Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Where Will I be in 6 Months? (Fitness World Blog)

This is a Fitness Blog World post: Where do you see yourself in 6 months from now...and what about in 2-5 years from now

That is always a question people ask at job interviews isn't it? And why do you think people want to know such a thing? I can tell you.

They want to know if you have goals and a purpose, or are you floundering along hoping that things just "work out right".

I know exactly where I will be 6 months from now, I will be in sunny Mexico, at Hacienda Eden, wearing an ever so skimpy bikini, laying on my chaise lounge, reading a book, sipping a margarita, talking with Cindy and Joe!

I will run and do plyos along the beach every morning before anyone else wakes up. Isn't this a beautiful beach? 

We will all enjoy great Mexican food, sitting with our bare feet in the sand and pretty much doing nothing.

I go every year in February, it gives me something to look forward to and a great way to escape the cold, wet winter of California. I have already made my reservations, I have my airline tickets, I only need the rental car and I am set.

In terms of my fitness goals, I see myself continuing on with Roy, and taking advantage of his knowledge to add more size on my legs, yet maintain a low level of bodyfat. My training program always changes, but I am not one to try a new revolutionary idea as seen on TV, then skip onto another one when I don't see immediate results. 

I will be heavier in weight (I am sure), higher bodyfat (not much), and will also have a very, very happy family because I will not be on a "diet" and I will make wonderful foods for them. Life will be post competition bliss for everyone.

2 to 5 years is a different story, some of the events will surely repeat themselves, such as the annual vacation, and I will always continue my weight training, but the big question is,  will I still be competing? 

I cannot answer that right now. I have enjoyed competing on so many levels, yet there are always times when I despise it like a pet that I have adopted, yet must care for and nurture, although it seems to be the devil I have invited into my home.

If I am still competing, I would like to be competing in Women's Physique instead of Figure. This goes along with everything I want about adding more lean mass to my frame, and maintaining a muscular physique. This means I will be in the gym, lifting heavy, eating well, incorporating some of the dreaded cardio, and sculpting my body into the body I want.

Whether I end up on stage or not is not really of consequence, you see, I don't lift weights to compete, I compete to lift weights.

It's all about priorities.

Please take the time to stop by Fitness Blog World and read what all the other writers have to say about their short and long term goals.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Dannon Oikos Greek Yogurt

I wrote this post while participating in a blog tour conducted by Clever Girls on behalf of Dannon. I have been compensated for my time commitment to the program but my opinions are my own. For more information and recipe ideas, visit or I was selected for this sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective, which endorses Blog With Integrity, as I do.

I sent David on a mission, go buy this yogurt because I need to eat it and then write about it! I asked for one, he came back with 5 I think. We are a household that enjoys yogurt, even Cooper does.

Yogurt is a very healthy snack but you need to choose wisely, some of them are loaded with sugars and really are just a dessert in disguise. 

I eat Greek style yogurt quite a bit, I mainly use it instead of sour cream. I almost always include a big dollop on my soups, it adds a tang and richness and turns a "diet" soup into a satisfying meal.

Tonight I would have the new non-fat Greek style Oikos from Dannon.

Dannon® Oikos® is created through an authentic Greek straining process which gives it a rich and creamy-thick texture. It was exceptionally thick! I loved the texture, and the tang.

I added (maybe more than a dollop) it to my homemade Curry Peanut Soup, one of my favorites that I make and package and keep in the freezer. Topped with a good squirt of Sriracha sauce, it was a party in my mouth!

David stopped by and I offered him a taste, his response was "Oh my, this is thick! I will use this from now on instead of sour cream"

My soup is beef, any vegetables I have (and in this case was green beans, carrots, chard, onions, and peppers. I add chicken broth or water as beef can be overpowering, then some curry and natural peanut butter.  So the only carbs are vegetables, and it has a great deal of protein and when topped with cilantro, yogurt and sriracha, it is a great dish!

Dannon® Oikos® Plain and Fruit on the Bottom contains 0% fat, while the Dannon® Oikos® traditional blended varieties contains about 3% fat. Both are an excellent source of protein, twice that of most regular lowfat yogurts. We also tried the strawberry and the raspberry.

