Friday, December 31, 2010

A New Year'sRevolution

Are you ready for 1/1/11?  I certainly am.  I don't know when I've stood on the threshold of a new year with as much enthusiasm as I feel today.  It's time to take the lid off of the issues I've been thinking and stewing about for the last two years and see if they're ready to come out.

Back in 2007,  like millions of other people around the world, I ordered and watched a DVD called "The Secret."  This was my first introduction to The Law of Attraction which, apparently,  every successful individual has been using to reach goals since, I don't know, maybe since the concept of goals was invented.  In a nut shell, the secret is that thoughts become things, and we get more of what we focus on.  It's not all that mystical really when you think about it.  Although dreams and desires and motivations may live in our hearts, thought is what makes them conscious and allows us to act on them.  Consciousness and clarity are key.

Looking Back at 2010

I have an e-book on my desktop called, "The Law of Success" by Napoleon Hill.  I was familiar with his book, "Think and Grow Rich" because I had read it about half way through two years ago.  A little background, I have always considered myself to be an underachiever.  The judgmental voice in my head has always enjoyed telling me, "With your advantages Catherine, you should have accomplished a lot more in your life by now."  When you have a voice like that in your head, believe me, you spend a lot of time reading self-help books.  Although I didn't get through "Think and Grow Rich," I stalled out at the mastermind concept, it was all well and good to visualize what I wanted, but to visualize along with other people?  Maybe as a woman I'm afraid of getting together with other women and visualizing because of what happened in Salem back in the 1600's, you know what I mean?  At any rate, what's nice about "The Law of Success" is that it breaks the success process down into 16 lessons.  Now we get to how this course applies to figure transformation.

Although the first chapter of "The Law of Success" deals with the aforementioned Mastermind Concept, which isn't really all that odd, it simply teaches that where two or more minds work in harmony much more can be accomplished than when we work alone.  (Gee, that kind of sounds like social support, doesn't it?)  It is the second chapter that I want to focus on today.  This chapter encourages the reader to have a "Definite  Chief Aim."  That beings us to the New Year's Revolution.  What better place to start practicing the principals of success than with your health and your body?  It's sensible, it's practical, and it works.  If you go back a few posts, you'll read how important it is to take a before picture to help insure your success.  This picture represents point A in your journey, but the Definite Chief Aim is your destination.  You must know where you are going if you're going to have any kind of confidence in your ability to get there.

I hear plenty of people say that New Year's Resolutions aren't very useful, but a Definite Chief Aim certainly is!  When I look back at the three Turbulence Training challenges I've placed in, my game plan has always started with a Definite Chief Aim.

What is your D.C.A.?  Make it vivid, specific, and most of all make it compelling.  Make sure it's something wonderful and desirable that will pull you along with it into the life you truly want.  Later, I'll write about why everyone around you will benefit when you reach your D.C.A for health.  For now I want you to dream big and dig deep.  If I can do it, you can.  And by the way, Happy New Year!

Monday, December 27, 2010

"The better is the enemy of the good." Volitaire

     There is something special about these days between Christmas and the new year.  They are often quiet days spent reading, thinking, or playing with toys if you're lucky enough to be a child.  This time of year tends to turn my head around as I seem to want to look forward and backward at the same time.  I'll have to look up Janus and see if he ever got anywhere in life.

    This time a year ago I made a simple promise to myself that no matter what, I would weigh less than 120 pounds on Jan. 1st of  2011.  I did it.  How wonderful.  It's interesting because I wrote right here on this blog that I wanted to lose the last ten pounds, which would have put me at 113.  That was the goal as of a few months ago, and I did not reach it.  I did come close though, and I took third place in the women over 40 category of the Turbulence Training transformation contest.  That was incredibly gratifying, especially as this group of challengers was one of the warmest and funniest ever.

     So now I have a choice.  I can look at the number 120 and consider it a failure or a success.  I don't think anyone will be surprised I'm choosing success.  It's true, 113 might look even better on me, but 120 looks good, and I intend to enjoy that fact to the utmost.  Next year at this time though, I fully intend to weigh 110, or evan a bit less.  If it worked last year there's a good chance it will work again!  What is the plan to make that happen?  Here's the formula:  E+M/T.  That stands for Eating plus Movement over Time.  The idea is to find the way of eating and the way of moving that keeps you advancing toward your weight goal over time.  As I meet more and more people who have reached their figure goals I become even more convinced that the foods that make up "E" and the exercises that make up "M" are highly individual.  There are some diets and workouts that work for many different people, but the closer you come to your ultimate goal the more individual and unique your efforts will be.  The key is to stay curious, and be willing to make a mistake from time to time.  Later, I'll come back and write about why I believe that a willingness to look foolish is the greatest indicator of your future success.  Now, it's time for lunch, and to take our son to spend his Christmas money.  (Now you know why this post will have to be just good enough for now.)

