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P90X, day 3

Sunday, November 14, 2010

I have had this program sitting on a shelf for a few months now, the plan was to start right after Insanity. Well, that was in March and this is November. I obviously got derailed... ;) So the months went by and somehow I find myself 2 pounds heavier and on the verge of being one pant size larger. Oh, HELL NO.

I am running 100 kilometers a month, strength training twice a week and THIS is what I get? My body has issued a challenge and I'll be damned if I back down. Nuh-uh, not going to happen.

So, I am going to have some before photos taken tomorrow, and yes, that's going to be embarrassing, but I am still doing it. And then I will move on to day 4 of P90X - yoga. Umm, yeah. I'm no friend of yoga. I have been to a few classes and let's just say that I am not, in any way, shape or form, bendy.

These first three workouts have been fun, though. First it was chest & shoulders and I was using too light weights and didn't really feel challenged. I will look into buying heavier weights, in the meantime I will be using bands. Yesterday I did plyometrics and while it was nowhere near as hard as Insanity's plyo, it was still a good workout. Today was arms & shoulders done entirely with bands and OH YES, they work! I am so fricking tired and my arms are trembling. I like it! :) So as not to feel like a complete wuss, I did an Ab Ripper X workout right after.

I am going to be feeling this tomorrow, which I am sure will make my yoga that much more graceful and elegant. Yep.

I am committed to this 90 day program and it feels good. Hopeful, somehow. Bring on the yoga!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PINKIRONDOLL 11/29/2010 3:32PM

    So glad that you're doing P90X too! It's a great program and I love it so far! I'm about to start my 3rd week on the Lean version. I'm feeling a LOT stronger and already feeling leaner. I like this program a lot better than Insanity, so we'll see what happens! Good luck to you!

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SIMPLELIFE4REAL 11/15/2010 8:46AM

    It's a great program...There's an excel spreadsheet to track your weights that's out there on the internet.

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THENEWCINDY 11/15/2010 7:52AM

    Awesome!!! I have the program too but am to scared to try it yet

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ABSOLUTZER0 11/15/2010 5:22AM

    Taking the P90X challenge, eh?! Yes, YOU GOT THIS!!! I know you are going to KILL IT! Embarrassing photos? Yeah, right! They are going to be of you, right? Then, there is no way they will be embarrassing! Have a great week! Oh, BRING IT!!!

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NUOVAELLE 11/15/2010 1:58AM

    I've watched a little of the p90x and it looks hard to me. So, congratulations for deciding to give it a try. I'd like to see those "before and after" pictures of yours and maybe I'll give it a shot. I feel kind of the same way about my weight, too. I don't miss a day of exercise and I have gained a little weight, too - which you won't see on my ticker as I'm determined to lose it again. Good luck with P90X! I hope you get the best results.

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BABSNTONY 11/14/2010 9:46PM

    You'll have to let me know how you like P90X.
I thought about getting it but haven't yet.

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Never QUITE good enough

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Yesterday I replied to a blog post by one of my favourite SparkPeople members, Sandiegojohn. A simple task: say something good about yourself. Not a problem, I can do that. A whole list, in fact. www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo

But this blog entry got me thinking. Am I sabotaging my own weight loss? Let me think this through...

Without going into tedious childhood details, I grew up knowing that I had a lot of expectations pinned on me, both from those around me, but mostly from myself. I needed to be better, look better, do better, achieve more, read more, learn more. More than who? Well, that fact has never been established. Whether it's a competition against myself or others is irrlevant in the end, the point is that there was always more to strive for. Which can be a very good thing, indeed. Unless it comes with a ton of insecurities and doubts.

The fact remains that no matter what I do in life I am not satisfied with it. I feel that I am a disappointment to myself, to my parents, to my teachers, well, pretty much anybody.

Nothing I do, or am, ever feels QUITE good enough.

My grades were never quite good enough, although they got me into the best university in the country. My SAT score (or rather, the Swedish equivalent thereof) placed me in the top 2 % of the nation, but it should have been in the top 1 %. I have two university degrees, yet I am writing a thesis for a third (for a law degree, in lieu of a masters in poli sci and a BA in Slavic languages), because two is just not QUITE good enough. I have contemplated applying for a PhD position, although heaven knows I don't want to, but I also don't want to be the only freaking failure in the family without a doctor title pinned to their name, be it an MD or PhD. I ran a half marathon for the second time a few weeks ago, yet not for a single second did I enjoy the accomplishment, instead I was berating myself for the crappy time. When asked about the race, my answer has been "well, I didn't do so well, but there's always next time, right?" When accomplishing something I've been working on, like running a certain distance, or finishing a project for work, I don't take the time to celebrate. Why should I since I could have finished faster, or better - in fact I SHOULD have done so. It's expected. So I grind me teeth, take an aspirin for the ensuing headache, and wonder what is wrong with me.

