Saturday, December 31, 2011

Be Yourself

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I do enjoy chocolate, especially dark chocolate and someone at work gave me a box of Dove dark chocolates just before our holiday break.  They each have a saying in the foil, and this one says:

Feel free to be yourself

Many of us forget this. We get up every morning and dress, but who are we dressing for, ourselves or others? We train every morning, but who are we training for? It is to accomplish something we want or someone else wants, the look I mean, the outcome. Why are we training?

Recently I was asked, no, more like "questioned" how serious I am with my training because I go out to restaurants, and eat and drink. How can I really be serious if I do that?

I don't owe anyone an explanation, but I do  think that it may help others who may struggle with this same question running through their head. Can you possibly be "serious" and live a normal life?

I say yes you can.

First it's important to define what a "normal life" is. To many a normal life is hitting the clubs a few nights a week, eating, drinking and carrying on. This will certainly not produce a lean, tight body.

Normal to me is being able to go out on occasion with friends or family and eat a fairly typical meal and enjoy it. That's the key. Enjoy it. 

I think it is important to do this, because once you separate yourself from friends and family, and never eat with them, it is signs of an eating disorder. Seriously, so remember that.

Don't get me wrong, when I am prepping for a competition I have a date and a goal, I do not veer. I stick to my diet and that's that. I will go out and bring my own food, and if it's going to be hard for me, then I choose not to go out so I don't make a decision I will regret.

But I am not preparing for a competition right now, I can relax a little and I do. I remember that part of enjoying life is sharing things that bring people together, and one is of those things is food. For some people, the food is very, very important. 

It is very easy to make good choices when dining out, although it is tempting not to! Be firm with your server. Get lemon for your baked potato, skip the butter and sour cream. Get a leaner cut of beef, steer clear of the fatty ones. Ask for vinegar and olive oil on the side and put it on your salad yourself. Request steamed vegetables, plain.


I regularly bring my own food to a favorite restaurant! My son loves a ramen house, so I go with them (when not dieting) and order my own ramen but I dump in 4 ounces of cubed chicken breast. That way I get the protein I need, and still enjoy the food and time with them!

Spend some time with your family, and don't forget they love you and want to be with you, to share the things that bring happiness to them. And do what you need to do to make it all work.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Zucchini Lasagna (no pasta)


I LOVE lasagna! I usually make an eggplant lasagna but I got tired of the toughness that the eggplant sometimes has. Pasta is not going to be included so what to do?

Zucchini! I love it and it goes great with mushrooms, so that's what I did today and this is definitely a keeper!

Remember, cooking is an art, not a science so I am vague and don't typically measure, I will be giving approximations. Since I am in the off season and don't have to weigh everything out right now, it's OK.

This made two small lasagnas, I used two regular loaf pans. I ate about 1/4 of a pan myself...

Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Pre-heat oven to 425

1 1/2 pounds extra lean ground turkey breast 
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp olive oil
1 red onion, chopped
3 cups sliced mushrooms (sliced thin, I used my Cuisinart)
1 4 ounce can tomato paste
1 28 ounce can tomato sauce (I used Pato Brand spicy Mexican sauce, but regular will do just fine).
Salt and pepper
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
4 large, slim zucchini, sliced thin (about 1/8 inch thick, I used my Cuisinart with the slicer attachment!)
1/2 cup part skim ricotta cheese
1 1/4 cup grated low fat mozzarella cheese (divided)
8 slices lite Jarlsberg cheese

Sauté the garlic and onion the olive oil in a deep skillet until lightly browned. 


Add the turkey and cook until the meat is cooked through, be sure to break up the large chunks. 




Add the mushrooms and let it cook until they have cooked down and the liquid is released. 


Then add the tomato sauce and paste, along with salt, pepper, Italian seasoning and oregano and simmer, stirring occasionally about 20-30 minutes till thickened.

Mix the ricotta cheese with 1 cup of the mozzarella and a dash more oregano in a small bowl. This will make the ricotta less sticky and easier to use.

In two loaf pans, place a layer of the sauce, then a layer of zucchini. 



Next add 1/4 of the ricotta/mozzarella cheese mixture then 2 slices of lite Jarlsberg (I have each slice here torn in half, so two slices on each loaf pan).



Repeat again to make two layers. 


End with a small sprinkling of mozzarella on each lasagna.


Cover with foil and bake one hour. Let sit 5 to 10 minutes, cut into serving pieces and serve.


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This was so good! David and Cooper really wanted no part in it since it was missing pasta; however, Cooper said "If it had pasta it would be good!"

