Thursday, March 31, 2011


Ok, I'll admit, it's been a tough week. It's been gloomy out, which has led me to be a bit sluggish at the start of my days, but that has not deterred me from doing my Insanity workouts. As of now, I am down to 196 lbs! That adds up to a total of 13 lbs lost so far. I haven't taken any measurements as of late, but I think I am going to wait until I am completely done with my routine.

The second month of Insanity has not disappointed one bit! Every workout is absolutely nuts, and I love it because I am now incorporating my upper body a lot more; that was a minor concern during the first month. My legs feel like cinder blocks: not because they weigh me down, but because of how solid they are! I have noticed an increase in my definition all over, and I think there are signs of my abs starting to show! I was expecting results, but I thought myself to be overzealous with my initial expectations. I honestly didn't think I would get under 190. If I give it my all for the last 2 weeks, I think I'll be around 189. We'll just have to see what happens!

Another thing that I have been incorporating into my Insanity routine is some moderate lifting, but only for the upper body. As previously mentioned, my legs are pretty good. I want to keep it to where my upper body is more or less proportioned with my lower body, so I figured some weight training would do me good. One thing I got a real kick out of was that I can definitely notice the difference in the upper body! I got to lifting weights the week before last and was in shock by what I saw: my muscles in my chest and shoulders were rippling with each rep on dumbell curls! I'm sorry, but I have never had that happen; if it seems like I am giddy from this entry, it's because I am!

I think I have reached the point where it is time for me to consider becoming a Beachbody coach. I have been approached about this, but I put it on the backburner simply because I don't want to coach people through something I have not yet completed myself. There is no question that I am going to finish this routine with only two weeks remaining after this! I have had a great deal of fun with this routine. For those of you who have stopped by and checked out my blog, I hope that my progress has given you the added motivation to pursue your healthier lifestyle.

So, what happens after Insanity? I think I am going to do another round of Insanity, which will bring me into the May timeframe. Once I am done with the second round of Insanity, I am going to look into acquiring the P90X routine. I'll go through P90X and be done by the end of Summer. From there, I think I am going to do a hybrid style routine which will consist of a P90X workout one day and then an Insanity workout the next day. That should take me through to the end of the year and maybe a little into next year. From there, the sky's the limit. I know some folks out there must think I am a little too ambitious with my approach, but I have found something outside of my relationship and my children that I can truly be dedicated toward.

So, week 8 is right around the corner. That means I will be taking my fourth fit test and I will also be taking progress pictures as well. Being that it's been 3 weeks since my last progress pics, I anticipate a noticeable change in the new ones. We shall see soon enough. Until then, I will just keep digging deep; I hope you do too!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Measurements, Fit Test and The Beginning of Month 2!

I decided that there was no better time to take measurements than my half-way point on Insanity. There was a slight bit of anxiety coupled with excitement because I knew I had improved, but I didn't know how much. Here are my measurements prior to Starting Insanity:

Waist: 38
Hips: 41
Biceps (Right/Left): 15/15
Thighs (Right/Left): 25/25
Chest: 43
Body Fat %: 30.6

I knew there were going to be some differences in my measurements just by looking at my photos over the past four weeks, but I was not expecting the differences I saw! The following are my current measurements as of last Friday:

Waist: 36
Hips: 40
Biceps (Right/Left): 14/14
Thighs (Right/Left): 24/24
Chest: 39
Body Fat %: 18.8

Now, I was excited enough as it was to see that - after only 5 weeks of Insanity - I have already shed 11 total inches from my body. What was absolutely astounding to me was that I also managed to reduce my body fat by almost 12 percentage points! That was nothing short of amazing to me. What gets me even more than that is the fact it all happened through the first month and my recovery week! I can't even imagine what kind of results I can achieve with the second month, which brings me to the next part of this post...

Today was day one of my second month of Insanity. I would just like to state that the second month is the reason why the first month was put in place. The first month and the recovery week were all just a brief glimps...better yet, preparation for the montster that is called Month 2. Folks, the second month of Insanity is why this workout is so appropriately named. But before I go into that, today was also the day of my third fit test.

