Wednesday, February 29, 2012


I am so grateful for the support of friends and family.  From reading my blog, to checking in, to asking what I am eating/drinking when I visit, to the "atta girl" comments -- it's all been really helpful.  Thank you! :)  

I don't have much to check in on today workout-wise.  I did Shoulders + Arms and felt good.  I trying different resistance bands to strengthen my muscles more.

Calories Burned = 638
Average Heart Rate = 125
Peak Heart Rate  = 156

Monday, February 27, 2012

The Weekend Caught Up

Remember yesterday how I said I felt so great doing Chest + Back + Balance & Ab Ripper despite the Saturday night of cheating?

I spoke too soon.

I was supposed to get up at 6 AM to do Plyocide.  I got up at 7 AM.  I thought the workout would be hard like it always is, but I didn't anticipate being so fatigued.  I guess the weekend caught up, after all.

On the plus side, in this phase of Plyocide, when doing balance moves, if my foot touches the ground, I'm doing the 2 push-ups like the folks in the video are doing.

Calories Burned = 668
Average Heart Rate = 139
Peak Heart Rate = 176

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Working Out at Mom & Dad's

Halfway through my workout this morning, Mom cooked bacon.  I think she was trying to taunt me.  She says she was trying to inspire me to get through it and be done.

So, we are up at Mom & Dad's house this weekend.  It's the first time I've done a workout not at home.  In fact, I did TWO workouts -- Recovery & Mobility and Chest + Back + Balance & Ab Ripper.

I meant to bring our pull-up bar up with us.  I brought the resistance bands and foam roller, and completely forgot the pull-up bar.  This meant I had to figure out how to do my modified pull-ups.  I tried attaching the resistance bands to the treadmill -- that didn't work.  I tried to have John hold the resistance bands -- that didn't work, especially since he was sitting in a comfortable reclining/rocking chair.  Mom said, "You might have to go outside."  Dad said, "Yeah, and hook your bands on the fence."

So I went outside.  John told me it was 30 degrees, and I was pretty sure I was going to freeze because I wasn't going to go put on a shirt.  However, the sun was shining, and for the 45 - 60 seconds I was out there doing my pull-ups, I was okay!

I was a tiny bit better on the Superman Banana X with a little more room, but only a tiny bit.

The whole thing was a good test of modifying the workouts to the location I was in.  It was also good to find out that the cheating I did the day before didn't wreck my workout.  I didn't feel sluggish at all.  I guess that's what happens when you go to bed at 10 PM and get up at 8 AM.  

Recovery & Mobility
Calories Burned = 275
Average Heart Rate = 92
Peak Heart Rate = 132

Chest + Back + Balance & Ab Ripper

Calories Burned = 765
Average Heart Rate = 124
Peak Heart Rate = 168

Friday, February 24, 2012

X2 Back + Base

When I thought about what might included in the Back + Base exercise, I figured it was back exercise and leg exercises.  Yeah, no kidding.  What I didn't consider is how the leg exercises would work.

Can you say Plyocide + Pull-ups?

This workout is 10 exercises repeating for 2 rounds.  It alternates pull-ups, which I modify using resistance bands equaling 40-50 pounds, and then a plyometric exercise.  omg.  On the plus side, I think I can increase my resistance band weight next week so that I can get that much closer to the reality of a pull-up.

And after you're done, you do Ab Ripper.  I'm still terrible at Superman Banana X -- I think in part because I don't have enough room in my living room to do it.  I'm still working it out.  My hips were also bothering me more today, so some of the ab exercises (like Roll V Hold and Row Your Boat) were killing me, and I had to rest/readjust several times.

Most of the time I was working out today, I was thinking, "I can't wait for tomorrow when I can do Recovery & Mobility!"  I need that foam rolling!

Calories Burned = 761
Average Heart Rate = 133
Peak Heart Rate =  172

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Shoulders + Arms

I have realized how much I like working out at home.  I like that no one (not even John) is watching me, that I don't have to wait for machines or weights, that I'm home.

