7 Reasons Why You’re Not Losing Weight

For the last few years, I’ve been diligently working out and eating healthy. But a few weeks ago I stepped on the scale and was horrified that the number had quickly risen, meaning all the hard work I put into 80 Day Obsession had completely vanished. Instead of feeling discouraged, I felt motivated to get down to a more comfortable weight and to keep it there.

Here are a few reasons why you might not be losing weight:

1. You’re Not Drinking Enough

Water water everywhere and not a drop to drink. That’s how I feel most days. I’m sure I sound like a drama queen, but I’m really not a fan of water unless it’s really cold and I’m really hot. But as I learned five years ago, dehydration sucks. So does a kidney infection. Lately, I’ve been forcing myself to drink at least 64 ounces a day, so that means getting creative.

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Love shaking up some limeade in this cup!

Sip herbal tea to reap some of the benefits. Try sparkling water with a splash of lemon or lime and teaspoon of stevia, add a few drops of essential oil, or even try it with a little salt. Yes. Salt, lime…and tequila!

2. You’re Not Tracking Your Food

I’m definitely an advocate for tracking every bite and drink you have. Why? Because you need to see if what you eat has any bearing on the scale or how you’re feeling. Does broccoli cause bloat? (It does for me.) Maybe you need to switch to a different veggie, like cucumber. Did your weight increase after that brownie sundae with whipped cream? (Most times one little “cheat” won’t hurt you.) Track everything – even that stray grape or cracker or bite of your kid’s chicken nugget. It all adds ups and most likely, you don’t realize how much you’re actually eating in one day.

You don’t have to get fancy for this – the notes app on your phone or a dollar store journal will be fine. But if you are looking for something with an easy to follow outline, I recommend this one.

3. You Have a Desk Job

I’ve been sitting on my ass for going on 8 years now. Landed my first desk job in September 2010 and haven’t looked back. Recently, I did a little research on the correlation between sitting and health. Did you know that even if you live actively outside of your 9 to 5, you are still at risk for health problems including diabetes and heart disease? Not to mention all of the office temptations that lead you to nibble ALL DAY LONG.

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Remember last year’s Ice Cream Soda day? My department has food days ALL. THE. TIME.

The best way to combat this 9 to 5 fatigue is by taking breaks. I like to get up at least once an hour and stretch my legs. Walk to the break room, fill up your water bottle, or go outside and soak up the sunshine. I also enjoy taking trips to my library right down the road.

4. You Have a Love Affair with Sugar

Sugar is addicting. It just tastes so, so good. In brownies and ice cream and cake and, well, everything. You eat and then overeat because you’re hooked on the sweet stuff. Sugar is sneaky too. It hides everywhere. The third ingredient in Hidden Valley Ranch is sugar. That’s what makes it so difficult to do a Whole30 or sugar detox – you have to read ALL the labels. Even if it’s something you think wouldn’t or shouldn’t have sugar. Like salad dressing. Watch out for all of those other sugars in disguise too – maple syrup, agave, honey, dextrose, fructose – the list goes on.

I’d recommend that everyone do a Sugar Detox to wean themselves off the bad stuff. It’s only 21 days (the time it takes to foster new habits) and is very realistic and attainable. Otherwise, just read your labels and limit your sugar consumption. Women are only supposed to have 25 grams or 6 teaspoons per day; 37.5 grams or 9 teaspoons for men. How many are in that pumpkin spice latte you just ordered?

5. You’re Stressed

Oh, good ol’ stress. There are two types – good stressors and bad ones. The bad ones – like feeling anxious about an exam or a typical day at work – can make you demolish a whole pint of Cherry Garcia in one sitting. The good – like a new baby or a raise – also usually result in food celebrations including cake and alcohol (for the latter, of course). Cortisol, the stress hormone, revs up that appetite, making you hungry for junk.

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My absolute favorite snack!

To combat stress, try taking a walk, drinking a cup of tea, lighting a candle (not at work), taking a bath (also not at work), or rubbing a drop of lavender essential oil on your temples. When all else fails, make sure you have some healthy snacks to indulge in, like a slice of power seed bread with almond butter and banana. Yum!

