the Maria Kang phenonmenon

Maria-Kang1

 

I was avoiding posting about Maria Kang. I had mixed feelings.  I think we should all strive to be healthy, but what is the real meaning of healthy? All I know is that if Maria Kang could see me now, she would disapprove. Fitness is most definitely on the back burner. Last night I had a blueberry muffin for dinner. My tummy has a jiggle to it due to loose skin and weight I haven’t lost yet.

I’m not worried about it though. Right now, my main focus is to get enough sleep. I can’t function without proper sleep and my 1 year old is still not sleeping through the night. My next priority is establishing a day-to-day routine for the kids. I think that we finally have this squared away, but it took awhile to us to adjust to the new house. Both of these will establish an opportunity for workout time in the near future. Right now, when I’m alone, I just want to meditate, read a book or get extra sleep. I feel that this is necessary to establish a healthy me, just as important as getting on treadmill or picking up a kettle bell.

My eating habits need to get better. This is an area where I have slacked and  I have no excuse for this. I can take time to put together a salad instead of cramming a muffin down my throat. I have to find the will, during the middle of dinner with my kids or my “work lunch”  to eat a little bit better. Both these times have their struggles…getting my kids to eat or working at my desk. I just need to carry healthy options. I’ll feel better once I do.

Getting “fit” is really about the whole picture – making sure that you physically and emotionally prepared to take on the next challenge. I wouldn’t worry about your excuses for not looking like a fitness professional less than 1 year postpartum. I would make sure that you are emotionally ready to begin your journey into becoming a healthier you.

When do you become emotionally ready? It’s really up to you. This can start with eating right. Maybe start eating a healthy breakfast and once this has become routine, add on a healthy lunch….baby steps. Once you have established good eating habits, try to start walking daily….or 3 times a week. The point is to do what you can and to feel comfortable with it.

Good for Maria Kang for looking so great postpartum, but this isn’t the norm. Don’t let this discourage you. If this inspires you to get fit, don’t take your regime to the extreme since there is a greater likelihood for failure. Remember. Baby Steps.

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Free Workouts: Loving Fit

I have been hearing so much about Tatiana from Loving Fit that I decided to give her workouts a try. I went to her site and tried the “I Dream of Power Jeannie” workout:

I had to modify it a ton because I’m not in good shape right now. I just started working out postpartum and I’m a weakling! That will change though. This is an intense workout even if you modify.

I love that Tatiana really emphasizes proper form. I can’t wait t do more of her workouts. 🙂

Why I stopped following Bodyrock.tv

I’ve been a big supporter of bodyrock.tv for the past couple of years. I would recommend them to anyone I knew that was beginning a fitness routine, for weight loss, health, or just for fun. There was always a voyeuristic element to the site, but I didn’t mind it, because the workouts were great and the underlying message behind the site, to get healthy outside and inside, was something I could get behind.

Somehow, in the last few months, that has all changed. There is a superficially about it that I find unappealing.  Initially, it started with Lisa-Marie’s underwear workouts. Underwear tend to be a bit more revealing than bikini bottoms and track shorts, due to their breathability factor. If you are just working out at home in undies, more power to you, been there done that. 😉 However, if you are posing for a workout photoshoot…maybe not the best choice, but it does get people talking….

Not a good look! (courtesy of http://www.bodyrock.tv)

I liked the fact that bodyrock started utilizing social media, but I didn’t like the fact that they started posting vapid updates. I would see status after status linking to gossip magazines showing celebrities with “unflattering” figures with a title of “What do you think of this?” The whole concept of bodyrock became image related. I didn’t want to bring Zuzana up, but when she would offer up recipes, it would actually be a recipe…that you can make :), and she would explain why the ingredients were good for you. Now you are offered a picture of a salad with the caption “This is what I ate today”…which on a certain level, isn’t bad, but it only touches the surface on what it takes to commit to a healthy lifestyle. There seems to be more of a focus on “getting skinny” over at Bodyrock over actually “getting healthy.”

Then there is the cosmetic surgery. I’m not against cosmetic surgery, so when Lisa-Marie blogged about getting new boobs, I said more power to her. But soon after the boobs came the hair extensions, then the fuller lips, and then what appears to be botox around the cheeks/eyebrows. What startled me is that this happened so quickly, what also grabs my attention is that Lisa-Marie doesn’t seem like herself anymore. I know that this is just my own opinion, but it’s like all her insecurities are on full display. Her eyes look sad.

I found this image on a Pet Rock Studios blog post and it sums up this commentary perfectly.

There is also a major focus on the part of Freddie Light to highlight the new implants in most of the teaser photos…If it’s not the implants, it’s the crotch region. I don’t mind a touch of provocative, but bleh, I’m not really digging the new direction. I’m not going to get into the whole new “Flow” section, because I just don’t like the direction they’ve taken with it either.

Bottom line – While bodyrock.tv still has some great workouts to choose from, their direction into “Thinspo” has driven me away from recommending them and following the site in the future.

Free Workouts: Hang Tight with MarC

There is nothing more that I love than free workouts. I do have a gym membership, but fitness doesn’t need to cost you money. All you need is the desire to get yourself into shape in the comfort of your own home, on the track, pool, or great outdoors.

However, sometimes it’s great to have someone to push you. That is one of the main reasons that exercise DVD’s are so popular. You have someone to guide you and motivate you into shape. The downside is that these videos can get pricey, many of the Beach Body programs are over $100, which is cost effective if you use them religiously, but $100 is still $100. After a while though, you get used to doing the same old routine, you’ve memorized Shaun T’s lines, get bored and slack off. That is why YouTube is so great for fitness, you can get a fresh workout everyday. 😉

Avoiding spending money is what led my to bodyrock.tv and Zuzka Light, but it also introduced me to a bunch of other awesome online fitness personalities. One of these is Hang Tight with MarC.

