Not long after I started this project, I gained almost ten pounds. I CAN'T IMAGINE WHY. But there came a day when I realized I needed to reverse the trend.
And thus the Wine Idiot turned to P90X.
P90X is not some magic pill. It's three months of prescribed workouts, plus a meal plan (and other shit they try to sell you). What's nice about it is once you commit, you basically just have to "keep pressing play," as Tony Horton (the P90X guru) says. You don't need to do any research or work. Just do what the guy with all the muscles tells you to do.
It's tough because the workouts are long--about an hour each (except for yoga which is an hour and a half). But I'm telling you--it really works, if you can find the time. And you don't have to go to the gym! I swear to god I push my coffee table up against the couch and I can do every workout in my living room.
Now, this is my second time doing P90X. The first time, I only made it through five weeks before abandoning it. I did not have a heart-rate monitor, and I was trying to follow the meal plan. Both were critical mistakes, in my opinion.
You see...if you do the official P90X meal plan...you can't drink wine. DEAL. BREAKER.
And when I didn't have a heart-rate monitor, I didn't get ANY instant gratification. Turns out, I need that, and I'M NOT ASHAMED TO ADMIT IT.
So, for this second attempt, I'm enjoying much success, and a fair amount of wine. And getting plenty instant gratification!
Here's how you can set yourself up to enjoy the same wine-soaked weight-loss success:
Get a heart-rate monitor. Yes, for the obvious reason that it will tell you how hard you're ACTUALLY working (so you can't rely on how hard you FEEL like you're working). But mostly? It will tell you how many calories you've burned. If you're like me and crave instant gratification, this becomes very important--bear with me. This is the heart-rate monitor I got:
I love it. My techie brother recommended it, and it's been great.
Download Motifit for use with the heart-rate monitor, don't use the app that comes with it. Pony up for the $10 lifetime membership so you can save your workout history and sync to other health apps (again, bear with me). You will also want to go into Settings and set it to track "Active Calories." This way, after a workout, the app will subtract the calories you would have burned just sitting on the couch, so you only get calorie-credit for how hard you worked out. Upside? YOU GET CALORIE-CREDIT FOR HOW HARD YOU WORKED OUT. And here's why that's important...
Don't do the P90X meal plan. Instead, just calorie-count. Download Lose It! I use the free version and haven't felt the need to upgrade, but you may want to. I was able to sync it with Apple Health on my iPhone; I also synced Motifit with Apple Health. Now, every time I save a workout in Motifit, it AUTOMATICALLY gets entered into Lose It. Y'all, I'm not a tech geek, I'm not entirely sure how I did it or how it works. But I did, and it wasn't hard to set up. Just follow the prompts? I was an English major. It can't be that hard.
So here's what I like about Lose It. You enter your stats, and set a goal weight and date that you want to get there. Then Lose It tells you how many calories you can eat per day.
AND IT DOESN'T CARE IF THOSE CALORIES ARE WINE-BASED.
Look, the first time you enter a bottle of wine into Lose It for "Dinner," you will be depressed and you will cry. You will, there's no way around it. THERE ARE A LOT OF FREAKING CALORIES IN WINE, IT TURNS OUT.
But--and here's where the INSTANT GRATIFICATION comes into play--if you're using your heart rate monitor, every workout EARNS YOU CALORIES FOR THE DAY. So literally every sit-up is earning you another drop of wine.
I mean...this motivation works for me. Your results may vary.
In order to accurately calorie-count, you're gonna want a food scale. I KNOW, THIS SOUNDS INSANE. I never wanted to be at a point in my life where I was weighing my goddamn food, but here we are. And here's the thing--you're gonna get super-depressed about some things (holy god you cannot have ANY peanut butter) but other things will make you super-happy (hummus is actually NOT THAT BAD FOR YOU). I got this scale and love it:
Now honestly, people, I do not want to hear from anyone about how "but nut butters are GOOD fat." Shut up. Just shut up. I have been justifying eating olive oil and whole grains and fruits (ok fermented fruits?) without restriction, and that has only led to gaining weight. I started working out and limiting calories, and BAM, lost ten pounds.
AND HERE'S THE FUN PART--YOU CAN BUDGET FOR WINE! Also cookies, if that's your thing. (Use the scale for the cookies, but for the wine you'll want a measuring cup. No judgment if you end up drinking out of the measuring cup.)
OK, so that's what I recommend to get started on this journey.
Here are my tips for actually getting through the nightmare that is P90X:
HIT THE PAUSE BUTTON. Tony incants this on the regular, but take him seriously. I BESTOW UPON YOU THE POWER TO DO THIS. Don't stop for ten minutes, but pause for an extra minute while you let your heart-rate get back into "crazy fast" zone instead of "holy shit I'm gonna die." There is no reason not to.
MODIFY, MODIFY, MODIFY. Honestly, I don't know if anyone can full-on do all the P90X moves from the very beginning unless they've already done P90X (or were in the Marines...you'll get that reference soon). You should see me stumble my way through Plyometrics, SEVEN WEEKS IN. But this is what's so great about the heart-rate monitor: if your heart-rate is in "kick-ass" mode, it doesn't matter how much you're modifying!!!
Print out a calendar of the whole schedule and cross off each day as you go. IMMENSELY satisfying.
If you have asthma, you may want to talk to your doctor about a ProAir albuterol inhaler WOW YOU ARE REAL JUDGEY, ASTHMA IS A THING AND IT'S AWFUL.
It's gonna suck. Every single day is gonna suck. You're gonna be so sore, and you're not gonna be able to get through the workouts, and you're gonna feel like a total failure because Tony is all bulging muscles/sinew and Dreya is a literal circus performer and you're falling over in Warrior 1. Focus on each day's calorie-burn, and become obsessive about cramming as much food as possible into your calorie-allotment (salads are awesome, I'm telling you). And suddenly, after three or four weeks, you will put on a pair of pants and be pleasantly surprised at how they fit.
And...you don't need to give up wine.
p.s. "Rest Week" is a fucking joke. There is no rest week. Enjoy!