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Maintenance- The Work Will Never End!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

I don't mean to be a big downer with this blog, but I want to point something out to help keep people from slipping into the "When I lose this weight I can eat whatever I want" mode: It just ain't true!

The honest truth is that, while I am enjoying being (pretty much) at my goal weight, staying here is a LOT harder than getting here was. I liken it to a balancing beam: It's easier to keep walking than it is to stay in one spot.

The fact is that while I can eat a bit more than I did while losing, I still have to log my food or else I see a rise in the scale pretty quickly. I know this because I've done it in the past. (I'd lost a substantial amount of weight, then gained it all back, plus about 20 pounds. Took me years to be ready to lose it again.) So I know I'll always have to be accountable for what I put in my mouth. And I'll always have to be careful that what I am putting in my mouth is almost all clean foods with plenty of protein. I just feel better and gain muscle better when I eat this way.

Even with these precautions I still find myself creeping up the scale a bit, then having to reign it in and bring it back down again. I've finally come to understand and accept that I will probably be losing and gaining the same five pounds for the rest of my life.

And exercise? THAT will never end! Of course, if you know me at all, that statement didn't surprise you. I plan to be the grandma with muscles who can do pull-ups and strait-leg push-ups. No kidding! Watch me.

So here I am, in maintenance, still doing all of the same things I did while losing. And to stay slim I know I will have to keep it up forever.

But you want to know the truth? It's worth it. Every minute of it- Not only to look in the mirror and like what I see, but also to know that I am doing everything I can to keep diabetes and heart disease, both of which run heavily in my family, at bay.

I'd rather be where I am doing what I am doing than heavy and doing not doing it. It's more work being fit, but it's so very worthwhile.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KANOE10 8/28/2012 7:36AM

    You are exactly right. We have to keep working on maintenance the rest of our lives..seeing the same 5 pounds go up and down.

The work will not end..but we will be happy and healthier!!!!!

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NUOVAELLE 8/27/2012 2:06AM

    I'm really happy for your blog. Everyone has to understand that maintenance is not just another stage in weight loss that will end some day. It's our transition to the rest of our lives. To the lifestyle we have chosen to lead in order to be healthy, active and never have to worry about weight loss again - except those 2 to 5 pounds that are sure to go up and down depending on life's occurrences.
Congratulations on creating a healthier future for yourself and on inspiring others to do the same!
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NMMAMA2011 8/26/2012 12:11PM

    Not there yet, but this is a great reminder! Anything worth doing is hard, right? I hope you don't mind me adding you as a friend - I will need all the maintenance inspiration I can get when I get there!

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CHRISKENANDKIDS 8/26/2012 11:53AM

    So true! I've been "practicing maintenance" (read - on a plateau) for a year so I'm with you. I only have 10 pounds left until goal and have been really ambivalent about it so at least I'm staying the same (lost 5 pounds since last year at least). So I guess I'm in maintenance, too. Great job!

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CELIAMINER 8/26/2012 11:49AM

    Thanks for calling attention to this blog...and no, you're not an attention hog! I loved the statement "I'll always have to be accountable for what I put in my mouth." That attitude is what helped me stay on track while losing, and it's one attitude I want to keep always. My days of eating what I want in large quantity are a closed-out chapter in my past. I really have to credit my MIL, who is rail-thin. Watching her food choices helped me come to the realization that my body would no longer just process the garbage I shoveled in without storing much of it as fat. Like you, I want to be the old lady with muscles!

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ANDI571 8/23/2012 10:17PM

    You are so right. I have heard that it is harder to maintain than it is to lose, and I find that to be true. I am up around 5 or 6 pounds now, and need to get back on the ball before it gets really out of hand.

So many just see a person after they have lost the weight and just doesn't realize what it is taking to stay there. So thanks for the words of wisdom.

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LJCANNON 8/23/2012 9:41PM

    emoticonIt is true, and it bears repeating. It is harder (or at least As Hard!!) to Maintain as it was to lose. But I would rather be doing the Hard Work of Maintenance than having people push my wheelchair and do my Shopping. Not to mention keeping Disease at bay.

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LOGOULD 8/23/2012 4:47PM

    I'm thinking that maintenance is just that - maintaining (continuing) what has been working. Sure, there will be some small tweeks as we go along, but this is a journey without end.

