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!