Phase 2, Day 44: Cardio Flow (aka The Zoo Gets Old)

I am starting to hate the zoo.

Saturday means 6 reps of 10 exercises named after a menagerie of animals (complete list found here). It’s not that I don’t like the workout. It’s just that after doing it for seven Saturdays in a row, it feels a bit tedious. I know what’s coming and it’s hard to keep track of the count (which as you all know, gets me into trouble).

Which is why today I switched it up and took the workout outside.

No filter all sweat.

I scraped up my palms some on the spider push-ups, but the workout was the perfect length to get me a little sunshine without the burn.

My sweat droplets also dried near instantaneously where they landed thanks to the warm concrete, a luxury I don’t otherwise have at the gym.

Saturdays are challenges all-around for me. The workout is not real inspiring, and I lose the benefit of having my weekly routine to keep me on the straight and narrow when it comes to the timed nutrition. The shake-up is made worse in that after a week of eating my pre-made meals out of Tupperware, I’m ready for a good meal out. Doesn’t have to be fancy, just somewhere where I don’t have to clean up.

If you just finished up Day 44, you might feel like me: Chafing at the bit for a good burger and maybe a guilt-laden snack. I’m not saying I want to go out and eat a pound of peanut butter filled pretzels from Trader Joe’s (though I totally could); I’m saying I want a treat. A little reward, as it were, for making it this far and following the nutrition plan about 95% of the time.

My first time through 80 Day Obsession, I fought hard against this craving. I really wanted to see what I could do if I stuck to the timed nutrition. But that meant finding a different reward following Day 44.

This is when I discovered Lorna Jane. And that for the first time in my life, I was a size small.

If you’ve been lusting after the workout clothes worn by Autumn Calabrese, most of them are made by Lorna Jane, an “athleisure” outfitter I’d never heard of until I started 80 Day Obsession. (I also had never heard of “athleisure” until I Googled why the hell anyone would want to wear workout tights with rips in them – c’mon Autumn.) Unbeknownst to me, there was a Lorna Jane store close to me. So on this Day 44 my first time through 80 Day Obsession, I set out to treat myself to a new sports bra.

Once at Lorna Jane, I explained to the sales lady what I was looking for and that I was between sizes, but that I was usually a large. She tsked and shook her head and said, “Honey, you’re a small now. Maybe a medium in certain styles but definitely a small.”

Even though it was this woman’s job to know her sizes, I didn’t believe her. I grabbed what I usually wore – larges, with a few mediums thrown in – and went back to the dressing room to try it all on.

None of it fit. All of it hung off me. Where the fabric should have been tight, it wrinkled like elephant skin, hanging loose.

When I pulled open the door, the saleslady was waiting outside with a stack of hangers in her hand. She looked me up and down. “A bit large?” She handed me the smalls and removed the useless pile I had accumulated in that room.

That day, I walked out a Lorna Jane convert and with sizes I had never dreamed of wearing. Here’s me in my size small athleisure outfit:

For when you’re not sure if you’re going to the gym or the airport or the grocery store.

Aside from some new clothes, my shopping trip taught me an invaluable lesson: Though the scale might not have moved much, I was losing some serious inches and my body was changing. But I wouldn’t have known that if I hadn’t found a new way to reward myself.

Furthermore, once I was wearing those new clothes, KNOWING I had made such progress was enough to curb the temptation of getting some sort of sweet treat. Instead, I settled for a decaf latte with coconut milk and called it good.

My point being, there will always be some days where it’s real hard to stick to the timed nutrition meal plan. And there will be days when you fail. But so long as you make those fail days few and far between, and remind yourself of your progress with photos or new outfits or whatever, you can keep being obsessed.

As I type this, I’m wearing a size small shirt and a pair of jeans with a waist in the 20s. I am going to have a burger tonight for dinner. And I’m going to enjoy it. But I’m going to get it wrapped in lettuce, maybe get a side salad for some extra veggies, and definitely steal some of my boyfriend’s truffle fries.

I’m human, not dead.

