Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Beachbody, Get Fit & Have Fun Contest!!

Hello Everyone!

Welcome to my blog and to my first ever Get Fit & Have Fun Contest! To celebrate this new journey to get into the most amazing shape of my life and to help others do the same, I want to reward one follower with an AWESOME Beachbody prize!

So, what's the prize?

One winner will receive a choice of one of the following:

  • A $25 gift card* toward anything from my Team Beachbody page
  • A weeks worth (6 packets) of Shakeology
  • INSANITY® Fast and Furious DVD with Shaun T, or
  • TurboFire Greatest HIITs DVD with Chalene Johsnon

What's in going to take to WIN?!

You can participate in various ways for this contest to accumulate points. For each point you accumulate you get your name in a drawing. So the more points you get, the more likely you are to win one of the fabulous prizes mentioned above!  You can get points by doing ANY of the following:

  • 1 POINT: "Like" my FB page. If you're already a follower of my FB page, comment on my wall saying "Count me in!"
  • 1 POINT: Get 1 point for EACH person you refer to my FB page. Make sure they say something like, "(Your name) sent me!" You can share this blog post and then they have a chance to win.
  • 3 POINTS: Sign up for a Beachbody account by going through my Beachbody web page. Click "Join," then "Sign me up for a FREE membership."**
  • 5 POINTS: Make a purchase from my store during the contest week.

How long will the contest last?

The contest will begin at 12:00 AM December 1st and end at 11:59 PM December 8th, 2011 HST. The winner will be announced December 9th.

Why Beachbody?

Beachbody is the fastest growing home-based fitness company in America. They feature some of the most FUN, most EFFECTIVE, and highest QUALITY fitness programs there are from trainers like Tony Horton, Chalene Johnson, Shaun T, and more. One reason why these programs are so effective is that they focus on what really works: Challenging workouts involving both Resistance Training and Cardio. And the programs also incorporate tools to aid with good nutrition, and staying accountable and focused on your goals. So if you have been struggling to lose weight, or want to take your fitness to a whole new level, I encourage you to look into these programs and find the one that *you* would enjoy the most. I plan to try all of them, but right now I am thoroughly enjoying the P90X program with Tony Horton. As challenging as the workouts are, I look forward to them because I know that they are changing my life and my body for the better. Another reason why Beachbody has impressed me is their high quality nutritional supplements, more specifically Shakeology. They have done everything they can do make a product that truly nourishes, rejuvenates, and restores the body. And you're not going to find a product that does this better then Shakeology. There's no chemicals, preservatives, or colorings...just 70+ all natural, whole food ingredients that have been processed as little as possible to deliver the most potent nutrition possible. And it's one of the best ways to lose weight (or maintain a good weight), but most get healthy!! To read about what benefits I personally have found from using Shakeology, you can read my blog here.


It's time to decide to live a healthier life, to commit to doing what it takes to reach your goals, and to finally succeed in reaching those goals. I want to be your coach and help you reach your goals, to live happier and healthier. Go to my web page, click "join" and get a free membership, free coaching, and the support you need. I am so excited about my opportunity to work with Beachbody to motivate others to truly care for their bodies through exercise and good nutrition and I look forward to working with all of you.


Melissa Oliver

Feel free to contact me with any questions.

* To choose the gift card option, you must have a Beachbody account with me as your coach.
** No credit card is required (unless you choose to upgrade your account.) By having a free Beachbody account you can get access to WOWY the online super gym, where you can log in workouts, track your progress, find workout buddies, and even get the chance to win $$ just for working out. You also get free coaching through me. Please note that neither I nor Beachbody will ever sell or distribute your personal information. If you do choose to upgrade your Beachbody account, you will get 10% off of all Beachbody products through my store.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Day #25 & #26

Day #25, Thursday: X Stretch

If you read my last P90X post (day #24), you know that I've committed to take this program to a new level of commitment both with the workouts and with my eating. I'm pumped to work even harder,  push even more during my workouts, and eat even better... And like I promised myself, I got up early (5:30 AM) for my workout Thursday morning... Thursday was X Stretch. Haha. I was pumped for a Plyometrics/ Legs & Back double session!! But since I'm going to do better to stay on schedule (with the exception of Core Synergistics), I did X Stretch. Tony Horton talks about just how important flexibility is to fitness in general and in preventing injury... To be honest, I'm not completely sold on this particular session of P90X yet (I've never stretched for so long before), but I will keep working at it. I have been, however, very satisfied with the warm ups and cool downs with each of the other workout DVD's, and with the stretching involved. I have especially gained a greater appreciation for the warm ups and how much more I can do during a workout after a good warm up. I was already moderately flexible before beginning P90X almost 4 weeks ago, but I'm happy to report that my flexibility has improved.
Day #26,  Friday: Core Synergistics

Awww....I LOVE the feeling I get after a challenging, sweat-inducing cardio workout!! I feel like a new person and like my insides are singing Hallelujah!  Today I pushed myself hard and I'd say I got almost as good as of a workout as Plyometrics gives me...and all the while strengthening my core. There are 3 distinct workouts that I especially appreciate because they work me SO good.

