Phase 2, Day 35: Total Body Core (aka REFEED DAY)

If you are reading this right now with a splitting sugar headache, you did Refeed Day wrong.

To be fair, it was probably hard to control yourself. Because on this day, this holiest of holy days, when that purveyor of ass and abs, Autumn Calabrese, FINALLY gives you permission to eat chocolate and other high glycemic foods for the scientific purpose of replenishing your glycogen levels after weeks of deprivation, who are you to look a gift horse in the mouth? And yes, I know you are limited to a certain number of the dirty yellows which must be consumed at certain points during the day, but I know firsthand how hard it is to exercise self-control when that first rush of sugar hits the bloodstream. It’s like sharks to chum: Your brain gets a whiff of that shit and all bets are off.

But first you must struggle through Total Body Core. In this second week of Phase 2, you do each exercise for 10 reps; go through all the exercises a row, then repeat two more times for a total of 3 sets. Despite the workout running about an hour in length, you don’t notice the time. You move quickly from one exercise to another and before you know it, you’re going through your last rep.

I think the reason this workout flows so nicely is because of its pacing: You go from an exercise that kills you to one that still hurts, but not as badly. It’s structured to give you a bit more recovery time, even as it works a different muscle group. Here’s me working EVERY muscle group with squat row something something something:

Squat Row etc.
First exercise is also probably the hardest.

Case in point: The above exercise sucks. Your shoulder will burn, your core will burn, your legs will burn. But it is the very FIRST exercise of the workout, which means each time, you have enough energy to power through because you’re either starting fresh (set 1) or coming off a little break (sets 2 and 3). Again, as with most Beachbody workouts, Total Body Core is hard, but do-able.

Now let’s move on to the fun stuff: Refeed Day. My first Refeed Day, I made donut holes and flourless chocolate chickpea brownies. For my “breakfast,” I got to consume TWO dirty yellows, and allocated a single donut hole and brownie to have with my cup of tea.

Donut Holes and Flourless Chocolate Brownies
Who knew chickpeas could taste so good (apologies for the stapler cameo).

My secretary happened to walk in on me consuming these foods and told me the noises I was making were highly inappropriate for the workplace. I did not care.

I enjoyed these donut holes and brownies RESPONSIBLY throughout my first Refeed Day and the two Refeed Days after that. Again, my problem was not necessarily Refeed Day, but prepping for Refeed Day on Sunday, when I’d lick the bowls and taste test my wares. In essence, I got TWO Refeed Days a week, and as a result, I’m pretty sure my results were not as on point as they could be.

Similarly, this second time through 80 Day Obsession, I am not doing the Refeed Days because I spent all weekend consuming dirty yellows at a wedding. While I could chalk that up to failure, I prefer to think of it as replenishing those low glycogen stores…over the weekend….multiple times.

For those of you wondering which dirty yellows are good to try out, check out the food list from the 80 Day Obsession program materials. On page 3 at the bottom, there’s a list of Fixate dessert recipes for Refeed Day. I highly recommend the donut holes and flourless chocolate chickpea brownies. You will need a food processor, and you’re going to doubt the flavor of the brownies because they have CHICKPEAS in them for god’s sake. But so long as you don’t overcook the brownies, they will turn out ooey and gooey and delicious (though be sure to watch Autumn’s Fixate video for the tip on lining the baking dish with greased parchment paper before tipping the batter into the pan).

The donut holes are good too, though beware that the glaze will soak into the finished product. Not that that’s a bad thing, but if you make the holes on Sunday and eat them any later than Wednesday, chances are they could be real soggy and/or about to mold. I would not have kept mine later than Wednesday for that reason.

If you like to cook or bake, use Refeed Day as an excuse to try new recipes. Those brownies are already my go-to for family get-togethers and work parties, if only because I know I can have more than one and not feel too guilty because CHICKPEAS. ‘Nuf said.

Like I said on Saturday, make sure you take note of how you feel after consuming those dirty yellows. Especially take stock prior to and during tomorrow’s Leg Day. Did you have more energy than normal? Did you feel sluggish? Again, depending on how you feel, adjust what you do next time to optimize your results. This is a process. I guarantee you will not get it right the first time. But don’t use that as an excuse to quit or not try again. I WILL participate in Refeed Day next time. And I believe I WILL make either brownies or donut holes. The true test will be keeping myself on a leash while making the damn things.

But hey, progress not perfection, right?

Bon appetit! Usual Link to Beachbody to learn more – especially useful if you want to learn more about Fixate, which you can get through Beachbody On Demand.

Phase 2, Day 34: Cardio Core (aka the Day Before Refeed Day)

Mood today:

Cardio Core done.
Moody AF.

The pic pretty much says it all.

Today wasn’t easy for me. I’m running low on sleep from the holiday weekend, I’m eating cobbled together meals that consist pretty much entirely of chicken breast, cucumbers, and Ezekiel’s Toast, and I keep banging my elbows on shit, like my body is too fatigued to retain any semblance of muscle control.

My alarm went off at 6 am. I rolled over, reset it to 8, and adapted my day to plan for an evening workout.

Pretty much the only thing that got me to the gym was my Energize. It gave me the clean boost of energy that I needed to put one foot in front of the other and press play.

I have nothing new to share about Cardio Core as the workout remains the same from last week. As with previous iterations about Cardio Core, the only thing I like about this workout is it allows me to zone out, push myself, and occasionally fight down the last meal I ate. In other words, I kinda just stare straight ahead, try to do one more rep than last time, and hope for the best.

Besides, the exciting thing about today is not Cardio Core, it’s the fact that this is the DAY BEFORE REFEED DAY! Which I’m not doing this time around. But if you are doing 80 Day Obsession for the first time, you ABSOLUTELY should be doing Refeed Day, if only because you can finally have chocolate and other “dirty yellows.”

To succeed on Refeed Day, you need to have a plan. That is, you need to know what dirty yellows you are going to eat, and when. If you leave this organization to the last minute, you are going to end up scarfing down an entire bag of potato chips and thereby miss the whole point of the replenishing glycogen stuff. My lack of a plan is how I ended up in donut hell, blacking out at mid-day and shoving an entire week’s worth of dirty yellows into a single sitting filled with maple bars.

Okay okay, it wasn’t that bad. But you get the picture. It could have been better.

Regardless, just as with your workouts, monitor how you feel with Refeed Day. Do you find that you feel good? Bad? Indifferent? If you end the day with a searing headache, chances are you overdid it on the sugar (just like me). In which case, change up the dirty yellows next time and go for something cleaner.

But if you somehow hit that magic combo of clean dirty yellows that both satisfies your sweet tooths while not spiking your blood sugar to abnormal heights, then ride that wave, note what you did, and repeat the next time around.

Whatever you do, avoid the temptation to use tomorrow as a free-for-all. There is a time and a place for that, and it is after you finish 80 Day Obsession. It is not in the middle of Phase 2. Think of it this way: Now, at this point in time, you are in the midst of seeing what exactly your body can accomplish when it is fed properly and moved regularly. Don’t you want to see what happens when you maximize your results?

80 Days. That’s all this is. Stick it out for 80 Days and make the most of it. I guarantee if you can stick to this mindset, you will not only be successful during the program, but you will have also instilled a lifestyle change that will carry you on into the foreseeable future.

That’s all I got, I’m afraid. Carry on and enjoy those dirty yellows. And as per usual, check out the link if you want more Beachbody info.