Monday, March 30, 2015

Quality Time is my #1 Love Language

I got off work a little early on Friday to head down to Joe's.  I was able to pick up Buddy, and pack and be on the road by 5:30 pm which is record time for me.  I always like to get on 85 before all the traffic and especially Hwy 109, I despise that road by the way.  I hooked Joe on the Arnold Sandwich thins awhile back and he wanted a turkey sandwich.  Joe had stopped by Harris Teeter and picked up Boars Head turkey meat (Oven Roasted Low Sodium for myself, and Cajun Turkey for himself).  I will only eat Boars Head turkey.  He also picked up some honey wheat sandwich thins, cheese, and chips.  So, Friday night was fix your own sandwich night.  After we ate, we headed into Albemarle to the Wal-Mart.  I had some bar stools on order for Joe's kitchen that needed to be picked up.  We stopped by Sweet Frog and got a small sample of desert, I was good and kept it within my calories.  After we got the barstools we headed back home.  Our plan was to rent a Redbox but nothing good was showing, so we decided to flip through channels and ended up watching "Pitch Perfect."  Well, I watched the movie, Joe fell asleep. 

Saturday morning Joe left for work and Buddy and I fell back to sleep until almost 10 am.  I haven't slept that long on a Saturday morning in awhile.  The sleep was definitely needed.  I'm so thankful I don't have a dog that barks at me for me to wake up.  Buddy is very lazy right there with me.  After we woke up and had our breakfast, I started getting ready.  First, let me just tell you all how much I love the new bathroom now.  The shower was lovely and getting ready with the extra vanity space put the icing on the cake.  I love that we have outlets so I don't have to go to Joe's bedroom and use a surge protector to dry and fix my hair.  I was texting Joe the whole time as I was getting ready telling him how much I love the new improvements.  After I got ready, I decided to head to downtown Albemarle.  Joe's mom introduced me to this cute boutique called La-Ta-Dah and I'm in love.  I decided to head over there and check out what new items they may have in for spring.  I was able to score a new flag with the initial "P" on it for Joe's house for $5, a block saying for the bathroom for $10, and a diaper case holder for my friend Sara and baby CC who should be arriving very soon for $5.  I couldn't pass up on the deals.  I'm trying so hard to hold off on buying monogrammed things for myself since my last name may be changing within the next year or so :)

After I left La-Ta-Dah, Joe called and was getting off work.  I met him back at the house to have sandwich's again for lunch and then I headed off to be treated for a manicure and pedicure.  Joe knew how hard we worked on the house while he was gone, he wanted to treat me.  There is a cute nail salon up in Richfield I always enjoy going to and the ladies are so nice.  I'm starting to learn my way around now!!!!  I had been telling Joe for the longest time I needed some new kicks to be able to do some of these workouts.  My Sketchers were just not getting it anymore.  So, we decided to head over to Concord Mills so I could check out the Nike and Reebok outlet.  On our way, we were back and forth in the car about where we wanted to eat.  We finally decided on Carolina Ale House.  Joe and I had wings with celery and carrot sticks (mine were grilled).  I had completely forgot Concord Mills closed at 9 so we were pushing it on time.  I was only able to walk into Nike and I found the perfect shoes.  They were originally $89 dollars, on clearance for $32 and then another 20% off.  I got the shoes for like $24.  I was happy and I can't wait to use them starting Monday!  By the time we got home, we watched some tv and crashed early.

Sunday morning, we headed off to Bojangles for breakfast.  No, I didn't eat good; however we all have slip up days.  Enjoyed the Palm Sunday service at his parents church and headed off to Home Depot to purchase some new white fans for the house.  Again, we had sandwich's for lunch.  I think I'm sandwiched out for awhile.  After we ate, we took Buddy over to Joe's parents house to run around in the yard.  He ran and ran and he loved when we would chase after him.  He loves getting all that energy out.  Unfortunately, I had to leave Joe's earlier than normal since I had a surprise 83rd birthday for my Grandpa.  The whole family met at Sagebrush in Reidsville to celebrate my PaPaw's birthday.  Great family time together!!!  After dinner, I stopped by the grocery store, got items to meal prep with.  Came home, meal prepped, and passed out early.

