Wednesday, April 28, 2010

On Consistency...

How is it that 'pearls of wisdom' (in the form of words) appear just when you need them? Not that I'm struggling with my training or nutrition plan by any means...BUT, a random thought that pops into your head can take on a life of its own. For example, let's say that all of the sudden an urge to eat something that's not 'on plan' is sounding really the whole internal argument starts...well I've been doing so good that I could have just a little bite or the grand scheme of things, it's not going to hurt me any....SCCCCCCRRRREEECH...CRASH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Those last two words represented trying to 'stomp on the brakes and putting the thought out of your head, only to be derailed and give into the thought (urge) for that verboten (forbidden) item.

The short of that thought expressed above is to introduce a post on consistency that I found on a blog titled Thank YOU--Kari, for letting me post your post below...keep in mind that while it was written from a figure competitor's point of can apply this to whatever endeavor you're aspiring to train for...

Consistency by Kari Keenan

I know the secret to every competitor's success on stage ... it's CONSISTENCY. It's not some fancy training/cardio routine, it's not some complicated diet protocol, it's not the use of illegal substances, it's not some widely touted supplement ... it's just plain hard work and consistency.

Every competitor has a different plan that gets them to the stage. Different combinations of training, cardio, and diet work differently for each person, but the one thing that all winners have in common is a determination to succeed by working hard and by being consistent.

Consistency means sticking to the diet and training plan exactly. No deviations. The plan was written specifically for YOU by a trained professional, so why would you even think to question it? The diet is geared toward YOUR body's responses, so why would ask to substitute something? The entire protocol was developed for YOU to win ... to succeed ... so why wouldn't you follow it?

So many people question why their own methods aren't working, so they hire a trainer or a nutritionist or a coach. But when the professional gives them a customized plan, the person starts asking questions, trying to change it, to fit it to their current lifestyle. That's not how it works! You want to lose fat? Follow the diet! You want to get stronger? Follow the training plan! Simple as that!

But yet, for a lot of people, it's not that simple. Life gets in the way. There are parties to attend that have all kinds of yummy goodness to eat. There are luncheons at work at restaurants. There are events during the usual training time. For some people, these things can be show stoppers - reasons to not follow the diet or to train. What they really are ... are excuses.

They're excuses people give themselves for failing. They're excuses they give themselves so they don't have to take responsibility for not following the plan or making the progress they should have (or would have) made if they'd followed the plan. And then they wonder why they're not losing weight? Or getting stronger? Or getting leaner?

Consistency means holding yourself accountable and taking responsibility for your own actions. It means eating when and what you're supposed to eat. It means not skipping meals. It means not eating anything that's not on the diet plan. It means doing the exercises outlined on the training plan. It means doing the full amount and the kind of cardio at the designated times of day listed on the plan. It means not licking the spoon or the bowl after you make something that's not on your diet. It means drinking the amount of liquids you're supposed to drink each day.

In theory, this seems like such an easy, simple concept. But it's not, because life isn't consistent. That's no excuse for not making the diet and training consistent, though. The trick is making it a priority in your life. It's making your goals a priority.

So next time you find yourself about to lick some cookie batter off a spoon ... or trying to substitute almonds for olive oil ... or thinking about skipping the gym because you have a lot of homework ... or skipping a meal because you have a meeting at work ... or reaching to sample a piece of cake at a party ... think twice.

Think about your goals. Think about being consistent. Then think about being successful, and how good it feels to achieve your fitness goals.

THAT says it all...


Thursday, April 22, 2010

On discipline...

I was surfing through a variety of fitness blogs...I definitely have my favorites that I like to follow. Then I happened to click on the sidebar of one of these blogs, which is titled the Fighter Diet. It showcases the ramblings of a former figure competitor and fitness model by the name of Pauline Nordin. She marches to the beat of her own drummer/rhythm. She is 'ripped and shredded' to a degree that I really don't care to attain. But there is no denying that she has a smokin' body. I'd just like to see her with a 'softer' look--not quite so hard.

There was a recent post from her blog that made me really sit up and take notice. It was titled "How Do You Discipline Yourself?" It is reprised below:

"How Do You Discipline Yourself?" by Pauline Nordin

To discipline is not to punish. To discipline is to analyze what caused you to derail from your plan and then take proper actions in order to prevent it from reoccurring. If you go off your diet plan, it's not because you have no willpower, but willpower is not reliable. You can have a lot of willpower, but what happens those moments you simply don't really want to win the urge to cheat?

You let yourself cheat or go off your diet because you condition yourself into believing this will be the last time ever. It never is though, is it? You are always very strong and have high motivation after a slip; it's because you feel bad OR you are on a sugar high and think you are actually gonna make it this time. All is great until you binge again.

Successful dieting and fat loss comes from conscious thinking and reasoning. When the urge to eat appears in your mind, ask yourself why. What will eating do for you? What will that chocolate candy bar do for you beyond the pleasure of eating it that lasts for a minute or so? If you choose not to follow the mind's wish to eat it, what do you gain? You gain the first victory. You must gain many consecutive victories before your brain realizes that's how it works.

When you cheat, you condition your brain into knowing you will give in. If the urge is just strong enough, you will give in. Every time you cheat, you give the brain history information about how you tackle triggers...

Just like alcoholics are pretty much doomed to hang around other alcoholics if they want to quit drinking, you will have a tough time managing cravings if you sometimes give in, sometimes not. You must be consistent. When you are consistent, you know there is no darn way in the whole world you will derail from your plan of action and in knowing that you find strength. When you are not your own worst enemy, you find strength. You should not be scared of being left alone with the cookie box!

