As I mentioned in the review page for the program, this was a continuation of the first three week program (Muscle Burns Fat) that I completed basically mid-January.
While I’m not a fan of certain parts of the program (looking at you BOD ropes and Saturday workouts), I did enjoy these programs overall.
I did get stronger–several exercises I managed to lift 20 pounds, when looking back at weight trackers for other programs, I maxed out at 14 pounds.
I managed to beat my AMRAP (as many rounds as possible) score each week with this program. In part because I was getting stronger and faster, and in part because there were fewer lunges (a move I still need to go slow on to have proper form).
I also managed to hold other positions, that again months ago I struggled with. So while I may not have made it through every burnout minute (otherwise known as the Megan Minute) after each round–I lasted at least thirty to forty-five seconds.
When doing muscle burns fat I was hesitant on whether or not I’d be doing another round of the two programs. I can now state that I will be doing a second round of the programs, but probably sometime in 2022 or 2023, as I already have the rest of this year’s workout calendar scheduled.
So last week marked the end of my first round of Muscle Burns Fat.
This was a three-week program that Beachbody released last year–I started it right after I finished my first round of 10 Rounds, and am currently going through the follow-up program Muscle Burns Fat Advance (review coming early Feb).
So, as I mentioned on the page for Muscle Burns Fat that I posted under the fitness tab–I came to enjoy the program towards the end.
I’ve realized that I really do enjoy lifting weights and strength training–though some exercises (such as triceps pushups or dips)–are no-go’s due to my arm bone structure (I have slightly curved arms).
I’m still working on trying to do a ‘normal’ lunge without weights–I have no idea when I will be able to hold weights and do a lunge–but it is something I’m working on.
The main downsides that I felt with the program were the BOD ropes–I hate them (even with going into the next program), it just doesn’t feel like I’m getting my heart rate up with them, and also I get tired of occasionally hitting myself in the leg or arm with them.
Also I didn’t like how ‘static lunges’ were called ‘split-squats’. A lunge is a lunge; if you split a squat in half–you’re doing a damn lunge.
I did get use to the format of the program–it was filmed during the pandemic, so all the cast were working out via Zoom, so it was getting little peaks into people’s lives and homes. I just found it strange and a little distracting at first when a second screen would pop-up at the top of the video.
While it has been awhile since I’ve done 21-Day Fix (and I’m actually going to be doing the live version come March–after I finish both MBFA and then Barre Blend), the formats of the two programs were different.
21-Day Fix has two days of active recovery–Pilates and yoga (days 4 and 7, if I’m remembering correctly), Muscle Burns Fat only has one day of active recovery and that is day 7 (Sunday).
Another difference is that while both have modifiers, 21-Day Fix also had someone working out with the resistant band on a few of the days–muscle burns fat was straight dumbbells.
I did start to enjoy the program towards the end–though I will probably always detest the EMOM (every minute on the minute) workouts, hopefully when I do a second round of the program, I’m either lifting heavier or able to do all the push-ups.
So I was having trouble deciding what to post for today’s photography challenge–it was overcast this morning so there was no sunrise picture, and cloudy all day so there wasn’t even a cloud picture to try to take at work. Therefore instead of randomly taking a picture of one of the animals, I decided that I’d share one of my oracle card readings instead.
This month I have been using the Sacred Rebels Oracle deck (this is the second deck that I got out in Salem last fall). I’m still getting use to the cards, as the messages take a little longer at times to figure out.
Last night’s spread brought the intertwining messages of trusting yourself (your inner voice and intuition), and then bringing your dreams into reality.
Right now I’m working towards trying to bring about the job transition from academia to industry. One of my trouble spots is networking (or figuring out how to add value to others), and that is something that I’m trying to work on this year.
