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Sunday, January 31, 2010

Sweet potatoes, that is.

These little slices of goodness saved my calorie count yesterday. I've been indulging in 3,000-3,500 calories a day this entire month - sometimes, the calorie count has been even higher. And we're not talking healthy, mineral-and-nutrient filled veggies, but rather, deep-fried everything, full-fat cheeses (yumm!), nuts, etc. I've even been overdoing the bread - white, rather than multi-grain.

So yesterday, was a refreshing change. I baked up the sliced sweet potatoes that had been sitting on the dining table for a week. Nibbled some of them off and on all afternoon and evening. Ate a not-too-heavy dinner. Drank lots of water.

I was happily full most of the afternoon (my body really fears hunger, it turns out), and, for a change, NOT craving something calorie dense.

Filled out the nutrition tracker at the end of the day - I'd managed just over 2,000 calories yesterday!

Very cool. This may be the trick to keeping from munching junk food constantly at work - my big weakness. I've been storing crackers and cheese at my desk - I think this coming week I'll be switching to sweet potatoes and cheese instead! Maybe the extra ten pounds or so that I've put on since November (my tracker lies, but I'm not ready to change it back up yet!) will ease off if I'm feeding my body healthy food for a change! :)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MELTEAGUE 2/3/2010 11:51AM

    Wow that looks delicious! I am sOOOOO glad I am having Sweet potato fries tonight for dinner, because if I did not have sp's in the house , I WOULD HAVE TO GO GET SOME!!! - after looking at that pic! lol thanks ......
good food in , good energy out! makes sense!

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CHRISTFIEND 1/31/2010 10:19PM

    Maya, I'm glad that you found something that you like!! They are delicious!!

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TNDARLINGTON1 1/31/2010 9:20PM

    those look very yummie. When I was out for dinner Fri night, i ordered fish and chips but instead of french fries I ate yam fries and gave half them to my friend.

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MRSHONEYC 1/31/2010 10:29AM

    Oooh! Glad your starting to reign it in!!!
Baked sweet potatoes are a stimulating snack, for sure! Much better than those cracker and cheese snack and MUCH lower in sodium!!

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TWYLA053 1/31/2010 10:21AM

    Oh my! Those look soooooooooooooooo good. May have to be a copy cat!!!!!!! emoticon

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A scary sight at the gym

Friday, January 29, 2010

I've been going to the gym almost every weekday this month. Weights, weights and more weights. It feels AWESOME!

Interestingly, I've never felt intimidated at the gym. Yes, there are tiny gals who can lift much heavier than I can, but there are others *at* my level and some who can't lift as much. And the guys? Of course, most of *them* can lift double or triple what I can - and they *do*!

What I don't like about the gym? Locker rooms. Never have liked 'em, probably never will. But you have to do what you have to do. So I use the locker room. And try *very* hard to just do my thing and get out of there ASAP.

So, this morning, as I was bundling myself into my 4th layer of clothing (at -24C with wind-chill, you have to bundle up!), I happened to look up. And saw this stick-thin woman walk past, wearing nothing. That wasn't surprising. What bothered me, immensely, was her back. She was thin, did I mention that? Well, there were bright red abrasions on her vertebrae! Not just one, where you might assume that perhaps a too-tight bra strap had rubbed it raw, but several, all the ones down the middle of her back!


Please tell me that's some sort of disease and *not* what it looked like: bleeding brought on from contact with clothing or from lying on her back - indicating that she's got ZERO protection in terms flesh covering those bones?

Is that what an anorexic looks like? Yii. She was stick-thin, as I said, but I didn't get the general impression of boniness - not like looking at Angelina Jolie, who (to *me*) looks like death warmed over.

I didn't want to stare, so I can't tell you anything about the woman in terms of height or weight or even what she looked like - I don't think I'd recognise her if I bumped into her at the subway and started aimlessly chatting. All I know is that if that sort of abrasion is normal for her, she must be in a lot of pain - can you imagine being so thin that your own skin can't provide enough of a barrier? Wow.

I've occasionally wondered what it might be like to look "as good as" a model. Who doesn't, huh? I don't know if this woman would've qualified as a model. I only know that if *that* is the result of being in a normal-for-your height weight, then I have NO interest in being normal!

I hope she gets "better" soon - I don't think I'd find it enjoyable walking around with my skin rubbed raw on my spine!