The funny thing about this was I was heading out to train with Roy. David was in the garage and I said "At 5:15 can you turn the oven on to 325 and put  my lasagna in? I will be home about 6:00."

At 6:00 I walk in the door and David said "Was it 425 at 5:15 or 515 at 4:25?". I wanted to cook it slow at 325, but he cooked it at 425, and it turned out great! The zucchini was cooked through and tender.

You may feel that spicy tomato sauce and Jarlsberg cheese seem like odd additions to a lasagna, but when cooking with lower fat foods, a bit more flavor is required. If beef were used this would have a whole different flavor and would be fine with only mozzarella cheese. Use your imagination, do what tastes good to you!





Thursday, December 29, 2011

Boxing



Finally. Boxing for women will be an Olympic sport in 2012, it will be history in the making, you can bet I will watch every match.


It's not that I am a boxing fanatic, on the contrary, I think it is a violent, dangerous sport. But if the men can compete then the women should be able to also, simple as that. 


In the picture above we see Gina Carano at 143 pounds and Cris Cyborg at 144.5 pounds. Pretty buff gals huh?


I have only been to two fights, I will never forget the first one. It was in the ballroom of a hotel, a small intimate setting, we were close, three rows back. The first thing I recall were the ring girls. They were young, very young, and pretty and wore very skimpy clothing and strutted around the ring with their cards. 


The men jeered and leered and made cat calls out to them, it repulsed me. I was thinking "many of these men have daughters at home this age, what would they do if it were their daughter in the ring?"


Then I recall the actual fight. It started fast and sudden, I could hear every blow as it landed, I was so close I could almost feel it. Then the blood, and the sounds of a beaten man. I jumped up out of my seat and ran outside, choking down the vomit, I couldn't stay and watch this.


David came after me and I told him to go ahead and watch the fight, I could not go back into the room.


Fast forward 20 years later to August 15, 2009 and I am at the HP Pavillion, with thousands of other people. I would be sitting way far away, in the nose bleed seats and I am there to see Gina Carano vs Cris Cyborg and Josh Thomson vs Gilbert Melendez (Josh was an AKA fighter, so we had to go). It's MMA, but boxing is part of the deal.


I was walking through the arena and some drunk guy gets right in my face and shouts "Cyborg!!!!" I was a little pissed off, she isn't the prettiest gal on earth. But Cooper grabbed my arm "Mom, it's a compliment, let go of it" and I guess he was right, she does have awesome arms and long blond hair, so maybe that is what he was referring to.


They actually referred to the two of them as "The Beauty and The Beast". Gina, the cute, girl next door is "The Beauty", and Cyborg is "The Beast". Unfortunately poor Gina, the crowd favorite, was beat to a pulp, with her parents in the front row watching. 


Here is a video of the actual fight to give you a bit of an idea what it was all about. (Email subscribers will need to navigate directly to the blog to view the video below).




   


I watched every card, it wasn't nearly as difficult as it was the first time. 


Back to the Olympics though. What blows me away is now they are discussing what the ladies should wear!



The International Amateur Boxing Association sparked charges of sexism by announcing that officials are discussing whether women fighters should be urged to wear skirts in the ring at the 2012 Games.


The decision on skirts will be made in January before the debut of women's boxing this summer at the London Olympics.


I say let them wear what ever they wear when they usually box! And it isn't a skirt, I can guarantee you that!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Change of Pace

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I go through this every year, and you would think I would have it under control by now but I still do not. I am feeling Big with a capital "B". Yeah, I am not trying to make anyone feel bad, I know I am not BIG, but I am big for me. The funny thing is, I am trying to get bigger! It's just hard to accept it. I work so hard to get small, then I turn around and try to get big...go figure (no pun intended).

As you know, I am thinking of competing on Womens' Physique instead of Figure, but that means a lot more muscle, a lot more weight. Putting it on invariably causes some fat gain too, and realistically you don't want to maintain a stage ready physique year round, it's not practical or emotionally advised.

My weight went from 118 on October 1 up to a high of 133 and I have maintained at about 130, 131 for quite some time. I look pretty good but when I see photos of myself at competition time it's hard to accept my newer "softer" look, although I do really like the bigger arms , legs and butt. I guess it's just the soft belly I don't like. Get rid of that and I am a happy camper! 

I always change up my training, that includes what I do with Roy and on my own. As much as possible, I will keep with his current protocol, for instance, I train shoulders twice a week, but only once with Roy. The second day is on my own and I try to re-create what we did. Ideally I would increase weights or reps but sometimes it's just not possible (I need a spotter, physically or emotionally), so I stick to the same. I try to stick to the same for legs too. Back is always on my own, but I try to follow the protocol, if we are doing fewer reps on everything else, I will do the same for back.

