Sunday, October 18, 2009

I did it Tony Horton. I did it.

I did it! Thanks to all of you who followed me for the past three months and sent me words of encouragement. I really appreciated it. I want to give a special thanks to my husband Nick. Thanks for letting me poke fun of you Nick during your sit up routines. I also want to let you know that your witty comments were really the only thing that made my blog worth reading.

So here are my final measurements.

Day 90:

Weight: 119.4 lbs

Body Fat: 18%

Chest: 32"

Waist: 26"

Hips: 32.5"

Right Thigh: 18.5"

Left Thigh: 18.75"

Right Arm: 10"

Left Arm: 9.5"

As a reminder, here's a link to my day 1 pictures for comparison.

Although I've completed my journey, I'd like to announce some exciting news. Nick is going to be starting p90x in about three weeks. Despite his cursing at the dvd, I know he will have great success at it. I also want to encourage you all do try p90x. It seriously is a great program that produces RESULTS. If you have any questions, I would be happy to help. Feel free to email me at or post me a message on here.

As Tony Horton would say... "Bring it!"

Friday, October 16, 2009


so yes...I made it. But before you get too excited, I want to let you all know that I am holding off on the final pics until tomorrow. I've had a rough week due to a terrible sinus infection. I've been in and out of work until finally this morning I broke down and went to UH's Urgent Care Center after bringing up blood in my mucous. Nasty I know. I got a prescription that was surprisingly free at Giant Eagle and am starting to feel a little better. Luckily no strep or H1N1 here.

Check back tomorrow afternoon for pics and progress.

Monday, October 5, 2009


p79x p79x p79x p79x p79x p79x p79x p79x p79x p79x p79x p79x p79x p79x p79x p79x p79x p79x p79x p79x p79x p79x p79x p79x p79x p79x p79x p79x p79x p79x p79x p79x p79x p79x p79x p79x p79x p79x p79x p79x p79x p79x p79x p79x p79x p79x p79x p79x p79x p79x p79x p79x p79x p79x p79x p79x p79x p79x p79x p79x p79x p79x p79x p79x p79x p79x p79x p79x p79x p79x p79x p79x p79x p79x p79x p79x p79x p79x p79x p79x p79x p79x p79x p79x p79x p79x p79x p79x p79x p79x p79x p79x p79x p79x p79x p79x

Friday, October 2, 2009

The Breakfast Club

I forced Nick out of bed yesterday morning before the sun came up. It was 6:20 a.m. and Kempo was on the agenda. We were attending an international dinner in the evening and wouldn't have the time or the stomach to get through the workout afterward, so morning it was.

A crab is the best word I can think of to describe Nick once Tony Horton began his antics. Not only did he mouth off complaints of how early it was and how hungry he was, but when we did our ballistic stretching and jumping jacks during the breaks, his arms and legs flailed about in obscure movements that he looked like a crab on the beach, struggling to get away from the tide. A few times I had to turn away to keep from laughing out loud. Sorry Nick :)

There is a woman in the Kempo video, Vanessa, that reminds Nick of Molly Ringwald. If you have ever heard him describe Molly, you already know what he likens her to...

Comment here if you think you know the answer.

I think it's the pale face and red hair, although I'm not quite sure. My brothers are pale-faced and have red hair. I wonder what he thinks of them?

We're soooooo having a red-headed child.

Anyway, back to Vanessa.

Nick: "She has a fat neck."
Me: "Do I have a fat neck."
Nick: "No, you have a thin neck."
Me: "I know."
Nick "That's why I married you, because you have a thin neck."

Tomorrow marks the start of my second to last week. It's hard to believe it's almost over.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


What I have come to realize in these last few weeks of the p90x program is that I'm not hot. I never actually considered myself hot...ever, but I came to the realization yesterday when talking with one of my best friends, Megan. With each day and year that passes, I get less hot than the year before, and since--like I said--I'm not hot, that leaves me at....well, not hot and...old too. Almost 30 to be exact.

For those of you who know me well, you know that I don't paint my nails and that I have calloused feet from years of running. My husband Nick knows that I shave my legs maybe once a week if he's lucky. Each morning, I leave the house wearing conservative clothing and end the night in sweats and baggy t-shirts. Most of the time, my face is perspiring from running or tackling a p90x dvd.

Over these past three phases of the p90x workout, my body has definitely improved dramatically. I've lost fat and inches in all of the right place it seems. But when I look in the mirror, I still see the same Marla, just maybe a little more tired looking from all of the activity.

