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Okay, it's time to start my journal, so here I go!


I'm joining in the fun for the New You for the New Year Challenge. Woohoo! Although I've been working with Vegan Bodybuilding & Fitness for a while now, I'm not exactly the best representative of the brand, so to speak. I've almost always had a hard time staying motivated to exercise, and because, to be honest, I don't really enjoy it all that much, I lack consistency and desire to do it. BUT... I have no doubt that this Challenge and the VBB forum will provide me the motivation and accountability I need to succeed!


That having been said, however, I actually didn't do very well today. I think it was probably mostly due to it being a holiday and the fact that my New Years Eve guests ended up staying all day long, I didn't get any exercise in... until I got some encouragement and loving motivation from a friend to "just do something, even though you're tired." So, at 7:45 tonight, I finally got my butt to the living room for some exercises. I was already wearing comfy lounge-around-the-house clothes and was going to keep those on. But, it occurred to me that I knew I would put more effort into the exercises if I changed into "real" workout clothes, including my Vegan Bodybuilding & Fitness t-shirt. As expected, that helped a lot, and whenever I caught my reflection in the mirror of my shirt, it reminded me that this forum journal and community of awesome vegan buddies will help keep me accountable.


So, on that note, I did the exercise program routine from the Engine 2 Diet book, written by Rip Esselstyn. I pretty much stuck to the beginner program, but did extra repetitions on the exercises I felt comfortable with. And when it was all said and done, I threw in 50 crunches to "seal the deal".


So, although I spent the whole day fearing I was already failing on the very first day of the challenge, I got some exercise in after all, and that felt really good. And the other good news is, that I already have tomorrow's exercise scheduled. Woohoo!

Edited by kareno
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Awesome, Karen!


I'm so proud of you! I know you've been working incredibly hard, especially the past couple of days and nights, preparing to launch this program that so many people are benefiting from.


First and foremost, thank you for your outstanding work and amazing dedication to this project and to the Vegan Bodybuilding & Fitness community at large.


Congratulations on getting in a workout tonight to get the program off to a successful start. I'm excited to hear you already have tomorrow's workout planned out. Being prepared, organized and motivated are all part the recipe for a successful program. It seems you already have all of those, whether you know it or not.


All the very best with tomorrow's workout. I look forward to reading about it.


Thank you again for all your incredible work and your sincere support. It means so much more than you know.


Get some well-deserved rest.


Good night.



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Oatmeal with blueberries and raspberries, cinnamon, and homegrown walnuts



Amy's frozen burrito, with salsa and a few black olives



Small bowl of Imagine's organic black bean bisque soup, and large green salad with spinach, green leaf lettuce, avacado (is 1/2 an avacado too much?), artichoke hearts, tomato, radishes, green onion, cucumber, and a little drizzle of red wine vinegar


Since dinner, I've been snacking on some more radishes (yumm), and I'll likely have a couple of Cutie clementines before bed.


I'm not thrilled that two of my meals today came out of a package, but that's just kind of the way it went today.


I went to my friend's house and we exercised in her complex's fitness room and did the following (in random order). I'm actually pretty embarassed to list these things here, since I'm sure this looks pretty lame to most people, but oh well. I guess I've gotta start somewhere.


preacher curls, 2 sets of 10 @ 35 lb

chest press, 2 sets of 10 @ 35/30 lb

chest flies, 2 sets of 10 @ ? lb

leg extensions, 2 sets of 10 @ 45 lb with both legs, then 2 sets of 10 @ 35 lb with each leg toes in, then the same with toes out

Assisted chin-ups, 2 sets of 15 @ 130 lb, both wide & close grip

Dips, 2 sets of 15

Push-ups, 2 sets of 10 (couldn't go down very far, and my elbows hurt )

"Skiers", 2 sets of 20

Jumping jacks, 50

Imaginary Jump rope, 50

10 minutes of running around the room, doing whatever to keep moving, which was kinda fun


Oh, also, I drank Vega pre-workout, hydrater, and then the recovery drink afterward. Probably didn't need all that, but I had it, so I used it.


