All posts by Kat S

Back at it…

If life has taught me anything, it is that life gets in the way sometimes. We fall off the bandwagon, we reach goals, hit a plateau and then are unable to keep up for whatever reason. I was doing so well with workouts for a while, a year ago I was “go heavy or go home” every day. Working out daily, drinking my shakes, kicking ass and taking names. Then one thing led to another and another and the Shakes stopped, then the workouts stopped. And I spiraled into a deep pit of despair and depression.

I started working out again with my hubby earlier this year and we were doing well until he had one too many injury and life got him (and then me) down. The depression I’d begun to fight off with my workouts started to spiral again. I spent a large part of the Summer fighting, hating myself and what I was becoming, but not having the energy to change it.

When the kids started back to school last week I changed that. Hubby and I set a firm date and we started working out again. We picked up The Master’s Hammer and Chisel again and I’m bound and determined to finish it this time and not let myself NOT work out. I don’t like who I am when I don’t workout. I am beyond cranky and hate myself. Not just the “I feel like a slob because all of my hard work has disappeared” dislike, but the “chemicals are going completely wonky in my brain and making my head an ugly place to be.”

This week I am fighting through the sore and tender of hard workouts starting to change and shape my body. This morning I woke up and could barely sit to go to the bathroom or lift my shirt over my head, let alone the sports bra that is utterly necessary! But you know what? Despite the sore. Despite the tired. Despite everything else, I knew the workout needed done this morning or it would not be done. I refuse to not do the workouts. I need them.

Not to get fit, not to lose weight. Not to look good in a dress or have a flat stomach. Though I admit those are definitely small perks of my workouts and work to change my eating habits. No. The real reason I need them is because they help me be happier. Because my brain gets chemicals it needs to feel accomplished and be happier. I know I’m doing something for me. I’m taking time for me. I’m working ON and WITH me to make me a better, more complete and happier person. Because for me, when workouts are done, and one well, they are a drug. They are a high that reminds me I am good enough, I am stronger than I thought, and I can kick ass when I put my mind to it.

So yes, I’m back. I don’t know that the posts will be every day or even every week. But I will endeavor to come back and share more, more often, as I go. Thank you for joining me on this journey, even if just from the sidelines following as I do it. Cheering me on or shaking your head in laughter Either way you acknowledge that my journey is mine and give me a bit more energy and support to do what I do for me. No one else, just me.


Tips for Starting/Staying on the Healthy Path

Wacky Wednesday

1. Always, always, always keep a water bottle handy. Water should be your go-to healthy drink of choice. Don’t like the plain taste of water or want to liven it up? Add a bit of lemon, lime, cucumber or berries to add flavor without adding too many calories.
2. Think of your workout/exercise as a treat and pleasure instead of a chore. Positive thinking helps boost how you push yourself and the gains made from regular exercise Get excited for your next workout and then go get it!
3. Eat healthy, well-balanced meals, and eat them often, but keep them small. Remember that extra calories = extra weight, no matter what the latest fad diet may say.
4. Avoid secondhand smoke (and first hand for that matter!) and limit caffeine intake. Both are counterproductive to your healthy goals!
5. Start with, and focus on, your short term goals and emphasize completing exercise daily.
6. Track what you eat. Use a food journal to log everything that goes in. Whether it is a shake for breakfast or a bag of chips, track it. You can’t change habits if you don’t know exactly what you are trying to change.
7. Enjoy an occasional treat, once a week is good. But don’t over do it with an unhealthy week or vacation, it will undo everything you’ve worked hard to attain.
8. Help others find their healthy by including them in your exercise! Grab a partner for your next workout routine. Grab a friend or neighbor as you head out for your next walk. Get others up and active with you! It adds energy and fun to the routine!
9. Keep things fun and new! Get a new pair of shoes, create a new play list, or even finding and adding a new form of exercise to keep you going.
10. Read health/fitness magazines to help keep you in a healthy lifestyle frame of mind. Or, if you don’t want the paper clutter, subscribe to digital versions of the magazines, healthy lifestyle blogs (like this one, or Team Beachbody Blog). Or find folks that inspire you on Instagram and Pinterest!
11. Invest in yourself and your goals with the right tools – good (read supportive) workout shoes and comfortable workout clothes.
12. Make it a goal to work out at least 6 days a week. If the program you are following is only 4 or 5 days make sure to get out and walk on those other days, or add in some yoga or another light form of exercise.
13. Don’t compare yourself to others. Your body is not theirs. Instead, make sure to focus on YOUR body and love yourself. The work you are doing is YOUR progress. Own it, love it, and make it yours.
14. Work to keep your diet balanced, either by adjusting what you eat or adding a quality multivitamin and supplements.
15. Always strive to take your intensity to the next level. Use heavier weights, go further on that next walk. Walk or run faster. Just keep making forward strides!
16. Create your exercise schedule in advance and stick to it. If the President of the United States and Actors can create a schedule to workout every day and stick to it, so can you!
17.Don’t make weight loss your only, or even main, goal for this journey Weight is a number on the scale, focus more on how you feel, how your clothes fit, and how much more flexible you are, how your endurance grows. These things are a better indicator than a number on a scale. Numbers can lie, how you feel does not.
18. Create a meal plan you can stick to for the rest of your life. Keeping in mind that the hard work you do in the gym cannot overcome the work undone in the kitchen. Fitness and health begin with the food you use to fuel your body. If you’re eating too many calories, you likely won’t see all that muscle you are creating, it’ll continue to hide beneath a later of fatty tissue.
19. Be sure to get plenty of sleep Your body needs the time to regenerate and recuperate from the work you are doing. Sleep is when your muscles recover. Besides, an added bonus to all of that exercise? Most people who exercise regularly are more likely to fall asleep faster and sleep more soundly!
20. Limit your alcohol intake to special occasions. It is counterproductive to the hard work you are doing!

