Monday, February 28, 2011

Monday Morning Motivation

Monday! You know how I love them! (This picture was taken Sunday morning, first day back in the gym in 9 days!)

Hopefully you find something that "pings" at your heart and soul, to make you look inward and perhaps make a little tiny change in attitude today.

Remember, you are worth it!

The attitude, and the mind, is where it all starts.
- John Smith, Olympic Champion

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

She didn't know it couldn't be done, so she went ahead and did it.
- Mary's Almanac

The roads we take are more important than the goals we announce. Decisions determine destiny.
- Frederick Speakman

Empty pockets never held anyone back. Only empty heads and empty hearts can do that. 
- Norman Vincent Peale

A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent in doing nothing.

- George Bernard Shaw

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

And now a little Monday Morning Music, here is Pulp performing Monday Morning. Some of the lyrics are below. Email readers will need to navigate directly to the blog to view the video.

There's nothing to do so you just stay in bed,
oh poor thing,
why live in the world when you can live in your head?

Mmm when you can go out late from Monday,
till Saturday turns into Sunday,
and now you're back here at Monday,
so we can do it all over again.
And you go aah ah ah
I want a refund,
I want a light,
I want a reason,
to make it through the night, alright.

Going out late from Monday,
chuck up in the street on Sunday,
you don't want to live till Monday,
and have to do it all again.
and you go aah ah ah
I want a refund,
I want a light,
I want a reason for all this night after night after night after night.
Oh I know that it's stupid but,
I just can't seem to spend a night at home,
cos my friends left town,
and I'm here all alone ow.

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Sunday, February 27, 2011

Back in the saddle

I got home from Mexico Thursday night, the limo dropped us at about 11:00 p.m. it was oh so cold and wet, what a change. David stayed up and started laundry, Cooper took a very long, hot shower then switched on the TV he hadn't seen in days. I crawled into bed as soon as I could, I was exhausted.

I woke early, it was 5:30 and I couldn't sleep any longer, I crept quietly out of bed and started back into my routine. First, continue laundry. We would be leaving in a couple hours to go see Pop, so there was lots to do. After laundry I would need to pack some clothes for a cold, Central Valley climate!

I bundle up in a coat and go out into the garage to set up my weeks worth of protein drinks for pre-workout (first meal); amino acids for post training; and my branched chain amino acids for fluid during training.

I keep it all on my dryer in the garage, and since I am such an organized creature of habit, and always really tight on time, I find that getting everything ready for a week works well and I have what I need at all times. I can then just grab what I need and go.

I was actually craving a chocolate Lean 1 drink, and was happy to start my day with one.

I drink a Lean 1 combined with other supplements every morning. I also take L-Leucine, caffeine, Beta-Alanine and L-Glutamine.

For my drink while training I have X-Tend branched chain amino acids, and then afterward I take Gold Medal Aminos from Fitness Nutrition, a company started by Dara Torres (Olympic Swimmer).

Here you can see the concoctions all measured out and ready to go. The purple tops are the pre-training protein meal (and the other supplements added), it's like my own Ready-To- Drink, just add the mixture to water in a shaker cup!

The smaller containers in front center are the measured X-Tend (orange) and the medium sized ones on the right are the Gold Medal Aminos.

Every night I take one of each from the basket in the garage, put them on the kitchen counter and when I hop out of bed at 4:00 a.m. I have what I need. I mix my protein concoction with water in a shaker cup and take my supplements with it while I read the sports page, I then mix the X-Tend in my water bottle and take the Gold Medal Aminos in my gym bag to take immediately post training.

Supplements are also in daily pill reminder cases, I have four of them, morning, lunch, evening and bedtime. Again, all filled up on the weekend and the lunch times are carried in my purse, so I always have them.

Anal? A bit, but it helps me to be successful.

Sometimes when the sports page is boring I read my horoscope. I know they are silly and not true, nor can they be tailored for each individual, but sometimes it makes me feel really, really good. Today was one of those days and I know it was written just for me.

It said this:

You'll soon be involved in a project to restore, refurbish, or revive. What you wind up with will be an improvement on what came before.

Interpret it the way you will, I know what spoke to me, and it was immediate. Baby steps, giant leaps, zigs and zags, but all leading me in the right direction.
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Saturday, February 26, 2011

Life detours

I had a few hiccups this month. I went on vacation, and I could have attempted to stick to a diet but I didn't choose to. That is what is important to remember, we all make our own choices.

I think that many people are not successful in their endeavors because they choose to blame external forces instead of turning and looking internally.

True, sometimes one person may be dealt a worse hand than others, and this hand may go on for quite some time, but it can be dealt with, it's all how you look at the cards.

I enjoyed my vacation, I ate, I drank, I slept, it was nice. I gained some body fat, I can see it and feel it. Oh David will tell you it is all in my head, but it's not.

I will lose it too, I am a focused person. Don't get in my way or you will get run over.  

I am retuning home early, but cannot yet get right back into the gym, but that's OK, the gym will always be there, and I can make it work.

I can adhere to my diet at my father-in laws (easier than in Mexico) and can always go to a local gym for a few days, weights are weights, I can lift them all!

Actually just getting back to chugging down copious amounts of water feels good! Tonight we all went out to dinner, I think the waiter thought I was a nut. While David ordered steak and fries (no vegetable), Cooper ordered chicken fried steak, country toast and baked potato, Pop had liver and onions, I ask for the following:

salmon, charbroiled, no oil, no butter
baked potato, plain
vegetables, steamed
lemon on the side
salad, only vinegar

It was good, it was healthy, it was on my diet. We had a good time joking how Mum would have had a french fry sandwich, with butter. (Don't know if it's part of growing up in Wales, or just a Mum thing!)

I may take detours, but I always find my way back to the main road and eventually, back home.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Life Interrupted

The manager of the hotel I am staying at came knocking on my screen door last night (Tuesday) at 3:00 a.m. David's dad was on the phone.

