Thursday, February 25, 2010

Health Update

A couple of weeks ago, I returned to my physician to find out the results of my blood test. My thyroxine (T4) and thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) are within normal limits. My results were well in the low end of the range but my physician indicated that those results are normal.

So he turned to me and said "So, the next step is the medication." He gave me a script for phentermine ( and I accepted it. I didn't have the courage to say 'no.' Weird, I know but I didn't want to be contrary. That's a whole other blog post.

Anyway, I've since destroyed that little piece of paper. If I'm to be honest, it's probably my past use of appetite suppressants that have wreaked havoc on my metabolism. With that in mind, there's no way I was going to mess with that stuff.

So, it's back to the basics: consistent diet and exercise. I'm going to settle in and stay the course.

Decide. Commit. Succeed.

- Kareen, RD

This Week in Insanity

My fears were realized with Day 1 of Insanity. The Fit Test kicked my butt. My heart rate was higher than it's ever been (but still within my target). I took breaks, gave Shaun T. the evil eye and screamed at the television but I made it through!

Here are my Day 1 Fit Test Numbers:

Switch Kicks 70
Power Jacks 40
Power Knee 71
Power Jump 25
Globe Jumps 9
Suicide Jumps 13
Pushup Jacks 19
Low Plank Oblique 44

I've completed Days 2 and 3 now. What remains consistent is the intensity of the workouts. The warm-ups themselves are exhausting! Mercifully warm-ups are followed by a stretching segment before the actual workout begins.

Insanity is a true fitness challenge and I will be one proud insane graduate at the end of the 60 days!

Here's the plan for the week:

Day 1 Fit Test [done!]

Day 2 Plyometrics Cardio Circuit [done!]

Day 3 Cardio Power & Resistance [done!]

Day 4 Cardio Recovery [not done...sleepy time]

Day 5 Pure Cardio

Day 6 Plyometrics Cardio Circuit

Day 7 Rest

Decide. Commit. Succeed.

- Kareen, RD

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Are you insane? Yes, yes, I am!

My hubby stayed true to his end of the deal! In September and October, I really, really, really wanted Insanity. He wisely pointed out that we already had two programs neither of which I had completed. I had to admit he was right to be prudent. Furthermore, I know we need to be fiscally responsible.

We struck a deal. I would complete a program and then Insanity would be mine! Well, I chose ChaLEAN Extreme and you know the rest of the story. On Valentine's Day, I received an insane surprise - Insanity!! I had completely forgotten about our deal. Truthfully so did my hubby - the timing just happened to be perfect :)

So, what's Insanity? It's a 60 day pure cardio program. The tag line? "Are you ready to dig deep?" It's been touted as "the hardest workout ever put on DVD." For more deets check out the link

Now the dilemma: P90X or Insanity?

I thought about trying both but I am working to reduce the duration of high intensity workouts to help control my IBS. High intensity activity releases stress hormones which, in turn, are an IBS trigger. I love to push myself so I can't make the switch to 100% low intensity activity so I'm going to modify my schedule instead. Since I just finished a weight-lifting program, I've decided to go forward with Insanity.

I'm super excited and scared all at once. Today marks Day 1 and it's the fit test. I'll post my starting numbers and weekly schedule tomorrow.

It's a change in plans but I'm still on the journey.

Decide. Commit. Succeed.

- Kareen, RD

Friday, February 19, 2010

Weigh-in Re-loaded

Back to sharing the journey. . .


Height: 5'1-1/2" (that 1/2" counts!)

Starting Weight: 159.4 (10/23/09)
Goal Weight: A STRONG 115 (5/16/2010) for our 5 year wedding anniversary in May!

W1: 157.4 (10/30/09) -2 yay!
W2: 156.4 (11/6/09) -1 yay!
W3: 158.0 (11/13/09) +1.6 boo!
W4: 157.0 (11/20/09) -1 yay!
W5: 156.8 (11/25/09) -0.2 yay!

