ARE YOU IN "CONTROL"?

As I sit here and write this, I’m surprised how sore I am, this second week on the Aslyum program.  Although, I usually have a difficult time following specific meal plans; I’ve been able to stick to this plan about 95% of the time.  The workouts have been followed 100%; with the addition of my gym classes.  Meals have always been the challenge for me to follow but I’ve stayed committed to Shaun’s program.   It is supposed to be followed for 14 days and then you are able to choose whether you change it up or follow it as closely as possible for the remainder of the program.


I’m now coming up on my 14th day; or half-way through the Asylum program.  My abs are killing me; although in a good way!  I don’t even remember what I did that would cause me to be this sore but I’m certain it was yesterday’s workout; Game Day.  


Game Day is hell.  Nothing else can describe this workout.  I’m not kidding, I’ve been proud of the extreme workouts I’ve accomplished and thought this program would be “challenging” but I had no idea it would have me lying on the floor at the end, willing my body to stand up to stretch.  


The good news is that today’s workout was, “Back to Core”, which I now love after the grueling Game Day has past.  I was more than happy to hold lower lunge positions and squeeze harder when Shaun instructed us to do.  I even smiled because I loved it; and I knew it wasn’t “Game Day”.  


The bad news is that I peeked into my next week’s schedule of workouts and noticed the next time “Game Day” is scheduled, it is also to be immediately followed by “Overtime”.  Excuse me?  What exactly is, “Overtime”?  I’m not even sure I should ask.  


With all that said regarding my training these past two weeks, my life is about to change dramatically.  I won’t share the latest plans yet; but in a few weeks I’ll blog about what my next chapter will be.  


I plan to continue to follow my dreams of committing to health and fitness as well as help to inspire and motivate others to do the same; but it will take on a new look.  I don’t think I’ll ever stop doing what I love; it just wouldn’t feel right.  But things are going to change, nonetheless.


Do you notice when your life shifts, you tend to re-evaluate all that is important and plan how to make things better?  I am currently doing just that.  Fitness is a key component in my life and I’ve learned it was about my “control issues” that I have struggled with, that made me such a “fanatic” in the fitness realm.  What I also understand is that the same “control issues” that I dealt with were thrown into chaos when my loving family decided to cut us out of their lives without as much as an unkind word.  Since I had absolutely no control over these hurtful truths, my panic attacks hit with a vengeance.  I have begun to revisit the world of “panic”.  I know now that I am “okay” and can find the peace within myself if the attacks hit again.  What I didn’t know then was that I wasn’t going to die from them.  I don’t wish them on my worst enemy.  


If you’ve never suffered a panic attack, I would imagine you might think it isn’t such a big deal.  I wouldn’t think it’s a huge issue, if I myself wasn’t brought to my knees by this awful, out of control experience.  I plan to learn more about the specifics of this disorder and share my experiences and how I overcame the issues.  I feel stronger as a person for overcoming this and hope to share my experience with those who may be needing help or knowledge on the subject.   


My grueling workouts are paled in comparison to my worst panic attack.  That is why, I believe, I’m able to push through a workout such as ‘Game Day’ and although it’s grueling; know that I can push through again and live through it!  


Asylum is the beginning of a new phase of my life.  I look forward to sharing this with you when the time is right and I also look forward to stepping into a new issue such as panic disorders and share my story.  Through the unknown and out of control, into another reality, and being in enough control to live with determination and complete confidence in who I have become.

LIFE IS A JOURNEY….

Life is a journey filled with lessons, hardships, heartaches, joys, celebrations and special moments that will ultimately lead us to our destination, our purpose in life. The road will not always be smooth; in fact, throughout our travels, we will encounter many challenges.

Some of these challenges will test our courage, strengths, weaknesses, and faith. Along the way, we may stumble upon obstacles that will come between the paths that we are destined to take. In order to follow the right path, we must overcome these obstacles. Sometimes these obstacles are really blessings in disguise, only we don’t realize that at the time.

Along our journey we will be confronted with many situations, some will be filled with joy, and some will be filled with heartache. How we react to what we are faced with determines what kind of outcome the rest of our journey through life will be like.


When things don’t always go our way, we have two choices in dealing with the situations. We can focus on the fact that things didn’t go how we had hoped they would and let life pass us by, or two, we can make the best out of the situation and know that these are only temporary setbacks and find the lessons that are to be learned.

Time stops for no one, and if we allow ourselves to focus on the negative we might miss out on some really amazing things that life has to offer. We can’t go back to the past, we can only take the lessons that we have learned and the experiences that we have gained from it and move on. It is because of the heartaches, as well as the hardships, that in the end help to make us a stronger person.

