2016: Year of my best body updates

Random thoughts on the year of my best body, 2016.

  January 2016
  • Jan 9: Just completed my 11th week of 21 Day Fix/Extreme. Feeling strong! Can’t do any of the advanced yoga poses (handstand? forget it), but working on my breathing and balance. If you look purely at the number on the scale, I’ve lost a big ol’ 2 pounds in 11 weeks. But I know things are changing on the inside. :)
  • Jan 11: I know my fitness journey is going to be a long one, multiple years probably, until I get to a place where I’m satisfied. It’s crazy how critical girls are of their physical selves, and I admit, I do it too without even noticing. It’s like second nature to be self-critical. But it doesn’t mean I’m not proud of what I’ve accomplished so far. It just means I can do so much better.
  • Jan 13: I’m a creature of habit. Sometimes, that means I’m just plain lazy. :) I would love to stick to a workout program like 21 Day Fix Extreme, for life, because it would be convenient to know exactly which workout to pop in every day. But if your body did the same workout, using the same weights, every day, it would get used to it, and your progress would slow down or even stop. That’s why I’m now tracking my weights for every exercise, in every workout. That’s right, I entered all the exercises into a spreadsheet and track the weights I’m using each time I do the workout. I also keep notes on the specific moves I find particularly challenging. (Like the plank crunch from Dirty 30, can’t do it at all yet!)
  • Jan 14: I have to balance progress with consistency. Meaning, I’d rather go with a lower intensity program if it means there will be a better chance of me exercising every day, instead of a more hardcore program where I’ll get faster results but risk burning out. Slow and steady for me! I’m in it for the long haul. (Also, I’m in constant fear of re-injuring my lower back.)
  • Jan 22: Proud of myself this week — I upped the weights and/or resistance band on all my workouts! Woo hoo! Even if the scale doesn’t show it, I’m getting stronger every day. It’s been really fun treating myself like a lab rat. :)
  • Jan 24: Okay, maybe upping the weights on so many exercises this week was a bad idea. :( I have soreness in my right forearm, right below the elbow. Picking up a glass of water hurts. I wish I knew which exact exercise caused the pain! Oh well, until I’m all better, I’m going back down to 5s on everything. Take one step forward, take two steps back… but keep moving.
  • Jan 28: attended my first social food event last night, girls night out at Cascal. I skipped my normal snacks during the day in order to “bank” some calories. This evening was also my first drink of alcohol in two months. Gotta say, I was good most of the evening, but after 2 or 3 sangrias (lost count because someone kept refilling my glass), I wanted to eat everything in sight!
  • Jan 31: it’s been a good first month! I worked out every single day, found a “perfect meal plan” to shoot for, readjusted my weights down when I injured my right forearm so I could keep working out. The numbers don’t show my progress, but I feel really good every day. That counts! :)
  February 2016
  • Feb 2: today is my 100th 21 Day Fix/21 Day Fix Extreme workout! I’ve been at this for a little over 3 months. It’s been fantastic. I remember on my first day, I couldn’t even get through the jumping jacks portion without stopping. And that was just the warmup! I love instructor Autumn Calabrese — she’s the right balance of tough, fun, and supportive. And her cueing is absolutely outstanding. Given the hints she’s dropped lately, I think she might be working on a new workout program. Where do I sign up? :)
  • Feb 5: an NSV (non scale victory) that I wanted to share — I seem to have completely recovered from my frozen shoulder injury! I can’t believe it. I now have total mobility in my left shoulder. Way back in the fall of 2014, I went to my doctor when I couldn’t lift my left arm as high as my right arm. She prescribed physical therapy, and I did around 10 sessions. The PT helped restore about 80% mobility, and then it kind of just stuck there. Well now, perhaps due to daily exercise, I’m completely recovered. So happy! I’m living proof that “use it or lose it” is the truth.
  • Feb 12: NSV #2: I’m now off my blood pressure meds! I’ve been on a low dose of Lotensin for the past few years, but about 3 weeks ago, I asked my doctor if I could get off them. She said to go off them for 2 weeks, and track my blood pressure a few times a day during that time, send her the results, and then she’d evaluate. I did as I was told, and her final analysis was that I could stop taking the meds altogether, with weekly measurements! I’m so happy! I’m convinced that the daily workouts and strict diet have something to do with it. :)
  • Feb 16: I’m kind of a robot when it comes to eating. I follow the same plan day after day, and watch my macros carefully. I do a lot of research on ingredients to make sure everything I put in my body benefits my body. I only get 1,400 calories a day, and I want every calorie to count! So, after I’m done with the current carton, I’m saying goodbye to almond milk. The carton’s got ingredients on it I don’t understand, and I was only using 1/4 cup of it everyday to thicken my Shakeology. Don’t need it anymore. I’m also probably going to say goodbye to coconut oil. I’ve been mixing in 1/2 tsp into my morning coffee every day, and it’s been good, but I think I get enough good fats from the olive oil I cook with. And speaking of fats, I think I might reduce my fats by changing my macros to 40/25/35. (Right now, I’m at 40/30/30.)
  • Feb 20: today I’m trying out a little 16/8 fasting, as a post-cheat day protocol. I had a cheat meal yesterday (lunchtime cheeseburger and fries, with cherry pie for dessert), then had my normal chicken/veggies for dinner and apple/yogurt for my evening snack. I drank more water than usual (15 cups), and I stopped eating at 8pm. This morning I woke up and had black coffee, and won’t start eating until noon. Because my Saturday workout is usually 21 Day Fix Extreme yoga, fasting on Fri-Sat is perfect because I can workout early and not care about missing that 30-minute post workout window when I’m supposed to intake protein (yoga isn’t considered strength training but an active recovery activity). The goal of the fasting is to minimize the effects of my cheat meal, both in pounds and fat gained. We should know how I did during tomorrow morning’s weigh-in. (Today I had my customary 2 pound gain.) Articles read: IF 201: A Look at Four Popular Intermittent Fasting Protocols, Sure-Fire Fat Loss.
