Monthly Archives: February 2015

Day #33: The Incinerator

Can I just say again that I am loving Block 2 of P90X3? I woke up this morning sore and was like, “Yeah, I’m gettin’ it done!” (Yes, Tony Horton does live inside my head now.) This is another fantastic upper body workout that really pushed the limits of my abilities, while still leaving lots of room for improvement.

This workout does 10 reps of a dumbbell exercise, followed by a 30-second body weight burnout on the same muscle. It is intense, and it takes a lot of work to pace yourself. I had to do a lot of pausing and rewinding because I realized I had chosen the wrong weight two reps in.

I’m definitely looking forward to getting this workout under my belt!

___DAY #33: P90X3
___Breakfast: Chocolate Peanut Butter Smoothie (350 Calories, 30g Protein, 4.5g Fiber)
___Lunch: Sausage & Apple Stuffed Acorn Squash (393 Calories, 32g Protein, 5.6g Fiber)
___Dinner: Blueberry Clif Bar (250 Calories, 10g Protein, 5.0g Fiber)
___Supper: Veggie Beef Soup (227 Calories, 15g Protein, 2.9g Fiber), Whole Wheat Rolls w/ Butter (278 Calories, 7g Protein, 6.4g Fiber)

___Total Calories: 1498
___Total Protein: 94g
___Total Fiber: 24.4g
___Water: 3 Cups

___Workout: Incinerator
___Previous Goal: N/A
___New Goal: 10-lb Floor Flys; No Break During Burn Out
___Energy Level: 4/5
___Headaches: N/A
___Stomach Aches: N/A

___Weight: 146.8 lbs
___Total Weight Loss: 7.6 lbs

The Morning Fog

Look here, you who say,
“Today or tomorrow we are going to a certain town and will stay there a year. We will do business there and make a profit.”

How do you know what life will be like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog – it’s here a little while, then it’s gone.

What you ought to say is,
“If the Lord wants us to, we will live and do this or that.”

Otherwise you are boasting about your own plans, and all such boasting is evil. Remember, it is a sin to know what you ought to do and then not do it.

James 4:13-17 warns against making plans for ourselves instead of submitting to God’s will. This passage was particularly striking for me personally because I have spent hours planning our trip to Japan, telling my brother and husband, “On this day, we will go here and do this.” I might as well have been reading directly from the words that James tells us to avoid!

Of course, we all plan for the future, even those of us who wish to be guided by God. Instead of praying for guidance first in all choices though, we figure God will “let us know” if he has somewhere he wants us to be. As if he couldn’t or wouldn’t use every moment of our lives for his purpose, if only we were open to it!

I remember October 2013. I had just filed for divorce, and realized I’d have to quit my job (my former mother in law, afterall, was my boss). I had lost so many people close to me during the separation process, and now my job, the thing I loved most, the thing that often held me up when I could find no other reason to stand, was going to be lost, too.

It was devastating. But I remember reading in Battlefield of the Mind, from 2 Corinthians 10:4 –

“We use God’s mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments.”

– and taking heart. God had to knock down all that was old and wrong in my life, and I trusted him to rebuild it. So, not knowing where I’d go, or what I’d do, or how I’d make my mountain of student loan payments…. I let it go. I said, “God, like the lilies of the field, I trust you to care for me, and lead me where I need to be.”

I certainly didn’t think that place would be to upstate New York and a new marriage with a beautiful little (ok, big) puppy and sweet little kitty. But I trusted him, and he came through for me in a bigger way than I even could’ve imagined.

So why, now, do I make plans as if I am master of my own destiny? Do I not think that God can and will use me in the everyday and the mundane?

I’m going to leave you with Ecclessiates 7:1-14, which reminds us that our time here is so brief – like the morning fog – and how we spend it so important. How will you choose to spend yours?

A good reputation is more valuable than costly perfume.
And the day you die is better than the day you are born.
Better to spend your time at funerals than at parties.
Afterall, everyone dies-
so the living should take this to heart.
Sorrow is better than laughter,
for sadness has a refining influence on us.
A wise person thinks a lot about death,
while a fool thinks only about having a good time.
Better to be criticized by a wise person
than to be praised by a fool.
A fool’s laughter is quickly gone,
like thorns crackling in a fire.
This also is meaningless.
Extortion turns wise people into fools,
and bribes corrupt the heart.
Finishing is better than starting.
Patience is better than pride.
Don’t long for “the good old days.”
This is not wise.
Wisdom is even better when you have money.
Both are a benefit as you go through life.
Wisdom and money can get you almost anything,
but only wisdom can save your life.

