Monday, May 31, 2010

A Perfect Day


When it comes to a definition of a perfect day, I would suspect that a broad range of answers might come from a select panel of interviewees.  Some people might say a day on the couch watching movies all day is perfect, others might prefer a day at the beach.  A few might even suggest a day at work.

While Mondays are usually not a day to look forward to, a Holiday Monday is a day to relish.  Perhaps a really perfect day would have been sleeping in a bit, but running outside past 8:00 a.m. is already NOT a possibility in this Texas heat. 

My perfect day began around 6:45 with a run at about 8:00, a little too late, but it always feels good for my feet to hit the asphalt.  I'm in my recovery week so I took a nice pace, but couldn't help but want to sprint home to the AC.  On a normal day, I would split my workouts, but on a perfect day, a nap is always on the agenda to give my body some rest. 

Instead of drying off, I went straight into the Core Cardio & Balance Insanity DVD.  Nope, still not any easier on my third day.  I extinguished the torch on my quads, showered and prepared myself for a hard day of a whole lot of NOTHING!  Nothing but eating good, healthy food, napping and enjoying my family.  A mini celebration of making it through the first month of Insanity!  Congrats to me.

Here are my first month pictures and some numbers.  Not a huge change of difference in numbers, but I feel completely awesome and strong.  I'm not sure how to define awesome as a number!  I'm hoping for more dramatic physical changes in Month 2!  I think the biggest change is in my smile!  Ironic?  Not so much!


As this perfect day comes to a close, I can't help but share this video I made last November from my marathon experience in DC.  Thank you Veterans for giving us this day to spend it enjoying family, fun and some rest. Thank you for what you do so that we can do what we do!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Mental Preparation

Have you ever watched someone do something and it seems so easy when you're lying on the couch?  Almost effortless.  You get that cockiness and the "how hard can that be?" attitude.

With the anticipation of Month 2 eating away at my patience, I decided to have a little sneak peak of the Max Interval Circuit Insanity DVD.  After some encouragement from reader Lisa, it looks disgusting, her comment couldn't have described Month 2 any better. With that kind of evaluation, I just had to take a look.

I knew it was going to be a little longer and perhaps the intensity would pick up a little more.  After all, I mean, could it really get any harder?  The answer is just not "yes".  It's a big, fat, holy crap "HELL YEAH IT CAN!"  How hard can it REALLY be?  A resounding, "EXTREMELY!"

My heart rate elevated just watching it.  Although I think it was more from the adrenaline rush or 'ohmygod' factor rather than the watching the actual heart-pounding workout.  It also didn't help when the most cut guy in the whole video kept stopping and had this perpetual, "I'm going to die" look on his face the entire 60 minutes.

Okay, the difference?  I only got through the Max Interval Circuit - that was quite enough. I'll save the rest for my actual workout.
  1. Longer - workouts increase from 40 minutes to 60 minutes.
  2. Intensity - higher - it makes Month 1 look like I'm playing patticake.
  3. Intervals - they go from about 6 sets to about 10 or 11, but I'm thinking it really won't even matter by number 8.
What I did like is that despite some not so great editing, is that the participants in the videos are dying.  It's not fake.  You have to do the work and it's NOT EASY! What scared me is when the last shot was fired and the white flag of surrender was raised, EVERYONE, including Shaun T was lying on the ground, beaten to a pulp, with the exception of some crazy break dancer who did a back spin after it was over nearly taking out the girl next to him.  (sorry, I digress...it was quite funny).

I love this girl from the Insanity video.  She reminds me a lot of myself.  She came in a little too confident, but put in the work and has had amazing results!  Looking forward to the next month of this insane workout that is so appropriately named, "INSANITY"!  I can't wait for even more results!



I'm staying strong. I'm staying motivated. Are you?

Friday, May 28, 2010

My First Month - DONE!

Month 1 of Insanity is complete and I've had my ups and downs, but as I mentally prepare my body for Month 2 , I wanted to give an assessment of my first four weeks of this craziness.
  1. This is a program that will expose your weaknesses. I am used to doing things in the areas I feel most strong...running, lifting light weights, etc. I shy away from things I hate...push ups, planks, jumping. There's no escaping these in Insanity and now I look forward to the challenge.
  2. I've become so in tune to the foods I'm putting in my body. If I'm not aware, Shaun T will alert me with no warning. 
  3. I have a completely new respect for football and track people. Some of the drills are crazy. I know I look like a fool doing the football stance drills, but occassionally I feel the little Emmitt inside of me!
  4. Shaun T feels a lot of things are 'very impor-ant'. 
  5. No matter how tired I am, I can always go one more minute before passing out. 
  6. I'm starting to get definition in my legs and this has ALWAYS been my weak area. I've never enjoyed showing my legs, but then again, I've never done this kind of workout. 
  7. Anticipation of Month 2 is scaring me to death. 
  8. Yes, this is very cardio intensive, but the power and strength moves are getting me leaner than I've ever been.  A treadmill could never produce these kinds of results.
  9. My son Keelan is doing so well and hasn't missed a workout. Granted, he learned very quickly he's not a morning person, but has made it work at times that work with his schedule!  Smart kid! 
  10. I no longer mistake cardio recovery for an easy day. Lighting a torch to my quads is not my definition of  'easy'.
 If you're considering doing Insanity, my biggest point is that it all comes down to mental determination. This is a workout that is easy to give up on quickly. However, it's also a workout that is doable with a strong mind. Pushing yourself beyond what you think is possible is what it's all about.
 