Throughout my years being into fitness, I've disciplined myself daily. I used to have chocolate bars, cookies, ice cream--yes all my triggers around me just to prove to myself that they would not affect me. I was close sometimes to give in of course. But it was practice--like being in school. I had all this junk food lying around until they became 'normal things' in my house. When I was not 'scared' of them, they lost their magic. Every day I told myself, "Pauline, you go ahead, you can have it all, but remember there is a consequence and don't tell yourself you have no idea why you are not as lean as you want."

Since I could not justify to myself to eat and blame 'bad genetics' or 'don't know why I don't get leaner, I do everything right--EVERYTHING. I just did not eat. I even tried to find reasons for giving in and enjoying some candy. I put up 10 arguments about it to see if I wanted it:

1. It tastes soooo good. 2. It's perfect time now when it's Friday and all. 3. It's comfy. 4. I love chocolate melting in my mouth. 5. So good when you watch TV. 6. Now is the perfect time. I have a shoot in a few weeks so if I want to have it, I must act NOW. 7. Tastes wonderfully good.

Then I ran out of arguments...Why should I eat that bar? It's only good for a little while - then what? I had trained myself off enjoying things that are momentary. I was interested in long-term beneficial enjoyments. The bar did not benefit me. And I realized that no food can help me if I use it for pleasure or to make me feel better.

It sickened me to know that giving into cravings was self-medicating. What was I medicating myself from: boredom? hunger? If it was hunger, I knew what to eat and that would not be sweets. Boredom: well get a life, eating for the fun factor? Well--that does not go well with my body ideals!

I still practice discipline. Every day. But now I don't need to work at it hard. It's second nature to me. When someone asks me, "but why not just have a bite of this tasty treat--it really won't affect you." No they are right. It won't damage my body at all, but what's in it for me? What do I gain? Why should I? And when the person's answer is "Well, because it tastes good!" I just cannot mean I am not an animal that just gives in to whatever urge or desire I feel right now, here and now...I am a thinking human being. I make decisions and commitments. And I am committed to myself and that I reassure every day by the discipline that I practice, my dedication 100%."

As Ava Cowan puts it so well in her own words - "Either you're in or you're out - period."

Thursday, April 15, 2010


Good Morning!


That phrase doesn't refer to how much food you put on your plate and eat. Rather it refers to your how much you put on your 'life's plate'. Are you piling on more than you can honestly handle? I sometimes find myself doing that. I get inspired, motivated, and excited to accomplish a variety of things--only to find out that what my brain dictates that I should do and what I actually accomplish are two very different things. It sometimes causes me to feel as though I've failed myself.

I found an interesting post on one of my special girlfriend's blogs. She has a perpetual calendar by Charles Stanley - a pastor, an author, and motivational speaker. It made a big impression on me and I thought I'd post it here below (she gave her blessing and I thank Charles Stanley as well).

Let me give a little bit of background on Angie's aspirations. She is turning 40 very soon and set a HUGE goal to run a 25K on 5/8/10. She announced her intentions back in December '09. GO GIRL!

Angie is also a wife, mom, and works full-time. BUSY as ever...with work and commitments to her family and church too. So--she has been blogging about her intentions and how she had to learn to scale them back. If you want to follow more of her story, click on the link below:


Those who have succeeded have not internalized their failures. They have not thought less of themselves personally for having failed. They have refused to think of themselves as failures or worthless. Failure is something they have done but not something they are. This is a huge difference. In some cases, failures have spurred them on to try harder or to explore new avenues. Those who allow failure to be internalized often give up in their failures and refuse to take the risk of failing again. One of the most important lessons you will ever learn is this: failure is something you do, not something you are."

I really needed to read that, as I have been feeling like a failure for switching to the 10K instead of the 25K. I've felt like I set this big goal, made it very public (it was in the DeMeester family Christmas letter, for Pete's sake!), and now I'm not fulfilling on it. I was feeling like I was a failure for that.

However, in seeing this, it's helped me to understand that I'm not a failure for changing my goal. I'm still reaching for something that was beyond my grasp 6 months ago. I'm still doing something many of my peers can't do (or maybe don't want to do! LOL!). I'm still doing something to better myself and stretch myself... to remind me I'm alive and blessed with the health to set a goal like a 10K. And, no one says I can't run longer later.. I plan to...just not on May 8.

So, I hope that post might speak to you like it spoke to me. If you internalize, like I've been known to - KNOCK IT OFF! :-) Failure is something we do, not something we are! :-)

To which I say "Amen, Angie!" You 'hit the nail on the head' with that one!

Rock your day!


Friday, April 9, 2010

The Saga of My Morning Workout - Friday - 4/9/10

Phew, folks--my sincere apologies to those who follow my blog...did you start to hear the crickets chirping? It's been so darn long since I've given an update! Time has been slipping through my fingers and just slip-sliding away in general! Life is GOOD & BUSY - both at home and work.

Anyway, I had the MOST awesome workout last Friday morning!!!! Now my workouts are usually great in general, but I asked my 'real-time' coach--Stephen (a fellow co-worker of mine)--to really make me train my shoulder/bum/legs/abs HARD! He obliged and I'm going to put a bit of a comedic spin on this...there's really no other way to look at it!

Here goes:

Disclaimer—this e-mail was typed while still giddy from an endorphin rush that is lasting better than 3.5 hours…please enjoy the entertainment provided below:

Good Morning & Happy Friday (4/9/10)!

4:55 am – Get to work. Pull open (or try to) women’s lockerroom door to find it’s on ‘lockdown’. Race to office, get 2 doorstops, prop doors open. E-mail Security Coordinator to let him know and re-set system.

