Sunday, December 31, 2006


That's my word for the year. Thrive! To thrive, you can't be last in line, or taking the scrapings from the bottom of the bucket, or doing without. To thrive means to be abundantly alive. To flourish. I think of myself as a late bloomer (in a good way), and what cracks me up about my word for 2007 is that it works so much better for years ending in "5". But maybe I wasn't ready to thrive in 2005!

We leave on a cruise tomorrow -- from LA to Catalina Island to Ensenada, Mexico, then back home. When I return, I promise to post pictures of the training room. Happy New Year to everyone. Hope it's our best year yet!!!

Friday, December 29, 2006


Today I'm feeling much better than yesterday. Thanks for the words of encouragement!

So I've started my own personal bootcamp of sorts. Bad eating definitely contributed to feeling so sad yesterday (although there are very real things going on that feel sad) and feeling out of sorts all week. So today I'm back to proper eating, consistent exercise, and generally better self care. Earlier I did this for a workout:

7 rounds of
20 reps wall ball with squat (10 pound ball)
20 reps hang power cleans (24 pound bar)

And I just finished my spinach, butter lettuce, tomato, yellow pepper, and black bean salad -- YUM!

Oh and one final thing -- I've decided I want to be able to do a handstand with ease. So I'm working on it by walking up the wall (facing the wall) and just holding a handstand, with hands about a foot from the wall. Yesterday I managed to kick up to handstand several times. This is a BIG DEAL in terms of shoulder stability!

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Long time!

This time of year is just so busy that although I've had many things to write about, there truly hasn't been any "spare" time (is there such a thing???).

One of my clients got me a massage gift certificate, and I just got back from an hour of heaven. It's hard to break away from my puritanical thinking -- hard work is the only thing that matters -- and just relax and BE, but when I do, it's always great.

Today's workout was a variant on the Crossfit workout of the day (found on
5 rounds of

50 thrusters (with an 18 pound body bar)
1000 meter row

Good thing I did it before the massage. I loved the intensity, and I really loved it when I was done! Tim did the entire workout as prescribed, which means he did 90 pullups as just part of the workout. He's amazing, my husband!

Change of subject: I try not to write about my kids too much. I don't want them to feel their privacy is being invaded (although they don't read what I write, it could come back to haunt me and them!), and I just like keeping this fitness-ish in nature. But right now I'm feeling so sad about my older son. He's the one who hurt his wrist a couple of months ago. Today he told me he's not going back to gymnastics. He's competed since he was 7 years old, and has never experienced life without long hours in the gym. Well, he says he's really liking the ease his life has right now. Plus he thinks he's lost too much ground from having so much time away.

Ok, so our kids have never done gymnastics for us. We're not frustrated gymnasts or anything. But today I started crying as I thought of Austin not doing gymnastics anymore. Until the injury he thought he was going to take it through college (although we've always taken it a year at a time). And when I think back to watching him do pommel horse right before he got hurt, it kills me that I didn't have my video camera. It was just so beautiful -- the combination of grace and power -- and the smile on his face as he finished the routine -- well, I'm crying as I type this.

I believe all things happen for a reason -- I really do. And I believe that (as Charles Swindoll says) life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it. But I'm sad for my son. And I miss the boy I knew. In the last two months, he's changed in ways that make him feel very distant. He's talking about focusing on scootering and trying to get a sponsor. His music is different. I knew my clean-cut gymnast son. I'm afraid I won't know this new boy/man who's emerging.

Wish I could wrap this up, but maybe this is just something that must unfold...

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Many unrelated things, and my genius husband

I think the slimming tea is some caffeine, a diuretic, and a mild laxative. But it sounds so much better when it goes by its nickname of "slimming tea" doesn't it???

Got a little off track over the weekend. I don't know how anyone else gets off track, but for me it usually involves lots of stress, poor food choices, very little exercise, and this time it included forgetting to take anti-d for 3 days in a row. Truly -- this is a recipe for an emotional head-on collision! On Monday I was eating a candy bar (desperately seeking serotonin, I think), yelling profanity at the oh-s0-slow drivers on the road (no kids in the car at the time, though) and thinking "Something is seriously wrong with me!" Thank goodness for the moment of clarity where I thought, "Wait now...have I been forgetting something???" By Tuesday afternoon I was starting to feel more balanced, and I think today it's all systems go.

It's good that I was feeling better yesterday afternoon, because I spent an hour dealing with a printer paper jam. Tucker has a project due on Friday, and he wanted the text to look old. So we took paper and dyed it in a mixture of tea and coffee, which made it look like parchment. When we sent the paper through the printer, the first page did great, and the second page just got all caught up in the printer's guts, and wouldn't come out. So I spent nearly an hour using tweezers to pull confetti-sized pieces of paper from the printer. Then I needed to take Austin to PT, and just had to leave the project. When Tim came home, he clicked on the "How to fix printer jams" icon that I'd completely overlooked, found the magic secret back door to the printer, and had the jam fixed in about, oh like 30 seconds! Mr. Get-It-Done rides again. :)

Tim did convince me to workout Monday afternoon, but I didn't have much time. I went to our gym and did a circuit of these exercises:

KB swings -- 20 pounds, 30 reps
Reverse push-ups -- bar at waist height, 15 reps
Dead squats -- 40 pounds, 15 reps

After 3-1/2 times through, I was feeling, if not completely good, at least quite a bit better. I finished up with some single-leg leg press, using 100 pounds.

On another workout note (sorry this is so long -- kids aren't awake yet, and I actually have a little time to write!), tomorrow will be my last workout with Darla. I started with her in September of 2004 with about 20 pounds of excess fluff that I didn't know how to shed. Over the course of two years, she helped me to get consistent with exercise, created accountability with eating which translated into weight loss, and taught me that I could do WAY more than I ever thought I could do which is what led to me doing a figure competition in 2005. And she helped me to envision a life where I help women make the changes I made, which led to getting certified last month and starting a new chapter in my life. I am so grateful for all she's given me, and my hope is that I can give the same encouragement and guidance to the women who entrust their fitness hopes and dreams to me. (Cue music ... I know, sounds sentimental, but it's true!)

On a final note, I've been listening to some new and some old music recently. On my "I wanna hear it again" playlist are:

Killing in the Name, Rage Against the Machine (Austin introduced me to this) (skip the last minute or so -- it's all screaming and semi-indecipherable profanity)

You Haven't Done Nothin, Stevie Wonder (an oldie but goodie!)

Welcome to Our World, Michael W. Smith (one of my top Christmas songs)

Hope of Israel, Michael W. Smith (completely instrumental, and brings me to tears every time I hear it)

My Christmas Prayer, BeBe Winans and Rob Thomas

Ok, time to mom-up and start rousing the sleeping kids. I told Tucker he was going to wake up with a smile on his face -- hope that happens today!

Sunday, December 17, 2006

The Soreness is Building

Ok, so I got up this morning and didn't feel very sore at all. "I must be in great shape!" I thought. Well, as the day goes on, I get sorer and sorer. Everywhere.

In an interesting paradox, this afternoon I was drinking slimming tea and munching on some Petit Fours that a Bingo customer brought to me. Two steps forward and one step back???

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Muffin workout? Workout and muffins?

This week has been light on workouts because of family in town and Tucker's birthday party today. After the party, Tim suggested we do a Crossfit workout he'd seen: 5 pull-ups, 10 push-ups, 15 squats in rounds for 20 minutes. I agreed and it was great! I still can't do full pull-ups, but I can jump to the top then come down slowly. And instead of squats, I did kettlebell swings -- more intense for the backside than normal squats.

On a less healthy note, Costco blueberry muffins are like crack for me -- highly addictive and totally whack in terms of my fitness goals. We had a brunch for Tucker's party and then took the boys to see the movie "Eragon" which was quite good. But back to the muffins -- we bought tons, cut them in half, and set them out on a plate. They're still out, which makes it all too easy to break off a bite or two every single time I pass the kitchen.

Oh, back to workouts, after the 20 minutes, we ran a mile to finish things off. Tim felt the workout more in his lower body. For me, upper body is very tired. Between us, we're officially jello!

Friday, December 15, 2006

A really funny compliment

I work at a Bingo hall most Thursday nights. Last night I was cashiering, and a woman came through my line and complimented me on my hair, asking how I make it look so good. I told her my 24-year-old niece told me which flat iron I needed, and she said, "Girl, YOU look 24!" Nice!

So we kept talking -- a very rambling conversation about hair (she says black hair doesn't respond to normal flat irons), Christmas shopping, kids, etc. She said she has two kids who are high school seniors. I said, "You sure don't look old enough for that!" and we agreed to say our ages. When I told her my age, she said, "Girl, they say black don't crack, so you must be some black, cuz you ain't cracked yet!" Thought I was going to wet myself from laughing so hard!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Crazy Busy!

I really am still here, just crazy busy, as I'm sure everyone else is this time of year! Tucker's birthday is in 6 days, and I'm planning his party for Saturday (a group of boys going to see the movie Eragon). Christmas shopping is in full swing. Got new weights yesterday (hooray!) and flooring too (now just have to figure out how to install it). Ordered business cards this morning ( Relatives coming into town later today (hooray!) and staying for 3 days. House is a wreck (boo!).

Recommendation: if you see the January issue of O, The Oprah Magazine, get it! It's the one with Oprah and her 3 beautiful dogs on the cover. The issue has great information about motivation and changing habits and eating and is well worth the money.

Time to clean house...

Friday, December 08, 2006

Mission accomplished

Short. Intense. Effective. Here's today's workout:

Warm up
40 jumping pull-ups (2 sets of 20)
50 bodyweight Y squats (arms overhead in a "y" -- makes these harder)
20 Turkish get-ups, using 6 pound squishy med ball (2 sets of 10)
300 kettlebell swings (using 15 pound Cardio Bell, 6 sets of 50)
20 situps holding 12 pound Body Bar

We're heading to Tahoe for snowboarding. Have a great weekend, everyone, and remember:


Christmas came early!

