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PIMP My (P)Ride Challenge Muscle Failure (from Assignment Numero 2) and This Week's Wacky ST

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

I finally had time (and was sufficiently rested enough) to do my muscle failure challenge (#3 in the Numero 2 Assignment):

45 crunches.

I also did the bonus (#5): took a photo of Saturday's lunch & posted it in my Tumblr blog with the "recipe" & calorie count.


This week my form of strength training is a bit out of the ordinary, but it's giving me workout-sore biceps, triceps, upper back and shoulders, and leg muscles so I'm counting it: I'm ripping the carpet out of the living room & my home office area to expose the hardwoods.

It's a multi-step process complicated by the fact that my place isn't very large and the area in question is upstairs, so moving everything to another room is OUT of the question. So BFF and I are accomplishing this task by starting at one end of the room, shifting the furniture out of the way, slicing away a manageable section of carpet, vacuuming and cleaning the hardwood, shifting the furniture back, and moving onto the next section. Whatever works, right? It's actually a good thing in a way, because it allows me to pace myself and rest...and it's kind of humorous watching the carpet get smaller.

One wall is a row of bookcases, so there's a lot of moving of books, and when I woke up my arm muscles were sore in the same places as when I do my hand weights. That's what made me decide to count this endeavor as ST (although I don't actually log it in my fitness tracker).

Today I also did 20 plies. I wanted to get them in before the weather gets hot again this week, because my energy probably will not be there when it's 97. I usually do around 30-35, but today my legs gave out pretty fast thanks to playing carpet uninstaller.


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    Oh, it's DEFINITELY counting!!! This morning I found a way to log it: under household, I chose "moving boxes" and "painting". Didn't see moving furniture as an option, but it should be.

This morning when I woke up, every muscle in my butt was sore, from the back of the upper thigh where the butt connects, to all the way to just under my sacroiliac joints, and even my saddlebags!

I've never had such a comprehensive butt workout...It's like horseback riding, skating, plies, stairclimbing, and squats and a whole slew of other stuff rolled into one. Plus the arm workout, but the most surprising thing was the bottom line.

Definitely pacing myself to avoid a crash. I'm going very slowly, not going too long at a time, and resting a lot. Thank you NORAHNICK!

Comment edited on: 9/22/2011 5:35:01 PM

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NORAHNICK 9/22/2011 12:46PM

    That definitely counts as strength training. You're squatting, lifting, kinda-sorta lunging, reaching, pulling. "Girl, you be workin' that body!"

And 45 crunches?????????????? Wow! That's emoticon I could only do 30 yesterday at the gym!

Just for god's sake don't send yourself into a crash!! Pace yourself! Pace yourself!

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FANGFACEKITTY 9/21/2011 6:23AM

    Moving furniture and removing carpet definitely count as ST. I'm not looking forward to when I am ready to do the family room; there are stairs involved so I'll be doing the same as you, shifting furniture around to get at the carpet.

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The Big Shift

Sunday, September 18, 2011

From my tumblr blog:

Things They Never Tell You About Weight Loss & Working Out Number 10,227:

One of the things no one ever tells you about losing weight and working out is...

The Big Shift.

That's when the eating right and workouts are doing their thing, and you've got your fat on the run and it's literally being muscled out of the way, but it has nowhere to go while it's waiting its turn in line to be eliminated...So it shifts around...

The Big Shift.

At this point, gravity is not your friend.

It's hideous. It's ugly. Suddenly you look down at your arm and say "WTF???" because half of it is getting toned and is developing lovely planes you never had before...and the other half is...not. In fact the contrast makes it look even worse than before.

But, I've decided it's not unlike cleaning out a closet...

You know how when you clean out a closet, somewhere in the middle of the process you look around and suddenly you've got a big pile of stuff around you and the place looks even worse than it did before you even started? Yeah, that...

The Big Shift.

But if you keep slagging it out, and you're careful and methodical about it, eventually that ugly pile of stuff gets smaller, and you get rid of a lot of it altogether? It's like that. (Although, to be fair, I really don't think the Salvation Army truck will come and pick up my unwanted fat...)

