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Work Before Play - a RB/LB discussion about semantics

Friday, May 24, 2013

emoticon RB (tugging on LB's skirt) Hey. Hey.

emoticon LB (busily scribbling on a notepad) Hmmm. yeah, inaminit

emoticon RB Watcha doin'. Hey. Hey. I'm feeling funny.

emoticon LB Yeah, yeah, be with ya in a minnute.

emoticon RB No. Now. I'm getting scared. What are you doing?

emoticon LB (Looking up from the notebook) I'm making a list of everything we're going to do on this vacation! Lookee!

emoticon RB Waaaaaaa! You don't love me any more.

emoticon LB (Looking shocked) What? Of course I love you - you're the other side of me. What's wrong?

emoticon RB It's our VACATION and you're making one of those awful TTD lists! I want to play!

emoticon LB Well, yeah. sure. I'm writing that on the list. See? Here? Number 8 ... PLAY

emoticon RB You're crazy. You can't schedule play. Play means you aren't responsible for anything. Play means fun. Play means you don't have to accomplish anything!

emoticon LB So. Yeah. so? who says you have to accomplish anything when we're playing?

emoticon RB I know you. You will say No Play before ticking stuff off that list. I know you. this will be nothing but chores and werk and werk and chores.

emoticon LB No it won't. Look at the rest of this list. See?

Clean House
Work on the kitchen cabinets - organize those last 2 messes
Work on the spare bedroom - one hour a day minimum
Work in the garden
Work out
Visit Mama

emoticon RB Yeah. I see that you want to work almost all the time. Werk in the kitchen werk in the garden werk out. wekr werk werk I hate this list.

emoticon LB What? Don't you like a clean house? I thought we'd agreed that house cleaning is really just caressing our favorite possessions - the ones we bought or collected and brought into our lives.

emoticon RB Well. Yeah. I do love all our stuff. I just wish there wasn't so much cleaning to do.

emoticon LB Yeah. I understand that. But we live with guys. And dogs. On a farm. Down a dirt lane. It's just the way it is - there's cleaning to do and we have to do it. Besides - it only takes a few hours a week. You know that.

emoticon RB (sighing) yeah. I know. but it's #1 on the list. what kind of vacation is that?

emoticon LB Oh. well. Yeah. I see. but don't you want to start this vacation in a sparkly clean house?

emoticon RB I guess so.

emoticon LB Let's see how things go today - we can put this off till tomorrow

emoticon RB Thanks. But there's still too much work on that list.

emoticon LB Well - don't you want to work in the garden? don't you want to have that spare bedroom ready for summer guests? Frances and Audrey will be here in 3 weeks.

emoticon RB (sighing again) yeah. I do want them.

emoticon LB so - if you want it - you gotta go get it.

emoticon RB I just wish you didn't have so much work on that stupid list. I feel like the whole vacation will be nothing but work. I'd rather go to work where I don't have to work so hard.

emoticon LB Oh. Hmm. I see. Hmmm. Yeah. Okay - how's this for a Better List?

Start with a beautifuly sparkly clean house

Play in the kitchen cabinets - toss out all that crap we hate and create beautifully functioning organized spaces for everything we want. Never be ashamed if someone opens a cabinet door again.

Begin the transformation of the spare junk room into an oasis of organization and calm - maybe even take it over for our bedroom - it's bigger than the one we use now. Sit down with those boxes of family photos and letters and decide how we will store and share them. Own that space. Make it ours. Retrieve it from the Lord Of Chaos and Shame.
Dig the soft crumbly earth in the garden and nestle those little vegetable plants in their new homes where they can grow delicious food for summer meals on the porch.
Give our body the exercise it longs for - stretching, moving, lifting - everything that makes it feel vigorous and thriving.




Visit Mama

emoticon RB Ooooo. Yeah. That's a MUCH better list

emoticon LB (smiling) Well good. I'm glad you like it. Man this is going to be a fabulous vacation.

emoticon RB One thing more, though. Can you put Play first?

emoticon LB (laughing) You betcha! Love you

emoticon RB Love you more

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ALEXSGIRL1 5/25/2013 12:59PM

    enjoy your vacation and if you put music on while you work it will be much like playing .

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WATERMELLEN 5/24/2013 10:53PM

    So sweet! And thanks for reminding me: it's all in how you characterize it!

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LRSILVER 5/24/2013 6:30PM

    Enjoy your vacation.

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MSLZZY 5/24/2013 9:06AM

    What a fantastic turnaround from the first list to the last! Fascinating conversation you had but you resolved your own personal conflict just fine. HUGS!

