My Insanity Experience

I’ve been sort of MIA.  Part of that is due to Insanity.  I have been waking up at 5 AM (or at 4:50, on the days with the longer workouts), for basically the last 9 weeks.  I started on May 6th, and did my fifth and final Fit Test on July 7th.  *whew*  It was exhausting–but well worth it.  So, without further ado, my results:

insanity final_1My goal was not to lose weight (I’m already past my goal weight of 145 lbs).  I feel I’d lose too much strength, and have too little body fat to achieve pregnancy, so I’m happy with my weight.  My goal was basically “good to great.”  I wanted to see if Insanity truly was what the infomercials made it out to be.  Could it give me GREAT results, without touching a weight, and without entering a gym??  Only my body weight?  Could it give me the same cardio results as running? I must admit, I was skeptical.

Now, I’m a believer.  I had no idea how effective it would be!  My arms have not felt this toned since high school (over ten years ago!!) & I have finally finally accepted my legs and butt for what they are: strong, curvy, and just fine 😉  I, like probably most women, have had a love/hate relationship with my body… with sadly to say, more hate than love.  In college, I loathed my legs.  I despised wearing shorts.  Now I’ve realized that though they are not stick legs, or long & lean legs, they are some strong legs.  And I know that because Shaun T (creator of Insanity) put them to the test!  The only muscle group I didn’t think we worked was the biceps… which is hard when you’re just using body weight.  We certainly worked everything else.  I thought my abs were decent beforehand, but we did so much oblique work, now I’m downright proud of what I’ve worked on.

Most of the exercises were challenging for me–all body weight, but nearly all high intensity.  I found myself sweating profusely just 5 minutes into each video, even the so-called “recovery videos.”  Shaun T focuses more on legs than arms, but we still did our fair share of push-ups and shoulder burners.  And I understand his methodology: the leg muscles are the largest in the body, so of course you want them to be strong–you get more calorie-burning bang for your buck that way.  So we squatted, lunged, and jumped away!

I did not achieve a perfect diet during the last 9 weeks, but I sure as heck tried to eat as clean as possible.  I said no to a lot of sweets.  I ate a lot more veggies & quinoa.  My primary drinks were coffee (little cream, no sugar), water, and my daily Shakeology, which really helped with recovery & extra nutrients.  Even though I was utterly exhausted nearly every morning after the workout, I managed to get thru the day, and would sometimes even get my second wind at night!

Out of 63 days, there are 54 workouts, and some of them are doubles (cardio + abs, Fit Test + another workout).  I missed 5, for various reasons.  Being sick in Month 2 was tough, and I did Indoor Insanity (marathon relay) in month 1 that I had to rest for.  But otherwise, I worked my booty off–literally!–and it feels awesome to be an Insanity finisher.  I’ll be sending away for my free shirt tomorrow… 🙂

Here’s a random assortment of pics from the last 9 weeks.  I really had a blast, and although it was very, very challenging & somewhat time consuming (25 min to 60 min, depending on the day), it was ALL worth it.  I love my results and I’d recommend it to anyone looking for an effective workout to get amazing results.  My next workout: Shaun T’s newest, Focus T25.  Starts tomorrow!

Posted in Beachbody Coach, Insanity, running, Shakeology, trying new things | 7 Comments

Summer {Party} Planning

We are planning our own neighborhood 4th of July party! It’s been about a year in the works 😉
I’m pumped for it!!! So pumped that I made these cute invites! LOL Only a few weeks away!  We are headed to the beach in NC for a few days, and we’ll be back in time to prep some delish treats for the party!  Gabe is gonna be psyched to see all the neighbor kids out playing 😉  He will talk about them for days afterwards: Where did Tony go?  Tony had to go home?  And I’m excited to meet some new neighbors and share my Beachbody & Shakeology story with them if it comes up–you never know whose life you might change.  My neighbor Natalie says I inspired her… that made my entire year right there!  She’s now rocking her P90X and has a bod that does not look like a mom of 2’s body!  That’s my ramble for the night, and I’m sticking to it!  G’night!

Stationery Card
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A trip to PA for Memorial Day {Photo-blog}

Last weekend we headed back to T-Vegas for Memorial Day.  I wanted to see the grandparents while they are still around, and figured this would be the best time to do it this year besides Thanksgiving or Christmas.  I took Friday off, and we set out for the ~500 mile journey before 8 AM (J & I had to get our Insanity in first!)  Traffic wasn’t bad, Gabe wasn’t bad… we got home at 4:30.  Gabe immediately fell back in love with his grandparents, especially Papa.  He was Papa’s boy all weekend:

One of the best parts of going back to my parents’ home is the usual man-this-smells-and-feels-just-like-home with a little dose of oh-look-that’s-changed.  One thing that never changes is Momma’s cooking.  She treated us good all weekend.  (and J & I were both up two lbs when we got home!)  I caught up with my brother Joel, and we went to see Iron Man 3, grabbing my first Tim Horton’s coffee on the way.  “Everyday Love” moments:

On Saturday morning, Gabe & I ventured out in the cold (45* in May?? What is this weather?!) to check out Mima’s flowers.  They were GORGEOUS.  She gave me some to plant at home… yeah half of them are dead!

