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How to Fall Gracefully in a Gym Full of Grunting Men

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

...that was the question on my mind during my stretches today. I tend to spend a good 10-15 minutes stretching after every workout. And, yes, I include it as part of my workout because I want to see it as progress and not think of it as something I don't need to do. (It IS something I need to do!) What's more, I tend to challenge myself even in my stretches by trying new Yoga moves, or trying to hold them longer or getting deeper into them, etc.

My stretching routine generally starts with a simple forward bend. Then it goes immediately into downward dog. From there I bring each knee in for about 15-20 seconds to further stretch out the calf of the straightened leg. Back to downward dog (my heels ALMOST touch the mat now!!) and then into upward dog. Once I get a get a good stretch in Cobra, I move to my butt and start stretching out my legs ...a lot! (Especially now because I've noticed how much it's needed after those tight few days.)

So after my workout today (Chest & Tris) I head right over to my mat in the corner to start my stretches. Recently I've added in a Standing Split...


...and have been working on getting my head closer to my knee. This morning I decided I would challenge myself to bring my arms in a little more. (FYI - right now both arms are still on the floor supporting me and providing balance.) Little did I know how much I really did workout my back/bis/chest/tris and how that would affect me today.

I do my forward bend.
Much better, no longer so tight, but there's still a little tension.
And then I put my hands forward on the mat to go into downward dog...
and I nearly fall right on my face. *lmao* I did actually snort a laugh. My arms were screaming "NO MORE" but I had to do my stretches, so I took it as easy on them as I could (which, added bonus, I think worked my core a lot more as I tried to stabilize myself). I did get my arms closer to my toes in my split and the rest of the stretch wasn't so bad.

I did think one big thing though...I do a LOT of stretching of my legs/back (mostly because that's what needs it with the back issues I've had in the past, the hip misalignment and the PF, which is most likely caused by tightness in my calf) but I have very few moves to stretch out my arm muscles. I went through my memory of every arm stretch I'd ever seen someone do or had ever done or ever saw displayed online or in magazines or anywhere and...well, I couldn't think of very many at all. So that's my new hunt for the day...ARE there more arm stretches out there that I haven't considered? Certainly my biceps and triceps are going to be screaming for some of them very soon!

The good news: I did NOT fall on my face in a gym full of grunting men.

Other things of note: I managed to amaze myself yesterday. Got up at 4am, at the gym on time, hit the weights as hard as I could (even with the biceps issue), got to work a tad bit early, worked my butt off most of the day, had an awkward meeting with some higher ups (sorta), managed to stay on task food/calorie wise, even when lunch was provided, got scolded by my boss for no real reason (she told me she was just giving everyone the same speech), and by 5:30pm I was across the street getting things set up for our big event that was to start in 30 minutes. Acted as moderator of our group panel discussion, sounded less nervous than one of the panelists (I wanted to hug her and teach her breathing techniques!) and then managed to wiggle my way out of there finally around 8:05pm so I could head home to my boys. Was in bed by 10pm and up again this AM at 4:45am (rushed around to get ready and managed my workout this morning too). PLEASE remind me of this when I'm thinking it's too hard and I'm too busy. I just kept telling myself, "It has to be more important to you than anything else. Once it's done, something else can be more important, but not right now. This is #1."

Of course, today I'm exhausted. Getting off 2 hours early will certainly help. My arms are sore, but I feel alright really. Very, very tired. But alright. I had a bit of a freak out moment last night when I thought of trying to add cardio to that stint yesterday, but I just keep telling myself that I'll do what I can and let that be okay. If I can't follow exactly to a T the cardio intensity or time goal, then I'll do what I can of it and that will have to be good enough. I don't have the luxury Jamie has of spending whatever time she wants in the gym because that's who she is and what she does. I have kids, a Hubs (I can't quite remember what he looks like anymore, but I know he's there.), a serious job, people depending on me, and a whole future ahead of me to plan for. Tired is no excuse, but overtrained and overworked is. I will do what I can, trying to get everything in but not beating myself up if I miss a day of cardio because my job needs my attention or my kids are given an award and they want me to come see them receive it.

Last night my youngest son was honored by the county Board of Education.
Yesterday my oldest son was informed that he has two pieces of artwork being placed in the county Art Show.

Sometimes you have to take the time out to be a proud Momma too! ;)

Two more days this week.
Four and a half more days of eating on track.
Down another .8 pounds this AM.
I do NOT want to lose this streak. (This is what my weight is supposed to do when I'm losing steady - down a few ounces each day on a steady incline. I know my body. Even with the added stress, it's hangin' in there because I'm treating it well.)
Phase I is almost done.
Time to give it my all!

EDIT: As a reward for all my hard work, the Spark Bonus Wheel graced me with a $10 gift certificate to the Spark Store. Anyone have suggestions for how I should spend it? I already checked...there's no foam roller. *lol* (It's on my list of "needs" right now.) Recommendations...and GO!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SASXONTHEMOVE 4/23/2012 7:45PM

    I have a foam roller and a marble rolling pin. I need to use them both more often. but when it's your hammies it's a little harder to roll out. but it hurts so good!

arm stretches:
I do most of them in y P90X stretch, especially the second bicep one.

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RUSSELLORAMA 4/21/2012 12:33AM

    Oh, the foam roller! Such sweet torture.

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NINJA_SMOO 4/19/2012 10:39AM

  You can use your rolling pin or any other sturdy cylindrical item instead of a foam roller. The circumference of my rolling pin is a little small, but it does work. No need to go purchase another item, just make sure you wash it before you cook with it ;)

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K-GETTING-FIT 4/18/2012 7:49PM

    LOL...I snorted. I HAVE fallen and not gracefully after doing the leg presses years ago. Was like a rubberband woman.

