Phase 1, Day 19: Legs (aka RELAX YOUR FACE)

Full disclosure: I’m exhausted.

Not only did I push myself to lift heavy in Leg day, but then I also decided it would be a good idea to go play soccer directly after.

So I’m typing this after having scarfed down dinner, soaked in an epsom salt bath, and showered. There is very little time left in the day to get this blog post done. And even though it is doubtful that no one other than my scant number of followers will read this, I have committed to blogging this journey through 80 Day Obsession, each and every day. So here goes nothing.

Leg Day. This one gets you good. To recap: This week there’s three rounds with three exercises in each round. You do three sets of 10 reps for one round, before moving on to the next round. Exercises are as follows:

ROUND 1: Reverse lunges, squats, curtsy lunges.

ROUND 2: Sumo squats, front diagonal lunges, twisting back angle lunge.

ROUND 3: Single-Leg Good Morning, hip hinge, Buddha squats.

Here’s a photo of me doing the twisting back angle lunge:

Twisting back angle lunge
Damn, girl. RELAX THE FACE

It’s not the best form, for a very simply reason: I’m all tensed up in my neck and face. I didn’t even realize I was doing this, despite Autumn’s one phrase that stuck with me throughout the workout: RELAX YOUR FACE. Clearly, I need to take her advice, otherwise I’m going to carry the tension in my neck and back and risk throwing my back out. It also looks like I need to take a shorter step the the back. Lots to work on; again, glad I took a photo to check in on my form.

As I have stressed all week, really push yourself with this workout, but be mindful of your body. Pay attention. If something feels too easy, use a heavier weight, but don’t sacrifice your form to do it. If you get done with the first round and you aren’t sweating, you need to lift heavier weights. Your heart rate should be up, and if it isn’t, it’s because what you’re lifting is too light. Don’t be afraid to lift heavy UNLESS your body is flashing danger signs, or unless your doctor or another trained professional tells you not to. You will NOT bulk up. You will NOT turn mannish. I promise you that. Please, trust the program, and push yourself with the weights.

I should add a brief caveat about the bulking up: If you aren’t following the timed nutrition, and instead are going off the reservation and eating whatever you want, whenever you want, then even lifting the heaviest weights in the world can’t save you. You can’t out-train a bad diet. Which means that while you won’t bulk up, you also won’t see the results you otherwise could. You won’t tone up and slim down.

Crucially, don’t think that to tone up and slim down you need to eat LESS food. I have said it before and I will say it again: FOOD IS FUEL. You need to eat properly to fuel your body to get through these workouts. Please, also, learn from my experience.

At this point in the program on Day 19 my first time around, I was miserable. I was tired in the evenings, crabby, and just generally unpleasant to be around. Ask my boyfriend. It was no walk in the park living with me, and I figured it was a combination of long hours at the office, not enough sleep, and stress.

It was my boyfriend who eventually suggested that perhaps I was not eating enough. I shook him off, as my weight calculations had me eating out of Meal Plan B. I was committed to following the rules, and that included sticking with Meal Plan B, even if it turned me into a grumpy zombie.

I wish I had listened to my boyfriend and bumped up to Meal Plan C at this point in the program. Instead, I gutted it out through Phase 1 and most of Phase 2. I spent all of that time feeling hungry, crabby, tired, and constantly wondering if I should be feeling that way, since Autumn was always reminding us we should NOT be feeling deprived.

In truth, the only reason I bumped up to Meal Plan C was because Autumn, tiny, spritely Autumn, eats out of Meal Plan C –something I learned in one of the later weeks. And so I figured if she could do that with her 108-pound frame and still keep trim, then certainly it would work for my big-boned self.

The day I switched up meal plans, the day life changed for the better, and I have never looked back. My body needed more food, despite what the calculations told me. Maybe it was my metabolism or everything else life decided to throw at me, but Meal Plan B just wasn’t meeting my needs, and as a result, I wasn’t getting the most out of 80 Day Obsession.

While a period of adjustment is normal in the first week as your body gets used to eating clean food and eating often, if you’re not feeling good by Day 19, something needs to change.

Either you’re not eating enough, or maybe you have an undiagnosed food allergy or food sensitivity. If you are still foggy headed and have no energy and are a bear to be around, I strongly suggest you move up meal plans. If you are having…inconsistent movements, I strongly suggest you start keeping track of what’s going on and eventually talk to your doctor or naturopath or a trained health professional.

In the spirit of openness, I will tell you that as a result of tuning into my body throughout the first round of 80 Day Obsession, and continuing to do the same in the first three weeks of round 2, I saw a naturopath today for the first time in my life. Why? Because I appear to have stomach issues that persist, even though I eat clean and exercise and otherwise take care of myself. I was able to dial this in because 80 Day Obsession strips out the crap and really does offer a way to live your best self. But even with those tools, I couldn’t help but feel I was having an issue; something was stopping me from being my best self. Thus the naturopath. We’ll see what she says.

