Wednesday, May 30, 2007
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
Well, it's true. The more I learn, the less I really do know. I met Tracy Reifkind on Sunday and she was fantastic. We spent 2-1/2 hours together and I learned so much about kettlebells and training and life and food and honestly, I would have stayed all day if she would have let me. But I left feeling overwhelmed and discouraged. There really IS so much I have to learn. Well, last night when I looked over the notes I took, then did a kettlebell workout using what she'd taught me, I all kind of came together and I felt like I "got it" a little bit.
Tracy said I could talk about our time together, so I'll just share some general thoughts, in no particular order.
- Tracy is intense and focused. She knows kettlebells. And she knows how to train.
- The camera does make people look bigger than they are. Tracy's pictures look great. She looks even better in person.
- Girya is very cool. If I lived anywhere near Palo Alto, it's where I would work out!
- The way Tracy puts together kettlebell routines is interesting and fun. You can see examples on her website -- she's generous with her knowledge, for sure. Yesterday I did this workout:
10 squats to parallel or a little below
Repeat 5 times
Because you have to count, plus you have the coordination challenge of moving from the handle to the horns of the kettlebell, it's a really fun way to train.
- Tracy calls manufactured food "franken-food." Ouch. True, but ouch! Even my beloved vanilla PowerBar Protein Plus bars???
Saturday, May 26, 2007
When you immerse yourself in a topic, it's interesting to look for the commonality between sources. And guess what? "Eat more fresh stuff" and "eat less processed crap" shows up in nearly every single book/discussion board/website/article you'll find on good nutrition! So that's not news to anyone, but when you see it again and again, it starts to really have an impact.
(Speaking of crappy foods -- thank you Tim for taking our kids and their friend to IHOP for breakfast so I could have this peaceful time. I'm enjoying my almonds and apple, and really happy to have the solitude. I owe you!)
So specifically, what am I reading? Here's a sampling:
Precision Nutrition: both the binder and the message boards. John Berardi has great food prep strategies, and I think he's right when he says that if you're looking to lose fat, you need to eat starchy carbs only in the post-workout window of time. Also he says you need to eat vegetables with every "feeding opportunity" (I love that phrase!).
CrossFit message boards: CrossFit loves The Zone, but there are also fans of The Paleo Diet on the boards. I don't know enough to summarize either diet, but I do know that neither feels that massive bowls of cereal and milk right before bed are good choices. Hmmmm.
The Performance Menu message board: PM is Paleo based, which means fruits, veggies, nuts, and meat mostly. Great recipes too.
As I type this, I must confess that my food choices over the last few days have been less than fantastic, and it's showed up in my moods and in my waist. In case anyone's unclear on this, toasting protein bread, then covering it with butter and brown sugar does not move you in the direction of smaller/tighter/leaner. You're welcome!
So I'm coming to terms with the belief that I'm super sensitive to refined carbohydrates. When I stay with veggies, fruits, lean protein, and nuts, I feel fantastic. Focused. Determined. Energetic (and let's not even talk about my caffeine intake right at the moment, although I'm pretty sure I'll be lookin' at that in the near future). And I really think that I get scared at some point of how good I feel, and that leads to food choices that help me to feel less powerful and more (in a strange way) comfortable.
Don't quite know how to wrap this up, so I'm not even going to try, except that the more I learn, the more aware I become that I really know very little. But that's not a bad thing -- it's just the truth.
Thursday, May 24, 2007
Eileen -- yes, that's a bodybugg on Stacy's arm! She's using it, and loving it! And Eileen, you too can join the club of "those who notice virtually everything" -- Stacy is President, and I'm in too!
Colette -- if you do Kettlebell swings right, your arms won't be where you feel the exercise -- it's all about transferring the power of the hip snap, and the arms just along for the ride. (But if I'm wrong about this, Tracy will tell me on Sunday!) Anyway, after some serious swinging, I feel it in my booty and my abs.