Not sure what I'm going to do for exercise tomorrow, and I wish I had a plan.

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Awesome day of fitness, Karen!


That was fun to read. It sounds like your friend has access to some pretty cool equipment where she lives. Nice to have that available!


Do you have a gym nearby too? I don't recall if you live near a 24 Hour Fitness or if they are in other towns but not yours.


I'm proud of your consistency thus far. How does it feel to be exercising consecutive days?


I hope you create a plan for tomorrow and let us know if you want any suggestions. Even though I've been at it for 10+ years in the gym, I don't always go in with a specific plan. In fact, I don't know exactly what I'll be doing tomorrow because my workout depends on my level of soreness in certain areas. If my lower body is still too sore, upper body it is. If upper body is too sore from today's workout, then some sort of core training or cardio, or bodyweight or crossfit style would probably fill it's place. Or even a day off if I deemed it necessary.


All the very best!


You're doing a great job and I'm proud of you. I'm looking forward to reading your journal tomorrow!



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Karen! You are off to am amazing start my friend! I am so proud of you! I will share my workout schedule with you and how it's evolved over time! I like to plan my meals and workouts for the week- I write it in my planner and it keeps me accountable. Like Robert said, you can go in there and change it up too depending on how you feel!


We will be emailing and chatting on the phone a lot over the next few days to get you set with a focused agenda. I know for me, that's key! Once you're in the swing of it, I think you'll feel empowered to make changes!


You rock my world!



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I was pretty sore today from the past couple of days, particularly upper body. I intended to go to the gym today (even packed a bag and drove in that general direction), but between feeling sore and in an emotional "funk", just didn't make it.


I did keep track of all my food today, though, and I feel fairly good about that.


Oh well, tomorrow is a new day. And I'm feeling bad enough about not exercising today to not let it happen again tomorrow.


Glad to have supportive and caring people here.

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You got a lot of other stuff done today and you were due for a rest day today or tomorrow anyway, so no sweat. You already know you're going to go after your workout with enthusiasm tomorrow and you're still on schedule for some great progress.


Awesome to hear that your upper body is still sore. I looked at the list of exercises from your previous workout and it looks like you hit it pretty hard! Well done.


Have a great night, and an awesome day tomorrow!

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Today I made sure I went to the gym early and that I put on my workout clothes before I left the house, so that I wouldn't be tempted to stop somewhere else and get distracted, like yesterday.


Started my day (at 10:00, yikes!) with Amanda's delicious smoothie she recommended. Thanks, Amanda! It was quite tasty and very filling!


After doing a few warm-up stretches and quick exercises, I did 5 minutes of slow walking, just to get my legs moving and get myself situated on the treadmill. Then, for the next 30 minutes, per Amanda's suggestion, I alternated between fast-walking 3 minutes and running 1 minute. That was at 4.0 and 6.0 speed, respectively. Then I did 20 minutes on the stair-climber, averaging level 3.5, I'd say. Finally, I did 40 minutes on the eliptical machine, at a moderate pace.


I've been keeping track of my food today using MyFitnessPal, and had a long conversation tonight with Amanda, who answered a lot of questions and gave great advice. She's pretty amazing.

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Great to hear it! Well done, and way to hammer out so many exercises for that duration. Excellent work and I love your enthusiasm too!


I hope you get a great night of rest and have an awesome day tomorrow.


Keep up the great work!


High Ten!

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Karen, you are doing amazing! I'm so glad we talked and I love

Your dedication. Enjoy the process of learning

To listen to your body and how it wants to be fueled. As your more active you'll see what

Fuels your activity best and I'm always here for

Questions any time! Have an awesome day! Our next chat

We can cover strength training!