Later that morning, we went to get some farm fresh eggs from some boys that go to Mom’s school.  It was Gabe’s first time on a farm, seeing chickens & cows firsthand.  He was keen on the chickens (“Gallina” is a word he knows from Are you my mother?)  The cows scared him but he looked anyway.  But the real excitement was the tractor, trailer, and Bobcat–not the animals!

The next day was a picnic up at my grandpa’s house for my mom’s side of the fam.  We had lots of good eats, celebrating birthdays (with gag gifts too!) and good conversation.

After we ate & played Bocce for awhile, some of us took a walk over to the orchard that my mom started as a tribute to my late Grandma.  It was a really nice area, and I was happy to finally see it!

And finally, Monday came all too quickly.  We traveled down to Pittsburgh to see my other grandparents, and saw Uncle Mark & Aunt Carol for lunch too.  Always nice to see my family.  SO thankful for the family I have.  And we made it back safe & sound that night.  Hope you’re having a great weekend!


Posted in Back to Where I Was, Gardening, Insanity, photography | Leave a comment

7 Things I’m digging right now {Photo-blog}

I have some random musings (and a lot of pics) for tonight 🙂  Life is good right now!!

Here’s my 7 things I’m loving right now:

1. Puddle-Jumping with Gabriel: We took advantage of the rain this weekend.  True, we don’t have rain boots yet (but by God I’ve been talking about it for months so that needs to be my next purchase with my Beachbody earnings!), but we just got our shoes wet and didn’t care.  LOVE this boy when we can just go be spontaneous and have fun together!

We did it tonight too, in sandals.  He loves kicking the soccer ball around 🙂

2. Popping tags aka my thrifty thrift store finds:  Who doesn’t love a great deal?  I found that cute Oshkosh raincoat for Gabe at Goodwill for $3.  And I scored some gorgeous pale blue pants from NY & Co for $4 that I can’t wait to wear to work!  What’s even better is being able to shop with a friend, which leads me into…
3. Friends Visiting:  Last weekend Miss Izzy came to visit from VA, this weekend Miss Kara from OH 🙂  I can’t say enough how amazing it is to remain friends over a span of years, when we may not talk for months, then to pick right back up where we left off without skipping a beat.  Thank you both for visiting!  And hope you don’t mind I made you read to Gabe 😉

4. Clean Eating!  With my Shakeology & easy quinoa recipe (black beans + chicken + quinoa + salsa = lunch! lol), I feel like I’m rocking the clean eating.  And it feels SO good.  I’ve only lost a pound since starting Insanity, but weight loss isn’t my goal, toning up is.  And I feel so strong & fit after just 2 weeks!  Can’t wait to see how it turns out after 2 months!

shakeology pic
5. Being Outdoors:  I will let the pics do the talking 🙂

6. Healthy Family–finally got our fevers, coughs, and “upper respiratory infections” gone.  May they stay far, far away now!

7. A New Business Venture–Javi had an amazing idea & we are making it a reality!  More pics to follow on that soon 🙂

Have a great night!

Posted in Beachbody Coach, Insanity, photography, Power of thanks, recipes, Shakeology, trying new things | Leave a comment

5 Thoughts + 10 Pics {Short ‘n’ Sweet}

Hey there… a quick post for tonight.  5 random thoughts off the top of my head.  Ready, go!

1.  Gabe is growing.  And growing fast.  Lots of neighbors and friends have commented lately how big he’s getting.  And he’s finally eating more, which is great!  I used to worry since he was SO darn picky and eats like a bird, but not anymore.  Tonight–eating Cheerios, noodles, Lunchable from friend Amy, peanut butter and crackers, and mini wheats.  Wow!

2.  Gabe is also talking SO well.  Either the daycare or we have taught him real good 😉  The other day, as I’m drinking coffee, he says, “I don’t like coffee Mommy.  It’s for adults.”  His use of pronouns, and verbs in the correct tense, astounds me.  And his little memory.  Days after they have gone, he’s still asking about Miss Izzy & Miss Amy.  Adorable. BTW, having friends visit is so wonderful–love all the amazing girlfriends I have!

