Thursday, February 14, 2008
WOW, today I made up for skipping the decline crunches that I ran out of time for during yesteday's lift (by running out of time I mean I didn't get finished before spin class). I did 3 sets of the decline crunches with a 12 pound medicine ball. Then I followed that up with reverse crunches with a 12 pound med ball, supersetted with 3 sets of 15 oblique side-bends 12 lbs. After that I used the cable machine/ball to do 2 sets of 15 crunches with 30 pounds and lastly I used the lower ab machine with 45 pounds to do 3 sets of lower ab crunches...then I proceeded to the spin room and started 10 minutes before class, did the 45 minute class, and another20 minutes after class to burn 627 calories. Today, I used my own music because I'm just sick-to-death with this instructor's lame music! Just another example of adapting and making the best of a situation...no excuse is a good excuse!
So I got the following e-mail from the USA Today reporter:
Congratulations! I wanted to let you know that our panel has selected your story to be featured in our Weight Loss Challenge series.
Your story is tentatively scheduled to run on a Monday in late April or early May but that may change. I'll keep you posted.
You will be hearing from Katye Martens, our photo editor. She will be sending a photographer to your home or gym to take an after photograph. I'll also be calling you again for a few more details for the piece.
Thank you for sharing your story. It's a great one and will inspire many people.
I'll be back in touch soon.
So, it looks like I made the cut! I'm excited to have people hear my story so that they can realize that it's possible to lose even an excessive amount of weight without surgery, gimmicky diets, pills etc. I honestly cringe everytime I see another ad, program, etc. telling all of us that we are not capable without some extreme measure. Well, I'm living proof that we are capable of doing anything we want, and we don't need anyone/anything but ourselves!
I also was the fortunate recipient of the most precious e-mail from a fellow sparker. NEWMARILYN made my day with a very inspirational note that included the following words: Don't let your tomorrow be like yesterday
Cause I spoke to God, I called out your name
And on your behalf, I just asked if He would be there for you
I want you to Be Blessed, Don't live life in distress
Just let go, let God, He'll work it out for you
I pray that your soul will be blessed
Forever in his rest, Cause you deserve his best no less
Be blessed from the bottom of your feet to the crown of your head
Your life be blessed
Your family be blessed
Your finances be blessed
Everything about you
Thanks Marilyn, I really do feel blessed. Each day brings a new joy and a fresh beginning that I'm so grateful to receive.
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
Donkey Calf raises 4 12 220
leg extension machine 4 4 85
wall sits 4 4 25
wall sits 2 12 15
step ups 4 x4 25 lb
step ups 2x 12 10 lb
bridge/leg curl/ball 2x 4 12 lb
bridge/leg curl/ball 2 x15 8 lb
leg curl machine 2x 12 35lb
leg curl machine 2 x12 35 lb
leg extension machine 2 x12 35 lb
leg extension machine 2x 12 35 lb
leg extension machine 2 x12 85 lb
Donkey Calf raises 4 x12 220 lb
once again I ran out of time to do the ab workout...which in this program is only decline ab bench, so tomorrow I'll allow time to do a complete ab workout and my cardio. Spin class was very good today and I hit my target of at least 500calories burned (524) so that's always good.
The Fat Perspective
Essential substances, including fats, must be ingested in optimum quantities to build optimum health. Surveys show that the majority of the members of affluent populations are obtaining too little of many essential substances, leading to deteriorating health which in turn leads to degeneration due to malnutrition and ultimately kills two-thirds of the world's population. In fact, more than 70% of people die from just three conditions that involve fatty degeneration: cardiovascular disease (50%), cancer (25%), and diabetes (3%).
The fact is that some fats are absolutely required for health while others are detrimental. If the right kinds of fats are ingested in the right amounts and balances, they build our health and keep us healthy. The wrong kinds of fats, the wrong amounts and balances can cause degenerative diseases.
Fatty acids are part of the basic structure of dietary fats. Almost all dietary fats contain a mixture of saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids. The type of fatty acid that predominates determines whether it is solid or liquid as well as its stability. They are key building blocks of all fats and oils (lipids) both in our foods and in our body. Fatty acids are also the main components in neutral fats (triglycerides) carried in our blood, and stored fat (adipose) which serves as an important source of energy.
