Monday, August 24, 2015

21 Day Fix - Cycle 2 Results

The results are in....

After 2 cycles of 21 Day Fix, I have lost 12 lbs!  In addition, I have lost 2 inches off of my bust, 2 1/2 inches off of my stomach, and 3 3/4 inches off of my hips!  Yesterday I had a great Non-Scale Victory when I bought jeans that were 2 sizes smaller than my jeans at home.  Here are some pics from our measurements this morning:
 This is Before, After the 2nd Cycle, and my Current After shot

 Here is my before (July 6th) to today (August 24th)

This week we are off of the program, but we aren't going off of the deep end.  We have still made food plans for the week, and we are going to try some new activities.  I  haven't gone running since we started this program, so I am going to that this week, and we are going to try the PLYO Fix DVD that came with our program that we haven't used yet.  We also have soccer on Wednesday.

Next week we will start 21 Day Fix Extreme! From what I have read, it is the same food plan, but more intense workouts.

Who else has done this program with success? Either 21 Day Fix or Extreme? What are tips/advice/results?



Monday, August 17, 2015

Staying on Track While Camping

This weekend, Robin & I went camping with some friends.  Since we're smack in the middle of our second 21 Day Fix plan, we didn't want to throw everything away over the weekend.  We struck the best balance we could.


We have found that the more prepared we are when going into situations like this, the better.  If I just hope to make smart choices, it will never work out.

First, for the workouts.  We did our Friday workout and missed Saturday, but we went on a long hike and played disc golf on Saturday.  It helped to feel good knowing that we were choosing healthy activities and not just sitting around and eating all weekend.

For food, we portioned and planned ahead of time.  For Friday, we packed snacks for the car including strawberries, cottage cheese, and string cheese, and brought chicken sausages to grill when we arrived.  On Saturday, we had an egg, sausage, and veggie scramble for breakfast and our shakes for a snack some cold brew coffee I brought.  For snacks, we packed fruit, cottage cheese, sliced peppers, and baby carrots.  Lunch was a sandwich with chicken deli slices and guacamole.  Dinner was chicken sausages again.  We did have some beer throughout the weekend, but we made smart choices and brought Miller 64 instead of heavy micro brews.

On Sunday, we had the same breakfast and stopped and bought some iced coffee to mix with our shakes.  We had Panera Bread for lunch, cottage cheese for a snack, and ate dinner when we arrived back at home.

Overall, we had a great weekend, and today began doubles workouts week, so the "break" was nice.  Today was Total Body Cardio + Pilates Fix.  I'm wiped out!

Oh yeah - one more thing.  I wore a bikini this weekend!


Have a great week!



Tuesday, August 11, 2015

21 Day Fix: The Workouts

Today I want to talk about the workouts I've been taking on during 21 Day Fix.  Each day I workout for 30 minutes.  Autumn Calabrese is the trainer, and I love that she pushes, but is also not a drill sergeant.

The schedule is this:  
Monday: Total Body Cardio
Tuesday: Upper Fix
Wednesday: Lower Fix 
Thursday: Pilates
Friday: Cardio Fix
Saturday: Dirty 30
Sunday: Yoga

I love the combination and flow of the weekly workouts, and I have had great results! In our first month, I lost 2 inches each off of my bust, waist, and hips.  I am one week into my second session of 21 days, and I'm enjoying each of working off those inches again!


Tonight is Upper Fix - let's do this!

Monday, August 3, 2015

A Day in the Life - 21 Day Fix

Today is the first day of the 21 Day Fix for Robin & I.  This will be our second trip through these 21 days.  When I was getting used to this plan the first time, I found that seeing a typical day from other people was incredibly helpful, so here it is!  A Day in the Life of 21 Day Fix (with pictures of course!):

Breakfast:  Chocolate Shakeology with strawberries and peanut butter (PB&J)


Mid-Morning Snack (not pictured): Blueberries

Lunch: Salad: Chicken with Mediterranean seasoning, lettuce, red pepper, cucumbers, turkey bacon, and 21 Day Fix Balsamic Dressing (homemade)


Afternoon Snack (not pictured): Cottage Cheese (did you know they sell 3 lb. containers of this at Costco!?)

Pre-Dinner: Total Body Cardio Fix (don't mind the double sports bras - they are essential to my success)

Dinner: Mac n' Chz with Chicken & Broccoli from the Fixate cookbook.  It tasted less like mac n' chz and more like an alfredo sauce.  Once we thought of it like that, we enjoyed it a lot more.

