Saturday, March 28, 2015

E.L.F. Haul!

I don't usually do hauls, as I don't have the money to buy enough products at once to actually do a haul, but I caught a sale on E.L.F. products and decided to do my first! Hope you enjoy.

Focus T25: End of Week 2

Well, guys, I have finished week 2 of Focus T25. Slightly disappointing results compared with week 1, not gonna lie:

Last week, ending T25 Week 1, 3/21/15:
Weight: 185.2lbs 
BFP: 40%
Arm: 12"
Thigh: 22.5"

Waist: 33"

This week, ending T25 Week 2, 3/28/15:
Weight: 184.0lbs 
BFP: 41%
Arm: 11.5"
Thigh: 22"

Waist: 32.5"

Not as dramatic results as the previous week, but at least I still lost half an inch in general. I can't really vouch for the accuracy of the Body Fat Percentage (BFP), as I weighed myself three times before the scale showed me anything other than "E%" (whatever that means.) I don't think this is the program - in fact, I know exactly why I didn't lose as much this week. There are three reasons:

1) I went ham on the first day this week and severely wrenched the right half of my back. I'm talking about massively wrenching. I did the workout Sunday and woke up Monday feeling like someone took a baseball bat to my back. I had a painful knot so large in my lower right back above my pelvis that when I sat with my back to a chair, I was crooked from the lump pushing out on that side. The muscles along the curve of my right shoulder blade were incredibly tight, as well, and are still a little sore. I could not even twist to the left, because my right muscles were so tight that it wouldn't allow any large range of motion.

I kept up with the workouts, though I had to drastically modify them and take it easy because of my back pain. Finally, in desperation on Wednesday, I took a fist and essentially punched the knot out. Instant relief. But that really hindered my workouts and I know I didn't do as much as I could have, which is a big reason I didn't have better results.

2) It was a bad food week for me. I think I over-ate my allotted 1400 calories per day every single day. I went out to eat on Tuesday with my boyfriend to celebrate some good news I received at work, and then I had a retirement party to attend on Thursday, so I ate even worse than usual. I've been very hungry, which leads in to number 3:

3) I am PMSing. For any guys that this makes uncomfortable, so sorry. It's a fact of life for 50% of the Earth's population, and my PMS symptoms are, unfortunately, fairly severe. I generally bloat up three pant sizes, can't go to the bathroom, and get ravenously hungry. So, in addition to wanting to eat everything and never feeling full, I am also bloating and can't go. Plus I'm extra fatigued from it, so mustering the energy to exercise has become more difficult. None of which are helping with the whole weight-loss thing. Let's not even discuss the food cravings I've been having. Like glazed donuts. And pizza. And burgers. And molten lava cakes. And large, icy mugs of beer.

(Fans self) Is it getting hot in here? Phew. Now I know how I gained so much weight in the first place. Argh. The struggle is real.

Anyway, bring on Week 3! I refuse to let Mother Nature bring me down. 

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Focus T25: End of Week 1


Wow, guys, I am tired. Week 1 was so hard for me. This is a hard program, no bones about it. The calendar has you scheduled for Monday - Friday, but I decided to do Sunday - Thursday, since ain't nobody wanna be doing anything on Friday after a long work week. Fridays are the days that I just get home and collapse.

I started doing this program in the afternoons/evenings when I got home from work, but the program is so high-intensity that it would get me too amped up to sleep in the evenings. I took a deep breath, thought long and intensely about my life, and switched my workout schedule to 5:00am and moved my bedtime up to 9:30pm. Surprisingly not that hard to do! I just had to retrain my circadian rhythms, but the schedule is fine for me now, and I am already awake/alert by the time I get to work.

The program is hard. I've said this already, but I will say it again. Even when I was at my optimal body weight for my height and I was doing yoga/weight-lifting/running every day, I can say with confidence that I would have had trouble finishing each workout. Knowing this makes me feel a little better about how badly I'm sucking at this so far. That and the fact that the people in the videos who have ostensibly been doing the workouts with Shawn T for quite some time also have an incredibly hard time completing them - and this includes the woman doing the low-impact modifier exercises, which is what I do since my tendons have been blown out since 2011.

