Sunday, September 20, 2009

A Metabolic Circuit

My workout on Friday was something sweet. I did my first metabolic circuit (outlined in Afterburn by Alwyn Cosgrove and Stubborn 7 by Josh Hillis) in a long time. Basically, I took four total-body kickass exercises and did as many sets as I could in 20 minutes. Entire workout time: 30 minutes (included warm-up and cool-down/stretching).

I completed 7 sets of 8 reps of each exercise, performed in this order:
Deadlifts x 10lbs dumbbells
Pull-ups (assisted) x 17 weight number (not sure what that means in weight reduction, but is high)
Bodyweight squats
Kneeling push-ups

Now, the key is for me to do this set one more time again next week, and try to get more sets. Once 8 sets are accomplished, I'll increase the difficulty.

If you haven't noticed yet, I'm changing up the workouts every time I am working out, but using high-quality, large muscle-group exercises.

I'm not feeling as focused as I would like to be. Of course, the next question becomes, how am I going to be more focused? That would be planning the menu, following a pre-planned workout design, etc. So, am I ready to do that? Not surprisingly, there's a part of me that says "no." Why? Because so much of my life feels out of control right now, that I feel like I cannot really control anything. Which is stupid. I control more than I give myself credit for, but I'm giving up that control to the chaos of not pre-planning. Ew. But then I realize that I tend to spend hours in the pre-planning stuff, instead of the minutes that it should take. Another ew. No wonder I avoid it.

And no wonder I'm feeling like a failure at many points.

No, I'm not looking for pity or even a kick in the ass, I'm just outlining this in words for myself. I kick my own butt just fine.

So what is one thing I can do to combat this?
-I can make sure I have healthy food at hand and pack a lunch the night before
-I can go to bed on time so I can get up on time, and be able to get everything done in a morning that I need to
-I can make sure I get A workout, any workout, in whenever and wherever possible.

I did get four workouts in last week. I felt sore from all of them, which means I'm pushing myself (I wasn't sore to the point that I couldn't move, so the push didn't go overly far). Good. That's one thing accomplished. Now to get re-focused on diet.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Three in a row

Today marks the third day in a row that I got a high-quality workout in. The workout today was weights followed by intervals on an Arc Trainer, yesterday was Zumba (more on that), Sunday was a 20-minute run/walk interval workout.

I'm pretty proud of that. I am now on my third week, and my workouts are getting tougher, more frequent. I'm definitely a happier person due to that.

Now, eating. It has not been anywhere near what my brain perceives should be perfection. It's been much cleaner. I'm choosing higher-quality foods when eating out, eating smaller portions, using lettuce and spinach as lunch-time staples. After eating 6 egg whites with mushrooms and spinach for 7 days for breakfast, I'm finding that I can't get myself to eat it again. Point one: don't force yourself to eat it day after day if you don't like it. I was trying to get my calories and ratios perfect. As in, I had used hours the day before trying to figure out exactly what portions I could eat of such and such of food, and was going to follow that. I accomplished one meal. Obviously, that didn't work. It was eye-opening though- first, how much I had been eating before, and second, how much fat is actually in my diet. ONE tablespoon of olive oil has 14 grams of fat. When the plan I had laid out allowed for only 12 grams of fat per meal (on average), that didn't allow for any other type of fat to be in the meal unless I skimped on the oil. Which doesn't work if the pan needs to be greased and you don't have any spray. So next lesson: get spray.

So I continue to the work to improve everything, and continuing to measure myself.

Today's workout routine:
Warm-up- Bodyweight squats, kneeling push-ups, stability ball roll-outs 2x10 circuit
1a: Chest Press 3x8, 20 lb dumbbellss (after warm-up of 5 lbs, 10 lbs x 10)
2a: One armed back rows 3x8, 20 lb dumbbell (after warm-up of 5 lbs, 10 lbs x 10)

1b: Renegade lunges 3x16 (8 each side), 8 lb medicine ball
2b: Kneeling push-ups 3x8

1c: Stability ball leg extensions 3x15
2c: Medicine ball ab twists 3x16 (8 each side), 8 lb medicine ball

20 minutes of intervals: 2 min warm-up, 1 minute on-2 minutes off (5 cycles), 2 min cool down. All on the Arc trainer with a resistance of 15.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

What Day?

I refuse to say I've lost focus, because I haven't. I will admit to not being quite as focused as I had hoped I would be. I can make excuses all I like, but there's the truth of it. I won't justify.

I got a great workout in on Tuesday. I'm planning on one tomorrow. I am going to have to get comfortable with working out in my parents' house, or else nothing's going to happen.

Food, on the other hand, has been better than it used to be. Nowhere near where I want it. Today's intake of vegges was great: lettuce salad w/ carrots and grapes for lunch, apple for mid-snack, grapes for mid-snack, salad for dinner. Intersperse that with Cheerios at breakfast, 3/4 a three musketeers candy bar late afternoon, and a 10-piece McNuggets, and you've got my day.

I'm not quite sure where the sabotage is coming from. Something in my subconscious just is wigging completely out right now. It's time to take back control.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


We moved this past weekend, now we're back in the Southeast South Dakota area. Hence the lack of posts since last Wednesday! The eating hasn't been anything to brag about, but I've gotten in a couple of workouts.

