Thursday, August 30, 2012

Women's Physique or Bodybuilding

Many people don't see the difference: "All y'all have way too many muscles!" I have heard. Well, there is a huge difference between Bodybuilders and Women's Physique competitors and I have found a couple videos for you to watch that will enable you to immediately see the differences. 

Email subscribers will need to navigate to the blog (Dad- that means you, I want you to see the difference!)

Here we see a female Bodybuilder performing her routine. This is Lisa Giesbrecht.

Lisa looks great- but this is not what I will be doing, not what I want to do, not how I want to look and frankly, I don't think I ever could look like this. She has some major muscle there!

Notice the "separation", the muscles all have distinct outlines, not one big smooth muscle, but you see each individual one clearly. The body looks "hard", there is no layer of fat covering the muscles.

Below is a "pose down" of three Women's Physique competitors, they are "pro's" so they can compete for money. Although they can win cash prizes, the amounts are minute, nothing really, you can spend more than what is awarded for the first prize on one posing suit. 

A pose down is where they will have the top three vie for the audience approval and create a little fun and excitement, only one will be the first place winner! This is standard "bodybuilding" showmanship.

You can clearly see that these women demonstrate a more "feminine" look, less androgynous, less muscular, more body fat, less muscle separation, their bodies are not as "hard". Although they carry a lot of muscle, much more than your average woman, and more than the typical Figure competitor, I think they have as close to the "ideal physique" as I could ever imagine wanting! 

As you can see, the Women's Physique look is that of a slightly more muscular Figure competitor, and there is the individual dance or posing routine that must be performed of course. In Figure you stand those darn heels just smiling and looking pretty!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Empty Nest

I left my son, Cooper at Chico State University on Tuesday, August 21, it is 210 miles away. I am a tough cookie, a hard-ass, weight lifting, big food eating, truck tire flipping, chalk dipping woman. And I was not prepared for the pain of this experience.

Cooper is our only child, and therefore has spent quite a bit of time with us. We were never the parents who did things and left their kid with a sitter - he never had a sitter! He was enjoying his first meal at Chez Panisse at the age of 6 weeks, he went everywhere with us.

We drove up to Chico in a rented SUV, we needed a bigger car for his belongings and I have to stretch out due to the hamstring and hip flexor issues I am having. We drove up the night before and went out to a wonderful dinner at the Red Tavern. Cooper thoroughly enjoyed his pork belly, I didn't have the heart to tell him that the dining commons in the dorms would not be serving that....but I think he knew.

We had conversations about things that were "unfinished business" from before. Like why I moved out of the house when I was only 17 and still in high school. He said he knew I had done that, but never knew why.

David loves his food and wine! And spending time with his two favorite people. Below is the stunning menu, if you ever go to Chico, definitely stop by the Red Tavern!

I had prawns wrapped in bacon! I told Cooper that I left not because I didn't get along with my mother, but because there were things I had to do, and there were rules. If you know me, you know that I have this belief that "rules" don't really apply to me, they never have. I feel they are "guidelines", but at the young age of 17, I didn't feel that, I felt they were an albatross around my neck.

I left home because I wanted freedom to do the things I HAD to do. I finished school, I was rebellious, not stupid. I found it was a lot harder than I thought it would be. The bills, the landlords, the rent, the shopping, connecting P.G. & E., telephone (no cell phones then), garbage, water...

I had chocolate soufflĂ© for dessert. it was great!

I raised Cooper with all of my experiences in mind. I wanted to give him the freedom he craved, and the guidance he needed, I think David and I did a good job. We have a very good relationship with him, we all enjoy spending time together. 

I had my own breakfast at the hotel- chicken breast, sweet potato and green beans. 

Cooper had a roommate from his high school all arranged, it was great that it worked out as well as it did. But the pain, the pain...

I lived through handing him over to a team of doctors for emergency surgery when he was only 3 weeks old, when he lost so much weight he weighed only 4.5 pounds due to pyloric stenosis; luckily my doctor, the one I still see to this day was able to diagnose it and called the hospital and sent us right over.

