Inspired, Motivated, Proud & Tears

Friday night was an amazing accomplishment for me personally – I WON the 6 week Fall 2013 Transformation (to transform is to change (something) completely and usually in a good way) as a Body Project Fitness HardBody!  So what does that mean?  I got this awesome golden dumbbell, certificate, beautiful flowers and a year of workouts!  How awesome is that?  Pretty Awesome – but it is so much more – I don’t even know if I can do it justice in this blog (and my apologies if I seem to ramble – it is just so hard to get all of my thoughts together).

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This truly has been a journey for me.  I don’t know how many transformations I’ve participated in – little did I know then – I was just ‘participating’ – maybe even going through the motions sometimes.  I’ve worked out with many of the prior winners – and I was always in awe of hearing their stories – so inspirational.  I often wondered if I would ever get it?  And there was a part of me that thought I never would – it just wasn’t in my DNA.

In my last post, I talked about how I was MISSING my workouts – not skipping my workouts.  Little did I know that that was truly my AHA moment – and I almost missed it.

I went in on Friday morning for my measurements – I don’t recall the numbers but the biggest drop was in my hips with an overall decline in bodyfat – note – I didn’t lose any weight in 6 weeks (and there have been moments in the month where I’ve gained weight – amazes me how it fluctuates) (and you all know I’m a numbers person).  My trainer and coach asked me a question – how is this transformation different? – she always asks me these simple questions that catch me like a deer in headlights.   So we talked about how I was trying to find ways not to miss workouts when in the passed I found ways to miss workouts.  We talked about how my work travel exercise was different – I walked as much as possible (it helped I had my Jawbone working again).  She asked me what was a different – I know it is all about how I think about things – and the large muscle between my ears is so very powerful.  I think we forget or don’t realize just how powerful it can be.  I’ll be honest I walked out of there thinking I didn’t quite know the answer.   I thought about the question all day – it wasn’t until I got in the car that it hit me – missing the workouts also turns into that working out (whether it is going to BP, a spin class or getting out and walking) has become a part of my life – I don’t view it as a chore anymore or something I HAVE TO DO – it is something I WANT TO DO!  It has become a part of my LIFE.

Now this may not seem to be a big deal for you – it is for me – during the big reveal it became clear that everyone else noticed the change in me – probably even before I did.  One of the things that was mentioned that was totally me – I would come and go at BP – I joked later – We were on a break (reference to Friends 🙂 ).  There was also a reference to how much I focus on the numbers – they are still very important to me – but not the only thing – it is about how I feel too (and I’m feeling pretty good right now).

For those of you who know me personally – of course I shed some tears (I think I kept it together though) when the announcement was being read – I knew it was me when the comment came up about I would come and go (or something like that).  I had an opportunity to say a few words to everyone after my award – and I believe I touched on some of those items in this blog.  I’m so very proud of my accomplishment!  I’m still in shock that women came up to me after the award and told me – “I’m an inspiration” to them.

I’m so very lucky to be surrounded by strong and inspirational women – they’ve always been my biggest cheerleaders.  I moved to this part of NJ in 2005 – I didn’t know a single person in the area.  It would be very hard for me to leave this area not only because I love the proximity to the Jersey Shore, NYC and Philly – but also because I don’t know if I could survive with out BP and my BP girls – they are an amazing group of women!

I’m motivated as I continue this journey…


Pep Talks

I found myself in the car driving to see my nutritionist this morning giving myself a pep talk. If you recall from my post on 8/10 – my goal for this appointment was .7 down.

The past 6 weeks have been a little challenging – limited work outs, an unusual amount of dessert eating (too many trips to a local cupcakery) and football season started.  As I’ve mentioned before I weigh myself every day (in the AM) to help keep myself accountable and I can tell you the last 6 weeks I wasn’t seeing much movement.  I started seeing some movement about a week or so ago (and in the right direction).  Now I reported last weekend that I was down but there was a part of me that was worried either my scale was off (it has happened before) or for some bizarre reason I had regressed in a week.

So back to the Pep Talk I gave myself on the ride over – “no matter what happens, keep a positive attitude”.  “You’ve come a long way.  If you gained weight – don’t get discouraged – you have all the right tools to get back on track”.  “If you lost weight – you are doing a great job – keep it up.” Of course, the latter conversation is a much easier one to have!

