women

The Struggle

Hey ladies and gents… I am struggling here!  Partly due to allergies, another part to laziness and lastly to not having a schedule. How do you guys and gals workout without a set schedule?  I need to know what I am doing  and when or I am not doing it. That's the truth. A couple of weeks ago I completed P90x3 and then I started Body Beast but I never stuck to that calendar. I started working on PiYo moves and then Zumba and I lost track of the calendar and everyday I just wake up and I'm like hmmm what am I gonna do… will I run, will I bike, will I pop in a dvd… and some days I do and some day I don't.

I don't like that feeling. I like knowing that when I wake up, I have XYZ to accomplish with my workouts. It's how I succeed, its how I accomplish what I have accomplished so far.  I have Mudderella this Saturday and I have not gone for a run! I'm afraid to because of allergy season. I am making excuses.

I really need to get my butt into gear. Seriously, this is a real whiny post and I hate whiny posts but I did want you to know that even I struggle with this from time to time. For me, the solution is to pick up a program, paste the calendar on my wall, get some fun stickers to use as "rewards" on my calendar and stick to it!

Do you have similar issues and have you figured out a solution?

Confused over Muscle Confusion

So here it goes, I have TWO weeks left of P90x3. This is freaking crazy.  In January, I set out to complete this workout. I also set out a number of personal goals. Keeping on schedule with the workout has helped me stay on schedule with my other goals. This is why I think creating a workout schedule or following a workout program is essential. Showing yourself that you can set a goal, follow a schedule everyday, and reach your goals, is very much indicative of what else you can accomplish. I feel like I can do anything. As I was telling one of my challengers, I never thought I could do a push up or a pull up and now I am doing pull ups and military pushups!

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I can't say I am absolutely in love with the schedule with month three.

The schedule alternates every other week and it has me completely out of whack. I can't memorize it and I have to check my schedule like a madwoman every morning to remember what I have to do because I seem to always get it wrong. This is beyond muscle confusion, my mind is equally as confused.

The primary principle behind any of the P90x workouts is muscle confusion. This keeps your body stimulated over time so it doesn't get used to and exercise routine or go through a plateau. According to the P90x3 guide, "Muscle confusion is achieved by training in a series of blocks that are interrupted by transition (aka recovery) periods to maximize a training law called Progressive Overload." Basically, your body responds to a workout, you adapt, master, and then right when you see some gains, they switch it up. The mastery phase is so short that it keeps you guessing and regardless how in shape you felt the week before, you feel like you are back in square 1  the following week. It gets harder, trickier, and more intense every week.

THEREFORE, YOU GET STRONGER!

I appreciate all the gains I am seeing from Muscle Confusion, I just wish I wasn't so overall confused over the schedule!

If you want more information on my challenge group, fill out the form on this page. 

Happy Valentine's Day Challenge

healthy heart  

Happy Valentine's Day everyone! I have decided to take on a personal challenge today to let you all in (just a bit more) on who I am and how I got here. I hope my story helps you share yours!

I started working on a video for this but I need to practice it a little more before I record myself. When you are passionate about something, the waterworks just fly out and I am not ready for all that! However, I am ready to share over this blog. So, how did I get here? How did FunFitChic come to be… who is the Zumba instructor, Personal trainer, and Beachbody coach?

Let's go back to high school me… more like 16 or 17 year old me? That sounds about right. Well, for as long as I could remember, I was a dancer. I defined myself by dance and I absolutely loved everything about ballet. I never worried about weight because I was so active, that was never a thought. I was always the smallest person in a room and the amongst the shortest. People would tell me to eat more. I would eat a McDonald's Arch Deluxe Burger and find myself hungry two hours later. I was insatiable.

My junior year in high school, I was faced with the decision to quit dance in order to pursue a few AP courses. One of the courses required us to go to school on Saturday… AP History. Well, like any other High School student, I ate junk, and studied all the time. I now know I really was not overweight BUT the summer before my senior year, people would say things like … "oooh you are getting chunky, you should stop eating so much candy, your butt is getting big" … etc etc. Some people don't realize how much words can affect someone, especially teenage girls. I don't recall this all too well but I know at some point, I just stopped eating. It wasn't pretty.. I lost a lot of weight and people started talking again… I think people try to help but they don't know how so they say whatever comes out their mouth and those things can be cruel.

Anyway, things got ugly and I recall just a couple of days before my prom, my mom had to go to the cleaners and take my dress in because it was falling off me. My mom got tired of it and after much fuss and serious hunger, I started to eat again but this time we started incorporating steamed vegetables and learning a little bit more about nutrition. We didn't have much money but we switched from white bread to wheat bread, whole milk to skim milk, lots of trial and error, and took baby steps. Around the same time, I found Billy Blanks Tae Bo. Once again,  I was moving, I was happy and no longer worried about weight or what people said! I felt strong and happy.

