Monday, August 22, 2016

Weekly Update for the Week Ending 8/21/16

Good morning everyone! I'm pleased to say I had a great week in all areas of my life.

Health/Weight Maintenance - My workouts went well this week - I ended up staying the same weight as last week (119 pounds).

Coaching Program - Doing well with my coaching program, I was able to get quite a bit accomplished this week. On Saturday, Nicola and I talked about several for me to look into, such as writing for higher profile blogs or websites that have to do with subject areas I like to write about, and possibly looking into writing for local publications. I also talked to her about the idea I had about starting a new website with my name as the domain name, and merging all my websites, as well as this blog, into it (more information on that below).

Writing - I got quite a bit accomplished here too - I finally heard from the new owner of Work from Home Adventures, so I'm going to be starting to do some writing for that blog again. I also decided to go ahead and get the cover made for the eBook I started writing earlier this year, "Get Paid to Talk Volume 1: Employee Work from Home Phone Jobs." It's now up on Amazon, you can check it out here. I also decided that I'm going to move this blog as well as my other websites to one big website, ericalynnmartin.com - I will be buying the domain later this month. If you want to receive an email when the site goes live, you can sign up at this form:

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That's it for this week, I will publish another update post next week.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Three People Talk About Big Changes They Made in Their Lives

Eventually, many of us reach a point where we're dissatisfied with our lives - we may be in a job that's not fulfilling, or feel other changes need to be made in our lives. I asked for stories about changes that people have made in their lives, what prompted them to make the change, and what their lives have been like since then. Here's what they had to say:  

Q. What kind of change did you make your life?


 A. hhoover (How creative thinking changed my life)

I was the sole family breadwinner, but decided to stop working for someone else so that I'd have more control over my life and more time with my family. I had no clients lined up and a non-compete with my current employer. My wife, who was not working outside the home at this point, said she had faith that I could make it on my own.
A. Minuca Elena (Minuca creates awesome influencer roundups that provide quality content, brings huge traffic, and helps bloggers connect with influencers.)

One of the most important changes that I made was to give up to my job to become a blogger. I always knew that I didn't want to be an employee and for the short period that I had a regular job after I finished college, proved to me that this lifestyle wasn't for me.
I used to work for an airline as a customer support executive. We worked in shifts and I could never plan anything because I had a different schedule each week. Some days in the morning, other times in the evening. The job was very stressful and the pay was very low. I worked for them for 4 months and then I resigned.
 
A. BikeALatte (Founder of Bike-A-Latte)

After I had given up racing (cycling) in college I began to put on a lot of weight. Constantly eating a lot of fast food etc. A couple years later, while watching TV, something sparked in me and I knew I had to change. From that day forward I had a simple approach eat nothing white (white rice, white bread, sugar etc) and to start riding again. Within 4 months I dropped from 215lbs at 5'9" to 165lbs and have never looked back.


Q. What happened that made you decide you needed to make a change in your life?


 A. hhoover (How creative thinking changed my life)

It was late 1999. My kids were growing up fast in the neighborhood I promised not to leave until they finished high school. I wanted them to have a stable home life and to grow up with their close neighborhood friends, as I had done. Problem was, home was more than 30 miles from work and I was spending two hours per day on the road. I was reading Michael Gelb's book, How To Think Like Leonardo da Vinci, at the time. The book lays out da Vinci's approach to creative thinking and provides exercises to help you incorporate those into your own life. Gelb had a series of "power questions" in the book and one really resonated with me. "What one thing can you start doing, stop doing or start doing differently that would have the most positive impact on your life?" Stop driving two hours per day so I can spend more time with my family was the answer. Once you answer the power question, you must develop a plan to achieve it. So, I started right then thinking about how to bring this plan to fruition.

A. Minuca Elena (Minuca creates awesome influencer roundups that provide quality content, brings huge traffic, and helps bloggers connect with influencers.)
Initially, I started working for another blogger part-time as a VA. I didn't know anything about blogging but I was fascinated by the idea of working from home, not having a boss and the freedom to travel whenever and wherever I want.    After a few months, my part-time job as a VA became more of a full-time ghost-writing job, because I reached the point where I was doing all the work instead of the person responsible who hired me. I became frustrated by the situation because I knew I wasn't paid according to the value of my work.    I was feeling as an employee all over again. A year after my first introduction to blogging, with a lot of fear and lack of confidence, I decided to start my own business online. 

A. BikeALatte (Founder of Bike-A-Latte)

I was watching TV, I believe it was the FIT Channel at the time, and looking down at my stomach in disgust I knew I had to change. We all need that internal motivation to make us commit to big changes in our lives. Why it was a fitness TV channel I'll never know. Plus I love being on my bike. And being 50lbs over wieght really  slows your ability down on two wheels. I think the TV show was the wake up call and my love for cycling that allowed me to commit.


Q. What has your life been like since you made the change?

A. hhoover (How creative thinking changed my life)


I spent several months developing the plan, naming the business, and developing my positioning, as well as networking. I had worked for my company 11 years and felt I had to tell them about my decision, and they gave me their blessing. In October 2001, I launched Hoover ink PR with a positive outlook but no clients. As you might expect, I rolled out an aggressive public relations campaign. My first day in business, I got a call from a colleague who hired me on the spot. Within two weeks, I had landed two more clients, and I was spending more time with my family. After my one-year non-compete was up, two more former clients came on board. In 2007, the kids now off at college, an old friend and I merged to form My Creatrive Team. I sold my half of the business in 2015, which allowed me to start my new enterprise. I'm back to what I do best and love most: writing.

A. Minuca Elena (Minuca creates awesome influencer roundups that provide quality content, brings huge traffic, and helps bloggers connect with influencers.)
Not having a regular income was scary in the beginning. Fortunately, I had the support of my family that pushed me not to give up.   The most important improvement that I made was in my mentality. I am more confident and more independent. Now, I support my living from what I earn online; I have savings and my income increases every month.   Being connected  with a lot of bloggers and influencers, I'm often featured as a blogging expert and this helps me increase my brand by showcasing my expertise to a larger audience. I have clients in all types of niches, like blogging, SEO, PR, eCommerce firms etc.   As long as you are in a convenient situation you won't have the courage to make a change, but you will never accomplish your full potential as someone else's employee.    Find out what you are good at, what you like to do and then try it on your own. Work really hard, over deliver and success will come with time and perseverance.

A. BikeALatte (Founder of Bike-A-Latte)

I have dedicated my life to empowering the every day cyclist. The person who loves the feeling of cycling and wants to be health but has no desire to race. My personal goal is to help 1 million people find health and happiness on two wheels. Even though I'm not racing I ride any where from 10-12hrs a week. I hated mornings, but as my professional life started to grow I have had to find time to be on the bike. Now, getting up at 530am to go for a ride is a real treat and I can offically call myself a morning person! Becuase when you do something you love and its not a chore it seems to take the effort out of it, it just becomes a part of your day that you look forward to.

Yesterday's Workout: Legs and Back and Pilates for Abs

Realized I forgot to blog about my workout yesterday! Yesterday's workout was Legs and Back, which went well as usual. I also did Pilates for Abs because I ran low on time - didn't have enough time to do Ab Ripper X. Yes I could have made time, but I didn't feel like it. Yesterday morning Kevin and I went to breakfast at Golden Corral which we usually do once or twice a month. I actually had a good breakfast - got an omelet from the "omelet lady" that works at the buffet, and also ate some potatoes and some sausages and some red grapes - tried not to eat anything too high in sugar, but still ended up turning lazy and falling a sleep for a bit during the day...LOL.

My Workout Schedule and Plans for this Week

Good morning! This morning so far I've been working on a few things - Kevin's getting ready to go out of town, so I got his laundry ready to go, and I did my daily routine (minus working out, which I don't do on Monday). Now I'm sitting here working on a few things for a bit.

One thing I did this morning before I got in the shower, was I looked at the types of blog posts I've written on my websites, as well as on this blog, and came up with a few ideas for things I could do. Nicola and I had talked about the idea of me making up an e-course, or doing YouTube videos, but I also thought this morning of the idea of writing an eBook. I've written a lot of posts, especially on my Work at Home Tips Online website, about tips that will help people be more productive, or websites or products that will help people who work from home. I could easily put a bunch of them into an eBook and sell it on Amazon.  I could also write a report that I could send to people who sign up on my website. I'm also still looking at the idea of pulling all my sites together into one website.

Anyway, my workout plan for this week is:

Tomorrow: Chest, Shoulders & Triceps and Ab Ripper X
Wednesday: Plyometrics
Thursday: Back and Biceps/Ab Ripper X
Friday: X Stretch
Saturday: Kenpo Cardio
Sunday: Legs and Back/Ab Ripper X

Hope everyone has a great week!

