Monday, May 31, 2010

Turkey Chili


This is a recipe adapted from one that my nutritionist, Kim Porterfield gave me. I love chili, but most chili is fairly loaded with fat and calories. This is healthy and even kids will eat it!







2 pounds ground turkey breast
2 cans chicken broth or 30 ounces water
2 cans chopped ready cut tomatoes, or any flavored cut tomatoes
4 tablespoons chili powder
½ tsp cayenne pepper
1 cup diced onion
1 cup diced carrot
1 cup diced celery
4 diced jalapenos (or use canned)

Brown the turkey, break into small pieces. When cooked through add remaining ingredients, bring to a boil. Cover and simmer 15 minutes. If too thin once done, remove lid and simmer until some liquid has evaporated. Remember that you will add beans later so you want some liquid. I like mine fairly liquid, so use less and add more later if you like, cooking is an art, baking is a science!

Add beans prior to serving, warm through.

If pre-making making this for your dinners and lunches, measure into equal amounts (I eat 4 ounces protein at a meal, so I would measure this into 8 equal zip lock bags), then freeze them. When ready to eat, empty contents into a pot, heat through then add your beans (I add 4 ounces beans before lunch and 3 ounces beans for dinner).

Top with hot sauce, fat free sour cream, diced onions, and jalapenos.

Here I am having it with a salad and balsamic vinaigrette (balsamic vinegar, pepper, mustard and splenda) along with a big glass of water.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Rock Hard Abs


Here is a picture of my abs the evening prior to my last competition, which took place on May 22, 2010.

My waist was the smallest it has ever been, and I think it looked great! I just finished watching the videos, I didn't really see what the head judge said about my leanness, I don't think I was any leaner than most of the other competitors.

How do you get abs like this and can anyone do it? I am not sure if ANYONE can, but I do honestly think just about any reasonably fit person can have abs like this. I am 49 years old, I have had a child and I have not had any lipo suction or surgery.

It really boils down to the hardest part of all of this and that is the lovely DIET. When I speak of diet, I mean a long term, healthy, low fat, high protein, vegetable rich diet. Not a crash, fad diet, but one you can live with.

I do actually adhere to a really good diet most of the time, I will splurge and go off it after a competition, which I have just done and frankly, I am feeling rather sick to my stomach at this point.

So I have allowed myself to eat like a horse, and if you have ever owned a horse, you know they will eat and eat and eat until they explode.

I am prone to a bit of exaggeration though. hee hee hee

Of course you must exercise daily and you cannot just eat right then be a couch potato. You have got to combine it all together, a proper diet, a rigorous exercise program and a drive to make it all happen.

I do throw in supplements too. I do not take any "fat burners" but I do take CLA (Conjugated Linoleic Acid) 2,500 mg three times a day; green tea extract 500 mg twice a day; cayenne 500 mg twice a day and forskohlii 385 mg twice daily.

These are all supplements (oils, herbs and roots) that have shown to have a thermogenic effect.

While you could say these are "fat burners", I know what I am taking, it is not a ridiculously expensive proprietary blend with a lot of garbage in it that I am unsure of. Most of these are pennies compared to the $50.00 price tag of one bottle of a 'miracle" fat burner. If you need the "amp" in the morning to get you going, just buy powdered caffeine and toss 200 to 400 mg into your morning protein drink, along with taking these and you will have plenty of energy to keep you going.

Oh I hope I have not confused you now, but as always, feel free to ask questions.

So, as I am preparing for bed, after watching the show and thinking how I have gained 6 pounds in one week, I have decided it's time to back out of the barn, and get back on that darn diet again.

July 10 will be here before you know it and I want my abs to look just like this again....

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Coach "P"


If you have been following my posts, you know my son plays varsity lacrosse, he lives for lacrosse.

I am writing this on Friday evening. One of his coaches, Coach "P" died today, he was 21 years old.

As a mother I cannot even fathom the depth of pain that the family has been through. Although I lost my own mother to cancer only a year ago, the thought of losing a child is something I cannot even begin to imagine.

Coach "P" was a presence, a huge impact on many lives. He volunteered his time to coach young men in a sport he loved.

He died as a result of a weight lifting accident.

I am having a difficult time explaining it all to my son. He doesn't understand, I don't understand, none of us do, how could this happen? The tears have not stopped, at least not for long. We all walk around like zombies, repeating the same thing, feeling the same pain, but oh so alone in it all.

I am not going to go into details, I only need, and want to say that he was a wonderful, intelligent man and something didn't go right, he got hurt.

Hug your children, tell them you love them, forgive their errors, remember the small gestures, cherish the moments. They may be taken away before you have a chance to savor them.

Coach "P"- we love you and thank you. Coop says you are the best "bro" he has ever known.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Get Big Worksheet


My worksheet for the next couple weeks is 7 days, lifting heavy! I am not training with FP for a while, and not sure when I will see SC, looks like he won't be able to train me for a while, now it looks like I will be on my own, so I wrote my own worksheet.

I have learned that you need to lift heavy if you want growth, it needs to be difficult and the last rep should not be as easy as the first, or it's way too light.

I wear a night guard on my teeth at the advise of my Dentist because I clench my teeth when I lift heavy and it keeps me focused now, I can tell if the weights aren't heavy enough if I am not chomping down on that guard.

I am hitting legs heavy two days a week, shoulders and back twice a week, but one of those days is focused more on back than shoulders.

One day on glutes

One day bi's and tri's

One day on some interval training, maybe kettlebell swings or fartlekking. What does fartlek mean?

fart·lek (färt'lěk)
n.
An athletic training technique, used especially in running, in which periods of intense effort alternate with periods of less strenuous effort in a continuous workout.

A workout using this technique.

[Swedish, speed play : fart , running, speed (from fara , to go, move , from Old Norse; see per- 2 in Indo-European roots) + lek , play (from leka , to play , from Old Norse leika ).]


Here is what I am tackling for a while:

Get Big Workout

Monday Quads/Abs
Front Squats 5x5
Back Squats 5x10
Alt Leg Extension 3x15
Bulgarian Split Squat 5x5 ea
Crunches on an incline/ 3x20
Hanging leg raises/ 3x20
Jump Squats 2x10

Tuesday Back & Shoulder #1
Wide grip lat pull down, arched back, lower lat 4 X 15
Cable row , seated 7 x 12
Military Press Smith Machine 3x10
Dumbbell rows, bend over stack 4x 12
Cable pull over 4 x 12
Cable Lat. Raise 3x20
Cable Bent Raise 3x20
Cable Front Raise 3x20

Wednesday Arms/calves/Abs
Concentration curls 3x10 ea
Prone Cable Curls 3x10 ea
Incline DB Curls 3x10
BH Cable Tricep Ext 3x10
Incline skull crushers 3x10
Hammer Curls 3x10
DIPS 4x5
V-ups 3x20
Ab roll outs 3x15
Calve Raise on leg press/ 3xburn
Seated calve raise/ 3xburn

Thursday Quads & Hams
Front Squat 5x5
Back Squat 3x10
RDLs 4x10
Alt Leg Extension 3x15ea.
Step Ups 3x15 ea
Leg Press 3x20
Leg Curl 1/2 3x10 ea

Friday Back & Shoulder #2/abs

BB Bent Over Row 3x8
Pull Up 3x3
DB Row 3x20ea.
Arnold Press 4x8
DB Lateral Raise 4x8
DB Front Raise 4x8
DB Bent Raise 4x8
Knee ups 3x20
Bent knee crunch 3x20
Shoulder Combo 3x10x3

Saturday Glutes
Thrusters 3xburn
BB Glute Bridge 3x15
Bench Rev Hyoer 3x15 sec
SL Rev Leg Press 5x8
Cable 45 degree abduction 3x8
X band walks 3x20 ea

Sunday Calves/ Abs and Fartlekking
3 Pos. Calve on leg press 3x15x3
3 Pos. Seated Calve Raise 3x15x3
Crunch on inlcine bench/ 3x20
Hanging leg raises/ 3x20
Stability Ball Crunch 3x20
Leg Lifts on Ball 3x20
Fartlekking TBD



Feel free to email me if you have any questions about this.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Contra Costa Bodybuilding Championships


Here is a link to the photos from the Contra Costa Bodybuilding, Fitness, Figure and Bikini Championships.