What fun am I really having if I don't celebrate what youth I have left now. In 10 years, cellulite will take over and we'll all be fat. So my thought is this: even though I sometimes consider myself pure tomboy at heart, I think I should put on some lipstick...or a pair of red pinstripe pants from Paris.

It can't hurt. It could change my mood.

Monday, September 14, 2009


I did a chinup!

okay, so I'm really excited...

It was unassisted. You know...on my own.

This is a huge milestone for me

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Phase 2 Results

A day late...sorry...not that any 11 of you really care, but i'll keep telling myself that you do. It's good motivation for me to finish this thing. Oh yeah, I forgot shorts by the time I was half-way to my parents house, hence the jeans/no lower body pose. It was either this or pose in underwear. I think it was a wise move not to go with this second option.


Weight - 120.6
Body Fat % - 18.4%

Chest - 32"
Waist - 26.75"
Hips - 33.5#
Right Thigh - 18.5"
Left Thigh - 18.75"
Right Arm - 10"
Left Arm - 9.75"

Here is a link to my end of Phase 1 results to compare. Basically I lost inches in all areas except my biceps, which, I suppose, is good. I did gain a pound. People keep telling me it's muscle. I hope that is the truth. I feel like it is, but scales make me crazy.

Friday, September 11, 2009


I guess I should give myself a fail for today. It's 9:30 on Friday and I'm sitting in my recliner eating pizza. It's Kashi brand with whole wheat crust, but still. Nick is away in Colorado for the weekend, and my friend Janelle canceled on me. We didn't have definite plans, but I was hoping that she could pop over and take my Phase 2 pics for me. No dice. I'll head to my mom's tomorrow and post them then. Stay tuned.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Laboring on Labor Day

Today didn't really include any type of relaxation. Nick and I got up semi-early to do a deep clean of our family room. Twice last week I had large bugs crawl on me when I was laying on the couch. If you know me at all, you know how much I absolutely go nuts over bugs. We keep our house neat, but I guess this is what comes with a 70 year old structure when the seasons change.

This is my recovery week for Phase 2, but Nick and I did plenty of heavy lifting today. Not only did we move the couch, we shampooed the rug and furniture, sprayed the perimeter for bugs, shampooed the staircase, and cleaned the windows. As a result of the wet rug in my normal p90x workout area, I moved shop upstairs to our third bedroom. It's a nice and big room with two skylights, but it is hot as (insert expletive here.)

We attempted Kempo up there and I literally died.

Stay tuned for Phase 2 pics this Friday.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Doing Sit Ups with Chewbacca

Doing sit ups with Chewbacca is more fun than you think. Ok, so I haven't actually met Chewy himself or performed any real sit up manuevers with him, but my Star Wars-obsessed husband is a close second to the furry wookie--accept for the fact that he doesn't wear a bandolier.

As a recap for those of you who weren't lucky enough to be present in our living room this evening, Nick and I returned from a 40 minute run and then stretched out in front of the TV to do the 16 minute Ab Ripper X DVD. In the 4-5 times Nick has jumped in on this tape with me, some typical grunting has occured along with cursing here and there. Tonight was different.

The normal grunting started on the second move (bicycles), but was suddenly characterize by the unearthly sounds of a wookie attempting to save Han Solo. As if that wasn't enough, Chewy, I mean Nick, threw in some very unique non-English vocabulary, a little bit of cackling, and heavy breathing as if each breath was his last.

While I find this extremely funny, it messes up my X-ness. Tony Horton would not like this. Not only do I have to pause on a move, but I have to keep from peeing my shorts in anticipation of the next sound. I think I should record this on my phone the next time we do ab-ripper and you can witness Chewy in action. My words don't do it justice.

In all seriousness though, Nick has been doing the ab video with me as well as the Kempo. He decided to go on a diet after an unflattering pic of him showed up on Facebook. I won't mention who posted it. Thanks Kirstie. haha.

Actually, Nick's decision to workout has made me REALLY happy. I am always worried about his health. He has a family history of high cholesterol and his love of bacon and Wendy's Double Stacks scare me to death. I think he is moving in the right direction and for that, I am truly proud of him.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Shout out to Curt

I also want to give a shout out to Nick's cousin Curt. A former p90xer, he gave me his 10lb weights to use as I progress. Thanks Curt! Nick said that Donna said you lost 40lbs. You looked awesome when we saw you this weekend. What workout/diet are you following? You'll have to let our readers know.

I'm Back...with a Vengeance

Like Tony Horton would say "You need breaks? You better take 'em. But them I'm back...with a vengeance." Yes, I haven't blogged since last week. The reason? Work has been killing me, not to mention, Nick and I took a weekend jaunt to Pittsburgh for his cousin Shannon's baby shower.