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BETHGILLIGAN 5/24/2013 7:57AM

    Love this! thanks for sharing!

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KANOE10 5/24/2013 7:56AM

    Well written..both sides of a vacation are important. I am in the same boat. I have two kids returning home for the summer and need to get the house in shape.

Nice blog. emoticon

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TORTISE110 5/24/2013 7:37AM

    Oh, you write so well. The dialog is fabulous! Loved this. You did not mention you are a writer!

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CHERYLHURT 5/24/2013 7:20AM


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What Would We Do Without Bananas?

Sunday, May 19, 2013

I don't know what I'd do without them. The perfect candy. The perfect junk food. The perfect substitute for almost anything ... except Cheetos, of course, but they are my crack cocaine. We won't talk about them.

But Bananas. oh man. I eat a lot of bananas and yesterday I ate ... hmm. well. truth? I only ate 3 which is normal for me. But yesterday I was cranking up for a big Library Event (it was a big success, btw) and part of my duty was to bake about 400 cookies (slice'n'bake refrigerator style - hey, I'm good but I'm not a martyr). I make them small because most people would rather have many cookies than a lot of cookies - that is - most people feel like they've had a treat if they can eat 3 or 4 or 5 cookies, not 3 or 4 or 5 ounces of cookies. It's a numbers game. But to feed a crowd, and to watch your waistline, 5 small cookies is always better than 5 big ones.

A kitchen full of fragrant cookies, though, is a terrible temptation. I always give myself permission to eat one while I'm baking them, and I used store bought dough so I could pretend that there were deadly microbiotic germs in the raw cookie dough - hence the WARNING on the package. If I'd made my own dough I would have eaten some raw - which may be as deadly as the store bought but I wouldn't think about it.

The rest of the day was a slow build to Party Anxiety - which I always have when I'm hosting a function for work. I might get excited about hosting a home party, but I've done enough of them to know that everything will work out just fine. Besides, a private party is all about people who are already pretty much in my daily life. A Library Function is different. Not only will acquaintances and even strangers be coming (or worse, NOT coming) but there will be an unknown guest speaker. One always hopes she'll be entertaining but one doesn't always KNOW.

and then - there's the whole "job performance" aspect of hosting an Library event. So you see - on event day there is always the chance I'll try to calm myself with SUGAR and FAT.

But not as long as there are bananas. Bananas are SWEET. and they are FIBROUS. and they are cheap. and soft so they go down easily. and they have such a distinctive flavor that ... really, you don't want much else after eating one... at least, for a short while. And by then, you might have gotten caught up in doing something else.

Love me some bananas. What would I do without them?

So, what's your go-to food when you know you're going to eat mindlessly?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ABUFFKIN 5/28/2013 1:20PM

    I love love love bananas, too!!! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SPARKLISE 5/27/2013 7:13AM

    Oh my gosh!!!!
Somebody that loves bananas as much as me!!! emoticon emoticon

Keep up the good work! emoticon
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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WEDDWT 5/19/2013 10:04PM

    I love the crunch of an apple. When bananas get too ripe I slice them and put them in the freezer. Eating a slice of frozen banana is a sweet treat!
It sounds like bananas don't hang around long enough in your kitchen to get over-ripe:)

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CELIAMINER 5/19/2013 1:38PM

    I love most fruits, but there's a banana and an apple in my lunch box EVERY day. DH and I just finished fruit smoothies that use a banana as the thickener.

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FITGRL124 5/19/2013 10:51AM

    Unfortunately my "go to" food is ice cream or frozen yogurt for mindless eating or popcorn, my oh my, the popcorn. I wish I could find a way to curb both of those.

However, I completely agree that bananas are AWESOME!

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 5/19/2013 10:51:16 AM

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TWEETYKC00 5/19/2013 10:40AM

    Bananas rock! They are portable, go with so many things and taste great and just plain rock!

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STONECOT 5/19/2013 10:29AM

    There's always one isn't there!

I really don't like them much. I can't see what the fuss is about. I will eat them if they're properly ripe, but it must be at least 6 months since I last ate one! emoticon

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CAMAEL100 5/19/2013 10:18AM

    I am never without bananas! Great for kids too. It really does help to have some in car when we can't get to food in a hurry! I give them to them before matches and stuff as well. They are also great for sweetening smoothies!

So, yes, wonder food! Not given the credit they deserve!

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MJLUVSANIMALS 5/19/2013 10:18AM

    I am a nut about popcorn. I get this organic popcorn that I dearly love. Actually haven't had those types of moments, but the popcorn is what I normally have. I do love my banana either for my cereal, which I am stopping after the box is done. And I have one for my Nutri Blasts.

