Tag Archives: P90X

You really, really like me…I swear this hasn’t gone to my head #winning #tigerblood

Thank you, thank you very much. In all seriousness I am so thankful for everyone who voted for my blog, although I feel kind of silly since I’ve only written a handful of posts over the short 3 months since I’ve started this thing. And I really do swear that I won’t let this go to my head.

So now that I’m officially an award-winning blogger I feel this great pressure to write more regularly…not to mention the pressure to be more funny…which people seem to enjoy reminding me of. Yet, when I look at the picture of me and my double chin tweeting away while fellow award winning blogger Jaime bursts with excitement as she wins her second award of the night, I am reminded that I need to continue my weightloss journey, which at the moment means I have less time to sit on my ass and write. The major problem? I am more likely to exercise if I get it out of the way in the AM, and that just so happens to be the same time that I do my “best” (using that term loosely) writing.

It’s not that I don’t have ideas, I have like 5 blog posts in my head right now (trust me, this was NOT one of them -hence all the rambling goofiness). But I’m a procrastinator and procrastinators love reasons to put things off. I’ll work on that I promise…tomorrow.

Speaking of procrastinating, that’s what I’m actually doing right now…I still have to write my next column for the Lehigh Brown and White that is due any day now. It will print this Friday. In the meantime, here’s a link to my last column about Becoming Part of the Community it includes some suggestions that not only could help Lehigh students but anyone in the Lehigh Valley feel more connected. If you are interested you can also see my first one here, as well as Part I and Part II of my columns on stereotypes and town-gown relations.

I had a little dilemma about this next column. I already created a “Lehigh Bucket List” a list of must-do’s before graduating from Lehigh but have not actually typed out the column (it’s all there still in my head). Then I saw a Lehigh student tweet out a request for ideas for a Lehigh Bucket List…for her article. I was originally bummed…I’m running out of ideas here. But then realized that I was specifically asked to write my column based on my view as a non-Lehigh student, as the “token-townie” as I call myself. So I’m writing it anyway. She will write from a student’s standpoint, I’ll offer my local insight. My next dilemma was to decide if I should look at the student’s article in order to reduce some redundancy (assuming her’s prints before mine). But then I decided not to because I don’t want it to affect what’s already written in my mind. What are the chances they will really be that similar? I guess we shall see. Who knows, maybe hers was actually for a journalism project and not even for the paper. I really have no idea.

This brings me to a possible topic for another blog post. Why do we sometimes get annoyed when someone “steals” your idea, even if they had no idea you were thinking of doing the same thing? It’s weird isn’t it? I don’t like it and I’m trying to cure myself of it…if that is possible. Maybe it is the disappointment that we really aren’t as original as we would like to think we are?

Ok…a little too deep for the BEST HUMOR COLUMN EVER.

So anyway…an update:

Still doing weight watchers, though I’m way too dependant on those extra weekly points. Only lost 4.2 lbs so far. Yes, I know muscle weighs more than fat. I can tell you that is not muscle in that double chin.

Still doing P90X and feel sooooo much better already. Why the hell did I stop in the first place?

Doing well with the running, keeping up and increasing my pace slowly but surely.

Still deciding on that perfect wrinkle cream.  Thank you all for the suggestions! For now I’m using up my free samples from Sephora that I had laying around. First I tried Miracle in a Jar from Philosophy (actually miracle in a tiny packet) and I didn’t see any miracles. Now I’m finishing up some Shiseido Bio-Performance Super Restoring Cream. The stuff seems to work but is a bit greasy. Probably won’t buy it, but I’ll keep using it until it is gone (it was a “deluxe” sample). Bonus: If you click on the link look at the links on the left of the page…there is a “Dick Page” link. I was like what the hell, but it turns out that’s the unfortunate name of their Artistic Director. Yes, I have the sense of humor of a 13 year old boy, ala Beavis and Butthead. But hey, you voted for me.

First Strides Starts This Week

In my continued effort to lose weight and get in shape I registered for First Strides which begins all over the Lehigh Valley this week. I’ll be at the Sand Island sessions, which start this Thursday.