You can click on the first photo to enlarge it then click on next to view through them. There does not appear to be any comparisons online yet.

Then there are the score sheets Masters Figure 45+

You can scroll through to Open Figure C for the results of the unlimited group. I enter both divisions, the Masters and then the Unlimited (also called open) as this gives me more opportunities. The Open division is separated by height classes, but not age group, its open to all women 18 years and older.

These score sheets detail where each judge felt you should be placed, you are aiming for a low score, preferably 1.

They add all of the scores up, then throw out the highest and lowest (when you look at my scores for "C", one judge gave me a 10, the rest gave me 6, 7 and 8 so they threw out the 10 and a 6 to arrive at my score of 35. Then they rank, lowest score to highest and that's how they arrive at the end result.

Its all very subjective and its hard to determine exactly what the judges will find to be the "best" physique on any given day. It is all dependent on who shows up at that particular event, and what everyone looks like.

Although there is a set of criteria that is required, I still cannot always see what they see. Here is what the National Physique Committee (NPC) states is the desired Figure competitor:

When judging a figure competition the judges shall assess the athleticism of the physique. This is not a bodybuilding contest. A SMALL DEGREE OF MUSCULARITY WITH SEPARATION IS DESIRED, WITH NO VISIBLE STRIATIONS. The muscle tone should appear firm and round with a small amount of body fat over the muscle, and no excessive leanness. The figure competitions provide alternatives for athletic women who (a) Train. (b) Do not wish to gain muscle size and vascularity and (c) do not have a strong gymnastic / dance background. All Figure and Fitness competitors must have reached their eighteenth (18) birthday by the day of the contest.

So who determines what "a small amount of body fat" is??? Who determines what "no excessive leanness" is?? I think that a couple ounces of body fat is excessive, my friend thinks I am a nut and a couple pounds is excessive.

So as you can see, you have to take all of the women lumped together to first arrive at what is the desired look, so it changes at every event.

Me? I plan to get add more muscle, get harder and come in the way I like to look now. It may not win any trophies, but it's the look I like best. Heck, maybe I will try bodybuilding if I can get my quads big enough!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

We all make mistakes




Yes, this was one of mine. I lived, no one suffered terribly, I learned never to do this again, and it was a very long time ago too.

That's all you should expect from yourself, "learn from your mistakes".

We all make mistakes, that's part of being human, of having choices. If everything was set for us, and we had no choices, we wouldn't have an opportunity to make a mistake would we?

You might make a mistake at work or at home, if so, admit it and learn from it, move on and let go.

We all make mistakes on our diet or training. Some mistakes are more easily remedied than others, some could have been prevented by being a bit more thoughtful.

I made a mistake, I dieted too long and lost too much weight, the head judge told me that my muscles weren't full enough and I didn't have my usual "pop"...he said my conditioning was off.

So I won't beat myself up, I am taking a new approach. I am going back to my 7 days a week lifting, eating a bit more calories and additional fats and getting bigger. I won't lose the weight until a couple weeks before the next competition, but I have 7 weeks, so I have time.

The other day I took my car into the dealership for service and the shuttle driver came up to tease me and say hello. I told him what the head judge said and his response was "Who was the head judge? Ray Charles?" that got a great big laugh and made me feel a lot better.

We all need to remember the goal should not be to be better than others, but to be the best we can be, as individuals.

And always learn from your mistakes.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Triangle of Terror


This is the exercise that SC has me do called the Triangle of Terror, along with the other glute and ham exercises, and my glutes are very sore about 24 hours later. I do really like this one.

Be sure to maintain a low squat position and a straight back throughout.

You will step forward 15 steps, then backward 15 steps, then sideways to the right 15 steps and sideways to the left 15 steps. This takes time, you are not supposed to speed through it, you must maintain a very low squat position, keep your back straight and maintain the widest possible spread between your feet at all times.

The above steps is one set, rest and then do it all over again, for a total of three sets. Take a look at the video below.
video

Monday, May 24, 2010

Hard Work


It’s not glamorous; I am referring to a Figure competition.

There is absolutely nothing about it that I would even consider glamorous other than the gorgeous custom made suits that most of us wear. Those are pretty flashy, covered with hundreds of Swarovski crystals, all sparkly and glittery, but that’s it, the rest of it is stinky, painful, boring and expensive.

We sit around in the dressing rooms of auditoriums, convention centers, colleges, high schools, often on the ground, without heat, eating peanut butter out of a jar, licking our fingers, telling stories about our families and friends to pass the time.

There are no perks or trimmings; everything is run on a tight budget, profit is all important.

Sometimes I feel like a part of a herd of cattle, being moved and maneuvered to the choicest location, only to be profitable for the owner. When those thoughts enter my mind I start second guessing my actions.

Then I start interacting with the other women, we quickly become fast friends. Don’t we all look great?! I think so, and we have worked really, really hard. This is what makes it fun.

And those suits (the ones with crystals) cost hundreds of dollars and are custom made.

Most people don’t realize that to get here, women need to lift and lift heavy, lots and lots of weights. We need to diet; drop calories down so that we lose all of the excess body fat yet still maintain enough to keep a feminine figure.
It’s quite a balancing act. A balancing act with our diets, our families, our jobs, out lives, our psyches.

The preparation leading up to this type of event can be very stressful for the athlete, family and friends. Although many people have no idea what this competition is comprised of, even those who have some involvement probably think it is frivolous and not serious at all, probably because of the obscurity of it all.

Seriously, what athlete is required to wear 5 inch Lucite heels in their event?

What athlete has to train so meticulously that all food is weighed and eaten according to the timers set?

What athlete has to try to sculpt their body to meet certain visual standards?

Figure- we really are athletes, although we don’t get the respect we deserve. We all work very hard, train very hard, live life balancing on a high wire.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

My Competition


It was a very large competition, I heard there were 160 women athletes there, but I haven't see the official count yet. It was a long, long day. We started at 8:30am and I finished at approximately 10:45 pm and it was still going on, several unlimited classes of woman's Figure and all of the unlimited classes of men's bodybuilding remaining.

I placed 4th in the Masters 45 and over, there was a lot of tough competition!

I feel I was at my best, and I looked great, imagine how the others looked?

We had a lot of fun backstage, and we went through the usual stress and last minute catastrophes that always seem to happen.

My major catastrophe was receiving a text message from my make-up artist at 5:30 pm the evening prior to the show. She hadn't been feeling well she said, and couldn't make it to the hotel. She was sick.

WHAT?!

I didn't get stressed out, I have learned that getting stressed out over things I have no control of is a waste of time and energy and causes me to lose the ability to focus on the problem at hand.

As I told the story to several women backstage, I loved how many of the offered to "make her feel really, really sick" hmmmm

I will have to find a new make up artist I guess, she was good too. I am guessing she must be having some fairly serious personal issues to cancel on me, no one has a sore throat that bad to cancel an engagement that has been scheduled for months with a long time client. Hope she works it out.

What did I end up eating?

1 little bag Doritos, a handful of milk duds, a spoonful of peanut butter, an In and Out Cheeseburger, a few salt and vinegar chips and two wonderful dark chocolate caramels with salt from Sharffen Berger.

Oh and some wonderful Champagne with my husband.

Now I am doing laundry and waiting for my husband to wake up make that Ramos Fizz

Saturday, May 22, 2010

It's Show Time!



Today is my competition, I am feeling really good! I went through a real down period for a couple weeks, it happens when you have been working so hard, lifting, posing, weighing your food, eliminating supplements like creatine, just trying to get it all dialed in.