Cooper and I spent four nights in the hospital. They didn't let me hold him because he was not allowed food, and he could smell the breast milk as I came close. I sat and slept on the chair by the bed, only leaving to go fill the hospital freezer with my milk.

Then he broke his arm snow boarding with friends. The call "Mom, morphine is great!" is not something you want to hear from your 12 year old!

Or when he suffered a compound fracture of his right index finger playing lacrosse only a year ago, he still has nerve damage and probably always will.

The girlfriend who dumped him after receiving the beautiful Tiffany necklace he painstakingly saved for and gave her for Christmas.

His wisdom teeth being pulled only this month! Neither one of us responds well to Vicodin, so he was on percocet for a week. 

The greatest pain is the feeling of needing and loving someone so much, yet they no longer need you.  

Oh, I know it is perfectly natural and healthy for him to leave, to grow up and go on his own, but I wasn't prepared for this, not at all. 

Below is his roommate, Andrew and his mother Mary.

And he didn't take much with him, his room is still full, it looks like he still lives there, but it's quite...very quiet. 

David on the left and Andrew's father, Dave on the right!

His lacrosse gear made the trip, he hopes to play for Chico, he's good.....I cannot wait to hear if he made the team soon.

He realized there wasn't much room, but Mary and I helped the boys unloft the beds to make it more comfortable, then "decorated" as much as they would allow us to.

Important stuff: Cup-noodle, sriracha sauce.

I made the bed and he said it would be the last time that happened! hmmm....he HAS to wash his sheets at some point I hope!

We all went out to a last lunch at the Sierra Nevada Brewing Company. They always have a great steak salad on the menu, the boys all had steaks and fries.

My boys...looks like one is crying.

He let me give him one last big kiss on the cheek. I don't remember him getting so tall, I was on my tip toes!

In the car, on the long and very quiet drive home, I ate my meal. Shrimp, broccoli and green beans.

I sent this to him, I am friends with all of the Chico State organizations, so I can try to be involved a little. He said this sounded awesome. I saw the pictures the following day, looks like all the freshmen attended!

A "Taking your kid to college survival kit" from David's assistant principal. Red wine, Symphony chocolate, tissues, a big pen, stationary..

David and I have both wandered in and out of Cooper's room, looking and touching things we had thought were so important to him, yet he left them all behind. I just booked my room for the parents BBQ on October 6. Apparently there is a huge event in Chico that weekend, so the only place with a room left was what David and Cooper call the "Chico Crack Hotel", but  it's within walking distance, and I will only be sleeping there anyway, I will spend the morning in the gym- Chico Sport Club!

I have thrown myself into my training, seems I have nothing else in life that I need to do right now. It's going to be a long, difficult adjustment for me, I hope Cooper adjusts better.

Monday, August 27, 2012


"The minute you start talking about what you’re going to do if you lose you have lost."
- George Schultz

"A winner is someone who talks himself out of his excuses." 
- Gin Miller

"The man who complains about the way the ball bounces is likely the one who dropped it." 
- Lou Holtz

"Placing blame on others is easy. Taking responsibility for yourself is empowering." 
- Tony DiCicco

"Excuses are the tools with which persons with no purpose in view build for themselves great monuments of nothing." 
- Unknown

"Ninety-nine percent of all failures come from people who have a habit of making excuses." 
- George Washington Carver

"A man would do nothing if he waited until he could do it so well that no one could find fault." 
- John Henry Cardinal Newman

"Finding fault is easy. It’s improving that’s hard." 
- Unknown

For many people, an excuse is better than an achievement because an achievement, no matter how great, leaves you having to prove yourself again in the future but an excuse can last for life.
- Eric Hoffer

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Being Comfortable as You

I'm all about feeling good about myself, it's important. It's really the only way to succeed. It's important to love yourself, respect yourself and give yourself credit for all your hard work. 

I also believe that the way you treat others is a direct reflection of how you feel about yourself. If you feel good about yourself, you treat others well. If you do not feel good about yourself, you treat others poorly.

My pursuit of "the perfect body" has been a long and exciting one, I'm certainly not done but I have learned a lot. I have a lot to share. 