Accept the way God does things,
for who can straighten what he has made crooked?
Enjoy prosperity while you can,
but when hard times strike, realize that both come from God.
Remember that nothing is certain in this life.

Day #32: Eccentric Lower

Wooh! I am so pumped about Block #2 of P90X3! I know I say that, like, every day, but seriously! I am enjoying these workouts. They are definitely a step up from Block #1, but at the same time, I can do them! Thanks to some handy modifications, some light weights… I feel like I’m working, but also like I definitely have space to make a lot of progress over the next 3 weeks.

On a related note, I am definitely getting back into more nutritious eating. And I have to say, what a way to do it: Nom Nom Paleo’s spicy tuna cakes are to die for! I’m going to try these babies with crab meat sometime; I know it will be uh-mazing!

ALSO, on a completely unrelated but exciting note, I’ve got a job interview!!! Just have to get finger printed, then I’m interviewing to substitute teach. Hopefully I can squeeze that in before I leave for California on March 9th. We’ll see… it’ll be close. And stressful. But totally worth it! I look forward to not sitting on my butt all day every day. Sure have missed teaching.

Basically, I’m rockin’ all the things right now. Including my Pandora station – have finally honed it to play all my favorite late 90’s/early 00’s pop/alternative rock music.

Time to shower and get to the VBS meeting at the Methodist Church now! (Doin’ all the things.)

___DAY #32: P90X3
___Breakfast: Mango Smoothie (260 Calories, 23g Protein, 4.5g Fiber)
___Lunch: Vegetable Soup (147 Calories, 8g Protein, 4.2g Fiber), Rye Bread (97 Calories Calories,
___2g Protein, 1.5g Fiber)
___Dinner: NomNom Paleo Tuna Cakes (181 Calories, 24g Protein, 1.2g Fiber), 1/2 Sweet Potato
___(56 Calories, 1g Protein, 2.0g Fiber), Blueberry Clif Bar (250 Calories, 10g Protein, 5.0g Fiber)
___Supper:, NomNom Paleo Tuna Cake (60 Calories, 8g Protein, 0.4g Fiber), Almond Joy
___Oatmeal (300 Calories, 8g Protein, 3.0g Fiber)

___Total Calories: 1351
___Total Protein: 82g
___Total Fiber: 18.7g
___Water: 4 Cups

___Workout: Eccentric Lower
___Previous Goal: N/A
___New Goal:
___Energy Level: 5/5
___Headaches: N/A
___Stomach Aches: N/A

___Weight: 147.2 lbs
___Total Weight Loss: 7.2 lbs

___5×5 Self Assisted Pull Ups
___3×12 12.5-lb Bicep Curls

Day #31: Killed It!

It’s my 5th week of X3 Yoga, and I can finally say it, with all the bubbly enthusiasm I can muster X3 Yoga is my b*tch. Ok, so my standing split isn’t anywhere near perfect, and I get a little wobbly on my airplane/wrap. But for the first time, I was able to do all the moves, with no extra recoveries. I am so proud of myself and how far I have come in 5 weeks!!!

___DAY #31: P90X3
___Breakfast: Blueberry Smoothie (250 Calories, 22g Protein, 7.0g Fiber)
___Lunch: Chinese Garlic Stir Fry Chicken (352 Calories, 21g Protein, 3.6g Fiber)
___Dinner: Rice Crackers (120 Calories, 0g Protein, 0.0g Fiber), Chocolate (70 Calories, 0g Protein,
___1.0g Fiber)
___Supper: New England Clam Chowder (206 Calories, 7g Protein, 4g Fiber), Rye Bread (146 Calories,
___4g Protein, 3.0g Fiber), Whole Wheat Roll (114 Calories, 4g Protein, 3.4g Fiber),
___Butter (102 Calories, 0g Protein, 0.0g Fiber)

___Total Calories: 1360
___Total Protein: 58g
___Total Fiber: 22.0g
___Water: 5 Cups

___Workout: X3 Yoga
___Previous Goal: Whole Standing Split – YEAH I DID
___New Goal: Keep Killing It!
___Energy Level: 4/5
___Headaches: N/A
___Stomach Aches: N/A

Day #30: Triometrics

Whew! Triometrics kicked my butt, both literally and physically. Much like eccentric upper, this is much more difficult than the block 1 workouts, but again, more attainable. Since the workout progressed through 3 different difficulties of each move over one minute, there’s a lot of room for modification by sticking with or going back to the easier version of a move.

