Thursday, March 31, 2011

Ouch, Ouch, Ouch!!

Well, mission accomplished.....woke up this morning and almost my entire body was sore! Pecs and back are starting to loosen up with the stretching, etc and my butt was SO sore this morning thanks to all the squats and lunges! The workout today was mostly a total body workout....I did a couple different things and the muscles are still a little tight even now as I'm writing this all while my daughter cries from her bed that she's not sleepy and doesn't need a nap!! Fingers crossed that by the end of this she will have fallen asleep :)

So my exercise was a 10 minute count down today. I completed the Hot Curves Exercise Challenge from the website. Here is the link Zuzanna goes over the exercises of the challenge in the first couple minutes of the video. She breaks it down, so it looks like it's going to be so simple and not too challenging, but oh Lord. It's so touch, but awesome. I was pretty exhausted aferwards, but forced myself to do a couple rounds of ab exercises also to really work those today. After I completed the challenge I did just two rounds of opposite toe (crunch up while lifting one leg and trying to touch your toe with the opposite hand) and leg lifts. Getting started on the workout today was really tough for me. We had a busy morning so I didn't get to do it this morning so it was 2pm and I was sitting on my oh so sore rear end watching old re-runs of Sex and the City and realized I hadn't done anything yet today (workout wise!). So I drug myself off the couch and changed into my workout clothes, which were a very interesting mix today because my son was sleeping in the room with all my clothes and I refused to go in risk waking him up so I just threw something together with what was in my laundry room....which wasn't much! Certainly one of those days that it was so nice to be working out at home because I would never have walked into a gym with those clothes! I know when you go to workout it's not about what you're wearing, but still you need to save some face just in case you want to ever go back to that place again!! But workout complete and I'm now 11 days into my 90 day challenge and I'm happy with where it's going. My last day should be around June 19th, so the last couple weeks are going to be tough because we'll be moving any time from the 14th's coming fast, yet still seems so far off from the workout side of things!! So for tomorrow, I'm hoping to look into some yoga moves to add some flexability to the workouts. Thanks for stopping by :)

p.s. my daughter is asleep :)

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Oh man, I'm sleepy!!

My workout today was pretty tough again, but thankfully pretty uneventful from the kids side!! I went to bed pretty late last night (so stupid!!) was pretty tired when I got up this morning and was REALLY hoping the kids would nap at the same time so I might catch a quick nap also!! My Wednesday mornings are always kind of rushed because my daughter goes to a church class every week and she is thrilled from the time she wakes up until we pull into the parking lot!! So generally, I'm trying to go through the morning routine with her literally following me from room to room asking, 'we go to church today?!' and then she proceeds to give me my 'to do' list before we can leave.....maybe talking to her so much during the day is starting to bite me in the butt a little???

After I dropped her off I came back home and it worked out perfectly, my son went down for his nap, I grabbed a quick breakfast and got to it. I really wanted a good, hard workout today so if I got to nap, I'd be pretty tired and wouldn't talk myself into doing something that actually needed to be laundry (blah!) When I woke up this morning I was SO sore!! My pecs and back were so stiff it was incredible! At first I thought I had just laid in a bad position last night, but as I got moving this morning I realized it was those stupid Dive Bomber push ups that I did yesterday! Obviously I worked muscles I hadn't worked in quite some time! So suddenly this morning carrying my 22lb son through the church seemed to take forever! Given the soreness of my arms and back I figured I'd give my legs a pretty good beating today and see if maybe I can wake up tomorrow morning and just be completely stiff as a board!! Hell, why not, right! The workout today was another timed session. It was 12 minutes, four exercises at 50 secs each with a 10 sec rest, just like yesterday. I really enjoy these timed workouts because it forces me to keep working the muscle even when I'm exhausted so you really feel improvement being made. Okay, so the four exercises were JUMP SQUATS (I mentioned these in a previous these a lot), MOUTAIN CLIMBERS, LUNGES, and FLUTTER KICKS (laid on my back hands under my tailbone, lifted my legs a few inches into the air and kicked small kicks). I went through all these exercises three times and I was out of breathe and sweaty! For me the timer keeps me honest and working hard because sure I could do lunges in my living room, but if I only do a set of 20 lunges, I'm not getting the same out of it if I do it for almost an entire minute three times!!! After my workout, (and laying starfish like in my living room for several minutes gasping for what seemed like my last breathe) I took a nice hot shower and that was exactly what I needed. Every muscle in my body was either quivering from the workout or stiff! It was probably one of my longer showers and definitely a slower one due to only being able to raise my arms to a certain height.....that height would be barely above my head!!!