5:05 am – Race downstairs to lunchroom – looking for an extra ‘energy injection’ to get through a workout that promises to ‘knock me on my bum’ (by my own request). Consider energy drink, but instead choose Diet MD…cheaper, faster energy fix…and this girl usually NEVER drinks Diet MD. I also had 2 scoops of Jack3d—a pre-amp…

5:25 am – Race out of the office to warm-up on the upright bike. Coach Stephen comes downstairs to find me and Jen—who usually shows up at 5:30-‘ish’…(read 5:40 am). No Jen today. This morning she confesses later on, “Hello my name is Jennifer and I’m an oversleeper”…

5:35 am – With warm-up complete, Coach proceeds to put me through a workout that emphasizes shoulders, backside, and hamstrings. Game is on! Here’s how the breakdown went:

Set 1
Deep Squat/Overhead Shoulder Press
Walking Lunges w/ side lateral raises
Ab Work (sorry--don't remember)

Set 2
Single Arm Overhead Presses
Stability Ball Leg Curls
Flutter Kicks/Scissor Kicks

Set 3
"Truck-Drivers" - 10# weight plate - front raise, rotate right/left, then down
Frontal Leg Hip Swings
Planks - start with hands under shoulders, then lower to right elbow, then left elbow, back up to right hand, then left hand

Set 4
Upright row, then rotation to overhead press, then back down to beginning (hard to explain - 6 ct. move)
Leg Curl Machine - 20 reps - full range of motion
Knee to Chest Pull-ins on stability ball

6:30 am I had to endure some additional comments from the “Peanut Gallery” (3 gentlemen who come in 4 mornings a week to work out together) about being the one to whine, instead of making someone else whine…fair enough—I did ask for this…I did some additional hammering when one of the guys (part of the 3 Musketeers) opened his mouth and invited me to join in the ab bench situps—he told me I had to do 50 so I said ‘whatever I do, you have to match’—he agreed. I did 35, then 50 (“Kim, you can stop”)—that was just fuel to my fire. I did 75…he started whining, so I stood right next to the bench and counted down by sets of 10 until he made the 75. His buddies just stood there laughing all the way. For the 2nd round, I still had 75 left in me – he did 35. See what raising 3 boys does to me! Then it was on to some bicep stuff – one of the 3 Musketeers calls it “B.A. Baracus” (Mr. T – “A” Team) – brachialis emphasis. I did 3 sets of 12 – 12# in each hand, then 20# in each hand, then 25# in each hand. Then up the stairs walks one of our senior executives, who proceeds to add his own commentary, but also with a smile and in good humor…he asked me if I have brothers who I had to keep up with…”no—but when you have 3 boys, that’s motivation enough”…more smiles from the senior executive.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Success Principles...

These priceless bits of information come from a document called the "Kekich's Credo".

I read them the other day and was so impressed that I wanted to share with YOU what I thought to be the top ten (there are 100 listed)!

Enjoy and try to apply them to your life TODAY :)

1. You are successful when you like who and what you are. Success includes achievement...while choosing and directing your own activities. It means enjoying intimate relationships and loving what you do in your life.

2. Cherish time, your most valuable resource. You can NEVER make up the time you lose. It's the most important value for any productive happy individual and it is the only limitation to all accomplishment. To waste time is to waste your life. The most important choices you'll ever make are how you use your time.

3. Rationalizations are generally convenient evasions of reality and are used as excuses for dishonest behavior, mistakes and/or laziness.

4. Always have lofty explicit goals and visualize them intensely. Assume the attitude that if you don’t reach your goals, you will literally die! This type of gun-to-your-head forced focus…survival pressure mindset, not matter how briefly used, stimulates your mind, forces you to use your time effectively…and illuminates new ways of getting things done.

5. Enthusiasm covers many deficiencies – and will make others want to associate with you.

6. No dream is too big. It takes almost the same amount of time and energy to manage tiny projects or businesses as it does to manage massive ones.

7. Don’t be preoccupied with things over which you have no control, and don’t take things personally.

8. Enjoy life. Treat it as an adventure. Care passionately about the outcome, but keep it in perspective. Things are seldom as bleak as they seem when they are going wrong – or as good as they seem when they are going well. Lighten up. You’ll live longer!

9. Identify exactly what it is you want. This takes a lot of thought. Then don’t let anything stand in your way of getting it.

10. Persistence is a sure path to success with quality activities. Never, EVER, EVER give up!

Finally--cold is on its way out...

...hahaha!!!! Sweating it out with these quad-plex workouts must have helped...thankfully the energy levels have remained intact!!!

Here's today's workout:

..ha!!! Sweating it out helped!!! Here's today's workout:

Group A:
1a) Seated DB Shoulder Press - 3 sets x 8-10 reps
1s/15# (eh) - 2s/15# (eh) - 3s/20# (eh)
1b) DB Front Alternate Front Raises - 3 sets x 8-10 reps
1s/10# (eh) - 2s/12# (eh) - 3s/15# (eh)
1c) SB Reverse Hypers - 3 sets x 12-20 reps
1s/20 reps - 2s/15 reps - 3s/12 reps (feeling it big-time in my back) so
I stretched really good after each set
1d) Short ROM push-ups/arms wide stance - 3 sets x 10 reps - KILLER!