I’m really enjoying the Block 2 workouts so far! Definitely feeling motivated by it.

Tomorrow is yoga, and my body needs the semi-break, if the next two workouts are any like the first two!

___DAY #30: P90X3
___Breakfast: Chocolate Peanut Butter Smoothie (390 Calories, 30g Protein, 6.0g Fiber)
___Lunch: Chinese Garlic Stir Fry Chicken (352 Calories, 21g Protein, 3.6g Fiber)
___Dinner: Chocolate Almond Bar (330 Calories, 4g Protein, 1.5g Fiber), Jelly Beans (123 Calories,
___0g Protein, 0.0g Fiber)
___Supper: Veggie Beef Stew (166 Calories, 16g Protein, 5.0g Fiber), Blueberry Clif Bar (250 Calories,
___10g Protein, 5.0g Fiber)

___Total Calories: 1611
___Total Protein: 81g
___Total Fiber: 21.1g
___Water: 8 Cups

___Workout: Triometrics
___Previous Goal: N/A
___New Goal:
___Energy Level: 4/5
___Headaches: N/A
___Stomach Aches: N/A

___Weight: 147.8 lbs
___Total Weight Loss: 6.6 lbs

___1×5/4 Assist Band Pull Ups; 1×5/4 Assist Band Pull Ups;
___1×5/2 Assist Band Pull Ups
___8 15-lb Rows; 10/10/8/4 12.5-lb Rows
___15/10/9/6 Banded Face Pulls

Day #29: Welcome to Block 2 of P90X3

I made the mistake of reading Tyler Robbins Fitness’s review of this workout before starting it: “There is definitely some “method to their madness” by Beachbody and/or Tony placing The Challenge in Phase 1 of X3. The goal there is to get your upper body primed and ready for this routine. This one isn’t going to be as beneficial if you aren’t already pretty good at push-ups, pull-ups, and have some decent upper body strength.” D:

…b-b-but I’m not good at push-ups, pull-ups, and I DON’T HAVE SOME DECENT UPPER BODY STRENGTH. Boy, do I know it. I’ve been working hard at my pull up progression with very little to show for it. (Ok, to be fair, my arms are way more toned than they were 4 weeks ago, and I’m finally back to being able to do 12.5-lb bicep curls. Ooooh, fear me and my 12.5-lb bicep curls!)

So I went into this workout pretty intimidated. The perfectionist (and scaredy cat) in me said, “Let’s just do Block 1 over and over until we’re perfect at it, then move on to Block 2!” But the go-getter in me wasn’t hearing it: “Get in the room, do the thing. It doesn’t matter if it’s not perfect.” (Yes, the go-getter in me does speak in Tony Horton’s voice, now. Thanks, Tony.)

I want to start out by saying that this workout makes The Challenge look like child’s play. Despite that though, I actually walked away from it feeling more accomplished than I did any time I did the Challenge. The reason is several fold: 1) I got myself a pull up assist band, so now I can actually almost keep up with the pull ups. No more skipping ahead and missing out on 10 minutes of the workout. 2) Many of the moves in this workout use weights, which means I can actually do them with proper form and intensity, even if I am using 10-30 lbs less than everyone on screen.

Overall, I’m giving this workout five stars, both for intensity and accessibility. Whew!

___DAY #29: P90X3
___Breakfast: Oatmeal Banana Smoothie (358 Calories, 21g Protein, 10.0g Fiber)
___Lunch: Quinoa Crusted Chicken w/ Veggies (325 Calories, 29g Protein, 7.0g Fiber), Chocolate
___Coconut Bar (192 Calories, 0g Protein, 2.0g Fiber)
___Dinner: Chocolate Coconut Bar (96 Calories, 0g Protein, 1.0g Fiber)

___Total Calories: 966
___Total Protein: 50g
___Total Fiber: 20.0g
___Water: 3 Cups

___Workout: Eccentric Upper
___Previous Goal: N/A
___New Goal: 10-lb Military Press; 10-lb Deep Swimmer’s Press; 12.5-lb Rows; 4/4 Vaulter Pull Ups
___Energy Level: 4/5
___Headaches: N/A
___Stomach Aches: N/A


This morning, as I made a concerted effort to come before the Lord in awe, I realized two things very quickly:

First, that I need more prayer time. It takes a long time to appreciate how great God is, how vast his love, understanding, and power are. This realization led very quickly into a deeper understanding of just how unworthy I am to stand in his presence, and what a gift prayer is. Who am I, to speak before the One who was, is, and shall be?

