Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Helping them to want it!

Just got back from doing Cardio Coach #1 at the gym. It was hard, especially since I'm not 100% yet, but I'm definitely on the road to recovery. (Incidentally, I still love Cardio Coach!) I'm listening to "Sunsets" by Rachel Portman (from The Lake House soundtrack -- really beautiful), eating a South Beach Diet lunch (I know you're supposed to be mindful when you eat, but it's just not happening today), and knowing that I start picking up kids in about 30 minutes.

What's on my mind is motivating clients to get what they want. I take this training business VERY seriously and want my clients to win in what they're working towards so badly I can taste it. So how do I help to translate that desire on their behalf into action on their part? I mean, at BEST I'm with them 3 hours a week. To get all mathematical about it, that means I'm with them 1.78% of their week. So with that small amount of time (even less if it's someone who comes once a week), how I can best spend that time in a way that gives them more than a workout, but helps to create positive change in those "other" 165 or so hours they're not with me? Therein lies the challenge!

I'm reading a book titled "It's More Than Just Making Them Sweat" by Ed Thornton. One of the points he makes has to do with making the experience of working out pleasurable, not because it's easy, but because of what is accomplished. He quotes a writer who states, "The way to happiness lies not in mindless hedonism, but in mindful challenge." And maybe that's part of the answer. Helping people find their inner athlete, so they can feel the happiness that comes from accomplishment of any kind, and in this case, physical accomplishment. The "look what I just did!" excitement that kids have when they master a skill or beat their own record.

Speaking of kids, I'm taking on a new client next week. And I so badly want this girl to experience success and health and energy and all that can come with having your body work for you. That's probably why I'm so focused on this today. In fact, I was up in the middle of the night thinking about her -- what I can do to make exercise fun and challenging and encourage her to find her inner athlete.

Speaking of the inner athlete, that's part of what I want every single one of my clients to find. As last picked for everything as a child, I know what it's like to avoid activity. That's probably why it's so delightful to feel strong and athletic as a grown up. Today I was doing handstands at the gym, and I was thinking, "You know, I think these probably reduce your age by 50%, but I'm probably about 23 years old when I do these!" Nothing like some positive thoughts to reinforce behavior, right?

But honestly, although most women who seek a trainer are looking for outward changes -- less fluff, more muscle, looser clothes -- and all of those things are fantastic, I really believe that through exercise you are just getting the tip of the iceberg if that's all you want. How about the confidence that goes with feeling strong? How about the loveliness of a body that moves as you want it to? How about the feminine power of enjoying your sexuality with the man you love? Now THAT'S something to get excited about! (But I may have to tone it down for my brochure!)

Yesterday's Workout

I was in the training room trying out some exercises I was going to do with a client today. Tim heard me slamming a ball against the wall, came up and accused me of yelling at him that he's a lazy man and needed to workout. He's perceptive, that husband of mine! :) So together we did the Crossfit workout of the day, which was 100 pullups, 100 pushups, 100 squats, and 100 situps. Tim did every single thing as prescribed, and I'm crazy proud of him! I made the squats more intense by squatting to an 8" box. Did the situps as rx'd. Pushups were from knees, cuz of bicep tendon still getting better. And did 50 jumping pullups, then did 50 ball slams with a 16 pound ball. Hard, but fun workout!

Monday, January 29, 2007

Starting my day over at 3:30 pm!

I've been fighting a nasty cold for the past few days. My eating stayed clean until yesterday at Stanford. We arrived for a gymnastics meet that was delayed by more than two hours. Now keep in mind that what I wanted was to spend the day in bed, and NOT sitting on bleachers in a gymnasium. So we sat on those bleachers from 3:30 till after 10:00 last night, arriving home at 1:15 or so this morning. And that bleacher time was filled with whatever-the-heck-makes-me-feel-better food. Veggies do not make me feel better. M&M's, however, seem to help. And today has been filled with diet sodas and Doritos, in a flashback to my comfort foods of a long time ago.

So I've decided as of NOW to start my day over. I have a giant jug of water in front of me, and once I'm done writing I'll be getting some yummy vegetables to munch on (if this sounds sarcastic, GOOD! It's meant that way!).