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EXOTEC 5/19/2013 10:16AM

    I'm a bona fide banana fanatic too. Unfortunately. I will permit myself one small one occasionally...but there's too many carbs in bananas to be on our prescribed diet. One banana "eats up" nearly my entire day's allotment of carbs. I love all the fruits in that category: melon, grapes, apples, pears, plums, ...all the "good" stuff! it's just not fair.

Your event sounds like stress to me! LOL I hope it went well.

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HOUNDLOVER1 5/19/2013 10:07AM

    I used to love bananas and find them somewhat addictive. For this reason I cut them out of my diet as much as possible. Even organic bananas are not a very natural food any more. Far too high in sugar and spiking blood sugar levels just as bad as cookies. Same goes for grapes.

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    Bananas never last long in my house. I always tell my kid to eat a banana when he's hungry, too! LOL! But, apples are more my go-to food. They fill me up for longer, and they take longer to eat which makes me feel like I'm having an actual meal.

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SLENDERELLA61 5/19/2013 9:41AM

    Fruit is good. When grapefruits come in and they are plentiful around my house I indulge big time. Sometimes I have tangerines that won't last long -- and they don't! There are times I do bananas or bananas sliced with fresh pineapple -- yum! Sometimes add yogurt or cottage cheese. When neighbors have bell peppers in bumper crops, I sautee big pan fulls with a little olive oil and eat all I want. Or just grill them plain on the Foreman grill. Summer squash, often simmered in chicken broth with onion and bell pepper, is another "go to" big feast. Air popped popcorn does it for me when I want to crunch and am not in a celery mood. I'm learning that I can have all I want of somethings or a little bit of other things and maintain my weight loss. Do I want a lot or a little??

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KANOE10 5/19/2013 8:44AM

    I make parmesean zucchini chips when I feel like I need a treat.

Bananas are high in potassium and are great. Hope your event went well.

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BETHGILLIGAN 5/19/2013 8:19AM

    Bananas are the best!! Our family always laughs about bananas. When the kids were small my husband would always tell them to eat a banana to "take the edge off" if they complained of being hungry!! To this day he gives the same advice and it has become a family joke. You're hungry? Eat a banana, take the edge off!

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LRSILVER 5/19/2013 8:11AM


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MSLZZY 5/19/2013 7:41AM

    Bananas, of course, followed by apples, pears and grapes! emoticon

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I Love Martha Beck - here's why

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

I am not a great one to actually copy the words of another here - unless they are brief quotes - but I am going to make an exception today. I subscribed to Martha Beck's daily quotations and each morning one of them comes into my email box. They are nearly always worth remembering - and they usually have that familiar Martha Beck Wide Swings tartness to them. I am not a tart sort of person but I can appreciate it when I read it.

She is also the person who introduced me to the concept of right brain/left brain dichotomies - and taught me how to get them to talk to each other. Neither of those "brains" is the whole me. I am both and I know my life only works when they are cooperating, accepting of the conflict built into both natures, committed to making it work.

You can find out how to get your right brain talking to your left and your left brain listening to your right in her book The Four-Day Win. She makes it into a fun sort of game - a little exercise that moves you from one place to another.

Today, in her daily quotes she offered another interesting little game or puzzle or exercise. It struck me as all three - and I wanted to share. Because I believe that one of the issues we have when it comes to losing weight AND keeping it off is that we don't believe we deserve, don't believe we can, don't believe it's possible. We are from fat families. We have too much to do to spend all this time on ourselves. We are losers.

In short - we quit wanting so we won't be even MORE disappointed. Here's Martha Beck's recipe for DESERVE - not dessert! I'm going to do this. Maybe someone else out there might want to give it a try too.


Yearning + Trust = Happiness

Right now, make a list of everything you yearn for. Make sure that you realize that your yearning is for the emotional sensation that the experience would bring you rather than the form itself. Make another list of things you feel you deserve, but dont believe youll ever get things like good luck, a soul mate, a really great haircut. Again, focus on the essence of the experience, not the physical form.

Now try a small thought experiment. Go through this list item by item and allow yourself to trust that the thing you love not only will come, but has already connected with you through the barrier of time. Notice any fear that arises to tell you that the thing for which you yearn will never come to you. Notice the choking, tensing or other form of contraction in your body when you focus on your disbelief. This is the bodys response to a lie. Give yourself a short space of time, say one minute, to take your attention off your disbelief and focus instead on the love of this thing that has not yet happened. Feel the warmth and openness of your life when you believe that your connection with this thing is real, solid, and inevitable.

