Body Boss

Bodyboss – cycle 2, week 5!!

Well this is a mixed week, my gorgeous son has returned home to the U.K. which always makes me a little sad as I miss my kids loads out here… but the summer flights are booked for my son, daughter and adopted daughter (well not in reality but she’s treated as a daughter so that counts in my book!) which gives me loads to look forward to and to plan, they have a one week overlap when there’re all here at the same time and I’ve always wanted to visit Dollywood – not sure how they will feel about this, they’ll never read this so I won’t know till we get there! Yes I know, but they would never go if I told them and I’m 100% sure once we get there they’ll love it!

There are also other exciting things happening, it helps that I’m the sort of person that gets excited over the littlest of things, we had a HelloFresh box delivered – now the idea behind this is to eat healthier and to take the planning out of meal times – it’s also getting us out of a meal time rut (you know what I mean here, you have about seven recipes that you just keep doing because after work and workouts the last thing you want to do is think what to have for tea).

I have to say we’re both very impressed, especially my husband as he does most of the cooking – he’s very good and so I’m quite happy being in charge of baking bread etc. 

The food is delicious and the recipe cards are ace too and each day is in a convenient box that you can pull straight out of the fridge!


So on with the week!

Monday – legs and booty followed by Spanish style Cod with chickpeas!
I still dislike Mondays hugely, but I know it’s just until I get going – so I get going!

Today could be worse… I don’t know why but I do struggle with the jumping exercises, Ski Moguls should be quite easy – nope, but I do them!

Mountain Climbers are also tricky due to there still being more ‘me’ in the way, preventing my knee getting near my elbow… I’m hoping with the heathy eating (note Not dieting) this should improve!

We also have a breakthrough…. I feel there should be a drumroll here… I hold the two point plank for 10 seconds!!!!!!! I am mega happy with that – I’m also mega shaking! But I did it! 

Tea is five star delicious, I wouldn’t have put chickpeas as a main carbohydrate in a meal, I will now though – yummy!

Tuesday – yoga day, with YogaClub outfit! 

My husband has kept to his word and set up the TV in the basement so that I can watch the ‘doyogawithme’ class on a big screen – I have to say it’s better than squinting at the iPad, it’s very difficult to do yoga and wear glasses – one head down dog and they’ve fallen off!

He has also joined me for class – apparently this is not so that he has a good view of my improving booty but so that he can learn to stretch – I’m not so sure… I’m just happy that he enjoyed it 😊 

I do love my yoga outfit – just saying as I’ve had the same workout gear for over seven years and have always thought that as long as it served the purpose then it would do. However it does make you feel so much better when you look nice! 

Creamy chicken pasta for tea – yum!!!!!

Wednesday – arms, abs and core….

Oh these are still the worst… push-ups – I’m still doing them on my knees rather than toes and I simply just don’t get them, I try but I just don’t. I’ve asked my husband to show me how he does them, this doesn’t help – mind you that may be due to our fluff ball dog proceeding to jump on him which was highly amusing! Upshot is I can still only dip down about three inches, however it’s still better than nothing – I ‘press’ on (sorry!!).

What I also don’t get is why you would follow tricep dips (I can now do these – hurrah) with Plank Rotations? I mean my arms are just, well, ooooowwwww!!!!! I delicately decend to the floor! 40, 20 each side… I manage 10.

Turkey Burgers for tea – totes delish, I do love turkey burgers anyway but these were really good and the chips were really nice too!

Thursday – cardio

Thirty minutes of dedicated me and Satan time… is it weird that I think I prefer the circuits? Circuits are much harder! 

I am enjoying my audio book which makes the time go faster and I am now in a walk four minutes run one minute cycle, which is a massive improvement from when I started!

Soy marinated steak for tea – along with a sneaky glass of red…. simply heaven!

Power-up Friday!!!! = another week complete!

I had to pop to the doctors today, don’t panic – totally routine, but while I was there I asked them to weigh me… 174lbs fully clothed which means that without dieting, (and trust me I have a ‘healthy’ appetite!) I have lost seven pounds! 

