Wednesday, February 18, 2009
So, I'm flipping through the channels and see Dr. Phil professing to have the answer for weight loss. Naturally, I'm intrigued and decide to stop and watch. What I find is a chubby Dr. Phil do a rip-off of The Biggest Loser with his own group of obese "contestants". Of course he puts his own spin on it with "the 7 Keys to weight loss" and of course you can find those keys by buying his book...It really is annoying to see people exploited by a pseudo-shrink. He really shouldn't be on TV as he's sunk to a version of Jerry Springer/Maury Povich that is repulsive and laughable. But of course during the short time I'm watching I hear one participant say "I'm trying my best", which of course translates to, I'm making an excuse to fail. Later in another segment, the same person says "If I want Popeye's Chicken, I'm gonna eat Popeye's chicken! I can work it into my program." Then I see that these people have pre-packaged meals sitting in front of them. All the while Dr. Phil is spewing the "change your lifestyle" rhetoric. Well, how is eating in that manner a lifestyle change that anyone can sustain for a lifetime? Of course it can't so you have just one more unrealistic approach to weight loss.
Today's workout was cardio: 60 minutes spin class.
I must say that my new approach to working abs (no crunches--core work instead) is making it's presence known. Yesterday I did ball roll outs and today I really feel it. Additionally, I've been struggling in spin class with fatigued quad muscles, couldn't figure out the reason, then it dawned on my that it's the "core" exercises--I don't relate quads to core...
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Anyone who says "I'm going to try" to lose weight, eat well, exercise every day...whatever, just stop! If you're "trying" you're merely giving yourself an out, an excuse to fail. You know, "well I tried"....but instead of using words like "try" change them out for action verbs that suggest nothing short of success--"I will", "I am", "I did", these are the words of success; words that give direction and definite action. All the other times I tried to lose weight "trying" was always involved, but this time I said I was going to do it, and that's exactly what I did. Now, you can't just mouth the words, you must believe them, buy into them, and then make a plan of how it will happen. Sharing my "plan" with other family members/friends, was my ownership in the process. It took my thoughts from being a dream/wish, to a planned event with a time frame and instructions/rules for success. I'm constantly asked about my journey and the keys to success, and while the simple answer is eat fewer calories than you burn, and of course make sure it's a two prong process with exercise and nutrition equal partners. Many of those people then respond with, "oh I could never do that much exercise." or "my family won't eat healthy foods, and their junk food is in the house, so I can't eat properly." Again, these are just excuses, we all have obstacles of one kind or another, we al are surrounded by unsupportive people who are threatened by our efforts, but some choose to battle through and overcome, instead of allowing these outside factors derail them. I didn't start out where I am now, it's been a long process and a learning experience. I've evolved and re-invented myself along the way. I took responsibility for the process and made myself the sole owner of the results. No trainers, no dieticians no gimmicks, or pay-to-participate programs. If I had used any of those things, I would have become dependent on them and used them as a crutch. But what would happen when they were gone/finished? I would have reverted back to my old ways, as I'd always done in past efforts. Changing my lifestyle meant being able to rely on myself to stay motivated, keep focused, push harder. Whenever I see programs advertised, even good ones, like Weight Watchers, I want to scream at people to not be drawn in, that all they need to lose the weight can be found within themselves. Any information can be found here on SP if you need to fill in the gaps of your expertise, but SP can't be responsible for you. Many of these programs and their celebrity spokespeople are totally irresponsible and merely propagating the cycle of yo-yo dieting and thus continued failure. For we all know that any diet works in the short-term but eventually you must go off of them because they cannot be sustained for a lifetime. Things like Jenny Craig, LA Weight Loss, and now the ridiculous cookie diet may all actually allow people to lose weight, but without exercise they are merely fat on the inside. The fat cells they had may shrink, but they are still be there and when
the dieter tries to eat real food the weight will come back plus more.