Today I did Shoulders + Arms, and really enjoyed the focus on that one body part.  With 3 rounds of the same exercises, I experimented with different resistance bands -- increasing and decreasing after round 1.  I am definitely stronger than I give myself credit for, so I want to increase the weight I lift! 

Calories Burned = 585
Average Heart Rate = 118
Peak Heart Rate = 157

P.S.  I should also say that if you are going to buy resistance bands, either buy the ones that have their own handles, or buy multiple handles.  I find that I have to pause the workout when switching band weights because I have to switch the handles from one band to another.  It's great because the set of bands we have range from 2-4 lbs to 25-30 lbs, but it only came with one set of handles! 

Overestimated appetite in the AM

I am contemplating what looks like a half full plate of food. I've already been eating for 15 minutes, and I'm starting to think I won't make it. This breakfast is 3 egg whites, breakfast potatoes (using one whole potato for just myself), and 3 slices of turkey bacon. Don't even get me started on the grapefruit (which I'll eat later in the morning). It's too much. And egg whites just aren't as good as regular eggs. I need to scale back breakfast.

In the time I've written this, I did finish the turkey bacon. A girl has to have her bacon.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Pleasant Soreness

I woke up today with sore lats!  I'm thrilled!  It's a sensation I've been waiting for since this whole thing began!

Yesterday I did the X2 Chest + Back + Balance workout -- which is basically the pull-up/push-up workout.  Seriously, the exercises alternate.  Luckily, I had two things on my side: 1) in the morning, I watched the DVD to get a sense of the exercises and modifications; 2) at least some of the exercises were familiar (e.g. 4-Grip Pull-Up, Plyo Push-Ups, Push-Up Side Arm Balance).

I was TERRIBLE at Chattarocker.  It basically has you going from Chattaranga (from yoga) to Sphinx to Plank  while moving your feet back and forth.  I just didn't have the upper body strength to make it happen.  I didn't go any exercises on Med Balls -- I'm just not confident enough yet.  I used bands (red & black together to equal 40-50 pounds), but I think I need to increase the weight I use.  It wasn't easy per se, but I really want to better prepare myself to do a pull-up.

All the weight training workouts in this phase also include Ab Ripper.  I'm still working on that Superman Banana X!

Calories Burned = 591
Average Heart Rate = 114
Peak Heart Rate = 160

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Beginning the New Phase

As I begin this new phase of exercising (Strength) and eating (Energy Booster), there are a few lessons I learned from the last phase that I am implementing.

1. Watching the DVDs BEFORE I start the workouts -- probably in fast forward -- just to get a sense of what I'm supposed to do and how to modify.

2. Limit cheats to not more than 1 per week.  A cheat is defined as having something that I've specifically given up -- such as sweets, alcohol, or caffeine. (The idea of 5 total cheats over the whole time is just not doable!)

3. Don't stress out about cheating, but don't get complacent.   Keep tracking the cheats. 

4. Even on the days when it's just Recovery and Mobility workout, have a protein shake -- my body needs the calories and protein!  (I've been skipping the protein shake in the first phase if the workout wasn't "hard enough" and then not having as much energy... hmmm...)

5. Practice pull-ups each week, even if I decide to modify the exercise.  I tried doing a pull-up on February 12, and although I wasn't there yet, I was closer!

6. Update my heart rate monitor as appropriate (John says if my weight swings by 5 pounds) to get the most accurate reading on calories burned.

7. Do more foam rolling in the week, especially if I am just hanging out watching TV.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Ready for Phase 2

Today is the last day of my Recovery Week and I am SO READY for it to be OVER!  While I love the reminder that the body needs some rest in order to perform better, I am bored this week.  There's something about doing something different for each workout that I just enjoy.  I am actually cutting my recovery week a day short and doing only 2 days of yoga instead of 3 days because of some scheduling issues.  Plus, we change over our nutrition plan each Sunday, so starting the workout week on Sunday also makes more sense.