But even in this state of reverence and wonder, I still found myself incredulous and unprepared when I discovered that Pastor Patricia was preaching on the very same verse that I had been studying in Crazy Love yesterday! In Isaiah 6:5, Isaiah shares his response to finding himself in the presence of the Lord –

It’s all over! I am doomed, for I am a sinful man. I have filthy lips, and I live among a people with filthy lips. Yet I have seen the King, the Lodd of Heaven’s Armies!

Simon Peter has much the same reaction when he first encounters Jesus in Luke 5:8 –

Oh, Lord, please leave me – I’m too much of a sinner to be around you.

Both realize that they have fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23), and are thus unworthy to stand in his presence.

I, too, stand before God unworthy. I admit that I am a sinner – the commandments I haven’t broken stand few against the ones I have. There have been times that I have been fearful and ashamed to stand before God, much as Eve in the Garden of Eden – wanting to run and hide, but unable to.

And make no mistake, God has every right to judge me. He created me for his purposes, knows my inner most being (Psalm 139:13)., and he stands sinless and blameless. If anyone can judge, it is him.

But instead, he calls me to him. Not only to be reconciled, but to be trusted with his most important work – sharing his truth with the rest of the world.

See, Isaiah and Simon Peter knew they were unworthy, knew the punishmemt for breaking God’s law is death (Exodus 21:12-19), and fully expected God to exact punishment. Instead, God called and molded them to his purpose. Isaiah became one of the great prophets of the Lord, and Simon Peter one of Jesus’ first disciples.

I wonder today what God is calling me to. Where, in my unworthiness, he will lead me and use me. I hope that I will be listening, so that when he calls, I can answer him as Isaiah and Peter did – humbly, with reverence, and immediate obedience.

Day #28: Dynamix

Four Weeks into P90X3! It’s time for my weigh in and measurements:

___Category: ___Day #0: ___Day #28: ___NET LOSS:
___Weight ___154.4 lbs ___150.0 lbs ___4.4 lbs
___Chest ___38.0 in ___37.5 in ___0.5 in
___Upper Arm (Flexed) ___12.5 in ___11.5 in ___1.0 in
___Waist ___34.5 in ___30.5 in ___4.0 in
___Hips ___38.0 in ___38.0 in ___0.0 in
___Thigh ___23.0 in ___23.0 in ___0.0 in
___TOTAL INCHES LOST ___ ___ ___5.5 in

Nothing surprising here. I knew my weigh in would be higher than last week, because I’ve been eating garbage (and a lot of it) all week this week. I also knew my arms were looking better, though I was surprised by how many inches I lost off my waist! Go figure… hips and thighs are the same. It’s like that’s the exact location that my body likes to store fat.

I’m feeling pretty good about my progress, though I definitely (for the third day in a row, am going to say) want to get back on track with eating well! I have a difficult time because I sit around at home all day, so I’m not burning a lot of calories, and I sometimes boredom eat. Oh yes, that’s a thing. Nothing to do? Let’s find something to munch on!

Right now my goal is to not eat anything unless I feel hungry.

___DAY #28: P90X3
___Breakfast: Peanut Butter Smoothie (445 Calories, 30g Protein, 5.5g Fiber)
___Lunch: Chocolate Coconut Bar (192 Calories, 0g Protein, 2.0g Fiber), Spring Chicken & Snap Pea
___Soup (293 Calories, 24g Protein, 2.5g Fiber)
___Dinner: Sierra Trail Mix Clif Bar (250 Calories, 10g Protein, 5.0g Fiber)
___Supper: Red Bean Cake (164 Calories, 7g Protein, 3.4g Fiber)

___Total Calories: 1344
___Total Protein: 71g
___Total Fiber: 18.0g
___Water: 5 Cups

___Workout: Dynamix
___Previous Goal: Add Leg Lift to Forearm Plank
___New Goal:
___Energy Level: 4/5
___Headaches: N/A
___Stomach Aches: N/A

Day #27: X3 Yoga

Slowly but surely getting back on track with my diet. Though I am still struggling with all the deliciousness I got at the Asian supermarket. It’s a good thing I live far away and can’t go there very often.