Sometimes in life, things have to get a little lumpy and bumpy and "Oh-My-God-Where-the Hell-Did-That-Come-From"-like before they get better.

Like that big pile of stuff when you cleaned out the closet, The Big Shift is only temporary...unless of course you stop in the middle and never get back to it.

Giving up in the middle is not an option. Never, never, NEVER give up...unless you want to look like that big, lumpy pile of stuff from the closet, that is.

You can do it!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BNSUHAS 9/29/2011 4:19PM

    Wow! I have been experiencing the big shift and it is kind of disheartening.. I have to admit, I've fallen off the wagon a bit, but you're right. I had a friend tell me when i was discussing my meaurements going up in places, " I don't know how you just havent given up.." if you give up you NEVER reach your goal. Loved this blog.. saw your advice on BLUEANGEL71's blog the other day and it was dead on! Congrats on all of your success!!

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    people dont realize their body fat is always shifting especially when trying to lose it. It re-distributes itself, thats why one day its like "look at my new sculpted muscles" and the next day its like "I swore they were there" lol
Great Blog and I just followed your tumblr :)

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NORAHNICK 9/19/2011 2:43PM

    Perfect analogy and so, so, so true and it's totally happening to me, too.

I know I'm slimming down and getting fit because I'm eating right and exercising so it HAS to happen. It's scientific. Yet at the same time I'm looking at my stomach in the mirror and seeing all this gross cellulite-y looking cottage cheese stuff that I never saw before and my saddle bags are literally TRAVELING around. Coming, going, changing places.

Looking down at my arm right now I can SEE this bump of a bicep muscle which is kinda grossing me out only because the rest of my arm seems to be flabbier. LOL

And when I was getting into the shower yesterday I noticed all this hanging flab under my upper legs that wasn't there before but now that the tops of the thighs are gaining muscle I guess all the fat has moved to the back of my legs. WEIRD!!!

But, like you said, there's no stopping now that we're in the middle of this process. Gotta see it through to the end, which, of course is not the "end" because then we'll have maintenance for the rest of our lives, but at least one glorious day all the gross fat will be gone, gone, gone, just like that mess you described on the closet floor.

Comment edited on: 9/19/2011 2:44:30 PM

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CHICAT63 9/19/2011 9:10AM

    Luv this, because I am at the same place !

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FANGFACEKITTY 9/18/2011 7:13PM

    Yes! I never though of it that before, I thought it was just me. The scale is not our friend and apparently neither is the mirror! I think they are related.

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BABYSTEPS84 9/18/2011 4:37PM

    I like your thinkin.

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SKYWATCHERRS 9/18/2011 4:19PM

    I like the topic! It's very true stuff starts to redistribute and change on you. And thanks for the reminder to clean out my closets.... emoticon

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  Good advice, and well written! Thanks for posting!

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PIMP My (P)ride Challenge Numero 2

Saturday, September 17, 2011

emoticon 1. By the end of Thursday, September 15, you are challenged to do 2 HOURS OF STRENGTH TRAINING OVER 4 DAYS. This can be broken down to two sets of 15 minutes per day, which ANYONE can make time for if they want to. Between Friday and Sunday night, clock AN ADDITIONAL HOUR. That's 20 minutes on Friday, 20 on Saturday and 20 on Sunday. THis is the minimum I expect you to spend on strength training if you are serious about changing your body and health.

2 hours was too much for my body to handle, but here's what I did:

Wednesday 9/14/11 : Arms:
25 Wall pushups (triangle)
35 Wall pushups (regular)
2 sets (10 reps each) dumbell Overhead Tricep Extensions
20 ballet overhead arm extensions
20 ballet butterflies
I'm a lot slower than the SP fitness minutes counter, so that took an hour, broken up into three sessions.

Friday 9/16/11: Legs:
40 ballet plies (proper form)

I forgot to look at the clock, but I was really slow and if I do a plie in bad form I don't count it and make myself do another one, so maybe...12-14 minutes?

