Now that's progress :)

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Day 13: FIT TEST!

(Note: I’ve only taken one day of rest during the first two weeks. My Day 13 is the 13th day of exercise. If I followed the Insanity calendar, the Fit Test actually falls on the 15th day, which includes rest days.)

FIT TEST!!! I covered my results from Week One’s Fitness Test so I wouldn’t let that distract me After I was done with today’s Fit Test I compared the difference after two very challenging weeks of Insanity!

I was happy with the improvements, but also wondered what the heck happened on some exercises where I either stayed the same or…did worse??

One less power jump this week! I think that huge increase in the power knees from 58 to 99 took the starch out of my shorts (so to speak.)

I’m glad I did better with push-up jacks, but will need to work on my globe jumps.

Day 14: Plyometric Cardio Circuit and that Time of the Month

I woke up really, really tired and was wondering how I would do with today’s Plyometric Cardio Circuit. I started around 8:30 a.m., did okay with the warm-ups, but felt like everything else was just too hard. I was doing better with Mountain Climbers and could maintain my “picking guava” arm motion, thanks to my improvement with push-ups! I tried to push harder and dig deeper, and it seems I’ve been doing just that the last 3 or 4 days. Today during the in-and-outs (start in plank position, hop both feet in with knees to your chest, hands on the floor, then hop feet back out back to plank position) I was having a tough time just to do 2 of them consecutively. Again, I blame myself for not getting enough sleep. My flexibility wasn’t good today, either.

After the workout I wasn’t very hungry and felt like my stomach would prefer to be left alone for the time being. I did make a protein shake and bring some chocolate chip zucchini muffins with me on my errands so I could eat when I got hungry.

Day 15: Pure Cardio/Cardio Abs, 1200 Calories per Day

I did a 9 a.m. workout, still a bit tired and I think it’s because of my period (blech!) I had some cramps during the warm-up, but they disappeared…or maybe I just didn’t notice them during the intense cardio session! My quads never seem to feel like they’re getting stronger; power jacks, squat jumps, and especially the Cardio Abs section where you jump and have to bring your knees to touch your elbows…wow, talk about challenging! I felt like a rock, as soon as I jumped up, I was already coming down.

The floor exercises were easier for me, and it felt like I worked my obliques a lot more than the abdominal muscles. One thing you should do when you’re doing the c-sit position exercises is to make sure your belly doesn’t pooch out (I learned this from Leah Sarago’s Ballet Body exercise DVDs!) Contract those muscles and make your belly nice and flat:

Keep your abs flat, make sure they don’t pooch out! Image source: http://www.fitbomb.com

I have only lost about a pound since I started, and it’s time to do the thing I hate most: count calories. It’s easy for me to eat more in the evening, especially when having a glass of wine, extra helping of dinner or grabbing the bag of chips and just crunching away. And now that I think about it, that’s nearly 50% MORE of my daily intake–yowza!

So, I’ll be limiting myself to 1200 calories a day, but will also allow an extra 300 for “emergencies.” My plan is 3 meals and 1 in-between snack, drinking more water (including tea, I don’t like plain water much,) and eating lots of low-fat, nutrient-dense foods. My main concern is getting enough protein, and I’ve been leaning towards a vegetarian diet lately. I’ve been eating yogurt every day and having meat dishes at dinner time since I cook for my husband and myself (but sometimes I cook veggie meals.) Vegetarian sources of protein are usually high in calories and fat, so I will probably need to incorporate more eggs into my diet. My protein powder has 130 calories and 14 grams of protein. Half a cup of yogurt has 70 calories and 11 grams of protein. If dinner has about 30 grams of protein, I should be good for the day.


Day 16 & 17 workouts combined: Cardio Recovery / Cardio Power & Resistance

I took an Insanity break this weekend. Saturday I got distracted making myself a pair of pajama pants and a new cat toy for Trixie (pants took me over 3 hours to make, but I love ’em!)

Sunday was spent running errands, taking a much-needed nap (my cramps were pretty bad) then spent 3 hours or so cleaning out the garden. I did limit my calories on Saturday, though Sunday I may have gone up to 1500 calories (OK for my weight maintenance, but not for weight loss.) So to make up for it, I started Monday with Cardio Power & Resistance to get the blood pumping, then did Cardio Recovery right after (the schedule has C.R. first.) This may or may not be a good idea, but since I’ve been doing Insanity for 2 weeks already, I felt it would be okay to double-up with cardio and non-cardio workouts.

My mouth seems to get pretty dry just during the warm-ups, must be all that heavy breathing! I feel like I’m doing a better job of keeping my abs in and even doing a better job of breathing. That extra power from exhaling really helps to firm up your abs so you’re more steady and feel stronger. Every little bit helps! Globe Jumps are in this routine, and I keep on saying how much I don’t like them. Well, I don’t like them less, now. :) I feel like I’m less sloppy with the jumps from side, to back, to side, to front, and I think it’s because my arms and shoulders are stronger, so I’m less tired and less sloppy.

