Today I am celebrating my 4 months anniversary with Beach Body on Demand and also the commitment to live a healthier and more active life 🙂
I can’t believe that it’s been 4 months of working out once or twice a day! There have only been a handfull of days that I was traveling or didn’t feel up for moving because of cramps during my period, but otherwise I have been hooked!
I haven’t even done a recovery day just to recover…only active recovery days with pilates workouts, but that is another story and probably not to recommend for everybody…
But let’s start on May 20th…
We were traveling back home from the Bahamas that day and I made the decision to sign up for a year membership of BOD (Beachbody on Demand), including Shakeology, the shake of dense nutrition.
It’s an online fitness site that includes about 600 workout programs to pick from. There are all kinds of workouts from dancing, cardio, weight lifting, martial arts inspired ones, pilates or yoga, and many more…
I was inspired by a woman that I have been following on Facebook who got hooked about a year ago and has become a Beachbody coach in the meantime. She posts her challenges and struggles, goals and achievements on social media to inspire others and this very much worked to get my attention 🙂
That day sitting at a restaurant at some airport, I told my husband, let’s do this together! And just for fun we looked through a couple of workout programs and picked one called Hammer and Chisel for him because the guy looked scarily loaded with muscles 🙂 💪(And fast forward – this program really has become the one he does most!)
The online program was available right away. For the shake powder, the nutritional guide and portion containers I had to wait one week to arrive.
But one day later, on the 21st of May I started working out. 🏋
The first 3 weeks: 21 Day Fix
Trainer Autumn Calabrese was there for me for the first 3 weeks. She promised me ‘the body I always wanted after only 3 weeks of working out’.
Hmm…, big goal and of course not really achievable, but this program was for sure good to get me started and get used to a daily workout routine. Doesn’t it always say, it takes 3 weeks to build a habit? It was true for me!
There was a 3 week plan to follow which contained about 9 different workouts. The workouts were 30 minutes long and the sequence of actually doing ‘the work’ was one minute. ‘You can do anything for a minute!’ She then lets you breathe and recover while explaining the next step. Usually there were a couple of rounds of about 3 workouts that were repeated once or twice.
I think I did 4 weeks of 21 Day Fix and throwing in some 21 Day Fix Extreme workouts when I felt like changing it up. The last week you are supposed to do 2 workouts a day and that’s when I started working out twice a day for the weeks to follow.
I already felt that I wouldn’t follow a real plan ever and that I just like to pick out a workout every day that I feel in the mood for and that’s what I have been doing since.
The nutritional side of the program
Nutrition is a really important factor as I got to find out very quickly. The first week I did not have my containers yet. I worked out daily, but did not pay any more attention to what I was eating than I did before. I already ate healthy, so I didn’t think that I would be changing much of this.
Then the awaited package arrived! One bag of vegan Vanilla Shake powder, many different sized little plastic container with lids and a guide book. Green for Veggies, purple for fruits, red for protein, yellow for carbs, blue for healthy fats, orange for nuts and seeds, getting smaller in size from green to orange. (green about a cup big and orange super tiny, maybe 2 thumb tops.)
I had to calculate what plan I would be on and because I am not a very big person, it was the one with the least calories which meant 3 green, 2 purple, 4 red, 2 yellow, 1 blue and 2 orange containers for me daily, plus 2 table spoons of oils or butters.
So I started a strict plan for my food intake. I tried to cut all the veggies and fruits every morning, so that I had an overview over what I would be eating. The Shakeology shake itself was worth one red protein container, but just mixed with water it was not tasty at all, rather undrinkable. I started adding fruits (one purple), peanut or almond butter (one table spoon), almond milk (half yellow) and lots of cinnamon to make it tasty. Usually I would have an oatmeal with fruits for lunch (1.5 yellow and half a purple) and then for a snack 2 hard boiled eggs (one red), more fruits (half purple) and some raw cut veggies (1-2 green). For dinner I would cook up all the veggies left over and add the protein left which usually made for a big dinner that I wasn’t used to. It took a couple of weeks to spread out the food better during the whole day…
The thing that hit me was that one blue healthy fat container was only worth e.g. 12 almonds! Before I had chowed down on almonds! I thought they are healthy, so why not snack on them when I got hungry during the afternoon! The other thing was that I was not used to eating that much protein and I had to figure out ways to find different options because I was already not a big meat eater. And I rarely ate eggs before either… Luckily I found out that I could substitute with beans and lentils. (Which it doesn’t say in the booklet.)