I didn't think I was going to do very well on my fit test today simply because I decided to party with my little brother who came down to visit from Alaska (he's in the military). I had a few drinks, ate a bit more than I normally do, but I was not going to pass up my fit test just because of a little excessive partying. As I was doing my fit test, I was growing more and more astonished at the improvements I was making across the board. So I shall let the results speak for themselves; they are in order from the first results to my current results:

Switch Kicks: 90/100/120
Power Jacks: 30/36/49
Power Knees: 50/67/82
Power Jumps: 11/24/27
Globe Jumps: 5/6/7
Suicide Jumps: 6/12/13
Push-up Jacks: 18/22/30
Low Plank Oblique: 28/45/52

I am loving the results that I have seen so far from this workout, and I only anticipate them getting better with each passing week. My first day on the second month was absolutely brutal! I felt like it couldn't get much worse than what I went through on the first month, but it's not often that I am blessed with being correct on such an assumption. Believe me, this was no exception. I was absolutely drenched in every way, AND I LOVED IT!!! In two weeks, I hope to wow everyone with my updated photos: including myself. I am beginning to grow much more optimistic that my goals are completely achievable. Until I get to the end, I am just going to continue digging deep. More updates to come...

Monday, March 14, 2011

Start of The Recovery Week

Four weeks down: five more to go. I have completed my first month of the Insanity routine, and I am quite pleased with my results thus far. While I have not lost too much in weight, I have trimmed down in the correct areas and toned up in others. It has been nothing short of challenging and it feels great to enter my Recovery week.

The recovery week is still challenging in the sense that you are continuously breaking a sweat. That being said, it is not quite as strenuous as the other workouts have been. One thing I did notice on the Insanity calendar the other day was the Recovery workout (Core Cardio and Balance) is going to be replacing the Cardio Recovery in the second month of the routine. This has me beginning to wonder about how much more rigorous the routines are going to be in the second month. I guess I will find out in a week.

There are some exercises on this recovery DVD that look awkward when you initially watch them being performed, but believe me when I say they work! I was surprised by how much I was able to feel my core being engaged with almost every movement. I had to stop every now and then just to stretch out my abdominal area, but I kept going anyways.

As I stated at the beginning of this post: I am very pleased with my results to this point, and I am definitely looking forward to the workouts coming up in the second month. I'm going to watch the workouts for the second month and I'll probably post something up letting everyone know what I think about them. I'm actually pretty excited now to see what's to come. I'm extremely psyched out that I have made it this far. I'm looking forward to completing this routine and possibly doing another round before I decide to get into anything else.

More updates to come...

Monday, March 7, 2011

Week 4...Day 1

This is my final week of month 1 of Insanity. As expected, I hit a plateau with my weight loss, but I am not disappointed at all. When averaged out, I have lost 2 lbs per week since the start of my routine. My energy is still sky high, but I continue to push myself to my limits with every workout. It doesn't matter how much tolerance you build up over the course of the routine; you are supposed to burn yourself out every time. I think that is what I love most about Insanity: no matter how good you get at this routine and no matter how much shape you are in, you will still get worn the hell out!

Here I am approaching the halfway mark, and I am surprised at how quickly time has passed since I started. I am noticing the difference, however gradual it may be. I have already lost about an inch and a half off my waist. I am not sure how much I have lost everywhere else, but that is enough of a difference to get me that much more encouraged! My mother - who I previously mentioned was one of my best critics - is beginning to chime in as well! Her remark: "I'm finally getting my son back!", referring to when I weighed much less. It was nice to see her acknowledge that I was losing weight before, but this most recent comment from her just reinforces the fact that what I am actually working. It's not so much that I need the vote of confidence from people, but it is good to know that I am not the only one noticing any results.

It's been a great journey so far, and I only see it getting better as I prepare for the next month of Insanity. It looks to be quite intense. I'll be posting up my progress pictures after I am done with my 4th week, so we'll see how things are at that point. I am looking forward to seeing the difference! Until then, I'll just keep digging deep!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

An Aside: My Motivation

I just realized that I never really established what my motivations were to pursuing a healthier lifestyle. Of course, wanting to be fit is enough reason in itself, but there is more to it than just being fit. So here is a little bit on my motivation.