You stare at yourself so much wondering, did I lose too much fat? (Yes, you can be too lean for Figure as I often am). Is my stomach flat enough? Are my delts round enough? What about the sweep of my quads? Did my glutes shrink? I can go on and on.

You end up at a point where you are incapable of critiquing your own body, seriously. You do not see reality. It's like a temporary form of body dysmorphic disorder. I say temporary because this is a serious illness, and I am sure what I go though is a fleeting panic attack....

But I am now ready, I know I look as good as I can, and I will be happy with that! I have worked very hard, my family has been very supportive, my friends have encouraged and I couldn't ask for more. WAIT! yes I can!

Food...and wine. Lots of wonderful food shared with people I love and who love me. "R" sent me an email that she has champagne on ice, waiting for us to get together! If you live nearby, feel free to come on over!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Promethean


My Dad sent me an email the other day saying how he is enjoying my blogs. We don't see each other as often as we should, so it is a good glimpse into what I am up to.

In his email he wished me luck in my upcoming competition and he sent this, saying it was a word to describe my commitment to training, I really like this.

Promethean

: of, relating to, or resembling Prometheus, his experiences, or his art; especially : daringly original or creative

The Olympics showcase Promethean performances by athletes who are always pushing the limits of human ability.

As some versions of the story go in Greek mythology, Prometheus (one of the Titan giants) modeled humans from clay and then taught them agriculture and all the arts of civilization.

He also stole fire from the gods and gave it to humans. So inventive was he that anything that bears the stamp of creativity and originality can still be called "Promethean."

Zeus, however, had wanted the human race to perish, so Prometheus' actions were also disobedient. Hence "Promethean" can also mean defiant of authority or limits. As punishment for his disobedience, Zeus chained Prometheus to a rock where an eagle daily tore at his liver.

Thus, any suffering on a grand scale can also be called Promethean — though this sense is not as common as the others.


I researched further about Prometheus and found this:

His liver would grow back each day and the eagle would eat it again. This punishment was to last 30,000 years. About 12 generations later, Heracles passing by on his way to find the apples of the Hesperides as part of the Twelve Labors, freed Prometheus. Once free, Prometheus captured the eagle and ate his liver as revenge for his pain and suffering.

I think he must have suffered horribly, especially since his torture lasted 30,000 years! I am quite fond of the part where he captured that eagle and ate HIS liver! Although many people think I torture myself, I really don't. I may not allow myself all of those wonderful foods that many people indulge in everyday, but I do allow myself treats many times of the year.

Training and treating my body like this makes me feel better, younger, healthier and full of energy. I also really get a kick out of people who look at me and say "You are HOW old?!"

I think this is one of the nicest compliments a Dad could give a daughter, although I am sure many of you think that odd.

Last summer I was visiting my brother in Paris, and we went to the Louvre. I found myself spending a great deal of time staring at all of these amazing sculptures, the humans were works of art, truly physical gods.

No one has ever compared me to a god before.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

The Fence


We are all very delicate in one way or another. Lately I have been keenly aware that many of us have such a fragile ego that the slightest comment can shatter it. On the other had just a very small bit of encouragement can make someone feel "high" all day long.

I have recently become friends with a young woman who wants to start competing in Figure. I have been showing her how to pose, lift heavy, eat enough, measure for her suit, everything you need to succeed. In my opinion, anyone who has the guts to just walk on that stage in front of thousands of people should be commended, I don't care what they look like.

I think she looks stunning and recently someone said something to her that absolutely ruined her self confidence and I witnessed her spiral right in front of me. I don't think the comment was intended to hurt, but it did. Here is a poem I read a long time ago, I am not sure of the author but I find it very fitting for all of us.

There once was a little boy who had a bad temper. His father gave him a bag of nails and told him that every time he lost his temper, he must hammer a nail into the back of the fence. The first day the boy had driven 37 nails into the fence. Over the next few weeks, as he learned to control his anger, the number of nails hammered daily gradually dwindled down. He discovered it was easier to hold his temper than to drive those nails into the fence...

Finally the day came when the boy didn't lose his temper at all. He told his father about it and the father suggested that the boy now pull out one nail for each day that he was able to hold his temper. The days passed and the young boy was finally able to tell his father that all the nails were gone.

The father took his son by the hand and led him to the fence. He said, "You have done well, my son, but look at the holes in the fence. The fence will never be the same. When you say things in anger, they leave a scar just like this one. You can put a knife in a man and draw it out. It won't matter how many times you say I'm sorry, the wound is still there. A verbal wound is as bad as a physical one."

I have tried to make sure she forgets the comments that made her feel unworthy, we need to remember that we control ourselves and while it is unfortunate that others may feel it appropriate to speak negatively, we need to be our own best friend, tell ourselves we are worthy and we are good, try not to let others opinions drive holes into our souls.

The picture here is a happy one that I received yesterday, and it is an example of how a very small gesture can make someone feel great for days. I work at a university and every semester I volunteer to allow a group of students to come in and audit us as a semester long project. This requires me to meet with them a few times, thoroughly explain our mission, goals, procedures and polices.

They will then meet individually with all of my staff to gain a better understanding of individual duties, write up a report, present to me and I must respond. It takes quite a bit of time but is essential to their class and future profession.

This year the group presented me with this card, which they obviously spent time to locate given the picture of the kettlebells, dumbbells and weight plates and the comments on the back regarding my upcoming competition. They showed a genuine interest in giving me something that would be meaningful, it is one of those cards I will hold onto for a long time.

Make your words be ones that someone can hold onto for a long time, with their heart, and not with their head.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Butt Glue


What do lacrosse and bodybuilding have in common? Butt Glue. Yup, at least in my world they do!

My son plays on a club lacrosse team and last Friday we attended the year end party. My husband and I were talking to one of the coaches and his wife, and the subject of my competition came up (probably because they were all eating catered Mexican and cocktails and I had water and turkey chili).

So I mentioned the problem all of us gals have making sure that out tiny suit bottoms stay put! They don’t cover much, in fact the rules say they must cover 50% of the glute area, well I tell you, their idea of “glute area” is nowhere close to my idea of “glute area” because my suit bottom in no way covers 50% of anything! Maybe the “dividing line” and that is about it.

He said his daughter was a competitive gymnast for many years and she used something called Butt Glue to hold her suit in the correct place and it worked all day long!

I somewhat dismissed it as how could a little 3 1/2 foot gymnast know more than armies of figure competitors? We have something called “bikini bite” but it doesn’t seem to hold very long, maybe 10 minutes. I am on stage for two divisions, and there is pre-judging and finals which means I am on stage four seperate times…that’s a lot of re-gluing!

I thought about it a couple days then decided to find some Butt Glue to try it out.

You would not believe the comments I got when I called stores about it! Hardly anyone knew what I was talking about and most thought it was a prank, and I was calling gymnastic schools.

I called my friend “C” whose daughter “L” was a gymnast for many, many years and she told me where to get it. I called them up, they had three bottles left! In the car I jumped and had to try it out as soon as I got home.

Here I am with my new Butt Glue holding my suit bottom just where it needs to be! I walked into the kitchen where my husband was sitting having a glass of wine with a friend, they both laughed and said it was like a floor show in Vegas, but I didn’t see any tips!

I can tell you right now that all the women backstage will be asking to use my Butt Glue…it works.

Real product name:

It Stays
Ames Walker
Support Hosiery
PO Box 1027
Asheboro, NC 27204
1-877-525-7224

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The first three letters of DIET spell DIE


This morning is Tuesday, my competition is Saturday and I keep dropping weight. It happens every time, I am not sure if it is stress or what, I am on the same diet I have been for months, so it’s not that I have changed anything. I went from 122.4 on Thursday morning to 120.5 on Monday, then today down to 119.5. I was at 132 pounds on February 20.

