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Up Against The Wall...!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Just wondered if folks out there have any suggestions as although I've been really dedicated to my workouts I seem to have hit a wall over the past several months which has been frustrating.

My wall: I use the same amount of weights on my upper body / core strength training. I use most of the upper body / core exercises which are part of the Cybex VR-1 system at our fitness center:

media.cybexintl.com/brochures/VR1_br
ochure.pdf


I typically do strength training 3 times a week, 2 sets of 15 each with arm exercises, 2 sets of 20 on the abdominals & back extensions. Sometimes I'll throw a third set of 15 on top of them. But most times on the arm strength training I find myself having to back off a notch on the amount of weight I use.

My annoyance is that for all the weeks and months I've been doing this every time I do my strength training I find myself hitting the same wall: being just BARELY able to complete the last few reps of an exercise and sometimes on my 2nd set I even have to back off a notch on the amount of weight. I know it is important to increase the amount of weight one uses when you do strength training, but it just hasn't seemed possible for me. I'm sure doing the same-old, same-old is better than not doing it at all, however I'd like to get the most out of the time I invest in my strength training.

Similarly when I do cardio at the fitness center I do 30 mins. on the elliptical, usually the Octane 3700:

www.octanefitness.com/products/stand
ing-ellipticals/pro3700/


and 30 mins. on the upright stationary TrueFitness CS800 (sometimes rolling hills, sometimes hill intervals):

www.truefitness.com/products/commerc
ial/bikes/25/cs800-upright-bike


I find myself able to reach certain fitness numbers, i.e. distance, calories burned, etc. and just all SPENT, totally soaked & dripping with sweat and unable to push BEYOND those numbers. While I realize the calories burned is not accurate in the sense that they measure the actual number of calories that I've burned, but they are at least internally consistent as a means of measuring whether today's workout was better or worse than yesterday's.

I shake things up by going to Spinning class once, hopefully twice weekly and FINALLY got out for cross country skiing this past weekend. Once or twice a week I ditch the fitness center and opt for a fast walk / jog between offices or our local rail-trail for around 3-5 miles depending.

What do you think? Is this just hair-splitting and cabin fever leaking around the edges as I wait to hit the roads again with my bike? Should I just keep on keeping on and be satisfied with this? Or am I missing something that can make a difference in my workouts at the fitness center and bring greater rewards for my time and effort?

Appreciate any thoughts / feedback my wonderful SparkFamily may have!

Don

PS...additional info: I never do my strength training on consecutive days, always a day in between. Despite all this have not been able to increase the weight I use for a LONG long time.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

2BMYOWN 2/11/2012 2:49PM

    Wow, Don, did you get this worked out, I hope? I also have to go with BOBBYD....that is exactly the same thing my buddy, Derek, told me when he worked me up a weight routine, and he used to bodybuild professionally so seems to know his stuff. I never went beyond 12 reps in any of my workouts, tho. And he said that when I began noticing that it was fairly easy for me to do my routines, it was time to upgrade some. I only reached a certain point with it and never chose to go beyond, tho, so I was happy to just keep doing what I was doing, which I suppose is not a 'good' thing! LOL

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WATERMELLEN 1/30/2012 7:06PM

    Totally agree -- time for a tune up with the trainer. But I'm thinking the trainer is likely to tell you pretty much what BOBBYD thinks: that is, 8-10 reps rather than the 15 . . . and the "rest" weeks too.

Are you doing cardio first, then ST? Apparently that does help as well.

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ABURRIS2 1/28/2012 12:37PM

    Another suggestion is to change up your lifting occasionally by lowering the weight significantly and doing each set to muscle failure, perhaps stepping down the weight between sets if you need to.

It seems counter-intuitive but perhaps more rest days between workouts would help prepare for a leap forward.

You are an inspiration, Don!

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GIANNA345 1/27/2012 9:53PM

    Are you eating enough protein to build muscle? I've read that you need 1.5 grams per pound of ideal body weight. If not, you may be losing the muscle you are trying to build. The book I've been reading is called: "You are your own gym," by Mark Lauren and Joshua Clark.

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BOBBYD31 1/27/2012 8:19PM

    ok i think i can help here don.

* keep at 2 sets only per session
* you are at 15 rep per set, what you need to do is increase weight but reps drop down to 8-10 for 3-6 weeks then increase reps by 2 (10-12), your last 2 reps should be a struggle to get them up. once you build to 15 increase weight and reduce reps
* one week per month cut back ST sessions to max of 2

cardio
cut your cardio workout every 3rd week by 30-50%

reasons for the cut back is a recovery week for you body allowing the muscles to heal all the micro tears you cause when working out hard.

you should notice improvements in both areas in a short time

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PUDLECRAZY 1/27/2012 7:09PM

    Do they have a fitness trainer at the gym? I would check with someone there with this question. I just don't know the answer to that.