Quality time is my #1 Love Language and this past weekend fulfilled the need of spending time with all those who I love! 

Friday, March 27, 2015

Renovations at Joe's House

Many of you have been asking for a blog post on the renovations at Joe's house, so here it is.  Not long after Joe and I met we started discussing settling down and getting married (Love these talks).  Well, I knew if that was the case then some renovation projects were needed, including a wider bathroom, fixed up kitchen, and eventually updated living room and bedroom.  Joe's home was built in the 1940's so it's very outdated and with just Joe living there, let me say, it's been a true bachelor pad.  Most men don't always care about nice things, so Joe would have rather spent his money on dogs, hunting, and other things prior to fixing up a house.  So when a female comes in the picture who really wants a place to call "home" when she's married and is pretty neat, Joe caved him to make this woman happy.  Man, I have an amazing man, just saying!!!!

Over the past several months, Joe hired a contractor to come in and reface the cabinets, build additional cabinets, tear down walls, and make the bathroom larger.  The original cabinets in the kitchen as you will see in pictures below were just solid white, with solid white walls, and a tan countertop that was ripping to pieces.  We had no storage space and hardly any room to prep meals.  The refrigerator was very run down and falling apart and the sink would barely drain.  So, needless to say A LOT of issues.  The laundry room at this time was downstairs in the basement and with the dryer dying out on Joe he thought it would be a perfect time to move the washer and dryer upstairs.  Due to the amount of space we have in the laundry room, they did not fit.  His parents bought Joe a brand new front load washer and dryer.  We love them :)  They also bought a Joe a new refrigerator since the other one was giving out and about to "die."  We couldn't be more excited about the new appliances.  After all the construction and cabinets were in place, we were now able to come in and fix it so it felt like a home.

I knew Joe was going to be on a Bachelor trip with a high school friend and figured it would be the perfect time without him around for my mom and I to fix his pad up.  We took off work and headed to Joes for a weekend to paint, clean, and decorate.  The painting began early Friday morning at 9:30.  We started in the bathroom.  Mom began some of the trim work while I started rolling the paint on.  The bathroom took us about an hour and half to paint and then we started on trimming out the windows and painting the baseboards to make the color in the room just pop.  My mom's boyfriend, Greg, helped us hang mirrors, toilet paper holder, and towel holder.  We cleaned the bathroom up and got a new floor vent.  It's amazing how small changes can make a room better.  First let me just say, my mom is AMAZING and such a HANDY WOMAN.  She brought her own saw and started cutting tile so we could do the tile backsplash. She worked on the backsplash while I finished trimming and painting the laundry room and kitchen.  We were whooped Friday night and ended up finishing our day around 10 pm at night.  Saturday morning we woke up and was back at it again.  We touched up places that we may have missed with paint, made a trip to Lowes to get some ground electrical sockets (I should buy stock in Lowes), and came back to grout.  Joe's parents stopped by to check out the progress and they were amazing at how great the kitchen and bathroom were coming together.  After the grouting was finished we began to deep clean and decorate.  My mom and I like going to the architectural salvage store to see what we might can find and she was able one day to find some old barn wood that needed to be stripped.  After stripping off about 20 different colors she finally came to the natural wood color and it was gorgeous.  So we begun to hang shelves and decorate the house up.  I cleaned up the living room, got all the saw dust off of things and wiped down the baseboards.  We didn't end up leaving Joe's house until 9 pm. 

Joe and his parents were completely shocked when they saw all the work we had put into the house!