Davids mother has left us, it happened very suddenly and unexpectedly. We all know that our loved ones will leave, but we are never, ever ready for it.

Margaret was like a mother to me too, in fact I called her Mum. I have known her since I was 17 years old, that's a very long time.

She welcomed me into her family with open arms, never judging, never critical. I was the daughter she always wanted, yet never had until I met David. She spoiled me rotten! In fact, she gave me a key to her house, not David and said "If you two ever divorce, Kristy can come home, but not you David! ha ha

You really couldn't want a better mother in law.

Its very hard being in another country, I was able to change our flight, but we cannot leave until Thursday, one more day later. Paradise has suddenly become prison.

Through the tears and frustration we talked all day on Wednesday. We sat in the sun, drank way too much wine and walked over to have lunch at the restaurant next door. I sat looking at the ocean, sipping white wine and eating lobster with garlic. Even in sorrow I tell the guy to leave out the butter.
He senses something is not right, he fills my glass "on the house" and softly walks away. 

I emailed a friend who lives across the street from my in-laws, I met her through my blog. I ask if she will check on my Dad, Alicia wonderfully goes to spend time with him. She assures me she will check on him until we can get there, and her husband, Solomon will go see him when he returns from work in the evening, it is a great comfort to know there are others you can count on.

Actually being here another day, stranded has allowed us some time to come to terms with Mum's sudden death, to relate to one another, to talk our way through our own fears and pains. When my mother died 2 years ago, also in February, I had been caring for her with hospice, we talked daily about her fears of dying, my fears of her dying, our intertwined lives. It was not the same with Mum, we never got that chance.

I was always fortunate to have two mothers, and now I have memories only. But very good memories that I can cherish forever.

I love you Mum.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Balance Life and Competitions

I have been on vacation since Thursday evening at about 5:45 pm, when I finally left my office. Life can become so complex and difficult, yet whenever I start thinking that, I realize that it is my reaction to things that is making it all difficult.

I started my diet four weeks ago in preparation of this annual vacation, I did not want to go to Mexico and not enjoy myself. I have found myself not enjoying things because I am afraid I will gain body fat and weight.

That is not healthy. Am I first a competitor or am I first a person? There are competitions all the time, like clockwork, they happen. The promoters make way too much money off people like me not to hold them.

I have been trying to keep things in a good perspective, but it all seemed to fall apart today, or maybe it didn't.

I have been coming to this same very small village, same tiny hotel, same room for 13 years, every February. I enjoyed time in the airport with other regulars, all heading back for a week of sun and relaxation just like me.

I emailed Annie ahead of time. She is a massage therapist who lives here eight months out of the year with her two daughters and husband, they run a surfing school. Then four months out of the year they live in Oregon. I told her I would like a 90 minute massage on my patio, she was there today, in the warm breeze, greeting me like an old friend.

The hotel we stay at has a small restaurant, Christian was the proprietor, but he left this past winter and now has his cafe in the village of Troncones. We have thoroughly enjoyed the new restaurant, Jean Paul is French, his wife is Mexican so the mix of foods is spectacular.

But we missed the old Christian, and his dad, Paul. 

We headed down the road today towards Troncones and saw Paul outside Cafe Sol, we stopped and hugs were abundant. We said we would come back for dinner.

I was so hungry, I made the guys leave earlier than they should have. I am not used to eating so infrequently and the fats and carbs are not doing my body good....

We ended up at Dona Nica's, it is a restaurant on the beach, she knows us from all of the years we have been coming here. It is a dirt floor, open air restaurant where food is cooked on a comal outside. She greeted us with warm smiles and laughs, I asked if she could make Chile Rellenos the next evening, and yes, we were told to come back then. They are made in the tradition of this area, stuffed with real mashed potatoes, and albondigas (meatballs) on the side.

You never know if they will be open or not!

We stayed only for a drink, I had my first pina colada, the boys had a beer. Once I was done, the fellow was right back and filled up my drink again, seems he couldn't make a small drink, and he wasn't ripping us off, we are old friends of Dona Nica.  My two pina coladas, and the two beers was 100 pesos, less than $10.00 us dollars.

Tourism is off, badly. Christian and Paul say that it has been very slow, Annie also said the same. They all say that regular guests are here (like us)  but there are no new people. they are all scared about gunmen, drugs and narkos. We are fine where we are.

We enjoyed a great dinner at Christians although it took forever because first Paul was chatting, then Christian, and we couldn't order! In the end I had a ceasar salad and then a hangar steak with onions and mushrooms. David had the same, Cooper? He has a fantastic cheeseburger, then three skirt steak tacos, and half of David's steak (I ate all mine).

I am still feeling that I may be blowing it for my next competition, but I am having a great time with my family and that means more to me.

Did I tell you about the whales we watched breaching off the beach this afternoon? Probably not.

I have been having a hard time balancing the desire to enjoy my vacation with the need to adhere to a bodybuilder's diet, not an easy task at all where I am.

The lesson all comes down to this. I am reading a book on vacation called: FLOW the psychology of optimal experience. In this book one of the components of happiness is competition, and this is what it has to say:

One simple way to find challenges is to enter a competitive situation. Hense the great appeal of all games and sports that pit a person or team against another. In many ways, competition is a quick way of developing complexity: "He who wrestles with us" wrote Edmund Burke, "strengthens our nerves, and sharpens our skill. Our antagonist is our helper" The challenges of competition can be stimulating and enjoyable. But when beating the opponent takes precedence in the mind over performing as well as possible, enjoyment tends to disappear. Competition is enjoyable only when it is a means to perfect one's skills, when it becomes an end in itself, it ceases to be fun.