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FITLIFE6 1/27/2012 1:19PM

    It sounds like your body has adapted to your routine and might want to switch things up a bit.
For myself, using a stability ball or BOSU in my workouts have given me increases in my fitness level. Combining weight training while on ball or BOSU creates instability and forces more muscles to be involved ie bicep curls while seated on stability ball, lift a leg for extra fun - not easy!

If you've never used stability balls/BOSU you could see if your gym offers classes or maybe a PT could create a routine for you..

Try not to get frustrated and push for too much from yourself - there's a risk of overtraining there, and that would actually hinder strength gains.

Good luck!

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GUITARWOMAN 1/27/2012 12:19PM

    No expert here either.....

But, if the last few reps in weightlifting are just about impossible, that is the right amount of weight and repetition, as far as I know.

Are you taking days off between lifting sessions? The muscles need the recovery time.

I kind of had the thought that you may be doing too much.

But, talk to an expert, maybe see your doctor.



emoticon

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AZIMAT 1/27/2012 12:04PM

    I would talk to an experienced trainer.

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SHIROIHANA 1/27/2012 10:54AM

    I was thinking the same thing as our fellow Sparkers. Is it because your body is exhausted and isn't going through change to prevent a breakdown? Maybe you can change things to trick your body. Good luck.

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L*I*T*A* 1/27/2012 10:19AM

    i have no real comments as i too have been sitting on a long plateau......
are there any trainers at your gym.....
perhaps speak to them for suggestions....
i say keep on keeping on.....
stick it out...i can relate your frustration....
all the best and hopefully someone here has your answers
blessings and hugs..............lita

emoticon emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 1/27/2012 10:19:32 AM

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BECKYANNE1 1/27/2012 10:17AM

    I agree that maybe you're just doing too much. I just read an article on the web about this topic. I'm not sure where I found it though. To me, it always seems harder to workout indoors when your used to working out outside. I miss my long outside walks. The treadmill just doesn't do it for me. The advantage though is I've started running and can't wait to do it outside. Just don't beat yourself up. Change things up a bit and I'm sure it will get better.

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JLITT62 1/27/2012 9:49AM

    Having read about some of your workouts, it's actually crossed my mind that maybe you're simply doing too much. Just throwing out food for thought! Muscles get stronger during recovery, when they can repair themselves.

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SKINNYPOWELL1 1/27/2012 9:21AM

    WOW, you are doing a lot to keep busy during the no-biking season. I don't know alot about weighs but I do know from doing P90X that the last two or three reps of an exercise should be hard, and this sounds like your case - so to me...you're doing it right. And mixing up all the different forms of exercise is a good thing, muscle confusion...excellent. I would just keep on doing what you're doing - staying busy, mixing it up, working hard. I'm no expert and I would like to see what others suggest, to see if you are missing something, but I don't really think so. The only thing I can think is maybe you are NOT eating enough for all those calories you're burning - just throwing that out there, something to look at.

I'm sure you're probably suffering from a touch of cabin/spring fever amd Vitamin D withdrawls since you are such an outdoorsy kinda guy. Hang in there.

Comment edited on: 1/27/2012 9:21:51 AM

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Cutting my XCS Teeth!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Today turned out to be a pretty decent day!

Yesterday I was a bit gnarly and snarly when I was a little late calling in to reserve my spot for today's spinning class and by 11 am I was already shut out of the class and put on the alternate list! Sheesh!

But then Mother Nature came along and helped in more ways than one by dumping a few inches of snow on us and shaking loose enough from the spinning class that I was IN!

So that was the start of my day...nice to run into an old colleague of mine at the spin class too. I had helped her learn the social worker ropes up at the state psychiatric hospital way back when.

As usual I was a pretty soggy, smiling mess by the end of class and went on to take care of my upper body and core strength training.

On my mind throughout the morning was whether or not there was enough snow for me to at long last break in the cross country gear I bought used this past November.

Home for snow shoveling, out for a few errands and FINALLY! Off to the northern end of our local park where there are 3 or 4 soccer fields sprawled out. There are no groomed trails around our neck of the woods so I knew I'd have to bushwhack my own. Had some hassles getting one of my boots properly clicked into the bindings, but after some nuisance work on this I was OFF!

There was just enough to ski...a few scrapes here and there, but otherwise did all right! Only a couple tumbles as the skis wobbled a bit on top the snow knocking my balance off. Never really got to gliding along as well as I remembered doing in the past, but figure that was due to not having enough snow and the un-even skis with my bushwhacking efforts. I discovered re-tracking over my trails helped and could move along a little better then.

