FINAL! GRADUATION POST
Thanks to these last 90++ days of PCP, I feel 100% better than I did at the start of this journey. I feel like I now have the tools that I need to eat and exercise properly. I feel fitter, having reduced my body fat from 30% to 23%. I'm somewhere between 12-15 lbs lighter, depending on the day. My clothes fit better. I'm tighter. I'm definitely stronger.
It's been a relief this week not to have to weigh everything and I almost think that has made me eat less of the higher calorie foods and more of the veggies. I still eat the same PCP breakfast I have since the beginning (a poached egg over spelt power grain bread with avocado and tomato), even now that I have the option of eating something else. I am still sticking with the general guidelines of the diet throughout the day too. I guess after 90 days, some habits will stay, but it takes hard work and effort even now.
I can confidently say that because of PCP I will NEVER again drink a soda, put sugar in my coffee or salt my food -- which is pretty amazing stuff. My goals post-PCP are to strive to start my day with skips whenever and however possible (I've only missed one day since the beginning!), eat clean and PCP-compliant when possible, but not beat myself up when I don't --just get right back on the wagon, keep up with regular 8 Minute Abs, maintain veggies as the majority of my major meals, snack on fruit and egg whites (can't believe I'm still not sick of them), have my kids eat less sugar/salt, and pack my food for the next day so that I am less likely to reach for an unhealthy alternative.
Unfortunately, there are some things, I just can't seem to change even after 90(ish) days, such as:
-My love of a nice glass of wine from time to time -- however I'm a lot more aware of how much and it's impact on my body, and I tend to drink a lot less than I did pre-PCP.
-Weighing myself, it's just a lifelong habit - if I break it heaven only knows what kind of imbalance in the universe there may be and I can't have that on my shoulders.
Goals I have yet to accomplish:
- I still want to get fitter. It's not that I am not happy with my results, but as I've mentioned in my blog entries and comments, I still feel like there's a good deal more to do. I've started to see my abs (yay!) but they're still covered with a layer I'd like to do away with.
I would recommend this program to anyone who has any interest in exploring how diet and exercise, salt, sugar and/or alcohol impact their body and overall health. It is an incredible journey and well worth every bit of the effort and hard work.
And finally a big thank you to my fellow Kyanites, I loved reading your blog entries and sharing this experience with you, you made me laugh and not feel like I was the only idiot in the program, which I value immensely. Thank you Thomas and the other trainers, dieticians and behind the scenes folks (Jessica!) for being so supportive and helpful throughout the program. And lastly, Thank you to Chris, my husband and fellow PCP Kyanite, who has been incredibly supportive and (literally) loved me through thick and thin. He is a true inspiration. In the process he's lost nearly 20 lbs, taken his body fat % down to just above 10%, significantly reduced his blood pressure and gone of bp meds in the process, and radically changed the way he eats, exercises and looks. He's a rock star and I am so grateful that he (along with previous PCPers like Steven Pelayo, Rimmo Jolly, Elissa & Shafi Imran, Suvarna Apte) all encouraged me to do this program and were there for both of us along the way.
I will be posting my final photo in the coming days so watch this space-
Wow, day 89. How did that happen? The first few days of PCP, I never thought I would ever make it to today. And now that I am here I feel like it has flown. I'm so grateful for Chris for discovering this program and for being the impetus for our doing it. It has taught both of us so many amazing lessons that we plan (hope?) to continue for many years to come, so in many ways coming to the end of PCP is a bit anti-climactic. There is still more we both want to accomplish, but we feel as though we now have a good framework established in which to accomplish our goals, although admittedly not within the original 90 day timeframe. I wish there were a final photo and then a quarterly or semi-annual photo thereafter. It would be really helpful to see how others have fared and might keep everyone a bit more honest if they knew they had to check in periodically!
Can't believe tomorrow is day 90...
Am I the only one that is confused by this deep burn/failure business?
Take for example the Chest Dip, which I for one, absolutely suck at. You'd think after 90 days of this (or getting there) I would have it figured out, but that's another story. Not one of my 8-10 reps or 'to failure' look like the video or the guy pictured. My arms are never at 90 degrees, if they were I would never get back up to upright again. So, for me is failure one rep? Or is it the pathetic versions that I do until I can no longer sustain myself without my feet touching and I'm having difficulty catching my breath?
