Make exercise work for you

How do I start a post that conveys deep disappointment in being unable to update my blog even once a week? I even registered the domain name for crying out loud. Let me start with, “A lot has happened within a month’s time…”

Quitting Insanity
I’m ashamed to say that I was unable to finish Insanity. I had two weeks to go and I wasn’t able to finish. I was experiencing frustration with the fact that I did not lose any inches around my waist. I kept a positive attitude and kept going, but to not see any results along my midsection left me frustrated and neurotic. I began tampering with my diet to face the extreme side of not eating enough only to result in fatigue and dizziness at work. I was devastated.

A New Workout
During my time with Insanity, I was desperate in searching for different workouts. I read reviews and looked into Hip Hop Abs, Brazillian Butt-Lift, and CHALEAN Extreme. I gave HHA to my sister, seeing that was more of an easy workout for beginners (unlike his Insanity workouts). BBL wasn’t really overall targeting my problem areas, so that left me with CE.

CHALEAN Extreme uses weights or resistance bands to burn fat by creating muscle (actually, more like tearing up my muscle since they’re so weak / I have none). HALLELUJAH this workout was exactly what I was looking for. In 1.5 weeks, I lost 1.25″ off my waist and 1″ off my bellybutton area.

The Fault Lies in…
Insanity did not work for me only because it was targeting my legs and butt more than my upper body. That and the exercises were so intense that I wasn’t able to properly engage my abs as much as Shaun T. would have wanted.

Even though I didn’t see the physical results I was hoping for, Insanity helped my legs get stronger so I could actually run faster. The program also increased my endurance. I remember when I first started the fit test that I had to pause it longer during the breaks and I’d collapse on the floor afterwards from exhaustion and dizziness.

There’s no hard feelings I feel toward the program. I’m looking forward to redoing Insanity after finishing up CHALEAN Extreme.

Moving Forward
I know the title of this post is called “Make Exercise Work for You”. So the lesson I have learned from all this is that if you don’t see results that you were hoping for after a significant amount of time, it might be a good time to look for something else. Sure, there are kind people out there that will give you words of encouragement to stick to it, but it all comes down to you knowing your own body. Exercise is supposed to help us achieve that type of body we’re all wishing for. If you don’t see it working, there’s no sense in going through torture without yielding the type of results you were looking for.

Find something you are comfortable with and that works with your goals.

Insanity – Day 36

Alright, it’s a new week of workouts and I can’t tell you how (pardon the expression) INSANE this was! 56 minutes of moving, jumping, abs, punching – HOLY CRAP. I would have puked if I actually had something in my stomach other than water. And that’s why I never liked going to my sessions with my trainer – it was in the afternoon when my belly is filled with food from breakfast, lunch, and snacks.
I didn’t have time to do the fitness test because I wasn’t prepared for how long it was. I’d look to see 30 min had gone by and think to myself, it’s okay to stop here, you’ve done more than enough, but for some reason, the pace of each set made me forget about that little quitter. Again, at the 20 minute mark, I wanted to stop because my legs were giving in to fatigue, but when he said that people were starting to slow down, it was okay as long as it’s controlled. I think I shouldn’t have worked out with the volume on low for the first half of Insanity because I missed a lot of good tips like that.
I personally love it. I’ve been engaging my muscles even more, and I’ve been sweating more. I know my stamina and speed have increased and I can definitely dig deeper!

Insanity – Day 30

Note to self: NEVER eat before working out. It doesn’t matter if it’s 1 – 2 hours, it still makes me want to throw up. I know some people can handle it, but I had to completely stop myself every few minutes in the second half of the workout and I was sweating like crazy to prevent myself from vomiting. :-/ And I only had a half cup of cereal and 1/3 cup of almond milk 1 hr 45 min before working out. Ugghh… even the shoulder burners that didn’t require much aside from being in the plié position and holding up your arms straight out were too much for my stomach to handle. PLUS…my hips are killing me T-T…

Insanity – Day 29 and Tales of Graces

Its’s been awhile! It’s recovery week, and when they say “recovery”, I assumed we take it easy. To that, I say a big NOOOOOOOOOOOOO. Most of the focus was on abs and obliques. But it’ll be a good way to start burning the fat around my lower abs :-/.

On a geekier note, this is probably my favorite battle music from Tales of Graces:

Tales of Graces - School Battle Theme

Insanity – Day 17

Mood: Very tired
Weight: 111.6

I’ve been so tired these past couple of days that I almost skipped doing Insanity. Except I did actually accidentally skip the cardio abs part of today’s circuit. :/ I didn’t wake up early enough to have time for the second part. This sucks. I hate you period! And now I’m sitting at work and have run out of hummus! Aaarghhh!!