To some people these exercises might seem pretty simple and they are when done individually and only doing a certain number a day, but when I'm doing them, I'm really pushing it. I'm not only doing maybe 15-20 moutain climbers in 50 secs, I'm trying to get in one climber every second, so it's fast paced and challenging. So the simplest of exercises are excruciating by the 3rd and 4th sets and trying to maintain the same intensity for the entire time is challenging. Hopefully, one day after all this personal ass kicking I'm doing to myself, these exercises will seem a little easier, but when that happens, I'll add another round!! I'm not looking to have six pack abs or all those other things girls are worried about getting from working out, I'm looking to be lean and strong. I caught a little bit of Dancing With The Stars last night and the judges made a comment that caught my attention. A girl had just finished dancing, she was really tall and super skinny....the kind that, unfortunately, young girls are modeling themselves after, she was thin...too thin. But the judges looked at her and said that she need to work on her core strength because it was weak. I, admittedly, laughed to myself because I thought, there she is with a body that women at home are wishing they had, but she has no strength. She probably couldn't do much of any kind of lifting for herself, etc. I don't want that, I want to have strength in my body, to know that I can do things for myself and to know that I can take care of my kids and some household chores that other women can't. I'm not looking to be Hercules, just looking for personal strength, in more ways than one!

Oh and the kids were awesome and napped together, so I got a short nap in this afternoon :)

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Oh Sweet Jesus!

You ever wake up in the morning still tired and somewhat low on patience for no apparent reason??!! That was me this morning so the last thing I was wanting to do was workout. My son woke up at 4:15am crying and fussy, he's teething so all he really wants to do is sit on mommy's lap and cuddle, but he's also tired and doesn't want to lay down for a nap.....awesome! Then as I'm stretching and getting ready to start my challenge today, my daughter proceeds to build her wooden train track halfway through the area that I've cleared and she's getting frustrated because not all the pieces are lining up to her liking all while my dog is prancing around me asking to go outside and excited that I'm down on the's's going to be a long day!!! By a little after 10am, I finally am able to start my workout that I've been trying to do for almost an hour!

I figured it was only appropriate to title this post as such because several times during this workout today all I could manage to say was "Oh sweet Jesus!" In between gasps for breathe I kept asking myself, "what have you gotten yourself into!" It was a 16 minute workout and I'm a sweaty, shaky mess. The goal for this one is to really push yourself because it's only four exercises and you have complete the circuit four times at max reps. So it's set up like this....I have a timer (a Gymboss) and I set it for 16 rounds for 50 secs with a 10 sec rest between each exercise. You do each of the exercises, as many as you can in the 50 seconds, the timer beeps, you get a 10 second rest and you start the next exercise for another 50 seconds. Again the timer beeps, you get a 10 second rest and you move onto the next exercise. You continue to do this for 16 minutes until the timer lets off a series of beeps to let you know that your routine is complete. I'll post the website with the video of all the exercises at the end of this post. The exercises were Dive Bomber Push ups (suck!), Sandbag Squat and Lunge Back (I don't have a sandbag so I used my blue band, put it around my wrists and pulled it apart as far as I could each time I lunged back, so I was still working arms and chest), Hanging knees (I also don't have a hanging bar, so I did the modified version that was shown on the website so I laid on my back and did leg lifts for the 50 seconds....these also sucked!) and the last exercise was called the 'snowboarder.'  (squat down, touch your fingers to the ground, jump and spin (all in one motion), squat down, touch your fingers to the ground, jump and spin, touch the ground...etc for 50 seconds). You get a 10 second rest between each exercise, but I swear there were times that the timer forgot to give it to me. I must've looked like it was horrible because half through my 3rd set of leg lifts my daughter brought me my bottle of water....gee thanks! If you want honesty, have a kid around!!