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Kenpo Cardio and My Session with Nicola

Good morning! This morning's workout was Kenpo Cardio, which I enjoyed as usual. I always get a good workout from Kenpo Cardio because I can really get into the moves.

This morning I also had my second official session with Nicola - we talked about the homework assignments she'd given me for last week, and she asked me to think about a way to pull all my websites into one website, as well as ways to earn money from them, such as possibly offering an online course, and more ideas for selling my writing. She also asked me to think about what my hourly rate should be by looking at people who offer what I want to offer and seeing what they charge.

Looking forward to today, Kevin and I are going to go see "Hillary's America" at the movies, and I also have some things to work on. Hope everyone has a great Saturday!

Friday, August 12, 2016

X Stretch and Weight Loss for this Week

Good morning! Got on the scale this morning and found I'd lost 2 pounds - down to 119 for the first time in a while. This morning's workout was X Stretch, which felt great after doing weight training and aerobics all week. Not sure what we'll be doing this weekend, I do have my session with Nicola tomorrow, and I have some transcription to work on, but other than that I'd like to get some time in with Kevin.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Back and Biceps

Good morning! This morning I did Back and Biceps, again without Ab Ripper X because I ran short on time. I love Back and Biceps because of the variety of different exercises it has - pull-up exercises as well as weight exercises for the back, and different variations of curls (regular bicep curls as well as hammer curls) for the biceps. This morning however I barely had enough time to get through Back and Biceps because I started late - I think I need to start putting out my workout clothes the night before so I can save time in the morning, as well as maybe put my weights out so that I have those ready to go.

Hoping that today goes well at work, and that everyone reading this has a great day.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Plyometrics

Good morning! This morning's workout was Plyometrics - haven't done that workout in a while, so it felt good to do it. Today I'm hoping for a steady day at work - hope everyone has a great day!

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Chest, Shoulders and Triceps

Good morning! This morning's workout was Chest, Shoulders and Triceps - I didn't do Ab Ripper X because of lack of time. I had a few other things to work on which ate into the time I should have spent doing Ab Ripper X. Had a good workout as usual, and so far I'm having a great day - hope everyone else is too!

Monday, August 8, 2016

What does Wellness Mean To You?

I read an interesting post on What Annabel Cooks that asked this very question. It is a rather interesting question, because wellness probably means different things to different people. For me, it means feeling the best I can, and being in the best health I possibly can be.

What do I do to keep myself well?

Simple, I eat as healthfully as I can, I exercise 5 to 6 times a week usually, I drink plenty of fluids, and I make sure I take the two medications daily that I need to take. I also try to meditate at least 5 minutes a day, which I find helps my mental  health. I usually do it first thing in the morning, but sometimes I'm not able to, so I'll fit it in at some other point in the day, and I find it's just as beneficial.

That's what I do to keep myself as well as possible - what does wellness mean to you, and what do you do?

Sunday, August 7, 2016

My Review of the MyHydrate Water Bottle

One of the most important things you can do when losing weight, and one of the most important things for maintaining good health, is to drink plenty of water. Most people recommend we drink 6 to 8 8 oz glasses of water a day. But how do you know if you're getting enough? If you have a water bottle that you know holds a certain amount of liquid (32 ounces for example) it's easy to figure out when you've gotten your 8 8 ounce glasses of water. Another way is to use a smart water bottle, such as the MyHydrate Water Bottle - in this post I'll discuss the MyHydrate Water Bottle, and what makes it better than other water bottles.

I received the MyHydrate water bottle a few days ago, and it has been a great way for me to track my water consumption. The MyHydrate is different from other water bottles because it has a Smart Disk that goes in it which keeps track of the amount of water you drink. There are eight lights on it, and each one lights up when you drink at least 8 ounces of water - the MyHydrate holds about 2.25 cups of water, so you have to fill it about 4 times to get in 64  ounces of water a day. When you first get the MyHydrate, you'll want to read the instruction pamphlet that comes with it, because it explains how to set up the water bottle.

Drinking Water

When you drink water from the MyHydrate Water Bottle, you have to press in the valve button until the water is flowing at the rate you want it - you'll see that the light on the water bottle starts flickering. After you've taken a drink of water, or whatever beverage you're drinking through the MyHydrate, the first light will flicker if you've drank at least 8 ounces of water. The lights don't stay lit - this helps conserve battery power - but if you want to see how many 8 ounce glasses of liquid you've drunk, you can press the button in the center of the Smart Disk:


Caring for the Water Bottle

You'll want to wash the water bottle every time you use it - so if you use it every day, you'll want to wash it every day. When you wash the bottle, however, be sure to take out the Smart Disk - all you have to do is grasp the sides of it and pull it out. 

Other Tips for using the Water Bottle

  • You can carry the bottle easily one of two different ways - you can either clip it to your belt, purse or backpack with the clip on the back of the bottle, or you can clip the convertible loop to at the top of the bottle to a carabineer and clip that to your belt or a belt loop.  
  • You can flavor your water with spices, fruits or herbs using the spa infuser that's included. Just remove the lid from the basket and fill it with spices, herbs or fruit, then put the lid back on with the stabilization post pointing upwards. Fill the bottle with liquid, but remember to reduce the amount of liquid to accommodate the spa infuser. 
  • When you press the button in that allows the water to flow, make sure you press it in far enough that you see one of the lights on the water bottle start flashing - otherwise your water consumption won't get recorded. 
That's my review of the MyHydrate Water Bottle - if you've tried this water bottle and have had good or bad experiences with it I'd love to hear about them! Feel free to comment below. 






Core Synergistics - Made it All the Way Through!

Good morning! This morning I did Core Synergistics, and I'm excited to say I did all the exercises in the workout! Usually I stop at the last section, or maybe about halfway through it, where Tony says the regular workout starts and the advanced exercises begin. But today I actually decided to do as much of the advanced workout as I could. I was only able to do maybe a few reps of each exercise, but I did it.

Not sure what I'll be doing today - I'll probably work a bit on the things I have to do before my next session with Nicola next week, and probably spend some time with Kevin. Everyone have a great Sunday!

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Kenpo Cardio and my Session with Nicola

Good morning! This morning's workout was Kenpo Cardio, which felt great as usual. This morning after my workout I did my usual morning routine - showered, got dressed, ate breakfast, finished getting ready for the day. Then I washed dishes and put my clothes away. By the time I finished all that I had a little time to do a few other things before my session with Nicola.

This session went well, she helped me brainstorm some things that I could do to start working on my goals. I also told her about some of the things I had been doing this week, which she was glad to hear about. Right now Kevin is heading out to see a friend of his, he'll be back later and then I'll probably spend some time with him.

Friday, August 5, 2016

Why I Decided to Lose Weight and Get In the Best Shape of My Life, and What I've Accomplished Since Then

I may have told this story before, but I thought I'd tell it again, because some of you may be wondering how I found P90x and the other  Beachbody programs I've tried over the years. This is a long post, so get comfortable ;)

2011

In 2011, I started working for a company called Apptical (the same company I still work for today). Apptical asks people questions about their health to determine if they're eligible for different life and  health insurance products based on the underwriting guidelines for the different companies we work with. Some companies also ask us to check the client's prescription history.  One thing that I noticed is that several of these older people were taking multiple medications for conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and other things that can be prevented simply by making lifestyle changes. I knew I didn't want to end up like these people, taking multiple medications, or having to try different medications for problems I knew I could control on my own. I already take two medications for epilepsy, and that's enough for me. I had been exercising regularly at that time, and was at a decent weight, but I knew I could weigh a little less, and I also wanted to get a regular program where I was doing certain workouts on certain days. So I started researching different workout programs, and found one through Beachbody called P90x - some of you reading this know P90x alternates aerobic workouts with weight training workouts, and also throws some flexibility and stretching in there as well. The cost of the program was prohibitive for me at that time, but luckily I found out one of my family members had the P90x and Brazil Butt Lift workouts, so I got them from him and started using them.

