Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Rumble Roller

My newest BFF, my Rumble Roller. This thing is not for the faint of heart, it's not for wimps or sissies, it's for hard core lifters who get tight and can take the pain of the roller.

I actually bought two, this regular sized one and a small 12" travel one. It's so easy to come up with excuses in life, excuses for anything  Take your food- "well I was in meetings all day and had to have the Chinese they brought in" , baloney!  If you ALWAYS bring food with you everywhere you go, you do not have an opportunity to make up an excuse. Then you just look like a fool who has no will power if you choose the Chinese over your own healthy lunch you brought!

So that was my reasoning for two Rumble Rollers  I have absolutely no excuse not to roll every single day, no matter where I am. The large one I keep in my living room, here where I am rolling now.

The small one I keep in my car. I can bring it into the gym with me (Gold's has only one foam roller, one!!!), bring it to a hotel when I go visit Cooper in Chico, take it on vacation, even to Mexico. 

No Excuses.

But seriously, this has helped me tremendously. Foam rolling (or in my case rumbling) has been proven to be one of the most effective self-myofascial release techniques known. Basically you find a tight or painful spot, and the roll on it, not stopping, pushing through the pain, and keep rolling 30 times more after the pain has ceased, really. 

Rolling only a couple times and then stopping when it is still uncomfortable has not relaxed the muscle as it should.

Foam rolling has been hailed as "magical" and the one recovery technique that all athletes should perform without fail.

Mike Boyle talks about it here. Or check out The Greatist and learn to Foam Roll Like  Pro. And for those of you who need video, check out Bodybuilding .com  where they show you haw to roll just about every body part!

I chose the  Extra Firm Rumble Roller and it is like a foam roller with treads on it, they are not foam in any sense and the treads are hard. When I first started using it, all I could do was lay on it in some areas, such as my poor hip flexors. No rolling was taking place, the pain was too much to bear. Soon I became used to it, the muscles started to relax and I was rolling like a champ! I did find that I had small bruises all over my hips after my first few intense rolling sessions though. 

I encourage you to get a roller, and if you are a tough cookie, and tend to have tight muscles, go for the Rumble Roller, you will be glad you did!

Monday, October 29, 2012


"Difficult things take a long time, impossible things a little longer."
- Author Unknown

"Don’t let the fear of the time it will take to accomplish something stand in the way of your doing it. The time will pass anyway; we might just as well put that passing time to the best possible use." 
- Earl Nightingale

"Let me tell you the secret that has led me to my goal. My strength lies solely in my tenacity."
- Louis Pasteur

"Saints are sinners who kept on going."
- Robert Louis Stevenson

"Never give up on what you really want to do. The person with big dreams is more powerful than one with all the facts."
- Unknown

“You can have anything you want if you are willing to give up the belief that you can’t have it.”
–Robert Anthony

'The best way to predict the future is to create it.”
–Dr. Forrest C. Shaklee

“It’s not about time, it’s about choices. How are you spending your choices?”
–Beverly Adamo

“That’s precisely the question everyone should be asking—why the hell not?  – Why not you, why not now…”
–Timothy Ferriss

Sunday, October 28, 2012


Have you seen these magazine ads? They may be on TV, but I don't watch TV so I wouldn't know. Oh, I take that back. I do see the TV when I am rolling on my rumble roller in the living room, but it's typically a car race, baseball, football or the silly British guys who race and crash expensive cars, whatever David is watching....

Anyway, things like this really upset me. Not only are they making claims that in no way are valid, but they are setting people up to fail, giving them false hope and generally selling lies. Read the instructions below, this is how you start a "crash" diet. 

For the first week, the only sustenance you have is this Almased! Three times a day and broth! For a week! 

Then the second week and get ONE MEAL (at lunch) and the other two are again, Almased and a bit more...some milk and some cocoa powder.

They claim this is a "healthy way to lose weight fast". Yes, you will lose weight fast, but you would on any liquid diet (provided it was a healthy liquid and not Jack Daniels). 

They go on to make many claims about the wonders of this product, it seems to cure everything that could possibly ail you! They further claim that with other similar diets you are in starvation mode so your metabolism slows down, but not with Almased. It apparently speeds up your metabolism. So what is in this miracle diet formula?