Also: Not strength training, but I also did my 4 minutes of walking on Fri. 9/16.

emoticon 3. MUSCLE FAILURE CHALLENGE. Before Sunday, September 19th, pick !!ONE!! of the exercises from your starting line (pushups, situps, planks, squats, etc) and, instead of seeing how many reps you can do in one minute, I want you to (going SLOW and keeping proper form) see how many reps (or in the case of a plank, how many minutes:seconds) you can do before you reach muscle failure and have to stop. I am giving you until Sunday to do this so that it will not interfere with any of your ST sessions unless you want to count it as part of your 2 hour challenge.
Edit Tuesday 9/20/11: Did 45 crunches.

emoticon5. BONUS! Take pictures of your sweaty workout afterglows, of your healthy beautiful food, or how you spend your rest day doing happy active things!
Edit Tuesday 9/20/11: Posted a pic of Saturday's lunch & the "recipe" on my Tumblr blog.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NORAHNICK 9/19/2011 2:57PM

    Woo hoo! I'm so proud of you! And 2 hours it too much for me as well so I just did the best that I could do and was happy with that.

I still neeed to do the muscle failure challenge. Thanks for the reminder!

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BABYSTEPS84 9/18/2011 8:12AM

    You are doing great!

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JSPIN74 9/17/2011 9:11AM

    You're doing great!! emoticon

Me too...still need to commit muscle failure & get the last hour of ST before (we'll see about that).

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BILLTMAN 9/17/2011 9:10AM

    Seems like an excellent challenge

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PANBOOKS 9/17/2011 7:44AM

    Wow! These challenges are definitely challenging. Your muscles and your heart will thank you.

Have a great weekend!

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PMP Starting Line and a Big Realization About My Disordered Not-Eating Behaviors

Friday, September 09, 2011

emoticon1. Find your official starting line. (So I can do this challenge without getting sick, I've modified this a lot.)

emoticon Crunches completed in 1 minute: 25.

Pushups (or modified pushups) completed in 1 minute: 0 of either, but I can do 20 wall pushups. I did try regular and modified to see if I can, but I'm afraid of floor pushups triggering my vertigo. (Being upright lessens the illusion of the floor moving.)

How long (up to one minute) can you hold a plank or modified plank?: Modified plank: 27 seconds & felt weird afterward so I'll nix that one for now too.

Pull-Ups (if you have somewhere available to do them) completed in 1 minute: LOL--Could never do one even when I was thin! Pulling myself up onto a horse and dismounting safely and smoothly sans mounting block without falling on my butt or spooking the horse will be enough. That said, no, I can't pull myself up onto a horse right now. That's why I'm here.

Squats (or lunges, or both)(without weights) completed in 1 minute: 15. Note: I changed this to ballet plies because squats & lunges hurt my knees and ankles, but more importantly (!) thanks to skating as a kid, which over-developed my quads, squats and lunges give me thunderthighs. The d*mn things are still solid under the upholstery. Thankfully the plies are changing the shape of my quads. I noticed that for the first time ever my quads don't protrude so much and don't look so rounded. As a bonus, I noticed this makes my legs look longer.

emoticon2. What equipment will be you be using in this challenge?
My own bodyweight.
My own womanpower.
Small dumbells.

emoticon3. What dumbbells weight/resistance level are you starting at? 1.5 pounds. I'm one of the rare birds that, if I'm not careful, gets very rounded-looking muscles that make my frame look squashed. I've always hated them, especially my biceps, so I prefer lighter weights with more reps.

emoticon4. Why do you feel the burning desire to grow stronger, to change shape, to prove yourself?

I want to prove to myself I can do this and say a big "F U" to every doctor who says there's nothing that can be done for my autoimmune disease but painkillers and rest. I already don't do painkillers.

I have a horse to ride in May 2012 and want to not only be able to ride, I want to pull myself up on the back of that horse and dismount safely and smoothly without a mounting block, and without landing on my butt or spooking the horse.