However we have Ski Moguls and Plank Rotations on the power-up circuit… but, check this video out… I can do Plank Rotations!! (It may have something to do with not doing tricep dips beforehand…).


Right I now have ten minutes to make myself look like I’m not about to have a heart atack and head to the cinema – we’re seeing the latest Pirates of the Caribbean – you can’t beat a good dose of swashbuckling fun to start your weekend!

Body Boss

Bodyboss – week 4!! 

This weeks motivational quote – ‘Do it for yourself not for the likes’ 

Hmmm…. totally agree, however it does sort of clash with me blogging to keep going… I can live with this on the basis that I know myself really well and ‘doing it for myself’ will only work until I find an excuse to stop, and trust me I am brilliant at finding excuses!! 

So, week four, this is going to be such a tough week as my son is visiting – he’s at university in London (the U.K. London not the Connecticut one!) it’s so lovely to have him to stay for a bit but it is also the biggest excuse not to exercise yet, especially as he’s only here for a week!

However Monday is here and as number one son is ensconced in front of Netflix – apparently there are shows in the USA that he can’t get in the U.K. – I take the opportunity to head into the basement…

Monday – Legs and Booty, thankfully I tend to like the legs and booty days which makes it easier to get started.

Except for walking lunges, I really struggle with these – basically they hurt! I suppose that means they’re good for me but when they really hurt my balance is rubbish and I end up staggering around the basement whilst doing the lunges, it’s not pretty. I’m just thankful no one can see me!!

I can’t get the height on the bench hops that are on the photo in the book – but I’m hopping and my feet are definitely off the ground 😊

Monday done, tick! My thighs are killing me!

Now off out to find a Chinese for tea – at the request of my son so I couldn’t possibly refuse, I’ll try dieting next week…

Tuesday – yoga day!

Today my husband agreed to do yoga with me, I’m really chuffed, I love being able to share things with him and we love doing things together – good job I’ve got two mats – he has no idea what he’s letting himself in for!

Unfortunately it seems the internet in the basement that I use for streaming the yoga program isn’t fabulous, normally it’s fine however add a teenage boy who’s simultaneously watching Netflix, playing games on his phone and trawling through the internet, means that the yoga program keeps buffering… yoga has been abandoned, the BBQ has been lit instead.

I’m a bit gutted, I like yoga a lot… I have decided to order a yoga box from the yoga club – I know this seems a bit random but I only have two exercise pants and one tee shirt and I think after all this effort I deserve a little treat, once it gets here I’ll do an extra yoga session – I’ve ordered a size M, this may be an error as I’m pretty sure I’m more of a large… 

Wednesday – oh goody arms, abs and core = my worst day!

But how is this for commitment, I’m taking my son for a trip to New York for the day and I know we’ll not be back in time to do this in the evening, so I’m up at 5:30am to do the session before we catch the train!!

That is what I call true dedication! What is more I actually find it easier – that may be because I’m half way through before I wake up and realise what I’m doing…

But other than the push-ups – even though they’re the ones on an incline, I still struggle – I actually find the sets ok, and what’s even more surprising I can do the set in seven minutes instead of taking eight.

I wonder if being tired after work affects the workout? I was worried that doing them on an empty stomach would mean I would have no energy…

I don’t suppose anyone has a view on this? I’d love to know what everyone else does!

Thursday – cardio!

Normally this is a nice fast walk/jog for twenty minutes while I listen to my audiobook – I now know what the ‘step up’ in the title of this cycle means… it’s now thirty minutes! 

Now the idea is to get up early again and do the cardio before work… except the alarm kept going to snooze… no idea how that happened…

Today is also the day I take my boy back to the airport, now there’s an experience, driving to and from JFK… I had my first iced dunkin coffee for the drive home – I can see why people rave about them, good coffee and a much needed boost – which is indeed needed when trying to negotiate New York traffic. My goodness me it’s ‘interesting’, how I made it back alive I have no idea!!

Unfortunately I get back from the airport so late that cardio was missed, I have very mixed feelings about this and very nearly fibbed in my blog – after all you’d never know – but I need to be honest. I need to be very careful not to make this a habit…

Power Up Friday!! 