Comments on comments

In an abrupt change of subject, and with no reference to the people who asked (because my head feels like a pillow right now, and that makes even typing an effort!), here are some answers to some questions:

I've finally looked over the RAVE diet, and have a few thoughts. It's pretty militant (nothing processed, nothing animal, etc.), but certainly makes some sense. Anything that moves anyone towards eating more fresh stuff and less processed stuff is good, in my opinion. I haven't watched the CD, because I read some reviews, and it sounds kind of graphic in its attempts to convert people to being vegetarian. But I agree that eating less meat and more veggies is a great way to go.

(new paragraph to make this more readable) A book that has some of the same ideas, but seems more gentle is Mariel Hemingway's Healthy Living from the Inside Out. In it she talks about foods that are noisy and foods that are quiet. For example, I'm pretty sure that Diet Mountain Dew and Doritos are noisy foods, because they disrupt the body's natural balance. And I also really liked this post by Shelly, as well as the article it references.

I think it was Meghan who asked if I do the Crossfit workouts. I sure try to, but I usually have to modify the weights they post. My left shoulder has dislocated several times, and keeping it in the socket is quite important to me. So any kind of overhead lift has to be way lighter for me. But I like the intensity of the workouts, and tend to pattern my own workouts in a similar way. For example, on Friday night I did a workout where I alternated 20 wall ball shots with squats (using a 10 pound medicine ball) with 20 jumping pullups. I did 5 rounds of each and it was HARD! But I liked the balance in the workout, with the squats hitting the entire lower body (especially because I was squatting to an 8" step, which meant the squats were quite low), the wall ball shots using chest, shoulders, and triceps, and the jumping pullups hitting the back and biceps.

On a final note, Tucker did GREAT at Stanford and it looks like he's going to qualify for the state championships. He needs two all around scores of 50.0 or higher, and he got a 51.05 this meet. In two weeks, he's competing in Las Vegas, then San Francisco, then Oakland, and so it goes.

And if you read about Austin's injury back in November, well, he's now back to gymnastics practice, but he's pretty convinced he'll quit at the end of this season. His heart just isn't in it now that he knows what life can be like without 20 hours of gymnastics a week. While there's a big part of me that wants him to find that fire inside again, because he has worked SO hard and loved it for SO LONG, if it's not for him, then it's not for him. I'd sure love to see him compete one last time, though.

And with Tucker saying this is his last season, who knows? We might be able to have dinners on a regular basis as a family again! THAT would be lovely indeed!

Time for veggies...

Friday, January 26, 2007


As a recovering alcoholic, I don't drink. I haven't in more than 20 years. But I remember what hangovers feel like, and I have one today FROM SUGAR!

Dinner at The Kitchen was great. They really stress that you can have the food any way you want (and at $125 per person, not including beverages or tip, it should be exactly as you want it!), and I knew two people in our party were having vegetarian options. So as they were describing the dinner which included lobster bisque (I don't eat lobster because lobsters don't poop and I don't like lobster), something in a veal stock (I don't eat veal because I can't support the industry), a fois gras (I don't eat liver -- boy, I'm sounding like a special case, aren't I???) -- well, I kept thinking about asking for vegetarian options. I did, and what they made was fabulous! I couldn't even tell you what it all was, but it was light and fresh and clean tasting and I loved it! Tim tried my food and said it was even better than what he was served on the normal menu.

Then we got to dessert which was something chocolate and bittersweet and warm and gooey, served with vanilla bean sorbet and some other fabulous stuff. I LOVED mine! Then I looked at Tim's plate, and it was practically intact. He was full because he'd had seconds of nearly every course. So I swooped in and appropriated his plate and polished it off. About 5 minutes later I started feeling unwell. Not anything that became symptomatic -- I just felt icky inside. And it lasted all night. And I still feel it today. Any doubts I had about how food affects me are completely gone.

So today I'm back to the eating the seems to work for me -- mostly vegetarian, mostly organic, lots of water, and lots of Diet Mountain Dew. (I know it makes no sense, but hey -- it's working!)

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Today's workout

Today is a really busy fun day, so workout had to be quick. Just got back from the gym where I did:

light stretch, then 5 sets of
handstand practice, about 3 minutes
10 overhead squats w/18 pound Body Bar

Finished up with some single leg presses at 100 pounds, then some yummy stretching. Took about 25 minutes, and seemed to hit just about everything.

The overhead squats were inspired by this video. I LOVE LOVE LOVE Nicole's physique -- lean, athletic, feminine. And just using an 18 pound bar, when you're holding it with your traps and rhomboids activated -- well, by the 5th set, I was plenty tired. So it's hard to even get my mind around NINETY FIVE POUNDS!