SO, please please PLEASE use this opportunity to tune into your body. How are you feeling? Are you sore? Are you constantly hungry? Do you have no energy in the evenings? Depending on your answers, consider increasing your caloric intake. Learn from my mistakes and be pro-active about your health in this journey.

Above all, savor the fact that you are just completed a kick-ass leg day, and you are about to finish Week 3! I hope at this point you have found your groove. If you haven’t, message me and let me know why. Or, if you have any other questions, let me know.

Otherwise, usual link included here for Beachbody.

Cheers to the weekend!

Phase 1, Day 7: Roll & Release (aka Meet Your New Best Friend)

Roll and Release: Roll around on a foam roller for 15 minutes and give yourself the massage you never knew you could.

The new best friend reference, btw, is not to the “workout” (fear not, it’s not a workout), but rather to the foam roller. If you don’t have one, get one. Seriously, it’s life-changing. You know when you come home from those long days hunched over your computer at work and you have those unreachable knots bunched up under your shoulder blade? Spend a few minutes on the foam roller and you can roll that shit into oblivion. It gives your body the release you never thought you could get without being on a massage table.

I have, incidentally, walked out into the living room to find that my boyfriend has fallen asleep atop the foam roller. It’s that good.

But more importantly than making it to Day 7 and foam rolling the shit out of your body, you have finished Week 1 of 80 Day Obsession! Feel good about this accomplishment! And, remember this when the going gets tough in the rest of Phase 1:

YOU CAN DO EVERY MOVE IN PHASE 1. YOU ALREADY HAVE. SO KNOW YOU CAN DO IT.

There are going to be days up ahead where you are going to be tired. You won’t have slept the night before or you’ll be drained from work or you and your boyfriend will be going through some shit, and everything will ball up and make that workout you have to do seem insurmountable. You have to handle life AND those renegade rows with a twist and a GD resistance loop?

But here’s the deal. Even if you’re doubting whether you can handle the rest of the shit life will throw at you, KNOW you can handle the workout. You are not going to see ANYTHING new in Phase 1 from this point forward. The only thing that changes is the amount of times you do the exercise. Which means all you have to focus on doing is completing one rep at a time of an exercise you KNOW you CAN complete. You’ve done it before. You can push it to make it happen again.

I’ve hinted at it in other posts, but towards the end of Phase 1, I had some shit go down that made me doubt not only whether I could finish 80 Day Obsession, but make it through the day. The only thing that got me through the workout (Cardio Core) was knowing that I had done the workout before. It wasn’t rocket science. I wasn’t learning a foreign language. All I was doing was something I KNEW I could do. So I kept jumping and kept moving because I knew that’s what had worked for me in the past and that it would get me through this tough spot. And it did.

So yeah, when you think you can’t push through, remember you can because you JUST DID. Take a page out of Nike’s book and JUST DO IT.

With the exercise portion out of the way, let’s switch briefly to nutrition. Here’s my meal plan for the week:

Round 2 - Week 2
Menu for Week 2

This week, it will be a lot less assembling and prep for me on the weeknights, because with the exception of the skewers, I portion everything out into a separate container immediately after making it. As a result, here’s what a full day of food looks like for me, absent my shake, banana, and pre-workout meal:

Week 2 foods
Nomz Peanut Butter

Some day, I will learn better photog skillz with the iPhone. But that day is not today.

And, today is not the day when I conquer eating Home Baked Goods at my aunt’s house. I talked about this last night, how I struggle with sticking to my timed nutrition plan when I head to my aunt’s house for Sunday dinner.

Tonight, strangely enough, perhaps as a result of that blog, or as a result of eating at just the right time (hour and 15 minutes) prior to heading to her place, I felt really good about surviving the evening unscathed. I felt strong and wasn’t getting the urge to pig out like I normally do.

And in fact, I portioned stuff out on to my plate in acceptable sizes: Chicken Marabella – enough to fit one red; white rice – a little less than a yellow; green salad with vinaigrette beforehand – enough to fit a green; a small slice of home baked bread to round out the rest of the yellow. I savored it and ate it all and actually felt pretty good.

And then I saw my cousin going back to seconds, and it was like a tether snapped on my self control. Suddenly, the need to EAT ALL THE FOODZ was back and I was all in for more chicken and rice and bread. Then came dessert and I was all about that plum cake with ice cream. Two slices AND two scoops please! Fucking delicious.

So, my timed nutrition plan tanked for Sunday night. Again. But this time around, I’m trying to give myself a bit more grace. See, I know I didn’t stick to the plan. But at the same time, because I had two meals left in the day to eat, I kinda figure that from a caloric standpoint, I got roughly the same amount of calories as I should, just not at the right time. And as for the plum cake…well shit happens. And next time I should really only do one slice.

I’m including this not so that you think you have free license to eat anything and everything. If you do that, 80 Day Obsession won’t work for you.