But I'm fortunate to have finally figured it out, and now I understand what is necessary to keep the weight off. I used to be petrified of what would happen after the weight was off, how would I keep it off. Would I be able to keep doing the things I know would be needed to maintain a healthy weight? But now, after over 3 years of adopting healthy habits and living them daily, I'm confident that I finally have made the changes and adopted them as part of my life, so that I will not return to that obese state from which I began.
bench press 3 x 10 75 lb
incline bench press 1 x 7 70 lbs
incline bench press 1 x 3 65 lbs
incline bench press 1 x 10 65 lbs
incline bench press 1 x 10 60 lbs
Incline chest flye 1 x 12 25 lbs
Incline chest flye 2 x 10 30 lbs
close grip push up on bench 3 x 4
close grip push up on bench 3 x 4
tricep dips straight legs 2 x 8
tricep dips straight legs 1 x 8 10 lbs
tricep dips straight legs 1 x 8 10 lbs
lying tricep extensions EZ Bar 1 x 12 35 lbs
lying tricep extensions EZ Bar 1 x 12 35 lb
lying tricep extensions EZ Bar 1 x 12 30 lb
lying tricep extensions EZ Bar 1 x 12 35 lb
tricep pulldowns/rope 1 x 16 45 lb
tricep pulldowns/rope 1 x 16 42 lb
tricep pulldowns/rope 1 x 16 40 lb
tricep pulldowns/rope 1 x 16 40 lb
ball rollout 3 x 12
weighted ball sit-up with side crunch 3 x 20 10 lb
ball single leg bicycle 3 x 15
60 minutes of spinning
Monday, February 16, 2009
Well, today was week 3 of my current program, today's workout:
pre-exhaust super set
lat raises 3x12 25 lbs
w/db overhead press 3x12 40lbs
1. barbell upright row 1x6, 1x10, 1x10, 1x10, 1x8 50lbs
2. w/barbell overhead press 1x10, 1x6, 1x8, 1x6, 1x7, 1x6 50lbs
(the barbell exercises are done without putting the bar done after #1 and going to failure)
plank 3x 2 minutes
plank w/leg lift 3x20 seconds x 2
ball rollout 3x12
Here are some ways to take the intimidation out of weights and conquer your fears:
When it comes to cardio, you can sweat your butt off like it's nobody's business. Yet when it comes to strength training you're not so bold. Your confidence plummets every time you get near a weight stack, so you haven't really gten into it. But to be a well-rounded health diva, you have to give that fear the boot and commit to both types of training.
Fear of not knowing what to do is one reason women shy away from the weights. Another scare factor: Gym jocks who dominate weight rooms. Women often don't like to exercise around men and don't want to look clueless in front of them. Even ultra-fit women may make you hesitate a little, especially if you're not as confident about your figure. Then there's that myth about strength training bulking you up Truth is though, women don't have enough testosterone to get big. In fact, weight training does the opposite by increasing your metabolism, toning your body and slimming you down. There are doezens of other benefits for women, including increased bone density. Sticking only to cardio might get you looking thin, but you'll also look flabby.
1. You could get instruction from a trainer(to cut expenses, pull in a friend and share the costs) or even have a fitness center employee show you how to use the machines and then beef up your knowledge by reading books and magazines, watching instructional DVD's or reading SP articles on weight training (that's how I got started).
2. Start with machines they require less body awareness so they're easier to use at first. Another option? Take a weight training or sculpting class.
3.Practice at home. If you feel self-conscious about strength training in front of others, start at home. Pop in a DVD or follow a program from SP, a book or magazine. By doing body weight exercises or exercises with simple tools like Dumbbells or resistance tubing at home, you can build co-ordination without anyone watching your. When your more confident, move to the gym.
4. Grab a buddy. Exercise is always more fun with a partner. But in this case lifting weights with a friend will help you feel less anxious and more confident.
5.Have a plan! Prepare ahead of time. Walk into the gym knowing what equipment you're going to use and what exercises you're going to do. Without a plan, you'll move through your strength training randomly which may make your workout less effective and increase your anxiety. consulting a personal trainer and getting a customized program could help you feel less overwhelmed. Using a program designed for you by SP is also a great way to get a good workout that is well planned.
6.Us the right sets and reps. Beginner strength trainers start with three sets of 15 reps. As you get stronger increase weight and decrease reps.
7. Start light. Use a light weight at first. If you find it too easy, you'll know after the first set and can then bump it up. If you can complete your last rep and feel like you can still complete three more, the weight isn't heavy enough. Just don't overdo it or you could use your risk of soreness.
8. Whenever your strength train write down what exercises you did, how much weight you used, how many sets and reps you did and if you're on a machine what your seat height was. Knowing this will help you progress.
9. Follow etiquette. Nothing says "beginner" more than breaking the unspoken rules of the weight room. 1. Put away your weights, 2. wipe equipment after using it (you might even put a towel on any bench or equipment that you sit or lie on) and 3. don't hog machines. If somebody's waiting to use the machine you're on finish your set and let that person work in.