And then there's the side sit up, which I can do until I'm blue in the face (from boredom). Am I really supposed to do 5 x 80+ of these things PER SIDE? I don't go down all the way to the floor and I go up to the tip of my shoulder blade, so my oblique is engaged the whole time (pretty much) and I'm going at a fairly decent clip, so that being the case, should I do 30 and then an isometric or what?
I feel like the only time I collapse in a heap on the ground from any exercises is, it is from the ones in which I'm already on the floor, like abs. Rarely do I collapse from chest (unless I'm doing push ups), or arms, or legs. As long as I'm sore the next day from the given previous days' exercises, is that good sign enough that I'm doing something right, or is that not enough either?
Toe is black and blue and sore, but I skipped today after missing yesterday, and it was still sore, but doable. I'm happy I only missed one day and I'm more empathetic for those that have had more serious injuries/complications on this journey, just missing the one day of cardio was frustrating, I can only imagine how frustrating it would be to miss many of them or constantly have to alter the exercises to suit a particular situation.
I was kneeling and went to get up and heard a crack from my middle toe, top knuckle. It's all black and blue and hurts like hell. I tried to see if I could skip this morning (I did it last night) and not only does the toe hurt but it feels as though the nerves on the ball of my foot are exposed every time I put weight on it. GRRRRRRR. I am not a happy camper. I am going to do my strength workout and maybe 2x8MA and hope for better tomorrow. If I'm not able to get my skips done tonight (am hoping for a miraculous recovery), this will be the first day I will miss my skips since day 1.
I feel sick to my stomach that there are only 9 days left, seriously, I felt nauseous when I pulled up the site today and saw day 81. There is so much more I want to accomplish and 9 days is just not going to cut it! I'm not ready for maintenance mode as I feel like I've been on maintenance this last month already. I never expected to feel this way 81 days ago, that's for sure, but here I am at the end of this program actually dreading getting a 'complete' next to my name (or is that a big assumption?!), I feel like I'm still massively a work in progress.
Ok, so here's my take-away from today's lesson: back to back 8MA? I never even considered the possibility. No wonder I don't have a 6 pack yet. Am I the only one that missed the boat on that one?
Ok, granted, it was followed quickly by: oh man, how am I ever going to keep coming up with new ways to torture myself with new and unique ab exercises?
I hate indulgences. I am simply incapable of moderation. I had my indulgence on Friday evening at dinner and it ended tonight, I mean seriously, with 10 days to go? I am so pissed at myself I could scream.
The good news? I'm rocking the workouts. As IF that makes and iota of difference when you are eating like a pig. It goes back to my yin/yang struggles, I rarely get it all balanced out, it's either the eating or the exercising, hardly ever both in perfect harmony.
Oh well, back to the grindstone tomorrow, we'll see if I can re-balance my chi or whatever it is that I am severely lacking.
Wish me luck, I'm going to need it.
Just a quick funny anecdote about my nearly 3-year old son: I was taking one of the other boys to school this morning and my nanny was trying to get my little guy out the door, but he wouldn't leave the house until she did her "jumping in the garden with her rope." So my poor nanny had to go up and skip rope for a bit to humor him before he would acquiesce and allow himself to be taken off to school. I love that he's noticed that this is something Chris and I are doing for our health and is also looking out for hers too!
Seriously? Ropeless jumprope, that's insane. I can't believe this stuff even makes it to market.
Now, as for skipping theory (thinking this would have been way more interesting in business school than queuing theory), I would love to hear anyone's take on the below with relation to skipping:
- Skipping Genius: How did we all not stumble on this awesome source of cardio before? In terms of bang for buck, it's amazing. Why would I ever run 5 miles again when I can skip for 25 minutes? I know, I know, it's hard, but it's doable over time, as we've all proven over the last few months, right? I think the other good thing about it is that it's taken so long to get to be able to skip this long that I'm petrified to miss a day for fear of it turning into 2 or 3 or 4 and then I might be skipping screwed.
- Skipping Tripping: I think I have broken the record for the number of trips in one skipping session, this morning. I would challenge anyone to top my 14 trips in about 3 minutes. And then I kept skipping through it and was fine for the following 15 minutes, what is up with that? Is tripping caused by tiredness? Inattention? I don't get it.