I’m including this tidbit so you know the struggle is real. This is my second time through and I’m STILL trying to figure out how to get the most out of this program. Yeah, I had a bad night. But that doesn’t mean I’m giving up, or that I’m throwing the rest of the meal plan for the week to the wind. It just means that I will have to figure out something new for Sunday dinner next week. I’m not going to let that one failure ruin the rest of the week. And really, I’m not sure I would call it a failure, because it was good food surrounded by good people. So sorry, not sorry.

When you screw up – because you will – go easy on yourself. Try and figure out why the screw-up happened, then try and address the issue so it doesn’t happen again in the future. Or so it doesn’t happen so bad. But don’t stop. Don’t give up. What you’ll get out this program AND life is too good to let one set-back dictate how the rest of everything should go.

For me, I’m hoping that the 2B Mindset program will help with my self-control on these Sunday night dinners. I need that extra little boost to make it through. I need to figure out a way to enjoy myself without over-eating or going back for seconds or thirds or fourths. Because I don’t need those extra helpings. I’m eating enough during the day and getting plenty of good fuel. So something else is going on. I’m hopeful 2B Mindset can help get to the root of it.

Somehow, I managed to type over 1200 words on a rest day. TL;DR. I know I know.

Get some sleep and get ready for Week 2, starting tomorrow! And if you want to know more about 2B Mindset, check out the link below for more info.

https://mysite.coach.teambeachbody.com?coachId=1603264&locale=en_US

Phase 1, Day 6: Cardio Flow (aka Just Another Day at the Zoo)

And just like that it’s over.

Week 1, that is.

Cardio Flow is a nice change-up from the rest of the week because it literally flows differently. In a nutshell, there are 10 different exercises. The first exercise is called inchworms, and you do four reps. Then, you do the next exercise, spider push-ups, also for four reps. Next, you go back and do four reps of inchworms, then four reps of spider push-ups, then four reps of diamond jumps (the worst). Go back to the beginning and repeat, adding a new exercise on at the end as you go. And so on and so forth. Here’s the full breakdown of exercises which will mean absolutely nothing until you do it all the way through:

  1. Inchworms
  2. Spider push-ups
  3. Diamond Jumps
  4. Flamingos
  5. Gorillas
  6. Step Throughs
  7. Bears
  8. Crabs
  9. Mule-to-Frog.

Once you get through Mule-to-Frog, you get a rest. Then you go through and do everything for 4 reps in a row for 2 more rounds.

I guarantee, the first time through, you will feel lost, especially as fatigue starts to set in. Also, you’ll start to wonder why the hell they call the damn thing “diamond jumps” when they make you look so ugly with all that sweat (probably just me).

The nice thing about Cardio Flow, however, is there is no warmup, so the pace feels different right from the get-go. Even better, between the repeated rounds of inchworms and spider push-ups, you get a good stretch on. Here’s me in full spider position:

Spider Push-Up
Keepin’ an eye out for the spider I saw on my towel before I started.

My point is this: When you get to the end of Week 1, you will need that stretch. You will also feel a huge sense of accomplishment. You did it! You made it through a week of workouts that I guarantee were nothing like you’ve done before. AND, if you stuck with the time nutrition, you will be seeing results.

However, that’s just Week 1 down; there’s still 12 to go. Which means you have to start planning for next week, now.

When I first started, this was a huge pain in my ass. I wouldn’t start to think about what to eat for the next week until Sunday afternoon, and then it was a rush to grocery shop and cook and portion everything out. I pretty much ate the same thing for three weeks in a row because I couldn’t be bothered to come up with anything new.

But by the end, I had the hang of it. And strangely enough, I kinda started to enjoy it. Now, when Thursday hits, I’m already looking forward to meal planning for the next week: What foods will I have leftover? What am I tired of? Will I have any lunches or dinners out that might require me to make smaller portions? Now I’ve spaced it out so that on Friday, I’m writing out my menu; Saturday, I’m grocery shopping; and Sunday, I’m cooking. Except for today, when I know tomorrow will be an office day. In which case, the cooking is already part-way done. Turkey sloppy joes are all set for the week:

IMG_0267

Email me for the recipe. It’s off Fixate and it’s one of my faves.

Don’t be fooled: I hate cooking. I’m not good at it. But I hate feeling like shit even more. And I like how I feel after I eat food that I make that I know is in the right size and has the right stuff to fuel me for the day. So I make it happen.

Like Autumn says, pick your hard. I would rather the hard of cooking and working out than the hard of not feeling good about myself.

Which is why tomorrow is so tough for me. It’s when I have to face one of my three weakness: Home Baked Goods.

Previously, I’ve written about my struggle with eating out. I’m proud to report (and as you well know if you read my blog post on it) I successfully dealt with that struggle earlier in the week. Tomorrow is another test when I go to my Aunt’s house for Sunday dinner with the rest of the fam.