6. You’re Not Eating the Right Foods

I thought I was being healthy by swapping out white rice for brown, white pasta for corn and quinoa. Nope! Not for me. I recently learned that while I love carbs, they don’t love me. Just one cup of “healthy” brown rice has 45 grams of carbs. Yikes. It turns out that my body doesn’t even need that many carbs per DAY. Same is true with healthy fat. Avocado, almond butter, coconut milk, cheese – all good in moderation.

Do some experimenting to see what works for you. I notice a HUGE difference in my body when I avoid carb overload – more energy, clarity, and a little ring around my belly disappears. Tracking your food will help with this too (see reason #2).

7. You’ve Lost Sight of Your Goal

Failure happens when you lose sight of your goals. Remember the saying “out of sight out of mind”? It’s true. I’ve learned so much from following Mel Robin’s 5 Second Rule. Get things done when they are top of mind or you just won’t. It’s the same with your goals – when they aren’t top of mind, they just fall by the wayside. Then before you know it, you’re sitting at your desk snacking on peanut M&Ms, wondering how you got 20 pounds overweight. Duh, girl.

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Crushing those 2018 goals rn!

If you have a vision board, keep it visible. I just pinned mine to my cubical wall so I can be reminded of where I want to be by New Year’s Eve. You’ve still got 3.5 months to make shit happen. Get on it.

The Bottom Line: If you gained it, you can lose it. Please don’t get discouraged or wait until January 1st to restart. Today is the day to make a change one step at a time. You got this!

LIIFT4 Sneak Peek!

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Photo property of Beachbody, LLC

DISCLOSURE: This post contains affiliate links. I will receive a commission if you purchase from Beachbody via my links. Please do not feel obligated to do so!

It feels like I’ve been waiting months to try LIIFT4. Oh wait. I have.

You see, the program actually did a soft launch in July and those who were dying to try it could purchase a challenge pack or a opt for a one-time BOD early access fee. I just decided to wait with the rest of the world and take full advantage of the FREE launch in October.

But the more I see the awesome results people have been getting from LIIFT4, the more I’m excited to try it for myself.

What, exactly, is LIIFT4?

An awesome combination of weight training and high-intensity cardio. It will get you shredded in record time. Over the course of eight weeks, you’ll workout 4 times a week for less than 40 mins a day. On off days you can choose another workout or swap in the two stretch workouts Joel has created. You’ll use weights and also have the option of resistance bands.

I was able to try out a sample LIIFT4 workout. It was fun, but definitely kicked my butt. But 30 minutes a day, 4 times a week? Count me in!

The Trainer

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Photo property of Beachbody, LLC

Joel Freeman – Elite personal trainer and co-creator of Core de Force. I would love the chance to meet Joel. He’s super motivational, down to earth, and makes the workouts fun.

Nutrition

Nothing’s a secret about the nutrition plan as of today – it’s all on BOD. You’ll use the Portion Fix Containers and can incorporate Shakeology and the Beachbody Performance Line. If you’re looking to build serious muscle, add more containers. It’s that easy! There’s also a vegan plan if you’re so inclined.

One thing that separates this program from the rest is the weekly optional cheat day. On Sunday (or another day before a working day) indulge in a brownie, beer, or even some Halo Top. Just don’t go overboard. Fun stuff!

It goes without saying, but make sure you are drinking plenty of water during the workouts and throughout the day – at least half of your body weight. It will cut down on hunger and keep you hydrated. You might even consider adding Beachbody Performance Hydrate into your routine (it’s like a healthier Gatorade). I also love Beachbody Performance Energize to get that jumpstart before the workout even begins.

Since the program is pretty rigid, Sunday meal prep will help you stay on track. Even if you just make meal starters to help you with dinners throughout the week, you will be one step ahead.

The Results

Right now this is one of the newest programs and it has a ton of hype surrounding it (like all Beachbody programs). Joel has even said you can “train hard, get results, and still have a life.” Now, that’s my kind of program. To be honest, it’s a challenge to fit in long workouts like in 80 Day Obsession

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Photo property of Beachbody, LLC

Bottom Line: Beachbody claims that LIIFT4 will transform your body in just 8 weeks. It’s a bold claim considering there are only 4 working days. However, participants are encouraged to do other workouts on off days. I’m thinking Country Heat and running will be good for me.  I approve of the the back-to-basics simple nutrition and workouts, and I’m hoping I love this just as much as SHIFT SHOP!