As you can see from the picture here, taken immediately after my July 2009 competition, the extremely thin, low body fat look is not particularly attractive, at least not for a normal person. A competitor will be like this for a matter of hours, a day at most. If you actually think this look is something you want to achieve for "just walking around" I strongly suggest you seek counselling, extremely thin is not good for you nor is it attractive!

I don’t have to do what many competitors do, and that is to restrict carbs, my body just gets dialed into the diet and hums along losing fat like crazy, it’s “Kim’s miracle diet”. Well, not really but she is the one who taught me how to drop body fat and do it in a healthy way.

I have been eating chicken, fish, rice, vegetables, sweet potatoes, new potatoes and an occasional steak. I have not been eating dairy, fruit, pasta, bread, saturated fats, candy or junk.

I am convinced that most people just don’t adhere to the diet they are supposed to, and that is why they fail, it’s hard and not very fun to be on a restricted diet for very long, remember the first three letters of DIET spell DIE.

You cannot stay on a “diet” forever, you need to change your eating habits, and as many people like to say “It’s a lifestyle”.

A lifestyle is something that you have a choice about, it is a conscious decision. Although I am on a “diet” right now, I will be off it soon and I will revert back to my regular eating habits or my chosen “lifestyle” which is all of the same foods I eat now, with the occasional pork chop, lamp chop, dessert, cocktail, and French fries.

Expecting yourself to adhere to a monastic diet all of the time is not emotionally of physically healthy, we all need breaks and our bodies are not meant to be in such a low body fat state. You should carefully consider this when planning your diet or following the newest best seller diet book. If it’s not something you can live with, you may lose weight right away, but when you revert back to your same old habits, you will just gain it all back. Of course you will lose weight following the cabbage soup diet, who wouldn’t lose weight eating vegetable soup all the time? But can you LIVE on it forever? Maybe you can, but sounds like hell to me!

When you get this low in body fat it is a delicate balancing act to maintain the fullness in your muscles so you don’t end up looking like a bag of bones with skin, which is not attractive on anyone. So right now I get to add in a little more carbs and fats, and as long as my muscles still look full and round, I can keep that up and Friday will get to eat a couple really big meals so I maintain that fullness on Saturday.

What’s a little more fats and carbs? 2 35 calorie salt free rice cakes and 1 tablespoon of salt free peanut butter…..

After my competition I will probably gain a few pounds right away due to all the salt in the foods I will indulge in, and definitely a few percentages of body fat, then stay that way for a few weeks to just start it over again.

But it’s my chosen lifestyle and I can easily live with it.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Sunburn


I sat outside with "R" for about an hour and a half after my scrub and ended up with a burned upper chest.

So yesterday morning at the gym, "A" walks up to me in his lilting Scottish accent and says "What happened?! You've got a burn!"

I explained how three layers (I am exaggerating you know) were scrubbed off then I sat outside, not a good idea.

He told me that he learned a trick in Israel, slather plain yogurt on the burn, leave it for 20 minutes and then shower and it's gone!

So here I am with yogurt and I should have put it on my face too!

The smell was making me hungry, I haven't had yogurt in ages, probably about 6 months, the tangy scent kept wafting up to my nostrils. Then I started thinking about the move 9 1/2 weeks, the one with the steamy food scene between Mickey Rourke and Kim Bassinger.

After stepping out of the shower, both my husband and I agreed, the burn looked much calmer, not nearly as red.

A few hours later, you could barely see any sunburn!

I think this is a keeper!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Korean Bath House



Yesterday I visited the Korean Bath House for a treatment called “Full Body Care”, it is wonderful but not what most of us are used to.

The full body care consists of a 30 minute scrub and a 40 minute massage. I am doing this to make sure my skin is smooth and completely exfoliated before I get my spray tan on Friday.

Here is how they describe it in their brochure:

Body Scrub methods are imported skills from Korea, its exfoliation service. Body scrub treatment sterilizes and removes dead flaky skin leaving you fresh, clean, smooth skin. It’s totally provide relaxed and revitalized feelings.
Full body care is the combination service of Scrub and Massage, this service is provide in the Spa area, it’s most highly recommended service in our Spa.
Acupressure Massage is the method of applies pressure to certain meridian points on the body that relieve tension and relaxing tight muscles and body pains. It’s traditional art of Asian deep tissue massage


Ok, but here is the deal from my perspective:

I enter the health center located in an old run town strip mall; I have been here before so I am familiar with the place.

The man at the counter looks at me and asks if I want a “strong woman” I said “yes, the stronger the better”. I pay my fee ($80.00) and he hands me a locker key, a very thin robe and three small towels about the size of hand towels. There are toothbrushes at the counter if you want one.

Women enter into one door and men another; they will be separated the entire time. You leave your shoes in a cubby area and must walk barefoot the rest of your stay (except when using the toilet, there are some slippers to use at the door, you remove them and leave them at the entrance of the toilet as you leave).

Find your locker, take off all your clothes and put on your robe. Off down the hall the to communal “bathing area”, you enter the glass doors and off goes the robe for the rest of the stay. There are more cubbies for your towels and robe.

First protocol is to shower. Many women come here and spend the day with kids, family and friends; it’s only $20.00 for a day use. You can use one of three open western showers or there are 8 bench showers with a hand held shower head. All stations have shampoo, rinse, soap and buckets. Most women plop down at a bench and start scrubbing; they have their own shower caddies they keep there. They will turn and scrub each other, laughing and chatting the whole time. Kids and mothers, grandmothers, everyone is naked and getting clean and having a great time away from men and worries. People do not speak in whispers, they laugh and greet each other and are right at home.

I use the open western shower. After cleaning thoroughly I take in my options. There is the huge “warm” spa, the small “hot” spa and the medium “cool” spa with the nonstop shower of water plunging down from the ceiling.

I know from experience that the hot spa is way too hot for me, so into the warm one I go, and float a while, I attempt the hot spa and scald my feet, three times, nope; it’s still as hot as it was last time.

I decide to use the wet steam instead of the dry sauna as the sauna is quite crowded already. The wet steam room is cavernous and the walls are covered in large river rock. There is a huge dish of some dried herb on the tray where the steam emerges and I believe it is wormwood, it smells wonderful and earthy.

The steam pours in so hot and strong that I am dripping in sweat and cannot see two feet to my side, time to exit to the cool spa. There are buckets around the edges; you should rinse the sweat off your body with the water from the spa before getting in. The cool spa is so cold it takes my breath away; I quickly slip under the water shower and back out to the warm spa.

Time for my Full Body Care. There are four therapists and they all wear black lace bra and panties, I am not sure why but that is the traditional uniform. There are four massage tables and I am instructed to lay down face up on one.

She starts by donning little yellow rough mitts, and starts to scrub very briskly over my entire body. Think of how rough a cat’s tongue is, and then imagine a 250 pound Bengal tiger’s tongue licking you all over, it feels like sandpaper. She twists and turns me, the thick dead skin starts to spill over onto the table, piling up all over, it’s disgusting. She flips me on my stomach, same thing, on my left, on my right, getting every inch of my body.

Periodically she rinses me with a large basin filled with hot water; it stings because I am missing so much skin…

When she has completely scrubbed off three layers of skin and rinsed me, she does the whole thing over again just to be sure. She then does it again but this time with a strong smelling soap, more rinsing and swishing.

Now a face mask is applied, and a light gauze over the face with another mask painted on, my hair tied up and she starts the massage.

I am coated in baby oil, slippery like a seal, I am afraid I will slide right off the table. The technicians all laugh and joke, loud guffaw’s periodically as they tell jokes and belly laugh.

She asks if I am from a farm, I have no idea what to say except “no, I am not from a farm”, then she says I am so big and strong with lot's of muscles....“Ah “ I tell her I am a bodybuilder and she understands and shouts something and they all laugh.