Banana- alternating between lying on the back, right side, stomach and left side, while lifting up the arms and legs off the floor (straight out)
Bow to Boat- alternating between being on the stomach while holding onto the legs and keeping them and the chest off the floor, and then to "boat" where you balance on your bottom  while lifting the legs off the floor with the arms straight out above them.

(Boat- I cannot yet get my legs quite as high and straight as this girl,
but this gives you an idea of what it looks like)

Superman Banana- alternating between lying on back and stomach while lifting up the arms and legs off the floor (straight out).

Ah, there are so hard but so good. I really have to breath through these. During each of these 3 workouts Tony has you switch to the alternate position very quickly...It's "X city", as Tony likes to say! :)

One more thing that I want to mention is I'm getting better with push-ups! I challenged myself today to do mostly guy push-ups. I cannot yet go all of the way down and up in this position, but I was going about half way down. And if you know anything about P90X, you know that when they do "push-ups"...there's always an addition to the move incorporated at the same time, like leg raises, or putting one leg on top of the other, etc.. There are no plain ol' traditional crunches, sit ups or push-ups in P90X, at least in the first phase. (There are more traditional push-ups on the "Chest, Shoulders and Triceps" DVD that you start doing in Phase 2.) So I'm excited about the improvement that I'm seeing!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Why Shakeology?

Click to visit my Shakeology page

How Much is Your Health Worth?

How much are you willing to pay for an actual meal that keeps you full, tastes great, satisfies your sweet tooth, gives you great nutrition, and heals the body? As well as helps you to lose (or maintain) weight, correct cholesterol levels, soothe your digestive system and promote regularity, strengthen your immune system, and give you amazing energy?

People ask me: Shakeology seems expensive, how can I afford it?

In turn, I like to ask them these questions:

  • How much do you currently spend per month on drinks (coffee, smoothies, soda, etc..) that aren't necessarily healthy for you, but might in fact be harming your body?
  • How much do you spend per month on eating out at restaurants or even fast food restaurants? And is your body really being nourished or is your appetite just being satisfied?
  • How much money do you spend per month on junk food that only promotes sluggishness and weight gain?
  • Is the way you are currently eating helping you reach your weight and fitness goals?

Shakeology is a wonderful, advanced tool to help get on your diet, weight, health, and life on track!!

Too often people turn to food that is "cheap" or "convenient." But is the cost of what we eat more then we realize? Shakeology is so great because it takes the guess work out of what to eat for one meal and helps motivate you to eat healthier throughout the day. And when we are healthier we are less prone to illness and disease, which can be much more costly down the road (financially and emotionally) then any premium diet. We all live busy lives and need all the energy and health we can get. 

The money we spend on food is some of the most important money we can spend. And our food choices are some of the most important choices we make each day. Shakeology is worth every penny at $3*/$4 per serving. If you were to go out and buy all the ingredients in one serving of Shakeology it would cost more than $40 (and I promise that you wouldn't be able to get it to taste nearly as good!) And it's a meal replacement. That way you can make it part of your food budget and be on your way to better health and energy than you've ever had.

And one more reason why Shakeology is amazing: there are no chemicals, colorings or preservatives and Beachbody will never add anything of the sort. Just good whole all natural nutrition, with the best bio-availability possible. Beachbody strives to keep the promise that it's the "Healthiest Meal of the Day." It's also a full and complete program with the Shakeology workouts (free with Home Direct, 30 and 50 minute DVD's) and full meal plan for guidance on what to eat during the rest of the day.

Beachbody has a 30 day money back guarantee on all their products, including Shakeology. So, if you try Shakeology and find that it's not what you're looking for, return it (even if the bag is empty) for your money back, minus s&h.

Contact me to learn how you can get a 25% discount on Shakeology (and all of Beachbody's products.) And feel free to contact me with any other questions and how you can get a free sample of Shakeology.