What I do vary is my mornings when I am at the gym and not lifting, because I will train with him that evening or afternoon. For quite some time I was hitting the stairmill and then training abs, I would do this Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings since those are the days I train with Roy later, and I would also throw in stairmill on weekends too after lifting.

He and I both agree (as did SC) that abs really pop when you have super low bodyfat, so crunching away day after day isn't what will make a difference. Abs come with squats, deadlifts, pull ups, full body moves, not all those ab exercises everyone toils away at day after day. I do plenty of squats, believe me!

At my last competition I was encouraged to "bring up" my quads and calves, that means make them bigger, and I have been diligently working on them and my quads look tremendously better. We train my quads and hams so hard that some days I don't know who enjoys it more, me, or Roy! 

A couple weeks ago I stopped my stairmill and and abs. I changed it up to train my calves and do the same type of conditioning I learned from Jerome at kickboxing. 

So I train calves then hit the basketball court and recreate the conditioning routine that Jerome taught me. It includes running, jumping, squats, burpees, push ups, crunches, boxing, jump rope and whatever else I feel like throwing in. It's hard, much more difficult than any old stairmill!

We will see how it all goes, I don't want to create too much of a calorie deficit or I won't gain muscle, I have to find that sweet balance we are all looking for, and then hold on tight!


Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Quads



Quads....we did that on Wednesday and my hamstrings and glutes were still sore from Monday.


I walked over to the squat rack, the chains are there waiting for me. I kept bugging Roy to get them and now I get to use them all the time! I love the sound of the chains clanking against themselves, and the sound of the metal links slowing piling up on the floor.


I may be getting these weights wrong, some days my training is such a blur, I get home and eat and then just go to bed.


We started with front squats this time, I warmed up with 100 pounds, then Roy increased it to 115 pounds.


20 reps. 


If you do front squats you KNOW that's quite  a bit, and it's heavy too. I weigh 131 pounds currently, so its close to my body weight and don't forget these are front squats, not back squats!


After the second set I think I kind of stumbled out to find something to sit on, it wouldn't be much rest, I recall that Roy announced time when I was still breathing hard, but what can you do? 


Back in the rack.


4 sets


I see Roy stacking up the wood panels like he does for split squats. Surely we aren't doing those nasty things again? I looked at Roy with disbelief "I thought we were done with those?!" "Really?" he said "No, we are still doing them but less reps! um...and heavier weights." Then he goes over and picks up the 25 pound dumbbells, "oh that's not so bad I thought to myself" then the next set was 35 and the next 40. Then he slapped the little micro weight magnets on to bring it up to 42.5 pounds each.


4 sets 


Time for the sled. Roy said it will be a little different than the last few weeks, the weight is reduced, there is only 90 pounds on the sled. But instead of pushing it up and back I need to push it up and back two times before I rest.


4 sets

The last set he tells me to push hard, beat my last time of 57 seconds, run fast. Well, I can hardly run bent over pushing the damn thing and especially after all of this, I am wiped out. But I push as hard and fast as I can, breathing hard and collapse at the end. I think I did it in 47 seconds. Beat my best time!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Monday Morning Motivation



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We tend to forget that happiness doesn't come as a result of getting something we don't have, but rather of recognizing and appreciating what we do have.
~ Frederick Keonig

We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop.
~ Mother Teresa of Calcutta

Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all.
~ Dale Carnegie

You have succeeded in life when all you really want is only what you really need.
~ Vernon Howard

Diamonds are nothing more than chunks of coal that stuck to their jobs.
~ Malcolm S. Forbes

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas

It's Christmas day, the one day I do not go to the gym. My gym is closed! I would go if they were open though.


I could actually do something like sprints at the track across the street, but let's put things into perspective, I have a child and although he may be 17, Christmas morning is still special to him. Just like this is the one day I skip the gym, it's the one day he gets his butt out of bed early! I can't run in the dark and I can't very well hold up everyone to get one workout in when I have 364 other days to do it right?


Tradition, tradition!

So just what does a self proclaimed fitness freak do on Christmas day? Well, I can guarantee you that many, many other folks are fulfilling their fitness needs and staying with their program, while I am not doing that. It's not that our family is religious and has to go to church, but we do have our family traditions.

Christmas Eve started out with a mysterious email from a woman researching her family tree on the Wilce side. Could we possibly be related? I had fun emailing back, half of my house is furnished with Wilce antiques, and I have old china, jewelry, silver, pictures, and even a bible from 1889! I took some photos to send her chronicling births, deaths, marriages. Her family comes from Scranton, just where all my belongings came from, this should be a very interesting relationship!