The massage is a kind that is a combination of kneading, cupping and pressure, some pressure is so strong feel I might cry. My shoulders are extremely sore and tight so she keeps telling me to relax, I am trying but it hurts! She says I need acupuncture for my tight shoulders. I think I just need to stop those 185 pound RDL’s for a while….

She shouts “relax” and slaps my bare butt.

She flips me on my stomach and tries to get at my shoulders, using hot towels and pressure, kneading so deep. I am wincing in pain when she hops on the table, straddles me and holds one of my feet down with hers, and starts pounding in my shoulders saying “you have a problem!, You have a problem”…I am starting to think I am in a James Bond movie and I am about to be murdered…

She stands me up, uses a hand held shower to rinse me again, the makes me sit up and she slaps a hot towel over my shoulders and continues to pound with her fists! It’s starting to feel good….

Back down, she cleans off my face, washes my hair and sends me off….

My skin is like the day I was born, smooth and silky. My shoulders are still tight but I think after my competition I won’t be so stressed.

I wander to the quiet relaxation room, a large room with a huge heated marble slab topped with thin blankets (see the picture above). I grab a neck rest and lay down, with my robe on and doze for a moment, I am done.

I leave, drive home thinking about lunch, I am starved. Then I am meeting “R” by the pool at the club, we will chat about weightlifting and food, a nice relaxing day even if I did get beat up…literally!

Try it sometime, you can find Korean Bath Houses in most large cities.

Lawrence Health Spa
3345 El Camino Real
Santa Clara, CA. 95051

Ask for Sue if you want a "strong" woman!

My Good Eats List


When you have been on a really restricted diet for a long time, you crave lot’s of things, and oddly enough, I seem to crave foods that I normally would never eat.

For instance, the very first thing I will eat when I step off stage, even before I yank those heels off is a bag of Doritos’s. Now, I am not a chip eater, they are bad for you, they make you fat, they are full of garbage, and have absolutely zero nutritional value- zilch.

But that is the very first thing I want to eat. The only other time I eat them is on Christmas, my husband gives me two .99 cent bags…last year one went stale, that’s how often I eat them!

So here is the top list of food I have complied, everything I have been craving, but it tends to change daily. The first list will be the night of the competition, then the rest is the weeks following, until I clean it up to get ready for another competition in July.

Backstage:
Doritos’s
Salt and Vinegar chips
Snickers bar
Banana with peanut butter
Rice cake with peanut butter
Peanut butter on a spoon
Champagne (actually it will be Sofia sparkling wine in a can)
water

In the car driving home:
In and Out Cheeseburger
French fries
more water

At Home:
Pinot Noir, a couple glasses
Chocolate, dark
more water

The next day:
David’s famous Ramos Fizz (my husband’s fantastic gin fizz with a champagne float)
Eggs Benedict
My own homemade pizza
Peanut butter and jelly sandwich
My own homemade gnocchi with brown butter and sage and Parmesan
lot's of water

The following days and in no particular order:
English muffin with peanut butter and honey
Toast with butter
Lasagna (my own)
Brownies with chocolate chip cookie dough on top (a friend’s daughter promised to make them after my last two competitions, she never showed up with them, but I will keep my fingers crossed)
Salad Lyonnais at Left Bank restaurant
Glass of champagne with "R" (she has been a great support to me!)
Tuna sandwich on sliced sourdough
Buffalo chicken wings (these might move up on the list soon)
More French fries
Pay day bar
Broccoli Rabe pasta
Milk duds
Skirt steak with aioli
Pork roast from Prather Ranch

Friday May 28 San Francisco Ferry Plaza Market:
With my husband, Mijita restaurant for breakfast at 9:00am fish taco, mushroom quesadilla and red wine
Wander around, champagne at the Ferry Plaza Wine Merchant
Lunch at Zuni Café (reservations are already made)
Sliders and red wine at Cin-Cin in Los Gatos

At this point I will feel fairly satiated, and will have packed on probably 4% bodyfat. I have to put it on to drop it off again, it's not healthy to stay this low, and it doesn't look very good either!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Thursday's Hams (hamstrings) with SC


I am only 9 days out from my next competition, so training gets very mixed up, and you just train whatever looks like it needs a little fullness.

The one big rule is that you stop training legs a week prior to your show, so my last leg day will be Sunday, then it may be a little cables and light weights, but that’s about it, I go bonkers because I can’t do much!

Today was hamstring Day with SC…I never know what to expect and what I like about training with SC is that he doesn’t treat me any differently than his collegiate athletes, he expects me to train hard and not whine. And he is not afraid that I will "break" or "get hurt" just because I am a woman, in fact I often lift more than the big guys around me there!


So today we did:

Stability Ball Exercises
(You think they are for wimps? Try these)
3 sets of each, single leg

Straight Leg
Laying on your back, ball in front of you
Left foot on ball, leg straight, right foot up towards ceiling.
Lower hips to almost toughing the ground, then back up, keeping left leg straight (that’s on rep)
Do 10 on the left leg then 10 on the right.

Bent Leg
Laying on your back, ball in front of you
Left foot on ball, leg bent at knee, right foot up towards ceiling.
Lower hips to almost toughing the ground, then back up, keeping left leg bent at knee (that’s on rep)
Do 10 on the left leg then 10 on the right.

Bent Leg Curl
Laying on your back, ball in front of you
Left foot on ball, leg bent at knee, right foot up towards ceiling.
Bring left foot toward you, rolling ball toward hips, hips will move to almost over your head, then roll ball back out (that’s on rep)
Do 10 on the left leg then 10 on the right.

Do all of the above 3 times, your hamstrings will be burning and you will be sweating

RDLs
With an Olympic bar, 185 pounds, 5 sets of 10
Keep back and abs tight, back straight do not round.

Leg Curls 2/1's
3 sets of 10 on a leg curl machine

I started with 70 pounds, too heavy, moved to 50 pounds for the first and second sets and the last set was 40 pounds. It should be really heavy, bringing the weight up will be easier as you are using both legs, but lowering it slowly and controlled will be harder because you are using only one leg.

On the leg curl machine, curl up with both legs, then with complete control, lower weight with one leg, repeat this 10 times with the left leg, then 10 with the right
(up with both, down with left 10)
(up with both, down with right 10)

That is one set, do two more.

If you notice I always start with my left leg, you should start with the weaker leg (usually non-dominant) when performing single leg exercises. Someday that left leg will catch up to the right then!

He wanted me to swing kettlebells, but I am not supposed to train arms at all today, my shoulders are too big….

I will probably be fairly sore in about 24 hours then on Sunday I will hit quads and hams really hard, it will be the last time for a week.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Do you exercise with high heels on?


Most of the the folks at my gym are a fairly conservative bunch, and I am sure many of them think I am nuts or just a little off kilter.

I do practice my posing there and I do wear my required 5 inch heels. I am actually fairly nervous every time I step on stage, even though I have done it several times. I guess it's something about standing almost naked in front of a couple thousand people, and they are judging your body!

Then you are required to stand there, very tight and flexed, and the shoes are pretty much as close to torture as you can get, especially when you have been standing in them all day long.

My husband calls it a "Beauty pageant with muscles"

Practicing posing while people wander by staring helps me feel more comfortable. The other day a very, very old man came up to me and said "Excuse me, but can you tell me why you exercise with high heels on?"

He was so sincere and I almost laughed in his face...but I didn't, I just explained what I was doing and he commented that it looked very nice and he hobbled away.

Posing is definitely not natural, you need to suck everything in (no matter how slim you are), pull up tall, spread your lats wide, make your shoulders look round, stick your rear end out by creating a painful arch in your back, and SMILE the entire time, while hoping the glue that is holding your itty bitty suit on doesn't melt off in the hot lights. Oh and you are supposed to look like you are having fun too.

And I do this for fun???? You betcha!

And you know why? Because I CAN, that's why...I can stand up there and hold my own against women half my age, and I am darn proud of that.

