Thursday, August 30, 2007

Too darn hot!

I try to run in the heat, dousing my head with ice water at every mile. I take Bikram Yoga so that I can handle the heat. But when it's 106 degrees outside, it's just too darn hot. Now I know how cookies feel when they enter the oven!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Today's Workout

Still loving doing my own thing, I must say! But still grateful for what I learned from Tony. One thing that I will use forever is Glutamine (Tony writes about it here on his website) -- it makes a difference!

On to today's workout. I didn't sleep well last night and with a low energy level, I wanted a strength workout that was challenging but doable. Here's what I ended up with:

Kettlebell deadlifts
Set 1: 20 reps, 8 kb
Set 2: 15 reps, 12 kb
Set 3: 15 reps, 16 kb

Back squats
Set 1: 20 reps, 18 pound bodybar
Set 2: 15 reps, 24 pound bb
Set 3: 20 reps, 24 pound bb

Below parallel squats
Set 1: 15 reps, 20 pound dumbbells

Step ups to 16" bench
Set 1: 15 reps, 10 pounds
Set 2: same
Set 3: same

Pull-up negatives
Set 1: 10 reps
Set 2: 5 reps

One arm rows:
Set 1: 15 reps, 25 pounds
Set 2: 13 reps, 25 pounds
Set 3: 10 reps, 30 pounds

Cable pulldowns
Set 1: 15 reps, black cable
Set 2: 15 reps, black cable

Incline bicep curls
Set 1: 15 reps, 15 pounds
Set 2: 15 reps, 12.5 pounds

Bicep 21's
Set 1: 21 reps, 10 pounds

One final note: I said there's a way to make planks more effective. Well here it is: keep your butt level, squeeze your glutes and drop your shoulders. If you do these three things, planks become a whole new experience.

Biggest Loser

Biggest Loser starts soon and I can't wait! The show is not reality, and nobody (even me who likes to exercise) wants to spend 3-4 hours in a gym every day. But it's so fun to see what they do for training, and you just care so much about these people and their hopes and dreams that I'm completely hooked.

Last night I picked up a little booklet/magazine about Biggest Loser in the checkout line at the grocery store. There's some good information in this quick read. For example:

1. The idea of drinking a glass of water both before and AFTER a meal, so you can make sure you haven't over eaten. (If you can't drink a glass of water at the end of the meal, you probably ate too much.)

2. There's a cool little workout titled "Lunge off the Pounds" that includes lateral lunges, split lunges, and squats with shoulder presses.

3. The info on the upcoming season, as well as the "where are they now?" profiles on past contestants is all fascinating.

But I have 3 problems with the information they present:

1. They recommend a diet of 1050 calories per day for people 150 and under who want to lose weight. If you weight 300 pounds, you get 2100 calories per day, and the numbers vary for those in between those weights. That's not enuff, in my opinion. Then again, how else can you lose oodles of pounds in one week other than by severely limiting what you eat, and exercising ALL THE TIME!

2. In an intermediate ab routine, they recommend doing FIVE to SEVEN MINUTES of crunches on a stability ball. WHAT??? Ok, so I'm in pretty decent shape and can't imagine doing that much!

3. There's a little 5 minute workout that you can do at home. Here it is:

2 minutes jumping jacks (ok, boring, but ok)
1 minute plank pose (I learned how to make plank way harder and better at the seminar this weekend, but I'll write about that another day)
2 minutes mountain climbers

Have you ever DONE mountain climbers? This workout has you doing them for 2 minutes on the floor. The other night my workout included a minute of these with hands on a bench, and I swear I thought my timer was broken!

End of rant. Everyone should watch the new season (just try not to cringe when they have morbidly obese people doing plyometrics, cuz you know they'll keep on doing it).

Tuesday, August 28, 2007


...doing my own workouts. Here's what today looked like:

Goal: work chest & shoulders, burn calories (always!)
Bench press (used 45 pound olympic bar), 20 reps, 15 reps, 15 reps
BOSU pushups (one hand on dome side of BOSU), 10 total (5 each side), 10, 10
Overhead press, 15 pounds, 15 reps
Arnold press, 12.5 pounds, 15 reps, 15 reps
Bodyweight squats on flat side of BOSU, 20 reps, 20 reps
Freemotion shoulder press, 15 reps, 15 reps (no idea what weight)

ARC trainer -- 30 minutes while reading The Raw 50, by Carol Alt.