My Experience with Shakeology:

I have been using Shakeology every day now for almost a month, and I LOVE IT! My goal in using Shakeology has been to gain more energy, lose the last few pounds left over from pregnancy, and just to get healthier in general. And I know that Shakeology is helping me reach my goals.

As you can see on this blog, I am currently doing the P90X program. Right now I take care of my 2 (very young) children full time, as well as run a household. And then on top of that I'm doing intense 1 + hour long workouts 6 days a week. I know that I would not have be able to do as much as I do now, and have lots of energy to spare, without Shakeology.

How has Shakeology benefited me so far?
  • More energy in general
  • More energy for my workouts
  • I feel happier and like I can adapt better to the stress in my life
  • My digestion has improved
  • Before I started shakeology I was very sore after workouts, but now I experience very little muscle soreness
  • Weight loss. Since starting shakeology a month ago I have lost about 4 pounds.
  • Better mental clarity and focus
  • I just feel a whole lot healthier in general.

    These benefits are huge to me! These are things that I've wanted for a long time, and I'm so happy to finally see improvements in these areas.

    Shakeology has also motivated me to eat healthier throughout the day. The shakes are so a chocolate milkshake or an amazing fruit smoothie (depending on which flavor you buy and how you make it) so it satisfies my craving for sweets. And when I think about eating any kind of junk food I really think twice now. I have the opportunity to put superior nutrition into my body...why would I want to mess that up later in the day?

    Here's one example of how Shakeology has helped me avoid junk food:

    The other day I was craving cookies. I thought, I'm going to see if there is a healthier option... And there is! I found a recipe for Shakeology No Bake Cookies and made them. They are very good and require no baking or boiling, only mixing...and contain only healthy, whole ingredients. Now whenever I crave sweets I grab a couple out of the fridge and they completely satisfy my craving for junk. You can find the recipe here.

    Wednesday, November 23, 2011

    Time to Step It Up!

    I have some catching up to do for the last few days...

    Day #22, Monday: Kenpo X

    Monday was a good day for P90X. I was pumped and ready to go! I went to my computer as I usually do to see what workout I have scheduled and I was surprised to see "Yoga" listed. I didn't realize that I was almost done with Phase 1! So, as much as I *Love* Yoga X ;), I just wasn't feeling that particular workout that day...and since I'd missed Kenpo X on Saturday I decided to switch it up and do Kenpo instead. And as usual, I had a lot of fun! One thing I was happy to find is how much stronger my legs are. Toward the end of the segment Tony has you in "horse stance," which is basically a squat with legs far apart...while doing different arm movements. I made as low of a squat as I possible could and held it for several minutes...and I didn't even get fatigued.

    I also really enjoy the "breaks" in Kenpo X... which aren't even breaks. You can towel off and grab water quickly, but they keep moving. This is where they do jumping jacks and X-jumps. I like the X- jumps! And I love that I can keep up and do all 10 during each break.
    Day #23, Tuesday: Core Syngergistics

    I had done Core Synergistics once was my first day of P90X, 22 days ago, when initially I stated the "Lean" schedule of P90X (then the next day I switched to Classic.) But doing Core Syngergistics on Tuesday I got a little frustrated because I realized just HOW MUCH I need this workout. I love all of the P90X workouts I've done so far...but I really need Core Synergistics and I wish I had it in my schedule more often. It focuses on the arms and core so well, and those are the areas where I need the most work. I feel like my legs have been getting the biggest workout so far, and that's my strong point. I'm seriously thinking of switching my schedule around a little...which I feel guilty about because it's a strict regimen...but I know that adding more Core is going to help me reach my goals more quickly. I might substitute one of the workouts with Core Synergistics the next few weeks.
    Day #24, Wednesday: Ab Ripper X

    One thing you should know about me and about this blog, is that I'm going to do my best not to sugar coat things. We're all human and most of us are not experts with fitness...but we're all working together to become so. That's why I've asked you on this journey with me. Because we all have improvements to make. We all have great days, and we all have rough days. But the key is that on rough days we pick ourselves up and move on, instead of giving up.

    Today was a challenging day when it came to getting my workout done. I got way too little sleep the night before... You can take the most amazing supplements (like Shakeology), and have a great diet (which I've been doing by best to have)...but if you don't get good sleep you're not going to be able to BRING IT as well as you was my most sleep deprived day with P90X so far it...and it was rough. I went to turn on Kenpo, which I had scheduled and I was really dragging my feet. And I was upset with myself because I love Kenpo. But I was lacking energy. I decided that I needed to pick something that I would be able to give my all. I thought, 20 minutes is about all I've got today (yes, I got that little sleep) I chose Ab Ripper X (and I'll be making up Kenpo later.) Even doing Ab Ripper was super challenging, but I pushed through it. I realized that being sleep deprived, there was this mental block. I just couldn't focus on the task at hand nearly as well.