Anonymous asked (ages ago -- sorry!) about my post about nail salons "how hard is it to do your own nails?" That's a good question. It's not hard at all to do your own nails, but nail salons do something you can't do by yourself. Basically they put a coating (either acrylic or gel) on your nails that a) makes them virtually indestructible, and b) makes nail polish (or the French manicure) stay on forever. So if you have "nails" you go every two weeks or so to have them "filled" as they grow out. Right now my nails look like those of a 12-year-old boy, because when you take the stuff off from the nail salon, it leaves your nails paper thin and breakable. Haven't decided if I'm putting 'em back on yet.
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
Each player starts with 7 random facts/habits about themselves. People who are tagged need to write on their own blog about their seven things, as well as these rules. You need to choose 7 people to get tagged and list their names. Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them that they have been tagged and to read your blog!
1. When I was growing up I hated my name. The most beautiful name, in my opinion, was Tina. My dad was an elementary education college professor, so I got lots of textbooks that were mine to do with as I wished. I wrote Tina in ballpoint pen on the cover of every single one.
2. I like odd numbers. So any temperature or digital audio control that I'm in charge of will always be set at an odd number. No, I won't freak out if it's set even, but I don't like it much. What's good about my age is that I have an early January birthday, and even when my age is even (like this year -- 46), the year is odd. And that's a good thing.
3. For as long as I can remember, I've felt like I wasn't as good as everyone else. I graduated high school and earned the highest scholarship my school gives, and was 12th academically in a class of 400. But I didn't feel smart. I did group counseling in my 20s, and when someone told me I was a perfectionist, I said in all sincerity, "Oh, I'm not good enough to be that!" and then nearly cried as the whole group burst out laughing. I didn't get the joke till years later. The BEST I've ever felt about myself is right now.
4. Because I was a bookish sort of girl whose parents had to force her outside to play (my idea of heaven was sitting on my canopy bed surrounded by lots of books and reading for hours) I wasn't athletic growing up. So I still get a secret thrill every time I do a handstand or run a race or do anything physical, because it's still a new thing to see myself as athletic.
5. I love swimming underwater in the ocean, past where the waves are breaking. It's peaceful, frightening, and thrilling all at the same time.
6. I used to think I notice lots of things, until going on the hike with Stacy whose brain never stops! But seriously, I notice design, fashion, and fitness, and most of my thoughts are of the "I wonder why they did that?" or "I know how to make that better!" variety.
7. I think athleticism and sensuality are intimately connected, and I love scenes in movies that depict athletic sensuality or sensual athleticism. (No, I'm not talking about porn here!) Someday I'd love to put together a video of scenes from movies that illustrate this, like the skate-off from Roll Bounce and some of the dance sequences from Stayin' Alive, which are the two examples I can think of right now.
I don't know who to tag. And I'm out of time. So I'm tagging anyone who would like to play but hasn't been tagged yet. Consider yourself tagged!
So I took my 20 pound kettlebell and ended up doing 8 sets of 50 swings. But those were broken up with other stuff like incline pushups, dips, tricep extensions (using the kettlebell), squats, dips, stationary lunges, step ups (using the bench on the football field), negatives (using some kind of football training equipment that was sturdy enough to hang from) and one lap around the track.
When I plan workouts, I think less in terms of bodyparts and more in terms of movements. I got this from "The New Rules of Lifting" where they recognize pushing (pushups, shoulder press, dips, etc.), pulling (pullups, pulldowns, bicep curls, low rows), squats, lunges, twists and I forget the other one cuz the book's not in front of me. So when I do my own workouts, I try to do some pushing movements and some pulling movements, and I always work lower body.
Today's workout will be kettlebell oriented -- I may watch a few Art of Strength videos to get some ideas. And yesterday's workout -- well, it worked, because I'm feeling the DOMS today -- hooray!