I had a friend ask me if I was 'dieting' while completing the exercises.....dieting, um not really. I really need to work on portion control so that was the second part of my challenge. I can't eat only what I call bird food (salads, granola, etc). I am a meat and potatoes kinda girl, you give me a choice between a nice steak with baked potato and some salad with tomatoes, avocados, etc, I will always take the steak! Don't get me wrong sometimes a nice big salad is exactly what I need so I eat them, but it's not my primary diet. I also enjoy Mountain Dew, cookies, chips, etc, you know: the good stuff!! So what I've done is limited myself to only drinking soda on the weekends and to limit the extra stuff as much as possible and to do that, I don't buy it at the grocery :( I know that if it's in the house, I'll eat it or drink it so I make them my little indulgences every once in a while and I REALLY look forward to those. With the soda my goal is to work to only drinking it every other weekend, etc. This doesn't mean that come Saturday morning I'm drinking strictly soda, no. That would defeat the purpose of all my hard work I just did during the week, so I'll have maybe one and I'll put it in a cup so that I don't drink an entire 20oz bottle which is really 2-2.5 servings! I cook three meals at home everyday (and that is a challenge in itself, trying to come up with new, healthy variations). I try to always cook 1-2 veggies with dinner and I rarely fry any food. So most things are baked and I try to purchase as many fresh items from the grocery as the budget will allow. Also, if for any reason, we do go through a drive thru, there is no more LG or Supersize for me and recently I've opted to even get a kids meal just so I'm not filling up on a bunch of junk food because I could put away some french fries. These food changes are things that I set or were already doing before I started my 90 day challenge. Just because they work for me doesn't mean that they will work for, or even appeal, to you. I'm not looking to weigh a certain amount or be in a certain size jeans, I'm just looking to feel better about myself. I'm six feet tall, I'm never going to weigh's just not in the cards for me. After looking into a healthy range for a woman my height and age (28) it is 165-180lbs. I'm looking to hang somewhere in the 170 range. I don't get on the scale, I look in the mirror. If I like where I'm headed then I keep pushing the workouts, but I am terrible about instant gratification so I want to see results like, oh yesterday!!. So this challenge is more than just a workout challenge for me, it's a lifestyle challenge. So for you, you know yourself, so figure out a challenge that fits you and really get after it even if it's just to get out and go for a good walk every day. My goal when I started the blog was to be completely honest with my workouts and what I was doing. I'm not asking anyone to do this with me, just looking for an opportunity to get some added support and maybe even give some in return. Any mom (or stay at home dad!!) knows that being at home every day with only the kids to talk to sometimes you just need to talk to another adult so I'm hoping we can all get that here!! I think sometimes when my husband comes through the door at night I'm talking a million times a minute! Well, my son is telling me he's had enough time playing by himself.....duty calls!! Oh and here's the workout video from today  if you scroll down there is a you tube video of her doing the entire workout!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Ab Challenge

Day 8

Oh boy! Today I started my workout with an Ab Challenge that I found on a website called This is a website that I get a lot of my workouts from. They're high intensity, short workouts and they work best for me. I prefer quick workouts that kick my butt fast, plus since most days I'm limited on time, these are twice as good!! The Ab Challenge consists of 10 full minutes; 20 mountain climbers and 20 toe touches; as many sets as you can do in the 10 minutes. No breaks, just going back and forth between the exercises as quickly as you can. I've been doing this challenge for the last 3 Mondays and each week I've gotten better and better at the exercises. Today I completed 10 full sets in 10 minutes and to say I was feeling it would be putting it mildly. But I must say that I really like workouts that I can feel afterwards. The sore muscles and slower movements let me know that I really pushed my body and worked the muscles, but honestly, after my entire workout today, all I wanted was a big, juicy burger!! And I can happily say, I resisted. 

