Official Movie Trailer for Divergent by Veronica Roth

Divergent by Veronica Roth is one of my new favorite dystopian novels. It’s not over the top fantasy and is one of those futuristic world books that make you think, “Oh yea, this could eventually happen.” (Unlike Hunger Games where kids are killing each other to survive, hoping that doesn’t happen…ever.) Insurgent (the second in the series) is pretty close to the top of my to-read list; I want to read it before Allegiant is released in October. When I find a trilogy I love, I don’t want to rush it, because once you’re done, you will never get that same “first read” feeling ever again.

Not sure how I feel about Shailene Woodley (from The Secret Life of an American Teenager on ABC Family) playing Tris. This could be her breakout role….maybe.

The trailer is awesome and shows a lot of key plot points from the book. Look out Hunger Games, Divergent is going to give you a run for your money. Can’t wait until the movie comes out in March. I will be going opening weekend, for sure.

My Second Week of Focus T25, Alpha Phase

Today was day 1, week 2, of my Focus T25 journey! I realized that at 9 AM that I only had one hour to workout and shower before the VMA’s came on. (Yes, this is the first time in about 10 years that I have tuned it, but really, just like every other girl between the ages of 21-29ish, I just want to swoon over NSYNC.) Also, because of the time difference, my morning is America’s night. So I shut down Facebook, and got to working out. Today was Cardio again, just like last Monday. I noticed a big difference when I did this workout for the second time. I didn’t have to modify as much (although I did have to for a few things when I was tired) and I didn’t have to take as many water breaks.

Yesterday, I stretched, but didn’t follow the stretch video. I just kind of did my own thing so that I would be ready for another week of T25. I can report with great relief that I didn’t have any days this week where I could barely move. I had some tight muscles and some soreness, but nothing that made me walk in a ridiculous way.

Now, since I’m done my workout, I can “enjoy” the MTV VMA’s. And when I say enjoy, I actually mean watch in horror as Miley Cyrus twerks her heart out on stage (what goes on in her mind that makes her think this is okay?!) She does have nice abs though, even though I don’t think being half-naked on stage on national TV, with a foam finger, is appropriate, nice abs or not. But, at least cute little Taylor Swift can warm my heart back up. Love her(and her dress!) I also just fell in love with Justin Timberlake (and NSYNC!) all over again, he could have taken some of his clothes off, and I wouldn’t have complained, just sayin’.

Weight update: I weighed in this morning at 128.2. Only .8 down rom last week, but I can see AND feel a difference, and that’s all that matters. I can see my muscles coming back and I can feel my body getting stronger again. I also ate three hot dogs this weekend and went to Chili’s so I’m sure that didn’t HELP in my weight loss! Tomorrow is Total Body Circuit (dreading it!)

Book Review: Rurally Screwed: My Life Off the Grid with the Cowboy I Love by Jessie Knadler

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Jessie Knadler is a former New Yorker, living the country life in Virginia. This is a true story of how she fell in love with a cowboy/ U.S. Army Soldier and how he turned her life upsidedown. I first heard of Jessie Knadler through her blog, which is one of my favorite blogs to read because her stories are always funny, cute, and insightful, but her book isn’t any of those things (you can find the link under the blogs I love tab.) I thought the book would be more about her struggles/triumphs with being an Army girlfriend then eventually Army wife, but it wasn’t. It was more focused on her hatred towards country life and her distaste for religion.

Rurally Screwed: My Life Off the Grid with the Cowboy I Love by Jessie Knadler is written more like a fictional story as opposed to a memoir. It begins when Jessie is writing for a magazine in New York. At the time, she was dating a guy who liked looking at “inappropriate” porn. I can’t even write what kind of porn he was looking at because that’s how wrong it is, yet she continued to date him because she didn’t feel like breaking up with him. I really didn’t understand the logic in this, and if this is a fact, I hope he is in jail. The story progresses into how she met her husband at a rodeo, her struggles with his first deployment with the U.S. Army Reserves, their short engagement, their marriage, and finally the birth of their first daughter. I loved reading Jake’s loving words while he was deployed. He truely loves Jessie and he has such an optimistic view on life, I wish I could always be as positive as him.