Then in the late morning Virginia stopped by to deliver duck fat. She stayed for sparkling wine and then Mark, (wondering where his wife was for so long) pulled up and brought oysters and more sparkling wine. I did my prep as we all talked and laughed.


Late in the afternoon Stacy stopped by. She brought homemade cookies from a recipe her mother used to make, wine, chocolate, a roast (for later) and we talked. 


Christmas Eve the family came to my house and I made Prime Rib, Yorkshire Pudding, Roast Potatoes, Gravy, Peas and Salt Caramel cupcakes. I took over the family holidays many years ago when my mother decided she had done it long enough. I don't mind, I enjoy cooking quite a bit and can make whatever I like for myself if I don't want to indulge in all of the other stuff! My mom passed away a few years ago, and she is missed, especially at the family gatherings. We will always laugh and tell some funny story about her though. 

Lauren came by and gave us a gift she made. It was an ingenious idea, wine glasses with a special black chalkboard paint on the bottom foot portion of the glass, so you can write your name on the glass! She included a small container of chalk too. 

Christmas morning Cooper will open his gifts, David and I don't give gifts to each other, we found through the years that it has helped us to actually enjoy the season and reduces stress. Our gift to each other is our annual trip to Mexico in February.

We then hop into the car and drive to my father in laws for the day and night. My mother in law passed away in February so this will be our first Christmas without her. We will be going out to dinner and this will be the first time in my 50 years I have eaten dinner out on Christmas, another first. 

We will come home on Monday and I will be training with Roy on Tuesday instead of Monday so I will hit the gym on Monday afternoon when I get home. 


My holiday is and was special for many reasons. 


Virginia, who just stops by and delivers a much needed item, because she knows I need it and decides to bring it to me instead of me driving to her.


Lauren, for being so thoughtful and actually creating something with us in mind. She put a lot of thought into our gift.


And Stacy. She wont be eating the cookies, but she made them knowing we would love them. We have grown into each other, I think it's the best way to say it. It is hard to create new friendships as you become older. People are paired off, or very much into work and just don't have time for relationships. We have known each other for 8 months, but in those 8 months we have learned more about each other and about ourselves than most people will learn in a lifetime.


I feel very fortunate for the wonderful people in my life. 

However you celebrate, enjoy the time with friends or family and as my husband says to my son EVERY SINGLE TIME HE WALKS OUT THE DOOR:

Be safe!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Happy Hound


December 23, Friday and the start of my holiday! 11:30 to be precise. I am off until Tuesday, January 3 at 7:30am! Yahoo!


The good thing is the University shuts down, so it's not like vacation where you go away for a week and come back to 350 emails. I will have only a few.


I left work and went straight to Roy's, it has been very, very cold. In fact, this morning when I got up at 4:00 am it was 27 degrees. I live in California. This is not funny, not one bit. The morning before it was 47 and even that was way too cold for me. 


We trained shoulders and I had an especially good time, I felt good and full of energy. Barbell shoulder press, back is pretty straight up but Roy would tell you some precise percentage, 70% incline or something....


Warmed up then I am not sure of the weights, I was only doing 6 to 7 reps and I think maybe 95 pounds. I did 5 sets I believe then a drop set of 25.


Then onto dumbbell seated shoulder press with the bench back straight up, he said to be careful and not to tip forward and fall down on my face. That would really put a damper on a great holiday break wouldn't it?


We started with 40 pound dumbbells, making sure they are slowly lowered, all the way down to get a good stretch in the deltoids, then power up. The weight was slowly lowered till we ended with 35 pound weights, and we did 5 sets I think.


Then boxing! I am not very good but that doesn't stop me from having a good time. It's like the people you see on the dance floor who cannot dance even if their life depended on it, but they are having such a great time they make you laugh out loud. That's me boxing.


After I fought my way out of the traffic (the next day is Christmas Eve), I get home and David and I put a cold bottle of sparkling wine in a bag with two plastic cups and we are off to Happy Hound restaurant.


I haven't been here in years and years, I grew up here so ate here in high school! I had made plans to come here after my last competition, just for the fries and I never made it!


We ordered one medium order of fries, one cheeseburger cut in half and two waters. I found a table with hot, bright sun shining right down on it, a gift from heaven. It was so hot I took off my sweater.


David cracked the sparkling wine and poured it into the cups. We kept it down, the restaurant is directly across the street from the police station! ha ha ha


We sat in the sun, enjoyed the fries and burger, sipped the sparkling wine and had a wonderful time. Kind of like the wine scene in the movie "Sideways"...


