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 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.
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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
Pull ups- 3
SB Jack Knife-20
SB Leg Curl- 6/side
X Body Mountain Climbers- 10/side
Split Squat- 10/side with 20lb dumb bells
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.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Follow Your Passion, All the Way to Your Goal Weight

For years I've been reading and hearing the phrase "Follow your Passion".  This, I've been assured is the path to excellence, even genius-  happiness, even wealth.  I always thought I knew what my passion was.  I loved to act, sing and dance, and I was good, sometimes very good.  The only thing standing in my way was my weight.  Let's face it, what do actors and dancers have in common?  That's right, slendrosity.  No, that's not a word, it's a way of being, and it's what I've been single-mindedly and passionately pursuing ever since I was a girl.  Only in the past two and a half years have the eating, moving, and thinking come together enough so that I could make lasting changes.

So where was my passion leading?

Ever since I decided to give that talk on transformation on November 17th, I've had a powerful feeling that I needed to have more to offer.  My audience deserved to hear from someone with more tools, technique, and credibility to back up her obvious enthusiasm.  Today I did it.  I made the commitment and bought the self-study course bundle for the ACE Personal Trainer Certification.  I went all the way and even paid for the exam.  I have to take it in the next twelve months or the funds are lost.  Take that procrastination!  The feeling I got from making this decision was, and is, amazing!  Life coach Martha Beck writes that you can tell a good decision from the feeling of freedom it gives you.  She calls it "Shackles Off".  I feel it, I really do!  I have worked so hard, happily, since April of 2008 to arrive at this point.  Ever since I wrote my first post to support a member over at  TT, I started to discover a powerful truth first hand.  We receive what we want for others.  I started this journey to build an aspirational body as a middle aged mom, trying to shed the baby fat that never came off, even after seven years of effort.  Now, I'm standing on the threshold of losing those elusive last five pounds, and I know that I want to be involved with fitness forever.  I have found the passion that makes it possible to pursue everything else you can hope for.  Fitness.  Ever since I won the second  Turbulence Training Transformation Contest back in 2008 I've been giving this advice to people who wanted to shape the body of their dreams:  "First, answer this question.  What do you want that beautiful body for?"  Find the reason behind the reason, and you can win.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

My Holiday Fat Loss Plan

So how many pounds does the average person gain over the holidays in the US?  I'm reading anywhere from one to ten pounds, with the most recent wisdom being that we don't gain that much, but that any weight we do gain tends to stick around.  The real problem is that , if you follow this pattern, that will put you on track for gaining ten pounds in a decade.  As I do not intend to go gently into that particular dark night, I have chosen to put a plan into action that will keep me headed in the right direction where my physical goals are concerned.  Now that I think about it, this kind of planning is just as important for my emotional well being too.  Missed workouts plus over eating equal sadness and frustration which I tend to take out on myself, my son, and my husband, and not necessarily in that order.  Since peace begins at home, I need a plan for the greater good.  As a matter of fact, I wrote out my holiday menu today, any one want to read it?
5oz. Turkey
1 Sweet Potato w/butter spray, maybe some cinnamon
1 Cup Green Peas (tradition!)
Mixed green salad with low calorie sugar free dressing
Sugar free chocolate mousse
Yum, yum, yum.  I am leaving out the stuffing, gravy, and cranberry jelly, but this looks like a fantastic meal to me!
I just went over to Fit Day and entered my eating plan for the whole day.  The calories came in at 1,585, and the nutrient balance is just about 40,30,30 with the 40% as protein.  That's about 300 more calories than I would be having on my fat loss plan.  I will also be doing theTurbulence Training Adrenaline Workout at home.
     One of the best things about a bigger holiday meal is that it can fuel muscle growth and crank up the metabolism at the same time.
I have come to a decision on wine and sugar. I had hoped to include an occasional glass of wine and a few sugary sweets over the holidays, but they just don't work for me. I simply cannot find a safe amount of either of these particular substances that I can consume without risking an episode of eating out of control. The sugar/wine roller coaster is a heck of a lot of fun when I first get on, but then I find that I can't get back off. How do I feel about this? Actually pretty good. All I have to do is consider the incredible gifts I get in return. Strength, vitality, and lasting feelings of well being. I have spent a lot of time away from sweets and wine over the past 3 years, and if I have to let them go completely in order to see all of my dreams come true, why wouldn't I let them go? Once you begin to see what freedom has in store for you, why would you choose anything else?
This all comes up because I allowed my self a big planned cheat after the talk on the 17th. By the way, my cheat after the photo shoot went just fine. I suppose that lulled me into a false sense of security. The cheat on the 17th spun out of control. Not. Worth. It. I was flying so high after the show I got scared and had to do something to bring myself back down.  All I can do now is learn from that experience.  It is time to break the pattern of reaching a fat loss goal, letting a cheat get out of control, and bouncing right back up over my old plateau weight.  Does this sound familiar to anyone?
     What will be my most important tools for preventing this scenario?  First of all, I will pick and schedule specific TT workouts to cover the period from now through January first.  Wait a minute, make that through Valentines day!  I will plan meals that include satisfying indulgences for the big celebration days. (Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Years Eve) This may be a little bit unusual, but I will make sure I do workouts at home on those big days to take advantage of the calorie bump.  Lastly, I will have to set a goal for my weight and body fat on February 15th.  I'll have to check the numbers tomorrow and post that later.  This year will be a time of hope, health, happiness, and togetherness.  By keeping my focus on the bigger ideas of love, peace, and giving I can help make these the happiest holidays ever.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Make the Most of your After Photos