So I shall challenge myself upon my return. I will work to be the best I can be, that is what I strive for. It is not to beat others, but to beat my personal best. I am in competition with myself, and I am one of the most worthy and difficult opponents!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


So what does a 49 year old Figure competitor take on vacation? 10 of the most beautiful, sexy, skimpy bikini's known to man! And the autobiography of Keith Richards....

I call the suit I am wearing "Cupcake" because it is soft, white covered with small delicate rounds of fluttery fabric, in pink, blue and white. They are like soft feathery scales, and they look like the pastel sprinkles on white cupcakes!  

These suites are all made by a company called Pin Up Stars in Italy. They are each quite unique, covered with swavorski crystals, sequins or beads. There is one David calls "Nemo" because the top is all sequin scales, and the bottom is a big orange clown fish, right across the butt.

There is the beautiiful pink one with purple glass beads and white flower petals on the top, and the bullseye patterned one with swirls on the strings.

I strated collecting them one year after my bikini was stolen while drying on my patio in Mexico. I told the owner of the hotel "I don't work this hard in the gym to wear just any old baggy suit!". I then bought as many as I could find and afford, they are not available very often and they are not cheap.

The joke at the hotel now is that everyone else locks up their wallets in the safe deposit box, Kristy locks up her bikini's!

I must say, weight training does fill out a bikini well doesn't it?

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Four weeks of my diet

It's been four weeks, don't my shoulders look GREAT!? I love this look. I realize this is supposed to be about my diet, and where I have gotten in four weeks, but it all gets rolled up into one big mess.  I do have to say, my shoulders look better than ever, and this picture was not taken on a shoulder training day either!

Your whole body starts taking on a different look as you slowly lose the fat, yet keep hitting the muscles hard with training. I have not lost any more weight, I am actually still just 2 pounds less than when I started four weeks ago, but I am sure quite a bit of that is stored glycogen.

As muscles become better trained, they are better able to store glycogen, resulting in the ability to swell up with water storage.
My back and lats are massive, shoulders huge, everything is looking great in my opinion. I have to keep up the training and dieting though.

The biggest issue for me at the moment is I am sitting on my patio in Mexico, vacationing. These pictures were taken Friday, and it is now Sunday. Gone is the ripped look, I have been eating, eating normal food and drinking cocktails! GASP!

I plan to continue enjoying myself. I will see what I look like later, and so will you! Don't expect a tight body at the next showing!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Monday Morning Motivation

It takes a lot of hard work to attain you goals, I mean, if you HAVE goals. You must have goals, and you must also recognize how hard you work to achieve them. 

We all expect instant gratification, immediate changes, overnight success. It just doesn't happen that way though, not often.

You need to work hard at the relentless pursuit of .....and give yourself credit for having the guts to do it! Don't give up, ever.

Nature wants us to be mediocre because we have a greater chance to survive and reproduce. Mediocrity is as close to the bottom as it is to the top, and will give you a lousy life.

What we do on this earth we do to ourselves.

Sucessful people replace the words "wish" "should" and "try" with "I will".

Your outlook on life is a direct reflection of how much you like yourself.

That which matters the most should never give way to that which matters the least.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Vinegar to fight fat

I turn to vinegar as a flavoring for food quite often, especially when I am dieting. I will use lemon or vinegar and stay away from soy sauce or other sauces that often contain sugars.

I am quoting a blog below that states that vinegar fights fat! I don't know how extensive the study was that is discussed, and it doesn't really matter to me because I like vinegar and I put it on my food already, I am not planning on changing anything or perhaps start drinking it or anything silly like that.

Just some interesting tidbit to file away and think about. Maybe you want to try vinegar on your food? It's a great change when you are reducing calories as most condiments really add up!

This is from a website called Technorati. Technorati was founded to help bloggers succeed by collecting, highlighting, and distributing the global online conversation. Founded as the first blog search engine, Technorati has expanded to a full service media company providing services to the blogs and social media sites and connecting them with advertisers who want to join the conversation, and whose online properties introduce blog content to millions of consumers.

This particular blog was written by Hector Corsi

Some exciting research on vinegar proves that it really does reduce body fat levels, triglycerides and sugar in humans.  I will outline the exact doses you need to achieve these beneficial effects, and when to use it to achieve them.

Fat and Sugar Busting Effects in Mice AND Humans

If you’ve ever had a high carbohydrate meal, or worse, one that was also high-glycemic, you already know that these sugars will convert to fat.  If you use vinegar after a high-glycemic meal, your glucose levels will not rise, according to new research published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

The study examined the effects of a high-glycemic meal with and without vinegar on diabetic humans.  Those who also had vinegar experienced lower glucose levels after their meal.  Previous research has also shown this effect in healthy people.

Another study, but on mice who were on high fat diets, also shows that acetic acid, the active component in vinegar, enhances fatty acid oxidation and thermogenic proteins such as UCP-2, and prevents body fat accumulation.

Vinegar Reduces Body Fat and Triglycerides in Obese Humans

The most interesting research though,  is a study published in the journal Bioscience, Biotechnology, and Biochemistry, performed on 175 obese patients who were administered different doses of apple vinegar, but did not change their diet or exercise patterns.  One group received a low dose of vinegar, another a high dose, and the placebo group got a beverage that tasted like apple vinegar, but had no vinegar.

The 500 mL beverage (about 2 cups), contained mostly water, with the low dose group getting 15 ml (1 tablespoon) of vinegar mixed in the water, and the high dose group getting 30 ml (2 tablespoons).

Subjects drank 1 cup of the mixture after breakfast, and another cup after supper.  After 4 weeks, body fat levels decreased significantly in both the high and low dose protocol. The higher the dose, the greater the body fat decrease.  After 8 weeks, waist circumference decreased in the vinegar groups.  Body weight, visceral (belly) fat mass and triglyceride levels also decreased in the vinegar groups.