From this website: Almased®, is a powder made from the purest all-natural ingredients using a unique manufacturing process. It is made from soy protein, honey enzymes, and skim milk yogurt powder that complement each other through a fermentation process and work together in a synergistic way. When combined, these ingredients are more effective than if used individually – this is how Almased® supplies the body with highly effective nutrients for the best possible metabolism.

You know what this means? Its a meal replacement shake. Yep, with Soy as the main ingredient. There is nothing special, nothing magical, it's just like drinking any one of your favorite whey protein shakes. It has soy, milk, and honey.

But what happens after you go on this horrendous liquid diet (for the recommended 6 weeks)? Do you go back to the usual foods you were eating? How can anyone in their right mind even think for a moment that this is healthy?

I am sure a lot of people do though, it is so very unfortunate. So many people are looking for a quick fix, a trick that will work instantly. I see it all the time, people will remark how good I look, and they ask what they can do to look better and I always start by asking them what they eat on a typical day. This seems to be one major part of most people's lives that they just aren't willing to budge on. 

I tell them, every small change helps, sometimes you need to start with baby steps. Eliminate the cream in your coffee. If you cannot do that, switch to whole milk, then skim, then black. Ease into it.

Cut out your last starch meal of the day, replace it with vegetables. Eliminate sodas, drink more water. Cut back on alcohol. 

One trick that many people seem to be able to live with is reducing their starch in half at each meal, they don't feel so deprived.

Learn to eat healthy, to treat your body with respect. What you do to it now will determine how it serves you later in life.

Almased recently received a warning letter from the FDA in response to their false claims, if you are considering using this product, I urge you to read this first, it may change your mind.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Stretch To Win


We all know we should do it, and we all know it feels good when we do. But how often do you stretch? And do you really know if you are doing it correctly?

Some say I am an exhibitionist, well I think that's all their own perception, but if they think that, then I am a voyeur too….I love to watch people in the gym.  I tend to linger longer on the bodies that are pleasing; I find that I watch some of the same men every day, they look good. Those who do not, I give a bit of a shudder and wonder how they can live with themselves, then move along. 

I watch people stretch and warm up. There are three groups. Those who stretch because something is sore and it just makes it feel better; they tend to do this only on occasion, when they must. They are the same people who only floss their teeth right before going to the dentist.  Then there are those who “know” they are supposed to stretch but have no concept behind the science of it all.  They incorporate a haphazard routine quickly into their workout, and actually these are people who really don’t know how to lift well either. They are the people who floss only when they have "guests". Then there is the group of people who know they need to stretch to prepare their bodies for the lifting session ahead. These are people who will also perform several sets of warm up lifts too; they don’t just walk in and lift up something heavy (and end up hurting themselves in the process). These folks floss everyday, regardless of who is or is not watching, they do it for themselves.

Stretching too long before lifting will cause problems just as not stretching at all may. 

You need to read about it and educate yourself just as you should with any other physical endeavor you undertake.

Anyone who has been following my blog knows I had been having issues with my glute, hamstring and hip flexors for months now. I saw chiropractors, massage therapists, physicians and physical therapists. My contracted glute muscle was released (but it still seems to get in a knot occasionally, but I am now the master and know just how to tame the beast); my hamstring was healed, just Thursday (on my own) I did 5 sets of RDL’s at 185 pounds…as my starting exercise; but the hip flexors…they have continued to bother me. 

A long time ago Roy had told me about a program called Stretch To Win, a proprietary Fascial Stretch Therapy™ (FST™) technique—a unique, complete and complementary system of table-based, assisted stretching, focusing on the fascia as the key element in achieving optimal flexibility, strength, performance and pain relief.

So I bought the book and started reading it, I liked what I read. I needed to look into this further.

After going through all of my injuries and issues for almost 6 months now, I decided it was time to start devoting more time to stretching. My biggest issue is time, I am up very early every day to lift and then work all day and often train at night too, then it's eating, food prep and to bed. Not a super exciting life but I wake up everyday feeling energetic and full of life and ready to attack the day, I am happy with it. 

I figured I could actually get more stretching in if I stretched at 4:30 am just before heading out the door to the gym and at night just before bed.

But first I needed to learn some of the proper stretching techniques and I wanted to experience the actual assisted stretching myself.

I looked for a certified practitioner in my area and there are several- so how to choose? I didn't want a  Chiropractor, nothing wrong with them, but they tend to treat injured people, people with problems and complaints. How many people go to their Chiropractor when they feel good? I never do. 