I have numerous different craft/artistic ideas floating around in my head as well–these are other things that I need to make the time to work on. The final thing that I need to focus on is my health and fitness. This isn’t to get to some number on the scale–but to be able to do things–I’d like to hike to the Incan ruins in Peru, hike at the Grand Canyon, and do things like that. But in order to do those things–I have to be in a lot better shape than what I currently am–which is why I’m trying to go through various workout programs (doing them as a mesh-up) and trying to get my nutrition into moderation over any of those “diet” fads that are out there.
That is at least what the cards “said” to me…Their message to you may be different.
So I’ve realized that with the books that I’ve managed to finish this month–they all have had a central theme of thirty days. Either talking about bad habits (such as this particular book and the second volume) daily, or as thirty day challenges.
The first two book reviews are covering the aspect of learning about different habits that could be sabotaging our daily productivity and how to go about correcting those habits, and the other two books are filled with different 30-day challenges.
So this is the start of a two part book review series. One
of the books that I’ve had on my electronic to-be read pile was “The 30-Day
Productivity Plan: Break the 30 Bad Habits that are Sabotaging Your Time
Management One Day at a Time” by Damon Zahariades. Then a few weeks ago I
noticed that there was a second book out, and I went ahead and purchased that
one as well. The basis of both books is to read them, and then pick a “bad
habit” to break, and slowly work on increasing our productivity again by not
doing (or limiting) certain things.
So with the first volume, the “30 bad habits” that were
covered in the this book included:
1) Checking your email more than twice a day;
2) Trying to be perfect;
3) Creating overly ambitious to-do lists;
4) Giving yourself too much time to complete tasks;
5) Kicking yourself over past mistakes and failures;
6) Saying “yes” to everyone;
7) Working overtime;
8) Being a control freak;
9) Eating unhealthy foods;
11) Postponing taking action on hard tasks;
12) Checking social media throughout the day;
13) Neglecting to take breaks;
14) Binge-watching television shows;
15) Neglecting to create systems for recurring tasks;
17) Refusing to take responsibility for your choices;
18) Telling yourself you’re not ready;
19) Neglecting to organize your day;
20) Feeling sorry for yourself;
21) Working against your body’s natural rhythm;
22) Refusing to get enough exercise;
23) Worrying about what others think of you;
24) Keeping up with current events;
25) Focusing on the 80% that doesn’t matter;
26) Getting caught up in unnecessary drama;
27) Working without concrete goals;
28) Letting your phone run your life;
29) Working until you burn out;
30) Allowing stress into your life.
I would have to say that I’m guilty of the following: 1, 2
(in certain circumstances), 3, 4, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 15, 16, 18, 19, 21, 22,
23, 24, 25, 27, 29, and 30. I almost added in #7, but with being told that I
have to “ask permission” to go over 40 hours a week, this makes sure that I don’t
go over the hours. So in theory I have 21 “bad habits”, and I’m trying to
correct the following already: 9 & 22. I will admit that I do check my
different email accounts several times a day (but at least for two of those, I
delete more than I read) and with my work email, part of my job is responding
to clients so I need to do that in a timely manner.
I will admit that at times I create overly ambitious to-do
lists, though they probably wouldn’t be so overly ambitious if I had them
separated into the different aspects (work, home, personal development) of my
life instead of as one (or two) major lists that seem to be never ending.
I probably also give myself way to much time for certain
tasks (say writing a blog post), or finishing a personal assessment
project/assignment. There are times when I realize that I don’t feel like doing
an introspective task, so instead of putting it on a different to-do list or
calendar, I’ll just tell myself that I’ll complete the task tomorrow (and then
repeat that story the next day….).
I know that both my nutrition and fitness routine need to
polished. Right now it is actually easier to focus on my fitness routine then
trying to totally change my eating routines. I’m trying to be more mindful of
what I’m eating, and also not eating as much processed sweets as I usually have
done in the past—but at the same time I’m not going to devoid my life any
treats either; it all about balance.
10, 11, 18, and 27 all go hand in hand right now. These
could all refer to how slow I’ve been going in my job search & transition.