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TWALKER0475 9/13/2010 3:07PM

    You are so right - the key to success for me was to recognize that I needed to make a lifestyle change, which meant what I was eating and doing to get to goal was not going to change much once I got there! I also realize I need to constantly set new goals for myself - it is easier to stay on track when I am working towards something (more muscle, lower body fat, faster race time, etc.) as opposed to just trying to maintain the status quo. Striving to improve myself in some way keeps things interesting!

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OFEDEOZ 9/9/2010 2:35AM

    thank you for this blog! It's exactly where I am right now and I thought I was alone...

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LRSILVER 9/8/2010 3:13PM

    GREAT BLOG

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TOYASWORK 9/8/2010 1:17PM

    You're an inspiration and keep up the good work! emoticon

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SHANNONSTILLS 9/8/2010 9:04AM

  It is worth it. the mental and physical relief that comes from being fit is SOOOOOOOO worth it!

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BECKY_ROWE1984 9/7/2010 11:55AM

    Ok yes, there is no short term fix in this game, it is a game of life!

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TKADEEPBREATH 9/4/2010 9:35PM

    You know, there is nothing wrong with stating the facts . . you're right, can't go back to old habits that didn't work for you anyway. When it's all said and done, it is a life style that has to change. I stopped being real careful about tracking for a couple weeks. I maintained, but I didn't lose. I'm determined to get the last 10 off. Gonna work at it hard and then work to maintain it. It's ok, I know the drill. Just can't let yourself forget . . .

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MN-MOOSE 9/4/2010 12:02PM

    YES!!
This is something that I have to keep reminding myself. Fitness is a lifestyle choice. It isn't something that I want to try for a year. I want to be able to see the results of the hard work I put in. People can work so hard to just maintain a certain level of fitness....and I can't see any reason that we would ever want to just let those hard worked hours slip away.

You' have EARNED what you have.
No one gave it to you.
It is yours too keep.
Cherish it.
Fight for it.


Comment edited on: 9/4/2010 12:03:14 PM

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AMC120 9/1/2010 11:10AM

    Great bog Nancy Anne!! So much truth here!!! emoticon

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BEYOURBEST1 9/1/2010 10:18AM

    Great blog. Thanks for sharing.

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MASONK 9/1/2010 9:40AM

    I have often heard its easier to lose weight than to maintain. I've never really been at my "goal" weight which according to standards is about 145 to 150 but my own personal goal weight is 155 to 159. I'm the closest now than i've ever been and I already find myself losing focus. If I could count the people that have already told me that I shouldn't lose any more weight I would be rich. Well maybe not rich but I would have a few dollars in my pockets. Subconsciously, those things sink in and then we start feeling that we're ok and there goes the drive.

This is a great reality check for me. I will make it to my goal...period and then the real fun will begin, right?

Thanks so much for this blog.

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ABIZZLE7 9/1/2010 9:37AM

    great blog - i know I do the same thing, and I know that this has to be a lifestyle change, not just sometime i do until I get where I want to be. It's taking me a while, but I'm working on it. thanks so much for the reminder that this isn't a short trip - it's a long ride, and we've got to keep it up for our lives if we want to stay healthy!

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DEVORA4 8/31/2010 11:18PM

  what a great reminder. That's why I was doing a see saw act throught out my life. No more. I am where I want to be but MUST keep the work up. Thanks for reminding all of us. I voted for this blog debby

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PAULAMARIEF 8/31/2010 10:33PM

    For me it's important to hear from someone like yourself who I know is knowledgeable in both nutrition and exercise and gone through their own transition. Thanks for sharing your ongoing strength.

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STRONG-FIT-GIRL 8/31/2010 10:26PM

    Inspiring blog, Nancy Anne. I've been up and down the scale more times than I care to admit and it is time to gain control of my eating and make it a lifestyle. Thanks for the eloquent reminder.

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SUNSHINE667 8/31/2010 9:49PM

    AMEN and I am not even at the maintenance part yet! I know that is so easy to slide back into old habits and gain the weight back faster than you lost it. It'a a lifestyle changed and I am already for it. Who wants to waste time and money...NOT ME!!!

Great blog Nancy Anne!

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CASEYSSS 8/31/2010 9:48PM

    I have an older male friend who I meet for dinner when I am in D.C. It is funny, because he will say things like, "I weighed 180 this morning, so I can have the meatloaf!" Or, "I'm at 185, so I better be good tonight."