Following this strict plan and then working out mostly twice a day really brought quick results. I lost 4-5 pounds rather quick and I felt like my belly and upper body got toned pretty well.
This was when we went on vacation for 3 weeks. I knew I wouldn’t be able to use weights, so one week before leaving I started the T25 program.
10 weeks of Shaun T’s T25 workouts
Shaun T became my favorite trainer pretty fast. His workouts are sweaty and I feel great and accomplished after these 25 minutes. He seems like a nice guy and is not the one yelling at you to do more and better the whole time. He is a believer, pretty gentle and inspiring and also nice to look at 🙂
The first 5 weeks are based on focus and no weights needed which was the point to start it when on vacation for so long. I absolutely love the cardio workouts! It’s all about the core, almost no breaks and felt absolutely fit after these 5 weeks. And even while on vacation I managed to do two workouts a day which is not at all required by the program, but somehow it really helped me to stay true to myself and on track. And this is one of the really nice side effects I have experienced.
I need a routine of self-care to stay focussed
Some of you might understand this more than others, but visiting family can be very draining and demanding on one’s self. At least for me this is the case. Doing my workouts in the morning after getting up and in the afternoon around 3pm meant spending time on my own and for myself. This kept me focused to not get into this swirl wind of feeling dictated by other people. I was able to stay grounded, true to myself and aware of my needs and my boys’ needs during our travels visiting family in Germany. This left me feeling strong and confident.
After we were back it was really hot here and somehow the routine of two workouts a day didn’t seem to work out with all the fun things we were doing over the summer. I tried for about two weeks and came to the realization that it was ok to only do one a day. I did get into the habit of drinking two protein shakes a day though which somehow felt healthy and like a sweet snack in the afternoon. Because of the added sugar in Shakeology I think, I got addicted to sugar again which I had pretty much given up a couple of years ago when I struggled with candida.
2 protein shakes turned out to be a mistake
I noticed after a while that I was putting on weight. My belly didn’t seem as firm any more and I didn’t feel as great as I did on vacation. I researched protein intake and found out that I ate almost double of the recommended protein for my weight and that this could result in weight gain. And yes indeed, it did!
And of course I was only doing half of the work I did before and also I wasn’t doing only cardio anymore. Being back home I was able to start using weights again which I really enjoyed.
I cut back to one shake a day, instead of eating breakfast and I tried a different brand. Shakeology is very expensive and as I said I did not think that the added sugar did well for me. I currently am on a month of VEGA all-in-one nutritional shake and it does have stevia in it instead of sugar which seems a bit better for me. The cost is about 35% cheaper which is another plus. But I am still trying out to find a best for me.
In the past weeks I got a bit lazy about logging my food intake. I thought that by now I have the amounts I am supposed to eat down and could just cook and eat as I thought was ok, but I started cheating every now and then. A self-made cakepop here, a left-over piece of crêpes from the boys there and without writing it down, it seemed like I was ok.
Yesterday I stepped on my scale and I couldn’t believe it, but I weighed more than 4 months ago! Warning signs going on in my head!
Weight gain causing new commitment
I still feel so much better in my skin than I did 4 months ago and I know that with my new routine of alternating cardio and weight lifting workouts every day I must have put on some muscle weight, too. But my goal was to transform fat weight into muscle weight and get toned. (And in secret my ideal or wishful body weight is 120 pounds.)
At the moment I pick my workouts from Shaun Week, T25 and Shift Shop. I feel like my stamina is good for doing longer than 25 minutes on weight workouts and even the cardio ones I can go a little over the 25 minutes now. It’s nice to see the progress 🙂
So, from yesterday on I am logging my food intake again and I will see how it goes. I think it is ok and human to get lazy every now and then, but really the workouts are only half of the commitment. The nutritional intake is the other half and as important!
Just as Autumn always says: “Don’t undo everything in the kitchen!’
Summing up 4 months of daily workouts
I feel fit. My energy level is higher. I feel like running after my children again and no problem to keep up with them. I feel better looking at myself in the mirror and most importantly I know what I can do. I know that I can get to whatever goal I set for myself. I know that I can stay committed to taking care of myself. I know that when I feel well, I can be a better and more balanced mother to my children and can take care of my family’s needs.
Another nice side-effect, I have not been sick during the past 4 months, although almost everybody in my family had a bit of a cold at some point.
Feeling fit and well and eating well also boosts the immune system, I am sure of that now.
Please let me know if you have questions and/or there is a way I can help you find a more balanced and healthier lifestyle!
With much love and gratitude,