I think I'll stick to such venues till I feel a little more confident!

If only Mother Nature could be more helpful...mid-40s and rain showers on Monday will take this all out...sigh...

Between Spinning and XCS it's been one great day breaking out of my same-old, same-old routine! Feeling that good sore and tiredness that oughta spell a mighty fine night's sleep. :-)

Don

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

2BMYOWN 2/11/2012 2:26PM

    I gotta go with Giranimal on this one..... Somehow, 'gnarly and snarly' are not words I ever associate in my brain with thoughts of you! LMAO The weather here in Ohio has been ridiculous....sleet/freezing rain one day, then up in the 50's, then snow, then up in the 60's....O.....MY......GOD. I drive past the ski mountain every day going to work, and it's been rather vacant this year, for the first time since I can remember. But at least you can keep on spinnin'!

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DAVEINSEOUL 1/30/2012 11:11PM

    Oh man, XCS???? I'm all kinds of jealous - that's something you have to go three hours to do here :-(

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SHIROIHANA 1/24/2012 10:22PM

    It's great that you didn't let snow stop you. As the year progresses, less and less people will take spinning. My gym (24 Hr Fitness) lets people reserve in advance... I think you can pay $1 no more than 24 hrs away from the class start time. I don't know if all the clubs do this but the Saturday 8AM spinning class is one of their most popular classes (besides Zumba, which is always filled). Keep up the great work, you ball of energy!

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SKINNYPOWELL1 1/24/2012 10:03AM

    Sounds like you had quite the busy day. I can picture you bushwhacking and skiing. Rock on dude, you're my hero. emoticon

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GIRANIMAL 1/23/2012 9:16PM

    I simply cannot imagine you ever being gnarly or snarly! emoticon

I'm glad all your workout dreams came true!

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REDSHOES2011 1/23/2012 8:52AM

    Great to hear things turned out ok!

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SASSYCHRIS1952 1/22/2012 12:55PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon You have incredible energy, great job!

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BILL60 1/22/2012 7:37AM

    Sounds like fun. No such ventures in South Texas.

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JLITT62 1/22/2012 5:42AM

    Where the heck do you find the energy? After shoveling the driveway & running for 2 hrs - thank God for yaktrax - I was all ticketed out!

I'd be more than happy to send all our snow for the rest of the yr your way. If only I could.

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WOLFKITTY 1/21/2012 9:54PM

    I'm sore, too, and ready to go to bed. Is before 7 too early?! LOL!
Take care!
Sounds like fun,
Jocelyn

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GR8CATSBY 1/21/2012 9:53PM

    Glad you got to enjoy the snow!

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L*I*T*A* 1/21/2012 8:28PM

    our winter has just been washed away......
enjoy what you have......
blessings and hugs...........lita

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WATERMELLEN 1/21/2012 7:43PM

    This sounds like a great start!! I had a little tumble today myself on a down hill stretch when I . . . lost my balance!! But no biggy: back up and at it.

Re gliding: did you have the right wax? Glide and grip? It's that kick/pull thing . . . planting the pole and pulling forward while kicking with the opposite foot . . .

So happy that you got out . . . hope there's lots more this winter.

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Sharing | Just DANCE!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

As I near my first year of membership at the Riverwalk Athletic Center I've come to realize something: since I began last February I missed out on all the "fun" of dealing with the busiest month of the year at the fitness center: JANUARY!

The place has been SWARMING with new & old members and it's been a challenge to get on my favorite equipment (stationary bikes) and into my Spinning classes. Last winter I could just show up for Spinning class...no problem! NOW? I learned the hard way this past Sat. that you have to sign up no sooner than 24 hours in advance of the class because there just AREN'T any no-shows or empty spots you can take advantage of. While I'm pleased to see so many folks tuned into working out I have to admit to more than my share of grumbling over "sharing"...lol!

So now? I've got cell phone and e-mail reminders to SIGN UP for those classes! Hoping to get to two Spinning classes each week instead of just the Sat. and add Monday too...although there are other times, they just don't work for me (5:30 A.M.? forgeddaboudit!).

Swing Dance: I did better than I thought I would @ Swing Dance last night. It's been a month or so since I'd been there. Felt like I had Alzheimer's: basic stuff like "inside" and "outside" turns...? Um, yeah, did those once upon a time...! At least it comes back to me a little more quickly and I'm hoping to have a way to remember: hold my partner's hand up over her right shoulder for the outside turn, left shoulder for the inside turn.

