P90X: Day 25

No workout today … not by choice, I promise! I’m in the middle of Week 4 of the program, which is a different week from what I’ve been doing to date. The way the program works is that you’re provided weekly schedules and the designated workouts for each day. The first three weeks are the same – four days of cardio type workouts and two days of strength training. Then, Week 4 acts almost as a “breather” and it’s all cardio-based with no strength training. It also has two rest days instead of one. Today is one of those days.

I’m not going to lie, I hate the rest days. I have just as much energy on those days as I do every other day and I feel like I should be using it on a workout. They do allow you to do the X Stretch workout if you want, but it’s just not the same. I do understand though that the rest days are there for a reason and you need to let your body recoup. So, I’m resting today whether I like it or not.

The rest of the week looks like this:

Friday – Core Synergistics
Saturday – Yoga X
Sunday – Rest or X Stretch

I may actually do a workout on Sunday though (I know, I know, I just said rest days need to be taken!) but I’m going on a business trip on Monday (through Wednesday). The hotel does have a fitness room (I checked!) but I have no idea if I will have time to go down there and actually get a workout in. So, I figure I’ll just switch Sunday for one of my business trip days so I don’t have to worry about too many workouts while I’m gone. I will also be bringing my videos though! A business trip is no excuse not to work out at all.

Yesterday’s Workout – Kenpo X

I have also decided to give you a little run down of each of the workouts (as I do them) with my personal opinions on each one. Over the last few weeks, one of the things I love to do is go on and read other people’s P90X blogs to see their thoughts, frustrations, inspirations, etc. Because of that, I want my blog to be as helpful as possible for people who swing through. Reviews of the workouts seems to be a good way to do that.

So, Kenpo X.

My favorite! Seriously, Kenpo is the workout I look forward to every single week. It’s basically a kickboxing workout that provides focused exercises for your entire body. Running about an hour in length (as most of the videos do), Kenpo X starts you off with a good warm up and then takes you through a punching combo. This is a great way to start because it really warms up your body before they get you kicking and jumping and moving around.

From there, they progress through a long list of other punching, kicking, and combo moves. They string them together in such a way that you’re heart rate is soaring, sweat is pouring, yet you aren’t so exhausted that you want to quit. One of the best things about the workout is that it is super fast-paced and it’s over before you know it!

The one thing negative that I will say about this workout though is that there are a lot of breaks. They do provide some movements/exercises you can do during the break if you want to keep your heart rate up, but if you skip those, you’re definitely going to fall out of your zone a few times during the routine. I recommend a heart rate monitor for sure so you can make sure you’re not wimping out on the routine J

Oh yeah, and some of the combos can be difficult to figure out. The first time you do your workout you might be discouraged because some of the moves are super confusing and you feel so incredibly uncoordinated! But, I promise each time you do the video you’ll get better and better and very quickly you’ll feel like a pro and know how to do all the moves. Don’t worry if you can’t get them all right away.

Next Review: Core Synergistics … my second least favorite (simply because it kicks my butt every time!)

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P90X: The First 24 Days

I’ve tried the P90X program before—in Thailand—with limited space, incorrect equipment, and overwhelming heat and humidity.

Even in those conditions, I loved the program and I saw great results. I didn’t make it the entire 90 days (I ended up coming home and didn’t continue) but in the time I did complete it, the results were exciting and very motivating.

So recently when deciding what exercise program I wanted to take on—gym workouts, personal training, bootcamps, etc—P90X was quick to rise to the top of the list. Why, you might ask?

Bottom line, it’s an easy program.

I don’t mean easy in that the workouts are a cinch and you don’t break a sweat. That is definitely not the case. I mean easy in that it’s a truly simple program to follow. One of the program’s mottos is “just keep pressing play.” That really is all you have to do. As long as you can give yourself an hour a day (1.5 hours on Yoga X days) and you keep hitting the play button, you are going to get a great work out and see fantastic results.

Side note: Obviously you need to be paying attention to nutrition and not eating junk every day, too.

Speaking of healthy eating, the program also includes a nutrition plan but I’ll admit I’ve never tried it. I’ve always been pretty picky on the types of healthy eating routines I do so I’m not interested in trying to learn another one. I’m sticking to good old Weight Watchers and that seems to supplement the exercise program just fine. I’m also attempting to stay away from processed foods just for my own piece of mind (WW doesn’t require that).

So all in all, I believe in P90X and that’s why I decided to give it a chance again, this time for the entire 90 days.

Today marks Day 24.

Let me give you a quick rundown on how the first three weeks played out.