Yes another week completed! (If you ignore Thursday, and Tuesday…)

I really put my back into this Friday’s Power Up! I think it’s the guilt – six minutes later I’m completely regretting it and dripping with sweat (attractive – not) I finish the week!

Saturday and my yogaclub box arrives – very exciting!!!

It’s beautifully packaged and ok I need to have less of a stomach, but the outfit fits and it’s so gorgeous!! I actually can’t wait to do loads of yoga just to wear it!! 

Body Boss

Body boss – week three!

Wow week three!! That means I have now been exercising five days a week for seven weeks – to say that’s an achievement is an understatement!!

Do I have a super fit body? No.

Am I fitting into my old clothes? No.

Do I feel fitter? Yes!

Will I keep going? Absolutely!!

This week is the next photo check point. I’m dreading this one as although I feel loads better and my shape is changing (the overhang on my lower tummy is very noticeably less – possibly more information than you need…) I do think that if I want to fit into my old clothes I may actually have to bite the bullet and diet… I know, I know, I have always vowed not to diet but I’m starting to think that I need to kick start me into the right place and that looks like it may involve a form of diet.

Naturally I don’t mean starve myself, I need plenty of energy to cope with these exercises! But more of an ‘eating healthier’ plan, cut out the pitta chips and avoid the office doughnuts sort of thing… or actually following the Body Boss instructions and avoid processed food – I’m not going down the avoid alcohol road though, these health things need to be done in moderation and a glass of wine on a Friday and Saturday (ok and maybe Thursday) are the things that keep me marginally sane.

My son is home at the end of this week, did he notice a difference? No – but then he is a boy and they’re not exactly known for their observational skills. 

So week three – bring it on!!

Monday:

Totally love the leg and glute days! Apart from frog jumps, I’m not keen on frog jumps… my basement is six frog jumps long however the low ceiling may become an issue when I get better at them!

Tuesday:

Please be yoga, please be yoga…. yes it’s not a challenge day, yoga it is!!

I’ve discovered a really cool looking yoga site that I want to try out called ‘do yoga with me’ it’s got a beginners video called ‘better balance’ with Melissa Krieger – after last week I figure I need this…

Oh my that was really difficult – half moons need some serious balance – but so good! 

I love the way the program flows and the half hour went so quickly! I feel balanced, calm and genuinely really good 😊 I will do that one again, I may even persuade my husband to join me next week.

Wednesday:

Oh dear Arms, Abs and Core day…

Push ups on an incline – still not good with these, I don’t think I’ve improved since the last time, only three inch dips… better than one though and I still have a horrid cough thanks to tree allergies so once that goes I may get better?

Butterfly kicks – can totally do these!

V sit-ups – not balancing in between the sit-ups but I can do v sit-ups! Ok not 25 of them but I’m up to 15!!! 

Down Dog V Press – hmmm I’m not totally sure I’m doing these right… help required – please! 



Mountain Climbers – I like these, even though my knee doesn’t get near my elbow due to my tummy getting in the way!

Shoulder Fly – these should be easy, I’ve only got one pound weights! However thanks to all the previous exercises my goodness these hurt!!!!!

Sumo Squats – compared to the previous exercises these are positively nice…

Thursday:

Cardio day! I’m liking cardio days, fast walking and the occasional jog (I know this is getting to be a habit!) while listening to my latest book on audible, at the moment it’s ‘The Elementals’ by Michael McDowell, I like reading lots of different novels in all genres, this is a really slow moving book which fits in with the southern setting and well written, I’m intrigued to know where it’s heading… subsequently twenty minutes fly by!

Power Up Friday!:

Yes I’ve made it to the end of another week! Oh no, Down Dog V Press and Frog Jumps… I have a feeling I’m not going to manage too many reps… I needn’t have worried – this week we have to do it twice!! Eeek!

Picture times – more of the reckoning.

