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!

Body Boss

Body boss – pre-training week 4… the last week of pre-training!!! Days 1 to 3 we’re into real time now!!

Right this is it the very last week of pre-training and we’re into real time blogging!

I have to say this week is tough, after a lovely Easter break from work going back for a full day on Monday meant motivation was not high to go down into the basement and work out after work… what I really wanted was a nice cup of tea and to finish off my Easter Egg – I have mentioned that I’m categorically not dieting haven’t I? And anyway chocolate is a bean which is practically a vegetable and therefore one of my ‘five a day’ not to mention the calcium and iron it contains, (yes I am aware there is more iron in dark chocolate and not much at that – but it is there!).

But I can’t let my blog down so into the basement I go… 

Monday:

Despite being tired I give it my all!

I’ve invested a whole $39.95 in a little speaker for the basement so there’s now some tunes to keep me motivated! I really do need to work on a playlist though, putting it on ‘shuffle’ proves how random my music taste is, I went from AC/DC to Kate Rusby to INXS to Big Bad Voodoo Daddy followed by some Beatles! I kept losing count of the reps whilst singing along…

However I surpassed myself in the Plank Jack round – I can totally do those! 

Still can’t figure out how to do a ‘Superman’…

Tuesday:

Try a little Yoga day – I used to do a lot of Yoga back in the day, I loved it. 

I head to google to find a free video to do and rekindle my love of Yoga, I figure I’m definitely at intermediate level.

Wrong!!

What happened to lovely stretches and relaxing?? 

Ok I remember how to do warrior poses one to three – these I can do – but what is this? Sit down, hug your knees, keeping knees bent stretch your legs out so your in a ‘V’ shape, lean to touch one side… sound familiar? It’s a slow motion Russian Twist!! I fall gently to side with a delicate thud!

We then move into a bridge – I used to pride myself on these… note the phrase ‘used to’…

We then get to some lovely stretches, my stomach gets in the way far more than it used to.

I think I’ll do a beginner video next week…

Wednesday = today!

It’s a good job I don’t look ahead.

Push-ups, half burpees and leg lifts to contend with…

However my little speaker is set up and I’m ready to go!


As you can see round one takes slightly more than seven minutes…

I have major issues with push-ups however I am dipping down more than I could at first, any advice on how to get better would be great!

Hopefully this will illustrate my point…

​​
I have completed Wednesday, tomorrow I will be posting everyday as it happens, I’m on a roll!!

Body Boss

Body boss – pre-training week 3!

Whoo hoo! This week my book arrived – very exciting!! I really need to get out more….

But in all seriousness I do love a proper book, that and we went away for a family long weekend so I wanted to take the book so that I didn’t miss out on Mondays workout if they was no wifi… thankfully there was wifi, two teenagers and no wifi is just too awful to contemplate as far as they’re concerned.

Another advantage of a book is not having to keep tapping the screen on my iPad to keep the screen on – although smallest child did point out that I can change the settings so that it doesn’t automatically lock, naturally I pretended to already know this and quoted ‘battery saving’ as the reason why I hadn’t. Screen settings have now been adjusted, we’ll keep that between us – they’ll never read this, a blogging Mum is way too embarrassing!

So on with the pre-training:

Monday: 

Firstly thank goodness it’s not raining! Our little holiday cottage is just that – very, very little, great for bedrooms and sitting room but no space for exercises so it’s out into the garden I go – sorry neighbours…

I have to say, and I never thought these words would come out of my mouth but I miss Satan, I can fast walk and he keeps the time. Here I’ve no idea how long four minutes is (other than longer than you think) so I elect to run round the lawn fifteen times, I’m pretty sure it was under four minutes – probably nearer two – but I’m out of breath so it must be ok 😊

Today was pretty good – I found a small wall about hip height, much easier to do tricep dips on that i.e. I could do all 25, with a little good grief moment half way through!

I feel pretty good!

Tuesday:

Half an hour of light exercise, perfect! We’re staying in Niagara on the Lake which is so pretty therefore an hours stroll through the town and along the lake is lovely, we even found a Melville street! 


