My IIFYM Kickstart

If you’ve been following along you’ll know I have now committed to if it fits your macros. I’ve had some feedback on my twitter asking about how I started, so I thought I’d post the details about my first couple days with IIFYM. Note: this is my personal experience and may not necessarily be right for everyone; please keep in mind that I am a beginner at IIFYM and am learning more everyday.

I decided to try IIFYM because I have played around with my diet and nutritional habits and found the best success when I specifically focused on my protein intake and getting in enough (over 150g). As well, I have noticed that the people I follow that are doing IIFYM have been able to get results that stick – since it’s “flexible” dieting you don’t deprive yourself of treats forcing you to inevitably fail by indulging, whether it be a birthday cake that is your demise or Thanksgiving dinner, life will always throw treats your way and I’ve found deprivation doesn’t work for me; that damn pumpkin pie at holidays calls my name and ice cream in the summer time, I mean how can you not? Thus IIFYM seemed like a good fit as it would force me to up my protein game while still allowing me the flexibility my life demands.

The first step in switching to IIFYM was to find out what my macro targets should be. I used the calculator on IIFYM.com to help me out. I tried both the Mifflin-St Jeor formula and the lean mass formula to see what the numbers of each would be and decided to use the lean mass formula in the end. For my goal I selected “fat loss” and because I tend to do things balls to the wall I went for the “reckless” option. The final step was to select my nutrition plan and I went with IIFYM and the suggested protein and fat options.

Ta da, out spit my numbers! IIFYM Macros

The next step was to see if I could actually have a day of eating that would hit these target. Side note: I have been using myfitnesspal to track what I eat for a couple years, on and off, so I already had an established account with many recipes already imputed. I used myfitnesspal, picking various food combinations and seeing if they fit my macros. After about ten minutes I had two days set out. The first day was relatively healthy. I added in a lot more fat than I normally do by adding olive oil to my breakfast and used a Quest Bar and whey protein shake to hit my protein target. In the second day I wanted to see if it truly was a “flexible” way to eat and created my day around a piece of my mum’s homemade cheesecake. The formula held true and I was able to hit my targets and stay in my calorie range for the day. Check out the myfitnesspal days below (click to enlarge):
MFP1MFP2

IIFYM

If you’ve been involved in the fitfam twitter community at all in the past couple of months you’ve probably come across the acronym IIFYM.  IIFYM or if it fits your macros is a dieting plan that focuses on macro nutrients.  I’ve been following a few accounts that have committed to IIFYM and their results are intriguing and impressive, so I’ve decided to dedicate January to trying out IIFYM.  I went on iifym.com to get my breakdown and the calculator spit out 1,658 calories per day with 166g carbs, 46g fat, and 145g protein.  My goal is to lose body fat and I did pick their “aggressive” option; I’m moving in a month and I’m determined to see some results! 

After getting my macros, I then spent about 10 minutes on myfitnesspal planning out my next two days to hit my targets.  Surprisingly, I found it easier than I originally thought.  Looking at my planned days it seems like I’m packing in a lot of food but I have to keep in mind that it is a strict plan and everything must be counted (aka no midnight cups of hot chocolate left out of tracking).  In both my planned days I have included a protein shake to help me hit my protein target.  I am really excited to see how this all works out and if you have been doing IIFYM give me a shout! I would love any advice or feedback you can offer!  

Finding Motivation In A Mobile World

Since I’ve made my New Year Resolution to blog everyday, I’ve tried to make posting as easy as possible for a lifestyle on the go. Luckily, I’ve found the wordpress app for my iPhone.

With the way technology and the internet has exploded, I wasn’t surprised that there was an app for blogging. I can now tweet, blog, and track all from my phone. It’s really quite crazy when you think about it. But, does this access distract us from what’s going on around us or enhance it?

I personally like to think it enhances my life. Since starting my twitter account @livefitandfree I’ve been able to meet some fantastic people, discover new recipes, hold myself accountable, and encourage others as well. Just yesterday it helped me get closer to my goals as I was encouraged to discard a bad food option (cake) and make protein pancakes instead (recipe at the bottom); they were healthy and still hit my sweet tooth. I was also able to share my recipe with another account.

I’ve also found that by using social networking health and fitness apps on my phone, like myfitnesspal, I’ve been able to share my accomplishments with the #fitfam and those that follow me, while also getting support when I hit speed bumps in my journey. I believe it’s been a big part in my relatively consistent health and fitness journey for the last two years.