  March 2016
  • Mar 18: so I went off script this week and did some major cheating — Monday we went to the opening of Dan Gordon’s (formerly Gordon Biersch), Tuesday we did Yayoi, Wednesday we had a little Gelataio for dessert, and Friday we went all out cheat day and did cheeseburgers at The Patio, half-ice cream sandwiches at Cream, and mojitos and bread pudding at Nola. Not only was there gluttony, but I decided this week to do 21 Day Fix instead of 21 Day Fix Extreme. So what was the net result? A 1.9 pound increase. What did I learn? That maybe I can chill out a little and not be so strict with my routine. Of course, today I’m returning to my strict routine, drinking a ton of water, and tomorrow’s weigh-in will be telling.
  • Mar 19: instead of doing ‘active recovery’ yoga today, I tried the Brazil Butt Lift Bum Bum workout. It’s super fast paced compared to 21DF and 21DFX! I think once I get the hang it and am able to follow the cues on pace, it’ll be a good workout. It did get my heart pumping, though!
  • Mar 21: I’m disappointed I wasn’t sore after my first BBL workout. Guess I didn’t work hard enough. :/
  • Mar 25: a first I’m not proud of — I had 3 full-on cheat meals in one week! 1) cheeseburger, garlic fries, hard cider, 2) 2 margaritas, chips, chicken enchilada, rice, beans, 3) cheeseburger, garlic fries, moscow mule. I’ve been a little out of control. Net gain for the week? — .2 pounds. I find this very interesting! On the days I didn’t cheat, I was very careful to follow my perfect day of eating. I drank 3 cups more water on the day after cheating (so 15 cups instead of my normal 12). And of course, I exercised every day. I’m not sure what this means going forward. I mean, I love to eat. And as long as I’m good on non-cheat days, I seem to be able to hold back the damage a bit. I shouldn’t even be thinking this way, I need to get back on the program. Right?
  April 2016
  • Apr 3: my resistance band snapped last week and hit me in the face while I was doing lateral band walks. Boo! Now I have to go to either a much easier or much harder band! Which do I choose?!
  • Apr 5: okay, I decided to go to a higher resistance band. Always go harder, right?
  • Apr 7: Cardio Fix Extreme never gets any easier. It’s completely brutal, and the workout I dread the most! But I always feel invincible afterwards. :D
  • Apr 29: this month has been interesting. I lost some control over my weekly cheat meals, which kind of turned into cheat days, which then turned into multiple cheat days. Gotta rein that in! Have to admit, this is super hard for me, because I LOVE TO EAT. Need to find that better balance between eating clean and enjoying life. On a more positive note, I upped the weights on eight different exercises this week, WOO HOO! I have completely learned my lesson that I need to up my weights very, very slowly to minimize pain and injury. I’m in no hurry, right? This is a lifestyle change, not a 21 Day Fix. ;)
  May 2016
  • May 2: I have my next DEXA scan scheduled for June 1. I need to buckle down and get serious! I feel like the past couple of months, I’ve gone a little crazy with all the cheat meals on the weekend. It was originally one cheat meal; it’s evolved to like a cheat lunch followed by a cheat dinner followed by multiple cheat desserts. I’m ruining all the good progress I make during the week, where I eat super clean! Okay, time to get focused.
  • May 5: I am feeling some serious right forearm pain after today’s clean lunge jump move. And once again, I think, which move caused the pain? I am thinking it might be the Pilates workout’s bird dog press, where I might have tried harder to extend my arm? Not sure. But the right forearm pain has happened before. Next time I might have to do the clean lunge jump without weights. :(
  • May 6: I finally broke through to the 110s in my weekly weigh-in! I can’t believe it. What did I do different this week? Hmmm, let me see. I guess there were a few things: 1) I did one 15-minute HIIT session on the treadmill on Monday, and 2) I went cold turkey off my nightly 2 pieces of Endangered Species dark chocolate since they’re not 21 Day Fix-approved foods. Could either or both those things have made the difference?
  • May 21: trying to taper off water just a little bit, getting tired of going to the bathroom every 20 minutes :D. My normal consumption is 12-13 cups, yesterday I went with around 10 cups.
  • May 29: as a change of pace, I started doing 22 Minute Hard Corps a few weeks ago. And after doing a total of 540 burpees during the last 2 weeks, I think I developed tennis elbow in my left arm. :(
  June 2016
  • June 6: I can’t believe I’m still losing weight. I’ve been doing 1,400 calories most days since at least November, and exercising nearly every day, and I haven’t plateaued! Of course, the rate of loss has slowed way down, but I think that’s to be expected at my current size.
  • June 25: upped flax seed amount to 1 tbsp in my morning shake. Good for lowering blood pressure!
  • June 26: I’ve been sick the past week. I think I caught sinusitis from Sandy. Have a cough, runny nose, congestion, itchy eyes, extreme fatigue (I think I slept 10 hours on and off yesterday). Still, I’ve been trudging through my workouts because, well because I want to keep to a schedule. It’s weird, even though I have less appetite, I’m still eating my full 1,400 calories and still losing weight. I don’t understand my body.
  November 2016
  • Nov 13: it’s been a very interesting year in this fitness/health journey. Even though I’m fitter than I’ve ever been, I still have food demons. I still have crazy cheat days where it seems I eat everything in sight, and undo a week’s worth of healthy habits in just a matter of hours. I need to work on a better balance of week vs. weekend. I always knew this was going to be at least a two-year project. Slow and steady wins, right?

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