    So...Tomorrow I am determined to take this to a new level and commitment! I feel like I've been getting a little sloppy with this the last few days, and I want that to end... Starting with getting up early everyday, and eating more closely to the P90X diet (I've been doing very well so far. I can't follow the P90X diet perfectly as I am exclusively nursing my daughter and have to take that into consideration...but I do have room for improvement.) I really want to be seeing more results then I already am. I'm going to push myself even harder & eat even better. I want to be truly proud of this journey when the 90 days are up, and know that I gave it everything I could...

    Monday, November 21, 2011

    Done with Week #3!

    I'm happy to report that I have completed week #3 of P90X! One more week until I have officially completed the first phase of P90X. The last few days have been crazy busy so I had to put posting to my blog on the back burner...but I'M BACK!

    Day #18, Thursday: Yoga

    So my biggest struggle with P90X so far has been getting up early in the morning. I have had the best of intentions to wake up early in the morning, to get my workout done and out of the way for the day...but so far it's not happening. But I'm determined to make it happen and to make it a it will. Luckily,  I've done really well to get my workouts done later in the day.

    But I don't feel like I'll be able to make the most of the P90X Yoga segment until I do start getting up early for it. On Tuesday my daughter woke up from her nap 20 minutes into my workout. Ugh... So I just tried to make the most of it, while keeping her happy at the same time. Luckily she went back to sleep and I was able to get the last half hour done without interruption. It just didn't feel like as good of a workout with all the interruptions...but I was able to do the whole hour and a half...just all broken up.

    So far my favorite part of Yoga X is the "balancing exercises" during the 2nd half of the workout. The poses are kind of fun, I think. Like "tree pose." And I was able to do poses like "royal dancer" much better this time around (where you balance on one foot while lifting your other leg up and behind a ballet dancer.) And I was able to do better with "wheel, " a gymnastics move that I could do really well when I was young. This is "wheel"...

    ... I took for granted what coordination and strength it took to do this when I was a kid.
    Day #19, Friday: Legs & Back and Ab Ripper X

    On Friday I did Ab Ripper X first on purpose. The reason being is that Ab Ripper X does not focus only on the Abs. It works on the Core as a whole and even the legs...but mostly the Abdomen area. And it is X-tremely good at it too. ;) I like to feel how I'm progressing in that area, without being tired from already working out with the other segment.

    Legs & Back is a great workout! It kicks my butt but it feels so good. I'm still not able to do full pull-ups without support (with a chair) but I can tell that not too much longer and I'll be able to do it without support.

    Day #20, Saturday:  :(~ (Raspberry)

    Yes, I said "raspberry." Saturday was my first day missing a P90X workout, and I wasn't too happy about it... But I had to make a choice. I had some other responsibilities that took precedence. My goal is for this to happen as little as possible and I'm happy that I've gotten this far into the program without having to skip a workout.

    I will be making up this workout session, that would have been the end of the 90 days.

    Wednesday, November 16, 2011

    Day #17- Shoulders and Arms, & Ab Ripper X

    I was not feeling it today! I was feeling pretty drained for some reason or another. Another great quote of Tony Horton's is "Just keep pushing play!" And that's what I did today. I pushed play and then pushed myself as much as I could for both Shoulders & Arms and Ab Ripper X.

    Funny Story- my son woke up from his nap and comes downstairs while I'm in the middle of Ab Ripper. He comes over to me, kneels down and says, "Mommy, hurt?" I laughed and thought about how I could explain it to him... Grunting,  I replied, "No, Heeaavy. Mommy's body is heavy!" He's like, Ohh I see.

    Awww, it's so nice to be done with today's workout. I know that it's ok "not feel like working out" sometimes. But it's not a good enough excuse.

    Tuesday, November 15, 2011

    Day# 16- Plyometrics

    I "jumped" ;) right back into the game with Plyometrics today! I was wondering how it would go since I hadn't gotten a really intense workout in a few days, but it went well. I stuck with all of the moves and was able to squat lower and jump higher then I have before.