Basically First Strides is a running program for women that is sponsored by  Lehigh Valley Hospital, Aardvark Sports Shop (Bethlehem), and The Finish Line Running Store (Emmaus). I participated two years ago and I’m determined to get back into running again so I joined up again this year.

Basically you meet up with a swarm of other women to run, in my case at Sand Island (one of my favorite running spots), each week. After a few weeks you break out into groups that run at a similar pace. Groups have names like Jaguars, Giselle’s, even Jack Rabbits. If there was a turtle group that would have been perfect for me. In all seriousness though it is a great way to meet people with similar goals and challenges.

But in all seriousness this is perfect for first timers and even experienced runners, especially if you need some motivation. You follow a program that gradually builds  in time and speed each week, switching between slow and fast intervals. Each week the fast intervals gets longer and the slow intervals gets longer. For newbies or people like me who are coming off of a hiatus you can walk the slow interval, and run the fast interval. If you are already running or are somewhat in shape you can run both intervals, slow run and fast run. The first week the run intervals are only ONE MINUTE long. Seriously, you can do this. Each week there is also homework, at first two additional runs before the next meeting, eventually three additional runs.  By the end of the 12 week program you are ready to run a 5K. For many in the group this will be a first 5K. It was mine 2 years ago and I survived (barely). And not because they didn’t prepare me, but because I didn’t always keep up with my homework. Now I know better and I WILL keep up with the homework this time.

You can even enter the program intervals into Runkeeper to help you with your homework runs. Hopefully you picked up the pro app when it was free in January. If not, it is worth every penny. The free app is also good, try it first and if you like it get the pro version.

There is still time to register on-line. Go to the First Strides homepage and click on the location you want to sign up for and then go to the registration area. They’ll ask if you want to join Active.com, unless you are really interested, skip that part, it costs extra and is not required for joining First Strides.

I also plan to work in a few P90X routines each week because I did notice running was much easier last summer when I was on the program. I still need to find my motivation again, I’ve been extra lazy in the morning lately, only getting in about 2 P90X workouts a week.

I also tend to think I can eat a lot more (more than burning off with exercise) when I’m active so I’ll also be on the weight watchers program during all of this to keep me in line. I managed to lose 3.2 lbs at my 2nd check-in. Woo-hoo. I’m hoping to earn my first 5 lb gold star this week. Fingers crossed – I was kind of bad this weekend – I’ve burned through my extra weekly points. I must say that I like the points plus program much better – I’m eating lots of fruits and vegetables instead of crappy pre-packaged foods with artificial ingredients just to make point calculations easy and points low.

Just one Stomach Flu Away from My Goal Weight

Ok, for me it is probably more like ten or so stomach flus. This has to be my favorite line from a movie I never saw. It’s from The Devil Wears Prada and I just think it is absolutely perfect, it cracks me up everytime I think about it. The significance of this line to this blog post will become clear in just a bit…

As I wrote earlier this month one of my resolutions for 2011 was to get back on a program and lose some weight. I started out on the right foot, started running again, did a couple P90X workouts and also went to the gym a few times, then I got sick. Or at least I thought I was sick. I have this horrible habit of stopping all forms of exercise when I’m sick and it always takes weeks months for me to get back on the program.

About a week before I got sick I went to the Chinese new age center on S. New St. on the southside-I forget the name, I just call it Kim’s (it is related to Kim’s Healing Center in Easton)- and picked up some of that Bee Pollen I was joking about in that same post. It’s actually called ZI XIU TANG FACE AND FIGURE CAPSULE, and there’s a lot more in it than Bee Pollen. Yes, the same stuff my facebook friend takes that she claims makes you “go” a lot. Oh and this same facebook friend informed me that she was disappointed that I didn’t come up with a funny code name for her in my last blog post. Apparently “facebook friend” is not funny enough for her. So from here out I’ll refer to her as Orange Julius.

So any way…I figured, well it will be like a cleanse, cleanses are good right?