While we were there, I felt like I was talking about p90x like it was a new car or boyfriend. Maureen was right. The people in these videos seriously become a part of your life. You spend an hour a day with them in your living room. I see them more than my own mother. Anyway, people seemed curious, and kept asking me how it works. Several of my cousins have told me they are reading the blog, and they kept saying how funny it is. I don't know about that at all. Nick's "eating bacon/sitting on the couch" comments are definitely funny. But my writing about moving from 3lb weights to 5 lbs...not so much. But thanks for the kind words.

One thing I haven't taken a break from is p90x. 39 days in a row to be precise. I am seeing results so much that Nick has decided to commit to the program when I complete it in October. His wrist is still healing from a fall he had in July, so lifting weights is out of the question right now.

There are some pretty funny videos on YouTube that Maureen has been posting on my Facebook profile for inspiration. Check these out. I'm hoping that some of my followers (official blog followers or not) are going to try out the program. I would love to hear your thoughts.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Poking Fun at p90x

You'll find this really funny and start laughing outloud if you've started doing p90x. My friend Maureen sent me this link.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

I'm Pretty Beat

So yeah, I'm pretty beat. I'm so tired that I used the title as the first line in my blog. Sorry, I'm lame too apparently.

It's been a few days since I had my 18.7% body fat revelation. Mentally, that helped me A LOT, and physically, despite the tiredness, I feel pretty darn solid. My small love handles are leaving and I seriously feel like I am getting toned. Some of you probably think I am full of crap, but you won't know what I mean until you try it. It is definitely working! Pretend that you're not into fitness long-term but that you want to get in great shape for a wedding or big event in the next six weeks. Do p90x, even just for that short time, and you will see results.

I came off a busy work week and have had the same kind of start to this week (on the job nights and weekends in addition to full days). I was also just assigned a little sister through the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Cleveland. Tomorrow happens to be her birthday, so I am taking her out for dinner. So in a nutshell, I think Phase 2 workouts plus all of the extra work is really beating me up.

Phase 2 is essentially the same as Phase 1 except you swap out 2 weight days to work other body parts. I upped my weights to 5lbs and honestly feel like they may be too light by next week. This is definite progress! I can also do all of my chin ups and pull ups with only 1 leg on the chair now as opposed to two. As scary as it might sound, I'm glad the Ab Ripper X dvds have started up again. It's 16 minutes of pure pain that works.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

This Just In - My Body Fat is Wrong

I went out last night with a group of girls and one of them just happened to be a professional body builder and personal trainer. This girl was jacked. Her biceps were bigger than Nick's. Anyway, I was talking to her about p90x and the fact that my body fat % is hovering around 25%. The first thing out of her mouth was "No way." She said that the only way to accurately measure body fat is through a water displacement test. It's either that or calipers.

So the link I posted on my first day about measuring body fat...yeah, don't use it. Since I don't have access to a pool or fancy equipment, Nick and I went to Bed Bath and Beyond this morning to get one of those scales that automatically calculates fat percentages.

We found one for $59.99 but there was a warning on the package that pregnant women shouldn't use it. No, we are not pregnant yet, but what's the point of buying a scale that potentially can kill you. We splurged and bought the Weight Watchers model which was $10 more. When I got it home and unwrapped it, it too had a large red stop sign sticker on the face plate that says "Not for pregnant women." What the hell?

Anyway, getting back to the point of my post, my body fat is 18.7%. So yes, I guess I was pretty wrong. I'm happy with the new results of course, but I wish I hadn't been so dumb in the beginning. I really would've love to have known what my percentage body fat was on day 1 so that this whole thing was accurate.

Sorry for the error guys. If you are planning to do this program, invest in one of these scales.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Phase 1 Complete - New Pics and Measurements

Yesterday was hard for me.

It was the last day of Phase 1, which meant measurements and pictures. I was supposed to be excited, but instead, I was just plain annoyed. First, I couldn't find the tape measure. After 20 minutes of worthless searching, we came up with a few options: use thread from our sewing kit and then hold it up to our contractors tape measure, or use Nick's belt. Several failed attempts with the thread and we decided to go with the belt. This was another "fail" because it was inaccurate, not to mention that the metal loops were freezing against my skin. Ok I was totally PMSing, so yes, anything that went wrong was a target for my complaints. I also didn't have a scale handy. It was like anticipating your wedding day with bated breath, but then when the day actually comes, no groom is there to marry you.

I quickly made the decision to go P90X, poor man style.