The point I am trying to make, albeit laboriously, is that it is quite possible that my weight loss is affected by this too. I should never have gained all this weight to begin with, so obviously THAT is a defect (yes, that is sarcasm), oh well, there were mitigating circumstances - fine, get over it. Why is it taking me this long to shed these kilos? Is it possible that I am sabotaging myself?

I get an ulcer every time I need to write a thesis, I get anxiety attacks when I need to speak in public (although I have gotten better in this regard; practice does make perfect, who'd have thought? ) and I often find myself making excuses, finding ways to get out of these situations. Is it not then feasible that I am sabotaging my weight loss so that I never have to admit that I have failed to reach a goal that won't be good enough anyway? I know it sounds warped, but then you've never resided in my head, thank goodness. ;) It's like avoiding to write this damn thesis, because if I finish it everyone will see that it's not good enough. Avoiding to lose the weight saves me from facing a result that won't be good enough.

See the similarities? I do. And I don't like it.

I know that I have good qualitites, I KNOW. But they're not quite good enough. I could be a better friend, a better daughter, a better wife or mother. I could have a more successful career, more money, nicer home. And maybe I should. But why isn't what I am, what I've got, good enough?

I would say that I am reasonably happy person. I love my family, I've got my health, I lack for nothing materialistic.

When will I stop and tell myself that I deserve it, that I am good enough, that people won't wake up one day and find me a terrible disappointment and want nothing to do with me?

Maybe if that day comes then I won't worry about ulcers, panic attacks, weight loss plateaus. Have I been focusing onthe symptoms, not the cause all this time?

I wonder if it could be this easy. As easy as saying "enough already". I AM good enough. I am doing well enough. Is the realization itself key to this or am I missing something?

Is this the moment I start thinking that I am not educated enough in psychology and maybe I need a fourth degree? emoticon

No. I am good enough.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RHARRIS80 12/3/2010 10:49AM

    Wow! You ran two half marathons??? Two?

That is amazing!

I would love to be able to run 30 minutes without needing to stop for air.

I've always struggled with being good enough for my job, my family, my wife, and my friends. It seems like I was trying to make everyone around me happy while neglecting my own happiness.

That started to change after starting this journey. When I started working out, I felt strong and confident and those people that surrounded me have been amazing at keeping my spirits high and making me feel awesome.

My only advice would be to surround yourself with positive people. The ones who make you feel awesome. The ones you can trust when they say, "Wow, running a half marathon is an amazing accomplishment!" To me, the time finished doesn't really matter as much as finishing the race.


Two university degrees?? Top 2% in the nation?! Wow! You are pretty amazing! Now if only you could see that too. emoticon

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TRW410 10/26/2010 3:34PM

    "Not Enough" has been one of the biggest barriers to my emotional balance and health - but I'm getting better!!! Several years ago I was in a group therapy setting and everyone went around the room sharing one word of how they would describe one another. When it was my turn, the ONLY one-word description I remember is, "enough." That was all well and good coming from someone else (I had always looked outside of myself for validation), but I needed to believe it and at that point in time, I did not.

It's been a slow evolution to believe and know that I am enough - and I've not arrived but I'm sure getting closer. My biggest tool has been positive self talk and affirmations. It was awkward and I felt foolish at first, but now I can even do it in the mirror. The other thing that really helped was to lighten up! I am allowed to make mistakes because I am human! I am not perfect and really need to get over it!

I could blame it on my parents, in particular my perfectionist/controlling but getting better herself Mother (of which I did for many years!), but it was only when I took responsibility for my own feelings and sense of self (or lack thereof) that I had the power to change my mind and my heart.

You are clearly an intelligent and well accomplished woman and yet suffer from this delusion that you are not enough. Just for today, tell yourself you are. And sooner than later, you will believe it. emoticon

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RUNNER12COM 10/26/2010 2:51PM

    I'm obviously flattered to be one of your favorite Spark Buddies, and I absolutely adore you and appreciate all your support and encouragement.