He isn't a "dieter" by any means, he just weighs everyday and does his best to stay within the 180-185 range. He too wrestles with that same 5 pounds.

The thing is, he is one of the smartest, most well-balanced men I know. In my opinion, if that is how he maintains his weight as well, then you are on the right track.

Just make sure to have the meatloaf every once in a while. :)

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GYMRAT_AT44 8/31/2010 9:39PM

    Yep, vouch for it. At goal now, workout 5-6 days a week, still track my food. I'm with Nancy. Plan on being that hot grandma with muscles! Watch out world.

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MAMAMARY8 8/31/2010 7:49PM

  Very good blog. In order to have long term success, we need to let go of the notion of reaching a certain point where we can eat whatever we want. That's how we got here in the first place, duh! I've made that mistake too many times myself, and I don't want to go there again. Thanks for the reminder!

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BANKER-CHUCK 8/31/2010 7:47PM

    Thank you so much for your Blog. You are so right!! You hit the nail on the head about maintenance. I knew this all along but you have hit me over the head with it. It is much harder to maintain once the "goal" is met. Easy to let your guard down and allow the pizzas, ice cream,....etc, creep back into my food groups and the weight comes in little by little. I have been where you are, only to let my guard down and ballooned back up Plus added pounds. Each time, and there has been several, it is a longer period between diets.

I have concluded over the years that keeping my weight down is tough and I have proved I cannot adhere to a maintenance plan. I had never set a plan before, hence my problem.

I have about 40 lbs more I want to lose. I need my plan in place for when I reach goal, so I need to start one now. My habits are good now but like any addiction it does not take much to fall off the wagon. Food is akin to drug and alcohol addiction. Fitness programs are easy to go on the wayside. I need to figure this out quick because by Dec.2010 is when I hope to be at goal weight. I need to continuously keep building and shoring up my foundation if I am to succeed.I think SparkPeople will help me tremendously.

I was planning to run a similar Blog on mySparkPage but you beat me to the punch. I will however still however Blog about the same subject. It is important for my friends on Spark and Facebook to see what others go through.

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AMBUDMAN 8/31/2010 7:00PM

    So very true. I talked my best friend into joining SparkPeople, it took me awhile, and she is doing great. Someone asked her how long she would keep up the Spark thing and she said, and I quote, "For the rest of my life".

Great blog.

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FITCHICK421 8/31/2010 6:28PM

  I am so with you. I was on a 2 week "break" from everything and luckily didn't gain anything. But I know if it was much longer than 2 weeks, the pounds would be coming back on. Plus I feel better when I'm doing what I know I should. You have done awesome and I'm totally with you. This is part of my life now and I'll be an old grandma still doing it.

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KRISTINARAINES 8/31/2010 4:41PM

  Great blog! So true! Being healthy is a lifestyle not just something you do to lose a couple lbs!

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ROCKNBUTTERFLY 8/31/2010 4:25PM

    Amen sister.... its hard as heck to maintain... I am finally wrapping my head around the idea that I DONT need to technically lose weight I am at the lower end of my weight bracket.. but this is the dumb side of me that still wants to be a 130.. not gonna happen with a boat load of muscle... and I like the muscle. I do however what to "lean down" more theres a lil fat here and there that could go lol but I would loves to still add some muscle!!! I used to be one of those people and say when I lose weight I am gonna eat a whole can of icing I.... never did it but it sounded good LOL Great blog emoticon

Comment edited on: 8/31/2010 4:25:38 PM

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My Favorite Protein Shake Recipe

Saturday, August 28, 2010

This is a diverse recipe I came up with that even my kids like. Everyone I've made it for asks me for it.

If you leave out the olive oil, this is an excellent post-workout shake. Fats slow digestion, so leaving it out lets the carbs and protein get to my muscles faster. Usually at this time I'll throw half a teaspoon of L-glutamine powder into it, to expedite muscle repair. I can't taste the glutamine.

The secret to making it a milkshake consistency is using frozen fruit. Any kind will work, but my favorite is the berries.

Into a blender put:

1/2 C plain non-fat yogurt
1/2 C skim milk or cold water
1 C frozen mixed berries
1 scoop protein powder, flavor of choice (I like chocolate the best)
1 tsp. olive oil
Sweetener to taste (I use Splenda)
If I'm post workout I'll toss my powdered L-glutamine in, too.