The hardest part? After the initial 45 min. lesson where partners swap around a lot and the lesson is over the dance floor opens wide up and anybody can dance with anybody. So it's up to me to take the plunge and ask someone to dance. Such a simple thing. The club does a wonderful job to promote a VERY laid back, accepting atmosphere. People of ALL ages, sizes, dressed to the nines or jeans and t-shirt...yet inside I'm a jumble of doubt and self-criticism and have to PUSH through that crud to just "ask". Nary a rejection EVER on that dance floor...! I've seen myself at times just be a wallflower without asking a single person for a dance, yet refusing to leave because I know I want to be out on that dance floor just like everyone else!

Last night I was successful in asking for a dance four times. A good night! Hoping for better ones yet to come! To be able to just tune into my natural love of the music, the rhythm and just DANCE!

I'll share again for the benefit of those living in the Southern Tier:

The Southern Tier Swing Dance Society

www.stnyswingdance.com/

"Our main activity is a weekly Tuesday night dance, which is held above Rexer's Karate Academy on Washington Avenue in Endicott. The beginners lesson goes from 7:30-8:15, open dance starts at 8:15 and goes until 10:30. All of our events are smoke- and alcohol-free and are open to all ages. We also sponsor live band dances, and our members present a number of swing demonstrations at various local events.

There are several varieties of swing dance that our members like to do. This includes: Jitterbug (East Coast Swing), West Coast Swing, Lindy Hop, and Hustle. Our music selections are designed to support this swing dance mix. You will occasionally hear a Cha-Cha or a Waltz, but almost all of our music is aimed at one or more forms of swing.

It is not necessary to know how to dance to attend our dances. We hope newcomers will join us and we provide a beginner Jitterbug lesson at the start of each dance. Dancers can take our beginner lesson as often as they like, and indeed, it is helpful to beginners to have more experienced dancers in the class. We encourage our dancers to become more advanced by taking swing dance classes elsewhere, and we provide information on outside classes and workshops that we are aware of, including those in other towns, such as Ithaca and Syracuse.

It is also not necessary to have a partner to attend our events. We change partners during our classes, and most swing dancers like to dance with many different partners in the course of the evening. We strive to create a friendly atmosphere, where dancers of different levels feel comfortable mixing and asking others to dance. Also, in the swing world, it is common and welcomed, for women to ask men to dance.

Dress is very casual at our events. We ask people to bring clean, soft-soled, non-marking shoes to both protect the dance floor and facilitate your dancing (especially spins and turns).

We ask for a $3.00 donation for admission. Most of the money that we collect goes for the weekly rent for our dance location. Our other expenses include insurance, CDs and tapes, equipment, advertising, and the expenses of our other events. All of our events are organized and run by VOLUNTEERS, and no one is paid for her/his S.T.S.D.S. work."

No smoking, no drinking, just folks looking to have a night of good, clean fun!

I also hear great things about the Salsa Music Appreciation Club in our area:

smacdance.com/

I plan to check 'em out once I get this Swing Dance down better. I don't want to confuse my dances just yet...lol!

And here's a suggestion for those of you NOT living in the Southern Tier: You may have similar organizations in YOUR community to check out! Google it!

And just DANCE! :-)

Don

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SHIROIHANA 1/24/2012 10:24PM

    This sounds like so much fun! I never took a dancing class, should give it a try sometime.

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SASSYCHRIS1952 1/22/2012 12:51PM

    The dancing sounds like alot of fun! That is one of my favorite ways to exercise emoticon

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PUDLECRAZY 1/21/2012 7:26PM

    Glad you got a little skiing in before it all melts again. This has certainly been an odd winter with the temperature fluctuations.

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LUVS2BIKE101 1/21/2012 4:49PM

    Wow! What confidence! Such a great feeling to succeed in stepping out of your comfort zone, isn't it?
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SCOOTERGIRLOZ 1/21/2012 2:47AM

    Hi Don,

I think your Swing Dance club is terrific. So much fun and experience in a healthy environment for so little money. If I lived there, I would be asking you to give me a twirl every chance you are free.

After watching the homepage video on your club's website, I am wondering if Rock n Roll dancing is a type of Swing? See http://www.footlooserockers.c
om.au/first.html

Thanks
Scootergirl in Oz
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GIRANIMAL 1/19/2012 5:48PM

    Thanks for the reminder! My BF and I met at our favorite club, but as you can imagine over several years we hardly go anymore. (We joke: "Why? I'm not looking to pick someone up anymore!"LOL) But we went once rather last minute and had a BLAST dancing for hours. And I noticed I wasn't out of breath and feeling like I would pas out anymore! How's that for fitness. emoticon

emoticon these two need to be dancing! emoticon

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JLITT62 1/19/2012 12:50PM

    So much easier to be female. I'm sure there are gals asking guys, but it's still expected to be the other way around. Kudos to you for conquering that fear!