I'm using ST to help my body burn more calories and help my metabolism be more stable.

Vanity, baby. Since I'm into vintage clothing I want a 1930's-40's body shape, not a 2011 body shape. (Female body shapes are trends. 6-pack stomachs and cut arms too shall pass, just like outsized boobs from the 80's did.) I want a body like Joan Blondell or Jean Harlow.

emoticon5. Create your tracking space.

You need to have one of the following:

I use a mix of:

A calendar and stickers/markers in a central location in your home or workout (my primary log)
A notebook (for scribbling as I'm doing the things)
My blog (for posting anything out of the ordinary, updates, etc.)
My Sparkpeople workout log (to track my fitness minutes)
My tumblr blog (to post anything about the journey that I want to share):

emoticon6. Your dreaded before pictures.
Not doing this. Seeing pix of myself triggers my disordered not-eating behaviors. I realized the depth of this and had some big realizations when I was preparing this assignment:

I know every bump, every curve, every line, every vein, and every minute measurement of every body part I want to change, because my eating disorder-addled brain makes me constantly check for progress, so there's no need for pix. I realized this week that photos of myself have always triggered me. When I was a kid and pix came back my mother--who I now realize had an eating disorder herself--used to point at my stomach or whatever in the pix and say how bad it looked. ("Look at that gut" was one phrase.) Then she'd immediately put me on a diet to fix it, starting at age 5, and when I was old enough for that brainwashing to have gelled, I did it to myself. (If you think this is an "L.A. thing"...We lived in the Midwest. L.A. gets more press for it, but crazy lives everywhere.) School photo time was a nightmare, and to this day when a camera lens is pointed at me, I get a knot in my stomach and my heart pounds with dread. Until this week I'd forgotten the timing of the diets and thought I was just camera shy. Now I realize that avoiding cameras wasn't just a reaction; it also probably serves a subconscious purpose: to my mind, since photos were a major trigger of my disordered eating behaviors, the fewer of them that existed, the less chance of engaging in unhealthy eating behaviors. At the risk of sounding overdramatic, my fear of the camera lens is probably a subconscious way of saving me from myself. HUGE realization! HUGE.

emoticon7. Starting Line Measurements NO CHEATIN!

These are the measurements I've been tracking since I started on SP. To make my life easier, my waist, hip, and bust measurements are the same places one measures for tailoring clothing. Measured on September 9, 2011:

1. Upper Arm: 16"
2.Bust: 42"
3.Waist at natural waistline: 37"
4.Dr. Oz Belly Button measurement: 42 7/8"
5. Hi hip / lo hip: 46"/45"
6.Thigh: 26"
7. Calf: 19"
8. Neck: 14 7/8"
9. Wrist: 7 1/4"

Edited b/c I got my plies done!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CHICAT63 9/11/2011 7:29AM

    Awesome, totally agree with you about the Dr.'s prove them wrong & then some !

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NETTIEDEE 9/10/2011 10:50PM

    Those awesome realizations are pure gold! :-) YAY YOU!

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NORAHNICK 9/10/2011 1:10AM

    Yeahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!! We can do this!!!!!

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BABYSTEPS84 9/9/2011 10:26PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
We are in this together!

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Update & DIY Challenge End Measurements 2.0 (Revised to reflect September 5 end date)

Friday, September 09, 2011

Dateline September 9, 2011:

Crazy busy time, but until I have a chance to thank you individually, I want to thank all my fantabulous SparkPeeps for your support, Goodies, comments, et al. You guys are awesome and totally rock, and it's a lot more appreciated than I sometimes demonstrate. Your encouragement, especially when I'm trying to work something out in my head via my blog, never fails to surprise and even overwhelm me at times.