Check out below Before and After pictures

Monday, March 16, 2015

Focus T25 is COMPLETE

Focus T25 is COMPLETE
I am so excited to finally share with everyone my Focus T25 journey.  I can't believe I've already completed all 10 weeks of the Alpha and Beta cycle.  My first thought when I placed this order and received my Focus T25 box was:
1. Would I be able to complete this program?
2. Would working out just 30 minutes a day give me results?
Well, to answer both these questions, let's take a look back over the past 10 weeks. 
Here were my beginning measurements on the Sunday before I started the program and my measurements at the end of 10 weeks:
Measurements 1/11/2015
Weight= 138

Measurements 3/14/2015
Weight= 135.2
Waist= 28.5
Hips= 34
Chest= 30.5
Thighs= 20

Total weight loss= 5.4 lbs
Total inches loss= 15.5 inches

The first 5 weeks of T25 is known as the Alpha Cycle, which serves as the foundation for the T25 exercises.  The focus of Alpha is cardio, lower body, total body, abs, and speed.  The focus of Beta is cardio, upper body, core, ripping the total body, and speed.  Alpha involved no weights except your own body weight, and Beta incorporated weights and your body weight, which I really liked.  A calendar was provided for both Alpha and Beta which told you which workout you needed to complete on which day.  The calendar helps tremendously with accountability.  Fridays in both Alpha and Beta are known as Double Day, meaning to give you the weekends to rest/recover/stretch, you have two workouts on Friday.  I'll be the first to admit that not every Friday did I complete two workouts in one day, I would carry one over to Saturday or even Sunday sometimes; however, about 80% of time, I followed through with Double Day!!! 

So let's take a quick look at some of the exercises I was completing for each DVD.

Alpha Cycle:
Cardio- Shaun T really focuses on getting that heart rate a lot.  I found myself jumping around a lot for the different exercises. Mountain climbers were introduced and let the beginning of squat work start.
Speed 1.0- Here we go with the introduction of burpees...I found myself having a love/hate relationship with these.  Also, Shaun T introduces the planks.  I really loved Speed 1.0. 
Total Body Circuit- Total Body Circuit included working the whole body, from pushups, planks, burpees, abs, upper body, and lower body. 
Ab Intervals- Oh my, my abs were killing me after this workout.  This workout works every inch of your abs from lower to upper abs.  I loved the rocket man and superman poses.  A lot of plank work.  I didn't sweat as much during this workout as I did the others.
Lower Focus- This workout focused a lot on the lower body, which I really enjoyed.  The lunges were killer though especially when he added in pulses.  Also, a lot of squats during this workout so my legs were BURNING!!!! 

The first week of Alpha, I would watch all the DVD's the day before so I could prep myself for what workouts to expect the next day.  Also, the first week, I was following a lot of modifications because I wanted to make sure I was getting the form correct. My favorite DVD's during Alpha were Speed 1.0 and Lower Focus.  I never did the stretch videos because the weekends get so busy.  After I got through the initial first week, I can say with great pride and confidence that "I NAILED IT." 

Below is a list of the Beta workouts:

Core Cardio- Shaun T up's the intensity from Cardio in Alpha phase. More jumping moves, and planks. The full body run at the end is intense especially after the last 22 minutes of cardio.  I struggled with the "T" Twist and "X" lunge.  My shoes kept sliding on the floor :(
Speed 2.0- Shaun jumps right into cardio with Speed 2.0 where he slowly introduced Speed 1.0 in Alpha. I like how Shaun breaks the workouts into rounds. I am never coordinated with the Jack Uppercut so I modify and following Tania. I love the fast-paced movements and it keeps my body moving constantly.
Rip't Circuit- Yay, I finally get to use weights.  Those "V" holds are KILLER.  My legs shake so bad and I have to bend my legs sometimes. If your arms, legs, and back aren't burning after all the weights, Shaun brings it close to an end with weighted moving squats, 4 count push ups, and 5 count power abs.  I sweat so much during this workout.  I really consider this workout to be all over and no doubt I burn a lot of calories.
Dynamic Core- A lot of core work with planks, rocketmans, supermans, pike up and squats.  I still struggle with pike ups..maybe one day I'll be flexible to get all the way up.
Upper Focus-  This workout focuses a lot on the upper body.  I was shocked when I saw Shaun T come out in pants.  I thought, oh this workout won't be that bad.  WRONG.  My arms were burning after.  Again, with this workout, you get to use weights. There is some core workout with the planks.