This blog, though... wow... it's very, very hard to read. I, too, grew up with the "oh, an A-, but that would have been an A had you studied harder, wouldn't it?" That sort of pressure and those unrealistic expectations do a number on a young soul.

Let me ask you the question someone else asked me years ago: "Not good enough for whom?"

If you think you are not good enough for others, you are mistaken. If you think you are not good enough for yourself, you are mistaken. And if you think you just aren't good enough for anyone, then again, you are mistaken.

By your own words, you are MISSING out on the joy of life. Your accomplishments bring only more feelings of failure. Your logical mind must see that you have set up the perfect "must fail" system. It is impossible for one person to be the best at everything on this planet (as evidenced by Michael Jordan and Garth Brooks both sucked at professional baseball), so your expectations for yourself to always be the best cannot possibly come true.

So logically, you know you are setting up an impossible task. And facing that is the first step to believing it on an emotional level.


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RUBIA_LIZ 10/11/2010 2:00PM

    Wow, another one I could have written word for word. I got the shock of a lifetime when, five years ago, my parents and I took a trip to visit my two cousins. One night I told my cousins how I always felt like my parents would have preferred to have them as their daughters instead of me. They are both pretty wealthy, have giant houses and new cars, three beautiful and talented children each, both have loving husbands. Me, on the other hand? Single (divorced), no kids, three dogs, living a relatively bohemian life in a foreign country, renting a pretty funky little house in a distinctive economically-challenged neighborhood, earning a pittance teaching English. In other words, as you said, NOT QUITE GOOD ENOUGH by my parents' standards (although I really enjoy it all, most days anyway).

They couldn't believe what I was saying, and they told me they had been JEALOUS of me all these years!! They were envious of my freedom and my lifestyle, no ties or debt, with minimal obligations! JEALOUS! That visit with my sweet cousins gave me that perspective that JESSIEHESSIE talked about, and ever since then, I've actually lightened up on myself a bit. While I still suffer from feelings of inadequacy, I am one step closer to understanding that what I'm feeling is no doubt all in my head...

Thanks for such a thoughtful blog - love your ability to open up and share so articulately!!


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JESSIEHESSIE 10/5/2010 12:48PM

    being a perfectionist can be a very good thing but it can also be a very very bad thing. I have never been happy with an 'A'- it had to be an 'A+'. In the past I was not happy with my weight loss progress. After reading the spark I learned how important it is to put perfectionism into perspective when it comes to weight loss. Alot of us who are perfectionists also have a lot of pessimist in us. For example 'Oh, I lost 4 lbs. this month and it should have been 8...I'm a failure" or most recently for me "Oh I am a failure at this new job because I could not figure out everything myself on my first day flying solo and I am too slow...I am a failure".

If we can learn to combine our perfectionism with optimism we will then be using perfectionism to our benefit. "Well, I lost 4 lbs this month....that is quite an achievement!" or "Well, of course I was slow and unsure of myself on the first day, I only had 2 weeks of training...but I have a job, and I did better that most probably would have and I am an intelligent person and can improve myself day by day".

See the difference?
Sometimes when we get down on ourselves because we didn't live up to OUR OWN expectations we need to think about the expectations we would have for others and how we would react to them. If a friend came to you and told you she lost 4 lbs. last month would you tell her that was not good enough and she is a failure? Of course not! Would you tell her that she is a failure and will probably get fired from that new job very soon? Of course not.

Perfectionists are much harder on themselves than the rest of the world. So once in a while we need to take a step back and look at other perspectives.

Learning things like this is what makes this Spark Journey so wonderful!

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SIMPLELIFE4REAL 10/5/2010 8:58AM

    Are we twins separated at birth? Need I say more?

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45ANDFIT1 10/5/2010 5:27AM

    I have the same problem of not ever quite living up to my own expectations. While it pushes us to achieve it also is a bit crazy-making. Here's too be happy with who and where we are!

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NUOVAELLE 10/5/2010 4:13AM

    Well, I read it all and I actually read your previous two blogs as I've been really busy and I haven't been sparking much. I wouldn't ignore it even if it's just rambling. That's what friends are for. I have to say I'm really impressed by your achievements. You have way too many things to be proud of. But I think you have to dig a little deeper in your childhood - if you haven't already - because that's where our insecurities usually start. Fear of failure, perfectionism, a will to always do better, are usually things that have been "stamped" on our characters since we were little. The bad thing is that we can't change them easily. But if you realise where they're coming from, it will be easier for you to tame those feelings. And look at the positive side. When you always want to be better, you never let yourself give up. And the winners are not the ones who never fail but the ones who never quit!

