Tuesday, July 5, 2011


I was totally on a role, but have lost momentum at this point. Initially it was a FEMALE thing for just a couple of days which was all duable. However, one of my daughter's has had a serious injury and has been in /out of the doctor's office and dealing with a lot of pain. In the meantime, I am taking a break, because I think that it's just too much right now to do IT ALL. As much as I have always considered myself capable of doing a lot of things, I think it's not going to happen right now.

The goal for the competition is September 10, 2010, but It's on hold right now. I'm not sure when I'll post.
I just wanted to give everyone an update on what has happened.

Don't give up if YOU are in the groove!
Many of my past blogs can help if you are trying to lose fat, stay focused, and keep the momentum going.

Friday, June 24, 2011


NUMBER 1: Don't eat fat before a workout
NUMBER 2: Don't eat fat after a workout.
NUMBER 3: Don't give yourself excuses not to workout.
NUMBER 4: Don't let feelings sabotage your goal.

Tonight was a lesson learned. I didn't eat enough fat or enough calories today, so I was hungry tonight after our nightly constitution. I had two tablespoons of peanut butter and 2 oz of chicken. What a big mistake. Certainly I could have done without the extra fat calories, even though I'm glad that the fat I ate was a good fat. Wow! did it effect my kettlebell workout tonight. I seriously didn't want to workout, and then the peanut butter was rolling around in my stomach while I was swinging the kettlebell. I was NOT comfortable at all. It was a struggle getting through the hour.

I have read that it is not good to eat fat before or after a workout, because it effects the body's ability to lose fat. While good fats are absolutely necessary and good for the body and for losing weight, they are not supposed to be good to eat pre and post workout. I am usually very careful about this. Anyway, I paid the price. Not only was my body not happy with me, but I was very busy in my head trying to make a good enough excuse why I shouldn't workout.

I started thinking that I'll never get in as good of shape as I did for the last competition. Then, I started to think that I'm going to be one year older from the last competition, and since I'm already 43 I can't possibly go onstage at that age. I'm really good at making excellent excuses, but I decided that my feelings weren't going to rule my actions. About 3/4 of the way through the workout I got energized and excited again. I was no longer feeling low and defeated. Since my mood changed so much, I decided to add 3 sets of hamstring curls and 3 sets of donkey calf raises to the end of my workout.

Also, after talking with Paul Daniels from www.thebodywarehouse.com  today, I decided that I'll go online and decide the exact deadline of the competition I want to enter. As he says, at least I will have a more definitive end point. I think that it will help on days like this when I all of a sudden felt defeated.

Eats Today:
830am: same smoothie
11am: pear and hardboiled egg
130pm: 3-4 oz chicken, salsa, 1/2 sweet potato
315pm: 1 Promax bar
6pm: 4 oz grilled chicken with seasoning and root vegetables
7:30pm: 2 Tbs peanut butter & 2 oz of chicken

Workout Today:
50 minutes Kettlebell workout consisting of the following sets:
4 sets of 25 double arm swings.
4 sets of the following combination: 10 alternating swings, 10 alternating clean and presses, 10 kettlebell swings, 5 high pulls each side, 10 kettlebells swings, 10 kettlebell squats, 10 bent over rows each side.
4 sets of the following combination: 10 kettlebell swings with 2 kettlebells, then 5 double kettlebell cleans,
40 lunges without the kettlebell (20 each side), 5 bicep curls, 5 overhead tricep extensions.
3 sets of hamstring curls on our machine and 3 sets of donkey calf raises, no extra weight on the machine.

I will post my deadline tomorrow. Until then,
Sleep well,
Eat well,
Work hard,
Play hard.

...as my 6 year old daughter reminds me, "...things done in halves are never done well."

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Is Diet or Exercise More Important?

Obviously both exercise and diet are important if the goal is to transform the body. But there are times when diet is more important than exercise and vise verse.

Tonight was a great example of a time when diet was more important than exercise. My husband and I went to an amazing dinner party where the dinner and desserts were rich and delicious looking, but I didn't take a bite. I wouldn't, because eating foods outside my diet would really set me back. It's easy to show a net gain of 2 lbs on the scale the next morning and have to take a week to get back on track. However, not working out tonight would be less of an issue, because I work out enough during the week. I can always workout throughout the weekend to make sure I get in 6 days / week of workouts.

