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Another year... another fresh start.

Friday, January 01, 2010

"You have a choice, quit or don't quit."
This morning I cleared out all my streaks so that I can start working on things again. Drink my water, eat my fruits and vegetables, cardio and strength training. Shouldn't be too hard, should it?

I joined up for the SP Bootcamp and posted the schedule on my fridge. Hopefully, that will help keep me on track. It starts on Sunday and I'm rearing to go!
My "before" pictures are pretty much identical to the ones that I posted before the LIC challenge so I'm not going to redo them but I'll post my goals, etc. on Sunday. By then, I should know what they are. =)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TURBOMEL 1/3/2010 7:57PM

    You have done so well to stay active and look after YOU. You have it in you to do great things!

Love ya!

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JOPAPGH 1/1/2010 9:31PM

    Thsi will be my first boot camp. I'm ready to add to my existing aoerobic training and am also happy for the fresh start.

Have a great 2010!! Maybe I'll see you at the Bluenose.

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GEOGIRL 1/1/2010 6:26PM

  Kick butt with the bootcamp! Sounds like a great way to start off the year!

Happy 2010!

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ETTEZEUS 1/1/2010 5:41PM

    You can do it! I know you can!
I also cleared some of my streaks that I only did sporadically last year. I'm determined to follow through with them this year.

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CASSIOEPIA 1/1/2010 5:27PM

    I joined in on the boot camp as well, because I LOVE Coach Nicole's st videos. But we'll be gone for ten days in January, so won't be able to keep up every day.

Let's have fun with this!

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Tracking away..

Thursday, December 10, 2009

So Tuesday was a write-off but Wednesday was much better. I stayed close to my calorie range and, instead of whining when I couldn't make my run, got some real good strength training in. I say "close to my calorie range" because my tracker doesn't include the cracker with brie spread and 5 chip nuts that I also ate. There wasn't any calorie info available but I had to try them anyway.

Today I headed off to work with the best of intentions. After an hour in the car, I wasn't far enough away from my house to warrant trying to get the rest of the way so I called my supervisor and promised a Saturday shift =) Seriously, if I walked I would have done twice the distance. Just made me GRRR. To top it all off, there was a diesel truck beside me that was high enough to pump it's fumes at me... when I got home I felt sick to my stomach and had a raging headache. No fun! I did a little (very little) housework and relaxed. The head and stomach feel fine now thank goodness. Because tonight! Tonight is my Functional Fitness class... my poor little muscles. LOL.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GEOGIRL 12/11/2009 10:04AM

  Glad you had the choice not to have to head into work with the headache, I can't believe how bad traffic has been in this city lately! Getting back to tracking is excellent, keep up the good work!

Things are looking more than a little chilly for the "Catch the Elves" run on Sunday...why oh why do we live in such a cold climate!?!?!?

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ETTEZEUS 12/10/2009 8:56PM

    Those fumes always give me a headache too! Not fun at all. Hope the functional fitness class was fun!

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ASPENJULES 12/10/2009 8:32PM

    Exhaust fumes are the most consistant cause of my version of migraines... sorry about your drive but yay for a nice day at home!

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CASSIOEPIA 12/10/2009 5:51PM

    Grrrr is right about the diesel truck - I hate it when that happens. Glad you are feeling better now.

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JOPAPGH 12/10/2009 5:15PM

    Great job on the tracking. I have seen results since I recommitted to it.

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Wednesday, December 09, 2009

It's Tuesday night and, of course, I'm watching Biggest Loser. A few minutes ago, they offered Shay $1000 for every pound that she loses between now and the next season's finale. I said to Kerry, "me, too please". Then I realized... I would work harder if money was at stake. Now I'm wondering "why?". Why do I have to have that kind of motivation to get healthy? Shouldn't my health, physical and emotional, be worth way more than $1000?

Yesterday, I was depressed and fighting my PMS. I lost and ate way too many calories and WAY too many carbs. I didn't drink the water that I promised myself that I would. I came home from work, plunked my ass on the couch and watched tv from 8 until midnight. Bad Penny.
I woke up today feeling gross and fluffy and emotional all over again. But I did things differently... I drank my water, ate my fruit and veggies, ran 4 kms in the frigid cold and (hopefully) stayed within my calories. My only moment of badness was a 65 calorie chocolate cookie. I feel good tonight. Much better than this morning.

SO! How was YOUR Tuesday?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NEWWALKER 12/9/2009 1:51PM

  Oh - I've been on a major sugar binge! And when I told my trainer that this morning she pointed out that it was actually a sugar AND fat binge.

I would work harder for $1000/pound too! I have 20 pounds I want to loose and $20,000 would go a long way! But I do keep remembering something Jillian said to Shay and that was "make a different choice" - so if I make bad choices one day (such as my sugar binges) - I try to make better choices the next. We're not perfect sadly so we just do the best we can!

