Hello, May

Hello May, it’s me.

The past few months I’ve been in hiding.  To be honest, we are almost through all five seasons of Breaking Bad and have not wanted to do anything but watch this show.  Why didn’t I know about this show before?  Have I been living under a rock?  Such great writing and Greg and I are mesmerized by every episode.  It’s actually pretty embarrassing.  If we tell you we’re busy, I’m sure it’s because we are still getting through the last few episodes and can’t control ourselves.  I’ll just apologize now.  Sorry… not sorry.

House-2

Lots of things to get to now – first, yes, again, as you know, I’ve been missing for a month or so.  So much going on with work, life, and family that it’s hard to squeeze it all in.  I’ve started a new program called the 21 Day Fix by Beachbody (on my third cycle) and it has been a life-changer for me.  I’ve always had the “last 10 pounds” to lose since 2008 and I COULD NOT get it to budge.  Nothing worked for me.  I’d lose a few and then gain it right back.  Just wasn’t on the right track with my foods and I refused to see it.  After starting the program and getting familiar with portion control, I lost 8 pounds in my first three-week cycle of the 21 Day Fix.  Wow!  It really helped me to keep my portions in check and to be honest about what I put in my mouth.  This program is definitely about eating healthy and watching portions, but not feeling deprived.  If I occasionally wanted a glass of wine, or chocolate, I could have it.  How many plans allow for that?  I’ll be honest, though, the first three days on the program, I was hungry.  I couldn’t figure out how to balance my foods daily to make sure I was getting my nutrition throughout the day and not just in the morning or afternoon.  Once I figured out how to balance each of my meals so I wasn’t hungry, then it all clicked.  My body adjusted, I adjusted, and the weight came off.

A little 21 Day Fix information:  you determine how many calories you need to eat daily, see how many “colors” of each food group you can have daily, fill your color-coded containers with the foods you want to eat, eat your foods, work out for at least 30 minutes a day, and at the end of the day, you will know what you ate and how much.  No counting the calories or weighing the foods.  It’s that easy.   You just have to be creative with putting together the containers to mix and match your foods and to create recipes.  The program comes with seven 30-minute workouts.

A little 21 Day Fix results from clients and friends:  Donna lost 10 lbs, Greg 17 lbs, Sally 7 lbs, Denise 6 lbs, Holly 7 lbs, Heidi 6 lbs, and Mimi lost 5 lbs and 12.75 inches total from her body!  Need I say more?  It works.  Follow the plan – especially through the first cycle of 21 Days.  After that, go to maintenance mode or hang in for another cycle of 21 Days until you meet your goal.  This plan jump-started my metabolism in a way that no other plan has and I’m impressed.  It really worked for me, and maybe it’ll work for you – here is the information to check it out for yourself.  Let me know if you have any questions.  I want you to be successful too.

We are heading to Italy – Rome to be exact, with a day trip to Florence and a day trip to Tuscany.  Lots of walking, wine, tours, food, and, did I mention wine?  Our daughter, Allyson, is coming with us, will meet us at the Charlotte airport and then we all head to Rome.  Have you been?  Any hints, tips, restaurants?  Bring them on – we’ll need all the help we can get.

Rome2Rome1

It’s got to be time for a May workout challenge, right?  It’s been months.  I’m really thinking I need to get back to my kettlebell swings.  So the May challenge is 100 kettlebell swings a day.  By the end of May we will have accomplished 3,100 swings.  Such a great posterior chain and cardio workout so pick up a kettlebell and start swinging.  We did this two years ago and then we did this remember?  The months that we did the kettlebell swings were the months I felt my best.  My muscular and cardiovascular endurance increased.  I’m excited to do this again and maybe build up to the 10,000-swing challenge…maybe.

Time to give up some link love.  Here are a few of my favorite things:

First, and foremost:

My daughter’s essay was published.  She’s pretty amazing – we are so proud.