The strawberry was the traditional blended and was so much like a dessert to me, that I will getting more as soon as my competition is over. The thick creaminess, the wonderful fresh fruit flavor, it was heaven. I can't eat ice cream, but I can eat yogurt and this was a wonderful treat!

I then went to the fridge to try the raspberry, and found that Cooper had eaten it for breakfast so I trotted down to his room for his opinion on it. He said the same thing, it was super thick and in his mind that made it a good breakfast yogurt because it has more substance than a thinner yogurt.

Give it a try, I guarantee you will be glad you did!

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Monday, August 29, 2011

Monday Morning Motivation

"Have patience with all things, but chiefly have patience with yourself. Do not lose courage in considering your own imperfections but instantly set about remedying them, every day begin the task anew." 
- Saint Francis de Sales 

"I count him braver who overcomes his desires than him who conquers his enemies; for the hardest victory is over self."
- Aristotle 

"The reason most people never reach their goals is that they don't define them, learn about them, or even seriously consider them as believable or achievable. Winners can tell you where they are going, what they plan to do along the way, and who will be sharing the adventure with them." 
- Denis Waitley 

"There is one quality that one must possess to win, and that is definiteness of purpose, the knowledge of what one wants, and a burning desire to possess it."
- Napoleon Hill 

"The act of taking the first step is what separates the winners from the losers." 
- Brian Tracy 

"Winners dwell on and hold the self-image of that person they would most like to become. They get a vivid, clear, emotional, sensory picture of themselves as if they had already achieved their new role in life."
- Anonymous 

"Never letting the competition define you. Instead, you have to define yourself based on a point of view you care deeply about." 
- Tom Chappel 

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Sunday, August 28, 2011

5 Weeks Out

5 weeks away, I waver in and out of feeling on target and feeling behind, I think that is natural though. Today at the gym Anthony says something, I pull out my earbuds and he repeats himself "Looking good. Your legs look bigger, you added size".

I jumped up in the air let out a "whoop" and smiled and thanked him, he started laughing.

I think my shoulders look better and better everyday! I need to keep practicing holding them up and out, for the look that is oh so unnatural, yet what you need to have on stage.

The back is looking good, I even have striations on the upper back, and last time I trained back was Thursday! You can see the glutes coming down and appearing tighter too. I know I am getting there when the bottom of my suit finally stays for a moment as I pose for pictures, it starts to sit on my hips instead of sliding down.

Ah the side view, where the "pooch" of the stomach is a sure give away, mine is almost gone, soon, soon! I still have a nice round butt, Roy checked bodyfat the other day, it will be shrinking more soon, by about 4 millimeters (in fat), but I think it's still OK.

The legs look nice and full, no saddle bag material hanging out anywhere (but I never do), quads look bigger and are showing a bit of definition.

I was chatting with Yvonne today in the stretching room, she is a trainer at Courtside and a Figure Competitor too, we have been in a few shows together. She was giving me a pep talk, said I looked right on target when I cut water and dehydrate, it will all tighten up and come in, she's right. 

Lean and mean!
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Saturday, August 27, 2011

Fridays Training with Roy

Shoulders, you gotta have big, round, meaty shoulders, be you man or woman! I think it's funny because people just love to stare at women with nice arms and shoulders, like we are freaks or something.

What is a freak anyway? Let's look at (and not Urban Dictionary, which by the way is a great source of information!)


1. any abnormal phenomenon or product or unusual object; anomaly; aberration.

2. a person or animal on exhibition as an example of a strange deviation from nature; monster.

I don't think I fit that category, but I suppose muscular women are just not the norm. 

Today we trained shoulders, week two of this program. I enjoy it in a sick kind of way, it's hard, really hard and I struggle yet I find so much satisfaction in finishing. 

Incline barbell press with fatgripz 4 sets of 10 95 pounds
Incline dumbbell press, neutral (hammer) grip 3 sets of 10 32.5 pounds each, 1 set of burnouts with 20 pounds: 15 reps, maybe more I cannot recall
Lateral raises 4 sets of 11 10 pounds each
Incline raise (rear facing on bench) 3 sets of 10 7.5 pounds each superset with
laying rear delt raise 3 sets of 10 7.5 pounds each

I haven't been sleeping well, and some of my bodyfat readings are out of proportion from the others, so we are now delving into what could be going on with this body of mine. Sleep is very important, it makes everything good or bad in your day. What's out of proportion? My umbilical and knees. Yup - fat knees.