I am not ashamed of my body, I never have been and never will be. This body is amazing.  It has carried a child, given birth (naturally, no epidural), breast fed for one ENTIRE year,  and is now 51 years of age. I think it has been a tremendous friend and has held up well. 

But I have taken care of it.

Oh, there were the years when I did not, believe me. But now I do all I can to celebrate and pamper my fantastic piece of machinery.

These pictures were taken Saturday, August 25 at about 11:00 am.

I need to remind myself that I look good, I often beat myself up and make myself feel less than I should, I have very, very high expectations.

It is important to believe in yourself, to tell yourself you do a good job. Not many people will do it for you right? If you are a person who has a job, you know just what I mean. How often does your employer say to you "We are so lucky to have you! We could not meet our goals without your fantastic skills!"......right....

And if you are a stay at home mom, no one ever, EVER says that to you. They just want to know when dinner is on the table, and "why are you so tired???"

I have my things I wish I could change. I wish I wasn't so hairy (but it's all super white blond!), I wish I didn't have Flintstone feet (they are fat and super wide), I wish I had a tiny waist, I wish I had less wrinkles on my face. I would like to have pretty long nails, but I am not going to glue on the fake ones....

But, then I need to remember the things I am thankful for.

I am super strong, I can out lift most men in my gym! I have a great, round, high butt. I have beautiful naturally blond, long hair. I am healthy. My cholesterol is 153 and my Vitamin D levels are at 53. Triglycerides are at 62, slightly up from last year, but still respectable.

My doctor thinks I am a living freak. He used to discuss steroids  with me, thinking I was always taking something...something to make me so amazing. This year he changed his tune. Once again, I have proven to him I am naturally healthy, strong and just living life to it's fullest. 

I love transforming my body, watching the changes that occur as I eat a healthy (or unhealthy) meal. I feel in control of my destiny.

I love my back, it looks amazing doesn't it? And I am only training it once a week now, but I suppose those extra chin ups have done the trick!

The way to start a program of change is to start by loving yourself. Treat yourself with kindness, encourage yourself.

Celebrate your beauty.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Physical Therapy for Hamstring Strain

I finally started Physical Therapy for my hamstring. I feel like I have told my story to so many doctors and had to do it yet again. They all keep referring me to each other. 

I went into the therapist on Thursday and met with Brian, I explained everything and he poked, prodded, stretched, manipulated and twisted my body to determine exactly where it hurt, what was tight, what was sore and what we might be able to fix.

Brian decided that I really should go back to Dr. Leahy and have some A.R.T. performed on my hip flexors, they are both super tight and uncomfortable. I just wish insurance would pay for those visits, but it doesn't. Brian did agree though, that the entire left side of my lower body is "jacked up" as I said.

I was there for an hour and a half! I did lots of different stretches, some cable exercises, some silly bends with a 2.5 pound kettlebell. I think he made me use it because I laughed at the three little bells and said "I have never seen such tiny kettlebells! They look like jewelry!"

Some of the stretches require a partner, I need to find someone to stretch me. Anyone close by and willing - let me know!

The highlight of the session was 11 minutes on this thing, I believe it was electromagnetic stimulation. I had this once for a shoulder injury years ago, I told Brian that it was like an exciting masochistic event as I was in control of the dial that determined the electrical output. How much can I take? It is an odd sensation holding it and slowly adjusting the electrical current.

I didn't have shorts so Brian got these big black basketball shorts and tossed them to me. "I bet you never wear anything like this to the gym!" he said as he closed the door to allow me to change.

I told him that I didn't, but there was the time when I was standing outside at work for hours due to a fire alarm and I called SC and asked If I could come lift to kill the time - did he have anything I could wear?  He said yes and when I got there and changed I looked like a rag doll in the huge clothes. I said "Where the hell did you get these?!" and he said the shirt was his (he is a big guy and I think he wore extra large) and the shorts belonged to the NFL player James Jones of the Green Bay Packers, SC used to be his Strength Coach. "They got a drawstring!" he said "Cinch 'em up and let's go!"

Brian had me lay down with my legs elevated and connected the electrodes.

He had it on a fairly high current- I made the mistake of telling him that I have a very high pain threshold. 

