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30 Days of Fitness – Day 5

This is where things get harder. This is where slipping is easier to justify. I’ve worked out for 5 days in a row. I deserve a treat. The bread start to flaunt their loafy wiles at me. Ice Cream screams my name. All of the post-Halloween chocolates are hard to resist.

Pilates Fix is no joke. After Total Body Cardio it’s the hardest workout in 21 Day Fix. It’s so much leg work. My hips and glutes are killing me. I couldn’t life my legs anymore after the end of the grueling 30 minutes. Even after the workout tonight, I felt… off the rest of the night.

I felt weak. And wobbly when I stood up and tried to walk. And I don’t want to talk about going upstairs. It was an adventure. I’m only five days into this month of workouts and we’re not even doing the hardest work everyday. But it’s still a struggle and it feels good to get it done everyday.

This month is as much about building the workout habit as it is working out. Though that does help to burn some quality calories. The lesson I keep in mind is to just keep going. Just. Keep. Going.

This is not a short journey. This is not an easy journey. This is the single step to get things started.

30 Days of Fitness – Day 4

It’s four days in and we’re still going strong. Sore, but strong. I am really feeling my arms and legs today. It’s funny how some workouts I feel immediately, while others take a day or two to really feel the soreness from. Every single day of 21 Day Fix makes me very sore.

When I did Total Body Cardio, I was sore for the entire week afterwards. I am glad we skipped that first day starting this month. I want to work but I don’t want to be so sore it sacrifices the work we’re doing the rest of the week. We will do it later in the month and I’m already dreading it.

Tonight, was another Yoga day.

We Reunited with Your Breathing today.

It was 19 minutes of slow breathing and stretching. It felt good, even on my sore arms. I am enjoying how Yoga with Adriene November calendar so far. It’s been slow and a nice balance to the intensity of 21 Day Fix.

Tomorrow is Pilates Fix. I can feel the soreness in my legs and core already.

30 Days of Fitness – Clean Eatz and Lower Fix

Today was Lower Fix.

Lunges. Squats. Different Lunges. Leg Lifts. More Lunges. Did I mention Squats? Oh, and some more Lunges. My legs were toast about a third of the way into the 30 minute program. I got through it, but only just barely and not in any of the forms shown on video.

I had forgotten just how intense Lower Fix is compared to Upper Fix. That felt hard but it was doable. I was able to make it through every exercise except push-ups (because I can’t do any real ones). But Lower Fix had me gasping for air and straining against the 6 pound weights in each hand as I lunged and squatted my way through the 60 second intervals.

The all-too-short 60 second rests is enough time for me to catch my breath, watch the instructor demonstrate the next move and slowly get into position for it before it’s time to work again. I made it through this workout before. But I’m more out of shape now. Starting back with Yoga was a good move to get the body loose and ready to work but it doesn’t prepare me for the weight work against gravity that 21 Day Fix throws at me.

Self-portrait of upper body and face.
Exhausted but happy after workout.

My wife and I worked out early in the afternoon because we knew it would be hard and didn’t want to wait until after dinner. Even with the best of intentions, it always turned into 10pm when we don’t workout in the afternoon. After cursing my existence for saying it was time to work out, we got through it and spent the next half hour collapsed on the couch and recovering.

Then we made a quick meal and headed out for some shopping and figured out what to do about food for the week. We’ve gone through a lot of stages in our food journeys and are currently trying out Clean Eatz Kitchen. It’s a prepared meal service delivered in bulk. They have restaurant locations as well but as the closest ones are a state away in either direction, I have no experience with those.

We tried an initial batch of 10 meals. We picked five that sounded good and got two of each so we could each try them and decide if it was worth pursuing.

We were both skeptical at first, frozen food is not usually what I think about when I think about flavor and healthy eating, but Clean Eatz Kitchen delivers. The first meal I had was a chicken and broccoli dish over rice and the broccoli was crunchy after microwaving it. After eating the first five meals, we decided to order a month’s worth.

Chicken, rice, broccoli and vegetable roll frozen meal
Chicken Bowl from Clean Eatz

Overall, the food has all been paired well and the portions are filling. They’re about double the size of a Lean Cuisine and weigh in about 300-400 calories per meal. The meats have been delicious, if lacking some seasoning. I would recommend adding pepper as some meals need it and some are already a bit too salty. A little extra Teriyaki sauce or extra spice really adds to the meals.

