Showing posts with label Insanity. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Insanity. Show all posts

My Insanity Program - A Review

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Since starting the program two months ago, I have been more conscious of what foods pass my lips, how much water I consume, and how much exercise I get. I absolutely have loved the program and recommend it to anyone telling me they need to get into shape. Although I am sad at the fact that it is over, I am considering restarting it within a few weeks and trying to lose the rest of the fat I still have lugging around me. For now, I am enjoying the morning runs since I get the exercise out of the way and I have my afternoons after work to myself. Here is my review on the program.

My Personal Pros
The biggest thing that I gained from this program is my consumption of water has increased. This was such a struggle for me since I never knew exactly how much to consume, and never tracked how much I do drink. Since starting this program and being more conscious of what I put into my body, I now drink LOTS of water daily! Increasing my water intake has also helped my skin clear up, and I noticed a reduction of acne scarring on my face!

The Insanity program was very well structured. Each workout started with a warm up (even though at the beginning it felt like a workout on its own), a stretch, the main workout and a cool down. The schedule was different each day, which is what I love. I don't like repetition, since repetition is when I begin to slowly lose focus and quit. Each workout had it's own focus, whether it was cardio, strength or endurance. I loved that I felt the burn each day, since I know I worked out hard!

Month one is a little less challenging than month two. Don't get me wrong - both months are insane! But the workout videos in month one are only 30 minutes and expand to an hour in month two. Month one really helps prepare your body for the insane and hard-core workouts in month two.

Because I have gotten used to exercising regularly (and Shaun T's motto "dig deeper"), I now push myself and just know I have to exercise if I haven’t done anything physical for a day or two. I just feel so blah if I took a day or two off and sat around doing nothing. Sometimes doing nothing feels good, but after a day of taking “time off” I need to!

My Personal Cons
This program is a 6-day a week program, with only one day of rest. When I first began, I felt so exhausted every day! Committing an hour after a long day of work to hard-core cardio was tough on my body and my social life. I needed to find a time that worked for me, since I found myself putting plans down with friends, and I was physically tired from the exercise by the time I went to bed. However, within a couple of weeks I got into a schedule and have not felt exhausted or tired from working out.

The diet was also tough on me. I learned a lot from the nutrition guide, however I knew it wasn't for me. At first I tried eating less carbs and sugar to help me lose weight and fat. However, after avoiding sugar intake for two weeks, I felt very irritable and cranky and knew that I wouldn’t be able to get used to it. So while I did still have a slice of cake or a square of chocolate a day, I knew that I can only have one small serving per day.

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Most importantly, the biggest thing I have gained is confidence. Confidence in how I dress, how I look and how I represent myself. And the best thing of all? I am very HAPPY with how I look in my swim suit I bought for motivation to keep going. I can jump for joy all day long in it!

Insanity Program - Week 9 Update (Final)

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Well, I am officially done the Insanity 60-day program! What an adventure and a great experience it was for me! I was never able to devote my energy and time into completing or even starting any such program, but the motivation that I started with was strong throughout and I am so proud of myself and happy with the results!

I have to admit one thing, however. The past two weeks I barely did the workouts. It was mostly the combination of warm weather and wanting to go biking or for a run instead of being cooped up inside that kept me from doing the workouts. I think in the future, if and when I start this program up again I will definitely be doing it before the warm weather kicks in (like March/April or October/November).

Throughout the entire 60 days, I committed myself to only cooking healthy meals and trying to avoid eating out as much as possible. It was a success, and I have found myself eating more fruits and veggies and being more conscious as to what food passes my lips. This was great training to help me eat better and choose healthier options, which is something I will continue to follow. However, Friday night we went out to Harvey's and I ate my first burger in months. And in all honesty, my body was so used to eating clean and healthy that my body actually hurt after (mostly my stomach). I don't think I will eat any more fast food for a very long time!

Fitness-wise, I have never felt this healthy in what seems like my whole life! I can run long distances and can keep up with Insanity (well...more than I was able to when I first started the program). I have lost a total of 2% body fat, 4 inches around my hips/waist and 3 pounds. You can tell that my pants have become looser around the hip area, which is awesome! I need to go buy a new pair of yoga pants :)

Also my stomach has shrunk down a bit as well. I need to work out a little bit more of the stomach area to expose more muscle, because I can feel the muscle hiding underneath the fat. But I think one more Insanity program and I can get there! :)

I will provide a quick review of the program in a couple days, along with what I found to be some of the pros and cons.