In an attempt to start to recognize friends who comment or ask questions, I'll try to answer Eileen's question about the Reebok deck. Yes, it is expensive, but it's well made and seems to work quite well as a multi-purpose fitness tool. Before I invested in it, though, I'd see if what I already had would work -- like using a ball as a bench when lifting weights, for example. Then again, sometimes you just feel like you need something new to pique your interest. Ok, so I've basically said nothing, darn it, but those are my thoughts.

Hi Matt!
Hi Colette!
Hi Stacy!
Hi Sonniejane!
Hi Tracy!
Hi Evelyne!
Hi Irene!
Hi Chantal!
Hi Laurie!
Hi Em!

(How happy I feel to have such nice people to say hi to!)

Time to eat lunch (salad -- lots of fresh organic greens, ACV dressing, and protein and water) and get ready for my 1:15 client. Have a great day!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Brain is FULL!

So I spent all day yesterday and today in a seminar, and it was FANTASTIC! The man who spoke, Rodney Corn, is amazing in the depth of his knowledge of functional anatomy, exercise progressions, program design, correcting muscle imbalances -- you name it, he knows it! It will take a little time to incorporate some of the concepts I learned, but it was definitely time well spent.

One of the funny things about going to a training seminar is that we didn't have desks or tables. We all sat on Reebok decks and by the end of the day, half the people were on the floor or on stability balls or doing stretches -- this is not a population that sits still very well!

On the training front, I'm stopping training with Tony, but is has nothing to do with him. I would recommend him to anyone who is looking for online training, and someone who really puts his all into what he does. But right now I'm feeling so overwhelmed with kids back in school, new clients, and life that I just can't commit to workouts that take me outside of my comfort zone. So I'm going back to my old bodyweight, dumbbell, kettlebell circuit-style workouts, with some running thrown into the mix. And I'm looking forward to getting back to what I really enjoy doing. But I learned a lot from Tony and I'm very thankful for that!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Still here and coming up for air

We're all adjusting to the new normal that is the school year. Yesterday was the first day of school AND Austin's actual birthday, so I baked a "first day" cake (a tradition in our family to celebrate school starting) AND cupcakes, and didn't have a single bite, lick, or fingerfull of any of it. Today I've felt ravenous all day, and although I've tried to make smart choices, I know my calories have been high.

I intended to get to the gym at 5:30, but we had a power outage last night, so the alarm didn't go off. Why is it relatively easy to get up at 5:15, but nearly impossible to get up at 6:50?! Trained a new client this morning -- fun -- then it was off to the gym for me (chest, lower body, 20 minutes ARC trainer). And because I gave in to a toast/sunflower seed butter/honey snack this afternoon, I did another workout in the training room tonight (1 minute on, 1 minute rest of Kb swings, step ups on 12" box, mountain climbers, stuff like that for 20 minutes).

One thing I'm starting to realize is that I'm good at what I do. For most of my life I've lived with impossibly high personal standards, and this belief: if I am good at something, everyone else is good at it too, and probably better. And if I'm not good at something, well everyone else is good at it for sure. So for the last few months I've been feeling imposter-ish in training clients. But I was thinking about this the other night, and the truth is that I put everything I can into helping women change their lives. I read incessantly. I choose exercises with care and a tremendous amount of thought. And I do everything in my power to motivate, guide, and teach my clients. (Tempted to erase -- hope it doesn't sound prideful...)

This weekend I'll be at a continuing education seminar that's being taught by one of the top men at NASM (the organization I'm certified through). I can't wait! One of the drawbacks to setting up my own training studio (as opposed to working in a gym) is that I don't have other people to bounce ideas or situations off of. So hanging out for a weekend with other trainers is really something to look forward to.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Weekend fun

This is what we were watching last night in San Jose at the VISA Cup National Championship meet. (This is a clip from a competition last year, but last night was every bit as good as what you see here.) What fun!