Saturated fats are found primarily in animal products such as beef, veal, pork, lamb, and ham as well as whole milk, cream, coconut oil, and vegetable shortening.
Saturated fats are used by the body to make cholesterol. A high dietary intake can raise LDL (‘bad’ cholesterol) levels in the blood, increasing your risk of heart disease.
It is recommended to limit your intake of saturated fats to less than 10% of your total daily calories.
Found mostly in corn, soybean, safflower, and sunflower oils and certain fish oils, these fats may actually lower your total blood cholesterol levels. But they may also lower your good cholesterol (HDLs) and are still high in calories. They should not exceed 10% of your total daily caloric intake.
Monounsaturated Fats These fats are found in olive, peanut, and canola oils. It is thought that monounsaturated fats may reduce LDLs (bad) without affecting HDLs (good). It is recommended that these fats make up no more than 10-15% of your total caloric intake.
Trans-fatty acids occur when polyunsaturated fats are hydrogenated to make margarine and shortening. While the jury is still out, it is thought that trans-fatty acids behave much like saturated fats, raising LDL cholesterol.
Essential Fatty acids (EFA)
Essential fatty acids are sources of Omega-6 and Omega-3 fatty acids (technically categorized as polyunsaturated fatty acids). They include linoleic and linolenic acids. The body must have these essential fatty acids, yet cannot synthesize them itself. One of the main functions of essential fatty acids is the production of prostaglandins which are hormone-like substances that regulate many body functions. They basically control every cell of the body on a second-by-second basis. They are required for energy production and increase oxidation and metabolic rate. Some of the many benefits of EFA's for the body are reducing blood pressure, preventing inflammation, stimulating immunity, reducing joint tenderness, and positively influencing HDL/LDL cholesterol levels.
We are conditioned to think of cholesterol as the enemy, our bodies do need cholesterol. In fact, much of our cholesterol is made in-house, by the liver. People don't need to consume dietary cholesterol because the body can make enough cholesterol for its needs. But the typical diet contains substantial amounts of cholesterol, found in foods such as egg yolks, liver, meat, some shellfish, and whole-milk dairy products. Only foods of animal origin contain cholesterol.
Cholesterol is transported in the bloodstream in large molecules of fat and protein called lipoproteins. Cholesterol carried in low-density lipoproteins is called LDL-cholesterol; most cholesterol is of this type. Cholesterol carried in high-density lipoproteins is called HDL-cholesterol. LDL-cholesterol and HDL-cholesterol act differently in the body. A high level of LDL-cholesterol in the blood increases the risk of fatty deposits forming in the arteries, which in turn increases the risk of a heart attack. Thus, LDL-cholesterol has been dubbed "bad" cholesterol. On the other hand, an elevated level of HDL-cholesterol seems to have a protective effect against heart disease. For this reason, HDL-cholesterol is often called "good" cholesterol.
Body fat (fat present in the cells of adipose tissue) is probably the fat that most people are familiar with. Body fat is vital to daily body functions. It cushions the joints and protects the organs, helps regulates body temperature, stores vitamins and helps the body sustain itself when food is scarce. However, serious health risks have been associated with both too much and too little body fat.
The following table describes body fat ranges and their associated categories:
Classification Women (% fat) Men (% fat)
Essential Fat 10-12% 2-4%
Athletes 14-20% 6-13%
Fitness 21-24% 14-17%
Acceptable 25-31% 18-25%
Obese 32% + 25% +
*General Body Fat Percentages
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate)
Your BMR, or basal metabolic rate (metabolism), is the energy (measured in calories) expended by the body at rest to maintain normal bodily functions. This continual work makes up about 60-70% of the calories we use ("burn" or expend) and includes the beating of our heart, respiration, and the maintenance of body temperature. Your BMR is influenced by a number of factors, including age, weight, height, gender, environmental temperature, dieting, and exercise habits.