Blend on high. If it won't move through the blender easily enough, add some cold water until it blends.

This is approximately 345 calories when made with the milk and equal amount of carbs and protein with about 7g of healthy fat. If you are on Weight Watchers it is a serving of dairy, 2 fruit/veggie servings, a lean protein, and a serving of healthy fat.

Let me know what you think!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LUVYA04 2/3/2012 10:46AM

    emoticon

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1BUGZZY 2/3/2012 8:54AM

    I am going to have to try this thanks for sharing NANCYANNE55's
!! emoticon

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ELECTRICITY3699 2/2/2012 9:59PM

    Never tried the olive oil in a shake before... I also like berries with a little natural peanut butter... YUM!

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A-STRONGER-ME 2/2/2012 7:36PM

    About 6 PointsPlus in WW - depending on your Protein Powder- sounds delish!!

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CINNAMONGURL06 9/9/2010 1:31PM

    Thanks for sharing, I'm going to try this for sure!

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JIBBIE49 9/8/2010 9:59PM

    I would use Coconut Oil in it.

You can buy 4# bags of frozen fruit at Walmart Super Centers for about $7 which is a bargain. I buy the store brand "Great Value" since all of Walmart's "Great Value" items are really name brand products.

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APRILBLESS 9/8/2010 3:27PM

    Speak of the devil. I just saw you posted this!

I definitely shall try this once I get my protein powder purchased... I'm already salivating, with no nevermind to the health benefits... (lol) emoticon

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SUNSHINE667 8/31/2010 9:51PM

    Sounds good, I would like to definitely try that. Chocolate is my fav too!

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PAULAMARIEF 8/31/2010 10:39AM

    Thanks do much for sharing! The oil addition is interesting!

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TWALKER0475 8/30/2010 11:57AM

    You could also add baby spinach to it to sneak in another serving of veggies - I do that a lot when I make protein shakes and you don't even taste it!

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JOURNEY2DESTINY 8/29/2010 1:18PM

    You know Im going to try this. Anything I can do to get the protein and the veggies & fruits up at the same time--is for me. Thanks again, NancyAnne.

Comment edited on: 8/29/2010 1:20:25 PM

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GENKI_WARRIOR 8/29/2010 6:48AM

    Sounds yumm! Thanks for sharing emoticon

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DEVORA4 8/29/2010 12:49AM

  I am just co9ming out of the Dark Ages. I started using frozen fruit just a week ago and I am obsesses with it. I will try yours. I am now into adding green veggies in too. Avacodo or spinach are great. Hugs, debby aka devora4 new leader of t and t team

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GYMRAT_AT44 8/28/2010 10:54PM

    Hey Nancy, I am just about out of the current protein powder I am using. Doing alot of research to make sure I am using the best one for me and there is just so much information out there... which powder do you use?

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KAYE454 8/28/2010 10:46PM

  Thanks for the infro

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SHELLYK972 8/28/2010 10:39PM

    That sounds yummy! I totally agree with the frozen fruit.. You can skip ice when you use it!

What made you think to put olive oil in it?

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Don't Work Your Abs.... Say WHAT????

Sunday, August 22, 2010

I am going to address something I have heard around here on Spark that I think is complete hogwash. And I am sure I will take some flack for this, but I'm going to say it anyhow:

I've been reading people advising others not to work their abs. The thought seems to be that if you do squats and deadlifts and other exercises that require core stabilization, that is enough ab work. I've also been hearing that you should not use weights when you work abs because it will make them look too thick, especially the oblique's. To which I respond........

ARE YOU FREAKIN' KIDDING ME?

Let me ask you a question: When was the last time you saw someone with ab muscles that were just too big? Go on.... Rack your brain...... Now think some more....... Try even harder to recall..... You can't, can you? Yeah... so let's just forget the notion that working abs with weights will make them too big and thick. It's silly.

I work my abs with weights frequently. Have for years. My waist currently measures 26 1/2 inches. And let's entertain the notion for a minute that you could make them too big by working them with weights... Let's just let our minds go there and envision it has happened to you..... Are you there mentally? If this is the case STOP WORKING THEM WITH WEIGHTS!

Yeesh!

You can always deflate a muscle group by reducing the stress put on it. Reduce the amount of weight that a muscle group is bearing, reduce the size of the muscle group. It's that simple.