Roy is checking the alkalinity of my body. How is that done? Litmus strips and spit. We walk out to the parking lot so we can spit over the grate in the ground, makes it all more fun! Roy misses his strip, but I am dead on the first time, a professional spitter!

My strip does not turn green, this is not good. I am too acidic, my strip is a sick yellowish color. Roy's is a beautiful green, like  seafoam.

What do I do? Way too much to tell you here, but the work has started! I was sent home with HCL (Betaine Hydrochloride) to see how my digestive enzymes are working. See it here in the picture above my plate? It's the small white capsule on the upper left. I will know if I am taking the correct amount when I feel a hot burning sensation in my stomach...

I am to take it halfway through my meal, I have chicken breast with Mrs. Dash and vegetables, a mix of peppers, eggplant and leeks. 

Nothing. Zilch, no pain, no warmth, no burning. This means I have to take two at dinner! Once I feel the burning, then I am at the right dosage. Hmm, odd but that is the way it shall work until I get on track I suppose.

What is the reason for all of this anyway, who cares? I care, I want to be healthy and I want to be able to optimize my food and training for best results. I expect so much of my body, so I need to take care of it, I need to give it what it needs to function, and function in a beautiful way.

I think this is just the beginning of a very interesting journey!

Here are a couple interesting reads about the subject from Charles Poliquin.

The HCL Acid Test

Maximize Your Progress with Hydrochlooric Acid

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Friday, August 26, 2011

Scallops Fit for a Queen (or King)

Sunday night and I am making scallops with vegetables for myself (above) and bangers and mash for the boys (below). Not familiar with it? That's because it is a British dish, David's mother was Welsh, and now Cooper is a British Citizen, you gotta eat like your people!

Mash are mashed potatoes; bangers are pork sausage with bread in them, very mild, but highly loved by the British. They are pan fried, and served with gravy and peas.

I did not eat this!

I fed it to the boys and they were pleased as pie! I made them a nectarine crostada for dessert too.

Below is another view of mine, half eaten so you can see the broth and the colors and the great dish I made.

I had slices of Italian squash that had been sauteed, broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, sauteed leeks and 2 ounces of Maria's "sweet pots". Those are sweet potatoes that have been chunked up, and tossed with small amount of olive oil, cinnamon, splenda and pepper and then roasted until tender. 

I put all the vegetables, which had been previously cooked, onto a plate, then warmed it in the microwave (I use mine a lot).

I then heated a cast iron pan and placed a small amount of coconut oil in it, and seared the scallops (I had salted and peppered) for 2 minutes a side. I placed the scallops on top of the warmed vegetables then added some water to the very hot pan, to deglaze the juices. 
Now the last touch: Taste #5 Umami Paste! What is Umami?
For a long time, scientists debated whether umami was indeed a basic taste; but in 1985 at the first Umami International Symposium in Hawaii, the term Umami was officially recognized as the scientific term to describe the taste of glutamates and nucleotides. 

Now it is widely accepted as the fifth basic taste. Umami represents the taste of the amino acid L-glutamate and 5’-ribonucleotides such as guanosine monophosphate (GMP) and inosine monophosphate (IMP).

Although it can be described as a pleasant "brothy" or "meaty" taste with a long lasting, mouthwatering and coating sensation over the tongue, umami has no translation.

Umami has a mild but lasting after-taste difficult to describe. It induces salivation and a furriness sensation on the tongue, stimulating the throat, the roof and the back of the mouth 

YUM! I added a small squeeze of Umami paste and whisked it around, then poured the broth over my dish. One of the biggest problems with diet food is the dryness, lack of sauces and condiments, but a nice tasty broth can change everything.

I bought the paste in Santa Cruz, and have seen it in several gourmet shops since then. I bet Whole Foods even carries it now! Try some!
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Thursday, August 25, 2011

My Third Trainer - Huong

A while back I wrote about my first two trainers, and now it's time for trainer #3, Huong Arcinas (now Huong Ho), who is an IFBB Figure Pro. She has even been on the Olympia stage! Here we are at my second show, before I took first place in Masters! Dang check out my hair, there is lots of it huh?!

