Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Ready, Set...GO!

I too want the COMPLETE stamp!
so despite wanting to put it off for longer, here's my end-all-be-all pcp post (no pressure, or anything!):

Ok, I don't know how to organize this post! But I'm taking Tara's cue and I'm going to at least start with some fundamental lessons learned/pcp topics:

The Bod
Starting off with the "core" of PCP, some info on what happened to my body these 90 days. I know you want to see it, so let's start with the tell-all visuals:

PCP Day 1 Photos:

PCP Day 90 Photos:

So obviously I'm pleased, heeheehee!
I feel light and upright and I no longer worry about backfat rolls or any rolls at all. Every part of my body has taken on some lovely new shape, and while my genetics aren't very kind when it comes to having any semblance of butt, at least it's a bit rounder and not square! (haha! seriously, it was square before. so weird!)
Ok, getting serious. What's amazing about this new body is yes, it looks good, but really to the touch it's even more drastic. There is serious muscle under my skin now, and I still can't get over how different it feels to put my hand on my waist - instead of fatty fat layers I have this super strong core. It's comforting, and pretty thrilling. I'd still like to lower my body fat % a bit to be able to see the muscles a bit more, but I'm not going to stress it. One thing I've really learned is to connect with how my body feels, and if i'm happy with that then i don't care what size clothing i'm wearing or what any scale says.
In short, I always knew there was a rocking body within me, and it's awesome to see it for myself and get to show it off a bit to others!
Ok, moving on - but don't worry, there are more pictures to reward you at the end of this post!

So in the beginning of PCP I thought that this would be 90 days of boring, non-cooking cooking. I even had this whole long post where I said goodbye to kitchen things I thought I wouldn't be using (a photo tribute to my kitchen). But what I discovered was a deeper, more astute way of cooking than before. I hardly consulted any recipes, and let my creativity and basic skills take over. And, if you've been reading this blog, you've seen that I ate a ton of delicious stuff this summer! It helped to have some basic skills mastered, so that I didn't have to just steam everything or use only one method, and then i could focus on getting fresh food that looked good, cooking it in the best way to highlight its natural flavors, and then devouring it!
Also, I used a ton of spices (thank you Talia, for the Israeli spices!!) and I think my next kitchen project is going to be to make my own signature spice mixes. Fun!

Now this is the part of PCP training where I don't think I did very well. I have a crazy job, and I try to have some human interaction, and I like to read and relax, and while I tried to prioritize sleep this summer I often failed at getting as much as I need to. This is an ongoing struggle, and one I'm really not sure how to master with my current NYC lifestyle, but I'm working on it.
(Check out my crazy rant on the topic, to see details.) The basic takeaway is, however, that sleep is an integral part of being at peak. Not only does it help muscles grow and build and rest so that they can achieve full potential, for me it directly effects my tendency to overindulge, to self-hate, and to turn into a very negative, masochistic version of myself (aka Schlump Girl).
So anyway, must sleep more.

Social Life
PCP and the NYC social scene are not natural bedmates. During this summer I spent more weekend nights at home alone than I'd like to admit, but I feel okay about that. This was a time to commune with myself, a self-indulgent time, and it's hard to do that and be out socializing all the time. Not to mention, the food/drink focus of most socializing was a challenge that i never quite conquered. This will be part of the balance I try to strike now that the project is over, and one good thing is that now a night out lasts me a week or two, since I'm used to staying in. So, I guess meals and drinks and late nights should all be done in moderation like everything else.
Luckily, I've become very comfortable with getting seltzer at a bar and not thinking twice about it. I think some friends see me as a downer because I go home earlier than everyone else, but when you're not drunk and everyone else is it's just not that fun to keep the party going for hours and hours. If I'm a sexy, healthy, strong downer I can deal with that label :-)

Some little secret pcp side-effects:
  • No processed/packaged foods = beautiful skin. I completely stopped using any facial products other than a light spf moisturizer and I have had the clearest skin these 3 months in my whole life. It's amazing! If you want to save money on those nonsense products, quit the industrial food machine. That's been a big revelation.
  • Clean, easy bowel movements: you too can enjoy these by eating only fresh, real food. I won't elaborate, but it's pretty fantastic. (haha!)
  • Any money saved from not eating out or drinking will probably be spent on clothes or accessories. And that's great! I never put much stock in what I wore, before PCP, but now I see (and feel) the importance of looking great and presenting a strong, healthy, put-together self in front of the world. During this project I have upped the anty on looking a bit more professional at work, and I think it's paid off in my interactions with people and my success. It might sound vain, but it is a physical representation of deeper confidence and strength and it's awesome.
  • Once I learned to shut up a bit about the project (I didn't fully learn this, but I'm working on it), I got great satisfaction out of knowing all that I know about health and strength and letting my body speak for itself. As a person who has a tendency to be on "a high horse" (as my mom likes to point out), this is a good lesson to continue to learn!
  • There are definitely dozens more of these little anecdotes, but I've got to cut this list off. Read all my blog posts to find them - they're all in there!

