Sunday, February 24, 2008
So, we made a good decision to leave Thursday night(though I missed my Friday workout completely)because we may not have been able to get through Jersey/NY if we had left Friday morning. The weekend was pretty great. We had a very enjoyable time with our daughter, and the ceremony was really special. They've patterned their School of Education junior recognition after the nursing school practice of having the pre-teachers recite a pledge of excellence and commitment to teaching and they are each presented with a pin and a copy of the pledge. It's such an interesting thing at BU which has a student body of 23,000 students, while the school of education takes only a select few and they number about 100 per graduating class. Therefore, the students get all the benefits of the big university with the feel of a much smaller college for their discipline studies.
The weather, however, was a bit of a bear. We stayed in Connecticut and woke to about 3 inches on the ground. Driving in Ct. was challenging, and slow at times, but as we arrived in MA it wasn't nearly as bad. However, it continued to snow the entire day in Boston and they amassed 9 inches.
Our schedule was slowed down quite a bit due to the snow, which didn't allow any time on Friday to workout. So, Sunday morning I woke up and went to the hotel's workout room. They had 4 cardio machines(treadmill, elliptical, recumbent and regular exercise bikes)and some hand weights and a small bench. After doing 35 minutes of a pyramid workout on the treadmill using incline increases every 30 seconds up to 10, than back down (repeated a second time), I made up a circuit workout for my back, and biceps. It went well, and I was proud of myself for adapting and finding a way to get that workout in.
Food and water, however, were more challenging. While we are on the road, I just don't drink enough because it would require too many rest stops. That coupled with the challenges of eating out, has me dreading the weigh-in tomorrow. We'll see how it goes, but can someone explain to me why if I'm ordering an egg substitute product, I can't have it cooked without any grease????
Thursday, February 21, 2008
Well, today my regular routine was disrupted (it seems to be a week for that!) and I adapted and did even better than a normal cardio Thursday. I had an 11:00 appointment so I didn't have time to do a 9:30 spin class, get home, shower, change and make the appt. So, in going through some pages I had clipped from W M&F I found that I had some very good cardio interval workouts. I chose one that was called the Iron Man workout and actually, adapted it to fit into an hour's worth of cardio. I started with 20 minutes on the elliptical trainer doing 1 minute at 9 RPE and 5 RPE it was made for only 6 minutes total, so I repeated it until I got 20 minutes in, then I went immediately to the treadmill where I did an interval workout of 2 minutes running, 1 minute recovery, with increasing incline as well. After 20 minutes on that I went directly to the spin bike where I did 20 minutes of intervals doing a variety of exercises like standing climb, seated climb, sprints, flat road riding, etc. Upon completion, I had burned 536 calories!
I'm not going to be able to log in for the next couple of days as we are leaving tonight to beat the snow storm, and go see my daughter's pinning ceremony at Boston University. That means, no Friday workout, but I packed my workout stuff because I know there is a gym(though I know it has limited resources)in our hotel. I'll make do with that for tomorrow.
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
calf raise 4 x15 220lb
wall sits 2 x15 30lb
wall sits 4 x6 50lb lb
leg extension machine 2 x15 45 lb
leg extension machine 2 x15 30 lb
leg extension machine 2 x15 80 lb
leg extension machine 2 x15 80 lb
leg curl machine 2 x15 55 lb
leg curl machine 2 x15 35lb
leg curl machine 2 x15 45lb
leg curl machine 4x 6 55 lb
lower abs machine 2x15 35 lb
lower abs machine 2x15 40lb
Breaking the cycle of failure...all too often we find ourselves thinking we are failures. If we've tried losing weight in the past and not succeeded, then we assume we will never lose the weight and should just accept ourselves the way we are. But, nothing could be further than the truth. Just because we've tried and failed before doesn't mean we're doomed. In fact looking at our failures and trying to learn from the past mistakes, is most important and will help you succeed the next time. So, the most important thing when attempting to finally lose weight is to lose all preconceived ideas we have about nutrition and exercise. Thinking we "hate" to workout, or that certain foods will never be in our diets is a sure-fire way to fail again.
