Another Month Has Passed…

…and not much has been accomplished.

I’ve been lazy and there are plenty of excuses as to why I didn’t finish Phase III of P90X, but I won’t go into it. Lately, I feel more motivated to keep exercising and maintain a regular schedule.

For me, exercising everyday is almost too much for my body to handle, so I’m scaling back. I’ll be using the P90X DVDs, but I spacing the workouts to every other day. Sunday, I went on a  7 mile hike near the Griffith Observatory. It’s the second time hiking up there, but last time, it was a 5 mile hike. I was pretty exhausted and it definitely took a toll on my body. The view was pretty amazing and it’s kind of nice to step away from the metropolitan culture of L.A. and indulge in a little bit of “nature.”

Gosh, I’m really out of shape!

So yesterday, I did half of Yoga X because I don’t want to overdo it in the first week and knock myself out. So, I’ll start small again and build up from there. I’m starting over, but I’m going at my own pace.

As for food, I’ve been trying to keep things simple. I got pretty sick of eating oatmeal, so I had to find another alternative. This week, breakfast is natto and rice.

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Observations During YogaX

I have fallen off the wagon as I mentioned before but I did Yoga X today.

Being away from exercise for over a month takes its toll and it was very apparent during the session.

My arms were weaker so I did Cobra instead of Upward Dog. I relied on the yoga block more because my flexibility was slightly diminished and my wrists were achy from the pressure of Plank and Downward Dog. Though I did Bridge, I skipped Crane altogether. So YogaX was a kick in the pants for my neglect.

But I still love Yoga.

WHY?

  • All the turning, twisting, and stretching helps keep my bowels in check
  • The sweat clear my pores of toxins and makes me feel more refreshing
  • I’m building a strong, lean, and muscular frame from all the poses and positions
  • The more I do yoga in the long-term will help increase my flexibility and prevent injuries in future endeavors

Weekly Update III

Exercise Plan

For 5 days while my cousin was visiting, the only exercise I got was walking around town. Believe you me, this was a workout since we were on our feet for 10 hours+ a day. But on Wednesday, I started back up with P90X for Week 4 of Phase I, recovery week. I totally forgot that the exercises are different, so I did Chest & Back and Ab Ripper X the first day instead of Yoga X. But that’s alright, as long as I continue with the rest of the recovery exercises, I’ll be on track.

  • Chest & Back/Ab Ripper X: 20 reps for every exercise, 10 lb weights for weighted exercises, and 15 back flys. I used a green resistance band for the pull-ups. I must go lower on my push-ups and improve the form and quality of all my push-ups and pull-ups. For Ab Ripper X, I need to improve my leg climbs, but I did 100 Mason twists without weights.
  • Core Synergistics: much more difficult than I thought, didn’t do the bonus round (extra 5 mins) and used 5 lb weights for the weighted exercises.
  • Kenpo X: the balls of my feet were sore from core synergistics. As for the workout, I definitely needed the yoga mat to prevent me from slipping and sliding. I added more bounce to my step going through the workout to add intensity. Plus I kept a low horse stance (thanks to taiko) throughout the whole blocks section.
  • X Stretch: skipped and took a one hour walk along the beach
  • Core Synergistics: easier the second time around, skipped the bonus round and didn’t use any weights. The plank runs were killer.

Food Plan

Sure, I ate whatever I wanted while my cousin was here, but we shared a lot of the items I would usually have on my own. So, it definitely helped with portion control and we ate fairly healthy. Plus, once Wednesday came around, it was back to eating what I have stocked in my fridge. I was pretty tired and lazy after my cousin left so I made some ham, salsa, and guacamole quesadillas for a couple of meals. And since I bought a ton of fruit, I’ve been trying to finish them before they go bad!

Since I stocked my entire fridge with delicious healthy food hoping my cousin would help me eat it, (we only had 4 breakfasts and one dinner at my place) I have loads of food left. I’ve been hungrier than I usually am and I’ve been trying to eat more to stay full longer, but it’s still a hit or miss situation. Hopefully, I’ll get it down by next week so I’m not trying to eat everything all at once.

Weekly Update II

This was a great week to jump back into the swing of things however once my cousin arrived from overseas on Friday, I put an end to all my workouts as she’s staying with me for the next 5 days. It’s been fun having her around since she’s a doctor finishing up her specialty in endocrinology. So, taking her around has been quite taxing on my body without doing extra workouts and eating good food but in smaller portions is helping me maintain my current status.

Here’s a quick recap of my week:

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March Madness: Day 12

It’s Friday!

I’m in a baking mood, so I’m picking my up Bread Bible, looking for a recipe to try. I already made white bread a la Julia Child and that turned out wonderfully. You can see the results for my sandwiches and French toast. Plus, I was a bit nostalgic for comfort food, hence the mac & cheese. Since I didn’t exercise in the morning, my food consumption has been pretty low.

Exercise Plan

P90X Legs & Back and Ab Ripper X. I did this double workout in the evening today and I don’t think I’ll attempt that again. I was so tired at the end of the day, I wasn’t as excited to complete it, but I finished.