I worked with Huong at the same time as working with SC, so I may flip back and forth between the two of them, and we trained together for about a year I think.

It was very early 2009 and I decided I was going to hire a nutritionist because I was busting my butt, but not seeing the results I really thought I should be seeing.

I consulted with Kim Porterfield, from The Institute of Eating Management And Relapse Prevention Center in Texas and she developed a diet for me, a diet I could live with, in fact, a diet I have lived with now for almost 3 years!

After I started Kim's diet I went from 13% bodyfat to 8% in 4 weeks. Now 13% is not shabby by any means, but I wanted to be ripped. I looked great! I had already told SC that I was planning on competing so I needed someone to help me, I knew nothing.

SC was no help here, he supported my decision but thought Figure and Bodybuilding was dumb and not a true sport. He is a Strength Coach, "posing" is stupid in his mind, it has nothing to do with any sport. Except the sport of "booty". I suppose he is right, it doesn't technically seem like a sport, yet that is what it is! He would get in my face and say "I hate bodybuilders", then in the same breath help me to train the body parts I was working on to grow. 

I found Huong on the Internet, and recalled seeing her picture in a magazine somewhere...

I emailed her and she called me so we could talk about my goals and we arranged a time to meet. 

I had told Huong I was at 8% bodyfat, and unbeknownst to me, she was thinking "Yeah, right, they all say that" (she told me this later) and when we met she had her fat tester in her hand, it quickly disappeared, she could see I was indeed at 8%, just where I said I was (SC had tested it).

It was March and I told her I wanted to compete in the San Jose show coming up in July. Her response? "Hell no, you look great and you will compete in the Contra Costa in May!"

And I did. 

I had 8 weeks of prep for my first show and I took 2nd in Masters and 14th in open B. I was scared to death. 

It's easy to train hard and feel like you look great, and you do! Then you walk backstage and are suddenly surrounded by a sea of beautiful, tanned, hard, rippling muscles. It's easy to start feeling inadequate. Huong was there for me, nudging me and making sure I kept believing in myself. 

I would train with SC on Fridays, doing the things I loved to do and I would train with Huong on a weekday evening after work, doing what I needed to do to sculpt the body for Figure.

Huong has quite an eye. I would walk in and she would say "You are up a pound what did you eat the last couple days?"  She was right, my weight was up.

Or, she would look at me and say "What's your carbs at?" and I had better be able to quickly give her my daily total.  She would tell me to adjust it here and there according to what I looked like. I would go into training each week praying under my breath that she would say to me as I walked out the door "go eat a burger!"...

We mainly worked on upper body, she helped me to learn to train my back and shoulders to get the much coveted V taper needed for Figure.

Huong and SC would have conflicting ideas of training, but then their goals were totally different so that is to be expected. I wanted to compete, and therefore needed to listen to Huong, she was (and is) the expert there. But I loved the tough stuff, the sleds, the deadlifts, the sledgehammers, the loud music and sweating. The chalk. That's what I got with SC. Down and dirty, my kind of training. Blood, dirt, sometimes grease. 

I felt sorta bi-polar at times. 

Huong was there for me at the shows, supporting and gluing my suit on. That is one thing I have never really gotten used to. The promoters do not allow trainers or friends backstage to help the competitors, but there are those in the industry, who are well known enough that are allowed, Huong was one of those, being a Pro competitor herself. It was great for me then, but now, when I don't have a trainer who is in the industry, it makes me a little miffed, so some women have an advantage by having that help backstage. Believe me, you need it! 

I chalk it up to the fact that many of these trainers help to maintain a steady supply of competitors to the shows, thus making money for the promoters, so the promoters allow them to do this. Double standard but that's life I suppose. I built my bridge and got over it, I know dance upon it.

Ever try to glue the butt of your suit on yourself? Pretty darn hard to get it straight. I have gotten used to doing a very goofy looking squat and glue dance, and who gives a damn who is watching. It can be pretty funny when the guys and gals are in one big room though. To be honest though, most competitors are so caught up in themselves at the time you could be standing stark naked next to them and they wouldn't notice you.

I do know that if she were backstage she would certainly help me still though!

Here we are with two of her other clients, Natalie and Stephanie. This was backstage at the San Francisco in 2009 I think.

