Thursday, May 2, 2013

My Progress of Shedding Inches

I decided that I probably should have posted these a while ago.  How can I give you advice if I don't show you examples of practicing what I preach.  So here are some photos of the progress I've made.

July 2011 after the birth of my daughter at 184 pounds and wearing a size 14 (all you'll see in photos from this time are of my face!)

Our wedding in January 2012 at 153 pounds and wearing a size 8

July 2012 (me on the far left) at 138 pounds and wearing a size 4

6 months ago at a wedding at 128 pounds and wearing a size 2

So, you can see the difference, even though my weight changes weren't dramatic.  I've always been focused on how I FEEL as opposed to what the scale says since I know that I'm building muscle which weighs more than fat.  I have put on a  few pounds since this last photo, but I still feel great and I still fit comfortably in my size 2 jeans (however, my quad and glute muscles are getting larger/stronger so they're a little tight in those areas, but I have to wear a belt to keep them on my waist and a flat stomach IS my goal!)  

I'll post another bathing suit picture after my trip to California next month...that's the deadline I've given myself.  :/  YIKES!!  But I know I can do it, and you can reach your goals, too!  It may take time, but you've got to have patience!  

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Tip #3: Did you know...

You can flatten your stomach and strengthen your abs just be constantly sucking in your stomach while doing every day things!

I have been standing/sitting up straight and sucking my stomach in 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year (despite when I'm sleeping and it's out of my control) since I was 14 and I've always looked like I have a flat stomach underneath my clothes!  If you slouch and stick your stomach out, your muscles slowly start to form that way--sticking out--which you'll regret later.  So work on your posture first, then work on constantly thinking about sucking your belly button in and DO IT!

It's so awesome...just the most simple tricks can make you look and feel your best!

I Want a Hard Body!

I forgot that while I was giving you a review of Jillian's new DVD Hard Body, I forgot to give you a list of the workouts!  Instead of her coveted 3-2-1 system, or her other popular technique of one circuit of moves repeated twice before moving on to the next circuit, this DVD has 6 circuits of combination moves done once all the way through and then repeated.  (There is a combination of kick-boxing, some yoga, and, of course, cardio in these circuits.)

Jillian suggests using a range of weights from 3 lbs. to 8 lbs. (going lighter at some points and heavier at others), but I only have one set of 5's, so although that makes some of the moves easier on me, it makes others harder which evens everything out and still gives me a massive burn!

(Some of the moves sound intimidating, but remember, Jillian always provides you with a beginner modification...or you can just do the super-advanced!  My tip is to LISTEN to what Jillian says instead of watching the girls, because some of the girls are a little off on doing the poses right when Jillian isn't looking.)

This is LEVEL 1:

Warm Up: 
-Over-hand jumping jacks
-Alternating step-back planks
-Twisting front kicks
-Skaters in chair pose

Circuit 1:
-Speed squats
-Speed Rope
-Sit-up/Superman combo

Circuit 2:
-Row into lunge and curl
-Crunch with scissor kicks
-Chest press, chest fly, triceps banger in bridge

Circuit 3:
-Calf raise with a shoulder press in sumo
-Donkey kicks
-Weighted burpee
-Curl in crescent pose into a kick-back in warrior 3

Circuit 4:
-Side lunge with a  row into chair pose with a shoulder raise
-Traveling push-ups with lateral jumps

Circuit 5:
-Push-up with a row into mountain climbers
-Jump-kicks in crab
-Alternating lunges with a punch using weights

Circuit 6:
-Surrenders with mermaid
-Squat (with a curl) spinners
-Oblique raise with a side crunch
-Lat pull with a pelvic thrust

Repeat Circuit 1-6 then Cool Down

(Even though I just gave you a run-down of the moves, I ALWAYS suggest buying the DVD for modifications, motivation, and guidance.)

The Firm (An Oldie but Goodie)

So, I decided that I needed a little switch-up again from all the Jillian Michaels (by the way, after only 5 days of Hard Body, my stomach is flatter; I gained about a pound, but I'm positive it's just muscle--after all, muscle weighs more than fat, so remember how you feel and ignore what the scale tells you!). I went to the local library and rented one of my favorite dance videos by the The Firm -Cardio Dance Club which consists of 3 different dance segments (Club, Latin, and Caribbean) that are each 20 minutes long.

The reason I like this video is #1 because it promises results in 10 workouts or less and #2 it's super easy if your a beginner, or if your more advanced (like me) you can spice it up!

The results in 10 workouts or less I believe to be completely true!  On the days that I'm too worn out to do a Jillian DVD, I do and hour of Cardio Dance Club (adding 1.5 pound kickboxing hand weights for a little burn) and I still feel like I did something for the day, and I really do notice a difference (with out without the addition of Jillian).

So if you're looking to flatten your stomach quickly (because this is mostly a core/cardio dance DVD) , then I suggest Cardio Dance Club.  And like I said earlier, it's easy and fun so ANYONE can do it and be able to enjoy it without having to think too much into the moves.

(I have been doing Level 1 of Hard Body which is 40 minutes, and adding one dance section from Cardio Dance Club which is 20 minutes, for a calorie blasting 60 minute workout!  And instead of taking a full "rest" day, I do at least 1 dance section or sometimes I even do the whole 60 minutes.)

The Firm has been around for awhile, and a lot of people swear by their DVD's the same way I swear by Jillian Michaels, and I really have enjoyed the DVD's I've tried.  Their a step down from Jillian, so they're good for beginners.  The moves are simple, but the workouts will still make you sweat; so check out your local library and rent a few DVD's by The Firm and find one that you like!  I suggest adding at least one of their DVD's to your workout routine.