Here you can see the muscles jumping around in response to the treatment, it was quite an odd sensation. The muscles jerked quite violently at times. He siad I can buy a small home version for a super affordable price, I am thinking about it but need to research the effectiveness a bit more. If you have any opinions, i would love to hear them!

I have scheduled an appointment to see Dr. Leahy about my hip flexors, funny how the only thing that really gives me relief is the one that insurance will not pay for. 

I'll be going back for physical therapy twice a week for the next month and I will keep you posted! 

Email subscribers will need to navigate directly to the blog to view the video below.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Increasing Volume

You know, finding that "niche", that "thing", that special "something" that gives you chills up and down your spine is a feeling that people can spend their entire life looking for.

It could be watching car racing on TV. Maybe its having a prize show dog. Shooting a powerful rifle. It could be anything. Something that gives you the feeling of  power, purpose and accomplishment. Something that makes you proud of your hard work.

I have found mine, there is no question about it , and lately, I have felt like I am in overdrive. 

It comes from breaking out of the feeling of being complacent. 




Doing Just Fine.

When we start to feel that "everything is going just fine and smoothly", that's when it can all break down and things can get......messy. 

The body loves to be comfortable and will make sure that it has just what it needs to feel relaxed, well fed and not stressed. 

it's called Homeostasis. Our bodies work very, very hard to remain the same, to adapt to the environment, to chug along without making any waves.  Our minds work with the body to convince us that we don't need to do anything extra.

So if you don't change your training, if you don't challenge your body, it will adapt and it will not grow, it will not improve. It will do only what it needs to stay the same.

It's so easy to keep going to the gym doing the same thing, thinking that we are doing our bodies good. 

Doing the same thing over and over is what your body wants to be cozy. Does "cozy" evoke thoughts of sexy? Of ripped? Of lean and hard? Nooooo

Cozy is the opposite word of what I strive for.

I have known for years that I must change my training to grow. I do change it, but I also fall into the same trap that we all do, repeating the same workout or the same weights over and over again.

It should change every week, really. You should not go in this Monday and do the same weights and reps you did last Monday, where is the improvement in that? 

I have made a personal challenge to increase my pull ups and chin ups every week, and it has been so successful I  am shaking my head that I didn't do this earlier.

I train my Back on Sundays, and when I get close to a competition I also add in Wednesday mornings. 

Three weeks ago this was my chin up set:

With a weight belt and a total of 9 1/2 pounds added:

4, 5, 6, 6, 6 ,6 for a total of 27 chin ups

Two weeks ago:

With a weight belt and a total of 9 1/2 pounds added:

5, 6, 5, 5, 5, 5, 5 for a total of 36 chin ups (11 more)

Last week:

With a weight belt and a total of 9 1/2 pounds added:

5, 5, 6, 6, 6, 6, 6, 6 for a total of 46 chin ups (10 more than the previous week and 21 more than two weeks ago!)

This Sunday my goal is to try to hit 7 on each set. I have a mental block about getting past that #6 mark, and Roy said that a lot of people stop right there, I have no idea why!

Remember that even adding just a couple more each session is improvement, it doesn't have to be drastic, but just a bit more. It will not only improve your physique, but give your mind that mental boost of accomplishment to keep you going for yet a another session!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012


I have a posing coach now; I am so excited to have connected with her. She has been competing for years and started in Figure, then went to Bodybuilding and most recently has been competing at the National level in Women’s Physique.

We met Friday at 24 Hour Fitness, not my gym but one of the gyms she trains at. The place is packed with people, “cardio city” and it looks to be quite the pickup scene.  We went straight to the group fitness room.

I told her I know nothing, I am a newbie. Well, not really. I have competed in Figure for several years, I know how to pose, I know the language, I know the drill. But I don’t know the ins and outs of Women’s Physique. I don’t know how to pose (the turns and comparisons are different); I don’t know how to do the mandatory’s (I did meet with Steve once and that was a great start, but I decided that I needed the advice of someone who actually competes in Physique);  I don’t know how or what to include in my evening routine.

