P90X Day #60 Check In

Hello Day #60! I don’t know how much I look it, but I sure feel like a totally different person than I did 60 days ago. For some reason, this go around has been completely different than the previous ones in a very positive way. I feel like I’m really coming to love & respect my body, and understand it’s nutritional needs on a very personal level. I like it.

Without further ado, here are my new stats:

150  x  10   =  1500 Calories
Weight  x  10   =  Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR)

1500  x  .20   =  300 Calories
RMR  x  .20   =  Daily Activity Burn (DAB)

1530  +   300  +  400   =  2230 Calories
RMR  +  DAB  +  P90X  =  Daily Energy Requirement

Measurements & Weight

DAY 0 DAY 30 DAY 60 DAY 90
Weight 158.2 lbs  153.8  149.4
Body Mass Index 25.0  24.1  23.5
Body Fat % 26.5%  25.7%  25.6%
Chest 35.5″  35.25″  35.0″
Waist 33.0″  29.5″  29.0″
Hips 36.5″  35.0″  34.5″
Left Thigh 24.0″”  23.0″  22.0″
Left Bicep (Flexed) 12.0″  12.5″  11.5″
Left Forearm 9.5″  9.5″  9.0″
TOTAL INCHES LOST 6.75″  10.0″

Before & After Photos

Day1-90Compare

All I can think when I look at these pictures is, “Wow, those last 3.8 pounds came straight off my boobs.” Lol! Ok, maybe I also think, “Next time I should remember to brush my hair before doing pictures.” (I may have rolled out of bed and immediately been like “CHECK IN DAY!”)

My hips, butt, and thighs will probably never be my ideal size, but I’m learning to be okay with that & focus on the positives of my body. Like the fact that it can run a mile in nine and a half minutes, do plyometric lunges, and survive Yoga X (believe me, Yoga X may sound relaxing, but the first half of it is the killer workout to end all killer workouts).

In summary, I am super jazzed to continue my journey, and feel confident that my trip to Washington in a couple days is not going to kill my workout or nutrition goals. Here’s to thirty more days!

More Than a Number

My Day 60 weigh in for P90X is in 2 days. Normally I’d be stressing about reducing my calorie intake, getting extra workouts in (“Let’s go for a 5 mile walk, Madelyn!”), or the fact that I didn’t stick to my diet the past 5 days because I was on my period and failed to control my cravings.

The things is… I’m not. In fact, I just sat down and ate a plate full of pulled pork and barbecue sauce – with no remorse! Last night, I was having a sweets craving, so I went and grabbed a Zone Perfect Bar (my go-to sweet/semi-healthy treat), even though I had already hit my calorie goal for the today.

And that’s ok.

The week before my period, I never feel hungry, so I made the decision to aim for a 1000 calorie deficit per day. I lost two and a half pounds that week – more than double my goal number.

Then last week, my period hit in full force and I watched that number slowly climb back up a pound and a half. I tried to maintain my deficit, but the fact was I was starving all the time (and I always am on my period). So for once, instead of fighting, binging, and feeling guilty, I decided to honor my body. I listened to what it wanted, let myself go back for seconds, or eat some chocolate, and trusted that this wasn’t me “falling off the wagon” like happened 2/3 of the way through P90X3 last winter.

Because if there’s one thing I’ve learned through my running, working out, weight loss, healthy eating journey, it’s that my body is more than just a number on a scale. I may not be at the weight I have idealized in my head, but my body continues to impress me and accomplish amazing things that I never thought it could do. I’ve ran a half marathon for crying out loud! I blitzed my previous best mile time into the ground by 27 seconds last week. I can do plyometric lunges! I remember when I first saw those in P90X3 in January, I laughed out loud because there was no way that this girl would ever be able to do those. But I can, and I am.

For the first time in my life, I am proud of and pleased with my body. Even though it’s nowhere near the prettiest or skinniest it’s ever been. Am I still working toward my 145 pound goal? Sure I am. It’s just that instead of working against my body, I’ve chosen to work with it this time. And I know we’ll get there together (even if it isn’t in 90 days).

This IS the Week

I’m trying to make peace with my Facebook news feed. I disagree with… most of my family on political, social, and even (what I consider to be) ethical issues. Many a time, I’ve woken up, opened Facebook, and been bombarded with what I perceive as negativity and even bigotry. I declare to my husband, “Today is the day! I’m unfriending all of them.”