~The Formula for Happiness: Insight From Martha


Remember - Keep Wanting!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    Love this - thanks for sharing

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WORKNPROGRESS49 5/19/2013 1:22PM

    emoticon emoticon

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BETHGILLIGAN 5/15/2013 8:22AM

    I love Martha!! I'm working my way through 4 day win. It is amazing! I had put out a "call" in a recent blog to see if anyone else had read that book but nobody had. I think she is awesome as is her 4 day win. Thanks for sharing this info!!

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KANOE10 5/15/2013 8:04AM

    Great exercise from Martha. I liked it.

Thanks for sharing. emoticon

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CELIAMINER 5/15/2013 7:43AM

    Thanks for introducing me to Martha! I tried the exercise.

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SANDYCRANE 5/15/2013 7:31AM

    I will have to look her up. It sounds very interesting.


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MSLZZY 5/15/2013 7:24AM

    Very interesting! I may have to buy her books and sign up for the daily email too!

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TORTISE110 5/15/2013 7:18AM

    I love Martha too! Thanks for talking about this exercise and underscoring how it might be useful for me/us.

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Retail Therapy

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

No doubt about it - I love me some cute clothes. And shoes? Don't get me started.

Not that I have thousands of pairs of shoes but I do have maybe 20. For winter. And the same for warm weather. I've been working hard at Not Buying Too Much New Stuff - but I've also been shopping for a new summertime purse. Alas - everything I like is by Kate Spade at about $300 - and I just can't bring myself to spend that kind of money for something I'll carry only till September. I'm not sure I'd even be willing to part with that kind of money for a classic old Coach bag - after all - what's a classic anymore?

anyway - while looking on the major on-line accessory shops (think Zapos, Amazon, Overstock) I discovered drool inducing shoes. In particular I discovered these shoes.

Zapos had them in every print or color (there are about 10!) and I just had to make them mine. Of course - I have triangular feet - so lots of times I need a wide width and these didn't come in wide - but I took a chance. Return shipping is free with Zapos so they're worth taking a gamble on. The UPS man delivered them to me yesterday, at work, and the minute he was out the door I was ripping open the box and trying them on. Not only do they fit - YIPPEE! - they were the perfect match for what I was wearing. So. They got their first exposure yesterday.

If I had the money I think I'd buy a pair in every print - still might go back and get the blue/green stripes. So cute. And those black & white print oness that make me think of Audrey Hepburn? Yeah. I just wish they'd use the fabric in these shoes to make some cute summer purses - in classic shapes - not too big, not too small.

Well, yeah. A girl can want, right?

So - here's the link - just in case you were curious:

(oh man! I forgot about those turquoise prints - I want them too!)

And here are some cute quotes about shoes:

I like Cinderella, I really do. She has a good work ethic. I appreciate a good, hard-working gal. And she likes shoes. The fairy tale is all about the shoe at the end, and Im a big shoe girl.
Amy Adams

A pair of shoes can change your life. Just ask Cinderella.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JLITT62 5/20/2013 9:44AM

    Catching up. Very cute shoes!

I don't have thousands, either, but there might be over 100.

There's the dog walking shoes . . . boots . . . then a lot of flats & platform wedges!

DSW is my drug of choice.

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MSLZZY 5/14/2013 11:15PM

    The trick for me would be wearing them, My feet are so accustomed to tennis shoes
and 1 inch heels that they would mutiny if I brought these home. Enjoy!

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SHOAPIE 5/14/2013 2:04PM


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LRSILVER 5/14/2013 12:34PM

    Shoes are really cute. I am a wide also, love Zappos. But wouldn't risk trying a non wide shoe.

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IAMWINNING 5/14/2013 10:27AM

    Very pretty shoes. I, too, love shoes, but I can't hold a candle to the number of pair that you have. emoticon Can anybody say "Imelda"? (I'm just teasing you, and hope you'll ignore that).

I really, really, really could use some retail therapy right now, but it isn't going to happen. emoticon

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TORTISE110 5/14/2013 10:26AM

    This is great fun! Enjoy your dancing shoes (-:

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IFDEEVARUNS2 5/14/2013 9:59AM

    I've always loved shoes, but ever since my last two pregnancies (23 and 27 years ago), I can't wear anything but flats. It just isn't fair!!!!!!! And the shoe has to be comfortable, which doesn't happen often. emoticon
I would love to be able to wear these.

In every color!

Comment edited on: 5/14/2013 10:00:15 AM

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KANOE10 5/14/2013 8:41AM

    I love those shoes! They are too cute. It is such fun to get new clothes and accessories. Enjoy your shopping for the new thin you.

