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5 % Challenge - BRING IT ON!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The new 5 % challenge started this Saturday. The plan is to lose 5 % of my weght in 8 weeks. That means 4 kilos for me. Half a kilo a week. With the previous 5 % challenges I've participated in, I never managed to reach this goal, but whatever loss I've had, has been treasured! I am not really making any major changes to accomodate the goals of this challenge, but let's get my goals and plan properly outlined...


* lose 4 kilos. emoticon

*achieve some muscle definition in my abs, arms and shoulders. emoticon

The Plan:

* stick with the P90X, Insanity and running programs I am doing right now.

* Do my best to reach my calorie range. SP wants me to increase the range again - which, um, NO - I am still struggling to eat between 1890-2240 calories daily. I can do it easily if I allow myself treats, but it's just not healthy and triggers all sorts of weird behaviours in me.

* We can log a maximum of 120 fitness minutes. On most days I log between 80 and 120 minutes. I need to remember that a rest day is crucial for recovery.

* Team support is important and my plan is to visit my team mates' SparkPages and blogs and offer encouragement and advice when it is appropriate.

The first week is halfway over and so far I have been KILLING my workouts! No excuses - that's my motto for this challenge!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

AUBRAZILLA 4/9/2011 7:52PM

    You can do it! Try adding seeds, nuts and dairy to your foods for added energy that isn't sugary or empty-fats. I know what you mean, I have become addicted to the classes at my dojo and I can't keep up with how many calories I am burning per week (6000, 6500, 7000!!) so I just try to each whole foods until I am satiated.

You can do this!!

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TEENY_BIKINI 3/5/2011 7:40PM


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GREYPARK 2/27/2011 7:00PM

    emoticon awesome plan!!

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GWENAEL 2/27/2011 2:22AM

  emoticon I'm sure you'll rock this challenge!

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CASKUL 2/25/2011 1:46PM

    Love the "no excuses" pledge - I love your positive mind set.

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CO-CREATOR 2/24/2011 10:06AM

    Sounds like a great plan!!!

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NUOVAELLE 2/24/2011 1:48AM

    That's a great challenge. I think I might join you. Your plan is great and I'm sure you can do it! Don't forget the recovery day!

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FITSPIRATION 2/23/2011 11:13PM


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APIRLRAIN888 2/23/2011 10:23PM

    lol go go go crazy plan!!! but I know you can do it

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CAROLJ35 2/23/2011 10:08PM

    Great plans! You work so hard at exercise! I do as many minutes but at 75, mine are not as strenuous and when I first started I couldn't do 5 minutes. So I have made real progress!

Keep up the great work and thanks for all you do for our team!

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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ON2VICTORY 2/23/2011 9:48PM

    grrrrr im feelin the mojo on this blog and soakin it all up! woo hoo! make it happen!

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ELLFIN3 2/23/2011 8:19PM

    Sounds like a great plan!! Go for it!! emoticon emoticon

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_THEA_ 2/23/2011 8:16PM

    You are a machine, Minna! Great goals...just remember to be good to yourself and take that rest day!

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JREA24 2/23/2011 7:12PM

    Get it done.

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MISSY455 2/23/2011 7:04PM

    emoticon goals. You are killing it with the exercise! emoticon

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ROSE-100 2/23/2011 6:49PM

    emoticon great goals

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SEEMAINE 2/23/2011 6:48PM

    emoticon Minna! emoticon

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JONEIL513 2/23/2011 6:39PM

    you're going to do awesome! emoticon

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ABSOLUTZER0 2/23/2011 6:29PM

    You are going to do fine! KILL IT!

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ASKILLMAN 2/23/2011 6:25PM

    I love how much thought and detail are listed in your goals and plans. It sounds great, and it seems like you have the drive to make it happen! Good luck!

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-WRKNG2ABTTRME- 2/23/2011 6:24PM


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INSANITY Strikes Again

Monday, February 21, 2011

A part of me is seriously questioning my sanity here... Am I really going to do this? AGAIN? And not just a second time - oh no! - this will the THIRD round of Insanity.

Craziness, right? Maybe.

Lately I have caught myself reading and commenting on Insanity blogs, all the while feeling that surge of craving, of want and need growing stronger. I really want to do this. Again. It's been a long time since I did Insanity - finished round one last March and did round two in May/June. So It's not like I'll just pick it up where I left off, you know? I am so looking forward to the torture and exhaustion and maybe even praying to the oxygen gods a time or two.... LOL!