But I never do. You see, as a Christian, I am called to love everyone. It is my job to share Christ’s love and peace (notice I didn’t say “the message of” before “Christ’s love and peace”) with anyone and everyone who will have it. So… as long as they don’t reject me, I will continue to do my best to embrace them exactly as they are… after all, I’m sure there are days they also wake up, read my status and declare, “Today is the day! I’m unfriending her.”

I will sometimes engage my mother or sister in debate, because I know it’s something they are open to and even enjoy, but for the most part, I try to keep quiet about things that are none of my damn business. Still, I have always had a particular heart for those who seem to be the most difficult to love… so sometimes when everyone – especially when generally reasonable & kind people jump on the band wagon of hating on someone, it’s too much for me. I have to speak up.

So I saw this meme on my newsfeed this evening:

theweek

Where can I even begin describing how many ways this meme makes my heart hurt?

First, that it was posted by someone I would generally consider and affirm to be a loving, forgiving, faithful Christian woman. Of course, we are all flawed, and carry hurts in our hearts, but I just really couldn’t believe that her heart was so calloused as to truly feel this way about the refugees.

Second, is this what we want our country to be? What happened to “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to be free”?

Why does it have to be America against the rest of the world? It’s that kind of thinking that prompted the attacks on the World Trade Center fourteen years ago, and yet we continue to not only allow to exist, but to propagate it.

These refugees are the hearts and the minds that the likes of Al Qaeda and ISIS have sought to turn against us. Let’s not be to them the monsters that extremists and terrorists have told them we are. Of all weeks, this is the one to show them that we are a country of empathy & compassion.

Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger

harderbetter

I’m just five days shy of my P90X Day 60 weigh in and measurements. But you know what? SCREW THEM. I feel fantastic, and I know I’ve made enormous strides without even looking in the mirror or stepping on a scale.

You see, I used to be a runner. It took me almost a year of running 3 miles on a near daily basis, followed by months of training for a half marathon before I would even call myself a runner. “Oh, I’m not a runner. I just like to run.” Eff that shit. If you run, you’re a runner. I should’ve owned and been proud of it.

Well, last November, being my first winter in upstate New York (that’s right, winter starts in November here), I got a little culture shock – or should I say, freeze. It froze me right out of my regular, daily, enjoyable runs. I didn’t run at all. Until I did a 5k in May. And then I didn’t run again, until I told my mother in law I’d do C25k with her (she had double hip replacement surgery last year, and her goal is to run a 5k).

Well, it turns out that 60 seconds of running and 90 seconds of walking was just enough to wet my appetite. I thought I had gotten over cardio; I loved P90X3 – enough to want to torture myself with double the length workouts and do P90X. But it turns out a part of me just… wants to run! I ran forever, but I guess it took me a year of not running to realize that I really am a runner.

So I took Madelyn (my yellow lab baby) out for a jog this afternoon. Nothing serious, nothing difficult – just some fun. We were cruising along when I heard, “One mile mark: 10 minutes and 9 seconds.” WHAT?! 10 minutes? But we were going sloooow! That’s when I decided to push it. I knew if I did intervals, I could potentially meet or maybe even beat my best average mile time (9:50, from when I used to run daily).

We did two miles (we had both already run with my mother in law at 5 am), and our final clock in was 18:57. In other words, a 9:27.5 average per mile. Which means we blew that second mile out of the FREAKING WATER. I couldn’t believe it. How fast I was. How strong I felt. I almost cried. I definitely fist bumped my dog and told her how proud I was of us, and I didn’t even care that the guy riding by on his bike kinda giggled at us.

This is huge for me. I used to interval train, sprint train, negative split – anything and everything to shave mere seconds off my mile time. And what finally shaved an entire minute off of it??? Not running. Sure, I did the Tony Horton P90X/3 prescribed cardio, but I focused primarily on strength training. I can’t believe it. I have completely blown my expectations for myself out of the water, and find myself simply in awe of how strong, fast, and beautiful my body is.

Birthdays

For most people, a birthday is not an arbitrary milestone. It is the anniversary of the day they came into this world – it marks another year of living, laughing, loving, making progress toward their goals & dreams.