In all, I seriously can’t wait until October 1st!

 

 

I know you know, but I have to say it anyway…always consult your doctor before beginning an intense exercise, fitness, and/or diet program.

Visit teambeachbody.com for more information on programs or sign up for Beachbody On Demand to try out a sample LIIFT4 workout!

Back to Basics

DISCLOSURE: This post contains affiliate links. I will receive a commission if you purchase from Beachbody via my links. Please do not feel obligated to do so!

Anyone else sick of being sick and tired? Come on, raise your hands.

This time last year I was wrapping up my first round of Shift Shop, a mind-body workout program that would change the way I thought about exercise. I felt AMAZING afterward and even lost over six pounds and nine inches. That’s huge.

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Last year’s results.

Then, like it always does, life happened. I’m not sure how I lost my groove, but I did. Even though I was working out every day, I just wasn’t feeling it. I’d wake up, struggle through whatever program I was doing, and leave the house in a pretty foul mood.

Let That SHI(F)T Go

Last month I came back from vacation with a renewed sense of self, a greater appreciation for life, and a more positive outlook for the future. I was so tired of being jealous of other people’s accomplishments and progress and was looking for a fresh start.

I decided to turn to my good pal Chris Downing, creator of Shift Shop to help me get my groove back. It’s been the one program that produces consistently amazing results for me – when I stick with it. It challenges me to my absolute limits, but always lets me know that “I can do hard things.”

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I guess I really like these leggings…

For those not familiar with the program, the workouts follow a ramp-up schedule, which means each week they increase by time and intensity. The nutrition plan incorporates the Portion Fix containers ass a guide. A simple formula can help you figure out how many of each container you get per day. My plan is based on a 1,200-1,499 calorie diet.

K.I.S.S. (Keep it simple, sweetie)

This year I learned one of the most critical nutrition lessons: don’t let someone else dictate your meal plan. Everyone tells you how you “should do” this or “should try” that. It drives me freakin’ nuts. There’s keto and vegan and gluten-free and paleo…and I could be here all day listing all of the different diets and ways of eating.

Every source says they have the secret. They promise you’ll lose 10 pounds in 10 days or some other crap to get you to buy a book or a program. Meanwhile, on day two, you’re sitting on your couch eating mint chocolate chip ice cream out of the carton with a spoon. I can’t be the only one.

We overcomplicate everything instead of just taking a little time to see what works for us. Here’s how I found the right plan for me.

First, I had to identify the problem. For me, it was snacking at work. I’m a HUGE snacker (as if you couldn’t have guessed by the name). On the weekends I’m lucky if I even get in two full meals. But during the week? I’m scouting the vending machines for peanut m&ms, kettle chips, and pretzels.

Next, I had to understand why I always wanted to stuff my face. Boredom and stress are huge factors with this one, but so is being nutrient deficient. FYI honey nut cheerios is NOT part of a well-balanced breakfast.

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Shakes are just TOO easy.

Then, I had to build more satisfying meals. I decided to modify the Shift Shop meal plan to create something easier, affordable, and more sustainable.

My Secret Sauce

  • 4 substantial meals, instead of the suggested 6
  • All food eaten between 9 am and 7 pm (most days, anyway)
  • Purple (fruit) and yellow (carb) containers are limited to one per day, eaten before noon
  • Dairy limited as much as possible (some yogurt and cheese okay)

Here’s an example of a menu that keeps me FULL all day:

Meal 1: protein shake w/ veggies & fruit
Meal 2: two hard-boiled eggs, 1/2 sweet potato, cucumber & tomato salad
Meal 3: kale salad w/ tuna, and summer vinaigrette
Meal 4: chicken stir fry

The Power of Habit

It takes 21 days to form a habit, and it helps to have a set routine that you can commit to daily.

Each day I wake up between 5:00 and 5:10 am, shake up my pre-workout, and head downstairs to the gym. Depending on the length of my workout, I’ll have anywhere from 30-60 minutes to spend reading, meditating, or praying, while sipping my pre-workout. Then it’s time to bang out my workout, foam roll, shower, and get ready for the day.

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My daily devotional.

I absolutely love my routine and the quiet of it all. It helps me set good intentions for the day, and it’s something I can repeat daily.