I got my Power Systems order today! Fitness toys! Fitness toys! So I have now in my posession:

1 Reebok Core Board
3 squishy med balls (10, 8, and 6 pounds)
1 Cardio Bell (15 pounds)
1 Body Bar (12 pounds, to add to my 18 pounder)
4 new exercise tubes (at various resistances)
and a lovely lovely exercise mat

Time to go kick my own a$$!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Feeling lucky

There is a quote by someone famous (but I can't think of who at the moment) that goes:

Luck is when opportunity meets preparation.

So I went to the Christmas lunch and guess what? My old company is putting in a training room for their employees, and one of my good friends is on the committee that's meeting on Friday to decide what kind of equipment they're buying and how they want to proceed. So she asked me to send her an email with my contact information, because we discussed having someone (moi?) come in and educate the employees on how to maximize their time in the training room. So because I have an opinion on all things fitness, I sent her some things to consider as they plan the space.

I have no idea if anything will come of this, but I'm feeling lucky, that's for sure!

The Transitive Property

Pop quiz: does anyone remember the transitive property? It's the one that goes like this:

If A = B, and B = C, then A = C

This weekend the transitive property kinda did me in. My friend was here with her family. I LOVE LOVE LOVE my friend. But she has trouble knowing what size she is (something many women struggle with). At 5'8" and maybe 120 pounds, she feels big. So here are my thoughts:

If my friend thinks she's a cow. And I'm bigger than my friend. That makes me a ..... ???

I know it's not clear thinking. But it's hard to get out of!

And today I'm going to lunch at the computer company I used to work for. I've been home with my kids for 11 years now, but my job was a big deal to me for a long time. And sometimes I still miss working there. The reason I'm going is that years ago I started a Christmas lunch where I made soup for the entire company (there were about 40 of us at that time) and we watched a Christmas movie. Well, that tradition is still going strong nearly 20 years later, and one of my friends at the company thought to invite me this year. I'm excited to see old friends, but nervous at the same time, because I don't want to feel like I want to work there again.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Can we talk beauty?

I used to feel like the only 12-year-old in a grown-up woman's body -- awkward, insecure, and sure that everyone else knew how to "do" the beauty thing, but not me. But in the past few years I've found some confidence, along with a healthy dose of "I am what I am!" and that's helped the awkward adolescent to grow up a bit.

Based on that background, it kind of amazes me AND cracks me up that I'd feel like I could write ANYTHING about beauty. Having said that, I have something to say. I'd found some products I love, so of course I need to share this info with my friends.

First thing is Big Tease mascara by Bare Escentuals. I'm still completely sold on their makeup, but am in love with this mascara. It makes your lashes long and pretty without getting all goopy like some mascaras do. Also at BE is Buxom Lips, a lip plumper/gloss that's really nice, but only seems to be included in some of their kits, not separately.

And my niece introduced me to the BEST flat iron on the planet -- the CHI flat iron. I thought all flat irons were the same, but I was oh so wrong.

Of course, these are just outside beauty things. The most important beauty advice is always to love and accept yourself for who you are, retain a positive outlook on life, and drink tons of beauty juice (aka water). But finding great mascara, lip gloss, and a flat iron sure doesn't hurt!

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Bringing on Christmas

Just a little something to make you smile!

Today I've got the Christmas music going, and I'm bringing boxes out from under the stairs in preparation for setting up the tree and decorating. Last year we bought an artificial tree, and while it's certainly simpler, I think I'm gonna miss going up to Snowy Peaks, the place in the mountains where we've gone ever since we were first married, to find and cut the perfect tree (which, when you really think about it, is barbaric -- who would cut down the perfect tree? Well, me, I guess.)

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Feast or famine

Well, the famine is over and my appetite is back. It returned around 9:00 last night, and after tomato soup, salad, granola, and a protein bar, my stomach was finally willing to give up pantry prowling!

Today the electricians are in the training room putting in can lights and a dimmer. And I'm hoping weights and flooring will be in by the end of the weekend.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Technology rocks

So I got some speakers to use with my iPod in the training room, and I LOVE them! They're by Logitech and I got 'em at Costco and they've been following me from the kitchen (great to have music while you cook) to the garage (cuz who can paint without music?) to the training room. They came to Tahoe with us and provided music to dine by. Click here to check them out (but if you buy them, go with Costco where they're $50 cheaper than the list price!).

And speaking of music, it's great having a 13 year old, cuz they expose you to all sorts of music you'd never hear otherwise. My new favorite song is "Hate Every Beautiful Day" but Sugarcult. (Love everything about it except for the name!) And through Austin, I've found the band Puddle of Mudd who do "Blurry" and "She Hates Me" which are also current faves.

What's interesting to me is that my sons musical tastes are so different. Austin's clearly in the alternative camp, whereas Tucker loves pop and musicals. Me? I love almost everything, so I'm good with whatever they put on. But if they share their music with me, they have to be prepared for a lesson in the joys of Earth, Wind, and Fire and Stevie Wonder, or Led Zeppelin and Aerosmith!

Sick, but it's a good thing

Tucker called from school saying he was feeling awful and wanting to come home. So we've been home today, and now I'm feeling yucky. But it's a good thing because I have no appetite. So while I don't feel great, I've spent the day catching up on email, painting a bench for our front porch, doing laundry, and just getting stuff done, and all the while not eating.

Oh, and I've found the perfect sick beverage. It's Diet Mountain Dew. My niece introduced me to it in Tahoe. (She drinks several each morning as her breakfast!) While I don't agree that DMD is the breakfast of champions, it may well be the nectar of the ill, cuz it's the only thing that's agreeing with me at the moment.

Intense Lower Body Workout

Ok, so the title doesn't begin to touch how sore my backside is today! If you, too, want to experience dramatic lower body soreness (and who wouldn't?!?!), here's one way to get there:

Day 1: Listen to intense music on iPod, and do a playful combination of lunges off a 14" step (bodyweight only) and kettlebell swings using a 20 pound dumbbell. Do maybe 50 or 60 lunges on each side, and 70 or so swings. Intersperse this with jumping pullups and ab work.

Day 2: Find a hill. (Come to Rocklin if you don't have any, cuz we've got plenty.) Do hill repeats, running till you're at the most your lungs can handle, then walking to recover, then running again. Do this 5 times.

Day 3: OUCH!

On another note, sometimes I read what bloggers write, and think, "You know, I'm going to stop writing, and just put "WHAT SHE SAID" on my weblog, along with a link." cuz it's just so good. That's how I feel about this post by Renee of Skwigg's World.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Test results

Prime Rib -- outstanding, but make sure to have sour cream and horseradish on hand next time.

Potatoes Are Rotten -- as always, a huge hit. Yes!

Chocolate Espresso Cake -- A+. And now the neighbors love us, cuz we took slices of cake to them so we wouldn't have the cake around the house.

You know what's nice about this? With the advent of depression, many things I loved went by the wayside. One of them was cooking. My family ate, but the enthusiasm I had for finding recipes or trying something new -- well, it just went away. So that I enjoyed testing some dishes for Christmas -- well, that is something to be thankful for.

Testing Christmas

Got back from Tahoe yesterday. Had a GREAT time, although I don't have quite the tolerance for sitting around and chatting that the rest of Tim's family has -- a few times I retreated to my room for a nice quiet reading time. But honestly, I LOVE my husband's family, and especially my nieces (24, 21, and almost 18). Ate a ton and experienced a bit of the mood plummet, but am back on track today. Plus somehow I managed to not gain a pound -- if only I could market the "Go on vacation, and leave the excess weight behind!" diet plan!

Today I'm doing a test run of Christmas dinner. We're having Christmas here this year, and what makes me nervous is the "big meat" part of the dinner. Well, Costco has fully cooked organic prime rib, where you just heat it and serve it. So we got some, and today I'm testing it out, along with Potatoes Are Rotten (well, that's what my kids call the potatoes gratin I make), and a chocolate cake with espresso buttercream frosting. I'll let you know how it all goes.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Feeling Fine

I'm a little sore today, but feeling just fine. What's most sore are my lats and biceps, from doing jumping pull-up holds last night. I haven't done pull-ups in a long time, and while it might have been a little much on my bicep tendon (it's sore today), it was so much fun! And my glutes can tell they were worked, but it's a good feeling.

Jen posted a link to another Crossfit video. I love how athletic the women are -- beautiful hips and thighs, awesome abs -- but more than that, I wish I could do a muscle-up (the move they do on the rings). My kids do that for gymnastics and it would be so great to be able to do the same thing. I think I could get strong enough, but the issue is shoulder stability. Would my shoulder stay in joint with that kind of pressure on it? Well, right now I'm working my way back to pull-ups, and maybe if I can make that happen, the muscle-up will be the next logical step?

On a completely different note, I've been cooking a lot recently. I don't do low fat or low carb stuff for our dinners. I figure with four active family members, I can just make what sounds good, and then Tim and I can moderate our intake by changing portion size. The cookbook I'm using is called "Don't Panic -- Dinner's in the Freezer" by Susie Martinez, et al. They give instructions for cooking in quantity and then freezing dinners ahead, but right now I'm just making the recipes to see if they're any good. So far the winners are Colorado White Chili (chicken, corn, white beans -- yum!), Lemon Glazed Chicken Breasts, and Sassy Sloppy Joes. Getting three solid recipes from a cookbook makes that book well worth the investment, in my opinion!

Monday, November 20, 2006

The kids are out of school...

...and I've become a bit of a YouTube addict. In some ways it's like my Amazon addiction -- easily justified as educational, therefore not likely to be dealt with anytime soon. Here's the kind of stuff I like to watch:

Fitness: Burpees - Kettlebell - Medicine Ball

I like to watch it because it's the kind of stuff I like to do in my own workouts. I do KB swings using a weight (and holding on VERY carefully) -- they're GREAT for lifting your rear view! And burpees -- I just thought I'd do 10 today for fun, not even the broad jump kind, just the kind where you jump up in the air. Got to the 6th rep, and hate to admit this, but I had to pause, catch breath, and then finish reps. When you mix these kind of intervals into an already challenging weight workout -- well, I guess all I can say is HARD WORK PAYS OFF!!!