I found one on the site, Stephen DiLustro, a Fascial Stretch Therapist-Level 1, Sports Performance Coordinator at Stanford University. Stanford is not far from my home, so I went to their website to look, and indeed, he worked there on the athletes. Just the guy I want, he works on athletes!

I emailed him and we had a few conversations back and forth, luckily I didn't scare him away. I am pretty straightforward about what I need and want, and I have some high expectations. I tend to share just a little more information about myself than people are used to and that often puts people off. I have an odd sense of humor that puzzles people. I also had a crazy schedule the last several weeks and had to keep putting things off, so I think he started to think I was a flake, but things finally settled down and we set a date to stretch.

David says "So where did you meet this guy?" and I told him I have never met him. He shakes his head in disbelief, but he's used to me doing things like this. I go meet people, ask them here, whatever it takes to learn and experience what I am looking for, it has always, always been a positive experience for me. 

Steve came to my home on a Tuesday evening, after we both got off work. David had bronchitis so off he went to bed and Steve set up his table in the middle of the living room. He was a lot bigger than his picture, in fact he looked like SC, a big, strong guy who could stretch me like a rubber band with no problem. 

Steve started off by rolling a golf ball in my direction and told me to start with my feet and we chatted, but I think he was sizing up my posture, my movements, the general state of my health. He spied my Footsie Roller under my desk and said it was a great little tool. I am using it now as I type!

I explained to Steve about the issues I had been having and he listened, then had me lay on the table and started to move my legs around, "get the synovial fluids flowing", it felt good, we talked and he explained everything he was doing. He asked me if he should tell me everything and walk me thorough it or just be quiet and work. I wanted to know, I said "talk away!"

The table had straps, or more like elastic bands that certain body parts would be held down with, to immobilize that part of the body while the other part was being stretched.  

He took me through many different stretches, they ranged from stretches where he did all the work, to stretches where we worked together. Breathing was a big part of the process. It felt great, sometimes it was almost painful, but the relief after was fantastic. Every once in a while he would walk over to my feet as I lay on my back and jiggle one of my legs, to test the mobility and to "get that synovial fluid flowing", I started looking forward to this.....

He put his entire body into the work, at times my leg was wrapped around his waist and he leaned into it, I was breathing in and pushing against him, it was almost a well choreographed dance.

Below is a short video where one of the founders, Ann Frederick stretches Charles Barkley, it gives you an idea of some of the movements.

I liked Steve, that is important to me. I have gone to many massage therapists, manicurist, hairstylist, trainers, you name it, if I don't mesh with them I won't go back, it doesn't matter how good they are.  They need to like me as much as I need to like them, I am quite an interesting person to work with. I am very open about what's going on, I am not shy and I also have a lot of fun in the process. Steve and I laughed quite a bit as he turned me into a pretzel, wrapped his arms around a body part, told me to breathe in then asked me a question all at once.....I also appreciated his intensity and love of his work. He did not hesitate for one moment when going through any of the stretches. I have been to massage therapists who won't massage my stomach, glutes or adductors, I don't go back to them, those are parts of my body that take a beating, they need the work.

Every once in a while he told me to hop off the table and see how I felt. Hopping was out of the question, I felt drunk, I felt good, I felt happy. friends.

Near the end he said he had to stretch my lats, he could tell they were tight just by watching me stand. It felt great, they were super tight and I hadn't realized it.

We were supposed to go for an hour and ended up stretching for 90 minutes, I could have gone on for longer, I am not sure whats better- massage or stretching. They are two totally different modalities, but the effect of both on the mind and body is amazing.

Steve finished by explaining some things I wanted to be conscious of, he had me stand in front of him, reviewing my posture, pelvic tilt, my body in general "looks really good" he said.

That night my body ached, I was a little apprehensive, my hamstring hurt and it hadn't hurt in a while, I was afraid we went too far. The following day was my two a day weight training days - arms in the a.m. and quads after work with Roy, this would be a good test.

I felt fine when I got out of bed, my hip flexors still had some tightness. Lifting went fine, then after work when I met Roy I told him all about the evening and how much I enjoyed it. We launched into squats.

I am working on Front Squats, 130 pounds (that's more than my body weight by the way), and I go below parallel, all the way down.

The first set I knocked out 10. Then another 10, 10, 10, and 12. Roy was blown away. He quickly said it was a 20% improvement over last squat session (3 days earlier). It's easy to squat when you aren't in pain. 