And the bonus… we were going for a walk anyway!! It’s a win win😎


Lovely day out.

However back to reality and…

Wednesday:

Oh my goodness a day with three impossible exercises, I am not looking forward to this!

First push-ups, ok I’m still struggling but… I can dip down about three inches – this is an improvement!

Half burpees – first circuit and the last five I realize that if I do a little bounce I can kick back instead of stepping back, second circuit and I can totally do half burpees!!!! Buzzing!!!

Russian Twists – well two out three ain’t bad… 

Thursday:

Cardio for twenty minutes. You know I said earlier that I missed Satan… not any more!

However I seem to be improving, I can walk at four miles an hour and I even jogged for two minutes – naturally I can’t speak.

I am genuinely impressed that I can see a definite improvement in my stamina and general fitness level, dare I say it but I am enjoying this!

Friday:

Power it up!! 

But I do need to bear in mind my basement does not have a high ceiling… Sumo Squat Jumps took out a ceiling tile – oops!

Also when you wear glasses and get sweaty your glasses fall off! 

One more week of pre-training before the ‘real’ program… I’m actually looking forward to it, i didn’t expect that…

Body Boss

Body boss – pre-training week 2, I’ve not given up!

So here I go, week two!

I have to say I’m still full of enthusiasm, which is handy as I’ve got another fourteen weeks to go at least – I’m not ruling out the possibility of doing the pre training twice…

At the end of this week according to the book I should start ‘seeing results’ although they may mean after week 2 of the main program, I’m not totally sure, it may be exciting! 

At the very least it can’t be any worse… did I mention that I’m categorically not dieting… just in case it is worse…

Monday:

Great, day one of week 2 and I can add two exercises to the list of ones I can’t do – if I’m being positive I should add ‘yet’ to the end of that sentence. 

The offending exercises are ‘Superman’ and ‘Plank Jacks’.

Superman is named because in theory you look like Superman flying – you lie down and lift your legs and torso off the floor, well at least that’s what the woman in the picture does, I can manage about an inch off the floor before I collapse and face plant my yoga mat. I manage 10 face plants and give up mildly annoyed – I’m not a quitter.

Plank Jacks are as they sound, you basically do jumping jacks (not the arms thank goodness!) from a plank position – I think this could genuinely be a new form of torture I manage 5 (I’m quite pleased with that) out of 40 (doesn’t sound quite as good now…) and then compromise by holding a plank for 30 seconds – that hurt so I didn’t feel as through I’d quit.

Two good things:

  1. I managed 10 leg lifts – this is a huge improvement! Just another 15 to go…
  2. I can do Heel Sky Raises really easily, it’s like a break in the workout, they are officially my favourite exercise – something to do with having a big butt!

Tuesday:

Challenge day!! And another exercise to add to the list… V Sit-Ups, I have the same issue with these as I do the Russian Twists – either my top half is up or my bottom half but never both! I substitute with straight sit-ups these are bad enough!

Time: 8mins – fingers crossed next time I do this it will be less!!

Wednesday:

There is some improvement… I can now dip down about 2 inches on the push-ups!

Still struggling with the half burpees but I can at least jump forwards consistently – I’m taking this as a successful day 😊

Thursday:

A full 20 minutes on Satan, I can now do the whole 20 minutes at 3.8 miles per hour! I have become a new shade of puce slightly darker than last week, I can’t talk but I am breathing!! 

The Friday Power-Up!

It may only be 6 minutes – the warmup and cool down are way longer – but good grief it’s tough!! 

Still can’t manage a Russian Twist…
So that’s the end of week 2. Am I ‘seeing results’ to be honest I’m not sure… my husband thinks so, but then he is slightly biased! 

I certainly feel more energized, and I’m sure my tummy doesn’t stick out quite as much… conclusion – I will continue!! 

Onward to week 3!!! 

Stay hydrated people!

Body Boss

Body boss – pre-training week 1, and so it begins!

My book took two weeks to arrive so I started on the online version, patience has never been a strong point of mine!