The study reported no side effects, and it suggests that you have to keep drinking the vinegar mixture to keep the beneficial effects.  The good effects go beyond weight reductions, and so vinegar could be an easy, safe, and effective compound to fight fat, and enhance health.

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Saturday, February 19, 2011

Reading materials on the plane

I love reading and even mote exciting is reading about weight training.

I have my e"book The Poliquin Principles. That and a few glasses of wine in First Class and the ride is quite pleasant.

Layover in LA

Only enough time for breakfast. I am having  a Bloody Mary and two eggs with swordfish. I will have a bite of the potatoes and give the rest to David


It doesn't appear as though Cooper is having much fun but it is only 6:00 a.m. on a Saturday morning. Waiting at the airport is pretty boring.

I was sent through the full body scanner and David was sent through the regular scanner. I told him they only want to see the beautiful bodies. Hee hee

Proper Nutrition

My husband and son always laugh when I drink this right before bed, they say it looks like I am drinking melted butter.

It is actually amino acids.

I take a lot of amino acids and branched chain amino acids. They are the building blocks of muscle.

You will hear just about everyone say you need to eat a lot of protein to gain muscle, what you actually need is the amino acids that your body is able to pull out of the protein.

I eat the correct amount of protein, as prescribed by a nutritionist and I also drink a lot of amino acids.

Proper nutrition is a balanced diet, year round. You cannot go on a diet for a length of time, get ripped then go back to eating like the average Joe and expect to stay ripped.

Won't work, guaranteed.

You can relax your diet, but you can never give up the "clean" eating, not if you want to keep that gorgeous body.

Just like the human body adapts to training, requiring constant changes to keep from becoming stagnant and cease growing, the human body adapts to nutrition.

Eat the same old stuff day in and day out and soon you will suffer. You won't show gains, you may start having gastrointestinal issues, your body will rebel.

That is why it is imperative to eat seasonally. You need to include many different foods in your diet, one day you may have beans for your starch and one day brown rice (NEVER white). They have a different caloric value, and that is good, some days your calories are slightly higher than others. Keeps it guessing, just like in training.

Varying your foods is also good for your head- psychologically I mean.

I won't get into carb cycling, this is about a diet for life, not a diet for an event.

Include bright vegetables, greens, fresh fruit. If you choose what is in season (locally, not in Chile), then it will have the highest nutrient content, and you are sure to never get tired of the same foods as they will change with the seasons.

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Friday, February 18, 2011

Training that "Fits"

Do you walk into a shoe store and sit down and tell the salesperson "give me shoes I will like that make me look taller and slimmer"? And then you expect him to bring you exactly what you needed, the same shoe he would bring everyone else?

No, you probably go find some shoes that you like, then ask to try them on, and feel how they fit, then decide if you like them. Maybe you don't like them, maybe you do. They need to fit just right or you won't buy them.

You need to do the same with a trainer or a training program.

I like to watch the trainers at my gym, I think might learn something. Unfortunately, more often than not, I only learn what not to do. Not every time mind you, but quite often.

Most of them stick to the same old thing time after time. In fact, I see some who have all of their clients do the same workout! Can you imagine? Obviously that isn't tailored for the clients is it? It is tailored for the trainer's convenience. How can any trainer even think that the same workout will be appropriate for different ages, body types, skill sets, goals?

Then there are some who never leave a small patch of padded flooring, they always have their clients use a ball or a mat or those plastic discs or some other gadget that basically does nothing, and he stands there talking. I haven't seen changes in his clients in over a year.

When you decide to hire a trainer, you first need to get an idea of what your goals are so you can actually articulate this to them. Then, you need to interview them and ask what they would do to help you accomplish this goal.

Do you need someone who will push you and be with you? Or do you need someone to teach you proper form? Do you just want someone to spot you? Do you even know what you want? You have to be able to tell them what you expect if you are expecting anything from them.

Talk to some of their other clients, ask them what they like about their trainer and what could use improving.

I talked to a woman the other day who is overweight, by more than a few pounds. She said she hurt herself doing plyometrics that her trainer instructed her to do. A trainer has no business telling an overweight person to do box jumps or squat jumps, obviously they will get injured.

If your trainer tells you that he or she can help you lose weight and gain muscle at the same time with their expertise, question it. If you are not in an "elite" category already, and first need to get down to an average body fat, they are handing you a pack of lies.

We all want to lose body fat and gain lean muscle mass at once, and it is possible, but extremely difficult and it takes years of training and experimenting with your diet to find the exact program that works for you.

Your average trainer at a gym most likely cannot do this for you, you will need a qualified nutritionist, one who specializes in athletes.

While training is vital, you will not show gains without proper nutrition, all the time. You cannot out train a bad diet!

Some food for thought.
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Thursday, February 17, 2011

Training Goals

Sunday morning at the gym I stopped to talk to Allan about Ricardo Ricco. Allan was a runner in the 1974 Olympics, so he and I occasionally chat about Olympic athletes pitfalls and stupid moves. I met him shortly after I joined the club, someone was saying something about me in a joking way, and he looked right at them and said "Kristy? She's the fittest woman in this place!"

We have been friends ever since!

He was telling me how many of the German and Bulgarian women athletes were obviously on steroids, and we talked about all the drugs in the cycling world.

A woman walked by and he shook his head and laughed saying "Now that's something I just don't get!"

He didn't have to tell me what he "didn't get" because I don't get it either. She has cultivated a look that many women, unfortunately strive for. These women think that men like the look, and while I know a few men that do, I honestly question their integrity for actually wanting a woman to look this way.

And what is this way? "Anorexic Barbie with lots of surgery" is the best I can say to describe it.

The woman in question is thin, painfully thin. Her legs are so thin, my upper arms are just slightly smaller in circumference than her thighs (OK, I am exaggerating but only a tiny bit).

Her arms are straight and thin, wispy looking, and she has no fat on her body.