To say "I would rather die than give up food x, y, or z" means you have not fully accepted the lesson of eating those foods. And, you may still be able to successfully lose some weight with those foods still in your diet, but are you going to be healthy? Getting thin isn't the only goal(and shouldn't really be part of the equation)getting healthy should be the goal. Doing that means eating foods we previously banned from our diet, like cottage cheese for example. If we re-order out thinking about food, and remove all emotional attachments to it, and instead view it as fuel for our bodies, than eating becomes a new experience. And exercise, does become fun, if you find the thing you enjoy most and stick to it. But again, forgetting those past bad experiences and opening ourselves up for new ones(I, for instance, never knew I could/would like spinning class, now I do it 5 days a week, and never dread it)then we can love and look forward to our daily workouts.
It always comes back to the biggest muscle, the brain, having the most influence on our success!
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
I recently read Coach Nicole's "10 habits of fit people." It got me thinking—what are my habits for keeping fit and staying healthy? Here's a quick list that I came up with.
Set Your Alarm. One thing that keeps me consistent is treating exercise like any other obligation on my calendar. It has a set time, day, and activity (like a class at the gym) and I don't move it or let other things interfere. If I need a little wiggle room, I'll do a cardio interval workout that (I cut them out of magazines and use them on various cardio machines) if I can't make spin class. I always try to have a plan B to go on, but nothing interferes with my strength days, I can go earlier, but I never skip one.
Pack your bags. I always pack my gym bag the night before with the essentials, which makes it easier to grab my stuff as I head out the door in the morning. That way, everything is ready. Some things never leave the bag like: Spinning shoes (my staple exercise program), my heart rate monitor and watch, my iPod, deodorant, hair dryer and shower needs and exercise towels. I fill 2 water bottles the night before so I just grab them in the morning with a change of clothes depending on what I have planned to do that day fresh towel and washcloth.
Find something you love. I know that I HATE running on a treadmill. If my exercise program consisted of that—in any amount—I would definitely find excuses and fail to do it all the time. I think you should find something that you enjoy doing (or at the very least, the most tolerable thing for you). When you look forward to your workout, there's nothing stopping you from doing it.
Fuel the Fire. It takes a little planning at first, but once you're in the habit of it, this one becomes second nature. If you're going to workout regularly, you need to eat well to provide yourself with lasting energy, and to prevent yourself from feeling hungry/sick/lethargic/(you name it) during your workouts. For me, that means 3 meals and 2-3 snacks every day—and at least 3 quarts of water throughout the day. I'm an morning exerciser, so I always make sure to eat breakfast pre-workout with protein/carbs to keep my energy up during the workout. Then I grab a small snack for post-workout to keep me tied-over until lunch. That usually consists of a hard boiled egg/piece of fruit or nuts or string cheese.
Pump up the volume. Music is essential to my workouts. I pack my iPod with my favorite get-up-and-go tunes, the ones that I can't help but move to. I'd much rather exercise to some great music than watch the TV connected to the cardio machines—it's easy to ignore your pace, intensity, and signals from your body when you're absorbed in a rerun of "The Today Show." But with some good music, you can better focus on the task at hand, while also staying motivated to move. Often I create my own workout playlists, that vary high-intensity with lower-intensity songs, and I match my intensity with the beat of the music to keep things interesting.
Just ten. One of my secrets to success is that, even on the days that I feel lazy, tired, and don't want to get out of bed to head to the gym, I promise myself I'll do just ten minutes of exercise or lift light amounts of weight. I figure that at the very least, 10 minutes counts for something better than nothing at all. But, once I get there…most of the time I remember how good it feels, and end up continuing with a longer workout. Missing my workout would ruin my whole day and make me feel guilty.
Rest up. Rest and recovery not only help your body to repair and rebuild from exercise, but downtime is really important for your mind. I'm a stickler for sleep—I go to bed at pretty much the same time every night (including weekends), and tend to rise at about the same time each morning, aiming for 8-10 hours (I need a lot of sleep). When you're tired, working out is the last thing you want to do too. So ideally, both should be a part of your plan.