The next two blogs are catch-up we are then into realtime!!

First of all it gives you the reason why the method works – quite good common sense, so far so good.

I must point out that this is solely an exercise program (apparently a nutrition guide is following) I personally am very pleased I got to this before the nutritional guide has been published – I’m not a dieter. When I’m on a diet I end up eating more things I shouldn’t than I do normally!

It does have very sensible pointers for optimising your results:

  • Eliminate zero nutrition foods – now this I can sort of cope with, sort of, I don’t drink fizzy drinks and eat that much refined sugar anyway. However if I want a slice of cake or piece of chocolate I will have one.
  • Stress less – everyone should follow this regardless!
  • Cut out toxic drinks – hmmmm I think g&t and the occasional wine sits in the category above and are therefore allowed.
  • Stay hydrated – see above, I’m liking this program! 
  • There are more…

The book does have a four week pre-training program, there is a checklist to see if you should do this… I should, possibly twice…

Ok now I have to record my goals, measure myself and take a photo (yes a photo!).

My goals are:

  1. For my waist to be less than my inside leg – thankfully I have long legs for my height!
  2. To be able to do a push-up – this may extend to other exercises once I start the program.
  3. To fit into the clothes I brought with me to the states – it’s not called the 20lb assignment for nothing, I thought they were joking, apparently not…

My measurements (this is reality and if I’m going to do this you all may as well know):

  1. Waist 38inches – I cried a little, I may have long legs but they’re not that long!!
  2. Hips 44inches – I guess that’s the cake, cheese, wine, the list goes on…
  3. Thighs 23.5inches – I have no idea why thighs are on the list?

Photo, and for this I truly am sorry:


Right let’s get going!

I will confess to owning a running machine, I have never ‘run’ on it, it’s name is Satan and it lives in the basement… I have decided that this shall be my base until I have the confidence to do this outside!

Meet Satan:


I also have a yoga mat and two of the smallest weights I could find, this is my setup!


So far in week one of the pre-training I have discovered that walking at 3.8 miles an hour on Satan for 4 minutes more than just warms me up – I’m a delicate shade of puce – I do love the stretches they bring back memories of when I was fit and could see my toes!

The actual workout may only be seven minutes with a break and then another seven minutes but I seriously thought I’d die!!

I have added ‘leg lifts’ and ‘tricep dips’ to the exercises I can’t do… yet!

By the end of the week I can feel my stomach muscles! This is good, I wasn’t sure they existed anymore – you can’t see them but trust me I can feel them!

I also can’t do ‘Russian twists’ I simply don’t balance like that…

I can nearly do a ‘half burpee’ I can jump forward (ish) but have to step back, it’s a start though!

Weekend off – week two next!

Body Boss

Body Boss!

Ok this is my latest ‘thing’…

I’m on Facebook scrolling through the usual and I keep on seeing the advert for a new fittness regime that doesn’t involve a gym, I’m intrigued, (my experience of gyms has been at best hit and miss and on balance I’d rather miss).

Now I’m no sucker (well maybe a little bit) so I find myself scrolling through the comments – there are hundreds! – I am quite taken by all the negativity, to be fair there’s an awful lot of that about, the main points being:

  • They’re only using fit young things to promote the program.
  • It doesn’t just take the 21 minutes three times a week to get the results.

My observation:

  • Would you buy into the program in order to look the way you do now? – I’m betting not.
  • To be fair to look that good takes a huge amount of effort, not to mention a time machine  – that’s why most of us don’t – it does clarify that if you add in the warm up and cool down it’s 20 minutes longer later, but yes agreed they could be clearer.

Now bear in mind I’m well over forty, haven’t seriously exercised since having kids 20 years ago, am a good couple of stone overweight, have recently moved to the states (I love cheese, but spray cheese – seriously?)  and sit at a computer all day… I figured I should give it a go and show everyone out there the reality of getting fit without a gym and against all odds!

I ordered the book…

p.s. I am of an age where I love the fact that it’s an actual book – who knows there may actually be places where you can’t get internet of charging stations…