Her face has had much work done, the lips protrude out from some sort of plumper or filler, they look rather "duck-like".

Then, the breasts. The huge, round, full breasts that are proportionally incorrect, they are way too big for her small, 12 year old sized body.

Allan told me with a laugh that one day this woman was giving him some lip as he used one of the machines. He looked straight at her, pointed his finger at her chest and said "Tell me! Could you not have done something better than THAT with $6,000.00!?"

I about fell over laughing when he told me this. Needless to say, they aren't good buddies.

"And the make-up!" he said, "why is she wearing make-up?" It was 8:00 a.m. on a Sunday morning, I am not sure why she had a full face of make-up on either.

Although I think this woman looks comical, and ridiculous, she probably thinks the same thing about me with all my muscularity.

What is my point anyway? What does this have to do with training goals?


You need to know what you want your body to look like before you can embark on a training program.

Now if you are just plain too fat and want to lose weight all over, by all means stick with that trainer who has you doing all the cardio circuits and dynamic training, the ones who make you sweat so you think you are getting a work out.

Keep balancing on that bosu ball and using those little round purple plastic things so your feet slide about (???)

But when you have lost a lot of excess weight and you want to see changes, you need to tailor your training to your goals.

In the picture above I am enjoying my dinner and I have my training binder and papers and some books spread out all over. I am writing up my new workout, I change it every three to four weeks, it varies depending on the program I am on. I never do the same program over and over, the human body adapts very quickly, you will not show gains if you continue on the same path every single day. I think about what I need to change, what my goals are, I add different grips in or reduce weight and increase volume.

What I never do is spend a lot of time doing cardio and playing with tiny little weights, you will never gain any strength or muscle this way, ever.

That woman? She does lots of cardio everyday, and then she lifts weights that never go over 25 pounds (and I am talking lat pull downs here).

She will remain skinny and emaciated, with no muscle to speak of.

My goals? Muscle hypertrophy. That means lifting weights, heavy weights. There are two types of hypertrophy, there is sarcoplasmic or myofibrillar.

Typically the bodybuilder trains for the sarcoplasmic, muscle size but no corresponding strength gains. Smoke and mirrors, that's all they care about. This is usually weights in the higher rep range (say 10 to 15) , less resting in between and sub maximal load.

Myofibrillar hypertrophy is characterized by strength gains with small increase in muscle size. This involves less reps (usually no more than 6) with longer rest periods. Weights as heavy as you can go.

In both cases, you always use heavy weights, when you are training for sarcoplasmic hypertophy, your weights should still be so heavy that your really cannot lift them more than your 10 to 15 reps.

Long story short, I incorporate both into my training, and it depends on the time of year and what my upcoming competitions are.

Think about your goals when you plan your training. Just because something works for someone else doesn't mean it will work for you.

Just like investing and anything else you want to become good at, you need to read, study and research. You need to understand.
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Wednesday, February 16, 2011


My favorite part, the booty! I work hard for this round butt, and I will always work hard on it.

I have been doing my squats faithfully and now that my gym got the glute ham raise I can see the roundness increasing!

It really is a shame to see someone with an attractive physique only to find that when they turn around, they have no rear end. Not only is it not attractive, it is signs of a weak posterior chain. Show me someone with a flat butt and I guarantee you they have, or will soon have back problems.

I was at home on Friday having a new garage door installed, the worker said to me "Don't take offense, but you have great glutes."  Now why on earth would I be offended? Doesn't he know I train hard just to hear people tell me things like this?!

He then wanted to know just what I do for my great glutes, so I gave him the run down of my one hour glute training day, and of course the squats and lunges on leg day that hit the glutes too.

He very kindly then replaced some rotted wood on the side of the garage too, and he didn't have to do that.

I understand they now make padded underwear! Too darn funny. They are called Booty Pop and I guess they are selling quite well, pretty sad really. So what happens when you take off those underwear and you have a sorry flat rear end? I say stick to those glute exercises, squats and lunges like me.

Here is a video of the Booty Pop underwear on a TV show called The View:
(email subscribers will need to navigate directly to the blog to see the video)

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Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Three weeks of my diet

Things are moving along right on track! I have lost two pounds in three weeks, I don't have a lot to lose so I want to take it slowly. Losing it too fast results in a look that can be haggard, and your skin can look loose instead of tight and smooth.

Shoulders are looking good! I am starting to get a nice cap, but it will never be enough so I will keep working on them.

The abs are looking better and better as I lose the body fat, as I said before, I never let myself gain very much fat, I don't believe in the old theory that to gain lean muscle you need to pack on the fat. There is no reason to do that. Science has proven that you need to ingest more calories than you expend so you can gain, it has also proven that you don't need to ingest hundreds more calories that you expend resulting in a great deal of unwanted (and un-needed) fat. There is a happy medium, most people just like to use it as an excuse to pig out.

My V taper is looking better as my waist comes in, and I can see that I don't have as much fat on my upper back, an area where many women my age will start to store it.

I think the next thing I need is a new camera!

So, I have 12 weeks to go and honestly, I think I may be a bit too lean to start now, so it's a good thing I am going on vacation and plan to enjoy myself, I won't go crazy, but I will eat one of my favorite dishes that Dona Nica makes for me: Camarones empanizados con mayonesa (breaded, fried shrimp with mayonnaise) and a cold tecate!

And of course a few margaritas while watching the sunset on the beach.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Monday Motivation

It's Monday, so many people dread this day and I don't understand why.

We are here once, so if things are not the way we want them, then we must change them. I cannot imagine living in a world that made me unhappy, a job that I hated, a cold climate.

I believe that I create my own world, and everything that surrounds me. If I don't like it, then I need to move on or learn to accept it.

I guess you can tell that I love my job, otherwise I would probably dislike Mondays like so many others do. I also love Mondays, they feel like a new start for me, every single week.