For me though, it is an arbitrary milestone. The season leading up to my birthday is difficult… it always reminds me of the worst times of my life, when most people would be thinking of the best times.

This year, I didn’t celebrate on my birthday… why would I? All my family lives far away. My husband is at work (on an oil tanker, on the opposite side of the continent). Even my in laws were out of town. It was okay. It was nice to spend it alone, to not have to smile and pretend to enjoy myself because I really am grateful to have people who want to celebrate my life.

I had already planned to have dinner with my in laws the day after, they insisted, but suddenly something magic happened that morning… I woke up feeling good. I was happy to go celebrate, go eat lasagna (yum!) and carrot cake (yummer!) and open birthday presents. But why? Why Monday and not Sunday?

What a difference a day makes.

Maybe I should always celebrate the day after.

Here’s to making it through the season!

P90X: Day 30

It’s been 30 days, but I’m actually starting on Day 29 today… had some dental work done, and had to skip a day of working out (two, actually, but one of them was just a stretch day).

Here’s my new stats:

153  x  10   =  1530 Calories
Weight  x  10   =  Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR)

1530  x  .20   =  306 Calories
RMR  x  .20   =  Daily Activity Burn (DAB)

1530  +   306  +  570    =  2406 Calories
RMR  +  DAB  +  P90X  =  Daily Energy Requirement

Measurements & Weight

DAY 0 DAY 30 DAY 60 DAY 90
Weight 158.2 lbs  153.8
Body Mass Index 25.0  24.1
Body Fat % 26.5%  25.7%
Chest 35.50″  35.25″
Waist 33.0″  29.5″
Hips 36.5″  35.0″
Left Thigh 24.0″”  23.0″
Left Bicep (Flexed) 12.0″  12.5″
Left Forearm 9.5″  9.5″
TOTAL INCHES LOST 6.75″

Before & After Photos

Day1-90Compare

So what’s the deal with the dress??? I bought 2 dresses. Usually I wear a medium, but on the size chart for this dress, I was kind of in between medium and large. It was on clearance for $11.00, so I just bought both of them. The first picture is in the large… I was just hoping I’d look decent in it by October (it’s part of my Halloween costume). Then my dog ate a hole in it… -_-

That will teach me to hang a dress prominently in the middle of the living room (aka puppy playground). So I had the medium to fall back on, but I was really skeptical about how I’d look in it. But here I am today, in the medium dress!!! And I already look better in it than I looked in the large 30 days ago.

Taking these pictures has really helped me to actually visualize my progress, which is a lot more motivational than simply tracking my weight in an app. I am going to look great by October!!!

National Infidelity Month

One of the most difficult things for me to come to terms with regarding my first husband’s affairs was that I was partially to blame for them. Not because I couldn’t or wouldn’t believe it – but because I felt an immense amount of shame for alienating him, for being unable to provide the physical affection he desired and needed, for being so willfully blind about it, for ever letting the relationship deteriorate to the point where that was even a consideration to him.

I know that I didn’t make him cheat. A mature, responsible man who was unhappy in a relationship would’ve communicated their unhappiness, attempted to resolve the issue together, or at the very least simply left. But, so would’ve a mature, responsible woman. Neither of us were that, and while I thought that  was mature and responsible, I certainly went into the marriage knowing that he wasn’t. I was practically asking for it.

The fictional Dr. Wilson from House said it best: “She made me feel funny and interesting. And I liked feeling that way.”

SheShe made my ex-husband feel good in a way that I couldn’t. She made him feel attractive and desirable. I couldn’t even kiss him without cringing or pulling away. She found him witty, clever, brilliant. I called him lazy, irresponsible, untrustworthy.

Why wouldn’t he seek comfort in her arms?

I say these things not to torture myself – I’ve accepted my part of the blame, and forgiven both of our failures. But then why does August still feel like National Infidelity Month to me? Every where I turn – TV, radio, internet – people seem to be talking about it. I can tell it’s “that time of the year” from how I’m feeling and what I’m hearing as surely as I can tell it’s “that time of the month” from how much chocolate I’m consuming.