If you are a praying sort of person...

...could you pray for my oldest son, Austin? He hurt his wrist skateboarding almost a month ago, and hasn't been able to do gymnastics since. Today we were back at the doctor, where he got a splint (think "removable cast") put on, and has another week of no gym. This is the kid who wants to go to Cal or Stanford on a gymnastics scholarship, and who has 20 hours a week of practice (he's 13 and in 7th grade) and NEVER complains about going. Meet season starts in January, and at his level, the tricks are getting harder and more dangerous, and I don't know what impact the time off with have on his season. Wish I could be the one with the injury.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Many thanks... everyone for your insight and wisdom. That you write at all encourages me. And what you wrote helps me to find my way out of the fear forest.

No news on the training room front. I'm waiting for my flooring and weights. In the meantime, I go in on a semi-regular basis (did abs last night, did lower body weights tonight) and feel like I'm making friends with my new space. It's bright and pretty and I'm very happy with how things are coming together so far.

So while I'm waiting, there's another project, and that is designing business forms: PAR-Q (physical activity readiness questionnaire), workout logs, business brochure, etc. I know I could just make copies from a book or website, but because I am me, I want it all to go together really well. So next week while the kids are off of school, I may manage to find a few quiet moments to put some designs together.

Wednesday we head to Tahoe for Thanksgiving with Tim's family. There will be 14 of us in a house surrounded by snow, and it's gonna be FUN! I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving. We all have so much to be thankful for, don't we?

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

A great day for this pig lover

While buying coffee beans at Peets, I found these licorice piglets. They are darling and the tin is even in the right colors to go with my Olivia the Pig collection!

Then at the school book fair, there was a new Olivia book, titled "Dream Big, starring Olivia." It has all sorts of fabulous quotes in it such as:

The only people who never tumble are those who never mount the high wire. Oprah Winfrey

Nobody can be exactly like me. Even I have trouble doing it. Tallulah Bankhead

Everything starts as somebody's daydream. Larry Niven

I really needed to see stuff like this today, because I am getting really frightened about charging people to work out with me. And with the fear comes the "this was the stupidest idea ever" thought and that just leads, as everyone knows, to chocolate! (Well, it didn't today, but it sure could have!)

When I look at the situation objectively, I know several things:

1) No relationship works where it's one-sided. So I can't train people and not charge. Period.
2) Even if I could, I'm going to have ongoing expenses like liability insurance, business licensing fees, and continuing education, not to mention the not insignificant outlay for getting certified and setting up a training room.
3) One of the huge obstacles to getting in shape is making the time to do it. Well, guess what? When you pay a trainer, all of a sudden you get VERY consistent in your workouts, cuz if you don't show, you still pay!

I still feel scared. The licorice piglets help a little bit. But chocolate might help even more. And I'm happy that my pig collection has a few new members!

Monday, November 13, 2006

Blog reading note

Is anyone else using Bloglines to read weblogs? If not, you've gotta try it. I keep up on about 15 weblogs, and with Bloglines, I'm notified when a new post is made. So no more clicking and checking for me. The only thing I don't know is if it registers on the person's weblog that someone was reading -- a nice thing for those who have a blog counter. Anyway, click here to check it out.


I hope I didn't sound like I was mad at my gym or anything in my last post. They handled this with a great deal of grace and were very kind about the situation.

Girlfriend Jen asked why I don't just train for my gym. Excellent question. Problem with training there is twofold:

1) They charge something like $75 per hour for personal training, and
2) The trainers only get like $15 per hour.

So it's like everyone loses -- the client AND the trainer. Well, the gym wins in this case. But it's their choice as to how they're going to set up personal training. If it were up to me, I think I'd charge maybe $40 per hour, give the trainer $35, and call it good. I mean, you're already making money on membership fees, so why not encourage loyalty and great results??? But it ain't up to me...

Semi-sad news

Today I got the call that I've been expecting for a while -- the head trainer at my gym called to ask if I'm training people in the facility. I was able to truthfully answer yes, but I'm not accepting compensation for it. She said that trainers at the gym, as well as members, have been asking about me, and that's causing problems. What I can do is workout with friends, but I can't direct their workouts.

So I'm flattered that people have noticed what I'm doing. But I'm sad because it's fun training my friends there. And double workouts on a regular basis (with a friend, then with Darla, for example) are not going to work. Guess I'd got additional motivation to get that training room DONE!

Sunday, November 12, 2006

My fun husband

We were getting ready for church today, and I was going to wear a wrap dress I'd worn in San Francisco for our anniversary.

Me: "This is my lucky dress, cuz when I wear it, I get lucky!"
Tim: "Well, I guess you have a whole closet of lucky clothes!"

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Bigger steps

Today Tim and I went to the exercise equipment store, and I ordered weights (Hampton chrome -- 5 lb, 7.5 lb, 10 lb, 12.5 lb, 15 lb, 20 lb, 25 lb, 30 lb) and rubber flooring (black with 17% white fleck). I also got a cool adjustable bench (incline and decline) and a weight rack (for holding dumbbells), a new stability ball, a door pull-up bar, and some magnetic weight plates (to create 17.5, 22.5, etc. weights as needed). Tim took apart the pull up tower I found in Craig's List, and my friend is coming to pick it up in the next few days (I'm happy to have found it a home!).

Tomorrow I meet with Steve at SST, who can get me discounts for Power Systems. My plan is to get some Dynamax balls, boxing targets, a Reebok core board, and a few other fitness toys. It's starting to actually happen and I'm getting very excited!!!

Friday, November 10, 2006

This post has no title

I use this weblog as my journal, which means I write down both the good and the bad stuff in life. And although I prefer writing when things are good, writing is so much more meaningful when things are tough, and I'm using the weblog to figure life out.

So what's bad is Wellbutrin, the new antidepressant I was on. And I'm bummed. Because while switching anti-d's did make my mind sharper, it was like switching my sex drive to "off." And that is NOT acceptable to me. This week I've gone back on Zoloft, and while overall it's a better choice for me, it really eff-s with my short-term memory and that makes me feel stupid.

I worked for a computer company for 10 years, and that meant I worked with a lot of men who loved science fiction, so I was exposed to a new genre. There was a book by Piers Anthony (I think) where one of the characters was so fascinating that I've always remembered her. This woman changed as the moon changed, so for half of the month she was fascinating to talk with, and a companion in every way a man could want. Only catch? Ugly as ugly can be. As the month progressed, she got more and more beautiful, but less and less interesting. I feel a little like this woman, in that I can feel my "sharpness" slipping away. And it causes me to get very quiet, because in conversation, for example, by the time I get a chance to speak, I've forgotten what I had in my head just moments before.

Maybe I'm like Rush Limbaugh -- "...with one half of my brain tied behind my back!" Honestly, even writing about it is making me feel a little bit better. And it gives me incentive to get my training room DONE, cuz when I train at the gym, I can't rely on a clipboard and notes to know what to do next, and while that's hard for anyone, it's especially challenging for me.

Ok, enough from me. If you're having a three-day weekend, enjoy it like crazy!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Baby-steppin towards my goal

So yesterday I did my first workout in the training room. Granted there's still work to be done -- the floor isn't changed out yet, pull-up tower needs to go to its new home, and maybe I should move the Christmas and birthday wrapping paper into another place (ya think?). But I actually did a workout in the room and I really liked it.

So I'm starting to design forms and business cards for Lift, and my printer decides to act up. It takes about 5 minutes or so to print a single page of text. So I've been navigating the HP support website, trying to figure out what's wrong. This is usually Tim's department, but he's so slammed with work that he can't check it out just now.

We have a FREE WEEKEND coming up -- hooray! I think I'm going to do some equipment purchasing and maybe some carpet ripping out. I'm starting to get very excited...!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Cool video

I subscribe to Ryan Lee's Sports Specific newsletter, and today he sent this message:

With election day finally coming to a close, there has been so much negativity and
nasty campaigning, we need get back into the positive frame of mind.

If you take a look here and spend just 3 minutes watching this video clip, I bet your day will be better:

Stay strong,
Ryan Lee

I so enjoyed watching this, and even though I'm not a frequent crier, it brought tears to my eyes.


Back to life, back to reality

Sunday night was my brother-in-law's wedding, so after my test Friday, we went straight into wedding madness. I LOVE my new sister-in-law, and the wedding was beautiful. But I'm very ready to be back to reality.

A big THANK YOU to everyone who wrote congratulatory stuff about passing my test. It was a big deal to me, and it was so fun to share the journey with you. As a family, we're going to have a celebration dinner soon, and I wish you all could join us!!! I'll let you know the night -- maybe you can have some cake to celebrate, and credit the calories to my account!

My arm/shoulder is getting better. I've been doing rehab exercises here at home, and have progressed from no weight at all to using tomato sauce cans (8 ounces, baby!) as I do my exercises. You should have heard my family laugh as I brought out my "weights" the first time. Pretty soon I'll be moving on up to soup cans, and then when I'm really doing good, I can graduate to canned vegetables!

So in the meantime, my exercise program has been all lower body, and all bodyweight, and it's truly possible to kick your own ass using no weights at all, let me tell you! Weight is holding steady in the high 130s, and I'm convinced that I will be in the low 130s by the end of the year if I keep doing what I'm doing (6 small meals, lots of veggies, lots of protein, minimal cheats).

Final note: I miss studying! I have two CEU courses from NASM: Optimal Performance Training (OPT) for Weight Management, and OPT for Seniors. I think I'll be starting one of the "classes" next week.