WTG on the stretching. I could not do this without stretching. I stretch during rests. My hams need major stretching.

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BLUENBLONDE 4/18/2012 2:46PM

    snorted my water about the head line then just had to sit back and read your blog. Fantastic pose btw. I am inspiried to try some yoga after my cardio. emoticon

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LOWFATFOODIE 4/18/2012 1:41PM

    You are a Rock Star!
Down dogs after working out with weights. woooo... I won't be running out to try that anytime soon. one of my least favorite yoga moves with my wrist tendinitis/tennis elbows
You're so good to include stretching time... I am still working on being better with that. wishing I had made it a habit when the workouts were only 40 minutes.

Keep it up! You're inspiring!

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RICHILA 4/18/2012 12:03PM

    Your title cracked me up- I am glad you didn't actually fall. I am in awe of all the stretches you can do.

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BOB240 4/18/2012 12:00PM


also eat more tuna..

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ATROTTIER 4/18/2012 11:16AM

    I found this article on basic stretching and there are a good 4-5 arm/upper body stretches on here:

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ATROTTIER 4/18/2012 11:11AM

    Yay on not falling in the gym!!! I feel so clumsy all the time, and I have fallen in my kickboxing class once...luckily nobody saw because that was a long time ago when I used to stay in the back of the class. You are doing so great with time management with this program, that is so awesome! Hmm...I looked in the store, the water bottles are cool and the gym bag but I'm sure you have all that stuff I guess I don't have a great suggestion for you on that one. Happy Wednesday!! =)

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MAGPIE17 4/18/2012 11:05AM

    WTG, E!

Just a note on downward dog - you should be putting as much weight in your legs as your arms....the arms aren't supposed to do the brunt of the work. My yoga instructor gave me the following instructions when I had a private session with her, and we started with downward dog - when you get into the pose, make sure your ribcage is tucked in (as opposed to sticking out -you don't want to be doing an extra backbend), get up on your tippy-toes with your butt in the air to stretch out your back, then settle back onto your feet while keeping your butt up and back to keep the back stretch. You should still feel the stretch in your legs, but you'll have the weight more evenly balanced and hopefully your arms won't give out after a hard workout! ;)

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HEALTH-E-CLARE 4/18/2012 9:53AM

    Nicely done on the workouts and stretching. I need to make stretching a bigger part of my workouts... Congrats to your kiddos, what an impressive group of little people you have!

Keep it up!

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ROMNEY3 4/18/2012 9:47AM

    Going great, keep it up. I do agree with the adapting the program to fit your life. That is what it is all about after all. And FAMILY is important!

I think I will do my cardio portion at another time of day also. Like you said just can't spend hours in the gym. and I can do cardio at home if I need too.

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    Man I feel like I worked out just reading all that! You are a machine baby! You may have just nudged me to try yoga. Lucky you for the $10 at the store! WOOT! Hard work is rewarded in all kinds of ways!

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BAYBELIEVER 4/18/2012 9:34AM

    Awesome! What a day, and you made it through! I am especially happy to see you so happy about that! Good for you on all accounts!

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JEREMY723 4/18/2012 9:31AM

    It makes me tired just reading! Glad that everything is going well for you and hoping the scale follows suit. If it doesn't just remember that will follow, just might not be at the same time.

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TUCKERKT 4/18/2012 9:31AM

    emoticon I too have to smack my brain sometime when I want to workout more and my body just won't let me because I have been burning the candle at both ends. Sounds like you are doing great and finding a way to start and balance it all!

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Three Quarters Done with Phase I

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

I've found it helpful lately to think in these terms. Percentages done and chipping away at the totals. For example, I'm in Week 4 of 4 weeks of Phase I, which means I'm more than 3/4 of the way done with the first 1/3 of the program. Not sure that I've ever stuck it out this long with anything before and I have no plans on stopping anytime soon. What's more, there were 21 scheduled workouts for the month of April and after this morning's Back & Biceps workout, I'm 11/21, which means I'm more than halfway there! (Plus, I get the added bonus of my strength and rowing circuit with Tanner last week, but I'm not counting it because it's just a bonus workout.) My calendar is starting to look mighty pretty. (Okay, calendars. I have two really - one has stars, the other using the Easter stickers I got right after Easter. *lol* The Easter ones are adorable, while the stars are shiny. :) )

This morning went pretty well. I'm lifting a lot heavier (if you want to know what my workout was, check Tuesday of last week, though I have increased the weights on some of them) and feeling a lot stronger. Plus, I'm already starting to see "regulars" at the gym. People don't look at me funny anymore. I'm just another regular. Another devoted morning lifter. I like that feeling.

This morning I had a rather pleasant chat with an older woman in the locker room. She piped up with, "So are you a heavy lifter or are you just working out?" *lol* I think she's noticed me grunting with the boys these past few weeks. I told her about the LiveFit program and told her about my reasons to do it (four weeks of no cardio to let my foot heal - which it is doing, though VERY slowly). She didn't doubt me or talk about how I should try to do more or give me some BS about "bulking up" or anything. She just said, "I need to do that!" and started asking more about the program. I told her about and said she could put in her age and fitness goal and it would give her several programs to choose from - she kept repeating the website to herself, vowing not to forget it.

Yep, a 50 year old + just asked me for advice.
And I was able to provide it.
I feel much taller today.

Only downsides to this morning:

1) I think I may have pushed a teeny bit too hard on my curls because my left bicep kept screaming at me. Thing is SORE as sore can be, and this isn't DOMS. I tried to ease up on it a bit at the end, but I couldn't even finish my last rep of hammer curls at the end because it just would NOT go. Poor thing. I'ma take good care of it for the next few days.