    One more thing I wanted to share... I've noticed that from my workouts and from using Shakeology that my mental clarity is improving. I can tell this when I talk to people, when I'm reading, etc... My mind just doesn't feel as foggy. When I read I'm able to follow the words on the page and the ideas that I'm reading with much greater ease. This makes me very happy because it's something that I've been struggling with for a long time. I would go to read a book and it was just too much work to stay focused on what I was reading. Increased mental clarity and alertness are both proven results from exercise and great nutrition, like with P90X and Shakeology. It is a great blessing in my life. :)


    So can *YOU* do something like this?

    So many people avoid intense workout program like P90X because they think they can't handle it. Yes, these are very challenging workouts, but no one expects you to do everything at the same intensity as Tony Horton and the people working out with him at first. He says: modify, modify, modify and if you have to take short breaks, take them! How are we ever going to achieve results in our lives and in our bodies that we've never had/seen before, if we're not willing to take risks and step out of our comfort zones? I've heard from people that's it's "Too hard" or "It hurts." There are things to help with issues like that, but know that it gets easier. The longer you stick with something challenging the easier it will become and you'll be able to push yourself even more! (Of course, some people are unable to do these kinds of workouts because of certain physical ailments, but most people would benefit from this type of program.) Many, many people have gone from super overweight (even obese) to super fit using P90X. I am so happy that I have committed to changing my life with this program and I really look forward to seeing the results. You can do this! (Or a similar program.) You just need to believe that you can and that you're worth it. You can be healthier, thinner, more fit, and have more energy! Whatever you need can be yours if you commit to a plan to make it happen!

    Week #3 Stats

    Week #1-
    Weight-  129 lbs
    BMI-   20.8

    Week #3-
    Weight-  126.4 lbs
    BMI-  20.3
    Body fat-  20.7%          (I bought a new scale today that reads weight,
    Muscle-  36.0%             fat %, muscle %, water %, and bone mass)
    Arms-  9 1/2"
    Small waist-  29"
    Large waist-  32 3/4"
    Hips-  35"
    Mid Butt-  36"
    Thighs-  21"

    Monday, November 14, 2011

    Day #15- Ab Ripper X

    Me again,

    So, today wasn't the best day ever. It was pretty hard actually, for personal reasons including both of kids coming down with colds. Some events interfered with me getting my workout done earlier in the day...but I wasn't going to let that stop me from getting something done before the day was up! I wanted so badly to do both Chest & Back as well as Ab Ripper X tonight, but I would have finished around 10 PM...and that's not going to work since this mama has sick kids to take care of... (The rule of thumb is that you should complete your workout 2 hours before you want to get to bed...I was up really late when I did Kenpo the other night. :)

    So no excuses, I did the 20 minute Ab Ripper X routine. It was kind of good for me to do this routine alone to see what strength I have for it, since I've been mostly completing it after having worked out for an hour already. I do feel like I'm making an improvement and can actually do quite a few sit-ups now! It's so encouraging to see progress in this area. :) I will be making up the Chest & Back soon. I'm hoping for a much better day tomorrow! :)

    Saturday, November 12, 2011

    This Past Week...

    I have officially completed week #2 of P90X! This was last week was a little rough. Monday was good and as you can see I was able to get a great workout in and blog about it. Then Tuesday hit. I don't know what happened. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday I just felt "off." Not too bad, just a little sad, tired and moody. I wondered if it was something I was eating, if I was getting worn out, or if I wasn't getting enough sleep... Most likely if was a combination of things, but I think it was mostly hormones. I'll have to research it, but I'm guessing that starting a intense exercise routine can have some effect on hormones.

    Anyway, today I felt like it has passed and I'm back to my feeling awesome and working hard.

    I was happy to be able to push through those hard days, however, to stay on top on my P90X routine. I feel like I didn't "Bring It" as hard as I would of on a good day, but I did the best I could. And that brings me to one of my favorite quotes. (One that I'm working to incorporate into all aspects of my life more...)

    "Do or do not. There is no try." -Yoda

    Isn't that a great quote? It makes me laugh and it makes me think. "Trying" can be an excuse. It's not a terrible word, but it doesn't always convey the right attitude...

    "I tried to get my workout in today..."

    "I tried to eat well today..."

    I'm sure you get the point. I look forward to "Bring[ing] It!" even harder next week! I will DO it!


    Day #9, Tuesday: Plyometrics

    Tuesday was my 2nd day doing plyometrics, or "Jump training." I wasn't feeling as strong that day, but I tried to jump as high as I could and give as much intensity into my workout as I could. I didn't do the "bonus round," however. Tony Horton says that Plyometrics is the "Mother of all the P90X workouts" and he's not joking. It is intense. Thoe guys on there can do some incredible stuff!