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Then home to make caramel cupcakes for Christmas Eve dinner, everyone is coming to my house as usual, but I will be at the gym at 6:00 am when the doors open to hit the legs! 

Friday, December 23, 2011

Mondays Hamstrings

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Monday is hamstrings and it was time to change the training. There are several exercises that can be done, but there are a few that prove over and over to be the most effective, so we do those. Just changing the reps, sets, rest periods and/or weights can be enough to prevent adaptation.

I think we have learned that my body responds best to volume, so lots and lots of reps seem to be what I need to do. Now that doesn't mean that I am doing light weight, on the contrary, I am doing at much as I can, but realistically, when performing 10 to 20 reps the weight won't be as heavy as if I were doing only 4 to 8 reps.

We start with the Glute Ham Raise and Roy has it elevated in the back, high up on a bench. This puts the emphasis on a different area of the hamstring and its quite a bit more difficult to do. We tried it like this several weeks ago and I could only perform 3 reps, I failed miserably.

Monday I not only did 10 reps, but I did three sets with body weight and another two sets holding a weight plate. I think it was only 5 pounds, but it made a difference, believe me. My hamstrings have gotten stronger! We will celebrate by doing the Tootsee Roll! (Email readers will need to navigate directly to the blog to view this video, turn up the speakers!)





Yes, I do have this on my iPod...ha ha I love it!


So the GHR took quite some time, then we moved onto the second exercise, Single Leg Deadlift with a barbell.

I have never done this with a barbell, I have always used dumbbells, so I was excited, I love trying new things.

I warmed up and after the second set of 10 I think we were up to 75 pounds. All the way down until a good stretch is felt in the hamstring, maintain a slight curve in the back, keep looking up, then pull up with the hamstring and the glutes, not the back!

Its easy to round the back and start pulling up that way, and its wrong. It is less effective as you won't hit the hamstrings and its also a good way to cause back pain or tweaks.  I cannot emphasize how important it is to "lift with your head". You must put your mind into the task at hand and concentrate. It's serious business.

Many people think that weight lifters are a daft bunch, and I agree that there are plenty out there, but no more than in any other sport. A successful lifter is serious and quite knowledgeable. Find someone in your gym who looks really good, and watch them. See how they train. Do they chit chat while lifting? Do they read in between sets? I doubt it.


Are they concentrating and almost oblivious to those around them? Perhaps they time their sets and rest periods? I bet they do.

You can learn a lot just by observing. Heck, you can probably even do the "Tootsee Roll" after watching the video a couple times!

Back to the hams. Since they are so connected to the glutes, they will obviously get a good workout too. When we started this one Roy looked at me and said "Sorry, but I think this is going to make your glutes bigger" (or something like that). I laughed and said "Great! I love a good set of glutes!"

Wednesday when we met for Quads, my glutes were still sore. Today, Thursday when I write this? Still feeling it! Maybe I need to stretch them out a bit by cranking up the music in the gymnasium tomorrow and dancing. 


to left. to the left. to the right. to the right.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

The Pain of the Kick

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Saturday late afternoon my body started aching all over. Could one brutal day of kickboxing have done that already? My lower back hurt and I don't typically have back problems, but this was all new to me.

I made a cup of tea and went to bed at 8:00...on a Saturday night! I read a bit, chatted some on email (I have my Kindle Fire by the bed) and soon it was lights out.

I lay there so very tired yet unable to sleep, it was the coffee I had at lunch. I shouldn't do that, I am super sensitive to stimulants in the afternoon, damn I shouldn't have had so much!

David came to bed and I chatted away, he finally told me very kindly to shut up and go to sleep. I tried, I really tried but it just didn't happen.

As I lay there, I thought that just about everything hurt. My pecs hurt and that couldn't be from kickboxing, was that from Friday's training with Roy? My lower back, my shins, my traps, it all started to blend into one achy mess.

I woke up at 5:00 am to the alarm, time to go to the gym, it was back and bicep day. I didn't have the enthusiasm that I usually do, I still felt achy, but I went in, gotta go! 

I decided to veer from my written plan and felt like doing a lot of chin ups and pull ups today, so I did several sets of 6, I think I did 6 sets. Dips in between. Then the low row, bent over barbell, e-z bar curl, single arm bent over row and offset dumbbell curl.

Then I did it. I grabbed my gloves, and walked down to the gym. I would do the conditioning all over again on my own. I practiced on the heavy bag a bit, and the speed bag was lowered so I could practice my hook there. Then I set up my own course around the gymnasium. Push ups, jog, high knee jump, jog, jump-sprawl, jog, squat, jog and all over again till I got to 10 of each.