So here's the rest of my day:

Head downtown to meet a girlfriend for lunch (and I get to dress up like a real working person!)
Back to pick up kids and supervise homework
Kids leave for gymnastics at 4:10
I head out to The Kitchen for dinner with my husband and his team from work. Click here if you want to see what we're having for dinner. As you can tell, today is SO my free day!

Why Some People Quit and Some People Never Give Up!

That's the title of a fantastic article by Tom Venuto of "Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle." Renee posted it on her website here, and anyone who is trying to make changes needs to read it. Here's why: as much as we can try to change our thinking, our beliefs, and our actions, because we are human (darn it!) there will be times when old thinking, beliefs, and behaviors will come back. And how we respond when that happens, well, that's the difference between those who succeed and those who fail, in my opinion.

And if you need another thought on the subject, here's what Calvin Coolidge had to say about it:

Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan “press on” has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Cardio Coach

I was chatting with a girlfriend yesterday about fitness (surprise!) and we were talking about cardio and intervals and how hard it is to push yourself. Later on I was looking at some fitness websites (yet another surprise!) and I found a link to Cardio Coach. I played around on the website for about 20 minutes listening to samples of the workouts, and decided to take the plunge and buy a workout.

Did the workout this morning and I LOVE IT!!! I did 40 minutes on the ARC trainer, and I got a better workout than I ever do on my own. The music works with the intervals, Coach Sean's voice is nice and he doesn't talk too much (can't stand fitness programs where the instructor never shuts up!), and I just overall can't say enough good stuff about it. I got Volume 3, in case anyone wants to know.

One of the nicest things about the workout was the Coach's Notes track. Here's a part of what he had to say:

"On my way to the recording studio this morning, I found myself behind one of those new "adventure" SUVs. It was electric blue, and had bulky, oversized tires. Two bright red kayaks were strapped to the top, two bikes were mounted on the back, on on the bumper read a sticker, "Ain't no mountain high enough!" It was a sight!

As I passed the truck I looked over and noticed a couple who appeared to be in their late 60s, wearing stylish sunglasses. They were dancing in their seats to whatever was playing on the stereo. I couldn't help but smile.

Fitness has a strange surface appearance. It seems like all we see these days are before and after pictures of people that made a miraculous transformation. These transformations are great, and making that type of change is not something to take lightly. But I'm here to tell you that doesn't have to be your end goal. You don't have to look like a cover model to feel great.

The fitness that is presented to us in advertisements doesn't even come close to what it's really all about. The truth is, fitness is about that older couple. The ones dancing in their seats, not afraid to take a journey, and living their lives with the energy of their full potential."


If you decide to check out the website, they have a special workout called Press Play that's taking place this Saturday, January 27th, where all the proceeds go to the Jim MacClaren Choose Living foundation. I bought the workout, and I'll be doing it at my gym this Saturday.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Workout Music

I LOVE finding the right music to workout to. This weekend I put together my first Lift playlist. It runs a little over an hour, cuz I'd rather have too much music than not enough. The last two songs for stretching. Hope you like it...

Every Breath You Take/Theme from Peter Gunn
The Police & Henry Mancini
Sail on, Sailor (Backing Track)
The Beach Boys
You Haven't Done Nothin'
Stevie Wonder
Everybody Got Their Something
Nikka Costa
Staxx of Joy
Brick House
Gold Lion
Yeah Yeah Yeahs
Leave Home
The Chemical Brothers
Give Up The Funk (Tear The Roof Off)
Strict Machine
Black Cherry
Rubberneckin' (Paul Oakenfold Remix)
Ohio Players
Love Addict
Family Force 5
I Fell In Love (House Mix)
Don't Call Me Baby
Madison Avenue
Intro: Loving
Angela Smiled
W.G. "Snuffy" Walden

Sunday, January 21, 2007

A New Way To Eat

So it's been two weeks of my new cleanish eating, and I'm liking the results. I've only dropped a couple of pounds, but my clothes are fitting with ease in the waist, hips, and thighs, and I'm feeling leaner and stronger. I've been eating primarily vegetarian, with some occasional grilled chicken (and tonight, a few bites of tri tip at dinner), and have been more concerned with putting healthy stuff into my body than I have been with calories. I'm eating way more fruits and vegetables than ever. And my nightly bowl of cereal is shrinking (slightly) and is always something organic and low fat, and topped with Rice Dream rather than milk.