What more can I give and what kind of results do I desire? I think back to a month ago when I was so scared about starting (Anticipation of Insanity) and I made it through the first month, so I think my question is answered.

 
Stay strong! Stay motivated! Can't wait to update you on Month 2!  Photos coming soon!

Monday, May 24, 2010

It's Time to GO!

I've met so many people lately who are at a crossroads in their lives.  They are not particularly happy with career choices, their health, perhaps their weight and ready to try something new to make a difference in their lives. 

I think many people get caught up in having to make several changes to our lives to make a difference and therefore we give up before we start.  Whether we might be in poor physical health, poor mental health or often, a combination of the two, simply making the decision for change is a huge step.  Getting your mind ready to start making a positive improvement to your life is essential.  It's time to GO!

So now that you're in the right mindset and ready to make a change, how do you make it happen?  Support, support, support.  For every Negative Nelly and Debbie Downer in this world, there is a Positive Patty and Supportive Sam.  Find them!  Embrace their knowledge and feed off of their energy.  If you don't believe people give off energy, think of someone who just makes you depressed to be around. That person's aura is depleting to your own health.  STAY AWAY!  Now imagine that person that just makes you smile for the simple fact of just being.  You just might be that person if you pursue your passion and start making your health a priority.

Your mind is ready for the big change, you've surrounded yourself with positive, supportive people.  Now, how do you make this change?  You take it one...day...at...a...time.  You will find that whether your goal is to start eating healthier or to start a new workout program, the biggest motivation is results.  Daily results lead to weekly goals being met.  Goals lead to accomplishments.  Before you know it, you not only have developed an incredible confidence, all these other doors will start opening for you.

Don't stay trapped in the cell you call a job or a body that is unhealthy.  You owe it to yourself to live a healthy and happy life.  You will find that when you do make a change and results start to transpire, you might not even recognize the person you were.  You're eyes will start to shine again!  Imagine what that could feel like!

If you're ready to make it happen, please let me know.  I'm thrilled to motivate you to becoming a better reflection of your true self.  We all deserve to live a happy life.  You are in control of making that happen.  I can help guide you.

Stay Strong!  Stay Motivated!!

INSANITY UPDATEI got back on the asphalt this morning and it couldn't have felt better.  The Texas humidity and heat is in full force, but nothing is better than a strong run followed by profuse sweating!  I saved Shaun T for after work.  Sometimes it's a struggle to pop the DVD in, but I finally started to feel stronger in my Plyometric workout today.  Made the struggle worth it.  Perhaps I am getting ready for Month 2. YIKES!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

A Plateau or Lesson?

I'm officially in the FOURTH week of Insanity, and I have to say, I feel really great.  However, I can't help but feel somewhat disappointed with my results.  I dropped five pounds quickly the first two weeks and since then, I've remained stagnant.

I know what everyone is thinking.  It's not about the scale, it's about the inches.  Yes,  my pants are feeling looser, but that was from the first couple weeks.  Not a whole lot of change since.  I'd like to blame my plateau on my recent hiatus to California.  But I really stuck to my plan there.  I did the work, strayed from really bad things when I could have been a glutton, and stayed within my allotted calorie count the entire stay.  So, no...can't use that as an excuse.

What gives?  Last week was the first week I've haven't run at all in months, perhaps even over a year.  I simply had no time other than Insanity.  Perhaps that is the difference?  Although I love to run, I think the week off is a welcome change for my body.  Not to mention a balance to my busy life.  I hate to think this is the reason, but it may very well be.

I have been giving a full effort to my Insanity workouts and it doesn't ever get easier.  It just sucks every time, some days worse than others.  I constantly have thoughts of Month 2 in the back of my mind and I cannot comprehend it getting longer and harder. 

Perhaps this is just a lesson for on focusing on the positives.  Placing emphasis on the results I have seen, rather than focusing on things that may not happen.  I'm going to use my 120-Day Bikram yoga challenge two years ago as my lesson.  Instead of focusing on the day to day enrichment to my life, I lost site of the true meaning of yoga and only focused on finishing.  I paid little attention to my diet, since I felt I was sweating it all away and forced myself through the movements, without any attention to detail of the movement itself.    My results:  I gained about eight pounds, gained 1/2 size in my knuckles and completely lost all running ability. 

This "plateau" I'm experiencing is another lesson for me.  I think I'm placing too much emphasis on the results everyone around me is having and not enjoying the results I'm seeing in myself.  Instead of being happy with a five pound weight loss, I'm disappointed it's not 10 pounds.  I should be giving myself a pat on the back for each day I complete another round, instead of asking myself, "why are you so tired?"  Rather than dreading month two, I should be savoring every last second of month one.   I should embrace my 4-pack and not worry if this mama will ever have a 6-pack.

Maybe, just maybe, this goes far beyond the physical.  The confidence I feel is quite incredible when others ask me what I'm doing and I so proudly mention InsanityI see their jaws drop because they've seen those infomercials.  I should be proud that I'm a product of hard work and not just another unknown testimonial.  I should be encouraged that I've motivated so many people around me to start doing something.  Anything. 