3.  Insanity rocks.  And it’s really tiring.  And I tweaked my back carrying the cats to the vet today, and Gabe around, so tomorrow’s workout is gonna hurt.  But I don’t care.  Shaun T. makes it fun, and I love it!  I love it even more that Javi is doing it with me!

4.  We are sicky.  Not bad… well, Javi hasn’t been good all week.  My theory is waking up for Insanity lowered our immune systems.  Not fun.  Mine is mostly allergy symptoms, but it still sucks to have the sniffles for days and days.  Must go buy more nasal spray tomorrow!

5.  I am thrilled about my Beachbody coaching.  I’m doing my 3rd 12 day challenge right now, and it’s so much fun.  It feels great to motivate others, and they in turn motivate me.  It’s just incredible, and I’m surrounded by a wonderful team who are all so sweet, supportive, and like-minded in our nutrition and fitness!  I’m so thankful that I had the courage to go for it, even though I was unsure how it would turn out.  It’s so true that you can either have faith or have doubts, and you’ll get a lot more if you choose FAITH!

That’s my quick update/brain-dump 😀

Have a wonderful night!!  P.S.  I usually Photoshop, but too tired tonight.  These are SOOC–straight outta camera.

Posted in Beachbody Coach, Insanity, photography, Shakeology, trying new things | Leave a comment

Energy BOOST + “Know Your role?”

I’ve had these 2 ideas floating around in my head tonight.  They began as I got frustrated with Gabe for not listening, then spilling his cereal on purpose, then dilly-dallying before his bath, then for crying about being without his shirt {it’s bathtime for God’s sake, you have to take it off!!!}  All you parents can probably relate if you have/had a 2-year-old.  The kid is just an energy-sucker sometime.  Which made me think of this funny–yet all too TRUE–post on Pinterest:

Source: via Bethany on Pinterest

After the bedtime ritual (and the subsequent poop that is becoming the norm for Gabe every other night…after I get him clean and put him down to bed…. ugh), I did 2 rare things for me.  No, make that 3.  I put away my own clothes, then Javi’s clothes (and no, we don’t have company coming over, lol) THEN I actually prepped my own lunch.  Why are these rare?  I usually just don’t feel like it.  I’ve been at work all day, I’ve worked out, I’ve driven almost 45 min to and from daycare and work, I’ve taken care of Gabe and all his needs, and I’m just pooped, you know?!  So what made today different?  Good question.  Several things.  Today, Javi asked me how he can make deposits into my emotional bank account–which means nothing to you unless you’ve read/listened to the 7 Habits.  Just him asking me was a deposit–it meant a lot to me.  You know how a nagging spouse can bring you down?  He did the opposite.  He was asking how he can help bring me UP.  And it felt good 🙂

The other topic, that ties into this one, stemmed from a Coach call last week about, again, the 7 Habits–this time knowing the roles in your life and which ones you want to focus on.  The speaker did an awesome job of breaking it down, so I’ll attempt to do it for you.

1.  List all the roles you are in your life (parent, spouse, child, sibling, friend, employee, housekeeper, blogger, cyclist, runner, etc, ETC)  I also thought of this, lolz:


2.  Now choose the SIX that are most important to you.  Covey says choose 5-7, but this particular Beachbody coach said just go with 6, and I agree with her.

3.  The 6 you choose are the ones you are going to focus on.  That doesn’t mean the others aren’t important, and you don’t have to rank the 6 that you choose.  But realize that you can, and WILL, be truly effective in your life if you devote your energy to your most important roles, and let everything else go (or do as time permits).  WOW was that a wake-up call to me.  Here I am trying to be wife/mom/employee/friend/daughter/coach/blogger/website manager/photographer/cook/runner/housekeeper/ETC!  I just can’t keep up with all that, or be GOOD at all that.  So I let some of it go.  I chose (in no particular order): wife/mom/employee/coach/blogger-and-keeper-of-memories/athlete.  Now of course some of those contain multiple things, which the speaker cautioned against.  But I think it’s OK that athlete can mean doing running, weight-lifting, now Insanity, sometimes swimming and yoga.  And it’s OK that “mom” includes housekeeper, cook, giver of hugs & kisses (& sometimes spankings).  So I know where I need to focus, and it’s almost liberating knowing that I don’t have to focus on ALL the other stuff.

