Saturday, October 13, 2012
Image from http://www.10thplanetjj.com/
My gym has planned a trip to Los Angeles to take classes with Eddie Bravo, the founder of 10th Planet Jiu Jitsu. After a couple of weeks of waiting for plans to be finalized, the trip was finally set for 1/7-1/11/2013. I purchased my ticket to get to Los Angeles yesterday, waiting to purchase my ticket with my coach Nate so we could travel together. There about 10 people from our gym going. It will be an intensive week of classes. In addition to working with Eddie Bravo, we will hopefully get to do some work with Joe Rogan and Renato Laranja, a couple of other famous faces of Jiu Jitsu. Several UFC fighters and Ronda Rousey also train the the 10th Planet Burbank gym, so it should be an interesting and exciting week.
My coach Nate (taller guy) with 10th Planet Jiu Jitsu founder Eddie Bravo.
Image from http://www.nextlevelcombat.com
I feel like a kid waiting to go to Disneyland (well, close enough, we'll be in Burbank), I am so freaking excited. I also can't wait to get in some beach time. It has been several years since I have set foot in the ocean. I will be keeping my eating as clean as possible and sticking to my training regimen in preparation for the trip. The classes at the L.A. gym are tough, so I need to be ready.
My eating has been pretty good and I have been tracking well. Between Jiu Jitsu, intense cardio sessions, and heavy-weight strength training, my body seems to respond best to having some extra calories (about 500-1000 calories) a couple of days per week. Unfortunately, I seem to splurge on wheat and dairy stuff, so I should make a better effort to keep those foods at bay so I don't get bloated and puffy. Nevertheless, I continue to firm up and I have been less sore recently. My body seems to make good use of the extra food. My goal will be to have the extra calories come from high-protein, moderate-carbohydrates foods, avoiding wheat and dairy. In any case, I will stay the course with tracking.
My workouts have been fantastic recently. I have been writing workouts for my coach Nate. Some of the other guys at the gym jump in on the workouts. I have to say, it is satisfying to see professional martial artists grunt, groan, and sweat through my workouts. I try to do the workouts when I don't need to guide the guys through as much, and I almost laugh. My workouts are tough. We have been doing interval training, including old-school moves like burpees, mountain climbers, variations of jumping jacks, jump rope, and more, combined with boxing/kickboxing, kettlebells, strength moves, and Pilates. Every time I do one of my workouts, I end up thinking to myself, "WHY do I do this to myself?" But, the workouts are doable, modifiable if needed, and I feel great afterwards. It's been fun working out with Nate and some of the guys from the gym.
I have had great fun applying my knowledge from my kinesiology degree in designing these workouts. The guys are sometimes resistant to try new things, so I try to include one or two new moves in each workout, and we are building up from there. The best reaction has been to doing Pilates. Pilates has great applicability to Jiu Jitsu in the slow and controlled manner of working the abs and back, as well as smaller stabilizer muscles, but some of the guys think Pilates is too "girly." Getting these guys to do Pilates has been like trying to get a little kid to eat their vegetables. If I say we're doing a Pilates move, they crinkle their nose and groan. So, I have learned not to call the moves a Pilates exercise and just make them do it (if they even make it through all of the reps, haha!). So, if I call it "manly abs" or something, they'll just do it.
I have also started running again, and I have so missed it. I am doing run/walk intervals, sometimes timed, sometimes not. As long as I ice my knee right afterwards, my right leg is tolerating it. I do not think I will do distance running again, but am happy to return to running in some capacity. It will also give my aerobic capacity a boost and hopefully increase the amount of fat that I burn.
I finally remembered to have someone take progress pictures a couple of weeks ago. I have lost several inches over the past few months, so I was excited to take some pictures. I have been feeling pretty strong recently, so my reaction was pretty negative when I first looked at the recent pictures. I just thought I would look...different, I guess. I have to remember that they are progress pictures, not perfection pictures. It doesn't help that I was close to TOM, so maybe not in the best mindset to look at my body. I feel better about the pictures now.
"Before" picture, February 2011
"Before" picture, February 2011
"Before" picture, February 2011
Monday, October 01, 2012
Hah! Not the kind of pics you might think. I'll talk more later about diet and exercise in another blog (all is going pretty well), but wanted to update about what has been consuming my life over the past few months: my dog Dugan's tail.