Brazil Butt Lift

Brazil Butt Lift was the first program I tried - I wanted to try that first because it was a short program, and also because I didn't have all the equipment I needed to do P90x properly - I needed a chin-up bar and a few other things. For Brazil Butt Lift, I didn't need anything except a mat and weights.  When I first started, my rear end did have a bit of fat in it - I could tell because I could put a pencil under one of my butt cheeks and it would stay - if my rear end had been toned it wouldn't have been able to hold the pencil. So I did the program, which was about 3 or 4 weeks long, It consisted of some aerobics (I actually did my own aerobics workouts in place of their aerobics workouts because the constantly changing views confused me), as well as general strength training and workouts that specifically toned your glue muscles. And let me tell you, those glute workouts when I first started the program left my glue muscles HURTING afterwards - not to the point where I couldn't sit or anything, but I could definitely tell my glute muscles had been worked. Anyway, by the end of the Brazil Butt Lift workout, the pencil was dropping to the floor almost as soon as I put (or tried to put it ) under my butt cheek. I felt very encouraged and motivated by my success with this workout, so I decided to move on and try P90x

P90x

When I started P90x, one of the requirements was that you be able to do at least one pull-up - well I couldn't do one pull-up, but I started the program anyway. P90x consists of muscle toning workouts, as well as aerobics workouts and a few yoga and flexibility workouts. They have a few different schedules you can choose from, when I first started I chose the Lean Workout schedule, which combines a little bit of everything - strength, cardio, flexibility and Core Synergistics (Core Synergistics is a workout that works multiple muscles at the same time during the exercises). The emphasis in this workout is on cardio and flexibility, and less on strength. By the end of the Lean workout schedule, however I was able to actually start doing some chin-ups, which was a major win for me. I went through the Lean schedule a few times, then decided to switch to the Classic schedule, which has three days of cardio and flexibility, and three days of strength. I like this schedule better because it's more balanced.  The only workout schedule I haven't tried is Doubles, where you do both cardio and strength in one day - I don't have the time in my schedule for that one.

Since I've started doing P90x, my strength and flexibility have really improved. Here are some of the things I can do now because of P90x:


  • I can make it through the entire Ab Ripper X workout (this is a 15 minute all-mat ab workout that's part of P90x - when I started this workout I could only make it part-way through some of the exercises). 
  • I can do multiple chin-ups for some of the different chin-up and pull-up types. 
  • I can do push-ups on my toes (when I first started I could only do them on my knees).
  • I can do Dreya rolls (Dreya Rolls are an exercise in Core Synergistics where you have to get up from a sitting or laying down position without using your hands.) 

P90x Plus

After I'd been doing P90x for a while, I started to get bored with some of the exercises - I felt like I was ready for more of a challenge, but wasn't ready to try some of the other workouts that required more equipment than what I had. So I decided to try P90x Plus - this workout is actually an add-on workout to P90x (not meant to be done separately) that provides a few workouts that kick things up a notch because they use more muscle groups. The workouts in this program are  Upper Plus, Abs/Core Plus, Interval X Plus, Total Body Plus, and Kenpo Cardio. I have used these workouts in combination with some of the other workouts in P90x, and while I haven't seen any significant changes yet, I'm confident that I will if I keep using them. 

Les Mills Combat

This is the fourth Beachbody workout program I've tried. I tried this one because I was getting bored with P90x workouts, and because I love doing kickboxing. Most of the workouts focus on cardio, though they do have a few interval workouts that combine strength intervals with cardio. This workout has helped me improve my kickboxing moves, but other than that I haven't really seen any significant gains like I did from the other workouts. 

Ok, so I got off track a bit here talking about the different workouts I tried, and this turned into a bit of a review. Anyway, getting back to what I've accomplished since I got into the best shape of my life - I now have more energy, and can fit into clothing sizes that I can't remember the last time I was able to wear them - maybe when I was a teenager. I'm actually the same size as one of my relatives now, so I'm able to wear so of her clothes, which is great. Losing weight and getting in shape has also motivated me to make other changes in my life - I've been working for the past few years to try and start earning more writing from freelance writing, and have had some success with that. My ultimate goal is to get to where I can write full-time, so I don't have to work at the job I started in 2011, which although it pays well, is not very rewarding anymore. I'll be posting updates on this blog about how I'm doing with that, as well as how I'm doing with my other goals, so be sure to stay tuned for more updates! 


Pilates and My New MyHydrate Water Bottle

Good morning! This morning I ended up doing a 30 minute Pilates mat workout instead of the workout I was supposed to do, which I think was Core Synergistics - I ended up running behind because I was playing with my new MyHydrate Water Bottle, trying to figure out how it worked.

Which brings me to that subject - I ordered the Myhydrate Water Bottle a few weeks ago, but was only able to get it last night because Kevin came home and got it from the office at our apartment complex for me - he didn't want me going up there and getting it while he was gone because he's afraid something will happen to me. Anyway, this water bottle is a special water bottle because it has a little smart disk that goes in it that tracks your water consumption. It's also supposed to remind you to drink if you don't drink any water for 60 minutes, but I drink water pretty much all day, so I have yet to see that happen - though it may happen today, I don't know. To drink water, you have to press in a little button and drink from the spout. For each 8 ounces of water  you drink, a little light lights up on the smart disk.So far I've lit up 3 lights, I'm going to see if I can make it to eight today.

That's all I know to tell you about the water bottle so far, I'm going to try to do a more thorough review of the water bottle this weekend - perhaps a video review, but we'll see.

That's it for now, hope everyone has a great Friday and a great weekend!

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Kenpo Cardio and Making Small Changes

Good morning! This morning's workout was Kenpo Cardio, which as you all know, is one of my favorite cardio workouts. Got a good workout from it this morning as usual.

I also wanted to take a little time to talk about making small changes. Anyone who's made a significant change in their life knows that change doesn't usually happen all at once. If you're trying to change your health or something else in your life, sometimes the best way to start is to make small changes. Examples of some of the changes you might make in your life, depending on your situation, include:


  1. Drinking more water. 
  2. Eating more vegetables/fruit. 
  3. Smoking fewer cigarettes every day. 
  4. Exercising more. 
So how do you start making these small changes? The best way to start is to figure out how much of whatever you want to change you're doing right now - how much water do you drink, how many vegetable or fruit servings do you eat every day, how many cigarettes do you smoke, or how much do you exercise? Once you've figured that out, find ways to increase or decrease what you're doing, depending on what it is - if you're exercising 20  minutes a day, can you find a way to add an extra 5 minutes? Once you've done that, keep track of how many days you exercise for 25 minutes (remember it doesn't have to be all at the same time).  If you're trying to get rid of a bad habit, such as smoking, keep track of how many days you're able to smoke one less cigarette than you were smoking. After that's become a habit, try increasing or decreasing by a little more - add another 5 minutes of exercise, another glass of water, or smoke one less cigarette.  

I hope these tips have been helpful - if you've been successful with improving your health this way, I'd love to hear your experiences - feel free to comment below. 

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

X Stretch and Making Changes to my Business Website

Good morning! This morning's workout was great - did X Stretch, which felt great after doing Core Synergistics yesterday.

I've also started making some changes to my writing and transcription business website - I added a blog to it, and am starting to add blog posts to it through a one-week writing challenge I'm participating in on Facebook - if you want to check out my business website you can do so here.

That's it for today, hope everyone has a great day and I'll be back with more updates tomorrow!

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Core Synergistics

Good morning! This morning's workout was Core Synergistics - got a good workout though even though I only had time to do the first two sections of it. Yesterday's shift at work ended up being steady but not too crazy - hoping for the same thing today.  Hope everyone has a great day!

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Legs and Back and My Workout Plan for This Week

Good morning! This morning I did Legs and Back, did not do Ab Ripper X because of time again - I really need to work on that. I am going to be watching the Preacher marathon today though, and I will do some ab exercises during the commercials - not as good as doing the actual Ab Ripper X workout, but it's better than nothing.

This coming week is going to be a recovery week, so my workout plan is going to change slightly. This is my workout plan for this coming week:

Monday - Rest Day
Tuesday - Core Synergistics
Wednesday - X Stretch
Thursday - Kenpo Cardio
Friday - Abs/Core Plus
Saturday - Kenpo Cardio
Sunday - Core Synergistics

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Kenpo Cardio and My First Conference with Nicola Bolt

Good morning! This morning's workout was Kenpo Cardio Plus, which went well as usual.

As I mentioned last week, I had a Skype conference call this morning with Nicola Bolt, owner of the website Achieve Your Best Life. It was more of a session for us to get to know one another, and for her to get to know me and me to get to know her - I did find out that she follows my other blogs, which made me feel great. She also told me how the course is going to unfold - it will last approximately six to twelve weeks, depending on how much work she thinks needs to be done. We've scheduled another session tentatively for next Saturday. I'll have a little homework to do in between, which she'll send me sometime today or tomorrow. I'm looking forward to working with her and posting updates on my progress.

