An Unbiased Review Of The 'PiYo' Workout Program

An Unbiased Review Of The 'PiYo' Workout Program

Summer Chronicles: Vol. 8

A month ago my mom asked me, “Have you ever heard about PiYo? Because I bought it! Will you do it with me?” Obviously, I agreed while having no clue what I was getting into. Without sounding too much like an infomercial, I will tell you what it is. PiYo is a 4-8 week Pilates and Yoga fusion workout program geared to be low-impact while still burning calories. To follow the calendar you workout 6 days a week with a rest day on Fridays. It is designed to increase muscle definition, lengthening, and flexibility. To understand where I started from, this was not my first time following an intensive workout schedule, in fact, about 6 months ago I did Beachbody’s Hip Hop Abs program.

Before beginning, you are encouraged to measure yourself and take pictures. This gives you a reference as your body changes throughout the following weeks, much better than just numbers on a scale. It was also helpful with creating this article!

Here is where I started out:

Height: 5’1”

Weight: 164 lbs.

Arms: 13”

Waist: 34.5”

Hips: 42”

Legs: 24”

PiYo also gives a loose guide of how many calories you should eat a day based on your current weight. Most of the food I already ate was PiYo approved so it was not too difficult to loosely follow.

Week 1

Highs: The moves are not as intimidating as I expected.

Lows: My wrists are weak and tight.

How I feel overall: Excited

Week 2

Highs: I lost a pound!

Lows: Not finding enough time to workout with my mom.

How I feel overall: Strong.

Week 3

Highs: I am able to do all the push-ups in the Upper-Body workout now!

Lows: My right shoulder is becoming fatigued.

How I feel overall: In the habit.

Week 4

Highs: I was out of town for a couple days (yay, rest)!

Lows: I was out of town for a couple days (puttered out).

How I feel overall: Accomplished.

Where I finished:

Height: 5’1”

Weight: 160 lbs (4 lbs lost)

Arms: 14” (an inch gained)

Waist: 32.5” (two inches lost)

Hips: 43” (an inch gained)

Legs: 24.5” (half an inch gained)

Total weight lost: 4 lbs.

Final Thoughts:

Would I recommend this? Absolutely.

Pros? You will gain flexibility as well as strength. Taking the challenge of working out 6 days a week is difficult both physically and mentally.

Cons? This workout was no joke! It is a little pricey, but worth it.

What do I think about my results? I expected more difference in inches/pounds, but am proud of my visual results.

Can you spot the difference? That’s right, look at that smile! There is something empowering about pushing your physical limits. You learn that you underestimated your own body. Not only did PiYo make me look stronger, but I feel happier and healthier because of it!

Cover Image Credit: Gabriel Gerstenkorn

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To The Person Who Feels Suicidal But Doesn't Want To Die

Suicidal thoughts are not black and white.

Everyone assumes that if you have suicidal thoughts that means you want to die.

From an outside perspective, suicidal thoughts are rarely looked into deeper than the surface level. Either you have suicidal thoughts and you want to die, or you don't have suicidal thoughts and you want to live. What most people don't understand is that people live in between those two statements, I for one am one of them.

I've had suicidal thoughts since I was a kid.

My first recollection of it was when I came home after school one day and got in trouble, and while I was just sitting in the dining room I kept thinking, “I wonder what it would be like to take a knife from the kitchen and just shove it into my stomach." I didn't want to die, or even hurt myself for that matter. But those thoughts haven't stopped since.

I've thought about going into the bathroom and taking every single pill I could find and just drifting to sleep and never waking back up, I've thought about hurting myself to take the pain away, just a few days ago on my way to work I thought about driving my car straight into a tree. But I didn't. Why? Because even though that urge was so strong, I didn't want to die. I still don't, I don't want my life to end.

I don't think I've ever told anyone about these feelings. I don't want others to worry because the first thing anyone thinks when you tell them you have thoughts about hurting or killing yourself is that you're absolutely going to do it and they begin to panic. Yes, I have suicidal thoughts, but I don't want to die.

It's a confusing feeling, it's a scary feeling.

When the depression takes over you feel like you aren't in control. It's like you're drowning.