My dog developed hair loss on the tip of his tail a little over 2 months ago. Then he started to act as though it hurt when he was wagging it. I noticed he started to chew at it, so I put the cone of shame on him, hoping that the issue would resolve. He seemed better after a few days, so I removed the cone. He seemed fine, but then a few days later, I came home to blood spatter on the walls and a wound on the tip of his tail. It looked as though it had been chewed.
I took him to my friend's vet clinic, and the tail was bandaged and he was started on antibiotics and painkillers. We assumed it was happy tail, which dog's can get from whacking their tail to hard. Happy tail is an incredibly frustrating problem to treat. It is difficult to get the tail to heal, and then the problem often recurs. If the tail does not heal, many vets opt to amputate.
We did weekly bandage changes, hoping to see the wound heal. After several weeks, the wound looked no different than it had at first. Dugan also seemed to be in increasing pain. We figured he may actually have nerve damage in the tail. I felt terrible for him. Dugan is the most cheerful dopey dog ever, and he just moped and acted painful, sometimes to the point where he was trembling.
When we saw the wound was not healing, I started looking into my options for amputation. I was hesitant to amputate, partially because I was concerned about creating a new problem with a new wound, and partially because of money. Luckily I have many veterinarian colleagues, so I went to another clinic where the surgery was relatively cheaper, plus they gave me a professional discount. Dugan had his amputation this past Tuesday and of course he charmed everyone at the clinic with his happy-go-lucky grin. He seemed a little painful the next day, but then he really perked up on Thursday. It was actually the first time in a few months that he seemed like himself. I removed the bandage yesterday and everything looks good. Dugan seems oblivious to the fact that he doesn't have a tail. He will need to wear the cone of shame for another couple of weeks to make sure the tail is completely healed, but then I am really hoping that is the end of that.
Dugan with tail, taken a few months ago.
Poor dog...he's been wearing the cone of shame for about 2 months. He actually LIKES it now, guess he's grown accustomed to it.
Dugan 4 days post-amputation. Took this picture yesterday, after removing the bandage.
Close up of "da nub."
I would have never considered cosmetically docking my dog's tail, but it sure is cute when he wiggles his butt now. I am happy to actually see his wiggly self return. He actually seems like he is not in pain for the first time in months. So, I hope this ends this tale of happy tail. Now my dog has happy butt!
Monday, September 17, 2012
This past week was pretty good. I had a good birthday on Tuesday. It was a training day, so I didn't overdo the eating. I got a 90 minute deep tissue massage and then met my mom for lunch. Tuesdays are my long training day at the gym, so I got there and warmed up with some weights, did Muay Thai and had a great workout, and then had a fun Jiu Jitsu class. I couldn't think of a better way to ring in this next year of life than training at the gym with some of my favorite people.
I also got in more cardio than usual. I noticed that I have a lot more stamina over the past month since increasing the amount of cardio conditioning I do. My Jiu Jitsu coach Nate has asked me to start writing workouts for him, and I will be coming in before Jiu Jitsu to train with him once or twice a week. After doing the first one--a relatively easy one--last Wednesday, I think he might regret asking me in the first place. I am actually happy that he has asked me to help him train. First off, I am flattered that he thinks my workouts are bad ass enough to help train him for competition. Secondly, I am going to join him every Monday and Wednesday and do the workout with him. This will get in some extra cardio and power moves to increase my fat loss. Thirdly, it has gotten me thinking about exercise physiology again and writing workouts has been good review from what I learned in school.
I have been writing some circuits, sitting there snickering to myself at how difficult it will be for Nate, and then I remember that I will also be doing the workout. So, I am challenging myself with my own workouts. It is forcing me to try new exercises and really push myself. My circuits are a mix of body-weight exercises (calisthenic exercises), kettlebells, Pilates, strength/power moves (like Olympic lifts), yoga, and even some barre work. I have been having fun reviewing stuff I have learned and exploring new exercises.
My eating was pretty reasonable this past week. I had pizza and cake yesterday at my birthday lunch with my dad, but otherwise, I stayed on track. I really don't worry about 1 or 2 splurge meals a week with the level of training I've been doing.
For the first time in about 3 months, the scale budged this week, a whopping 1/2 pound. I am 1 1/2 pounds away from 60 pounds down and I am driven to see that loss. As I've said, I don't care much about the number on the scale, but sometimes being close to a landmark weight helps keep me more focused on eating right and working out the way I should. So, between Jiu Jitsu, Muay Thai, and the evil circuits I have been writing, I think it will be buh-bye body fat.