Monday, November 06, 2006

The best thing about San Diego

One aspect of my San Diego weekend I never got to tell was that I got to meet a fellow blogger! Irene and I met for dinner and it was delightful in every way. (Click on her link to see a picture of us -- for some reason I can't get Blogger to post the photo on my weblog.) We met on Friday night after the first day of my NASM seminar, and I got to the restaurant early to change out of fitness clothes. As I was waiting, I felt nervous like I was going on a blind date -- will she like me? will I like her? why didn't I lose 10 pounds before agreeing to this?!?! But spending time with Irene was like spending time with a childhood friend -- so easy, so comfortable, and so much fun. We sat over dinner for 2-1/2 hours (!), and I'm usually one who's ready to go after an hour, MAYBE a little longer. We talked about fitness, and kids, and fitness, and grandkids (can you believe she has a grandson?!), and being forty-something and working out -- well, you get the point.

Friday, November 03, 2006


Let the celebration begin!

I am so happy! When I got to the testing center and said what test I was there for, the proctor (is that what you call the test person?) said, "Oh, that's a hard one." Thanks. Anyway, finished in 35 minutes and figured I'd done the best I could. Went out to wait for my result, and was told "Congratulations -- you passed!" Waves of relief.

Gotta run -- my celebratory cinnamon roll is calling...

Testing ... testing...

Test is today at 11:00. I'm nervous. Brought flash cards to bingo last night and tried to pound a little more info into my brain. Here's what I'm having trouble keeping straight (I'm going to type it in hopes that this will help me to retain it!):

Upper-Extremity Postural Distortion
protracted shoulders and forward head (this part I've got!)
What's tight: pectorals, lats, upper traps, sternocleidomastoid
What's weak: rhomboids, mid & lower traps, cervical flexors

Lower-Extremity Postural Distortion
flat, externally rotated feet, adducted, internally rotated knees
What's tight: gastroc/soleus, peroneals, IT band, psoas, rectus femoris
What's weak: anterior and posterior tibialis, glutes, hip extensors and rotators

Lumbo-pelvic-hip Postural Distortion:
anterior pelvic tilt, sometime with hyperextended knees
What's tight: psoas, rectus femoris, adductors, lats, erector spinae
What's weak: glutes, bicep femoris, trans abdominis, internal obliques, multifidi, pelvic floor muscles

NASM's thinking is that since these three postural distortions are seen in so many deconditioned clients, it's important to know them right off the bat, along with ways to help bring proper movement (by stretching what's tight, and strengthening what's weak), because jumping right into an exercise program without addressing these compensations will ultimately lead to injury.
Just for fun (!), let's see if I can get the ATP/CP replenishment table down from memory:

20 - 30 seconds of rest: 50% of ATP/CP is replenished
40 seconds: 75%
60 seconds: 85 - 90%
3 minutes: 100%

And here are the three cardiorespiratory training zones:
Zone 1: 65 - 75% MHR
Zone 2: 80 - 85% MHR
Zone 3: 86 - 90% MHR

Ok, enough from me. I'll find out right after the test if I pass, and I'll be sure to let you know.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

A funny for the girls

This was sent to me by my dad's friend (!), and I thought I'd pass it on. Hope it makes you laugh!

I was due for an appointment with the gynocologist later in the week. Early one morning, I received a call from the doctor’s office to tell me that I had been rescheduled for that morning at 9:30 am. I had only just packed everyone off to work and school, and it was already around 8:45am.

The trip to his office took about 35 minutes, so I didn’t have any time to spare. As most women do, I like to take a little extra effort over hygiene when making such visits, but this time I wasn’t going to be able to make the full effort. So, I rushed upstairs, threw off my pajamas, wet the washcloth that was sitting next to the sink, and gave myself a quick wash in that area to make sure I was at least presentable. I threw the washcloth in the clothes basket, donned some clothes, hopped in the car and raced to my appointment.

I was in the waiting room for only a few minutes when I was called in. Knowing the procedure, as I’m sure you do, I hopped up on the table, looked over at the other side of the room and pretended that I was in Paris or some other place a million miles away.

I was a little surprised when the doctor said, "My, we have made an extra effort this morning, haven’t we?" I didn’t respond.

After the appointment, I heaved a sigh of relief and went home.

The rest of the day was normal ... some shopping, cleaning, cooking, etc. After school when my 6 year old daughter was playing, she called out from the bathroom, "Mommy, where’s my washcloth?" I told her to get another one from the cupboard.

She replied, "No, I need the one that was here by the sink, it had all my glitter and sparkles saved inside it."

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

My brain is full!

Did anyone ever see The Far Side comic where the guy raises his hand in class, asking "May I please be excused? My brain is full." That's how I feel. Eeegads there's a LOT of information in a 900 page book!

To take care of a bit of comenteering business (yeah, it may not be a word cuz I just made it up, but ... well, I don't even know what else to say!):

Greg: you asked ages ago about my arm injury. Initially it was a bicep tendon strain that I got from carrying a heavy container of bingo pull tabs around for a night, with my arm around 30 degrees or so from my body. It never got better because I am a stubborn git and can't seem to take a break when I need to. And I really hurt it about two weeks ago doing a shuttle run and thrusting with my arms. So now I'm on the ice and ibuprofen protocol and trying to get it better. Thanks for asking.

Also, thanks for the studying comment. It helps to know that I'm not the only grown-up who's tried to learn something new! I was up at 5:30 yesterday and today (easy cuz of daylight savings time) and got a good amount done early. And because it's so new for me to not be available to my family at all times, I wear Bose noise-reduction headphones while I study as a visual reminder to everyone that "Mommy's doing something!"

Eileen: I'm hoping what you wrote: "The more you have to do, the more you get done." proves to be the case. For a decade I've tried to be available to my family in a way that sometimes got a bit out of balance, e.g. never reading a book that I can't put down, cuz someone MIGHT need something. So my sites have felt like they were set pretty low, at least as far as what I got done that didn't fall under the categories of "wife-ing", "parenting", or "homemakering". Exercise was always there, though, cuz I just couldn't be sane without it -- good problem to have, right? Anyway, we don't have Halloween decorations up, and we didn't get pumpkins this year and that feels kinda crappy to me. I keep telling myself, though, that there's always next year...

And as far as housecleaning, I'm re-reading "The Flylady" book about house cleaning, which is motivating me to stay on top of things better. Objectively, though, our house isn't too bad most of the time, right Tim? Honey? Right??? :)

Monday, October 30, 2006

Adult ADD, or just back to college?

Was anyone else like me when they were in college? When it was crunch time, my apartment was cleaner than at any other time in life! Today I took care of some minor annoyances (taping up a lamp cord that was visible on the wall behind a table, trimming some carpet fibers that were coming apart at the edge of the carpet/hardwood) that really could have waited. But it's like I can study for about 15 - 20 minutes, and then I find something that's productive, but is NOT studying. The good news is that I was thinking about flexibility and autogenic vs. reciprocal inhibition while I was organizing and trimming. Or else I have adult ADD.

So the weekend was great. It pushed me way out of my comfort zone, but that's not a bad thing. Honestly, flying alone, renting a car and navigating Southern CA freeways, attending a class where I knew no one -- all of these felt really really scary. But once I was on the airplane, it was like being on a roller coaster where the car is just starting to move -- the only way out at that point is THROUGH! (Incidentally, that's what pregnancy felt like too -- I think I have a slight problem with change and things that I have little control over. But that's a topic for another day!)

Checking into the hotel, I felt very Bridget Jones as I unpacked: "Let's see -- Adidas track pants and exercise tubing. Am real fitness professional." And it's SO easy to just go to bed at 10:00 and get up at 5:30 when there's nobody else around to take care of. Getting 7-1/2 hours of sleep was a complete luxury.

In subsequent posts (the first of which will probably take place in about 10 minutes, given my attention span) I will cover:

the unexpected delightful Friday night thing
why NASM is the bomb (and I mean that in the best possible way)
what I'm trying to get pounded into my head in preparation for the test

Gotta go clean the garage -- I mean, study!

Moving very fast

Came back from NASM seminar and right into life going at a very fast pace. Today's schedule: up early to study (LOVE daylight savings time when we gain an hour -- feels virtuous to get up at 5:30 without an alarm clock!), morning chores, get kids to school, dogs to vet (shots, etc., but don't tell them!), study, pick up kids, homework supervision, gymnastics transportation, dinner prep, dinner, study, study, study. When I need a study break I'll write about the weekend, which was both fantastic and overwhelming, and reaffirmed why I chose NASM for my certification.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Focus, discipline, energy

I got the words in the title from "Brothers of IRON", the autobiography of Joe and Ben Weider. My hope is that I will bring focus, discipline, and energy to the NASM training this weekend, to my clients that I work with, and to my life in every area.

I worked with two clients today and enjoyed every single minute. I know that I'm getting noticed around my gym, which isn't a great thing, since they have their own trainers (I'm still not accepting compensation for training). But how can you not get noticed when the gym trainers take people to different machines, set the weight, and count, where I'm doing stuff like having races on the rowing machines with my clients or doing lunge walks together around the gym??? When I get scared about this weekend, I'm going to remember my words (focus, discipline, energy) and remember what I'm working towards.

To that end, I've been listening to some of my hypnosis CDs again. I'm not entirely certain that they help, but they sure can't hurt. The ones I've been listening to are "Ultimate Confidence" and "Resolution Activator" both from

One final note (and then I must pack for San Diego!) -- I'm designing my business cards. I think stuff like this is super fun. I think I'm going to use two fonts from a scrapbooking website called Two Peas in a Bucket. Here's the text:

A personal training service

Leslie Gandy, CPT

Hard work pays off!

Once I get it formatted, I'll put up the copy so you can see.

Ok, time to shower, pack, mom-up for afternoon pickup, then head to the airport. Wish me luck!

Oh, and I scheduled my test. It's happening on Friday, November 3rd at 11:00. If anyone has any extra brain cells they'd like to toss my way...