She made it crystal clear. We started with the front, side and rear turns. She was very patient and moved my legs and feet ever so slightly, I mean inches, just to get the legs to look right. She explained what to flex and what not to flex. She told me about how to come in softer if I want; the judges said I was too hard so coming in lean but soft should be a piece of cake. She even clarified the routine- I had thought that I had to have the mandatory poses included, but no, it’s a display of my physique, set to music, it’s a celebration of my hard work, I can do what I like. This changes everything, everything.

We posed and talked for an hour, I had a fantastic time. Not that posing is “fun”, in fact, posing for Figure was never like this. Physique is actually going to be hard work! I would start to cramp after a very short time, it was so different! We laughed about it when I told her that, then I said “and what on earth does Bikini do anyway???!!” Peals of laughter from both of us ensued.

Meeting with her finally made it all hit home, this is going to be a reality for me.  Although I had committed to competing in WP, it hadn’t seemed real, there wasn’t enough change and I wasn’t learning anything new. I have certainly added more mass, and need to add more, but the posing and routine are a huge piece of it all and that piece of the puzzle was missing; it’s all falling into place now.

We set a date to meet again in two weeks, I would practice every day, and she would know if I did or did not. I drove home, feeling high as a kite, I was so excited.

Then it was dinner out with the family, David, Tom, Cooper, K.K. and Heidi. It would be our last meal together until Thanksgiving, that is, if Cooper comes home from Chico State then.

In the car on the way to the restaurant I texted Roy- “Filet Mignon or Prime Rib?” “Definitely Filet” he said. “Martini or no booze?”  I asked. “I have heavy squats first thing in the morning and then work all day.”  “No booze” he replied. Yes, just as I would have done, but sometimes it’s good to get affirmation.

I told him that I didn’t think I could do several sets of squats at more than 135 pounds on my own, so I would just add reps and/or sets, and then Wednesday when we meet we will improve upon that.

When I woke I had a new sense of excitement. I was glad I adhered to my plan of eating a healthy meal and no alcohol, I felt rested.

I was tight, I have been battling the tightness for months now, after the glute/hamstring issue it seems to be my I.T. Bands and hip flexors, so it means I need to stretch and warm up quite a bit, but I know this so I plan my training accordingly. I set a personal goal of performing one extra set of squats, and when I set my mind to something, nothing can stop me, nothing.

I did my warm up sets, many of them and then my squats at 135 pounds. 6 sets with the following reps: 5, 9, 10, 10, 10, 10 for a total of 54 reps. I looked back in my log and found that on Wednesday (on my own) I did 9, 9, 9, 9, 10 for a total of 46 reps. I just completed 8 reps more! I let out a huge yelp of excitement.

For the first time that I can recall, I started to feel nauseous; I had pushed myself to the point of almost vomiting.  I didn’t though; I sat and sat, and rested, waiting 8 minutes for it to pass before going on to the Hack Squat. I know how long I sat because I use a stopwatch when I train.

I was high, I felt like I was on top of the world. I enjoy this so much and many people cannot understand why.  I celebrate things like this, it means so much to me, and it makes me feel complete as a person. I cannot explain why.  

A friend recently told me that I made others feel that they cannot live up to my standards. I was hurt; I certainly don’t go around telling people things like that.  I don’t ridicule people for drinking alcohol on a daily basis, eating junk food or not going to the gym, that’s their choice and I really don’t care, it doesn’t impact me.

The more I thought about it, the more I realized that what I do does take an amazing drive that most people don’t have, but that isn’t anything that I should be ashamed of, nor should I apologize for it. In fact, I should be proud of it and I am, very proud of it. I don’t force anyone to read this blog, I don’t offer diet, nutrition or training advice unless they ask for it. I decided that I cannot take responsibility for what other people feel and I cannot own the comment. It’s unfortunate that my actions make him feel that way, but I cannot change that. It reminded me of a quote.

“No one can drive us crazy unless we give them the keys”

I shall keep on pushing myself; keep on pushing the limits, challenging myself and celebrating my successes. I will shout it from the rooftops, but I will be sure to refrain from sharing my celebrations with others unless they truly want to share them with me.  I have numerous people who tell me I do inspire them, and I hope to continue this. I will remember to thank those who support me, such as David and Cooper as it certainly isn’t easy for them to live with me and my unusual diet and schedule. And I will keep writing,motivating, and inspiring others.