Tuesday, September 11, 2012
"It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see."
-Henry David Thoreau
I am not anxious about aging. My best days are not behind me; they are ahead. I truly believe that life is what you make it, or rather, life is how you perceive it. I feel like I am getting way better with age. I finally have the independence AND the wisdom to enjoy it. I have learned (and will continue to learn) who and what needs to be in my life. Challenges present learning opportunities--even when the challenges really suck--instead of road blocks. I have learned so much about myself over the past couple of years. Today I start my 34th year of life, and I plan on it being the best year yet.
Last night, I got done working at 11 p.m. and then I popped in a yoga DVD. I finished just after midnight, ringing in my birthday with an excellent yoga session. While I was practicing, I thought about what I would like the next year to bring. I made some promises to myself for the next year.
I promise that I will never apologize for being who I am. I have struggled throughout my life with not feeling like I'm good enough, whether it be centered around my body or my achievements. Now I know I am just fine the way I am, and no one will ever make me apologize for or feel bad about being myself.
I will not berate my body. I will embrace the fact that I have a body that can move freely and can be challenged. I am not trying to get my body to look a certain way, I am trying to get my body to function a certain way. If my body is functioning in the highest health that can be achieved, then it does not matter what my current weight is. This slow process of weight loss will be most beneficial in the long run. In the meantime, I will live my life to the fullest without worrying about the number on the scale. It is guaranteed to go down eventually if I keep working hard.
I promise to make each day the best it can be. This means that I fully enjoy the good days, and keep in mind that a bad day is temporary.
Today I will celebrate my birthday by treating myself to a massage, and then lunch with mom, and then spend the evening with my Jiu Jitsu pals. I am having a healthful start to this "new year." The best part about it is, I ENJOY being healthful and the choices that lead to healthful living come naturally now. Binge eating and sitting around are now unnatural to me and rejected by my body and mind. I am the healthiest I have ever been in my life, and will only keep improving.
I wish a most joyful day to you, too!
My motto this year:
Image from http://chixinabasket.tumblr.com/
Sunday, September 09, 2012
...of writing this blog.
It's been like The 3 Stooges 'round these parts this week. First, my dog apparently whacked his tail on something ("happy tail") and then proceeded to chew off the tip of his tail. Normally I try to treat simple stuff myself (I am a vet tech) but it was clear he needed antibiotics. So, we went to the vet on Friday. He now has a giant cone of shame and a bandage on his tail and looks rather pathetic. Now we just need to hope it heals up well and that he doesn't end up needing amputation.
Poor Dugan...the best treatment for happy tail is to put a giant cone on their head and make them very sad...
I went to Jiu Jitsu right afterwards. I proceeded to stub my pinky toe on the mat during practice. It really hurt, but pain is kind of par for the course in Jiu Jitsu. Well, it continued to hurt enough that I stopped rolling (sparring). Later that day, my toe turned a lovely shade of violet, followed by the surrounding area turning blue.
I started icing it right away and it doesn't hurt too bad. I did figure it was wise to hold off on doing Jiu Jitsu on Saturday, although I still went to the gym and did power lifting. I had to laugh because I was trying to be so careful with my foot and wore shoes during lifting, and then took off my shoes before stepping onto the mat to chat with the guys. The first thing that happened was that one of the guys rolled onto my foot. In any case, the bruising has gone down significantly and it is only mildly sore with certain movements. I am hoping to do Jiu Jitsu Tuesday (my birthday), and it should be okay, although I'll probably wear my wrestling shoes.
I went and watched some of my gym pals compete at a Jiu Jitsu competition last night. It's always fun to hang out with them outside of the gym, get to know them a bit better. My best friend Kristina came with and watched as well. The guys told me I should beef up the story about my foot injury, maybe say that I was fighting off ninja thugs and hurt it while doing an awesome move. Hmmm, it does sound better than, "I stubbed my toe on the mat..."
One of our guys representin' at competition on Saturday.
I don't mean to whine--it was just an entertainingly accident-prone week. This week was decent eating and exercise-wise. I did have a couple of days of PMS-charged eating that I regret a bit, but I got a grip and got back to normal eating pretty quickly. Got in some good workouts, got in 2 strength training sessions, got in my planned cardio, and some good yoga and stretching. The routine feels great.
My hope for this week is to have an enjoyable birthday week with friends and family, and to not get injured or let anyone else get hurt! We'll see how it goes. I really hope you didn't get injured while reading this blog!
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