The test is resisting going back for seconds on her succulent slow-cooked ribs, and the temptation of taking more than one of the world’s best ever sugar cookies (they seriously are; that’s literally what the recipe is called).

I don’t know why, but whenever I go over there, my self-control goes out the window and it’s as if I have to have ALL THE FOODS. I suspect it has something to do with eating to feel like I belong, which is weird, because it’s family. But regardless, I know it’s something I have to get under control because I do way too well during the week to have Sunday dinner throw everything else off.

I’ve tried eating before I go over there in the hope I’ll eat less because I won’t be hungry.

Just ate double.

I’ve tried bringing my portion containers to measure out what I eat.

Doesn’t work when I go back for seconds and thirds.

I have literally tried chewing my food a ridiculous amount of times to see if that had any effect.

Nope, just made me the slowest eater at the table.

So my hope is when I blog at around this time tomorrow, I will be reporting on a technique that finally works.

I hope. Watch this space. If it doesn’t, I suspect I will probably have to check out Beachbody’s latest nutrition only offering, 2B Mindset. I’m not entirely sure what it is yet, but I know it actually addresses the emotional side of eating, which I’m pretty sure is my problem with Sunday Dinner. (To play psychologist for a moment: I eat a lot to make sure my Aunt knows I enjoy her cooking and my family knows I enjoy spending time with them. Maybe I should just bring a bunch of Starbucks gift cards to show my love instead?) I’m looking forward to learning more about 2B Mindset if only because I think it will at least give me that tool in my food tool box to feel like I have more control over my food. Don’t worry, millions of readers of mine, as I learn more, so will you.

In the meantime, get those menus done and rest. Listen to your body and enjoy the day off. You’ll need it.

Link below for the usual Beachbody plug.

https://mysite.coach.teambeachbody.com?coachId=1603264&locale=en_US

Phase 1, Day 5: Legs (aka Do As I Say Not As I Do)

So, I’m an idiot.

I am very good at giving advice but not necessarily at taking it.

Here is the build-up: It is almost the end of Week 1; your body is going to be sore; you are going to be mentally exhausted; these workouts, on top of everything else you have going on in your life, are going to make it feel as though your cup runneth over.

Here is my advice: Listen to your body. Don’t try and kill yourself with super heavy weights because you think you should. Check in with your muscles and joints and see how everything is feeling, and only bump up weights if you are feeling strong. See how you are feeling afterwards. Stretch extra. Maybe schedule a massage. Take an epsom salt bath. All in all, pay attention to how you are feeling and don’t push it. This is a 13 week program. Don’t blow your load in Week 1.

Here is what I did tonight: LET’S LIFT AT LEAST 20S IN LEG DAY AND THEN GO AND TRY TO PLAY SOCCER EVEN THOUGH THE HAMMIES ARE OBVIOUSLY TIGHT AND MAKE IT HARD TO WALK. OOPS WHY ARE MY LEGS SEIZING UP.

The only saving grace is that by the time you are on one of those co-ed teams in your mid-30s, one of your teammates is a massage therapist and can get you in for an appointment first thing Sunday morning. Thank God.

But in all seriousness, leg day comes at the end of a long week. But the good news is the workout flies by. It’s three rounds of three exercises, and in Week 1 you will go all the way through all the workouts for 15 reps each, then go back through and repeat. Compared to the other workouts, this one is quick.

Pro Tip: When doing lunges, focus on engaging your core, in addition to your legs. You’d be surprised how focusing on keeping the core tight can help engage your lower body.

As always, also make sure you track your weights, because you will see substantial gains in your legs as this program goes on. But for this first week, again, don’t go for the super heavy weights until the second round. Rather, go all the way through using a weight you know won’t kill you. If, by the time you get to the 15 rep, you feel as though you could do another few reps, then bump the weight up for the next round. But if you are dying, maybe keep it the same or bump it down.

That’s me for the night. I already rolled out the hammie on a baseball and foam roller and did extra stretching and took an epsom salt bath with a hint of baking soda. I am hoping a good night’s sleep will have me ready for Cardio Flow tomorrow, which I know will loosen everything up. But first, I have to actually make it to bed….

Beachbody details in the link below. Epsom salt bath not included.

https://mysite.coach.teambeachbody.com?coachId=1603264&locale=en_US

 

Phase 1, Day 3: Cardio Core (aka “I’m Not Going to Kill You”)

IF YOU ARE SCARED, READ ME.

I remember the night before Day 3, Cardio Core, when I was doing 80 Day Obsession for the first time. For whatever reason, I was nervous. Out of all the workouts during the week, Cardio Core was the one that had me wondering if I would be able to finish the workout. Or, really, wondering if I would be able to finish the workout without puking up my guts.

I think it’s because of the name: “Cardio Core” sounds like something you will barely survive, whereas “Cardo Flow” brings to mind some sort of fast-paced yoga.