Final Thoughts

Sometimes you just need to take a step back, assess where you are in life, and make some positive and lasting changes. When you arrive at a peaceful and grateful state, everything just feels…better. Of course, life will always have its ups and downs, but we’ll be in a better place to handle challenges. We only get one life, and it’s better when we’re happy.

If you’re interested in trying Shift Shop, click here.

Peace, Love, Zen

DS

Obsessed – Phase 3

It’s all fun and games until it’s not fun anymore. These last four weeks have been pretty tough to say the least. But I’ve been looking forward to writing this post because I need to tell you that I was wrong. Hey, it happens. I was wrong when I thought I was falling in love with 80 Day Obsession. When I thought it was my new favorite program. Well, after almost 80 days, I can honestly tell you, this one is NOT for me.

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Awesome calorie burn doing Country Heat!

I realized this at the beginning of Phase 3. I wasn’t passionate enough to want to wake up early and get it done. I struggled through every workout, every move. I just wasn’t feelin’ it. So I ended up switching to a combination of SHIFT SHOP, Core de Force, A Little Obsessed and Country Heat. I can dance my heart out – almost 700 calories – and still want more. In fact, I’ve been consistently working out for an hour by doubling up on the above programs. These four get me excited about fitness. They are my obsession.

Why am I telling you I failed?

I’m writing this for the people who feel like they have to push through, so that they can say they finished. It’s okay to give up (if that’s what you want to call it). It’s okay to say “this isn’t for me” and move on. I gave it a fair chance. Most people love 80 Day or say they do. Not me. And you don’t have to either. 22 Minute Hard Corps wasn’t for me, but I have a friend who does it EVERY DAY. To each their own. Country Heat is my #1, but I have a friend who can’t stand country music. To. Each. Their. Own.

So, yeah, I wanted to be better than ever in Phase 3. It didn’t happen with 80 Day, but it happened with workouts in general. I don’t feel like I gave up, because I’m still working out 6-7 days a week. I don’t feel like I gave up because I’m still doing hard things. I don’t feel like I gave up because I still wake up at 5 am and push through when I really don’t want to. Essentially, I am better.

Nutrition

There were two Refeed Days in this phase – that’s an opportunity to pad your diet with a few extra carbs. It’s by no means a cheat day. I really deviated from the eating plan during this phase by cutting out some of the fruits and veggies and including wo new supplements from GHOST . If you want more information on the eating plan, check out my Phase 1 post.

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GHOST supplements are fun and effective.

Weekly Obsession

While I may not be crazy about this program, I still think this show is the highlight of 80 Day. It was fun learning about how the crew pics out their outfits and seeing their progress over the last few weeks. They should definitely do this for each new program that launches. Joel Freeman – I’m talking to you!

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These Weight Watchers approved 2-ingredient bagels are soooo good!

Equipment

  • Weights
  • Resistance Loops
  • Sliders
  • Yoga Mat (optional, but encouraged if you work out on hard surfaces)
  • Towel (for all that sweat!)

The Workouts

We work out six days a week, and Sunday is a rest day with the option to do a Roll & Release or Stretch & Release workout. Or, if you’re like me and can’t sit still, you’ll use this as an opportunity to dance and belt out some tunes with the other side of Autumn in Country Heat. (Still true.)

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Trail mix is an easy to grab post-workout snack.

There is no music in the background, but there are designated playlists on Spotify that you can stream during your workout. I choose to do without, but I heard she had some pretty interesting music for the booty workouts.

Mondays – AAA

Arms, Abs, and Ass was okay. I loved some of the moves (Bridge Pullovers) and hated others (Camel Bicep Curl). It kept me engaged for the time, but I wasn’t looking forward to doing it again. Very different from the previous two phases.

Tuesdays – Cardio Flow

Cardio Flow grew on me a bit. We were back to four reps, which was nice. What wasn’t were the eight rounds of everything at the end. Surprise!

Wednesdays – Legs

I liked this day the best. Some of the moves were a little complicated – I’m not that coordinated during the day, but at 5 am? Forget it. I’m still proud of myself for lifting 20s. I never imagined that I’d be strong enough for that, and counting. I wish all of the Phase 3 workouts had been this good.