Two days later was hams on my own, I did RDL's at 185 pounds, 5 sets of 10. Again, a 20% improvement. I was on fire.

I emailed Steve and told him the exciting news, things were looking up, I was feeling much better (although not necessarily completely healed), I was on my way. We would be meeting again in four weeks so he can stretch me again and review my progress on the exercises he gave me to do, and I plan to stretch with him regularly. Once I am all healed, it will become a regular part of my life.

At work I made this sign that is posted above my standing work station, it helps me remember the things Steve told me.

Email Steve at if you are interested, I cannot express how much I enjoyed it and it helped my entire body. I had forgotten how much I enjoyed lifting because the last several months I have been experiencing quite a bit of discomfort, it's great to feel whole again.

Monday, October 22, 2012


“Remember that wherever your heart is, there you will find your treasure.” 
Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

“Man often becomes what he believes himself to be. If I keep on saying to myself that I cannot do a certain thing, it is possible that I may end by really becoming incapable of doing it. On the contrary, if I have the belief that I can do it, I shall surely acquire the capacity to do it even if I may not have it at the beginning.” 
Mahatma Gandhi

“When someone tells me "no," it doesn't mean I can't do it, it simply means I can't do it with them.” 
Karen E. Quinones Miller

“Never dull your shine for somebody else.” 
Tyra Banks

“We either make ourselves miserable, or we make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same.” 
Carlos Castaneda

“I do not care so much what I am to others as I care what I am to myself.” 
Michel de Montaigne

“You have to grow from the inside out. None can teach you, none can make you spiritual. There is no other teacher but your own soul.” 
Swami Vivekananda

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

FitNutz Powdered Peanut Butter


Peanut Butter, another one of my “vices”. 

I suppose if I am going to have any this isn’t really too bad though.

I have tried giving it up, I have tried going without, and during competition prep I will go quite some time without it, when I HAVE to, I can easily do it.

So many competitors rave about PB2, and while I also buy it, it has never done the same thing for me that real peanut butter does, it’s lacking the texture, the creamy, thick, viscous mouth feel that sends chills up and down my spine, seriously. I shudder when I eat it.

My favorite way to eat peanut butter is by the spoonful, so nothing gets in its way or adulterates it. This seems like a very foolish decision though when all I want is the peanut butter taste in oatmeal or a shake, the calories are high; this is not a low fat or low calorie food.

So, like everyone else I would buy PB2 regular and chocolate. But I wasn’t happy that they have sugar in it, I rarely eat sugar, it’s “the devil’s food”.

I was chatting with friends on Facebook one night and Sharon posted a picture of this product called FitNutz, it’s like peanut butter in that it comes from powdered peanuts, but there is no sugar! They use erythritol, an all natural sugar substitute!


It contains powdered peanuts, granulated peanuts (for the chunky that I bought), erythritol and salt.

I instantly went to their website to order it and they were out of the 1 pound bags and shipping was really high (in my opinion) so I waited. I then shopped around and found it at a lower price and shipping was half the amount on

I ordered my big bag and received it quite quickly. I used it in my shake that evening when I got home from training with Roy and loved the peanut butter flavor. The 2 tablespoons I used contained 60 calories; 3 grams of fat; 4 grams of carbs (2 grams fiber, so net 2 grams carbs); 6 grams protein; 30 mg sodium and 0 sugar!

If you enjoy PB2, I suggest giving this a try to cut out the sugar!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012


No respect!

I was off work on Friday, and on Monday I came in to find this!

Look closely at the picture above, it is my “No Candy Zone” sign on my office door….but taped to it are two of my favorites!

2 Tootsie Rolls!

When i arrived at work Monday morning, I went to slip my key into my office door and there they were, staring me right in the face!

It's almost like a fire pull station, you know: "In case of emergency, break glass" and in this situation you just rip the tootsies from the tape in an emergency.

I accused John when I saw him first the in the morning, because he stops by every single morning and tells me a joke, he's always telling me to put some meat on my bones and generally teases me every opportunity, but he said it wasn’t him, that means it was probably someone on my staff. When I find out who did it, I will let you know.

I left them there all day and they drove me crazy, I wanted to eat them every single time I walked by, but then I think they actually helped me to consciously make sure I did NOT eat them! I shall leave them there all month.