Here is a little video of my morning posing at the gym.

video

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Drugs


There are lot's of them. Everywhere you look someone is attempting to sell you a wonder drug that is guaranteed to make you slimmer, harder, faster, bigger, less wrinkled, even a special scent you can wear to attract the opposite sex.

Before you take anything, remember that the magazines hire people who look great to model the product, if you look at the bottom of the ad, somewhere you will see the disclaimer: "this person has been remunerated for appearing in this ad".

Yup, they got paid to say it works.

If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is not true. If pharmaceutical companies actually had drugs that worked and did what they claimed, they would be charging a lot of money and they would be sold by prescription.

So think long and hard before you go wasting your money on all the "miracle" supplements you read about in the magazines.

Now when think about drugs such as anabolic steroids and growth hormone that many muscle bound enthusiasts take, you should consider that many of these drugs were designed for animals, not humans, and those that were formulated for humans were done so for an entirely different purpose.

Because anabolic steroids and the other drugs are not legal for the purposes of just packing on some muscle, there have been extremely limited studies on the short and long term effects, doctors are really not able to perform the necessary studies. In addition, people are "guessing" as to the correct dosage and length of time to take these drugs.

Don't mess with the wonderful machine called your body, would you really consider harming yourself for bigger biceps, or a tighter six-pack?

You can raise your own GH naturally with training (weight lifting), ample rest, proper nutrition and supplementation. Now the amount and type of each of these is specific and requires a great deal more discussion than this post!

Do you feel good?


I wake up feeling good almost everyday, really! Morning is my favorite time of the day, the alarm quietly sounds at 4:00am and I slip out of bed and get into my gym clothes.

I walk outside where the air is crisp and cool and everything is so quiet.

I then grab the papers and scurry back in to read the sports page, down my protein drink and a handful of supplements before I hop in the car with the top down and head off to the gym.

I absolutely LOVE to lift weights, it is the best part of my day. Starting my day with something I am passionate about sets me up to be successful.

So how do you handle mornings? Are you setting yourself up for a good day or a bad day? Think about this:

Where do thoughts come from? Yes, neurons and chemicals are firing and being released every time we have a thought, but the thought caused those reactions, not the other way around, which many people think.

Scientists have been frustrated for years because they cannot actually prove that reality is real. If we put anything under a microscope enough times under enough magnification, everything breaks down to vibrations and energy.

Scientists also acknowledge that by the very act of observing something, we are creating reality. Simply by looking at anything, we change it. So, what is real? You decide.


I look forward to waking up and going to the gym, I don't mind the early alarm, but I do need to get plenty of sleep or I won't feel so good when that alarm sounds.

What do YOU need to do to wake up in a good, positive frame of mind?

Set yourself up to be successful, start your day with something you enjoy, it's all within your power.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


Where do you get your information about nutrition, training, health?

There is so much out in the world, newspapers, magazines, books, the Internet, and just as many opinions and "miracle diets" that it can make your head spin.

This is my side of the bed...stacks of books and e books (not any more because I had to print them to take them to bed with me), magazines, charts and pads of paper.

I don't watch T.V. I read, and I read a lot. I focus mainly on nutrition and before I buy any book I research it to ensure the author is a respected authority on their subject matter. I think that we never stop learning, and need to make an effort to continue to improve everyday.

Bodybuilding books aren't scrutinized as much because bodybuilders and weight lifters often have many variations of the same exercise, and they often have several different names for the same thing too! I first make sure that I understand the proper way to perform the exercise, then I can try the variations. I enjoy learning others techniques and methods as I am a firm believer in the adaptation rule, if you don't change it up, your body adapts quite quickly. Form is really not that difficult to follow if you know what muscle you are targeting, that is where you should "put your head", in other words, think about the muscle, put your brain right there in that muscle when you perform the exercise.

You will always engage your abs, never slouch, never swing or use momentum (unless you are performing something like a kettlebell swing). You shouldn't be laughing or talking, or looking around, you really need to concentrate on the moment.

And nothing should ever hurt. If it hurts you are doing something wrong so you should stop. There is a huge difference between "pain" and "effort". Don't say something is painful to do when you really mean it takes a lot of effort, those have completely different meanings.

I think it is important to research and read to gain a better understanding of all of the differing opinions. Although all those fitness and muscle magazines have great pictures and may be fun to read, I don't rely on them for any actual information, they are more of an entertainment to me.

I also listen to podcasts when I am doing cardio, this is a great way to learn and entertain yourself. That is how I found my nutritionist, Kim Porterfield. I listened to the podcast Beyond Diet and learned from every episode, and i still listen to it to this day.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Vegetable or starch?


Many people think they are eating super healthy and adhering to a great diet and are making some major mistakes daily!

It is a little thing called "starches" or what most people refer to as "carbs". Don't take this the wrong way, starches are very good for you and should be included in almost every meal, but some people don't realize that there are several vegetables that are considered starches and therefore should not be eaten in large quantities, or they should replace your starch.

A meal should include protein, starch and vegetable, the exact amount differs for each person, but we will use myself as an example.

By the way, vegetables are actually "carbs" too, but they have so little carbohydrates in them that when a nutritionist or bodybuilder talks about "carbs" they are referring to "starches".

My nutritionist said I am to eat 4 ounces lean protein (boneless, skinless chicken breast; turkey; fish); 4 ounces starch (brown rice, potatoes, beans) and as much vegetables as I like...this is where you can get into trouble if you don't know what vegetables are considered starches.

I am sitting in my yard Saturday on a beautiful sunny day shelling fava beans that we grew in the picture above. Fava beans look similar to long fat green beans, but you pull the beans out of the pods and throw the pods away. If you are eating fava beans, they would be your starch, not your vegetable.

When I am trying to lose or gain weight, I manipulate my starches. I never reduce protein, and vegetables have very little calories and fat and provide lot's of nutrients so I never reduce those, so the only thing left to manipulate is the starches.

So if my diet calls for 4 ounces of starches and unlimited vegetables, and I eat 4 ounces of rice and two cups of fava beans, thinking I am on target, I just totally messed up my diet! I might as well have had an additional two cups of rice instead of the beans.

What else is in this family? Corn, black-eyed peas and peas.

So next time you load up your plate with steamed corn, a cup of peas and some fava beans along with potatoes and grilled chicken, you have just set yourself up to gain some hefty weight...You should change the meal to be grilled chicken and only ONE of the four items listed, then add a big salad or a different vegetable.

Sunday, May 9, 2010



You gotta be able to laugh at yourself!

My husband was laughing so hard when I put these shoes on I thought he might injure himself.

These are called "strength Shoes" They look like black athletic shoes but they have a huge round platform under the ball of the foot, so your heel doesn't touch the ground at all. I understand there is a Seinfeld episode where Kramer wears these too.

I have always had skinny little calves and I train them hard all the time yet the stubborn things just won't grow. I understand that Arnold had the same problem once, so maybe I have a chance!

I told SC that I was tired of it and he said I needed to get these shoes, they are actually basketball shoes. Here's a sales pitch:

In regular shoes, 70% of the body's weight rests on the heel. Therefore, the calf muscles exert little effort in supporting the body. In Strength® Shoes, the heel is eliminated, causing the calves to support 100% of the body's weight. This overload works the calves and Achilles tendons with a force equal to 6 times the body's weight upon impact. The Strength® Shoe builds the calf and stretches the Achilles tendon making any athlete more explosive.


OK, when I was a kid I fell for the "sea monkeys" they sold in the back of the comic books over and over, so of course I fell for these shoes, but I really didn't want to spend $150.00 because they do not look like Donald Pliners....

I bought some on eBay, but the seller didn't realize that men and women wear different sizes so back they went.

SC loaned me his. One slight problem, he wears a men's 10 I wear a men's 6..so he said to wear them for 15 minutes the first day and hop around as much as possible. Then two days later I should wear them 20 minutes and keep hopping, the third time I should go 25 minutes, still hopping.