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Number One Tip for Fat Loss and Transformation Success

I love it when experts agree with me!  What do Dr. John Berardi, Jennifer Nicole Lee, and Timothy Ferris all cite as the first step to body transformation?  Take a before picture.  If I may wave my freak flag here a little, I know this to be true, as I've made the finals in the Turbulence Training Transformation Contest again.  Now, I am humbled to be included in this group of finalists as their success is stunning.  Two of the men set records for fat loss, where my weight loss was six pounds.  Not bad this close to my ultimate goal, but certainly not a record.  But back to the before picture, and my take on why taking and posting it is such a powerful tool for success.

The Before Picture is a Declaration of Self Acceptance and Intention.


It takes courage to pull on a swimsuit and pull out a camera.  When you're willing to stand under the lights and press the button you are willing to see yourself as you really are in that moment.  By posting the picture, whether it's on the refrigerator or on the internet, you acknowledge that you can see yourself and be seen without disaster occurring or lightning striking.  Then you can step into the gym without fear.  Or at least with a lot less fear.  You are making a statement that the person in the picture is worthy of the time and effort it will take to change.  The before picture is also a declaration that you believe you can change.  There is no way in the world I would have put my original before picture out there if I hadn't been convinced that I had the tools and enthusiasm to make my after picture far far better.

I will never be able to match the dramatic change I achieved back in 2008, but the ongoing improvements are incredibly satisfying.  However long it takes to reach 108 pounds and 18% body fat, by enjoying where I am right now I can make each workout and every meal a pleasure.  Speaking of workouts, TT Hardcore Fat Loss is definitely advancing my fitness skills.  I am now truly comfortable changing the bar height in the squat rack, getting the clips on and off of the barbell, and I'm getting closer every day to my first completely unassisted pull up.  If I'm going to be a trainer, I had better be able to load plates on a barbell, and do pull ups!  Here's Saturday's workout.

TT Hardcore Fat Loss
Day 5
Warm Up:  2 rounds
Y- Squat- 10 reps
Decline Push Ups- 8 reps
Bulgarian Split Squat- 8 reps/side
Spiderman Climb- 10 reps/side



1A) Clean and Press-  (3X5) 65 pounds
 B) 1- Leg Ball Jack Knife- (3X10)  I could only do 2 1 leg reps per side, so I finished with 15 two- legged reps per set.
2A) DB close grip press- 25'sX3X8
  B) BB Split Squat- 65 poundsX3X8reps
3 A) Pull Up- Band Assisted- 5repsX3 sets
  B) Dips- 8 repsX3 sets

Thursday, December 9, 2010

TT Buzz 45 Minutes Later!

I love this funny feeling I get after an intense workout!

So this is my first post to my blog since the end of the last TT Transformation  contest so what now?  First a new goal and a new deadline.  Even though 117 feels great, I've still got a pretty good tummy bulge, and my thighs and rear view aren't quite where I want them to be.  Besides, if I'm going to inspire people to fitness I want my figure to be, well, inspirational.  My new goal weight is 109, and I'm going for a body fat  percentage of 18.  My BMI at 109 lbs will be 20.6, and the research I've been doing lately indicates that there may be some extra advantages to having a BMI of 21.  Also, at 18% body fat my abs will surely be visible.  Now I promise that if I discover that I have to take silly drastic measures to get these results I will rework my goals!

The truth is that I do believe that an amazing physique can be developed, yes, even by someone like me, who has struggled with her weight all her life, with a balanced plan of eating and exercising.  Here's an important key.  By accepting where your weight and fitness level are at this moment, you can begin to fell happy about every indication of progress you get.  Just because my goal is 109, doesn't mean  I won't jump for  joy when I get to 116, because I will.  I was talking to my sister the other day about simply deciding to be beautiful now.  By accepting yourself completely in this moment, and treating yourself like the beautiful human being you are, you let go of limitations, and the smallest movement towards your goal becomes a cause for celebration.  Movement in the other direction?  Why not just let it go?  Life's just more fun that way.
 
Day 3
Warm up- 2 rounds
Y- Squat- 10 reps
Decline Push Ups- 8 reps
Bulgarian Split Squat- 8 reps/side
Spiderman Climb- 10 reps/side

The Workout:
1 A) Wide Squat: 3X8X bar only
  B) SB Jack knife 3X15 (Sub for crunch, this workout is from 2006 when SB crunches were still on the menu)
2 A) Front Squat- 3X8X bar only
   B) RDL 3X8Xbar+20lb
Bodyweight circuit- one round (This is week one after all.)
Y squat- 20
Diagonal lunge- 10 per side
inverted Row- 10
Burpees- 10

Finished with kicks, turns, leaps, and stretching.  It's wonderful what TT is doing for my technique and elevation.  It's so much easier to point your feet and hold your turn out when you're strong.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

My 12 week transformation Contest Results


Scroll down To See The Before and After Pictures

First, The Facts

Age- 46
Height- 5'1"
Starting Weight- 123 lbs. Weight at Finish- 117
Starting Body fat Percentage- Measurements by the same trainer at my gym at start and finish.
Start- 24.4% Finish- 21% on the nose.