Of course this all came about because I was roped into a sales pitch by a new gym that's opening in my town in June. They are currently running pre-opening specials and I mistakenly signed up for a "free" something or other and they called me. I was moderately interested as they are a mere 5 minutes from my home, but being curious and seriously looking to plunk down money are two entirely different things. So, after my spin class this morning (which btw I burned 435 calories) I met the guy in the "trailer" they have set up to take memberships. This group is very well versed in the "art of the sale" and used just about every tactic known to sales on me, even though I let them know up front that I really wasn't dissatisfied with my current gym. When Mr. Nice wasn't sealing the deal they turned me over to the big cheese, Craig, who mistakenly tried to play bad-guy by instulting my intelligence. First, he mistakenly called me "Mary", which I corrected, then he said, "if you're a member at 4 Seasons, you don't know anything about fitness!" To which I replied, "Don't insult me." That, however didn't dissuade him from his onslought and he continued to say something along the lines of, if you think you don't need a trainer, than you don't know anything about fitness, and of course followed that up by telling me how much he knew on the subject. including throwing out that knowing my BMR was a vital tool and I better know what it is(that's what his gym's medical staff will tell me.) To which I said, "We're done here now, this meeting is over, and got up and left the trailer. So, I knew that SP figured out the BMR for us, and I had done it previously on other web-sites, but of course when someone tells me I don't know something, then I have to make sure I do know it, thus the above information. Basically, this guy couldn't sell me on all the glitz and glam of a brand spanking new gym, and was frustrated that I wasn't impressed by all of that, so he tried an alternated route...BIG MISTAKE! The bottom line is that I have been doing this for 2 years and no I haven't plateaued, and I've continued to progress in the gym and also continued to learn new methods to use, all on my own. Telling me that this gym's new and varied equipment is the thing I needed to prevent plateauing, just didn't have the affect on me that they wanted, because I know what it takes to avoid that with both weight loss, and strength training. I don't need banks of 10' TV's, or individual tv's with cable and internet access on all my cardio equipment. In fact, I actually laughed at the prospect of people distracting themselves from their workout so much, that they would need the internet. Which is so comical when you stop and think that one of the benifits of exercise it that it gives us a break from our daily stressors...who would want to bring those with them to the gym???
Whatever, I'm happy with what I'm doing, and I'm confident I can continue to progress without anyone's help!
Because of the increased activity of cells undergoing division, the younger the person, the higher (faster) the metabolism. And the taller and heavier a person is, the faster their metabolism. Because of the greater percentage of lean muscle tissue in the male body, men generally have a 10-15% faster BMR than women. Restrictive and traditional diets may cause your BMR to drop as much as 20%. People living in tropical or very cold environments generally have BMR's 5-20% higher than those living in more temperate climates. In general, depending on the intensity and duration, consistent exercise will also increase your BMR.
AMR (Active Metabolic Rate)
To maintain normal bodily functions, your body "burns" more calories throughout the day than at rest. Once you have calculated your BMR, you can enter the average minutes you spend in a variety of activities each day. This will help you calculate your AMR or Active Metabolic Rate. Your AMR is is the total amount of calories you expend through different types of activities throughout the day whether it's reading or walking, dancing or swimming. They keyword here is "active" meaning you are consciously aware of your activity.
Both in theory and practice, weight loss can be as easy as following simple physical principles. You must not ingest more calories than you expend in order to maintain or reduce your body mass. If you learn how to effectively apply this principle to your energy requirements, it is a physiological certainty that you will not gain weight.
Many people concerned about weight loss become overly preoccupied about the types of foods they eat. Although it is more beneficial for your long-term health to maintain a healthy balanced diet comprised of fruits, vegetables, nuts, lean meats/fish and complex carbohydrates, your body does not differentiate between these foods when comes to storing extra calories as fat. If you maintain a daily calorie surplus, that is, if you ingest more calories than you expend, you will gain weight regardless of the types of calories you ingest.
By calculating your total energy requirement (BMR + AMR) you will be able to roughly assess your daily calorie expenditure and calculate the amount of calories you require to maintain a daily calorie deficit. A daily calorie deficit, that is, expending more calories than you ingest, will allow you to lose weight regardless of the type of calories. Most experts agree that a 300-500 calorie daily deficit is safe and will allow for permanent weight loss provided a daily modest daily exercise program is followed.