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ETTEZEUS 12/9/2009 10:34AM

    I have the same problem during PMS! I'll have to be careful today because I'm going to lunch with several friends I haven't seen in a long time....they LOVE to eat.....and eat......and eat!!

My Tuesday was good! Strength/toning and yoga classes and then got on the elliptical for the first time for 40 minutes. Thanks for asking.

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CASSIOEPIA 12/9/2009 8:07AM

    Always learning - never giving up! You are a succes girl, and don't you ever doubt it. I'm glad your Tuesday was a turn-around day for you.

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JOPAPGH 12/9/2009 6:12AM

    Nice job rebounding from an off day.

My Tuesday was good. Got my water. Hit my ranges, even with the brownie. Ran 7.5 miles. Got 8.5 hours sleep. I have lost three pounds since returning from the Thanksgiving break.

Life is good! Now if they could just finish renovating our bathrooms, it would start to feel like Christmas.

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    Penny-you're only human ! Good for you on getting back on track the next day. And you'll stay on track today! Way to go!!

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Sharing ST info from Women's Health

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

A Quick Strength Training Guide for Women
Tackle daunting machines and dumbbells with this guide--and burn more fat
Jen Ator; Additional reporting by Alex Kish

Lifting weights has some seriously cool benefits: It increases lean muscle mass, which boosts metabolism and helps torch calories and shed stubborn fat. It also improves the quality of your sleep, wards off back pain, and protects you from disease.

Despite all this, many women dodge the dumbbells at the gym—in fact, only 21 percent strength-train two or three times a week. It may be that the rest are misguided, feel intimidated, or are just plain avoiding it!

Well, the excuses end here. We enlisted top trainers to create this easy-to-follow weight-room cheat sheet. The payoff of pumping more iron will be a leaner, sexier you.

1. Have a Plan
When you enter an unfamiliar situation (say, the free-weight zone), your body will naturally freeze for a moment and only your eyes will move, says body-language expert Patti Wood, author of Success Signals: Body Language in Business. It's an obvious physical sign that you're confused. Decide beforehand what you'll do as soon as you go into the room. For example, make a beeline for the dumbbells. But which ones? Lifting too much too soon can hurt your form and put you at risk for injury, but grabbing two-pounders won't get you results. New York City personal trainer Dan Ownes gives a head-to-toe exercise barometer of just-right weights for beginners:

If you're doing...lateral raises
Start with...2.5 to 5 pounds in each hand

If you're doing...biceps curls
Start with...5 to 8 pounds in each hand

If you're doing...flat-bench dumbbell rows
Start with...12 to 20 pounds

If you're doing...chest presses
Start with...12 pounds (body bar) to 45 pounds

If you're doing...squats
Start (body weight) to 45 pounds

2. Stay Steady
The occasional slam of a weight stack is par for the course when you're using resistance equipment like the cable machine or seated leg press, but causing a storm of noise is a classic newbie doh! And it's more than just bad manners. "Lowering the weight without control can result in injury," says Brad Schoenfeld, owner of the Personal Training Center for Women in Scarsdale, New York, and author of Women's Home Workout Bible. "It can also prevent you from getting the tone you're after, because you don't work through the full range of motion." Lower the weights slowly enough that you can perform every rep of the exercise with good form (and less clanking!).

3. Breathe Easy
Even seasoned lifters sometimes forget to breathe during a tough move. But it's counterproductive. "You starve the body of oxygen, which forces your heart to work a lot harder," says certified strength and conditioning specialist Josh Kernen, owner of Bridgetown Physical Therapy & Training Studio in Portland, Oregon. Exhale during the major exertion in each move, and inhale while returning to the starting position.

4. Break a Sweat
Go full-steam, or you might as well go home. A good way to gauge your effort: Monitor how hard you feel like your body is working. It's called your rating of perceived exertion (RPE), and it's usually measured on a scale of one to 10, with one being very little exertion (like lounging in bed) and 10 being the max (running away from an angry dog). To build and tone muscle, aim for an RPE of at least seven or eight during workouts, says Kernen. "Even if you're happy with your tone, you still have to hit six or seven to maintain muscle mass."

5. Think Total Body
Your muffin top may be the only thing that's motivating you to hit the gym, but it's a mistake to attack just your least-favorite assets. "Spot-reducing exercises simply don't work," says Schoenfeld. Full-body workouts torch fat more efficiently because they build more lean muscle mass, which in turn burns more calories per day. And think about it: Wouldn't you rather eradicate all your jiggle?

The Lingo
Common need-to-know gym terms...defined

A workout format that incorporates strength exercises, performed with little or no rest between each exercise. One entire round of each move is considered one circuit.

The safety mechanism, usually round, that you put next to the last weight on a barbell to keep the weight from falling off during a workout.