Every bad memory, every single thing that hurt you, every bad thing you've ever done comes back and grabs you by the ankle and drags you back under the water just as you're about the reach the surface. It's suffocating and not being able to do anything about it.

The hardest part is you never know when these thoughts are going to come. Some days you're just so happy and can't believe how good your life is, and the very next day you could be alone in a dark room unable to see because of the tears welling up in your eyes and thinking you'd be better off dead.

You feel alone, you feel like a burden to everyone around you, you feel like the world would be better off without you. I wish it was something I could just turn off but I can't, no matter how hard I try.

These feelings come in waves.

It feels like you're swimming and the sun is shining and you're having a great time until a wave comes and sucks you under into the darkness of the water. No matter how hard you try to reach the surface again a new wave comes and hits you back under again, and again, and again.

And then it just stops.

But you never know when the next wave is going to come. You never know when you're going to be sucked back under.

I always wondered if I was the only one like this.

It didn't make any sense to me, how did I think about suicide so often but not want to die? But I was thinking about it in black and white, I thought I wasn't allowed to have those feelings since I wasn't going to act on them. But then I read articles much like this one and I realized I'm not the only one. Suicidal thoughts aren't black and white, and my feelings are valid.

To everyone who feels this way, you aren't alone.

I thought I was for the longest time, I thought I was the only one who felt this way and I didn't understand how I could feel this way. But please, I implore you to talk to someone, anyone, about the way you're feeling, whether it be a family member, significant other, a friend, a therapist.

My biggest mistake all these years was never telling anyone how I feel in fear that they would either brush me off because “who could be suicidal but not want to die?" or panic and try to commit me to a hospital or something. Writing this article has been the greatest feeling of relief I've felt in a long time, talking about it helps. I know it's scary to tell people how you're feeling, but you're not alone and you don't have to go through this alone.

Suicidal thoughts aren't black and white, your feelings are valid, and there are people here for you. You are not alone.

If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline — 1-800-273-8255

Cover Image Credit: BengaliClicker

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The Path To Self Love

It's a beautiful and hard journey but the reward is so worth it


Like many of us, I tend to rely on other people and their opinions way more than my own. Stopping that? It's easier said than done but it's possible. You'll never fully be able to stop caring about what other people think but you can care a little less. How?

Building up your self-worth and confidence. That task is probably one of the hardest ones that I've ever had to tackle and am still figuring out.

Loving yourself can mean so many different things but at the end of the day it really means just being able to be your own happiness. So many people rely on others for happiness instead of themselves. That's just not it. We do this to ourselves but what happens when that person or group of people leave us? Then our happiness that was revolved around being with them is all gone. I've learned this life lesson the hard way and while it hurt like hell, I needed that. I had to learn that if I can't be happy by myself then I'll never fully be happy.

Sydney Mergler

Now, I know body positivity is becoming a thing right now but that doesn't change the fact that people still don't always feel one-hundred percent confident in their body. I personally have been struggling with my body image for years and finally have started to work on it for me. Not because I hate my body now, but because I want to get fit for me. It's been a struggle figuring this out and it's taken me years but I finally know what my end goal is and am working towards that. I know it's going to take me a while to reach it but at least I'm working towards a goal now and loving it at the same time. In fact, I feel so much more confident because of it.

Toxic friendships? Just break them. Do yourself a favor and don't dread on it, just drop them. You don't need the extra headache or drama. Life is hard enough as it is but having friends who are negative, disrespectful or just only look out for themselves makes it ten times harder. I'm not sorry for the friends I've dropped because if they really had wanted to keep the friendship, they would've treated me better.

Sydney Mergler

Over-apologizing? Just no. Let's not do that. For what? If you don't mean it, don't say it. There is no reason to apologize for something you either don't think needs to be apologized or you don't feel bad for. In the past, I used to apologize for every little thing and it drove me crazy.

On my path to self love, I've learned so much about myself already and I can't wait to learn more. I've learned I missed music, missed writing, enjoy yoga and other forms of exercise and so many other things. I've stopped holding on to things and people that aren't good for me and have started to let go of the past. Loving yourself can be a real challenge but at the end of the day it's the best thing you can do for yourself. You can't ever expect anyone to love you either in a romantic way or friend way without loving yourself. If you can't see the beauty in yourself how can you expect others to?

Sydney Mergler

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