I think a lot is because I am a creature of habit and that is also why I am so successful in my endeavors.

It's not whether you get knocked down; it's whether you get back up.
--Vince Lombardi

There are only two options regarding commitment; you're either in or you're out. There's no such thing as life in-between.
--Pat Riley

Be more concerned with your character than with your reputation.Your character is what you really are while your reputation is merely what others think you are.
--John Wooden

The real glory is being knocked to your knees and then coming back. That's real glory.
-- Vince Lombardi

The Six W's: Work will win when wishing won't.
-- Todd Blackledge

The harder you work, the harder it is to surrender.
-- Vince Lombardi

Face your deficiencies and acknowledge them. But do not let them master you.
-- Hellen Keller

Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear - not absence of fear.
-- Source Unknown





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Sunday, February 13, 2011

Riccardo Ricco and Blood Doping

It never ceases to amaze me the things people will do to themselves to win. What happened to working hard and rejoicing in your accomplishments?

Steroids, growth hormone, blood doping, where does it end?

I wouldn't store vegetables or meat in my refrigerator for 25 days, what on earth made Ricco think he could store blood in there that long, and then infuse it back into his body!?

Yes, that's just what he did. 25 days!

(CNN) -- Riccardo Ricco has been suspended by his Dutch-based Vacansoleil cycling team amid claims that the Italian gave himself a blood transfusion.

Ricco -- who only returned to the sport last March after being handed a 20-month ban for doping during the 2008 Tour de France -- was admitted to a hospital in Modena on Sunday.

His father told reporters at the time that Ricco had been suffering from a high fever and suspected kidney failure.

But Italian media claimed the 27-year-old had admitted to doctors that he had made himself ill by injecting contaminated blood.

And now his team have issued an official statement, saying they have found enough proof of a doping infraction to suspend the rider with immediate effect.

The statement said: "Internal research results following the illness and rumors regarding Ricco have given the team sufficient reason to suspend the Italian with immediate effect."

Internal research results following the illness and rumors have given the team sufficient reason to suspend Ricco with immediate effect
--Vacansoleil team statement

It continued: "Last Tuesday, the team started an urgent investigation following the hospitalisation of Riccardo Ricco. Three days later the results of this study brought the team to the conclusion that an immediate suspension of Ricco was required.

"The violation of internal regulations of the team and other indications justify this measure. The team cannot prejudge but emphasises that a zero-tolerance policy towards doping is practised."

Blood doping -- an action that increases the amount of red blood cells available to carry oxygen to the muscles -- has been a problem in cycling for a number of years, with disgraced 2006 Tour de France winner Floyd Landis admitting last year that he blood-doped during his career.

Blood cells are not damaged by freezing, consequently a "blood doper" can remove blood from their body, safely store it, and re-inject it when increased aerobic capacity and stamina is needed.

However, if the blood is stored incorrectly, it can become infected, resulting in severe illness if transfused.

The practice of blood doping is banned by all official sporting governing bodies and Ricco now faces expulsion from competitive cycling if found guilty, as well as a possible jail sentence in a country where all forms of doping are classed as illegal.

Ricco has yet to react to the claims surrounding his hospital stay.
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Saturday, February 12, 2011

OxyElite Pro

I was handed a sample bottle of OxyElite Pro when I bought my multi-vitamin at GNC on Saturday.  A bottle of 90 capsules will set you back $40.00 and you are supposed to take up to four a day.

It touts itself as "the most powerful thermogenic that activates certain thyroid functions"....

Here is what they have to say:

There are two very important thyroid hormones, thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3). They are tyrosine-based hormones that your thyroid gland produces whose prime responsibilities are to regulate your metabolism. The ratio of T4 to T3 released by the thyroid into your bloodstream is about 20 to 1.

However, T3 is 3-4 times more potent than T4! T4 is converted to the active T3 within cells by a process called deiodinases.

hmmm, I was curious to see what what in it, so I checked it out. Below you can see he ingredients.

It's one of those things with a proprietary blend, again, you know I never trust them.

I don't trust it. Just because something is natural does not mean it is safe nor does it mean it is effective. Heroin is natural, so is cocoa.

Proprietary Blend    119.5mg    *
Bauhinia Purpurea L. (Leaf And Pod)(Standardized For Bauhnia-Statins 1-4), Bacopa Monniera (Leaf), 1,3-Dimethylamylamine (Geranium [Stem]), Cirsium Oligophyllum (Whole Plant Extract), Rauwolscine (Rauvolfia Canescens L. [Leaf And Root])
Caffeine    100mg    *

Other Ingredients:
Modified Food Starch, Gelatin, Vegetable Stearate, Silicon Dioxide, Red #3, Blue #1, Red #40, Titanium Dioxide

All the studies have been on mice! And some of those mice were diabetic to boot! Take a look at the "research"

[1] Withania somnifera and Bauhinia purpurea in the regulation of circulating thyroid hormone concentrations in female mice
[2] Amelioration of metformin-induced hypothyroidism by Withania somnifera and Bauhinia purpurea extracts in Type 2 diabetic mice.
[3] Relative efficacy of three medicinal plant extracts in the alteration of thyroid hormone concentrations in male mice
[4] Inhibition of the lipolytic action of beta-adrenergic agonists in human adipocytes by alpha-adrenergic agonists
[5] Yohimbine does not affect fat distribution in men.
[6] [3H]rauwolscine (alpha-yohimbine): a specific antagonist radioligand for brain alpha 2-adrenergic receptors.
[7] Body fat mass reduction and up-regulation of uncoupling protein by novel lipolysis-promoting plant extract.

They say their product is all natural and safe, well look at this disclaimer:

To truly maximize the result of any supplement, you must combine with proper nutrition & exercise plans.