The people that we meet on our journey, are people that we are destined to meet. Everybody comes into our lives for some reason or another and we don’t always know their purpose until it is too late. They all play some kind of role. Some may stay for a lifetime; others may only stay for a short while.

It is often the people who stay for only a short time that end up making a lasting impression not only in our lives, but in our hearts as well. Although we may not realize it at the time, they will make a difference and change our lives in a way we never could imagine. To think that one person can have such a profound affect on your life forever is truly a blessing. It is because of these encounters that we learn some of life’s best lessons and sometimes we even learn a little bit about ourselves.

People will come and go into our lives quickly, but sometimes we are lucky to meet that one special person that will stay in our hearts forever no matter what. Even though we may not always end up being with that person and they may not always stay in our life for as long as we like, the lessons that we have learned from them and the experiences that we have gained from meeting that person, will stay with us forever.

It’s these things that will give us strength to continue on with our journey. We know that we can always look back on those times of our past and know that because of that one individual, we are who we are and we can remember the wonderful moments that we have shared with that person.

Memories are priceless treasures that we can cherish forever in our hearts. They also enables us to continue on with our journey for whatever life has in store for us. Sometimes all it takes is one special person to help us look inside ourselves and find a whole different person that we never knew existed. Our eyes are suddenly opened to a world we never knew existed- a world where time is so precious and moments never seem to last long enough.

Throughout this adventure, people will give you advice and insights on how to live your life but when it all comes down to it, you must always do what you feel is right. Always follow your heart, and most importantly never have any regrets. Don’t hold anything back. Say what you want to say, and do what you want to do, because sometimes we don’t get a second chance to say or do what we should have the first time around.

It is often said that what doesn’t kill you will make you stronger. It all depends on how one defines the word “strong” It can have different meanings to different people. In this sense, “stronger” means looking back at the person you were and comparing it to the person you have become today. It also means looking deep into your soul and realizing that the person you are today couldn’t exist if it weren’t for the things that have happened in the past or for the people that you have met. Everything that happens in our life happens for a reason and sometimes that means we must face heartaches in order to experience joy. 

Asylum; End of week 1

Day 1

Day 7
So, I survived more than a week of Insanity/Asylum and I can now post my results so far!  I already noticed huge changes in my body; even though it’s just been seven days.  The meal plan is extremely “Clean” and quite rigid.  You are supposed to eat your largest meal for breakfast (as I usually do) and the next meals continue to get smaller as the day goes on.  My biggest challenge has been the lack of whole wheat carbs.  The carbs that we eat on this program are primarily fruits and vegetables.  There are a few breakfast meals that incorporate one or two pieces of whole wheat toast and a pat of butter is to be enjoyed only once or twice per week.
I now understand how Shaun T. achieved his “unreal” abdominals!  The secret to your six pack abs are in the nutrition.  Of course, exercise and abdominal work help to strengthen the muscles but if you have a layer of “fat” covering these beautiful muscles; how can one see your six pack?  I have struggled with my eating in terms of quantity; not quality.  My diet has consisted mostly of clean, wholesome foods for almost two years now but the issue is the size of my meals.  I am what you would call a “large eater”.  What I mean is that I enjoy eating lots of food to feel satisfied and I dislike feeling hungry since it makes me feel grumpy and light-headed.  
How does one continue through a challenge like this one?  I have found that by eating every 2 hours, 3 at the most, I am able to cut down on the size of my “meals”.  I enjoy many salads and lean proteins with each meal and find that my palate has been quite satisfied; especially since I am able to enjoy my chocolate Shakeology once or twice a day.  This helps hit my chocolate craving and also supplements my nutrition gaps that I may be suffering, due to the decrease in calories and other foods typically enjoyed.
What ever your current challenge, don’t short-change yourself.  You can push through any challenge for a certain amount of time.  Make Clean Eating a lifelong habit but add certain challenges into your life by incorporating different foods or cutting back on your less-than-Clean choices.  I hope to hear from you and what you are currently working to achieve.  My commitment is strong and I will continue to share my progress throughout this month-long program!

Asylum; Day 1!

First things first, I was exceptionally nervous and excited all at the same time for this new program!  By completing Insanity more than once, I feel like I can take on any challenge; but at the same time, this was Shaun T. again back for more and I had the feeling it wasn’t going to be any easier than his previous program.

I also have to mention the fact that this program is half the time frame as Insanity is and it promises more and extreme results.  This only can mean it won’t just be more intense than Insanity, but it will done in just one month; instead of the previous two.