With dinner already taken care of (tonight was Clean Eatz Fajitas!) we focused on lunches for the week. We like to make lunches for the week on Sundays because it takes the guess work out of the week and helps us make better choices when the laze choice instead of McDonalds or Taco Bell is reaching into the refrigerator and grabbing a meal.

Last week was sandwiches and bags of grapes, this week we repeated bags of grapes, added apples to it and instead of sandwiches, we went upscale with two different dishes.

The first is Chicken Tamale Casserole from Buns In My Oven. It’s a cornbread-based chicken tamale casserole and is one of my favorite meals we’ve ever found online and made. The second rates just as highly. Chicken Broccoli Braid with Pillsbury Crescent Rolls is an absolute stellar meal. If you could take a broccoli cheddar soup and wrap it in a warm bready hug, that would be this meal. The only problem with this is trying to resist eating the entire braid in one meal.

Tomorrow is Reunite with your Breath.

30 Days of Fitness – Day 2

Today was filled with walking around with Antietam National Battlefield hunting digital monsters. There was a Pokemon Go event today to hunt down various monsters in the wild and in raid battles. Since the battlefield is covered in statues and monuments, it’s an ideal location to go hunting.

Statue of a young soldier holding a flag.
One of the many statues at Antietam Battlefield.

I have to wonder what those who gave their lives in the Civil War would have thought about bands of nerds roaming the countryside with telephones, looking for fake monsters and trying to capture them in fake balls. After we explained what a phone was… And a Pokemon… And a car… And…

After the full day walking and driving around the battlefield, it was time to head home to workout and make sure we didn’t fail on the second day.

Today was Grounding into Gratitude.

After arms day yesterday, I wasn’t looking forward to Downward Dog or using my arms. And today was a perfect antidote for that. Grounding into Gratitude is a perfect recovery day workout. Not that it’s what we needed today. But the stretching in the program felt so good. Opening the hips and loosening the shoulders. There wasn’t a lot of strength moves and barely a single Downward Dog for the 34 minute program.

Tomorrow is Lower Fix with Beachbody. I’m ready for some sore legs.

30 Days of Fitness

Fitness is my nemesis. For years I’ve struggled to focus on different parts of my life, usually at the expense of other major parts. The eternal struggle between Fitness and Finance takes all of my willpower to manage. This month is all about Fitness. Exercise and food tracking are on the menu.

For now, Finances are in a good place. We’re paying down debt. We can afford the upcoming medical procedures. Our new solar installation is starting to earn its keep and knock wood the house is cooperating. With the help of our financial planner and TillerHQ, our finances are in order and I can keep tabs on them.

That has been a long, and ongoing process. But it’s finally in a place where we feel we can turn some of our focus (and let’s be honest, worry) to better places. This month, my wife and I are going to workout every single day. 30 days. 30 workouts. 30 times we are are going to get up, put on comfortable clothes, close the blinds and turn our living room into a yoga studio and fitness center.

We decided to mix it up this month with a mix of 21 Day Fix and Yoga with Adriene. We used to subscribe to Beachbody and did the shakes and the On Demand video service and the whole thing. But it was very expensive so we’ve long given up the shakes and have DVD copies of the programs we wanted to repeat. Yoga with Adriene is free on YouTube. She puts out a monthly calendar with new programs, and we’re using her November calendar. She has a membership program as well but in balancing out finances, I’ll turn to a free Yoga program. She has a huge catalog on YouTube as well. So if you are looking to start a Yoga practice or are curious what it’s all about, she has a playlist for all skill levels.

I’m writing about this to keep myself accountable. For the next 30 days, I’m going to work out. And I’m going to write about it. At least a little bit about what I did and how I did each day.

Today was Upper Fix.

Upper Fix is all about Arms. I feel good tonight and even though I can’t do a push-up to save my life, the weight work felt good and my arms felt stronger when I finished. I’ll see how I feel tomorrow, that’s always when the soreness hits. But this didn’t feel too bad.

Tomorrow we will be Grounding Into Gratitude.