Living healthy as a busy Mom with two little boys

Firm Express Plan July 29, 2012

Filed under: The Firm — fitformyprinces @ 10:12 pm

Finally, I have finished The Firm Express plan.  Sheesh … I had started it back in October 2011 right as I was returning to work from my maternity leave.  Then one thing turned into another and I took a too extended blog absence and gained back all the weight I had lost while on maternity leave, plus another 15 pounds.

Anyway, as I said in my previous post, I’m back.  I started back on the diet and exercise bandwagon on July 1st with this program.  Now, according to the Firm Express you can see results by only doing three 20-minute sessions per week.  Let’s just say I did not follow that.  I ended up working out almost every day.  Every single day except 2 or 3, I walked my dog while pushing the boys in the double jogging stroller for between 35-70 minutes.  Then I did the Firm Express video on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday each week.  On three of the remaining days each week I’d do another exercise DVD that I have (it rotated) for 20-45 minutes.  So I definitely worked out more than this program says to.

So what is it?  Basically they break the 30 days down into 4 cycles.  Each cycle has 3 workouts.  One to be done each of 3 days that week …. a cardio, sculpt, and cardio/sculpt dvd.  Each DVD contains a 20 minute workout that includes a brief warm-up and various exercises (depending on type of workout) with four “bursts” intermingled throughout the workout.  What is a burst?  Well in a nutshell it’s interval training.  So you go all out for 8 seconds on whatever move it is that they’re having you do, then you tap it out for 12 seconds.  Repeat this 4 times and you have one burst.  This is based on some university study that found that high intensity activity for 8 seconds followed by a 12 second recovery is optimal for fat loss.

Pros – I like that the workouts are only 20 minutes.  Let’s face it …. most everyone is extremely busy and sometimes you can only find 20 minutes to get in your workouts.  That is possible with this system.  I also liked the bursts.  I was a believer in interval training before these workouts and I do believe they work well for fat loss.  I also like that you don’t repeat a workout at all the whole time you’re doing the program.  This is good for me since I tend to get bored quickly with workout DVDs.

Cons – I found the instruction a little hard to follow at times.  I’m pretty coordinated and found myself falling behind quite a few times.  Also, I’m not sure where they got their success stories from on their website, but I did not find my results coming really close to that at all.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy with the weight I lost in just 4 weeks, but I did not see the inches gone at all close to these people, plus I was doing much more activity at the same time.  I know that advertising success stories are not typical, but these just seem so out of whack for me.  It’s possible they lost this while on the program…. I just don’t see it happening one time through the system.  It does say int he book that if you’re not to your goal by the end of 30 days to just start over and keep repeating the 4 weeks until you get to goal.

The results:

Measurement                Start     End     Difference
Arm                                 15           14         -1
Chest                              36.5       35.5     -1
Waist                             45           44.5     -0.5
1″ below belly button  51.5        50        -1.5
Hips                                47          46         -1
Thigh                              29         25.75    -3.25
Calf                                 17.75     17.5      -0.25
Weight                           213.0    201.2    -11.8

So in total I lost 11.8 pounds and 8 1/2 inches.  I’m definitely happy with that progress.  I mean, other than someone competing on The Biggest Loser, who wouldn’t like losing almost 12 pounds in a month?

Would I do this program again?  Probably not, at least not in its entirety.  I’ve lent the DVDs out to the home health care worker who comes at night to help my mother-in-law get ready for bed.  She saw me do most of these workouts and said it looked right up her speed so hopefully she sees great results from it.  When I get them back I”ll probably pop in one of these DVDs every now and then just to mix it up and keep things interesting, but I just don’t see this program being the end all and be all for me.

Next up …. Jillian Michaels’ 30 Day Shred.


Hello again….. July 21, 2012

Filed under: General musings — fitformyprinces @ 3:59 pm

Wow … talk about a long break from blogging.  November 2011?  Very bad for me.

It just goes to show you how true it is that a working Mom is a hugely busy Mom.  When I returned to work after my maternity leave in October I pretty much fell off the face of blogging earth.  Life has certainly changed a lot in the past, what 8 months?

The good:  My family is all in good health.  The ‘princes’ are now 3 1/2 and 1.  “C” is pretty much nearly potty trained (insert the Hallelujah chorus) and “B” runs around like a pro.  Also I’m now a stay at home Mom (cue up the chorus again).  Staying at home with my boys has been a lifelong dream of mine and I am so lucky and Blessed to be able to be there for my kids.

The bad:  I’m not living with my husband anymore.  No we’re not ‘separated’ in the sense that troubled couples do that.  However, in order to free me up to stay at home, my husband accepted a new job.  We currently have two houses on the market (PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE SELL!) and so he has signed a year’s lease in a small apartment that is just not suited to our size family (two adults, two kids, two cats, and a large breed dog).  So where are the princes and I?  We’ve moved in with my in-laws.  Yes, I know I have this listed under ‘the bad’.  They’re not bad, just the whole thought that I’m in my mid-30’s now and living with ‘Mom and Dad’ again.  Sigh.  Not how I planned for my life to go at all.  However, a couple of years ago when my husband was entertaining another job option I told him that I would live anywhere if it meant I could be a stay at home Mom.  I never in my wildest dreams (or worst nightmares) thought it would mean living with his parents and not with him.  But overall it’s a win-win for us.  We get to save money (once these houses sell) so we can have a decent down payment for a new home in his new job location (Raleigh NC) and I’m here to help my in-laws since my Mother-in-law came home from the rehab center on June 1st after having her stroke just over a year ago.  I cook, do some light cleaning, and help with transferring my MIL when needed.

The ugly:  Blogging wasn’t really the only thing I quit last November.  I pretty much quit all exercising and watching what I ate.  For several months.  And I gained all the weight I’d lost back plus another 18 pounds.  : (   I started back at exercising and eating well on July 1st and weighed in at 215 pounds.  That’s nearly what I weighed when I was in my third trimester with each of my pregnancies.  How embarrassing.

But …. better to turn around and start working in the right direction than saying what the hell and continuing on my path of self-destruction.  I do have to set an example for my kids and I want to be able to play with them.  And I’m not able to do either well at over 200 pounds.  Luckily here I am just 3 weeks later and I’ve already lost 11 pounds (plus whatever I lost this week …. weigh in day is tomorrow) and I can feel my energy level higher than it has been in awhile.

As far as exercising goes I restarted the Firm Express system and have one week left.  I neglected to take before shots (since I’m living alone now and don’t really feel like asking my father-in-law to photograph my fatness in a bathing suit) but I did take measurements.  I’m hoping that I’ll have lost 15 pounds total by the time this is done.  I definitely want to re-do the 60 Day Slimdown by Lindsay Brin along with Couch to 5K that I did last summer, but since my treadmill did not follow me to the in-laws I’ll have to do all my runs outdoors….with kids in the double jogger.  So for my sake, and their’s I”m going to wait on doing that until the summer weather cools down a smidge.