I typically don't like to shop at Walmart, but with one located less than a mile from our house, it was a savior. Not only did they have new sports bras (3 for $10), but they had a tape measure for $1.19, cheap 5 lb weights, and the real key......a bathroom scale removed from it's packaging. I just weighed myself in the store instead buying it and adding the unnecessary 15 bucks to my bill.

My trip home put me in a better mood now that I had all of my tools. My actual measurements did not though. After 30 EXTREME days, I really thought I would bring my body fat down. Well folks, I did, but not by much.

Here are my new body measurements:

Weight: 119lbs
Chest: 33.5"
Waist: 27"
Hips: 33"
Right Thigh: 19"
Left Thigh: 19.25"
Right Arm: 9.25"
Left Arm: 9.5"

Body Fat: 25.05%

This is a drop of .45%

Here are my Phase 1 pics

I don't know what this last pose is. I think I was trying to show that my lats were getting muscles. Anyway, I think I am starting to show some improvement, but not as much as I would've hoped. I am kinda depressed about that. I thought my body fat would be around 22% or something. I suppose I need to do better with the diet. Plus, I seriously just have a wide torso. I mean look at that. It kinda looks insane. I look like a tomboy soccer player with no hips. I don't even like soccer.

I did get smaller in all of my measurements, (except my chest) so I guess that is a little win, but I'm not sure that I look any more buff. My biggest loss was in my hips. I went from over 34" down to 33" Here is a link to my day 1 stuff if you are just joining in the conversation now.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Neck Update

I went to see the deep tissue massage therapist after work today and I feel MUCH better. I still can't tip my head down 100%, but it's getting there. She said it is probably a combination of p90x and the different pillow I slept on this weekend. I typically rock a memory foam, but I was at my mom's in my old bed and the pillows there just don't cut it.

The pain was stemming from my shoulder blade area, running up my neck, and into the area just below my hairline. The plan for the next few days is to ice it (I was told not to use heat), and take some ibuprofen to reduce the swelling. I have little sacs of fluid that built up in that hairline.

I had the option to do the Stretch X DVD today or rest, so I rested. I'll start back up tomorrow with Yoga X, taking it slow of course...

Monday, August 10, 2009

So this is my recovery week?

I thought this was going to be a little easier. You know...none of the grunting and soreness. But, I was wrong. Dead wrong.

Ok so maybe those words are a little strong, but seriously, when I got out of bed this morning, I could not, and still cannot, move my head up and down.

Left and right = fine.
Up and down = wrong.

I'm praying that I slept funny on my neck because I felt fine yesterday after the Core Synergistics workout. Don't get me wrong, the superman roll into a banana twist v-up should not be considered a recovery week exercise, but the dvd wasn't Plyometrics. Nothing is Plyo.

Because I didn't want to break my workout today, I grunted through a 30 minute run and did Kempo (my fav). I couldn't 'bring it' as much as I would've liked, but kept reminding myself that this was recovery week and it was probably okay to dog a few punches and kicks.

I have an appointment tomorrow with a true miracle worker, Ollie Carver. This woman saved me from jaw surgery through the art of deep tissue massage. Her technique is outstanding and she is a wonderful and caring woman. I hope she can fix me before Phase 2 begins on Saturday. Let me know if any of you need a good massage therapist.

Stay tuned this week as I post my Phase 1 photos and remeasure body fat this Friday. joy.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Guest Blog: Nick weighs in...

Hi all. After one month of bringing it x-style, being very x, achieving x-like status, the program gives my x-ish wife a week-long break. (Do not mistake x-ish wife for ex-wife. They are very different things.)

So, I'm thinking ok, cool, she'll be able to relax, mend her sore muscles, not quote Tony Horton around the house, and maybe get the p90x workout/porn music out of her head. Sitting on my computer this morning, Marla Faye had just come back from a run, and she starts to clean up a little. She turns the TV on. I look over from our office and i see the big, terminator-inspired p90x logo with a gigantic set of abs right next to it. So, i say, umm... i, uh... thought it was break week. She smiles as if she's already told me about this (i am a husband after all, and much like every sitcom ever made about husband/wife combos, i have lapses about some things... all things... but I digress) and then says, I still have to do stuff, but I just don't have to do all the weight-lifting and pull-ups and stuff.

In my head, I think, "Tony Horton's a dick." I say to her, "Tony Horton's a dick." She just smiles again, presses play on the Yoga-X DVD, and starts yogi-ing it X-style. After an hour run too. Damn. X.