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A Farewell to September

Thursday, September 30, 2010

This is the last day of September. Oh my, it has flown by.

Some stats:
Same weight - 78 kilos
Body fat percentage - 30% (yuck)
ST sessions - 7
Running - 86.5 k
Races - Stockholm Half Marathon, 2:22:45

Overall I feel pretty good about the month. I didn't have any specific goals, except to run 100 k, which didn't quite happen. Scale hasn't moved, no huge surprise there. I haven't been as good about food as I should have been. There has been some ice cream, a wee bit of chocolate, a cookie or two, even one - gasp! - pizza. Most days I stay well within my calorie range, but I think I may need to tinker a bit with the ratio between carbs, protein and fat.

It's been a busy month, with parent-teacher meetings at my kids' daycare, some traveling, birthday parties, a lot of overtime at work, a half marathon, and taking care of sick kids. You know, just normal "life" stuff, but still things that have caused this month to race by me at hyper speed. I need some time to just breathe, check my navel for lint, mindlessly play with the buttons on the TV remote, or even just watch a movie with my husband. A date night would be nice, haven't had one in years. Literally.

I need to formulate a specific plan for October, I know that I perform better when I know what I expect of myself. My husband will be gone in Geneva half of the month, so I know that my time will be even more spoken for and if I want to meet my goals then all activities need to be carefully planned.

There's nothing like a challenge to get my competitive nature in gear! emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MUVFASTA 10/1/2010 7:20AM

    emoticon emoticonon the half marathon!!!

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2BLEAN_N_FIT_AZ 9/30/2010 7:28PM

    I agree September did fly by...and time to take stock in what we've accomplished. Always got to find the positives in what we've done...we need to evaluate what we didn't succeed in, in order to make goals for October.

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RANDOM00B 9/30/2010 2:17PM

    Congrats for completing the Half-Marathon. I can't even run a mile straight through; 13 is mighty impressive!

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MALIAN1 9/30/2010 10:23AM

    You CAN do it!!! Make a plan and things will fall into place.

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SWEETPEA05 9/30/2010 10:15AM

    Definitely get a plan started--just be prepared for a plan B when those detours happen. My hubby travels alot, too, so I understand how much can fall on mom's shoulders when they are gone. Just remember you need time for YOU, too. It makes you a better mom and wife.
Best wishes for a great month.

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CLAIRESML 9/30/2010 9:23AM

    I know you can do it. Have an outstanding October fitness-wise.

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THENEWCINDY 9/30/2010 9:00AM

    a plan for october may help :)

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ABRANDNEWME09 9/30/2010 8:39AM

    Goodbye September.... Great idea to have a plan set for October! Good luck!

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SIMPLELIFE4REAL 9/30/2010 7:52AM

    Thanks for your supportive comment on my blog about rewarding myself with a new running top.

Congratulations on running the half. That is a great time in my book. I'm just getting back into running.

I will be interested to hear what you decide to set up as goals for yourself for October.

Go Care Bears!

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MISSFORTE 9/30/2010 7:28AM

    Wow! Keep Strong! get a plan of action going, i am brainstorming one now myself also!

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A new start

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

I have seen quite a few people do this over the past few weeks. I don't know if it is because they fell off the wagon during the summer or just feel inclined to equate fall with a new start. For me it's the latter.

There's just something about the clear, crisp air, the leaves starting to turn, temps dropping, more frequent rains that makes me feel energized, ready to tackle new challenges and new goals.

So, I have re-set my ticker to start from today's weight, I have updated my page a little, and I have set new goals for myself (both long term and short term) and I feel that I have renewed my commitment to achieve health and fitness.

I even joined a challenge team! I haven't been a part of one since last year, but it feels right and motivating. The goal is to lose 5 % of your weight in 8 weeks. Doable, for sure. To get there I plan to increase my cardio a little, from the current 3-4 days a week to 5-6 days a week. I also want to keep up the twice weekly strength training. And, as always, I need to stay within my calorie range and be more consistent about making good food choices.

Here's to an exciting fall season! May it bring with it only good things!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SIMPLELIFE4REAL 9/29/2010 5:54PM

    Great plans for a new start! This is the first time in a long time for me to join a challenge too.