I have decided to try this on Sundays instead of the stairmill, I will just recreate my Saturday kickboxing conditioning!





Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Cellar Door Cafe

Right after kickboxing on Saturday I showered and we all piled in the car to drive over to Santa Cruz for lunch at the Cellar Door Cafe. I figured I had burned enough calories between the 2 hours of weight training and then the hour of kickboxing. David, Lauren and Cooper are at the kitchen bar, our favorite place to watch all the action as we eat.


Below is a large chalkboard on the wall with the list of the producers and suppliers of the ingredients that day, all the farms. Lauren, being a very clever young woman asks "Is the boy happy because the girl is dirty?"


Ha! Smart girl!

The Chef, Jarod Ottley sends out a complimentary dish of fried Brussels Sprouts with smoked chevre. We also ordred Smoked fingerling potatoes with aioli and a fantastic pizza. It was Lamb sugo pizza with sheep's milk ricotta.  My plate is below, I had only one piece but could easily have eaten half the pizza.


Cooper and Lauren said it was the best pizza they had ever eaten in their lives (yes I know they are only 17 and 18, but they eat a lot of pizza!).

David then had Santa Cruz abalone, winter roots, castelvetrano olive and pickled carrot. I had a similar version of this last visit, it is amazing.

I typically order any seafood because it is so fresh and unique here. I had Eureka sand dab. Monterey squid, white beans and cippollini. Heaven on my plate!

Both Cooper and Lauren had the same thing: seared skirt steak, warm cabbage salad, fried farm egg. The moans and groans from the two of them were never ending. Cooper said it was the best steak he has ever eaten. I explained they use great local meats- but he said it wasn't just the meat, it was HOW it was cooked.

Oh, I finished my plate....could have even eaten the skinny little bones I guess! 

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We ordered some cookies, but the server brought over a huge platter of desserts, including my favorite Dark chocolate cookies with caramel mascarpone. I explained that we hadn't ordered that, and she turned to look at Jarod, who just nodded his head, instructing her to place the platter in front of us.

Dessert was on the house. Lauren took one bite of the cookie and I thought she might try to whisk mine away from me! David and Cooper thoroughly enjoyed the date cake with maple and walnut.

Jarod come over and chatted about the upcoming holiday, the restaurant would be closed for a couple of weeks (good for them, bad for us). Lauren and Cooper expressed their pleasure with the whole experience and we vowed to return again soon.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Kickboxing Day 2


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Thursday Cooper came home from training with Jerome. They have been kickboxing together almost three years now, Cooper is good, really good.

"Mom! Jerome said he is gonna teach you to kick on Saturday." "Cooper," I said, "How can he teach me to kick when I don't even know how to punch yet?!"

"You do- he said you were really good, he said you are a natural athlete and caught on fast. You just need to loosen up, it's not precise like weight lifting, it's more like a dance."

I smiled, I have always considered myself an athlete, and outside of my competitions where they refer to all of us as "athletes", no one has ever called me that. I felt good, accomplished.

He then told me Jerome asked him to come to Friday's "Fighter's Nights", a coaches invite only of full contact boxing and kickboxing for aspiring fighters, Cooper is to start training on a more serious level.

My heart skips a beat, but I am the one who pushed him into this, so I cannot stop him now. Thank goodness he is into kickboxing and not boxing. Not as dangerous.

Saturday I woke up at 5:00 a.m. and got to the gym at 6:00 for legs. I felt good, strong and excited. There would be no need for cardio since I was taking Jerome's class at 10:00.

I trained hams and quads. I did kneeling leg curl, RDL's, squats (100), split squats and GHR. I was there 2 hours, longer than I had planned, but I did sit around quite a bit waiting for the GHR, seemed everyone wanted to use it today, although not one person used it right. One women even came up to me and said "I am so glad I saw you doing this, I have never known how to use it properly!" She asked me how to adjust it, I asked her height and then adjusted it and showed her what to do. I then sat and waited while she readjusted it and used it completely wrong, doing sit ups like most people do on the darn thing!

I got home and ate, 1 cup egg whites, 1 whole egg, 1 slice of my favorite spelt and rye bread from Acme, with peanut butter and jelly. Coffee, but not too much as I remember last week having to pee the whole time during kickboxing, not fun.

9:50 I arrive and take off my shoes, pad across the mat and say hi to Jerome. There are only about 6 guys there and then he tells us to "run!" so we start. Now I learn not to arrive early. 

The class started with me and 10 guys (no Cheddar) and then a few more guys and one wicked looking gal joined in later.

