off target? kickstart with this 28-day challenge!

seriously, is this my umpteenth blog post announcing my new-found dedication to my fitness? if you’re new to my blog you will learn quickly that if anything, i’m very real. so here’s the deal: i’ve been SO off lately. like if we were shooting bb guns in the backyard like we did when we were kids, i would be missing the target altogether. or better yet, if you were out there with me you might wanna duck because i’m that far off target. ok, i might be exaagerating slightly, but i’m sure you can relate to the fact that when it’s YOU and YOUR health, being OFF is a downer.  no it doesn’t always mean you gain 10lbs or you’re eating horrible all the time or skipping the gym altogether (or maybe it does) – the point is, your focus is somewhere else completely and your results are a direction reflection of that.

case in point: i’ve been entirely distracted lately by my booming little business (yay fitbook’s in target nationwide!), my busted booty (which threw me into a funk), and silly things that take up way too much time like boys (oh, boys!).  all those things combined have taken my focus off the one thing that keeps me sane and happy: being healthy!  but i’m not going to get too hard on myself (i’m only human). instead i’m choosing to just realign…again.  one of my favorite quotes is:

“it doesn’t matter how many times you fall down, it’s how many times you get up that counts.”

so what’s different this time?  well, this time i’m reaching out for a little help by enlisting my good friend and stellar personal trainer mr. jeff norcross (pictured at right, and yes ladies, he’s single) to create a workout program to kick my booty into next week. my next success strategy is to create an accountability system by meant cracking open a new fitbook – great timing with it being 13 weeks until 2012, which means i’ll be ready to take a week break come new years!  finally, i looked back at what’s worked in the past and when i saw the most success is when i was blogging through it (i.e. the competition).  partially because there was accountability and support, but mostly because it was therapeutic and i was able to reflect…really take out my thoughts on the keyboard versus dipping my spoon in the peanut butter jar.

so with this renewed mindset (and a good supply of anti-inflammatories from mexico for the tailbone) i am geared up and ready to go. follow me (and play along if you want) as i go through a 28-day kickstart program…a great way to reset, wherever you are!

the workout
not one to ever be that interested in crossfit, i became interested when jeff, who is probably one of the best trainers i know recently got obsessed (understatement) with it. now crossfit certified, he explained to me the science behind it and we even did a friendly little challenge (um, i beat him)…check it out.

after seeing how crossfit could take my fitness too the next level, i knew i might get addicted. give me anything where i have to compete for time or reps? i’m in. SO, even though it was tough to not have my workouts planned with bis/tris on monday, chest/shoulders on tuesday, legs on thursday, and back/abs on friday with 30-45m cardio 6 days (yes, i have control issues), i decided to let him do his thing.  surprisingly, this plan still integrates what i LOVE (swimming, running on the sand, core workouts, spinning)…we just weave them in where it makes sense with the crossfit strength workouts.  so take it from this non-crossfitter, i’m down to try this because it’s new and frankly that’s what i need right now. one more workout doing 3 sets of 12 and i might as well just shoot myself in the foot with that bb gun (joking, mom!).  i’ll give you the workouts each week, so come back, but here’s week 1:

practice front squats 5 rep max, so do 5 sets of 5, increasing the weight with each set so on the last set you “max out” – watch this video for front squat form (the purpose of doing these “practice” sets is to warm you up, but also to work on form…but trust me they are tiring!)
*”diane” (if you’re not familiar with crossfit, all the workout are named after girls…oh, you will come to despise “the girls”)
do 21 barbell deadlifts, 21 pike push-ups (jeff you need to post a vid of this!)…then do 15 deadlifts, 15 pushups, 9 deadlifts, 9 pushups…all for time.
(mine is 6:01 and holy camoly, killed me…if this isn’t cardio then i don’t know what is. my heart rate was through the roof!) 

*practice bench press 5 rep max, do sets of 5, increasing the weight with each set so on the last set you “max out”
*swim or jog or do any “mono-structural” (as they call it in crossfit) cardio for 30m

*”murph” (another cool thing – they’ve started naming new workouts after soldiers who have given their lives for our country in war)
1 mile run, 100 pullups, 200 pushups, 300 squats, 1 mile run
you can “partition this meaning, you can run a mile, do 10 pullups, 20 pushups, 30 squats, and then repeat that 10 times, then finish with a mile…or break it up however you want. rumor has it this takes jeff about 45m so i’m looking at a good hour. oh joy.  (girls…you can do assisted pullups on the machine and pushups on your knees if you need to!)