Thursdays – Total Body Core

Well, this one wasn’t horrible either. ½ Turkish Get Up to Push-Up – this move was crazy. I was feeling it all over when this routine was finished.

Fridays – Cardio Core

Cardio Core was tough, but I liked it more this phase. It challenged my body and I love that. I love proving to myself just how strong I really am. I still think you feel the burn from this one two days later. Beware.

Saturdays – Booty

I was NOT feeling Booty day this phase, no sir. My balance was off, my bands rolled up, and it just wasn’t fun for me. I was disappointed that this ended up being the Saturday workout because I always have more time to dedicate on the weekends.

The Trainer

Autumn Calabrese – Celebrity Fitness Trainer, creator of Country Heat, the 21 Day Fix and 21 Day Fix extreme, co-creator of Hammer & Chisel, author of the Fixate cookbook and cohost of Fixate on BOD. Whoa, that’s a lot of stuff! While I love many of her other programs, I found her a bit too chatty and distracting during Phase 3.

The Results – Phase 3

I see definition and booty gains. On the one hand, I can fit into a skirt that has been sadly hanging in the back of my closet for half a decade now, just waiting for me. On the other, I can’t fit into my everyday jeans. Go figure. I think my body is just re-proportioning.

I gained about 3 lbs of muscle and feel more solid in my thighs and arms. Toned. It’s nice and makes me want to work harder for more muscle gains – something I was always afraid of in the past.

Maybe I didn’t stick with 80 Day, but I’m proud of myself for pushing myself and working out harder than I ever have before. I hope that this inspires others to do what works for them, not get sucked into the current hype or program of the moment.

I’ve been on this fitness journey for years now, but I’ve never felt so comfortable and confident in my abilities. I’m strong, and I got this. So do you – no matter what program or exercises you’re doing.

 

 

Visit teambeachbody.com for more information on programs, to sign up for Beachbody On Demand, and to request me as your FREE coach! (Note: I will receive a commission from any purchase made through these Beachbody links – see Disclaimer for more information.)

I know you know, but I have to say it anyway…Always consult your doctor before beginning an exercise, fitness, and/or diet program.

Obsessed – Phase 2

“You can do hard things” has taken over my life, and I’m so okay with that! I managed to keep kicking ass on the long weekend I spent in Canada, after I had a hard day at work, and even after shoveling way too much snow. But I was down for the count for four days after falling stomach ill in week 7. I wouldn’t wish that pain on anyone – okay maybe my high school history teacher because he was a real shit, but I digress.

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I absolutely hated that I had to pause the workouts for so long – especially ones that are specific to each day. It felt like I was giving up and giving into my weakness. In hindsight, it was just what I needed to recover and be better than EVER in Phase 3.

10K training also starts this month, so I will be back on it in no time. There’s no shame in self-care. I repeat: there is NO shame in self-care.

Nutrition

There were two Refeed Days in this phase – that’s an opportunity to pad your diet with a few extra carbs. It’s by no means a cheat day. I refrained from this because my tum-tum has been out of whack. Still sticking to Plan B as much as possible. For more information on the eating plan, check out my Phase 1 post.

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These came in handy when I physically couldn’t stand to cook.

Weekly Obsession

This show is still the highlight of the program. I love learning more and more about the cast each week. Richardson is my favorite character – what an infectious personality he has! Each week I felt like Autumn was talking to me, specifically. She is such a real and down-to-earth person. I would love to be one of her background cast members one day.

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Equipment

  • Weights
  • Resistance Loops
  • Sliders
  • Yoga Mat (optional, but encouraged if you work out on hard surfaces)
  • Towel (for all that sweat!)

The Workouts

We work out six days a week, and Sunday is a rest day with the option to do a Roll & Release or Stretch & Release workout. Or, if you’re like me and can’t sit still, you’ll use this as an opportunity to dance and belt out some tunes with the other side of Autumn in Country Heat.

There is no music in the background, but there are designated playlists on Spotify that you can stream during your workout. I choose to do without, but I heard she had some pretty interesting music for the booty workouts.

Mondays – Booty

Still loving booty day! Who knew an hour with weights and loops could be so fun? I can already see a heart forming! I really love the after burn from this one, and I finally pushed over 500 cals.

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Boom. Booty.