When it comes to "after" photos, honesty isn't just the best policy, it's the only policy.  So if we're not going to give in to the temptations of Photo Shop, what are some of the things we can to to make our photo shoot the best it can be?  I'll be writing about my experience with a professional photographer today, but most of these tips apply to the pictures you take yourself.
#1. Practice your posing!  Put on what you're going to wear in your pictures, get in front of a mirror, and take a really good look at what you see.  Yes, you do have a good side, and if you can't figure out which it is, you haven't spent enough time in front of the mirror.  After years of dance and yoga classes it is easy for me to see that my right side looks slimmer and shapelier than my left.  If you are familiar with "Warrior Pose" try it with the right and then the left foot in front and you should see what I mean.  Your face probably has a good side too, and you can angle your body one way and your face the other, (Not too far, we want to see both of your eyes really well!).  If you're working with a photographer, you may want to write down notes about any poses you want to get.  In the excitement of the shoot I did forget some poses I wanted to try.
#2.  Know what you want to express.  There's a reason why the look on your face is called your expression!  All of the pride, happiness, and the pleasure of accomplishment should show in your face in an after photo.  How do you do this?  Just think about how your results make you feel, and that will come across to the camera.  Allow all of milestones you've passed and the new skills you've mastered to flash through your memory as you face the camera, and it will capture what you are feeling.  This means that if you're an intense kind of guy you don't have to smile if you don't want to!  Oh, and don't flex so hard or pull in your abs in so far that you end up with a less than comfortable expression, if you know what I mean. :)
#3.  The fun stuff!  Nothing on this list of little extras to help you look your best costs more than $10.00.
Arm and Hammer Whitening Booster- Squeeze it on top of your usual toothpaste.  Start using it a few days before the shoot.  So easy, and your teeth really will be whiter.
L'Oreal Sublime Bronze Self-Tanning Towlettes for body.  I use one on my face too, then I spray on Sublime Bronze ProPerfect Salon Airbrush Self Tanning mist on top of that. (Not in your face though!)  Start at least three days before the shoot, use the lighter color if you're naturally fair, and stop when you get the right color.  It does take a full hour to see the color develop.  The layering will give you a nice even bronzing.
Palmers Moisturizing Body Oil- rub it on just before you take your pictures- not too much, you can always add more.
A spray bottle of water- once again a light misting.
These are enhancements.  You don't want to be so tanned or so shiny that people notice that instead of you.  speaking of shiny, your forehead shouldn't be.  Go ahead and powder lightly if it is.  Guys, enlist female help, we love this stuff.  Well, at least I do but I'm real girlie.
Anything else, just ask.  The videotaping is tomorrow.  Holy cow, I can hardly wait!
To check out Turbulence Training, the fat loss program I used to make my transformation a reality Click Here!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Two Days to the Transformation Talk!

"Before" May of 2008
"After" 11/9/2010

Here is the very first post I put up on the message boards over at  Hello everyone, I'm Catherine, and I'm still shaking my head at my before pictures. I don't know if I've been fooling myself, or if my bathroom just has really good lighting, but enough is enough! Here's more good news:
Thigh- 24" (My waist used to be this small.)

My husband took my pictures yesterday,(bless his brave heart), so my official start was May 9th. I've started with the TT for fat loss intermediate level, and I'm going with a "nothing out of a bag or box" balanced eating plan. I've already set up my account on Fit Day. I'll add more details after the shock wears off. See you on the boards, Catherine
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I look at the woman in those pictures and I wonder, "Did she really believe that she could change her body that much, keep it off for two years, and have the time of her life while she was at it?"  Well, here I am, still at it, still learning, and so grateful for the opportunity to share my enthusiasm with anyone who has a similar dream.  (I noticed that I listed my height as 5'2".  I'm actually closer to 5'1".  Is there anything sillier to fudge than one's height?  It should be obvious to everyone how short I am!)  Argh!  Time flies when there's work to do and more to write.  More on the shoot later!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

A Time To Thank Our Veterans

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness. "

If I can express what this blog is about in a few words, I would say that it is about well being, and that by developing well being in body and mind we free ourselves to pursue happiness.  I would like to thank and honor our Veterans for their courage and dedication, and for their eagerness to use their gifts, talents, and abilities in the service of their country.  I am very aware that it is their willingness to protect the constitution of the United States of America that gives me the liberty to fulfill my dreams.  We all have different aspirations, and I am humbled when I think of the ideals that our Veterans aspire to, especially when compared to my quest to lose the last ten pounds!  It will have to be enough today for me to be grateful, as I enjoy this holiday with my family,  that we live under the peace of their protection.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Rewards and Realities