Now with adding blogging to the mix I already know some people are thinking I’m spreading myself too thin. But I like to see it as enhancing my journey even more. Instead of tweeting just the surface, I now have a platform to go a little more in depth. I’m hoping it helps me look a little deeper myself but also get a little bit deeper feedback from my followers. As well, with some of the life changing events I’m about to embark on, I’m hoping to use this as a way to stay in touch and update some people from home.

In a technological world that’s mobile and instant with so much opportunity offered at fingertips, it’s a personal choice whether you want to capitalise on the possibilities it has to offer and I’m not going to let it pass me by. It’s also a personal choice whether you use technology to participate in positivity or negativity. It can be a slippery slope using the internet with so many different opinions and personalities able to freely post. To get the most out of it, I choose to ignore any negativity or bullying that comes my way and try to offer a positive outlook to all of my followers. Remember, you choose who you follow so there is no need to continue following an account that is bringing you down. Let’s all strive to support and motivate one another with kindness and positivity; I know that by participating in that sort of social networking I will only be making myself better!

Pumpkin Protein Pancakes:
1/2 c uncooked large flake oatmeal
1/3 c milk
2 egg whites or 1/4c liquid egg whites
1 tsp pumpkin spice
1 tsp cinnamon
1 scoop whey protein powder or 3/4 scoop casein protein powder

Blend oatmeal, milk, and egg whites. I use a magic bullet.
After stir in pumpkin spice and cinnamon.
Lastly, slowly mix in protein until a smooth, batter-like mixture is made.
Cook on the stove like typical pancakes.
I serve with 1 tbsp peanut butter and syrup.

Sweat Baby Sweat

Last night my boyfriend and I met up to do my INSANITY workout.  I could tell after I got home from work that my motivation was waning and I needed to figure out something that would get me doing my INSANITY workout and get me doing it with high intensity.

Naturally I turned to my girlfriend skills and used my boyfriend’s competitive and fit nature to my advantage when I challenged him to try doing Pure Cardio with me.  He quickly agreed to trying it with me and just like that I had locked myself into doing my workout (plus it made for an extra date night this week).

We met up just before 9 o’clock at a local park, laptop charged and ready, to do the workout.  We found a well lit area suitable for our needs and started it up.  It was a wonderful night, just around twenty degrees Celsius, with a light breeze; a much better atmosphere than my dark and damp basement.  As well, doing the workout outside allowed for ample space to do the moves (long stretches to do suicides on, no ceiling to hit our heads when we jump, etc.).

I am not sure if it was the result of having an afternoon nap, running earlier that day, or just having a later workout time than usual, but I could tell that my speed was not as fast as it could have been.  This could just be me being overly-critical of myself, an issue I struggle with a lot, but it is worth noting.  Another anomaly of this workout was my water intake.  Normally I only drink ~500mL throughout my INSANITY workout (even when I did Pure Cardio), but this time I ended up finishing just about 900mL (also an interesting note as there’s only 3-4 official water breaks in the workout)!

All in all, I am very glad that I did the workout and happy that I could share the time with my boyfriend.  He’s really enjoyed INSANITY so far (he’s only done two workouts) and stated that he would much rather do an INSANITY workout than go for a run with me (something I have pressured him into doing at least a couple times a month).  I’m happy with that trade off as normally for my runs I do not need extra motivation but I have found that turning on the INSANITY DVD helps if I have added incentive.

Yours in fitness.

Rest Day

After yesterday’s unplanned rest day, today I feel ready to go!  Mind you I’m currently sitting in a  desk chair and have been for 4 hours now so I have a lot of energy stored up!

Also, because I’m sitting in my desk chair without piles of work to be done, and have been for the entire morning, I have had a lot of time to think.  Where does my mind wander? To my INSANITY  journey of course.  And what does this wandering produce? A burning desire, yes a desire, to do an INSANITY workout.  As I sit here and think about my INSANITY program and what I committed to, I feel so terrible that I’m “resting” (my mind substitutes “skipping” here) for two days.  But is there anything I can do about it?

I have this unwritten rule that the day before a race is a rest day, but depending on the week, may include a sloooooooow 3-5km jog; the length depends on the length of the race the next day.  Unfortunately, I don’t think an INSANITY workout would be equal to a slow twenty minute jog…

So where does this leave me?

I am writing to ask for some feedback.  In my heart of hearts I know that an INSANITY workout would be pretty intense to do the day before a race.  But… my race tomorrow isn’t a goal race. So, should I continue with my INSANITY plan? If I do does that mean I am more concerned about my overall fitness and not just my running? Is that a bad thing? But then what about my knee? It doesn’t hurt right now but I’m also not even standing on my feet.  What would happen if I start jumping around?  Should I give INSANITY a try and if my knee acts up then stop? Should I keep with my rest plan and skip INSANITY?