My personal end date for Yoovie's Summer DIY Challenge was September 5, so here are my updated results. To avoid measuring while bloaty (Gentlemen, aren't YOU glad you stopped by today?) I put off measuring as long as I could but finally couldn't put it off any longer.


emoticonMy Starting Weight: 214.5 (as of July 1, 2011)
My Finishing Weight: 205 (as of September 09, 2011)
Pounds Banished during challenge: 9.5 pounds !

emoticonFour (or more) Other things I will be measuring during this challenge & their current stats: (body measurements, race times, crunch max, jeans size, whatever YOU need to track):

Ha, ha,race times, that one still cracks me up. Aaanyway...
1. (start) Waist: 39" ( as of July 1)
(finish) 37"
(difference) -2"

2. (start) Dr. Oz Belly Button Measurement: 40" ( as of July1)
(finish) 42 7/8"
(difference) +2 7/8" Bloat sucks...SO not happy...

3. (start) Calf (important for riding boots): 18 7/8" (as of July 1)
(finish) 19"
(difference) +1/8" Totally P*ssed off about this one. I've doing a lot of plies during the past couple of months. Hopefully my calves will level off and start going back down soon!

4. (start) Upper arm: 16" (as of July 1)
(finish) 15 7/8"
(difference) -1/8"

Note: The weight is, however leaving other places since July 1 : neck (-1/8" inch), collarbone, upper torso, hips (-2"!), wrist (-1/4"), forearms & back, and I banished 1" in the thigh.

Thank you again, Yoovie, for creating a great challenge, and thank you fellow Sparkies for all your support!!!

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

As I wrote in my last blog, I'm doing Yoovie's PIMP My (P)Ride Challenge. I still need to do my entry card for that one later today but I'm in it. This one will be more difficult for me, as it is an exercise challenge, and it's going to require a lot of creativity on my part to keep the cranky Endocrine system from figuring out what I'm doing. I'm still figuring out my secret plan of attack & need a few minutes of focused thinking on it.

I've now banished 35 pounds since coming back to SP in January, for a total 70 pounds gone thus far. Since I have now banished all the weight I regained when I got sick in 2008, I'm claiming my "70 Pounds Lost" trophy for my grand total gone and am displaying it on my page with my other current weight banishment trophies. Bearing in mind that it involved getting my thyroid restarted, I've freaking earned it!

Yes, I still have a long way to go, but the "make-up homework" phase is complete.

Next agenda item:

Over the summer I also started a tumblr blog. I love SP and have no plans to leave, but my tumblr is a sidebar for posting stuff I don't post here.

My tumblr blog is here (yes, I Follow back):

Although I love SP, there are some things which I frankly don't want to just hand full copyright ownership over to SP. (It's in the SP Terms of Use, Speeps.) If I create a recipe or something, for example, I want to own that copyright, and I want to retain the right to earn any potential future income generated from it. (In laymens' terms...Handing over a full copyright to someone is a lot like spending extra hours writing a presentation only to have your co-worker earn all your overtime money.) Tumblr's content ownership works a little differently, even though there's reblogging involved (which is really fun BTW).

Also, sometimes I like to swear. While I do have the ability to summon a Theauraus-like vocabulary at will [ThisYearsModel rolls her eyes], sometimes I'd rather write authentically freeform...which for a dyslexic pottymouth like me becomes no longer freeform when I have to stop and remember where the heck to type the asterisks.

Finally, a word about 9/11...which, to be truthful, I'm only adding lest someone misinterpret my not mentioning it as unpatriotic. [ThisYearsModel rolls her eyes again and sighs emphatically.] Frankly I think the families and friends of those who were lost on 9/11 should be able to have a respite from it somewhere this weekend, and I would have liked my blog to be one of them. That doesn't mean I think we should forget...just that I find the constant media bombardment that began last week increasingly distasteful, bordering on ugly. My friends who lost loved ones and watched part of their city smoulder will have no escape from it.

If you lost someone, or if you were an East Coaster on that horrible day, I'm thinking of you. That's it.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NORAHNICK 9/9/2011 5:46PM

    You are so emoticon!!!! 70 freakin' pounds is amazing!!! That took a lot of determination and you did it!!!! I'm so proud!

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