'Nuff said on that subject.....

Okay, now for this notion that you shouldn't work your abs at all:

This idea makes as much sense as saying that your triceps get hit working chest (they do) so they shouldn't be worked separately. We all want toned tri's, yes? Don't we even more-so want toned abs? Then why wouldn't we target them?

Abs are a muscle, like any other They need to be targeted. They need their own special spot in your weekly split. I often work mine twice a week. One day, the day I do them for sure, is unweighted at home with a DVD. The other day is usually heavy weighted in the gym. Ask my workout partner. I make that big muscle-bound boy cry on ab day! My abs are smaller than his, and my abs are STRONGER than his!

The only time I see an exception to this rule is if you are one of these rare individuals who has naturally defined abs. These are the people I'd imagine started the "don't specify your abs" theory. Lucky them. The rest of us have to work abs. Period.

I have naturally strong abs but I'm telling you that when I don't work them they stop showing muscle tone.

Look, there are some smaller muscle groups, like forearms and inner and outer thighs, that most people can bypass when working out because they get adequately hit when other body parts are worked. But abs? The midsection is the place people usually most want to see definition. If YOU want to see definition there, I'd advise you target them babies.

There is no place to see true fitness in the body like in the abdominals. IMHO, you can't see the results of strong abs without working them.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ROVISI 8/4/2012 4:33PM

    I'm late to the party, but this has inspired me to really focus more on my abs.

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LRSILVER 9/8/2010 3:15PM

    Good point. LOVE YOUR BLOGS

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BECKY_ROWE1984 9/7/2010 11:59AM

    Absolutely! Loving this blog, crazy really!

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REDEMILY 8/31/2010 7:00AM

    Woo hoo! I agree!

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GENKI_WARRIOR 8/29/2010 7:07AM

    Thank you so much! There are so many misconceptions out there, and it's good to hear it from someone who actually has experience doing the work! lol *tangent alert* I told my brother I recently added 5lb dumbbells to my strength training [because I'm one of those people who needs the extra help from gravity to get tone I want (which I have yet to see, but I'm still going)!]...and what does he say, but "I wouldn't add more weight than that because you're related to me so you'll bulk up easily." I, of course, told him that I'm a female and as such it would take me a lot more work than I am willing to ever do to "bulk up." Tangent over...the lesson: don't necessarily take anyones' word for things--educate yourself!
Again--thanks for posting this!

-robin

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TRAINER_T 8/25/2010 5:42PM

    Amen!

I always work abs besides helping stabalize your back they just feel good!
(gotta love the pain when you cough right?)
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BEKAH_IS_FIT 8/25/2010 5:35PM

    I've got naturally defined abs, but I still have to target them to keep them in tip top shape! Whoever says that you don't have to do ab work is craaaaaazy!

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GYMRAT_AT44 8/24/2010 5:39PM

    Yeah for Nancy! And your right, you did write a blog a few days ago!
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MARVELOUS50S 8/24/2010 3:35PM

    I so agree with you. Last year I did not work my abs as hard as I am working them now and you can tell. Yes I ate clean but there was no real tone look to my abs...just extra skin so that old myth, abs are made in the kitchen is not true. This time around I am treating my abs just like any other muscle group and working at least once a week with the same type of dedication.

Hopefully if I decide to compete again next year there will be a big change.

Comment edited on: 8/24/2010 3:37:25 PM

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HEALTHDUDE 8/23/2010 9:33PM

    It's like watching a mystery movie, leaving during the middle, returning and then complaining that you couldn't figure out the ending.
You workout, skip doing abs, then look at yourself and wonder why you don't look fit, and why you tire doing aerobics, or why you can keep up. I'm with you, I don't understand why anyone would skip an ab workout. The only answer I can come up with is they are gut wrenching. A weak core is a weak body. You might be able to lay on a bench or sit on a seat and pump all kind of big round disks but a weak core is a weak body.

Good blog, you are spot on.

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MISSYGEEN 8/23/2010 4:34PM

    I wonder like ROCK9612, what to focus on. I do abs as a part of my workout but with so much weight to loose I am told I must loose the fat in order to see real results by doing more cardio. What's your opinion on that?