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Weekend sports update

The best matchup of the weekend may have not gotten the media coverage it deserved, and it happened right here in our hometown. It was the rundown between Tim, my husband, and Austin, our 13-year-old son. They faced off at the junior high school, and the match was to see who could run the fastest mile. I counted down, and at "GO" they were off, running in opposite directions around the track. It was pretty close as they finished each lap, but in the end, Tim prevailed with a 5:55 mile time to Austin's 6:00 mile. So Austin has to wash Tim's car. (Austin would have won $10 if he turned in the fastest time.) What makes this so fun is that they are both so good-natured about it. When my arm is healed, we may have the Mommy/Tucker matchup, and I'll be sure to keep you posted on that if/when it happens.

It's been too long

The weekend was tough. I don't know if it's new anti-depressant, or falling off the healthy-eating wagon, but I felt fragile and "off" almost the entire weekend -- not fun, and not when I like to write in my weblog. Yesterday was a "digging myself out of the pit" kind of day where I found the fight within, and today I'm back on track.

I took a CPR certification class last night, and it was fun. Many of the participants seemed bored and a little resentful to be there, but I thought it was fascinating and very useful. And I now know how to use an automatic external defibrillator, should the need arise.

So I'm getting nervous about my NASM test. It's been ages since I've been in school and I'm scared that I won't remember anything. But then again, I was nervous about the CPR certification test, and I did fine on that. Maybe it's just stepping outside of the comfort zone that has me uneasy. I'm tempted to schedule the exam, but tell nobody, and just GET IT OVER WITH!!! But I will wait till after the hands-on training in San Diego, which is this weekend.

On a completely different subject, if anyone saw the Oxygen Magazine Nutrition special issue, there are some really good recipes in it. I made their Black Bean Chili on page 105, which includes ground turkey, onion, garlic, celery, green pepper, red pepper, and all sorts of yummy spices, and my entire family thought it was wonderful.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Don't be stupid. Do something!

I've been having problems with my right arm and shoulder -- yep the "good" one -- and I've been ignoring the symptoms (shooting pains, hurting all the time) for a month now. Yes, this is still from the bingo injury of a LONG time ago. So anyway, I hurt it even more on Wednesday, so much so that I couldn't use my right arm to do simple stuff like eat, brush my teeth, or fix my hair.

So here's the plan -- I'm going to take a week off of everything -- SST and working out the Darla -- so it can get better. Then I'll reevaluate at the end of a week. Well, today taking a week off looked like doing TWO lower body workouts and TWO cardio workouts. This morning I went to the gym and did a lot of bodyweight stuff, then jumped onto the leg press machine for a killer set of single and double leg presses. Then headed upstairs for the ARC trainer, where I did 30 minutes of intervals. So then Tim gets home and wants to go to the gym while one kid is at gymnastics, and the other is at the school carnival with a group of friends. So I head back to the gym for more legs (cuz it's all I can do) and more cardio. Oh, and I did stability ball jack-knifes for abs, and I'm already sore!

Eating was clean till tonight. I did 4-1/2 days in a row, which is a true miracle, and tonight gave in to the call of the brownies. Well, tomorrow's another day, right?

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

The truth!

You have to check out this post on Skwigg's blog. It's eye-opening and something everyone should see. And it goes along with one of my favorite quotes, which reads:

Perfection is not of this world.

So striving for excellence? Fantastic! But shooting for that which cannot be achieved? It's a setup for chronic discontent for the rest of your life!

Also, if you get a chance, listen to Macy Gray's song, "I am not my hair." I know I've written about this before, but I certainly could use a reminder. Here's the chorus:

I am not my hair.
I am not this skin.
I am not your expectations of me.

I am not my hair.
I am not this skin.
I am the soul that lives within.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Learning to like FitDay

So today's food numbers worked out much better, with no missing calories or percentages. Totals are:

Calories: 1624
Protein: 42%
Carbs: 37%
Fat: 21%

I bought the Oxygen magazine Nutrition edition and leafed through it as I waited for my girlfriend at Max's Opera Cafe. Normally I would have really enjoyed the warm rolls and good butter, while reading my magazine. But knowing I'd have to log it in FitDay, I sipped iced tea, then had grilled salmon, grilled pineapple, and grilled vegetables.

I promise this won't turn into a "this is what I ate today" weblog, but you just have to know how different it feels to be choosing what I'm eating, and actually watching portions and all. I do eat a pretty healthy diet, especially compared to what I ate in my 30s (Balance bars, Doritos, Diet Pepsi, donuts... all this while running 20 miles a week most weeks). But portion control and cutting out the nighttime bowl of cereal (which has been my habit since I was about 10 years old) -- those changes are truly amazing to me.

On the fitness side of things, I'm still studying for my NASM exam. I'm really afraid I won't pass. But if it happens, I guess I'll just study more and take the exam again (although that wouldn't be my first choice!). And the good news is the new anti-D seems to be working well, and my short-term memory is MUCH improved, and that, my friends, feels great!

One last thing -- on my old weblog I wrote about the Mystic Pixies, a contortionist group from San Francisco that we saw at the Stanford gymnastics meet last year. (Click here and be amazed at what these girls, ages 10 to 15, can do!) The Pixies and their coach are moving to Montreal at the end of this month and will be featured in the newest Cirque du Soleil show that debuts in 2007. And Alixa, their coach, has been named Flexibility Manager for the entire show. So why do I write this? Because my kids are taking a flexibility workshop with Alixa on Sunday!!! She's teaching at the Circus Arts Center in Oakland and we're going. Actually, I'd be taking a class too, but her only opening for adults is later in the evening, which doesn't work with kids who have school the next morning. So I'm going to observe and take excellent notes.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Discoveries from Fit Day tracking

1. Tracking what you eat makes you WAY more aware of what you're tempted to shove into your mouth! I stayed and watched the kids do gymnastics today, and when we went to leave, my car wouldn't start. Well, I was already hungry, and had some Kashi TLC's in the car (healthy! yummy!). But I didn't touch them, because I already knew my carbs were kinda high for the day.

2. It's HARD to keep carbs somewhat low!!! Today I've had 1486 calories (no, I'm not done yet!) and my ratios are C:41%, P:30%, and F:16%. Don't ask me where the other 13% of calories are -- I have NO CLUE!

3. I will not die if I'm hungry. It's so easy to get in the "if I see it, I must eat it" mentality. Case in point -- I was fixing a snack, when I saw some Provolone slices in the fridge. I was reaching for them as my brain went, "You're having vegetables now, not cheese!" I guess the point here is that it's no longer a mystery as to why I've put on a few pounds. Nor is it a mystery as to how to take them off -- hooray!

Incidentally, when my clothes are tight, I have no place to go, cuz I don't have any big clothes anymore. Highly motivating to get this under control now!

Nutrition tracking

I weighed myself this weekend, after feeling like my clothes were a little snug, and sure enough, it's time to pull in the reins and get cleaner with my eating. So I'm back to using Fit Day to track my nutrition. It's good to be more mindful of what you put into your body. But yesterday, I did an SST workout (me and three high school football players -- a little intimidating, for sure!), and in a moment of weakness as I passed our farmer's market, I bought some apple cinnamon bread with lots of gooey glaze all over the top. And knowing that I was going to clean things up today, I had more than my share of slices of bread -- yum!

It helps if I think of food as fuel, or of eating for health. (My friend Shelly reminded me of the eating for health thing.) There's a very rebellious part of me that resists being told what to eat, even though the person who's telling me is ... well, me! Anyway, I'll keep you posted on how I do, and hopefully the extra that I'm feeling on my inner thighs and around my lower abs will be gone soon.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

A shout out

Matt (aka Brit-Man) is a deep thinker with a sense of humor. He's also very sad, though he doesn't know it, because he doesn't have Pottery Barn (he lives in the UK). (My house would be somewhat bare without Pottery Barn!) He's also super encouraging -- thanks Matt!

Completely unrelated thoughts from my head

Nickname envy
I have a friend whose nickname in early adulthood was Sparky, because she's pretty determined to get what she wants. I think Sparky is the cutest nickname. Well we were talking, and I was telling her that I think she needs to stop thinking of herself as small and not very strong. She IS small (5'2", about 95 pounds), but she's anything but weak. So I told her I was going to think of her as TNT -- tiny and tough. But then I thought, no fair! I have no nickname, and she has TWO fanstatic ones!

Every Halloween...
... I have to watch Scream. It's the best horror movie of all time, in my opinion. It's funny and scary and campy and great. But I always have trouble finding it to rent, so this year I bought it off So I'll be getting my Scream fix (and making Tim watch with me -- it's not really his thing, but he's a good guy, as you well know!) soon.

SST yesterday
Two things stood out from yesterday's workout. One is these stupid squats (I think they're called Prisoner Squats when done with your hands on your head) where you hold a piece of PVC pipe over your head. The purpose is to keep your shoulders retracted and your chest up. So hold the pipe, then lower into a squat, pushing your butt back, but keeping your chest up. Hold for about 3 seconds, and come up. Repeat 15 times, and do 3 sets.

The main body of the workout was 400 meter hill runs alternated with 15 ball slams. Four repeats of each. Hard. Effective. And as we know from Wife Swap, HARD WORK PAYS OFF!!!

New antidepressant
Lest I fail to paint a complete picture, and only focus on what's good, the truth is that I still take an antidepressant to deal with my screwy brain chemistry. And this week I'm changing my medication. What I was on was working with one major side-effect -- my short-term memory was SHOT! And that's not going to work as I try to get certified and start my own business. So I changed as of Monday. So far, so good. I feel a little "off" at times, but that's to be expected when you switch something you've been on for five years. But my memory does feel sharper, so that's good. However...

...studying is HARD!
I'm up to my eyeballs in notecards and highlighted text and trying to memorize acute variables (reps, sets, intensity) for the seven different phases of the OPT model (Optimum Performance Training, as per NASM). I graduated from high school in 1979, and from college 5 years after that (I was on the work hard, pary hard plan), so it's been a while since I did actual studying. I like it, but I find that it's hard to stay focused. Yesterday I put in about 2-1/2 hours, but it seemed like every 10 minutes I could find SOMETHING that needed doing (dogs need water! I could put in some laundry! That counter needs wiping!), so the time was definitely broken up. But it still counts!