2) I'm deathly afraid that the hyperextension machine is going to break on me. *lol* We have two of these things. One is like Superwoman back extensions where you're literally laying flat in the "air" (with supports under your belly and over top of the back of your feet to keep you in place). That's what I did last time because I couldn't find the regular back extension machine (the one that sits at about a 45 degree angle). I found the regular one today and went for it. But the squeaks! OMG! I was sure it was about to snap off on me! Still managed my 3 sets of 10 and quickly moved on.

On a positive note(s):

1) My arms look smaller, if only just to me. Plus, they look more solid. Actually, they look bigger and smaller at the same time. And I'm sure that doesn't make sense to anyone but me and my boys, who remark on how solid my shoulders are become and see the bumps in my arms where the muscles are separating and growing strong. *proud*

2) I've been tight in my right hamstring (and other areas of my legs) for days now. Probably since last Friday. Usually a forward bend is no problem whatsoever, but the past few days...UGH! It's felt weird to not be so flexible. After two days of really focusing on stretching it out, I finally managed to do a forward bend without pain today after my workout. Phew! Going to have to remember not to ever sacrifice my stretching time. I know from the PF how friggin' important stretching is. (Seriously, this is KEY advice to anyone ever working out anything EVER. *lol*)

A few side notes:

1) Still scared about starting up cardio next week. Yes, my foot is healing. It gets better every day and better still every week. My major fear is that I'm going to sacrifice the healing process by bringing cardio back too soon.

That being said, I've been flipping around ideas in my head.

A) I could do 3 days of cardio instead of 4.
B) If 30 minutes is too much at first, I can do 15 or 20 for the first couple weeks.
C) Cardio options - bike, swim and (MAYBE) fast walking.

Yea, my shoes are shot. No arch support and there are visible holes in the top lining. I need new shoes stat...just have to find a good online deal or something because I super can't afford this (but I certainly can't afford to continue or worsen this injury either).

2) My Hubs is pissed at my diet habits lately. *lol* I've been cooking a LOT of my own meals, but apparently the kids and Hubs are afraid to eat anything I leave in the fridge for the week. I told Hubs today that he is welcome to join me in eating the healthy foods, but he just needs to tell me when we're almost out of something so I can replace it/make more/buy more/make adjustments. I may have to correct this situation a bit next week.

3) I need new recipes. There are only so many bowls of chili and turkey meatloaf muffins a girl can eat! So I need to seriously sit down and figure out the macros of each recipe so I can make substitutions properly and prepare a wider variety of foods.

4) I need to buy more protein powder and eggs tonight. *lol* Sorry, busy head today so I need some place to remind me of my shopping list. Oh, and baking soda! And canned pumpkin!! And walnuts!! *lol*

5) I notice when I don't take my vitamins. Had to ice last night my ankle, hip and knee of my right leg (might have something to do with the tightness in that leg too). Realized I've skipped my vitamins for several days now and have felt tired and sluggish and slow and tight and sore...moreso than normal. (Could also be TOM symptoms, but either way, the vitamins can't hurt, right?! *pops 'em*)

Busy day today.
Big meeting today with the boss' boss, basically (best way to describe it).
A "defend your work" type meeting.
And lunch is being provided, which most people would love but for me is just added stress.
And then tonight after work I have to work another 2+ hours facilitating a work event. Should be interesting. (Though it's nice that they picked me to do this.)

Okay, gotta run. Already missed my first snack time (see, the day is going to be like this all day, I'm sure) and my head is fuzzy so my body is PISSED! *lol*

Happy Lifting!!
For those still with me, how far into Phase I are you?
Any fears for Phase II?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LOWFATFOODIE 4/17/2012 5:06PM

    Great job Esther! You have actually made it past the "habit" mark. (21 days of doing something has set a habit- making it easier to continue).

Watch out for overdoing on weights- so if your biceps are in pain or you can't complete reps, maybe you are pushing a little over what you should. Remember you're supposed to be pushing 80% of maximum in weeks 3 and 4. It goes up to 85% in weeks 5 and 6 (so, you may just leave the weight the same for next week, because you'll have lower # of reps)

If you don't feel healed, than that is the most important thing. Reinjuring an *almost* healed foot is maddening. So any of your strategies seem like good compromises.
Its only supposed to be medium intensity in Phase 2, so anything you listed will do.
And if it came down to it, skipping one more week of cardio, won't take away from the other work you're doing.
I'd say try one of the alternates you listed, then decide how many days your foot can handle it. If only 3 or 2, then so be it.

As always, you're

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MAGPIE17 4/17/2012 1:04PM

    I'm going to check out the programs at Thanks for sharing, E! Hope the meeting goes well!

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ERIN1128 4/17/2012 12:15PM

    Sounds like it's going well!

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ROMNEY3 4/17/2012 11:48AM

    started week three yesterday, I will tell you the today my legs feel like LEAD! But in a good way, right?!

Good job on thinking ahead to the cardio. I really can't wait for that. I love me some cardio!

have a great week!

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KKINNEA 4/17/2012 11:18AM

    Hey lady, again I owe you mail! I hear you in my head reminding me to stretch at the end of each workout! We are totally kicking this thing!

I should have time this weekend to rifle through my recipes and try to figure some things that fit into the eating plan so you can add more variety in :)

You are totally kicking rear end on this thing. Your plan for cardio looks smart to me. That was the phase that was hard for me last time because I thought you absolutely needed to do the cardio immediately after the lift but my fitness friend at work assured me as long as it was done same day, it could be at any time.

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BOB240 4/17/2012 10:59AM

    new recipe... tuna :P

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BAYBELIEVER 4/17/2012 10:32AM

    Oh! I get the arms thing!! I see my arms looking bigger too, but more defined and beautiful. It is really odd. And measurements show they are the same so go figure!