*Photo courtesy of my lovely wife, Robin Babaris

That's it folks.  Day #1.  Tomorrow we're having leftover mac n' chz for lunch and steak fajitas for dinner - yum!

Sunday, August 2, 2015

21 Day Fix

Greetings! I can recognize that it has been awhile...4 years to be exact.  I guess I just needed some time to develop something to say.  I've finally found it, and it hasn't changed much from the things I wanted to say when I first started this blog.  What is hilarious is that one of my last posts on here was "before" pictures as I started to lose weight.  Ironic, right?

As I have many times in my life, I've recently begun a weight loss, fitness, and healthy eating journey.  This time is different.  I can feel it.  My friends Heather and Nicole introduced my new wife, Robin, and I to the Beachbody program a few months ago.  Heather suggested that we try out the 21 Day Fix program in order to jump start our progress.  A few months went by, we got married, spent 2 weeks in Italy on a honeymoon that incorporated lots of food and wine, and then we were ready.

Robin and I started the 21 Day Fix through Beachbody on July 6th and committed 21 days to get our nutrition and fitness right.  It sounds like a gimmick or fab diet at first glance, right?  I promise that we initially agreed, but we were both so desperate for a plan that we went for it.  There are two parts: food and exercise.

Food
The beauty of the food plan is that it is so simple.  Many people gave us a hard time for paying money for a program that is so easy to understand.  Beachbody hasn't come up with some magic potion for weight loss.  It is all about portion control and eating whole foods.  Here's the thing.  I knew all of these things, but I still didn't lose weight or follow any of it.  I would buy fruits and vegetables and they would go bad.  I just didn't have the will power or control to do it on my own.  I needed a plan, and for me it was worth spending money to gain access to the work someone else did to develop it.  The food plan has different colored containers that correspond to different food groups (vegetables, protein, fruit, carbs, healthy oils, seeds/nuts) that you get a certain amount of each day.  The plan also gives you a list of "approved" items that fit into each of these groups.  From this, you can develop recipes or use some from the Beachbody blog that tell you their container equivalents.

It involves a lot of prep (an hour or so on Sundays planning the week and prep/cooking each night), but I've found that I love it!  I feel so much more involved and in control of what I am putting in my body.  It is great!  Here are some pictures of meals we've eaten this month.  Many are pictures from my lovely wife (I have to make sure to give her credit).





Fitness
This is VERY simple.  You work out every single day for 21 days straight for 30 minutes a day.  Sounds extreme, right?  What's great is one day is yoga and one is pilates, so you get two "active recovery" days as our trainer, Autumn Calabrese, calls them.  It is a week that equals out to a complete full body workout: 2 days of straight cardio, 1 upper body, 1 lower body, 1 full-body strength/cardio, and 2 recovery days.  In the last week there is an option to do doubles which we did and phew, that killed us.  I mean that in the best way.

Results?
Before:
Weight: 161 lbs.,
Bust: 41 1/2 inches
Waist: 36 1/2 inches
Hips: 43 3/4 inches

After 21 Day Fix:
Weight: 153
Bust: 39 1/2 inches
Waist: 34 1/2 inches
Hips: 41 1/2 inches

Before and After Pictures:



What's next?  We're doing it again!  Robin and I took off 4 days off in which we still followed the food plan and a more relaxed version of the fitness program.  Today (Sunday) we feasted!  We ate at Brann's, had beer, and went to the movies which included soda, candy, and popcorn.  Phew! We're ready to get back to it tomorrow.  More results to come!

I'll leave you with this victorious picture from a week or so ago:

And this one that Robin created to show how much our faces have changed:

See you soon!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Singing

Tomorrow I'm going to be filmed singing my American Idol audition song on the step's of WMU's first campus building for a story for our alumni/WMU stories website.  The website is mywmu.com.  I will post a copy of the video here, but you can also view it there once it is posted.

The vice president of the department wanted to share my story of bravery (and my skill for singing) with our alumni/campus audience.  It will be crazy.  I don't know that I've ever watched myself singing before.

~Cristina

On the note of singing, this is my favorite performance of all time (by Carrie or anyone):


More Job Updates

Sorry for ONLY job updates, but it is what is taking over my life right now.

My internship in Alumni Relations is ending tomorrow, and I have not heard about the position that I interviewed with them for.  I am not sure what is taking so long, but I should hear soon.