So, this X thing is intense. Tony Horton's intense. And a dick. But Marla Faye is kicking the crap out of it. Don't buy it when she says she can't do it. She loves it. She's addicted. She's X.

Friday, August 7, 2009

You know how I know....

So you know how I know this program is working? I put my bra on this morning and it's too big.

Check back later for a guest-writer blog entry.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Day 19 - So tireeeeeeeeeeeeeedddddddd

I'm almost done with week 3 of the program, which means that week 4 is recovery, and then I start phase 2. It's hard to believe that I have gotten this far. To be honest though, I am completely dead. I can barely get in the shower after my morning workout and on my drive to work, I shut my eyes at red lights. Last night, I almost fell asleep in my plate of peas.

I've also started using the bands this week instead of the weights. The 3 pounders were too light for me after a few workouts, which I guess is good. Annoyed that I have to go back and buy heavier ones, but that's neither here nor there. Actually, the bands are, in some ways, harder than free weights. The resistance is tough and keeps your muscles tensing through the entire exercise. I don't think I will stick with them solely for the rest of my journey, but they make a nice complement to the program and keep you from getting bored with it.

For guys out there, don't assume that the bands are wimpy just because they don't have the number 25 or 50 imprinted on them. Try them out and then judge.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Reporting Live from Kennebunkport, ME

It has been a few days since I've posted. Nick and I flew up to Boston on Thursday night for his best friend's wedding, and today we are celebrating our first anniversary in Kennebunkport, Maine. We just checked in at a wonderful B&B, the Captain Jefferds Inn.

I thought today would be a good day to discuss p90x and traveling. I love traveling both in the U.S. and abroad, but unless I am going somewhere with my brother, Kirt, I always feel like I am inconveniencing the companions I am with, mostly because they don't work out. Unless you get up at the crack of dawn to do it, you are basically screwed. Simply put, I hate it.

Friday was my "day off" from p90x. I could choose to do nothing or the Stretch X DVD. Because we were staying at my mother-in-law's house, and nearly every television was being occupied, I decided to supplement the stretch with a run. My in-laws know me fairly well after almost 9 years, so my running isn't a shock to them.

I will admit that I was scared about starting over DVDS 1 and 2 on Saturday and Sunday due to all of our engagements (the wedding, brunch, family pictures, etc.), but I pulled it off. I think the most important thing you can do is plan out what you need to bring with you on a trip and try to mooch the rest whenever possible.

What do I mean by this? Well, I most certainly wasn't going to bring my weights and chin-up bar on the plane with me. And my yoga mat? Obviously too bulky. The only thing I brought was an exercise band which folds up nicely in suitcase pocket, the DVDs, and Nick's computer.

When it comes to mooching, I was all set. My in-laws had a pair of 5 lb weights, a yoga mat, and a great basement area for working out. I realize I may not always get this lucky, but I think it's important not to use the "I'm traveling and therefore cannot workout" excuse.

Set your alarm a little bit earlier. 8:30 a.m.? That's not SO bad. You're done by 9:30, showered by 10, and ready to head to breakfast at 10:15. It's as simple as that. You don't have to worry about other people, and you're not pissed off about getting up while it's still dark.

Another tip...let people know that you're doing p90x. If you tell them that you are committed, they will be less likely to persuade you to sit on your butt the whole day.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Burn Out Already?

So I thought I was having my first "burn out" of p90x yesterday. I slept through my alarm, didn't do the scheduled workout, and felt sluggish, not to mention mad at myself for being lazy. By the time I got home, I had that overwhelming feeling of "workout dread" come over me. If you ran track or cross country in high school, you know exactly what I'm talking about. It's that feeling that hides deep in the the pit of your stomach for the entire day. Only as the race, workout, or whatever it is that you are scared of gets closer, does the nausea begin to seep out, building slowly yet steadily. Then, right before the gun is fired, this queasiness turns to terror because you know that it's going to hurt, no matter what. I haven't felt this since my half-marathon four years ago, but this is how I felt on Tuesday. I didn't want to do p90x, but I knew I had to.

I managed to suck it up and complete the Yoga X DVD and Legs and Back, today (Wednesday), but I think I need some motivation.

Monday, July 27, 2009

A Breakthrough

You know how I know I am getting better? I did this move today. 15 reps on the right side and 13 on the left. I did ZERO last Monday.

A Blast from the Past

One of my best friends posted this pic online of us from high school. BTW, you can read her witty writing at

I guess deep down, I've always wanted to be tough and play with the boys. Here we are wearing our high school football team's biggest rival's jerseys for Halloween.

What were we thinking?