Lift Strong!

Monday, August 20, 2012


“Nobody thinks of themselves as sexy, really. Some days you go, 'Hey, I'm not doing 
too bad today.' But if you try and be sexy, you'll never be sexy.”
 ~Jennifer Aniston

“Quirky is sexy, like scars or chipped teeth. I also like tattoos - they're rebellious.”
 ~Jennifer Aniston 

“Do I consider myself sexy? I all depends on the way I'm feeling. When I'm happy inside, 
that's when I feel most sexy."
~Anna Kournikova

“I can make a scene that's not supposed to be sexy, very sexy. It's a power you're 
born with. It's not a physical thing, it comes from inside. It's all in the eyes.”
~Tara Reid

“No matter what a woman looks like, if she's confident, she's sexy."
Paris Hilton

Sexy at the millennium means having a solid sense of self but never taking yourself 
too seriously.”
 Rebecca Romijn Stamos

“I like someone who is a little crazy but coming from a good place. I think scars are 
sexy because it means you made a mistake that led to a mess.”
~Angelina Jolie 

Sunday, August 19, 2012


Momentum, it’s an amazing thing. So is the power of the mind. I have said it over and over, weight training for me is a mind game, pure and simple, and my attitude and thoughts determine my success. I wonder if everyone thinks the way I do. I don’t believe so.  I have been told by most everyone who knows me that I have a drive, a desire, a mindset that is so different from anyone they have ever met.

The word “crazy” has been used.

Maybe I am? Maybe I am just more in touch with my own mind? Sounds kinda crazy….

I go through periods of exuberance and “up” days and then I also have my own days of self doubt and feelings of being less than accomplished.  For the last couple months I have felt like I have not been “where” I want or need to be, at least not physically.

It all comes down to my head once again.

I am not dieting for a competition, yet I want to look like I am….do you see a problem? I also want to gain muscle, and I have been, I am adding lean mass….do you still see the problem?

When I am on the stairmill, or when I walk my stairs at lunch (no running till my hamstring heals), I think about these things, what can I do to accomplish my goals, to feel good about my physique, and yet still enjoy life?

It’s easy when I am prepping for a competition, there is no question about it - it’s do or die. But when I am not, it’s a lot easier to slip here and there, time and time again, and it all adds up.

I decided there are several things I can do.

First- I need to stick to my “diet” except on occasion. I have been enjoying wine on weekends, and that makes my skin look loose, seriously, I tighten up when I haven’t had alcohol. And I am not talking about binge drinking, I am talking a few glasses of wine, any more than that now and I fall asleep.

I need to stop dipping into the bag of nuts. I keep a huge bag of raw almonds in my office; I eat them with certain meals. I can easily consume 5 of them, several times a day. That’s lots of extra calories. Sure- they are “good fats”, but nobody will look good eating too many calories!

I need to stay away from peanut butter and chocolate. Yes- I am back on “crack”- that peanut butter has got a strangle hold on me….I buy small dark chocolate disks at Whole Foods, they are the size of a nickel. I dip one or two…or three into peanut butter…oh my goodness……

I need to eat better dinners. David and Cooper like to have dinner with me, eating the same foods. But their food is not the food of the gods, Adonis it will not create. Oh I never eat their pasta, their rice, their potatoes, I can eat some of it, but there will be days that I really shouldn’t, like on the “rib” night, or the “super fatty fried in butter rib eye” night.

I need to realize that I have a well developed, proven, and effective meal plan for myself. I should stick to it.  So, I stopped all the snacks, they really add up. I also decided to eat my regular evening meal. When I train at night that would be a whey protein shake with a very small banana blended in and when I don’t train at night, it would be egg whites (1 cup) and some lean meat (2 ounces) and a whole bunch of vegetables.

One day later I look tighter. That’s all it takes, one day of eating right.