What I like about MarC is her abilty to breakdown each workout, spending time on going over proper form and offering variations for different workout levels. For this reason I think that she is GREAT for beginners at interval workouts. Both Bodyrock and Zuzana can be a bit much for someone starting out without already knowing proper form. MarC’s workouts can be equally challenging if you make them so. She offers new workouts on an almost daily basis, so please check out for videos when you get the chance.

Angelina’s arms

I hate to write this because I like Angelina Jolie. I used to have the biggest girl crush on her about 10 years ago. I’m just alarmed by the current lack of muscle in her upper body. She used to have arms and over the last few years, she her muscle mass has take a nose dive. What happened? Could be one of a number of reasons:

  • Undisclosed medical condition
  • Eating disorder
  • lack of exercise
  • stress

I’m not sure why she looks the way she looks currently, I just know that it isn’t a good look for her. I suspect that it is not a medical issue, so adding a few more calories to her diet and starting a weight training program might help. Personally, I think she needs to add Zuzka Light into her life. 😉

When your arms have their own twitter account. You know you have a problem.

This is further proof to me that a healthy lifestyle > losing weight to get skinny.

Bodyrock.tv vs Zuzka Light’s ZWOW’s

Both Bodyrock.tv and Zuzka Light put out short HiiT (High Intensity Interval Training) workouts on YouTube that you can do for free.

I have been bodyrocking on and off for about 1 year, but I really started getting serious with it around the time that Zuzana Light left. I grew to like Zuzana quite a bit, she has an infectious, positive personality, so it was hard to get into the workouts with the new hosts. The new female face of Bodyrock.tv, Lisa-Marie, took some getting used to. She is definitely has a high energy vibe about her and her workouts are challenging. Some of the workouts are too reliant on special equipment, like the Lebert Equalizer, but they do give you alternative exercises to do – you just feel like you aren’t getting the maximum you can out of the workout (but that is all mental).

One thing I like that Bodyrock has done recently is they have added a beginning, intermediate and advanced workout. I love this because I can the beginner workout to days when I’m running and don’t feel like I can muster the energy for a full on HiiT. I can add the intermediate workout on days I’m not running. The advanced workouts are tough, I can’t do the pull-ups required, but that is something I have to work on.

Bodyrock Turn up The Music! workout:

Zuzana Light came out of hiding last month and we have been treated to weekly ZWOW’s (Zuzana’s Workout of the Week) on her YouTube channel – ZuzkaLight. These are also 10-30 minute HiiT style workouts. What I love about these is that you can see Zuzana doing the whole workout and you can try to keep up with her pace. The workouts don’t require much in the way of equipment – just some hand weights and kettlebells if you have them. They are not as intense as the Bodyrock workouts, but are very effective. You also don’t have that “NSFW” feeling while on Zuzana’s YouTube channel that you sometimes feel when viewing the Bodyrock site.

Zuzka Light’s ZWOW # 6:

I have to say that I enjoy  both Bodyrock and ZuzkaLight very much and I’m glad that we have these free workouts to keep us fit and motivated everyday.

Still chugging along…

I’m still here. Miraculously. 😉

My condition has not improved on the Amitiza. Somehow it has actually gotten worse, most likely do to stress and the side effects of the medication. So all this treatment has given me is added nausea. 😦 My GI doctor is perplexed, but he wants me to continue on a higher dosage on Amitiza. I’ve been on a higher dosage for the last couple of days, but still not getting complete bowel movements.The next phase of testing for me is to explore a pelvic floor dysfunction diagnosis. I have a hunch that this might be the root of my problem.

My son this week has been sick and his cough was worrisome enough for me to take him to the doctor. He was diagnosed with walking pneumonia today. My little man is in good spirits and happy to not be in school. I just have to keep my cool and not let this stress me out, especially when I have lots to do in the office and I can’t be there.

Still getting my workouts in! I’ve done a rotation of running/jogging 3 miles, going to the gym and doing a cardio/sculpt or Zumba class and doing Zumba Workout II on the Wii. Today I did Zuzka Light’s ZWOW #4

I did great! I was able to keep up with Zuzana and was a little faster than her on the burpees. I struggled with push-up twists – I had to do push ups on my knees during the last round, but I did it. 🙂 My son commented that she just better than me at jumping rope, but I told him that that just makes me try harder in order to get better. 😉

I think I mentioned a few posts ago that have been wearing a bodymedia fit armband. This little gizmo has been great. I bought an older model off of eBay and saved myself a ton of money. A new one costs $180+. The sensor keeps track of your calories burned, step taken and your sleep. I was really curious about the sleep part. Here you can see my graph for the day.I have not uploaded any data since I woke up this morning, so the rest of the data is incomplete. However, I want you to look the “Sleep Duration” row. I got 5:46 minutes of sleep last night. My son was coughing and hacking most of the night, but between 5-6 hours is what I have been averaging since I started tracking with the armband. That is horrible. Not not sure why I am a giant FAIL when it comes to sleep. I know part of it is that my husband works nights and I think subliminally I want to stay up to see him (He gets home around midnight usually). It’s tough when you work a different schedule from your partner. Another part of my problem is my couch potato tendencies. Once I get my son to bed, I don’t feel right just getting a yoga or Zumba session in and going to bed. I have to fart around on Pinterest or Facebook and then catch up on my DVR. By the time I do all that, my husband is home and then I’m chatting with him and my sleep is ruined. I will need to actively work to fix this.