We go through a half hour of conditioning, it's not the same as last week although very similar. We do the same routine of running around the facility with four stops to perform an exercise, starting with one push up, run, one high knee jump, run, one jump sprawl, run, one squat. We do 2 of each, then 3, then 4, and on and on till we have done 10 of each.

It was much easier this week. Then jumping jacks, jumping jacks with one kick, with two kicks, mountain climbers in between, jogging in place and jabbing, jogging and cross, jogging and jab cross, jogging and drop sprawl, jogging and block kick, down on the ground and crunches, side crunches, frog crunches.

30 minutes later done! I survived.

Jerome shouted to everyone to get a partner and he gave instructions, I didn't understand what it was. He grabbed a guy  by the name of Jay and told him that he would be working with me on kicks. 

Crap! 

Last week I was in front of  a mirror practicing punches, this week I guess I am one of the guys. But I didn't have my gear, only my gloves, I wasn't expecting this. No wraps, no shin guards, no mouthpiece, no headgear. 

This too I shall survive.

Jerome told us what kicks to practice, demonstrated with Jay and then left us. Jay kicked me and I kicked him. I could tell immediately that I would have a very bruised left shin the next day.

Jerome would come watch and critique, then show us combos. Jab, cross, midkick, jab, block. High kick, cross, hook, low kick, block.

On and on for a half hour, Jay was good, he really helped me improve my hook.

11:00 and the class was done, I was dripping in sweat, my hair was plastered to my head and face, sweat everywhere, I felt high. Everyone shook Jerome's hand or got a slap on the back. I talked with a few of the guys, they are all very friendly. 

I left walking out in only my tank top, shorts and flip flops although it was probably 40 degrees out at most. With the top down and Citizen Cope blasting on the stereo, I drove home. My hands were shaking, my wrists hurt, my left shin was throbbing and I started crying. I wasn't crying from pain or sadness, it was just a wave of emotion that overcame me.

I have been wanting to do this for years, and last week I finally started, but last week was easy; it was play. This week was hard, I was the attacker, I was attacked. I learned to kick with all my body force, it was hard to do at first, I was afraid of hurting him. I learned my leg can kick up to someones chest, soon up to their head. I learned to block with my legs (my poor, poor unprotected legs), with my forearms.

If I was ever to be attacked, lord have mercy on the poor slob who makes that mistake.

Home, all I want is a long hot shower and a big glass of ice water. I take off my shirt, it was soaked, here it is.


I told Cooper about it, about my surprise at the difference between last week and this week. "Why are you surprised mom? You assimilated fast, just like I thought you would."

Nice.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Monday Morning Motivation


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If you realized how powerful your thoughts are, you would never think a negative thought.
~ Peace Pilgrim

Once you have mastered time, you will understand how true it is that most people overestimate what they can accomplish in a year and underestimate what they can achieve in a decade!
~ Anthony Robbins

Patience is not passive; on the contrary, it is active; it is concentrated strength
~ Edward G. Bulwer-Lytton

Leaders are made, they are not born. They are made by hard effort, which is the price which all of us must pay to achieve any goal that is worthwhile.
~ Vince Lombardi

Mountaintops inspire leaders but valleys mature them.
~ Winston Churchill

The distance between insanity and genius is measured only by success.
~ Bruce Feirstein

Yet it is in our idleness, in our dreams, that the submerged truth sometimes comes to the top.
~ Virginia Woolf


Most of us serve our ideals by fits and starts. The person who makes a success of living is the one who sees his goal steadily and aims for it unswervingly. That is dedication.
~ Cecil B. De Mille

Sunday, December 18, 2011

The Ideal Female Body

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Yesterday I wrote how most people think Jessica Beil is too muscular and several people commented and emailed- Can they be nuts? Who took this poll? How many idiots participated? (my own comment here).

I had to search to find the one I saw this in, and I found it! I will post the link below, please read it.

The poll was on Leigh Peel's site- and it is very, very interesting. I do like reading Leigh, she says it like it is and doesn't mice words.

What I find so amazing is how educated people think that it is easy to bulk up and look like a bodybuilder. Do you know how hard I train, how precise I am with my diet, how regimented I am with supplements and sleep, yet I still have not achieved the look I want? I will be there someday, and am actually getting close.

Today, I was training legs. It was Saturday, I could take my time and I would. I went in feeling high as a kite, I usually do feel like that on my way to the gym, but I wouldn't have to go to work so I felt especially carefree.

I weighed myself, I hadn't in about a week, it really doesn't matter what I weigh right now. I was surprised, I have lost a few pounds, but then I need to remember that my weight always fluctuates with what I ate the previous days before. I was at 128, and only a week ago I was at 133 and had been for quite some time, odd, very, very odd.