Thank you everyone for the suggestions about Austin's birthday. He decided to invite some friends out to dinner, so tonight there will be eight of us (our family, two of Austin's friends, his cousin-friend and her best friend) dining at The Melting Pot, a fondue restaurant here in town.

My plan is to write more consistently once the kids are back in school next week. And I'm close to making some decisions about my business that I think will help me stay on top of the growth I'm experiencing -- I have FIVE new clients starting in the next two weeks!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

A must-read about eating

Once again, Tracy has said what needs to be said. Check it out: Rediscovering Strength.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Back on Track

So much for this morning's kick-ass workout. Rather than getting up at 5:15 as usual, I slept in till 8:15 -- 3 solid hours of extra very needed sleep! So this afternoon in 95 degree heat, I ran 5 miles. Enjoyable? Heck no! But did I keep my promise about doing a tough workout? Ummm, yeah I think so!

More later -- kid transportation needs must be met.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

But wait, there's more...

small handful Doritos Cool Ranch
2 waffles with syrup
2 Carmelita's (I made them last week)
little bit of chocolate

NOW I think I'm done.

Happy tummy, happy me

Today I had my first "cheat" of my diet and boy am I feeling good. In an ideal world, a cheat would be planned, but this was just a case of too tired too sore too vulnerable to resist, ya know?
So here's what I ate:

2 T Better n Peanut Butter (Trader Joe's -- yum!)
2 small cups of turkey/black bean chili
1 slice Ezekiel bread with sunflower seed butter and honey
1 slice citrus bread from Peet's coffee

My plan is to do a kick-ass workout in the morning to best use my bonus calories. Maybe I should be feeling guilty or bad, but all I feel is tired (the aftermath of all that sugar) and very happy. And for the next 2 hours I plan to read Harry Potter 7 -- heaven!

Monday, August 13, 2007

Last post of the night

One final clarification: I've decided to start eating a limited amount of fish, turkey, and chicken. Last week Austin smelled (I know -- ick) my tofu and declared it both looked and smelled like cat food. So I couldn't do tofu anymore. And it's just too darn hard to do veg right now. So yes, I ate my own turkey chili (it's a recipe from Oxygen magazine last year -- black beans, red peppers, tomatoes, celery, garlic, onions -- so yummy!) and fully enjoyed it. I'll still limit the amount of flesh foods I eat, but just that I'm letting myself have some is making a huge difference!

Great Day

You've got to check out this site. I get an email every day (thanks to my mom) from the site, and today's was just beautiful. Here's an excerpt:

Be honest with yourself.
And you will see the wonder that is all around you.
Drop any pretense of cynicism.
And allow your spirit to marvel at the exquisite, graceful beauty in even the smallest of things.

Much of what you long for is already well within your reach.
Let go of the doubts, fears, and assumptions that keep you locked out of life's best possibilities.

Beautiful. True.

Mark's Daily Apple

Just a quick clarification -- when I recommended Mark's Daily Apple, I just meant the site in general. The day I wrote about it, it was talking about training with bare feet. While that may be great for some, and is preferred when you work with kettlebells, I can't do it. Plantar fasciitis in my left foot made barefoot a thing of the past for me about six years ago. But continue to visit the site for fascinating health and fitness news. Today he writes about HFCS in everything and about deep fried COKE!

Fitness Update

Ok so I'm starting week 3 of the Tony plan. I've benefitted from working with Tony and using his plan, for sure. Here's my take so far:


Tony knows what he's doing and he's a great coach -- talking to him is motivating and eye opening.

The accountability factor is huge -- knowing you'll be receiving a workout via email and will be entering your results -- fantastic!

I like the variety of sets and reps.

I'm lifting heavier weights than I would normally lift.

Really like the ACV/LJ thing, as well as using green tea extract -- I will keep both for a lifetime.

Feel like I may have broken my nighttime cereal addiction.

Have lost 7 pounds and feel lean and strong.