For Legs & Back, I did 25 reps for most exercises, 20 reps for pull-ups with a green resistance band, and 15 reps for the step backward lunges. For the exercises that added weights, I used 10 lb dumbbells. I know I need to go lower on the sneaky lunges and I definitely felt the burn during the calf raises.

My right knee was feeling funky halfway through on the lunges, so I eased up on it. It wasn’t anything serious, but I wanted to be careful just in case.

As for Ab Ripper X, I did all the exercises and did 50 reps with a 5 lb weight for the Mason twists. I had a mini breakthrough during the hip rock and raise exercise. It always felt awkward, but after reviewing the exercise a couple of times and listening more carefully to the directions, I finally know how to do it properly!

Food Plan

  • Breakfast: 2 slices of home-made French toast with maple syrup and 1 hard-boiled egg
  • Lunch: rotisserie chicken sandwich with baby lettuce salad, alfalfa sprouts, strawberry jam, and balsamic vinegar
  • Dinner: home-made gruyere mac & cheese with almond meal and parsley
  • Snack: 1 blood orange

Photo


March Madness: Day 11

I think I’ve found a way to battle my light-headedness and my mid-afternoon slump.

I had lemon honey jujube tea yesterday and I didn’t need a nap. Plus this morning, I had the tea again and I wasn’t so light-headed and I kept up my energy throughout the day. It might be a placebo, but I take heart that it’s something simple, easy, tasty, and beneficial…even if it does nothing but add antioxidants into my system.

Exercise Plan

P90X Yoga X. I still haven’t been able to fully accomplish the twisting half moon or the crane pose, but I did better at the standing leg lifts, I attempted the wheel for 15 seconds before moving back to the bridge, and I lasted longer during the “yoga belly” section.

Since it was a relatively long workout session, I focused on my breathing and my muscles. During each pose and exercise, I did my best to stay low on the lunges, straighten out my legs, and improve my form. It’s nice to have that extra time to reflect, meditate, and understand my body better. Even for the simplest exercises like corpse pose and child’s pose, I was figuring out which muscles were being pulled and how they were stretching.

It might be strange that I’m thinking so much during this yoga session, but it makes me more in tune with my body. I’m better able to balance and my posture has improved during the day. I don’t slouch as much and I can feel how my body dislikes my poor posture and how it pulls on my back.

To the core, I think yoga helps build that relationship between your mind and body…recognizing how far you can push your body and how to take better care of it. Yoga is so important that I feel that many of us discount it as a fad exercise, but really, it’s something that has stood the test of time and yet we Americans are only recently coming into contact with it.

Food Plan

  • Breakfast: 2 hard-boiled eggs, raw carrots, and lemon honey jujube tea
  • Lunch: rotisserie chicken sandwich with home-made white bread, mustard, mayo, alfalfa sprouts, and baby lettuce salad
  • Snack: 3 Girl Scout Thin Mints
  • Dinner: sweet potato veggie soup with steamed rice
  • Snack: peach “crumble” with yogurt and mint

Photo


March Madness: Day 4

It’s going to look strange that I went from Day 1 to Day 4 in less than a day. But I wanted to be “on track” with the P90X schedule since I jumped in mid-week. So it’s Day 4.

Exercise Plan

With P90X Doubles, I’m doing Yoga X today. It felt great to do those stretches since I got a bit of DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness) from Legs and Back yesterday. At about 80% effort,I still can’t do the twisting half moon, the crane, and the second round of touch the sky, but I’m getting the lunges lower and straightening my legs for more of the positions.

Technically, I skipped Day 1-2 because I wanted my Sundays to be rest days. I don’t think it matters in the long run, but I’m just letting you know.

I may be crazy for attempting Doubles when most women would aim for the Lean schedule, but I did think it through. The Classic workouts are at a manageable level for me and a little extra would quench my appetite for cardio. Not to say that I mastered all the techniques and stuff, but I still have energy to do another session or two. We’ll see how long it lasts. It may be easier for me to accomplish this schedule because I’m not married and I don’t have a family yet. Still, if I’m going to do P90X, I might as well do it right and go for the fitness and schedule level that best suits my needs.

I want to be toned…I want to build strength, endurance, and flexibility…not superficial muscle definition or to lose weight or to be skinny. Overall, I want to be in the best shape possible.

Food Plan

  • Breakfast: 2 eggs, cinnamon multi-grain oatmeal, 1/2 cup strawberries
  • Snack: 1 blood orange
  • Lunch: veggie curry with 1 slice pastrami, rotisserie chicken, and 1 cup steamed rice
  • Snack: almond jello

For some reason, I was really wiped when I got back to my apartment today and just took a nap instead of having dinner. When I woke up, I wasn’t too hungry, so I just had a small snack.

Photos

I figured I should just combine all my food photos into one photo a day. That way, it’s easier to see what I’m eating for the entire day. Though, today does look a little measly without dinner.