Group B:
2a) Shoulder Press Machine - 3 sets x 8-10 reps
1s/30# - 2s/40# - 3s/45#
2b) Rear Delt Machine - 3 sets x 15-20 reps
1s/35# - 2s/40# - 3s/50#
2c) MB Plank Holds - 3 sets x 30 seconds/each set
2d) SB Alternating DB Chest Press - 3 sets x 12-15 reps (es)
1s/15# (eh) - 2s/20# (eh) - 3s/25# (eh)

Group C:
3a) DB Alternate Side Lateral Raises - 3 sets x 10-12 reps
1s/12# (eh) - 2s/15# (eh) - 3s/15# (eh)
3b) Contralateral Elbow to Knee Crunch - 3 sets x 20-25 reps
3c) 1-Arm Standing DB Overhead Press - 3 sets x 8-10 (each arm)
1s/12# (eh) - 2s/15# (eh) - 3s/20# (eh)
3d) Bodyweight Bicycle Abs - 3 sets x 30 seconds/set


Plans for the Weekend!!! Nothing major--LOTS of food prep--another 10# of chicken to be cooked for sure and a turkey breast too. Plus peel, cook, and mash plenty of sweet potatoes...make a big batch of protein pancakes...clean errands...transfer things to my new turquoise purse/wallet...RELAX, read, RELAX, watch "The Blind Side", RELAX...

Enjoy your weekend!


Thursday, March 25, 2010


...a warm and wonderful welcome to the spring season--a cold!!! I had a scheduled rest day on Wednesday and decided to take it. For the sake of moving this cold out of my system as quickly as possible... It's not holding me back from cranking it up in the gym tho!!!! Thank goodness for that!

Here's the workout I did this morning!

Group A: 3 sets of this group - doing one exercise right after the other with no rest between.
1a) BB Bent Rows - 3 sets x 8-12 reps
1s/50# - 2s/60# - 3s/70#
1b) DB Alternating Upright Rows - 3 sets x 10-12 reps
1s/15# (eh) - 2s/20# - (eh) - 3s/20# (eh)
1c) SB Hyperextensions - 3 sets x 10-15 reps
1s/15 - 2s/15 - 3s/15
1d) DB O/H Lockout Holds (for abs) - 3 times holding for 30 sec/time.

Group B: 3 sets of this group - doing one exercise right after the other with no rest between.
2a) Cable Lat Pulldowns (any grip) - 3 sets x 10-12 reps
1s/90# - 2s/110# - 3s - 110#
2b) SB Exchanges (a/k/a Ball Pass) - 3 sets x 10 reps
1s/12 - 2s/12 - 3s/10
2c) Bodyweight Alternating Supermans - 3 sets x 10-12 reps
1s/10 - 2s/10 - 3s/10
2d) DB Side Lateral Throws - 3 sets x 10 reps (es)
1s/10# - 2s/12# - 3s#/15#

Group C: 3 sets of this group - doing one exercise right after the other with no rest between.
3a) Seated Cable Rows - 3 sets x 8-10 reps
1s/80# - 2s/100# - 3s/110#
3b) Reverse Grip Pulldowns - 3 sets x 8-15 reps
1s/70# - 2s/75# - 3s/80#
3c) Cable Horizontal Rotations - 3 sets x 15 reps (es)
1s/20# - 2s/20# - 3s/20#
3d) 1-Legged Glute Bridges - 3 sets x 15 reps (each leg)
1s/15 - 2s/15 - 3s/15

By the end of Group C--I'm toasted! OK--off for my postworkout meal...back later today!!! Off to work with a box of Kleenex in tow!!!!

Rock your day!!!


Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Shakin' & Bakin'...

...ok, so this morning I certainly had good intentions of getting up early (4:30 am) so that I could get my workout started at 5:00 am. However, a whining dog that needed to be let out at 2:00 am disrupted my sleep...grrr...I had a hard time falling back to sleep and only did so at 4:00 am. By the time I woke up, the alarm clock said 5:30. So I dragged myself out of bed, got showered, and decided to try for mid-morning.

Aided by a little caffeine--here's what I cranked out in the gym today...

Group A
1a) DB 2 Arm Curl & Press - 3 sets x 8-10 reps
1s/10# (eh) - 2s/10# (eh) - 3s/12# (eh)
1b) Cable Standing Press - 3 sets x 8-10 reps
1s/60# - 2s/60# - 3s - 60# (moved up in weight on this one from last week)
1c) Frontal Plane Hip Swings - 3 x 15 reps (each leg)
1d) Bodyweight Alternating Lateral Lunges - 3 x 15 (each leg) - keeping these close & low to
the ground gets my heart rate up!

Group B
2a) DB Incline Press - 3 sets x 8-10 reps
1s/20# (eh) - 2s/25# (eh) - 3s/30# (eh) - moved in up weight
2b) 1-Arm Cable Press - 3 sets x 8-10 reps (each side)
1s/20# (eh) - 2s/20# (eh) - 3s/30# (eh) - moved up in weight from last week
2c) Alternating Bench Step-offs - 3 x 15 reps (each leg)
2d) Bodyweight Back-Reaching Lunges - 3 x 15 reps (each leg)

Group C

3a) DB Flat Bench Flyes - 3 sets x 10-12 reps
1s/15# (eh) - 2s/15# (eh) - 3s/20# (eh)
3b) Pushups on ball - 3 sets x 10 reps per set
3c) Low to High Cable Choppers - 3 x 15 reps (each side)
1s/20# - 2s/20# - 3s/30#
3d) Bodyweight Front Reach Lunges - 3 x 15 reps (each leg)

So--I accomplished getting through 3 sets of all 3 quad-plexes!!! Hooray!!!! These are tough--the idea is to generate as much 'sucking wind' as possible by the time you complete 3 circuits of each quad-plex. I rest about 2 minutes between each quad-plex before going at it again!!!! The muscle fatigue/rubbery leg feeling never fails to kick in around the middle of end of Group B. But pushing through is mandatory!!! (at least in my mind)...

Heading off tonight to watch the HCHS (Holland Christian High School) boys varsity bb team try to gun their way to another win in the quarterfinals tonight. Drivetime will be around 1.5 hours one way...argh...but of course--that's March Madness!!!!