Week 1

Not so great. I was super gung ho to start this thing, but I chose a very bad time to do it. Mainly, I was so excited to get moving that I started before I had all the equipment that I needed and in turn skipped two work outs that require certain things I didn’t have. It was a decent start though and I didn’t quit so that’s a plus!

Side note: You don’t need a ton of equipment—bands or weights and a yoga mat are pretty much it. I just didn’t have the bands!

Week 2

Also not so great. Once again, my timing for starting this thing was not great. I worked a three day trade show over the weekend which left no time (or energy) to do workouts. I feel like if I had started a few weeks earlier, I would have been in a routine enough to get those workouts in, but given that I just started and only had a few workouts under my belt, I let myself skip a few … and that’s not good!

Week 3

This week went fabulously well! After the tradeshow weekend I sat myself down and gave myself a little pep talk—no, not out loud. I basically told myself that I committed to these 90 days and I need to see them through. No excuses. If I can’t do something for 90 days, how am I going to adopt a new lifestyle for the rest of my life? And, how am I going to get into a bikini by vacation time!? (obviously just as important!)

So that began Week 3 and by the end of the week I was 7 for 7 in workouts! A perfect score!

How’s the weight and inches going, you might ask?

Well first off, I’m technically not supposed to weigh myself or check measurements until the 30, 60 and 90 day marks. However, I’ve also been doing a 10 day cleanse through Advocare that requires a weigh in and measurement check before and after, so I just so happen to have some numbers for you. I won’t be updating those numbers again for another nine days and then not for 30 more days after that.

So, in the first 24 days of the program, I’ve lost 8.8 pounds! Can’t complain about that J In the way of inches, I’ve lost a total of about 3.25, mostly in my waist and thighs—can’t complain about that either!

All in all, I’m feeling good and looking forward to the next 66 days!

P90X and Writing

I haven’t been around the blogging world for a little while. Both my Thai cooking blog and this one have been on hiatus for at least a few months—my apologies. There are a few different reasons for the leave of absence, mostly that I’ve been putting my writing time and effort into other avenues. There is only so much time for it in a day to write and I had to make a choice … and these blogs were the ones to suffer.

That being said, I’m back and ready to get this thing moving again. In order to do that and really keep myself accountable for writing regularly, I decided to use this blog (only for a couple months, I promise) to track my lifestyle journey.

When I talk about lifestyle, I’m talking about the basics—healthy eating and exercise.

I title my blog Rapture and Essence—love and life—and for me, a healthy lifestyle is the only way to truly feel good about the life I’m living.

My weight has been a very personal and emotional issue for me for many years. I’ve always struggled with my weight and it has always hindered me from truly enjoying everything life has to offer.

Most recently I’m struggling with a large amount of weight gain since returning from Thailand. While living halfway across the world I lost good deal of weight. Over the last year though (wow, I can’t believe I’ve already been home for a year) I’ve put all that weight back on. Who knew that bringing processed foods, carbs, sugar and dairy back into a person’s life can lead to weight gain?

I hope you sense the sarcasm there.

In all seriousness though, if I had really been paying attention to my health, I never would have let myself get to where I am now … overweight (again) and unhappy with myself and my physical wellbeing.

Because of that (and vacation to Mexico on November 22nd!), 24 days ago I decided to embark on a new lifestyle journey of healthy eating and exercise, specifically using the P90X exercise program.

I’m hoping that with the combination of that program and a healthy food regiment I will be able to slowly but surely reach my health and fitness goals … and in turn, truly begin loving my life again.

So it’s a double whammy. I’m writing this blog to keep myself accountable to writing, but also to keep myself accountable to the new habits I’m committing to.

Over the next 66 days (the remaining length of the P90X program), I will provide updates on my workouts, how my eating is going, great recipes I’ve found, struggles I’m encountering, and accomplishments I’m achieving.

Feel free to tune in … or not. I promise when P90X is over, I’ll return this blog to regular programming.

Do What’s Right, Not What You Should

Three weeks ago my family welcomed Little Miss Core Rose Hayes into our ranks. After a very long and difficult pregnancy, Cora finally decided to grace us with her presence and my sister and Mike completed their family unit. And it’s a pretty awesome family unit if you ask me.

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A few days after she was born I had the opportunity to visit my sister and the rest of the family for an evening of Thai cooking and hanging out. Continue reading

‘Like’ My Dad

There seems to be this attitude amongst my generation that it’s a bad thing to turn out like our parents. Too many of my friends have this ridiculous fear of looking in the mirror someday down the road and seeing not their face, but the face of their mom or dad.