I remember I even had butterflies before I hit play for the first time.

But, I did it. And I finished the workout. Barely.

And while the workout was hard, I didn’t die. As Autumn reminds us halfway through: “I’m not going to kill you!”

Here’s the dealio. Cardio Core is made up of, I believe (I can’t remember for sure – it’s been a long day) 5 rounds. Each round consists of 3 one-minute sets. Each one-minute set is comprised of 30 seconds of some sort of jumping plyometric that mimics a jump rope, followed immediately by 30 seconds of a high intensity interval training (HIIT) exercise. You do the three sets without any rest. Then after your third set, you go immediately into an ab exercise of 10 reps that use the sliders. The sliders look like this:

Strength Slides and Booties

After you get through the 5 rounds, you immediately go through and do all the ab exercises in a row, 10 reps for each exercise.

If you are still reading this and I haven’t scared you away yet, great! Because here’s the best part:

The first time doing Cardio Core, Autumn gives you, on average, 30 seconds to rest.

This does not mean the workout is easy. Far from it. But what this does mean is that the exercise is absolutely DO-ABLE. Again, they got the pacing on this exercise just right, because just when you think you can’t carry on, you get 30 seconds to catch your breath.

My first time, I needed every bit of those 30 seconds. And even then, it wasn’t until I was on Week 4 of Phase 1 that I was able to make it all the way through the workout without hitting pause. What killed me most were not necessarily the HIIT intervals or the jumping, but rather, the ab exercises.

See, with the jumping and HIIT, you can modify if you get super tired. You can either step it out or slow down. But with the ab exercises, you either keep up or get left behind. And it took me 4 weeks to not…I won’t say keep up (because that took another month), but at least, not get left behind.

ALSO, PRO TIP #A: IF YOU HAVE A SENSITIVE STOMACH, THIS IS THE ONE DAY WHERE YOU MIGHT CONSIDER LIGHTENING UP YOUR PRE-WORKOUT MEAL.

I was reminded of this in the middle of doing jumping cross-overs today. Because there is so much up and down in this workout, all the contents of your stomach get shaken like a milkshake. Or a salt shaker. Or a tail feather. You get the picture. The end result is that if you haven’t allowed yourself enough time to digest, or if you ate a super heavy pre-workout meal, there is a good chance you’re going to be making very good friends with your semi-digested foods. So, if you are worried about eating too much, or wondering whether your foods will stay down, this is the one day of the week where I absolutely recommend swapping out the pre-workout meal for the lighter Meal Option 1 (for those of you on the timed nutrition plan, you know what I’m talking about).  Once you know you can make it through with a happy tum-tum, make the switch back. But again, until you know how your body will react, if you are worried about it, proceed cautiously to give yourself every chance to succeed.

I have no good way to segue from stomach issues to the food plan in general, but here goes.

I started this blog because I thought it might be helpful to those Obsessors who come after me who have questions and aren’t sure where to look. One question I heard today that I thought a lot about as I went through 80 Day Obsession the first time, was whether the timed nutrition program is sustainable.

This question resonated with me because I had so much success with the timed nutrition program the first time around. My body responds really well to eating before and after workouts, and then eating three meals spaced out 2-3 hours apart after my workout block. And, as is perhaps expected, I (and my body) do very well eating relatively clean. That is, non-processed carbs, lean proteins, and lots of veggies and fruits. One reason 80 Day Obsession works for me is because I respond very well to that structure: Tell me what to eat and when and I am a happy clam.

But where I get into trouble is when I step outside my comfort zone into 3 problem areas: 1) Eating out, 2) Home Baked goods, and 3) Alcohol.

My problem with eating out is portion control: I know the combination of foods I should be eating; the problem is that most restaurants serve double or even triple the portion size I should be consuming. Plus, I was raised to clean my plate. This all combines for disastrous meals out, where I know what I should be eating and how much, but by the end of the meal I’m usually licking my plate and trying real hard to not order dessert.

Which is why, last night, when my boyfriend suggested we eat out to celebrate our last night of freedom before he returned to work today, I resisted. I didn’t want to leave my containers and the dinner I knew I had carefully portioned out and waiting for me in the fridge. But then I realized this was the perfect opportunity to see if the timed nutrition program WAS sustainable, and I wasn’t going to get any better at this eating out thing unless I actually practiced.

So, we went out. We walked down the street to Mexican food. My choice.

The good news about my choice is that I had gone to the same restaurant in Phase 2 with my parents and bf, and knew the steak fajitas fit perfectly into my red and green containers. I knew this because I brought said containers with me to the restaurant and to my boyfriend’s undying horror, then proceeded to separate the meat from the veg into their plastic counterparts. LIke I said, they fit perfectly.

The bad news is that the Mexican food, as per usual, came with a limitless supply of hot tortilla chips and salsa. WHO CAN RESIST HOT TORTILLA CHIPS AND SALSA?!?!?