Prioritize. Sure we all have our baggage, our commitments, our obligations. But what we all have in common is the same 24 hours in a single day. Ever wonder how some people can fit in X, Y or Z into their day when you're struggling? Usually it's not a question of time available, but how people choose to use (and don't forget, manage) their time. For me, I choose to spend my time cooking healthy meals, exercising, getting plenty of sleep—sure I might be missing the latest episode of "Grey's Anatomy" to do it, but that's the choice I make and I'm happy with that. Interestingly, most Americans watch between 1 and 4 hours of TV every single day! Could you potentially do a little less of that or say "no" to yet another committee or volunteer position in order to give yourself some time and attention? The most important event on my calendar is my workout.
Each weekend I plan out my workout for the week, and write it down in my exercise log book. That way when I get to the gym, I don't have to look around and think about what to do, I just get right to work.
I have a regularly scheduled weigh-in first thing Monday morning. After I brush my teeth and before I get dressed I step on that scale. Gain or lose, I record it in my weight journal and I'm always honest. After all, who would I be lying to? Only me, of course.
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
A smile is a curve that can set a lot of things straight.
- V. Borge
The power of a positive face
Have you ever contemplated how much a smile can change a person's day? Both the person who smiles and the one who sees it are positively impacted by such a small act. This seemingly tiny reflex can perk up a bad attitude, make you seem more warm and inviting, and often pass some happiness on to others. So the next time your alarm goes off for your 5 a.m. run or your dog barks in the middle of the night, smile instead of grumbling. You'd be surprised how a positive face can in turn become a positive and motivational attitude!
Something so simple really does have a big impact. Yesterday while lifting weights (ughh Monday is the hardest, and heaviest day) I just sat on the incline bench and smiled, for no reason really, except to see myself do so, and it just changes everything. It makes you feel so good just to do that simple thing, we all should do more of it.
Yesterday was hectic as I made arrangements with my daughter to go to the mall(she had off from work)and had also promised my friend at the gym to help her with the next phase of the 9 week strength program I gave her. So, I got to the gym at 6:15, did my lift(sorry I didn't post, but it's the same as week 1's Monday lift)and found myself running short on time, so I didn't have time for my spin class(which I hadn't planned on anyway)nor a full 45 minutes of my own spinning. So, while looking through some articles I have stuffed in my log book(I constantly take articles from M&Fwomen or Oxygen magazines and keep them with me)I found a 25 minute interval cycling program. That fit into my schedule well, so when I finished my triceps I hopped on the spin bike and used my heart rate monitor and watch to time the program. It was very intense and I burned 300 calories in those 25 minutes. That coupled with my lifting put me within my 500 range. For Thursday's cardio, I'm going to do this interval program on my own, but double it, so I get the 45-50 minutes I usually do. It's nice to know that I can adapt and be somewhat flexible with my schedule without derailing my progress. I'm going to have to do something similar for Friday as we are leaving for Boston at 8 am. That means I need to get to the gym by at least 6 am do my lift and get my cardio done and back home by 8...better make it 5:30...
Today's cardio was 65 minutes of spinning and 400 calories burned. I had lunch with a friend I haven't seen for a while, at Chili's. Chili's is a bit challenging to eat healthy(even though they have the "Guiltless" menu-all way high in calories and fat). So I did a bit of pre-lunch research and found that the blackbean burger-plain is 200 calories 18g of fat and20 g of fiber 21g of protein and 25g total carbs. I put that on a plain whole wheat bun(no butter)with some lettuce/tomato/mustard and had an enjoyable lunch that has kept me full all afternoon!
It's funny too that I read today's featured article about what is normal eating. I found that there are a few things that I do that are in the abnormal catagory.
These are the ones that I feel relate to me:
You very strictly count calories and track of everything you eat, and feel that going over your limit means you have failed, at least for that day.
You have many rules about what, when, and how much to eat, and breaking these rules causes you to feel anxious, guilty, or negative about yourself.
You tend to follow your eating and exercise plan for days or weeks at a time, but then seem to go on strike, rebelling against your own plans.
The closer you get to an intermediate or long term weight goal, the more you seem to engage in self-sabotage.
You spend a great deal of time and energy tracking your nutrition, and feel very uncomfortable eating food when you don’t know what’s in it.
The last one is a major issue for me and I get very stressed when I don't know exactly is in the food I eat. I don't believe these things mean I have a "disordered" way of eating, but I think they are things I need to control. It was interesting to see that some of the behaviors that have helped me to succeed, may not be considered healthy by certain standards...something to think about, but I don't see myself changing them.
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