More tomorrow!!!!


Monday, March 22, 2010

To Fast Before Cardio or Not...that is the question...

Should You Eat Before A Workout? by Tinamarie Guaglianone

I get this question from clients ALL the time, and almost everyday people ask me what I do before a workout. First I always tell my clients that if they are training 2 hours after they have been awake, then YES! They need to BREAK THE FAST! You can't expect to come to one of my sessions on an empty stomach first thing in the morning and get a great workout. Our body is in a fasted state when you wake up. Just like driving a car with no gas won't get you far...your belly is your tank and your food is your gas. And ladies--don't think you will burn more fat this way--YOU WON'T! Your body is smarter than you think!

The bottom line is this: when you eat carbohydrate-rich foods before you exercise, you will perform better--mentally and physically--during your workout. I am not saying to go inhale some donuts from Dunkin' Donuts or to have 3 bowls of cereal either! I am talking oats, whole-grain toast with some sugar-free jam, a Fit Green Goddess get my point!

The question then becomes - what works best for your body?

Do you have a sensitive stomach in the morning? Usually don't eat breakfast? Then choose low-fiber and low-fat foods before beginning your workout. Skip the peanut butter and high-fiber dry cereals before your workout. Fat and fiber hold food in the stomach longer and with your sensitive stomach, you want the food that you eat before a workout to be digested and out of your gut when you start exercise. Best low-fat, low-fiber foods:

*Low-fat yogurt
***Ezekiel Toast (try the cinnamon-swirl with raisins - it's delish)

Trying to burn fat? OK--so it is true that exercise on an empty stomach allows you to burn SOME fat during exercise. This does not mean a reduction in body fat. When your body is using carbohydrate to fuel exercise, it means that you are burning more calories per minute. When carbohydrate isn't available, your intensity drops-- both physically and mentally. Exercise on an empty stomach generally feels much harder. Choose a satisfying meal or snack, but keep the high-calorie additions to a minimum if you are trying to lose body fat. Give yourself 30-60 minutes to digest and then hit a high intensity workout. Best lower-calorie, carbohydrate-rich foods to blast fat:

*1/3 cup old-fashioned oatmeal, topped with 1 Tbsp. raisins and cinnamon
*Toast with light spread of almond butter and preserves
*Greek Yogurt with 1/2 cup Fit Green Goddess Granola

What about protein intake to build muscle?

Eating protein-rich foods before exercise won't necessarily lead to bigger muscles. Focus your attention on protein-rich chicken, salmon, turkey, and Greek Yogurt for after your workout when your muscles are more receptive to the powerful muscle-building effects of protein.

Before any workout, you need carbs. Carbohydrates are your "GAS" for exercise--especially high-intensity workouts like running and weight-lifting. You will blow through your glycogen (energy) stores during a run or heavy lifting workout. When glycogen levels get low, mental and physical energy will drop. When trying to build muscle, it's a good idea to incorporate small amounts of protein into every meal and snack, provided that you aren't sacrificing carbohydrates. Choose pre-workout meals and snacks that provide carbohydrate and a bit of protein for extra calories to build lean mass. Best muscle-building options:

*Hummus with cucumber and tomato slices on Ezekiel toast or an Ezekiel wrap
*Oatmeal with fruit and a 3-egg white omelet
*Baked yam & 4 oz. grilled chicken breast

Prime your body for exercise by choosing carbohydrate-rich foods for your pre-workout meal. When possible, give yourself at least 30 minutes to digest the food and absorb the nutrients. Experiment with which foods work best for your body.

And to answer your question...I (Tinamarie) workout around the same time each day which is between 10:30 am & 1:00 pm, because that is when I have the most energy. I have already had my Fit Green Goddess Shake and my Lara Bar (3 hours later) all before I workout, so I have enough stored carbs and energy for my runs and/or workouts.

Post-run or workout, I have either another shake (no fat added) and/or an Ezekiel wrap with a veggie burger and some veggies on the side and to top it off, a sliced pear or some Goji berries! YUM!

To those reading this post - only YOU know what works BEST for you! Everyone is different - so the suggestions here may not be for everyone. Every one's individual physique/internal chemistry is different.


Workout Conquered...

The phrase goes--"I came, I saw, I conquered"...yeah, I came to the gym, I saw the work that had to be done, and I conquered it!!!! Whootttt!!!

My training is a style called "Quad-Plex" Training - consisting of 4 exercises linked together in a group. These exercises have to be done one right after the other, with little or no rest inbetween. The objective is to go through the circuit at least 3-4 times before moving onto the next Quad-Plex. My biggest goal this week is to make it through 3 sets of each quad-plex.

Here's how my workout today broke down:

Group A - did 3 sets of all 4 exercises, one right after the other
1a) DB Chest Press - 3 sets x 8-10 reps/set
1s/20# (eh) - 2s/25# (eh) - 3s/30# (eh)
1b) DB Side Lateral Raises - 3 sets x 10-12 reps/set
1s/8# (eh) - 2s/10# (eh) - 3s/12# (eh)
1c) SB (stability ball) Ab Crunches - 3 sets x 15 - max reps
1d) SB (stability ball) straight leg lateral raises - 3 x 15 reps/each leg

Group B - did 3 sets of all 4 exercises, one right after the other
2a) DB Overhead Push Press - 3 sets x 15 reps
1s/12# (eh) - 2s/12# (eh) - 3s/12# (eh)
2b) SB (stability ball) Leg Curls - 3 sets x 15 reps
2c) Cable Pulldowns - 3 sets x 10-15 reps
1s/80# - 2s/100# - 3s/110#
2d) DB Alternating Bent Rows - 3 sets x 10 reps (each side)
1s/20# (eh) - 2s/20# (eh) - 3s/20# (eh)