If you find yourself ingesting more calories than your daily total energy requirement, you need to either reduce the amount of calories, increase the amount of daily physical activity, or preferably both. Both are preferential because increasing your BMR through daily physical activity will effectually allow you to burn more calories in the long-term. If you consistently decrease your calorie intake (through dieting) without increasing your physical activity levels, you risk reducing your BMR levels, forcing your body to burn less calories, which may eventually lead to further long-term weight gain and make it more difficult to lose the weight you've gained. Unfortunately, this is the scenario that most dieters face as they continue their desperate attempts to lose weight through dieting without physical activity. As we age, those who solely depend on dieting as a method of weight loss become even more frustrated since BMR levels naturally decline as we get older.
So how do you avoid falling into this vicious cycle? If your between 20 - 55 years of age, your AMR should consist of at least 120 - 200 minutes of moderate or heavy physical activity weekly. To prevent injuries and enhance recovery, the older you are, the more you will have to stay in the lower end of this range. If you're 55+, you should seek the guidance of an Exercise Specialist and your Physician for an appropriate guideline according to your health and fitness level.
Building muscle via strength conditioning is probably the easiest way to naturally increase your BMR. By incorporating weight training in your fitness regimen, your body will maintain or build more muscle which will burn more calories at rest, increasing your total daily energy expenditure. Cardiovascular exercise, eating small portions more frequently, supplementation, increasing protein intake, moving to a warmer climate, and adequate sleep are other ways to increase your BMR.
There are no quick fixes, pills or easy one-step diet solutions that will keep you fit and at a healthy weight. It's a lifestyle and requires programming, hard work and dedication. Inevitably, those who don't have time for such a lifestyle will soon have to make time for mental and physical illness. Prevention works and your health depends on it!
Found this to be very informative so I wanted to keep it for future reference. My BMR is 1381 - 1874(combined with AMR), which is very similar to the SP calculations. I would never get in the 1800 calorie range, but it is interesting to note that with 60 minutes of vigerous exercise, that's how many calories I need to maintain my current weight. In theory, subtracting 500 calories a day from the first number will allow for a 1 puond a week loss.
Every season in life is full of learning experiences. One step leads to the next and we can draw on the past and walk confidently through trials as our wisdom grows. Our thoughts eventually turn into our habits, which determine where our lives go. Put your dreams in capable hands--your own. Don't let the "wisdom of the world" become the internal voice that guides you.
Monday, February 11, 2008
Well, Weigh-in day again. I was pleasantly surprised to see another 1.3 pounds lost. I now weigh 152.3 pounds and I'm thrilled to see the scale moving consistently again. That's proof that consistent habits of tracking food and exercise, will really make it happen. The program I'm using for weights right now, says that by doing the combination of heavy weight low reps/lighter wt higher reps will cause your body to do two things: 1. the heavy/low reps will keep your body's metabolism up well after lifting and thus continue to burn calories. 2. The lighter/higher reps makes your body burn more fat/calories while your exercising. So, it makes good sense to do this type of program and of course don't get into a stagnet pattern where you are just lifting the same weight/same reps and the same program over and over. Here is the lift I did today...Monday's seem to be the toughest and they really drain me. Today, I had to drop a few pounds from my incline chest press, not sure why, I started at 80 lb and could only do one rep, so I dropped it down but couldn't get the 4th rep in at 75 pounds, so I had to drop it to 70 and then the same thing happened at 70 (only 3 reps) so I dropped it to 65 lbs and couldn't get the wt re-racked and had to go all the way down to 50lb for the 2 sets of 12. I also did something completely out of character for me by asking one of the trainers what exercise I could do to replace the "reverse pec-dec flye that is part of this lift. She suggested using the incline bench, face backward and do a chest flye that way, which targets the shoulder rather than the back...so I did...