    One thing I noticed when I first started P90X was that my left knee felt a little weak. After I'd finish a workout, (especially Plyometrics which can be harder on the knees), it felt like my knee needed to pop, especially walking up stairs. I figured that over time it would get better as the muscles around my knee get stronger and I feel that they are. My knee is giving me less and less trouble.

    Day #10, Wednesday: Shoulders & Arms

    Wednesday was my first time doing the "Shoulders & Arms" routine and I like it. It involves using various weights for strengthening all parts of the arms and shoulders:

    Alternating Shoulder Press, In & Out Bicep Curls, Two-arm Tricep Kickbacks, Deep Swimmer’s Press, Full Supination Concentration Curls, Chair Dips, Upright Rows, Static Arm Curls, Flip-Grip Twist Tricep Kickbacks, Two-angle Shoulder Flyes, Crouching Cohen Curls, Lying-down Tricep Extensions, In & Out Straight-arm Shoulder Flyes, Congdon Curls, and Side Tri-Rises.

    This was very new for me as I've never been into lifting weights. But as I've been learning, resistance training is vital to overall health and for getting a more fit and lean body. And Tony Horton says, this workout (Shoulders and Arms), is the beauty workout... For this being my first real weight lifting session with a real trainer, I would say it went pretty well. The only weight I had bought were 10 lbs weights. This was fine for me for most of the sets. But when it came to things like "shoulder flys," I was unable to do them with my 10 lb. weights. They were too much and I could tell if I pushed it, I could possibly injure myself. Today I bought some 5 lb. weights to use until I get stronger in that area...but I don't plan to use them for long! It will be nice to actually be able to do that move.

    I was not able to get the Ab Ripper X routine done on Wednesday and will be making it up later.

    Day #11, Thursday: Yoga

    So, I'm reading that the Yoga segment gets a lot of people. Some individuals whine and cry, saying "Do I really have to do the Yoga?" I'm starting to understand why. You go from intense cardio, with punching, kicking, weight lifting...and then slllooww, methodicallll yoogaa.

    I'm going to have to work on this one too. I think part of what Tony Horton is trying to teach us is PATIENCE. And yes, Yoga is a great just takes a lot of time. It's an hour and a half segment.

    Thursday was my least effective workout day so far. I go up early that day for my workout, but not early enough as 20 minutes into the DVD my son wakes up and comes downstairs. Now, it was an improvement from last week where he didn't cry and whine about my doing Yoga... No, this time he joined in. It made for a cute video to share with friends and family on facebook. :) However,  it did not make for a good workout. I will be making this (entire) segment up at the end of the 90 days... For me, this might be a better workout for the evening after my kids go to bed and I know I'll have enough time for it.

    Day #12, Friday: Legs & Back, and Ab Ripper X

    Friday was my 2nd day actually completing the 2 combined workout sessions that include Ab Ripper X...and each time I do I'm so proud of myself! The first workout, in this case...Legs & already a huge workout. Most of these DVD are an hour long (including stretching and cooling down.) And then another 20 minutes for Ab Ripper X...But oh boy, what a great feeling it is when I complete both in one block of time.!! It's definitely a "pat myself on the back" kind of moment!

    I like the Legs & Back routine. Again, it's a lot of squatting, working out the legs quite intensely and then doing pull-ups in between the leg workouts. Some of the segments incorporate using weights as well.

    As for Ab Ripper X, I sure hope I'm making progress! The only indication that I'm making progress, that I can see, is with the most intense move at the end...The MASON TWIST! As I've mentioned before, it's a doozy! Well, I'm not completely dying with this move anymore and I don't look as retarded doing it. I'm not yet able to turn by body in full angles yet though. I move from side-to-side the best I can.

    Oh, my poor stinkin' abs.

    Day #13, Saturday: Kenpo

    So, as I mentioned before... Kenpo ROCKS! It really is a lot of fun...and I feel like it was meant for me. It's encouraging that I'm already pretty coordinated and fit enough for such a workout as Kenpo. If I could be one of the people on these workout DVD's, it would be this one... (Yea, I'm dreaming...) But I really do love it. I can't help by grin when I finish Kenpo.

    ***Today was the first time I've completed a workout after my kids went to bed. This is HUGE for me! I had a big day cleaning my whole house, making dinner, & taking care of my kids. 2 weeks ago I would have been exhausted after all of that. But today I really feel all the difference P90X and Shakeology are making in my life. I was pumped and ready to go!! I am very grateful to have this increased energy!***

    So, one more thing to note before I sign off...