Stay ENCOURAGED!  Stay Strong!  Stay Motivated!!!

       

Friday, May 21, 2010

A Shock To My Body

Today is my last day in Anaheim and by the way the body feels, I would have thought I ran an ultra-marathon up the coast yesterday.  I woke up with pains in my my shins and overall fatigue.  I'm somewhat puzzled by the soreness I'm experiencing.  Perplexed by the cause.

Other than the Insanity Recovery workout yesterday, I planned the week to have the brunt of the workout at the beginning, so I'd be able to focus on work this week.  SO WHY IS MY BODY SO SORE? 

The time change?  Eating a little bit different, albeit not a big change?  The California Sun?  Belting out the lyrics to Natasha Bedingfield's Unwritten while driving along the coast in Laguna Beach? (yes, we really did this.)

No....not any of this is causing this pain!

Backtrack some more...well, we did stand a lot at the trade show.  In fact, we pretty much stood in one place for 8 hour yesterday.  Seriously?  I AM SORE FROM STANDING?  I'm somewhat ashamed to admit this, but at the same time completely amazed.

Just when you think you're in shape and you think you can handle anything, you realize how incredible the body is.  The simplest change can cause a shock to the body.  I say any kind of soreness or change in your body is INFORMATION.  Information that is EMPOWERING!

If I can run marathons, do Insanity and feel that I'm in relatively good shape and then get sore from standing, think of what the simplest change can do for you.  Imagine just walking when you've lived a sedentary lifestyle.  Imagine just adding 20 minutes of light cardio to your day.  Imagine how your body would adapt to this and think of the possibilities of change.

INSANITY UPDATE:  Tomorrow is the start of Week 4 already!  It has gone by really quickly but as Month 2 approaches, I'm getting really nervous, but also ready to shock my body a little bit more and step it up.  Perhaps I'll add more standing to my workout next month! ;)

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Adjustments

I'm sitting in a hotel room in Anaheim overlooking the "Happiest Place on Earth", enjoying a break from the Texas heat, and adjusting to a slight shift to my schedule.   

It's really hard to stick to a steadfast schedule when I'm away from my normal routine.  Although, I have to say, I've done well.  I have all my oatmeal, protein bars and almonds with me.  I hesitated to bring my ziplock full of vanilla protein powder since I was thinking airport security might suspect it something different, but a simple taste test would clear me and I packed it nonetheless.

Other than eating a really LATE dinner, I haven't faltered.  Well, okay...I did have a glass of wine, but I deserved it.  I worked a long day.  The secret is having a plan and preparedness.  Without this, it's easy to falter and give in to the temptations of Hotel Room Service and $6 water, but my power 'packed' snacks have saved me from straying.

I also adjusted my Insanity workouts so that Keelan could keep on track with his while I'm away.  Tomorrow I'll be doing my recovery workout in my hotel room, versus the Plyometric Cardio Circuit that would be sure to upset my neighbors on the 11th floor.  No matter how hard I try to land softly on my power jumps, I would be sure to cause a mild 1.0 Earthquake.  I might be able to get away with it in Cali, but my conscious suits me better!

When life give you a shift in schedule, there is no need to take a break!  Make an adjustment and make it happen...even if it costs you $14.95 to use the Hotel gym.  Good thing I have Insanity DVDs!

Peace out!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

A Virus Won't Run Its Course

As dedicated as I am to my workouts, I feel I am equally dedicated to motivationmamadrama. However, mmdrama caught a BAD virus and is on temporary hiatus, leaving this mama down on her spirits. Unfortunately, there are many acts of maliciousness out in Cyber World intent on corrupting my computer. Therefore, my home access to blogging has been extinguished for the time being. NOW, I know what child feels like to have to relinquish a pacifier or heaven forbid, a blankie.


I feel lost and out of sorts. But I’ll be back shortly. Suffice to say, if only a computer virus would just run its course and be back in tip tock shape in a week or so.

Unfortunately, in computer terms ‘Run its Course’ = $$ and mamadrama time

My TOP 10 valuable lessons I’ve learned without a computer in the past few days of Bloggedless.

  1. Patience – I will not learn nor be the end all and be all of blogging in one month. Trying to do too much too soon leads to injuries…OR horrible computer viruses.
  2. If it looks like a scam, eats away at your computer like a scam, gives you a bad feeling it’s a scam, then by all means, DON’T GIVE IT YOUR PERSONAL BANK ACCOUNT information. IT’S A SCAM! That confession runs right up there with my Non-Dairy Creamy Addiction reconciliation.
  3. Slamming a half a bottle of wine at 2:00 a.m. to help me sleep does not count as calories to my food journal. Extreme stress and anxiety completely justifies this horrible act of self-sedation.
  4. Nothing eases stress like an Insanity Workout. There’s no time for thinking other than thinking how much is left.
  5. Yep, Dancing With the Stars = Still BAD. Something about how proud TO is of Ochocinco for his waltz is just wrong and a big ol’ time waster.
  6. Shaun T is much less intimidating on a 5” DVD screen.
  7. Telling me not to worry and there is nothing I can do about until the morning may sound really great in theory, but in reality….pointless.
  8. Telling myself… “This too shall pass” really does work, if only it worked during the last interval of Plyometric Circuit!
  9. I rediscovered an old habit that was a staple during marathon training LONG RUN Saturdays. You may have heard of it. Kids hate them, adults rarely have time for them, but it’s essential for rebuilding and re-energizing. A nap.
  10. I realized the most important people in my life are...(1) A friend to vent to…(2)….a husband to provide rationale….(3)….a son to play legos with….(4)…. another son to keep me ‘INSANE’…(5)…a friend that knows computers that can give me the hook up!