(Adapted from Chalene Johnson’s post on the Team Beachbody Blog)


P90X3 – Day 12

P90X3 - CVX, Day 12

P90X3 – CVX, Day 12

This morning hubby and I got CVX done earlier, but I didn’t post because kiddos kept me busy today. 🙂 The workout is a good one, if a toughie on the shoulders after an arm intensive day like yesterday.

CVX is cardio while holding a weight. I started out with an 8 lb medicine ball, but had to eventually lower to a 7 lb dumbbell, though I put that down for even a few of the moves because my shoulders were shot. So yes, I modified. But I’m okay with that. Because I’m listening to my body and not pushing to hurt myself, just working to find progress and increase strength. I am doing that. In my time and in my way. It is a lovely feeling!

Despite the early wake up, and the cold start to the workout, I didn’t let the workout stop me, I got up and kicked butt! Or did my best to anyhow. 🙂 I love working out, and pushing myself more each week. I’m seeing improvements every seek, so it makes me happy!


P90X3 – Day 11

P90X3 - The Challenge, Day 11

P90X3 – The Challenge, Day 11

Today was The Challenge, part deux. Last week I struggled with this one. When I started back on my fitness journey after having my youngest daughter, The Baba, or Child Number 4, I could not do a push up on my toes to save myself. Heck, to be honest I could barely hold plank on my hands and toes for very long. Or that’s the story I told myself.

If you’d have told me 2.5 years ago I’d be doing more than 1 push-up on my toes, holding a regular plank for several minutes, or anything of the sort I’d have laughed at you hysterically. But here I am today, 2.5 years later, doing a workout that consists of almost exclusively a variety of push-ups and pull-ups and chin-ups. I still struggle to do even 1 regular pull-up unassisted, but push-ups on my toes, those I can do. I may not get my chest to the floor, or much below my elbows, but I’m doing them on my toes by golly!

Yes, my pull-ups and chin-ups are modified in that I do them with a resistance band on a hook, but even the modifier in the workouts does them that way. I see no shame in modifying them. I am STILL using a 60 lb resistance band and doing a good amount of reps with each one. And I am challenging myself. Some day I may use the pull-up assist band and work to a full, “real” pull-up, but for now I am taking my successes and wins as I get them.

If that means I cheer because I do 15-20 resistance band pull-ups for every round, while then doing 10-12 push-ups on my toes, with 2 or 4 rounds dropping to 1 knee, count it 1 knee, not both, then I will. Because I am making progress! And I am showing up to push play. I am getting stronger and doing things that a younger, less fit me wasn’t able to do. I am trying, I am pushing, and I am seeing results. THOSE are the successes I count. They are not failures. Because they are more than I did in the past, more than I did even a week ago. And I am getting up and continuing to do, to push, and to try.


Finding your WHY

I want to take a moment to revisit a topic I’ve touched on. Finding our Why. That thing that drives us, our innermost purpose and goals. It is your vision, your passion, and your motivation.

When you first found your coach, you may have sat down and discussed this already. It is that innermost goal, that drive, the push to succeed, and the desire to find the change and the new within that guides you every day. But have you put it into words? Do you have it written down somewhere that you will see it every day and push yourself with those small reminders? WHAT is your WHY? Why are you doing this? Why are you committing to this change? It’s not the dream of a thinner body. It’s not the goal to look good in a bikini. Those are dreams and goals. Your why is what drives you. The passion you find every morning to get up and do what it takes to see yourself healthier, happier, and more positively radiant in everything you do. It will push you forward when you start to doubt and flag in your motivation.

It isn’t a goal that lasts for just these 10 days, or 21, or even 30. It is that driving force deep within that carries it further and makes this a lifestyle change that you sustain, maintain, and achieve. We are here to help you find it, but at the end of the day YOU are the one to find it, write it down, and live it. Because your WHY may be different than mine, or anyone elses. Yes, part of it is eating right and working out every day, but it is why you do it. Even when you don’t feel like it. Because you want to make the change for that one core reason. What is that reason? What is your WHY?

Here are a few questions that might help you find it…

Why do you want to change the way you eat?
Why are you joining this group?
Who are you changing for?
What is the ultimate reason you are doing this?
What can you look to and draw on to motivate you every day?