Diet makes me feel separate from my family. Don't tell, but I've been cheating by having raw almonds as a snack, and by eating fresh peaches daily. Oh, and over the weekend I had two diet pepsi's -- wish I didn't love them so much!

My preference is full-body workouts with free weights, and most of my workouts are a little more bodypart specific and use gym machines (which I said I would do, but I don't enjoy).

To be fair, a diet that emphasizes fresh natural foods and getting many carbs from vegetables is healthy beyond belief. I just wish I liked it more. I DO like closing in on the low 130s, and I like how defined my muscles look. The picture at the top was taken a week ago, and even from then till now I see changes -- my arms and shoulders are more defined, and my waist is narrower. But tonight I'm "cheating" and having turkey chili with my family -- I think the black beans in it are a no-no, but I'm feeling rebellious (plus I made the chili and it's fantastic!).

I think it will feel good to wear a bikini in Hawaii -- hooray!

Friday, August 10, 2007

Fitness update soon

Although my recent writings might imply that I'm not into fitness anymore, you KNOW that's not the case. I promise a fitness/health post soon! In the meantime, here's a site you should check out:

Mark's Daily Apple

Crazy busy life

This week we've packed in so many fun things that I'm relieved that tonight we're just staying home! Monday and Tuesday our friends from San Diego and their kids were here to visit. On Monday we headed to UC Davis (their alma mater -- these are friends of Tim's from college) and adults and kids rode bikes around campus, and Rick, Nancy, and Tim reminisced about college life. Here's the four grownups in front of the Tercero Dining Commons:
On Wednesday the neighborhood grownups went on our annual boat trip. This year Folsom Lake is really low, so we went out on the Sacramento River -- just beautiful! Here's us before launching (don't look for me -- I'm the one taking the picture!):

And here's the view on the river at sunset:

Yesterday I played my first complete nine holes of golf. I donned my golf costume (sorry Tim, but that's what it is!) and we went out with my brother and sister-in-law. 3/4 of this group golfs regularly and are really good golfers, and those people treated this non-golfer with so much love and care that she had a GREAT time and will do it again! And on the last hole, I drove the ball 140 long straight yards in the direction I wanted it to go. Tim was elated. I'm still thinking I should retire right now, cuz it ain't gonna get better than that!

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Peaches anyone?

Sunday night we picked peaches. And picked peaches. And picked peaches. We have one mutant peach tree that produces the best peaches I've ever tasted. And what you see here is only what we could fit into the bags we had. Here's what we've done with them:
  • We gave some away to neighbors. (Typical interaction: US: Would you like some peaches? NEIGHBOR: Sure! US: Would you like 20 or 30 peaches? NEIGHBOR: I was thinking more like 5 or 6...)
  • Austin made peach cobbler.
  • I made peach crisp.
  • We've cut up and eaten a huge bowl of fresh peaches daily.
If you live close by and would like some peaches, please in the name of all that is good and right, COME OVER AND TAKE SOME!

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Birthday ideas?

Austin's turning 14 in 2-1/2 weeks and has no idea of what he wants to do for his birthday. We came up with ATVing which is perfect for my adventure-loving son, but since we have to rent ATVs, he doesn't want to do it, because he can't drive. Last year we did a party and told him we'd do a party every other year. So this is a no-party year, but we still want to do something fun for him. Any ideas, friends???

Saturday, August 04, 2007

I'm a trendsetter!

Turns out I'm a trendsetter, but didn't even know it till today when I saw The Simpsons Movie. Those of you who have been to my house or read this weblog for a while know that I love pigs, and have loved them for some time now. Well, turns out that Plopper the pig plays a pivotal role in the movie (note, though, that this is not a good picture of him), and that makes me a trendsetter, right?

I will probably go to bed with a smile on my face as I envision Homer holding the pig upside down and making him walk on the ceiling while singing, "Spider Pig, Spider Pig. Does whatever a Spider Pig does." Easily amused? Yeah, I guess I am!