INSANITY UPDATE: Hard to believe but we’re already half-way through Week 3. I’m proud to say, neither Keelan nor I have missed a workout. He has put on some weight!!! Great news! That boy is eating…FINALLY! Even better, I have lost 5 lbs and feel fantastic! I’ll be traveling to California the rest of the week for work but rest assured Shaun T will be snuggly secured in my carry-on. I’m hoping to keep you posted from the road!

Stay Strong! Stay Motivated. I’m Rhonda L and I’m outta here. Peace out!
(Sorry... Shaun T is wearing off on me!)

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Effort Produces Results

Today was another benchmark for Keelan and I.  Time again for our fit test.  For those unaware, this test involves eight separate exercises, each done for one minute.  Do as many repetitions as you possibly can for 60 seconds, or until you want to drop.

When we began Insanity was two weeks ago, I would like to think I had a pretty solid cardio base, but Keelan was not what I consider in the best cardio health.  Being skinny does not equal being in shape.  He liked to claim that being on the swim team TWO YEARS AGO and and being in marching band DURING THE FALL would have him in tip top shape.  He learned VERY quickly that getting into shape is difficult.  Getting out of shape is quick and easy.  That is the part that stinks!

I'm proud to say we both improved on every single exercise.  Well, except for the switch jacks for me.  I was down five.  Not sure if I counted wrong the first time or what, but I think I just have to admit, I didn't do as well there.  Keelan, as I had expected, pretty much blew away his Fit Test #1 results.  My best results were in the strength category.  This is where I needed to improve and I am so happy to say that I have.
MY FIT TEST RESULTS



KEELAN'S  FIT TEST RESULTS




The numbers do NOT lie!  Look at the improvement in two weeks!  I hate those power jumps with a passion, but it was my greatest improvement.  Keelan was so proud of his results and I couldn't be more excited for his enthusiasm! 

I have a STRONG suspicion he'll be passing my numbers quickly and as much of a competitive person that I am, I would love for him to blow my numbers away.

Stay strong!  Stay motivated!  Effort Produces Results!

Friday, May 14, 2010

My comfort zone

I understand when people have hesitation before they decide to make a change in their lives.  Change is scary.  Stepping out your comfort zone into unknown territory can be extremely intimidating.  But if living the status quo life is just easier, why are so many people so depressed in doing so?

You might ask yourself.  What if I fail?  What if I disappoint my spouse?  What if I do get the results I had hoped for? 

But how about asking yourself this instead.  What is I am successful?  What if my relationships improve?  What if I get what I want because I took a chance?

The cyber world of blogging is extremely intimidating for me.  I would consider myself to be fairly computer savvy, but this goes beyond knowing the toggle keys for cut and paste.  I'm watched enough tutorials to get my courage up and read enough commentary to feel confident to know the internet is my not just my Facebook friend.  Oh, if only my keyboard could reach out and hold my hand through this process! 

I took another step tonight in the pursuit of motivationmamadrama's dream blog.   I'm not even really sure what I'm doing at this point, but it's amazing how many people are out there wanting to help me make it successful!  Step by step.  It takes patience and persistence.  Isn't there something often said about persistence paying off?

So I'm stepping out of my comfort zone.  Status quo no longer.  I envision success and I'm willing to make sacrifices in order for that to happen.

Are you ready to step beyond the comforts of your daily rituals and try something new?  If you're complaining about something, odds are, you're ready.  Time to face your fears head on and make today the day you begin a new chapter in your life.  WHAT IF you improved your quality of life?  WHAT IF you became successful doing what you love?

INSANITY UPDATE:  Hard to believe but tomorrow is already our two-week mark.  I'm excited about posting some really great numbers.  I feel my body changing daily and my energy level has been at extremely productive level.  Fit Test Number 2 tomorrow.  I love power jumps....I love Power Jumps....I LOVE POWER JUMPS!  I LOOOOOOOOOOOOVE POWER JUMPS!  (Power of the subconscious mind)

Thursday, May 13, 2010

My Bro

I'm a very emotional person.  I take after my mother 100 percent.  She was the type that used to cry at parent-teacher conferences because she was so proud.  As a kid, I could never understand why someone would cry because they were happy.  It just didn't make sense to me.  Then, one day I became an adult.  It was if I was a contestant on a game show and the grand prize was revealed.  Congratulations Rhonda!  You have just won the winning ticket to TEARS OF JOY!

I can and will cry in an instant. ANYTHING easily causes my eyes to well up with tears.  I don't think it's a bad thing.  I like to think I'm very vested in emotions of the human spirit.  My boys know this very well about me.  So much so that as soon as any slow music comes on, I can see them through my peripheral vision checking me to see if the tears have started. 

