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.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Let's Get Down To Business

So if I'm going to lose the last ten pounds, I have to know exactly where I'm starting from, so here are the stats as of 6:00AM this morning:
Height: (This is not going to change:)) 5'1"
Weight- 119
Neck- 11.5"
Waist- 24"
Abdomen- (Right across the pooch I want to eliminate, very important!) 32"
Hip/Seat- (You know, the widest point) 35.5
Thigh- widest point- 20.5" My thighs are my personal mini storage for "energy" ie-fat
Now I realize these measurements may seem pretty low to someone of average height, but I am a shorty, and I am specifically going for my ideal body. I want to see what's possible, how hard it will be, and if it's worth it in the end. I've checked what my BMI will be, and it will be in the normal range. A few months ago, I read Daniel Coyle's "The Talent Code", and he wrote about how some of the very best coaches in the world are people who had a cherished goal and failed to reach it. These coaches become passionate about discovering where they went wrong, and learning how to teach their students to do better than they did. As a young woman, I spent 11 years pursuing an acting career in Los Angeles. Although I worked in the theatre all the time, I couldn't break into film and television in any significant way. I remember that when I could diet down below 120 lbs, right where I am now, I could easily get on camera jobs like non-union commercials, infomercials, and student films, but even though I would sometimes get a major audition, I couldn't land the job. Maybe the problem was my acting, but what I could never seem to do In the pursuit of my dream of a career was to stay at a weight that was similar to that of the young women who were working consistently. Yes, that was 15-20 years ago, but darn it, I still want to achieve that goal. My success may not launch a career in television, but it will give me the knowledge and insight to help others who have the same goal. Who knows, there could be a gifted young actor out there right now who just needs a little guidance, or a lot, to gain the body confidence to pursue her dreams. As far as overdoing it goes, and we all know that some actors go for shocking thinness nowadays, I will restrict my efforts to working with those who want to stay in the normal BMI range.
So now, it's time to conduct the grand experiment on myself! More on the nuts and bolts later.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Time to Drop the Last Ten Pounds

How many times have I pictured writing that title in my mind, and why haven't I written it before now? It's a matter of belief. Why would anyone take the time and trouble to burn up the the last ten pounds of fat if they thought it was an impossible dream? There is plenty of chatter out there confirming how hard it is to land on that scale number that brings shrieks of joy, "I did it!, by Jove I really did it!" Age, biology, environment, mindset, can all conspire to keep you away from that elusive place where skinny jeans glide on effortlessly, and abdominal muscles greet you when you look in the mirror in the morning. So why go there? Why try? Especially if, like me, you've never been genetically gifted or disciplined enough to get to your ideal before? It turns out that sometime in the last few months I began to believe that I could. What convinced me? What evidence did I have? What changed after all these years?
About two months ago, I did a new Turbulence Training workout known as TT Adrenaline. Craig Ballantyne developed the workout in response to an Australian study on obese women who did short intense sprint intervals, didn't change their eating habits, and lost significant amounts of weight, especially compared to the control group that did more traditional cardio. Here is the URL for an article describing the results of the study. You can bet I jumped at the chance to try it myself and see if it would work for me. Boy howdy, did it ever! I lost 2 pounds over the course of the 4 weeks I was following this workout, but even better was the change in my appearance. My shoulders and legs became noticeably more defined, and my waist got smaller. The persona I was showing to the world was changing from "kinda cute" to "clearly fit", and I began to believe that the image I had held in my imagination for so long could become the way I actually look. I know that there are so many more aspects of fitness to get right in order to release the last of the fat I don't want hanging around, but starting here and now, I believe I can do it, and if I can do it, I'll bet you can too.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Two Secrets to Permanent Fat Loss

Ever since January, I've been filling notebooks with whatever insights pop into my head about the fat loss journey I've been on for the past two and a half years. I've been dieting since I was ten, but it's only been since 2008 when I started usingTurbulence Training that I've had any success of a permanent nature. But random thoughts about that success won't really help anyone that much, so I had to set a deadline and have a goal to force me to to focus my attention and start to distill down what I've learned into clear ideas I can share. Oh look, the secret of setting a deadline slipped into this post, and it's not even one of the two secrets I'm writing about. There are two things you have to find in order to get the body you want to lead your life in; a way of eating that satisfies you within your calorie budget, and a way of moving that you deeply enjoy. I know that those two secrets cover a lot of possible eating plans and a lot of different exercise programs, but the critical words in the last sentence are satisfaction and enjoyment, and personally, I don't believe that you can get all of the way to your goal without them. You have to turn the quest for your own ideal body into a pleasure instead of a struggle. Can this be done? I know it can because I've done it, and not only am I not genetically gifted, I'm 5'1" tall middle aged mom. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to seek out the way of eating and moving that makes you happy enough over time that you can stay in the game until you reach your goal. I look around the gym, and I talk to my friends, and I see too much struggle and strain and not enough fun! It seems like so many people want to cram a year's worth of positive changes into one 90 minute cardio-pump class. At the same time they are trying to drastically restrict their calories enough to lose 20 pounds in 20 days. Perhaps what Im saying here is nothing new. It's just another way of saying, "Lifestyle Change". But wouldn't you agree that "Lifestyle Change" has become synonymous with, "No more fun, ever"? I am having fun. I insist on it, and I am not perfect. I love my workouts so I don't miss them, most of the time. I genuinely enjoy the foods I eat, and I get full without overeating, most of the time. The result is that every day I get a little bit closer to the ideal me I hold in my mind, and I'm having the time of my life.