The activation of functioning muscle or muscle fiber.

Types of contractions:
• Concentric: The shortening of muscle fibers during the lifting portion of the exercise (e.g., lifting a dumbbell during a biceps curl).
• Eccentric: The lengthening of muscle fibers during the lowering portion of an exercise (e.g., lowering a dumbbell during a biceps curl).

A grasp, hold, or control. Usually refers to the placement of your hands on a bar or dumbbell.

Types of grips:
• Neutral grip: Palms facing each other
• Pronated grip: Palms facing down or back. Also called an overhand grip.
• Supinated grip: Palms facing up or forward. Also called a reverse grip or underhand grip.

Completing an exercise with one main muscle group, followed by another exercise with the opposing muscle group, with little or no rest in between.

Work in
To share gym equipment. Complete a set, let them do a set, and continue alternating until you're finished.

Last updated: December 1, 2009 Issue date: December 2009
You can find this article online at:

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ASPENJULES 12/4/2009 5:30PM

    I'm pleased to know that I know all of this stuff, with one exception.

I always thought superset was to do one exercise utilizing a particular muscle (quads in a leg press) followed by another exercise working the same muscle (lunges).

Not that the terminology really matters - sometimes I'll work opposite muscles, but if you REALLY want to fatigue a muscle - working two different exercises on the same muscles will do the job, to be sure!

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CASSIOEPIA 12/2/2009 6:12PM

    This is great info Penny - especially the part about how much to lift if you are just beginning. So many people start out grabbing too much, and then thinking they've failed cause they can't do it, or worse, they hurt themselves.

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Onward and downward to week 4

Monday, November 09, 2009

Challenges for this week:
Maintain the first two week's challenges (tracking, water).
Try a new workout.
Add 15% more minutes to your cardio total.
Strength train! do a little something at least 3x this week.

Last week was a write-off all around. I wasn't allowed to run and I was feeling bad for myself. I had four days where I consumed over two thousand calories. That made my average intake 1955/day. Sad. Very sad.

Days in range: 3
Calories consumed: 13,687 (1955 avg)
Calories burned through exercise: 863
Fitness minutes: 108
Water: 1/7 days - HOLY CRAP!!
Fruit & veggies: 5/7 -this I can live with.

Well now I feel even worse. The thing that gets me is, this week was about as opposite as I could get from the prior two weeks where I maintained or gained weight. And yet, I lost a pound. AND I have pms.... weight-loss is so friggin' confusing.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ETTEZEUS 11/21/2009 7:13PM

    OH gosh! I can totally relate on the weight loss confusion! I also ate crazy one week, I went on a binge fest and still ended up losing! Then the week after, worked out like crazy and stayed in range and lost nothing. Sometimes it makes one want to give up but yet we still keep pressing forward!

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MOMMICOCO 11/19/2009 7:55PM

    same thing here! two wks ago, worked out every day and loss 1 1b. This wk. no exercise and ate crazy, 2lbs down.

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CASSIOEPIA 11/15/2009 1:27PM

    I'm going to subscribe to your blog. We can cheer each other on as we ramp up our training for February. Thanks for stopping in on my blog today. I like that "back to the barn syndrome". Coming from my farm background, I know exactly what that's all about!

As for this blog, it's all in the past. A fresh start. What new workout did you try?

And I have to agree on the weight loss frustration. I'm doing the Calorie Deficit on HTC team, have been doing awesome over the two weeks, and this morning stepped on the scale to the tune of a 1.5 pound GAIN. But giving up is not an option. Gotta Believe!

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GEOGIRL 11/9/2009 10:14AM

  Its a new week, you know what you need to do so get out there and run run run!

Cheers to a better week :)

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WONGERCHI 11/9/2009 10:03AM

    I don't have any words of "wisdom" to add but I'll just say...

What KEAKMAN said x1 million.

And this week's a new week.

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ASPENJULES 11/9/2009 9:40AM

    Well, I can empathize. Ok, so I was able to exercise/run, but I didn't on Thursday, Friday or Saturday because of scheduling issues, and my food those days was also crazy. The downside for me was that my weight definitely went UP. I agree that weight loss is very confusing and frustrating. However, Keakman is right. We have to focus on the things we do right.

Now, how are you feeling and are you good to run yet?

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KEAKMAN 11/9/2009 9:27AM

    I learned a valuable lesson this weekend....instead of focusing on the places where you failed, focus on the places where you succeeded. Tell yourself: Hey, I was restricted from running and it made me feel like crap. Sure, I overate, but I still got in my veggies for the most part. And now I know that if this happens again I need to be prepared for how my brain/heart/spirit is going to take this running ban and adjust.

You lost weight and even more importantly, you didn't quit! THAT is cause for celebration! emoticon

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