W6: 156.4 (12/4/09) -0.4 yay! (Glad I didn't gain from Thanksgiving. Hoping to maintain so any loss makes me happy!)
W7: 156.4 (12/11/09) -0 Sigh.
W8: 156.2 (12/18/09) -0.2 yay! (although I would like to see bigger numbers!)
W9: scale not working due to battery failure
W10: still no battery

W11: 158.8 (01/02/10) +2.6 boo! (yowsers. . . holiday feasting)
W12: 156.4 (01/09/10) -2.4 yay!
W13: 154.6 (01/14/10) -1.8 yay!
W14: 156.4 (01/22/10) +1.7 boo! (mini melt-down but stayed on track)
W15: 158.8 (01/29/10) +2.4 boo!

W16: 157.4 (02/05/10) -1.4 yay! (is this the start of a new trend?)
W17: 158.4 (02/12/10) +1.0 boo! (so much for a different trend)


It's a living document. I'm open to suggestions on ways to splurge!

- 05 lb = Mani & Pedi!
- 10 lb = Thinksport water bottle!
- 15 lb = Lululemon workout outfit!
- 20 lb = Shoes!
- 25 lb =
- 30 lb = 1 hour massage!
- 35 lb = Bikini!
- 40 lb = New hairstyle!
- 44 lb = Anniversary outfit (dress, purse, shoes, accessories. . . all of it!!)

Decide. Commit. Succeed.

- Kareen, RD

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

ChaLEAN Extreme Review

Finally, the review! I know you've all been waiting :)

The Preface: my results do not represent the effectiveness of the program. My weight yo-yo'ed the entire time but in the end, my net weight loss is zero pounds. I lost a total of 3.70 inches with 1.56 coming off of my hips! I did gain a half inch in my chest. That's one area that did not need to get bigger.

Onto the review!

The Basics: 90 day program divided into 3 Phases - Burn, Push and Lean. Each phase includes three weight circuits, one intense cardio session and one mixed weight and cardio session. A new weight circuit is introduced with each phase. The cardio sessions remain the same unless you purchase the Deluxe Program which introduces two new cardio workouts in the Lean Phase.

My Thoughts: I loved it! Chalene Johnson is a motivational and fun instructor. The cuing is great and for the most part, the music good. Some of the music in the cardio workouts was annoying and after a month, I muted the sound and played my own songs.

I thought I would get bored doing the same workouts for the month but as you get stronger the moves become more challenging. Before you know, it the month is over and you're onto a new set of workouts.

Chalene focuses on form throughout the entire program. She also encourages you to "go heavy or go home!" but takes time to define what "heavy" means. In addition, one person demonstrates modified moves and another demonstrates how to use exercise bands if you do not own or do not want to use weights.

She pushes you to get the results you want to see while reminding you to keep it safe. If you follow her directives, injury is very unlikely. Soreness, however, should to be expected!

The Burn Phase introduces weight lifting techniques and principles. The goal in this month is to fail between 10 and 12 reps.

The Push Phase is focused on muscle building.

*stepping onto the soapbox* Don't let that statement scare you! As Chalene says: "muscle is unisex; it's sexy on both men and women." Women, you will NOT bulk up!!! If you're in doubt, check out Chalene's body. *stepping off the soapbox*

Now back to our regularly scheduled program. The goal in the Push month is to reach failure between 8 and 10 reps. Yes, that's less reps so that means more weight. Again, there are two people demonstrating alternatives. At the end of the the first circuit in the Push Phase Chalene ends by stating "Thank you for trusting me. Thank you for trusting me with your body." That touched me (weird, I know). She's understands that moving into building muscle is a scary prospect for some people.

The Lean Phase. People usually report the most weight loss in this month. The goal is to reach failure between 10 and 12 reps but now you're lifting heavier than you did in the Burn Phase. Also, there are more combination moves.

I loved the Push and Lean Phases. While I may not have lost weight, I lost inches. This program emphasizes lower body: lots of squats and deadlifts! My quads and butt did change in appearance and that's a beautiful thing.

Would I do this program again? Definitely! My goal is to be healthier and this program helped move me closer to that goal. Of course, I am still working on losing weight. My next program is P90X. ChaLEAN Extreme helped prepare me for that challenge. Bring it!!!

If you have any questions, drop me a line.

- Kareen, RD