At first I thought this side effect OJ was experiencing was an allergic reaction she was having (people with bee allergies SHOULD NOT TAKE bee pollen supplements) as I didn’t notice any unusual gastrointenstinal “effects” at all. What I did notice was that I was not eating out of boredom, and on my first day I was really bored…this would usually be a trigger for me.

The second day was a Monday and I usually drink a TON of coffee on weekdays, both before work and all day at work. By 10AM I had to put the kibosh on the caffeine because it felt like my mind was racing and I was all twitchy and nervous. It takes a lot of caffeine to have this effect on me. I continue to drink coffee but in significantly lower amounts since I started taking the bee pollen (at most 2 cups a day, as opposed to say anywhere from 5-10 cups). Herbal mint tea has replaced my coffee for the most part at work.

I was also addicted to diet soda. It doesn’t have to be caffeinated, it just has to not be water. Not a fan of water. I make myself drink it at work, but rarely drink it at home. I just noticed that it has been about two weeks since I’ve had any considerable amount of diet soda-about the same amount of time that I’ve been taking these pills. The last time I stopped drinking diet soda it was a conscience decision and it took considerable effort and it only lasted about 3 months. I don’t even consider it as an option now. I wasn’t expecting this effect, but I like it! I’ve been told by others, and I can absolutely confirm, that the Bee Pollen suplements will make you very thirsty and you should drink a lot of water so this sudden preference for water over soda works out great!

Throughout the first week I continued to notice that my portions were getting smaller with no thought or effort and I was getting full quickly and not constantly getting cravings. I still had an occasional sweet tooth craving but considerably less frequently and found that it took a lot less sweets to satisfy it. Could this really be the bee pollen…or is it just the fiber that in the supplement? My energy level as similar to when taking 5 hour energy, and the Bee Pollen supplements do contain B vitamins. I’m still not completely convinced that the appetite control and energy I’ve noticed are any more than a placebo effect, but hey if it works who am I to question it? And so far so good with the lack of explosive bowl movements right?

Not so fast. After about 6 days, suddenly my stomach felt weird and for two days I thought I had food poisoning and/or a stomach flu (and not the vomiting kind-I just thought that picture was hysterical-Welcome to New Jersey…Ha!). I didn’t think it could be the Bee Pollen Supplements, even though this was an expected effect, because I hadn’t had any issues the prior 6 days. So I just spent the weekend thinking I was sick and then it went away. This is also when my exercise program went down the toilet, pun intended.

Then it came back (the stomach flu-like symptoms, not the exercise program). Not nearly as severe and not every day. So I get a facebook message from Orange Julius asking how the Bee Pollen was going and I mention that it felt like I had a stomach flu for a couple of days but it wasn’t until a week into taking the pills and it went away (for the most part) so I didn’t think it was the pills. And she replied “oh, that’s the pills alright.” So it IS true.

So then I immediately thought, “oh god, does this mean I’m bulimic? Have I turned into the type of person who says things like ‘I’m just one stomach flu away from my goal weight’?”

I decided to weigh myself to see if anything happened and if any of this was worth it. HOLY CRAP I LOST 10 pounds. About 5 of which were post-holiday pounds that I expected to drop rather quickly, another 2 post-P90X pounds that I put on after I stopped regularly using the program, but that still left me three pounds lighter than when I was on P90X!

But surely this must all be water weight and muscle that I lost right? My scale displays fat, muscle, and water mass percentages and after I stopped P90X my fat % started going up and my muscle % started coming down. But now my percentages were actually starting to reverse in the good direction and I haven’t completed a real workout in over a week.

So based on all of this, I’m learning to live with the “effects” of these bee pollen supplements. I’m just going to think of it as an on-going cleanse process and we’ll see what happens. OJ assures me it gets better.

I do intend to get back on the program with the exercise though. Especially now that I’m no longer addicted to Angry Birds.

Note: As always, I’m just sharing my personal experience and by no means am I recommending anyone to start taking these things.

P90X, Runkeeper, Weight Watchers, On Target Living and what the hell…some Chinese Bee Pollen

I’m throwing it all in the ring.