So on Saturday I did it. The Fit Test. I refused to check my previous results, this will be a new start, not a continuation of round one or two. No comparisons! I won't even look at my previous before/after pics. I took a new set of before pics and they scare the bejesus out of me. I still have SUCH a long way to go. So many kilos and several clothes sizes, to be perfectly imprecise. emoticon

I am in week 9 of the P90X program and am also running 30 km (close to 20 miles) a week. And somehow I will fit another hour of exercise a day into this? Um, yeah...

So, here they are. The numbers from my first Fit Test for round three!

Switch kicks ~ 59
Power jacks ~ 52
Power knees ~ 100
Power jumps ~ 45
Globe jumps ~ 12
Suicide jumps ~ 19
Push-up jacks ~ 24
Low plank obliques ~ 58

I did the Plyo workout today and it went well. I still struggle with the level 1 & 2 drills, especially the ski abs. My arms become noodle-like half way into this exercise and I would collapse on my face if I didn't take a break for a second or two.

Here is one of the "before" pics I took on Friday. Certainly hoping for something nicer when the time comes for an "after" pic.

So, let the INSANITY begin!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

AUBRAZILLA 4/9/2011 7:54PM

    I absolutely love the wood paneling in your house :)

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JREA24 3/8/2011 9:01PM

    Alright now.

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KALYAS 2/27/2011 12:56AM

    Woohooo... go for it. I just completed my Week 4 and will be starting Week 5 - recovery on Monday... I am however scared of Week 6. I really heard it is intense.

anyways goodluck on round 2

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DCGUY72 2/24/2011 1:33AM

    Rock on !!!

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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TWNOMWE 2/23/2011 10:01AM

    Great inspiration
Go girl. You look great too.

I get exhausted before i finish Slim in 6 RUMP it Up.

I am going to work hard. emoticon

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SIMPLELIFE4REAL 2/22/2011 6:09PM

    That is A LOT of exercise!

Congratulations on getting to week 9 of P90x...I pooped out after week 4. Grrrr!

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SEEMAINE 2/22/2011 11:13AM

    You are an emoticon inspiration. Pushing ourselves past our sometime self-imposed limitations is really a great way to feel great about ourselves. Good for you! emoticon

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BUTSWEETER 2/22/2011 11:07AM

    A third round?! You're an INSANE woman!! :D Rock it!

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ZBMORGAN 2/22/2011 6:56AM

    You already loook great, but sometimes we need to challenge ourselves! Go for it!

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CAFLETER 2/22/2011 6:49AM

    Good luck! I've been thinking about it but think I need to get little more fit before giving it a shot!

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CONTESSA63 2/22/2011 5:36AM

  What is INSANITY??!! Good luck. emoticon

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KALISWALKER 2/21/2011 11:09PM

    You will be so glad you did it!

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JONEIL513 2/21/2011 9:23PM

    Wow you are AMAZING!! that is alot of exercise, it is so inspiring! I know that you will ROCK this plan. emoticon emoticon emoticon

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FITSPIRATION 2/21/2011 9:21PM

  You are inspiring! And you look hot too! Hope your 3rd time is a charm emoticon

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Like Bambi on ice

Monday, December 27, 2010

So, one of my Christmas gifts this year were ice skates. Holy cow. Haven't skated since I was 17 years old and I decided I was too frickin' cool to wear a helmet, something which was required at the rink I used back then.

Fast forward twen..., umm, a FEW years and with kids of my own and still living up in the frozen north - well, what are you going to do, really? Just bite the bullet, get the kids skates, and teach them, that's what.

So that's what I did.

Not gracefully, not even well, but I didn't fall and I even managed to teach the kiddos their first lesson : don't try walking on the ice, it won't work very well. We even started on lesson two: leaning backwards tends to make you fall.

Lesson three is forthcoming: you need to push off to get any kind of momentum going. I doubt we'll cover this one in the next dozen or so sessions, though.

Here are a few pics to prove that I, indeed got on the ice. Still too stubborn to wear a helmet, because, well you know, helmet hair is worse than a concussion, any day. emoticon

Had a really good day!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DCGUY72 12/29/2010 11:46PM

    Looks like you had an amazing time... And your lookin' like a pro in that last picture !

Hope things are well in your wintery world :)

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RHARRIS80 12/28/2010 9:15AM

    Wow! It looks like you had a great time! I used to skate when I lived in MA... but now that I have lived in Florida for 10 year, I don't think I would be able to stay up for more than a minute.

Great job on not falling and needing that helmet afterall! emoticon

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EUPHRATES 12/28/2010 7:31AM

    LOL - CNN has been running footage of a dear sliding across a frozen pond all morning. :)

Looks SO fun! I wish I could ice skate (my feet cramp within about 10 minutes of having the skates on)!

