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."