Five Pounds, Pink Lips, and My Undying Love for PiYo

When we took our family beach vacation at the beginning of the summer, I slipped a bit that week.  Lots of eating out, ice cream cones, and mindless snacking in the hotel room.  I put on five pounds that stuck to me for the rest of the summer.  My fitness routine had shifted from HIIT cardio and weightlifting, to triathlon and marathon training.  Because of the miles I was putting on the pavement each week, my appetite was insatiable.  I ate nonstop, allowed myself too many cheats and treats, and swapped muscle for fat.  My weight on the scale never climbed any higher than those five pounds, but I’d clearly softened up as my clothes were becoming tighter.  Not good.

I'm not running as much these days, but someone's making sure my shoes still get used.

I’m not running as much these days, but someone’s making sure my shoes still get used.

So with the recent Blue Lips Syndrome I’d contracted, and the fact that I’d dropped out of the marathon and its subsequent training, I’ve cut way back on my running mileage and instead ramped up my cycling and swimming.  I’ve also started tracking my food and exercise on the My Fitness Pal app, something I haven’t done for a long time and don’t usually like doing because I tend to get obsessive over the numbers.  But I’m happy to report that I haven’t thrown my phone against the wall in a defeat-driven rage yet, and on the days when I do go over my calorie “budget” (which, happily, have been rare), I’m able to shrug it off, knowing that there’s no such thing as a final destination and that tomorrow’s another day.

At my "gym" for a swim-run brick.

At my “gym” for a swim-run brick.

So, shorter runs, longer bike rides and swims, and food journaling.  Anything else?  Oh, yeah.  Just a little program called PiYo.  Maybe you’ve heard of it.  Maybe everyone in your newsfeed and your mom are doing it and won’t shut up about it.  Maybe you’ve determined that PiYo-ers are the new CrossFitters in terms of annoyance factor.  I hate to break it to you, but I’m totally one of Those People.  A PiYo evangelist.  Chalene Johnson is my best best-friend-who-just-doesn’t-know-it-yet.

I was a skeptic about this program.  I’m a true blue weightlifter and cardio queen.  I keep it simple and get results.  I hate yoga because I have no flexibility or patience.  I need to MOVE.  So PiYo seemed kinda dumb.  A hybrid of Pilates and yoga, emphasizing body weight resistance training to “sculpt lean muscles.”  (I really hate fitness marketing jargon.  Muscle is muscle is muscle, people.  It burns fat and it’s all good.  All of it.  You’re not gonna “bulk up” and even if you did that would be a GOOD thing.  Anyway.).  So I was allowed to sample it for a week from a friend and BeachBody coach who’s in one of my private Facebook fitness groups.  I was hooked right away and basically threw money at her and told her she can’t have it back.

A PiYo leg extension in plank.

A PiYo leg extension in plank.

This program is fabulous.  It’s been the PERFECT complement to triathlon training.  The muscle groups that get the most emphasis are core, legs, and shoulders, which are critical to the swim, bike, and run.  It’s vastly improved my flexibility which has translated to fewer injuries and faster recovery time after my long training sessions.  I will say, though, that if someone is interested in PiYo exclusively as a weight loss program, they may not get the results they want without supplementing additional cardio and upper body weight training.  For my purposes and since I already get plenty of cardio on the road and in the water, it’s been just what I’ve needed to shift the summer pudge back to muscle.  And so, with the triathlon training, the MFP-ing, and the PiYo-ing, I’m down…

[drumroll]

5 pounds overall, including an inch off my waist and two inches off each thigh!  And I’m only four weeks into the program!

My PiYo/tri training schedule. Such satisfaction in crossing off a workout each day.

My PiYo/tri training schedule. Such satisfaction in crossing off a workout each day.

I’m happy.  Quite happy.  I’ve got a few more appointments and tests coming up to see if we can get to the bottom of ol’ Blue Lips and will report back once I know something.  In the meantime, my lips are staying perfectly pink on these final hot runs of summer and I’m just aching for a trail covered in golden fall leaves as I move closer to race day (just three weeks from now!).

Post-run pink lips.  In Duckface for emphasis.

Post-run pink lips. In Duckface for emphasis.

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