I will let you know what happens, but I have a feeling that SC is laughing as hard as my husband about now.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Something to think about


I am hoping that I motivating someone, somewhere everyday. I know that I am some days, because some of you email me and tell me, and that makes me feel good.

We can all learn from each other, but we learn a great deal from ourselves. We must be the doers.

Here are a few things to think about.

You have got to start to finish- Kristy Wilce

Teachers open the door, but you must enter by yourself.- Chinese proverb

The greatest revolution of our generation is the discovery that human beings, by changing the inner attitudes of their minds, can change the outer aspects of their lives. - William James

Ability is what you're capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it. - Lou Holtz

"I can't do it" never yet accomplished anything; "I will try" has performed wonders. - George P. Burnham

If you are going to win any battle you have to do one thing. You have to make the mind run the body. Never let the body tell the mind what to do.- General George Patton

Yes, it's true: We can't control the wind or the rain or the other vagaries of weather. But we can tack our sails such that we can steer the course we desire. - Unknown

I've always felt it was not up to anyone else to make me give my best. - Akeem Olajuwon

No one knows what he can do until he tries. - Unknown

It's all about the journey, not the outcome. - Carl Lewis

I believe in you, it's up to you to believe in yourself. Kristy Wilce

Friday, May 7, 2010

Fridays Workout (s)


I train twice on Fridays, because I meet SC in the afternoon. Every Friday I weigh myself, he checks body fat with calipers at 9 sites and we hit the weights, heavy.

I am 16 days out from the Contra Costa, my next Figure competition. I am at 122 pounds and 3.78% bodyfat. I was at 132 pounds on February 20, and probably have to drop another two pounds right in the last couple days. It will be easy, but oh so hard...16 days can feel like a lifetime.

5:00am the gym is just open and I am waiting. I can't do too much as my afternoon session will last a few hours, today it went from 2:15 to 5:00 (I think we sat around and talked for about a half hour afterward though).

5 minutes warm up on treadmill, 15% incline, moderate pace.

abs: giant set (3 or more exercises), no rest in between

crunches on an incline bench 3 x 20
hanging leg raises 3 x 15
v ups on a bench 3 x 20

knee raises on the captains chair 3 x 20

***stopped to show R some kettlebell swings, she wants to learn and has arranged lessons with a great RKC (Russian Kettlebell Certified) at the gym. I am loaning her some bells for a while***

20 minutes on stairstepper, moderate pace, just to break a sweat

No time for posing today, I will do that tomorrow morning.

Off to work then I meet SC at 2:15 at his place and the real training begins!

Most of this is very difficult to explain, as they are not typical exercises or pieces of equipment most gyms have. I will try to get some pictures another time.

Step on scale, bodyfat check, in goes the mouth guard and we start. It's quads, hams and glutes and this means a great deal of soreness starting about 24 hours from now lasting a couple days.

3 sets of the "Triangle of Terror":

A flex band (one of those huge, stiff rubber bands that are about 3 feet tall) is utilized.

Get in a squat position, position the band over the back of the shoulders, then step on the band, feet as wide as possible, it will be like squating inside the band. Keeping feet as wide as possible and maintaining a straight back and low squat, walk 15 steps forward, 15 steps backward, 15 steps sideways, and 15 steps to the other side.

That is one set and it is hard! Your glutes and IT bands will be screaming.

Bulgarian split squat

3 sets (each leg) of 5 with a 5 second hold at bottom stretch, holding 15 pound dumbbells

Standing Good Mornings superset with kettlebell swings

GM: 3 sets of 10 with 95 pounds

KB Swings: 3 sets of 10 24 kilo

Reactive Glute Ham Raise superset with kettlebell swings

GHR: light band attached to bottom of GHR, hing at hip, lower down, bring band op around glutes, bring body back to upright position (band makes it very hard to do)

4 sets of 6

KB Swings: 4 sets of 10 24 kilo

Single leg double kettlebell RDL's (Romanian Deadlifts) 32 kilos superset with box jumps

RDL's: 3 sets (each leg) of 5

BJ's 3 sets of 10

Done! Time for a shake (whey protein with carbohydrates, beta-alanine, glutamine and L-Leucine; protein bar and a shower....while I do this, SC eats the half a banana bread I made for him, all in one sitting!

Choices


We are faced with choices every moment of the day. Our actions determine the outcome. You can make a choice regarding your weight and fitness: You can choose to do nothing or you can choose to make changes.

That's it, you have two choices so it shouldn't be too tough.

If you choose to make one positive change everyday you are moving in the right direction. There is no rule that states you have to make a 360 degree change all at once, you can take baby steps, go at your own pace, but make the right choice.

Start by writing down your goal and look at it every single day. Post it where you can see it as a constant reminder. Once you feel that you are controlling that thought, and it is not controlling you, add another positive change.

It can be something as simple as committing to eating breakfast everyday. Then do it everyday until it becomes habit, it needs to be as important to you as brushing your teeth everyday. I would never consider walking out the door without brushing my teeth, and breakfast is just the same, it's a non-negotiable, I must do it.

Remember, you are the only one who can determine your future, it is completely in your hands, choose to make it a long and healthful one.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Is there junk in your trunk?



No, I don't mean your car! I mean your rear end! I am sure you look great from the front but what about when you turn around and walk away? When you stand sideways is there a straight drop from your back at the waist down to the floor?

If so, you need some work on those glutes!

I know I talk about glutes a lot, but any functional coach will tell you that one of the most important group of muscles to strengthen is the posterior chain. This includes your lower back, glutes, hamstrings, calves.

Why is it so neglected? Because you can't see it when you train! People tend to train what they can see (it's a vanity issue).

Having a weak posterior chain will cause a multitude of problems for you, but a strong posterior chain not only looks great, it guarantees you will be strong and healthy in all of your physical endeavors.

A strong posterior chain ensures you will have a strong back, good posture, less chance of hip and knee pain.

What builds a strong posterior chain?

Deadlifts
Glute Ham Raise
Kettlebell swings
Reverse Hypers
Good Mornings

Most commercial gyms don't have a glute ham raise, but I heard my gym will be getting one soon, and I cannot wait! SC has one we use weekly, but I want one I can use more often.

Same with the reverse hyper, we don't have one at the gym, SC does though.

Both of these are best done on the correct piece of equipment, but you can perform a variation of the glute ham raise with the help of a partner and the reverse hyper on a bench.

I strongly encourage you to seek out kettlebell training from a certified instructor, and I mean certified in kettlebells specifically. This is one area where you want proper instruction. I see people at my gym using kettlebells wrong all the time, and I am afraid they will injure themselves.

Don't be too proud to ask for help and if you do, be sure you are asking the right person.

By the way, what you want to hear when you walk away is "Check out the junk in that trunk!" .....it's a good thing.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Training, where do you start?


I was asked to write about training- what exercises to perform, how many sets and what to train together.

This can be all over the board depending on your skill level, your goals, your starting point, existing injuries or limitations, access to equipment, time available to exercise, I think you are getting my point, it will be different for each of us.

I think it may be best to start using myself as an example because I can describe what I am doing and why I am doing it, along with my goal at the time.

My goals change quite a bit, but are always extremely specific, for instance, I discussed my “Bring me a butt like Beyonce” program I was on last year (see Glute Day in April). That was specifically designed to build up my glutes. While I didn’t neglect everything else at the expense of my glutes, I focused on them and trained them longer, harder and more often than I usually would. I did this because I needed to bring up my glutes, because when you diet down for a competition, you lose fat and muscle, it's bound to happen, so I had to build up the muscle as much as possible so the end result would be full glutes still. By the way, the term "bring up" is bodybuilder speak to mean you are trying to make a body part bigger or more prominent.

Look for a weekly post on my specific training, and then ask the questions around that. I will attempt some suggestions for the people who want to train three days a week, but that’s hard for me as I train 6 days myself, so it will require some thought.