Still, I took it as a challenge. Could I do this eating out thing AND 80 Day Obsession at the same time?

When we sat down, I allowed myself 10 chips. That was it. 10. (I chose that number because I had it in my head that you get 10 tortilla chips on refeed day, so that seemed a safe number to go with. More on refeed day in a later post!) I guzzled down my soda water with lime so that I wouldn’t notice it wasn’t a margarita (that didn’t work at all, but you gotta do what you gotta do).

And then our food arrived. And I had somehow only consumed 6 chips. Victory!

I didn’t have to worry about portioning out the dinner, because I knew it would fit. I did have to avoid the sour cream and guacamole, as delicious as they were, because it wasn’t time to have those macros in my diet. But you can bet I ladled on the salsa and enjoyed every bite of my fix-approved Mexican dinner out.

When we finished, I felt something I hadn’t felt in a long time, if ever, after leaving a Mexican restaurant: Not gross. Seriously, normally I leave having eaten my weight in tortilla chips and beans and rice. The end result is not pleasant for me in that moment, or anyone within a 10 foot radius a half hour later.

Even better, I had my first answer about the sustainability of the program in the face of one of my weaknesses: I can adapt the damn thing to eating out, but it does take practice and careful planning. And, let’s be honest, will power and avoidance.

Those last two strengths will be discussed further when I dive into addressing my other two weaknesses of home baked goods and alcohol. But I think that’s enough for tonight.

I hope, if you have made it to the end of this post, you finish it knowing you can do Cardio Core. But if you still have questions or doubts, ask me. Or per the norm, check out the link below for further details on the program.

Love and unicorns,

Katie

https://mysite.coach.teambeachbody.com?coachId=1603264&locale=en_US

Phase 1, Day 2: Booty (aka the Silent Killer)

Confession: I am a workout snob.

It’s not my fault. It’s how I was raised. Or rather, it was how I spent my formative high school and college years.

Let me explain.

I played college basketball. Not well, mind you. But I was on a Division I women’s basketball team, which means my four years in college were spent participating in all things basketball-related, whether they were mandatory or “voluntary.” A typical day in pre-season looked like this:

  • Wake up;
  • Go to class;
  • “Voluntary” weights for an hour and a half;
  • Go back to class;
  • Conditioning (not a silent killer; just a flat-out killer);
  • Open gym;
  • Study.

Somewhere in there, I ate. Terrible food. And lots of it. All told, I spent approximately 4-5 hours a day working out. Which gave me free license, I thought to put whatever food I wanted into my body, because food was food was food. And food was fuel. Ergo, confetti cake was the perfect food to eat after a marathon gym session because it was…food.

My college days left me with a two-fold problem: 1) I thought that to get a quality workout, I needed to spend at least 4-5 hours sweating my ass off doing exercises I loathed, and B) I had no idea how to eat properly so that people could actually tell I had spent 4-5 hours sweating my ass off doing exercises I loathed.

Which brings me to today’s workout: Booty. Quickly, some logistics: It was again 2 sets of 15, where you go all the way through all the exercises, then go back through them all again. There were again 5 series:

  1. Glute Bridge;
  2. Quad Ped;
  3. Side Lying;
  4. Standing; and
  5. Moving.

The only equipment needed? Resistance Loops.

Here, friends, is where my workout snobbery kicked in my first time doing this workout: I thought there was no way in hell I could get anything remotely resembling a good workout without either using weights or losing half my body weight in water while jumping. As this workout requires neither of those options, I was prepared to write off Booty as another way to get some new Beachbody sucker to spend more money on over-priced Beachbody products (i.e. those loops).

My face in the photo below should tell you otherwise.

Booty Burn
My face says it all about the booty burn.

This workout is deceptively hard. You spend most of the workout off your feet, so you think, “no sweat, I got this!”

And then you get to the 12th rep and your ass is on fire and your legs are shaking and you have sweat dripping off your face onto the carpet and you’re cursing both Autumn Calabrese and her damn resistance loops from hell and wondering how the fuck you’re supposed to make it through ANOTHER round.

But then, suddenly, you’re done, and for the first time ever your butt feels slightly swollen following a workout. Not like sick swollen, but SWOLE swollen. The good kind.

Booty in Phase 1 with your friend. This workout lures you in and lulls you to sleep with the promise of of doing the majority of the exercises either on your back or on your side or on your hands and knees. There’s no running or jumping or heavy lifting. It’s all concentrated movements that focus on specific muscles. It is the perfect switch-up from the full body intensity that is total body core, and the jump-rope heavy plyometrics that is tomorrow’s workout. It is absolutely do-able, and it’s a good reminder that you don’t need to go crazy on a treadmill or in the gym in order to get a quality workout.

I learned this the first time I did the Booty workout, and I was reminded of it today when I went back to Basics with Day 2 in Phase 1. It was like hanging out with an old college friend after a decade apart and not missing a beat of conversation.