Go Care Bears!

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THENEWCINDY 9/29/2010 9:03AM

    Good luck and I hope you enjoy the care bears team!!!

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MINNA72 9/29/2010 2:47AM

    Thank you, everyone! I so appreciate the support!

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RANDOM00B 9/28/2010 6:16PM

    Good luck! You can do it!

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ABRANDNEWME09 9/28/2010 4:14PM

    Good luck in the Fall Challenge!!!

Go Care Bears!

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ABSOLUTZER0 9/28/2010 3:14PM

    May the fall bring GREAT things! Let's get it Minna! I'm watching you!

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CLAIRESML 9/28/2010 3:09PM

Glad you are doing the 5% fall challenge
Me, too!
Let's do this thing and succeed.
I'm a care bear..... go care bears emoticon

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LYNNOTT 9/28/2010 2:36PM

    Best wishes to you on your challenge! You have good weekly goals, and a can do attitude! emoticon

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April in the rearview mirror

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

We're well into May already and I've had time to reflect on the successes and failures I had in April.

1. Chalean extreme - well, I started the program and kept at it for two weeks, but realized that I didn't like it. At all. I didn't like the wussy pace of the training, I didn't like the instructor and her too perky attitude and then it becomes hard to motivate myself to stay with the program.


I switched to Insanity. Again. I figured I already knew I loved this program, Shaun T motivates me to work harder and I knew I had decent results doing this the first time around. I am now on day 5 of the program and I'm having fun with it. I plan to do about 4 workouts a week.

2. Running. It's going wonderfully. I finished my rehab program (for the hip injury I had in the winter) and I am now running 3 times a week, about 7K each time.

3. Pushup challenge. I will be on week 4, day 3 tomorrow and it's going really well. It's harder than I could have imagined, but yesterday I managed to crank out a total of 140 pushups, with the last set consisting of 36 freaking reps. It just about killed me, but I did it. I don't know if I'll have to repeat a week or two before I'll be able to do 100 pushups without pause, but if that's the way it will be, then fine. As long as I get there.

4. Food. I have been fairly consistent with staying within my calorie range. And for about a week I did an awesome job with the 40/40/20 plan. And then it became too hard to eat that much protein. I just couldn't do it. I was craving carbs like you wouldn't believe. I had a binge night, where I was stuffing my face with musli like it was going out of style and that made me realize that the plan was too harsh for me. I do try to eat less carbs, whenever possible. I limit my intake of pasta, potatoes, and rice, but don't exclude it altogether anymore. But my diet is more of a 50/25/25 division now, which isn't what I wanted. We'll see.

So. Mostly I've done okay. No weight loss to show for it, though.

78 kilos. Huge disappointment.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    emoticon MInna! Sounds like you did a good self-eval here. I'm glad you did. You've got to do what works for you. Can I ask if there were other specifics that you didn't like about CE? I haven't done it. Have been thinking about it, but can't decide between that and P90X. So, I would welcome any review you have of CE.

I'm so glad to hear that you're back to emoticon ! I know you really like it. And it's important to do what you like. I have been wondering lately about your hip.

I'm proud of the way you are persisting in the pushup challenge. I just don't remember to do it! I only do it when I'm doing strength training, and then even when I do remember it, I don't want to do it because I'm normally doing a dvd workout that works the arms enough the way it is. You keep talking about it though & I just might jump back on the bandwagon with you!

The weight will come off! Maybe this new ration will help. I know I don't bother paying attention to a ratio. I eat quite a few carbs, but SP tells me to eat even MORE. I think there's something to it because I keep eating them & I keep losing - so far anyway. I read a little snip-it on here one time that "fat burns in the carbohydrate fire". It's possible that your body was storing all that it could get & not letting go of any. More carbs might be the answer!

Later.... emoticon


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HMCCLEERY 5/6/2010 2:04PM

    Minna--Sounds like you are doing great--keep up with the Insanity, running and pushups! You will get to your goal. I am glad that you have found the programs that work for you and soon you will start to see the rewards!

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NUOVAELLE 5/5/2010 1:27AM

    You're doing great with your workouts and running! Actually more than just great! Regarding food, what are those divisions you mentioned? We both know we have to focus on food if we want to see this scale moving. And I'm sure we can do it. You're doing a great job and sooner or later you'll reach your goals, I'm sure of it. Take care!

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