Make sure you are formulating a goal of your own if you don’t already have one. Decide if your goal is general fitness; lose body fat or gain lean body mass, this will determine how you move forward.

Unless you are a ripped freak, it is an accepted fact by most authorities that you are either in a state of losing (weight = lean body mass and fat); gaining (weight = lean body mass and fat); or maintaining (weight = lean body mass and fat). I know that you can gear your training so that you lose more fat than muscle, but you have to be prepared that you are bound to lose some of that hard earned muscle if you embark on a rigorous cardio regimen.

Without the “help” of anabolic-androgenic steroids (AAS), most people are not able to build a great deal of lean body mass while losing body fat at the same time, you really need to pick one or the other. There are plenty of illegal drugs out there that will help you to accomplish this if that is your goal, but not one I can offer any advise on, I am afraid I do it the hard way, I practice good nutrition, supplementation and exercise everyday.

By the way, the word anabolic comes from the Greek anabolein, "to build up", and the word androgenic from the Greek andros, "man" + genein, "to produce".

My recommendation for a person new to all of this whose focus is to lose some body fat and build up lean body mass would be to start lifting weights as often as possible, always focusing on form over anything else.

A person with more lean body mass will burn more calories at rest which means if you weigh 125 pounds and have more muscles than the 125 pound woman next to you, you are burning more calories than she is while you are sitting, sleeping, resting, anything you are doing. This also means that you can ingest more calories than she can and not gain weight as easily because you need more calories just to support your resting body.

In addition, one pound of fat is larger in volume than one pound of muscle, so while those two women may both weigh 125 pounds, one of them might wear a size 2 jean and the other might wear a size 8.....something I think is interesting enough to make you hop off that treadmill and start pumping some heavy iron.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Anabolic


You read that all the time, especially when someone is trying to sell you supplements. What exactly does anabolic mean?

Most of us automatically think anabolic steroids when we hear this word, but here are a couple definitions of anabolic:

"The phase of metabolism in which simple substances are synthesized into the complex materials of living tissue." or

"constructive metabolism; the synthesis in living organisms of more complex substances from simpler ones (opposed to catabolism)."

What is the most anabolic substance you can ingest? Food, REAL food!

Keep that in mind when you a are trying to get ripped and build up that muscle mass. The best drug is the cheapest, healthiest and completely legal one available. Just like any other drug, the timing of your nutrients will determine how effective it can be.

Every action in your life should have some nutritional consideration tied to it. Waking should trigger feeding, exercise should trigger additional feeding, rest should indicate limited feeding. More to come on this later.

By the way, L-Leucine, one of the three Branched Chain Amino Acids, is known as the "anabolic-trigger" due to its ability to support protein synthesis, lean mass gains, muscle breakdown, and enhance recovery. L-Leucine is an essential amino acid, which means that humans cannot synthesize it hence it must be ingested, usually as a component of proteins. Because we would need to ingest a great deal of protein to get all we need, we would be ingesting more calories than we should, that is where supplementation comes in.

As with most supplements on the market, studies are inconclusive. You will find many experts with differing opinions. I take 5 grams pre and post workout and feel that I have benefited from it.

Monday, May 3, 2010

My son


Well my son has a bad sprain. I didn't know that a sprain is torn tendons and can take quite some time to heal, often even longer than a break!

We saw the orthopedist and he said Cooper was off lacrosse for the rest of the season, so he misses the playoffs and the championships, he is very, very disappointed.

He starts physical therapy today, which will last four to six weeks, and in the meantime he is wearing this "aircast", it is much better than the fiberglass one, he can get it wet and he can use it as a support after the ankle is healed too!

We are hoping that he might still be able to play in the Memorial Day series, but that is up to the physical therapist. We do know that he will definitely be able to play in the Canadian tournament in July though.

Now I feel like a whiner complaining about my arm, which, since so many people have asked (thanks) still hurts, but certainly nothing like Cooper's ankle. I do now have an large bruise, it just reared it's ugly head yesterday,but should be gone by May 22 in time for my competition.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Chicken Wings


OK, I talk a lot about wholesome, natural foods, but you know what I love and especially want right now that I have been dieting so long? Buffalo Chicken Wings with blue cheese dressing...I know, you couldn't eat anything fattier than that.

Many of my friends get emails everyday from this site called Hungry Girl, I suggest you sign up for it now.

http://www.hungry-girl.com/

Lisa sends emails out daily with all sorts of good recipes and ideas and warnings about pitfalls people may encounter when attempting to stay lean yet eat at restaurants or buy packaged food (I know a lot of people do this).

She has a recipe in here for buffalo chicken wings that is actually not bad for you, and although it doesn't taste like the greasy ones you get in a restaurant, it more than satisfies my cravings and I do not feel guilty about it!! Yahoo!

Here is her recipe which you can find on her site just search "buffalo"

First she discusses true chicken wings:

Each one contains an average of more than 100 calories and 5 fat grams!!! That's a POINTS® value of 2* per itty-bitty boneless wing. And that's WITHOUT the fatty dressing often served with your wings.

Now she introduces her recipe:

Right Wing!

Ready for a crispy, hot boneless buffalo wing swap? You BETTER be. These spicy nuggets will blow your mind! And for an all-out b-wing experience, serve 'em with celery sticks and some low-cal bleu cheese or ranch dressing (mmmm!)...

Ingredients:
8 oz. raw boneless skinless lean chicken breast, cut into 10 nugget-shaped pieces
1/4 cup Fiber One bran cereal (original), ground to a breadcrumb-like consistency in a blender or food processor
1 oz. (about 14 crisps) Pringles Light Fat Free Potato Crisps, Barbecue (or another fat-free BBQ-flavored potato chip)
3 tbsp. Frank's RedHot Original Cayenne Pepper Sauce
dash onion powder
dash garlic powder
dash cayenne pepper
dash black pepper
dash salt

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Crush potato crisps completely and, in a small dish, mix with cereal crumbs. Add a dash of each of the seasonings and mix well. Place chicken pieces in a separate dish, and cover and toss with Frank's RedHot. Spray a baking pan with nonstick spray. Give each chicken piece a shake (so it's not dripping with RedHot), and then coat it evenly with the crumb mixture. Lay the battered nuggets on the baking pan. Place in the oven, and bake for 10 minutes. Then flip the wings over, and return them to the oven for 10 more minutes, or until outsides are crispy and chicken is cooked throughout. MAKES 2 SERVINGS


Serving Size: 5 wings (half of recipe)
Calories: 175
Fat: 1.5g
Sodium: 1,153mg**
Carbs: 14g
Fiber: 4g
Sugars: <1g
Protein: 27g

POINTS® value 3*

So, I couldn't ever find fat free Pringles but I found low fat, and I used a heck of a lot more than "dashes" of anything. You can find some good fat free or low fat blue cheese dressing in the produce section of the market...I am making these on May 23rd I think. Need I say more? Check out her site.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

What do you want?


I have been posting for a month now, and I get feedback occasionally which I greatly appreciate. This has morphed into something other than what I first intended, and I suspect it may change quite a bit as I continue.

I would appreciate feedback about what readers would like to hear, perhaps it is more recipe related ideas, training (such as actual exercises, sets and reps), what to eat when not dieting for a competition, what to eat (or not) when dieting for a competition, what happens at a figure competition, anything!

A I mentioned in my earlier post, people ask me about training all the time, today it was three different women, and I love it! The fact that they do not feel intimidated is great, and we can all learn from each other.

So, I made business cards so I can just give those out, and that way when people ask, they will have my blog, twitter, email. I did not list my cell phone though, you have seen almost every part of my body, I at least need a private phone number!

Also, I would like to ask that you pass this on to anyone you think may enjoy it, I hope that it offers entertainment and insight into how anyone can become healthier and look better at the same time.

Feedback can be via the comments section, or email, either works but the comments allows others to view and add their comments too.

Thanks!