Ok these are from week zero, week four of pre-training and this week. In that order. Lets see how this goes – fingers crossed…

  

  

  
Well I’ll be! I really don’t notice the difference on a day to day basis but the photos do seem to prove that it’s working! 

I’m really, really chuffed – I couldn’t see the change until I posted the pictures side by side on here… it’s certainly an incentive to keep going!

Inches result: hmmmm no inch change in the last three weeks but then I do think I’m changing in other areas so let’s see what happens if I watch what I eat for the next few weeks…

Cycle Two – Step Up next… not sure about the step up bit but bring it on!

Body Boss

Body boss – week two!! 

Pain is temporary – quitting is forever! 

I’m so impressed with myself for sticking with the program! Normally I would’ve given up by now… it helps that I’m just exercising and not throwing in the added stress of dieting – it does say at the beginning of the book to avoid stress, this is the one piece of advice I intend to follow!

However I may need to review this as the exercises aren’t getting any easier….

This is a big week for me as not only is it my birthday week, (after a certain age you get a birthday week rather than a day, this increases incrementally until you are in a permanent state of celebration – this should be timed to coincide with retirement so that you don’t get sacked for coming into work hungover, it takes a lot of careful planning and practice) but it is also the K2B back in my home town. 

If you’ve never heard of the K2B, google it, it is the best organised endurance event ever! 42 miles through the Lake District in the U.K. in one day. It was inspired by Kennedy I believe (and my American followers please correct me if I’ve got the wrong president!) who said that every man should be able to walk 50 miles in a day, this was told to one of the shipbuilders by the U.K. Navy who then threw the gauntlet down and so every year since 1967 the Royal Navy has challenged the shipyard in Barrow in Furness to a 42 mile race over the mountains of the Lake District, 51 years later and several thousand people take part, raising hundreds of thousands of pound for charities, it’s an amazing feeling to take part and it is run by a team of volunteers who are quite simply remarkable.

I’m going to really miss taking part, but I’ll be back!

Anyway this is a diversion – a bit like my tactics when I get home from work to delay going into the basement…

Week Two!! Day 1 – Monday

Today is totally do’able! Only one exercise I’ve not done yet – a 2 Point Plank, looks like a cinch!

Ok…. I really should know by now what looks easy usually isn’t… balancing doesn’t seem to be my strong point… 

However I have run two minutes of my four minutes warm up (Satan and I are positively buddies!) and completed the circuits – I can’t do them in seven minutes yet, but it now only takes about eight and a half so getting better! We’ll gloss over the 2 Point Plank fiasco…. 

Three circuits, one warm up and one cool down – tick 😊 according to my wonderful husband I still look mostly dead.

Day 2 – Tuesday

Yey it’s yoga day!! Oh wait, nope, apparently its challenge day, rats…

Well it’s the same horrendous challenge as in week two of the pre-training with the main difference that I can now do the half burpees, I can sort of do ‘v’ sit ups, (but not 24 of them!) and I can still only bob down about 3 inches on the push-ups…

But…. drum roll please…. I have cut a full 50 seconds off my time!!! Get in!!! 

Day 3 – Wednesday 

Arms, abs and core day – my worst day, I literally have zero upper body strength and my beautiful children have destroyed whatever stomach muscles I had fifteen to twenty years ago….

But you have to dig deep and trust that things will get better, and to be fair they usually do, so here we go:

Side Jacks – tick

Push-ups – sort of tick

Ab Bikes – totally nailed

Tricep Dips – ouch but tick

Plank Rotations – wtf!!! 

Balance wasn’t my strong point when it was opposing arm and leg in the air, rotating and putting your arm in the air?? By the end of the three circuits I can do ten (out of forty) I guess that’s ten more than none?

Bicep curls with shoulder press – tick, but to be fair these go in a haze – I’m still figuring out how on earth I do a plank rotation!

Side Shuffles – tick

Cool down, I love these stretches SO much!!!

Day 4 – Thursday 

I hate to say this but it’s the first day I’ve missed… I feel ridiculously guilty but I appear to be allergic to tree pollen, I’ve never been allergic to anything before, and I literally can’t breathe! Off to get antihistamine tablets… they’d better work!! Any suggestions for anything better will be most appreciated!