I have an interview TODAY with WMU Residence Life's Hall Director position from 12:30pm-4:45pm!
I am excited and nervous, and I know it is going to be draining, but good. :)

I just heard from KVCC today, and I have a 2nd interview scheduled with them for next Wednesday!

Apparently I had lots of job related news.  I should (in theory) know about all of these jobs by the end of next week.

Wish me luck!!

~Cristina

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Job Updates

I am still waiting to hear about the Coordinator of Alumni Relations position.  My boss is out of town this week, so I doubt I will hear anything until next week.

BUUUUT, I have heard from TWO of the jobs I recently applied for.  First, I was called for an on-campus interview from Western Michigan University for a hall director position.  Last year, I was a graduate assistant hall director, so I know how this department works, and the benefits package for this position is great. $34,000/year plus a furnished 2 bedroom apartment, free utilities including cable, reserved parking space, and a meal plan.  The downside is being on call 24-hours a day basically.

The other position is a Strengths Coach at Kalamazoo Valley Community College.  This position is in the Student Success center and works with student leadership and career assessment by employing StrengthsQuest, a leadership assessment.  I love strengths psychology and I know I would love the work being done in this department.  I am interviewing TODAY at 11am (just over an hour from now!).  The downside, it is only 29 hours/week, so I would be working part-time.

We'll see how things turn out, and I'll keep updating!

~Cristina

Monday, August 15, 2011

Motivation

I need some motivation.

I have been doing ok in my weight loss goals and plan.  I am tracking about 80 percent of my food and I actually tracked throughout the weekend which NEVER happens.

I just don't feel like I'm 100% in it.  I'm hoping that just writing this post will be what I need.  Knowing that I am recording this journal for whoever wants to read it makes me feel more accountable not to quit.  This wasn't the greatest week food and exercise wise so we will see what the scale says on Wednesday....

In other news, I started reading The Help this weekend.  I am only about 20 pages in, but I'll keep you updated on how I like it!

One of my favorite shows of the summer is The Glee Project.  Who else is watching it?  I am obsessed.  The concept seems very genuine, and they seem to be looking for a real person to fill a role on the show Glee.  Next week is the finale and I can't wait!  I want Damian to win--he is the cutest Irish guy ever! :)  Here is a video of him singing:


I have give credit to Lindsey's performance of Defying Gravity-- SO good! (see below).  She used to be my least favorite, but this week I've started to like her more.  She could def. give Lea a run for her money if she made it onto the show.


Anyway, I love this show. :)

~Cristina

Thursday, August 11, 2011

They're here!

I had a lovely package on my doorstep last night with the books I ordered.  I'm excited!  Unfortunately, I still have 3 chapters to read for school so I can't reward myself yet.

I can't decide what to read first.  Take a look and let me know what you think. :)

~Cristina


Wednesday, August 10, 2011

More on the Job Search...

Today I had my second interview for the Coordinator of Alumni Relations position at WMU.  I was interviewed by approximately 8 people from the office (all of which I know from my time interning here).  They asked some challenging questions.  Challenging in a good way though.  Some of the questions I have been asked before.  Some were:

-What will you teach us?
-What do you believe the WMU student perspective of WMU is?
-How could you change the attitude of an alum who did NOT have a good WMU experience?
-How can we touch a broader audience?

I feel good about.  I know they are interviewing other people on Friday, so I am hoping to hear sometime next week.

On another note, WMU also posted a Residence Hall Director position that I applied for today.

~Cristina

This made me laugh.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

I love burning calories while doing chores!

Yesterday my roommate and I did some gardening at our house since the previous owners left everything to become extremely overgrown.  A couple of things:

(1) Gardening is hard work.  My back is SO sore today!

(2) I burned a lot of calories. According to My Fitness Pal, 375 calories in a little over an hour.

(3) I love black eyed susans.

Here are some pictures of the finished product.  I wish we had taken before pictures, but just picture a crazy overgrown mess of weeds, and that is what it looked like.

~Cristina


Singing

I have been singing my entire life.  When I was 2 years old, I became the youngest soloist at Butterflies and Bullfrogs Preschool when I sang Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer solo at a Christmas show.  My parents will never let me forget it. :)

This year, I decided to try out for American Idol.  I've never done anything like this, but since they have a maximum age of 28 years old (I'm 27), I thought I should give it a shot.  I went to Denver, CO for auditions, sang my heart out, but didn't make it through to the "real judge" auditions.  I sang the best I could, and therefore, have no regrets.  Will I do it again?  Only time will tell.