After my Pep Talk, I was ready – I went in with a great attitude (and checked out of the stress from the week to focus on me).  It was a really great appointment not just because of the results – which don’t worry, I’ll tell you.  But it was more about the discussion.  As you’ve noticed, I’m a numbers person, but I was given a little different perspective today.  While numbers are important – they aren’t the only thing – feeling better, looking better (hair, skin, etc), how you clothes fit, making sure you are living your life and not missing out are part of this journey.  I probably need to remind myself that every once in awhile (although I’ll always be a numbers person) – it was still important to hear.  And I don’t feel like I’m missing out on things – which is a good thing!

I’m please to announce I busted through that .7 lbs and dropped 2 lbs for a total of 25 lbs down since May 2012!  And even better – I’m pretty sure I haven’t seen this number in 3 years (and I’ve gone down a jean size – double bonus)!  I feel great and I’m so happy.  My journey is far from over, but I’m confident I’m going to continue to see success and have a feeling my five minute drive every 6 weeks will have a pep talk involved (even if I falter – I know I will be OK).

Have a great night!

Stress – I posted it the first time without the Title – Ugh!

Things are super busy at work (but who isn’t these days) – my stress level is building (so much so I’ve had moments of being overwhelmed – for the most part I think that has passed). I’ve actually been able to really keep my stress level in check for awhile so I’m having a hard time dealing with it right now.  And you can see it in my face – ugh – mini break-out – I’m too old for break-outs!

I knew going into this week it was going to be crazy so I did look at my schedule on Sunday and schedule out my workouts (plus I knew some timing of some of the deliverables were in my favor – getting my Monday night workout in helped).  And today was the toughest day so far and I knew I needed my HardBody.  I was so happy I was able to get my Hurricane and Finisher Workout in this evening.  It was a great workout and my stress is down a little bit (and I was able to forget about things for 45 mins).

The Hurricane Workout was 3 exercises (1 cardio / 2 strength) – you do each exercise 3 times (based on the # of reps) and there are 3 stations.  Once you are finished there is a Finisher workout which was 4 exercises that you do 10, 9, 8,…etc reps until 1.  I’m so pleased that I actually completed my Finisher Workout – it hasn’t happened in a long time for me if ever – I really don’t recall.

Back to work.  Have a great night!

My Coffee Habit :-)

I didn’t start drinking coffee until I moved to Dallas – and it wasn’t even coffee – Starbucks Cappuccinos and eventually Lattes from the DoubleTree connected to our office (I used to drink Diet Soda in the AM).

Last year I was making an 6-8 cup pot of coffee and probably drinking most of it. I bought myself a nice big Kuerig for Christmas (I have a personal one just for a single cup) and I reduced my coffee habit in the morning. However, I was still probably drinking 4 – 5 cups in the morning (not counting my afternoon pick me up).

If you will recall, when I started this blog it was to capture my observations when I started the Clean program.  One of the items you no longer have is coffee.  I just went back and read my blog from around that time about how I wasn’t really missing it and it didn’t really taste that great.  Well I do love my coffee – including the taste!

However, after reading The Shift, I decided to tweak some of the things I’ve been doing – one of which was unlimited coffee in the morning.  I don’t add sugar, but I am a heavy pourer of the light cream in the coffee.  I decided to limit myself to 2 cups in the AM and measure out the light cream.  So far so good – I’m only in a few days.  I will tell you since I know I can only have 2 cups I really make that last one last a long time!

And for those that know me – I can’t give up coffee completely – what would I do with all of my coffee mugs (that should be a blog too – ‘My Coffee Mug Habit’)?!

A gift from my co-workers after I resigned from my Advertising Sales job - circa 1991 - they liked how I took control of the situation!

A gift from my co-workers after I resigned from my Advertising Sales job – circa 1991 – they liked how I took control of the situation!

Fall Transformation

Today was the first day of the 6 week fall transformation! I started my prep for the week yesterday – drank 70 ozs of water, 8 hours of sleep, completed my shopping for the week and got myself a new pair of sneakers!

Aren't they pretty? :-)

Aren’t they pretty? 🙂

I’m really picky about my sneakers – I bought a pair before vacation (and I’m kicking myself I didn’t return them).  They are Brooks and they just don’t fit me right – and they weren’t cheap – I think I’ve worn them maybe 5 times -argh!  I am happy now- I’m back in a pair of Asics – so reminds me of college and they do seem to fit me the best.  And no special inserts from the running stores – just plain old simple Dr. Scholl’s Active Support inserts for my high arches – go figure!

We had a great workout tonight and I’m please to say my feet – in particular my arches weren’t bothering me – WAHOO!!  Fingers crossed it continues.