Huong taught me to look at myself with a very critical eye, and to be conscious of my posture, my core, my abs, how I walk and my facial muscles. I would make faces when I would train. She would stop me and tell me - "Look at your face, look what you are doing". I would learn to relax my face.

Huong suggested stripper or pole dancing classes, I opted for Pussy Cat dance class, it was cheaper! ha ha.  Pole dancing caused bruises I heard, so some day I will do that, but at that time I didn't want to chance it. Stripping was more expensive. Classes are at Sedusa Studios in Campbell. They won't give you their location until you pay for classes and they speak to you, the last thing they need are lurkers...they offer everything, lap dancing, pole, strip, chair, you name it, they teach it! It's a fun place, very comfortable and close by my home and gym.

Her thought process was correct - most of the women who do this look stunning, their conditioning and physique, so you need to stand out, you need to bring personality to the stage, you need to have fun (or at least look like you are), you need to feel and look confident, you need to be able to seduce people from afar and draw the judges to you. You must make them want you and like you. It's all quite a game. You need to learn to entertain on stage.

It took me a while to learn, I was scared to death the first time and it shows all over my face. I also got down lower in weight than I ever have been, and I prefer my weight 1 to 2 pounds higher. 

As far as the actual weight training, Huong taught me to vary my reps and sets as we moved closer to competition time. It doesn't always stay constant. She advised on how much cardio to do. And when I was tired of it all and just wanted to stop, she would ask if I want to quit or wanted to win.

I am not a quitter.

Huong trains at Ray's Built Tuff Gym in San Jose, here is the gang again, Ray and all the competitors from the gym (and a couple trainers). Ray was the guest poser. He asked if a couple of us could put his pro-tan on and we pretended it would be an awful mess, but secretly I was dying to do it! Somehow he finagled a spray tan instead so we all felt cheated!

Huong taught me all the ropes, what to expect, what to bring, how to register, what not to do, how to pose. She measured me for my suit and we selected colors, I had a beautiful suit made by Celeste Harsa  of Suits by Celeste. Later I would decide that I wanted an even smaller bottom, so Celeste made a new bottom for me. It's pretty darn small too. 

Huong shared her many years of experience with me, there is no way I could have been as successful at competing as I have been if I had never trained with Huong. In fact, she once told me that the majority of women who decide to compete get close, and never step on stage, or they only do it once. She made sure I wouldn't be one of those women. 

Please see the links below if you would like to read about my first and second trainers.

My Second Trainer - SC

My First Trainer -Baz

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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Long Hot Days

David said I look like I have a black eye. It's probably mascara and eyeliner smeared all over the place if you want to know the truth, that and my hair in my eyes. I am a mess!

Some days I really do want to rest, I want to go home and not rush to do all I do, and maybe just lay on the bed and read a bit. But luckily I have friends and strangers who say things to keep me motivated and I snap out of it quickly.

Today is Tuesday, it's about 7:30 pm, and the typical Tuesday goes like this:

Up at 4am, drink meal replacement, take supplements, check email, steal a glance at the sports page (of two newspapers). Arrive at the gym before they open at 5am. Weight train till 6:20, down my post training drink and more supplements, grab a coffee at the cafe and drive home fast, I need to be at work by 7:30.

Shower, put on make up, drink more coffee the whole time. Toss breakfast and two lunches into my car, drive to work and get there at 7:35.

My office is "connected" to another in that the heat and air is controlled by the other person. This person likes it hot. My office is 80 degrees every morning when I arrive. I start to sweat and turn the fan on the rest of the day. I am not joking. :(

Eat breakfast of chocolate waffles (yes they are diet food) at my desk while I check email. Work, meetings, yada, yada, yada. 

11:30 I change and grab my jump rope and ipod, and some cloth bags, it's CSA day. I jog to the Event Center, run up and down my stairs (300 up, 300 down, two at a time on the way up) and jump rope 300 times. It's hot, really hot, mid 80's I think. Being on top of a cement building seems to make the heat radiate off my body, that's OK, I take my shirt off and sweat away.

It seems to becoming popular, there are three people today and one guy who climbs the stairs backward, on his toes and hands....don't ask.

I grab my bags and jog to the Nutrition and Food Science Building and pick up my produce. Darn, no flowers today! I order flowers for my office and today they are out. :(

I start to walk back to the office, past the Event Center and a construction worker who has been there all summer in the courtyard says to me (as he walks in front of a semi truck, keeping students out of its path):

"I have never seen you walk!"