Friday, July 29, 2016

X Stretch, Lost 2 Pounds and My Plans for the Weekend

Good morning! This morning I got on the scale and was pleased to see I was down to 120.5, so I lost 2 pounds this week. This morning's workout was X Stretch, which felt great as usual - it's always nice to have that stretch after working your muscles hard a few days in a row. This weekend I plan to work on some stuff - I'm going to be taking part in a short writing challenge next week, so I want to use this weekend to start brainstorming and fleshing out some blog post ideas for the blog I created on my business website for Martin Writing and VA Services. Other than that I'll probably just relax a bit. I hope everyone has a great weekend!

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Shoulders and Arms

Good morning! This morning I did Shoulders and Arms, but was unable to do Ab Ripper X because of lack of time. Had a good workout today, but I need to work on getting started earlier so I have time to do all the workouts I want to do, or finding shorter ab workouts to do in case I run out of time.

Hope everyone has a great day today!

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Plyo X and Controlling Food Cravings

Good morning! This morning's workout was Plyo X - it went well, except that I had a hard time getting through the hot foot exercise at the end - had to keep switching feet.

Also lately I've been craving food a lot more - luckily there's not much junk food around here so that helps. Going to do some research on what I can do to control the food craavings - I may have to drink more water. Hope everyone has a great day!

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Chest and Back and Ab Ripper X

Good morning! This morning I did Chest and Back and Ab Ripper X - decided to try something different this time and used my weights as push-up bars for the push-up exercises. That made the push-ups a little more challenging while also taking the stress off my wrists. I'm looking forward to continuing to do my push-ups like that, and also maybe eventually getting some push-up bars. Ab Ripper X was slightly challenging, but I got through it. Hope everyone has a great day!

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Legs and Back and My Workout Plan for the Week

Good morning! This morning I did Legs and Back, but didn't do Ab Ripper X because I wanted to sleep in a little bit. I enjoy that workout, but I need to work on keeping my feet from drifting when I do the calf raises where my toes point inward.

This week's workout plan is going to be the same as last week's:

Monday - Rest Day
Tuesday - Chest and Back/Ab Ripper X
Wednesday - Plyo X
Thursday - Shoulders and Arms/Ab Ripper X
Friday - X Stretch
Saturday- Legs and Back/Ab Ripper X
Sunday - Kenpo Cardio Plus

Also, next Saturday I am going to start working with a life coach, Nicola Bolt. You can find her website at http://achieveyourbestlife.com/welcome-to-achieve-your-best-life/.  I plan to start blogging a little about that, so be sure to keep your eyes on the blog for more updates on that.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Kenpo Cardio and My Plans for the Day

Good morning! This morning's workout was Kenpo Cardio, which went well as  usual. Today I have a few things to do, and I'm also looking forward to spending some time with Kevin.  Hope everyone has a great day!

Friday, July 22, 2016

X Stretch, Lost a Pound and My Plans for the Weekend

Good morning! I'm glad to say that when I got on the scale this morning I'd lost another pound - so I'm slowly getting back down to where I should be. This morning's workout was X Stretch. That workout felt great, especially since my calves are still sore from the plyometric workout I did on Wednesday.

Tomorrow I plan to spend some time with Kevin - we have a few things to do, but I think we might also go see a movie. On Sunday I plan to spend some time working on some other things, because Kevin is going to have to get ready to go back to Maryland. I hope everyone has a great weekend!

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Shoulders and Arms and Ab Ripper X, and the Importance of Focus

Good morning! This morning's workout was Shoulders and Arms and Ab Ripper X - for some reason I struggled a bit with Ab Ripper X, but I got through it.

I've also been thinking a bit lately about the importance of focus - in this day and age, there's way too much emphasis put on multi-tasking - everyone wants everything else to be able to do everything, when the fact is that the human brain can only handle so many things at one time and still be effective. I've found the key to accomplishing any goal is to block everything else out and just focus on what you're doing at the present moment, whether it's working out, reading, or whatever. There are different ways you can do that - if you're on your computer, there's a program called FocusMe that you can download a set a timer for the specific length of time you want to focus on whatever you're focusing on. You can choose to block certain sites and applications, or only be able to access certain sites and applications during your focus session. If you're not doing something on your computer, such as if you're reading a physical book, you can set a timer on your phone, or another physical timer for a specific length of time you want to focus on something. Or you can set a goal to read so many chapters a day.

That's it for today, I hope everyone has a great Thursday! If you have any ideas to share on how you focus, I'd love to hear them!

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Plyo X

Good morning! This morning's workout was Plyo X - it's been a while since I did that workout, so it felt good to do it. I need to remember to not go so low on some of the exercises though, because it makes it difficult for me to get through them, and I end up having to stop early. Tomorrow's workout will be Shoulders and Arms and Ab Ripper X. That's it for now, hope everyone has a great day!

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Chest and Back and Ab Ripper X

Good morning! This morning's workout was Chest and Back and Ab Ripper X - did pretty well at the workout, even though I haven't done it in a while.  Tomorrow's workout is Plyometrics - looking forward to that one, haven't done it in a while either.

That's about it from here - hoping that today goes well for me and that everyone has a great day!

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Legs and Back and Abs/Core Plus and my Plans for Today

Good morning! This morning I got up and did Legs and Back and Abs/Core Plus - both workouts went well, I actually was able to do 4 reps of almost all the pull-up exercises today. I did fairly well at Abs/Core Plus - I love that workout because of the diversity, but I still have kind of a hard time with some of the hanging ab moves, so I decided to look for more information on how to do them online, and found the following review:

https://hmanfitness.wordpress.com/workout-programs/p90x-plus-review/p90x-plus-abs-core-plus/

It actually provided some pretty decent descriptions (I thought) of how to do the exercises, so I'll try using the descriptions here and see if I can figure out how to do the exercises. I also may ask for help on the Beachbody message boards.

Today I plan to work on some stuff - I have some freelance writing due tomorrow, so I need to get that done, plus I have a few other things  I need to do. Hope everyone has a good Sunday!

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Kenpo Cardio and My Saturday

Good evening! This morning's workout was Kenpo Cardio, which went well as usual. After I did my workout I got ready for my day - went through my normal morning routine. After Kevin got back from physical therapy we went out to visit some friends in Thomasville, North Carolina for a few hours - it was nice to get out of the house for a few hours after being in here for two weeks. After we got back I worked on a few things - looking forward to relaxing with Kevin tonight. Tomorrow I'll be working on some stuff while Kevin gets ready to head back to Maryland for the week. Hope everyone enjoys the rest of their Saturday!

Friday, July 15, 2016

X Stretch and Lost 2 Pounds

Good morning! I'm pleased to say that when I got on the scale this morning I'd lost 2 of the 5 pounds I gained the previous week - hopefully I can lose some more of it the coming week. This morning's workout was X Stretch as usual.

Today Kevin is heading home for the weekend - he only has to work in  Maryland another week though, and then he'll be back to working in North Carolina. Looking forward to spending some time with him this weekend.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Upper Plus

Good morning! This morning's workout was Upper Plus - I love that workout because it uses more muscle than the regular P90x upper body workouts, but I still need to work on improving at some of the exercises.

Yesterday I worked a slightly different schedule at work - I worked 10-7:30 instead of 9-6:30 so I could help out a co-worker - she took my hour from 9-10 yesterday.  I'm glad I could help her out, but I don't know if I'll be doing that again - I ended up being there 15 minutes later than I was supposed to because I got stuck on a long call. Hoping that today is a little less busy. Hope everyone has a great day!

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

High Intensity Interval Training workout

Good morning! This morning's workout was supposed to be Interval X Plus, but I decided to change things up a bit and do a high intensity interval training workout that I found on YouTube - it was only 30 minutes, but it really gave me a good workout. If you want to check it out you can find it here:

I also found an old book of mine from when I was in college "The College Dorm Workout" by Joyce and Marthe Vedral - some of the exercises in it are outdated, but it might be a good workout for me to do when we're traveling. If you want to check it out, you can do so here: http://amzn.to/29E9Jbj

Today's work schedule is going to be a little bit different for me - I'm starting work at 10:00 and working until 7:30 to help out someone who needed to go do something tonight - going to use the extra time this morning to get some stuff done. Other than that, that's it. Hope everyone has a great day!

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Total Body Plus

Good morning! I've had a good day so far today, I did Total Body Plus this morning, which I got a good workout from. I should have done Abs/Core Plus along with it, but I ended up not having enough time. It's okay though, I got enough ab work in the Total Body Plus Workout.

Yesterday before work I did a few things - one thing I did was I called a few places about donating some of the items I have - I think I'm going to end up donating everything to the Salvation Army, it will make things easier because I'll only have to make one trip.

That's it for now, hope everyone has a great day!

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Legs and Back and Abs/Core Plus, my Workout Plan for the Week and My Plans for the Day

Good morning! This morning's workout was Legs and Back and Abs/Core Plus - it went well except that I forgot to use my 10 pound weight on the alternating side lunge like I had made a note to last week. I enjoyed Abs/Core Plus, but I need to work on using my abs more on the hanging ab exercises.