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SKINNYPOWELL1 1/19/2012 7:39AM

    Dancing sure burns up the calories fast, good job in keeping moving and having a blast while you're doing it. We have a place similar to what you've described here, my sis used to go regularly, but I'm a big chicken with two left feet.

About your gym being overcrowded...give it till mid February and it will be back to normal, sad but true. So many ppl make new years resolutions and by Feb they give up.

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WATERMELLEN 1/18/2012 7:32PM

    I have been reading about "contra" dancing, not yet available in my town but apparently very popular in the bigger cities -- all inclusive too.

Don, you are clearly just a very very nice person (and also handsome I could add) that it's impossible for me to believe people would not welcome your invitation to dance. Really!!

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PUDLECRAZY 1/18/2012 6:44PM

    Way to go, Don! That sounds like SO much fun and you really put yourself out there going out of your comfort zone and asking people to dance.

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SLAYINGDRAGONS 1/18/2012 2:35PM

    Good going on the asking!

I appreciate your comments on my blog. For many years, I have tried different ways to get into the vegetarian act. Have done lacto- and ovo- in the past, so really do understand this new choice. One of the SP coaches likes flexitarian, which works for many and I called myself that for a number of years too! Whatever works works and so going all out is just where the progression had led me. For the time-being, anyways.

I do love your blogs! The Fat Trap blog was interesting and, I must admit, kind of grieved me for a few days. I'm okay now, really. The truth sometimes hurts and I do hate fighting with the weight!!! But it's the way it is and I am making much better choices now than I ever did before SP.
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WOLFKITTY 1/18/2012 1:20PM

    SWING DANCING?!??!!?
Awesome!

Sounds like you had fun!
Jocelyn

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DARK_CINDERELLA 1/18/2012 12:59PM

    We actually have a salsa club in Pittsburgh that does this every week. My husband and I have only made it to one (pesky nursing/travel schedules), but it's an amazing time.

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L*I*T*A* 1/18/2012 12:37PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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TOOTHFUL99 1/18/2012 12:21PM

    Sounds like a fun time! I give you a lot of credit. I'm more the wallflower, even at weddings.

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FRECKS96 1/18/2012 11:47AM

    Awesome! I did a little swing dancing in clooege and loved it. I should check it out sometime.

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PIGSOFGREEN 1/18/2012 11:07AM

    Awww this makes me miss Swing - I took classes in high school! There's a place near me that does a similar weekly thing...perhaps hubs and I should start going!!

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RAINBOWFALLS 1/18/2012 10:45AM

    Wow - that sounds like such fun. I love music and I love to watch people dance and always wished I had the grace. There may come a day when my feet actually are capable of all those fun things. At the moment a nice walk would be nice. I so miss them. Hopefully by spring I will be able to walk a distance again.

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VALERIEMAHA 1/18/2012 10:42AM

    You make my heart dance!
emoticon emoticon emoticon
Maha

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The Fat Trap...or NOT?

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

If you haven't seen this article yet, I highly recommend you check it out: The Fat Trap, by Tara Parker-Pope. She outlines some hard truths about weight loss and maintenance which COULD be taken negatively (i.e. a "why try?" attitude) however I found the information to be SO helpful!

www.nytimes.com/2012/01/01/magazine/
tara-parker-pope-fat-trap.html


...along with interesting comments posted at this link:

well.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/12/28/wh
y-lost-pounds-come-back/


There is a follow up interview, question & answer with folks calling in with testimonies on NPR's Talk of the Nation here:

www.npr.org/2012/01/03/144627629/in-
the-fat-trap-our-bodies-work-against-us


I share WATERMELLEN's ( www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=4652553
) sense of relief and comfort in hearing the science behind the experiences of people like myself who've been obese or morbidly obese for a long time. This helps me so much to hear the cold, hard facts! I feel I am in a better position to accept that it is what it is. No amount of whining or playing games with my thinking or whatever is going to alter this. I'm really not imagining things or making them up: it really IS harder for folks like me to lose weight and more importantly to KEEP IT OFF!

There is a reason why I kick into a "food as fuel" mode when I'm SPARKIN' like I WANT to SPARK!

Besides: food is over-rated, compared to the freedom one can enjoy when one looks at eating just enough to keep your body at a healthier weight where you can enjoy your life more fully and heartily!

So rather than looking at this glass as half empty, as a "fat trap"...I find it liberating to realize that, for instance faithful food tracking, weighing in and daily exercise is not being OCD and overkill: it truly is what is necessary for those of us who have been obese or morbidly obese for a long* time.

Don

*How long? Not sure if they've precisely nailed that down...but let THAT be a motivator for those of you who HAVEN'T been obese or morbidly obese for a long time: The quicker you NAIL this healthy and well lifestyle the less risk you run of sustaining lifelong biochemical alterations in the way your body functions.