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Maxing Out In The Weight Room

Friday, May 10, 2013

Yesterday W the PT I work with told me that since I didn't have to go on to work after our session we were going to go to failure.

"Failure!!!" I cried - "that sounds horrible!"

He quickly explained that he wanted my muscles to work till I couldn't perform another repetition. The point of this was to help me build more muscle over the next few days of rest (at least 48 hours of rest for this girl). I suggested we call it "Maxing Out" my muscles because somehow ... failure sounds so ... depressing.

And then we got lifting. He lowered the weights I was working with from 20 lb. dumbells to 10 pounders. Then we just worked each set of moves till I couldn't push, pull or lift any more. That is the point of failure.

A lot goes on between a personal trainer and a personal trainee. As the trainee what I'm looking for is someone who eyes me in an almost clinical fashion - who watches my form like a hawk - listens to my feedback as I give it - and who has the creativity to come up with something else if there's a problem. It's a mind game that's all about a body. In this case - his mind, my mind and my body.

And it's something we do together.

He knows I have goals - and he knows what they are. He also knows I have 'issues' with my neck and my back - and we work around them when needed. I have made a commitment to him, as well as to me, to listen closely to my body and tell him when something doesn't work. I trust him to push me beyond what I've ever done before but he trusts me to never put him in the position where I get injured following his instructions. He doesn't need the guilt. I don't need the pain. One of the exercises we tried yesterday ... I never even tried - because I knew it would do my back harm. We just did something else.

See how quickly this becomes all about "us" even though it's my body. It's like I step outside myself and see this body as if it belonged to a third person and we are the fitness team that will get it strong. It's almost as if my body was my avatar.

In fact, we didn't max out with every exercise. The chest presses went up to the point of failure but not to it. On the other hand, the Reverse Push-up .. where I lie beneath a barbell and lift my straight body up and down without bending or touching the ground - man - I totally maxed out on that one. There was another one involving a weight machine where I completely maxed out and of course - the final effort - full body push-ups - yeah. I maxed out on them too.

"Just keep doing it till you can't do it any more" he told me.

that is an amazing feeling - Contracting or pushing a muscle till it just stops - till it wont go on - how seldom life requires us to do that. There were times when I could feel the effort coming all the way from my toes.

I know enough to drink extra water after a new, unusual and extreme workout. I also follow an old tip I learned as a child - take a soaking bath as hot as you can stand as soon as you can. Did both yesterday and still fell asleep over dinner. Whew. That is maxing out.

Today I can feel it in my arms, of course, and a little in my back and across my chest. But I also feel it in the muscles that go around the outside of my hips. I feel it on my inner thigh muscles and outer calf muscles. Everything feels like it had to jump in and lend a hand and I guess that's the point of maxing out or working to failure.

Whatever it is - it's really addictive. I can't wait to max out again. I will have to wait - of course - because I have Other Things that require my attention. But we will do this again.

Just not today

Today is the day of rest

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GETSTRONGRRR 5/10/2013 8:49PM

    Good on you....that is absolutely the right way to approach strength training...give it all you got and leave it all in the gym I say....don't end the workout thinking, "Hmmm, I could have done more"

You'll start seeing progress real quick that way. My #1 rule for my trainer (we've been working out 3x/week for almost 3 years) is "First, do no harm". After that, i want my form to be textbook perfect (he's fond of point out others in the gym with poor form). Third, is to push me beyond what I think I can do, while keeping in mind rule #1.

Good job....stay strong and lift hard!

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PLMITCH 5/10/2013 8:31AM


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CELIAMINER 5/10/2013 8:27AM

    Congrats on a great workout and on finding the right trainer for you! I love my trainer to pieces, but she doesn't push me as hard as I wish she would. On the other hand, she always makes me check in with my body and tell her of any problems. Yesterday, my SI joints were flat out burning, so we did some gentle stretches for them but otherwise avoided lifts that would aggravate them. In general, she knows I won't jump rope with my arthritic knees, and pullups are a total no-no, since every time in my life...*every* time...I've attempted one, I pinched a nerve in my neck that took weeks to heal. Guess we both have good trainers!

Comment edited on: 5/10/2013 8:27:54 AM

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KANOE10 5/10/2013 7:55AM

    That was very interesting about maxing out to build muscle. I tend to slowly increase my weights. I am sore from increasing weights from yesterday. I have been forgetting to drink that water. Thanks for your helpful information.

Enjoy your day of rest. It sounds like you have a wonderful trainer.


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MSLZZY 5/10/2013 7:45AM

    Sounds like a great trainer. Wish I had one like him but such is not the case.
You are doing emoticon

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