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TIREDOFWORKING 8/23/2010 11:12AM

    I am a firm believer in working the abs. One day, my work will show too!
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GSCOTTC 8/22/2010 11:45PM

    I wouldn't know when my workout was finished if I didn't work my abs. I always work my abs last. I most likely work them too often, but I have been doing if for years and am too stubborn to change this part of my workout. I have 6 different ab routines. Once the flab is gone I will have a 6 pack........someday.

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ROC9612 8/22/2010 11:05PM

    What do us with....say about 1"-2" of fat that are hiding those abs do? Do we target that area too, weighted? Is the true idea for the midsection to start with diet while the ab workout complements it? What I have been doing is only doing planks after every workout....I probably should be doing something different, I guess?

Thanks for the blog too it does make one think.

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SUZBFIT 8/22/2010 10:53PM

    I agree, it has to be a person who has naturally defined abs that said they don't need to be worked! I have a friend like that. She actually works hers but very limited and her abs look better than people who work them all the time. What works for one does not always work for another, especially when great genes are involved. I do think it is a risky statement to tell someone not to work abs and expect them to see fantastic results.

Speaking of....I could stand to do a few crunches right now:)

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SUNSHINE667 8/22/2010 8:24PM

    WOW,that IS freakin' nuts!! I have NEVER heard that before. I work my abs often too and I have never heard anyone say that they didn't either. Maybe lack of knowledge for those that don't, but nonetheless, not working abs is just crazy!

Continue to educate us Nancy Anne, there are some of us that listen and appreciate the advice!



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WREN67 8/22/2010 8:24PM

    I love it!
And I love working my abs - for which I thank you!

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Calf 21's (or 30's)

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

I've had a couple of different people who look at my workouts on Spark as me what "Calf 21's" are. I also call these "Calf 30's". I think calves are the most boring body part to work, so maybe this will give someone else a new spin on a way to work their calves.

You know how you can do a calf lift and put a variation on the move by turning your heels in or out? This has always stressed my knees. My first trainer, Ross, taught me to do this move to still work all areas of the calf but eliminate the potential knee pain. Here is how it's executed:

Start in the machine with a slightly light load selected. There are so many reps in this that you will burn out very quickly and be screaming in pain if you start out too heavy. First, put your feet about three inches apart and lift and lower your heels for 7 reps, leaning on the inside edges of the balls of your feet. Then separate them to about 12 inches apart and lift for 7 more reps with the weight evenly distributed across the ball of your foot. Then, maintaining the 12-inch spread between your feet, lean on the outside edges of the balls of your feet and lift for another 7 reps.

Next, jump off the machine and hop around the gym saying "Ow! Ow! Ow! Ow!", like I do, until the pain in your calves goes away.

Repeat until you've had enough torture for one day. I usually do three sets.

I change the order I do the inside/flat/outside pressure on my feet, too. Muscles adapt very quickly and I like to keep 'em guessing.

For 30's, you do the same exercise, but 10 times for each position. This is usually done with lighter weight yet.

You can do this on any type calf press (standing, seated, on a leg press machine, or on a step holding a dumbbell).

Let me know what you think!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PATTYFMFL 5/21/2011 11:25PM

    I'm adding this to my routine!

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PATTYFMFL 5/21/2011 11:23PM

    I'm adding this to my routine!

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BECKY_ROWE1984 9/7/2010 12:03PM

    will certainly be giving this a go, it amazes me how quickly my calves tire when doing normal raises.

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STRONGERLEANER 9/2/2010 10:58AM

    Thanks for explaining the Calf 21's. I think I'll try them today. I'm trying to build up my calves after a leg/ankle injury and this sounds like it will be a nice addition for me.

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WREN67 8/24/2010 12:37AM

    It's awesome - one of my favorites!!

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MASONK 8/23/2010 12:49PM

    I guess I'm into torture cause I love working my calfs. I will have to try this workout tonight.

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TKADEEPBREATH 8/22/2010 4:23PM

    Thanks for the tip . . we have to fight the "bordom" .. . at least I do anyway . . lol.

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SUNSHINE667 8/18/2010 4:58PM

    Great blog, Nancy Anne. I am not working on my calves specifically, but maybe I should try it. I will let you know!

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TABS17 8/18/2010 3:03PM

    Hmmmm...gonna have to try it!! Always looking for a way to build those babies up!

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Take the Occasional Exercise Break

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Did you know that if you are a regular exerciser, taking the occasional week-long break is good for you?