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ILOVEROSES 12/28/2010 7:21AM

    It sure looks like you all having fun! You never forget how to skate even if you haven't done it in twen..., umm, a FEW years emoticonIt happened to me in July in Scotland and I haven't had skates on for at least 30 odd years!
Ania in Australia

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CAROLJ35 12/27/2010 9:48PM

    Boy, this brings back memories! But I will still spend the winter in FL and not miss the snow - at my age. Enjoy!!! (especially the time with kids as they grow up soooo fast!)

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 12/27/2010 9:54:40 PM

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CLAIRESML 12/27/2010 5:35PM

    Hi Minna, I liked your pix. Looked like fun was had by all.

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SIMPLELIFE4REAL 12/27/2010 5:00PM

    fun! Skating is such great exercise too!

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ABSOLUTZER0 12/27/2010 4:53PM

    Lessons...lessons...Always an adventure learning them, eh? Yes, a concussion is definitely better than helmet hair! LOL!

Look at you looking so graceful! I like!

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A Winter Run

Saturday, December 11, 2010

There are few things that make me feel better about myself than overcoming obstacles and difficulties, and doing it well. Lately I've been feeling rather introspective and gloomy and I really needed to shake these feelings and bring some joy and positivity into my life again.

I totally managed to do so this morning.

I woke up to -5 C (23F), windy, overcast, grey and dreary weather. You know the type of day when you'd rather stay indoors, playing board games with the kids all day, then curl up in your favourite armchair to read a good book, while holding a steaming cup of tea between your hands. That kind of day.

Except I didn't do that. Instead I put on three layers of clothing, lip balm to protect my lips from the cold wind, ear phones playing my favourite music.

I didn't break any speed records. I wasn't even trying. I wasn't annoyed by the lack of traction on the snow. I wasn't silently (or even not so silently) cursing the snow that hit my face like angry little gnats at one point.

I was too happy to let any negative thoughts ruin the moment for me.

I was feeling strong and healthy. I was doing something that's good for me and for my family. And I was doing something that I love doing.

That's a pretty decent day in my book.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RHARRIS80 12/16/2010 9:59AM

    So so awesome and very inspiring!

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MEGLUVS2RUN 12/13/2010 9:13PM

    That's just awesome! I've been itching really bad to get out and run, but I'm a wimp too! -9 celcius with wind chill of -20.
Great pic and inspiring blog! emoticon


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-WRKNG2ABTTRME- 12/13/2010 7:11PM


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DCGUY72 12/13/2010 6:00PM

    Love the picture of you above... you DO look like you're having an absolutely great day. Yes -- there's a time to be introspective and there's a time for just getting out there and making it happen. Awesome that you just headed into the wind and find the fun in your run. Make no mistake, *I* think you're crazy for wanting to run in the snow... but hey :) that's okay... Brrrr... I get cranky if they they turn the air too far down and there's a draft when I'm on my favorite treadmill. But way to go all the same :) Love seeing that look of fun on your face ! Keep remembering to do things that keep it there...

emoticon emoticon

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GIVINGINOW 12/13/2010 2:18PM

    Ok, that is just awesome! I am a WIMP when it comes to running in the cold weather! Below 25 and I will not go out!

Glad you took charge and decided to have a great positive day :) The snow looks beautiful!

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DOWNTOWN02 12/13/2010 2:11PM

    Awesomeeeeee! Love snow runs! Glad you got to get out and enjoy the beautiful scenery and embrace the weather! what a great positive attitude. Sometimes, it is too easy to complain about things..You don't see things that way...what a lovely mind you have!

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TEENY_BIKINI 12/13/2010 2:03PM

    You rock! What a great pic! The picture of a warrior :)

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NUOVAELLE 12/12/2010 2:03AM

    You look wonderful! I would have loved to have joined you on this morning winter run! As I've repeatedly said, I'm a "winter" type of person. For me nothing feels better than the cold air on my face. That was a great choice you made. Have a great Sunday!

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ILOVEROSES 12/11/2010 11:33PM

    You look good and sound great! Good for you for getting out on that cold brrrr morning for a run. I forgot what's it like at -5C. We did have it in Canada when we lived there from 1976-1972. Here in the mountains it doesn't get that cold very often. Until about 6 years ago we went skiing every July-August (our winter). Now our daughter took over the membership at the ski club. emoticon
Ania from Australia emoticon

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SIMPLELIFE4REAL 12/11/2010 9:33PM

    Isn't that the greatest feeling???? Getting outside for a run in the cold is wonderful.


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CLAIRESGG 12/11/2010 8:04PM

    That sounds wonderful! Such great commitment on your part and what better way to up the outlook of your day. I used to love walks like that but as I get older hate the cold. Go Care Bears!!

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Self-flagellation - of sorts.