I want to move from academia to industry, but at the same time there is the
fear that I could be making the wrong move (i.e. choosing the wrong company to
work for). These are all things that I have been working at over coming (though
it has been slow going).
In terms of keeping up with current events, I think that one
should keep up with current events in order to be a well-informed person, but
one doesn’t need to be checking the news constantly. I look at BBC news several
times a day (but that is also to see if there are any new science stories up;
if there doesn’t look to be any I get off the page). I also only check the news
to make sure that there isn’t some huge catastrophe happening somewhere in the
In terms of number 23, I have slowly started to care less
about what others think of me—yes I know it’s important to have a good personal
and professional brand, but at the same time I know that there are people who
don’t like me and there is little I can do about it. If others judge me based
on other people’s opinions without getting to know me—that is their problem not
mine. I’ve realized that I’ve spent too much of my life trying not to rock
various “boats” that I’d almost forgotten that the only opinion that really
matters at the end of the day is mine (as long as I can look at myself in the
mirror & I’ve tried to be a good person that day, that’s all that matters).
I’m still trying to figure out the different twenty percent
that yield eighty percent results for different areas of life. I know that in
terms of my job transition—I need to spend more time networking & setting
up informational interviews (those will hopefully lead to an actual job
interview and possible job offer); changing my eating habits will yield larger
results in terms of getting into shape and getting healthy & fit. Areas
that I’m probably still focusing on the wrong things could include personal and
professional development (I need to narrow down what I want to focus on this year
that can lead to my goals quicker), and this can also tie in with #27 as well.
In terms of working until I’m burnt out and allowing stress
into my life—these are two areas that I’ve always struggled with.
In terms of working until I’m burnt out—I’d almost say that
I’m there. I do show up to work, and try my best daily (though at the same
time, if something is going slightly wrong I now have the tendency of shrugging
it off. An example is when I have to repeat a sequencing run & it works the
second time but not the first, now (and actually before as well) I’m like well
at least it worked; whereas others claim that I’d made a mistake previously and
I need to pay more attention to detail so that it doesn’t happen again).
This is one reason why I want to move from academia to
industry and at the same time going to plan at least one (if not more) trips
this year (both personal & professional). I’ve also gotten to the point
where I’m willing to take time off without pay just to have a break.
In terms of stress, I’m still working on different ways of
trying to manage it. I meditate at night, use an acupuncture mat & pillow,
journal, and will start taking walks at work as well when I feel the need.
This is a good book for introducing things that we all do on a daily basis, but showing how they can negatively impact our productivity in everything that we do. Reading it has helped open my eyes to the ways I have been harming my productivity, and now that I know things that I’m guilty of doing—I can slowly start correcting those habits and start having more productive days.
I highly recommend this book to anyone who is curious to know if they are unconsciously sabotaging their daily productivity and how they can go about correcting some of their habits. Bad habits can’t be changed over night, and admitting that there could be numerous ones is a step in the right direction, and all one has to be is willing to start making a little progress in different areas. Once it starts to get easier, one can go to another habit and so forth. Stay tune for my review on volume II of the 30-Day Productivity Plan.