I look at myself quite a bit, critiquing. I like the way I am looking right now. My arms look really big and curvy, I have biceps and delts, I like that. I have traps, and while I don't want big traps, I always seem to have them. Friday Roy told me that was one of the first things he noticed about me when he met me, I had big traps. He said you can tell a real athlete by their traps. A real athlete doesn't need to train them, they grow because of the correct training. I never train traps- ever. But they are there from my deadlifts, RDL's, shoulder work, sled work, everything.



I was sitting resting on a bench near the end of my training and Denise asked if she could work in on the GHR. She looked up at me and said "Your body composition has changed quite a bit, are you getting ready for a show?" 

Believe me, you cannot pay me a better compliment than to ask "are you getting ready for a show?" It means I look GOOD! I asked her - "tell me how it has changed, what do you see?"

"Muscle, you have put on a lot of muscle. There was a time, maybe about a month when it didn't look like muscle, but it has changed and it looks like it now."



I smiled, "thanks, that is just what I am trying to do. I struggled with my diet for a while, I am eating more, trying to gain and add size, and it's hard to get it dialed in, it's new to me"

"So you are trying to add more muscle? Well it's working! You look good." she said.

Hear that Roy? Good Job!

I finished training and passed Stacy in the hall- she wanted to talk so I told her to meet me in the cafe, I needed coffee. 

Stacy came up to me "You really look good right now!" I told her  "Yes I think so too, I feel good, I look good I am getting to where I want to be, it feels great!"

Here is Leigh's post about "The Ideal Female Body", I think you will find the results interesting.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Life is Good

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How often do you have those days? Those days when you drive in the car, singing at the top of your lungs? I seem to do that a lot- but then I have a convertible and it makes it oh so much more fun!

I got an email from Roy, he sent it Thursday night but I didn't see it till I checked my email at 4:15 am on Friday.  Can we train at 2:00 instead of 12:00? 

Heck yes! It means I leave work at 11:30 and hit Santana Row right away - Lululemon just got a new shipment in the night before and they received one of my two favorite bra tops in Paris Pink! It's like the one I am wearing here, but HOT PINK - called the Hot n' Sweaty Bra. The name alone makes me all excited!

Then off to Vintage Wine Merchants for some stocking stuffers for Cooper. I cannot name them on the blog or he will see what they are. 

Then grocery shopping- we will have Chateaubriand with shallot sauce tonight- roasted potatoes for the boys, Brussels sprouts for me. 

Stacey emails just before 1:00 - "Aren't you training with Roy today???" She is there at his place at 1:00 and normally I would be there first but I am not.

Roy and I train shoulders. He said this is the first week that we have not been able to progress in weights since we started training. We started back in March, so that is quite some time. Keep in mind that he changes the program every three to four weeks, so each week I show progression, but not this. I think it is because we have been doing low reps, high weight.

For instance, I am doing a barbell shoulder press with 105 pounds, that's quite a bit. 5 sets, 5 reps each set.

I suppose Roy needs to have something new next week!

The heavy weights mean long rest periods. We chat about bodies, what people find attractive, what people like. I am still astounded by the women who want to be skinny, painfully skinny, with huge breasts and very thin arms. It just doesn't make sense to me.

Roy asked if I know of Jessica Biel. I told him yes, I think she is stunning. 

Roy said polls have shown that most women think she is too manly- too muscular. 

WTF??

As David always says: The masses are asses.

Roy and I finish shoulders and we box- although the air is cool we end up taking it outside in the sunshine, the cool air and sunshine feels good. I can feel myself feeling more confident, I cannot wait until my next session at AKA tomorrow!

After I am home, we visit Mark and Virginia, then come home and eat. I have two great emails waiting for me.

One is from Alicia. She lives across the street from my father in law and reads my blog everyday. She has been working diligently since we met last Christmas on shaping up and trimming down. She told me she has lost 12 pounds! That is amazing! 12 pounds is a huge accomplishment, especially for someone who works taking care of children in her home. This is probably one of the most challenging jobs you can have, and she has done a great job!

Great Job Alicia!!

Then I had an email form Rita Barry of Fitblooger. I will be their featured blogger on January 2, 2012!  An auspicious day for all fit people! I am so excited and cannot wait to come up with a great post for this day. 

Soon to bed, It's leg day and the gym opens at 6:00 am. then I have kickboxing with Jerome Turcan at 10:00. 

And then....lunch with the boys and Lauren at The Cellar Door restaurant in Santa Cruz!