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Noun 1. self-flagellation - self-punishment inflicted by whipping
self-punishment - punishment inflicted on yourself

Well, isn't that an apt description... emoticon

I woke up a few days ago, and stepped up on the scale to weigh in for a new challenge I am taking part of. Horror of all horrors: 80.3 kg. I got off the scale, thinking that it must be some sick kind of joke. Tried again, nope, still 80.3. Feeling a little nauseous by now. A thousand thoughts racing through my head, because I swore to myself that I would never, ever, ever, ever see that number on the scale again. Yet there it was.

Tried to find explanations for it: less running due to bad weather, stress, sleeping badly, maybe that dessert I had four days ago.

In the end it doesn't matter, because if I'm honest to myself I should have seen this coming. For the past few weeks I have felt some tighter jeans feeling TOO tight and I've felt uncomfortable in my own skin. I don't like looking at photos of myself, but I forced myself to look through recent pics and that's when I found it.


You all know what I'm talking about. The one that you stare at not quite believing what you see at first, then fighting back tears and in the end some sort of fire starts burning in your belly. The fire of determination, commitment, shame all rolled into one.

I have not tortured my way through Insanity and a half-marathon training program to end up back with those tummy rolls. No frickin' way.

Enter my phase of self-flagellation.

I think a good first step is to increase the amount of cardio. So instead of just doing the P90X workouts, I've been killing myself with an Insanity workout first. And guess what? They really are insane. I have been feeling suitably punished. emoticon

Second step is to clean up my diet. I think overall I eat pretty well. I rarely exceed my calorie range, but I think I could pay more attention to the ratio between carbs/protein/ fat.

Third step is to try to reduce the amount of stress I'm under and to get more sleep. Sounds so easy, but trust me, this is going to be the hardest part. That pic above? I crashed the minute I came home from work. Overworked, too little sleep, too little time to focus on what is really important in life.

I started week 4 of P90X yesterday, it's recovery week. Synergistics is on the menu tonight. I've already done Insanity Plyo. And then I will call it a night.

Hopefully I'll be done beating myself up over this soon and can find myself in a happier place. I mean, there is a limited entertainment value to self-flagellation too, believe it or not. emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RHARRIS80 12/9/2010 10:04AM

    Showing my support as you get back on that train! P90X kicks butt! I've seen what it can do to people. Don't be so hard on yourself for going back on the scale - as other's have said, stress can do a lot to someone's body! The important thing here is that you are starting again! emoticon

p.s. I actually think that picture is adorable! Look at how your daughter is holding you. So precious!

Comment edited on: 12/9/2010 10:10:16 AM

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ILOVEROSES 12/6/2010 7:24AM

    I am sure by Wed morning when you get on emoticonthe 8...will be gone forever, never to return! I am sure emoticon

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NUOVAELLE 12/6/2010 1:58AM

    I call this the "first-digit change". And I happen to talk about the exact same digits. When you leave the "eighties" and you enter the "seventies", you promise yourself you'll never, ever, ever see this 8 again. I know, I've done it, too. And when it happens - for a number of reasons - you just can't believe you let yourself down and all you want to do is punishment!
Now, take a deep breath and think. Ok, you've made some mistakes - deliberately or without even knowing it - and you've set yourself back a few steps. But you know exactly what to do and you already have a plan. And I'm sure those old tummy rolls are not back in any way. And even if you can see a tiny something, I'm sure it's much different after all the insanity workouts they've gone through!
So, don't panic and try to concentrate on the goal. I'm sure you'll be back there in no time. And if you find a way to beat the "stress" factor, please, please, please let me know!

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PAMINHALF 12/5/2010 7:47PM

  Relax. Take a deep breath and start again tomorrow. You'll get back in the groove. take one day at a time. emoticon

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RHONDABELLE 12/5/2010 7:02PM

    My money's on the stress. Our bodies do strange things when we're stressed. Just remember that you have a whole community here for support! emoticon

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SIMPLELIFE4REAL 12/5/2010 5:26PM

    I bet the stress is playing a big part in the weight increase because it sounds like you are doing everything else just fine. I hope you are able to get some relief from that...you deserve it!

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NARA87 12/5/2010 4:24PM

    I must say, I see compeletely different things in this picture. It's so cute!

And whatever, you got up there, you can get back down to where you want to be. You're already taking the necessary steps. emoticon

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YUBYUB31 12/5/2010 4:15PM


Take Care

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HJFOGARTY 12/5/2010 3:59PM

    you will do it - you will find your mojo and be back on track - this happens - we hit a plateau and stumble back to some old ways - but you saw the light and are back on track now - so no more beating yourself up over it - it's done - and you are back - so take care of you and continue to inspire!

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