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VICKYMARIEC 4/17/2012 10:20AM

    Great job! Just take your time with your foot. Once you start you'll be able to tell when it's too much too soon.

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    Great job girl! I've been meaning to ask if you use a foam roller at home to release the soreness from your muscles? I have to go down and roll my shoulder blades and hamstrings so I can get through another Turbo Fire tonight. Back and Bi's really killed me Sunday so I can't imagine the soreness you're encountering!

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Face Facts and Move On - LiveFit Week 4, Day 22

Monday, April 16, 2012

I know I was rather vague yesterday, but I was seriously not in the mood to talk. My plan to eat less during the week and then more on the weekends, a sort of "spike day" or whatever...which worked amazingly well the week before, well, that plan crashed and burned. For three days in a row I was seeing sub-300 numbers on the scale. Three blissful days in a row I felt like I'd FINALLY figured it out. And I almost gave up my plan for spiking on Friday, but I've been trying to follow this, "Go through with what you set out to do...don't back out or second guess yourself." plan of action. So while I got to see an amazing (and wrong, I'm sure) 294 on Friday morning, the result of my "spike day" landed me at 307 the next day.

*falls to her knees*

I was devastated. I knew it was from bloat and water weight and high sodium and all that. I honestly knew that in my own head. And had it been something like 301 or 302, I would have been able to take it knowing I could just drink a crapton of water and eat really well on Saturday and weigh-in could still be a success. But 13 pounds is just too high a hurdle to jump. I know my body. I know the fluctuations it makes from day to day. It wasn't going to let me have my sub-300 official weigh-in this week no matter what I did.

So I did what I do best. I said, "Screw you then!" and ate whatever I wanted. And felt like complete crap afterward, but somehow got it out of my system without making things too awful bad. I was defeated on Saturday. I slept on and off most of the day. I felt weak and stupid and like I had, once again, wasted another week.

But then I woke up on Sunday. And I decided that a week like I had last week was NOT wasting a week. While no one can see my muscles (they probably never will at this rate), I know they're there and getting stronger. I set out to do the best I could for myself on Sunday, and reformulated a plan of action. No spike day this week. We seem to be good sticking around 2000-2200 calories. Not sure yet if I'll have to start eating back my exercise calories soon as I'm netting around 1800+ but adding in cardio is going to up the calorie burn, so I'm going to probably have to change things up again when that starts.

I set to work yesterday and cooked:
Fried Tofu
Fried Rice
Brown Rice (plain)
Grilled Chicken Breast
Green Beans & Tomatoes
Chicken Zucchini Burgers
Chicken Meatloaf Muffins
Chocolate Banana Protein Bars

It was a LONG day. I ate within my ranges even WITH the pancakes Ethan made me for breakfast and a couple cups of coffee my way (with full fat, full sugar creamer foamed on top). Logan had already made me some of my Chicken Chili so that was already in the fridge ready to go. I should have more than enough for this week, and Hubs and the boys even ate half of my burgers yesterday! *lol* (Finally, something healthy that Ethan likes! And Hubs had two!)

So, in the end, am I mad about Friday? Well, yes and no.

I woke up early and ate a healthy breakfast.
The boys and I left the house around 8:45am and stopped at a couple stores before heading to the city.
On the way out of town, Ethan said he was hungry, and I realized I should probably eat something again soon or my workout was going to be sacrificed. We went to McD's. I got a fruit and yogurt parfait and ate 1/2 (top of the yogurt and some blueberries). It was just TOO sweet!
Got to the gym around 10:15am or so.
A little over an hour later (okay, around 11:40am) I'm getting called out of the locker room over the PA system. Guess the daycare area closed at 11:30am and I was running behind. I paid the girl (and tipped her) and then told the boys to sit still while I went and finished putting my things away.
Around noon, we left the parking lot and headed off to eat. I asked the boys what they wanted and we ended up at what I like to call "the sushi buffet". They have Chinese food as well, and some random americanized type things, and then they bring out sushi fresh and you can pick what you want from the options. Unfortunately, they were doing a lot of things coated in eel sauce and spicy mayo, so I stuck to the things I knew I liked.
I did pretty well at the buffet. I didn't overstuff myself. I did have some fried rice (they have some of the best around, hands down) and a few pieces of sweet & sour chicken (w/o the sauce) but I mostly had sushi and vegetable vermicelli noodles. I had about 2 bites of ice cream and a few bites of one of those little cake things and that was it.
(Chinese buffets are evil. Even when you're good, it's bad.)

After eating the boys and I went shopping. Got our puppy Champ a new kenel/bed as he had outgrown his old one. (This one is HUGE and I doubt he'll outgrow it ever!) Also got him a new stuffing free toy for free with my pet perks card. I tried on some jeans at CATO, and decided that since I now fit into 20s there (but snug), I refuse to buy anything there until I can wear an 18 (this may also have to do with the fact that I'm broker than broke right now *lol*). Went to the bookstore and got Ethan and I a few more books in the series we have been reading. And Ethan checked out some things at Dick's Sporting Goods where he had a $20 gift card but everything he wanted was at least double that. *lol*

Finally, even though I was exhuasted, I drove the boys up to the movie theatre. We had planned to see Mirror, Mirror but had missed our show time and didn't want to wait around for the next one. So, somehow, the boys talked me into going to see Hunger Games...again. (I'd already seen it, and didn't care for it all that much, but they hadn't seen it yet.) It was a great place to get a nap, I tell ya! Boys were occupied and the room was dark and I wasn't interested in what was happening, so *snore*. *lol* I slept through about half of it and felt much better after waking up.