It's mandatory that athletes or anyone subject to testing check with their governing body before using this product. Read the entire label, including directions, precautions & warnings. While this product contains compounds & constituents that are found in nature, tested athletes make up the extreme minority of the American public and have to follow strict rules on what they can and cannot use in competition. For example, compounds such as caffeine, creatine & 1,3 dimethylamylamine (also known as methylhexanamine, 2-amino-4-methylhexane & 1,3-dimethylpentylamine - a natural constituent of the geranium flower) may not be allowed by your specific sports organization. It’s completely up to the user to get this and any dietary supplement cleared by their organization before using.

Dimethylpentylamine and methylhexane are both banned substances by the International Olympic Committee, and this is well known, the makers of this products still make a statement that it MAY not be allowed.  If you plan to compete in any tested competitions, Figure or Bodybuilding, forget it if you ever took this.

I would also be very careful about messing with anything that affected my thyroid, the human body is a highly tuned machine, start screwing with it, and you will eventually be very sorry.

You know what works in this? The 100 mg of caffeine and that is NOT a banned substance, nor is creatine. Caffeine is cheap, effective and safe. You will notice that it is always in every single fat burner, that's because it is the most effective ingredient they put in it, but if they told you it was only caffeine, you wouldn't pay so much for it.

If you are trying to lose weight or body fat, be safe, increase your activity and decrease your calories. Caffeine has proven to be effective and safe, stick to proven ingredients and save yourself a lot of money.

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Friday, February 11, 2011


 The structure of CholesterolImage via Wikipedia

I have a physical every single year and my Doctor does blood work for just about everything under the sun. He even says he looks for steroids because supplements are not regulated, and there have been cases where people are buying products that are contaminated...

Right, or he thinks I am taking them! ha!

He checks my cholesterol as high cholesterol is a leading cause of heart disease and stroke. Thyroid disease also runs in my family, so I am careful about having that monitored annually also. He was interested in Vitamin D deficiency this time because I wear sunscreen everyday after having skin cancer....

He is also very interested in my diet, my exercise, everything. He likes to say that I am a very unique specimen, I take that as a compliment.

I got a call form my Doctor's nurse the other day and she was dumbfounded. She said my numbers get better every year!

She said my total cholesterol is 118 and my HDL is 52, now that is something to celebrate!

Just what does the HDL do?  HDL cholesterol, or "good" cholesterol, appears to scour the walls of blood vessels, cleaning out excess cholesterol. It then carries that excess cholesterol -- which otherwise might have been used to make the "plaques" that cause coronary artery disease -- back to the liver for processing. So when they measure a person's HDL cholesterol level, they seem to be measuring how vigorously his or her blood vessels are being "scrubbed" free of cholesterol.

So what do I do that ensure my cholesterol level is so low?

It's mainly my diet.

I eat oatmeal, oatmeal contains soluble fiber, which reduces your low-density lipoprotein (LDL), the "bad" cholesterol. Soluble fiber is also found in such foods as kidney beans, apples, pears, barley and prunes.

I eat fish and take lots of fish oil (omega-3 fatty acids) Eating fatty fish can be heart-healthy because of its high levels of omega-3 fatty acids, which can reduce your blood pressure and risk of developing blood clots.
A typical fish oil softgel; not actual sizeImage via Wikipedia
I eat nuts, mainly natural peanut butter. Walnuts, almonds and other nuts can reduce blood cholesterol. Rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids, walnuts also help keep blood vessels healthy.

I cook with olive oil. Olive oil contains a potent mix of antioxidants that can lower your "bad" (LDL) cholesterol but leave your "good" (HDL) cholesterol untouched.
I avoid saturated fats and trans fats. I eat lean poultry, beef and avoid cheese and dairy.

I exercise every single day and include aerobic activity regularly. I do not smoke, I don't drink much, although studies seem to indicate that one or two glasses of alcohol a day (and NO more) may help to increase HDL levels, but do nothing for lowering LDL.

The problem with using alcohol as a method of increasing HDL, is that most people just don't stop with two drinks, plus, you absolutely cannot be successful on a fat losing diet if you are drinking, it just won't work.

I enjoy my diet, it's a diet for life.

Long Live Kristy!

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Thursday, February 10, 2011


Here is a video of the guys at Westside Barbell lifting. I don't find that they have particularly attractive physiques, that is not the point of this post, and in fact, some of them look rather comical when they are lifting, but they all do something alike, something very, very important.

They concentrate. They psych themselves up. They set themselves up. They are thinking about what they are going to do.

This is more important than you may realize. Often you will see someone in the gym and you think they are an oblivious jerk- they don't look at you, they don't talk to you, they don't even notice that you are there.

Most likely they are not oblivious, they are serious, they are there to train.

When I am at the gym, I will chat to the others as I warm up on the treadmill, or I may stop to talk to a friend for a moment, but the rest of the time, it's me, my music and my binder. I am there for a reason, I am on a mission, I have a goal. Don't get in my way, I have no time to play.

If you are not seeing the results you are expecting, take a look at your attitude at the gym. Is your heart and soul there with the physical body?

Do you spend a lot of time in between sets talking, or even worse, do you bring reading material into the gym? The gym is no place to read unless you plan to spend an hour on a stair mill (bad idea too).

Do you go in knowing exactly what you want to accomplish?

Do you have everything you need? I carry my own lifting traps, interval timer (Gymboss), jump rope, cut up socks to protect my hands with snatches, band aids, music. No, I don't wear gloves, ever.

Have you ever seen the motivational poster that is in almost every office?

Your attitude determines your altitude.

I wholeheartedly agree, I do not believe in blaming others for my failures or lack of progress, I am my own person, I depend on myself.

Watch the guys from Westside Barbell here (email subscribers must navigate to the blog to see the video):

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Wednesday, February 9, 2011

I'm in love with a Greek

You got it! A non-fat Greek yogurt. I don't eat yogurt as a rule, I rarely eat dairy. A couple reasons, with the first being that dairy is not a good food choice to select when you want to stay lean, so I just don't eat it.