I did the Plyometrics DVD today and you know what I was thinking? That if Hawken football actually took the time to do this specific workout, they might've won some games that year.

Week 2 Begins

I slacked a little on the blogging this weekend, explaining in my last post that we were out of town on Sunday, so jump back a few days with me to Saturday. I started the DVDs over again with Chest and Back--the one that literally put me through the meat grinder before. But this time, it was different. I paced myself and the grunting lessened surprisingly.

Nick came downstairs and heated up his skillet for some bacon, eggs, and toasted sour dough. He was done eating by the time the video was over. Saturday workouts combine the assigned DVD with Ab Ripper X. One set into the abs, Nick was down on the floor attempting the maneuvers, his belly full of yolk and pork.

He made it through some of them, but not without making fun of Tony Horton's lingo or making me laugh in the process. I had to stop on some sets because his grunting was out of control.

Have any of you started the program yet? I am interested in hearing comments and concerns from my followers. It would also be great to have a virtual workout buddy so that we can compare notes. I encourage you all to get involved. I NEVER thought I would be able to get up at 6 a.m. and do this, but after a few days, you get in the zone. I can feel the changes happening and that is exciting.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

One Week Down

So I slacked a little on the blogging this weekend. I was trying to catch up on sleep and then we were in western PA on Sunday celebrating my father-in-law's birthday. Anyway, my most important accomplishment thus far is that I actually made it through one week of the program...and I started the whole thing over again on Saturday morning. (For Phase 1 of p90x, you do the same workout dvds for 7 days over the course of 3 weeks. Week 4 represents a recovery period as your body preps for Phase 2.)

Friday was a pretty easy Stretch X dvd, meaning that I wasn't doubled over in pain. You are still stretching for 60 min, which means that you are still working hard, just not with as much impact. I also went for a 40 minute run on Friday which felt good after getting my muscles loose.

If any of you are into running or cardio and are considering trying out p90x, I wouldn't quit just to use the dvds. I cut down my running days from 5 to 4 and alternate days now. Running has kept me thin, so I do owe it something and don't want to just give it up. But it didn't make me strong. That is what p90x is for.

I have to say that after only one week, I am definitely noticing results, not visually yet in the form of a six-pack, but in how I feel. My tummy is a lot tighter than it was last Saturday, and for me, that is a win.

Friday, July 24, 2009

somebody's watching me

I slept in this morning because today is the p90x off day, meaning that you do the stretching dvd. I figured I'll do it when I get home. But then of course as I am getting ready for work, what comes on the television? The p90x infomercial.

I think someone's trying to tell me something. Tony Horton wants me to bring it, x-style.

More later.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Day 6 - Kempo X

After our Wendy's run and two glasses of wine at Jen's housewarming party (I'm a light-weight when it comes to alcohol), I think Nick thought that I wasn't going to be able to get up this morning and "bring it" as Tony Horton says.

I brought it.

Kempo is basically Tae-Bo which Nick and I think is named after the combination of Tai Chi, Tai Kwan Do, and Billy Blanks, who I just found out was a B-movie star. Talons of the Eagle anyone? Expect No Mercy? Yeah I haven't seen them either.

Today's workout was not bad at all. If you are in any type of cardiovascular shape, you will be able to do it no problem. I think I did have an edge because I have experienced the insaneness that is Joni Mlakar. I was introduced to Joni's classes at Evolution Yoga by a co-worker. Her classes were 1h15 min and burned 1,400 calories. Intense.

I'm not linking to Evo's site because they let her go a few months after I started classes there. I was upset and I know a lot of other people who were attending her classes for much longer than me were devistated. Joni taught a great yoga sculpting class set to any and every kind of music (Sam & Dave, country, techno, C&C Music Factory).

I've hear that she is now working somewhere over in Bentlyville. If anyone knows, please let me know! It's too far for me to drive, but I would love to know that she is helping others get in shape.

Day 5 - Shoulders and Back

Yesterday was the first day of the program that I actually woke up feeling good. And by "good" I mean that I can now sit up in bed without having to roll to my side and push myself up. Progress.

The Shoulders and Back DVD was definitely manageable. As I said before, I am only using 3lb weights, but for now, I think that is enough.

I have to say that I'm not feeling as hopeless as before. I think I will actually be able to complete the entire p90x program. If you are just starting it today or are thinking about doing it in the future, trust me, those first 3 days are TERRIBLE. If you can get through that though, it seems to be getting easier. Maybe I shouldn't speak too soon.

I am continuing my running routine too. This is helping me move the lactic acid around in my legs so I don't stay as sore as long. My husband Nick has been running with me too which is nice. I like the company.