I have learned so much from the experience of preparing for the photo shoot over the past four weeks. I realize that I have approached it with the attitude of a curious amateur, and I encourage anyone who has toyed with the idea of booking a session with a trusted professional to take the plunge.
Four weeks ago, I weighed 119 pounds, and my measurements were:
Waist- 24" (Yes, I suck it in when I measure my waist!)
Abdomen-32" (Across "pooch")
Seat- 35.5" (Widest part)
Thigh- 20.5" (Widest part)
Calf- 14.5"

Yesterday morning I weighed 118 pounds, and my measurements were:
Neck- 11"
Waist- 24"

So what leaps out at me first is the very small weight loss. Only one pound over four weeks of serious commitment. Not to say that they were free of deviation, and I did experiment with my old friend chardonnay on several occasions during that time, but I really did think that I was in a calorie deficit 90% of the time. But then look at the inches lost, especially the amazing 2" off of my long time nemesis The Pooch! My waistline has never been much of a problem, but drop down two inches and what was stored there never wanted to budge. So what do I think explains the change? I toggled back and forth between Low Carb/High Volume eating, and even when I was eating high volume my carbs were relatively low. Also, except on days when I fell off the wagon, this was essentially a sugar free diet. What is hard is that, due to the bout of stomach flu I had, I was not able to keep a good record of what I ate from Saturday to Tuesday. What I can tell you is that I did eliminate all dairy for the final week, and that probably had something to do with flattening my stomach. Also, I made absolutely sure I got in more than eight glasses of water a day, often with fresh lemon juice added.
It's time to get Colin ready for school, and then head to yoga, but I'll be back with the products I used to look my best in the pictures.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Be Careful What You Wish For

So I've been wanting to get below 119, and see my tummy flatten out, and I got my wish. Stomach flu- yuck! Luckily it didn't hit until after I did  TT Adrenaline yesterday. Ugh, I nursed Colin through it on Thursday night and let him stay on the couch with TV and another Lego set on Friday. I think I'll download something trashy onto my iPhone and crawl into bed for several hours. I start to feel better, then I move around, try to eat something, and realize what a bad idea it was. But I did treat myself to a rare banana for the potassium, that was nice.
TT Adrenaline Workout B
Warm Up-
Prisoner Squat- 12 reps
Arm Crosses-10/side
Close grip push up- 8
Prisoner forward lunge- 8/side
Duck unders- 6/side
Leg Swings- 15/side
Spiderman Climb- 8/side
1A) Lunge Jump- 6/side
B) Inchworm- 6
C) KB snatch- 15lbX10/sideX3
2A) Bulgarian Split Squat- 10/sideX15lb dumb bells X3 (I remember when I used to do these with no weight at all!)
B)SB Jack knife push ups- 15
C) KB Swing- 20X25lbsX3
3 A) SB hip extension leg curl- 15X3
B) SB plank 60 sec.X3
C) Sprint- (3X8 sec. 12 sec. rest)
This workout definitely inspires me to work harder. I just have to finish those sprints. It's the drive toward mastery that keeps the reward greater than the effort.

     So I'm back after a Sunday of reading, a bit of foam rolling, and some very light chores.  I just entered my daily menu over at Fit Day, and I'm right back up to 1,200 calories, including a pear, a banana, and an ounce of almonds, which are some of the foods I've been missing lately.  I think I may have really stumbled onto something good with the idea of switching between low carb and high volume eating.  The key is to keep satisfaction high and boredom low.  I'll be in a low carb mode tomorrow to keep bloat at bay for pictures on Tuesday.  Yes, it's the return of the white bikini. The bottoms are new, as the old ones just don't fit anymore, and I ordered a similar suit in a smaller size as well.  I set my goal at 115 pounds six weeks ago, and it looks like I'll be coming in at 117/118.  That's just fine, as the number on the scale isn't everything, and I wanted to know what I could achieve at a reasonable calorie level for my height.  Hey, 117 was my senior prom weight, now that's something to be proud of at 46, and back then I was probably living on bagels and Tab!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Less Than One Week To the Photo Shoot!

   In the interest of motivational science I will be posting what I'm doing to get ready for the shoot on Tuesday with as much detail as possible. 

Yesterday was my last Turbulence Training Resistance Evil Workout  Farewell "Rez. E.", I loved getting to know you better. I was not feeling well yesterday. I think I picked something up at the Halloween carnival on Friday. Colin didn't get to trick or treat on Sunday because he was sick and had a fever. (Don't worry, we got him a 631 piece LEGO set to make up for it and he was quite content.) One thing I have noticed is that I often perform better when I feel a little bit "off". I think it's because it makes me focus on technique even more. This is true when I sing and dance as well. Here are the numbers-
Workout C
Warm up 2X through (See previous posts for warm up exercises)
KB Snatch- 15lbX10/sideX5sets
2A-DB RDL- 10X25sX3
2B- Triple Stop Push Ups- 8X3
3A- 1 Leg Squat- 10/sideX3
3B- Renegade Row- 15lbX10/sideX3 (I'm very proud of the progression on these.)
4 Triple Shoulder raise 10/move 10lbX10X3 for ex. 1 and 3- 5lbX10X3 for exercise 2
5A- Incline curl- 10lbsX8X3
5B- 1 arm overhead tricep extension- 7.4X10X3
5C- Hammer Curls- 10lb.X10X3

