Sunday, August 30, 2015

Best Benefit Porefessional Dupe

Love Benefit products but can't afford them? Best Benefit Porefessional Dupe I've tried - totals about $17 (versus $31 for a tube of Porefessional) for almost three times the product (2.17 oz vs. 0.75 oz!)

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Focus T25: End of Week 7 (Week 2 Again)

I should have weighed and measured myself yesterday morning. I took a look at myself yesterday and was like, "Wow! Lookin' svelte!" * 

Today I woke up, looked in the mirror, and thought, "Who's the blob?" It's incredible the difference a single day can make. Sadly, I did not weigh myself yesterday. So I have to give you all today's measurements. UGH!

I did weights yesterday instead of the double T-25 workout I was supposed to do. I've mentioned before that I don't think there is enough ab or upper body work in this program so far, so I decided to do the two mega-workouts that work over my entire body (the Crunch workouts I mentioned forever ago in my "Reboot Your Body" post) as a "double", which ends up being about two hours, instead of the T25 double (lower and ab intervals), which ends up being about one hour. This way I'll work on building my muscle, which will burn more calories.

I feel it all over today. My legs are burning, I can't touch the floor, and it hurts my whole torso to stretch my core muscles. My back and arms are sore, as well, from my upper body workout. Not to mention I am cramping hard. I am an unfortunate person that has 10 days of PMS, followed by a full 7-8 days of the actual blood moon, and my blood moon started this past week, so can you guess that I had a good week again? I didn't! You are right! I forced myself through every day and fought the urge to just skip a week. I barely made it every day. But you know what? I did it. And that's what counts.

I apologize if it seems like I mention the monthly thing a lot - especially if there are any men that actually read this - but I feel like this is a factor of female fitness that is often overlooked when it comes to our progress. You can eat the right amount of calories, exercise your arse off every day, and get 8 hours of sleep every night, but once a month your hormones will come along and screw you up. This is somehow a fact that every workout program or magazine I have ever seen overlooks. I just want to emphasize that it is okay for our weight loss to take longer because these are factors beyond our control, and you shouldn't beat yourself up if you aren't losing as fast as you think you should be.

Anyhoo, Week 2 (Again) is over. Moving forwards.

*For me, you understand. As svelte as my Easter egg body can look.

Starting Month 2, T25 Week 6 (1A), 4/27/15:
Weight: 178.8 lbs
BFP: 39%
Arm: 11"
Thigh: 21"
Waist: 33"

T25 Week 7 (2A), 5/3/15:
Weight: 178.2 lbs
BFP: 38.3%
Arm: 12"
Thigh: 20"
Waist: 32"

Monday, April 27, 2015

Focus T25: End of Week 6 (Or Week 1 Again)

Well, guys, I sucked this week, I really did. I had like no energy, was craving sugar, was extremely tired, and bloated up. Women may guess what my problem was based on those symptoms. If you guessed "PMS", congratulations! You are correct! I figured it out today after a week of wondering why the heck I was craving chocolate, pizza, and burritos so badly. I am one of those unfortunate people who start early (lasts 10 days), and so I somehow manage to be taken by surprise every month when either my boyfriend or myself looks at a calendar and puts two-and-two together.

At any rate, I sucked this week because of that. I started Day 1 of Beta and gaped at how fast everyone on the video - even the modifier - was moving. I floundered my way through the video and went into Day 2 with some trepidation. As the video started playing, I stood there in silent shock. It looked like everyone in the video was on fast-forward. They were all moving so quickly that for a few moments I was absolutely convinced that I had accidentally sped-up the DVD. Nope. Nope. It was just them, being fit as shit.

So I stopped and thought. I finished Month 1, Alpha, with only a few "Nailed It!" boxes under my belt. Was I really doing the smart thing by jumping straight into Beta, which was obviously an entirely different tier of fitness, when I still hadn't mastered Alpha? Would I discourage myself by my inability to follow along and potentially injure my already messed-up tendons?

I came to a natural conclusion and decided to re-do Alpha before moving into Beta. Consequently, I have decided to push myself even harder on this go-round. While it was difficult this past week, due to hormonal changes, I worked so hard that on the last, double day I was not even able to do the second workout. I had so exhausted myself that I lay spread-eagle on the ground after finishing the first video. I was on the floor for such a long time that my boyfriend came out looking for me, concerned for my well-being.

Even so, one or two good days does not make up for four bad ones, so I was not surprised to see that my weight had gone up slightly this week. Still a bummer, though!

End of Month 1, T25 Week 5, 04/18/15:
Weight: 177.6 lbs
BFP: 38.7%
Arm: 11.5"
Thigh: 21" 
Waist: 32"

Starting Month 2, T25 Week 1A, 4/27/15:
Weight: 178.8 lbs
BFP: 39%
Arm: 11"
Thigh: 21" 
Waist: 33"

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Focus T25: End of Week 5

My boyfriend told me after measuring myself at the end of week 5 that I am thinner now than I was when we met back in 2013. That means a lot to me. This program is hard, yes, but it is changing my body. I feel as though I'm carving my figure out of the body I used to have. My pants and shirts are looser and I am starting to comfortable in my own body.