I did eat a bit of popcorn and a small handful of Snocaps, but honestly, I thought I'd done pretty well.

Before heading home, I grabbed some water and a sweet tea (the tea was simply something to buy so they'd give me a cup of water and not a stupid bottle).

We got back to town and hit up the grocery store, where we picked up a few things for dinner Friday/Saturday. The boys talked me into a cookout (with hotdogs), and I got a bag of chicken for the week.

The only thing I "regret" on Friday was that I ate BOTH a Reese's PB Egg AND a Chocolate Covered Peep. I should've just picked one. Not sure what happened there.

Anyhow, while I thought I'd done pretty well considering (save the last thing), it meant a 13 pound boost on the scale and the loss (once again) of my sub-300 numbers.

So, yeah...that's what happened. And Saturday was much worse. But Sunday I was back on track.


One more week to get through and I'll have completed all of phase I. I can't quit now. Even though I'm exhausted and I have a LOT on my plate this week. I must get through it. I must pull through.

1) I think TOM has hit. This isn't exactly easy for me to tell since I'm on BC, but I feel super sluggish for no apparent reason.
2) I've been trying to quit smoking. So that's added some stress.
3) I have a presentation today...and I don't feel quite ready for it.
4) I have a big meeting tomorrow with my boss' boss and I'm hoping he understand that my numbers only LOOK bad because I've taken on all the crap no one else wanted to do and got it done.

Going to go try not to fall asleep while I go back through my PowerPoint presentation. *sigh* Wish me luck!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RUNNER12COM 4/18/2012 1:02PM

    You may not have intended to write a motivational blog, but you did. We all can relate to the bad choices, the frustration, the giving up, and most importantly... the rallying back.

You're doing great!

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KKINNEA 4/16/2012 2:15PM

    Girl, you made it through and that is what's important! I'll send ya a SparkMail soon - we've got this last week in hand, I just know it!!

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SUGARSMOM2 4/16/2012 1:27PM

  Hey a great day with the children . they make a day special . I love spending time with my great grandsons . they say such cute things . I get to see life through their eyes . a wake up call for sure . Hang in there . all will come out in the wash . just kidding . It will fool you and you will have a hugh drop on the scales . a big plus .

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LOWFATFOODIE 4/16/2012 1:22PM

    Good job on re-Committing!!! Your efforts for the last THREE weeks are NOT wasted. As long as you don't stop, you'll just keep getting closer to your goals!

Go LiveFit! Glad to have you on the team!

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ERIN1128 4/16/2012 12:08PM

    Hang in there!

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RACHEL-SPARKS 4/16/2012 10:24AM

    I have been toying with the idea of having a spike day as well. From what you are saying it is not the best thing to do. It sounds like you have so much fun with your husband and boys. I love how you keep going and are not allowing the gain to get you down. Have a great week. Hope work goes well.

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BAYBELIEVER 4/16/2012 9:12AM

    Hang in there! I know you will but wanted to share those words of wisdom with you anyway! LOL! You had a great day with your boys and that is something beyond measure!!

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My Own Special Form of Insanity - Day 18

Thursday, April 12, 2012

I am beat.
Like lay my head on the desk at work and hope no one hears me snore tired.
What the hell have I done??

Last night's workout was Chest & Triceps. By the time 5pm rolled around, I was already getting super sleepy. But I ate my Chicken Tomato Basil Pasta dish and felt a little bit better and finished up work and went straight to the gym. And did as promised - with some umph...which nearly killed my left quad...but...more on that later.

Heads up! Here comes the workout report (part 1)!

Chest and Tricpes
Wide Pushups - 3 sets of 10 reps*
Incline Dumbbell Press - 1 set @ 20, 2 sets @ 25
Flat Bench Dumbbell Flyes - 1 set @ 20, 2 sets @ 25
Decline Flyes - 3 sets @ 20**
Bench Dips - 10 reps, then 9, then 10***
Lying EZ-Bar Triceps Extension - 1 set @ 20, 2 sets @ 30
Dumbbell Tricep Kickbacks - 1 set @ 15, 2 sets @ 20
Tricep Extensions - 1 set @ 20, 1 @ 25, 1 @ 30****
One-Arm Rope Tricep Extensions (Pulldowns) - 1 set @ 30, 2 @ 25

Time: 57:50
Avg HR: 116
Max HR: 154
Cals Burned: 433
Fat Cals: 43%

* I'm not sure I get why we reduce the reps on this one when we aren't adding any weight. Maybe these are just a warm-up anyhow. Soon I'll be switching from modified to regular so I will need to back off reps for a bit then...but I don't get it yet. *shrug*

** HAHAHAHAHA! That's what's in my head everytime I'm trying to climb my behind up on that decline bench. And I just keep thinking when I get ready to lower my back, "OMFG. Please let me get back out of this when I'm done!" Hence me using smaller weights. Just nervousness and fear.

*** The video on shows Jamie doing these with her legs on a bench opposite. Now, me and my triceps don't much care for each other. This is hands-down the weakest part of my entire body. I'm a friggin' WIMP in the triceps, hard as I try to pretend I'm not. But I was about THIS close to actually tweaking my left quad coming up out of my second set of these. MUST be more careful! Have to remember that I may be strong, but I'm still heavy. Can't just always be throwing this weight around like it's nothing.

**** My only sign that my tris are actually improving. Next time I'll be trying the 35 or 40 because even the 30 wasn't as hard as I thought it would be. Of course, that rope thing that came next? HAHAHAHAHAHA! I barely completed #10 on each of those sets with my left arm. WEAKNESS TO BE ELIMINATED OVER TIME. MWAHAHA!