So one of my goals from my 101-goal list is to make it
through at least 250 days of Beachbody workouts. Now this doesn’t mean that
it’s all going to be back-to-back (because you do need rest days in addition to
workouts), but that I’d make sure that I’ve done at least 250 days of exercise
over the next 1001 days. Yes, this does seem small when you compare the
days—but if you also add in rest days, walking, and possibly biking and/or
hiking come late spring & summer—you get the 1001 days. Plus, the 250 days is
just the minimum, I will probably go over the total by the end of the time
I’ve also decided that it needs to be 250 different workouts—so it will probably
be done in more than 250 days. Because if we look at what I’ve done in January—I’ve
done a workout I’d say 20 out of the past 30 days—but I’ve only done 3 programs
(most of my workouts have been country heat, one LIIFT4 workout & 1 combat
workout). So I’d only count all that as doing 7 different workouts (as I’ve
been doing all 5 of the country heat workouts). I’ve also realized that while
it’s good to try to go all in on a workout—when it’s been a year or so since
you’ve done the workout, you should probably dial back the intensity just a
Basically, on Monday I did combat 30 for the first time in probably a year or so—I love the program, but have never made it all the way through (mainly because the later two workouts are 45 minutes & an hour long—and sometimes I don’t have that amount of time during the week to do a workout; 45 minutes I can almost squeak in—the full hour workout not so much). I slept really well Monday night, and didn’t feel all that sore for most of the day—but around 3 or so yesterday afternoon, my back and legs decided to remind me exactly what I did on Monday. It’s been quite a while since I’ve been this stiff and sore (I’m hoping the acupuncture mat helped relieve some of the stiffness, but I still took today as a “rest” day–though I walked a good 45+ minutes on campus today), and I’ve realize that I’m going to have to start a little slower than I want—but since it’s been about two or three months since my last consistent workout schedule, I really shouldn’t be surprised.
So I think that I’m going to have work in some Pilates or yoga for awhile to help stretch out the muscles before I jump back into any hard core cardio. One goal is to see if I can make it through all of the workouts that I have on DVD from Beachbody before starting on the ones that are solely available via the online streaming platform. Also for the programs that are pushing the hour time limit–they will be done on the weekends, when I have that time to spare.
So besides updating my 101 goals for the next 1001 days (and hopefully looking at them more often), I also updated my Level 10 life.
So yesterday I sat down and drew out where I thought everything was sitting in the 10 different areas of life: friends & family, personal development, spirituality, finances, career, social life, fun & recreation, giving & contribution, physical environment, and then finally health & fitness.
As usual things were going up and down in numerous areas. The only one that really stayed the same was my social life at basically 1. I realize that I have no social life, and currently I’m perfectly fine with that, though I know that getting out could help with the networking–I just really don’t have the energy to do it right now. I’m sure that it will change once I move to a new city and meet new people.
So what are some things that I can try to do over the next three months to try to bring the numbers up?
Get in touch with friends/family via email, facebook, linkedin.
Continue reading personal development books & getting through at least one personal development course that I’ve bought.
Mediate about 5 minutes a night and do daily tarot card readings
Savings challenges and limiting what I’m buying on campus.
Working on my transition plan and networking
Meeting up with friends for lunch (or walking around Boomer Lake) and/or trying to make it to a Cheeky meetup.
Schedule time for crafts
Go through clothes to possibly donate
Repack boxes in storage unit & straighten up my bedroom
Start either another round of LIIFT4 or try to do InsanityMax30 again.
Since I’ve been having problems with sticking to a routine this fall (I did great up until September & then everything spiraled downhill on me). I’ve decided that I was going to make a hybrid workout schedule for the month–if I manage to stick with it, I’ll make a longer one for the new year.
The workouts are a mixture of programs–some I have the DVDs of (which is good, since one of the programs isn’t carried any more), and others I will have to log into the online platform to do. I don’t mind doing “on-line” workouts–except for there are times that I don’t want to be getting on my computer after work, which is why it’s good to have physical DVDs (or one can also go to a gym–but that isn’t my cup of tea when it comes to working out).
The programs are also a mix of strength training (I do love LIIFT4), yoga/pilates (PiYo & Yoga Booty Ballet), and cardio. When it comes to our health and fitness, there isn’t a one size fits all in terms of programs (or nutritional advice either). I’ve decided that while I can do programs from start to finish–some times I need variety and that is where my hybrid schedule is going to come into play.
This schedule may also change–I might try to sub in an 80 Day Obsession workout during the Christmas holiday instead of one of the shorter ones that I have currently listed. The only way to know if I would enjoy the workouts is to give them a try. So far day 1 is complete–I do enjoy the cardio dance workout of Country Heat.