Please offer your opinions as otherwise I will just be left to my own mind wandering for the entire afternoon as I sit glued to my office chair.

Pure Cardio

As some of you may know, my passion remains with running.  Coming up, I have a 5k race at the end of this week and a half marathon the last weekend in May.  

Alongside INSANITY I am trying to keep up with my running schedule.  If you are a runner you’re probably familiar with weekly long slow distances that accompany the majority of running plans.  Today I went out and did my long run, around two hours, and by the time I got home my knee was ready for some ice and rest.  Because of this, I did not do my INSANITY workout today.  I do not feel all too guilty as I still went out and ran for quite some time; even though it wasn’t a HIIT workout, I feel as if it could be classified as “pure cardio.”

I will get back into the INSANITY grind tomorrow and continue it this week.  However, I will be taking a rest day on Friday, the day before my race, to let my muscles recover and prepare for Saturday morning’s event.  As of right now, I am still planning on doing the INSANITY workout on Saturday after my race, as it’s only a 5k.

Power and Resistance

Tonight I did day 2 of INSANITY and it called for Cardio Power & Resistance.  My bf said that he would do it with me but backed out and asked me to do it before he came over; apparently his manual labour job used up all his energy… excuses, excuses.  One of these days I’ll get him to be insane with me!

It was a good workout! Lots of legs, oh man! The warm-up caught me by surprise as the moves differed from day 1’s video.  This was something I was not expecting but I’m overall happy that the workout does get mixed up a little; keeps me on my toes and entertained.  I really enjoyed how the first time through each circuit, Shaun T took the time to explain proper form. This allowed me to get a handle on the moves and feel confident in my form.  It would have been nice to have someone there in person to critique my form but Shaun T’s reminders throughout the video sufficed.  I seem to forget about my core a lot so the constant “engage your core” cues come in very helpful and always at the right time.  

One thing I found that surprised me was the moving push-ups.  For some reason I was able to do this move continuously throughout the allotted time slots.  This surprised me as if I was asked to do regular push-ups I would struggle to pump out 10 consecutively.  

The place that I struggled with in this video was when the three tricep moves were performed back to back: tricep dips, tricep dips with a leg raised, and tricep ball push-ups.  I rocked it through the first couple but when that last tricep move came, the tricep ball push-ups, my arms were burning!  Let’s just say I may have taken child’s pose near the end.

After my workout, boy was I hungry! I had not two, not three, but four hundred grams of chicken breast!  I’m sticking to a clean eating plan thus far and I’m hoping to see results after the first week.  If you would like, you could follow my nutrition on myfitnesspal!  My username is livefitlivefree.  Don’t be afraid to toss me a friend request and critique any poor food choices.  Sometimes it’s handy sharing my food journal with the world as it keeps me accountable, even if it’s just to one or two strangers.

I was able to take before pictures but misplaced my measuring tape.  I will therefore post my stats tomorrow after I got get a new measuring tape.

That’s all for now but if there are any insanity users out there, let me know your thoughts on the workouts.  I would love to see where other people excel and struggle in their own journey!  Toss me a comment or an email (through the “contact me” tab at the top) and let’s connect!

Day 1

Alright, I have a very busy day today and as I’ve mentioned, I have to make INSANITY a priority in order to fit it in. Today I packed up my workout clothes and brought them to work so that I could do day 1 over my lunch break. It’s coming up to noon now and I’m just sneaking out of my office to get changed.

Day 1 calls for Plyometric Cardio Circuit which is approximately 40 minutes. I am so curious as to how it’s going to go. My coworkers told me that I could use the office space to workout in as they will go sit outside for lunch today (it’s 22 degrees Celsius and sunny; simply a glorious day).

Wish me luck!

This is INSANITY

“We don’t just call INSANITY because these workouts are intense. We call it INSANITY because in 60 days, you’re going to get results that are simply crazy. But don’t open this box thinking you can pretend your way through this. We need you to be prepared to DIG DEEPER than ever before. Get ready for a transformation unlike anything you’ve ever experienced. This is INSANITY!”

and this blog is here to share my journey testing that theory that INSANITY will get me crazy results.  I’m dedicating the next 60 days, from May 1 to June 30, 100% to INSANITY!  Read how I fare along the way and please share your thoughts!