Monday, May 21, 2007
So today's workout is going to be a repeat of that workout, but maybe I'll do 30 minutes this time, just to keep it interesting!
The weekend had a lot of newness and fun stuff in it. Saturday was the 10 mile hike on the Western States trail. I almost bailed on the hike, because I got scared that I wouldn't know anyone, but then my girlfriend Stacy decided to come which made it tons more fun.
We met Suzy the ultra runner who led the hike. She was a delight (and the back of her car is a crack-up -- it's a cross between a mobile hospital and a running store, which I guess you need when you regularly run 20+ miles through the wilderness!) and the three of us stayed together for most of the hike. Stacy convinced us to run for about a mile along the trail (not that we needed much convincing, but at 3900 feet altitude, you sound like a pervert when you run!). And when Stacy and Suzy both licked a banana slug, I took the opportunity to give my slug a kiss.
You would think a 10 mile hike would be enough exercise, but when I got home, Tim wanted to do a workout. So while he did like a million of every exercise, I decided to do 50 reps of these:
low rows (using a black band = hard)
stiff-leg deadlifts (using 24 pound body bar)
On Sunday I was a little sore, but overall felt good.
So Sunday's new activity was a limousine scavenger hunt. It was an event to benefit a foster family agency, and there were like 20 teams that rode in limos to various locations. We tasted ice cream (blindfolded) at an ice cream parlour. We watched movie clips and had to identify them at a home theater store. We ran an obstacle course for time at a local park. And while in the limo we had to figure out puzzles to provide clues for each location. We had a great time, and the event raised money for a very worthy cause.
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
Ok, so in these few stolen moments, here are some things that are going on in my world:
1. I got to try a Power Plate today, and boy oh boy is it neat! I tried it doing squats, and lunges, and pushups, and crunches and stretching. After coming off it, my body felt amazing -- alive and aware are the best words I can think of to describe it. And after hearing Mr. Bodybugg talk about how it increases bone density, enhances production of HGH, and reduces cellulite, well I'm sold. Now if I can just find an extra $3000 laying around. :)
2. The Smith machine is a great way to train for handstand pushups! I just figured out today that you can set the bar to about face height, then get on your hands, and put your feet over the bar, and you can offset some of your weight. I'm getting more and more comfortable with doing actual handstand pushups, but my range of motion is still limited. But with doing them on the Smith machine, I can go much deeper.
3. The bodybugg has gone to live with its new owner for the next 3 months. I kind of weaned myself off it by not wearing it last week, but now I'm a little panicked about not having it. So I dusted off my FitDay program and am committed to logging food there, shooting for about 2000 calories per day.
4. So maybe it's all in my head, but I think the Power Plate does a fabulous job on abs. Today I went to my gym and did some weight work (bulgarian split squats, squats off a bench, push press, all with 15 pound dumbbells), the handstand pushups, and Cardio Coach on the ARC trainer. After dinner, Tim wanted to go running, so reluctantly I went on a 4 mile run. And I swear I could feel my abs the entire time. And I was very very happy when the run was over.
5. I have two fitness field trips scheduled for the next two weekends! This weekend I'm doing a 10 mile hike led by Suzi Leon, a world-class ultra runner, that goes along parts of the Western States trail. And the next weekend, I'm traveling to Palo Alto to meet Tracy and get some kettlebell training! For someone who usually stays pretty close to home on weekends, watching the kids play, this is big stuff!
Friday, May 11, 2007
Applewood Smoked Bacon
Sausage & Grilled Ham
Stuffed French Toast!!
Prime Rib & Baron of Beef Carving Station
Smoked Salmon Display (?)
Shrimp Display (??)
Mixed Green Salad with Assorted Dressings!!
Bagel & Flavored Cream Cheeses
Imported Cheese & Fruit Display!!
Fresh Baked Muffins & Scones!!
