial sweetener consumption - it was WAY out of control, in my opinion. I've been doing very well - I am using just regular sugar (cubes - I bought CUBES so that I wouldn't do any heaping tablespoons...) and I also bought that "Stevia In the Raw" just to try the bitter root out. Turns out the rumors are true - that stuff has a weird bitter aftertaste. But I soldier through... Or I just do part sugar, and one teaspoon of Splenda, as opposed to 3 teaspoons of Splenda or two packets of Sweet & Low, etc. It's working. And I am finding that things just really don't need to be so damned sweet.

Okay, that is all I know right now. Wish me luck as tomorrow is the "Pure Cardio" Insanity workout. One of the girls in the video actually almost throws up and a few of them lay down. It's a crazy series but don't worry - I am going at my own pace. And I feel GREAT.

Now I am off to buy some liver. Gross, I know, but I love it and I am in desperate need of IRON right now... TOM and all....

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Bring the Insanity

I recently got Beachbody.com's newest workout program, "Insanity." It features Shaun T (of "Hip Hop Abs" fame) yelling and sweating profusely with some of the most amazingly in shape people I've ever seen. (I have an admiring crush on Ariel, the fabulous blonde gal with abs of granite and an ass that you could balance an apple on, as in, it is like a SHELF jutting out from behind her). Shaun T works everyone to death, jumping around, flailing arms, rapid fire push ups, something totally evil called "suicides," the works - Even the people in the video crumple up onto the floor in exhaustion, take breaks, etc. It is mostly high intensity cardio circuits so far. It is a 60 day program. Tomorrow is Day 4. So far, despite the fact that I usually feel like I am dying 5 minutes into it, I am loving it. I just go A LOT slower than those crazy people. Truly, the work outs are INSANE. They named the program appropriately.

I've even been getting up in the morning to do it - that is big news, considering the fact that I hate dragging my ass out of bed for any reason. I've been eating well and taking care of myself, too. Wow - I can't believe I just wrote that. It's pretty rare that I am doing a lot of the right things for myself... I get scared because I am afraid that at any minute, something is going to happen and I am going to go back to feeling depressed and mired in my own self-loathing.

Feeling well (or dare I say "happy"?) always feels a little precarious to me, as if it is just a brief, temporary state that could escape me at any given moment, not to be seen again for years to come. I stand back and quietly admire the serenity inside of me the way an ice sculptor might examine his work - it is beautiful and grand and I am filled with satisfaction, but I am also sad because I know that the melting is inevitable, continuing until there is nothing but a pool of self-pity at my feet.

To help with these feelings, I am just working on the whole "one day at a time" concept. I don't need to worry about whether I will be happy tomorrow - I just need to focus on what I can do today to take care of myself. When I do those things, the happiness and serenity just sort of happen. And if something shitty happens during a day, I can continue to do the right things for myself, instead of getting pissed off and childishly saying to myself, "Well, if that's how it's going to be I might as well be how I've always been. There is no reason to change." I am embarassed to say this, but at 40 years old, I think I can positively say that I am beginning to grow up.

So back to the Insanity thing - I will be checking in here at least once a week with my results and a report on how it is going. I hope to live through the first week - so far the knees are holding up fine and my heart rate is staying under bursting point. If you are at all interested in learning more about any of Beachbody.com's programs, you should go by their website. My husband and I both use their programs (we don't belong to a gym at all - we work out at home) and I can say that we've been totally satisfied with every program - Turbo Jam, Hip Hop Abs, P90X, Slim in 6, and now Insanity. We've both gotten great results when we stick to the program and watch our nutrition. No, Beachbody doesn't pay me to write this - I just think they are a great company (even though they charge WAY too much for shipping...)

Have a great week!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Welcome Back, Stephanie!

It's true - I've decided to do a post after a long hiatus. I've been busy, you know!

Instead of flogging myself repetitively, let me just say that I was having a pretty bad time of it back in February. I'm on a better path now, feeling better and trying to be a little nicer to myself overall. So no flogging and self-destructive talk right now. See how fucking positive I am?! (God will forgive that little slip up there, I am sure of it - I'm healing my blackened heart, after all...)