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Catch up on my previous updates:

Insanity Program - Week 8 Update

Friday, June 21, 2013

Month two - where have you gone?! Only one more week left of my workout program. I am super excited to be done! Not only did I accomplish my goal of working out (almost) every day to get my body into summer shape, I also proved to myself that I could do it! I honestly didn't think I would have the drive to keep going after the second week. And here I am, on my eight week, and still going strong!

This week was more of an intense week than previous weeks. I started jogging Monday morning with an Insanity workout at night. However, by Tuesday night and Wednesday I could barely walk. My muscles were too sore from my Monday and Tuesday morning jogs that I just couldn't bring myself to do Insanity Tuesday night or Wednesday. So this left me with two days of no insanity. Plus the Saturday craziness I had of running around and preparing for Father's Day barbecue left me with no time to work out.

Insanity did seem to really improve my cardio. I remember my running used to be more of a jog to the end of the driveway before major cramps kicked in. However, my regular workout sessions has really improved my cardio and resistance that I can keep jogging without the need to take breaks often. I was able to run a whole 1k Thursday! I am truly proud of myself (and my exercise-buddy friend!!).

I will give you all my last week of Insanity next week! Have a wonderful weekend!

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Catch up on my previous updates:

Insanity Program - Week 7 Update

Friday, June 14, 2013

This month is just flying past me! I have two weeks left (wow!), and I cannot believe just how fast it is going. I am really loving insanity, as insane as that may sound! :)

Month two seems to be easy-going for me. Don't get me wrong: it's still hard work! I am sweating more and more each day. But I think it is the fact that I have been doing this for the past month and a half now, and the protein drinks after my workout that help me get by . I make sure to drink a protein shake in the morning and after my workout at night. It really helps to heal my sore muscles and gives me an energy boost.

Because this week wasn't anything spectacular, there is nothing more for me to say other than the fact that I cannot wait to be done this 60-day program, since I am considering starting another 60-day program again after (after a break of course!).

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Catch up on my previous updates:

I will share my week 8 update next Friday. Have a great weekend and a Happy Father's Day!

Insanity Program - Week 5 and 6 Update

Friday, June 7, 2013

I am officially on my second month of the insanity program! I cannot believe just how much time flies! I am really in a good schedule right now, being able to balance working out, work, and free time. I now feel more organized, yay!

I took the recovery week as a partial week off. I ended up only working out two of the seven days. I was exhausted though from the first month, so it was a much needed break. Surprisingly month 2 is going great for me! I am sweating a lot more than during the exercises in month one. The videos are a mix of cardio and strength. Each workout video is about an hour long, as compared to 30 minutes during month one.

I have upped my intake of protein, since I knew that this month was going to be a tough one. I have definitely noticed the protein helping, since I am not as tired as during month 1. If I only knew back then! So now I am in-taking 60 grams of protein or more a day. I am not sure what the recommended level is for someone on the insanity program, but maybe I might increase it as the weeks go on.I am still cutting out sugar intake as much as I can, but have snuck in some ice cream this past weekend.

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Catch up on my previous updates:

I will share my week 7 update next Friday. Have a great weekend!

Insanity Program - Week 4 Update

Friday, May 24, 2013

Holy moly, I cannot believe I am done week 4 and about to start month 2! Time flies! I also cannot believe I stuck with it for this long. All those tiring nights, those lazy days, and those tasty temptations. But I stuck through it! And seeing that I only missed FIVE days from the entire month is pretty awesome! I guess I should have more confidence in myself and what I can accomplish!

I have to confess something. Due to the beautiful weather we had this past weekend, and the fact that it was a long weekend in Canada, I ended up skipping out on two exercise days. Yes, two. *sigh* But, if it makes you feel any better (since it makes me feel a bit better) - I didn't completely spend those days just sitting around. We were like busy bees this past weekend. We played tennis with our friends one afternoon, went for a long bike ride, and we worked on the garden - which I should add is a workout on its own especially since our soil is like cement, so loosening up the soil was a complete body workout. I woke up the next day completely sore!