Beauty Juice
I got my labels. They're cute but they're not quite right somehow. I think I may try making my own, so I can completely control the font and the point size, etc. So if anyone would like a few beauty juice labels to encourage their own personal water drinking, email me your address (I'm at lgandy "at" starstream "dot" net), and I'll send you some. You can check out what they look like on my Flickr account -- I'll post a picture later today.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

More wisdom from Wife Swap, and a business name!

You gotta watch Wife Swap!!! Last night it was a champion female boxer and her oh-so-fit family vs. a world champion competitive EATER and his wife and son. Predictably, they had very different lifestyles and ways of doing things. But the little nugget of wisdom from last night's show came when the boxer called in a pro football player to help her get the husband and son in shape. As they were punching a heavy bag, the football player said, "Ok, so when I say "Hard work," you're gonna say "Pays off!"" Is that not the coolest motivator??? Of course I used it on my 6:15 client today. We were doing lunges where you lunge to the front, then take the same leg, and move it all the way to the back, keeping the opposite leg stationary. This was her first time of doing this exercise, and it's not an easy one. I'd already told her about Wife Swap, so as she was coming to the end of the set, I said, "Hard work..." and she replied "pays off!" and finished the set with energy to spare.

I may have found my name!
I've been considering names for my training business, and hadn't hit upon the right one, until this weekend. Tim and I were tossing around all sorts of variations on "power" "strength" "fitness" and then we came up with this (drum roll please):


Is that perfect? In small letters under the name on business cards, I'd put "Personal Fitness Training." And maybe at the bottom of the business card, it would say, "Hard work pays off."
Simple. Elegant. Can be used in a variety of ways (lift your spirits, lift your a$$, lift your standards). Thoughts?

Moving very fast!

Left to my own devices, I would stay perpetually in the analysis phase of any project. Research and planning -- they're fun. Execution, making it happen -- SCARY!!! (That's why Tim and I work so well together -- I'm the "think it through" and he's the "let's do it!")

Well, on Thursday the training room is getting paint, and I'm getting rid of the bed this weekend. The color is going to be Benjamin Moore "barley" (199) from the new Pottery Barn paint deck. It's a pretty yellow, on the beige side, for a room that gets a lot of sunlight. For those of you who live near a Restoration Hardware, it's a lot like their Butter color (one of the best yellows on the planet!) with a little less yellow to it.

Oh, and I moved my hands-on NASM weekend from this weekend in San Francisco to the end of the month in San Diego. One of the problems with life moving very fast is that sometimes Tim and I get our wires crossed. That happened for this weekend, so I'm just going to use frequent flyer miles to do the seminar in San Diego later this month which gives me more studying time -- hooray!

Monday, October 09, 2006


Because you asked, here's a picture of the ring. (How fun to be able to post this!) It's three round diamonds with diamond slices (I'm sure there's a word for them, but I don't know what it is) between the main stones. It couldn't be any more beautiful, and I still can't believe Tim got this for me!

Eileen asked if "cake" was code for something else in our anniversary weekend. I want to be careful how I word this ... hmmm ... well ... let's just say that in this case, I had my cake and ate it too!

An amazing weekend

It's back to reality today, but what an amazing weekend we had! It felt so different than normal life that I'm kind of pinching myself to be sure it was real. But when I look down at my right hand and see the diamonds sparkling there (more in a minute), I know it actually happened. Here are some of the highlights:
  • As we were leaving town on Friday, Tim asked me what I thought about getting a ring as a 17 year gift. What? Huh? We said we weren't doing gifts! The weekend out of town is enough for me! But we went to look at rings. And much to my delight, it turns out that in our family, it's diamonds for your 17th anniversary!
  • We saw the Blue Angels kind of by accident. We knew they were in town this weekend, but didn't know when they were appearing. After lunch on Saturday, we decided to walk to Coit Tower, and when we got there, there were hundreds of people hanging out, waiting for the Blue Angels. Agile Tim found a great place for us to watch -- on a wall by a planter box about 30 FEET ABOVE THE GROUND! Ok, to be fair, on one side, the drop off was only about 8 feet, but the other side was scary high. And yes, I walked along the wall to get to our viewing spot, trembling and thinking positive thoughts the entire way. Anyway, the Blue Angels were wonderful. The sound as they fly by gives you chills, and the beauty and grace of what they do -- I'll never forget it.
  • We ate cake every day! Friday night we had a chocolate/hazelnut slice at One Market. Saturday at lunch we had something called Double Penance Chocolate at a little cafe in North Beach, the Italian section of SF. Saturday night we had a lemon/blackberry concoction at Boulevard. And Sunday we had carrot cake in Mill Valley. Wish there was a diet plan that includes cake at every meal!
  • There's a website called where you can calculate your distance on foot. We used that to calculate how far we walked on Saturday, and it's somewhere between 6 and 7 miles. We went from Fisherman's Wharf, by all the piers, to California, to North Beach, to Coit Tower, to Union Street Shops. Incidentally, there are a lot of hills in SF which I just loved. And on foot is the best way to see the city for sure! Oh, and we went to Lululemon on Union, where I got a shirt with seaweek extract in it (to condition the skin when you sweat!) and a gym bag. Very cool place, and really neat that we stumbled upon it!
  • Saving the best for last, we had dinner at Boulevard on Saturday night. Three weeks ago, when I called for a reservation, they had one opening at 9:15. That tells you others like this place too. We took a Town Car from our hotel (felt VERY "Sex and the City"!), and Tim arranged for us to have a table with windows on both sides, overlooking Mission and Embarcadaro (thanks sweetie!). The chef sent out special appetizers! The food was out of this world good. And I got to do all this with the man of my dreams -- life, indeed, is good!
  • Oh, one last thing. Of course I did hill play in the city. I couldn't tell you how far it was, but I went up and down California several times yesterday mornings, with a few detours onto extra hilly streets. It was early, the air was crisp, and my iPod was giving me a beautiful soundtrack to walk/run by.
So that's it -- our anniversary weekend. Hooray for happy marriage!

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Insecurity attack

This morning I was confident and enthusiastic and ready for anything. Then I went shopping. What is it about shopping that reduces me to such an insecure child? I was looking for a dress to wear for our anniversary (17 years on Saturday, and we're celebrating with a weekend in San Francisco, sans children!). There were several possibilities, and I actually ended up buying something really cute, with some sexy black boots to wear with it. But I felt sad and lonely and insecure the entire time. Isn't shopping supposed to be fun?

I really am looking forward to celebrating our anniversary. When we were married, Tim was a huge SF Giants fan. In fact, we rented a TV for our room in Jamaica on our honeymoon so we could watch the playoffs. And we were trying to fly into San Francisco the night of the huge earthquake in 1989. I say this to underscore how important the Giants used to be to Tim. Until they broke his heart by ALMOST going to the World Series (or something else awful like that -- I'm not sure of the event, but I do know whatever it was, that event along with the player's strike years ago, sucked all of Tim's love of baseball away).

ANYWAY, because of love of baseball, we kind of never did anything for our anniversary, cuz early October is a critical time in a fan's life, right? Well, this year we're doing it differently, and I'm so excited! We're staying at The Omni, which Tim says is really nice. And we're having dinner at Boulevard, a hot restaurant according to my girlfriend. (I made reservations 3 weeks ago, and was able to get a table at 9:15 -- the only time they had open -- so others must like the place too!)

Ok, now I'm talking myself into a little excitement. It is a happy thing to have a fun dress and sexy boots and to go away with the man you love. And it's an even happier thing to love the same man (and have him love you back!) after 17 years of marriage!

Guess my insecurity attack is over -- whew!

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Fight Gone Bad

That was today's SST workout. After 30 minutes of warmup, agility, and speed work, we did this progression three times:

Rowing machine -- 1 minute
Wall ball -- 1 minute
Wide stance sumo deadlift -- 1 minute
Box jumps -- 1 minute
Push press -- 1 minute
rest (hooray) -- 1 minute

Coach Valentino said it is one of the hardest workouts they have, and I'm SURE he's right. In case anyone is tempted to recreate it, here are some detailed notes on each exercise:

Rowing machine -- self-explanatory, no notes
Wall ball -- 8 pound Dynamax ball, like shooting a free throw in basketball, but when it comes back to you, do a deep squat (we were using another Dynamax ball as a reference point, which means you squat to about 10" off the ground)
Wide stance... -- you're in a plie stance (but they don't call it that at SST!) using a kettlebell or hand weight. Holding the weight between your legs with knees bent, you kind of pop with your lower body to straighten legs, and lift the weight up to your chest, with elbows above your hands.
Box jumps -- on 12" box. Jump up with both feet, then step off one at a time (to avoid catching your toe and wiping out!)
Push press -- I'm sure this move is detailed better on the internet, but using a weight bar (mine was 10 pounds, cuz my shoulder is STILL hurting from the bingo injury!) you start with the bar at your shoulders, hands a little more than shoulder width apart. You do a shallow squat, then pop with your hips to drive the bar overhead, ending with straight legs and straight arms with the bar over your head.

If you decide to try this, good luck!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

New uses for Post-Its

Ever since I was young, my mind has run on several tracks at once. With being a mom, it got worse. And with getting older (46 in January?!?!), it's even more intense. My family knows, "If it's not written down, it won't happen." So we have Post-Its everywhere, and they'll just show up on my computer screen with stuff like, "crazy glue" or "haircut" on them.

I've recently come up with two new uses for Post-Its that work really well for me and my teeny tiny brain, and I thought I'd share them. The first is in the laundry room. I don't do a lot of special care laundry, but sometimes there's something in a full load that needs to hang dry, and it's nearly impossible for me to remember that as I'm tossing everything into the dryer. So I now have Post-Its in the laundry room and will write down anything that needs special handling, and put the note on the washer for when I'm transferring to the dryer.