10 Exude confidence. If the weights are surrounded by gym jocks, have no fear. Instead, stand tall, smile and act like you know what you're doing. Those guys might love having a woman around, especially if you're pushing it. And most are so into themselves they really pay little attention to who's doing what around them. Many are even more than willing to help if you have questions or need assistance with anything (just don't interrupt their reps).Still shy? Head to the gym during off times when you stand less chance of encountering people who intimidate you. No matter when your go, just make sure you do it. Once you start lifting weightsk you feel empowered and believe you can accomplish anything!
Saturday, February 14, 2009
Happy Valentine's Day
Even if you you've abandoned your resolutions, there is still time to commit to getting in shape--gyms are still running specials to lure new members, and some of your friends are likely to be entertaining similar ambitions, so you'll have company. With bathing suit season just around the corner we all might be eager to drop some weight, while 10 pounds in 10 days, is silly, a realistic approach can help guarantee your success. These rules can help you make your get-fit aspirations be-fit habits in no time.
1 Find activities that you enjoy.
Working out is supposed to be fun--not a chore--Yes, you should strength train, you should do aerobic exercise that gets your heart rate up to at least 60% of your max, and you should be active most days of the week. The workouts you do, though, are up to you.
2 Set specific goals.
Clarify what you'd like to accomplish. do you want to drop 5 pounds or 5 percent body fat? If you want to get stronger choose benchmarks to help you guage your progress--doing 20 regular push-ups or moving up to 15 lb dumbbells for your biceps curls, for example.
3 Be flexible
so many people fail at getting in shape because they set a rigid plan that doesn't work with their lifestyle--and then they give up. Try developig a do-anywhere workout routine and be willing to adjust your goals if the gym isn't an option.
4 don't go it alone
Join a gym with a friend so you'll be accountable to someone besides yourself. Encourage each other to go harder faster, or longer, and congratulate each other when you do. For me personally, this is a big one. I met a few women at the gym, and though I workout on my own, I save their bikes in spin class, or I talk "workouts" with a couple other women. Knowing that they count on me to save their bikes, is a motivator to me on days when I start to consider "skipping" a day. Becoming a part of the "gym" culture is a big part of re-inventing myself.
5 Look the part.
Invest in a pair of quality athletic shoes and stylish exercise clothing that fits well. If you look good and feel comfortable you're more apt to stick with your program. I never go into a store without checking out the exercise clothes and my closet overruns with sneakers...that's my guilty pleasure, and it makes me feel good when I get dressed for the gym each day.
6 Recommit daily.
Making exercise a habit and reaching your goal takes work every single day, even if it's just reminding yourself why you want to be five ounds thinner or how good you feel after a jog. If necessary, write down your goals and post them somewhere prominent as a visual reinforcement.
7 listen to great music
Invest in an mp3 player and keep your music fresh. Nothing gets you going better/longer than listening to music, research has proven this out.
Use whatever works for you, but it's really important to workout most days of the week. Once that becomes a daily habit, the rest is easy.
60 minutes yoga
Friday, February 13, 2009
The "fat burning zone" business is very misleading. It’s true that low intensity exercise uses more fat as fuel and that moderate intensity exercise (that you can maintain for 20 minutes or more) burns both fat and glucose. But, you're better off exercising in the aerobic zone as much as you can, because exercising at this higher intensity burns more total calories. You will burn a larger percentage of fat in relation to glucose when you are working at a lower intensity, but you will also burn fewer total calories and less total fat. The relative percentage of fat burned has nothing to do with weight loss—it's the total amount calories burned that counts.
Weight alone doesn’t tell you the whole truth about your progress or fitness level. Forget your preconceptions about the number on the scale. Knowing your weight is good, but not crucial—you want to lose fat, not necessarily weight. If you must weigh yourself, don’t make it a daily habit. Weight tends to fluctuate throughout the day, and from day-to-day, by as much as 5 pounds or so. Most of these regular changes are due to food and water. Read Body Composition Measures Results to learn about measuring your progress without the scale.