Harp & Flute music
Matt and Katie -- thank you for your suggestions on how I could post my training form to the weblog. Losing the formatting wasn't going to work (since the whole beauty of the training form IS the formatting), and I got too busy to post it to googlepages.com, but will keep that in mind. Thank you, my techno-friends!
Pamela -- thank you for the encouragement on the GDE and on weight loss.
OldLobo -- your perspective on calorie deficits and interval training is very appreciated, as I know it comes from someone with experience with both!
Eileen and Colette -- thank you for your sunshiney attitudes and spirit-lifting words!
Matt -- the salad comments (there are 4 macronutrients: protein, carbs, fats, and salads) cracked me up!
Katie -- Yes, my competition suit would have fit LOTS BETTER if I was tan, in the same way my car drives much nicer when it's clean!
Irene -- I'm so happy there are others like me who won't talk on their cell phone in a store. Niceness rules! (And way to go on your long runs!)
Ok, just ran out of time here, so more later. Oh, but Colette was asking if I'm leaving blogland. Survey says NO WAY! I love being part of this community, and have no intention of leaving! Hooray for weblogs!
Honestly, I can't tell you how I found the site or the gym. But what a fun place! And what fun writing! Here's the introduction to yesterday's Fitness Fixation post:
"I have a new favorite formula. It’s horrible-upset-lonely-despair + workout = nirvana. (Not the band. Kurt never exercised a day in his life, I bet. And don’t even get me started on Courtney’s yoga…) I’ve tried many other equations. Like horrible-upset-lonely-despair + eat a whole cake = burned-out-bloated-self-loathing. Or horrible-upset-lonely-despair + uncontrollable sobbing = nap. Sometimes horrible-upset-lonely-despair + yell-at-loved-ones = further-alienation. I’ve even done all in the space of a half hour. So far I believe the first one is the wisest, though not always the one I grab in a pinch."
Isn't that TRUE?!?! I spent the better part of the 6:00 am hour reading past weblog entries, and learning a lot in the process.
And Ice Chamber -- we really have found our people. The ones who keep fitness fun and do all sorts of different cool stuff. I smell a field trip coming on! Really -- let me know if you want to head to Albany (that's CA, not NY, just outside of Berkeley) for a fitness jaunt!
Her name is Krista and she has a website called Stumptuous.com. (It's a combination of the words "stumpy" and "voluptuous" -- you gotta love her already, right?) She writes about women and weight training, and she's funny and knowledgeable and very very good. Here's an example of how she writes. It's the first two paragraphs of an article titled "Lies in the gym."
"You don't have to go far in the average gym to find someone willing to give you bad information. People are full of ideas and advice about women and weights. The other day I heard the most ludicrous thing yet: that cardio work was bad for you because it built muscle that pushed the fat out farther. Yep, I guess that's why marathon runners are all so obese—duh. Some of the worst offenders are fitness magazines and personal trainers. This is somewhat distressing, considering that people look to such sources for help and information. The other day, reading a fitness magazine, I learned that yoga will firm my breasts (it won't, unless they meant to write "plastic surgeon" instead of "yoga"), and that over 90% of all long term exercisers exercise in the morning (oops, I guess all the evening regulars at the gym are just fooling themselves).
Anyway I've compiled a list of some of the most common myths floating around like the alligator in the sewer stories. The difference is, of course, that there really ARE alligators in the sewer. And snakes that pop out of your toilet, heh heh."If you go to Krista's website, be sure to have quite a bit of time on your hands, because she's a wealth of information on all things fitness.
Wednesday, May 09, 2007
My intention is to set aside some time and answer comments -- I save every single one -- but now is not that time. So let's talk fitness, ok?
At last week's weigh in, I was exactly the same weight as the week before, which just sucked and led to a 24 hour sugar festival. I KNOW in my mind that you can't lose weight every single week. I also know that weight fluctuates. But I was feeling rather adolescent -- I WANT TO BE LIGHTER AND IT'S NOT FAIR THAT I'M NOT BECAUSE I'M WORKING REALLY HARD, SO SCREW IT -- that was the overriding thought. Oh, and I'd gone to TWO movies and eaten a protein bar each time, while my companion(s) ate yummy stuff, and that my friends, should result in negative calories, don't you think?