Dumbbell bench press 4 x4 30 lb
Dumbbell bench press 2 x12 25 lb
incline chest press 2x 12 50 lb
incline chest press 4 x4 70 lb
Pec Deck flye 2 x4 75 lb
Pec Deck flye 2 x12 65 lb
overhead barbell press 4 x4 45 lb
overhead barbell press 2 x12 35 lb
lateral raise 3x 4 55 lb
lateral raise 2x 12 30 lb
reverse pec flye 3x 4 15 lb
reverse pec flye 2 x12 10 lb
tricep pushdown 4 x4 70 lb
lying tricep extensions EZ Bar 4 x4 35 lb
tricep pushdown 2 x12 55 lb
lying tricep extensions EZ Bar 2 x12 25 lb
kickbacks 2 x12 10 lb
kickbacks 2x12 10lb
60 minutes of spinning today-total calories burned 535
Today's thoughts center around what I find to be an accepted attitude that we are all doomed to fail at our attempts at healthy eating. It doesn't matter what magazine/newspaper/tv program giving out diet/exercise advice that I read, they always have a blurb saying something to the effect "build in some cheats" or "don't expect to be perfect all the time" or some other phrase suggesting that we are somehow victims of our food and that we can't be expected to eat healthy all the time. Well I say that's BS! For two years, I have eaten healthy food, no junk or fast food, no desserts, no McDonald's or pizza, and guess what, I don't want it! I believe, however, that if I allowed myself "the reasonable portion" that many of these articles suggest, that I would then crave more of that particular food. In my mind, I see it as "what I don't know, can't hurt me" so to speak. By that I mean, if I haven't eaten or tasted something for 2 years, than I can't adequately assess what that food would taste like, but if I took just a bite, or small piece, than my tastebuds might be reminded of what it used to like, and require more of that food to satisfy it...now of course there's nothing scientific to prove or disprove this point, but for me it's something that has worked. I don't believe in willpower, but instead think this is about re-training our tastebuds to like healthy food, and in order to do that we have to make them forget the unhealthy stuff...that's worked for me so far, and I don't believe I am so weak or incapable that I "must" give myself food as a "treat" and therefore, I have no plans to do any such thing.
In the face of conflict we might be tempted to just go with the flow and not make waves. The path of least resistance is saying "yes" when you want to say "no" and that road is always paved with regrets and mistakes. While there might be a whole list of justifications and excuses for stepping off the path of your principles, staying true to yourself reaps countless more rewards than selling out.
It is the path of least resistance that makes rivers and men crooked.
- B.J. Palmer, father of chiropractic
Sunday, February 10, 2008
Well, it's Sunday, and I don't have any cardio scheduled for today, however, I am going for a walk later so that makes me feel very good. I didn't practice those dance steps last night, so tonight I'm definately going to do that...hopefully I'll learn some new dances before Wednesday night.
I've been thinking so much lately about the "what" of it all. What made this time the right time? What did I do differently that made the difference between continuing on, and getting complacent? What finally clicked and made me get so focused? I know it started with my husband's diabetes, and then there was my daughter's engagement(but that was broken only months into my attempt to lose weight and get healthy)and then eventually there was my son's wedding, but after all those things, I still kept going, so why? I may never know the exact reason, and maybe it was just my time, but while reading today's healthy reflection I came across this:
Even if our efforts of attention seem for years to be producing no result, one day a light that is in exact proportion to them will flood the soul.Simone Weil
Trying and persevering--but failing--to see your goals realized can be frustrating. Margaret Thatcher once said "You may have to fight a battle more than once to win it," and she was absolutely right. You''ve got to believe that you will succeed! Never admit defeat as long as time and effort remain. Our greatest asset is patience; our greatest weakness is throwing in the towel. Banish discouragement and feelings of impossibility by working hard, doing more, and not giving in! A diamond was only made beautiful after hundreds of years as a lump of coal.
I think that my answer can be found in the line that says "You've got to believe that you will succeed! I never once thought, that I wouldn't or couldn't do this. I also did have much patience, as was shown by my little notebook with 2 years of Monday weigh-in dates written out. And though I really don't remember ever getting discouraged, quitting was never an option! Though I might never be that perfect diamond, I will never quit trying to get there.
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