But then that friend pretty much pushes you into a pile of dog shit while walking; because you go to sit down on the toilet and almost fall off because it turns out those muscles aren’t quite up to the task of a controlled lower to the porcelain throne.

Which, frankly, is the mark of an amazing workout. And a super unfunny friend.

One last pearl of wisdom before I close up shop for the night: Two days in, you may be feeling sore and suffering from terrible cravings. You may be wondering if this will get better and if you should continue to do this.

Yes, this will get better. I promise. But it will take work.

Yes, you should continue to do this. It is worth it. But it will be work.

Tomorrow, if you are doubting your resolve or ability, promise yourself that you will at least put on your gym clothes. Promise yourself you will then at least go to the gym or hit play in the living room. Promise yourself to then at least do the warm-up, because you’re going to be sore, and the warm-up will at least loosen you up and make you feel better. Then, if you do that and you do feel better, promise yourself you will at least TRY the first move in Cardio Core, just to see what it’s like.

Just try it. Take small steps to see how you feel. Because I guarantee those small steps will make you feel way better than you anticipated, and before you know it, you will have Day 3 in the bag.

But, until then, be careful going to the bathroom.

Link below for more info on the Beachbody stuff. Oh, and don’t skimp on the resistance loops. They are high quality and absolutely worth the price, and you will probably go through 2 sets of them during a single round of 80 Day Obsession. I know I did.

https://mysite.coach.teambeachbody.com?coachId=1603264&locale=en_US

 

 

 

T-2 Days to 80 Day Obsession – Fortune Favors the Prepared

Welcome to the Splash Zone.

We have less than 2 days to go before we start 80 Day Obsession. At this point heading into my first round of 80 Day Obsession, it was January 13, 2018, and I was frantically guzzling beer and downing french fries to make up for the next 80 days of deprivation. I was feeling overwhelmed by the meal planning aspect of the program, and I was having serious doubts as to whether I would have the grit to get up at 5 am every day to make it to the gym to workout (something my busy work/school/life schedule demanded).

I had questions and doubts and fears and felt like I had nowhere to turn. I watched the videos available for 80 Day Obsession on Beachbody On Demand religiously, but all I saw were happy, perky people who had a direct lifeline to the Creator (Autumn Calabrese) and thus all the answers.

In case you are like me, I’m using this post and tomorrow’s to address my biggest doubts/fears about the program, in the hope this will help you, dear reader, if you have any similar concerns.

  1. FOOD IS FUEL – PLAN ACCORDINGLY

The first thing you MUST do, if you have decided to bite the bullet and start 80 Day Obsession, is read the starter guide to figure out your meal plan. The Starter Guide uses your weight to determine your caloric intake – and thus your meal plan – for the first phase of 80 Day Obsession.

If you are like me, you are probably thinking, “but Katie, I want this program to WORK, and I want results FAST, so why can’t I just ignore the guidelines and start with the LEAST amount of calories on Meal Plan A?” That’s what I thought, and, frankly, that’s what I did for Day 1 of the program.

My idiocy did not last for longer than that one day.

Pro tip #1: You MUST FUEL your body with enough food to complete these intense workouts.

FOOD IS FUEL.

Repeat that to yourself over and over again. And when you think you’ve said it enough, repeat it at least 100 more times. If you have a fucked up relationship with food, this, more than anything, will hopefully start to address a few issues.

This program is NOT about getting skinny. It’s about getting strong and building muscle which in turn will cause you to lean and shred out. To do that, you need to eat enough to BUILD muscle. You can’t do that if you are starving yourself or depriving your body of necessary nutrition.

Again, I am NOT a nutritionist, but learn from my experience: Like an idiot, I meal prepped for Plan A; the first day, after making it through the first workout, I had no energy by lunchtime and felt terrible; my lethargy continued into the afternoon, until I finally caved and ate an extra helping of protein and vegetables. Like magic, my energy improved and my head cleared. That night, I went home and amended my meal plan to meet the needs of Plan B.

BUT EVEN THEN, in retrospect, what I should have done was bump up to Plan C.

As my boyfriend will tell you, I spent the first month a horrible grump, low on energy and crabby in the evenings. This continued until halfway through the second phase, when I got a clue and bumped up to Plan C. Immediately, my body was a lot happier with the increase in caloric intake, and instead of struggling to finish workouts, I started crushing them.

And, if you’re thinking this caused me to gain weight and bulk up, it didn’t: I continued to drop pounds and inches and feel GREAT.

So, please please please please PLEASE do NOT do what I did and skimp on the calories because you think that will help. It won’t. Remember, FOOD IS FUEL. You wouldn’t refuse to put gas in your car before a cross-country road trip; why would you demand your body do the same?

2. MEAL PREP – PLAY TO YOUR STRENGTHS

Let’s just call a spade a spade: I am a terrible cook. I am a master at overcooking chicken and burning toast. I routinely forget to season everything, and as a result, usually just end up dousing my food in hot sauce to make up for it.

