I survived Carnival…but, most importantly, I survived Operation: Carnival Booty.
I devised this plan when, upon returning from my mother’s cake-filled house at Christmas and taking a look at my smushy self after the half-marathon, I realized that drastic toning measures were in order. Cue five sessions of hard cardio each week, two sessions of easy cardio, five sessions of death by Core Fusion, and the installation of a combination lock on my oven.
(OK, I didn’t actually install the lock. But I thought about it. Not that it mattered, after I ran across a recipe for no-bake chocolate peanut butter cookies. They’re delicious–you must make them. I digress).
So, how did it go?
Well, I WANTED to be fit and toned, though I didn’t NEED to do this to fit into my carnival costume. Somehow, despite the ups and downs of half-marathon training and Christmas gorging, I managed to fit into the costume perfectly, with the belt actually being larger than necessary as I had ordered it. It fell quite low on Tuesday when I wore it–before it fell apart completely, that is.
As for the toning….Let’s just say that I’m ten times the Core Fusion convert now that I was before.
My abs were rock solid after just two weeks of the Core Fusion. Of course, you would not be able to tell from the fit of my costume and stupid tights, but they WERE, I swear! I had to remind myself of this when I saw what the tights did to my abs (namely: they sucked up any extraneous fat from my ankles up and shunted it right around my belly button, where these “low-rise” monsters ended). S9 yes, the abs were very nice indeed–they looked great when I wore my bikini, and my pants and skirts got much looser around the waist.
My legs and booty felt beleaguered (as in, walking hurt for the first few days), but looked much improved in tone. I could not believe how firm everything got and how quickly it all happened! I had legs of steel. I could have given He Man a run for the money… not that I would want to.
The biggest improvement, however, was probably in my arms, and that’s because they were pretty wimpy at the start of the Operation. By the end of the first week, I was deliberately walking by mirrors and flushing toilets so I could see my flexing Popeye arms in action. Had I brandished my biceps more, I think I could have even strong-armed (ha!) Mr. Man into playing Jouvert out of fear of my guns.
The cardio part wasn’t so bad either, except that I had to miss a few days from sheer exhaustion (we were out most evenings for about two weeks, making a 6 am wake-up for running pretty difficult) and migraine. I gave Zumba my all, and I’m happy to report that all the strengthening work on my legs and abs made me run much faster, much better, and much easier–so much faster that I actually managed to run my fastest 5K time ever.
If I could, I would stick to the five-times-per-week Core Fusion. However, that’s a BIG chunk of time to dedicate to optimum guns for the sake of pure vanity, and though I’m much better at it than I was before, it’s still 40-50 minutes of intermittent swearing, sighing, and crankmeister behavior as I curse the benevolent Elisabeth Halfpapp and Fred De Vito for making me lift, dip, and curl just one more time. I think I’ll still be able to see good effects from doing it three times a week, and I’ll feel positively beatific if I manage to add a fourth session to the mix on weekends.
As for the cardio, I’ll definitely stick with my four hard sessions a week (five is just a bit much), and I’ll try to either fill in with a walk, an easy bike ride, or even a tougher session on the other three days.
It’s not like it’s ever NOT bikini season around here, folks… and with Isa landing in less than a week, I need to show Sister the Youngest who’s boss.
In the guns department, anyway.