PS...4-A-HEALTHY-BMI shared a message thread from the "At Goal and Maintaining" SparkTeam where they have been discussing this article:

www.sparkpeople.com/myspark/team_mes
sageboard_thread.asp?board=0x1111x4568
8170

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BARBARA_BOO 1/15/2012 2:48PM

    Don, this is great. Thank you for putting the links together. The cold hard facts are my preference, too. As you say, "it is what it is".

I recently had an autosomal DNA test done. It showed that a couple of my DNA markers indicate an increased risk for obesity (duh). So, I thought, "AHA!"(as I am wont to do when I see a plausible excuse). No such luck.
emoticon
I plugged in my numbers to get a calculation of roughly how many of my extra lbs are due to my DNA. It was a puny 9 lbs.
emoticon emoticon
The rest is my doing (or not doing).
Cracks me up!

Yes, I agree it's harder for folks like me. I have been a lazy so-and-so lately, telling myself "it was OCD and overkill burnout" that kept me from tracking, blogging, weighing, checking in at SP, etc. Facing facts, I think I want to cheerfully move forward.
emoticon

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GIRANIMAL 1/12/2012 3:18PM

    Wow, Don, fascinating article! Thanks so much for sharing. I hear a lot of my own story and my body's idiosyncratic tendencies here. I have to say, in some ways I am not surprised by this research -- it feels a little bit like reaping what you've sown. Like stretched skin that just does not want to ever snap exactly back.

But I also find it encouraging to know these things are not in my head and that I am not alone in the maintenance battle!

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SHIROIHANA 1/12/2012 11:41AM

    Thank you for sharing the links, Don! The problem with the "fat trap" is many people get settled thinking that obesity defines who they are as a whole. This is where the "why try?" mentality kicks in. But there is also such a thing as a "skinny trap" where once you have reached your GW and are exercising and eating right, your body does what it can to stay in this healthy trap, or skinny trap. Your body starts to crave fresh, clean foods and you start to feel guilty whenever you don't work out. Like you stated, there is more freedom. Continue rocking, Don! Love the background pic.

Comment edited on: 1/12/2012 11:42:57 AM

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VALERIEMAHA 1/10/2012 1:09AM

    AMEN brother!

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WATERMELLEN 1/9/2012 8:33PM

    "Food is over-rated, compared to the freedom one can enjoy when one looks at eating just enough to keep your body at a healthier weight where you can enjoy your life more fully and heartily": this is sooo sooooo true!! The momentary pleasure of eating something just isn't worth the lengthy misery of lugging it around: "a moment on the lips, a life time on the hips"!!

Your own weight loss story is amazing and inspiring . . . and nobody enjoys being healthy more than you do! So you KNOW the vigilance necessary to take weight off is worth it).

Hope you have some lovely snow for skiing soon . . . like you, I really get a kick out of driving around with my skis in my car all winter!!

(And how did I miss this great blog . . . with my thanks for your link to my "fat trap" too).

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BOTZZZ 1/9/2012 11:32AM

    Don I think this says it all

"food is over-rated, compared to the freedom one can enjoy when one looks at eating just enough to keep your body at a healthier weight where you can enjoy your life more fully and heartily!"

There is so much truth to that statement.

Keep on keepin on my good man!

As Ever
Me

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DAD2GETFIT 1/8/2012 8:58PM

    Thanks for sharing that Don.

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ZELLAZM 1/7/2012 2:37PM

    Thanks for the links and for your take on the articles. Having read the other comments, I feel like I don't really need to read them now! LOL
My thoughts in the new year have been turning again to the fact that this healthy living thing is for forever. Not that I didn't know that before, but I continue to KNOW it on a deeper level as I get off track, then return to the "new normal." I will be doing crunches for the rest of my life! I will be exercising daily for the rest of my life. I will be drinking my water and eating my fruit and veggies for the rest of my life, etc., etc., etc.

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PUDLECRAZY 1/7/2012 10:23AM

    Great blog, Don. You have done such a fantastic job with changing things around for yourself.

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SASSYCHRIS1952 1/7/2012 9:55AM

    Thank you very much for posting. I bookmarked the links for reference emoticon

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WOLFKITTY 1/7/2012 1:55AM

    I remember reading this article before, I think it may have been posted on the Daily Spark blog, and I was disturbed by everyone who had just accepted the results/"conclusions" from the study without looking at the details about who and what was tested.

From where I stand, I agree with what you said about being more vigilant and doing what we KNOW needs to be done, despite the negative feedback from others.

At the same time, I think that this is more a warning against losing weight too quickly. I don't see how they've proven that it's being formerly OBESE that is causing that extra rebound weight. You can't separate the fact that they were obese from the method that they used to lose the weight, and teh actions taken once they were off the supplement foods.