My left ankle felt a little bit sore after doing Cardio Power & Resistance, but I ordered a new pair of Ryka shoes so that should help alleviate my foot problems. With the Cardio Recovery, there’s a series of balancing exercises toward the second half. My left leg is way more flexible and stronger than my right, and I’m not sure how to even them out, unless I do my own stretching exercises. I am not really fond of the yoga poses, probably because (I’ve said this the last time) the twisting position makes it hard to breathe.

Breakfast (10:30am): peanut butter jelly & toast w/coffee – 225 calories
Lunch (3pm): 1/2 cup yogurt, 1/2 scoop protein powder, 2 cups chopped fruit – 300 calories
Snack (4pm): 6 corn chips, corn flakes (standing up, eating from the box!) – about 125 calories
Dinner (8pm): Light batter fried fish & Thai sweet chili sauce, quinoa, cucumbers & cucumber kimchee – 550??

Daily calories: around 1200 calories

Day 18: Plyometric Cardio Circuit

My hamstrings felt overstretched from yesterday’s exercises, and I’m surprised my back and shoulders weren’t too sore from the V-push-ups. I wonder if I did them properly? Usually if I perform an exercise routine and it’s not making me struggle, I am probably doing it with bad form to compensate for the tough workout! This DVD has a couple of plank exercises that make me want to stick my butt up to compensate for the extra work my back & abs would normally do, so when I make sure my butt is down, I feel my back working extra hard and I know I’ve been doing them wrong! Sure, I’ll be slower, but as Shaun T says, “form over speed.”

Week 3 workouts done, woo hoo!

Day 7: Cardio Power & Resistance

This is my second time doing Cardio Power & Resistance, and it’s still pretty tough. My quads don’t feel any stronger and I still am not a fan of the Globe Jumps, which is like a ‘leap frog’ with a wider stance, but you start from a squat position then jump up with arms outstretched over head and move right, back, left, front, and right again:

I tried to do better with push-ups, knowing I was letting my fear of injury getting in the way of concentrating on proper technique. As long as I concentrated on good form and keep my midsection tight, I was able to do push just a little bit further, and dig a little deeper!

image source: http://www.fiber.com

My diet has been pretty good, too! Lunches are usually a fruit bowl with a couple of veggies thrown in and yogurt with some protein powder mixed in for flavor and nutrition boost. Compared to salads I used to eat with avocado, goat cheese, and olive oil dressing, these fruit salad bowls are are HALF the calories and have nearly zero fat!

I still crave comfort food, sometimes it’s corn chips and yesterday it was thin n’ crispy chocolate chip cookies! After dinner I whipped up a batch and enjoyed them immensely! I had 5, my husband only ate 3 (packed the rest for his work-snacks.) It’s my favorite chocolate chip cookie made with spelt flour, ground almonds, coconut oil and chocolate chips (and the other basic cookie ingredients.) If you like thin n’ crispy cookies, you will LOVE these!

10 minutes of easy jogging to burn off the calories of one cookie.

Day 8: Pure Cardio

I was feeling good this morning and was looking forward to a 6 a.m. workout. I woke up around 2:30 a.m. (probably because I had a glass of wine with dinner…you can never get a good night’s sleep with alcohol) and was already thinking about how the workout will be, if I’ll be too noisy and wake my husband, and if I should make some healthy snacks. Eventually I fell back asleep.

I didn’t notice the first time around that Pure Cardio has no rest periods between the sets, only after the warm-up, stretch, and before the cool-down. I didn’t keep track of how often I had to take a break but it doesn’ t matter. If you’re out of breath and your legs seem to collapse with every squat-jump, your body needs a few seconds to rest! I made an  effort to do regular push-ups, and even though I was much slower in doing them, I still did ’em! :)

Day 9: Plyometric Cardio Circuit

have fun!

Lots of people enjoy doing circuit training, and I am thinking I like it, too. The intense, fast-paced workouts doesn’t give you much time to worry about being tired or saving your energy for later. But, I ended up making time for those things, anyway. :)

Today (Saturday) I did a late workout at 3 p.m. I woke up at 7 but felt lethargic, so I ended up cleaning up the living room and waiting until I felt more awake and alert to do the workout. Unfortunately I slipped back into a sluggish feeling, and when I did my workout I didn’t feel like I was doing my best (plus I was working out in the bedroom, where the ceilings are about 6 1/2 feet low so couldn’t jump as high or even stretch my arms without flexing my palms to avoid scraping the ceiling!) I pushed harder by doing REGULAR push-ups with only ONE girly push-up set to give myself a rest, sprinted faster, and forced myself to keep going to the point where I felt like crying out of frustration. I was sweating up a big, salty storm with the air conditioner blasting, the floor creaking (it’s an old house) and Shaun T on my laptop shouting in a tiny, faraway voice to dig deeper. I was tired, and though I was glad I did my workout, I still didn’t feel as “accomplished.” Ah well…there’s always tomorrow.