I typically try to workout in the mornings during my son's morning nap so I only have one child at my ankles asking me what I'm doing and sometimes I can distract her long enough with a cartoon or playdough! Now if I can only get the dog distracted long enough.......Yesterday he stood over me while I was on the ground doing an exercise breathing his hot breath in my face! I fought through because I figured if I can finish my exercise with his breath in my face, I can do just about anything!

After I completed my Ab Challenge I went on to do 15 jump squats, 10 push ups (the sissy ones - girl push ups), 12 tricep extensions, 15 bicep curls and 45 secs in the plank position. I did each of these exercises twice. So in total my workout was 20-30 mins, give or take a minute or so to ask my daughter to please move from under me while doing my push ups or planks! My tirceps need a lot of work. In comparsion to my biceps, they're pretty weak. My push ups are terrible, hence me doing the girl ones. I'm getting better though. I can complete 3 real push ups now whereas about a month and a half ago, there's no way I could do what anyone considered a real push up. So after I do as many real push ups as I can, I switch to the girl position and then complete 10. Tomorrow I'll add 5 so I'll do 15.

For my bicep and tricep workout I have tubing and bands. I don't have weights at home and the bands are really good because they're progressive resistance. So as I get stronger, I change the grip on the band and the exercises gets more difficult. There are three different color bands that I have, red (easiest), blue (moderate) and black (most difficult). The bands are pretty much a version of a giant rubber band, just wider (and made much better!) There are also three levels for the bands and they are the same as the tubing. I'm currently using blue for both.

Working out at home is great because I get to be with my kids and they're seeing me working to keep myself healthy and active. Not that a two and half year old or 7 month old need any help with being active!! My daughter (the two and half year old) loves working out with me. She "uses" the red tubing and walks around the living room with the blue band around her ankles laughing as though mocking me that "this isn't so bad!" My 7 month old son just stands in his exersaucer watching and giggling at mommy moving all over the place or sits on the floor and screeches whenever I'm on the floor out of sight....he enjoys laughing at me far too much! 

This 90 days is going to feel like it's lasting forever! Even this morning I woke up and thought to myself, "Oh God, I've got to workout today :( " But it will be such a good feeling of accomplishment at the end and I'm looking forward to setting up a new challenge for myself.

For my workout tomorrow I'm hoping to find a good time challenge on the website I mentioned. Those are the best workouts I've found and like I've mentioned, if time is a stretch you really can't beat a 10 minute workout! And once the weather is a little more consistent, I'd like to incorporate running (or at least a good brisk walk) into our daily routine. I have a good jogging stroller that seats two and I can't wait to use it!!

So my workout today was nice and tough. I had a good sweat going and even laid on the floor panting for a short while afterwards! All in all, I'd say......mission accomplished!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Hello :)

Hi all!

My name is Courtney and I'm brand new to bare with me while I work out the kinks!!

I'm starting this blog because I've set up a personal challenge for workout for 90 days straight (weekends included)! I'm hoping to meet people willing to challenge themselves also, not necessarily with physical fitness, but something that is personally challenging to themselves. At first, this challenge might not seem to difficult, but throw in two kids (2.5 and 7 months) a husband in medical school, a family move coming up in four months and just the day to day tasks that a stay at home mom has the joy of completing and suddenly 90 days seems like an eternity!

I'll complete my exercises in my home or at the gym (if given the chance).The whole goal is to push myself and my body to become stonger and to just feel better about myself in general. I'm not looking to do anything more than just be healthy and promote such a lifestyle to my growing, beautiful children. Most days for me it's going to be more of a mental challenge, but I'm hoping between the support of my husband (and hopefully some of you) and my desire to feel better about me, that I will overcome this obstacle and set my sights on yet another one! I began my challenge on MARCH 21, 2011 so today was day 7!

Join me on my exciting journey as I share with you my workouts and personal stories of managing to stick to my exercises while spending time with my woderful family. I promise the stories to be honest and I'm sure pretty funny and entertaining at times as well.

Only 83 more days to go