Week #1. Done.

Finished Insanity Week #1!

Insanity (1)

Insanity (2)

Insanity (3)

skinnyshae (60)

skinnyshae (61)

Learnings:

  • 5 a.m. wake-up calls are not as awful as I thought (except Tuesday).
  • I get sleepy around 4 p.m., and I am grumpy until sleeping happens again.
  • I drink less coffee.
  • I am hungry all the time.
  • I am sore everywhere all the time.
  • Eyes can sweat. Fact.
  • Eye sweat makes your glasses fall off during push-ups.
  • Second-day hair is not possible when you’re doing Insanity.
  • Cardio Power and Resistance is quite possibly the worst ever.

I gained two pounds. I hope both were muscle. Fingers crossed.

On Sunday, my rest day, I woke up feeling antsy. I didn’t know what to do with myself so I did 30 minutes of stretching and took a 20-minute walk with the husband and the dog.

Feeling less antsy, but I think waking up early every day and working out is messing with my “sleeping in” schedule.

Rude.

The definition of insanity

in•san•i•ty

noun

“extreme foolishness or irrationality”

I cancelled my gym membership in May because I never went. I turned a room in my house into a a room where workouts happen. I gained weight.

Nonsense.

I decided to change my strategy to something a little more insane.

Insanity.

Insanity Fit Test

I started my 60 days this morning with the Fit Test.

Results:

  • 63 switch kicks
  • 30 squat jacks
  • 65 power knees
  • 10 power jumps
  • 7 globe jumps
  • 11 suicide jumps
  • 11 push-up jacks
  • 34 oblique planks

This is the definition of insanity.

If you couldn’t tell, I’m blogging again.

An injured workout buddy and a blueberry smoothie

My workout buddy is hurt!

Ashley is not sure how she injured her back, but I am convinced it is from our workouts. Probably yoga.

So I feel terrible because I dragged her to yoga, and then her back started hurting.

Perhaps, because she had not hit the gym in a while, any new exercise regimen might cause strain and injury. Recommendations to heal her injury are heat, Ibuprofen and stretching. But no yoga.

I am a horrible friend.

Our workouts together have been working for me, though, and in a fairly unexpected way.

First, while I have not lost any weight, two pairs of dress pants that used to be too tight (well… they used to fit perfectly) are now fitting around my middle and through my thighs like they haven’t in months.

I. Am So. Happy. (And yet still so sad for my sweet Ashley.)

I am still too frightened to test my jeans. Maybe in a few more weeks… after a few more yoga classes… after a few more cycle sessions… Perhaps.

More good news? I shaved 50 seconds off my mile time without training by running. I didn’t run to reduce my time, which didn’t work during my Running Streak, which I barely finished.

I ran an 11:09 mile last week, and I am in shock. How did I do that without running at all? I don’t know, but I’m doing more of it.

In the meantime, here is a delightful smoothie I made for breakfast, and a recipe for another smoothie I hope to slurp down tomorrow.

Blueberry Banana Smoothie
Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup blueberries
  • 1 whole banana
  • 6 oz. of milk (enough to fill up the rest of your travel mug)
  • 1 tsp. of raw honey

Directions
Blend and enjoy.

It looks lavender!

Blueberry Banana Smoothie Recipe

Recovering from another injury

I am always recovering from some sort of injury.

For example, after I ran in the Run4NYC 5K, I hurt the top of my foot.

Running. I hurt the top of my foot. I didn’t even know that was possible. I am going to have  to learn how to tie my shoes properly.

For about a week after the run, I could not flex my foot or put pressure on the top of my foot because it hurt so badly. However, I could walk on it just fine.

Weirdest. Foot pain. Ever.

I’m not sure how I could have avoided that bizarre foot injury, but I know I can avoid future injuries and everyday pains and extreme soreness by making it a priority to take care of my body before, during and after a workout.

Two fitness bloggers explain how to fix the most common workout mistakes on The Greatist, a health and fitness website. Here are a two of the mistakes I make, and how I plan to fix them.

Workout Mistake: No workout order.

When I go to the gym, if I am not going to a class, I usually just jump on the treadmill or hit the weight room without a real plan… or at least without a really good plan.

The Greatist article recommends finding a program to follow, and, while no program is perfect, it is best to find a program that works for you. So you might have to try a few, but the article also recommends avoiding program hopping…

Maybe they mean to find a plan you like, and then stick to it even if you don’t see results right away, which was another workout mistake.

Several health and fitness websites put together workout programs for all types of programs: from spinning to gym-free. Fitness bloggers across the web also share their favorite workouts.

Here are a few of my favorite places to find workout programs:

Workout Mistake: Doing cardio before weight training.

I always run before I weight train. Always.

Apparently, I am wrong.

According to the article, cardio before weight training will tax the body so it cannot perform high-intensity weight lifting properly.

Oops.

These are not the only workout mistakes I make. I also fail to perform a proper warm-up and cool down, and I am a notoriously terrible stretcher.

I have a lot of work to do when I get back to the gym, which might not be for a while…

I hurt myself again after my foot healed. However, my most recent injury was not caused by an exercise of any kind; it was caused by my own extreme clumsiness.

I fell down the stairs, landed on my hip and pinched a nerve in my butt.

Yeah. I am awesome.

