21

I’ve done a lot of different workout & eating programs over the years and when someone asks me, “Which one works?” the honest answer is whichever one you stick to!

I am so in love with this 21 Day Fix program that I feel I have to shout it from the rooftops! So here are 21 reasons why I love it so much:

1- The eating plan is so easy. In the past I’ve spent hours calculating calories of fats, carbs, and proteins, and adding up daily amounts. With this program you do two simple math problems to figure out your calorie range and then look at the chart to see how much of each type of food you can eat in a day.

2- Measuring portions is easy because you simply fill the little plastic containers that are color-coded for each food type.

3- I can follow the food plan and still eat a Paleo-ish diet. Or if someone was a vegetarian, they can still easily follow the food plan.

4- The program also has you drink a protein shake called Shakeology as one of your meals or snacks. I’ve been drinking chocolate and it is a great replacement for a sugary treat that you don’t have to feel guilty about.

5- You don’t have to give up all sweats and alcohol. You can save up container portions to have a treat or drink every once in awhile.

6- You are not food deprived on this eating plan. There are days where I can’t even get in everything I am supposed to eat.

7- There is an app where you can track your daily intake of food, water, and also your workouts.

8- The workouts are varied every day so you don’t get tired of doing the same ones over and over again.

9- The workouts are all only 30 minutes long. I often dread long workouts, but with these, the time flies by!

10- The workouts are easily to modify. During this past 21 days I’ve fought plantar fasciitis and I also tweaked my old knee injury and I was still able to do something every day.

11- I can do the workouts in the comfort of my own home. I don’t have to spend time driving to a gym or working around a gym class time that doesn’t fit my schedule.

12- Working out at home also means I can wear whatever I want and not worry about what anyone else thinks.

13- The trainer who leads the workouts, Autumn Calabrese, isn’t annoying and doesn’t crack lame jokes. Nothing is worse than a video workout where you have to hear the same dumb stuff said over and over again every time you do the workout.

14- The cost is reasonable. It’s the same price as a yearly membership at a gym like Planet Fitness and the same price as I was paying for one month of Crossfit.

15- The Beachbody on Demand means I can stream it anywhere on any device so I can even do a workout in a hotel room when we are on a trip.

16- The Beachbody on Demand also can give you access to all the other Beachbody workout programs so you can switch it up after the first 21 days.

17- Doing the 21 days in a challenge group means support from a coach as well as camaraderie and encouragement from other challengers who are going through the same program at the same time.

18- The challenge group also helps keep you accountable. You have to login every day and post that you did a workout and drank your shakeology.

19- There is a plethora of resources out there on Youtube, Social Media, and the Beachbody website that can support you.

20- I saw results quickly. I’ve slowly gained 10 pounds over the last 3 years, and in 21 days, I lost 5 of the 10 I have to lose. That’s HALF!

21- That fact that it’s only 21 days that you are committing to seems doable and doesn’t seem daunting.

I’m going to do the 21 day fix program soon and will be starting my challenge group. If you are interested in joining, please let me know!

Water

My family and friends know that 95% of the time I have a water bottle with me. There are two reasons for my obsession with water: 1- I am pretty much always feeling thirsty; 2- I’ve read so many different things over the years that talk about how important it is to consume water. Apparently the excessive intake of liquids in a compulsive manner is known by the name potomania, however, I don’t think I’m at the excessive point.

Interestingly, a study was done by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in 2013 in which they analyzed data from the National Cancer Institute’s 2007 Food Attitudes and Behaviors Survey. Out of a sample of 3,397 adults, the researchers found the following:

  • 7 percent of adults reported no daily consumption of drinking water
  • 36 percent of adults reported drinking 1-3 cups of drinking water a day
  • 35 percent of adults reported drinking 4-7 cups of drinking water a day
  • 22 percent of adults reported drinking 8 cups or more a day

(Source: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/290814.php)

This study only measured the intake of pure water and did not include fluids gained from other beverages. The low percentages causes me to draw the conclusion that most people are drinking other beverages rather than water.