Wednesday morning I was at the gym, usually I would walk on the stairmill and train calves since I would meet Roy after work to train. He was out of town so it was squats on my own. I can do that, I do it every Saturday, but on the weekend I get to sleep in a bit longer and I have lots of time. Wednesday it was up at 4:00 am and I only had 1 hour and 10 minutes at most to train.

I have been super tight, I stretched a lot, I warmed up quite a bit, I took my time. It was 5:20 before I could even start with real weight, 135 pounds. 4 sets. 9, 9, 9, 10. All the way down to the ground, knees out, they have been buckling in as I ascend.

I finished with the hack squat, it was a great session.

In the locker room as I gathered my things I watch a woman step on the scale and stand there, staring at it. I said to her “You do the same thing I do. You get on the scale and stand there, just waiting for the dial to move to a lower number, you stand and stare, but it never moves huh? “

She laughed, we both laughed. Then she said “Yeah, but I don’t look like you when I get on the scale!”

She looked fine, but she was right, I did look good. That one day of sticking to it made a difference. It set things in motion, my head felt better, I felt on track, it gave me the mental boost I needed for another day just like the last. It created momentum for me to meet my goals.

Friday when I met Roy he said “You look leaner, did you start a diet?” I explained “sorta.  I basically quit snacking and was sticking to my diet, my healthy, clean diet. I tighten right up when I do that, I am down two pounds and that’s all it takes to make a difference in how I look.” I told him I just cannot stand being this “chubby”.

Both of those comments helped to create a momentum to keep me eating clean, to make me stick to it and not waver.

It got me thinking about creating momentum in the opposite direction, the direction none of us want to travel. One bad day can spiral into another and another and another. The cycle needs to be stopped. It’s easy to say “Oh well, I blew it yesterday, so what’s the difference if I do it again today?” it’s like saying  “I am five pounds overweight already, what’s the use in even trying to lose it?” That thinking will screw with your head, it will ensure that you do not succeed, don’t let that happen to you.

Remember that changes may take time depending on where you are and what you have been doing and for how long. If it’s a couple days of eating poorly, you will bounce right back. If it’s a couple years, or even centuries, it will take longer, but you will succeed, if you have the right mindset, if you can get the momentum going.

Remember- you have to start to finish.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Hurt Hams, Grateful Glutes

Yes the hams are still causing me a problem, but I start physical therapy in a week. At this point it's more mental than physical I think, at least it's hard for me to push myself, I have this horrible fear of tearing something and causing even more damage. I can feel the hamstring "pull" when I try to train, and it's bound to pull for a while, I just need to get past the fear and realize that.

Below is the standing work station I have for my office now, it is sitting outside my door, waiting to be assembled and moved in, my desk is way too heavy for me to move it on my own.

My doctor believes that sitting for long periods of time is causing me to have tight hip flexors and it is shortening my psoas. That, and then the contracted glute muscle seemed to have contributed to the hamstring strain I am now dealing with. 

Here is a very interesting article that was in the San Francisco Chronicle called "Firms take stand against sitting" describing the exact situation I am up against and how other Bay Area Companies are moving away from traditional desks and incorporating these standing work stations. You may want to consider one for your office or home!

I have been walking my stairs at lunch, taking them two at a time and this seems to be working my quads more than my hamstrings and glutes. When I would run them, I would need explosive posterior power, it's funny how the same exercise is changed so much by walking instead of running.

As you can see, the glutes, hamstrings and quads have come up, they have all increased in size and I have been able to maintain a reasonable bodyfat level. This area (hamstrings and quads) is one I have been working on for quite some time, I have naturally lean legs, this is considered by some a blessing, and by others a curse - just depends on how you look at it (I say it's a curse).

Before I hurt my left hamstring I was training them twice a week - heavy. I have to do that to make them grow, and as soon as I get clearance and can psych myself up, I will start back in. In fact, today I actually jogged to the Event Center to walk my stairs, and I had no pain. Of course, anything can change tomorrow, so I will need to assess how I feel when I wake up. 

Roy and I have been hitting the glutes since we need to avoid the hamstrings! Now, they are connected, so the hamstrings will be trained when training the glutes, but we can target specific areas and avoid specific areas. 