Remember the book I asked about a while back -- the RAVE diet? Well I got the book and the DVD, but haven't taken the time to read or watch yet. Evelyne bought it, read it, it's made a huge impact. Hooray for you, Evelyne! Let's compare notes once I stop reading training materials and dig into RAVE.

Busy weekend

I'm taking a break from organizing the pantry (something I've wanted to do for a while) to jot down a few thoughts. It really has been a busy weekend. First I have to say that I survived the filthy fifty. Here's what was prescribed (you can check it out at crossfit.com if you'd like):

50 Box jump, 24 inch box
50 Jumping pull-ups
50 Kettlebell swings, 1 pood (36 pounds)
Walking lunge, 50 steps
50 Knees to elbows (hanging from pullup bar)
50 Push press, 45 pounds
50 Back extensions
50 Wall ball shots, 20 pound ball
50 Burpees
50 Double unders (jump rope)

My modifications were using a 20" box (it was all we had), 20 pounds for Kettlebell swings, 18 pounds for push press, using a 10 pound ball for wall ball, and doing 200 single jumps rather than double unders. Tim and Tucker did it too, with way fewer modifications. Tucker smoked through the workout, but admitted it was hard. Tim finished shortly after Tucker, and then played on our new fitness toy (more in a moment). And I was just happy to survive 50 Burpees.

Matt commented from my last post that Burpees and Squat Thrusts are two different things. I stand corrected. But I still call Supermans (is that right?) superGIRLS, because I can!

New Fitness Toy

We got RINGS!!! Tim put them up in the garage today, and we all played with them. Some of us pressed to handstand on the rings (gymnasts), while others came close to doing muscle-ups and did ring pushups (husband) and some just did self-spotted triceps ring dips and called it good. I don't know how much I'll use these for clients -- they're in the garage which would interrupt the flow of a workout -- but I think as a family we're gonna have some fun!

Training Room Update

This weekend Tool-time Tim put up corner shelves in the training room, so I have great places for all sorts of stuff. And I've solved the mirror dilemma with (drum roll, please) mirrored closet doors! I was asking clients this week what they thought about me having a large mirror in the room, and it seemed that the only place was right smack dab in front of the main workout area. Well, on Friday, thinking outside the box, a client asked, "Well, can't you change out the closet doors?" Bingo! Now mirrors are available, but you don't see yourself every single minute.

Time to get back to pantry organization, and then I think a hot shower is calling my name...


Hugs to everyone who has written comments -- they're like the icing on the bloggy cake (that doesn't sound right, but you know what I mean!). Thank you for the encouragement and support. A few comments need clarification or answers, so here goes:

Shelly -- Burpees are a total body exercise that's sometimes called squat thrusts that you'll probably remember from elementary school PE. Here's how they go:

Start from standing.
Squat deeply, placing hands on ground.
Jump back to plank position.
Do a pushup.
Jump back to the squat position.
Jump up, lifting arms to the sky.

That's one rep. Tim and I are going to do today's Crossfit workout (the Filthy Fifty). It includes 50 burpees. $@!&

Pamela asked what we figured out for Jenny with her ankle issues. Nearly every squat and lunge is out, and that made it tough, since squats and lunges are the foundation of great lower body work. The one squat that didn't require too much flexion or extension of her ankle was to go from sitting on a weight bench to standing up. And even with no weight, if you do enough of these, with a really pronounced squeeze at the top, you'll feel it. The other thing she can do is very "old school" exercises with a resistance band around her legs. Does anyone remember side leg lifts or fire hydrants or any of the Jane Fonda-ish lower body work? Well, these exercises may not be as effective as squats and lunges, but if you add resistance, they'll kick your butt!

The preparation nobody sees

I allow time before training for attending to the details that are only missed if they're not done. Here's what I do before each training session:

plan the new workout (the night before)
make sure upstairs and downstairs heaters are off
quick clean bathroom, in case it gets used
get water bottle in case clients forgets to bring some
make sure iPod is ready to go
review workout one more time

And I'm spending at least an hour, and sometimes more, immersed in training books, articles, and newsletters. While I can't get experience in any way other than hands-on training, I can certainly be the best educated, most up-t0-date trainer there is -- THAT is within my grasp!

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Another tough workout

Last night Tim and I did another butt-kicking workout. If anyone else is interested in being sore, here's all it takes:

Warm up (super important -- NEVER skip warming up, especially if you're going to do a hard workout!)
20 minutes of this:

5 pull-ups
10 pushups
15 squats

Then run a mile and you're done.