Fast forward to being a college student, studying, partying, eating at all hours and going to a school with no gym. My confidence level in college was a lot higher than in high school, so I didn't go through any drastic measures but that meant the opposite… by the time I graduated college, I weighed twenty pounds more than I do today. Hard to believe, ehh? Well its true. I was also unhappy in a relationship and bored.

Sooo guess what? DANCE! I went back to dance, to movement, and then to the gym. I made some of the most beautiful relationships in my life and met great friends, including my current boyfriend of seven years. Salsa dancing got me back on track and once again I just lost weight without a worry or a care because I WAS HAPPY! Salsa, led to Zumba, led to personal training and now Beachbody. It's ten years since I graduate college and I believe 9 years or so since I walked into my first salsa class.

So how did I get here? Not by accident.

Although I have never been overweight, I too have struggled with it, I have struggled with body image issues, and I have overcome them. I had to. That was part of my life path and I had to in order to be here today and help you. I want to inspire you. I truly believe that movement and good healthy food can unlock the door to your happy self. I am sure it's not the only way but its a step towards the right way. I know this because its proved true in my life. I hope that one day I can hear one person say, your story changed the course of my life for the better. Happy Valentine's Day!

If you can relate, and you need some help finding the love I have for myself and for movement, contact me.  When I have some time, I am going to update this post with pictures. Have a great day and a great weekend. I love you.

Week 5 Progress P90x3

I completed the first week of Block 2 today! It felt great and was much faster than Block 1. Definitely my kind of speed. I now have a renewed respect for Tony Horton and his crew. They really know how to prep you for this workout. Block 1 gets you ready to bring your "A game" in the 2nd block. It's amazing.

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348 calories in 30 minutes!

For people who are afraid of the P90x series, I want to tell you that it's not as intimidating as you might think. You have to take it at your own pace and everyday the workouts get easier for you. Once they get easier, you push harder. That's the science behind it all and it works. If you are looking to get lean muscle, increase your cardio capacity, or lose a significant amount of weight, don't turn your back on P90x3.

This is not a P90x3 yoga move however its a yoga pose I was able to do because of the upper arm strength I've built. I took this picture four days ago.

 

Just like P90x and P90x2, the P90x3 series is about muscle confusion. Why change something if it works? Except this time, it's done in 30 minutes instead of an hour in a half and I am so grateful.

I have decided that its time to get serious so I have increased my weight to 10, 12.5 and even 15's on some exercises. I am so excited to see what this increase will do to my body and my ability.

Here was the workout:

  • Day 1- Eccentric Upper - all moves are done at 1 count concentric/3 count eccentric
  • Day 2 - Triometrics - like Plyometrics but shorter!
  • Day 3- X3 Yoga - great, quick and powerful
  • Day 4- Eccentric Lower - all moves are done at 1 count concentric/3 count eccentric
  • Day 5- Incinerator - the killer of all workouts. This is about taking your body to failure
  • Day 6- MMX - like Kenpo X but BETTER
  • Day 7- Rest or Dynamix (I prefer the rest)

New goals for this week: Start meal planning AGAIN. I lost track this week and its hard to stay on the right track eating healthy foods when you aren't prepping in advance. I will work on that.

Email me at melthecoach at gmail.com if you want more information or just reply via my challenge inquiry form.

I am Wonder Woman

Last month, I did the unthinkable. I took my measurements and bought two bathing suits on Etsy.com. AND I DO NOT REGRET IT ONE BIT! Because, they are perfect.

If you follow my boards on Pinterest. You would note I have a "My Style" board. I keep things in there that I will one day, hopefully purchase (or at least that's what I like to say). I've actually gone back and checked out some of my pins and purchased items off the board.

Well, last year, I pinned THIS:

The absolutely cutest bathing suit I have EVER seen in my entire life. I also did further research and found out that the girl in the picture is Jasmin from the Vintage Vandalizm blog. She is a real woman wearing a real bathing suit made by a REAL person.

So there the pin sat for a little less than year until I was invited to a Vegas Bachelorette party in August 2013!  Vegas = Pool parties = Pool attire = Hot girls in boring bathing suits = ME NEEDING THIS WONDER WOMAN BATHING SUIT! Follow? Yes?

I finally visited Meshalo's Etsy page, perused all her beautiful designs and decided I was going to get the high-waisted 1950's inspired Wonder Woman bikini!

Worried that I wouldn't fit in a standard size, I opted to take my measurements and send them to the shop owner. She can custom make the bathing suit for you. I purchased it over Etsy and then I waited a little less than a month.

OH MY GOD! It fits PERFECTLY! I can't wait to share pictures of the bathing suit with you. I feel like Wonder Woman. I just do. I can't wait to wear it this summer. (Insert 10,000 exclamation points).