I am lactose intolerant so I cannot have milk or milk products, including ice cream. Lucky me! I don't have to worry about ice cream cravings because I never crave something that whacks my entire body.

But yogurt I can have small amounts without a problem. I use it in place of sour cream, so a dollop in soup, maybe a small amount mixed with tuna instead of mayo. That's it! I don't remember the last time I ate an entire carton of the stuff, kind of sounds gross actually.

I used to buy Vosko's, well no more. Not after I read this and bought some Trader Joe's to try. It is thick, like clotted cream and rich and so creamy, it puts the non-fat sour cream to shame! Even my husband tried it and said "oh my, I can eat that!"

Here is the influential article from the San Francisco Chronicle.

Wouldn't you know? Just as Taster's Choice was lamenting the lack of Hall of Fame products from 2010, our first panel of the new year yielded a new inductee to our holy grail of supermarket shelf items.

The category: nonfat, plain Greek-style yogurt.

The winner: Trader Joe's, by a nearly unanimous vote.

In a tasting that demanded textural perfection, Trader Joe's ($1.99 for 16 ounces) became a Hall of Famer by earning more than 80 points out of a possible 100.

One panelist gave it perfect marks - "rich, creamy, no graininess," she cooed. "Good balanced flavor" with a "nice, fresh tang," others wrote. While the "dense" yogurt is fat free, "the milk flavor comes through." Four tasters would buy this brand, and the other might.

Chobani ($1.49 for 6 ounces at Whole Foods) was second. "Milky with balanced tartness," this "smooth" and "mild" yogurt had "good up-front taste." But some noted an "almost slight sour-milk residual," while another said it "could be tarter for my tastes." Three would buy, one might, and one would not.

Third place went to Voskos ($2.19 for 8 ounces at Safeway). While this "mild" yogurt had a "creamy mouthfeel," tasters mostly found it "a bit bland" - "the faint flavor has no depth." "Looks creamy, but texture is chalky." Two would buy, two might, and one wouldn't.

In fourth place was Oikos, made by Stonyfield Farm ($1.99 for 5.3 ounces at Safeway). This "very tangy" yogurt is for those who seek "a good level of tartness." Those who don't, beware: it was also described as "very sour" and "too tart - almost metallic." Three would buy, while two would not.

Athenos ($2.99 for 16 ounces at Safeway) rounded out the top five. Better known for its hummus, this brand had the "smooth" and "creamy" texture, but the taste? "Sour" and "much too tart" for some; "quite mild" and "bland" for others. One thing our panelists seemed to agree on, though: "not so milky." Two would buy, two might, and one would not.


Nonfat Greek-style yogurt

Trader Joe's 82

Chobani 71

Voskos 67

Oikos 61

Athenos 60

Brown Cow 56

Fage 54

Karoun 39

Greek God 32

Panelists were Linda Anusasananan, food writer/consultant, San Mateo; John Carroll, cookbook author, San Francisco; Shelley Handler, consultant, San Francisco; Rosemary Mark, recipe developer, Walnut Creek; Roland Passot, chef-owner of La Folie in San Francisco and three Left Banks. All products are tasted blind; a perfect score would be 100. Prices listed are the lowest found, but products may be available at other stores.
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Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Two weeks of my diet

I have been on my diet now for two weeks. I have been good, although I did eat a couple things I shouldn't have.

I took a bite of my husbands rib eye, just needed to compare it to my flank steak. I had a very tiny piece of fried potato slice. That's it, other than that, I have not strayed.

I feel good, and I look good, this will not be as difficult as I was thinking this time around, unless of course my vacation in Mexico totally derails me!

I decided to take pictures with my competition suit on, so I could see just how I look right now. I am happy with my progress. Now my weight has not changed since last week, but I only weigh myself on Sunday and I am in the cycle of my month where I tend to retain some water, so I would not be surprised if I weigh one pound less in a day or two.

I am just back from the gym, after 2 1/2 hours, haven't even hopped in the shower yet!

My body changes so much, I recall when I used to train with an IFBB Pro, that she used to tell me "Every prep is different" and I didn't understand, now I do.

I know I have no definition, but I shouldn't yet, it will come out in good time, after I have dieting for a while, I mean two weeks is really nothing in the grand scheme of things.

I can see that my backside looks a bit soft, and again, that is to be expected. I have a nice V taper, once I lose the fat, the waist will come in and the glutes will be more pronounced and not so "womanly"...they will be hard and tight!

The glute-ham tie in is looking good, no saggy stuff here! Again, when the excess fat and subcutaneous water leaves, the definition will pop.

What I noticed this time around is my body composition is very different. I don't know my actual body fat percentage, SC used to do that for me every week and I haven't seen him in a while, he will check it in March though. And that doesn't really matter yet, it's higher than it should be to compete, so I just have to diet for a while.

But the interesting thing I have noticed is that I seem to have gained a great deal of lean muscle over the last 6 months, and hardly any fat. Totally every one's goal, I know, so I am doing the happy dance.

Just how do I know this? It wasn't difficult to figure it out.

When I compete, I weigh between 118 and 120 pounds, at that time I wear size 0 pants. When I am not competing, and trying to add muscle I get between 126 and 132 pounds and wear size 6 pants (yes I have lots of clothes to accommodate these changes!)

My abs are already starting to show some definition, and this is usually the very last area to show it.

This winter, I got up to 130 pounds and never got into those size 6, I stayed in my 4's. Right now I am at 126 pounds and I am wearing size 0 and 2 pants. I still have 6 pounds to lose, so where is the fat? I am thinking that some of that "fat" is not fat at all, but hard, solid, muscle and I won't have to drop as much weight as usual.
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