Next week is phase 2 of P90X3, so I’m going to really need to focus on getting the proper amount of protein back into my diet, which I know will start with going back to protein shakes for breakfast! Hopefully starting my day out correctly will put me on the right track for the rest of the day.

___DAY #27: P90X3
___Breakfast: Macadmia Nut Clif Bar (260 Calories, 9g Protein, 4.0g Fiber)
___Lunch: 1/2 Chicken Avocado Burrito (233 Calories, 13g Protein, 3.3g Fiber), Chocolate Coconut
___Bar (144 Calories, 0g Protein, 1.5g Fiber)
___Dinner: 1/2 Chicken Avocado Burrito (233 Calories, 13g Protein, 3.3g Fiber)
___Supper: BBQ Bacon Wrapped Chicken (264 Calories, 19g Protein, 0.0g Fiber), Preserved Prune
___(44 Calories, 0g Protein, 0.0g Fiber)

___Total Calories: 1168
___Total Protein: 54g
___Total Fiber: 12.1g
___Water: 4 Cups

___Workout: X3 Yoga
___Previous Goal: No break for Warrior/Half Moon/Split – Woohoo!
___New Goal: Hold standing split the entire time
___Energy Level: 3/5
___Headaches: N/A
___Stomach Aches: N/A
___2×5 Assist Band Pull Ups; 2×4 Assist Band Pull Ups;
___1×5 Assist Band Pull Ups; 1×4 Assist Band Pull Ups
___3x Max Hang w/ 1 Min Rest (17/16/5s)
___5×5 Self Assisted Pull Ups

Irreverent Prayer

I’ve been thinking on prayer today: How I pray, when I pray, why I pray.

I’ll admit, I mostly pray when I want something. I could spin myself in a nicer light and say, when I think I need something. Or even better, when I think someone I know needs something. And I do absolutely (maybe once a week) sometimes find myself simply overwhelmed with gratitude and spend an entire prayer session just being thankful. Gosh, that makes me sound like such a good Christian!

But after meditating on this verse, from Ecclesiastes 5:1-2 –

As you enter the house of God, keep your eyes open and your mouth shut. It is evil to make mindless offerings to God. Don’t make rash promises, and don’t be hasty in bringing matters before God. Afterall, God is in heaven, and you are here on earth. So let your words be few.

– I started really thinking about how I pray. I mean, prayer is coming into the presence of God. Do I enter into it with my “eyes open and mouth shut”? Well, no, but I know the verse from Psalm 46:10 – “Be still and know that I am God” – and I absolutely listen to God when I have a prayer that needs answering! (And that was just the beginning of a whole stream of self-justifying thoughts.)

Then suddenly it just hit me: How incredibly irreverent most of my prayer is! Do I come in awe, humbled by God’s presence and greatness, or do I come seeking things from him? Do I listen for the lessons and leading he has for me every day, or do I only listen when I think that I don’t have the answer already? Do I trust God to do not just what is best for me, but best suited for His entire plan, or do I ask God to give me or do for me the thing I want?

If the charge is taking the privilege and power of prayer for granted, I’m afraid that I have no choice but to find myself guilty as charged.

Yes, I am grateful for God’s leading and working in my life, but I only say so in passing and when it crosses my mind. Instead, I let my desires, fears, and doubts take center stage in my prayer. Don’t get me wrong – there’s nothing wrong with sharing your desires, fears, and doubts with God – he wants you to come to him in your weakness! But there’s a reason that in Matthew 6:9 Jesus says this, then, is how you should pray –

Our Father in heaven,
may your name be kept holy.
May your kingdom come soon.
May your will be done on earth,
as it is in heaven.
Give us today the food we need,
and forgive us our sins,
as we have forgiven those who sin against us.
And do not let us yield to temptation,
but rescue us from the evil one.

Jesus’ prayer begins with coming in awe. He wants us to remember that God is holy – set apart from all others – and that we should treat him thus! Second, notice that he puts God’s will ahead of our personal needs. For how many of us can testify that when we thought we needed one thing, God gave us another, and it ended up being exactly what we needed? I know that I can!

So today, I’m asking the Lord to help me turn over a new leaf in my prayer: That I will come to him in reverence, remembering the gift that prayer is every time I use it. That I will listen before I speak, and seek his will above all else, knowing that in all things, he will provide for me.