I bought another bathing suit from the shop but I will wait until I get a photograph of me in it to share it with you. If you think it's crazy to buy stuff over the internet, I say GET OVER IT. Meshalo was amazing and I love all her stuff. Her prices are decent but the quality is most impressive. This isn't made overseas. This is local, made carefully, and made by someone you can actually communicate with. I'm all for it.

A fit chica tells her story v.7

I hadn't realized how many of my friends have committed their lives to healthy living, but I guess birds of a feather really do flock together. Except this "bird" flew away to another coast.
This week's fit chica is a friend of mine living on the West Coast. Claudia, and I met in New York. Salsa dancing brought us together. For a year, the "salsa crew" was inseparable. The West Coast has given her a renewed understanding of her health and has allowed her to reach fitness goals, that wouldn't have been a priority in New York.

FFC: First off, tell us about yourself. Claudia: As an only child growing up, my parents would get me involved in a lot of things. I realize now they were attempting to tire me out, since I was a super active child. I drove my parents nuts because I was "bored" all the time. Looking back on those interests much of it involved the performing arts. Whether it was dance, music or theatre, I thoroughly enjoyed performing and entertaining people around me. I was often the class clown, inserting wise crack comments, generally a lot of them were inappropriate, LOL. Despite that, I was a diligent student, often surprising people at how smart I really was and I enjoyed learning. I was the 1990s version of "Glee". Performing was not only my creative outlet, but it was a physical experience for me. When I was 19, I went with a couple of girlfriends who were a few years older than me to Latin Quarters on a Thursday night. That was way back when it was located on 96th & Broadway. The good old days, LOL. I had no business being there since it was 21 and over, but one of the girls I went with was dating the bouncer, and well... you know the rest. So it was my first time going to a Latin Club and it was an eye opening experience for me. I grew up watching my family dancing cumbia and "living room" salsa, but nothing like what I saw that night. This couple was incredible on the dance floor and I just sat at the bar with my 'Sex on the Beach' in hand and thought, "I WANT TO DO THAT!" I've had a love affair with salsa dancing on and off ever since.
FFC:What gave you the motivation to take working out and fitness seriously? Claudia: Growing up I was told I was "too skinny". I did sports throughout high school and would dance every day for hours in my living room when my parents weren't home. I ate anything and everything and would finish your plate, too. I thought for years I was naturally slim and athletic. In reality I was simply moving all the time. I NEVER wanted to sit still. However, (violins playing) that all changed after college, working a sedentary office job and eating the same way, of course. I didn't even realize how heavy I got! I was 28 by the time I decided that working out would be good because I needed to 'tone up'. My best friend, Aimet, and I hired a trainer together and in our first session he asked me to step on a scale. When he read my weight back to me, I had gained 30 lbs. I said, "SHUT UP! No way!" I was in such denial. Aimet and I went diligently to that trainer and I never lost a pound. He would yell at me to get on the treadmill and follow the diet plan or else his efforts were meaningless. Shortly after that I had a life changing break up. I simply stopped eating. I was in so much shock that I could not eat anything at all. I didn't have a scale back then so I can only estimate that I lost 20 lbs in a matter of a few weeks. I threw myself into salsa dancing and went dancing pretty much every night for hours. Those workouts with the personal trainer came into full effect because my unhealthy weight loss revealed a kickass body with scuplted muscles that I had not seen since high school. I wanted to maintain what I lost, but it all came back, courtesy of my unhealthy eating habits. That was around the time that you and I met, Melissa! You remember how I would hit the McDonald's dollar menu! I would order 2 cheeseburgers and a small coke, but no fries because "fries were not healthy". Ridiculous, I know.
FFC: Have you changed your eating habits? If so, what's different?  Was there a catalyst?
Claudia:Four and a half years ago I relocated from NY to the San Francisco Bay Area. In California I was surrounded by fresh produce, half of which I never heard of or tasted before. I remember ordering at a sandwich shop, and thought this is not your ordinary NYC deli. The sandwhich was served on whole wheat bread, came in a reasonable size, and had a salad on the side. Did I mention that my sandwhich had bean sprouts in it?!?! I mean, really, who does that? Californians do, apparently, LOL. So much of my move was a cultural shift from the way I lived in NYC. I bought a mountain bike and started to ride every day to explore my new area and enjoy the fantastic weather. I started to drop a few pounds without even noticing. I began to teach myself to eat reasonably. I bought cook books and enjoyed Cooking Light magazine for healthier recipes. For me, I really pay attention to my calorie intake. It keeps it very simple for me. Anything difficult would require forethought and planning, and I lack the time for both. Between working full time and grad school, I am running all the time and I can easily reach for the foods that are easy, yet unhealthy. So for me it's all about making sure I eat a salad and incorporating vegetables with all of my meals so it keeps me full. I am diligent about the portions of my meals, and eat off of small plates at home. Ultimately food is my biggest battle. I want to eat anything I want and not pay the consequences. BUT I HAVE to continue to make good choices and limit the occurrences of me going overboard.
FFC: How do you feel fitness has changed your life?
Claudia: I thoroughly love being fit. Yes, there is a vanity factor, I admit. Nothing beats having abs you love to show off. But there's another element for me that is a lot more crucial. Working out and eating well has really become important now that I'm approaching my mid thirties. I had a knee injury from running that was humbling and I didn't snap back as fast as I would've in the past. For that reason, I have to limit how much I run now. If I don't maintain a healthy weight, my knees hurt. You only get one body and for it to go the distance you need to take care of it! I want to defy the aging process and be a hot mama at 50! Being fit and working out also helps me to process the stress of balancing work and school. Working out also keeps me from driving my husband crazy. He knows me so well. He'll just look at me pout in the corner and know that I'm simply miserable, frustrated and "bored". His response is always the same. "Did you work out? Go for a run or something, you know you'll feel better." I fight him every time, but love his "amazing" suggestion when I'm done. Working out simply keeps me centered.