Tim did an astonishing 65 pull-ups (and he's lookin' fine, in case you wanted to know!). I don't know how many of anything I did, but it was a hard workout. I have to modify the pull-ups and do negatives, and most of my pushup sets were from the knees. But I intensified the squats by doing thrusters (I held 2-1o pound weights at shoulder height and "popped" them up each time I came up from the squats). That modification was hard, because my triceps were fried by the end of the workout -- but then again, so was everything else!

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Interval Training Works!

Don't you love when an official source confirms what you've already been doing? Well, the L.A. Times has confirmed that interval training works. Click here for a link to the article (I had to register with the website to access the text -- free, but takes a couple of minutes).

Surprisingly I'm not really sore after yesterday's workout. My muscles feel tired, esp glutes, hamstrings, and lats (that's D-Ball slams for you!), but good.

Must run -- need to plan two client workouts for tomorrow (!), prep for two intake interviews (!), and get to Bingo. Remember, whatever you are, be a good one! Ciao...

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Crossfit at my house!

I'm cooling down right now (sitting and typing is a great way to cool down, right?) after a kick-ass workout with my husband. Here's what we did:

1/3 of a mile or so run (warmup), then

Choose 2 exercises from this list:
  • 15 ball slams (using a 16-pound D-ball)
  • 15 pushups
  • 15 burpees (hate these!)
  • 15 kettlebell swings (20 pound kettlebell)
1/4 mile run, then choose 2 again. Repeat for 20 minutes.

We laid on the garage floor at the end. Mission accomplished.

Almost a new year!!!

I'm so excited, because February 18, 2007 is the first day in THE YEAR OF THE PIG! Here's something I found about it:

"The Year of the Pig will soon be upon us, so open your window and air out the stresses of last year. The pig is known for honesty, tolerance and reliability—so prepare for a calm, steady year ahead."

Ok, so yeah, and also pigs are cute and make me smile! Hooray!

New stuff

Look what my husband did!!! For less than $20 at Home Depot, we have adjustable cables at home -- aren't they COOL?

A cool ringtone

Wouldn't it be great if you could get a cell phone ringtone that sounds like the phones at CTU in 24? Yeah, so I've decided to hang in there for the adrenaline rush that is 24 for another season. But I still like Wife Swap better!

Judgmental, Critical, and RIGHT!

Last night I took my first group exercise class (Boot Camp) since getting certified. And from the minute the class started (10 minutes late), my judgmental critical eye was out in full force. The instructor wasn't set up for the class. She was timing intervals with her cell phone and wasn't doing a good job of it (have you ever done 2 solid minutes of rear deltoid lifts? It's NOT fun!). And her selection of exercises was just boring. Oh, and she didn't correct the people who were doing the exercises wrong (unsafe and ineffective!).

Fortunately I had an awareness of the critical voice in my head, and was able to set it aside, and just get a workout in, paying attention to what I'd do differently. And I came away with two realizations:

1. Trainers who work at a gym have it SO EASY when it comes to client warmups! In this class, we rode the spin bike for 10 minutes. If I trained at my gym, I could just put a client on a machine and chat away as they got warm. But here at my house it takes more creativity and thought to put together a warmup. So I came away feeling validated in my warmup floundering, but committed to finding something that works.

2. I KNOW A LOT ABOUT EXERCISE! Honestly and with no disrespect meant to the instructor, I could have taught the class, and done a much better job of it.


Monday, January 15, 2007

Mom overtime, today's workout, and tofu

When your kid argues with you for 30 nonstop minutes, and you don't lose it, you should earn mom overtime or something, don't you think?

Today went NOTHING like I thought it would. Both clients unable to come (for good reasons), so in exercise clothes, no makeup, and turning on a dime, I found a place for Tucker to go so I could take Austin and his friend to the new skate park at 50 and Power Inn, which is 45 minutes or so away. Stayed for 3 hours, which sounds like a long time, but worked out well, cuz I read some training materials, Tim came and brought lunch to us all (since he works about 10 minutes away), and then I realized I could fit in a workout. (I was already dressed for the occasion.) There's a path around the whole skate park (and the dog park that's next door), and there are picnic tables. So I did running/walking/lunging laps around the parks, stopping at the picnic tables for pushups (on the bench -- about 40 or 50), step ups (maybe 50 or so each leg), dips (20??), and on the bench with no back, side bench leaps (50 or so). I was active for about 45 minutes.