After my evening run, I did the Ab Ripper X video for the third time. You'll notice in the workout book that abs are paired with specific days. I'm working the abs 3x a week for 16 minutes each time. It doesn't sound like a lot, but honestly, my stomach feels tighter after just 5 days.

Let's talk diet for a minute too. I've been drinking my giant eagle whey powder/milk/strawberries shakes in the morning and pairing it with a Luna Bar for my snack. For lunch, I've been eating red meat or some type of protein or a spinach salad. Cottage Cheese makes a great pre-run snack. It's kinda gross, but I'm learning to handle it. Other than that, I am not really following a strict diet. I haven't had ice cream or cake, but I have been eating some chocolate here and there. I guess that is bad, but I'm a woman and crave it.

Last night, I basically blew the diet completely on the way home from a friend's birthday party. Nick and I were starving and went to Wendy's. (my idea) I had a jr. bacon cheeseburger, 5 piece chicken nugget, and half of Nick's fries. It's moments like those when I now know why I am 25.5% body fat. Bad Marla.

And I start over again, today. No Wendy's.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Day 4 - Yoga X

My alarm went off at 6 this morning. Nick snored through it. I finally got up at 6:35 and went downstairs for Yoga X. I didn't have that scared feeling in my stomach as I loaded the dvd into the player this time. I think it's because I have a past with Yoga.

In 2003, I got really into Power Yinyasa Yoga taught under the Barron Baptiste style. If you think yoga is for whimps, you should try this. As a student at Cleveland Yoga, I attended 2-3 classes a week in a heated studio that gets up into the 80 degree range when the class is full. You sweat like a bastard, but it is completely worth it. The heat allows your muscles to heat up so quickly that stretching truly becomes a joy. I did this consistently for about 1.5 years and really noticed a difference in my strength and mental toughness. Problem is that it costs $$$. If you have the money and time though, I highly recommend it.

So naturally today was going to be easy. right.

After almost 15 years of running, I've finally realized that running ruins your body. Yes Nick, I said it. I still want you to run regularly to get into shape, but I admit that it sucks. After years of pounding, I literally cannot straighten my legs or touch my toes. I am pathetic.

The yoga wasn't "hard" per say, but my soreness coupled with inflexibility didn't make it easy. The dvd is 1h 30min, so if you're getting ready to do this one, make sure you plan ahead of time. I was late to work.

The aching

What is a rotator cuff and how do you know if you've torn it?

Monday, July 20, 2009

Day 3 - Shoulders and Arms

I couldn't sleep last night. I think it was because I knew that I HAD to get up this morning at 6 a.m. to do the workout. Again, I could barely roll out of bed without yelling a profanity or groaning. Seriously, what am I doing?

I made it downstairs at 6:10 and struggled to bend over and put in the Shoulders and Arms DVD.

By 7:15 though, I realized that either this p90x thing may be getting easier, or that my dumbbells are just too light. I bought 3lb weights at TJMaxx for $5.99 because I am a cheapo. Nick told me to get the orange ones because he said "they were bad-ass." I don't know how "bad-ass" 3lb weights are, but I was able to do most of the exercises without a problem.

I'm wondering if I need to move up to 5 or 7 lbs, or if 3 will do all the toning I need.

Tony kept making us repeat the word "WOW" like Christoper Walken. Then he asked us what "WOW" spells upside down.

I made a protein shake with powder from Giant Eagle, but it took me 15 min to walk a half mile from the parking garage to the office this morning.

Tonight I'll run and attempt the ab ripper, even though I cry when I sneeze.


Sunday, July 19, 2009

Day 2 - Plyometrics

Like I said in my last post, I couldn't get out of bed this morning. No joke. I haven't been this sore in awhile. I feel terrible. I completely ache and I feel tired. The worst part is the area opposite my elbows, the muscles between my forearms and biceps. I can't straighten my arms, and when I laugh, my abs remind me how tender they actually are. Even if I wanted to suck in, I can't.

Today didn't involved weights. It was mostly cardio via lunges and jumps. I handled the cardio well in terms of not getting winded, but there were a few times where I almost vomited. I'm not embarrassed to say that I pressed pause more than once.

We did some weird jumping moves and all 119lbs of me came down like a lump rep after rep. If you decide to do the plan and live in an apartment above someone, I recommend doing the workout when they're not home. Tony stressed landing like a cat. I hate cats.

I can't move.

Day 1 - Chest & Back

Nick and I rolled out of bed at noon on Saturday. This was supposed to be my first day of p90x. I was a little unmotivated because it was so late in the day, but I said I was going to do this.