Day 5 – Power Up Friday!!

Antihistamines are kicking in, apart for the occasional coughing fit I’m good to go!

I may only have done four rotations but get me – I can do 12 ‘v’ sit ups!!!!


Week 2 done!! 

Do I feel better? Yes actually I do, I feel stronger and I really do think I can do this! 

Now where’s that champagne and birthday cake….

Body Boss

Body boss – week one of the program!!

My favourite quote of the book – ‘don’t look back – you’re not going that way’ that’s a really good quote, I like it!

So on with the program proper…

Monday’s are always the hardest, you get two days off, I’m back at work and after ten hours in the office and a one hour round trip commute it’s 6pm and the last thing I want to do is to go into the basement for the four minute warm up on Satan let along the actual workout!

However this is where my cunning plan regarding this blog comes into play… you see now that I have ‘followers’ i.e. not just my husband, I have to continue the story and to continue the story I have to do the workout, therefore I can’t just give up, cook tea and have a glass of wine – I really do know myself too well!!

Monday:

Sumo squats, walking lunges, high knees, glute kickbacks, side jacks, glute bridges and glute lunges – all totally doable exercises, thank goodness! I am a happy bunny 😄

Then I read the small print… instead of doing the circuit twice we now do it three times… hmmm… I still can’t do each circuit in seven minutes but it’s now down to eight and a half so getting better.

I totally nail the workout! Feeling chuffed I head up to have tea (my rather wonderful husband has cooked) the comment I’m greeted with is “it must be getting harder, you’re back to looking mostly dead – you only looked half dead last week” it’s a good job I love him so much!

Tuesday:

Yoga day – having learnt from last weeks attempt at an intermediate level class, I google a beginner level video to do… seven poses held for five or more minutes each – sounds easy doesn’t it? 

It probably would be easy if my thighs weren’t so sore from yesterday’s lunges!! 

I pretend to enjoy it and breathe as instructed, I may look for a different gentle exercise for next week… like controlled napping…

Wednesday:

Oh my word, three out of the seven exercises on today’s workout are on my ‘how on earth can anybody do that’ list and I have to do them all three times!

Still I have a blog to write and I do need to get fit so here goes…

Push ups – ok I’m dipping down about three inches, I reckon that counts.

Ankle taps – these are new, look easy! Ah, no, not quite as easy as they look in the book… I think the woman in the book must have very long arms! 

Superman – well there’s a surprise, it appears I can now do the Superman!! No idea how, but I can! Yey me!!

Plank Jacks – I actually like these, I can do them quickly which gets the circuit time down. Good grief I’m sounding like someone who enjoys working out – that’s not happened before!

V Sit-ups – wow I actually managed five!! Ok I can’t ‘hover’ between each sit-up, I kind of collapse down on the mat however I never thought I could get into the V position in the first place so I’m positively chuffed! Proof that I must be getting stronger!! I do the remaining twenty as ordinary sit-ups… the time for my circuit has gone to pot – these things take a lot of time and effort!

The last two, shoulder fly and side shuffles are in my comfort zone so that’s a relief!

By the end of three circuits my arms are killing me and apparently I still look mostly dead… but I also managed three minutes walking and a minute running on Satan for the warm up and cool down – I’m starting to feel pretty good!

Thursday:

Cardio day – thankfully this hasn’t been increased and I manage two sets of eight minutes walking, two minutes running on Satan with my warm up and cool down stretches I am ready for the power-up Friday session!

Friday:

Power-up!! Last push for the end of week one! Oh goodness V Sit-ups… I manage six and then six normal sit-ups, ok it’s not the full twelve but it’s one better than Wednesday!

Thanks to the V sit-ups I only manage three rotations in the allotted six minutes – these things aren’t easy you know, but then if you want results I guess you have to work for it…


Dare I say it but I’m quite looking forward to week two… but then I’ve not read ahead… 

Body Boss

Body Boss – the final day of pre-training!! Aka ‘The Reckoning’

Well this is it, the final day of pre-training! 