To them I say there are far worse things in the world.

In fact, I have no problem turning out like my parents. My mom was a very strong and independent single parent who gave me and my sister an upbringing I’m very fond and proud of. And my dad took me to baseball games.

Okay, I joke. I like my dad for many more reasons than that.

He also bought me peanuts.

Seriously though, if I had an issue turning out like my parents, I would be in quite the predicament. As it turns out, I’m already on my way.

Continue reading

A Moment

I had a moment today.

You know the kind of moment I’m talking about – when your life is going a mile-a-minute and then all of a sudden everything slows down and you’re given a chance to actually think. All of the hustle and bustle of work and family and friends and life slide to the back burner and you get a chance to just be.

It’s been awhile since I’ve had one of those moments.

Life has been crazy busy the last few weeks and I barely have time to eat or sleep let alone think. Work has been quite the adventure – new training classes, a week in California for a trade show, new roles and responsibilities. Family has also been a rollercoaster – selling my grandmother’s house, awaiting my new little niece, trying to find time to see everyone. Add in three weeks of bronchitis and its aftermath, time with friends, gym and healthy eating attempts, time for the cooking blog (and this one for that matter), a new cat (or rather taking back my old cat), and you have quite the busy schedule.

As much as I would like to, I haven’t had much time to just sit back and enjoy.

Needless to say, it was a welcomed surprise today when I had that moment of just being.

Continue reading

Adolescent Literature

I am an avid reader. I always have been, and I probably always will be. Ever since I was a child, I have been passionate about literature – setting, storylines, characters, relationships.

My favorite part of elementary school was when the teacher spent a half hour each day reading to the class. In middle school I loved literature circles and book reports. In high school, I always had a book with me and I don’t think it would be an exaggeration to say I read a book a week, sometimes even more. In college, it was much of the same.

I love everything about reading. I love being immersed in a new world or time period, taking on the characteristics of the protagonist (and sometimes antagonist), and imagining myself in their shoes. I love the different forms of writing, the different styles each author brings to the page. I love the structure (or lack thereof) and the flow of the words. I love the feel of a book in my hands, the sound of the pages turning. I even love the smell of the paper and the glue.

So it was an interesting moment this morning when I received a Facebook message from an old family friend. The message simply read:

Continue reading

I Have a Dream

I have a crazy dream.

Actually, let me stop myself before I even begin. I’d like to withdraw the word ‘crazy’ from that statement.

I have a dream.

It isn’t a crazy dream. Crazy implies unrealistic, foolish, irrational even. This dream is none of those things. A bit out of reach maybe, but not unattainable … not if I really put my mind to it.

So, I have this dream.

I want to be Richard Barrow. Continue reading

“I’m not skinny!”

It’s 7:30am and I just crawled out of bed – an endeavor that took four times longer than usual due to the burning in my quads and calves, the tightness in my shoulder blades and arms, and the dull ache that spanned the rest of my body. Once I strategically pulled myself off the mattress and onto my feet, I hobbled into the bathroom and looked at myself in the mirror.

“I’m not skinny!”

I said the words out loud, allowing a frown to plant itself firmly on my face.

“How can I not be skinny yet?”

I mean honestly, I had an incredible session with my personal trainer yesterday, the success obvious in my inability to walk normally or lift my arms above my head.

I spend at least an hour every day at the gym. I’m doing strength training, cardio workouts, spin classes, and splurging on personal training sessions. I even take the stairs at work! Continue reading

Take Me Out to the Ball Game

I have been a fan of baseball for as long as I can remember. I’m not quite sure when the love affair started, but I give credit to my father for introducing me. We used to go to games together when I was little – he, my stepmom, my sister, and I. I always loved the games – making a trip out to Seattle (a long haul for a young girl!), entering the Kingdome, and finding our seats in the Family section in deep right field. We always had peanuts – usually from Rick the Peanut Man – and almost always had a hot dog. Back then the stadium didn’t have all the fancy booths like Ivars, the Asian wok, and chocolate covered strawberries. It was hot dogs, pretzels, and sometimes pizza. I liked it that way.

We’d gear up for the start of the game, waiting for our favorite players to take the field. We’d watch Ken Griffey Jr. and Jay Buhner run out together, step on second base, high five, and go their separate ways – one to center field and the other to right. We’d watch Joey Cora run out and superstitiously jump over the white baseline, always sure not to hit the chalk. If Randy Johnson was playing (an extra treat), we’d watch him throw his warm up pitches, in awe of his height and throwing speed. Continue reading