The first thing you are supposed to do is take several full-length body shots as your "before" pictures. I feel like I am on the biggest loser, not because I am 300 lbs over weight, but because my pics are lame. Nick agreed that a sports bra from high school isn't the most flattering piece of clothing. He was right.

I know these are terrible. But, I guess that is the point. I can only go up from here.

My measurements on Day 1:

Weight: 119lbs
Chest: 33"
Waist: 27"
Hips: 34.25"
Right Thigh: 19.5"
Left Thigh:19.75"
Right Arm: 9.5"
Left Arm: 9.5"
Body Fat: 25.5% (if you want to calculate your body fat and don't have calipers, visit this website to do it mathematically with your measurements.)

Now that the pictures were taken, it was time to start the workout.

p90x consists of 12 DVDs that you repeat in a specific sequence over 90 days.

Day 1 - Chest & Back
I started crying a little inside when I began to put together the at-home chin-up bar we bought. I've never done a chin-up or pull-up in my life--I failed all of those fitness tests in elementary school--so why did I think I could actually do one now? I couldn't even put the bar together, and then I started whining. Nick laughed.

He grabbed the Iron Gym Bar away from me and helped me install it in our family room over the library door. p90x sells one, but I got this brand at Dick's Sporting Goods for $29.95. They also sell a model for $39.95, but the only thing additional it has with it is "extreme." We didn't know what "extreme" meant exactly, so we decided to go with the cheaper model. *Note - If you're a dude, make sure that your door frame is steady. Nick tried to hang on it and then do a one-armed chin up (his wrist is broken), and I thought the whole thing was going to come crashing down. The bar held me though, and I was now ready for the workout.

The first DVD was queued up, and Nick was right beside me like the supportive husband that he is, not with his workout clothes on, but instead sprawled out on the couch, feet up on the coffee table, with a plate of bacon, eggs, toasted sour dough bread sitting on his lap. "I'll write your reps down on a piece of paper and keep you motivated." Good idea Nick.

The Chest & Back workout was so awful that I feel like someone took a meat tenderizer and played my ribs like they were a xylophone. The only thing that made it remotely fun was Nick bagging on Tony Horton (the coach).

Tony uses the word and phrase "X-LIKE and BRING IT" (in caps because he shouts them at you in a Matthew McConaughey drawl) throughout the entire video. T-Bag also brags about how much better he is at life than you, but then reassures you that everything will be okay if you suck. I was totally motivated.

The work out was all push-ups, pull-ups, and chin-ups. If it makes you feel better to know, I couldn't do hardly any of it. I whined and whined and whined, but eventually finished the workout.

Soreness started setting in about an hour after. This morning, I could barely get out of bed , having to roll to the side just to push myself up.

1 day down, p89x to go. X-TREME!!!!

Why p90x?

For those of you who don't know me, which is probably none of you considering that no one is reading this blog, my name is Marla and I am a 28-year old female from Cleveland, Ohio, who is really into working out. That's right, despite the statistics, not all of us in this city are fat.

I grew up in a very active family and started dancing at age three. In high school, I took up competitive running and have continued logging miles every week to date, 10 years after graduation.

My brother, who is an insane athlete and runner (like 4% body fat, if that), and I competed in and won the co-ed relay category in the 2004 Cleveland Marathon. But since training for that race, I've really just plateaued. I run between four-five miles a day, five days a week. This has allowed me to maintain my weight between 115 and 120 lbs at 5'7".

Before you start thinking I am crazy for wanting to lose weight/tone up, I have to tell you that despite my thin physique, I'm pretty pathetic when it comes to muscle mass. I have huge calves, but that's about it. I'm also starting to get fat in certain areas that I thought was impossible for runners to have happen to them. It scares me to death.

I was upstairs cleaning one day a few months ago when I saw this infomercial for p90x. It sucked me in instantly. Ok...ok, so it wasn't Magic Bullet quality, but it was still pretty good. I won't bore you with the details. If you haven't heard of it, Google it or visit Basically it's a $120 investment for the video program plus some accessories, which I'll get to later. All in all, I spent $160.

I bought it online last Sunday, July 12, and decided that in order to make a commitment to this program, that I would blog about my journey. Essentially, I'm going to do the hard work for you.

If I can make it through 90 days of intense training and wind up completely ripped, you'll be more apt to do the program. If, after 90 days, I am still a big pile of suck, you can keep your $120+ and go have a doughnut. I hope you will follow me on this trip. I have a feeling it's going to be rough.