This week's workout plan is a little more intense:

Monday - Rest day
Tuesday - Total Body Plus/Abs/Core Plus
Wednesday - Interval X Plus
Thursday - Upper Plus/ARX
Friday - X Stretch
Saturday - Legs & Back/Abs/Core Plus
Sunday - Kenpo Cardio Plus

Yesterday I got quite a bit accomplished - I cleaned out a bunch of files that I no longer needed - here are some before and after pictures of my file cabinet:


This is my file cabinet before I cleaned it out


And this is my file cabinet after I cleaned it out.


Don't know about you, but I see a pretty big difference there. Today I plan to work on cleaning out the drawers in my bathroom, as well as working on a few other things. Hope everyone has a great day! 


Saturday, July 9, 2016

Kenpo Cardio and What I've Done so Far Today

Good morning! I have had a good day so far today - I got up and did Kenpo Cardio, then showered, got dressed and ate breakfast. After that I started doing some cleaning - I cleaned the things I normally clean, plus I also did a little more cleaning - cleaned the tile area in front of the door, and I also cleaned the scuff marks off the wall in that area. Getting ready to go through the files in my file cabinet, and then do some other things.

Friday, July 8, 2016

Pilates, Weight Gain and my Weekend Plans

Good morning! This morning I got on the scale and found that I'd gained 5 pounds. I'm not surprised considering how much I ate last weekend. I'm not worried though, I'll get it off this coming week. This morning's workout was supposed to be X Stretch, but I decided to do Pilates instead - I actually found it kind of hard to do, which surprised me.

This weekend since I'm going to be on my own, I plan on working on a few projects around my apartment, as well as doing a few other things - I want to do some cleaning and organize my files a little bit - maybe get rid of some of the files I no longer need. I also want to take the test to do QA (quality assurance) work on one of the transcription websites I work on occasionally. Hope everyone has a great day and a great weekend!

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Chest, Shoulders and Triceps

Good morning! This morning's workout was Chest, Shoulders and Triceps. The workout went well - I tried to use 10 pound weights on the Slow Mo Throws exercise, but I think for now I need to stick with 8 pound weights. I also should have done Ab Ripper X. but I ran out of time, unfortunately.

Not sure what kind of day today will be at work - yesterday was a bit busier than Tuesday, so we'll see. Hope everyone has a great day!

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Interval X Plus

Good morning! This morning's workout was another Interval X Plus workout - tried to slow down a little on the exercises that require more range of motion, like I said I was going to last week, and that seemed to help some. I'll continue to do that on this workout.

Yesterday was a slow day at work - I'm hoping today is a little busier, but we'll see. Hope everyone has a great day!

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Back and Biceps and Abs/Core Plus, and My Independence Day

Good  morning! This morning I did Back and Biceps and Abs/Core Plus - it was a great workout, but I need to figure out where exactly my pelvis is so I can do some of these hanging ab exercises, like hanging pelvic tilts. I'll do that this week, and hopefully by next week I'll be able to do those exercises more effectively.

Yesterday I had a great day - as I mentioned in my post on Sunday, Kevin and I went back to the Cinebistro to see Independence Day: Resurgence, and everything was great - the food and the movie. We got there early and had a few drinks in the bar while we waited for our movie start seating people - of course mine were non-alcoholic drinks. Once we were able to get into the movie theater, we ordered our meals - I ended up ordering a steak sandwich with sweet potato fries, but they brought out the sandwich with the wrong type of fries, so I had to remind them again what I had ordered. They brought out the correct fries, and I ended up getting both types with my sandwich - so I ate way more food than I should have. It's time for me to get back to eating right and exercising the way I should, though. My workouts for the rest of the week will be as follows:

Wednesday - Interval X Plus
Thursday -  Chest, Shoulders, Triceps/ARX
Friday - X Stretch
Saturday - Legs and Back/Abs/Core Plus
Sunday - Kenpo Cardio Plus

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

Good morning! The last few days have been busy for me - yesterday's workout was Kenpo Cardio Plus, which went well as usual. Yesterday afternoon was interesting, Kevin and I went to this place in Cary called the Cinebistro to see The Legend of Tarzan - as you might have guessed, it's a combination restaurant and movie theater. Ended up only getting a few sodas though, because we weren't prepared for how expensive the food was going to be, or for the fact that there was going to be an 18.5% gratuity added to the bill! Tomorrow though, we're going back to see "Independence Day - Resurgence," and this time we are going prepared to eat! For those who are interested in finding out more about the Cinebistro you can  check them out at this link: http://cinebistro.com/

This morning I did a Legs and Back workout - didn't do Ab Ripper X or Abs/Core Plus though, because I was feeling lazy (I know, I know, bad excuse).

That's about it for today, hope everyone has a great day, and if I don't get to post tomorrow, I hope everyone has a great Independence day!

Friday, July 1, 2016

X Stretch and Lost 1 1/2 pounds

Good morning! I'm pleased to say that when I got on the scale this morning I was down to 120.5, which means I lost 1 1/2 pounds this week. I did X Stretch this morning, which felt great.

Not sure what we'll do this weekend for 4th of July weekend - we may go see a movie, there are a few out we'd like to go see. I also hope to get a little more work done on organizing my office. I hope everyone has a great 4th of July!

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Shoulders and Arms and Pilates for Abs

Good morning! I had a good workout this morning - it was supposed to be Upper Plus and Abs/Core Plus, but I forgot to have Kevin put up my chin-up bar before he left for Maryland, so I had to improvise - I did Shoulders and Arms and a short Pilates for Abs workout instead. I would have done Ab Ripper X, but I was running kind of short on time. I had a good workout, but I need to remember when I do this Pilates for Abs workout, which is both mat exercises and exercises using weights, to use both my 5 pound and 3 pound weights - there are a few exercises that I can't do with my 5 pound weights just yet.

That's it for today, hope everyone has a great day!

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Interval X Plus

Good morning! This morning's workout was Interval X Plus - I love the diversity of the exercises in that workout, but I need to remember that not all the exercises need to be done quickly - the ones that require more range of motion I actually need to slow down on so I can get that range of motion without tiring myself out too much, and so I can gt through all three phases of every exercise.

That's about all I have for today, hope everyone has a great day!

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Total Body Plus and Abs/Core Plus, and My Doctor's Appointment Yesterday

Good morning! This morning's workout was Total Body Plus and Abs/Core Plus - I love both those workouts because they're very synergistic - they use all parts of the body. I'm not great at them yet, but I'm getting better.

I also had my follow-up appointment with my cardiologist yesterday. He told me what I basically already knew - my stress test came back normal, and my occasional shortness of breath problem while sleeping was probably related to my epilepsy. At any rate, I haven't had anymore problems with it since the last time, so I think I'll probably just do some research to see if others with epilepsy have had the same problem, and find out what they did to fix it.

That's it for now, hope everyone has a great day!

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Legs and Back and Abs/Core Plus, and Things I've Discovered about Essential Oils

Good morning! This morning's workouts were Legs and Back and Abs/Core Plus - I love those two workouts, especially Abs/Core Plus because it's a nice change from Ab Ripper X - Ab Ripper X is all mat exercises, which is great because it's a short, efficient workout. However, it can get boring quickly - Abs/Core Plus, on the other hand, is mat ab exercises, as well as standing, hanging, and ab exercises using weights. The exercises are more synergistic too - there are two that I really like called Scissor Climbers, which is a combination of Fifer Scissors and the leg climber exercise from Ab Ripper X. The other one is Banana Mason, which is a combination of Banana Rolls (from Core Synergistics) and Mason Twists (from Ab Riper X). There are others I like too, like Cherry Bomb, and many others that I can't think of now. If you're getting bored with Ab Ripper X, I highly recommend checking out the Abs/Core Plus workout in P90x Plus.

I've also been using essential oils for a few days now for different things, and I've made a few discoveries. The first one I started with was the lavender, and besides smelling wonderful, it also appears to have taken away my sneezing - for years, I've had problems with sneezing - the sneezes cone on suddenly, although I can usually tell when they're coming because I'll get a tickling sensation in my nose - well since I've been using the lavender essential oil the sneezes have almost disappeared. I did a little research on it, and apparently both lavender and peppermint essential oil can help with sneezing. So I'll definitely keep using those. I also decided to try using a few drops of lemon essential oil in my shoes this morning after I worked out to take away the sweaty foot smell, and it worked beautifully - now the inside of my shoes smell like lemons instead of a sweaty foot. I also tried using a little of the jojoba oil I received yesterday as a moisturizer after my shower, and it seems to work real well for that. Tomorrow I'll try using it when I shave my legs.