I was trying to decide what my next post was going to be and narrowed it down to a list of Lehigh Valley attractions or events I’ve never been to and want to visit in 2011 or my need to really get back on some type of exercise/diet program. I think my choice is clear. I was inspired by two things  1) my friend Silagh’s blog post last night and 2) when putting on my “big” pants this morning  I had to suck in my gut (OMG just a few weeks ago they were loose!!!).


And that’s how quickly it happens. I was on the P90X program from the end of July to early November, and then vacation happened…then thanksgiving…then Christmas…then New Years… Truth is there is ALWAYS an excuse…it’s too cold… it’s dark…Groundhog Day…the super bowl …Valentine’s Day…Daylight Savings…St. Patrick’s Day…Easter…Chilifest…Cinco de Mayo…and before you know it…it’s time for shorts, short sleeves and *gasp* bathing suits.

So what now? I’m just going to throw everything at it. If I have learned anything about losing weight it’s that no one thing works for me, I can’t just diet and I can’t just exercise-exercising makes me hungry and dieting makes me lazy. Then there is the boredom.

P90X is pretty intense; a different exercise everyday…until the next week and then it’s still the same old thing all over again. But it is definitely a serious workout. My chiropractor noticed the results after just a couple of weeks and I still feel better in that regard even though I have not completed a workout since November. I don’t expect that to last to much longer however…

Running can be interesting as long as you don’t fall into a pattern of the same old route (unless that’s what you like) but damn it’s cold out there…that is until it gets hot. I use the Runkeeper Pro app on my iPhone, which is excellent and by the way…is FREE ($9.99 normally) until January 31. It is tracks your routes, calories, pace, and there is this nice British lady who tells you how long you’ve been torturing yourse…er running.  If you want to try Couch to 5K or First Strides it allows you to program intervals that match these programs or any interval you come up with on your own. You can even shout out your progress on Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare and post pictures along your route.  It definitely helps with motivation when you start seeing your average pace improve and if you get support from friends on Twitter and Facebook.

Then I have this gym membership at Steel Fitness and a Wii Fit…neither of which I use anymore and were merely failed attempts to throw money at a problem without following through.  But I’m giving my membership one more try. If I don’t spend at least 6 hours there this month I’m canceling. And what the heck…I’m going to set up the Wii again and maybe try out the Wii Zumba Fitness workout. A friend has been raving about it on Facebook. Maybe all this workout diversity will keep me interested.

And then there is the food…The P90X nutrition plan and Weight Watchers both encourage keeping track of food intake, although P90X is more specific (read: more of a pain in the ass) as to how many carbs, proteins, etc. you can have. On the other hand with Weight Watchers I can eat 15 1pt carrot cake snacks and still be within my daily points (not that I ever did that…OK well maybe once). On Target Living: Nutrition is an interesting book by Chris Johnson, he encourages natural organic foods and uses just a food target illustration to determine the best food choices. Most or all of your foods should be in the center of the target. He says to keep portions in check and is rather vague in this regard… I found that I just ate A LOT of healthy food and didn’t lose any weight. So I’m thinking about combining, somehow, someway, the proper proportions of the P90X nutrition plan, the ease of the weightwatchers point system with the food choices in the center of the On Target Living target. If I come up with something that works…I’ll sell it to you.

In addition to the boredom there is the habit thing. In order for any program to be successful it needs to become second nature yet fun. Is this possible? Maybe that means scheduling the same hour everyday for exercise, but then just change up what I’m doing in that hour (running, P90Xing, class/treadmill at gym, Wii).

…And for good measure I may just stop by Kim’s on the Southside for that Bee Pollen everyone has been raving about…because a cure in a bottle is just sooooo much easier.

In all seriousness, has anyone tried it? I’ve heard it has some harmless…yet inconvenient side effects. Basically from what I understand from a friend’s Facebook updates…it makes you poop. A lot.

Please share your workout & dieting woes/hints/inspiration or any new year’s resolution challenges in the comments.

Stating the obvious: I am not a medical professional. No one in their right mind should take any diet, exercise or nutrition advise from me of all people. Seriously…don’t do it.