Insanity – Day 16 and Cramps

Mood: Frustrated and sleepy
Weight: 112.8

Damn it, gaining weight! Blaaarrrgh. It’s that time of the month and I was so out of it. I did manage to sweat some but I don’t know how people can do it when they’re overcome with cramps. I know I could have taken something before but that would have given me only 4 hours of sleep. I already push my heart rate up 6 days of the week, so let’s just try to not kill myself over the next few days. Of course being on my period means being antsy as well as not being able to sleep properly. *sigh* The cards are stacked up against me.

I’ve been seriously considering buying some Shakeology shakes just so I can recover faster. I need to look up more reviews about them. I’ve been eyeing that chocolate one!

Insanity – Day 15 Fit Test

My day one fit test:

  03/25/12
Switch Kicks 24
Power Jacks 30
Power Knees 72
Power Jumps 23
Globe Jumps 7
Suicide Jumps 8
Push-Up Jacks 17
Low Plank Oblique 39

Today’s results:

  04/08/12
Switch Kicks 110
Power Jacks 48
Power Knees 92
Power Jumps 27
Globe Jumps 9
Suicide Jumps 13
Push-Up Jacks 19
Low Plank Oblique 52

LOL! Maybe I was counting my switch kicks wrong (one per each leg?), so that jump from 24 to 110 might be erroneous?

I didn’t realize how out of shape I was on day one! I didn’t even have to pause the video to give me more time for rest like I did before! Of course, my numbers became worse when it came to leg exercises (darn you, Globe Jumps!) but did better at Burpees even though I felt dizzy. This gives me more confidence of the impending doom exercises to come!

Insanity – Day 14

It’s day 14 and it’s rest time. I can’t believe 2 weeks has already gone by! I keep wondering in my head if it’s actually working, and to that I say: yes! I haven’t been following their nutrition guide, so I would probably lose more weight if I didn’t eat burgers, or those chocolate chip cookies, or these pita chips that I’m snacking on right now with some hummus. I also wonder if I am able to keep up with what’s to come.

I don’t even remember how bloated I used to feel, but I can only believe what I’ve written down. Thoughts keep swirling in my head: did I used to feel more uncomfortably squishy before?

A good way to make yourself doubt your progress is to wear something you know that still won’t fit you. I also tried measuring myself again and was disappointed that I still was the same size or bigger. Arrrgh the only remedy I know is to really control what I eat! Nooooo!! Calorie counting and balancing nutrition is incredibly tedious for someone like me. I just look at something and just want to eat it. I am wary of how many calories are in some of my foods, but I don’t exactly measure it nor do I consider exactly how much sugar there is inside.

Uggh if I don’t lose any more fat by the end of this third week, I promise to change my diet to theirs.

Insanity – Day 13

Mood: Meh
Weight: 109.8

Day thirteen and I’m finally feeling that soreness hit my legs, once again. I’m putting more effort and feel that I can go longer if I can stop listening to his advice when he tells someone to take a break and get some water. When I hear that, I do it, then suddenly I feel like yelling “dammit!” because I didn’t really need to rest.

Today’s was a twofer and almost didn’t complete the second part because I was confused as to which one I was supposed to do today. The second part focuses on working your abs (mine are acceptable, not really stellar) and I realized I am not flexible with sitting down, leaning back, and bringing both legs outward and up. This is why I can’t do High Knees properly during warmups. I’m not as flexible as the people in that video, but I’ll grunt and wheeze my way through this program.

Insanity – Day 12

Mood: Ohhhh yeeeeeaaahh!

We’re on to day twelve of the program and I was (kind of) on fire! Because of my binge eating yesterday, I decided to pick up the pace a little…with the warm-up. It’s silly, but I am now able to transition into the next routine without stopping…until I have to stop a little when I’m in the next exercise. But still, I am proud of what I’m able to accomplish! I got a little woozy from when he started jumping around during the main exercises (Globe Jumps, anyone?), but I did those at my own pace before I might have injured myself.

The one thing I have been noticing for the past few days is that I don’t feel as big and squishy even though I think I still look the same. I feel better about my tummy even though it still holds the same measurement as when I posted them earlier. I don’t feel bloated, and I can keep up with more of the workout. Yay! I’m not going to spiral down into depression if I don’t see those flat abs!

This is so much better than getting a trainer at a gym. I’m saying this as a person who has been through little bouts of exercise from time-to-time, not as a person who has consistently led a sedate life. If you need a trainer to help you get started, by all means, feel free to do so. I’m just bitching about how I could have saved a LOT of money because, looking back, I didn’t need a trainer. First of all, this is BY FAR cheaper than what you can find. Two, I know myself, so I can push harder or ease up as much as I can. And the most important thing is that I can do this in the convenience of my own room.

And as I type this, I’m not hyperventilating from the workout like I used to on the first few days while my head was pounding from the blood rushing to give oxygen to my brain. I know my body has created more mitochondria to help in deliver oxygen to my cells, and my recovery period after doing one session has shortened. I feel like I can do more! Well, not really.  ಠ_ಠ