Now please understand, I would consider myself to be a very strong woman.  I don't cry from weakness unless my spirit is broken.  Or if  Shaun T is making me to power jumps. Yes, it happens, but I tend to to cry most often because I'm very easily touched by simple gestures and meaningful acts of inspiration.

OK...this is where my lip starts to quiver.  My brother and I have always been VERY close.  He has always been  the biggest support to me.  When the mean kids teased the fat girl (me) in grade school, he stuck up for me.  When I needed a ride to high school, he drove me.  When I needed a big brother close by during college, he was that guy.  When I moved to Texas completely on my own, he supported my dreams.  When I got married, he stood by Cedric.  When I needed a visitor, he came to see me.  When I needed a quick back up support for the Marine Corp Marathon last year, he flew to DC in a instant and we had a spontaneous blast of fun. (including falling off a Segway in front of the White House!) Most importantly, when I need a really good laugh, he is always there to provide one.

(No one says you gotta look good after 26.2)



(Being goofy in front of the Capitol)

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Patience Leads to Progress

I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed today.  I often want to be the end all and be all and when I feel I can't play that role, anxiety gets the best of me.  Thankfully, when I get anxiety about life, work, my future, I can be incredibly productive.  That can be very beneficial in the pursuit of my goals, but also a detriment to my health and well-being.

I've accomplished a lot in terms of personal fitness goals.  I've run three full marathons, seven half-marathons, have been a spin class instructor, completed 120 classes of Bikram yoga in 115 days and even did Taebo with THE Billy Blanks.  When it comes to setting AND achieving my physical goals, I have this bulldog determination.  I'm not a quitter in any sense of the word.  When I doubt myself, I find a way to fight through it and be successful.

I want to be able to say the same that about my personal goals in terms of where I am and where I want to be.  Writing has always been a love of mine.  Those that are close to me know that I don't always express myself terribly great in person, but I can express my most sincere genuine thoughts to you on paper. 

Then all of sudden, I had a really sucky day and before I knew it, my personal drive got a spark.  My two worlds of fitness and writing collided harshly into one another and thus motivationmamadrama was launched.  This has been a dream of mine for the longest time; inspiring others to become healthy while writing about what I enjoy most in life.  Easy enough right?

Hardly! It hasn't taken this motivationmama long to learn the world of blogging is an aggressive and mighty beast.  In a world of writers, I'm a speck of dust.  I'm the crappy leftover pulp of my juice, while other seasoned 'motivationmamas' are savoring every last gulp of the ROGR berry smoothie. When Life Give You Lemons...

It hasn't taken me long to realize that I have a lot to learn and even more to improve upon.  So expect changes here and there.  This is a work in progress.  I guess you can say I'm in blogging training.  I'm inspired by Bry's Blog Embrace Fire.  She is also doing Insanity, writes some really great reviews and has a great overall site.  She has opened up a whole new virtual world of blogging insight and hope to me. 

I've only been in blogging training for a little over a month, so I would hate to do too much too soon and risk any serious injury other than the one or two mini breakdowns I've had from feeling completely overwhelmed already.    Patience leads to progress.  Progress leads to many lives being inspired.

So expect not only physical changes in me as I continue in my Insanity journey, but physical changes in my blog and layout.  One thing that won't change is my daily writings.  I'm here to motivate, inspire, bring change.  That's the easy part!

INSANITY UPDATE:  Almost two weeks down already.  Saturday is another benchmark and time for our second fit test.  I can't wait to see how much Keelan has improved.  I know his numbers are going to be CRAZY!  Have I mentioned how proud of this kid I am? 

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Super Heroes

My son Jackson has an obsession with Star Wars.  It's no surprise he's my husband's child, but I often question if he really came from my womb.  All my boys love Sci-Fi.  They pretty much live and breathe it.  Again, not sure how I fit into this little equation they call my family.  Our house is filled with light sabers, storm trooper legos and a host of super hero action figures. 

Not long ago, I discovered an eerie quietness in our house.  As I approached Jackson's room, I found him drawing these four action figures and things suddenly started to make sense and I started to see how fit into the puzzle of our life. 




I realized that not only does my son think of me as an extremely...er..beautiful Wonder Woman.  He thinks I have special powers!  I'm his hero!  I have to admit, he's right. 
Each day I get out of bed and I put on my red boots and I put my special powers to work, trying to save one life after another.  I fight battles daily.  It can be grueling and discouraging, often disheartening.  But then, I realize I inspired someone today or helped someone else set a goal and that fuels my drive to enlighten and encourage more people through my special power of motivation.

In order to use the power on others, I absolutely have to lead by example.  Insanity is not easy, but what source of impact would have on others if I breezed though it.  And think of how many lives I can touch with hands that HUGE! ;)

Stay motivated!  Stay strong!

INSANITY UPDATE:  Attached is the last two intervals of my plyometric cardio circuit workout.  My form starts to break down and I start slow significantly, but I never quit!  Keelan is keeping up with his Insanity and staying strong.  Our schedules don't always allow up to workout together, but he's doing his thing and I'm REALLY proud.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Confessions of a Non-Dairy Creamer Addict

Hi, my name is Rhonda, and I'm a recovering non-dairy creamer addict.  That's right.  Let the truth set me free!