So I don't know how many hundreds of dollars I've wasted buying tofu, letting it expire, and throwing it out. But it's a lot of money. I found a recipe on Allrecipes for a tofu salad where you stir fry the tofu with garlic (lots!) and soy sauce and peanuts, then chill it and add some lime juice, sweet chili sauce, cucumber and cilantro. Well, Tucker tried it when it was just at the garlic and soy sauce stage and pronounced it marvelous. So we added a little chili sauce and some lime juice and called it good. My wonderfully adventureous family had a vegan dinner tonight, with aforementioned tofu, brown rice, and a simple green salad, and we all agreed it was wonderful!


As with most of my writing, I have many different thoughts that don't easily come together in a way that enables me to write a title for what I write. I think more in lists I guess. (Writing "list" in the title section of this Blogger post.) Today's list is here:

1. My gym has new weight machines! They're by Freemotion and they're great. The cables are independent, which means you can do single arm movements that are harder and recruit more core muscles (e.g. shoulder press, which is harder if you lift the weights one at a time, rather than at the same time).

2. Yesterday's workout was great. I probably need to get back to knowing what I'm going to do when I workout, but I tend to go with a general idea (yesterday's idea was more defined shoulders and lower body work) and then figure it out. So here's yesterday's workout:

Warm up/light stretching
Handstand practice -- 5 minutes (I accidentally took out a fake palm tree with my -- one of the fronds was no match for my kick to handstand, so I ended up upside down, and seeing a leafy palm frond falling to the ground twice!)
Cable machines -- overhead press, lat pulldowns, tricep extensions
Reverse pullups (bar is now at hip height, and the lower you go, the harder it is, which means I'm getting stronger -- hooray!)
Squat to overhead press with 24 pound body bar
Double/single leg press, 100 pounds, double leg press, 150 pounds
ARC trainer -- medium intensity, steady state, 30 minutes

3. New training room fun -- Tim installed some eye hooks into the wall (thanks sweetie!) which, along with the new carabiners, allow me to attach tubing at various heights for all sorts of fun. I have two clients today who get to be the first to feel the joy!!

4. New season of 24 -- watched the 2-hour premiere last night. It may be too much for me and for Tucker. During the super violent parts, I sliced chicken and did lunges off a kitchen chair (NOT at the same time!). It's hard for me to sit still when we watch tv, so I'm usually stretching or doing ab exercises.

5. New season of gymnastics -- first gymnastics meet yesterday. Tucker took 2nd place in pommel horse and 3rd in parallel bars -- both were beautiful routines. But more importantly, he had fun! He competes at Stanford in two weeks, then Las Vegas two weeks after that. And I'm hoping to post a short video clip of what my kid can do, cuz it's totally amazing!

6. Austin's wrist -- Austin went back to gymnastics this week. We forced the issue and are telling him he needs to do two weeks of practice before we'll even consider where he wants to go with it. I don't know what he'll decide, because for the first time in years, he had two months of living as a normal kid without the pressure of hours and hours of gymnastics. He says he's done, and that's fine with us, as long as it's a decision made for the right reasons. And right now it's very hard for him to go to gymnastics because it hurts his wrist (his PT said it would) and because after two months, he's not nearly as strong or flexible as he was. We're just praying that he'll make the right decision for him.

7. Supersize Me -- watched this with the kids over the weekend. We'd seen it before, but it was interesting to watch again, and especially to watch it with our kids.

8. (need to wrap this up -- have 45 minutes to do a quick grocery store trip, and then my first client comes) Dodged a bullet this weekend, and that bullet was my own mind and cravings. Still doing good with clean-ish eating (which for me includes a bowl of cereal nearly every night, but that seems to be working) to keep moods in check. But when it's the weekend and I'm feeling less fluffy, it's hard to stay away from treats. My dad brought us some chocolate-covered macademia nuts, and I had 3 of them. I wanted 30, though... and it would be so easy to justify (it's the weekend, everyone deserves an indulgence, what can it hurt?), but I stopped at 3.

9. Healthy indulgence -- I made Morning Glory Muffins from my new cookbook yesterday and they are the BEST! How can you lose when something contains grated apple, grated carrot, crushed pineapple, coconut, walnuts, and raisins!!

10. (Ok, this is my last thought, cuz I'm way over my time budget for writing!) Has anyone seen Eating? Or checked out the RAVE diet? I'm intrigued...