Anyway, before all of that happened, I had managed to get in some excellent work on my chest and arms today. More bench presses, more triceps dips, more, more, more!! It was a GOOD day for exercise. Again!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FITGIRL15 2/3/2010 12:41PM

    She may have a medical condition that has her on drugs... muscle isn't easy for everyone to gain (neither is body fat, by the way!)

My fear is that she is one of these obsessive exercisers (I've seen them before, running ont he treadmill for hours and hours and hours... so unhealthy!)

Either way, I sure hope she has a doctor helping her with her problem! She sounds like she really does need the help!

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MELTEAGUE 2/3/2010 11:50AM

    yikes the poor girl!
I wonder if that makes her HAPPY??? don't think so! ???
glad you got your work out in....dont forget about that swimsuit though!lol

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SALEE100 1/30/2010 7:07PM

    I don't think that's normal. If her skin is that thin, why wouldn't she bring a towel to lay on?

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ANEPANALIPTI 1/30/2010 5:51PM


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BEAR14GSB 1/29/2010 9:31PM

    Skin diseases/disorders can be painful and embarrasing. I wonder if this lady has psoriasis.


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MRSHONEYC 1/29/2010 9:27PM

    MY GOSH! That has got to hurt a LOT. Try not to have nightmares about it - I probably will, now!

GREAT on getting your workout in!!!

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CHRISTFIEND 1/29/2010 9:25PM

    Maya, I'm glad that you got in a good workout. I really hope that those abrasions weren't from being too thin as well. What a terrible thought.

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    You do see scary things at the gym -- me for one when I weighed 270 pounds and 5 ft tall! I don't know which one is the worse. I just hope she is not sick.

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Sore ... hmm!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Started out this morning's workout with good ol' bench presses. And then, smartly, decided to intersperse them with triceps dips.

Can you say, "ouch"?

Yes, I thought you could.

So can I.

The workout went great, I'm finally back up to 55 pounds on the barbell bench press, but that's not where it's going to end, I can tell you. The triceps dips, though? Ugh. Tough!

And then I continued through the rest of my planned workout: chest flyes, simultaneous biceps curls, seated concentration curls, triceps extensions, and then some lateral and front raises for my shoulders.

Rounded all of that off with a couple of planks, some crunches, and a fair bit of stretching.

Interestingly, I can still feel *yesterday's* workout - my glutes are achy from DOMS - I guess I must be improving my form on the squats and lunges.

That's it. I'm sore. In a good way, but still, sore. All that water does help some. And I'm sure the bananas would help if I actually ate 'em instead of just keeping 'em at my desk ... :) I must believe I can magically ingest potassium through osmosis or something.

Nothing exciting to report. I've been going to the gym. I hula-hooped on Saturday *and* again on Sunday. I've been walking to work after each strength workout, even on the cold, windy mornings.

All in all, boring, but still, in a twisted way, fun!

Hope you're all having a fabulous winter! :D

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MELTEAGUE 1/28/2010 2:15PM

    how about making a banana "shake".....???

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CHRISTFIEND 1/28/2010 10:20AM

    Maya, I think tricep dips kill me!! I don't do them as often as I should.

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MRSHONEYC 1/28/2010 7:38AM

    EAT those bananas - they are NOT decorations! LOL
KUDOS on the bench presses followed by tricep dips - and YES I can say OUCH!!! For you, I can SHRIEK it .... "OUCH!!!!!!!!"

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JAZZIEGIRL05 1/27/2010 11:48PM

    It is good when your muscles tell you you've worked them! Painful, but good.

PS: Did you see that banana ice cream recipe here? It's ONLY frozen bananas. Cut in chunks and food processed for 15 minutes. I can't wait to try it. It got rave reviews.

Comment edited on: 1/27/2010 11:50:36 PM

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CASSIES 1/27/2010 9:43PM

    Sounds great to me. Pop an aspirin with that really does wonders for the muscles.

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JUSGETTENBY42 1/27/2010 8:52PM

    Sounds like you have it on a good course, in spite of the soreness. keep it up

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Hula hooping, anyone?

Sunday, January 24, 2010

You all know that I've not hula hooped in a long time - only once or twice since March last year. I've been doing tons of walking and, recently, a lot of free weights.

Well, yesterday, I was going to have it be a sorta-rest day, with just some ab work.