FFC: I know you workout with your husband often, how has it affected your relationship?
Claudia: LOL. I laugh because I don't think Matt could be married to someone who was not active at all. (I just asked him that question and he said he could, but it would drive him crazy. Oh wait, he just changed his mind. "No, I guess not. Dating them would drive me crazy so I don't think it would last at all.") Matt works out regularly with friends and also golfs with them. He enjoys moving as much as I do. We take our road bikes and go for rides together on the weekends, we go on long walks after dinner during the week, and we hike alot when we go sightseeing on vacations and weekend getaways. Those are all things we do together and we talk, catch up and simply connect during that time. Lots of couples schedule date nights, and we do that on occasion so that we don't have to cook and we can go out. But we really value the time we spend together doing something active. It keeps us fit, connected, and we're better to each other knowing that we have done something good for ourselves. We both watch what we eat. Its great to have someone that shares the same values as you do when it comes to eating and staying fit. I can't imagine how difficult it would be for me personally not having him share that mindset with me. I view food as fuel, but throw in a chewy chocolate chip cookie in my face, and I HAVE to have it. Matt knows there are certain foods that I simply have no restraint for and he knows I work hard to stay fit. For that reason, we don't keep that stuff in our house since I'm a big snacker. We always have fruit on hand, and that's what I reach for. Thank God!

FFC: Any tips for someone who may feel overwhelmed by the idea of changing one's lifestyle?
Claudia: Change one thing or do one thing differently until it becomes a habit. Then incorporate one more thing until that becomes a habit. Next thing you know, you've changed you life. This may sound stupid, but right now I'm working on how I prepare my coffee. Not eliminating it, that's just crazy talk! I've always enjoyed my coffee, light & sweet. The last couple of months, I've been putting less milk and sugar. I just started drinking it black this week, with a little bit of sugar. At some point my coffee will have no sugar. It's the little changes that reap huge differences over time. Too much change at once sets you up for defeat because it becomes difficult to maintain everything all together. It's all about baby steps. Small victories.
FFC: Currently, what's your favorite workout? Why?
Claudia: I joined a gym recently because I wanted to incorporate it as a habit in preparation for the winter months. Right now, I'm loving their "Body Pump" class. It's a total body strength training class set to music. You do your bicep curls to the lyrics of Pink and your squats to the beats of Pitbull. The class works your muscles to the point of failure. I think I've moaned and grunted in that class really loud in pain. Good thing the music is loud enough that the class doesn't really hear me, LOL. The workout shapes my body and I love how strong I feel when I'm done.
FFC: How do you incorporate fitness in your everyday life?
Claudia: I HAVE to incorporate it into my life. I run my life though my Outlook calendar so I have my workouts scheduled during the week along with my work meetings, study times and my get togethers with friends. If it's not on Outlook, it doesn't happen. On the weekend it's whatever Matt & I are in the mood for. It's part of our routine so it's not a question of if. It's a question of what and when. We pretty much talk about it when we're having breakfast that morning or during dinner the night before.

 

FFC: Anything else you would like to share with our readers?
Claudia:I'm training for my second organized bike ride on October 1st, 36 miles. Matt is doing a metric century, 62 miles. It's a family affair, as I'll be riding with Matt's mom, and he's riding with his dad. We did it last year as a family so it's a bit of a tradition for us. :-)

 

I love reading everyone's personal stories and journeys. It helps me stay motivated and I hope they help you as well. Doesn't matter where you are in your journey to a healthier you, there's always someone else who has had or is having similar experiences. Yay to that! Thank you Claudia for sharing! I miss you.