Tuesdays – Cardio Core

Ugh. Cardio Core. Just kidding! The Phase 2 routine was a lot more favorable, in my opinion. Just when I thought we had one more set to go, we were actually done. The slider moves were a little tough, but I loved them so. You always feel this one two days later.

Wednesdays – Total Body Core

This one’s great because it really does work the ENTIRE body. I don’t think there’s been a TBC workout I didn’t like. Hoping that Phase 3 is just as good.

Thursdays – Legs

I still enjoy leg day – even when I’m lifting 20lb weights. Yes, weights with an “s.” I’m really proud of myself for lifting so heavy, especially with a bad shoulder and knees. It might be a small feat for some, but it’s a huge accomplishment for me.

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Getting stronger.

Fridays – AAA

Arms, Abs, and Ass was totally intimidating. I took one look at the tracker sheets and wondered how the hell I was going to do it. Then it got going and I found another workout to love. The lesson here – you are stronger than you think.

Saturdays – Cardio Flow

Yikes! Cardio Flow is still not my favorite. Six reps is no joke, but we are going back to four next phase, so that should be a cake walk!

The Trainer

Autumn Calabrese – Celebrity Fitness Trainer, creator of Country Heat, the 21 Day Fix and 21 Day Fix extreme, co-creator of Hammer & Chisel, author of the Fixate cookbook and cohost of Fixate on BOD. Whoa, that’s a lot of stuff! She’s a doll, and her upbeat attitude and tough love approach will motivate you to finish every rep and bonus round.

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Energize and BOD are my JAM!

The Results – Phase 2

It’s always about the weight loss – seriously, the scale really holds us prisoner. In all honesty, I step on the scale about once a week, if that. Yes, it’s important that I keep my weight at a decent number and BMI, but I always remind myself that (1) muscle weighs more than fat and (2) weight fluctuates constantly. Non-scale victories are the true wins. Are you sleeping better? Are your jeans looser? Do you have more energy and stamina?

That being said, I lost about 4.75″ in my problem area – love handles/hips/thighs. In previous posts I’ve talked about losing weight with clean eating and exercise. In fact, I’ve remained under 130lbs since January and it feels ahhhmazing! I’m proud of myself for picking right back up after my illness because in the past I would have used the downtime as an excuse to continue being lazy.

I’m really going to be on my game in this last leg of the program. I’m taking vitamins, eating healthy, and visiting a GI doctor this week to make sure that I can fix whatever is going on with my stomach. Phase 3 – It’s just you and me!

Visit teambeachbody.com for more information on programs, to sign up for Beachbody On Demand, and to request me as your FREE coach! (Note: I will receive a commission from any purchase made through these Beachbody links – see Disclaimer for more information.)

I know you know, but I have to say it anyway…Always consult your doctor before beginning an exercise, fitness, and/or diet program.

Obsessed – Phase 1

“You can do hard things” has become my mantra over the last four weeks. In fact, I’ve even decided to get a decal printed for my soon to be renovated basement gym.

I’ve been known to quit things – or, I guess more accurately, lose interest – when things get tough. But not this year. This year I decided to do things that scare the shit out of me, and I’m happily checking them off as I go. Next up – completion of 80Day Obsession (80DO) and 10k Training.

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So, 80DO. Holy Shit it’s hard. I thought I was fit – I did Shift Shop, Core de Force, 21 DFX. But I was not 80DO fit. That’s some other level fit. However challenging the last 26 working days have been, I survived and I know the rest of you did too!

Nutrition

By now all of the Beachbody programs use the same container breakdowns in some way. While 80DO is really it’s own plan with timed nutrition, reefed, and deplete days, you still use the Portion Fix containers as a guide. A simple formula can help you figure out how many of each container you get per day. My plan (A) is based on a 1,200-1,499 calorie diet. However this time it didn’t feel like enough food, so I ended up bumping up to Plan B, which allows for one more fruit, carb, and teaspoon per day. This plan can also be designed around a vegan lifestyle.

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Can you believe this is approved?

Let’s talk about that timed nutrition for a minute. Not only does Autumn tell you how many of each container to eat daily, but she also tells you WHEN to eat them. This is huge because eating the right foods at the right times will help you recover and build those beautiful muscles! Eat every 2-3 hours, with 4-5-hour workout block, specifically formulated to increase performance and aid in recovery.