Thus, with my new roles established in my mind (and written down, that’s important too!) I can do the things that will help me be successful.  For instance, putting away clothes helps me be an effective wife & mom.  Prepping my lunch helps me be an effective employee, coach, and athlete.  It all ties together, and it’s all falling into place.  I had to give up something I love (photography–which I’ll still do a little, but it won’t be a main focus) but now I’m freed up to do much more with my other joys too 🙂

For several weeks now, I haven’t blogged simply because I’m tired or felt it wasn’t as important as other things, but I know now that it is very important to me, because it made the cut for my 6 roles.  One last little tidbit–and next time I’ll share more–I feel great because this balancing act called life is like Goldilocks: not too much, not too little, but just right.  Everything affects everything else: sleep, nutrition, exercise, attitude… and it’s all diverging in on the sweet spot, giving me some very amazing results.  I got up at 5 AM today (with Javi!) and we started Insanity.  We are both drinking Shakeology now and feeling energetic and sharp–I love that he is joining me in this fitness & nutrition journey.  I am so excited to see where we end up in the next few months, and SO thankful once again that we’ve ended up here!

Here’s some of Gabe to end with!  Have a wonderful week 🙂  And message/comment anytime, I love to hear from all of you!

Posted in 7 Habits, Beachbody Coach, Insanity, Power of thanks, Shakeology, trying new things | Leave a comment

Quad Cities & John Deere World Headquarters

Several weeks ago (yes I’m muy behind!) I went on a business trip to the John Deere world headquarters in Moline, IL.  And yes, this was one day after returning from New York–I won’t plan back-to-back trips like that again!  I wanted to write a blog about it in case I, or any of my co-workers, want to reference this again.  I had an excellent tour guide, my “mentor” and colleague from work, CG.  He worked at the world HQ for 13 years, so he showed me all the best places, both to eat, and to see some of John Deere’s illustrious history.

Day 1: I flew from Greensboro to ATL to Moline, which only took about 5 hours, so I was there in time for lunch!  We met up with CG’s friend RL for lunch at the world HQ (they have their own cafeteria–with very tasty food too!)  First, we did a quick tour of the display floor and Deere & Co.  They have a huge display of original documents, plus many of the models that Deere builds–a 210G excavator was there, from our company in Kernersville:

After lunch and an afternoon of tours and meetings, I checked into the Radisson on John Deere Commons before we headed to Habaneros on 4th Ave (had to revert to Plan B when The Captain’s Table was closed.)  Excellent Mexican food, and a fun meal with CG and his wife D.

After dinner, we took a quick trip up to John Deere’s gravesite, at the Riverside Cemetery.  It was just before dark, so we got there in time!  It was pretty cool (and extremely cold & windy!) to see where the founder of such a world-class company resides today, along with his family:

The one hour time change, plus my weariness from traveling back from NYC, got me in bed super early that night!

Day 2:  We fueled up on an awesome b-fast at the Radisson (complete with my fave, waffles!) and headed over to John Deere Harvester Works.  After a productive meeting, CG and I got to take a riding tour of the facility–complete with 2 tour guides just for us!  The combines made there harvest over half the crops in the world (if I remember correctly) and can harvest up to 350 acres a DAY, which is incredible!  Pics from Harvester Works:

Time for lunch, so we headed to the Belgian Village, for a famous Reuben.  We had to split the VandeReuben because it was so huge!

On the way to John Deere Davenport Works, we saw the Deere family house, the Deere-Wiman house, and COL Butterworth’s house–all descendents of Deere, and all kept the company going until the 1980’s, when CEO’s began to be selected from outside the family.  We crossed the Mississippi River and ventured into Iowa, passing The Lodge where CG and D stayed for awhile after they sold their house.  Davenport Works was just as impressive as Harvester, and we got a lot of good info there as well.

On the way back, we made a quick stop at Whitey’s Ice Cream, where I had a deeeelish Chocolate Peanut Butter Revel cone.  Our next stop was the John Deere Pavilion, where there are more pieces of equipment and fun facts on display:

I did a little damage–er, I bought some gifts–in the John Deere store, then had some time to talk to my boys on Skype before dinner at Biaggi’s in Davenport.  I had the pork chops, which were very good, but my salad was sort of lacking in veggies so I wouldn’t recommend a salad there.  However, the tiramisu made up for it 🙂  CG and D, RL and his wife, and another couple joined us, and the group was hilarious–plenty of good stories!  I was once again pooped, and still fighting a cold, so into bed early again!

Day 3: Nothing notable, other than CG tried to show me Rock Island Arsenal (again) and we got denied (again).  I guessed it was something about North Korea acting a fool, because I noticed the base was at FPCON Alpha, so perhaps they just weren’t letting in any civilians.  Oh well, I didn’t really care to see any more Army bases in my life, lol 😉  We had meetings at the Southwest Office building, before I headed back home.  It sure was nice to see my little guy again when I picked him up from daycare!  Then I was reunited with my papa bear shortly thereafter 🙂  Travel sure does remind me how lucky I am to have such an amazing family!  I had a great time in the Quad Cities, but nothing beats home.

Posted in Foodie Review, travels sans kid, working mom | Leave a comment