But it was already two hours since I'd woken up, and everyone else was still asleep ... so I stuck a DVD (Zathura) into my laptop, filled up a 1.5 litre bottle of water, and pulled out the hoop, intending to do a half hour to 40 minutes. I know I need some core work - I can barely hold a plank for 30 seconds! And I'm down to 5 or fewer pushups. Grrr. I *liked* being able to do 60 when I finished the 100-pushups program (never *did* the actual 100, though, topped out at 60!)

The movie was FUN. The kids were little hams, but the story was quite entertaining - I *love* the premise of a game that actually makes things happen "in the real world" - so I kept going after the half hour mark.

One hour passed, and I was still enjoying the movie and the hooping, and there was no sign of an ending yet. I figured maybe another ten to twenty minutes, so I kept going. Only, faster and harder (try it, I promise you'll be drenched with sweat, too!)

The movie finally ended - I'd got in 100 minutes of hula hooping, was decently sweaty, wasn't sore, had drunk 6 cups of water.

Yeah! That's what I call a fun workout.

Did some work for several hours (yeah, that stuff is addictive)

Then I got myself a ride to the mall. Walked back and forth lots, having a fun, drawn-out cooldown session. Threw in some quick stretches, too. Woohoo!

Got a ride home, got on a conference call with my work. That was supposed to be a half-hour call. It ended 90 minutes later. Unlike my friend Rita, I don't pace while on the phone. Instead, I was in bed, tucked up with my laptop on my lap (nice lap-warmer!), two BlackBerry phones in my hands, and my own cell phone on speaker-phone. That was 90 minutes of excitement. :D

And, because I stayed busy all day, I ate decent portions at each meal.

And I fell asleep before 8. I think. I have no real clue. Woke up in the middle of the night to turn the laptop off and went right back to sleep instead of playing on SP like I normally would've done. :D Woke up just after 4. Whee! I love sleep!

So yesterday goes down as a win-win-win! I may need to make that a win-win-win-win!


emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Mmmm - some day! :D

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WYOWILDDEE 1/26/2010 4:04PM

    I suppose trying to hula hoop could count. I haven't been able to hula hoop as an adult though I taught my girls by failing myself and they caught on anyway. Way to go... sounds like a wonderfully productive day!

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ANEPANALIPTI 1/26/2010 3:07PM

    OK that sounds GREAT!!!!!!!!!!!!! Dayummmmmmmmmmmm!

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WEALHTHEOW 1/24/2010 10:48PM

    That's awesome! Personally, I HATE hate hate planks and push-ups, but the hooping sounds like fun! What a great idea. I'm glad I'm not the only one who watches movies while exercising. My recent faves for the treadmill are "Funny Face" (great for desiring to acquire the Audrey Hepburn figure and the awesome score) and "Dawn of the Dead" (excellent for getting the ol' heart rate up!). Keep it up, I know you'll have a great wk ahead. :-) Thanks for the fun blog!

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TRAYINTEX 1/24/2010 10:33PM

    SOOOO glad to see you picking up the hoop again! Missing you! What a great day! You are an inspiration Wonder woman!!

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CHRISTFIEND 1/24/2010 9:49PM

    Maya, I just love you!!! Finding a fun way to get your exercise and to find a dream body to envision for your future. You are awesome with your hooping. I couldn't hoop that long.

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MELTEAGUE 1/24/2010 9:42PM

    Nothing like having FUN while you are at it! good for you! I would not be able to last 5 min, I just cannot hoop!
have a great week !!!!

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LIS193 1/24/2010 12:40PM

    Your day sounds like fun! That's a lot of hula hooping... keep it up and you'll have a tiny waist.

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MRSHONEYC 1/24/2010 9:57AM

    WOO HOOO on one HUNDRED hula hooping minutes!!!! And SUPER JOB on better food choices!
I'd go bonkers if I had to sit still OR be in bed on the phone! I've GOTTA move! LOL
SEXY hooping pic - man, I'd like to be that svelte!

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SALEE100 1/24/2010 8:27AM

    Sounds like a great day! Full of a variety of activity... that's what I like!

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Another week, no drama! :)

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Phew! Another week done! It's been a busy week for me ... up at 4 most mornings, off to the gym to do the strength training, then the 3 mile walk to work, BUSY at work (working on 2 projects, both of which have tight deadlines), then *rushing* to catch the streetcar, the subway and the bus back home, grab a quick dinner, asleep by 8:30 or 9 most nights! And because I'm asleep early, I wake up early again (haven't needed an alarm clock for years!).

So, time to look back at the week. What did I achieve?