I grabbed my gear, made up my protein shake, went to the car and drove straight home. At home it was all I could do to stand long enough to make my evening omelet and then I was in bed, wide awake, unable to fall asleep. *bangs head on wall* I was exhausted, but my brain would NOT SHUT UP! (I've got a couple big work events coming up that I seem to keep "prepping" myself for at night before bed.) When I did finally fall asleep, I dreamt of my AB girls, so at least that was nice.


This morning it was all I could do to drag myself out of bed. Honestly, if Hubs hadn't been home, I would've slept right through the alarm...I know it! Thank goodness he got me up though. I could either do day 18 this AM OR do it half-a$$ed with no energy tonight after an hour-long trainer session. Yea, no...not happening.

The only real surprise this morning was ...okay, well, there were two. One - Hubs made me coffee. *lol* I haven't had time in the mornings this week so I've been hitting up McD's for my morning jolt. Two - I am quickly running out of prepped clean food. Because this weekend was such a flop with my batch cooking, I've been needing to make the next night's meal the night before after I get home from work. There was NO WAY that was happening last night, so I had enough for lunch and none for dinner but a salad. *bangs head on wall* Of course Hubs didn't cook at all last night (*snort* the thought of anyone assuming he would makes me laugh until it hurts) but went and got pizza from Little Caesar's instead. *sigh* "Screw it!" I said as I put two smallish pieces in a bag and plopped them in my lunch bag. If there was any day to "splurge" on pizza, today is the day. I've been averaging about 400 calories with each lifting routine, and the trainer is bound to get me to do at least 300 calories worth of effort, so - Hell yea! I'm having the friggin' pizza!


So today's workout was legs again. I was nervous because I'm still a little sore from Monday, but it really wasn't all that bad. In fact, I was surprised at some of my increases. I did swap out the "walking lunges/forward lunges" with something a bit more forgiving on my foot/ankle - I just put my foot on a bench behind me and it didn't cause the same amount of pressure through the back of my ankle. MUCH better! You can tell from the lift weight! ;)

Leg Extensions - 1 set @ 90, 2 sets @ 100
Wide Stance Barbell Squat - 1 set @ 65, 1 @ 85, 1 @ 95
Barbell Lunges - 1 set @ 40, 1 @ 70, 1 @ 90
Single-Leg Kettlebell Deadlift - 1 set @ 30, 2 sets @ 35
Lying Leg Curls - 1 set @ 70, 1 @ 80, 1 @ 85
Seated Calf Raises - 1 set @ 90, 1 @ 100, 1 @ 90
Standing Calf Raises - 1 set @ 85, 1 @ 95, 1 @ 100

Yes, I said 100. Because I lowered my number of reps, I was able to push a little harder. My calves are improving so super fast it's amazing to me! I remember my first standing calf raises felt like fire poured on hell in my legs, but today...well, you can see what strength I'm gaining. HAS to be muscle happening to be able to pull out those numbers, right?!

Time: 60 minutes
(remember, I let the timer run through my stretches, it was more like 50 minutes or so)
Avg HR: 113
Max HR: 159
Cals Burned: 418
Fat Cals: 43%

Seems I stay pretty well around 40% when I'm going strong but not crazy. Crazy workouts tend to lead to less % but higher cals burned. I've moved up from weeks 1 & 2 burning about 250-300 calories per session to burning around 400-450 each time. Can't imagine how high this will be in week 5 when Cardio makes a comeback. (I'm probably going to have to up my calories...AGAIN. *sigh*)

Speaking of Calories...

Yesterday -
Calories Consumed: 2207
Calories Burned: 433
Net Calories: 1774

Today (if I eat what I have planned) -
Calories Consumed: 2426
Calories Burned: 418 + ?
Net Calories: approx. 1600-1700-ish? (Assuming I burn 300-400 calories tonight.)

So, yeah. I told you today was the day to eat the pizza. *lmao*

Tomorrow I'll be eating a bit off plan as well. This week is the boys' spring break, and I haven't seen them pretty much all week. Tomorrow I have one more lift to do and I want to do it in the gym, not make it up at home. I figure I'll bring the kids with me (they have daycare for Ethan and said Logan can sit out in the main room and watch TV if he behaves) and after I'm done (and then take a quick shower) I'll take them to lunch and then out to see a movie. (We're thinking Mirror Mirror - anyone seen it yet?) As for lunch...maybe a sushi buffet...maybe something else. *shrug* Who knows.

BTW - Scale is being kind. Up a tiny bit today, but not much...and the soreness can account for much of that anyhow. Drinking lots of water and making lots of trips to the bathroom. *lol* Hoping for a happy weigh-in this weekend. I feel like I've ALMOST figured it out....we shall see, I suppose.

I'll let you all know how tonight goes! (And if I stay awake throughout the day and don't kill anyone -- tired Esther = grumpy Esther.)

Happy lifting!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SASXONTHEMOVE 4/14/2012 12:25PM

    you have been ROCKING it girlie! I am so super proud of you and all you have accomplished!

and why haven't I seen these blogs before? Guess I haven't been paying attention to the ticker on the right of the team pages. *off to read of your journey from the beginning*

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LOWFATFOODIE 4/13/2012 2:29PM

    100 lbs?! damn girl. You are AMAZING!
* Reduced reps probably because she doesn't want you to expend all your energy on the first exercise. P.S. this is your opportunity to improve form.
** I've been known to roll off the bench (well, yeah, fall) from time to time...
*** You can substitute just doing these straight leg with feet on the floor (sparkPeople has a demo). or up on a roller or a shorter step(another demo) or even bent legged if that helps you keep form with your Tricep dips. It gets better, I promise.

Keep it up! You're doing GREAT!

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BOB240 4/13/2012 11:14AM

    insanity is good.... welcome to the madhouse.