- Skipping marketplace (rope-ful not rope-free): Is there a best product for skipping? I've tried some real shit jumpropes since I started this program (the one at Virgin Active Riverside, takes the cake though, it's soft rope that is beginning to fray and is so light that you have to work doubly hard with your arms to get it to come all the way around, and that's with a 0 knot wind inside.) I have an Adidas one that is coated with plastic that I love and now cannot skip with anything else, however Chris has an Adidas set (men and their gear, you know how it goes) that has different weighted handles and is made of small metal fibers all wound together. To be honest with you it looks painful if you miss so I haven't tried it, but I'm curious about the weighted handle thing, anyone have any thoughts on this?
- Skipping methodology: Is there a best method for skipping? I am just going for it lately, as much as I can in one go, which has largely been driven by the fact that I want to skip first thing in the morning and between waking up the boys, taking them to the school bus, husband to train station, taking other boys to school, I don't have big windows of time in which to accomplish this feat. I think I read something in the Q&A section that said to do as much as you can at once if it's doable. I'm pretty much able to do 15-20 at a go with maybe a bit of a muscle stretch from time to time if I really need it.
- Skipping aches and Pains: Why is it that when I first started skipping on PCP it was incredibly painful in my calves and on the bottoms of my feet and now it's no big deal? I would have thought the reverse would be true, that after all of this daily use those muscles would rebel and I'd be in a constant state of charlie horses in my calves.
- Skeditation: I know from previous groups that people swear by skipping to music, and maybe I'll get there, but when I've tried to skip to music I can't help but try to keep the beat and then it's disaster (see skipping tripping above.) And, then, of course there's the question of when would I come up with all of these incredibly insightful ruminations on skipping with which to entertain and delight. Nope, best thing for me is to skip/meditate of skeditate instead.
So, I am wondering if anyone else is struggling with the yin and yang of diet and exercise the way I am during this program, and in fact have in life in general.
I come from a long line of obsessive exercisers. My grandfather designed the PE program for the US Navy trainees in WWII, my dad walked onto the swim team at University of Iowa and swam butterfly and freestyle for the team all four years he was there, went through a phase of running a marathon a month (back when you did these things in New Balance sneakers with no cushion) and is now an obsessive biker, mountain and road. He calls it a life triathlon.
I could easily go down this route. I don't feel like I even begin to hit my stride with running or skipping rope until about 25 minutes in, and then I feel like I could go forever. I've run a marathon. I completed a tri. So, what's the problem, right?
Well, here's the problem. Commensurate with my exercising, or perhaps not exactly commensurate, my appetite absolutely explodes. I think I'm the only person that has ever done a marathon and actually gained a couple of pounds. The tri wasn't as bad, I mostly maintained, but was more muscular, probably in large part due to the swimming.
So, I always find that I am in search of the right balance between being fit and not eating anything that's not nailed down (and I like healthy food, it's not that, it's just that I can eat mountains of it.) The first few weeks of the program, probably the first month, were great, I felt like there was a balance between my ability to get the workouts done and not being famished all the time. Then came the apple dinners and again, the first week or two were ok and then I fell off a hunger cliff and really struggled.
I am now back to non-apple/yogurt/egg white dinners and am not hungry again, so I'm really hoping that this will work. And if it does, then I'm wondering what the point of those dinners was? Did everyone else see their bodies radically change during that period of time?
Then there's the yin and yang of the input and output of this program, but that's a post for another day!
So, another week down and another out of towner with the kids.
On the Bright side:
The weather was AMAZING! Sun, warmth, and all of this in England, as I said, amazing. As for the exercises, I am killing them. Yes they're tiring at times, but I've been skipping 25-30 minutes per day and going the extra because I feel I can and I want to. Also having a great time with the kids and Chris, so nice to be together as a family and with amazing friends this weekend.
On the less-bright side:
Killed the diet thing the first 24 hours. A little less the 2nd 24 hours and today was a disaster. Like I said after Paris, I don't know how you guys who travel for work and stay in hotels night after night do it. I am sad to have the weekend come to an end, but looking forward to being back in Richmond and seeing the normalcy of my routine come back (subtext: my kids go back to school, yippeeee!)
And then I got a look at this week's diet, holy food batman, what the hell? Am I possibly going to continue to see progress with more food? Not that I was looking forward to less, in fact I was worried as the last week or two have just not been sustainable given my exercise levels. I think I will try not to overdo anything this week and just stick to what I've been told and then see where it all leads...