Weekly Obsession

This show, which is like the fitness version of The Real World, highlights some of the drama, fun moments, and bloopers of the upcoming week. We get to know the cast as they progress and struggle along with us. Scripted or not, I actually look forward to watching this every Saturday because I know exactly what to expect and when I’ll need to push myself harder.

Equipment

  • Weights
  • Resistance Loops
  • Sliders
  • Yoga Mat (optional, but encouraged if you work out on hard surfaces)
  • Towel (for all that sweat!)

The Workouts

We work out six days a week, and Sunday is a rest day with the option to do a Roll & Release or Stretch & Release workout. Or, if you’re like me and can’t sit still, you’ll use this as an opportunity to dance and belt out some tunes with the other side of Autumn in Country Heat.

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I love a good calorie burn – but resistance workouts are necessary too!

There is no music in the background, but there are designated playlists on Spotify that you can stream during your workout. I chose to do without for Phase 1, but I heard she had some pretty interesting music for the booty workouts.

Mondays – Total Body Core

This is the perfect Monday workout. It’s an hour long, but definitely flies by. It’s challenging and gets your body moving right away. I may or may not have thought my arms were going to break in week 4, but I survived to type my heart away! I always burn upwards of 400 calories with this one, and it hurts so good.

Tuesdays – Booty

My absolute favorite day. California, here I come! Man are those resistance loops tough. I’ve only used a light loop in Brazil Butt Lift, but nothing compares to the last 4 Booty workouts from 80DO. By the second to last rep, I have to push myself to finish, and by the end, I can barely do anything but sit on my mat with my knees pulled up to my chest. That’s how you know it was a good workout. Actually, right now I’m wondering how I’m going to work out this week when it hurts to sit down (insert crying face emoji).

Wednesdays – Cardio Core

Oh boy. I was not a fan of Cardio Core. This is not one I would recommend doing upon waking because “jumping rope” is just too much to handle. Essentially this is a series of 3-minute HIIT followed by ab exercises. The only equipment you need are sliders, but by the time you get to them, you will be FEELING IT!

Thursdays – AAA

Arms, Abs, and Ass. Yup, I can say that – even if Autumn can’t! I love this workout because it literally works everything. You use the sliders, weights, and loops for this one. You work the negatives – count one when contracting and then three to get out of it. Yikes! Feel the burn. Not a huge calorie burner, but its mainly about resistance.

Fridays – Legs

Raise your hand if you love leg day? Can you see both of mine in the air?? Our legs have some of the strongest muscles, so we can work them hard and heavy. I love these exercises that surprisingly only include weights. Get ready to squat and lunge until your legs shake and don’t be afraid to lift heavy weights – you got this. At the end of these workouts, I noticed how ripped my arms looked. Swimsuit season, here I come.

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Seriously, though – look at those gains!

Saturdays – Cardio Flow

This sounds like yoga, but is NOTHING like it. And that kind of made me happy because as much as I try to like yoga, it is sooooo hard for me to relax and find the zen zone. This workout is a series of 10 exercises that are put together in progressions, starting with inchworms and ending with mule to frog. Don’t be fooled by the short workout time – you will be breathless by the end. I always dreaded this one, but it was actually pretty fun once I got into the groove. At first I was excited to ditch this workout in Phase 2, but nope! We’re keeping it and bumping up the reps from 4 to 6. Now that will be a challenge!

The Trainer

Autumn Calabrese – Celebrity Fitness Trainer, creator of Country Heat, the 21 Day Fix and 21 Day Fix extreme, co-creator of Hammer & Chisel, author of the Fixate cookbook and cohost of Fixate on BOD. Whoa, that’s a lot of stuff! She’s a doll, and her upbeat attitude and tough love approach will motivate you to finish every rep and bonus round.

The Results – Phase 1

I know the part you’re curious about – the pounds and inches lost. But let me first say that it’s not all about the scale. Yes, it’s important that I keep my weight at a decent number and BMI, but I always remind myself that (1) muscle weighs more than fat and (2) weight fluctuates constantly.

That being said, I lost about 3″ in my problem area – my hips and thighs. In previous posts I’ve talked about losing weight with clean eating and exercise. In fact, I’m down over 6lbs since January 1st! I am so proud of myself for being consistent and never missing a workout. Even when I woke up late, took weekend trips, wasn’t feeling it, or had a blazing headache, I got it done. Sometimes at 11pm.