Starting Measurements: 

Neck- 12"
Chest- 34"
Waist- 25"
Hip- 35.75
Thigh (widest point) 21"
Calf- 14.5"
Arm- 10.5

At Finish:
Neck- 11"
Chest- 33.5"
Waist- 23.5"
Hip- 34"
Thigh- (widest point) 19.5
Calf- 13.5
Arm- 10.5

(What really surprised the trainer who measured me was the drop in my neck and calf measurements. She said it was rare to see these continue to drop so much in someone who has been pursuing fat loss long term.)

So How Did I Do It?

It's not a Lifestyle. It's a Love Affair.

The key to permanent fat loss is the ability to find away of eating, and a way of moving, that allows you to reach your goals over time: without driving you insane. Back in April of 2008 I finally found a way of exercising that provided the right results and the right amount of challenge without sapping my time or my energy. As a matter of fact, Turbulence Training increased my energy and my feelings of well being to an extraordinary degree. The wonderful paradox of finding of finding the right training program is that the time you spend working the program pays you back in more time feeling happy and productive out in the world.  The three Turbulence Training Workouts that I used were:  TT For Meatheads 4X4, TT Resistance Evil, (No, I will never forget that one!) and an incredible workout for stripping off fat,  TT Adrenaline.

A Love Affair? Really?
Let's look at the facts. When you love something, you plan for it, make time for it, look forward to it, and yes even dress for it. I can't wait to get to the gym. It wasn't always this way. When I first started TT I felt awkward, weak, and sometimes even a little queasy after my interval workouts. After about a month of paying my dues, I hit my stride, and I can honestly say I've never looked back.

What About Eating?
I also believe that you've got to learn to love the way you eat. I established a calorie budget of 1400 calories (remember, I'm 5'1'), and I stuck with it 90% of the time. That makes for about 8 days out of 84 that were well over budget. How did I learn to love the way I ate? I am always on the lookout for satisfying food that fits my budget. By switching back and forth between low carb and high volume eating, with an occasional treat, I was able to keep heading in the right direction. Just the other day, I did one Eat Stop Eat fast to reset my appetite after Thanksgiving indulgences. I did try to incorporate sweets and wine into my eating plan, but a little more than halfway through the challenge I had to accept the fact that they were creating too much of an obstacle to overcome. Once I let go, and let them go, the whole process became so much easier.

You Gotta Have Friends.
Here is where I send my gratitude out to Craig Ballantine and everyone at TT Members.com. One of the biggest hurdles we face is the nagging feeling that the time we spend on fitness is self centered. By joining a community of like minded fitness fans, I found that working out and encouraging other exercisers was actually a generous thing to do. The good feeling I get by giving and receiving support makes me a far more pleasant person out in the real world! Also, when you're happy and you like the way you look, you don't have to buy and eat stuff to make you feel better. Of course, you'll probably need to buy new pants, or at least a belt.

A Word of Encouragement.
Accept yourself exactly as you are right now. Accept that you are worthy of the time, money, and energy it takes to feed and care for yourself properly. Treat yourself the way you would treat a child you love. Oh, and don't forget to play.
Attached Thumbnails


Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The Transformation Contest Ends Tomorrow!

On September 9th, 2010 I started the 9th  Turbulence Training Transformation Contest.  I weighed 123 pounds, and I was looking forward to doing the work I needed to do to get closer to my aspirational body.

 I'd had some warning about the rigors of taking off the last ten pounds, but I wanted to see if I could do it while still enjoying some of the more indulgent pleasures of life. (Like wine and chocolate) I had found a way of working out that I loved, I had scheduled all of my workouts for the 12 week contest, and I had several eating techniques planned to keep me within my calorie budget of around 1350 calories.  Well here we are 12 weeks later, and it looks like my total weight loss is going to be Six Pounds.  That's certainly better than zero pounds, but I had set my goal at 113 pounds or less.  I followed the advice that you have to aim for what you really want or the drive to succeed won't be powerful enough.  You also have to balance that with picking a realistic goal that doesn't set you up for failure.  Now a six pound weight loss over 12 weeks is certainly not failure.  It's halfway to success, and I have learned so much.


Patience and persistence are not cutting edge concepts.  They are qualities that parents have been trying to instill in their children ever since the world began I suspect.  I should have known.  I probably did know all along.  I will persist, and be patient, and finally see for myself what it takes to build the figure I dream about.

It's just going to take more time.

Here are the numbers from my final TT Adrenaline Workout:
Warm Up Circuit: 2 times through
Prisoner squat-12 reps
Arm Crosses- 10 each side
Close-Grip Push up- 8 reps
Prisoner Forward Lunge- 8 per side
Leg Swings- 15 per side
Spiderman Climb-  8 reps per side

Sprint- 15 sec.
Pushups- 7
sprint
Pull ups- 3
Sprint
SB Jack Knife-20
SB Leg Curl- 6/side
Sprint
X Body Mountain Climbers- 10/side
Split Squat- 10/side with 20lb dumb bells
Sprint
Stability Ball Plank- 30 seconds
Kettlebell Swing- 35 lb. dumb bell
Plus 2 bonus rounds of push ups and pull ups- 15/3, 15/5 (Assisted pull ups)

So there it is.  The more I think about it, the more I'm leaning toward the Hybrid Workout.  I really do want to get stronger and do a chin up!  That's it, I'm going to go order one of those straps.