Saturday, June 28, 2014

Challenge Accepted... and COMPLETED!

Sixty days ago I started a challenge. It was a simple invite by a friend to join a challenge group. I really had no idea what I was getting into, but I said yes. I said Yes, because I trusted that she wouldn't steer me wrong. I trusted when she said she had gotten results and she loved the products. I trusted her because I have known her for many years, and she is one of the most sincere and vulnerable people I know. So I said sure! What did I have to lose right? Ok, so I have about 30 lbs to lose, but who's keeping track?

Besides for trusting her, she also happen to catch me at the right time. I was feeling large, sluggish, and downright bleh! We had recently moved into our  new home, and I wasn't taking care of myself. I needed to get back into shape. By the looks of me you would never have guessed that I had completed a half-marathon in Sept 2013. I wanted needed something, someone, that would hold me accountable to daily goals and activities. Never mind the fact that I had watched Shaun T's Focus T25 informercial for the 4th time, and was really contemplating buying it. I already owned Slim in 6, Insanity and P90X- all great BeachBody programs. Many years back when I purchased Slim in 6, it helped me get in shape- but that was YEARS ago. 

Focus T25 really appealed to me for 1 main reason: it was done in 25 minutes. No hour long workouts that seemed to go on forever. Shaun T was promising me that I could be done in the time it takes to watch most sitcoms. So yeah, I purchased T25 in a Challenge Pack which came with this Shakeology shake powder stuff. 

What I never could've have predicted was the change the Challenge Group, T25 and Shakeology would have on my life. 

What's a Challenge Group?
The Challenge Group was a private Facebook group where all the participants could share their concerns and needs during the challenge. Everyday the group leaders would post a different daily activity. These activities would range from examining your daily eating habits to learning the power of positive speak. Everyday you were required to do your BeachBody workout, mine was Focus T25, which I LOVE! You were also required to have Shakeology on HomeDirect, which essentially is having Shakeology delivered monthly. 

I can't tell you how the Challenge Group truly helped me evaluate my fitness and nutrition. I helped me to understand how I focused on comparing MY journey to everyone else's, which ultimately always derailed my success. 

I learned how to appreciate my small victories and turn them into daily affirmations of how to continue along with my journey. 

I learned to eat clean, and drink enough water daily to sink a ship. Ok, so I'm not really sinking a ship, but some days I pee enough that it feels like I could drown a ship. 

I also learned that there are many people like me trying to get fit, struggling with the ups and downs of life, and learning to forgive themselves for slipping. 

That, my friends, is priceless!

Twenty-Five Minutes a Day is So Doable
The most often used excuse for not exercising is TIME. Well BeachBody and Mr. Ripped In Shape Shaun T have created a program that helps you lose the weight and get in shape in about 29 minutes a day. The program is called Focus T25, and the actual workout is 25 minutes long, and then you add about 2.5-3.5 minutes of cool and BAM! YOU ARE DONE! 

Don't get me wrong, the workout is NO JOKE! You will sweat your butt off, and you will feel like you are going to die that first week. Shaun T LOVES him some lunges and squats, which does wonders for the look of your legs and buttocks...but let me tell you, you're gonna be sore as heck! Just stick with it! 

Shaun T breaks it down into two phases, Alpha and Beta. Both phases have a trainer demonstrating modified low-impact versions of his exercises. You never feel like you CAN'T do it because there is ALWAYS a low-impact option. It was great because as I started getting stronger I could modify the modified exercise and do something closer to what Shaun T was doing, if not exactly what he was doing. It gave me something to progress towards, which is always feels good and gives you motivation. 

If you have struggled with motivation and time, Focus T25 is the best thing out there. Just when you think you have nothing left in the tank, you've got like 5 minutes left and let's be honest, you can do anything for 5 minutes. 

Plus it must be said that Shaun T is quite a looker and there are certain workouts where he is shirtless, and that my friends is worth looking at for 25 minutes- even if I'm sweaty, smelly, and huffing n' puffing like I'm climbing Everest. It's all good! 

Shake Up Your Nutrition
Before this challenge I had no clue what Shakeology was about, actually I had never even heard of it. So imagine my surprise when I received this bag of powder and I was supposed to drink it once a day.  Really? An expensive meal replacement shake was doing to do the trick?  Umm as a matter of fact... YES! 

What Shakeology did for me was simple. It helped me cut, actually I would go out on a limb and say eliminate, my carb cravings. Let's face it, I'm Puerto Rican and we like rice and beans, and bread and heavy starchy foods. I haven't had rice in 60 days. I don't crave pasta anymore. I still like my occasional bread, but who doesn't like Italian bread in dippy olive oil? Moderation right?

Shakeology is just amazing! I've seen complaints about the taste and truthfully, I loved it. But I'm a chocoholic so getting a rich thick chocolate shake in the morning suits me just fine. It's easy to blend, doesn't stay clumpy of powdery and they even send you recipe ideas to add different tastes to it. I use water or almond milk, but there are ideas for other blends. They even have the super vegan blend for those looking for no animal products. I can't say enough great things about Shakeology! Find me here if you want more info or just want to hear me rant and rave about Shakeology! 

Results? Nah, let's call them Successes!
This is the part most people care about- it's the determining factor if the products worked, right? Let me start by saying that I'm eating cleaner and healthier than I have since I was on formula, and who knows how good that crap was in the 70s. I've cut out processed foods. I've cut out sodas and simple sugars. I've cut out all white flour and bleached flours. I've been watching sodium and GMO content. I eat veggies and protein like it's my job. I just feel better about my relationship with food. So that is a HUGE SUCCESS!

Another huge success was actually getting smaller! Who knew? Yes I did lose inches and weight. I lost 12 pounds to be exact since I started this journey. It hasn't always been easy, but I did it. I still have a ways to go, and by no means is my journey over.  I will continue with Shakeology and I'm starting a new program called PiYo (Pilates and Yoga combo). I can't finish my T25 due to this ankle injury, but I will attempt the low-impact of PiYo, so I'm excited about that!              
I also completed another 5k run in May, and my first Mud Run last Saturday (which caused the jacked up ankle).  So I would venture to say that I'm more physically fit than I was 60 days ago, no doubt. 

No matter what the combination of the FB support group, the daily activities in the Challenge Group, the physical workouts and the Shakeology all came together in a PERFECT recipe for success. I'm so grateful for that invite from my friend. I'm so inspired by my journey that I want to help other Moms who think they can't do or think they don't have time, that they can make small changes that will yield large results.  I promise! I believe in it so much that I became a BeachBody Coach. I want to help other Moms entering their 40s to understand that fitness is possible at any age, and that we don't have enter our 40s the same way we left our 30s. It can be better... WAAAAY BETTER!

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