I’m really pushing myself to work harder than I ever have before, to have self-control when it comes to eating all the things, and to inspire others to do the same. I’ve been on this fitness journey for years now, but I’ve never felt so comfortable and confident in my abilities. I’m strong, and I got this. Phase 2 – I’m here to CRUSH you!

 

 

I know you know, but I have to say it anyway…Always consult your doctor before beginning an exercise, fitness, and/or diet program.

The start of something new

New Year, New Me, right? To be honest, I hate that we always wait until the new year to start losing weight, looking for a new job, paying off debt, or [insert other goal here]. It’s so cliché.

But, maybe it isn’t.

Friday was my last workday of 2017. I spent much of the time finishing my annual self-assessment, cleaning out my old files, ending promotions, and literally wiping away all of 2017’s mess. When I go back tomorrow, I’ll have a blank canvas to begin again. New promos, new invoices, new goals. It’s a fresh start.

Whatever your beliefs, today – Monday – the start of a new week AND a new year, is a chance to begin again (after you pigged out and drained your bank accounts during the holidays, of course).

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My 2018 Vision Board

My only real goal for this year is to do things that scare me – get out of my comfort zone. For me, that’s a HUGE one with many layers.

See, I’m an introvert. I hate any public speaking or presentations; my palms get sweaty when I walk into a room with more than ten people, even if I know them. I’m perfectly content curling up on my sofa with a good book, cozy blanket, and cup of peppermint tea. Just add ten cats, and I’ll be living the dream!

But seriously, if I do this, I know good things will follow.

I’m starting the year with two tangible goals – Complete a 21-Day Sugar Detox and a round of 80-Day Obsession.

Why these?

21-Day Sugar Detox

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Chili Lime Nut Mix & Buffalo Chicken Egg Muffins. Yum!

To start, sugar is everywhere – even in sauces, salad dressings, and other pantry items you would not expect.
Then, there are my headaches. In addition to getting married, buying a house, and moving, part of the reason why I was MIA in November/December was that my chronic headaches/migraines resurfaced with a vengeance. One brutal one lasted ten, yes TEN, days. And I can’t take it anymore. When I feel poorly every day, life is just miserable.

I think this detox, which also eliminates legumes and dairy, and is paleo-friendly, could be the beginning of something good – at least I’ll be able to identify any food triggers that may be contributing to the pain.

So, I planned out my first week of meals, made up my grocery list, and I’m starting TODAY. (I just had a delicious breakfast of buffalo chicken egg muffins [pictured above], avocado, and almonds.) No more excuses. I had to go to four local stores and Amazon to get all of the ingredients I needed, so I’m not taking this lightly.

Will it be hard? Hell, yes. But I’m up for the challenge.

80-Day Obsession

20171220_205559576134467.pngI may be fit, but lately, I haven’t been 100% happy with my body, my stamina, or my mood. It seems like after every fitness challenge I do, I revert to the “old me,” and that’s just not good enough anymore.

January 15th, I’m starting a new Beachbody program that scares the shit out of me. It’s an 80-day commitment (6 days a week for 13 weeks) that will challenge me both mentally and physically. High-intensity workouts will focus on the abs and butt (perfect for the beach!), and it’s just what I need right now.

It’s going to take a lot of planning and effort, but it will be worth it. When the program wraps up in April, I’ll be a different person – one who isn’t afraid to set hard or scary goals and conquer them. I might even be a push-up master by then.

Spoiler Alert: 80DO is apparently filled with all types of push-ups. Scary!

Will it be hard? Without a doubt. But, I got this.

To learn more about this program and see if it’s something that might interest you, click here.

FitBook Lite20171231_0941291589829603.pngI’ll be tracking my daily progress with a FitBook – fitness planner. It’s always a challenge for me to be consistent with this, so I’m starting out with the FitBook Lite, which is a 6-week version instead of the usual twelve.

There’s room for tracking measurements, food intake and how you felt after each meal, water, workouts, positive thoughts, and more.

I’ll also be posting weekly progress updates here – I’m committed. And when both programs are over, you’ll get the full run-down.

Why not make 2018 your healthiest year yet?