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Hi Karen,

I'm not sure, but I think you may have been assigned to Amanda during the New year's challenge? I'm with her as well, so I figured I'd take a chance and come say hi


I can totally relate to what I've read in your journal so far; getting started is probably the toughest part. For me it's cardio: I hate it with a passion, but I'm working on changing that mindset. I'll be coming back to cheer you on if that's ok!




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This rocks my world basically! My friends are friends! We can all keep each other motivated and working hard! I love it- you ladies are ON FIRE!


Hope you are all doing awesome today! We are going into our first weekend of the program! What's your plan to stay on track and working hard over the weekend? Need tips? LEMME KNOW! xo

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Hi Carolina! Yep, I'm on Amanda's "team" as well, and that's so sweet that you would track me down and say hello! Yes, please do stop by and cheer me on from time to time, and I'll do the same for you! I love it that there is so much support and encouragement here!

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Today I stuck to pretty much the same routine as yesterday: 35 minutes on the treadmill, 20 minutes on the stair-climber, and 30 minutes (a little shorter than yesterday) on the eliptical. It was a really cool eliptical machine I used today, a little different from others I've used, and a lot more fun! I felt like a gazelle!


I felt weaker today than yesterday. It was harder to push through.


Treadmill: I did a moderate 5 minute warmup, then spent 30 minutes alternating 3 minute walking at 4.0 with 1 minute speed-up to 5.5/6.0.

Stair-climber: 20 minutes, 1 mile, 49 floors, averaged 39 steps/minute, which I probably should have tried to go faster, but I was still sweating!

Eliptical (aka Gazelle!): 30 minutes, I selected "intervals" on the machine, and it alternated between level 4 and level 1 resistance. Gotta keep trying to figure out how all the options on the machines work. I generally just hit "go" and go, then fiddle around a bit with the buttons! Haha!


Breakfast was another one of Amanda's green smoothies, except I added more Vega protein than yesterday and used chia seeds instead of flax. I think I might have put too much Vega in it because it ended up being a lot of calories, and I was so full for quite a while.

Lunch was kabocha squash with adzuki beans (one of my all-time favorite dishes!).

Dinner was a big salad with lots of veggies and garbanzo beans.

Also had a Vega Vibrancy bar after workout, as I was starving when I left! But glad I remembered to bring food with me, unlike yesterday.

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Yay! I love when people connect! I just posted on my Facebook status yesterday, something along the lines of, "The thing I am most proud of is bringing people together. People who are now friends because of my website or other projects is what makes me smile the biggest and when I feel the most pride."


I really do love it. So glad so many of you are connecting during this fitness program and on this forum!


Great work today, Karen! I don't care how silly it sounds. One of the things I look forward to most each day is reading your journal I'm just really proud of you and really happy that you are embracing fitness and that you have a loving team and community supporting you.


Keep up the awesome work! I'm impressed and inspired. Get some rest. Catch up soon. We have some prizes to award people! Night, Night!

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Karen! Great job sister! I love that you brought food with you for post workout! If you haven't eating

Within 2 hours of hitting the gym, try adding a small snack

Before you head out. Something like a tablespoon or two

Of pumpkin seeds and some grapes or baby carrots and hummus. Will give you a bit

Of those nice carbs and protein to fuel you up!


As Robert said, I love the connections everyone is making and I'm just loving being a part of

Your process. As I've said before, don't look at the journey in its entirety just focus on taking the next step because you are doing so great and everyday is a step

Closer to your goal!


Stay fabulous! Xoxo

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Today I ended up helping my friend give her house a thorough cleaning and decided to let the 4 hours I spent doing that count as my workout for the day (plus bowling tonight). Cleaning involved stretching, reaching, balancing, climbing, squatting, etc.


Excited to stay on track this weekend!

Edited by kareno
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People often overlook physical labor as exercise. You've heard me say this a bunch of times when giving talks on tour...."What is exercise? Does that mean running on a treadmill or throwing weights around in a gym? It could be. But exercise is dancing, playing basketball, enjoying a game of soccer in the park with friends, going for a bike ride with your family, or working on a farm. Exercise should be fun and means so many different things to different people."