Yesterday's menu-The Nitty Gritty- This is what I want to know- "What did you eat?!"
I switched from Atkins back to high volume after breakfast. Lean and green plus fruit, no dairy, no grains, lots of water with a bit of fresh lemon juice in each glass. Under 1200 calories each day. Wish me luck and here goes:
Water with lemon- at least 10 glasses
2 egg omelet with 1/2 ounce brie
2 slices canadian bacon
coffee with 1T heavy cream
1/2 cup coconut milk beverage- unsweetened- 50 cal/cup. (Please note that this is "Coconut Milk Beverage", not coconut milk- that's like 500 calories per cup! I'm using this in my coffee to replace dairy.)
2oz. chicken breast, 2oz. lean ham, mixed green vegetables (6oz.) 2T salsa, low cal sugar and fat free dressing-2T, 1 medium honey crisp apple
2 chicken thighs- skin removed
7 oz. asparagus
6oz. mixed green salad w/2T low cal dressing
3T salsa
Try weighing your salad of lettuce, spinach, tomato and cucumber on a scale. You will probably be shocked to see how big it is. Find a low cal sugar free dressing you like and you will have a genuine secret weapon for keeping satisfaction up and hunger/cravings low.
Calories (Fit Day)- 1,189 (Remember, I'm only 5'1" and this is as low as I ever want to go on calories.)
So there it is, and I feel great today. My shoes for the DVD came yesterday- 4 inch beige patent leather pumps with a 1/2 inch platform under the ball of the foot. Yee-hah! Who am I trying to be, the "Charro" of transformation motivation?

I am setting the intention right now to get as much useful information as I can into this blog over the course of this week.  It will help me to stay focused, and I hope it will help anyone reading it to get or stay inspired.  Comment and ask questions if you like!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Only 11 Days to the Photo Shoot

     Only one more Turbulence Training Resistance Evil workout left in this series, and I will certainly miss this program! 
     Thursday's workout was great with progression on nearly all weights and reps, but today it was all I could do to keep up with last weeks numbers.
Warm-up: 2X through
Bodyweight Squats- 15
Arm Crosses- 12 each side
Stick ups- 10 reps
Prisoner Lunge- 10 each side
Offset Push Up- 8 each side
Leg Swings-15 reps/side
Psoas Stretch-20 sec./side
Workout A
KB Swings(30)-20lb,20lb,25lb
2(A) Split Jumps- 6/sideX3
2(B) Pull Up (assisted) 9,9,9
2(C) Spiderman Push Up- 7,7,7
3(A) BB Lunge- 10/sideX3-35lb
3(B) DB Row 15/side- 20lb.3(C) Decline Push Up- 15X3
4 KB swings- 30X25X3
 The last few days have been stressful and hectic, and even though I kept my calories where they should be, I didn't get much water in and I know better! Whenever my progress stalls falling behind on my water is usually one of the issues. Several times this week I've been faced with being hungry at the end of my meals. This is pretty typical as I rarely feel full 20 minutes after I start eating. It's usually more like 45. Sometimes I'll look up at the clock two hours after eating dinner and think, ok now I really feel full. I am getting a lot more skilled at being able to get up from the table and give myself time to feel satisfied before eating more. Mindfulness and awareness can be very helpful in halting overeating, but it takes a lot of focus. I do my best to stop and think about my short and long term goals and all of the pleasure i'll get out of reaching them. Thankfully I do believe that I will reach them, and that makes the discipline worth it.
As for today, it's 4:30 my time, and I've already had seven glasses of water, so that good habit is back in place. It's eleven days until the photo shoot so there's no more room for messing around. The scale just doesn't want to drop below 119, but if it was all smooth sailing, I wouldn't end up learning anything new from the experience.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Self-selected intensity