I am starting to adapt to this new lifestyle. It has now become routine that I come home, eat dinner and then work out. No if's, and's or but's! I am trying to increase my sleep time as well, since I am just so exhausted every night. My body is still changing. My weight has stayed the same, but I am seeing more muscle around my legs and arms so I am hoping that I lost fat but gained muscle. I noticed my waistline, arms and thighs more toned and fit than what they used to be.

I am still consuming lots of protein daily, as well as drinking lots of water. I have really started to see my hunger drop. However, some days I would feel just so starved after my workouts that I have to eat something large or else I feel that uncomfortable sickening feeling. I am not really craving any "unhealthy" snacks or meals, so that is making this whole program a bit easier!

On a side note though, I have noticed my skin looking better and better each day. I think it's the amount of water I am drinking. I have a bit of scarring from my acne during my teenage years, so if I knew early on that LOTS of water consumption would help clear it up, I would've definitely chugged on more water.

So I know you are probably wondering what I look like a month later. Here they are!

Need to catch up? You can read my week 1, week 2 and week 3 updates!
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Next week, week 5, is the recovery week and then I jump into month two. I will give you all an update on week 6 instead. Have a great weekend!

Insanity Program - Week 3 Update

Friday, May 17, 2013

First off, thank you so much to all who have either emailed me or commented on my posts regarding my fitness program. It is great to hear encouraging words from you all, and I always love getting comments on my posts! It helps me keep going! I am at the end of my third week of my nine-week journey. It has been a bumpy journey, that's for sure!

Week three was a tough one for me. I definitely felt more muscle soreness this week, which many times made me think if I should rest until my muscles were better. However, the only day I took off this week was Tuesday, and that was to go bike riding instead (not as many calories burned, but still physical activity!).

I have been noticing lately that I have become more crankier than the other two weeks (sorry dear hubby!). I think it is a combination of little sleep (for some reason 7-8 hours is not enough for me nowadays!) and less sugar intake. I think this was my body crying out for some sugar and some sleep! I have {tried to} avoid anything with refined sugar all week. I snack on fruits or make smoothies when I have sugar cravings. Or I have been eating the sweet cinnamon flavoured CheeCha Puffs (yes they have sugar, but I limit myself to how much I consume, and sometimes I definitely needed it).

I have really started to increase my protein intake by eating more meat, cottage cheese, Greek yogurt and oatmeal. With MyFitnessPal, it is so super easy for me to see how much of proteins and nutrients I get in a day. Based on the daily reporting, I have noticed that my calorie intake is low as compared to the recommended caloric intake of 1790 (as per the nutritional guide calculator). I consume about 1500 on average a day. It is mostly from the fact that I am just not that hungry! I try to snack at work on yogurt or nuts, but I just feel so full. Not sure why this is happening. Maybe once I start month 2 I will be a lot hungrier. To give you an idea of what my meals look like, this is what I have been eating this week:

Breakfast (7am) - Oatmeal with strawberries and blueberries; or Apple Cinnamon Cheerios cereal with 2% milk. I would also bring some green tea in my Libre tea glass for work.

Snack (10am) - Cottage cheese; or vanilla Greek yogurt.

Lunch (12:30pm) - Leftovers: Homemade broccoli soup (recipe to be posted soon!); or homemade pizza (recipe to be posted soon!); or stuffed peppers

Snack (2pm) - Mixed nuts trail mix; or Activia yogurt; or fresh fruit (pineapple, strawberries, grapes, apples)

Dinner (5:30pm) - Homemade broccoli soup (recipe to be posted soon!); or homemade pizza (recipe to be posted soon!); or stuffed peppers; or grilled chicken with mashed potatoes and veggies.

Post-workout (8:30pm) - Fresh protein smoothie (sometimes I got hungry and had a bowl of cereal again instead of smoothie!)

I am also drinking lots of water a day!! I have read somewhere that you should drink half of your weight in ounces. So I try to do that as well by drinking about 70 oz a day, which is something I probably never did before! This is an easy one to keep track of for me during the days at work - I bring my Klean Kanteen stainless steel water bottle, which holds 27 oz, and I make sure to drink one bottle in the morning and one after lunch. Then I drink as much as I need when I get home and during my workouts.
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Catch up on my previous updates:

I will give you all a fourth week update next week! Have a great weekend!