The other idea was for books that I've promised to let friends read. Right now I'm reading "Locker Room Diaries" and Jenny said she wanted to borrow it when I'm done. I want to remember to give it to her, so I've written her name on my bookmark Post-It, so when I'm done I can pass it on. Same with "Bunny Tales: Life Inside the Playboy Mansion" that I'm passing on to Darla when I'm finished.

Too princessey?

Watched Wife Swap last night and was fascinated by the woman who was ready to toss her cookies while taking out the trash. Who does that? Not me. Taking out the trash? Fine. Picking up dog poop (we have TWO dogs)? Not my favorite thing, but I do it more than anyone else in our family, and I'm really good at it. (That means I have a good eye for spotting it, even when it's trying to disguise itself as regular dirt or bark.) But recycling? I do it, but I hate it. I took cans and plastic to the recycling place today before picking Austin up from school. And all I could think as I drove there was, "I have garbage in my car. Yuck." But since our garbage service only reclaims 60% of the recyclables from regular trash pickup, I can't bring myself to throw away cans & bottles. At least I got a nice gossip magazine out of it -- hey, there has to be some benefit from saving the planet, right?

Monday, October 02, 2006

A job offer, kind of?

So I did SST yesterday. It was just me and a high school football star, which was intimidating at first, but then the workout kicked my a** and it really didn't matter. The coach leading the workout is the Steve Kenyon, the owner of SST, and we talked for most of the hour (when I could breathe, that is). We were talking about training and how SST's model differs from traditional "30 minute weight workout with machines/30 minutes of cardio" workouts. And to make a long story short, he offered that I can use their facility to train my clients once I'm certified!

This is a very cool offer on a lot of levels. First of all, have you SEEN their facility (scroll down to see it)? It's beautiful and the equipment is to die for.

Another thing that's really neat (although I feel a little sheepish saying this) is that the owner must see something he likes in me. Cuz if you didn't think someone was motivated or worked hard or knew what they were talking about, would you offer to let them use what you've worked so hard to create?

And finally, as I'm pricing fitness equipment, I'm realizing that it will cost at least $2000 (and probably end up closer to $3000) to get what I want for my home training studio.

So why wouldn't I jump on this offer? Well, there are several reasons (please bear with me as I try to unravel all the confused thought in my head):

1. Although I love the SST/Cross Fit model, I'm not sure I want to train my clients in that manner. My thought is to do a combination of tradition weight exercises, plyometrics (based on level of fitness, of course), and some of the agility and balance stuff that SST puts you through. And that plan would work better at my house, I think...

2. I really want to work one-on-one with women. To me, a personal training session can feel almost as indulgent as a good massage, and much of that has to do with how great it feels to have someone focused ONLY on you and what you want. (Besides, both massages and good workouts leave you feeling tired and in need of a shower, right?) Anyway, I'm not sure if the SST facility would feel strange in a one-on-one session.

3. So maybe I sound like a big baby here, but I really like the idea of creating my own workout space. It's going to be happy yellow, and the secondary colors will be blue and green and I have art for the walls (a very cool watercolor titled "The Woman Who Wanted it All" that shows a woman reaching for a star and pulling it down from the night sky) AND I ordered my water bottle labels on Friday. (I'll be sure to post pictures once I get them.)

But here's an different plan that might make sense. I truly believe that what SST and Cross Fit are doing are fabulous workouts. But they're not for everyone, at least not people who are really deconditioned. So what if I were to get certified as a Cross Fit instructor, or did whatever it takes to lead workouts at SST, and then maybe twice a week, I lead a women's class there? I was telling Steve that I can reach women that he can't reach, because so many women would look at him as a strength coach and with his decades of experience, and completely dismiss his methods as having any relevance to them. But they might look at me, and say, "Hey, if she can do it, maybe I can do it!"

So that's where things are. I did SST again this morning, and will be doing a walk/run/skippy thing for part of the kids gymnastics time this afternoon. Maybe that will help to clear my head. Can't hurt, right?

Friday, September 29, 2006

A Thank-You Letter

Dear heavily-tattooed twenty-something man,

I am VERY happily married. My husband is wonderful, and I adore my children. And I really like my life. But when you drove up next to me at the red light, mouthed "WOW" and smiled at me, well, that lifted my spirits like you can't even imagine. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.



I was asked what burpees are, and they're a very old-school fitness move. They're done in four counts, starting in a standing position.

Count 1: squat down and touch your hands to the floor
Count 2: jump your legs back into push-up position
Count 3: jump your legs forward into a squat again
Count 4: jump back to standing

I did 15, but it was with a couple of stops for heavy breathing with hands on knees. Hard, but effective.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Fitness fun

So last night, me and Jesse McCartney (teen boy who sings my new favorite song) went out for a run/lunge/skip-fest. When I was on flat ground, which is hard to find here, I tried really pushing my speed and the hamstring felt great -- hooray!

Incidentally, the hill I've been using for hill play is just 3/10ths of a mile, but at its steepest, it's a 30% grade. No wonder you have to concentrate even when walking down!

As I think about my fun workout last night, my hope is that I can help infuse the women I train with the sense the fitness is fun and that moving and using your body can be playful and doesn't have to be a "have to", rather it's a "get to!" It's not like I look forward to every workout, but I LOVE how I feel after a hard training session, and if I build enough skipping or tossing medicine balls and other playground-like stuff, it really does feel like play!

On another note, I hurt my shoulder last week working at Bingo (carrying a 10-pound box of pull tabs for 5 hours) -- yes, I have a bingo injury! So today when I worked out with Darla, it was all lower body, holding 10 pound weights close to the body. And I'd showed her some notes I took from the Alwyn Cosgrove bodyweight training DVD, which was a mistake, cuz she had me do his leg matrix. In case anyone wants to try it, here it is:

24 squats
24 lunges (12 on each leg)
24 lunge jumps
24 squat jumps

I got through the squats and lunges with no problem, but did an internal "uh-oh" as I neared the half-way point on the lunge jumps. And the squat jumps were more like squat thuds. We'll see how legs feel tomorrow -- should be interesting!

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

What I forgot!

Darn, darn, darn! There are two more important things, and they both have to do with Wife Swap!

First of all, Wife Swap is one of my favorite shows. If you think less of me for that, well I don't really blame you, but it's just so fun! The families are so extreme, that I feel highly virtuous by comparison. And I love the end part where they say what each family has learned -- heartwarming!

Ok, so I almost know someone who was on Wife Swap last week. Her name is Lisa Fine, and she's a professional organizer in our area. I've had her on my list of people to call for months now, and then saw her on the season premier of Wife Swap, the one with the pirate family. And get this -- one of my clients has been using Lisa for organizing services for two years now, and her family (my client's family) was filmed for that episode! Their footage wasn't used, but isn't that cool???? And yep, I'm still gonna call Lisa for some help with some problem areas.

But here's something even better. If you've watched Wife Swap, you know that the husbands and wives always run towards each other when they're reunited, and often the wife jumps into the husband's arms. Well, Tim and I were watching a Tivo'd show last night, and I commented that I couldn't wait till I'm small enough to do that. He told me I was plenty small now. We argued for a minute or two, then he got up, braced himself, and motioned me to run towards him. After several false starts and lots of giggling, I ran and jumped into his arms, and ... and ... it was lovely! He didn't fall or strain anything. And I felt protected and feminine and lovely as my strong husband walked me around the house. Thanks Tim!

Random unrelated musings

Life is still crazy busy, but really really good. Here's what's in my head, in no particular order:

A new favorite song
Isn't it fun to find a song that you get totally mesmerized with, wanting to hear it over and over again? Well, right now I'm liking what every 12-year-old girl on the planet also likes: Right Where You Want Me, by Jesse McCartney. It has that easysexy vibe that I just love. And yep, I'm listening to it right now, full volume, on repeat in iTunes!

Matt Furey
Is anyone familiar with Combat Conditioning? I'm really tempted to get the DVDs, but kind of want a second opinion. I'm really becoming convinced that although weights are good, you can do bodyweight stuff and get even better results. Anyway, I'd love to hear your thoughts if you know of this guy.

SST Workouts
Still hard, but very very fun. Today was this progression:
15 kettlebell swings
15 pushups
15 kb swings
15 box jumps
15 kb swings
15 burpees
15 kb swings
15 wall ball tosses
15 kb swings
15 sumo thingeys that I can't even think of the name of
15 kb swings

Coach Valentino said he'd be happy if we did this circuit in less than 10 minutes. My time? 6:30 baby! You know, when I write it down, it doesn't sound that hard, but much of the time was at the brink of anaerobic effort. I'm still having fun with it!

Monthly Loveliness
It's a wonder any woman has a waist or is any shape other than round, giving the cravings that come right before the time of the month. This weekend was a brownie-batter-fest at my house. Today I'm feeling round and very ready for my period to start to the extra fluff can be gone!

Fun Cardio
Now that I'm not training for anything in particular, I've been having fun with cardio. On Monday I took the kids to gymnastics, watched them for a bit, then headed out for 45 minutes of running/lunge walking/skipping/marching. It was very very fun. I know I look strange when I skip, but if people would only try it, they would know how fun it feels, and I'll bet the world would be a better place...

A New Hobby?
I am trying something new these days, and it's name is GOLF! Tim is very close to a single-digit handicap golfer. So I've had a chance to ride along at some of the most beautiful golf courses: Pebble Beach, Spanish Bay, and actually, our golf course, Catta Verdera, which is truly beautiful. But yesterday I played 9 holes with two girlfriends. That was way more than the 2 holes Tim and I played last week, which was my previous record for golfing. So I showed up at the golf course in my costume (well, that's what it feels like!) of golf shoes and a real golf outfit (thank you Tim!) with my mother-in-law's clubs in tow. I met my friends, and in a stroke of pure genius, presented them with Toblerone candy bars, saying, "When you think back on today's golf, if you happen to think of me, I want you to think, "Leslie brought me chocolate" rather than "Leslie completely sucks at golf!" So yeah, I do completely suck, but it was a low-key group, and we had fun. I'm taking a lesson this weekend and plan to go out again in a couple of weeks.