While on a weight lifting program, the right hormones (testosterone) are necessary in order to bulk up. Women’s testosterone levels are much lower than men’s, so in most cases, they are not capable of building large muscles. In fact, since muscle takes up less room than fat, women tend to lose inches when they strength train. So in addition to the physical benefits (increased metabolism, decreased risk of osteoporosis, increased strength), strength training will help you slim down too! Women, in fact, are more likely to tone up from strength training rather than bulk up. Research shows that women can add up to 30% lean muscle and end up looking thinner, feeling stronger and being firmer. No matter how many repetitions you do, you should be lifting a challenging weight and feel muscle fatigue by the end of each set. Learn how to Add Strength Training for Lean Muscles.
These products (diet pills and herbal supplements) are not regulated by the FDA the way that other medications and drugs are. So basically, no one is checking to make sure their claims are true, that the pills contain what they say they do, or that they are actually safe to be taking at all. Remember, even "natural" doesn’t mean safe. Plus, if you lose weight by taking a pill, that weight loss is usually temporary, and not part of a healthy lifestyle change. Read Weight Loss Supplements: Fact or Fiction? to learn more.
There is no way to target weight loss to a specific area of the body because your body decides where it wants to put on weight and where it wants to take it off. The midsection is a common "problem" area for many people. The best way to lose fat is through cardiovascular exercise. It is important to do a variety of abdominal exercises (including crunches) to keep your core strong, but until that excess fat is gone, you will not see the muscle definition.
Cutting calories today (through diet and exercise) will not necessarily show up on the scale at the end of the day or even by tomorrow. Your weight can fluctuate from day-to-day for reasons that have nothing to do with your diet and exercise program. Much of this fluctuation is due to water and food intake. While your scale may show changes throughout the day, fluctuations that could be due to food & water alone are not permanent weight losses or gains. Weighing yourself immediately after wearing a "sweat" suit, getting into a sauna, or finishing an intense workout might (or might not) show a loss on the scale. But that is temporary water loss that will come back after you re-hydrate yourself by drinking. Remember—you’re trying to lose fat, not simply "weight" or water weight.
It's a myth that eating late will make you gain weight. Your body doesn't know what time it is when you eat, and it metabolizes all calories the same way, regardless of the time of day they are eaten. There is no real concern with eating late or close to bedtime, unless you find it disrupts your sleep or makes you feel a sick when you lie down to go to bed.
In the morning, your body has gone 8+ hours since eating or drinking anything. Your blood sugar levels are lower at this point, and your body doesn't have adequate fuel to workout optimally. Usually, experts recommend eating something—even if it's just a small snack—within 2 hours before working out. When your body doesn’t have proper fuel in it, many problems can result, the lesser being that your workout performance suffers, and the greater being something like passing out during exercise. Some people say that it will burn fat stores, but overall, the number of calories your burn during a workout (regardless of where they come from) is much more important. Plus, fat burns in the carbohydrate flame. This means if you exercise without eating (such as after "fasting" during sleep) your body does not burn fat efficiently, or sometimes at all.
For fat to be metabolized properly, carbohydrates must be present. The basic message is simple when it comes to selecting the amount and type of carbohydrate foods. Carbohydrates should make up 45% - 65% of the total daily calories in a healthy diet. At least 130 grams of carbohydrate should be included in the diet to prevent ketosis. Whenever possible, replace highly processed/refined grains, cereals, and sugars with minimally processed whole-grain products.
Today was leg day, my least favorite, mostly due to my problems with my knee. I have been doing machine only exercises, and felt that wasn't really enough to progress. So, today I did a few different things, trying to limit the stress on the knee.
wall sits/w/ball 1x25 12lb
step ups 3x15 20lb no rest between sets
deadlifts 3x12 75lbs
plie squats 3x15 25lbs
donkey calf raise 3x25 160lbs
plank 6 x 60 seconds
plank w/leg lift 4x30 seconds
side plank 4x30 seconds
side plank w/leg lift 2x15 seconds
60 min spin class
Insight into learning
There is no difference between living and learning...it is impossible and misleading and harmful to think of them as being separate.
- John Holt, author
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. What has your own life taught you? What experiences have brought you to where you are now?
It's really quite remarkable how we can continue to learn and grow and improve and re-invent ourselves each and every day of our lives. We are truly a work in progress and as long as we understand that and utilize that ability we can accomplish anything. It's really never too late for anything (well almost anything) and the only failure is wasting the opportunities we are given. If we take this journey and only focus on one aspect, say cutting calories, and don't relish the opportunity for learn all we can about improving our health and well being, than that would be failure. But, if we take each step and inspect it, analyze it, and try to learn all we can about ourselves, than we will be can become the person we want to be. This is so much more than just losing weight...
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