I think we all have a bad habit or vice. But my 'vice' was my morning ritual of putting a lot, and when I say a lot, I don't mean a few teaspoons, I'm talking about a 1/2 cup or more into my coffee (my crack).  Dear God, I'm wincing at the confession. 

I hear the fastest way to recovery is to speak the truth.  Well, then let the authenticity run through my veins.  In other words, I was getting high with my daily dose of partially hydrogenated, corn syrup, artificial flavor heaven!  I checked myself into the Shaun T Insanity Asylum and I am now recovering.

I just did the math,  a single serving of my non-dairy creamer is one (1) teaspoon.  If I'm using at least 1/2 cup (oh, plus the packet of hot cocoa mix), my label would look more like the label below.  Many days, well...most, I would have two doses of this powdery white substance, aka...my drug of choice.
So when I THOUGHT I was eating so healthy and just had one teensy, little bad habit, I was adding about 500 extra calories of crap to my morning.  Not to mention all the fat grams.  My arteries are cringing.  I did mention I usually had two right? 

Today I'm recovered and I have no been clean for nine days.  Thank you Shaun T for making me accountable for what I eat!  I have to say, it's really not a struggle at all anymore.  This was just a bad habit and this exercise in getting real with myself has been extremely beneficial for me. 

I would encourage you let your truth out.  What bad habits are you hiding?  Is that what it is, just a bad habit?  Are you smoking behind the tree before work, inhaling chocolate bar after chocolate bar from your secret stash drawer, licking the grease from your fried bologna with cheese midnight snack?  If so, skip the confessional and let your truth out.  Your body will thank you for it!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

When Life Gives You Lemons...

Trying new things and adding variety to your diet is key.  I admit, I'm still highly dependent on my morning GoLean oatmeal and protein powder, but I tried something new today.  Well, new with a twist if you will. 

My mornings during the week are very habitual, alarm at 4:30 a.m., snooze several times, rise by 5:00ish.  Regardless of what time I finally exit the bed, my workout has to be complete by 6:30 a.m.  Then shower, make-up, hair, dress, juice, waffle, prompt Jackson to get his water, prompt Jackson to brush teeth, grab my lunch from fridge, prompt Jackson to put his shoes on, good-byes, out door by 7:35 a.m.  Spilled peanut butter on my shirt and I'm screwed.  That is why Sunday evening are spent ironing my clothes for the week and weeknights are used for packing my mid-morning meal, lunch and mid-afternoon meal.

Weekends offer a little more leeway and latitude for exploration.  We did our workout a little later today and thus interrupted my normal meal routine.  I was too late for meal two and too early for meal three.  So I pulled a combo! I really wanted my juice but I also was craving that delectable berry smoothie. 

I made the juice.  A combination of kale, apple, lemon and carrots.  I call it a ROGR.  Rhonda's Original Green Recipe.
 
I then used this drink as the base for my smoothie.  I added frozen berries, stevia and protein powder.


I blended this together and had quite possibly the best mid-morning meal I've ever had.  I don't necessarily have time for this everyday, but it does offer a highly competitive alternative to oatmeal and gives me a bundle of fruit and veggie servings.

If I had to adjust the drink, I would not add the full lemon.  When I drink the juice alone, I need that full lemon for the extra zest I need in my day!  So when life hands you lemons, cut it half and make a ROGR-Berry Smoothie.   After all, it's what you make of it!

INSANITY UPDATE:  Today was Pure Cardio.  Nice wake up call.  Happy Mother's Day to me!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

A Process

Today started week 2 of Insanity and I've learned that by putting myself on video is really beneficial in order to progress.  I can and always have been extremely critical of myself and body type, but watching me go through this grueling process has given me a huge appreciation for my body.  It's a very awkward experience to watch yourself after the fact.  It's also very helpful.  You'll notice that I am struggling quite a bit during some of the exercises and my form is completely gone in other parts.  A part of me wants to criticize my flaws, but what good would that do for me?  What good does it do for you?

I'm trusting this process and believe just that.  For me, I know what I have to work on.  For those of you reading, I want you to know that you can push yourself further than you think.  Do I have to take breaks?  Of course?  Do I feel like I'm about to die in parts?  Absolutely! BUT...giving up is not an option.   Whether you're running your first 5K today or doing Jillian Michael's 30-Day Shred, getting to the finish line should be a process.  A progression of the goals you have set for yourself.  I'm happy where I am today and excited about where this process will take me.

The video speaks for itself.  It's clips of the final interval of the cardio power & resistance dvd.  I say something different in the video but I wasn't completely coherent.  Enjoy and stay motivated!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Lessons Learned

After having completed my first week of Insanity, I've learned a few things about myself, others and food. 
  1. I'm much stronger than I thought I was in certain areas - legs and abs.
  2. I'm pathetic at jumping - LeBrhonda James, I am not.
  3. I'm a sweater, not a mister.
  4. I love Oatmeal...I REALLY REALLY love oatmeal.
  5. I will NEVER run in the evenings....EVER.
  6. A food journal is the main key to success of this program.
  7. I want to be on a Beachbody video!
  8. I really don't need all the crap in my coffee.  A small cup black will do just fine.
  9. I love to be pushed to my limits.
  10. No matter how much I tell myself, I simply cannot go to bed earlier.
  11. Six-year olds are not the best videographers, but are the best motivators.
  12. A whole-grain English muffin with chipotle hummus and hard boiled egg is simply...HEA-VEN.
  13. I ate a lot of dark chocolate before this started.
  14. My Bikram yoga has paid off - I'm very flexible.
  15. I CANNOT wait for week two!
Are you motivated yet?  Let me know.  Insanity is not for everyone, but everyone has something they can do.  Is this your week to get started?