If you search the internet you will find a plethora of webpages with list of numerous reasons to drink water. I found a list on WebMD that I feel covers the basics:

  1. Drinking water helps maintain the balance of fluids in the body.
  2. Water can help control calories.
  3. Water helps energize muscles.
  4. Water helps keep skin looking good.
  5. Water helps your kidneys.
  6. Water helps maintain normal bowel function.

For anyone who is interested, I am going to be starting a 5 Day Water Challenge Group on Facebook. What is a water challenge? For 5 days everyone in the group will be focusing on HYDRATION. That means we’ll be drinking 1/2 our body weight in ounces of water each day. I know, it sounds like a lot – BUT its actually the perfect amount we should be drinking each day to stay hydrated!

I’ll be sharing some tips and knowledge each day. It’s the job of the group members to drink their daily allotment of water, share any tips with the group and check in with how they did for the day.

The Challenge will start on Tuesday, May 16, 2017. Click Here to find the Facebook Group. More details will be added to the group over the weekend! I hope to see lots of people joining the challenge!

21 Day Fix

Day One of the 21 Day Fix is in the books! Feeling super motivated to crush these 21 days!

The workout was harder than I expected with some movements that I’ve never really done before with weights, so that was great to be working muscles in different and new ways. I burned 304 calories during the 30 minutes, which is just under the 340 I burned yesterday in 30 minutes doing a 2 mile run with a walking cool down. During the workout the time didn’t feel like it was dragging so that is always a plus when working out.

My food felt a little off because I’m still waiting for the color coordinated portion containers to arrive in the mail, so I had to do some guessing on portion sizes. I felt like I hardly ate anything, but still was really full all day. My eating is also a little off because I’m on Spring Break this week and getting up later than usual which means I ate my first meal later than I would on a work day.

I’m excited to have a program with structure to follow. I’ve done well in the past with structured programs, so I hope to be able to eventually turn this into a way of life.

Next Chapter

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I originally started this blog as a way to motivate myself. As you can see from the lack of posts, that didn’t work out so well. I’ve still not given up on my quest to live a happy, healthy and active lifestyle, and therefore I’ve been looking for a new direction.

Over the course of my adult life I’ve been a runner, training for 5Ks and 10Ks, and a triathlete, training for Sprint and Olympic distance races. I’ve gone to a mega-gym and had a personal trainer where I would do days of strength training and days of cardio. I’ve purchased various workout DVDs and the eating plans that come with those. As I’ve mentioned before on this blog, I own countless books on fitness and healthy eating. And I even joined a Crossfit gym for about a year and a half. All of these things have been great and following them have helped me to not be overweight and sick.

So now, six months after starting this blog and floundering with my fitness and eating habits, I’m making a change. Tomorrow, April 25, 2017, I’m starting the 21 Day Fix program from Beachbody. I’m going to follow both the workout and eating plans and document my journey on social media as well as this blog. I’m also going to start being a Beachbody Coach so I will also be posting things to help inspire others on their own journeys.

Below are links to my Beachbody pages:

New Year

2017

The end of a year and the beginning of a new one is always a good time of year for me. I often spend a lot of time reflecting on the year that is ending and setting goals and making plans for the new year ahead. The fact that my birthday is just a few days before the new year also helps me reflect as I face turning another year older.

2016 was not a great year for me regarding fitness and health. I dealt with several health issues including hormonal issues (aka early menopause), early stage cancer cells that needed to be surgically removed, acid reflux problems, and depression. With fitness, I only worked out 122 days of the year. This was better than the 87 days I worked out in 2015, but I also blew out my ACL in 2015, so this past year should have been better than it was. I also only read 12 books in 2016. I also had my first experience with the “empty nest” syndrome as 2 of my 3 kids were off at college and the high schooler left at home required little of me. Having been a mom since I was 20 years old, I’ve now been struggling with what to do with my free time, which is compounded by depression and being unhappy in my job.