Thought you might like to see what I have to put up with at work!

Monday, October 15, 2012


"Between you and every goal that you wish to achieve, there is a series of obstacles, and the bigger the goal, the bigger the obstacles. Your decision to be, have and do something out of the ordinary entails facing difficulties and challenges that are out of the ordinary as well. Sometimes your greatest asset is simply your ability to stay with it longer than anyone else."
~ Brian Tracy

You are never a loser until you quit trying.
~ Unknown

"Never consider the possibility of failure; as long as you persist, you will be successful."
~ Brian Tracy

"It's not the critic that counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled or whether the doer of deeds could have done them better...The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust, and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and often comes up short again and again. Who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions and spends himself in a worthy cause. And who, if at best in the end, knows the triumph of higher treatment and high achievement, and who at worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly so that his soul shall never be with those cold and timid ones, who know neither victory nor defeat."
~Theodore Roosevelt

“True, if you fight, there is always a chance you might lose. But if you do not fight, you can never win.” 
Taylor E. Bennet

“When we can't dream any longer we die.” 
Emma Goldman

Friday, October 12, 2012

October, Month of Candy

October, month of candy.

I love chocolate and caramel. LOVE IT! I bet a lot of you don’t know that, huh? I just happen to be a stubborn cuss and I want to look ripped (or as ripped as possible) year round so I generally refrain from it.

When I buy chocolate for myself I have a couple favorites (just in case you ere wondering):

Affordable and available:  Jo’s Dark Chocolate Salted Caramels. 2 come in a package at Peet’s Coffee and they cost $1.79.

Extravagant and not as easy to obtain: Recchiuti Confections Fleur de Sel Caramels. 16 to a box at the Ferry Plaza Market in San Francisco and they cost $23.00. (oh and each one is a ¼ the size of a Jo’s).

But it’s October and that means Halloween. Monica has a HUGE bowl of chocolates by her desk, and I really have no reason to even walk over by her desk, but I found myself there 6 times the other day.

6 friggin times. Here is the bowl and it’s not a small one!

Fun size

Who the hell came up with that stupid name? When you are feeling fat do think of yourself as “Fun Sized” ???!!


Sugar messes with me big time. Chocolate, alcohol, white processed foods, they are all sugar and they all make me look puffy, loose skinned and generally tired. Sugar is probably the most deadly thing you can put into your body (besides smoking).

Give me a big fatty steak, or a pile of yams or a bucket of vegetables and I look great the next day. Feed me sugar and all hell breaks loose- in a matter of hours. Not only do I feel awful but I start to look it too.

I think that I have a pretty good eye for health- I can look at someone and tell if they are a generally healthy person just by the state of their skin and eyes, (do they have big puffy bags or dark circles under their eyes?, is their skin red and blotchy or dry and flakey?); the way they carry themselves, how they sound, how they move.  

If you paid attention, you could probably do the same, but you probably don’t even look at people like that, I do all the time because it’s a quirky little habit of mine. 

Take a look at a heavy drinker, and by that I mean anyone who drinks alcohol on a daily basis. Or look at someone who is obese due to the garbage they ingest day in and day out, they cannot even move right. Someone who doesn’t drink much water, their skin is not springy and the color is off.

None of them look so hot do they? Pained is what I see.

Sugar makes me feel like that, so I try to avoid it, but it tastes so darn good!

I made this sign and posted it in my office door, I had to so I could keep the sugar out! There are a few well meaning people in my office who drop by with candy for me, they know what I like and they save it for me. Sometimes, if I don’t shut my door and leave, I come back to several on the desk…dammit!

I find that my biggest challenges are overcome when I keep them in the forefront of my mind, like writing down my food in a journal, recording my training, using my Gymboss on the spin bike to make sure I go long and hard enough.

So avoiding candy will be easier when I see my sign and others do too. it's on my door and here on the window next to the door, right below the football schedule for San Jose State University.

Wish me strength and willpower- and I will do the same for you.

I don’t have a program (or the knowledge) to make the red circle over the words, so my sign is not as sophisticated as it could be, but it does the trick and I have a link here if you want to print one out for your work area or home. If you happen to be a graphic whiz, I would love to have a proper one, send it my way!

Below is a little video about sugar (Email subscribers will need to navigate directly to the blog to view this video).