Remember to break down each answer you get until it won’t go any tighter. You want to lose weight. Why? You want yo look good in an outfit. Why? You want to be healthier. Why? You want more energy to play with your kids. Why? What drives that desire and goal? It’s not just the values that drive you, it’s that tiny seed deep within seeking the light. You keep asking why until you can’t ask why any more. THEN you’ve found your why. Your motivation. Your driving factor!

Don’t look to goals and dreams, ultimately look to what fuels them!


P90X3 – Day 10

P90X3 - Yoga X, Day 10

P90X3 – Yoga X, Day 10

Another round of Yoga X is done and in the books. Have I mentioned how much I love my Yoga days? I love the stretch and flexibility. While I may start off with tight hamstrings, oh my word by the end I feel so stretchy and happy. I can feel the muscles release their tension and warm up, adding to the strength and flexibility I have. Yoga really is vital to truly being able to do more in my cardio and weight session. The muscles need that extra push and work to be able to function optimally.

The Baba came down to join us for a little while, of course doing her fave poses of Downward facing dog and child’s pose, but she refused to do savasana. Perhaps she feared she’d fall asleep. I know I thought I might, it felt so wonderful to just lay back and meditate at the end. We held the pose for a good bit after just enjoying the stretch and relaxation.

Yoga is quickly becoming one of my favorite days, and I love the new routines with each of the programs as I go through. Each one offers new poses and variations that I had yet to try. And I find that I am getting ever closer to being able to go straight to up dog from lowering down with chaturanga. Progress. It is mine! It is being made. And I am a very happy me! 🙂


P90X3 – Day 9

P90X3 - Agility X, Day 9

P90X3 – Agility X, Day 9

Today was Agility X again. This time we took the time to actually set up the tapes to do the workouts properly. I realized quickly I need to set my tapes further apart but we just don’t have the room in our basement gym for us both to have the tapes where we need them and not run into walls. Nor is it big enough for all 4 kids to join us.

Hubby and I did have fun with one of the “running” segments running figure 8’s around both sets of tape and chasing each other. We were laughing and having fun, which was nice. One of the reasons I’m so glad he and I are doing this one together. Having a partner/buddy makes the workouts more fun and gives you someone to push you and encourage you when you start to flag.

While last week I wasn’t sure I could really get the hang of Agility X, this week showed progress. I am by no means perfect with it, and there are still segments that kick my butt, BUT I did make progress. And the tapes DEFINITELY make a huge difference. Those will become a permanent fixture I think! 🙂


P90X3 – Day 8

P90X3 - Total Synergistics, Day 8

P90X3 – Total Synergistics, Day 8

This week the calendar repeats from last week. We start the week with Total Synergistics. The beauty of today is we convinced the Teen, our eldest child, to join us for the workout. He wasn’t too talkative this time around, actually being serious and working out for real with us. It was lovely! The youngest even came down to join us for a bit. The middle two were off playing, so it wasn’t TOO crowded in our little workout area.

The eldest enjoyed the workouts, and having him down there adds a bit of a new dynamic, helping him learn the poses while really competing with him and the hubby. They both push me, and I love showing I can use heavier weights than both of them for some of the moves. Or more reps with the same weights as them. It’s wonderful to see such progress. And I can’t help but love the challenge and the push from them.

Talk about a rush. Laughing and sharing workouts with the kids, THAT is living by example and seeing it pay off!


P90X3 – Day 7

P90X3 - Dynamix, Day 7

P90X3 – Dynamix, Day 7

Another day of pure stretching and gentle workouts. When doing a 7 day workout schedule you definitely need multiple light and stretchy days. Your muscles and body need to actively recover, and Dynamix was just what the body ordered.

I think I have a new nemesis move, as burpees are getting moderately easier and less of a chore… The new nemesis? Groiners. There is no way I can jump and lunge and push-up all at the same time. At least not right now! It is a goal to be able to do this one with less difficulty and eventually master it I want it added to my wheel house!

Stretching, new moves, and a workout buddy. Overall a good workout and I completed it. I think I’d call today a success!


P90X3 – Day 6

P90X3 - The Warrior, day 6

P90X3 – The Warrior, day 6

The Warrior is a mix of cardio and body weight exercises. Quite a few of the poses had a pilates or yoga feel to them, while pushing you to use your body in ways you may not always use it. Yes, my ever dreaded nemesis the burpees make an appearance here. I swear, Tony finds new ways to torture us with workouts, but the torture ends up being a good thing in the end as we are pushing and exceeding goals.

Okay, perhaps it’s not really torture but I swear some days I think it is. Of course, when all is said and done I’m like “that was fun, let’s do it AGAIN!!!!” It keeps me coming back. 🙂 Exercise and fitness are my high. Pushing the limits and mastering new moves is what I crave!

The thing that I enjoyed the most about this one is that it is totally set to honor our Heroes – those serving our country in some capacity. Those serving in the Military, Police, Firefighters, and other civil servants.