Group C - did 3 sets of all 4 exercises, one right after the other
3a) BB Deadlifts - 3 sets x 8-10 reps
1s/50# - 2s/60# - 3s/70#
3b) DB Alternating Clean & Press - 3 sets x 8-10 reps
1s/10# - 2s/10# - 3s/10#
3c) Cable - High to Low Rotations - 3 sets x 10 reps (each side)
1s/20# - 2s/20# - 3s/20# (felt like such a weakling on these)
3d) SB (stability ball) Ab Crunches - 3 sets x 15 reps/set

The "weakling' feeling kicked after the 2nd set on the third Quad-Plex...I had all I could do to muster enough to get through the third round. There are still times when I feel as though I'm going to 'yack' (hurl, ralph, throw-up). It's just more of a mental thing that I need to push myself through! I'm getting there!!!!

Depending on the day--I may attempt to get on my rollerblades for a short spin around the parking lot here at work...just to get my legs under me and hopefully stay right-side up!!!!

OK--next post coming is about whether to do 'fasted' or 'non-fasted' cardio in the for this post goes to Tinamarie Guaglianone a/k/a "FitGreenGoddess". Here is the link to her website if you want to read more about her. She's such an awesome fit lady!!!

Rock your day!


Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happy St. Patrick's Day!!!

I owe this blog a long huge's been a very busy few days both at work and on the homefront. I promise I'll be back with the long overdue update concerning the workouts I've been doing and more!!!

If the sun is shining and it's really nice out wherever you are, GET OUT & MOVE!

More coming later!!!


Sunday, March 14, 2010

Quiet Weekend!

Hi there! Hope everyone is having a great weekend! It's been a pretty quiet and routine weekend for me...dh & I went to a boys' varsity BB game on Friday night. They won the district title in a very close game.

Saturday was spent doing the usual routine - getting groceries, doing laundry, cleaning the house, and setting up a new desktop computer (that's not the usual for a Saturday). But we were in dire need of a new one--our 'wheezer' was 10 years old and showing its age! The flat-panel monitor on this one takes up far less of the desk space--it's really nice! Our 'technology overhaul' is pretty well complete--except for bringing in our computer guy to tie up a few loose ends.

I did a cardio workout yesterday on the ARC Trainer (elliptical) for 60 minutes. Today is a rest day which I'll need before taking on another week full of taxing workouts! I have to remind myself this this is a new training routine and I'm going to feel a little winded and tired until my body adjusts (hopefully not too long).

Time to get ready for church! Back tomorrow!!!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Happy Friday!

The first week of the program is in the books!!!! Phew!!! I'll honestly and frankly say--I'm tired! Getting through two sets of all the groups of exercise was enough and I was really, really struggling by the end of the third group this morning to make it all the way through one set.

I decided that I needed a 'real-time' coach to push me through these workouts to make sure I am giving 150% honest Bailey's former owner (Stephen) has taken on that role. He is great in that he pushes enough to get out of me what I need to get done and quite often I'll go above and beyond that. After a few weeks--I'm thinking I'll be able to punch it on my own, but for now, going one workout at a time is the best way to take things.

So here was the workout. It's called MET Training because you're supposed to really generate a lot of 'oxygen debt' by doing the workout. Oh yes, it definitely works!

Group A - did 2 sets of the following quadplex...
1a) DB Flat Bench Press
1b) Tubing/Cable Chest Press
1c) Front Plane Hip Swings
1d) Bodyweight Alternate Lateral Reaching Lunges (I'm just not really proficient at these yet)

Group B - did 2 sets of the following quadplex...
2a) DB Incline Bench Press
2b) 1-Arm Chest Press on Cable Cross-over
2c) Bench Alternating Step-offs
2d) Body-Weight Back-Reaching Lunges

Group C - did only 1 set of this--I was just 'hitting the wall'
3a) DB Flat Flyes
3b) Pushups on ball
3c) Cable Choppers - low to high range of motion
3d) Walking Lunges

Repetitions varied from doing as little as 8-10 on the barbell or dumbbell exercises to doing up to 40 repetitions per leg on the walking lunges.

TOM was definitely a factor in my energy level today...yet as I'm sitting here over the lunch hour...I know NOW that net time no matter how much I feel like I'm melting down in that moment...I can always push ONE more time...because it's the EXTRA that you bring that gives you the EXTRA result. It boils down to ATTITUDE and CHOICE. Do you want to be just ordinary or do you want to be EXTRA-ordinary (Extraordinary)? Think about that one...I certainly am!!!!

Back to work I go!!!!


P.S. Kendall & Kaylin had a WONDERFUL day in Chicago yesterday. They rolled in about 10:00 pm last night, looking pleasantly exhausted after a day of 'hoofing' it around the city! It does a mom's heart good to see her son smiling from ear to ear!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Priceless Family Moment...

Hey there!

Back and recharged! I didn't sleep all that well last night...couldn't figure out why...until Auntie Flo came to visit...ugh...but now that that's underway...hopefully I'll get a full night!!!

Kicked boot-ay with my workout today! The eating plan remains pretty much the same day in and day out, so I'm not going to post a listing every day until I eat something different that is worth sharing with everyone. I bought 20# of chicken breasts on Tuesday that need to get out of the freezer, marinaded, and then on the grill on Saturday. I also want to make a ground white-meat turkey meatloaf, and some turkey burgers as well. Oh, and chop up a bunch of fresh produce such as assorted peppers, cukes, mushrooms, etc...try to get away from the processed, frozen, and convenience versions of veggies as much as possible!!!