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K-GETTING-FIT 4/12/2012 11:44PM

    Way to go! You are banging out that weight. I feel weak now:)

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SUGIRL06 4/12/2012 9:14PM

    You are killing it at the gym girl!!! Way to go!
And when I work out that close to bed, I can't sleep at all. But you gotta do what you gotta do sometimes!

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BAYBELIEVER 4/12/2012 7:16PM

    Awesome! And I love that you are seeing results and enjoying them! Go sleepy Esther!!

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MARATHON_MOM 4/12/2012 2:02PM

    I'm amazed at your weights! Holy CRAP! I suddenly feel like a weakling. *hangs head in shame*

Way to rock it out, girl!!!

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KKINNEA 4/12/2012 12:01PM

    Sweet work!! My triceps are the weak part too although your calves sound like beasts compared to mine!

I'm taking it easy on tonight's legs too since 8 lbs caused me to seize up on my rear lunges on Monday.

I think this training makes you crave pizza - I'm having that today too!

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HEALTH-E-CLARE 4/12/2012 11:46AM

    Getting it done with killer workouts. I'm loving the results you're seeing in feeling, but wishing you weren't so exhausted, but that's life right!

Enjoy the pizza you've put in and will be putting in the effort with a double workout today.

Nicely done on the calf raises!

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VICKYMARIEC 4/12/2012 11:30AM

    WOW! You are goingstrong, but make sure that you don't over do it girl.

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ROMNEY3 4/12/2012 11:18AM

    How on earth do you do 100 calf raises? You are my hero! I am doing like 35 and it hurts. I am going to blame it on the repaired acchilles, still not back to normal, but I will keep going.

Enjoy the time with your boys tomorrow.

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ACCT1908 4/12/2012 10:26AM

    GEEEZZZ I'm sore and exhausted just reading your plan! YOU ARE ON IT!!!!

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You're Doing It Wrong! - LiveFit Week 3, Day 17

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

No workout to report yet. Hubs kept me up a little late last night, so I wasn't able to drag myself out of bed when I finally rolled over at 4:30am. No matter, I'll get it done tonight after work. Thankfully I usually tend to miss the rush since I don't get off until 6pm...hopefully that holds true again tonight, though tonight looks like a pretty simple night working Chest and Triceps.

I hopped on ( for those not in the know) this morning just to check my routine and OOPS! I'm doing it wrong! I've been lifting a bit heavier for sure, but I didn't remember that Jamie drops the sets from 12 reps to 10 in week three. Of course, this just means I can lift heavier because I don't have to sacrifice form on those last two reps. *big grin* Going to see what I can pull out tonight!

I did a little more research on this morning about those lunges too. Totally missed that the site actually gives you alternative exercises if you look for them. The alts for my "walking lunges" (which are just forward lunges for me as there's really no where to walk in my gym holding a huge barbell without risking smacking someone over the head with it) are...different kinds of lunges! *lmao* *facepalm* These include step-back lunges (or reverse lunges) and single leg splits, which are basically lunges with your back leg up on a flat bench. I'm actually thinking I'll try the latter. I think the new angle will take a lot of the pressure off my ankle and maybe will save me some PF pain. Foot is still super aggrevated today, so I need to find some alternative. If this doesn't work, I'll simply input some leg presses and call it good. Nobody can be perfect all the time, and I've got to ensure I'm saving my foot so I have some chance and hope of running again one day.

I have to say I've been getting a little nervous about adding in cardio in just a week and a half. I thought maybe I'd be more ready by then, but it doesn't really seem likely. The foot is better, for sure, but I haven't been doing stellar at all my stretches and such (trying to remedy that starting now) and my night brace? It doesn't last more than about an hour before I'm waking up stripping it off. The stupid thing is really uncomfortable, not to mention that I swell when I sleep (does anyone else do this?). No matter how much water I drink, I tend to swell at least a little bit while I'm sleeping at night. I figure it's just my body trying to repair itself in the best way possible, and as long as I keep up with my water it's nothing too awful bad. But it's the main reason I don't wear my rings to bed. In the morning I find them hugging my fingers just a little too tight and it's a bit annoying. When my foot swells, the straps start to hurt it and I actually wake up from the discomfort from the brace and take it off. Sometimes I don't even remember doing it. I still try to start out with it on, though. Maybe I should put it on while I'm "relaxing" before I go to sleep. Hrm....

Yesterday's calorie count ended up stellar as I was just over a net of 1800 calories. The scale rewarded me today with a sub-300 number (297.8 to be exact), but I'm not putting too much stock in that as I've seen it before and then I go back up the next day. Still, my one and only chance of breaking through is to continue on like I'm doing, and I have another net 1800 calorie day planned today. The best part about my meal plan today? I'm actually OVER on potassium. And I even forgot my banana this morning at home, so that's not in the meal plan at all. Some changes I've made? I made a batch of the Carrot Cake Protein Bars last night with walnuts in it. Figured it would only work to enhance the flavor and would boost my calories just a bit without me feeling like a friggin' cow.

Because I have been feeling like a cow lately. Yesterday, as I told my girl K, I kept looking at the clock thinking, "OMG! I have to eat AGAIN!?" *insert pouty face here* I seriously was not hungry ONE SINGLE SECOND OF THE DAY yesterday. In fact, at times it was a bit downright uncomfortable to feel full for so long. (Not overstuffed, but full.) I couldn't even muster the last few bites of my chili for lunch before I finally gave in and pushed it aside and figured it wouldn't hurt me to be 50 calories under what I expected or whatever.