Keep it mind:

3 Reasons to Cut Back Cardio for Fat Loss Goals from Your Trainer Paige

Why I Tossed My Scale from Strive & Survive Cancer Programs

Sunday Food Prep Inspiration from the Lean Green Bean

My favorite cookbook right now from Oh She Glows

Ashley’s Story

Four months ago, if you had asked me if my life would be any different now, I would have said probably not.  I worked, I volunteered, I hung out with friends…life was good.  But still somewhere inside, there was a nagging feeling of discontent.   It had been there all along, but I was good at ignoring it.  Finally, through a few random conversations with friends and family (some good, some bad), I realized that my discontent was with how I looked.  I was overweight, out of shape and doing nothing to change that.  That night, I sent an email to my trainer Teresa (who I had met maybe a month or two before) saying that I wanted to lose weight and was vowing to exercise at least three times a week .   My heart stopped when I sent the email — it wasn’t easy to share that part of me — but it was the best decision I’ve made in a long time.  Thankfully, she embraced that challenge and vowed to help me.   It was the start of something bigger than I ever could have imagined.  And it was the beginning of me being happy with me.

Through great advice and support of Teresa and other friends, I changed what and when I eat, got in an exercise routine and challenged myself in ways I never expected I could.   I’ve been able to see both drastic and subtle changes in my health and abilities and it makes me feel good.   I actually have biceps…who knew?  I’m doing push ups and hovers with “ease” (comparatively speaking, except when Teresa decides to change it up to torture me!)  I’m doing pull ups.  WTH?  Sometimes it’s just the little things, but it makes it so worth it!  And it makes me smile.

Now, four months later (and 31 pounds lighter), life isn’t just good, it’s great.  I still work, volunteer and enjoy time with my friends, but I’ve fit ME into my schedule.  I go to the gym at least 6 days out of the week and enjoy the time I spend pushing my body hard and forgetting about all the things going on “outside.”  I run into folks I haven’t seen in a while who notice the changes and compliment me — asking how I did it — and it makes me smile.  It hasn’t been easy.  I’ve had great weeks and really bad weeks (and still do), but the overall picture is the same…I’m healthier now than I have been (ever?) and that makes me happy.  The biggest part is that I’m not finished, but am just beginning the journey.   I look forward to new challenges and successes, overcoming obstacles and struggles, celebrating triumphs and most importantly being healthy and loving life.

 

Donna’s Story

Two years ago, at age 56,  I was headed on a downward spiral health-wise.  I weighed 190 pounds, led a very sedentary life, my cholesterol was high (even on medication), and my blood pressure was borderline.  The crowning blow came when my husband and I were on vacation with my son and his family.  I was mortified that it took too two adults to help me get back into our boat from the water!  I had virtually no upper body strength and flexibility.  Inspired by my daughter-in-law who had tremendous success working with a trainer at the gym I made an appointment to see about joining a gym and signing up for personal training.  I had belonged to a gym before but found every excuse in the book not to go, eventually giving up the membership.  This time, I figured that if someone was waiting on me at the gym – like an appointment –  I’d be more likely to show up.  When I was speaking with the person  in charge of assigning a trainer to me I mentioned that my favorite exercise was dancing.  He immediately paired me with Teresa.  Looking back I realize that was one of the defining moments in my life.

Teresa and I just celebrated two years of working together on both diet and exercise.  This is the longest period of time in my life since high school that I have kept up an exercise routine.  Teresa is constantly mixing it up and challenging me so I never get bored.  I have lost twenty pounds – two clothing sizes,  my cholesterol is within a healthy range and my blood pressure is 120/70!  Other benefits include having fewer aches and pains, more flexibility and improved balance.  I also discovered how good exercise is for stress.  I now look forward to getting off work and going to the gym.

This past January, because I felt I could handle it physically and because of the increased confidence I have in myself, I signed up for a dance class.  At 58 I would have told you those years had passed, but I’ve discovered I still have a lot of living to do!

I still have goals I need to achieve.  I would like to lose another twenty pounds.  With Teresa’s help  and encouragement I have no doubt it can be done.  She has taught me the goal is not the dress size but healthy living through diet and exercise.

By the way – I can get up into the boat by myself now!