I didn't mention anything about it, but last week I concentrated on making sure breakfast was solid. Even if nothing else went right, at least I would have breakfast right. I'm working on getting ratios to a 40%-30%-30% (protein-carbs-fat) to a full day, but it's not going to happen all at once. I'm beginning to believe that is one of the reasons so many people fail at changing their dietary habits- it's because they try to change everything at once, feel deprived, and quit. Josh Hillis of the Stubborn 7 Pounds workouts suggested concentrating on just one thing at a time, for a week at a time. So far, I think he's going to be right. I'm going to continue hitting breakfast solid, and the next meal to tackle is lunch.

I think I also forgot to mention that I signed up to Snap Fitness on the Wednesday before everything changed. I rather like those gyms, each one I've tried has been comforting, goal-oriented, and just like a gym should be (unlike that Bally's POS place). I haven't had too much trouble getting myself to go to them, which of course makes sense because I love working out and just need a place to focus. Now that we've moved, the closest Snap Fitness is 20 miles away, but I'm willing to continue going to that gym for a while longer. I'll say one thing- I need the focus of a gym. I don't find enough of that working at home, no matter how convenient that is.

Here's a quick rundown of the last few days:
Thursday: This day is a hazy blur in my memory. I honestly cannot remember anything about it other than that we packed all day.
Friday: At some point during the packing, my hubby chased me out the door to the gym. It was strange- I was tired, had been on my feet all day, and wasn't looking forward to it, but once I got to the gym, it all changed. The workout was solid and felt great, and it gave me the energy to keep on packing.
Saturday: Moving day!
Sunday and Monday: No workout, not so great food choices.
Tuesday (today): Not so great food choices, solid workout.

Tuesday's workout:
1a: Deadlift 3x8, 15 lb dumbbells
2a: One-arm back row 3x8, 15 lb dumbbell

1b: Split Squat 3x8, 5 lb dumbbells
2b: Pushup, kneeling 3x8

1c: SB leg curls 3x15
2c: Plank, 30 sec

1d: Turkish get-ups, 1x5 each side

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Day Four

Spent the day packing today. Ugh. It's wearing, but we're shipping out on Saturday.

So the day's rundown:
Meals: Three of Five
Meal Grade: 50%
Workout: none

No excuses, it's just how the day went. It is going to change.

Breakfast: 3 egg whites, 1 whole egg; 1/2 cup multi-grain Cheerios w/ 1/4 cup milk
Lunch: Leftover Chinese
Dinner: Gyro (1/2 restaurant portion), small handful fries, 1/2 cheesecake slice

Good choices today: Even though the choices weren't that great, there were some good things. I didn't overdo it on portion sizes to the full extent, there were no cookies involved (there's an open package sitting in my kitchen), and I was up and moving around all day.

How to improve: plan ahead. Eat something in between meals, even if it isn't high in protein. Quit moving houses quite so often.

Day Three

A good blog post from Bill Phillips, creator/writer of Body for Life, here. An excerpt:

An elder Native American was teaching his grandchildren about life. He
 said to them, "A fight is going on inside me… it is a terrible fight and it is 
between two wolves. One wolf represents fear, anger, envy, sorrow, regret, 
greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false
 pride, superiority and apathy.”

The elder continued, “The other wolf stands for joy, peace, love, hope, sharing, serenity, 
humility, kindness, benevolence, friendship, empathy, generosity, truth,
 compassion and faith."

"This same fight is going on inside you, and inside every other
 person, too,” he added.

The Grandchildren thought about it for a minute and then one boy 
asked his grandfather, "Which wolf will win?"

The old Cherokee looked the boy in the eye, gently smiled and whispered... "The one you feed."

This is one of my favorite parables of all time because it is so rich with truth and it conveys one of the most important lessons of life and transformation with such simple elegance.

"... Continue reading the story here.

I am currently avoiding bedtime, which I know I shouldn't but am. Here's Day Three rundown:

Meals: four
Workout: Yes
Day Grade: 85%

Didn't get all five meals today. It's time to start getting that grade up into the 90's.
Workout was good: Warmup Split Squats x 10, Plank x 15-20 sec, Extended Leg Stability Ball curl x 10 (repeat 2x)
Workout: Roman deadlifts 2x8, 2-25 lb dumbbells/chest press 2x8, 2-15 lb dumbbells; SB rollout (for abs) 2x8/Split Squat 2x8, 2-5 lb dumbbells; Swings 2x15, 15-lb dumbbell/Back rows 2x8, 4?; Arc Trainer 5 minutes.

For supper had Chinese food; the crack went straight to my head and I ate too much. That doesn't mean I ate the whole thing, but I definitely could have done with a lot less and split that one meal into three or four.

Things I did well today: Breakfast was spot-on, eggs w/ mushrooms and spinach. Made a high-protein meal from some carbo-leftovers and couldn't eat what I made (partly due to taste, partly due to being satisfied). Workout was good, though not terribly tough. If I'm not sore tomorrow, I will need to pick up the pace and start increasing weights. Tomorrow I'm slated for some HIIT training, which should feel good.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Day Two

Day two: did not get a chance to post on Monday, but here's the rundown

Meals eaten: three
Healthy-o-meter: 75% or less
Workout: none
Day Grade: D+

Made good choices in some areas, not in others. Decided not to order Dairy Queen when we pulled into the parking lot, only had one slice of pizza (thin crust) and two lettuce salads with minimal dressing. Otherwise, planning was not good, workout didn't happen, and otherwise not-so-great execution for day two.

That means I get to buck up for day three!