Saturday, January 13, 2007


In years past this time of year has been hard for me. Tim goes back to work, after taking some time off after Christmas, and the kids go back to school, and that leaves me feeling lost and uncertain as to what to do with myself. Well that's not happening this year, cuz I am consumed by my new career. I spend a lot of time reading, studying, thinking, and planning what to do with my clients.

Today I worked with Jenny, my real marathon running friend, who gave me permission to write this -- thanks Jenny! Sadly, she has an ankle strain that is seriously limiting her activities. But she wanted some ideas of things she can do, both at the gym and at home. So for the last two days I've been turning her situation around in my mind, like a Rubik's Cube, to figure out what to give her that will a) not hurt her ankle, and b) challenge my athletic, driven friend. I think we found some options for her that will work, and now I have a little bit of experience I can draw upon regarding ankle limitations.

You know what's hard and great about what I'm doing? It's that it's ALL new! And I wouldn't have it any other way.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Betty-ing out!

I'm trying some new things in the homemaking department that seem to be working, so of course I needed to share...

First of all, I've followed my friend Jenny's suggestion and have been asking the kids to pick something for dinner each week. Well, ok so I've done it for one week now, but still. Tucker's first pick was escargot (he tried them on the cruise and thought they were fabulous), and Austin, of course, picked sushi. Then I told them they had to pick something I've actually made before. Austin picked mini-meatball soup (a Rachael Ray recipe) and Tucker picked a Frito Taco Salad. It felt good to be cooking something that I knew at least one person would be enthusiastic about!

Also I found these labels that I just love. They stick virtually permanently to any container you want to use (dishwasher safe, of course, or I wouldn't use them!) and you can erase and relabel as many times as you want. Note the Sharper Image yellow containers (note to self -- get more of these!).

Finally, I have a new cookbook that looks just great. It's called Food to Live By, by Myra Goodman, one of the founders of Earthbound Farm, and organic farming company. The recipes look fresh and yummy and I can't wait to try them.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Food for thought

A while back, Stacey posted a blog quiz where you answer questions about your diet and exercise habits, and they tell you what they think you weigh. Her answer was right on. Mine? Not so much! My weight seems to hover in the high 130s most of the time, but my quiz result was 120. And that's been weighing on me (ha!) ever since. I really do want to weigh less. I don't like my number is what it is. I've written about it before, and it's still true. I can recite the "weight is just a number" pledge backwards and forwards, and I really do believe it. Except when I take a test and it feels like I fail cuz I weigh almost 20 pounds more than it thinks I should.

Don't worry -- I'm not gonna lose any sleep over this. Just needed to get it off my chest...

Upside down

Handstands are getting easier every day and they are FUN! For my birthday workout, we went to the gym, and I spent a lot of time in handstands (probably close to 5 minute altogether, which doesn't sound like a lot, but trust me, it is!), did single-leg presses (the only exercise that's really not possible to duplicate at home), and spent some yummy time stretching.

Today's workout included handstands too. I can tell I'm getting stronger, because I'm no longer afraid to kick up to handstand, and I'm starting to work on balance by taking my feet away from the wall and trying to stay up. The most I can go like this so far is about 5 seconds -- then my feet touch, or I just come down -- but it's progress.

Comments on comments

Eileen and Katie asked about the training clock. I'm so glad you like it! It's from the Museum of Modern Art, and I got it online at Flax.

Matt says he would use the sticks (aka Body Bars) in light saberish sorts of ways. I am sure you are very strong, Matt, but with the sticks weigh 12 pounds, 18 pounds, and 24 pounds, I'll bet it would be a challenging workout! I also liked when you said I'm the oldest person you communicate with on Blogger, but that you think of me as "a wise head on young shoulders." Very cool and very appreciated!

2007 progress

Defluffing is going well. I'm still convinced that sugar is bad for my mental health, so even my birthday eating was clean clean clean. Now it's just a matter of retraining my brain so I think of eating clean as not just a good idea, but a quality of life one, because for me it really and truly is.

Oh how I love my training room!

This is the view from the door. What you can't see, cuz it's right over your head, is the Door Gym pull-up bar. One other thing you can't know about, cuz a picture can't convey it, is how GREAT the rubber flooring (that Tim installed!!!) feels on your feet. Oh, and the bench adjusts from flat to incline and decline and also feels great.

These are the Hampton weights that look like jewelry. They are shiny chrome and have a rubberized grip that feels smooth and good in your hands.

Lots of fun can be had with a core board and a stability ball!