So, as this new year approaches I have several plans/goals:

  • take classes to learn new skills for a future career change
  • use mindfulness strategies to help me cope with work
  • spend time developing hobbies instead of doing mindless, time-sucking stuff on technology (games like candy crush & social media)
  • do something active every day
  • eat less processed foods
  • read 30 books
  • blog 3 times a week or more

So there it is…in writing and on the Internet. All goals worthy of my big life goal of living an active and healthy lifestyle! Happy New Year!

Heart Rate Monitor

heartrate

In 2006 when I was on one of my big training kicks, my husband bought me a Polar heart rate monitor. I had never used one before and quickly set about figuring it out. It was really simple with just a few features tracking heart rate and calories burned. It didn’t take long before I wouldn’t workout without it. I loved being able to see how many calories I was burning and also being able to keep track of where I was on my intensity levels. I replaced the battery in the watch and the strap on the chest band numerous times. In February of 2016, it finally died. It was like losing an old friend who had been there through all the ups and downs and all the sweat and tears.

When  I started to look online for a replacement, I was soon overwhelmed by all the choices of different monitors as well as all the features available on each one. The heart rate monitor had come a long way in the past ten years! Also, now on the market were new things that tracked your daily movement and connected to your smartphone. It took a good month of research and reflection to decide what exactly I wanted and needed. I was intrigued with being able to track movement when not working out, but I also wanted a strap for accurate heart rate readings when I was working out. I also didn’t feel like I needed notifications from my phone showing up on the watch. And I wanted a decent sized screen on the watch, not just a little slit.

I bought the Polar A300 and it has been fantastic! It not only tracks heart rate and calories burned just like the old one, but it also does so much more. I can program different activities to select for each workout, for example running, biking, group exercise, Crossfit, etc. It tells me how many hours in a day I am active, how many steps I took and how many calories I burned for the whole day. It also buzzes and vibrates when I’ve been sitting still for too long to remind me to get up and move. If I wear it all night it tracks my sleep and tells me how much of it was restful and how much was restless. You can set a daily activity goal and it shows you your progress towards that goal and buzzes when you reach your goal for the day. You sync the watch to the website and the mobile app to see all the data. It has all kinds of graphs and charts to show the data in multiple ways. They also have some sort of social media feature where you can post your data and see others’ data, but I haven’t really explored that much. The watch has interchangeable bands that you can purchase separately so that you are always color coordinated if desired. It’s water resistant meaning its ok if it gets wet, but don’t wear it swimming or in the shower. The only thing I don’t like about it is the strap. The way it hooks together when you have it on isn’t a great design. Often when I go to take it off, I find the hook is about to slip out and I often have to stop working out to pull it up because it is sliding down my torso.

While I am partial to this product I am using, the bottom line is I think training with a heart rate monitor, regardless of which one or what kind, is a great way to help you stay focused and motivated to get the workout done. I love seeing how many calories I’ve burned after working out or I’ve used the calorie count to push myself harder and keep going to reach a certain number before stopping. So I now have a new workout friend, and I hope this one last ten years as well!

Books

books

Hi my name is Jenny and I’m a book-oholic. I have bookshelves and bookcases filled with books. Some books I’ve read, but most are books I haven’t read yet. Most of the books I buy at a second hand store, but sometimes I hear about a new book and I have to have it, so Amazon Prime comes in really handy to get it in my hands quickly. I recently did just that, but wasn’t quite finished with the book I was currently reading, so I went to put the new book on the shelf with all my other self-help/health/fitness related books. As you can see from the photo above I have a few. I’ve already read eight of them and two of them I’ve read twice.

I love these kinds of books because they help me to stay focused on my journey. Even though every book is slightly different, they all have the same overall message. Reading books like these all the time is a constant reminder of the things I need to do to live the happy, healthy, and active lifestyle that I want. If anyone reading this has any suggestions on books, please leave the title in the comments. My next read is the new one, No Sweat, which is about the science behind motivation. I can’t wait to get started!