We rented an apartment right off the Champs Élysées through airbnb.com (I totally recommend this site if you've never tried it, they have owner-listed flats/houses all over the world.). The place is totally French, down to the creaky wooden floorboards and nosy neighbors, so the only place I could skip was the tiled bathroom, and even there had to do it with the windows open so the rope had enough room to go around! Chris was able to do it on the terrace, but it had these raised drain pipes on it and I kept tripping, so I couldn't make that work. We've had a great weekend and have walked all over the place (extra today as we got stuck on the wrong bank due to a march against the recent legalisation of gay marriage here - ?!?!-). We've completely stuck to the exercise, but the diet has been harder. I have a whole new appreciation for those of you that have had to travel during this 90 day period! I think if anything, I've been under consuming, as I've been too scared to order anything but salads with no dressing when out, and several cafe au laits of course- have been guessing on protein grams and bringing my fruit and carbs from the apartment (total PCP dork out confession: packed my scale & spelt bread). Haven't been consuming all my egg whites, but boiled a bunch tonight, so should be better tomorrow.
I've also been trying to do my skips all in one go, which has been easier than I would have thought. Yesterday I went straight to 15 mins after a 1 min warm up, and probably could have gotten close to the 20 min mark if my two year old hadn't decided to go sofa diving (and miss), which required a skipping break of a minute it two fir some mommy love. Some things (not many these days, I'll admit!) trump skipping consecutively for the required allotment.
Happy Bank Holiday weekend British friends & Happy Memorial Day weekend American ones!
So yesterday I was exhausted in the morning due to procrastinating the night before, so didn't do my now habitual morning skips. Instead I decided to go to my gym after teaching pilates to do my skips and strength training. This is the gym where I take my kids for swimming and tennis, swim occasionally myself, sometimes take the odd class. I do not often frequent the actual gym there. For those of you in the UK, it's a Virgin Active, if that helps at all. So.... basically it is one of those wretched places where all the men are grunting and all the women are alternating between staring at themselves in the mirror and checking out the grunters. It is the quintessential meat market in every way. Plus the fact that I hadn't seen half the equipment in there to know what the hell to do with it, but then finally asked the bored dude behind the counter for a jump rope (forgot mine at home due to fuzzy tired brain) and for a set of resistance bands, which he handed over looking at me like I was old, out of shape and out of the latest fitness trends.
Skipping was brutal. Yes I was tired, but my jump rope was from 1975 and was so light I couldn't get it to come around fast enough for my lightning fast jumping skills (ha ha.) Anyway, muddled through with my back to the adoring fans on the treadmills and the power plates.
Strength workout with the bands was going ok until I stumbled onto the last exercise, the Rolling Pin. I had to first watch the video (in the middle of said meat market) and then attempt this graceful display of core contraction inducing genius. Let's just say my fan base increased 10 fold. By the time I was done I looked like the guy in today's lesson who is asleep on the bench with his cheek smushed up on one side. I was totally wrecked (physically and emotionally due to my shattered ego.)
So, props to PCP for making me power through the workout despite the fact that I felt like shit and looked like an ass. All in all a good day! Needless to say I went to bed early (this never happens) and got my butt out of bed first thing to do my skips so that I can keep my fans at the gym waiting at least another day for me to come back and exhibit my exercise prowess.
Happy Thursday everyone-
Due to hideous procrastination have just finished strength workout, did skips this morning, but just couldn't get to this portion of the workout and refuse to go to bed without it. Also was doing a big steam of veggies, now that I am in the AMAYW breakfast & lunch camp. Read someone else's blog and they said they have 'em at dinner too and AMAYW protein at lunch. That sounds like heaven.
I think I've largely recovered from my day 50 indulgence, which I jumped the gun on around day 48, and that kind of tipped over into day 49, but I'm back on track now and solid on the diet front.
Exercise overall is good, haven't missed a workout yet (and wasn't about to tonight, muscle sleep be damned.) Went swimming on Monday as a second cardio session in penance for para 2 above and was amazed at how much more I could do, 40 minutes freestyle with no breaks and if I hadn't had to go shower to pick up my son I felt like I could have done even more. I actually really enjoyed doing a different exercise after all this skipping (which I'm not tiring of yet, surprisingly.)
Ok off to build some muscle before I have to get the boys off to school in the morning. I think I am not going to be skipping in the am tomorrow, unless some miracle happens when my alarm goes off at 6. I'll keep you all posted on these exciting events...