I know it’s my own sensitivity and insecurity. Because I may have forgiven my ex-husband for the affair, and I may have forgiven myself for my own failures in the marriage – but I’m still that person. Still the girl who pushes people away when she’s hurting. Who doesn’t want to talk about it and still smiles and says she’s fine when inside she feels like she’s falling to pieces.

And I worry. What about now, in this marriage? Do I make my husband feel funny and interesting? Do I let him know I’m crazy about him, can’t get enough of him? Do I show him how much I respect and admire him, that I think he’s clever and brilliant (even if I wont always say so because he gets super smug)? I think I do. I certainly hope I do. But what about five years from now? What about ten? Thirty?

I guess the real kicker of infidelity is that I didn’t just come out of it unable to trust my (now) ex-husband – I also came out of it unable to trust myself. Am I really a changed woman? Or am I just one slip up away from alienating another man whom I love deeply?

It’s obviously immensely more complicated than that – but it’s also exactly that simple. Love may not be a choice, but relationships are. And every minute of every day we have the choice to work to keep our relationships strong and healthy, or to simply stand by while they slowly but surely slip away.

Missing Pieces

“I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you.
I will remove from you your heart of stone
and give you a heart of flesh.”
(Ezekiel 36:26)

Hard substances like stone or glass don’t just break – they shatter. And when they shatter, they go everywhere. It’s not uncommon, after dropping a glass in the kitchen, to find a shard of it with your foot days or even weeks later.

My heart shattered three years ago. It’s difficult to believe that it can be so long ago and yet so recent… I’m still finding shards of it in all sorts of unexpected places.

The other day I was riding in the car with my mother-in-law… my new mother-in-law. She listens to country music. I don’t really like country, but it’s full of nostalgia for me – my mother’s music of choice, too. And this song by Rebecca Lynn Howard came on the radio. I knew the chorus, but I had never really learned the verses as a child:

I should ask but I wont…. was it love, or just her touch?
‘Cause I don’t think I wanna know
So get you some things and get out
Don’t call me for a day or two so I can sort this out

…it’s a song about adultery. Dear Lord, it was a song about my life.

And there I was, suddenly three years in the past…finding those Facebook messages with that woman…listening to his parents make excuses for him…sitting in counseling with him raging against me for calling it “adultery” when he was “just talking to her”…the condoms in the trash again at the intervention a year later…walking in on them when I unlocked the door to my apartment so someone could serve him the divorce papers.

I couldn’t cry. How could I explain to my new mother-in-law how much that song hurt me? Would it make her doubt my commitment to her son? My readiness to be in a new marriage, let alone even a relationship? I felt sick with pain… it was like sitting on those steps all over again, unable to walk after seeing them in my apartment together.

But the nausea faded. And by the time we left Michael’s I had forgotten about it, was excited to have an email from my husband talking about his plans for his start up business. I love him deeply. There’s nothing missing from what we have, but… sometimes it feels like I’m still missing pieces. Pieces that broke years ago, that I still haven’t found yet.

Like when I was watching Glee today (*spoilers*) – Puck comes back in his army uniform, he and Quinn express their feeling of being soul mates, and they live happily ever after with their high school sweetheart. I gave them such bitter tears. “That’s not how it really works,” I thought.

I don’t understand. Is that what I want? For it to have worked out with my high school sweetheart, to be living my happily every after with him? No. I think the pain and the struggle and the growth I went through with him made me into a better, more whole person. But I also think that we weren’t right together – that we clashed and fit together in so many ways that were harmful to both of us. And I think the way my husband and I fit together now is positive and powerful, and that we build each other up and encourage each other in a way that my high school sweetheart and I never did.

Then why am I crying about high school sweethearts not living happily ever after? Because it’s part of a bigger, harder, crueler lesson that doesn’t go away just because the pain of the moment has passed: The world will hurt you. Nothing lasts forever, and the universe is unwaveringly impartial in whom and what it takes from us.

Our choice is whether or not we will also let the world heal us. Because Ezekiel says we do get to choose – to have a heart of stone, or a heart of flesh. True, a tender heart may wound more easily – I’ve cried more in the past 3 years than in the entirety of the prior twenty-six closed off, anxious, fearful years. But I’ve also had more joy than I ever thought could be possible, because a heart of flesh can also heal itself… even if you never do find all the missing pieces.