Anyway, it's a new week and I'm back on track. In fact, I'm getting some feedback that I don't need to lose any more weight. Whaaaat???? I've needed to lose 5 (10? 15? 20?) pounds for my entire adult life practically. Plus I'm not at my dream weight yet -- you know, that magical number where life will be perfect .... ok, so I know that's not how it works, but I still really like my number. But I can see the vein that runs along the top of the bicep all the time now (even when I'm not lifting) and that kind of freaks me out. And I did take measurements. Here they are:
So maybe the reality is that I'm at a good weight for me? For some reason, I'm incredibly uncomfortable with that thought. Like it seriously makes me uneasy. In fact, I don't want to talk about that anymore, ok?
(This is the great thing about typing a monologue -- abrupt subject changes are just fine!)
On the workout front, I'm trying to get acclimated to the heat. So yesterday I did a 5 mile run/walk at 11:00 when it was in the mid-80s or so. I could tell I wasn't feeling all that energetic, but it only takes a few of those planned heat runs to get used to the warmer temperatures. I may be able to fit in another run later today or tomorrow -- we'll see.
Time to do Junior High pickup, so must run. Hugs to all friends -- stay healthy and know that you are appreciated!
Wednesday, May 02, 2007
1. Apples. Now that I have the healthy temptations out of the house (TLCs and protein bars), apples are a great snack. I've read several articles where the authors think apples do more to help with satiety (feeling full) than most foods do.
2. MET-Rx protein powder with glutamine. I got some at Trader Joe's and I really like it. The only thing is that their serving size is 210 calories and 46 grams of protein, which is a little much for me, so I just use 2 servings.
3. Sugar free gum and diet sodas. Maybe not the most healthful things around, but right now it's 11:10 and I'm tired, and without a diet soda and some gum, I'm positive I'd be munching.
In my previous weblog I talked about the man at the nail salon who asked me how many grandchildren I have. Yes, you heard me right. I know that in some cultures women get married early (I didn't) and have children early (I didn't), but the question seemed insulting. When I told him I had none, and he asked "Why you not have grandchildren?" I replied, "I'd BETTER not have grandchildren, because my kids are 12 and 10!" We didn't talk the rest of the appointment.
So I've been going to the same nail salon, and I stopped in Monday before picking Tucker up from school to have my nails filled. The place was busy, but after about 10 minutes they had someone to work on me, so he started working. About 5 minutes into it, a woman walked in with her daughter in tow. She was talking on her cell phone and didn't acknowledge the people at the nail place. When she finally finished her conversation, she said to the man working on me, "I have an appointment with you now." He seemed flustered, and went off to talk with some coworkers. When he came back, he told me, "You sit over there. Someone be with you in 10 minutes." I told him, "No, I have to pick my son up, and I can't wait," and I left. I was feeling small and invisible and sorry for myself, when I realized that there are HUNDREDS of nail salons. Literally! And I don't have to go to one where I feel bad. So I came home and took the nails off myself, which was fine, even though they're kinda ugly at the moment. But the process of deciding that I didn't have to go there? Tremendously liberating!
So let's talk pet peeves. From Monday's incident, here are a few:
1. People who come into a place of business talking on their cell phone. WAIT OUTSIDE till you're done talking. It's rude to come into a place where people greet you and ask what you want when you know darned good and well you'll give them no attention whatsoever.
2. People who treat people differently based on what they're wearing. I was wearing track pants and a t-shirt. Rude mom was wearing a business suit. I guess in this case, business suit wins. But that's WRONG!
3. (As long as I'm on a roll now...) People who have extended conversations on their cell phones while spending time with their kids. Ok, so I have no idea who she was talking to or what they were talking about. But I'm not in the mood to be charitable to the woman who took my place and whose nails got done. Be with your kids if you're with them!