For the Recovery & Mobility workout, I did one day of whole body foam rolling, then in the other two days, I focused on either my lower body or my upper body.  One of these days I am going to take Tony Horton's advice and do some foam rolling while watching TV, but I'm just not there yet.  In this next phase, that's one of the things I'm going to add.    

Recovery & Mobility Day 1/Day 2/Day 3:
Calories Burned = 188/169/219
Average Heart Rate = 86/84/90
Peak Heart Rate = 118/116/138

Yoga Day 1/Day 2:
Calories Burned = 334/381
Average Heart Rate = 98/103
Peak Heart Rate =  145/150

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Fat Shredder? Part 2

Maybe I didn't have enough fat to lose.  I said that the last time, right?  Anyway, I've noticed a pattern with my body fat percentage over the four weeks of the Fat Shredder plan plus the Recovery Week: 

Week 1 = 23.9
Week 2 = 23.8
Week 3 = 24.4
Week 4 = 23.6
Week 5 = 23.8

Don't get me wrong, I am super excited about my results so far -- I have more energy, I'm stronger, and I can see the difference in how my body looks.  BUT, I was expecting something different.  And perhaps trying to drop my body fat percentage down to 20% was as ambitious as not having more than 5 diet cheats in 90 days.  Plus, this body fat percentage is in range with where I'm supposed to be as a 31 year old woman (between 19 and 29%).      

And here's the thing.  I'm starting to realize that the weight I'm at might be the weight I'm at.

So I'll stop complaining and continue to look forward to Phase 2. ;)    

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Pictures at the End of Phase 1

Hey -- it looks like I've lost inches.  
Here I am ...
February 12

Remember this... from
January 12

Again, February 12 
January 12

And here's a bonus one! 

X2 Balance & Power Week 4

So here it is everyone -- the last work out of Phase 1!  I'm pretty excited because I think that I've really improved on the Balance & Power workout.  It's also the workout in which I groan and grunt the most throughout.

Sphinx to Plank Plyo Bounce [on floor, one arm at a time]: 6 -->6
1-Leg Plyo Squat Reach: 7 Right/8 Left --> 9 Right/10 Left
Russian Twist: 12 (no weight) --> 29 (holding 8 lb med ball)
Sphinx to Plank Roll Up [on floor]: 8 --> 12
4-Direction 1-Leg Squat Hop: 0 (hard on knee) --> 8 R/L with no touches!
Forearm Alternating Side Plank: 6 each side --> 11 each side
Decline Sphinx Plank Press [on floor]: 5 --> 8
Weighted Katherine: 20 with 3 lb --> 30 with 3 lb
Plank X Crunch: 5 --> 14
Renegade Row 1/2 Lolasana: 8 with 3 lb --> 12 with 3 lb
Glute Bridge Roll Out: 20 --> 22
Over/Under Boat: 14 --> 24
Warrior 3 Row Press: 8 with 3 lb --> 9 with 10-12 lbs
Split Lunge: 5 Right/7 Left --> 9 Right/Left
Crawly Crab Press [on floor]: 6 Right/Left no weight --> 8 Right/Left 3 lb.
Lateral Plyo Push Up [on floor]: 4 --> 12
Lunge Kneel Knee Raise: 10 Right/Left 4-6 lbs --> 10 Right/Left 10-12 lbs
X Plank Spider Twist: 7 --> 15
Dumbbell Row to Side Plank: 5 Right/Left 3 lbs --> 10 Right/Left 3 lbs
Super Burpees [on one leg]: 5 Right/Left --> 5 Right/Left
Plank Ball Crunch [on small footstool]: 12 --> 20

Calories Burned = 641 (compared to 777 in Week 1)
Average Heart Rate = 134 (compared to 142 in Week 1)
Peak Heart Rate = 176 (compared to 178 in Week 1)

Saturday, February 11, 2012

X2 Yoga Week 4

My hips are the tightest spot on my body.   As much as I love yoga, it is murder on my hips.  They don't seem to be opening as much as I'd like, especially considering all the hip work that is done in all the workouts.  