    I haven't yet experienced a whole lot of muscle soreness...which is confusing to me since I haven't done such an intense workout regimen before. I don't know if I really am sore and I don't notice it much... (I have a pretty high tolerance for discomfort...) Or maybe I'm not pushing hard enough? I feel like I've been pushing as hard as I possibly can, and going deep as I can with different moves like with squats... or lifting weights or doing more push-ups then I normally would. I wonder if I haven't felt much soreness because I've been using Shakeology as my recovery drink? I've read that many of the ingredients in Shakeology help to combat muscle soreness and remove toxins from the body. I'll have to do a little more research and find some good articles related to this topic.

    So, my goal for next week is to PUSH even harder and see if I can feel even more of a difference after my workouts. Bring on week #3!!

    Monday, November 7, 2011

    Before Pictures...

    So...much to my dismay, part of the P90X program is the "Before Pictures." Ok, it's not that's just getting to the "After Pictures" part of the P90X journey that's the challenge. But it's also very exciting and motivating anticipating the changes I will see in my body.  In posting these pictures, I'm grateful for a few things:

    1) I don't have much weight to lose...mostly just muscle to gain.
    2) That in doing the P90X program I don't have to adjust my health habits too much. Being a health fanatic, I have been living a pretty healthy lifestyle already...But for me it's mainly cutting sugar out of my diet and incorporating more intense workouts.
    3) And lastly, that I just had a baby 5 months ago (whom I carried extremely low and out) I kind of have an excuse for not having the perfect body at the moment.

    I do have more ones of my stomach, but I don't think I'm brave enough to share them right now. Perhaps I'll share when I have the after pictures to use as a comparison

    BRING IT!!! I want my after pictures.

    Day #8- Chest & Back, and Ab Ripper X

    Hello again!

    Today I completed Chest & Back for the first time. It was also my first day doing the combo workout with Ab Ripper X. So it was a lot, but SO good. I was so pleased to get both of these completed in the same block of time. :)

    Chest & Back alternates between different styles of push-ups and pull-ups. With the push-ups they have you do some with your arms far apart, arms close together (like diamond push-ups where you have your hands together), and decline push-ups with your feet on a chair and hands on the floor. With decline push-ups I just held the plank position. That was plenty a challenge for me! ...I was shaking pretty good. And then there's the dive bomber style push-ups. Ooooeee. This is a very advanced move and I just tried hard to do similar motions the best I could. You basically go from a downward dog position, the slide your body forward and to the ground, like your going down for a push-up and then back to do it again.

    Then with the pull-ups, there were just the basic variations like hands close together or further apart. I still require a chair to stand on (not just for spotting), and probably will for some time as I cannot yet do one complete pull-up without assistance. But I love what Tony Horton says in the Intro to "Chest & Back"... "Forget 'I can't'. Say, 'I presently struggle with'..." I presently struggle with my upper body strength, BUT I'm doing something about it!! :)

    I am happy to report, however, that I can do about 15 "girly style" push-ups now. Believe it or not, this is an improvement from when I began P90X 7 days ago. Then I could only do about 3. Yup, you read right...3 girl push-ups. Although this is just a gradual improvement, I'm grateful to see any kind of improvement in my upper body strength. What was great about the Chest & Back segment was that you go back and forth between different types of when we'd go back to push-ups I'd be able to do more and more. Not just one set.

    While I was doing push-ups I noticed that my left arm felt quite different from my right arm. I thought...Is something wrong with my arm? The other arm feels fine, so what's the matter with my left? I then realized that it's because my right arm is stronger because I use it more...duh. :) I'm right handed so naturally it's going to stronger. So the trick now is to get both of them stronger!

    I am already starting to feel a difference in my life, even after completing my first week with P90X. I do feel a bit stronger, but mostly I have more energy. Before P90X, by around 7 PM I was feeling quite exhausted and putting my children in bed felt like a huge chore that would leave me even more exhausted. Tonight I felt so much more energized and ready to take care of my children! This also helped me to be more patient with them, despite any whining or crying or defiance that normally occurs with sleepy children (I really do have wonderful kids.) Going up and down the stairs is even feeling easier and doesn't leave me feeling out of breath in the least bit.