Glad you had a productive day! How did you do in bowling? Did you get any strikes?


Have an awesome weekend!

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Thanks, you guys, for all the cheerleading and motivation! It's invaluable! <3


Today I did Rip Esselstyn's Engine 2 exercise program at my friend's workout room in her complex.



Sun Salutations

Kicking Toe Touches

Side Stretches

Trunk Twists

Barrel Rolls

Arm Circles


Air Squats - 40

Push-ups (incline) - 20

Flutter Kicks - 50

Squat Thrusts - 15

Lunges - 10

Dips - 20

Plank - 1 min.

Jumping Jacks - 50

Downward Dogs/Child's Pose - 5 rounds

V-ups - 13

Mountain Climbers (incline) - 25


Bonus: 20 minutes on eliptical, intervals setting.


Can you believe that it was actually ME that suggested we do 20 bonus cardio minutes at the end of our workout? Whoa.



Oatmeal and fruit



Green smoothie



Salad with rice, beans, tempeh, and salsa



Primal Strip

Popcorn (airpopped, yay!)

Cutie Clementines


OH, AND...!! I had two friends today tell me that I'm "looking good!" SWEET!

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I'm impressed!


Looking Good! I'm really pleased with your dedication, enthusiasm and consistency. Sounds like an awesome workout and knowing you're working out with one of your best friends reminds me of my workouts with Jordan, one of my best friends and the guy who got me into bodybuilding. I'll see him tomorrow for a workout here in Portland.


Great work with your journal. I always enjoy all the updates. All the very best with your upcoming training. Way to push it and have the ambition to add the extra cardio. So awesome! High Ten!


Get some rest. Thank you for all of your outstanding work!



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I was back at the gym today. If you can believe it, I actually woke up anxious to go to the gym. Whodathunk that would ever happen?!? Haha! It may not ever happen again, but it happened today, by golly!


I put in a fair amount of time doing some stretches. I didn't hurry them today, as I sometimes do (or skip alltogether). I put some calming music on my iPod and just let myself relax while I stretched, which felt great. Then I got to it:


Stairclimber: 20 min @ 60 steps/min, 77 floors. I leaned on the machine a lot, though, and had to take a few 30 second breaks, so that felt pretty lame.


Eliptical (the "gazelle" one I really like!) : 3 min. warm-up, then 40 min on heart rate setting, which increased resistance (only from 1 to 4. I hope to increase the resistance manually to go higher next time.) 3.75 miles. I kept reminding myself to keep my arms high and engaged on the handles. My favorite band, Blue October, helped me dig deep and power through!


Treadmill: 30 min @ 3.0 mph, 3.0 incline. 1.5 miles




Oatmeal with walnuts and fruit



Primal Strip

Vega Energizer



Vega Vibrancy bar


Lunch (late):

Salad with garbanzo beans & tofu


Snacks while watching the Broncos beat the Steelers!:

Freeze-dried strawberries/bananas

Some baked sweet potato slices with ketchup

A few chips with guacamole



Green protein smoothie


I ate too many calories today. Boo. I'll do better tomorrow.

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Great work, Karen!


I love reading your journal and I can sense your enthusiasm for such things as your improvements, your favorite exercises, your football team's success because they have a higher being on their side, and beans!


Awesome to see your progress, your enthusiasm and your dedication. I'm very impressed and proud of you.


Looking forward to exercising with you soon!



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KAREN! You're doing so amazing! I love reading your journal and seeing you put into practice the things we've been talking about! I'm so pumped for you and encouraged by your progress! You made it through the first weekend with great success. The momentum you're building will make the consistency easier and easier. It's like learning to ride a bike and you're parent let's ago and - then you're half way down the road on your own!


I'm excited for another week getting to talk even more! Have a wonderful Monday!



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