I recently celebrated my 40th birthday and it was a blast. We had good food, karaoke, "vintage" candies (I almost died when I discovered that hot tamales were considered a vintage candy) and just a really great time all around. My very best friend of 30 years came out to join in the fun. It was so wonderful to see her and to know that I still have such a great friend in her. I am also thrilled to be on the "recovery path" with her - we are both doing well, despite being off the "candy," as we call it. (Those of you who are my people know what I'm talkin' about).
I hope everyone in my little blog world is doing good. I will stop by to see all of my "girls," (that's you, Missie). As for my weight, well - it's high, but I feel good. I am just working on trying to appreciate my body for what it is and what it can do. So it is a little lumpy - feh, who cares?! I have been doing the Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred DVD and so far, I really like it. I also got Jillian's book, Winning By Losing. It is really good so far - very straight forward, just like her.

Well, I have to go prepare for a City Council meeting. The fun never stops here at Stephanie's place. Oh, and here is a new pic of me - Steph at 40. I wish I was wearing lipstick but it's not a bad photo. I am glad to see that I am free of the forehead lines, although those crow's feet could probably pick up and carry a few large tree limbs. Whoops - there I go being negative. What I meant to say was is, "DAMN, I AM ONE HOT MAMA!" Much better...

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Evening Madness...Thoughts on Food and Toddlers

I always get really "munchy" when we get home from work. It doesn't matter if I am not actually hungry - I just have the urge to graze on whatever happens to be on hand. I think it is just the combination of being tired, relieved to be home and comfortable, the stress of a three year old (his latest thing is "I HATE you, Mama...Go 'way!") and just trying to figure out what to do for the next several hours other than eating several pounds of food.

I am reading novels - that is somewhat helpful but I don't like reading until the kid is in bed - I just can't justify ignoring him for the little bit of time I get to see him in the evening. Well, actually, I CAN justify it, at least for 10 or 15 minutes, especially on the nights when I put him to bed and end up spending almost two hours trying to get him to shut his little pie hole and go to sleep.

The issues of disciplining a three year old are so...confusing (now that we're on the subject). I've definitely discovered that trying to yell louder than him or whacking his bottom isn't terribly effective. Sticking my tongue out back at him isn't so helpful, either. I mean, seriously, I do not lie when I say that I have done these things - I get so damned childish sometimes I can't believe I am almost 40!! If anyone has any suggestions for learning good discipline skills, I would love to hear them (c'mon, Missie, my only occasional guest - you must know of SOMETHING I can do). My mother-in-law recommended Dr. Dobson and I've looked a little at a book called Positive Discipline - Man, I need something FAST. Before I lose my mind!

Um, so - back to my original complaint - tonight I budgeted points for a snack and a WW ice cream - that is the best bet, really, to PLAN for the snacking and just eat a little less during the day. I like the new WW deal of using the weekly points first and then moving to the AP's. Ultimately, I will end up using less points because I won't be tempted to "blow" my 35 on a bingey day (like a Saturday, where I eat "what I want" and likely inhale at least 135 points, not 35) and then use the AP's on a daily basis during the week. We'll see how it works.

I am down today to 159.8. It is good to be back in the 150's, despite the fact that it's only by .2. I started at 163.6 so - I guess I've lost my water now! Am going skiing this weekend and hopefully next weekend so yay - those are 1000 calorie burn days so I should lose some pounds over the next couple of weeks, for sure. Good - I need to fit back into all of my pants and throw away these ugly old mom jeans I bought to "hold me over." Straight into the maternity box with you, I say!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

HYC Check-In: A Fresh Start...AGAIN!

Yeah, so - I am starting over again. I got a "little crazy" these last few months. Have not been myself - have been mistreating myself royally. As a result, I've gained back, uh, about 15 pounds. It is unfortunate but a reality I have to just face and then move to change. And I am ready to do it now.

In 17 weeks, I will be 40 years old. I am SO TIRED of being an unhappy mess. For years I have been out of sorts, wandering in and out of addictions that kill off my self-esteem and happiness, finding hope for awhile, and then getting sucked back under by that nasty part of me that wants to off me for good. Really - it's ugly stuff. Things are getting better here slowly lately, mostly because I am finally being HONEST with others about where I am and what I've been up to. I've learned that I will never get better if I am not honest with others and more importantly, myself. It just won't work.

My focus here in the near future is really just going to be overall improvement. Weight is one factor but there are a lot of other ways that I've let myself go, too. So the plan is to make small changes (instead of gigantic ones that overwhelm me) and try to slowly but surely start showing myself the respect that I am so certain others deserve but for whatever reason, I rarely show myself.

The typical dieter in me says "I'm going to be fabulous by my 40th!!" That would be cool, but that is not the ultimate goal. I want to be HAPPY, even if that means that I will still have a little muffin top or a permanent dent of cellulite on my thigh.