    I also give credit to Shakeology for my increase in energy and stamina. I do feel more alert and instead of feeling drained after a hard workout, I feel like I just woke up from an incredible night's sleep. It's truly amazing what good exercise and nutrition can do for you. So many mornings I wake up feeling worn out and still very tired (like I did this morning), but then after my exercise and Shakeology I feel brand new! I received my first bag of Shakeology last Thursday so today was my 5th day using it. I'm so glad to have it in my life now and I know it will make a huge difference for me. It's truly what I need in my life right now, to improve my health and it has become an incentive for me to complete my workouts. I have it for my "recovery drink" in either the morning or afternoon, whenever I get my workout completed.  I will be writing more about Shakeology later after I've been using it for a bit longer.

    If you are interested in Shakeology you can visit my website to learn what it is. Feel free to message me with any questions via the "Contact Me" button.

    How to Spot a Pirated Copy of P90X

    Pirated Copy of P90X vs. The Real Deal

    Pirated copy on the left and the copy I purchased from my
    coach page (directly from Beachbody) on the right.

    As I mentioned in a previous post (here), before I decided to become an Independent Fitness Coach for Beachbody I wanted to start the P90X fitness program. I also wanted to try to save a little money by buying used. I decided to buy from Amazon. I had no idea that I was supporting criminals and buying a pirated copy. And like I said before, I'm going to be buying this type of thing from the source from now on. It is pretty impressive how well these "pirates" do in replicating the original program, but the price will reflect itself immediately and over time.

    In reading reviews from many others who have also accidentally purchased bootleg copies of P90X, I found a few alarming facts:
    • Some of the DVD's might be missing, and even if they do all come in the package some may not even work on the first try.
    • Some people reported that their DVD's worked fine at first, but one by one they would stop playing.
    • Some reported that the bootleg copies would only play on their lap top computer.
    • The food guide in the "Nutrition Plan" book has some missing/incorrect information that messes with equations. And the guide books are FILLED with typos.
    • Beachbody does not offer support for any products purchased outside of or their coaches. I read many angry reviews about people who bought from places like Ebay, Amazon and Craigslist, and then when their "P90X" had issues they called Beachbody. Of course, Beachbody knows how rampant the pirating is, and is not going to support this. (On the other hand, if you purchase materials from Beachbody's website or their coaches they offer great support if there are any problems with the products.)
    • And so on...

    I purchased the copy of P90X from on October 15th. It took 2 weeks to get to me! I was starting to think that it wouldn't come. When it did come there was no invoice, only this note (without a signature.) A very suspicious note, in my opinion.

    Luckily, after contacting the seller he issued me a refund and told me that I did not need to return the product. I reported the seller to Amazon anyway, because after reading this seller's reviews from other clients, it was obvious that this was not the first copy of P09X they have sold on Amazon.

    As soon as I realized I had purchased this bootleg copy, I bought a real copy. It came quickly, in only 3 or 4 days and was packaged well. Just in time too!

    Now for the comparison:

    Pirated copy on the left, actual copy on the right

    Pirated copy

    vs. Real copy 

    I knew that I had a pirated copy as soon as I opened the box and saw Tony Horton's name spelled "Tony Horon"! Come on Piraters, of all the things to misspell...Plus all of those missing spaces and a bad print job.

    vs. Real copy

    Pirated Copy: The whole box came shrink wrapped, but none of the items inside were.

    vs. the Real copy. The box was not shrink wrapped, but all of the items inside were.

    The pirated copy had strange little plastic covers on all the DVD's

    The Real copy does not

    This is center of the DVD case on the pirated copy. The DVD case came looking worn and damaged.

    Vs. the Real copy: The DVD case was shrink wrapped and brand new looking. Plus a much better print job.

    Pirated copy: All of the materials have an inferior print quality.

    Vs. Real copy

    Pirated copy: It's truly amazing how terrible the guide books are duplicated. They are filled with typos.

    Vs. the Real copy: Good thing the editors at Beachbody completed HS. ;)

    My real copy came not only with 2 bonus workouts (located on the "How to Bring It" intro DVD), but also this free "One on One" workout sample.

    Going along with how the pirated copy's materials are inferior in quality. The pirated copies feel more like magazines. When I picked up the real copy's guide books I immediately noticed a difference. They are actual paperback books and feel heavier. The print job in them is even, professional, and well edited.

    And just an FYI- P90X is not the only Beachbody product that has been boot-legged. It's always best to buy from the source. In general, you get what you pay for. Sometimes spending more is an investment, and can even save you money in the long run.

    Or any of their other great programs. I am a Independent Beachbody Coach and an authorized distributor of their products. To see my official Beachbody Site click here.