*”practice” deadlift 5 rep max, do 5 sets of 5 reps increasing the weight with each set so on the last set you “max out”
*rowing machine (they love to row in crossfit – total body cardio): do 4 sets of 500m of rowing with 2min rest in between

*pilates (yay!)…so i love my pilates class, but for you this might be yoga, spin or whatever. just get in an hour of movement
*”helen” (i know, right? i thought pilates was enough!)
400m run, 21 kettle bell swings (about 30lbs), 12 pullups; repeat 3 times

*”practice” overhead barbell press 5 rep max, do 5 sets of 5 reps increasing the weight with each set so on the last set you “max out”
*core workout for 30m (so planks, medicine ball twists, walk-outs, leg lifts, you-name-it, spend a good 30m on your core!)

*off day! (i tried to argue this one because i’m all or nothing so i wanted to do something and i got told that i will need the rest to prepare for monday’s torture. i shall listen)

the nutrition
i do not (repeat), do not do diets.  and crossfitters follow what they call the “zone/block” plan, not to be confused with paleo which basically excludes grains and i for one don’t subscribe to anything that cuts out something all together, all the time. so i was intrigued by this zone/block concept which is basically the popular “zone diet” that you’ve heard of before. what i found is that i eat like this already – it’s basic common sense, clean eating with a focus on protein and lots of veggies. what i like about it though is that it scales back the grains and increases fats which i’ve already seen leaves me feeling less hungry! (repeat after me: “fat doesn’t make you fat, sugar makes you fat!”)  without going into too much detail, basically you eat a balance of 40% protein 30% carbs (mostly from veggies) and 30% (healthy) fat at each meal…but to make it easier to understand you use this “block” system.  this blog i found explains it best if you’re interested!  so i’m following a 10 block plan which means i’ll have 5 meals a day, 2 blocks per meal…and what i’m honestly loving is i’m back to being mindful with my food…not impulsive and just whatever sounds good!  this makes you think a little and plan ahead.  in fact, i planned my meals in my fitbook the night before which is SUPER easy if you just keep the meal plan and block guide handy – it spells it out for you!  the idea: eat this way about 80-90% of the time…you’re human, but don’t let that 10% slip to 20…slip to 30, you get the picture!

so, i have a surprise for you…i’m going to start posting pics to my blog again.  i seemed to some reason get a TON of hits on my site the days i posted pictures.  i’m sure it had nothing to do with me posing in my sparkly pink bikini right? ok, so not that exciting this time around, i’m going to just post a pic of one of my meals each day and give you an idea of day’s meals to help you see how easy it is!  here was today:

breakfast: 1 egg scrambled with 1/4c black beans, 1 oz cheese, topped with 1tbsp avocado, served with 1 corn tortilla (see…grains!)
my first thought was, “wow…that is like the tiniest breakfast ever.” surprisingly, i was full and it lasted me til 11:30!
snack: 1/2c watermelon, string cheese, 5 cashews
lunch: big bowl of spinach with tomatoes, 3oz ground turkey, 2 tbsp avocado & 1 tbsp light dressing
i was supposed to eat 1/2 brown rice tortilla too but i forgot it but wasn’t hungry without it which amazed me!
snack: 1/4c skim milk, 1/4c unsweetened almond milk, 1 scoop protein powder, 5 cashews pre-workout. mmmm!
dinner: 2oz canned tuna mixed with 1tbsp light canola mayo, 2 small diced persian cucumbers & baby tomatoes
pictured at right…very filling and actually didn’t want a snack later, quite possibly because my fingers & brain were busy blogging; another nice byproduct of blogging.

the water
oh, the water. honestly, i preach it…i so don’t do it. the only time i was ever good at drinking water was during the competition training because kim threatened me with my life. ah, but i found a solution (thanks to my dad when i was home!).  i found these little crystal light PURE packets which are made with truvia, only 15calories and i used 1 in my 1L (mmm…grape!) smartwater bottle. i was downing my water like a pro today, 1L in by lunch!  which, of course started a nice debate on the facebook page: is it worse to drink water with additives (i.e. crystal light) but drink more water OR drink pure water au naturel but not drink enough of it? if you have an opinion, share it here!  i for one am proud of myself as i sit here blogging the night away with only 1/3 of my 2nd liter to go…flashbacks run through my mind of “blogging & water-logging” my way through the competition. oh, those were the (starving) days!

so 1731 words later, that is where i’m at and odds are a few of you are right there with me (if you made it to the end of the blog post, that is). whether you’re perplexed at how you either fell off the wagon again, or how you just can’t seem to find the motivation to get back in the saddle, trust me – you’re not alone. the beauty lies in that each and every day we have a choice to start over. so what better day than today to kickstart your body and mind?  join me (and jeff!) on this 28-day journey!

you in? go all in.
go big or go home.

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