We are doing single leg hip thrusts,  and back extensions on the roman chair, both with weight. The hip thrusts were hard at first, in fact we started with only bodyweight as it pulled on my leg and my hip flexors were so tight, but on Monday we were up to 12 reps with 60 pounds, I have an Olympic bar across my hips with weight added. Thursday we add more weight, he said it all looked way too easy for me.

The back extensions are 12 reps again and I am holding a 35 pound plate, squeezing the glutes at the top of the movement. This hits the very top of the glutes.

I was a bit worried that my glutes would just "deflate" if I couldn't train hamstrings,  I really do prize my high round glutes and at the age of 51 have to fight tooth and nail to keep them where they are, so not only just maintaining status quo is difficult, but even more so is improving them!

But thank goodness I was wrong, we are progressing right along, glutes are fine and the hamstrings are getting some training, and that is what is needed to allow them to heal, there is nothing more that I can do except be patient, go easy and keep working them gently but consistently.

I think we are doing a fine job, what do you think?

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Turkey Tikka

Dieting, or “eating clean” as they say can get rather…boring at times. It doesn’t have to be though; you just need to use your imagination. Spices are your friend, they add nothing but flavor and the possibilities are endless!
A couple weeks ago I was chatting with Roy, or rather texting. He sent me a picture of his food, it looked wonderful! I asked him what it was and he said “chicken in spices and yogurt”…hmm, I can do that, low cal and delicious!
I asked him to get the recipe- he sent me this:

Not a lot of detail huh? But that’s ok, I can deal with that! As I say over and over, “Cooking is an art not a science”.
I made a change though, something else I always say “Rules are meant to be broken, they are merely guidelines for people who can’t figure out life on their own.”
I used turkey tenderloins! Ha ha ha!! I just happened to have them and I am also not a wasteful person, so I use what I have on hand.

I was home for the day; Cooper had his wisdom teeth pulled so I had time to putz around the house. Not ever having this dish, and only hearing from Roy that he enjoyed it, I just used my imagination as to correct measurements.

This is what I used, if you know anything about Chicken Tikka, feel free to let me know how I did!

I assembled my ingredients and this is the beautiful pallet of colors and spices.

I then smashed it all together to make a thick paste, sounded like the right thing to do.

I added in the Greek yogurt and again mixed it well to incorporate all the spices into the yogurt.

Then I added the turkey that I had cut into large pieces and made sure it was all well coated. I snapped a lid on it and put it in the refrigerator for two days. It was only supposed to stay for one, but I forgot about it! 

Roy said to bake it at 350 degrees and cover it with foil so it stayed moist.  I texted a picture when it was done and he said it looked right to him.

About that time I decided I should write about it so I asked him what it was called. He said: “Well, if you ordered it in a restaurant it would be called Chicken Tikka.” I laughed hysterically; I have seen the name many times and was always interested as I like the name.

Doesn’t Turkey Tikka sound better?

I like it, although I have no idea if it tastes like it is supposed to. It is mild, I was expecting something a bit spicier, so I added some sriracha sauce after I warmed it up to eat it, this was quite tasty.

You can serve this with any cooked plain green vegetable and I found it delightful with sautéed mixed cabbage (I have been eating a lot of that lately). If you eat starch then a sweet potato or brown rice is good also.

Monday, August 13, 2012


"The key that unlocks energy is desire. It's also the key to a long and interesting life. If we expect to create any drive, any real force within ourselves, we have to get excited.'
`Earl Nightingale 

'You can give in to the failure messages and be a bitter deadbeat of excuses. Or you can choose to be happy and positive and excited about life.'
`A.L. Williams

'Dreams get you into the future and add excitement to the present.'
`Robert Conklin

'Money was never a big motivation for me, except as a way to keep score. The real excitement is playing the game.'
`Donald Trump

'Get excited and enthusiastic about you own dream. This excitement is like a forest fire - you can smell it, taste it, and see it from a mile away.'
`Denis Waitley 

'It is always with excitement that I wake up in the morning wondering what my intuition will toss up to me, like gifts from the sea. I work with it and rely on it. It's my partner.'
`Dr. Jonas Salk