Work-wise, I managed some more small miracles. Yay. And it looks like it'll be getting even busier than it's already been this year - can't believe a twelfth of the year is almost up! Sheeeeeesh! Time sure flies when you're having fun!

On the exercise front, I've been doing great with the strength workouts. I no longer procrastinate about catching that super-early bus, so I'm typically in the gym by a quarter to seven. That gives me time to get to the "big guns" (the squat cage, the barbell-bench setups) before the 7 a.m. crowd gets in. Yay. :)

I'm not making much progress on the upper-body strength increases, I'm noticing. Maybe I'm just too wimpy to up the weights there? I dunno. I'll keep watching.

Legs, though? AWESOME! I'm at 125 pounds on both squats and lunges with the barbell! Yay, me! That's 20 pounds more than I ever managed in the "my best strength training days" 15 years ago! And I know I've not topped out there, because I feel I could get much higher than that if I keep focused. Those standing calf raises? I'm already at 195 pounds - my goal for the end of Feb is 215, and I know I'll be doing that before too long. Super!

There is an issue, though - I'm on the verge of getting bored. Even though I try to vary the routine at least in terms of mixing up the days and/or upping the weights and/or reps per exercise, throwing in at least one different exercise for each body part each week, and so on.

In fact, yesterday, I was BORED. So instead of upping the weights on the back, biceps, triceps and shoulders, I DROPPED the weight. By about 50%.

And I got in a fabulous workout anyway, because this time I focused hard on each muscle as I worked, got every muscle actually worked to the point of *burn* - that was a great feeling! And that's why I know that even a 5-pound dumbell can really help build muscle, if you focus and work at keeping perfect form and resist against the weight on each and every rep.

I'd intended to get to the swimming pool. Didn't happen. I'm going to see how to get a swim-pass for the community centre - maybe the weekends are my best bet to get in a swim, given that weekdays seem to be too full already.

My weight? Didn't budge. But I'm okay with that. I'm working out HARD on weekdays, and I'm eating close to 3,000 calories a day, so obviously the weight isn't going to change. To lose weight, I'd have to get to the low 2,000s. And it does work - *every* time I do a 2,000 to 2,200 calorie day, the next day the Wii Fit gets all excited and tells me I've "lost" weight. Yeah. Sure. :D Then I eat normally (for me) and the next day the stupid thing is all, "Why do you think you gained weight?"

Because I ate plenty. Duh.

I'm hoping some of the current weight is muscle. Given the fit of my pants, though? Not bloody likely. :P

So ... we're back to the eternal question. Do I really WANT to lose weight?

And I have to say, right now, the answer is: not so much. Not so much that I'm willing to focus on it. Not so much that I'm willing to cut back on calories. Not even so much that I'm willing to do ANYTHING out of my current routine. Which brings me back to "NOT SO MUCH!"

Sigh. I know this is supposed to be a weight-loss site. For me, it's always been more of a do my own thing site! :D I love reading about others who ARE losing weight. I just don't do that very consistently.

I DO enjoy every minute of my life, so there's no great motivation to actually do anything to lose the weight. :D

I'm happy. I love my body, bumps and rolls and all - it's a tremendously impressive organism! It's fit, it's healthy, it's totally awesomely strong ... it's PERFECT for ME!

And that, my friends, is both the curse and the boon - it's a happy, well-adjusted body. Why would I muck with that? :)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MELTEAGUE 1/23/2010 7:02PM

    Good job for being honest with yourself and with do what you gotta do ...and HEY YOU BETTER GET TO THE POOL GIRL!!!! it's a DARE...Challenge...whatever... I wanna hear that you atleast GOT WET!!!
thanks for the Anniversary wishes! ...had a great day....

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CHRISTFIEND 1/23/2010 1:04PM

    Maya, I think if we all felt the way you feel about your body, we wouldn't need so much yo-yo dieting. You are doing great with your workouts!!!

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SALEE100 1/23/2010 11:58AM

    SP is what you make it and to me SP is a fitness site... I use it to maintain and track my calories in and out.

Great blog! emoticon emoticon

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ANNARUTH2 1/23/2010 10:34AM

    Just being on here , you give us inspiration! Thank you, Maya!

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BEAR14GSB 1/23/2010 7:45AM

    Maya, I wish I had your healthy body image. :) You are a continual inspiration.
Thanks for your blogs. Even though I don't comment every time, I read every one and enjoy them completely.
Great job on the exercise. The weight will work itself out if you keep exercising like that.

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