Here is a picture of me right after I arrived to Denver and registered for the competition.  The 2nd picture is of me singing at my family reunion with my nieces.  They requested Taylor Swift's Love Story. :)

Videos to come soon!


~Cristina

Job Hunt

I will be done with grad school in 1 week.  That is crazy to me.

I've been job searching for a few months now.  I am searching locally in the West Michigan area (within an hour or so from Kalamazoo), and there have been some prospects, but until recently, nothing that has seemed promising.

I just heard this morning that tomorrow I will have a second on-campus interview at Western Michigan University in the Alumni Relations department for the Coordinator of Alumni Relations position.  I currently intern in this department, and I have grown to enjoy the office environment as well as the work they are doing here.  I believe I am one of 3 being considered.  It is tomorrow at 1pm and I am excited and nervous!

I have also applied for the Strengths Coach position at Kalamazoo Valley Community College, but I haven't heard anything yet.

Wish me luck tomorrow!

~Cristina

Monday, August 8, 2011

Before Pictures

I'm going to call these my "before pictures." One is with my beautiful cousin, Michelle, at our family reunion this July 2011, and the other is last summer in Australia.

I'd say I probably weight 160ish in both of these pictures.



I'm not particularly fond of either picture of myself, but I think posting them here is helpful for motivation.  I have a picture from high school that is my motivational picture for the opposite reasons (it is more like my GOAL picture, and once I find it and scan it, I'll post it here.

~Cristina

Friday, August 5, 2011

Reading

I have 2 weeks left of graduate school.  I cannot wait to read for fun again!  Yesterday I ordered the following books from Amazon.com (some based on recommendations):

1. The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein
2. Sugar and Spice: An L.A. Candy Novel by Lauren Conrad
3. One Day by David Nicholls
4. Room: A Novel by Emma Donogahue
5. The Help by Kathryn Stockett
6. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

# 1, 4, 5, and 6 came from recommendations.  Let me explain #2.  From time to time I like to read young adult novels, and I have been surprisingly impressed by Lauren Conrad's book.  People argue how much of these books she actually wrote, but I enjoy them either way.  This is the 3rd and final book in the L.A. Candy series.  One Day I bought because I saw a preview for the movie and it looked really interesting so I thought I would read the book.

My plan here is to read each of these books and as I read them I will post my own reviews of them.  I will do my best to not include spoilers, and I will give a yes or no recommendation based on my experience with the story.

I should get the books within the next week or so, and by then I am hoping to be done with reading for school so I can get going!

~Cristina

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Weight Loss Plan

I've done Weight Watchers (WW) before and was extremely successful.  I lost 30 lbs. in a matter of months.  However, when I couldn't afford the program anymore, I gained all of the weight back.  I'm trying something different this time.  I'm using myfitnesspal.com for a few reasons.  One, my sister recommended it to me, and I trust her. Two, it is free. Three, it is very similar to WW except you are counting calories instead of points.

Here is a link to my profile on that site: http://www.myfitnesspal.com/crimiller

So far I have found it motivating with lots of users and message boards, and relatively simple to use.  I've lost 5 lbs. so far, and I can't wait to lose more!

Current Weight: 155
Small Goal Weight: 150
Goal Weight: 130
DREAM Weight: 121

~Cristina

Here I am

Here I am starting a blog.  In 2 weeks I am graduating with my Masters degree in Higher Education & Student Affairs Leadership from Western Michigan University.  I have lots of plans follow graduation including getting a job (hopefully!), reading for fun, and so much more.  I want to keep an account of what will be coming up in my life for me to have a document of this, but also in hopes that my experiences have the opportunity to benefit someone else's life.

This blog will be about:
-My job search and hopefully a new job
-Reading..I plan to do some book reviews
-Weight Loss (a month ago I began a new plan)
-Cooking (I recently became a vegetarian and have been experimenting with new food and recipes)
-Television..similar to reading, but I will be doing show reviews
-Singing.  This is a big one.  I love singing, and I recently auditioned in a competition for the first time.  I didn't make it, but I want to display my singing here in hopes that I can stay motivated to keep singing after a disappointment.

I'll leave it at my introduction for now, but don't be fooled; I'll be back soon to start blogging!

~Cristina