A few weeks ago, Craig Ballantyne did a fat loss call that cited the following research study on anxiety.  While I found it interesting and encouraging that exercise decreased anxiety in all three groups tested in  the study,  what really jumped up and danced on the table for me was the finding that subjective well being only increased in the groups that exercised at self selected intensity.   
     Ever since I started pursuing my physical transformation over two and a half years ago, I have been asking myself this question, "What do I truly want to get out of changing my body?".  As you can tell from the title of my blog, I was convinced that what I wanted was more beauty.  Beauty on the outside in the sense of a fit and appealing form and beauty on the inside in the sense of loving kindness, compassion, happiness, and boundless energy, but beauty seemed to sum it up nicely.  Over the past two years though, after winning TT Transformation Contest 2, I started wondering if there was something even deeper that I was pursuing, along with all the other people who were on the same road with me.  Quite frankly there are a lot of women, and men obviously, who are looking to do more than, "Get their pretty on", as my sister likes to say.  Just recently, while thinking about  the whole beauty issue, I did some research on a painting I've always loved, "La Source" by Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres.  I remember being simply floored by this painting when I first saw it years ago.  The subject is so calm, at ease in her body, and so completely lovely.  Add to that the fact that you can practically feel the water running through your own fingers it looks so real, and this painting creates an unforgettable visceral experience.  I always thought it moved me so much because the subject, "La Source" (which translates as , "The Spring" in English, with all of the extra connotations that the word spring adds,youth, growth, renewal) is so beautiful.  Then I read a comment, unfortunately the author wasn't listed, that cited the sense of "Perfect physical well-being" that this figure possesses.  "That's it!" I thought.  That's what I've been after all along.  It's the very same thing I see when I look at Da Vinci's "Mona Lisa".  It's not the mystery of her smile, it's her sense of perfect physical and emotional well being that makes her so compelling.
     Now do you see why the phrase, "Only cycling at self selected intensity enhanced positive well being" jumped up and bit me on the nose?  Eureka!  To enhance positive well being, the holy grail of my transformation quest, self selected intensity is best.  Which when I put it simply means that you only work as hard as you choose to.  No pain.  All gain.  Am I making too big of a leap with this?  We'll see on November 9th.
‎Br J Sports Med. 2008 Nov 19. State anxiety and subjective well-being responses to acute bouts of aerobic exercise in patients with depressive and anxiety disorders.
Aerobic exercise is associated with a reduction in state anxiety and an improvement in subjective well-being.
Researchers from Belgium studied 19 males and 29 females after 3 workouts.
20 minutes at self-selected intensity without HR feedback
20 minutes at self-selected intensity with HR feedback
20 minutes at the prescribed intensity of 50% of max HR
State anxiety and subjective well-being were evaluated using the State Anxiety Inventory and the Subjective Exercise Experiences Scale.
After 20 minutes cycling, patients showed significantly decreased state anxiety and negative affect in the three conditions – same in all conditions.
Only cycling at self-selected intensity enhanced positive well-being.
Depress Anxiety. 2008 Aug 26;25(8):689-699. Reducing anxiety sensitivity with exercise.
Researchers from Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas tested the belief that exercise helps in the treatment of anxiety. 60 people (suffereing from anxiety) were randomly assigned to
a 2-week exercise intervention
a 2-week exercise plus cognitive restructuring intervention
or a control condition.
Exercise led to better improvements in anxiety than control, but there were no added benefits of cognitive intervention.
Bottom Line: Going out and exercising at a nice pace makes you feel better. Two thumbs up for that!
Of course, serious issues should be brought up with a medical doctor.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

What happens when you finally like what you see in the mirror?

Starting week 3 of Turbulence Training Resistance Evil
Workout "A" The Hated
Warm Up- 2 times through
Arm Crosses- 12 each side
Stick ups- 10
Prisoner forward lunge- 10/side
Elevated Push Ups- 8/side
Leg Swings- 15 per side
Psoas Stretch- 20 sec. per side
Workout A:
KB swings- 30x20lbsx3 sets
2A) Split Jumps- 6,6,6
 B) Pull Up (Assisted) 9,9,9
 C) Spiderman Push up- 6,6,6
3 A) BB lunge- Bar, Bar, Bar- knee all the way to the floor on each rep.
  B) DB row- 20lbsX15x3
  C) Decline push ups- 15,15,15
4 KB swings- 25X30X30

     I increased reps or weight for all exercises except the BB lunge, finally taking me to the point where I wasn't exactly enjoying the last rep or two.  Actually, during my rests I was actively debating with myself whether I had enjoyed them or not.  I mean, if something takes a lot of effort and is uncomfortable, but still exhilarating because you are getting better at it, aren't you enjoying it in spite of the effort?
     Eating is going well with the low carb menu keeping me feeling contented throughout the day at an average of 1300 calories.  I must say I miss seeing the beautiful nutrition pie chart I would get at Fit Day when I was doing my high volume plan, but I'll be returning to it in a few weeks.  Yesterday, I put on the swim suit and shoes I'll be wearing for the shoot, and for the first time ever I was deeply happy with the person I saw in the mirror.  Even on my wedding day, my head was in such a whirl, and I think I remember wishing I was a little bit leaner.  Well, now I am, and it's  a strange and wonderful feeling.  I am approaching the place where nothing will be standing between me and the person I want to be anymore.  Honestly it leaves me feeling somewhat adrift. I'm also asking myself, why is it that I didn't figure this out until I was 44?  (That's when my transformation journey started, now I'm 46.)  Who knows what would have happened if I'd been able to get and stay lean when I was pursuing an acting career 20 years ago?  But then, I look at my husband and son and I know it all worked out the way it was supposed to.  Besides, "46 year old woman gets the figure of her dreams" is more interesting than, "24 year old girl loses 10 pounds."  Speaking of those last 10 pounds, since it's Thursday, I got on the scale- no change in my weight, but the measuring tape tells a different story.
Chest- 34"
Waist- 23.5"
High Hip/abdomen- 33"
Hip- widest point- 34.5"
Thigh- widest point- 20"
Calf- 14"
Arm- 10.5
Confession- After I took these measurements I googled around looking for celebrity measurements.  I have to laugh.  One of my most strongly held beliefs about being able to maintain your personal ideal body is that self acceptance is the first step on this particular journey of a thousand miles.  Clearly I'm still looking for validation outside myself.  That's all right for now.  In weight training and in life it's all about progression.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Right Back on the Horse

Here is yesterday's Resistance Evil Workout C

Warmup-2X through
Arm Crosses-12 each side
Prisoner Lunge-10 each side
Elevated Push Ups-8 per side
Leg Swings- 15 per side
Psoas Stretch- 20 seconds per side.