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Labor Pains

I would equate my first week of Insanity to being in labor.  Really.  It's a great analogy, especially for all you men who will never experience giving birth. I would recommend giving Insanity a shot; the similarities are striking.
  1. Labor starts with little tinges of pain - not enough to make you cringe, but enough to make you feel what is coming. (Warm up)
  2. As labor progresses, the pains get more intense. (first intervals)
  3. A break - during early labor, you might get a good 5-10 minutes of rest.  You feel like a normal woman again, as opposed to the irrational and crazy woman you'll become again in a few minutes.  This is awesome, but also know what is coming, so you begin to brace yourself. (Recovery)
  4. Then, HOLY CRAP....the contractions kick in again, this time much more intense and they last a little longer each time.  At some point, you're not sure you're going to make it through, but you fight, because you know what it will give you. (2-3 intervals)
  5. Ahhhh...a little bit more rest, but by this point, you're so tired from working through the first contractions, that before you know it. ...ARRRRRRGGGHHH...it starts one last time. (final interval)
  6. The baby is close and you push while your husband shouts with all his might to get your through this and you're so thankful for his support (Shaun T).  When you think you cannot possibly endure another minute of this hell, you give it one final push, leaving nothing and giving everything.  (Last minute)
  7. You hear the cries of a baby and all the pain ends abruptly.  All that work resulted in a beautiful human being and it was worth every single moment of pain. (The finish).

I just hope Beachbody doesn't come out with an Epideral DVD.  We all have to endure a little pain to get to where we want to be.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

This Sh*t is Bananas!

As if the 5:20 a.m. wake up call wasn't bad enough for my son this morning, we did our first Pure Cardio Insanity DVD.  This video does not have the recoveries we've become accustomed to and this morning was particularly brutal for Keelan.  He is coming into this with a very small cardio base and therefore he took hurling in the bathroom like a champ.  That kid threw up, came back, shook it out and continued.  That is what I call EFFORT.  I'm so proud of him.

The worst part for me are those ridiculous power jumps.  I feel like a hippo trying to hurdle a pebble.  This is definitely my biggest weakness which can only mean it's what I need to work on the most.  It's a given that at the end of the workout, I'll lie panting on the ground for a few seconds until I catch my breath.  As if he could sense what we were feeling, Shaun T shouted, "THIS SH*T IS BANANAS!"  I couldn't have said it better myself. 

The food diary is coming along and it's getting easier as each day progresses.  My new favorite mid-morning snack is GoLean Oatmeal with protein powder.  Seriously, this is well....beyond.  It's so good and I almost cried when I warmed it up a bit to long and I lost about a tablespoon of it due to overflow.  I swear I'd lick the bowl clean if I wasn't at work!

Tomorrow is plyometric cardio circuit which can only mean hell for me.  Hopefully I'll learn to love this workout because that sh*t is bananas!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Happy Mother's Day

I often feel like the older woman amongst the women of my running group.   Many are single or dating and most without children; a very dynamic group of beautiful women.  They are encouraging and supportive and just as lovely with no make up and sweaty as they are all dressed up for a night out. 

On a run a couple months ago as we were getting to know one another, I mentioned that it was my son's birthday and I was eager to get home for his party.  That was followed by a series of questions about my kid's ages and my interests.  A comment was made about how they think it is so great that I take the time to run with the group and still have time to be a  good mother.  My answer was simple.  I wouldn't be a good mother if I didn't have the running group. 

We hear it time and time again.  We must take care of ourselves so that we can take care of others.  There is nothing selfish in that statement.  NOTHING.  What kind of message do I send to my kids when I take care of myself first versus putting everyone and everything in front of me first?  Taking time out of my day for myself is essential to being that good mother I strive to be. 

Just like bad running days, I don't always have the best "mom moments".  But for every bad run, I've had at least 20 good runs.  I've run in thunderstorms where I thought I'd be knocked out by hail, in freezing temps where I've no sensation in my legs and in scorching temps where I've had to wring my shoes of sweat.  But then I've run next to Troy Aikman and crossed the finish line three times after 26.2 miles.  I've had the most peaceful and spiritual runs in the morning with the sun rising over the lake in the distance and undoubtedly been an inspiration to many mothers who may be considering a change in their lives.  I choose to put myself first not just today, but everyday and let those around me be the benefactors of my best self.



So Happy Mother's Day to me! 

INSANITY UPDATECardio recovery day for us.  Dare I say not too hard today?  I think this is a teaser for a crazy workout tomorrow.  I also discovered that Shaun T has a workout for young kids.  What a good mom I'd be to get this for my sweet pea!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Preparation

My husband is retired from the military so his live and die mottos are Prepare for the Worst, but Hope for the Best and Prepare for the Unexpected. Though I have much admiration for his approach to everything he does, my motto tends to be a little more on the side of Hope for the Best and if the Worst Happens, Cry a little (or a lot) and then Do Something About It. It's quite obvious, he thinks very rationally, I think very emotionally. Shocker, he's a man. I'm a woman.