Well we’re basically to the end of July (which means there are only five months left in the year). I really do wish that time would just slow down a little—I mean I could swear that yesterday was Memorial Day and a three-day weekend. Anyway the moon has spun through Capricorn, and Cancer constellations and will be entering into Aquarius. And with this transition, there is also going to be a solar eclipse (that I won’t be able to see since it won’t be visible from the US).
So to begin, I’m going to take a look at “Moonology: working the magic of lunar cycles” by Yasmin Boland, to see what questions one can be asking themselves during this Aquarius full moon:
Have I been pragmatic to the point of losing the romance of life?
Have I been living too much in my head and not enough in my heart?
Have I been trying to do things my way, just for the sake of it?
Have I been trying too hard to befriend people, and for the wrong reasons?
Have I allowed myself to move forward this month?
So with numbering the above questions 1-5, I think that my answers would be as following:
I’m not really sure how to answer this one. I’ve never been in a relationship—I was picked on through out public school, and then I was concentrating on classes and working throughout my undergrad and grad school times. When I moved to Boston for my first postdoc—I was focused on trying to find a balance between work and life (and never really did find it). After coming home, I’ve been focused on trying to determine what my career is going to be (probably to the determent of having a social life). Plus I figured that I’d only be back for a couple of years, and I don’t want to have to deal with the idea of a long distance relationship. So my answer would have to be maybe???
Yes, I probably have been living too much in my head and not enough in my heart. It’s just easier that way right now. I don’t have the energy to try to figure out what my next career path is going to be and try to balance that with a social life. I know that I probably should be a little more social (would probably help in dealing with social anxiety)—I just don’t have the energy right now to do it.
I think the answer to this question depends on the context of the question. What things are we referring to? At work there really is only one way of doing most things when it comes to setting up the reactions and getting the plate run on the machine. Cooking and cleaning?? Maybe I do things my way, but that’s just because that’s how I like to do things. So I think that this question can be misleading. I know that things change and there can be faster and quicker ways of doing things—the question one has to ask themselves is this: Is the new way more cost effective than the old (in terms of certain science practices), and what would happen if we ran out of money (is there someone that can do it the old way)?
I don’t think that I’ve been trying too hard to befriend people, and for the wrong reasons. I know that to get forward in industry, one has to network. The networking can take time depending on how many conversations you have between the two of you before you are able to send your request for an informational interview or a referral. I know that I’ve had people reach out to connect with me on Linkedin, and then almost right away ask for help in their job search. When this happens I politely say no that I don’t know of any openings and wait to see what their response is.
In terms of moving forward this month—I’m hoping to move forward in terms of my transition plan. While I think that my current job is secure until sometime next year, I do need to aim to be somewhere else by April of next year (this is currently 9 months off). I’m doing LIIFT4, so I’m also trying to move forward with my workout schedule and trying to get back into shape as well.
So this transition of the moon through Aquarius is also having it pass through my fourth house or home and family zone. This can be a time to where we can make changes to where we live, work on any issues we might have with family, and again try to find balance between one’s personal life and one’s career. For me this basically means still working on my transition plan to move into industry but at the same time trying to keep a balance to where I’m not spending all my time outside of work working on it (I can probably do some stuff during the day at work [like read coding books to figure out how to set up a webpage and things like that]).
So my goals for this full moon period include:
Continuing with LIIFT4 (currently I’d be ending week 2; so that by the time that we get to the next new moon—I should be through week 4).
Renew some professional memberships (and possibly see about joining one that is slightly outside my area of expertise so that I could possibly go to a “blue networking event”).
Continue working on my transition plan (there are some areas that I think I need to freshen up or redo; which is why this transition plan document is over forty pages).
Strive to find that balance between work/job searching/and trying to have a life (socializing, crafting, spending time with my animals).