Yesterday, end of week 5, I finished my first 30 days of Focus T25. I stuck with it and never skipped a day. I admit, unequivocally, that even when finishing the month I was still unable to fully do the non-modified exercises. Tendon damage aside, the workouts are still just as hard now as they were when I began; this didn't make sense to me at first, since I've lost weight and have been exercising the whole month. One would think that would mean that the workouts would be getting easier, but they haven't been. 

Then my boyfriend pointed out that this experience is typical, because these programs are designed to ramp up in difficulty as you proceed through them. 

Oh, right. Duh. Kinda sorta forgot that. Having that pointed out to me made me feel slightly better than I had when I was berating myself. 

I can't wait to continue with the program. Since January I have gone from almost 200 lbs (I think I was 198) to what I am today - 177.6 lbs. That over 20 lbs. Not a short time frame to lose only 20 or so pounds, but I stopped in the middle for a while and lost my motivation for a few months, so for me it is pretty significant. Since starting the program, I went from 184 lbs to 177.6 in a month - sure, only 6.4 lbs in a month, but I started this program after I had lost all of my water weight just changing my diet, so that means I have lost 6.4 lbs of straight-up fat. And I'm going to keep going!

I admit frankly that I can't wait for Tuesday so that I can start Month Two. Some new workouts will be introduced and I'm excited to continue my weight loss journey. 

Starting Month 1, 03/15/15:
Weight: 184 lbs
BFP: 41%
Arm: 13"
Thigh: 23.5" 
Waist: 37"

End of Month 1, T25 Week 5, 04/18/15:
Weight: 177.6 lbs
BFP: 38.7%
Arm: 11.5"
Thigh: 21" 
Waist: 32"

Change, T25 Week 1 - 5:
Weight: -6.4 lbs
BFP: -2.3%
Arm: -1.5"
Thigh: -2.5"
Waist: -5"

Saturday, April 18, 2015

2 Years Later Update: Beauty Blender Dupe Review - Bundle Monster

My original review on the Bundle Monster dupes for the Beauty Blender is my most popular blog post. I thought perhaps people might be interested in how they have held up and how I feel about them two (2) years later!

Original video: "Beauty Blender Dupe: Bundle Monster Sponges"

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Focus T25: End of Week 4

End of week 4! Kind of disappointing, but I can't say I didn't expect it. I moved from PMS into full on period this week, and I was so exhausted that I really could not give my best effort to this program. I caved and had my favorite Easter candy - Cadbury Creme Eggs. Then, a short while after getting all of that Easter candy, I couldn't even finish the scheduled workout. I felt so bad about it that I threw out the rest of the candy in penitence and redoubled my workout efforts.

I seem to be retaining a lot of water this weekend, so my measurements were up a little bit, but at least my weight and body fat percentage (BFP) went down a tad. This week, I suppose, sort of cancelled itself out. At least my weight went down somewhat. And I will say that, when my monthly ended, I got all of my energy back and I went ham on my double workout day and really nailed it. I felt great. I will say, though, that the schedule had Ab Intervals and Speed 1.0 for the double, and I only did Speed 1.0, since I don't feel Ab Intervals does anything for me. I did my own ab workout, mixed with some cardio, and arm weights, for longer than the requisite 25 minutes of "ab" work, and I felt better after that than I do with Ab Intervals.

AND this is the first time in YEARS that I have been under 180 lbs!!!! I finally broke the wall! I'm so frigging excited about this - 180 has been a nightmare for me to get through and it is a big milestone for me to get there. I started my weight loss journey (before T25) at 192 lbs and now I'm down to 179, and it isn't just water weight I have lost - it's fat. So I'm pretty stoked. I still have 44 lbs to go before I hit my body's ideal weight, but I refuse to become discouraged.

End of T25 Week 3, 04/05/15:
Weight: 180.4 lbs
BFP: 39.4%
Arm: 11.5%
Thigh: 21"
Waist: 32"

End of T25 Week 4, 04/12/15:
Weight: 179 lbs (!!)
BFP: 39.1%
Arm: 11.5"
Thigh: 23" 
Waist: 33" 

Now, since this is the first warm and sunny day in a long time, I'm going to slather myself in sunscreen and head outside to work on washing/waxing my car to clean off all of the winter grime. Adieu!

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Mascara Round-Up Review!

Mascara round-up review!

Includes E.L.F., Benefit Roller Lash, Maybelline The Falsies, Covergirl Full Lash Bloom, Estee Lauder Sumptuous Extreme, and Max Factor 2000 Calorie Volume!