Today was our youngest son's 22nd birthday...that's the baby! He's been working so hard at school and really had no special plans for spring break this week, other than to work full-time and earn $$$. So I plotted with his girlfriend. I bought round-trip tickets for the two of them from Holland to Chicago. I put together a backpack of sandwiches/snacks together that they could take on the train and around the city. I took his birthday card and put some $$, the ticket confirmation statement in there. I called his work supervisor on Monday to ask if Kendall could have the day off--to which he said 'no problem'! We managed to keep this a total surprise!

This morning he got up and came out into the living room looking for work clothes to wear in the clean laundry pile. I walked up to him, handed him the card, and said "Happy Birthday"! He opened it up, read the front of the card, and flipped it open to the inside. The money fell out and he said "Wow--what's this?" Then he opened the ticket confirmation. Due to sleep fog, his brain was still trying to assimilate everything! So I explained it all to him. I pointed out the backpack of food on the counter and he just tried to take it all in! He had this totally stunned look on his face at first, then broke out into a huge smile from ear to ear...I don't think he could quite believe that he had been totally kept in the dark. I told him to hurry up and get cleaned up as Kaylin (his girlfriend) was arriving at 7:00 am to pick him up! I turned to leave for work, he caught me in a bear hug and said "I Love You, Mom!" I just about lost it!!!! Hopefully they had a wonderful day--they should be home in the next hour so we can hear all about it!

It's such a great feeling and does a heart good to be able to do that for a loved one! Priceless...


Details, details, details! Yes I'll have to keep a very detailed record... not just of the training, but also the biofeedback from my body. Things such as:

1) Strength levels (within the workouts)
2) Energy levels (both within the workouts and throughout the day)
3) Hunger and appetite
4) Digestion/elimination patterns...tmi...
5) Sleep patterns
6) Concentration levels both inside and outside the gym & throughout the day.
7) How long each workout takes me to complete.

I only have to report in things that stand out as being different than what I'm used to...

Feedback to be provided on a bi-weekly basis so that tweaks can be made as needed...

And that's the rest of the story! All Systems GO!!!

Training Summary

The split goes like this: 2 days on, 1 day off, 2 days on, 2 days off. Training days = M/T/Th/F. Scott also requested that I add in an extra cardio day of 60 'stand-up' minutes. No biking!!! That would be Saturday! I can handle that!

Quad-Plex Training - Group A, Group B, Group C, Group D. There will be 4 different exercises in each group, done one right after the other with only 30-60 seconds of rest at the completion of each group of 4 exercises. I need to do 2-3 sets of each Group--ultimately working up to 4 sets per group. For example, I will do Group A 2-3 times in a row, rest for 2-3 minutes; then move to Group B and repeat the same process. I'll post the specific day exercises in another post.

I'm supposed to generate a 'tremendous amount of cardio output' (read 'bust my tookus' and 'sucking wind' on completion of all four exercises in each group). Bring it on!!!

The first exercise in each group is usually a barbell or dumbbell exercise so I have to do that with good form and not with speed. The remaining 3 exercises in each group will use either tubing, a stability ball, a medicine ball or bodyweight, and must be performed with speed--unless it is a balance movement.

The "Deets" (details) of the plan

Nutrition Summary - this is going to be a tight and super-CLEAN eating plan. I'm allowed to choose from a variety of protein and carb sources as well as an assortment of condiments/spices. BOO to the following items: all the typical processed foods, margarines, spreads, mayos, olives, avocados, mixes, canned goods, and cooking oils. I'm allowed a little EVOO consumption on a daily basis. The next list of items also have to go and I will miss them--but it's not a permanent life-long deprivation...cheese, dairy products (not that I consumed much of them except Greek yogurt), nuts & seeds (good-bye raw almonds) and desserts (not that I had much of anything on a regular basis) and fruit--that will hurt a little too.

A typical day of eating will look like this:

M1: 6 eggwhites or 1 cup non-fat cottage cheese
2 pouches Cream of Wheat, 2 Shredded Wheat, or 1.5 servings oatmeal
M2: 120 gms chicken breast or 1 can tuna (can alternate other protein sources such as turkey)
20 mini rice-cakes or 3 large rice-cakes or 120 gms yams or sweet potatoes
M3: 120 gms chicken breast or 1 can tuna (can alternate other protein sources such as turkey)
250 gms veggie mix or 20 mini rice-cakes, or 120 gms yams or sweet potatoes
M4: 120 gms chicken breast of 1 can tuna or 8 egg whites or 1 cup non-fat cottage cheese
Salad of greens, cucumbers, pepers, etc. and 1-2 Tblsps. of EVOO + Balsamic Vinegar
M5: 150 gms tuna or 1 cup nonfat cottage cheese
1/2 c. cooked brown rice and choice of green veggies

So--this is plenty of food. I'm to eat every 3 hours (ideally).

Supps: Zero-carb whey protein powder (in a pinch)
Essential Fatty Acids - 3 gms twice daily w/ 2nd dose at M5

Condiments allowed: Pam Cooking Spray, mustard (and mustard variations), ketchup, salsa, redhot sauce, Mrs. Dash, Crystal Light, Sugar Twin, Equal, Splenda, or Stevia, light soy sauce, any herbs/spices (not salted forms), Carb Options Sauces (bbq, teriyaki, steak sauce), any diet carbonated drinks.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


...took a rest day today--as called for on my training schedule!!! I will get back on here tomorrow to post up the rest of my training and nutrition well as the last few days of workouts...

Off to dreamland on time tonight....!!! I'll be fully re-charged and energized tomorrow!!!