Which means, when I sat down to meal prep for the week for the week, I knew in the beginning I would NOT have a lot of success if I was having to cook a lot of elaborate, fancy, healthy meals for the week.

The good news, however, is I make up for my lack of kitchen prowess with an ability to eat the same meal every day of the week – what I lack in skill I make up for in routine. And, thankfully, I have a boyfriend who CAN cook and is very good at not roasting chicken to a crisp.

Which is all to say, my meal plan that first week played to my strengths: Most of my meals involved a cooked protein and a salad of some sort, and always, a Shake for breakfast (more on Shakeology in a later post). The reason being that my boyfriend was responsible for cooking the protein, while I was responsible for the chopping of vegetables, which I can handle. Kind of. Not well, but I can do it.

And, I chose meals where I could chop up most of the vegetables on Sunday, put them in separate containers, and then from those containers assemble my meals for the week the night before they were needed.

This is pretty much what I am doing this time around. Here is my menu for the week:

img_0215.jpeg
Menu for Week 1, 80 Day Obsession. Note Container count in upper right-hand corner.

I am on a taco salad kick a the moment. Don’t ask me why. All I know is the recipe for ground turkey taco meat off of FIXATE (the Beachbody On Demand cooking show featuring Autumn Calabrese and her chef brother, Bobby Calabrese) is AMAZING and I can’t get enough of it. Similarly, the stuffed shells – they are at the edge of my culinary skills, but I can manage. And they are totally worth the effort.

I’m already over 1,000 words and think I’m rambling, so I’ll save discussion about the containers for a later post.

3.  PRINT OUT TRACKER SHEETS TO TRACK YOUR WEIGHTS – AND USE THEM!

Confession: I did NOT do this the first time around, and I wish I did. I had no idea how I progressed or how much stronger I got, and I found I was having to rely on the weights Autumn was using in the workout to judge what I should be lifting.

I am including this tip NOW so that if you have to go somewhere to print out the tracker sheets (found under the “program materials” tab in the 80 Day Obsession program on the Beachbody On Demand website), YOU CAN DO IT.

Here is the basic layout of the weeks in the phases of 80 Day Obsession: There are three phases, four weeks in each phase. In Week One, for every workout, you will do 2 sets of 15 reps; in Week Two, you will do 3 sets of 10 reps, but it is structured so that you go all the way through ALL the exercises 3 times in a row (this was my least favorite week of each phase). In Week Three, you will again do 3 sets of 10 reps, but this time, instead of doing ALL exercises 3 times in a row, the exercises are broken up, roughly according to muscle groups, so that you do three exercises in a row for 10 reps each, and then repeat two more times before moving on to the next muscle group. (This was my FAVORITE week.) Then, in Week Four, you go back to 2 sets of 15 reps.

If you learn from my mistakes and use the tracker sheets, you will be able to see how much stronger you are from Week 1 to Week 4 BECAUSE YOU HAVE TRACKED YOUR WEIGHTS.  As per usual, Autumn included these sheets for a reason. Use them. I swear she knows what she’s doing.

4. EXILE SHIT FOOD FROM YOUR KITCHEN/PANTRY/HOUSE

“Shit food” is, of course, a scientific term for “junk food.” I call it “shit food” because I always feel like shit after eating it (AND YET IT’S STILL SO HARD TO RESIST).

Do yourself a favor: Throw it away. Now. DO IT. Just get rid of the temptation and get it out of your house so you can’t reach for it in a moment of weakness.

Because I will tell you, the first week, when your body is adjusting to a new, clean, meal plan, and recovering from the beer and cheeseburgers you stuffed down your gullet the weekend before, you will have cravings. For a few days, your body will want what it’s used to: Shit food. You either have to a) be strong enough to resist these cravings, or b) remove the shit food from your house and then do what you need to do to ensure you don’t leave the house to get the shit food.

I had cravings. I wanted more beer that first week. Or a glass of wine after a tough day of work. I got all of that shit out of the house prior to Day 1. Then, when I got home from work, I immediately changed into sweats.

Ladies, what does this mean? I took off my bra. And as you all know, once that happens, I’m not leaving the house for ANY reason. I may have had the cravings, but now I had no way to satiate those cravings. Because once the bra comes off, I’m not putting it back on.

I also got in the habit of having tea for “dessert.” I could have as many cups of decaf tea as I wanted when I got home – Trader Joe’s does a great “well-rested” tea that is supposed to help put you to sleep. After a week or two of calling tea “dessert,” I had brainwashed myself into thinking it was true.

My point being, expect these challenges, and do what you need to do to overcome them.

Wow, well this post got long. More tips to come tomorrow. In the meantime, if you want to learn more about Beachbody products, link below. Or, email me with questions.

https://mysite.coach.teambeachbody.com/?coachId=1603264&locale=en_US