Stay tuned for more updates during the Fall Transformation – I’d like to say I’ll post something everyday – I just don’t think that will be reality – but I’ll give it a shot.  Until next time – have a great evening!




Numbers, Numbers, Numbers

I have a degree in Marketing, however, I’ve spent most of my career dealing with numbers. I have some Marketing functions on my team and I remind my team all the time – no matter how great your concept is in the end – the numbers rule.

My personal journey is no different – some people have noticed my weight loss, some haven’t, they’ve noticed a glow in my complexion or something is different they just can’t put their finger on it. It is a great feeling! (and THANK YOU!)

Yesterday morning I had my pre 6 week Fall Transformation measurements and Body Metrix (this uses a sonogram type tool to measure you body fat – a lot more accurate than the device you hold in your hands).

The last time I had my measurements and Body Metrix done was early June.  To say I wasn’t happy with the results is an understatement – it was such a let down.  I had finally started feeling better post Lyme disease and I was doing all the right things – Hard Body workout, getting enough sleep, drinking my water and eating right.  Most of my numbers went up except my weight.

Unbeknownst to me, a blessing in disguise happened – right before the end of June my knee started really bothering me and my hip was twinging a bit.  I stopped my Hard Body workouts before vacation and while on vacation I joined the gym where I went 3xs the first week and 4 xs the second week to yoga and pilates classes only.  When I came back from vacation – I was keeping a similar routine.  I found out my hip issue was my SI band and I only just started back my Hard Body workouts last week for 1 day and back this week for 2 days (with keeping the impact modified).

Since my last Body Metrix, I’ve dropped 9 lbs, reduced my body fat by .7%, BMI dropped 1.7, lost 4.3 inches and reduced my risks of heart disease, stroke and diabetes by 1.6 points (with the drop in diabetes being the biggest drop).  🙂

It was a great day yesterday!  Looking forward to the next chapter of my journey as the 6 week Fall Transformation starts tomorrow.

Tears of Joy…

As you know from reading my blog that I started a 6 week Fall Transformation…my true transformation has been evolving long before this Fall program (I promise to explain the tears).

To give you a little background…I’ve been making changes in my life over the past few years.  It all started when I was looking through one of the local CNJ weekly newspapers…I spied an advertisement for Body Project Fitness.  I’m not sure what exactly it was that triggered me to try it…maybe the free week or maybe it was just different from a gym.  I know I was back and forth with BodyProject a couple times before it really stuck for me.  I tried the holiday program and they did a special for kettlebell training (if you’ve never tried it…AWESOME…great cardio/strength workout)!  I have probably been a HardBody (what we call ourselves who go to bootcamp every month – not the special programs).

What is Body Project Fitness and how did it change my life?  It isn’t just a work-out, it is a fitness program.  Yes, I work-out 3 days a week at 6 am (and yes there are days when I pop right out of bed at 5:10 am, times when it is really tough to get up and others when I let negative self-talk get the better of me and go back to sleep (doesn’t happen as often as it used to) for 45 minutes with a mixture of cardio and strength training – lots of times circuits.  A different workout every day.  It sounds like many other programs right?  No, it isn’t because the FitPros at Body Project are there for you for the full body workout – including the mind (food journals-including reviewing, our own FB for BodyProject, available for 1:1 consultations – including goal setting, etc)

How have things changes (credit to BodyProject and helping re-think a few things)?

  1. Check out my freezer…not one WW or Lean Cuisine meal.  here are frozen veggies, fruit, chicken, filets and salmon.  Ok..there is some ice cream – but it isn’t light…full blown…I know what is in it – cream, sugar, pecans.  3 years ago my freezer was filled with whatever was on sale for WW or Lean Cuisine (and prior to that JC meals)
  2. Sweetner:  I used to use 2 (yes 2) Sweet n Low packets in my coffee, then I moved to 1 packet and now I’m using 1/2 of SweetLeaf (stevia).  And if I forget my Stevia and I’m out I use sugar…would rather put the real mccoy in vs. a chemical.
  3. Reading Food Labels:  I’ve been on 2 Grocery Store Tours as part of the Body Project program.  I’ve been a label reader for a long time..this has made me look at the labels differently.  I look at the sugars, fiber and actual contents…I still look at the calorie and fat content but I weigh them differently than before.
  4. I eat more whole foods and try to stay away from things with a long shelf life (ie. bread)…oh I still eat bread – either Eizekel Sprout bread (from the freezer) or fresh made delivered from the bakery rye bread.
  5. I have ‘new’ go to items:  hummus, avocados, guacomole, cannellini beans, black beans, ricotta cheese, nuts (almonds and pecans), honey (for the ricotta cheese), greek yogurt, homemade granola, string cheese, apples, dark chocolate.
  6. I’m taking a yogalates class on Thursday nights through December in addition to Bootcamp
  7. I really try not to ignore the scale in my bathroom
  8. And I’m not on a DIET – and I correct anyone around me who asks how my diet is going! 🙂
  9. And I’m sure there are more I just can’t remember