I laugh and tell him I walk all the time. Get back to the office at 12 noon and I get to eat! Good I am starving. 3 ounces brown rice, 4 ounces chicken breast, 2 cups vegetables (peppers and mushrooms) and supplements. I eat at my desk, working. You really don't want to see any of my keyboards....

More work, more meetings.

2:30, I am starving! I push it out another half hour since I cannot eat dinner as soon as I get home.

3:00: 4 ounces ground grass fed beef, tomatoes, pimiento peppers, arugula and fat free vinaigrette.

More work, more meetings. Sheesh!

5:00, leave for home, drive with the top down (of course!) and it's even hotter now, my car tells me it is now 86 degrees. The hot air blows in my hair and face. 

5:30 I am home. Do I really have to ? It's hot, I could probably skip it...No.

I change into the same damn clothes I have now worn twice already (this morning, lunch and now again). They are wet. I have to stop doing this, but they will only get wet again, so why put on clean ones? I will bring clean ones tomorrow when I train with Roy, I cannot subject anyone else to this wet mess. 

I grab a water, icy cold from the fridge and head out to the track across the street, the heat is radiating up making it hard to breathe.

Up the stadium stairs and down, up and down, then sprinting...6 times. I am breathing hard, the heat makes me go slower, but I am still doing it, I didn't quit. I jog home, then walk the last bit (where is my construction worker now?)

Make my dinner, still I am soaking wet, I only took my shoes off. I have 2 cups of vegetables (peppers, mushrooms, eggplant), 5 ounces tilapia, a hard cooked egg. Vinegar and Sriracha sauce. More supplements.

Make lunches for the next day, take my make up off, shower. 

Write, check email (this computer seems to suck a lot of my time huh?)

Make last meal. 1 cup egg whites and one cup mushrooms (I am a fungus gal for sure), a big glass of orange xtend, more supplements.

Sleepy time tea and off to bed to read a bit. 

My long hot day is gonna be a long hot night.

That's how Monday went and how Thursday will be also. Wednesday and Friday are a bit different since I train with Roy so things get a bit flip flopped. But I still have what seems to be a constant, never ending cycle of eating and training. 

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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

6 Weeks Out

It's Tuesday and how does your competition suit fit? Mine is sitting pretty right now, I like the way things are moving along. I am down another pound, so I am losing it slowly, and appear to actually be gaining lean mass, or I just  look pretty frigging ripped these days!

I am at 123 so I am guessing I will get down to 120 after all, and should look about right, but I never know till I get there.

I really owe the legs to Roy, I have never been able to get much shape, and although I want them even bigger, I think this is the best they have ever looked!  I am actually developing a sweep there! YAHOO!

After this competition, we just keep working on the legs, and since I won't be restricting calories as much, they should grow bigger!

The shoulders are popping out and getting nice caps. You can see the glutes looking better from the sides here, the "indent" of something I don't know the name of! But it's just where most women have saddlebags...I have saddle divots starting I guess!

The shape of the upper back is nice but I would like to see more definition in my spinal erectors, that should come in time and with more bodyfat loss. The glutes are now starting to tighten up and the glute-ham transition is becoming smoother.

This is for my friend Sakura, she wants to see the glutes from the side, I hope she is pleased! Riding high still! Take a look at the hamstring bulge that has developed! Rear delt looks nice and round.

I am happy all around, the waist is coming in, the quads are coming out, shoulders are getting rounder and I still have 6 weeks left!

My metabolism is right where it needs to be now, It takes a while to get there, but when it does, watch out. At this point I am still hungry immediately following eating, but it seems to dissipate after about 30 minutes, then I really am not hungry for a couple hours, then it hits me suddenly and I must eat immediately! Luckily that's right about the correct time.

As soon as I start eating, I start to sweat. I mean a lot! More than when I do cardio, it's kinda weird but seems to be my body just kicking into overdrive.

I will keep up with my after work sprints and stairs, it seems to be working well for me. I will try to move away from so many stairs and start more sprints.

I was at Home Depot as my husbands "helper" this morning, and we asked the fellow where the melamine boards were and he took one look at me and said "You look like you are hecka strong!"
And right he is!