Avoid product hoaxes: The Ab Circle Pro and Sketchers

Have you heard?

The Ab Circle Pro is a total fraud.

Surprised?

Me neither.

The makers of the Ab Circle Pro claimed that users could lose 10 pounds in two weeks by spending three minutes a day wiggling back and forth on their makeshift skateboard-bike.

That doesn’t even sound real.

Honestly, I could make an Ab Circle Pro using a skateboard and a chair, and it would burn more calories because users would continually have to re-balance themselves so they wouldn’t fall off and crack their face.

However, the skateboard-chair method WON’T WORK EITHER. Please don’t try that at home… Please. It’s a bad idea.

The point is that the Ab Circle Pro and similar bizarre pieces of fitness equipment are complete hoaxes.

You cannot lose weight or tone your core by swinging your butt back and forth for three minutes a day. I mean, look at this woman, do you really think she looks like that because of the Ab Circle Pro?

Probs not, friends.

In addition, you cannot lose weight or tone your core by wearing an electrode belt under your shirt that stimulates your ab muscles. You cannot lose weight or tone your backside walking around in a special shoe.

There is no better piece of equipment than hard work, and there is no better way to spend your money than on making the small changes needed to change your lifestyle.

Believe me. I have love handles. I know. I used to want want want want! the quick fixes. But the “quick fix” claims do not work because fitness isn’t quick. Fitness takes hard work, commitment and a lifestyle overhaul. Three minutes a day is not an overhaul.

What experiences have you had with fitness products?

What are your thoughts on the lawsuits against the Ab Circle Pro and Sketchers?

Who do you think is next?

Get in a lunchhour workout without a sweat

When I am at work, there is little to no time for me to get in a workout plus my lunch during my lunch break.

It’s next to near impossible.

I have to make do with the time I have, which usually means I go for a stroll around downtown (not too far, mind you, I’ve got to get back in time to eat).

Walking is the perfect lunchtime workout because walking doesn’t build up much of a sweat… unless you’re power walking down the sidewalk…

I do not power walk; I simply pump my arms and walk at my normal pace. If you ask my husband, I walk ridiculously fast for a person out for a leisurely stroll. Hey, I was a server/bartender for almost seven years. You HAVE to move in that field!

If I walk too fast, however, or if I’m in my running shoes, then all I want to do is run when I’m supposed to be walking. I don’t feel too weird about running around in my work clothes -not a big deal for me. But I don’t want to work up a sweat and turn bright red for an hour and half after running around.

I have no time and no place to shower midday.

And sweat smells.

Well, my sweat smells.

AND FEET SMELL! I can’t go back to wearing open-toed heels after running around in my old, nasty tennis shoes unless I have time to shower.

And I don’t.

So running and sweating are totally out of the question on my lunch break. Gross.

During my September Fitness Challenge, which went about as well as can be expected when it comes to me and burpees, I worked up a sweat almost daily during my lunch break. And I was so uncomfortable.

In graduate school, when I was teaching, I’d do a few stretches in my office or wherever I could be alone (usually in the stairwell) before or after classes just to keep from getting to stiff from standing. I almost miss being on my feet all day…

I will probably have to go back to doing modified yoga during my lunch breaks.

Boring.

Power yoga is where it’s at, yo.

I want to sweat during my workouts. I want to turn beet red… literally like a beet. My skin turns soooo red.

I feel like I’ve had a workout when I sweat! It’s good for me to sweat during my workouts! Lets me know when I’ve had too much coffee and not enough water… Sweating is detoxifying. It feels good. It feels like… well, like I’ve really burned some fat.

Not in the afternoon! I’ll have to get up early. Ugh.

What are your favorite sweat-free workouts? Don’t say Pilates. I HATE Pilates ;)

How do you get your afternoon workout in?

My September fitness challenge

I have to exercise to lose weight.

I know this.

The problem with exercise is that it takes time. Time is something of which I don’t always have enough.

My schedule is FINALLY normal, but I still don’t have the time I need before work to get up and exercise. Too early. My lunch break isn’t long enough for me to get in much of a workout…. plus, I have to eat! After work, I am so exhausted that I just don’t want to exercise.

Solution?

…still don’t have one yet.

But I know I have to exercise to lose weight.

I started two fitness challenges in September so I could get a workout, however small, in every day.

The first is the September School House Rock Hard Abs, which I think is a ridiculous name, but I don’t name these things.

And the second is the Squat September Challenge.

I just don’t follow all the rules… like the first one and the last one. Don’t care.

September is almost over, and I haven’t done too well with either of my challenges. If I wear a skirt to work, I can’t do my fitness challenges, except for squats, at work during my lunch (and I don’t have time to change clothes at work).

I guess I am doing well on my squats challenge. I’ve done almost all of them, and, boy, do my quads hurt.

My ab challenge? Not so much. I hate burpees. Burpees are awful, and I don’t jump. It’s not that I can’t, it’s that I don’t.

I am also making more of an effort to go to Power Yoga twice a week.

I feel good about the exercise that I’m getting, but I wish I could get more and I wish I had the energy to get the exercise in every day.

I guess that’s the beauty of my fitness challenges: I might not be getting the amount of exercise in that I need, but I am increasing the amount of energy I have, which will lead to more exercises when I’m usually exhausted.

Are you working on a fitness challenge? How’s it going for you?