That's it for now, I hope everyone has a great Sunday! Tomorrow I hope to have a report on how my organization efforts are coming, because the rest of the stuff I ordered from Amazon is supposed to be deliverd today - hoping to be here when it is delivered, but there are a few things I want to do today.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

X Stretch, Kenpo Cardio, and Lost 1 1/2 Pounds

Good morning! Sorry I never wrote yesterday, yesterday was a rather busy day for me. Got on the scale yesterday morning and was pleased to find I lost 1 1/2 pounds. Yesterday's workout was X Stretch - felt great after working my muscles real hard the previous few days. The last few days I've also ordered a few days - one of the things I ordered on Thursday was some jojoba oil, which I can use with the essential oils I ordered, or I can use it alone - that will arrive today. I also ordered myself a new Kindle from eBay - a Kindle Fire HD 10 - so I ordered myself a new case for it, as well as some other things that I'm going to use to get my office more organized - I'll provide more details on that later. The case and other things I ordered are scheduled to arrive tomorrow.

Today and tomorrow too, I plan to work on some things and also spend some time with Kevin. Hope everyone has a great day!

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Chest and Back and Ab Ripper X, and Life Upgrades

Good morning - this morning's workout was supposed to be Chest and Back and Abs/Core Plus, but because of lack of time I ended up doing Chest and Back and Ab Ripper X. Still got a great workout though, as usual.

Also, yesterday I got a nice little surprise from my grandfather - not going to go into detail, but let's just say it's going to help me do a few things I've been wanting to do. I will be providing more details in the coming days and weeks, hopefully - hope everyone has a great day!

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Interval X Plus

Good morning! This morning's workout was Interval X Plus. I've been avoiding this one lately, but this morning I decided to do it. It really is a fun workout, even though most of the moves aren't speed moves, but rather depth moves - meaning that to make the intervals more challenging, you have to go deeper, not necessarily faster. On workouts like this, I need to remember to slow it down when I do those moves that require deep lunges. Tomorrow I'm going to do Chest and Back and Abs/Core Plus (which I should have done yesterday).  Hope everyone has a great day!

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Shoulders and Arms and Kickboxing Abs Workout and ordered essential oils

Good morning! This morning's workouts were Shoulders and Arms and a kickboxing abs workout that I haven't done in a while - felt like changing things up a bit. The shoulders and arms workout seemed a bit harder this time than it did the last time I did it, for some reason - and yes  I was using the same weights I did last time.

Also, yesterday I ordered my first ever set of essential oils - you can check out the ones I ordered right here: http://amzn.to/28L8UwS.  I'm lookign forward to getting them, I've been wanting to start using essential oils for different things. Some of the suggestions in the books I've been reading suggest  using essential oils to add scent to different things, so we'll see how well I like them. If I like them well enough, I may be ordering the scents again that I like best.

That's it for today, hope everyone has a great day!

Monday, June 20, 2016

Healthy Snack Ideas


  1. Chocolate is one of the most favorite snacks in the world. No wonder! It's tasty; there is a huge variety of choices (though dark chocolate is still considered to be the healthiest); it fills you body with energy and endorphins!
  2. Bananas are famous for being extremely healthy, mainly because they contain almost all elements from the periodic table. If Mendeleev had a chance to try a banana he would probably not had to wait for his famous dream to come.
  3. Berries. Almost all kinds of berries go great with chocolate, nuts, bread, honey, cottage cheese and (sour)cream. The berries-cheese-cream combination surprises a lot of people if you ask. But isn't that the way all yogurts are supposed to be made?
  4. Carrots are among the most favorite snacks for kids. Not too many parents know that kids love carrots not for the flavor and vitamins. There is an opinion that crunchy carrots remind kids of candies, and there are also a very fun and 'cool' snack to have!
  5. Egg yolk. There are many recipes for snacks based on stuffing egg whites. However, not too many people use egg yolk leftovers to cook something else (they either eat it as it is or, worse, just through it away). Simple searching will give you half a dozen of ideas how to use egg yolks for another healthy snack!
Healthy snacks ideas by 9round.com




Sunday, June 19, 2016

Kenpo Cardio and Core Synergistics

Good morning! Sorry I never posted yesterday, but it ended up being a busy day for me. Yesterday I did Kenpo Cardio, which I got a good workout from as usual, and this morning I did Core Synergistics, which I also got a good workout from - I noticed I'm starting to get better at doing Dreya Rolls again - I can almost do them without using my hands to get up - I only need one hand to get myself off the ground! Now I just need to get myself to where I'm strong enough to do them without using my hands to get off the ground.

Next week starts my last section of my P90x/P90x Plus Hybrid workout. My schedule will be as follows:

Monday - Rest Day
Tuesday - Chest and Back and Abs/Core Plus
Wednesday - Interval X Plus
Thursday - Shoulders and Arms and Ab Ripper X
Friday - X Stretch
Saturday - Legs and Back and Abs/Core Plus
Sunday - Kenpo Cardio Plus

Friday, June 17, 2016

Abs/Core Plus, Fitness Blender Upper Body and Abs workout, and Gained a Pound

Good morning! This morning's workouts were Abs/Core Plus - I love that workout because it combines a little bit of everything - ab exercises using the mat, weights, chin-up bar and standing ab exercises. I also did another Fitness Blender workout that worked upper body and abs. I got a great workout from it, if you want to check it out you can do so below.

I also got on the scale this morning and found I gained a pound, which doesn't surprise me considering how many servings of potatoes I ate this week - I had a potato serving just about every day.

Not sure what I'll be doing this weekend, but I'm sure I'll have a great one - hope everyone else does too!

Thursday, June 16, 2016

X Stretch and the Importance of Focus

Good morning! This morning's workout was X Stretch - it was supposed to be Yoga X, but that one is too long for me - I like X Stretch better because it's shorter. It felt great after yesterday's walking/jogging/running interval workout and leg workout.

I also wanted to take a moment to talk about the  importance of focusing. I've found that no matter what I'm doing, whether it's working out, meditating, writing, or even taking calls for work, the key to doing any of those things well is to focus 100% on what I'm doing, and not let any outside thoughts distract me. One way I've been working on trying to develop better focus is by meditating a little every day - I've meditated a little every day for the past 19 days, and I'm finding that it helps me focus better, and also be more mindful of what I'm doing, which is very important, especially with the work I do, because with the interviews I do, I really have to listen to what people are telling me so I know the best way to handle the situation, whether it's to make notes and move on, or refer the person I'm talking to to the insurance company, or ask my supervisor what to do if I'm not sure.  In the next few days, I'll be providing some ideas for how to improve focus and concentration, so stay tuned!

Hope everyone has a great day!

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Walking, Jogging and Running Interval Workout and Lower Body Workout

Good morning! This morning I decided to do something a little different, and did a few workouts I found on Youtube. The first was a short interval workout that was 10 intervals of walking, jogging and running - each interval consisted of 30 seconds of walking, 20 seconds of jogging, and 10 seconds of running.  It was a pretty good workout - if you're interested in checking it out you can do so here:



The second workout I did was a lower body workout from Fitness Blender, which was also pretty intense. You can check that workout out here:

Those are the two workouts I did this morning - hope everyone has a great day!


Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Core Synergistics and Finished Tox-Sick

Good morning! This morning's workout was Core Synergistics - I love that workout because of all the variety in it. Tomorrow's workout is supposed to be Interval X Plus, but I'm thinking of substituting a running/walking interval workout I found on YouTube - I want to start including more indoor walking and running workouts in my routine, so I can get myself more used to running.

I also finished Tox-Sick this morning - there wasn't much at the end, Suzanne just summed up everything that she'd talked about in the previous chapters, and then at the very end she provides a very comprehensive list of additional sources you can contact for more information on the different topics she covers in the book. If you've been affected by sickness because of environmental toxins, or you know someone who has, or even if you've been affected by sickness and you're not sure what's causing it, I highly recommend this book - I'll do a more comprehensive review of it in another post.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Lessons I've Learned from Some of the Books I've Been Reading

Good morning! For those of you who don't know, I've been reading some rather interesting books lately that have to do with either improving health, improving the environment, living with less stuff, or a little bit of all of the above.