Workout C
1A) KB Snatch- 10/side- 10lbs, 12.5 lbs, 15lbs, 15 lbs (4 sets total)
2A) DB RDL- 20's, 25s' 25s
B) Triple Stop Push up- 5,5,6
3A) 1 leg squat- to bench- 9,9,9
B) Renegade Row- 10/side 10lb.X3
4 Triple Shoulder raise- 5lbs for all sets- I will definitely increase this next week, but I'm not very strong on the second movement.
5A) DB incline curl- 7.5s, 10s, 10sX 8 reps
B) 1 Arm Tri ex. 10/side- 7.5 lbsX3
C) DB hammer curl- 10/side 7.5sX3
Finished with a test of my plank- 1 minute 40 seconds, going for goal of two minutes.
A good workout with at least a bit of progression on most exercises. Even these relatively light weights are enough to cause visible changes in my body, which is so encouraging when you consider the goal of getting more people in the general population to train intensely with weights.
I am developing a theory, and I'm sure I'm far from the first to consider this, that the pleasure you get from your workouts has a profound effect on your progress. When Craig mentioned pain/pleasure in the video for workout A, I thought, here I go again disagreeing with Craig (like when I claim that, ultimately, finding a way of working out that you love is more important that diet for long term success) in that transformation works best when it's all pleasure. Let me explain! Take for example the spider man push up. Once you learn the technique and you can do even a few correctly, the first rep is all pleasure- the pleasure inherent in the movement itself. In other words, that first rep feels good right? As you do more reps the exercise may not feel as good physically, but it continues to feel good mentally because you know you're gaining strength and increasing your mastery of the movement. (In his book "Drive" Daniel Pink writes that the intrinsic motivation toward mastery often gets better results then working toward an external reward.) Oh! Time to walk Tippy, more later.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Did Anyone Get the Name of that Sugar Truck?

Did the fat loss planet go retrograde yesterday?  I got stressed while ordering new phone service, started with a few handfuls of mixed nuts, then half of Colin's leftover kit kat from the movies on Sunday, then...ugh.  My punishment will be having to do TT Resistance Evil  workout C with a sugar hangover.
Here is today's clean menu:
Breakfast- 2 eggs over 4 oz mixed spinach and mushrooms w/3T salsa, 2 slices canadian bacon, coffee w/half and half (2oz. over the course of the day)
Lunch- 4oz turkey breast, 7oz. mixed green salad, 7 oz. mixed green vegetable, salsa.
Dinner- 4 oz top sirloin, 7 oz. mixed green salad w/sugar free dressing, 7 oz. broccoli.
Opt. Honey crisp apple for a snack.
I will continue high volume until I weigh in on Thursday.  My plan was to switch back to measured Atkins induction on Oct. 26th (2 weeks before the shoot) I may switch back starting Friday if I don't see any change on the 21st.  I know that this is when I've really got to want it to get to the next level.
     Something significant did happen yesterday that may have contributed to my "Girls Gone Wild in the Kitchen" episode.  Two different women came up to me after yoga yesterday to comment on my weight loss. Both gave me lovely complements, one even saying that it looked like I'd had a breakthrough.  In the past, I have often had a serious episode of eating junk right after reaching an important goal.  I know it's the fear of change and responsibility that goes along with success that's operating here.  What is different now is that I want a life of health and happiness more than I want to avoid the work that goes along with it.  Besides, the work, (eating well, fitness, communicating,) is all made up of things I truly want to do.  If you find yourself faced with an episode like this I hope you can recognize it for what it is before before it gets in your way.  If not, learn from it and move on to something that makes you feel good again.

Friday, October 15, 2010

More Details

Gotta keep my promises! Here's yesterday's menu:
Breakfast- 2 eggs cooked with organic olive oil Pam,  4 oz mixed fresh spinach and mushrooms, 1/4 cup salsa, 2 slices lean canadian bacon.
Lunch- 4oz. turkey breast, 7oz mixed green salad with sugar free low calorie dressing, 6oz. fresh yellow squash cooked in Pam with 4T salsa, I Can't believe it's not Butter spray, 1 large honey crisp apple.
Snack- 2 slices turkey breast with mustard.
Dinner- 4 oz. chicken breast, 7oz. mixed green salad with sugar free dressing, 7oz. asparagus with 4T salsa and butter spray, 8 oz mixed berries w/2T sugar free cool whip and cinnamon.
Coffee/decaf w/ real cream- several cups= 2 oz heavy cream
Calories according to Fit Day- 1,284
This is a very high volume diet.  I'll have to post a picture to show you just how big lunch and dinner are.  The point for me is to get satisfied.  Thursday, today, is the day I get on the scale, and I'm still at the same weight as last week, but there are definitely places where I can make my menu even cleaner if I have to.  I followed the advice of a poster over at and tried on my smallest pair of jeans and they are definitely a bit looser, so I'm not going to stress over the lack of movement on the scale, just yet.  Wow, I am going to have to get up earlier in  order to post before walking Tippy.  It was so dark when I got up this morning that a walked right into him and nearly fell over.  Later: the workout, and how I got trough an emotional slump that was urging me to eat, eat eat!