4. (This feels really good, and I'm sure I'm going to offend someone soon, if I haven't already, but what the heck...) Women who leave their butt paper on the toilet in a public restroom. I'm not at all sure that the tissue paper seat cover does anything to block germs from jumping onto your butt. But if you use one, for goodness sakes make sure you flush it, ok? It is NOT asking too much to not have to deal with someone's used butt paper!
5. (Ooooh, what's another good one???) People who don't look behind them to see if someone's going through the door. I'm trying to teach my kids this one, that it takes so little effort just to glance and see if you need to hold the door a nano-second longer to be polite. I would never in a million years say anything if someone didn't hold the door, but I really do think it's the right thing to do.
Maybe I'm done. Am I done? I think I am, although the minute I post this, I'll have lots of new ones, I'm sure!
Tuesday, May 01, 2007
Food number one is TLC's. That stands for Tasty Little Crackers (it's a brand, not just my nickname for them). The stats are good for crackers. They're organic and healthy. But if I have an open box around, it's just too easy to eat crackers instead of an apple or some carrots or something else fresh and healthy. So now I keep potato chips around, or non-flavored tortilla chips, which for me are no temptation at all.
Food number two is Think Thin protein bars. Again, stats are good. But I eat them like ... well, like candy. So having one is good, but honestly, two is way better. And that's far too many calories devoted to a manufactured food. So I've given Tim a nice supply of bars, and they are hidden from me.
Yesterday and today I managed to change my macro ratios and get more fats. So without going into boring detail, yesterday I hit a good calorie deficit while eating 2000 calories with a 53/28/19 (C/P/F) ratio. Today's numbers are dependent on if I'm having some Fiber One and low-fat vanilla soymilk before bed. WithOUT the cereal, it's 1821 calories with 46/26/28. With cereal, it's 2021 calories and 51/24/25. Decisions, decisions...
My real marathon running friend Jenny asked if it makes me crazy having to think about food all the time. At first logging the food was tedious. And sometimes you just make educated guesses about your intake, unless you only want to eat manufactured foods from packages with labels. But with time I'm learning to really love the whole process. Maybe that's because I'm losing weight that's been so resistant to budging. (Ok, so maybe I was resistant to changing my diet, but still, resistance was there!) And let's face it, when you're feeling like everything fits with ease, that's a great feeling. I even tried on my WTF suit from 2 years ago. It's the tiniest most scandalous thing you've ever seen. And even without a tan, it fit. Bottom line: when you're getting the results you want, the process becomes your friend.
On a final note, I LOVE what I do! The process of getting to know the delightful women I train (and that one special little girl, who incidentally is doing great and getting stronger!) is ... I don't even have the words to express what a privilege it is to work with them. With the sincerest of hearts, I can say I feel like I'm doing what I was MADE to do, and I'm beyond grateful for the opportunity to do it!
Still don't know about the cereal, though... :)
There's an interesting Q&A on Evelyne's blog from April 30. If you get a chance, go there and read her good question and lots of great input in the comments section. I did Cardio Coach this morning and pulled out an article I'd printed and not read yet from T Nation. It's by Alwyn Cosgrove, and it's titled "The Hierarchy of Fat Loss." (Perfect, huh?) It's a fantastic article that you can (and should) read yourself by clicking here. Here's what really stuck with me:
1. The two most important things for fat loss are proper nutrition and proper nutrition. Honestly, without fixing your diet (creating a calorie deficit, getting enough protein and fat) you can't really get the job done.
2. Metabolic resistance training is where it's at! That means full body weight training where your heart rate goes up and you're working hard. (Note from me -- this is how I train myself and my clients -- hooray!)
3. "Interval training is like putting your savings into a high return investment account. Low intensity aerobics is like hiding it under your mattress. Both will work, but the return you get is radically different."