Aside from the drama I was stirring up in my mind, I needed a change in my routine and wanted more results in my body.  That is the reason for my excitement in starting.  I wrote out my meals for the week and completed my grocery shopping during the weekend so there would be no surprises or lack of ingredients.  I am not the best participant on eating plans which make me hungry; I tend to turn into a bear and feel absolutely awful without enough food.  This would have to be a wonderful plan in order for me to even try stick with it!

So, day #1; I awoke at 5:30 am and went immediately to the workout of the day, “Strength & Agility”.  What a rush!  Intense bouts of work, all the while working on bettering my form.  Shaun stresses form in this program more than speed, as he does in Insanity.  Once your form is key, only then does he ask you to push for speed.  I will answer a few questions regarding my opinion on this first day of workout.

1.  Is the workout hard at first?  How hard?  Well, let me start by saying, YES!!  Shaun starts the warmup with a jumprope and many variations for the feet to confuse us more while we try our best not to trip on the rope itself.  This proved to be a challenge to me but I stuck with it.  Did I trip up on the rope?  You bet!!  But I restarted each time and continued to do my best on the footwork and time challenges.  The one thing that continued to bother me was the fact that Shaun continues to tell us this day is just like “practice” for the real game.  Ummm….excuse me?  This felt like the Olympic games and now you’re telling me it’s only practice?  I’ll have to get back to you on that after I take on the actual game he is referring to!

2.  What is your athletic passion?  My passion is to just be better.  Better than who or what, you ask?  Just better than anyone who I come in contact with!  Yes, I am that competitive and this is what keeps me going.  I hate to run; but I continue to look for another race to enter so I can beat it!  I don’t play team sports but I love to workout in groups for the team support and camaraderie.  I just want to be the fittest that I can be.  Enough said on that!

3.  Did you follow the Get Shredded meal plan?  This meal plan is the one I prepared for this past weekend and it is recommended to follow for 14 days and then try to eat as close to the plan as possible. I am happy to see it will only be strict for 1/2 the time of the program; but I hope to stay as close to the plan as I can for maximum results.  After all, that’s what I’m after; my maximum results!!!  In fact, I’m after the maximum results period!!!  No Kidding!!! 


4.  Did you use the speed rope and agility ladder training tools?  Yes!  I actually love these tools and the agility ladder adds another variation to the “Insanity” like exercises since it forces you to use better form and not mess up the ladder.  We are instructed to stop and fix the ladder if we mess it up.  In fact, if you mess it up during the Fit Test, your reps done with a messy ladder are “NULL”!!  In today’s workout, Shaun instructs us to stop and do pushups if we mess up the ladder.  Wow!!  Talk about intense…

I ate my meals from the meal plan and have to say I wasn’t even a little bit hungry until after 3:00 pm.  That’s huge for me!  I ate my 4th meal just before I started on dinner and this really helped.  I stuck with my dinner plans knowing that I can enjoy a Shakeology later.  What a treat for the evening!  This program may just be the plan I needed, after all!!  I will post and blog throughout the month and if you have questions for me, please post below!!

Now, it’s time for bed!!!

ARE YOU READY TO TAKE IT TO YOUR NEXT LEVEL?

Today is Sunday, April 17th and I am gearing up to start The Asylum program tomorrow.  This is Shaun T.’s next phase after Insanity and I have to be honest; I’m a bit nervous!  I will blog about the entire program, which is only 30 days instead of the 60 days and that should say something about how extreme this may be!  I’m ready…


I completed my Fit Test this morning and have to say how happy I was that my “numbers” were close to or even higher than some of the guys who were in the program!  Yay, for Insanity which obviously brought my fitness level to a higher status.  Here are my numbers for this week:
There are 9 exercises in all and I will post the numbers according to how the exercises are done in the video…
#1: 9 reps
#2: 44 reps
#3: 28 reps
#4: 74 reps
#5: 5.4 reps (you will know what the “.4” means when you try it!)
#6: 30 reps
#7: 4.5 reps
#8: 14 reps 
#9: 11 reps


I will post these results again after the 30 days are up.  I am working to earn my “I’m Committed” t-shirt which you can earn after you complete this program.  I also am chronicling my progress with the workouts and eating plan.  I will post my measurement and weight changes and also how I feel during and after the workouts and program.  


Shaun allows you one week’s rest after the 30 days are complete and then the option to continue.  The exciting part of this is, you can use his hybrid schedule and work either the Insanity program or P90X program into the Asylum for a total of 90 days.  This is only an option but I’m excited to see it’s all mapped out for us!!


If you want to share in this journey, please message me!  I’d love to hear of your progress and send you some support and motivation.  It doesn’t have to be this particular program, either.  Pick any plan and commit to it 100%; diet and exercise.  You will see the changes happen in a shorter amount of time which will help to keep you committed and excited due to your results!