Perhaps I need to focus on my hips with the foam roller in the coming Recovery Week!  I may also have to break out The Stick!  It might be able to get into my hip flexors a bit better than the foam roller.  

I am ready for the Recovery Week!  My yoga practice today wasn't one of my best, and I think I might have hit the overtraining period.  This week has also been insane in some other ways, so my stress level has been elevated, which hasn't helped.

Calories Burned = 333 (compared to 455 in Week 1)
Average Heart Rate = 98 (compared to 109 in Week 1) 
Peak Heart Rate = 140 (compared to 157 in Week 1) 

Friday, February 10, 2012

X2 Total Body & Ab Ripper Week 4

Sometimes, I'm not sure how to distinguish the workouts from each other.  X2 Total Body involves weights and balance poses as does X2 Balance & Power.  I get that they are different kinds of workouts, but anyway.

X2 Total Body is not an easy workout.  Nevermind that this is the pull-up workout and I still am unable to do a pull-up.  I get so sweaty lifting weights in this workout -- something I never really got from lifting weights at the gym (without running first).  So that's a good thing.

Here's the rundown of my improvements from Week 1 to Week 4:
1-Arm Chest Press: 12/10-12 resistance band (RB) --> 15/25-30 RB
4-Position Pull-Up [modified]: 5/10-12 RB --> 10/35-42 RB
Push-Up Side Arm Balance [on floor]: 5 --> 20
Switch Lunge Press [modified]: 12/10-12 RB --> 15/10-12 RB
Warrior 3 Kickback: 15/3 lb --> 15/3 lb  (I wish I had tracked how many times I touched on this, but I didn't)
Warrior 3 Curl: 15/3 lb --> 15/10-20 RB
Boing Push-Up [floor]: 5 on bosu --> 10 plyo (This is a ridiculous exercise where you start standing with a stability ball in your hands, keep your legs straight as you fall toward the floor with the ball in front of you, do a push-up and bounce back up.  I couldn't keep my core engaged when I tried to this on the ball, so I kept collapsing into the ball and decided I would just work on plyo push-ups instead.  I can't clap when doing plyo push-ups yet, but I can get my hands into the center and  back out.)
Crunchy Lever Pull-Up [modified]: 10/10-12 RB --> 15/35-42 RB
Mule Kick Burpee: 5 --> 6 (These weren't always pretty, I need to still work on holding my body in the air longer)
Swimmer's Curl in 1/2 Chair: 10/10-12 RB --> 12/10-12 RB
Balance Kickback [on floor]: 10/3 lb --> 10/6 lb (I'm pretty sure my form isn't that great on this one!)
Rocket Launcher Preacher Curl: 12/10-12 RB --> 12/15-20 RB

I'm also getting better at Ab Ripper -- with the obvious exception of the Superman Banana X, which has been my nemesis from the beginning.

Calories Burned = 611 (compared to 768 in Week 1)
Average Heart Rate = 123 (compared to 125 in Week 1)
Peak Heart Rate = 168 (compared to 172 in Week 1)

Thursday, February 9, 2012

X2 Plyocide Week 4

I still want to die when I do Plyocide.  This is a workout in which you don't track how many reps you do of each exercise.  I can't say for certain that I have improved, but I was able to do the Set Sprint Plank Plyo Jump  exercise (the last one of the workout) for the entire 60 seconds, and when I did the same exercise at the beginning, I was lucky to get through 30 seconds before stopping.

Calories Burned = 621 (compared to 714 in Week 1)
Average Heart Rate = 140 (compared to 146 in Week 1)
Peak Heart Rate = 183 (did not record for Week 1)

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

X2 Core Week 4

Week 4 has officially begun!  This is the last week of the Fat Shredder Phase of the workouts.