If you have kids...
You should check this out. It's written for girls, but boys could certainly benefit from this. Wish I'd seen it when I was younger. It was sent to me by a very cool teen who's best friends with one of my nieces.

-----------are like apples-----------
-------on trees. The best ones-----
------are at the top of the tree.-----
----The boys don't want to reach---
---for the good ones because they--
--r afraid of falling and getting hurt.-
--Instead, they get the rotten apples-
-from the ground that aren't as good, -
-but easy. So the apples up top think-
-something wrong w/ them when in--
--reality they're amazing. They just--
---have to wait for the right boy to--
---- come along, the one who's------
---------- brave enough to-----------
--------------climb all-----------------
--------------the way------------------
-------------to the top----------------
------------of the tree.----------------

Friday, September 22, 2006

Moving forward

So I'm meeting with a painter on Monday, and I'm going to a couple of exercise equipment stores over the weekend so I can start narrowing down my list of what I'm going to use for training. I'm hoping to find a local source for these beautiful dumbbells. I've found them online, but shipping weights is expensive! What I like about these is that they're shiny (pleasing to the eye) AND they have urethane handles (pleasing to the hands). The drawbacks? They only go up to 15 pounds per dumbbell and they're expensive. These weights are ones I use at our gym. The handles aren't cushy like the blue ones, but they are pretty darn comfortable and don't stop at 15 pounds. What I may do is get the set that goes up to 15 pounds in the blue, and then add a 17.5, 20, and 25 pound pair of the other weights.

Also, I've decided that my training "uniform" will be a fitted t-shirt and some track shorts or track pants, depending on the season. It's easy to think "I have to show my muscles to be credible" but I don't think that's true at all. So my running tops -- the ones with bras in them that give me the racer back tan? -- I'll just save those for my runs.

One last thing -- I'm considering ditching the scale and bodyfat measurements, in favor of tape measure measurements (which the client can choose or not choose to know). The only purpose that knowing your weight or bodyfat percentage serve is to tell you if you're moving in the right direction. But circumference in inches tells you the same thing and it seems kinder. Oh, and maybe I'll encourage each client to pick an article of clothing that she can store at my house, then try on after 12 weeks or something like that. Again, it's a more reasonable measurement of progress, in my opinion.

Any thoughts on any of this? I'd sure love to hear 'em!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Random thoughts

Did another workout with SST this morning. Here's what we did for 10 minutes:
5 ball slams*
10 pushups
15 bodyweight squats

* They have a special ball that is designed not to bounce, unless you SLAM it to the ground, and then it bounces up about 3". Using this ball, you slam it down, then quickly squat to grab it as it bounces.

I don't know if it sounds hard, but trust me, it IS hard!

Went to Costco after working out. They have the Cinnabon muffin mix. It's one of my trigger foods, and I just can't buy it. John Berardi has it right when he states that one of the laws of nutrition is this: if it is in your house, you will eat it. Period.


I've gone from "too much time on my hands" to "how the heck do I keep up with my life?" I'm loving what I'm doing, but between working with clients, preparing to work with clients, studying, my own workouts, planning the workout room, and laundry/dishes/cleaning -- well, I'm up to my eyeballs in busy. But I'm very very happy.

This weekend I found out that SST is affiliated with CrossFit of Santa Cruz. How cool is that, that the crazy intense workout place has a location 2 miles from my house?!?! My fitness goals sure have changed in the last couple of years. I went to SST to find out more right before I started working out with Darla a little over 2 years ago. Because they didn't scream "you'll lose weight if you come here!" I completely wrote them off. And maybe that was for the best, because if I hadn't found Darla, I would never have competed in WTF, one of the best experiences of my life! Now that I'm at a weight I'm reasonably satisfied with (I think I'll ALWAYS think I have a few pounds to lose [sigh]), it's more about how my body works than it is about how it looks.

Tucker and I went to SST on Sunday, and afterwards he said, "Mommy, I can go by myself. You don't have to do this for me." I told him that I'm doing it because I want to, and asked him if he's ok with me being there. He said he likes it. Sweet!

In case you want to know more about what they do, here's Monday's workout. After you've done 30 minutes of warm up, agility drills (that get your heart rate up like crazy), drills to improve your vertical jumps, and drills to improve your lateral jumps, then the real workout starts. It was pushups and pullups.

First set: 20 pushups, 2 pullups
Second set: 18 pushups, 4 pullups
Third: 16 pushups, 6 pullups
Fourth: 14 pushups, 8 pullups
Fifth: 12 pushups 10 pullups
Sixth: 10 pushups, 12 pullups
Seventh: 8 pushups, 14 pullups
Eighth: 6 pushups, 16 pullups
Ninth: 4 pushups, 18 pullups
Tenth: 2 pushups, 20 pullups

The pullups were spotted with a huge rubber band that you shove a foot into, then cross your legs for support. But hard? Uh, yeah! I left there a runny mass of goo (ok, maybe it wasn't quite that bad, but it was hard!). Where am I sore? Uh, that would be everywhere above the waist! And guess what? I'm going back for more today!

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Sometimes fitness hurts!

Went to SST on Wednesday and made it through another workout. It's getting easier, and I'm less sore afterwards, so that's a good thing, right? Well, during this workout we did situps on AbMats, which are curved mats you place under your lower back. Mine kept scooting, but so did everyone else's. We did 150 situps (full situps, not crunches). My tailbone was hurting a little bit, but I didn't pay much attention. Well later when I got in the shower, it felt like a bee was stinging my butt, and I started swatting the air in the shower just in case. After I was fairly certain there was no bee, I took a glance at my rear in the mirror, where I saw two areas that look like skinned knees or bedsores, one on either side of my tailbone! Nothing like this has ever happened to me before! Guess I should have paid attention to the discomfort during sit ups, right?

I worked out with Darla the next day, and told her about it. In a silver lining moment, she told me that if your bodyfat is low, there's not a lot of cushion for your sacrum (tailbone) and this can happen. So, you mean it's a good thing??? :)

Friday, September 15, 2006

Book recommendation

I just started "Locker Room Diaries" and it looks promising. The sub-head is "The Naked Truth about Women, Body Image, and Re-Imagining the "Perfect" Body." I think it's going to be good!

The coolest job!!!

Honestly, I have the coolest job!!! Maybe it's just the honeymoon phase, but I am seriously loving working with women to help them get fit. It's satisfying on every single level: physically because I get a teeny bit of a workout demonstrating exercises, mentally because it's a fascinating puzzle to figure out how to work around an instability or injury, or how much weight to use to be sore but not too sore, or when to introduce new exercises, emotionally because I love everyone I'm working with and it's fun to hang out with friends, and spiritually because I'm humbled by their willingness to trust themselves to me to help them get where they want to go!

My friend Kara in Colorado asked what I'm charging. Well probably the reason I'm finding clients so easily is that I'm FREE for the moment. I'm training people who have memberships at my gym, and we're using the gym facility to workout. So ethically I can't charge someone when my gym already has their own trainers. And I'm still learning, so I'd feel strange about charging someone when the truth is that I'm benefitting as much as they are. Once I get the room set up here and am certified, I think I'm going to charge $40 or $45 per hour. That's in line, from what I know, with the going rate in the area. And I'm planning to do fun stuff, like gifts when you reach a certain number of workouts, and some other nice things that I hope will help distinguish me from other trainers.

I am NOT doing this for the money -- I'm very clear about that. And there's a part of me that would just do it for nothing, even after setting up the room and getting certified. But I don't think that's the right move for a couple of reasons. First of all, people equate value with money. And I think it would be so much easier to blow off a training session if no money is involved. And second, I already have enough of the "I'm not good enough" going on in my head, without creating the experience of working but not getting paid, which would only feed that negative belief.

Just for fun!

I found a link to this on Jen's blog. The picture of me was taken on Austin's birthday last year. It was fun to do -- try it!

Tuesday, September 12, 2006


The kids are being very self-directed on their homework, which gives me a chance to work on my own. Yesterday I did about 3 hours of NASM studying. Today I'm creating files that list all the exercises I know for various body parts. Anyone care to contribute? The only limitation is that it has to be something that can be done with dumbbells or tubing or a barbell and weights -- I'm setting up a training room, but it's not gonna have "the shoulder machine" or anything that specific!

Today was chest, shoulders, triceps, and quads with Darla, and she did something I've seen in books, but haven't done. We did a medicine ball chest press, tossing the ball back and forth. Hard? Yeah, especially after chest press, flyes, and pushups. But fun? Oh yeah!

So if you have any exercises that you especially love (or that you especially hate!), I'd sure love it if you'd pass 'em on. I'll be sure to post my lists when they're complete.

Busy is better than idle

Remember a while back when I had too much time on my hands? Well, that's not a problem anymore, and I am so much happier! Today I worked with my client for just a few minutes (got her started and discussed nutrition), then met Darla for my workout. Then hit Trader Joe's, Costco, and grocery store. Had enough time to get home, unload, have lunch, and now it's off to the dentist, then picking up kids, supervising homework, transportation to gymnastics, watch them at gym and get a run in, get them home, dinner, homework, bedtime for kids, little time for me and Tim, bedtime for me. It's a busy schedule, but I'm not complaining one bit!!!

Tomorrow I start working with my second client, and Thursday my third. I am loving working as a trainer. If you're a church person, you may have taken a spiritual gifts test at one time or another. Well, every time I've taken that test, my number one gift is the gift of encouragement. Well, combine that with a love for and fascination about fitness, and let me tell you, working with people to get them fit feels like it's the perfect job!

On another note, if you get XM radio, you MUST check out Broadminded on Take 5, channel 155. It's three women in the mid-30s, I think, and they are so fun. The subjects change and range from music to sex to beauty to criminal cases to American Idol -- it's really all over the board. They are highly entertaining, but when they get on the subject of sex, make sure no kids are in the car, cuz it's no holds barred on how far they'll take a topic. Tim's started listening to them (especially when they talk sex) too!