Here’s to really digging deeper…

My Journey through the Asylum!!

Here I sit, with booklets and workouts in hand, planning out my next 30 day journey.  I have made the commitment to chronicle my journey through Shaun T.’s latest workout program; Insanity/Asylum!  


There will be a Fit Test and I will complete that on Sunday with my measurements and weight.  I will also be following his eating plan; especially strict for the first 2 weeks…which he stresses.  I am committed to change my body in a whole new way within the next month.


What exactly does this entail?  There is an eating plan to follow and this needs to be on target for best results!!  Eating frequently is number 1 on the list of priorities.  Mini-meals take the place of larger meals throughout your day for best energy and metabolism boost.  The order of meals is important too; Shaun recommends to eat your largest meal in the morning and your lightest meal in the evening.  It’s important too, to limit your portions.  Portion size has become a problem in our nation and should be recognized and adjusted.  Since there are no plans for this change anytime soon, we can shift our own portion sizes at home, and in our families’ meals.


Eating lean foods is another key element to this program.  The easiest way to explain this idea is to think of “Clean Eating” as your guidelines.  Lean proteins, whole grains, fruits and vegetables and healthy fats will guide you towards success in terms of energy and fat loss.  Dairy is a “no-no” on Shaun’s plan and should be replaced with almond or rice milk.  Cheese should be omitted, altogether.  


Hydration; even though we may already know this, making it a top priority during this plan will only help further your results.  Obviously, no fruit juices or sodas of any kind are allowed.  Alcohol should be limited to an occasional glass of red wine, but not during this challenge!  


What about supplements?  Shaun encourages the use of both Shakeology and Results and Recovery drink.  The key is to enjoy these when your body requires them.  Recovery drink should be enjoyed within one hour of completing your day’s workout.  Shakeology can take the place of breakfast or another meal.  


So, there you have it!  I’m feeling the jittery feelings of excitement and a bit of apprehension due to the extreme taxing workouts that are sure to come.  I’m ready.  I’m committed.  And I will earn my “I’m Committed” t-shirt from completing this program!


Get ready to see the change…are you ready to take this challenge on?

Be the Leader~

Most people have a difficult time adding in healthy, new habits.  It usually takes an extreme situation to push someone to lose weight or get healthy.   Take, for instance, the Biggest Loser television show.  These folks are not just “a little overweight” and their health is at such a high risk stage; yet they have not been able to shed pounds or change the way they eat until they are forced to do so.  


This show is about extremes.  Extreme “last chance” workouts, the doctor visits where they are told how close to death they actually are and heart-wrenching stories from their past issues.  What about the rest of the nation who are overweight or obese?  Must we get to the extreme phase before we acknowledge that we need help?  When are you going to be the leader you need to be to help those around you?    

We all have a responsibility to our children, families, and community.  If the “norm” is to eat fast food three times each day and sit on the couch or chair, what would make anyone want to change?  It takes the decision to become a “leader”, simply by changing your own habits and letting the results speak for themself.  How many times have you noticed a friend or family member lose weight and were inspired to do so yourself?  How about when you noticed your neighbors walking the block each morning and decide that you could do that too?  It doesn’t take much to inspire; but you have to do something.

The hardest part is to simply ‘start’.  Once we have the rhythm, it will become easier and eventually, you will crave it.  Our bodies know what it needs to feel good.  Have you ever felt lousy before a workout and forced yourself to do it anyway?  How did you feel after a few minutes?  Chances are, your energy increased and you felt happier and less stressed.  These are the benefits of the beginning stages.  Once we get into the habit of continuing regularly, we then notice the changes our bodies take on.  Inches and pounds start to dwindle.  Definition in muscles become pronounced.  We walk taller and smile more.  We look people in the eyes and are interested in life.  

This isn’t a “drug” but it might as well be.  The feeling is worth the extra hour you need to get up in the morning.  The feeling and results are worth the sore muscles and intense reps you need to power through to finish.  Whatever your goals are; know that they are possible and can only start when you finally ‘decide’ to begin.  

Decision is key.  Once you decide, you pick a plan and you plan your schedule.  Once you plan your schedule, you commit to the daily, weekly and monthly workouts.  Once you commit to these workouts and continue; only then can you truly succeed.  Decide. Commit. Succeed.

Be a leader.  Lead others by inspiring them through your success and journey.  Be proud of your results and share them when possible.  It isn’t ‘bragging’ but ‘inspiring’.  Tell me this, if you saw one of your friends start a program and begin to look and act happier and younger, wouldn’t you ask what they were doing and actually contemplate following in their footsteps?

Decide today.  I did and I’ll never look back.