Here's a rundown of how I improved from the first week to the last week:

Sphinx Plank Crunch: 13 reps --> 20 reps
Warrior 3 Cross Crunch: 10 reps --> 10 reps (this one I was pretty good at!)
Single Leg Walk Out to Sphinx: 5 Right/4 left (3 touch) --> 5 Right/Left (1 touch)
Half Angel: 4 Right/Left --> 8 Right/9 Left (Goal is 10)
Roller Boat: 10 --> 12 (with good form)!
3 Speed Med Ball Pushups (30 secs): 0 on MedBall/8 on ground --> 0 on Med Ball (I couldn't get to this)/12 on ground
One Leg Lateral Leap Squat: 12 (3-4 touches) --> 12 (3-4 touches)
Core Circles (40 seconds): 40 seconds on ground --> 40 seconds on stability ball
Holmsen Screamer Lunge: 13 Right/14 Left --> 15 Right/Left
Med Ball Dreya Roll: 0 --> 14 with 8 lb Med Ball
Plank Burpee: 8 --> 14
Banana Ball Switch Crunch: 10 --> 17
3 Point Squat Press with Med Ball: 12 --> 15 with 8 lb Med Ball
Slo Mo Balance Climber: 10 on ground --> 20 on stability ball
X2 Diver: 5 --> 5 (still need work on my form on this one!)
Ryan Sphinx Twist Crunch: 4 Right/3 Left --> 9 Right/8 Left
One Leg Burpees: 8 --> 10

Overall, I'm pretty excited!  I improved on most of the exercises, and definitely could feel the core engagement more as I got into weeks 3 and 4.

Calories Burned = 547  (compared to 727 in Week 1)
Average Heart Rate = 129 (compared to 147 in Week 1)
Peak Heart Rate = 180 (did not record for Week 1)

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Crisis of Faith in the Diet

I am becoming less sure that the things I have given up are the right things. I am feeling DEPRIVED of foods I love, and GUILTY when I indulge. Perhaps this 5 cheats situation has created a monster.  I have found this week that I have less patience and tolerance for things, comments, people.  I am consumed with thoughts of what to eat, what not to eat, how to manage eating and not eating.  

Perhaps I am not being true to my philosophy of food.  Food is more than a means to an end, more than fuel for life.  It is central to good conversations with good friends, to laughter and sharing.  Not that food has stopped being that these last 3 weeks.  We have had people over for dinner and made recipes from the P90X2 recipe book, and the results are the same.  Good conversation, laughter, sharing with good friends.

So then it's something else.  In the beginning, I gave up sweets, caffeine, and alcohol, in part because the P90X2 Fitness Guide recommends it.  This can be an incredible detox experience -- and it seemed like a good idea to detox.  Additionally, it is giving me insight into my relationship with these "vices."  I thought caffeine was going to be the hardest one to give up, but other than going to bed earlier (and getting up earlier), not having caffeine hasn't been that big of a deal.  I noticed it in particular last night.  We had plans to go out to Bootie LA for our cousin's birthday -- starting at 9 PM.  You're probably thinking, "But, Kenna, you are usually asleep on the couch by 8:50."  I knew a nap would be in order.  It was hard to wake up from the nap, but after getting up, washing my face, and getting ready, I was up dancing and hanging out until 1 AM!  John suggested burpees to wake up, and I wanted to punch him in the face.  But, perhaps it was a good idea.

The alcohol is also not that big of a deal.  Don't get me wrong, some things, like dancing at Bootie with friends who have had a few drinks when you haven't isn't as much fun as I had hoped. But, I don't generally feel like I am missing out on much by not having alcohol.