But, I'm picky about science, especially that designed to observe the human body. Biology has always been a pet subject of mine.

Thanks for sharing the links!
Hugs, my friend,
Jocelyn

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XENA1956 1/6/2012 9:18PM

    Thanks so much for sharing this link. Very good and interesting article. xo Teri emoticon

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MIQUEY73 1/6/2012 8:10PM

    Thanks for sharing!!

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JESPAH 1/6/2012 1:12PM

    I have seen this article (and I've posted it all over the place). Mainly, for me, it is a tool to bring to the attention of the folks (and we all know who they are) who will say that you and I are, let's see -
* overstating the exercise
* understating the calories
* too neurotic
* not neurotic enough
* uptight and need to just chill and have a slice of pizza or a cupcake or somethin'
* lazy
* lying
* unmotivated (oh, if you only tried!)
* morally suspect
* deserving of our fates

You get the picture.

What I truly love are the ones who say, well, just eat 3500 fewer calories per week, and in a year you will have lost a pound!

Wellll -- the problem is -- 3500 fewer calorie from which starting point? If the total for the week is 14,000, then we're talking 1500 calories per day for the change (the initial point was 2000 calories per day).

But if the starting point is 1600 - 1800 calories per day (which I eat, and gained 8 pounds on in '11 and about 20 pounds on in '10), then the initial weekly total is 11,200 - 12,600, and the new regimen would be 7700 - 9100 per week, AKA 1100 - 1300 calories/day.

That means I skip a meal, and I already eat pretty damned abstemiously. Somewhere in there lurks starvation mode, too. If the total calorie need is lower, when does starvation mode come up to meet it? After a daily deficit of 100 calories? 200? 500?

Once again proving that the science of weight loss is complicated and paradoxical.

In other news, water is wet.

Details on the 11 o'clock report.

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LADYGWEN25 1/5/2012 5:52PM

    Great article DOn! i really appreciated reading it. THanks for posting. :)

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MOBYCARP 1/5/2012 5:28PM

    I'm pleased that some of the comments on the blog make the point that jumped out at me.

To me, the key paragraph in the article is as follows:

"Beginning in 2009, he and his team recruited 50 obese men and women. The men weighed an average of 233 pounds; the women weighed about 200 pounds. Although some people dropped out of the study, most of the patients stuck with the extreme low-calorie diet, which consisted of special shakes called Optifast and two cups of low-starch vegetables, totaling just 500 to 550 calories a day for eight weeks. Ten weeks in, the dieters lost an average of 30 pounds. "

Let's think about this. The study started with obese people, and for eight weeks put them on a bat-$hit crazy low calorie diet. Any result tells us nothing more than, this is what happens if you restrict obese people's calories to less than half the commonly accepted minimum for an extended period of time.

I don't think it means that maintenance is impossible; I think it simply means that a crash diet is not a good idea. This is something that mainstream nutritionists have been saying for as long as I can remember.

I'm getting a little tired of reading echoes of the same study starting with that bat-$hit crazy diet being expanded to say that maintaining weight loss is too large a challenge to be overcome.

BWDIK? I've only been borderline obese by BMI standards, and I wasn't there very long even if I visited obese-land 3 times. It *could* be that seriously obese people who lose the weight really have a much harder time in maintenance than I do; but we'd need a better base of scientific studies than the one Tara Parker-Pope relies on to make that case.

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DEBRA0818 1/5/2012 12:38PM

    Thanks for posting, Don. I posted a similar NYT article in November (http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_
public_journal_individual.asp?b
log_id=4574229).

What do all these articles tell us? It is a long, hard and constant road -- no breaks, no vacations, no holidays, no weekends off -- if you want to be successful and stay that way. It is hard to hear, but no harder than living it every day (which we all do).

I have found that the LCHF (low carb high fat) diet is the only one that gets the weight off and keeps my body from starving in the process. The issue, of course, is that it's hard to give up carbs forever, but, at least for me, that seems to be the only formula that works long term.

So, I'm back to it with high hopes for 2012!

Thanks for the goodie and the response; we're all in it to win it!

Cheers, Debra
emoticon

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DEBIBLUE72 1/5/2012 12:17AM

    thank you so much for the comments you left on my blog. i will check out the links when i have time later today. i think i will get alot of useful information. i am the type that likes to understand why things are the way they are. so this sounds right up my alley. thank you for sharing this information with all of us. take care, debi

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BILL60 1/4/2012 8:05AM

    Don, thank you so much for sharing. Hang tough!!