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Do You Compete? (Real Feats of Strength profile)

“Do you compete?”  I remember the first time I heard the question and really had no idea what it meant.  Here is the definition from Merriam-Webster


 intransitive verb \kəm-ˈpēt\
com·pet·ed  com·pet·ing

Definition of COMPETE

: to strive consciously or unconsciously for an objective (as position, profit, or a prize) : be in a state of rivalry <competing teams> <companies competing for customers>

Examples of COMPETE

  1. Thousands of applicants are competing for the same job.
  2. She competed against students from around the country.
  3. We are competing with companies that are twice our size.
  4. Did you compete in the track meet on Saturday?
  5. The radio and the television were both on, competing for our attention.

Origin of COMPETE

Late Latin competere to seek together, from Latin, to come together, agree, be suitable, from com- + petere to go to, seek

Related to COMPETE

Synonyms: battlecontendface offfightracerivalvie
Related Words: challengeengageplayjockeyjostlemaneuvergo outtry outtrainwork

Just like any other word, the meaning can change depending on the context with which it is used. It means many different things, especially when you consider the synonyms and the related words, so it depends on how you look at it doesn’t it? To me, and to most women I know who compete, it is really a competition with ourselves.

Oh, sure we all want to get out there on stage and win a trophy, we want to be acknowledged as the best, or one of the best, but do you really think that the 5 minutes up on stage is the “thrill” that keeps us going? That we work day in and day out just for that? 

If you told me that the “reward” I would receive for getting up every day at 4:00am to lift weights, to diet most of my life, to refrain from alcohol and sweets, to make time for cardio after work when I am tired, was the “pleasure of being at an all day and night long competition waiting to stand and pose on stage for a few minutes to win a plastic trophy” I think I would politely decline your offer!

No, is just another small piece of the very detailed puzzle that comprises my life. I am not sure if I can even tell you why I compete, but I can tell you how it all started!

Quite some time ago I was contacted by Joe, the moderator from Real Feats of Strength, he asked if I would do an online interview for his site and of course I said I would love to. But it had so many questions, and he wanted many details that I let it lie for ages. He would email me every few months to ask if I had finished, and I always intended to but then ran out of time, I am a very busy person!

I finally finished and he promptly published it on his site. 

Many people find those of us who “compete” a curiosity - why do we do what we do? What motivates us?  What pushes us? How did we get started? It comes up at almost every social gathering I attend, and it is really such a long story for all of us. Sometimes I shorten the story, sometimes I elaborate, I love telling stories but have to really be in the mood.

Please take a minute to read my RFOS Athlete profile, I think you may find it interesting! 

If you would like to be featured, contact Joe at Real Feats of Strength, and tell him that I sent you!

Monday, October 8, 2012


All glory comes from daring to begin.
- Eugene F. Ware

Don't be discouraged. It's often the last key in the bunch that opens the lock.

Don't look where you fall, but where you slipped. 
- African Proverb

You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream. 
- C. S. Lewis

The world is round and the place which may seem like the end may also be the beginning. 
- Ivy Baker Priest

Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm. 
- Winston Churchill

No yesterdays are ever wasted for those who give themselves to today. 
- Brendan Francis

Desire is the starting point of all achievement, not a hope, not a wish, but a keen pulsating desire which transcends everything. 
- Napoleon Hill

There are two mistakes one can make along the road to truth... not going all the way, and not starting. 
- Buddha

We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.
- E.M. Forster

The starting point of all achievement is desire. Keep this constantly in mind. Weak desires bring weak results, just as a small amount of fire makes a small amount of heat. - -Napoleon Hill

Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. 
- Albert Einstein

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Size, Perceptions and Self Acceptance

My son came home from college this past weekend, the first time we have seen him in 5 weeks. It was great to see him but also hectic, we had a lot to fit in, he was sick and needed to go to urgent care for anti-biotics and of course, he had to spend time with friends too.

Sunday morning I slept in as usual and then went to Gold's to train my back, I love Sundays I can usually spend all the time I want to and it's never crowded, everyone seems to take Sundays off. This Sunday I had an appointment at 9:00 so I was under a bit of a time constraint, but I fit most everything in.

My Sundays take so long because of all of my chin ups - It takes me about 45 minutes just for those!

It's also harvest so David had to pick the grapes from the yard without me and then after I got home, we loaded them into Moby to take to Jay's for crushing. No one had much time for cooking, eating or anything. Once Cooper left at 1:00 we still had more to do, so we ended up going out for a very early dinner (lunch for David) at The Table in Willow Glen.