So back to the Tears of Joy…as part of our program our measurements and body fat are measured.  When I first stared we held a machine in our hands.  Now we use BodyMetrix.  What is BodyMetrix?  They still take our measurements, but the add in is an ultrasound of the back of our triceps, waist and hips to measure the layer of body fat / muscle.  Since April 2010, my bodyfat has DROPPED 7% and I’ve moved into an ACCEPTABLE range for BodyFat!!!  I knew my numbers a week ago, but I didn’t get my report (to show the ranges) until the other night…I cried TEARS of JOY!  It clearly shows the progress I’ve made and what I can do when I put my mind to it.  I’m very pleased!  And I’m ready for the next 6 weeks!

PS:  A special SHOUT OUT to Lindsay Vastola and the BodyProject FitPros…THANK YOU!!

1000 Rep Challenge

Today is the second to last day of the Fall 6 Week Transformation. On day 2 of the Fall Transformation (back in Sept) we did our first 1000 rep challenge. What is a 1000 rep challenge? It is a circuit with 10 stations, must do 20 reps before you can move to the next station, you run back to your mat to put a tick down (to count your completed exercise & get a little cardio) and you have 20 minutes to see what you can complete.

Here are the exercises:

  1. Squats
  2. Bent Rows (using a band around a pole) (yes we were outside this morning)
  3. Alternating Scissor Abs
  4. Reverse Lunges
  5. Bicep Curls
  6. Ice Skaters
  7. Overhead Press
  8. Squat Jacks
  9. Ab Knee Ins
  10. High Bridge

On 9/21/11, my goal was to complete 30 rounds (1 round = 1 station), I completed 21 (420 of the 1000 reps) rounds.  Today my goal was to complete 25 rounds and I completed 25 (500 of the 1000 reps) rounds.  The average improvement is between 3 – 5.  I landed right in the middle and achieved my goal (19% improvement).  I was so close to getting one above my goal (darn it) (note to self:  next time make sure my mat is closer to the stations! 😉 )  I’m proud of the improvement I’ve made over the last 6 weeks.

Happy Hump Day!  Make it a great one!!


Do you eat the mini Apple packets?

Do you eat the mini Apple packets they sell at convenience or grocery stores? I do. I get the apples or grapes, but usually pick the apples. I think of them as a nice alternative to chips and easy to eat in the car or when on the go. I believed all of this until this weekend.

I purchased two small packets at a local convenience store for my PSU Reunion weekend to eat in the car along with lunch for myself and one of my friends.  We ate one packet, opened one in the car but didn’t finish it.  We got to Happy Valley, unpacked the car and went out for the evening.  We noticed Saturday morning the apples were not brown.  Every time we got in the car we noticed the apples were not brown.  We were in and out of the car quite a bit (it got to be a bit of a joke to see if they were brown).  So we looked on the back of the package and noticed that apples weren’t the only ingredients in the package (not sure why I surprised).  Calcium Ascorbate was added to maintain freshness and color.  I’ve posted two pictures, one I took yesterday ‘fresh’ out of the bag (remember the bag has been open since Friday around 1 pm) and sitting out in the air for the day (look at how ‘burnt’ the edges look…not even natural browning)!  Makes you wonder how much of the Calcium Ascorbate is in the bag too…because it least they are doing something now that they are out of the bag.

I know from my learnings at that anything that is package has some sort of processing.  I never really thought of it with the fruit and veggie packages.  Boy was I WRONG.  I won’t be eating the ‘snack packs’ anymore since I don’t know how long the added ‘stuff’ has been sitting on the fresh fruit or veggies.  I don’t care how convenient they are…I’ll just eat an apple to the CORE!

Push-up Challenge

In an effort to push myself during this 6 week transformation, I wanted an additional goal / challenge (my first was attendance).  I’ve decided to increase my push-ups.  I did a one minute test on Sunday.  I was able to do 16 push-ups in 1 minute.  My goal by the end of the 6 weeks is to complete 35 in one minute.  I’ll keep you posted on my progress.

Happy Hump Day!