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Monday, August 22, 2011

Monday Morning Motivation

“Live life fully while you're here. Experience everything. Take care of yourself and your friends. Have fun, be crazy, be weird. Go out and screw up! You're going to anyway, so you might as well enjoy the process. Take the opportunity to learn from your mistakes: find the cause of your problem and eliminate it. Don't try to be perfect; just be an excellent example of being human.”
` Anthony Robbins

“Live with intention. Walk to the edge. Listen hard. Practice wellness. Play with abandon. Laugh. Choose with no regret. Appreciate your friends. Continue to learn. Do what you love. Live as if this is all there is.”
 ` Mary Anne Radmacher

“Accept everything about yourself--I mean everything. You are you and that is the beginning and the end--no apologies, no regrets.”
 Henry Kissinger 

“I certainly don't regret my experiences because without them, I couldn't imagine who or where I would be today. Life is an amazing gift to those who have overcome great obstacles, and attitude is everything!”
 ` Sasha Azevedo

“The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, the education, the money, than circumstances, than failure, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company... a church... a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice everyday regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past... we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude. I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it. And so it is with you... we are in charge of our Attitudes.”
 `Charles R. Swindoll 

“Promise me you'll always remember: You're braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. Christopher Robin to Pooh”
` A. A. Milne

“Live this day as if it will be your last. Remember that you will only find ''tomorrow'' on the calendars of fools. Forget yesterday's defeats and ignore the problems of tomorrow. This is it. Doomsday. All you have. Make it the best day of your year. The saddest words you can ever utter are, ''If I had my life to live over again. ''Take the baton, now. Run with it! This is your day! Beginning today, treat everyone you meet, friend or foe, loved one or stranger, as if they were going to be dead at midnight. Extend to each person, no matter how trivial the contact, all the care and kindness and understanding and love that you can muster, and do it with no thought of any reward. Your life will never be the same again.”
` Og Mandino

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Sunday, August 21, 2011

Friday's Training with Roy

Roy and I are training shoulders on Fridays right now, and I am loving it!

There is always a point in my training where I think I know so much, only to find that there is a whole world that I don't know about, and it is so fun to discover it! 

We are working on my anterior and lateral deltoids to show more roundness. The posterior are looking good, and that usually lags on so many people.

We went for volume, I seem to respond well to that.

Incline barbell press (using fatgripz)
Incline dumbbell press with a neutral (some call hammer) grip
   superset with
Lateral raise
Incline front raise (on a bench, face down, neutral grip)
   superset with
laying rear delt raise

I took longer than an hour, and it felt great!  We chatted for a while about the world of competing, dieting and the shady side of the bodybuilding world in general.

A guy wanders over from the pull down across the drive, we are in an industrial area, who knows what goes on behind the closed doors! He said we both look like "fit people" and wanted to know if we wanted to buy some Sea Bass.

Roy and I looked at each other, I couldn't tell if he was about to crack up and was holding it in, or not. I know it was rather odd. It is 80 degrees outside, we are standing in font of his gym and some guy wants to show us his fish in a crowded and cluttered garage...

I say "sure we will come see" and we walk over, they have huge ice chests with not much in them, they buy from the fish wholesalers...hmmm. I see fishing poles but I don't think they are for sea bass. They give us a crab cocktail and we thank them and walk back to the gym, we decide not to buy anything.

We huddle together in the gym wondering what kind of business they are running and laugh as we both tell the other they can have the crab salad. We talk about Arnold and wonder if he will be able to make a comeback, or are we stuck with the vision of his belly in the speedo forever? He was stunning in his younger days, and although he did use steroids, he was and still must be genetically gifted.

I say goodbye, we will train legs on Wednesday evening. I drive off to have a pedicure. I realize it sounds like I have some odd foot fetish, I have a pedicure or a foot massage almost every week, but it is so relaxing and an inexpensive treat to myself. 

I picked wild orange today, one of my last hurrahs to summer.

I fell asleep, It seems that I am always falling asleep when I have a pedicure or a foot massage! That's a good thing right?

Actually a waive of sheer relaxation came over me, making my eyes heavy. I wouldn't say I was tired or exhausted, it was like every inch of my body felt spent and completely at peace. It happens sometimes when I train for a long period of time, and I believe it is endorphines surging through my body and then a let down, like there is nothing left in me. It is this high that keeps me doing what I do all the time.