We arrived early, they weren't open yet so we wandered down the street and David slipped into a restaurant to use the bathroom. I stayed outside and was waiting and I hear a "hey you, come here and give me a hug!" I turn around and there, holding open the restaurant door is Mark Baz, my very first trainer! 

I went over and gave him a hug, I hadn't seen him in years and he led me inside to meet his girlfriend who was sitting at their table by the window. 

We chatted for a while about what was going on with our kids (he and I have boys the same age), about our current lives and things in general. He told Kyra about how we met, and when he first met me I couldn't lift a 15 pound dumbbell, then he said he got me up to 65 pounds, and he was right, I had forgotten! Here is a picture taken many, many years ago when I trained with him.

Kyra wanted to know how I got arms like mine. I said "lifting lots of heavy weights!" We talked about what we were doing and I mentioned my hamstring injury, and I got up to demonstrate a Romanian Deadlift. I sat down and Kyra said "wait- stand up and turn around!" I did and she pointed to my butt. "That's what I want, how do you get that?!" I laughed and told her that I had asked Roy just yesterday when my butt blew up like it is now- it all of a sudden got big and round. Like BIG. Roy said he had noticed it Friday himself. I mean it's BIG, it almost requires it's own zip code.

Then Baz told Kyra a story that I had forgotten from so long ago. He said that I had always demonstrated "the pencil test". If you could take a pencil and place it under your butt cheek, above your hamstring (the glute/hamstring tie in) and it stayed there, you were fat. Your butt fat should not hold up the pencil! I tried this when I got home, the pencil fell immediately to the ground. 

I laughed, I had forgotten about this and told him it was like to the towel test for men. 

We left and went to dinner and as we sat at the table I told David that it was odd. When I am at the gym, I really don't get a second glance, except maybe from people who don't come there often, but when I go out say to a restaurant, people stare at me, why?

He said I am a freak! He said no normal person looks like me. I know he is not trying to hurt my feelings at all, he is just trying to get me to see myself the way others do. They see a freak, Seriously...I told him I am not big, I don't look like a bodybuilder, but he said to a regular person, I do! I look like a bodybuilder! 

It bothers me and it doesn't, I suppose it depends on my mood and what's going on. The more I thought about it, the more I realized why I am so comfortable in the gym, you see, I belong there, I am with people like myself.

Obviously we are all different, but we have similar goals and aspirations, we want to improve our bodies, our health and it means a lot to us. We take the time necessary to actually get up off the couch and go to the gym; we make an effort to eat healthy foods instead of the easy and somewhat tasty garbage.
And I realized for the first time that this is one reason why I enjoy competing, I am with people just like myself.  Don’t misunderstand me, I embrace diversity, I enjoy people of all different walks of life, but I also like being around “my own kind”, fellow competitors.
I understand that many people are curious and they cannot help but stare at others who appear different, so although I don’t feel out of place out in public, I do feel the stares, and sometimes it is annoying and I wish they would stop, I am not a freak in a freak show.
The other morning I as reading Facebook posts and Bret Contreras posted this video, and it all clicked.  At one point in my adult, weight training life I felt like the little girl dressed as the Bumblebee, but now, I am finally with other Bumblebees, it’s a happy and joyous feeling.
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Monday, October 1, 2012


“Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is 
more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded 
genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. 
Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan "press on" has 
solved and always will solve the problems of the human race”
 Calvin Coolidge

“What do you first do when you learn to swim? You make mistakes, do you not? 
And what happens? You make other mistakes, and when you have made all the 
mistakes you possibly can without drowning - and some of them many times over - 
what do you find? That you can swim? Well - life is just the same as learning to swim! 
Do not be afraid of making mistakes, for there is no other way of learning how to live!”
 Alfred Adler

“Permanence, perseverance and persistence in spite of all obstacles, 
discouragement, and impossibilities: It is this, that in all things distinguishes the strong
soul from the weak”
 Thomas Carlyle

“Some guys they just give up living, others start dying little by little piece by piece,
some guys come home from work and wash up, and go racing in the streets."
Bruce Springsteen

“So as sure as the sun will shine,
I'm gonna get my share now of what's mine
And then the harder they come the harder they'll fall, one and all.”
Jimmy Cliff