Day 10: Cardio Recovery

Cardio Recovery is a 35-minute stretch AND muscle-building segment, so in addition to a nice, much-needed stretch you get to work on a lot of lower-body strength by doing slower-paced squats, lunges, and leg-lifts starting from plank position. The first time around I didn’t think it was that challenging, so I must have been slacking! This time around I was sweating like crazy during the sqats! You also do yoga stretch poses, one of which I found difficult to hold on the right side (my left leg is more flexible) and so I had a hard time breathing:

The fit test in in three days, time to really watch what I eat so I can do my best!

Day 11: Cardio Power & Resistance

Had a cup of coffee and a bite of light carrot cake 1/2 hour before my 8am workout (just a little something to have in my stomach.) I did pretty good with the warm-ups today, even though I got less than 6 hours of sleep. I tried doing better with the high knees by using the abs as much as possible to bring my knees up. It’s hard to do when you’re huffing and puffing, but after ten days of Insanity I am getting better at it! Since Day 7, I’ve been making an effort to do regular push-ups, even if I could do only half of what Shaun T and the gang were doing. It put a slight strain on my back (which was aching since Friday, but nothing serious) so by tightening the abs, a lot of the pressure is taken off your lower back. I did NO girly push-ups today (woo hoo!) and did 4-6 to every 8 of their push-ups. My deltoids are sore, a good indication that I went a little further!

I made my own recovery drink with a vanilla soy protein powder, water, almond milk, 1/3 of a frozen banana, and a tablespoon of dehydrated peanut butter (like PB2, but a different brand.) I’m not doing a terrific job of watching my calorie intake, though. Breakfast/lunch/snacks are fine, it during dinnertime that I eat the most, as well as after dinner. I haven’t lost any weight, and this is probably the reason why.

Day 12: Pure Cardio/Cardio Abs

I looked at the calendar, saw there was the addition of “Cardio Abs” and thought, “Oh crap!” I was low on energy this morning and just wanted to have my coffee and peanut butter jelly toast and go back to bed (it was 50 degrees and misty.) I actually did just that, but took my laptop with me and worked for a couple hours under the covers. By noon it was a gorgeous day and I was ready to do my workout.

Pure Cardio – I was careful not to drink too much water during the workout since Insanity makes me feel like throwing it right back up. I am getting better at keeping up with the warm-ups, and that alone makes me happy! I tried to go faster with butt kicks and high knees, and mummy kicks–though still challenging–weren’t as much of a struggle to do like on Sunday. Also, because I’ve been doing more push-ups, certain moves where you raise your arms overhead like “Mountain Climbers” and “Power Jacks” have been getting more manageable.

Cardio Abs – This is about a 15-minute segment that has standing and floor workouts. There’s a couple of routines that have alternating kicks and power jumps, then you got floor routines where you sit with your knees up and back in a c-curve, and some ab work starting in a plank position. They’re all very challenging, and my back was a bit achy at the end.

I hated that I had a hard time with the power jumps.  Jumping from a standing position is super hard (this is probably a result of me not doing so great with those other exercises I don’t like: Globe Jumps and Frog Jumps.) The floor ab workouts involved no sit-ups, no crunches, but something far, far more tortuous. You sit with one knee bent, the other leg straight out in front, and your back is in a c-curve. Hands are on the floor to the side of your thighs. You start by bending the straight leg in so your knee comes toward your chest. You straighten your leg back out, then, as your leg is kept straight, you lift it straight up! Sounds scary? The next move is even scarier: both legs are straight out with your back in a c-curve and hands are on the floor to the sides of your thighs. You bend both knees to your chest, then, after you straighten them out, you lift both of them straight up! 

This girl, Tanya, is an incredible powerhouse! image source: ovguide.com

For lunch I ate a bean burger mix and scrambled an egg into it. I had half of a protein shake, was hungry an hour later and ate some corn chips and yogurt with fruit. At 4:30 I just got incredibly, super tired, couldn’t concentrate on my work so took a rough nap for about 45 minutes on the couch. Woke up, ate some chocolate candy, ate some of my husband’s dinner and toast w/melted cheese. Not the best, but I was just in a super tired and lazy mood. I don’t think I’m over exerting myself, I think the problem is that I’m not getting enough sleep. Better catch up on some z’s tonight, tomorrow is my second FIT TEST…wish me luck!!!