I closed my eyes, just sitting waiting for my orange creamsicle polish to dry then home I went, floating on a cloud, not quite sure what is in control of my body. 

Time for a great muscle building meal. I had planned on having fillet Mignon, but we had another teenager over for dinner and I gave up my fillet for the good of the cause. Instead I had a fabulous beefalo patty from Pampero Ranch.  Stacy introduced me to this farm, Jim sells at the Mountain View farmers market. The beefalo is very tasty, 4.8% fat, grass fed and a great source of protein. He sells some wonderful eggs where the chickens eat only melon rinds and flax seeds too.

I had beefalo, a whole egg, broccolini, mushrooms and peppers. A spoon of mustard and a big glass of water. 

I am ready to hit the Quads on Saturday morning. Roy and I trained hamstrings Wednesday, they are still tight from the workout, of course sprints and stairs afterward certainly helped to pump them up. 

I wonder, do you ever get this feeling after training? I would love to hear!

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Saturday, August 20, 2011

Shirataki Pasta

This post was written several weeks back, and I would get all excited about something else so this just kept getting kicked to the back burner. This was before I was in competition prep mode, so no, I wouldn't eat this now, but when not prepping for a competition, it's perfect!

It was  hot, hot, hot! I had to cook my chicken for the next couple weeks so David decided to BBQ it all for me. It was time for meal #4 and I was thinking about a big plate of pasta.

I don't eat pasta very often, the calories are crazy and the carbs even worse, so I turned to my favorite: Tofu Shirataki!

No doubt you have heard of this wonder, but in case you haven't I will fill you in.

Ingredients:Water, tofu, yam flour, calcium hydroxide (slaked lime). I eat one entire bag myself although they say one bag serves two. The nutrition is as follows (one entire bag):

40 calories
6 grams carbs
2 grams protein
4 grams fiber

I decided to cook the pasta and mix it with 4 ounces of cubed chicken breast, 1 cup sliced and cooked mushrooms and pasta sauce.

I wouldn't typically use a jarred sauce but David and Cooper had found this one and there was a little left, they said they really liked it and even they don't use jarred ingredients often. I decided to use it all up.

This is quite tasty (not cheap) and it has the following ingredients:

Tomato puree, San Marzano tomatoes, imported olive oil, fresh onions, sugar, salt, garlic, dehydrated garlic, crushed red pepper seeds and spices.

1/2 cup is what I used and the nutrition is:

80 calories
11 grams carbs
2 grams protein
3 grams fiber

I added a half cup water to increase the sauce without adding any calories, it was fine actually as I find jarred ingredients rather strong.

Grand total:

Calories 292
Carbs 25 grams
Protein 35 grams
Fiber 7 grams
A healthier version would be plain crushed tomatoes, but I haven't started "THE DIET" yet....

This is what I was doing when the pasta craving came over me. I BBQ'd about 8 pounds of chicken breast with chile, Mrs. dash and red pepper flakes. I then cut it all up in chunks. I was staring at and fondling a lot of chicken!

I then weighed it all out into plastic bags (some into containers) weighing 4 ounces each and I will freeze it for meals coming up. When not prepping for a competition, I might grab a bag if we go out to eat. Cooper loves ramen so if I go with him I will quietly add my chicken to the ramen, so I get my lean protein and don't have to eat that fatty slice of pork.

I made my lunches for the next day. I am on vacation, but we are having some last minute changes at work so I offered to stop in for a few hours on my first day of vacation. I can't stay long as I need to devote the morning to my German Volume Training and cardio, then I have a dental appointment at 2:00.

Lunch #1 (meal #3) will be 3 ounces quinoa, 4 ounces chicken breast and 1 cup of grilled zucchini.

Lunch #2 (meal #4) will be 5 ounces left over grilled wild salmon, 3 ounces quinoa and 1 cup asparagus. Lemon will be squeezed all over.

That's regular food for me, pretty much year round, so when I start "THE DIET" it really isn't too bad. I will not eat anything from a jar, and higher calorie proteins such as beef and salmon will be eaten less often. And I won't get any shirataki, but that's OK, I can have some afterward.

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