LOVE my squishy med balls. These are 4 lb, 6 lb, 8 lb, and 10 lb and they feel great in your hands and let you do lots of playful effective exercises.

Even the sticks (ok, they're really Body Bars) are squishy. How stuff feels is VERY important to me!

So the Kettlebells aren't squishy, but they are grippey and the colors are pretty!

Speaking of colors, I LOVE my clock. The colors change constantly.

This picture is titled "The Woman who Wanted it All!" Everything about it, from the title to the image to the abstract yet recognizable quality of the art to the colors, is perfect. And true!

Ok, so that's the training room. What's missing is a mirror (to open the room and check form), attachments for tubing (which I have, but didn't show), and of course, words! I'm getting quotes from Wallwords. The quote about the closet door will be "Hard work pays off!" The others (of course there will be others) will come in time...


I am about to post pictures of my training room and I'm nervous. I LOVE my room and I want you to love it too, but I'm not sure if the pictures will convey how great it feels to workout there.

Ok, just had to get that out in the open. Time to work on the pictures...

Monday, January 08, 2007


Why is it that when I'm working out, I can think of millions of things to write about, but when I actually sit down, nothing comes to mind?

Ok, here's one thing -- I'm seriously trying to de-fluff. To that end, I've been cutting way back on my eating (easy to cut back when on vacation I was eating, like, 10 times a day!), eating more raw foods and juices, and relying heavily on Diet Mountain Dew. I know, I know, the contradiction of "raw foods and Diet Mountain Dew" is not lost on me, ok? But it's working! And I'm watching Kana's cleansing program with interest. I've read several times about Isagenix and must admit that I'm intrigued.

Today I did two workouts. Hill repeats (run and walk) for 30 minutes before getting Tucker from school. Then went to the gym and did the Crossfit workout where you row 1000 meters, then do dead squat/presses. I used a 15 pound Body Bar cuz it's all I could find, and did a total of 100 squat/presses. Only took 25 minutes to do the workout, but it was TOUGH!

Here's one thing I was thinking about during the hill repeats. Tomorrow (January 9th) is my birthday. I'm turning 46, which sounds VERY VERY OLD. In fact, when I went to type "46" my fingers moved one key to the left and hit "35" which looked way more right to me. But, in fact, I'm 46 now. And looking back on my life, I see themed decades. For example:

Ages 15 to 25: Trying to find my way.
Ages 25 - 35: Got my job, got my man!
Ages 35 - 45: Mommy's my name.
Ages 45 - ??: Life is for the taking!

Ok, so maybe "life is for the taking" isn't exactly what I should put there, but I can't think of anything else. The point is that as I turn 46, there is excitement and anticipation of what's on the horizon, and that feels great!

On a final (for now) note, I feel like a REAL PERSONAL TRAINER because I was accepted by the Adidas 3-Stripes program, where trainers get discounts on workout gear -- COOL, huh? One thing I notice is that if you train a client, you wear fitness clothes, and although you're not doing the actual workout, you do enough of it that it requires changing afterwards, unless all you've got planned is your own workout. So I'm going through fitness clothes like crazy. I still like my "uniform": track pants and a short-sleeve UA top (soon to be Adidas, though!).

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Fluffy is back!

Yes, we're back from the cruise. Had a GREAT time -- Catalina is always wonderful, and Ensenada was so much better than the last time we visited. The last night there was a westerly (that's what they called it) storm, and the not-so-tiny ship was tossed. Condiments were sliding around on tables, and it was impossible to walk in a straight line. Tim and I went up to the top deck (before they told everyone to stay inside) and the feeling of being in my husband's arms along with the intensity of the wind and waves -- that's a memory I'll hold onto tightly!

I tried to hold firm to healthy eating, but the constant feedings (and I do mean constant, literally) took their toll. Everything is tight today, and I feel like I should be moo-ing my way through the laundry mountain. So I'm not waiting till Monday to fix it -- healthy eating starts today, baby!

On the fitness front, a present (ok, so it was from me, but it FEELS like a present) arrived from Amazon -- Chris Carmichael's new book "5 Essentials for a Winning Life." I've only had time to skim it a bit, but I'm SO encouraged by what he writes about fitness because it is exactly what I'm already doing with my clients -- multi-joint exercises, interval bursts, and agility training for everyone. So me and Chris -- we're like the same person, except he's known worldwide and has been training for decades, and I'm ... well, I'm new at this!!! :)