I lift weights very hard, and schedule a week off of training every 10 weeks. Back in the days when I wasn't maxing out on my weights and just working out 4 days a week I took my break about once every four months. As my intensity has increased I have lessened the time in-between breaks.

Some people I know who lift weights or train extremely hard will take a week off every 8 weeks. It all depends on your intensity of training.

Taking a break accomplishes several things: First and foremost, it allows the nervous system to repair from the same routine all the time. Secondly, it can let little injuries you don't even know are in your body repair themselves. And thirdly, it can rejuvenate your enthusiasm for your workouts again. I always come back from my breaks rarin' to go!

You don't have to take a total break. You can try something gentle you don't normally do like yoga or walking. Or you can do what I do, turn into a complete sloth, and totally give up exercise altogether.

Sometimes my break is built into my life, like a vacation. Most times I have to put it on the calendar. Almost every time my body starts "asking" for a break about the time I am due one: My enthusiasm for exercise starts to wane, I start having little joint aches and getting little sore in places I hadn't been sore before, my performance and enthusiasm start to suffer, I begin to dread cardio... I just generally feel like I need a break. I have to be careful not to confuse these feelings with just general laziness, though. This is why scheduling a break helps me..... I know I can take it without guilt, knowing it is actually good for my body.

I look forward to my breaks, but I also look forward to returning to my routine after a break. It's good for my frame of mind. How long has it been since you took a week off?

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

THECRAZYMANGO 8/24/2012 7:57PM

    Thank you! This does help. Yesterday I didn't do any exercise and my knees ached like I went for a long run. Maybe I need to rethink how I do exercise these days.. an exercise schedule might be more efficient, in the long run, for me. emoticon

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BECKY_ROWE1984 9/7/2010 12:07PM

    This is great, when I started training after my last break I felt great, my weights were heavier and just felt full of enthusiasm again! I suppose it also gives the muscles time to recover fully.

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ALESHABEE 8/12/2010 9:20PM

    Whew...this blog has made me feel a lot better! I took a break this week but did a lot of walking and I feel sooooo much better! I think I needed it to get re-focused and used to the change of routine since school started on Monday. And lemme tell ya I'm revved up and ready for my 5AM workout tmw. Yeah I need to listen to myself and know that when my excitement for exercise wanes (which is very rare, lol) it is time for a break!

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ORCHIDLADY56 8/10/2010 5:02PM

    You are so right! I was off for a week while we were on vacation. Rather than having problems when I went back to the gym, I actually felt like I had more energy, strength and that things went a lot smoother. Definitely worth it! Thanks for the reminder!

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HARISHABAD 8/9/2010 5:17PM

    Yes, a bit of a rest is great. I know I need one when I feel like I just left the gym, even though it's been 2-3 days. Hmmm, maybe I am due for one soon!

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ROCKNBUTTERFLY 8/9/2010 5:04PM

    Great read.. its good to know that I dont have to feel bad for wanting to take a break. Have been in a bit of a funk the last week or so. Taking this week to purge my home.. (posted a blog) and refresh myself. Cleaning is therapeutic to me and I am lacking a bit in the mental health and eating aspects of my life right now. So I am taking a step back to refocus on my goals and gain some peace of mind:) Thanks for a great blog:)

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BEKAH_IS_FIT 8/9/2010 4:53PM

    Good blog, good reminder.

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FATHINSN 8/8/2010 8:21PM

    I recently had my 3-week break, haven't done anything except my usual walk at office, quite long due to my elliptical trainer breakdown mood (only up to level 3 then after that, just jammed). And also due to my laziness, haha. Great blog, I think I have to start "listening" more to my body, less to my lazy me emoticon

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MISTYMOVIN 8/8/2010 8:07PM

    I can always tell when it's time for a week long breather, it's usually every 8-10 weeks depending how hard I've been pushing it. It's definitely a good thing to do. Usually I can tell it's time for a break when I'm dragging through the day, a general exhausted/drained feeling.

This last break it was harder to get back on track, maybe cause I was pushing so hard in June, I ended up taking an extra week off at the end July as well as my 10 day vacation over the 4th. Overall though, it was worth it. I'm looking at a good, productive August

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The only thing I gotta watch on a break is my eating. I tend to eat better when I'm exercising.

Comment edited on: 8/8/2010 8:08:45 PM

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