For a long time I was in denial that I needed to lose weight. This is not the first time it happened. I had a reality check when I was 19 years old and trying to enlist with the Air Force. I wanted to get in, but I was overweight at the time. I weighed in a 220 lbs. and I needed to get down to at least 189 lbs. in order to qualify. Fortunately, I had a fast acting metabolism and was able to shed off the weight with minimal difficulty in 2 months time. That, and ephedra was still legal in weight loss supplements. It's almost 9 years later, and there is a completely different dynamic involved. One can look at it as a fight to be able to finally LIVE.

When I reflect on myself two years ago, I can recall looking at myself and being completely disgusted. I was over 220 lbs. again and I had been out of the Air Force for about 2 years. I had a daughter on the way, which I was happy about; I was not happy with myself though. I remember being able to at least hide the pudge in my stomach whenever I would go out on a night with the guys prior to meeting my current girlfriend, but I was also in decent shape because of the military fitness regimen we went by. No, this was definitely different. I was unhealthy, irresponsible, and I lacked any kind of motivation to really do anything about it. This was in 2009. When my girlfriend was pregnant with our daughter, I used the excuse that my weight gain was the result of sympathy symptoms. No, it wasn't that at all; I just liked to eat. The fact that she had more of an appetite gave me more excuses to take her out to eat wherever she wanted.

Now it's 2010. I step on the scale at the very beginning of the year and am shocked at what I see. I have now reached a weight I never thought I would. I hit 230 lbs. I promise there wasn't any muscle gain in that time. We decide to get a gym membership and I started losing weight immediately. I am feeling marginally better, but I am still not feeling good about myself. While I am incorporating a better workout routine, I am still eating the same old trash. As a matter of fact, I start eating more of it because my appetite increased with my workouts. So I plateau at around 215. I try to give myself some kind of pat on the back, but what is there to be proud of? I lost weight, but I feel the same; in that case, I did not achieve success. Bills start to come around, other miscellaneous expenses and a stupid attempt at trying to do an online business bring on a whirlwind of stress because of all the money being thrown away. I give up my gym membership, and start eating more. I close out 2010 thinking to myself, "the last two years have been pretty rough and I am nervous about entering this next year."

So here we are in 2011. I go through a string of nights where I dream of nothing but working out and how much I know I can get in better shape. I can't get this thought out of my head. I've been waking up sweating. I know I have to do something about how I feel, but I need to find my drive. One day I wake up and see my youngest daughter, Amaya. She lets out the most beautiful smile almost as if to say, "Yup, daddy. I think you finally figured it out." I get out of bed, I am sluggish but I muster up just enough energy to lift her up and give her a morning hug and a kiss on the cheek. One can argue that my girls are all the motivation I need, but I need more than that. I decide to think about where I am, and where I want to be.

I want to be able to wake up in the morning, look at myself in the mirror and be proud of what I see in that reflection. I am not necessarily pursuing to be nothing but muscle, but I do want to see results. I want to be able to run around with my girls and not have to stop because I am out of breath after only 5 or 10 minutes. I want to have the endurance I once had when I was younger. Do looks have anything to do with what I am trying to do here? Not as much as one would think. See, I was comfortable with my weight. I was not worried about anyone's perception of me. However, I began having a lot of pain in my knees and ankles; this leads me to my next motivation. I want to run around and jump around without the fear of waking up the next day with sore joints.

Again, I flash back to the Insanity workout infomercials and immediately recall having the link saved on my desktop. I go ahead and take another look at it and read testimonials. I look everywhere for any kind of reviews on Insanity because I want to make sure this is the route I want to go. I get slightly nervous when I see that people recommend to workout for a period of time prior to doing Insanity. Many people say, if you are not physically fit, you should not get into this. I begin to feel a slight hint of reluctance. The fact that there is a diet I should follow is even more intimidating because I have never attempted to change anything about what I eat. I realize I need to give up on soda, the drink I consume more than water. For a minute there, I thought I was going to give up on the IDEA of purchasing Insanity. I reflect on my motivation and then speak with some family to get their input. The decision is made.

Here I am now, in the midst of my 3rd week on Insanity. I haven't looked back. I see who I was as a reminder of where I don't want to be again in the future. I see my girls and realize that I need to be healthy for them. I see my health, and how irresponsible I was with my eating habits. I know I am traveling down the right path. I will be healthy; I will be happy. This is my motivation.