I did like reading about country life, even though Jessie hated it, and even though I didn’t like the book all that much, I don’t BLAME her for hating it. I know about my fair share of “country” living over here in Korea, and I’m not digging it, but at least she has a Wal-Mart. Although, I hate Wal-Mart and probably wouldn’t even go. I understand how hard it is to give up everything/everyone you love, everything you know, to move somewhere with the man you love. But that’s what you sign up for when you marry a Soldier, and that’s what you get when you marry a cowboy. Did she really think her husband would want to be a cowboy in New York City? I’m pretty sure that isn’t even possible. I just feel like she could have painted her memoir a little nicer. I understand that you can’t lie about your life, but there is a little bit of creative license when it comes to writing and I think she could have used it a little more wisely and left out all of the pot references.

I understand what it’s like to not be able to get a job, not be able to even leave the house on most days, but once again it’s what we signed up for. I can also relate with being tired of sewing, cooking, and cleaning. I do give her props for raising chickens and growing her own food, I do not have a green thumb nor any sort of tolerance for chickens!

With all that being said, I still really enjoy Jessie Knadler’s blog. I also think the book was just starting to get really good when it ended. I think writing a book about her struggles of being a new mom, in the country, while her husband was deployed, would make a great second novel. I had higher expectations for this book because, like I said, I thought it would be more about being a military wife, and less about putting up fences and making moonshine. If I wasn’t looking for it to be something it wasn’t, I may have enjoyed it more. The book was written well, which is always a plus.

T25 – Day 5 (week 1) – Lower Focus: Want Killer Calves and Thighs?

 

killer legs

TGIF! I am so thankful it is Friday. This has been a extra tiring week, especially since I started T25. Today was day 5 of week 1 on my Focus T25 journey. Today’s workout was Lower Focus. On Fridays, the Alpha workout schedule suggests doing TWO 25 minute workouts, but let’s just say I was only up for one today, maybe next Friday I’ll do two, but honestly, I’ll probably just stick to one, even on Fridays. I may feel different when another workout is first on Friday, but since today was Lower Focus, I wanted to fall over and focus on a nap afterwards; my legs are POOPED. There was no way I was doing 25 more minutes of cardio after that crazy leg workout, sorry Shaun T.

Today’s workout started off just like the Cardio workout, which I did on Monday: high knees into a slow stabilizer jog. After doing some jogging, you move into a jumping jack progression. After some fast jacks, you go into squats (UGHHHH!), but the squats weren’t as bad as the Total Body Circuit squats. After some squats, you move into calf lifts and then lunges. I wanted to DIE after the lunges; I had to stand up and take a break from those every once in a while. After the lunges, you move into your first of TWO burn-out sessions, doing some of the moves you just did. After the burn-out, if you’re still alive, you go into MORE lunges and some adductor exercises; I really liked the adductor part. You then move into some cardio leg moves, a deadlift sequence, and then the second burn-out session.  After some hop and squats, you’re done. BAM 25 minutes complete. I watched Tania (the modifier) on and off during this workout; I would say a little less than half the time.

Like I said before, I was not up for another workout after this one, but you could have done the Cardio workout after this one, as per the suggestion of the Alpha schedule. My legs were super tired after Lower Focus, and the 3 minute stretch was not enough  for me. Since I didn’t want to waddle tomorrow, I decided to do a little extra stretching. Tomorrow is my day off, WOOHOO! Then on Sunday there is a stretch video that is basically another day off, but with some stretching. I’ll let you know how that goes. 

I’m ready for a protein shake and some hardcore Friday cleaning. Can’t wait for this weekend to begin.