Monday, March 8, 2010

It All Started with a "Bucket List"...

...titled "Fifty Things to Do Before I Turn 50"'s posted below...

Disclaimer--Lest you think that I'm going to accomplish all 50 of these things before I turn 50, you're nuts!!! (not really). The goal is to accomplish 10% or at least 5 of the things on the list...but I have a sense that you'll be seeing me tick off a few more than 5...

So--here's the list!

Spiritual Growth
1) Prayer & meditation time daily each morning
2) Read 1 spiritual growth book each month
3) Mentor young woman or teen girl

Relationship Growth
1) Date night at least every other week with DH
2) Spend time with each of the boys individually once a month
3) Girls' night out once a month.

Financial Growth
1) Pay off home equity loan by 7/1/2010
2) Cut monthly grocery expenses in half
3) Cushion of 6 months salary in savings
4) Build up retirement savings
5) Consider secondary (preferably passive) source of income
6) Save for downpayment on replacement vehicle for DH

Home Space
1) Reorganize and clean kitchen
2) Reorganize and clean master bedroom
3) Reorganize and clean Kurt's bedroom
4) Reorganize and clean Keith/Kendall's bedroom
5) Reorganize and clean hallway cupboard
6) Reorganize and clean master bathroom
7) Reorganize and clean laundry room - set up secondary pantry
8) Replace aging desktop computer - DONE!!! HP Desktop Computer - 3/9/2010
9) Replace broken laptop computer - DONE!!! Cherry-red Dell Laptop - 1/17/2010
10)Paint living/dining/kitchen area
11)Replace carpet/flooring in living room/kitchen areas
12)Plants flowers in outdoor landscape (did not accomplish this in '09)
13)Set up home office
14)Organize fitness library - have DH build shelving units
15)Reorganize and clean basement
16)Stain exterior trim on house
17)Reorganize and paint interior of garage - have DH building additional shelving as necessary

Professional Growth/Development
1) Return to school in Fall 2010 to pursue Bachelor's Degree--specifics to be determined
2) Attend 1 professional fitness seminar in 2010
3) Attend a personal growth seminar by a motivational speaker (Jack Canfield, T. Harv Eker)
4) Attend Jen Hendershott's Phat Camp in October 2010.
5) Organize work office space in a more orderly fashion

Personal Development
1) Weight stabilized in healthy range with bodyfat percentage in 15-17 percent range by 12/2010
2) Hire Scott Abel as my training coach - DONE - 2/19/2010 - program underway
3) Compete in figure comp before the end of 2010 if coach determines that I am ready
4) Competition suit designed by Passionfruit Designs
5) Earn National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) Personal Training Certification - in process
6) Take up yoga for injury prevention and increased flexibility
7) Set up home gym in basement
8) Reorganize and update working wardrobe
9) Establish skincare routine
10)Redo makeup for fresh look for new decade
11)Run 8 miles comfortably by the end of the year - do a 10K
12)Take a vacation by myself
13)Get an Ipod 32GB touch - DONE - 2/27/2010
14)Own 1-2 pairs of "Miss Me" jeans
15)Get bunions fixed in 2011
16)Be featured as a fitness success story in FitnessRx magazine.

So there it is...since I initially posted this in my thread in January, there have been a few more things accomplished as shown above.

I'd really like to post up the details of my nutrition and training plan, but that will have to keep for tomorrow. I need to get tomorrow's workout on paper. Early start at 4:45 am!


Finding My Path to Owning My Health...

So--you're probably wondering why the reason for this blog?

Well--I turn 50 in August 2010. I started this blog to chronicle my journey to share the details of what it's going to take to get in the best shape of my life--not just on the physical level, but also on the emotional and spiritual planes as well. The mind and body work in concert with one another--the mind sends the messages to the body that help it to function on a daily basis - on the physiological level, on the emotional level, and so many other different levels as well. This blog is going to capture some of what I am striving to achieve by August 2010. This journey isn't going to be achieved with some miraculous new 'fitness fix' - this is about doing the necessary work and THEN SOME to get to the desired destination.

I've been involved with the health/wellness field for 25+ years. I've acquired a lot of knowledge that I love to share with my family, my friends, my co-workers...and to anyone else who wants to tap into it. I will be the first to freely admit that I don't know it all. I'm a work-in-progress and that means opening myself to trying new things and moving out of my comfort zone. I kid you not-that can be so DARN hard at times. Who doesn't like to have control over every dimension of their life? But there is a phrase (Biblical verse) that goes "Walk by FAITH and not always by sight". That means being willing to surrender...totally. So easily said, so hard to do...(long slow exhale here)....

Before it gets any too heavy-duty here, on to post #3...and that's for tomorrow!!!! Have a great evening!

Welcome to my blog!!!

Welcome, ladies!!!!

I've been a 'regular' on the forums for nearly a year now. I keep a regular daily thread there and even have the honor of being the "Dear Diary" forum leader. It's so awesome to have a hand in inspiring women from all walks of life who have various fitness goals. Some are preparing for fitness competitions; others are getting in shape to be able to wear a bikini, others are preparing for an athletic event, and some are working really, really hard at making health/wellness a part of every day life! Whatever their goal--we have a common bond, a common goal. And that is to support, encourage, inspire, and motivate one another! Whether one is having a great day or a less-than-stellar day, there are no less than a dozen ladies who will 'listen' to you, celebrate with you, empathize when you vent, or share those sad moments with you.

The "Dear Diary" section isn't the only great section on the forum. Check out the sections on Fitness, Nutrition, and more too!

The fun starts here! Click on the link below:

You're invited to join in!

Post #2 to follow...I have a lot to say tonight...but my friends who know me well would probably tell me that's nothing