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Finally Completed a Beachbody P90x Fitness Challenge - and crushed it!

"Your cholesterol numbers are high. Since your family has a history of heart disease, I'd like to put you on Lipitor."


These three words from my primary care doctor felt like I got in hit the head - really bad.

My rationale: I was turning 50 and I was having a tug-o-war with my hormones. Not my fault!

For the past 2 years I struggled to keep the weight. In addition, I'm petite so when I whined about the 10 pounds I gained and that my clothes were tight, people dismissed me like I had weight and body image issues.

For the past two years, Mother Nature had a blast with the snow machine. I practically lived in stretchable work-out clothes which made it easy to not notice that I was gaining weight.  I was in denial because I always had this genetic power to lose weight fast.

You see, when I was 25 years old, I was pregnant with my first. I weighed 95 pounds but by the time I gave birth, I was 167 pounds! After childbirth, I never lost all of the weight I had gained, remaining in the range of 105 to 118 pounds, depending on the season.

After my fourth child, I started looking into working out. It still sounds silly when I hear myself say "working out".  I never consistently worked out in a gym because I got intimidated by the machines and really had no clue how to work them.

I think when women approach 40,  there's a trigger that pushes us to be obsessed with working out. In my case, I was about 39 when one infomercial caught my attention. Maybe the audio and visuals were emitting subliminal messages in the frequency resonating with my brain waves. I became convinced that I, too, could be ripped and fit like the people in the infomercial.   (Although I doubted my baby pouch would actually turn into a 6-pack abs. I teased my 4 kids that I had 8-fold abs courtesy of them!)

So, ten years ago, I purchased my first Beachbody Power 90 DVD work-out (Sweat/Cardio  and Sculpt) . Within the first couple of months, I completely transformed my body, and I developed a level of muscularity and fitness that I never had in my adult life.  Over the subsequent ten years, there were years that I maintained a high level of fitness, and there were other years when I slacked off, ate poorly and my fitness level drastically declined.

I used to love eating Carbs. (Who am I kidding? I still love eating Carbs!) My husband and I used to savor a huge bowl of apple pie and vanilla ice cream - every weekend. When out with family and friends on a buffet, I'd go straight for bread and the dessert table. But aside from that, I ate pretty healthy, so I thought!

When I visited my family in the Philippines this summer, I insisted on having merienda (afternoon snacks) every single day. I enjoyed various Filipino desserts - and I convinced myself that it was all worth it. The taste and fun in every bite made me happy - so I thought -  until I went back to the US and realized I gained an additional 15 pounds  (I was almost 130 pounds!). Surprisingly (or not) - family and friends still told me I looked great and that it was all in my head.

Well... clothes were getting so tight I thought I was having chest pains.

So going back to the three words that resonated in my head : Cholesterol. High. Lipitor.

That's when I convinced myself to take my health seriously and consistently. I am saying NO to Lipitor!

I chose a work-out routine that's not long, boring or intimidating. I tried different exercise challenges but I wasn't able to fully commit until my future son-in-law recommended P90x3.

I didn't want to purchase another DVD, but I needed to invest in myself. And as the P90x3 infomercial said, "Get ripped in only 30 minutes a day" - or your money back!

One thing I did differently this time was took a "before" photo and measurements. Trust me, it really got me motivated!

The first few weeks were tough. I needed someone to hold me accountable and to give me the thumbs-up to skip a work-out when I wasn't in the mood.

I saw improvements after 30 days but then I fell off the "eating healthy" diet that in Day 60, it seemed like I gained the few pounds that I lost, so I reminded myself of my goal, "saying NO to Lipitor".

And on Day 90 - I crushed it! I lost 13 pounds, and a total of 9 inches.

I felt good. I had my energy back and motivated! I'm happier and inspired to write again! (Keep an eye on my book about fitness.)

I recorded 90-day reminders in my smart phone. I crossed off each day that I completed a work-out. Every task completed was my daily reward - and as simple as it sounded, to me it was a BIG accomplishment.

The first few weeks, I couldn't do a full push-up , let alone attempting a pull-up.

The first 7 days of P90x3 workout included variations of push-ups, pull-ups, squats, cardio, weights, stretch exercises, poses, sun salutations, vinyasa, lunges, jumps and more! Here's a sample schedule:
1) Total Synergistics 
2) Agility
3) Yoga X3
4) The Challenge 
5) CVX
6) The Warrior
7) Rest or Dynamix

In the last 30 days, as suggested by my husband, I incorporated a one-mile run every other day. It added 10 minutes to my work-out. I did it because I felt like I needed the push. I needed to sweat - catch my breath and to have that “I really did exercise!" feeling

Between Day 30 and Day 60, although I was working out, I was eating badly. That's when I learned that unlike in my younger years, being fit is a combination of exercise and nutrition . What we eat plays a big role in the wellbeing of our body - especially our internal organs.

So on Day 90 of my P90x3 Challenge, I was super excited that I completed my first 90 day challenge!

I begged my husband to take my "after photos"; so that I could submit my "success" story to A week later my P90x3 “Crushed It!”  t-shirt arrived in the mail! Yippee!!
The journey wasn't a smooth adventure. But putting on that shirt was like winning the most coveted award in the universe - because I didn't give up! I made things happen. I pushed myself not for other people but because I love who I am! There were times I felt like nothing was working. I "treated" myself to a one-week vacation of Ben and Jerry's ice cream, a family summer tradition. Fortunately, when I hit those "low" moments, I voiced my frustration to my ever-supportive husband, and as always, he found ways to motivate me; -- and most importantly, he made me laugh!

So set your goal. Get support from your loved one. And just do it.

As Tony Horton, P90x guru, said, “Do your best and forget the rest!"

I’m always doing a challenge to keep me accountable and motivated, so if you’re interested, check out my “Completed my first 16 Week IsaBody Challenge" ( Just so you know, as of Feb 2017, I've successfully completed 6 Isabody Challenges)



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