And it’s a Friday ‘power up’ day – these are fab, mainly because it’s just one set of four exercises done repeatedly for 6 minutes and I can totally do that!

I can usually manage 3 sets in the allotted time which nearly kills me but it’s a limited time so I concentrate on that and go for it!!

This week they’re ending the pre-training on a total killer to include Plank Jacks and the dreaded Russian Twist… but I can do this it’s only 6 minutes…

Warm up with Satan included not only walking for 3 minutes at 4 miles an hour but jogging for 1 minute too, I know! This is becoming a habit! I would say next week I’ll attempt a run but let’s not push it…

I have totally nailed the circuit – 5 times! That’s a record and I’m totally buzzing!  I even did the Russian Twist!! Ok my feet weren’t in line with my knees like the woman in the picture, mine were about 3 inches off the floor (1 inch by the fifth round) but they were none the less off the ground and that ladies and gentlemen is a bona fide success!!

I have to say I thought there might be a leak in the kitchen, but no apparently I was dripping sweat onto my yoga mat… and that’s with only 6 minutes of full on exercise!

Ok so now it’s time to track some progress – now bear in mind I’ve not been dieting and we’ve had Mother’s Day (U.K.) and Easter not to mention a weekend away… 

  • Waist – was 38 inches, now…. 36.5 inches – whoo hoo!!
  • Hips – were 44 inches, now… 43 inches – not too shabby!
  • Thighs – were 23.5 inches, now… 23.5 inches – I never understood this measurement and there are a lot of lunges, to be honest I’m surprised they’re not bigger!
  • Weight – we’ll have to wait until I’m next at the doctors for a checkup as I don’t possess any bathroom scales – it gets too depressing so I binned them… should have an update by the end of May…

Next the dreaded before and after photos – I hope I can see a difference…

Before.                                                    After.

            
Before.                                After.

   
Before.                               After.

 
I think there is a definite improvement! I’m genuinely looking forward to the main program!!

To celebrate I did a little clothes shopping to treat myself, went to my favourite shop J Jill – really classic style clothes and so friendly.

Now I know I’m doing well but I also know that I still can’t fit into my U.K. Size 14 jeans so when the manager recognised me (something to do with being an eccentric british woman in America – not easy to forget! Many have tried!) and said she thought I’d lost weight I was very flattered, she then suggested I try a size small for my tops!! 

When I finished laughing I agreed and I nearly fell over when I discovered that they fitted perfectly – now I am smart enough to know that their sizes are very generous and that it’s a marketing gimmick to get women to buy clothes thinking they are smaller than they are. This is not something that I condone.

However 3 tops, 2 cardigans, a pair of trousers and a scarf (it was a very pretty colour) later… well there was a sale and the clothes do look really nice…

Roll on the full program and the next 12 weeks!! 😆

Body Boss

Body boss - pre-training week 4 day 4!

Cardio day!! 

I’ve got to quite enjoy cardio day, I get to spend quality time with Satan…


Today was not as nice as normal as I had three fillings earlier this afternoon which made drinking my water a little ‘interesting’.

I have to say, and may need to start a ‘life in the states blog’ to include this – I’m really really impressed with my dentist out here, she did an amazing job, the level of service and just how much she obviously enjoyed her job was brilliant! And her dental assistant was equally lovely, I’m actually looking forward to going back for a polish!

Back to Cardio day…

20 minutes of cardio and 10 minutes of stretching, 5 minutes to start and 5 to cool down – did I mention that I love the stretching… it is my favourite bit, I can even balance on the glute stretch without having to hold the wall!!


Today I actually managed 8 minutes walking at 4 miles an hour followed by 2 minutes jogging – yes, you heard me right – another 8 minutes walking and another 2 minutes jogging!!

Me, jogging, that’s practically running and I’ve not managed that in about two years! 

I don’t know if I’m any smaller (that’ll be the lack of dieting) but I am definitely getting fitter. 

You never know I may try the actual program next week after all… 

Tomorrow is photo day to compare with week one, fingers crossed there’s a difference!