One book that I've read that actually talks a little bit about all of the above topics, is All You Need is Less, by Madeleine Somerville. In this book, Madeleine talks about ways that you can reduce the amount of toxic waste in your home by making a lot of the things that you would normally buy. These include things like:


  • laundry detergent
  • finding other alternatives for dryer sheets
  • all purpose cleaner
  • tub scrub
  • eye make-up remover
  • moisturizer
  • whipped body oil
  • body scrubs
  • shampoo and conditioner
  • toothpaste
  • deodorant
  • toner
  • meringue mask
  • shaving cream
  • depilatory cream
  • hair removal wax

These are just some of the things she talks about - she also offers suggestions for more environmentally-friendly ways to take care of your babies (for example, by using cloth diapers instead of disposable diapers, making your own baby wipes, baby wipe solution, and diaper rash cream, etc), your pets, and how to make your own wrapping paper for holidays (my crafty friends will like this one), among other things. I will be starting to try to incorporate some of her suggestions as I run out of some of the things I have, and as I do I'll let you know how the more environmentally friendly do-it-yourself alternatives work.

Another book I've been reading, which kind of relates to some of the things Madeleine Somerville talks about, is Tox-Sick by Suzanne Somers. In this book, Suzanne talks about how environmental toxins made her and her family sick, and what kind of things they had to do in order to heal. A lot of the things she talks about involve getting back to eating more organically-grown food and less processed food, and also using cleaners and other products that have fewer chemicals in them (this is where the recipes and suggestions in "All You Need is Less" can come handy), as well as using fewer things that have plastic in them, and protecting yourself from EMFs (electromagnetic fields) and cell phone radiation.

Overall, these two books are very interesting and provide a lot of valuable information on how to live a greener lifestyle and eliminate or reduce the amount of toxins you take in. 

My Stress Echo And My Workout Schedule for this Week

Good morning! Today was my rest day, except for the short workout I got when I went to have my stress echocardiogram done this morning. For those of you who have never had a stress echocardiogram, it's a test where ultrasound pictures are taken of your heart before and after you've done some kind of cardiovascular exercise, like riding a stationary bike or walking on a treadmill - in my case it was walking on a treadmill. When you first come in, they hook electrodes up to your chest so they can measure your heart rate during the stress test, and then they put this kind of slimy stuff on you so they can take the ultrasound pictures - anyone reading this who has ever had a baby knows what that's like. When they technician was taking ultrasound pictures of my heart before I walked on the treadmill, they showed me the different valves and arteries from different angles - I got to see my mitral valve and my aorta, as well as some of the different heart chambers, and I got to see how the blood flows through my heart. After he took the first set of ultrasound pictures of my heart, I walked on the treadmill for a few minutes - I started out at a slow walk, then they sped up the treadmill a little bit and raised the incline and I was at a faster walk, then they sped up the treadmill a little bit more again and raised the incline a little bit more, and I was at a run. That's about as far as I got - I'm not sure how many beats per minute I got my heart up to, but if my memory is correct, when I had this test done about 7 years ago, I don't remember getting up to a run, so I think I did pretty good this time. Of course back then, I wasn't in as good of shape as I am now - this was before I did P90x or any of the Beachbody workouts.

After I ran on the treadmill for a few minutes, I got back on the table and the technician took a few more ultrasound pictures of my heart - I could tell it was beating a lot faster after being on the treadmill.  Overall, the technician said that he thought everything looked good, but I'll meet with the cardiologist in two weeks to find out for sure. I'll be sure to post an update after that appointment.

Almost forgot to post my workout schedule for this week! This week is going to be a recovery week, so my workout schedule will be as follows:

Tuesday - Core Synergistics
Wednesday - Interval X Plus
Thursday - Yoga X (will probably substitute X Stretch, or look for a shorter yoga workout)
Friday - Abs/Core Plus
Saturday - Cardio X (may substitute Kenpo Caridio Plus)
Sunday - Core Synergistics

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Legs and Back, Pilates for Abs and Glutes, and My Measurements

Good morning! This morning I did the P90x workout  for Legs and Back, but instead of doing the Ab Ripper X workout, I decided to do a pilates ball workout for abs and glutes - that was a nice change. This morning I also took my measurements, and this is what I ended up with for results:

Date
4/12/16
5/13/16
6/12/16
Chest
30
30
31.5
Waist
29
28.5
27.5
Hips
35.25
35
34.5
Upper Arm (right)
10
10.5
11
Thigh (right)
20.5
20.5
22.5
Calf (right)
13
13
12.75

Not sure how accurate that is, but it looks like overall I'm gaining inches - maybe because I went up in weight. 

Tomorrow I have my stress test - will be interested to see what that shows. Hope everyone has a great day! 

Friday, June 10, 2016

X Stretch, Weight Loss and Plans for the Weekend

Good morning! I'm pleased to say I got on the scale this morning and had a two pound loss - down to 122.5. Hoping I can keep it going down now. This morning's workout was X Stretch, which felt great after the strength training and aerobics I've been doing this week. Not sure what I'll be doing this weekend, but I hope everyone has a good one!

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Chest, Shoulders and Triceps and Pilates Workout for Abs

Good morning! This morning I did Chest, Shoulders and Triceps, and instead of doing Ab Ripper X, I did a Pilates mat and weight workout for abs, because I was running short on time. As usual, I got a good workout from both. I'm hoping that my day goes well at work today - yesterday was just the way I like it - steady but not so busy I couldn't keep up with it, which meant I ended up with a good day and ended the pay period well. Hope everyone has a great day!

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Plyometrics

Good morning! This morning's workout was Plyometrics, which I got a good workout from, as usual. I'm finding that workout's getting a little harder for me though - starting to notice some aches in my joints, so I may have to take the impact down a little bit or change to a different workout.

Hoping that the rest of the day is good for me and for everyone reading this blog. Everyone have a great day!

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Back and Biceps and Ab Ripper X

Good morning! This morning's workout was Back and Biceps and Ab Ripper X - had a good workout as usual - and did do Ab Ripper X this morning, and actually found it easier to do, so I think that taking a week off from doing Ab Ripper X might have helped.

I also noticed something about the P90x workouts, and I'm going to ask about this in one of the Facebook groups I belong to - I've noticed that the second half of most of the workouts I do is a lot more enjoyable than the first half - I've noticed that about Plyometrics, Ab Ripper X, and today I noticed that about Back and Biceps. I'm not sure why that is - if it's because my muscles are good and warmed up by then or what - but like I said I'm going to ask about it in one of my Facebook groups and see if anyone else has noticed that.

Hope everyone has a great day and don't forget to bring it!

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Legs and Back, My Plans for the Day and My Workout Plan for the Coming Week

Good morning! This morning's workout was Legs and Back - again I didn't do Ab Ripper X because of lack of time. This morning I've been working on some transcription as well as a few other things. I'll probably use part of the day to work on some transcription as well as (hopefully) spend some time with Kevin before he leaves go to out of town for the week.

This coming week I plan to do the following workouts:

Monday - Rest Day
Tuesday - Back and Biceps and Ab Ripper X
Wednesday - Plyometrics
Thursday - Chest, Shoulders and Triceps and Ab Ripper X
Friday - X Stretch
Saturday - Kenpo Cardio
Sunday - Legs and Back and Ab Ripper X

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Kenpo Cardio and My Plans for Today

Good morning! This morning's workout was Kenpo Cardio, which I got a great workout from as usual - I was also able to get my heart rate monitor to work this time - I need to remember to only use a little bit of gel on it.

Not sure what I plan to do today - I've already washed the dishes from yesterday and put away the laundry I did last night. I may spend some time working on some other projects - hope everyone has a great Saturday!

Friday, June 3, 2016

Chest, Shoulders and Triceps and Gained Half a Pound

Good morning! This morning I did a Chest, Shoulders and Triceps workout. I also got on the scale this morning and found I was up to 124.5 - gained half a pound. That's actually not bad considering how much I ate last weekend in Michigan. I'm hoping to get at least some of it off this coming week, because Kevin will be out of town for at least a few days.

That's it for now, hope everyone has a good weekend!

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Plyometrics

Good morning! Did Plyometrics this morning and had a good workout, as usual - I always get a good, sweaty workout when I do that workout. Couldn't get my heart rate monitor to record my heart rate though, for some reason - I think maybe because I used heart rate monitor gel on it when I really didn't need it because I do get real sweaty. So next time I do that workout I won't use the heart rate monitor gel and see if that makes a difference.

Hoping that today is like the last few days have been - steady but not to crazy. Hope everyone has a great day!

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Back and Biceps and Lessons I Learned from "The Saint, The Surfer and the CEO"

Good morning - this morning's workout was Back and Biceps - was also going to do Ab Ripper X, but ended up not having enough time. Got a great workout as usual - I used my resistance bands to do the pull-up exercises because I didn't feel like having my husband get up and put up my chin-up bar.