It's the not having sweets that is killing me.  Or rather, it's the guilt I feel when I have two delicious banana-walnut oatmeal chunk cookies at Earic and Aisha's house that is troubling.  And the desire for these sweets, the frustration I feel at giving it up.  The Fitness Guide notes that if you can't go 90 days without these things, it's probably time to look your relationship with them.  I have always had a sweet tooth, and at the same time have had good self-control.  My mom occasionally notes how, as a child, if given a bag of M & M's, I would eat half and save some for later, while my brother would consume the whole bag in one sitting.  This remains true -- I can have sweets in the house for a week and snack on them over time, but if John is up late and looking for something sweet, I wake up in the morning and my mini chocolate chip cookies from Trader Joe's are significantly decreased.    

Let's also be honest.  This is the first diet I've been on in my life.  This is the first time I have actually attempted to give anything up.  So, as I start the 4th week, I am beginning to feel the mental effects of the nutrition plan.  Don't get me wrong -- I love the rest of the food, and am continuing to enjoy the cooking that I get to do.  I've noticed that I don't crave the sweets, and don't feel deprived of them, when I am in my normal routine.  I don't need to sit down with a serving of cookies like I did before.  It's when I'm dining with friends that I notice my ability to refrain from sweets goes out the window.

I've been getting some advice -- people who say one glass of red wine is not so bad, others who say one bite of something isn't going to hurt, John who says I should let today (Superbowl!) be 1 cheat if I want.  I think I'm going to go in moderation -- Kent is supposed to bring over delicious mac n cheese (one of my all time favorite foods), so if I feel like having a bite, it's not going to be that big of a deal. If I want to have a cup of mac n cheese - that's a cheat.  If I want to have a beer, then I will count it into my overall cheats.   I just have to decide what will make today be good for me.

I will tell you -- I don't like being so obsessed with food.  The exercise feels like a normal part of my life, but this constant worry about food is for the birds.        

Balance & Power [I was so much stronger this week than last week!]
Calories Burned = 646
Average Heart Rate = 134
Peak Heart Rate = 173

Saturday, February 4, 2012

I am a morning person but...

I don't think morning workouts are for me.  Due to my schedule these last few days, I have had to get up early to work out before my day begins, instead of working out in the late-afternoon or early evening.  I am not sure my body thinks this is a good idea.

I feel stiffer in the morning, slower to warm up.  My muscles protest, and fatigue more easily.  Although I am still improving in many exercises, I don't feel as good doing them in the morning.  Perhaps the ability to move around throughout the day is helping my body warm-up and prepare for the workouts.  Luckily, this is an occasional issue, arising only when other things, like filing my dissertation, getting a facial, and seeing friends, require that my day not be punctuated by a workout.

On the plus side, I did the Ab Ripper this morning, and figured out better how to do the Superman Banana X, with less giggling and more core engagement!  It wasn't perfect, but it was much improved!      

Total Body (separated Ab Ripper from this because of time)
Total Calories Burned = 666
Average Heart Rate = 130
Peak Heart Rate = 170

Ab Ripper + Yoga

Total Calories Burned = 551
Average Heart Rate = 107
Peak Heart Rate = 152

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Fat Shredder?

So much for that.  I GAINED 1.8 pounds this week, 1.3 of that being body fat! How is that possible?

Let's think back.  I ate some bread on Sunday morning after the race, which I have basically cut out otherwise. I've been closer to 1800 calories per day this week than previously -- so perhaps the previous results were because I had fewer calories than I actually needed?  Add that to the fact that I'm burning less calories in the workouts??  For the rest of this week, I'm working out harder.

UGH.  I've been exhausted by 8:30 PM as well, which kind of puts a damper on date nights with John, which we usually start at 8:00.  Maybe this is a sign that I need to move on from Fat Shredder sooner?  I guess I need to read up on that.

Today is a rest day, but yesterday I did Plyocide -- and I think I got better at the exercises in general:
Calories Burned =  589
Average Heart Rate = 137
Peak Heart Rate = 179