Day 6 progress report

It's been almost a week of being on the Dreambodies program. (Oh, for Kettlebell Lady who asked, Dreambodies is a online training program by Tony DiConstanzo.) Here are the pros and cons of the new way of doing things:

  • I feel leaner and my clothes fit better.
  • I like having an exercise plan instead of randomly figuring out what I might do for the day.
  • The workouts are very different than what I'd normally do, which puts me outside of my comfort zone. (this is also a con -- see below)
  • Having an eating plan feels pretty good.
  • Increased awareness of thoughts is really taking me by surprise (in a good way). Yesterday's insight? I have a basic belief that people don't like me, and the few who do are just delightful anomaly. Is this true? Actually, no it's not. More food for thought and for counseling...
  • The workouts use weight machines, which I'm quite unfamiliar with, so I'm outside of my comfort zone.
  • I feel tired a lot more than I did before I started this. (I'm sure this is part of the adjustment to doing something new.)
  • Workouts take a long time to do, partly because of my unfamiliarity, and partly because they're pretty long workouts. This may also be a "pro" since it's part of why I'm feeling leaner in less than a week.
  • Food is boring and sometimes I don't want to eat at all, rather than eat another Gardenburger.
  • I miss my kettlebell workouts.
I just need to remember that I'm doing this for a reason (actually for several reasons):
  • We leave for Maui in 4 weeks and I want to look and feel fantastic.
  • It's time to get a handle on my eating and find a way to overcome some habits (huge bowl of cereal nightly, cookies every time we see a Starbucks, etc.) that are not moving me in the direction I want to go.
  • Lower weight = less stress on joints as I train for the Nike Half Marathon.
  • Trying something new gives me more tools to use for my clients as we work to achieve their goals.
Ok, I'm off to the gym. Have a fabulous day everyone!

Two nice comments

Comment number 1
I was at the dentist office for the 3rd time in two weeks. (We're switching dentists and between cleanings and sealants for three people, I have several appointments on the books.) I've made a commitment to myself to not spend each and every day wearing fitness clothes, so I was wearing a tank top, a summery skirt, cute shoes, and of course the new braid. The woman behind the desk commented on how I looked and on the braid, and then said, "You know, you always look so nice and take such good care of yourself!" That was encouraging.

Comment number 2
Austin and I were talking and I said something that made him laugh. He said, "That was a my-mom comment." Huh? He went on, "I'd say it was just a mom comment, but you're not like an ordinary mom." He smiled. I was delighted!

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Girl crush

I have a huge crush on Holly Hunter. I want to be exactly like her in Saving Grace, except for the promiscuity and alcoholism, of course. That sounds funny, but what I find so appealing is the spirit with which she engages life. I even put a little braid in my hair (which I've gotten tons of compliments on) and it helps me to feel sassy and good.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Day 3

So far, so good. Probably the most notable thing about the changes I'm making is that I'm becoming aware of how very negative my self-talk is. Tim suggested yesterday that I think about taking some of the free classes at the Apple store. My first thought (and comment)? Too far, takes too much time. This morning he was heading out to golf and all I could think of is how trapped the kids make me feel.

While the Apple store is 30 minutes away, and I do need to stay home with the kids at times (it's the way we've chosen to do the parenting thing), it's ridiculous to only see the bad in the situation. Ummmm, yeah I could drive 30 minutes for an interesting class. And my kids are 14 (in 3 weeks) and 11, not 4 and 1! (Although the other day I was gone for 30 minutes at the grocery store, and when I came back all hell had broken loose. Ok, but that's feeding the whole negative thing and I don't even want to go there!) Anyway, the point is that I do have autonomy in my life to the degree that I'll choose it!

On a lighter note, has anyone checked out "Saving Grace" on TNT? I LOVE that show!!! We have very little time for TV now that our kids don't have an early bedtime and want to watch whatever we're watching (with a TV-MA rating, we do not let the kids watch Grace with us). But we'll make it a point to find time to watch this.

And speaking of Holly Hunter, Tony asked me to find a picture to use as a goal of where I'd like to be, and I think Holly Hunter is IT! But I'm still searching for the right picture...

Finally, green tea extract is a wonderful thing, in case you're looking for something that's healthy AND increases your energy. I've read about it for a while now, and can't believe it's taken me thing long to try it.