Cool stuff going on - Still loving Curves (doing it with my new fun friend, Krista), reading the Twilight series and totally digging it, the firm is doing well enough and despite a lot of spats recently, I am feeling nicer toward my husband. That's always good, you know.

Have a great week, everyone.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

I Couldn't Help Myself...

To all of my friends and family who don't believe that lawyers are funny or truthful:

I got a letter from this stupid collection agency recently trying to collect on a $52 bill from our idiot cable providers, Bresnan. So – I sent them a letter of representation from our firm (on our firm letterhead) telling them that we disputed it. I get a letter back from them telling me that I need to have a signed authorization from Justin establishing that we are allowed to represent him - WE - as in OUR law firm. So I sent them this note, with his signature. SEE BELOW – and don’t miss his signature oath, which is really the best part.

S.P. Brockett
CMI / Credit Management, LP

RE: Justin B. / Bresnan Communications

Dear Mr. Brockett:

This letter is in response to your letter dated January 27, 2009, regarding your need for a signed authorization from Justin B. On behalf of our long-term and trusted client, Justin B. (who also happens to be an OWNER of the firm, along with his long-term and trusted wife, Stephanie, yours truly), we wish to supply you with such signed authorization and assurance that Mr. B. has requested our services.

By the genuine handwritten signature that you will note below, Mr. B. grants his own law firm, K. & B., PC, the exclusive right to represent him in this high stakes case surrounding the alleged non-payment of a cable services bill from the notorious and often-maligned monster cable conglomerate, Bresnan Communications. We certainly hope that you find this authorization to be a shining beacon of staunch authenticity, burgeoning with the hallowed hallmarks of veracity and truth, such as real live blue ink and a notary seal from our long-term and trusted paralegal, Ms. M.

Should you have any further concerns or comments, please feel free to contact us here at the K. & B. law firm.

Sincerely,

Stephanie B.

YEA, I do so solemnly swear and abide that I have granted my own law firm and, in particular, my lovely wife, Stephanie B., permission to represent me in the above-referenced matter. Hear ye, my CMI brothers and sisters, as my voice ringeth forth over the blue waters of truth and fortitude, now and forever after shall your troubled hearts rest in the peaceful, comforting knowledge that even a lawyer tells the truth on occasion.


__________________________________________________
Justin B.

We included a notary seal, too, for good measure.

How's that for some attitude?

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Happy New Year!

Well, it finally got here. The last several weeks have been a bit of a blur but I suppose it is that way for a lot of people, right? Several things have been accomplished in the past month or so and here they are:

1. K & B - The Firm: Yes, it's true. I am now the owner of a law firm. My husband and I purchased the firm, effective January 1 and we are now the official honchos (although our paralegal Sally might say otherwise - I call her "Boss.") It has been stressful, getting to this point, and will be even more stressful over the next 4 months as we help the previous owner "transition" his way into retirement.

2. Curves Whore: I am an official Curves whore - I love the place. The gal who runs it is a chatty kathy and we just yack our heads off while I run around and sweat. I go during my work day which totally rocks because then I don't have to stress all day long about getting it done later that night, after I put the kid down because let's face it - I hate working out at night and will look for any excuse not to. And it breaks up my day. I am thrilled to find something I truly enjoy.

3. Dropped an Obligation to Focus on ME: I have had a heavy heart for quite awhile about a church obligation (a ministry, in fact) that I have been leading for about 2.5 years. It is a Christ-centered recovery group. Problem is, my family (as in my husband, his parents and soon, his sister and her family) has left the church and I feel highly inclined to join them. I have been torn for a long time about how to continue the recovery group while joining a new church. Also, my own recovery has suffered over the past year and I've not been able (or maybe "willing" would be a better word) to do what it takes to get my head together. So a change has been made - I told my co-leader last night that I am leaving the church (as in, a full, clean break) and that I will be a participant in the meeting but not a leader. As a result of that discussion, we have decided to make some big changes to the group that will enable the co-leader to continue with it and, hopefully, make it a more fulfilling program for everyone. And me, well - I am going to get a sponsor and do some real work on myself this year.

That's my stuff for now. I have gained over 10 pounds so am around 159-ish. Not happy about that but not being crazy about it, either. It will come off and I move forward in what I hope is a happier and more honest way in 2009. Here are some funny pics to admire...


Here we are, the K & P Team. Below, our fancy professional head shots...

Justin, the sexy beast that he is...
And then me, of course...looking eerily similar to one of my good friends, Santana...

And then here are me and Justin, the cute couple...and our even cuter son, Wyatt!



Happy New Year to Everyone! May 2009 be a great one for all of us - even Barrack Obama!