Thursday, October 14, 2010


In anticipation of future success, I'd better start writing down what I'm eating and how I'm moving in order to get my results.  I did some research on line last night, and I found some good information, but a lot of it wasn't all that specific.  Besides, posting this info will help keep me ultra accountable, which will be very helpful.  I would definitely like to follow other bloggers who are doing something similar.
     Here are my menus for the past two days:
2 eggs served over spinach, mushrooms, and 1/4 cup salsa, 2 slices lean canadian bacon.
4 oz turkey breast, 7oz. mixed green salad with low calorie sugar free dressing, 4oz. cooked spinach w/salsa,1/2 cantaloupe w/2T sugar free cool whip and cinnamon.
4oz. chicken breast, 10oz broccoli and spinach w/salsa
Extras- 2oz cream for coffee, organic olive oil Pam, I can't Believe It's not butter spray, 8 glasses of water, 2- 0 calorie smart waters.
1,000 calories, way lower that my intention!
Tuesday's workout:  TT Resistance Evil Workout C
Warmup X 2
Bodyweight Squat- 15 reps
Arm Crosses- 12 per side
Stick Ups- 10 reps
Prisoner Forward Lunges- 10/side
Push Ups- 18
Leg Swings- 15 per side
Psoas Stretch- 20 seconds per side.
Oops, time flies, and it's tome to walk the dog, the rest later!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Mysteries of Appetite

Yesterday my appetite tanked. For some mysterious reason it was an effort to finish every meal I had planned. What in the world was going on, and how can I make it happen again? Honestly, I'm not sure I'm really crazy about the idea of eating only about 1,000 calories a day, because I don't want to have to keep that kind of calorie restriction up, and I don't want to risk slowing my metabolism down, but I definitely want to explore what caused this sudden change.
On Sunday, I did have a major "occasion" meal. I'm not crazy about the term "cheat" meal because it implies a deviation from from my goals and intentions, but I do believe that life has occasions that call for loosening the reins from time to time. At any rate, my cheat meal included a variety of foods I had been restricting for some time, including sweets, and two glasses of wine. On Monday, I switched from Atkins to a high volume/calorie tracking plan that had me coming in at 1400 calories, including the last two glasses of wine in the bottle. Dinner that night was a bit of a problem, as I wanted to keep eating even after I'd finished the amount of food I'd planned for. How did I handle this? I used the power of distraction. Distraction is a tool I would urge you to develop if you want to navigate the sometimes choppy waters of fat release. You're sitting in front of an excellent source of distraction right now. Some of my other favorites are reading books, magazines, anything from trash to philosophy depending on my mood. Another good one is to load a new podcast or audio on my iPod, and listen to something that entertains or motivates me while doing chores. So I was up from the table and out of the kitchen and all was well.
Now we come to Tuesday, and the surprising drop in appetite. Let's look at breakfast for clues. I had two eggs served over a bed of spinach and mushrooms that had been topped with salsa, sprayed with olive oil, and microwaved for 90 seconds. I also had two slices of lean canadian bacon. I was supposed to have a cup of cantaloupe as well, but I just didn't have room for it. After breakfast, I headed straight to the gym for TT Resistance Evil workout C. This is a challenging high volume/high intensity workout that had me feeling like rubber afterward. I think the combination of the high volume menu with the intense workout was the one two punch that knocked my appetite out. I will be very curious to see if the effect continues today. So to get it clear in my mind, and hopefully to be of help to anyone else out there who wants to quiet the siren song of their appetite, two main techniques are operating here. The combination of simple, abundant, low calorie food with an intense (but not too long, only 45 minutes including warm up, cool down, and stretching) workout reduced my appetite.
I am starting to form a theory that just as doing the same workout over and over looses its effectiveness, something similar may happen with the way we eat. All diets work, for a while. The question is why do they stop working, and what can we do to get fat release going again?

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Four Weeks to the Photo Shoot

 In exactly four weeks I will be suiting up in the famous white bikini.

 I'll have to take it in, and staring down the camera lens. 

What kind of self tanner should I use? 

Should I get my hair cut and colored a week before, or the day before? 

I'm 46, will I genuinely look good, or am I deluding myself? 

Can good lighting really hide cellulite?

 Whatever the answers are to those questions, I am committed, excited, and eager to do whatever it takes to make November 9th a great day.