After 5 weeks of Alpha, I was starting to get a bit bored with the DVD's.  I was ready for more intensity and a challenge.  I'll be the first to say, Beta was a challenge.  Shaun T incorporates more of those complex moves and builds up a lot of moves/exercises from Alpha. I really enjoyed finally being able to use some weights and build up muscle for the tone and lean look I was striving for.  Beta is by far my favorite. My favorite DVD's in Beta were Speed 2.0 and Upper Focus.  I can confidently say "I NAILED IT."

So, back to my beginning questions I asked myself when I received my box.  I was able to complete the whole 10 week program of Focus T25 Alpha and Beta cycle and "I NAILED IT."  I had a lot of support from my Beachbody Coach who would check in on me and make sure I was working out and eating healthy.  She really provided me the accountability I needed to successfully complete this program.  Who knew 30 minutes a day for 10 weeks, I would lose 5.4lbs and 15.5 inches.  I'm beyond thrilled and excited.  I feel AMAZING, my energy level is HIGH, my strength and endurance has INCREASED, and my flexibility is GETTING BETTER!!!!!  I would HIGHLY recommend this program to anyone who is wanting to exercise more all within 25 minutes a day.  Anyone can fit 25 minutes a day of exercise into your routine.  The benefits and results are TOTALLY WORTH IT.  I have gained so much muscle, reduced my body fat, finally can fit back into my size 4/6 jeans, and just feel better overall. 

Along with FocusT25, I followed a pretty strict diet.  During Alpha, I was consuming around 1,600-1,700 calories a day based on IIYFM recommendations.  After I started Beta, I cut calorie consumption down to 1,200-1,4000 a day.  While doing T25, I decided to purchase the 21 Day Fix Extreme program which just launched that utilizes a container system.  I was able to start the container system along with Beta.  Each day, I would approximately eat 4 servings of protein, 3 servings of vegetables, 2 servings of fruit, 1 serving of healthy fats, and 1 serving of seeds.  I'm glad I went ahead and started this eating regimen so I can be ready for 21 Day Fix Extreme which I will be starting on March 16, 2015.  I don't ever feel hungry and I feel like for once, I'm fueling my body with what it needs.  During this whole process, I haven't ate a single processed meal and I've only had about 3 glasses of wine total.  I drink roughly 84 ounces of water a day, so I do find myself going to the restroom a lot.  I've really watched my sodium content and kept it under 2,300 mg a day.  I am beginning to learn the importance of meal prepping and buying vegetables and meats in bulk at SAMS Club.  Every Sunday, I prep my meals for the week and place them in containers based on what is recommended of that food to eat.  I've also paired all my healthy eating with substituting half a scoop of Shakeology for a snack.  I'm not sure if I will continue with Shakeology; however, I will continue with some type of protein shake for a snack or immediately after my workouts. 

I'm so excited to share my next fitness journey with you all.  I will be doing the 21 Day Fix Extreme starting on March 16, 2015 and will finish on April 5, 2015.  My goal is to continue with the clean eating yet follow a bit more of a strict diet eliminating more carbs.  I can't wait to start the workouts and continue to have the support from my Beachbody coach as she will be on the this journey with me. 

Thanks everyone so much for your support throughout this journey, and a huge thanks goes to Joe for supporting and encouraging me every step.  I know he got frustrated when I wouldn't eat out with him all the time.  I'm excited to share he's getting ready to start his fitness journey with Insanity Max 30.  Can't wait to see his results.

Love you all and stay tuned!





Meal Prepping
Finally getting some muscle


Bye Bye Size 6/8