In case you are wondering, these are all of my own opinions. No one asked me to review T25. I am doing this to challenge myself and give myself accountability to complete this workout series.

Review: T25 – Day 4 (week 1) – Ab Intervals: An Ab workout without actual crunches

odd man

Phew! Day 4 of week one of T25 is done. I am almost done this first week of Focus T25, and I feel GREAT; tired and sore, but great. I am not even exaggerating when I say that I had a pair of shorts that I wore last Friday and were too tight, when I put them on yesterday, they fit better than before. T25 is already working; I can see and feel the results.

Today was Ab Intervals. (You need a mat for this workout!) You can obviously assume that the workout is all about the abs. But the great part about this ab workout is that you never do one regular crunch. Granted, when I couldn’t keep up, I just went into a crunch to keep moving, but Shaun T doesn’t even suggest that, I just thought to do it on my own. I tried to do as much of the workout as I could without watching Tania, but I was tired after a while, and so were my abs. When this happened, I looked to my right, on the screen where Tania stands, and followed her.

The workout starts off with a little bit of yoga: downward dog and child’s pose. You work the yoga moves into some plank holds and continue to do some plank exercises for about 5 minutes (there are some “V” sits in there as well). After that you do some cardio recovery, more ab exercises, cardio recovery again, then some more ab exercises. This goes on for about 15 minutes and then you move into a few more plank exercises, ab pyramids, and table holds. I really couldn’t do the ab pyramids, so I just did burpees instead. Tania was doing a modified pyramid, but I thought burpees would be more beneficial than her move, but not as hard as the full exercise Shaun T and the rest of the gang were doing. The stretch at the end was a little longer this time, and wasn’t an active stretch, just a full-out body stretch that was much-needed.

I didn’t love this workout, but I didn’t hate it either. It was exhausting, but I didn’t feel the same kind of exhaust that I felt after the Total Body Circuit, that one is still the hardest in my mind. I know that by doing this workout I will see results. Having abs has been one of my New Year’s resolutions for about 8 years, not even joking. Maybe this will be the year with Focus T25.

In case you are wondering, these are all of my own opinions. No one asked me to review T25. I am doing this to challenge myself and give myself accountability to complete this workout series.

Review: T25 – Day 3 (week 1) – Speed 1.0: Should be called “Spaz and Stretch 1.0”

Today was day 3 doing Focus T25. As I mentioned yesterday, I kind of messed up the schedule. Today was supposed to be Total Body Circuit, but I did that yesterday by mistake. Today, I did Speed 1.0. A tip I forgot to mention yesterday is how it’s good to have a yoga mat handy for some of these workouts. Yesterday, I probably could have done more of Tania’s modified exercises if I had my yoga mat out; I was SO sweaty and my knees kept slipping on my hardwood floor, they also hurt because there wasn’t a cushion.

Another tip for you glasses/contacts users, I would stick your contacts in for these workouts. Sweat was literally dripping on my glasses yesterday and I had to just take them off and do the rest of the workout half blind; I have never sweat this much working out. I usually sweat more walking to the gym from the car, than I do in the actual gym. This proves that T25 gives you a great workout, every day, in only 25 minutes.

I hate when people take “selfies” of themselves to show how sweaty they are after a workout, because they’re just like, “OMG, I’m the only person the world who works out…” But seriously, I’m sweaty. I’m going to start wearing “dew rags,” aka bandanas, to keep salt from dripping into my eyes…

ew

So far, Speed 1.0 has been my favorite workout. Mainly because not only do you do a lot of cardio, (and LESS squats) but you also get to stretch throughout the ENTIRE workout. Who doesn’t like stretching after doing a really hard cardio move? This workout starts out fast, hence the speed part of the title. In the past two workouts, Cardio and Total Body Circuit, you start off moving your legs slowly, then move into a hop, and then into a jog. In Speed 1.0, you just get going and start jogging. After the jog, there are a few different cardio moves for the next few minutes of the workout and at times, I felt like M.C.  Hammer. It was definitely a quick start to a fast workout.