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SKINNYPOWELL1 1/4/2012 7:19AM

    Thanks for sharing, I will definitely check it out on my lunch hour today. I do agree with you in that we aren't being obsessive about our weight, we have to be vigilant and very careful, ppl who have never been morbidly obese can not understand this. SPARK is a way of life and if we want to continue to be successful, it's the ONLY way. Wishing you the best in 2012. emoticon

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JLITT62 1/4/2012 6:19AM

    Thanks for sharing.

The science of weight loss is constantly changing, but I think one thing is a constant - you can never really relax about it - & I've never been obese, either - but I have definitely struggled with the whole I have to eat far less & exercise far more than "normal" people.

I still say it's a struggle worth fighting!

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GOATS03 1/3/2012 11:03PM

    Thank you so much Don..really appreciate you sharing this with us.

Wishing you a very Healthy Happy 2012.

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L*I*T*A* 1/3/2012 10:44PM

    very interesting...thanks for sharing...
blessings and hugs...........lita

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MARYBETH_OHIO 1/3/2012 10:26PM

    Thank you so much Don I will check them out.. Hope you are doing ok..
Huggles,
Marybeth

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CLAYARTIST 1/3/2012 10:17PM

  thank you...

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Why Walk When You Can Fly?

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

So I've been feeling WAY less than satisfied with the fitness center over the past few days...feeling more & more like a "grind" in which even my hand-picked tunes on my mp3 player weren't much help...might as well have been elevator music! Montavanni or some such...!

Plus today I was cooped up with a conference / workshop which was an attempt to provide some reassurance of the onslaught of Medicaid changes that awaits us community mental health providers...all the while a gorgeous sun outside beaming away.

All right...time to take a breather from the fitness center and get out after work to grab me some fresh air and some of that sunshine!

Great thought and plan, except...the clouds rolled in and by 4:30 it's pretty well dark anyway. But I don't let that stop me from grabbing my Nordic poles anyway and striking off toward downtown. After a few steps I decide, what the heck...let's kick it up to a jog? Working the poles while jogging can be done, but since one is moving along it's hard to really "dig in" with the poles and get any significant upper body work done. Instead of using 'em I just carry the poles along.

Although I've jogged these couple miles before without a break it has been a long time...months maybe? I was pleasantly surprised to find myself able to do this again cold without any practice or building up to it!

So hey, Why Walk When You Can Fly? :-)

youtu.be/7IeGQnuqIwI

It was just the change of pace I needed!

Just wanted to ALSO give a terrific shout out to GUITARWOMAN who has lost 100# and celebrated her first year of maintenance this past Sept. 2011!!

www.sparkpeople.com/mypage.asp?id=GU
ITARWOMAN


She also happens to share a deep appreciation for playing her Yamaha Classical Guitar...of which I *also* happen to own and love to play as well! Mine looks to be a lower model, the G-231-II which I see bops around eBay for around a whopping $150. Be that as it may, I have played a number of guitars, both electric and acoustic and this is the one with the mellow, rich sound and spacious fretboard that works mighty fine for me!

Now the challenge is: squeezing more time in for my guitar and me! :-)

Don

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PUDLECRAZY 12/15/2011 9:17PM

    emoticon

Never too little time for your guitar! Let your Yamaha sing!

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VARMINT3 12/15/2011 5:01PM

    Sounds like a good day!

I've found that as long as I do *something*, I can usually get back pretty quickly into other activities that I have have temporarily dropped for some reason. But if I stop moving for a week or two, forget it, I'm pretty much starting from scratch.

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SASSYCHRIS1952 12/15/2011 3:36PM

    There is nothing like the great outdoors emoticon

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L*I*T*A* 12/15/2011 10:04AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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FERRETLOVER1 12/15/2011 8:57AM

    Way to go, Flying Man!!

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DEBRA0818 12/15/2011 7:32AM

    Congrats on kicking it up a notch without effort. You were ready to do that!!!

There's no question that outside is better than inside for making exercise feel fun to me. Just one of the reasons why I love SW Florida -- the pool where I do water aerobics is outside, the path around the lake I walk on is outside (and right outside my door), and exercise is always just a step away into the sunshine. Feels good!



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FRECKS96 12/15/2011 7:21AM

    Awesome! Feels so good to get in some brisk exercise outdoors!

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JLITT62 12/15/2011 5:14AM

    Good for you for getting out in the dark & working up a sweat!

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REDSHOES2011 12/14/2011 10:45PM

    I always feel better no matter what happens to me out in the free.. I can't always say the gym visit is always relaxing with some of the idiots that surround me some days..
Out on the road you don't have to deal with other people getting in your face, win win situation especially with good music in the ears..


emoticon

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ANDALEX 12/14/2011 10:43PM

    man, there's nothing quite like the feel of a good jog! sounds awesome!

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ROOTIHAUSMAN 12/14/2011 10:40PM

    Good luck!

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