P90X: Day Zero-Ish

I know I can do P90X, because I did P90X3. By all accounts, they’re about the same level of difficulty, except that the P90X workouts are twice as long. So this time, I wanted to really focus in on the nutrition plan. The part of P90X3 I struggled with the most was sticking to the nutrition plan. Which, of course, is where you really see the transformation in your body. Let’s face it: It doesn’t really matter how much muscle you put on – if it’s still covered in fat, you still look pretty much the same. The difficulty of the meal plan of course is preparation, organization, the fact that you have to eat like 5-6 meals a day, and trying to cook that many meals… ugh. So much work! So little time. And one you add work into the mix? Forget it! This time around I’m prepared though! Thanks to the amazing electric pressure cooker my mommy got me, I can prepare a balanced protein/veggie meal for the entire week in just about an hour. Along with protein shakes, protein bars, and a couple of ready to eat snacks, it’s going to make sticking to the nutrition plan a breeze (as long as I avoid all temptation). Speaking of nutrition, here’s my caloric breakdown:

158  x  10   =  1580 Calories
Weight  x  10   =  Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR)

1580  x  .20   =  316 Calories
RMR  x  .20   =  Daily Activity Burn (DAB)

1580  +   316  +  570    =  2466 Calories
RMR  +  DAB  +  P90X  =  Daily Energy Requirement

What?! That’s what Tony says, though. I should eat 2466 calories to maintain my current weight – subtract a few hundred calories to create a deficit to lose weight, and I come to around 2000 calories a day. Now, I’m on Day 2 already (though my stats below were recorded on Day 0), and I’m having a <i>really</i> difficult time consuming that many calories, especially considering that 50% of them are supposed to be protein. I ate literally non-stop yesterday, and still only managed to take in 1800 calories, and felt stuffed while doing it. I was sure my scale was going to go up today, just positive I was going to have to eat less… but low and behold, the scale went down half a pound. I think I can do this nutrition thing. Time to wrap it up with my requisite 0-30-60-90 day check in chart, because updating that every 30 days will really help keep me motivated to stay on track:

Measurements & Weight

DAY 0 DAY 30 DAY 60 DAY 90
Weight 158.2 lbs
Body Mass Index 25
Body Fat % 26.5%
Chest 35.5″
Waist 33″
Hips 36.5″
Left Thigh 24″
Left Bicep (Flexed) 12″
Left Forearm 9.5″

Fit Test

DAY 0 DAY 92
Resting Heart Rate 70 bpm
Pull Ups 2 w/ 3 Assist Bands
Vertical Leap 5″
Push Ups 4
Toe Touch +3″
Wall Squat 0:32
Bicep Curls 7.5 lbs, 23
In & Outs 25
Heart Rate Maximizer 192 bpm
1 Min After</i> 110 bpm
2 Min After 110 bpm
3 Min After 98 bpm
4 Min After 98 bpm

Before & After Photos

My Goal: Look smokin' in this dress by Halloween.
My Goal: Look smokin’ in this dress by Halloween.

The Catch Up

Ok, so…. it’s been a while. Like almost 3 months exactly.

What happened?

Well, for one, my husband came home from his 3 month work tour at sea. I name him the primary culprit, because let’s face it, I only get to see him half the year, and I’m a little co-dependent when he’s home.

Second, we went on an amazing 2 week excursion to Japan, where I got a strange, still unidentified illness that lasted NINE WEEKS. We’re talking rash, nausea, fatigue, muscle soreness, headaches, fever… just… all the symptoms! I went to at least 4 different doctors, including 2 specialists, went through a biopsy and blood work, and still no one knows what it was!

I say “was” because about 5 days ago (knock on wood) the symptoms started vanishing one by one for no explicable reason. Sure, I was using steroid cream on the rash, but I had been doing that for SIX WEEKS to no effect. Then suddenly gone. Then went the fatigue, the headaches, the fever… nausea was the last hold out, but of course, as soon as I went to see a doctor about that, it vanished into thin air too.

Near as I can tell, I must’ve had an allergic reaction to, well, something in Japan.

All that said, obviously, I never finished my elite round of P90X3 because I was too busy being sick and drugged out of my mind for the past three months.

But I’m feeling better, I’m off the drugs, and my husband is back at work, so you know what that means?!

This time I’m doing P90X (non-3) and following the meal plan (woah boy).