After doing some “hammer time,” you move into the segment that I like to call, “Spaz and Stretch.” For the next 10 or so minutes you do a cardio move, then a stretch, a cardio move, and then a stretch. This is great because you can work yourself really hard and then recover during the stability stretching; I was able to do most of this workout without moderation. (I even did the burpee combination without doing the burpee modifier. Did you know there was a modifier for burpees? I hate burpees, but not as much as squats!)

When you get under the 10 minute mark, it’s time for the “burn-out” part of the workout. This is where I slowed down a bit. For the next 9 minutes, you do the moves you already did without stretching in between. A few times I had to slow down and follow Tania (my modifier BFF) but then I pushed myself to get back to the full move and finished out the set full-speed ahead. The last-minute of this workout is a little bit of yoga/stability stretching, I love some downward dog to finish out a great work out.

I loved Speed 1.0 with Shaun T.! I wish I could do this one everyday. After the 25 minutes of stretching and spazing, there was a 2 and 1/2 minute cool down with some active stretching. Toby is even exausted from this workout. He loves to try to stand behind me when I do burpees or in front of me when I do kicks. This results in me kicking him in the face and then apologizing profusely.

tobyyy

Tomorrow’s workout is Ab Intervals. I’m a little scared because I hate working out my abs. Are you getting the sense now about how I HATE working out? But, I am pushing through and keeping up with the big guys. Here’s to another completed day of T25!

In case you are wondering, these are all of my own opinions. No one asked me to review T25. I am doing this to challenge myself and give myself accountability to complete this workout series.

Review: T25- Day 2 (week 1) -Total Body Circuit: Get ready to squat your heart out

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Wow! I hate squats….a lot. But that doesn’t matter on your total body circuit workout day, you will literally squat till you drop, and that’s exactly what I did. (By the way, today was supposed to be Speed 1.0 and I looked at the schedule wrong. Oh well, at least I worked out! Stay tuned for tomorrow’s review of Speed 1.0)

Today is day 2 of my T25 workout. This is also the second entry to my workout diary. As I explained on day 1 of my new fitness blog series, I HATE working out. Even though I am a  stay at home Army wife (no kids yet!) I feel like I never have time to workout, okay that’s a lie, I have the time, I just don’t want to do it! With Shaun T’s new 25 minute workout, I have NO excuses.

Day 1 wasn’t so bad yesterday, and I thought, “Hey, this is easier than I thought!” WRONG. Day 2 was HARD! I followed Tania for the majority of the time (she was my BFF for this workout and the modifier workout buddy throughout the entire T25 Alpha and Beta phases). Sometimes, when it came to the MANY plank exercises, I couldn’t even keep up with Tania! In those instances, I either went into a plank hold, did MORE squats, or did a standing sprint. My theory is, as long as you’re moving, you’re losing! (And when I say losing, I actually mean winning when it comes to weight lose!)

Even though the workout was harder today, it still went by really fast. The first 5 minutes are a warmup, the next 15 minutes are non-stop squats, planks, and punches, then the last 5 minutes are repeats of the first 20 minutes, only faster. Phew, I’m tired all over again just talking about it. But the good news is, I’m done working out for the day and it only took me 25 minutes, plus the 3 minutes for a cool down. Thanks Shaun T, for another great day! Day 3, week one, is tomorrow and my workout will be Speed 1.0, as I mentioned before I kind of messed up the order for week 1, but the results will still be the same!

Speaking of results, I started the T25 program weighing in at 129 pounds! I’ll give a weekly update about how much weight I have lost. I only want to lose about 4 pounds and I also hope to gain my muscle back!

In case you are wondering, these are all of my own opinions. No one asked me to review T25. I am doing this to challenge myself and give myself accountability to complete this workout series.