So just what are my goals for November 9th, and how am I going to achieve them? First, I will be following a clean, high volume, nutrient dense eating plan that comes in at 1400 calories a day. Here is the complete nutrition plan:
My only "treats" will be an occasional glass of wine that I plan for ahead of time. My workouts for the next three weeks will be the Turbulence Training Resistance Evil program, followed by TT Adrenaline. I will enter my meals into Fit Day, and I will post my workouts and menus here, not just for accountability, but in the sincere hope that a reader or two out there might be inspired to go after their ideal body as well. As far as a target weight goes, this will allow me to lose 1 pound a week so my goal weight on picture day will be 115 lbs.
I seem to be running up against quite a few warnings about how hard it is to get lean and beautiful bodylines. Some trainers still write not just about effort, which I expect, but about pain and sacrifice. I just don't think pain is at all necessary, and how can giving up sweets and late nights in front of the TV be called a sacrifice when it makes me feel so good? Isn't it possible to enjoy this journey? I certainly think so, and I promise to let you know.
Update: Here is the result of the 4 week plan I followed:

 I'm writing a short series of posts on the topic: "The Three Biggest Myths About Weight Loss," and I'm getting ready to write about myth #2 today: "Move More."

Changing "move more" to "Train Better," made all the difference. The shift to resistance training and intervals allowed me to start burning fat. What's more, I began building the muscle that permanently changed my metabolism, helped improve my insulin sensitivity, and brought back my motivation and zest for life.
It's 2021 now, and good meatbolic health is more important than ever.
I hope you'll follow me as I commit to growing in strength and happiness, because I want you to experience the joy of developing more strength, flexibility, and balance in body and mind.
Be well, train for love, and eat for yourself, Catherine Best Gordon
Note: the Turbulence Training Program is still available here: Get Turbulence Training

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Have You Had the Dream?

Last night, I had a dream of my ideal body. I was in a theatre waiting to fly. If you've ever seen the musical, "Peter Pan", you'll know what kind of flying I'm talking about. You wear a belt with cables attached, get hoisted up, and away you go. In the dream I was the third person to fly, and when it was my turn, I flew right out of the theatre and into a beautiful spring day. The freedom was incredible, and I didn't come down until I landed to intervene in an argument between two beautiful teenage girls. I remember thinking in the dream, "What am I doing? These girls are just going to stop yelling at each other and go after me for interrupting their fight." But they didn't, as soon as I started talking to them, they started asking me questions: "How do you fly? Are you a dancer?"
Now for the interpretation. The flying out of the theatre represents the freedom to go out and take action in the world without fear. The two arguing teenagers represent the people I hope to inspire to change. Notice that they are beautiful already without changing, and that even though I'm afraid of them, they respond with interest and acceptance.
I am convinced that transformation begins with the belief that you will change for the better. This belief can be nurtured through visualization and dreaming. So please, during your busy day, take some time to dream up your own ideal. It's fun, it's free, and it works.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Start With Satisfying Food

"I can't get no satisfaction." The Rolling Stones
Where to start in the quest for the best body you can have? Experts like Craig Ballantyne, Dr. John Beratdi, and Brad Pilon agree. (Just google their names if they don't ring a bell.) You can't out train a bad diet so food comes first, but what kind of food? Diets, being restrictive by their very nature, almost always ban or limit certain foods, at least at times. Even the diets that encourage you to cheat your way thin require days of clean eating. By the way, I consider clean eating to consist of fresh, wholesome, unprocessed foods, but once again that's wide open for interpretation. One man may consider organic butter from grass fed cows to be "clean", while another would avoid dairy all together. What to do? Realize that once you are an adult the food you put in your mouth is your responsibility, and your choice. It is personal, and you, brave transforming individual, are on a quest to find the foods that satisfy you within your calorie budget. Ooops, I came out and took a stand there didn't I when I mentioned calorie budget? Here's more honesty, right now I am following Atkins ongoing weight loss, the low carb, full fat-allowing way of eating that continues to invite controversy as it's followers quietly drop pounds. If you read Atkins New Diet Revolution, you will see that Dr. Atkins didn't ask anyone to count calories, he simply asked people to eat until comfortably full, but as someone who can even overeat rich foods like prime rib and brie, I know that I need boundaries. Here's something interesting that I discovered. I tracked my calories for the first week of induction, allowing myself to get comfortably full, and guess what? My calories were coming in at around 1200 each day, a calorie deficit that has almost always allowed me to lose weight, no matter what I was eating. So what's going on here? This way of eating lets me reach satiety while keeping calories low. It's not either/or, it's both/and.
Let's take a closer look at satiety, which is defined as the state of being full. Satiey comes from the latin satis which means "enough". I believe that there are two crucial elements to fat release. You have to find a way of eating that lets you get up from the table when you're comfortably full, and a way of moving that you're consistently eager to do. To try to distill it down, I call it "Up from the table, and into the gym." Satiety is what gets you up from the table. You have to build a menu of foods that nourish, fill, and please you, at least most of the time. Even if you have an iron will, over time episodes of less than perfect eating are bound to occur whether you planned them, for example by allowing a cheat, or re-feed, or special occasion meal, or whether you didn't, for example when your flight gets cancelled, and you're caught famished at the airport. I'll close for now, as Tippy the Wonder Dog wants his walk, but I'll be back with more musings on satisfying food.