Day three of Insanity is complete and I'm happy to say my motto is working quite nicely. I can't help but think about where we'll be in nine weeks, so I'm really hoping for the best and I would consider those power jumps to be probably the worst physical exercise I've endured. I haven't cried yet, but if shouting expletives equals tears, then I would say I've cried (a little). I LOVE the fact that the videos show exactly how much time is remaining in the interval. Being able to see that I just have a short time left to suffer thought the pain, I know that I can do something about it. Or as Shaun T said, "JUST FRIGGIN' DO IT".

I know that I can always get through the physical part of the workout especially now that I know what to expect. The mental anticipation kills me and screws badly with my mind. However, I think the hardest part overall is the eating. No, eating is not hard. That has never been and never will be problem. It's counting the calories. It really makes you so aware of all the little extras we sneak in here and there throughout the day. It's all about preparation. Though I feel like I'm eating so much more than I was before, I'm soon realizing with the intensity of the workouts, I may need to up my calories with more quality.

Attached is Day One of my old school diet journal.  I would never do this for an extended time and as a friend inquired today "six almonds, really?"  For now, "yes, really." 

I guess Ced's motto does work for me after all. Preparing for the unexpected! It's hard to imagine me driving through Whataburger (God forbid) at lunch because I didn't take the time to plan my meals.  But when I get really hungry, only he can tell you how lovely I become.  But I wouldn't let that happen.  I've prepared myself for the worst of this workout with efficient meal planning.  I know, not hope, the best results will happen!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Speaking with Actions

Today I was given a lesson in dependability.  I would consider myself very dependable and a woman of my words.  If I tell you I'm going to meet you at certain time, I will be there, usually early.  If I plan to meet my friend at 5:00 a.m. for a run, I wouldn't consider flaking out and I know she wouldn't either.  When someone depends on me, that means they have expectations and therefore, for me not to follow through would be a poor reflection on my character.

This whole process of doing Insanity with my son Keelan was completely his idea.  He wanted and asked to join me.  If it were my idea, I would understand the typical teenage eye rolls followed by a series of incoherent mumbles.  But it is not the case at all.  He truly wants to do this, even after the look I saw on his face yesterday after our first fit test. 

I told him I'm starting Inanity this morning at 9:00 whether he was here or not.  He told me he'd be here and I fell deeply into my insecurities as a young woman, when I'd wait by the phone for hours for that 'special someone' to call me back.  When he left last night to hang out with friends, I became the dependent of his word. I waited until 8:59 this morning, still no Keelan.  I knew spending the night at a friend's house was bad idea, but I want him to learn about choices and responsibilities to ourselves and others.

I finished, ate, showered, cleaned, ate again and left for meeting this afternoon.  No call, no text, nothing.  I wouldn't say I was surprised, but disappointed.  A big talk we have often is speaking with actions, not words.  When I got home, he was here and had done the workout on his own.  For that I am happy, but not for the lack of accountability and respect.

After a talk, we're on the same page and I have no doubt he will be successful, not only in this program but in his life.   I want everyone to be successful and have to realize that not everyone has an equal passion for fitness the way I do. But whatever we do in life, to live is to be the dependent for our health, our children, our careers, etc., by taking action and being responsible for the people and things we value.

INSANITY UPDATE:  I guess you already know about today.  The actual workout was a whip!  I'm sweating almost as much as Bikram yoga and this room in not anywhere near 105 degrees. I love intervals. Pushing your body to its limits in a short time frame and then recovering.  My muscles are "hating" me for yesterday.  Sorry guys.  Had to wake you up!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Fit Test #1

If I set a goal, I'm going to do it and I'm going to do it right.  Today was the first day of Insanity.  It's more than just the workout, it's the diet as well.  I would say that I eat very well, but I'm not always conscious of the calories I'm putting into my body.  I've never been one to journal my food entries, but for the next nine weeks I will.  I feel what we eat is just as important as the workout and in many cases, even more important. 

I'm not making any drastic changes, but will make a very honest effort at sticking to my calorie count for the day.  That includes eating five times a day following the awesome suggestions for each meal from the Insanity Diet Plan.  Sounds drastic?  Not so much. I would NEVER go "on a diet".  This nutrition plan is about real food and real meals.  I'm not neglecting myself of anything. 

I'm so proud of Keelan for his efforts today.  He's a champ.  I could tell it was MUCH more than he expected, but I know he doesn't want to disappoint me.  He stopped drinking sodas and for him, that is huge.  I cannot wait to see the changes that are going to evolve in him.

Now that the fit test is over, the nerves are gone, the ego is checked and I'm ready to work really hard.  Like Kanye says..."N- n- now th- that don't kill me, can only make me stronger". 

I made this video today.  Editing is not great, but I'm tired.  Forgive me.  Videographer is my other son, Jackson.  What a cutie pie!  He was so concerned for me.  My results? Well, not too bad, surprised myself on some, humbled myself on others.  The last two parts of the fit test did not make the video since Mr. Jackson got tired and forgot to pan down.  Give the kid a break...he's 6!


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