So how is the workout? The first day I had to take frequent pauses. Shawn T does not let you take a break or pause whatsoever through the videos, with the exception of Speed 1.0, where you do a 30 second active stretch in-between your high-intensity moves. It is go-go-go, and it ramps up the entire 25 minutes to a progressively harder level through the end. High cardio, of course, but that is what gives you faster results, so I don't mind it. 

Completing some of the workouts is hard, and I'll be frank - I have barely made it sometimes. A few days I finished the workouts by dry heaving into the sink in my kitchen when I went to get more water. I was so tired at the end of the week that I couldn't do the two workouts scheduled for the last day - I only made it through one. Basically my first week went like this:

BUT I PERSEVERED, DAMMIT. And I'll be durned if I didn't immediately notice a difference in myself. I am one of those people who is always tired. Always. I go to bed and wake up feeling as though I never slept. I've been tested for anemia, thyroid problems, etcetera. I take multivitamins every day. No doctor I have been do can figure out why I am always tired. All of my levels are normal and I'm not low on any mineral or vitamin. I'm just perpetually tired and feel as though I'm operating through a fog throughout my days. 

The first morning after I started Focus T25 I woke up and actually felt like I'd slept. I was full of energy - to the point that it felt as though I was dreaming it. I've been happier and I've been smarter - all of that extra oxygen to my brain is really doing a lot of good toward my cognitive processing. AND this continued through the entire week. I'm on my second rest day right now (you get two rest days), and I woke up this morning feeling the way I used to. I'm bagging hard, man. No energy at all because I didn't work out yesterday. It's such a startlingly huge difference internally. I'm not the only one who noticed - I caught a coworker looking at me oddly mid-week and said, "What's going on?" "It's just weird seeing you with energy," she said, sounding perplexed.

It's actually making such a big difference energy-wise and physically that people at work are asking me what I've been doing, and I keep catching my boyfriend surreptitiously checking me out. "You're looking really good," he told me the other day. (Compared to what I had looked like, hahaha.)

Today was the day to weigh and measure myself versus last week, and I'm not going to lie - I was kind of bummed by the weight part of it. I have a very muscular body when I work out - I'm part Viking and I think that's a big part of it. I have a solid frame and my family (myself included) tends to bulk muscle quickly. Then I noticed my body fat percentage and measurements went way down! 

Last week, starting program on 3/15/15:
Weight: 184lbs
Body Fat Percentage (BFP): 44.6%
Arm: 13"
Thigh: 23.5"
Waist: 37"

This week, ending T25 Week 1, 3/21/15:
Weight: 185.2lbs 
BFP: 40%
Arm: 12"
Thigh: 22.5"
Waist: 33"

I lost 4% of my body fat and my waist dropped FOUR inches!! I was discouraged by my weight going up a little over a pound, but I think it's just water weight. As I said, I bulk muscle quickly and I think that's why the actual scale weight has not gone down, but my BFP and waist dropping so quickly is awesome! My clothes are even already loose! 

So, to conclude, I am SUPER FREAKING THRILLED. Week 2 starts tomorrow and I'm PUMPED. Let's do this!!!!

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Starting Focus T25...Holy Moses

Well, guys, in another desperate attempt to get my weight under control, I've started the Focus T25 program. 

I feel as though this is the recurring story of my life - feel disgusted at myself, start a workout program, get tired of it and stop, then the cycle repeats itself all over again. But I am really going to give it an honest effort this time. I think I've finally found my motivation. 

So here we go - I'm starting the Focus T25 program. I watched some reviews of it and read that if you need to lose the fat first, prior to toning, Focus T25 is the best for you. I like how short it is, as well. I live about an hour from work, so it's hard for me to find time in the day to fit in exercise. 

I used to never have a problem with working out - I used to be quite close to my "optimal" body weight. That, of course, was when I had the time to weight lift, do yoga, and go running every day when I lived on Guam. That lifestyle is just not feasible for me, though - not anymore. For one thing, I don't live in an area that supports that sort of lifestyle year-round. New England certainly is not Guam when it comes to weather that is accommodating. For another thing, I really don't have the time.

So T25 it is! I would post a before picture, but I have to be honest - I'm not that brave. I can't bring myself to do that. I can give you guys my measurements, though. Perhaps that will shame me into actually staying true to the program! Weight: 184 lbs (just eating only 1400 calories a day got me down from 192lbs - yikes, I don't even like admitting this). Waist: 37", arm: 13", thigh: 23.5". Let's see how I do!