I also wanted to talk about some of the lessons I learned and the ideas I got from one of the books I read this past weekend, "The Saint, The Surfer and the CEO," by Robin Sharma. The book is a fictional story about a man named Jack who meets three people - a priest named Mike, a surfer named Moe, and a CEO named Tess. He spends a month with each of them, and they all teach him different lessons about how to live a better life. I got some ideas for how I can make my life better by reading each of those stories - I've started meditating again, and I've also downloaded a few more books I want to read - "The Art of Living," by Epictetus, and "The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius." I've also downloaded and read a few other books - "All You Need is Less," which I'll talk about tomorrow, and I'm in the process of reading "Tox-Sick - From Toxic to Not Sick," by Suzanne Somers - I'll talk about that once I'm finished with it.

That's about it for today - I'll talk about these other books in future posts, as well as the progress I'm making with the changes in my life as a result of reading these books.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Kenpo Cardio Plus and My Memorial Day Weekend

Good morning! I hope everyone had a great Memorial Day weekend. I had a very restful weekend - got a lot of reading time in, and also got to visit with some friends. Unfortunately, exercise and healthy eating was non-existent, so I'm getting back to it today - I got up and did Kenpo Cardio Plus this morning, which felt great after three days with basically no exercise.

As I mentioned above, I did quite a bit of reading this weekend - I finished one book I had started, "The Saint, the Surfer, and the CEO," and I also read another book called "All You Need is Less," and I also started a book called "Tox-Sick" by Suzanne Summers. I have already started implementing some of the things I've learned from these books, and I'll be starting to talk about them in the next few days and even weeks.

Anyway, I hope everyone had a great Memorial Day, I'll post again tomorrow.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Gained 2 1/2 pounds and Ready for the Weekend

Good morning! This morning I got on the scale and found that I gained back the 2 1/2 pounds that I lost last week.   Not sure why, don't think I ate much differently. I could be getting ready to start my time of the month though. This morning I didn't workout because I had a bunch of stuff to do to get ready for our weekend up in Michigan. I'm looking forward to it, it will be nice to get away for a few days. Hope everyone has a great Memorial Day weekend!

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Chest, Shoulders and Triceps and Ab Ripper X

Good morning! This morning's workout was Chest, Shoulders and Triceps and Ab Ripper X. I'm definitely getting better at doing some of those exercises with 10 pound weights, but some of them I still need to use 8 pound and even 5 pound weights on.

Just two more days and Kevin and I will be heading up to Michigan for Memorial Day weekend - I'm looking forward to it, I haven't been up there since the holidays, and now that it's spring time it should be a lot less cold up there. Hope everyone has a great day!

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Kenpo Cardio

Good morning! This morning's workout was Kenpo Cardio - felt like doing that workout today instead of Plyometrics. Not sure if I'll get to do any kind of cardio workout on Friday, it depends on how much packing I'm able to get done on Thursday night.

Yesterday ended up being a very busy day at work - it was a great start to the new pay period, but I'm hoping today is just a little less busy. Hope everyone has a great day!

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Back and Biceps, Ab Ripper X, and More Medical Tests

Good morning! Sorry I never posted yesterday, but I ended up having a busy day - yesterday I went to see my cardiologist to see if I could find out what caused the gasping for breath episode I had on Friday night. First I had a hard time getting an appointment because they couldn't find me in the system - then when I got to the appointment I found out they didn't have me in the system, they had to re-add me, so I would actually have to see a doctor, not the nurse practitioner I'd made an appointment to see - I explained to the person that I had to see someone that day though, or I wouldn't be able to get in to see anyone for a while, so they made sure I could see the nurse practitioner yesterday - she did an EKG on me which came back normal, so she set me up to have a stress test with an echocardiogram done on June 13, and I'll follow up with the cardiologist 2 weeks later. I did check the records that my insurance company (or the insurance company that our medical insurance went through up until the end of last year) kept though, and the last time I saw the cardiologist was in 2009 - almost 7 years ago - so that might explain why they didn't have any record of me in the system.

Other than that, this morning I did Back and Biceps and Ab Ripper X, which was a great workout as usual. Hoping to have a great rest of my day, and hope everyone reading this has a great day!

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Yoga and My Workout Plan for this Coming Week

Good morning! This morning I changed things up and decided to do a yoga workout, because I was feeling kind of stiff and sore from yesterday's Legs and Back workout.  I felt great after doing the  yoga workout though, may have to start making yoga part of my weekly routine - just not the P90x yoga workout because it's way too long.

My workout plan for the coming week is goign to change a bit because on Friday after I finish work, we're going to start heading up to Michigan for Memorial Day weekend. So my workout plan will be as follows:

Tomorrow - Rest
Tuesday - Back and Biceps and ARX
Wednesday - Plyometrics
Thursday - Chest, Shoulders and Triceps and ARX
Friday - Kenpo Cardio (if I can fit it in - not sure if I'll have time to do it, depends on how much packing I still have to do in the morning)
Saturday - (if I have time to do it) Yoga or maybe a cardio workout, if I don't get to do one on Friday.
Sunday - ?? Maybe try to do the no-equipment strength workout I printed out and put in my suitcase a while back.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Legs and Back and Shortness of Breath While Sleeping

Good morning! This morning I did Legs and Back - I used my 10 pound weights for most of the exercises, except for alternating side lunges. I decided not to do Ab Ripper X - I tried to find another ab workout that was available on Amazon Prime, but I couldn't find any. I guess I'll have to do some searching on my computer.

I also had a strange episode happen to me last night when I was falling asleep. It's happened to me a few times before, and I still have yet to find out what's causing it. As I was falling asleep last night, I had a feeling like something was blocking my windpipe, and I woke up gasping for breath - I had to cough really hard and then I was able to get rid of it, but I'm not sure what caused it. I've had a few sleep studies done and none of them show that I have sleep apnea. I've also had a sleep-deprived EEG done which showed that I have more seizure activity when I'm asleep, so my neurologist raised the dosage of one of my medications. However I'm still getting these shortness of breath bouts every so often, so my next step will be to call my cardiologist on Monday to see if it could be heart related.

That's it for now, hope everyone has a great Saturday!

Friday, May 20, 2016

Plyometrics and Lost 2 1/2 pounds!

Good afternoon! I'm pleased to say I was back down to 121.5 this morning when I stepped on the scale, which means I lost 2 1/2 pounds this week. This morning I did Plyometrics - I love that workout because of the variety in it - if you can get past the first two sections, it gets kind of fun (to me anyway). I used my Garmin with my heart rate monitor strap (had to take a few minutes to add the heart rate monitor strap in my Garmin Connect app on my phone) and it worked great.

Not sure what I'll do this weekend, but I hope you all have a great weekend!

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Back and Biceps and Ab Ripper X. and my new Garmin Vivosmart

Good morning! This morning's workout was Back and Biceps and Ab Ripper X - was able to use 10 pound weights for most of the bicep exercises, but had to do a minimum number of reps on some of them. I'm sure that will change over time as my biceps get stronger. I also got my new Garmin Vivosmart yesterday, and it works great - had to charge it for a few hours last night, then had a hard time pairing it to my mobile device, until I figured out that I had to pair it through the Garmin app and not directly through the phone. The display on this one looks much nicer than on the other one - no missing pixels! Looking forward to continuing to use it to track my exercise, sleep and nutrition.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Kenpo Cardio Plus

Good morning! This morning's workout was supposed to Plyometrics, but because I was feeling a bit stressed about some things, I decided to do Kenpo Cardio instead. Got a good workout from it, as usual. Yesterday ended up being pretty good at work, even though it was a bit slower. Hoping that today is a little bit busier. Hope everyone has a great day!

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Chest, Shoulders and Triceps and Ab Ripper X and Eat Dirt

Good morning! This morning's workout was supposed to be Back and Biceps, but I forgot to have Kevin put my chin-up bar up, so I did Chest, Shoulders and Triceps and Ab Ripper X instead. It went pretty well, I was able to use heavier weights on most of the exercises. I think using heavier weights is really going to help me take my workouts up to another level - I'm also finding it easier to put my weights back where they go with fewer problems after my workouts are over.

I also started reading a sample of a book this morning called "Eat Dirt" by Josh Axe - it's about why leaky gut may be the cause of many health problems, and how to cure it. He starts off by talking about how his mother had a recurrence of breast cancer, and had to go through chemo and radiation to get rid of it - he started her on a diet that included a lot of plant-based foods, and encouraged her to get outside more and do things like riding horses and going to the farmers market - things where she would get a little bit dirty.  Because of these changes in diet and lifestyle, her tumors ended up shrinking, and today she lives a healthy, active life. That's about all I've read so far, but I do still have more to read, so I'll let you know more of what I find out as I read it.

That's it for now, I hope everyone has a great day!