I hope by now you have figured out your own tips and tricks to keep your success going. And if you haven’t, take some time and think about what might work for you. The timed nutrition can get tough. It’s hard to be perfect all the time. So if you’re going to slip-up, at least try and plan it out so that it doesn’t do too much damage.

And remember, there’s always Lorna Jane!

Check out the link if you need more ideas. Or message or email me! Otherwise, enjoy your day off and get ready for another Refeed Day next week!

Phase 2, Day 40: Cardio Core (aka You’re Halfway There!)

It may not feel like it, but you’re halfway there!

Today is Day 40. You will have just done Cardio Core for the seventh time. You have seven more weeks to go. Take a moment and realize what you have accomplished: 40 straight days of hardcore workouts and eating right. Even if you were a college athlete, it’s doubtful you ate as well or worked out as hard as you have these past few weeks. It’s been hard and challenging and a shit-ton of sweat, but it’s been worth it. You’re seeing results. You’re loving how you’re feeling, and you’re excited to conquer the last 40 days.

But there’s also this little niggle of fear in the back of your mind: What will you do after these 80 days are over? What do you do next? Can you keep this success up after that 80th workout?

Yes. Yes you can.

I am proof you can. But the key is, you have to have a plan. Just like how in 80 Day Obsession you’ve been planning out your meals and workout schedule, you’re gonna have to plan now what to do after 80 Day Obsession ends. Because you are not going to want it to end: How good you feel, how small your pants are, how you like looking in the mirror. You are going to want to keep that going for as long as possible, and to do that, you are going to have to continue your commitment to healthy eating and exercise.

I am bringing this up NOW to help you address that niggle of fear; so you can fight the start of that anxiety by knowing what you are going to do next. For me, I knew that after I finished 80 Day Obsession….I wanted to do it again. I wanted to keep the streak alive. So I took a week off, did some yoga, let my body recover, loosened the reins on the eating….and then dove back in. It wasn’t hard to do so because I had a plan. And after 80 Day Obsession, I had the discipline to follow through.

That said, even though I decided to do 80 Day Obsession for a second round, that doesn’t mean the workouts have gotten any easier. Case in point, today’s Cardio Core workout. You’d think it’d get easier. You’d think you wouldn’t sweat as much. You’d think you wouldn’t be shaking by the last core exercise. After all, how many times have you done the damn thing?

Wrong on all counts.


Today was a beautiful day in the pacific Northwest, so I took the workout outside:


Gotta love the view. Of the city, I mean. Not my sweaty ass.

Picture this scene: A foursome engages in a friendly tennis match in the warm evening air. Suddenly, the thump of their tennis balls is interrupted by the scratch of sliders on concrete, and the grunt of a dying animal. All heads whip to the far corner of the tennis court, where a lone girl twirls an invisible jump rope, occasionally hitting the ground for pushups and some sort of exercise with loops.

They realize it’s not a dying animal but her, and go back to their game.

That was pretty much my workout. It was under a beautiful blue sky at the perfect temperature…and it still wasn’t easy. I still needed the towel I remembered at the last moment. And I still was gasping for breath.

But I pushed through. I went for that extra rep and extra height and extra jump. Which is probably why there was extra sweat.

My point is, the workout doesn’t get easier, but like Autumn says, you get stronger. It gets easier to FIGHT; easier to push yourself; easier to get a good sweat on. More than the changes you are seeing in the mirror or on the scale, these are the changes that matter most, because they will stick with you for long after this program ends.

So, as you build that mental fortitude, savor the fact that you are halfway there. You’re doing it!

Also take the time to look back and really think about what has worked for you these last 40 days. Are you doing well working out at home? Are the times you’re working out the most conducive to getting it done? Have you had trouble sticking to the timed nutrition? When have you had the most trouble?

Reflect. Now’s the time to make adjustments to really set yourself up for success in the last half of the program.

At the very least, I hope you are now feeling confident to take that workout outside and maybe do a few exercises with your shirt off.

Just remember to put on the sunscreen!

If you’re looking for inspiration after that 80th day, hit me up. Or check out the usual link to see what else Beachbody has to offer.