Of course, to many people this sounds like a stupid thing to say. Most people want to eat more food on a "diet"...yea, I know. But when you're eating clean, healthy just don't quite realize until you do it how much food it actually takes to reach those high calorie goals that are set for the big girls like me. And it's not like one day I'll be able to eat less. I plan on keeping my body in top shape. I'd love to say I never stopped training. Sure there will be days or even weeks off here or there, but I'm a bit addicted to this feeling (can't believe I forgot that!) and I don't see myself stopping if/when I ever reach goal weight. And according to my calculations, whenever I'm training, even if I'm 170 pounds (considered healthy by BMI standards, which are crap because if I never lost another bit of muscle I'd be about 2% body fat at 170 pounds) I'd have to eat about 1900 calories to maintain my training energy and keep my body from losing all that hard-earned muscle.

Maybe it's the momentum talking. Maybe it's the feeling in my shoulders/arms/back of my legs (hello, Mr. Doms! Nice to feel you again!), but I've got this rush of pure hope running through me right now. Hope it doesn't break anytime soon. I still have a long way to go, but, surprisingly, I'm not thinking like that anymore.

You'll get a lot of weight loss advice on this site, but if I could give you just one thing that might keep you going - just one bit of advice to stop you from jumping off the "I can't do this anymore" cliff it would be this:

Throw out your scale.
Well, only if you take too much stock in what it says.
Stop thinking about "I've got THIS much weight to lose."
Invest in a way to test body fat measurement and aim for a lower percentage.
And when you go to the gym and lift heavy (seriously, girls...stop being wimpy about it! show those boys who really rules the world!), just think to yourself that you just spent the past 30-45 minutes challenging your muscles.
And know that the next time you come back to it, you'll be even stronger.
...but only if you treat your body right.

I've been here 2 1/2 weeks. That's it. 2 1/2 weeks spent solely focused on nothing but lifting and lifting heavy. I've had DOMS most days, usually with only one day not sore. But when I finally feel recovered and refreshed? It's the greatest feeling in the world.

And, I've changed my mind about what I said yesterday. I AM noticing changes. My stomach is shaping differently. I'm starting to lose a bit of those pesky rolls and it's actually starting to flatten out (take into account this means something totally different when you weigh 300 pounds, but still, it's noticable to me). Today I looked down while I was getting water, not bending over at the waist, and I saw my toes. Well, boobs, then a bit of toes peeping out at me. I see my calves popping out. I see my shoulders and arms getting the kinds of bumps that are supposed to be there...and that's when relaxed, not flexed. I'm not denying myself what I'm seeing or second-guessing myself. I see it. It must be. I've spent countless hours staring at myself in the mirror, hating my body. So why would I think I wouldn't recognize the changes that are taking place? Why do I need someone else to point them out to me? I know this body better than anyone because I've been obsessed over it, and over changing it, for so very long.

So, making a few minor adjustments at the gym tonight. Trying to figure out how I can take the boys to the city with me on Friday and workout and then maybe do something fun with them after (maybe a matinee) since it is their spring break. I think one of the gyms has child care and I think another may have a swim time available where people can bring their kids, but I need to verify that. Also have to call and get another trainer tryout and another weigh-in set up so I can see if my body fat % has improved at all.

Lots to do. But feeling good about it.
Happy lifting!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RUSSELLORAMA 4/15/2012 7:18PM


I'm so proud of you!

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BAYBELIEVER 4/12/2012 8:19AM

    Love hearing all this positive energy flowing from you! Keep it going girl!

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LOWFATFOODIE 4/11/2012 2:13PM

    LOVED reading this! Printing out the workouts from helps immensely with keeping on track (small changes sometimes- like the reps). I had the same reaction to eating the first 4 weeks. I got hungry in Phase 2.
Why aren't you on the LiveFit Spark Team?? come on over, we'd love to hear more about your progress!
Take care of your foot- even if you have to miss the first week of cardio in Phase 2. Or pick an exercise that has less impact (elliptical should be okay on the joints, but only you will know what is okay for your body). Swimming? (yeah, ugh, I hate swimming too).

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BOB240 4/11/2012 12:13PM

    ha! cardio.. losing your nerve eh ;) When I first went to a gym 30 years ago, The accepted and proven wisdom was that you lifted weights to lose weight. Cardio is important but I think it is overplayed because gyms make money out of getting people in and weights rooms are too scary. Elliptical s are more "person " friendly and inviting. I value CV work, but I tend to HIIT more as it is more efficient.

You're doing great. but don't look in the mirror - at this stage it won't help. Look at progress on scales and weights lifted. Look at the clothes that are too loose for you now..... don't invite negativity...

Yep-- lunges look silly but boy are they tough..

Don't measure bodyfat... no point now.

Look forward to workout posting..

Comment edited on: 4/11/2012 12:13:40 PM

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ERIN1128 4/11/2012 12:06PM

    Looking good!

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ROMNEY3 4/11/2012 10:27AM

    So glad to see you great attitude is back. Keeps me hopeful. Glad you found an alternative to the lunges. I will have to go look for one for the push ups (LOL).

Yup isn't it great to see the "big" guys in the gym look at you twice when you are lifting as much if not more than they are! I actually had a guy go back and get bigger weights standing next to me the other night. Almost fell over laughing at that one.

Have a great day!

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MARATHON_MOM 4/11/2012 9:16AM

    Abso-freaking-lutely a fantastic blog!!

I TOTALLY LOVE THIS PLAN! Your advice is wonderful, and I am already seeing muscle development changes too, and I'm only in week 2!!

I have been doing my workouts at home (we have a weight bench, so that isn't an issue) but some of the stuff is really difficult to sub for without the gym equipment, so I am going to check out a gym today!


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BEAUTIFUL_MEGAN 4/11/2012 9:15AM

    Your 'rush of pure hope' is absolutely contagious!! Thanks for sharing. Keep up the amazing work!

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