I'm sharing my journey with the "Non-Scale Victories" linkup at KTJ Weighing In

Insanity Program - Week 2 Update

Friday, May 10, 2013

Last week I told you all that I was starting the Insanity 60-day workout program. This is the second week of my nine-week journey. The Insanity program is a cardio-based workout program that combines interval training with resistance training to help you burn calories, lose fat and increase body muscle and cardio fitness.

Being on week two, I can definitely feel myself becoming stronger - both in muscle and cardio. I can keep going all the way of each interval until the next rest break, and I can definitely feel my muscles getting stronger. However, I can also feel myself being more tired than usual. I think I will start to include more protein into my diet to help boost my energy as well as more sleep, which I think I am lacking. I ended up missing two days due to an injury, so that kind of sucked (being in the first week as well!). But I am determined that the next 7 weeks will go smooth.

I am also beginning to see changes, even after two weeks. I have lost two pounds so far and have definitely noticed some extra "space" in my pants and a getting-there flatter tummy. Because I work long days and my drive to work and back is a not-so-fun hour each way, the best time for me to work out is during my evenings. This way after dinner I am packed with energy and ready to go. It's also a great time for me since I can just shower and plop into bed!

I am not really following the Insanity nutrition program - it consists of a very high protein and fibre diet. However, I am trying to intake more protein and fibre with both  my meals and my smoothies. I have also been cutting sugar and sweets out of my diet (although I had a slice of cake this past weekend!). The guide also states to eat five meals a day, all of the same calorie count. I oftentimes don't get hungry to eat the two extra meals between my breakfast, lunch and dinner. Instead I opt for Greek yogurt, apples with peanut butter, nuts, or fruits. This way I am not starving myself before lunch or dinner and I am keeping up my food intake. I still have sweet cravings, but I satisfy them with either vanilla Greek yogurt or make a smoothie. I have really been into smoothies and shakes ever since I started my workout program, and am making one every day. I try to mix veggies with fruits for a sweet drink. I will share some of the recipes I have been experimenting recently with you all in the upcoming days!

Catch up on my previous update:

I will give you all a third week update next week! Have a great weekend!

Starting Out (Again)

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

If you have been following my blog, you know that I was trying to lose weight before my wedding in order to lose that extra "freshman-15" (or 20) that I gained throughout my undergraduate and graduate studies. You might also recall my fave workout routine is the Insanity workout program. But I have a confession to make - I have been slacking over the past two months and have been working out maybe a day or two at most while eating snacks in the evenings. Yes, I know, shame on me! And so I fear gaining all that weight I lost and lose all those muscles I gained last year.

So with the warm weather slowly (and I mean slowly...could it be any slower?!) approaching us, I decided to get my butt back in gear and get into exercising again. I work in an office setting all day long, so  you could imagine how much this might will have an effect on me over time. Research has shown the negative effects of sitting at your desk for prolonged periods of time. So if you sit all day long, make sure to schedule in some walking time!
Other than trying to move a little when I get home, I also want to get back into my beach bod! With Christmas and Easter waaay past us (thank goodness!) there are no more upcoming major holidays where eating and eating (....and eating) are considered a must! Which is why I am dedicating my next 60 days to the insanity workout program. Yes I am insane....but I am devoted to complete each day by the schedule provided and while I might not follow their nutrition guide, I will try to incorporate my own healthy dishes and snacks.

And what better way than to blog about it! This way, I am not lying to myself (which most often is the case!) and would feel a sort of "pressure" from you, my readers, to see how my progression is going! Plus I always love reading success stories or stories of people during their workout regime, so I hope to motivate at least one of you out there! Here is my month 1 schedule and what I have completed so far:

My hips/thighs and stomach are the worst problem areas. I have wide hip bones, so my hips are naturally bigger. But the extra fat on them is not natural! So I plan to slim down in this area as well as work on my tummy (and those dreaded muffin tops!) a bit more. I have never struggled with my weight, as I was always a normal weight to begin with. At 5'6", I was always in the 130-pound range. It was only the last 6 years of studying too much and working out too little that has made me gain 20 extra pounds. As a point of reference, this is what I am starting off with.

You can read my week 2 update here.

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I leave you with some motivation! Enjoy!
Note: This is not a sponsored post. All opinions expressed here are entirely my own!
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