Demons & Heroes
Finally, PCP revealed to me that I am my own demon and my own hero. The narrative of Schlump Girl vs. The Pink Lady will continue, undoubtedly, throughout my life, but now I have a fantastic framework with which to deal with these two and help TPL come out on top more often than not. Understanding what makes Schlump Girl tick, and having this great visual of The Pink Lady are hugely helpful tools for moving forward from the unhealthy pre-pcp cycle that these two had me spinning in, before. Here's a final tribute to The Pink Lady (her signature pose), that I took on Day 90:
So, I think I've got to end with that, no?
I have all the gratitude in the world for you people out there - my real life family & friends, Patrick and Chen for being the best gurus I could've possibly found, the universe for aligning at the perfect time to get me on this program, and Team SEXAAAY. Oh, Team SEXAAAY what will I do without your amazing support, fantastic personalities, hilarious anecdotes? Well, I'm moving you all into 'real life friend' category (and maybe even into the family sector, since you have felt like this wonderful kind of family all summer). I cried on day 90, thinking about how I won't hear from you all as often, but I will be thinking of you all, all the time. I'm so glad we've supported each other through this process, and know that I'm sending my regards to you around the globe every time you cross my mind.

I heard recently a quote that applies to PCP: When you set out to help yourself, you end up helping others.

I think that's what happens with this program, in many more ways than one, and it's a touching, deeply transformative process - both the helping yourself and the helping of others. If you're reading this and you're thinking about trying the PCP, just do it. 90 days will fly by, do you want to emerge as Schlump Girl or The Pink Lady? You know which one I chose.

(those are some coveted small jeans I've never really been able to fit into... until now!)



  1. the transformation is amazing. you look strong, healthy, glowing and HAPPY.
    happiness attracts happiness......
    congrats and good luck with whatever you decide to put your mind to next!

  2. Those jeans ROCK! Elena, this has been the most fun ever! :) I'm coming to visit you one day soon, that's a promise and a threat. ;-) We will have a face to face plank duel! It'll be great! xoxo!

    Also, on the "high horse" comment, I need to really work on that aspect of myself, too. It's so difficult when I'm feeling good about something to not be like, "you should do it, too! don't be so damn lazy!" Not an effective strategy for helping people, I've found. :)

  3. Ahhhhh, love those pictures! You look fabulous, truly. The confidence on your face is as awesome as your muscles!

    Looking forward to meeting you in person next week!!

  4. Elena - your transformation "wows" me completely. Both your internal and external transformations. I've learned so much - and related to so much - of what you've blogged on your journey. Keep rockin' out with your SEXAAAY bod, girl!!! Congrats.

  5. See how in your Day 1 photo the thighs touch each other when you stand naturally? And on Day 90 there's a substantial gap. That's a good 6-7% body fat loss right there. Fantastic.

    People ask sometime if the results are guaranteed, and I tell them "you get out what you put in". You put it ALL in Elena, and have been justly rewarded!

    Nice work. COMPLETE!

  6. 90 days flew by !

    The day I met you in person in NYC seems to be a long time ago.
    You already looked so good back then but, your Day 90 picture is WOW !!

  7. wow, you look great Elena! you have put so much into this these last 3 months and it really shows!you have been an inspiration. your recipies are fantastic too! im still meaning to make that bread from scratch ;) hopefully ill be coming to NYC one day!

  8. Congratulations, Elena!! I loved following your journey!

    The great part about this is that you might NEVER shut up about the PCP!'s a lovely thing to spread the word. And have the healthy bod, skin, and attitude to prove it!

    You rule!!!!

  9. Words fail me. Well not really. Words never fail me. Here are some for you.


    Your discipline, both physical and mental, have brought you to Peak Condition. Your imagination has made the trip interesting. Your compassion, for yourself and the rest of us on the road with you, has made the trip full of power and if I can be so bold to say it - love.

    You have loved yourself - into a core of strength - into the body that you were born to have.

    I hope to see you when I am next in NYC. If you need a place to stay in Vermont (that applies to everyone!) you've got one!

    Much love and gratitude for this your final post.

    Looking forward to being real friends in days to come.

    Deborah Laporte Bremer

  10. Elena, I don't know if you still get these comments, but in case so, it was so much fun to meet you at the Transportation Alternatives/Century Ride fest today in Central Park, with my gaggle of Barnard volunteers! You radiate energy and strength even through several layers of anorak :-)

    Good luck with whatever badass activities you try next, and I'll hope to run into you again the next time I volunteer at a TA event -- eventually, hopefully, as a PCPer myself (at which point, I will definitely be using you for inspiration :)