Ultimately if the goal is to simply lose weight either one must cut back on the calorie intake or start exercising if one has not been doing so. But a person wouldn't be able to eat more and exercise if a loss of weight is the goal. If a person simply drops the calories, the body will surely lose weight, but the body will not be toned, and if one is heavy enough, the skin will most likely droop in places on the body. If one works out with resistance weights, then the skin has an opportunity to shrink and potentially not sag.

Years ago, a friend of the family lost over 100 lbs with dieting alone, no exercise. Her body was smaller, looked better in clothes, but her skin was very droopy. Yet, if you pick up an Oxygen fitness magazine and see the before and after shots of people losing a large amount of weight, the skin either doesn't sag or not  a lot, because they do resistance and cardio training as well as diet.

So, in different ways exercise is important because it speeds up the metabolism, allows the body to burn calories longer throughout the day, and can reduce the skin from sagging after losing a lot of weight. (This is another reason why kettlebell is a very good exercise. It not only increases your metabolism, but also provides an excellent resistant form of exercise).

On the other hand, diet is critical to losing weight faster, and if the diet mostly consists of lean meats, good fats, leafy and root vegetables ....the transformation may be more impressive than just lowering the overall calorie intake.

What I ate today:
830am: same smoothie as usual
11am: pear and hard boiled egg
1pm: salsa, 1/2 sweet potato, 4 oz chicken strips from Costco
3pm: 1 Promax chocolate chip bar
5:30pm: salsa, 1/2 sweet potato, 4 oz chicken strips from Costco. I ate this meal in the car on the way to pick  up my daughter from the gym. 6:30pm was the dinner party I attended.

No Workout tonight.

It wasn't so hard staying away from all the delicious food at the party tonight. The difficult part is going home thinking that this is just one of 90+ days I will be doing this....

I am not driving myself nuts being so strict. I think the challenge of seeing how far I can push myself, and deal with tension is just so fascinating. The reward is that I've conquered just one more obstacle or got that much better than ever did before.


Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Protein Supplements vs. Home Made Food

I love supplements! I especially love Promax Bars. I tried a new one today called Peanut Butter Crunch. Yum! The only thing is that I had it for dinner on the way home from picking up my daughter from a writing and reading class which ends at 5:30pm. Dinner is at 5:30pm for me. Sometimes I can hold off until 6pm, but not tonight. I packed a protein bar in my purse just in case I couldn't make it home in time.

While I was driving home I started to visualize having a nice piece of chicken and green beans. A real home made dinner sounded so much better and so much more fulfilling at that time of day. I knew it would have been better for me and more satisfying, but the bar would at least do. I know this all sounds confusing, because I previously said how much I love supplements. The problem is that I don't like them at certain times of the day. For a snack, bars are great! And they are especially wonderful when I didn't pack enough home made meals. Otherwise, I much prefer to eat what I make from home. It's more satisfying mentally and physically. The duration home made food lasts in body is definitely longer. For instance, I can have a 1/2 of a yam, salsa, and chicken, and that will sustain my needs much longer than a bar. The taste is richer and more complex, which I'm sure translates into providing my body with mroe complex nutrients.

In the morning, I love having my vanilla flavored Lean Complex protein in my morning smoothie. The smoothie wouldn't be the same without it. It's the taste which enhances the flavors of the banana and the protein. I've tried the smoothie with rice milk, soy milk, and nonfat milk, but it's not at all the same in texture and flavor.

I think the two supplements I use, for the purpose I use them for, serves me well in their nutritional profile and quality. However, I still think that if one is making a choice, GO FOR THE REAL FOOD. Pop in the microwave for 7-10 minutes a yam, or sweet potato. Cut it in half, take the skin off, and top it with some salsa or Asian seasoning or whatever, and add 3-4 oz of chicken and seriously it's the best. If I was working outside the home in an office, I would take 3 meals with me to work, and this one would be my lunch. The other two would be a Chubani Yogurt and 10 salt free nuts, and a protein bar. How easy is that to pack?

Costco on Technology in Irvine is now selling the Chubani Yogurt (I don't think this is the correct spelling). It's Greek yogurt and the nutritional profile is amazing. Also, once every 6 weeks the Promax bars go on sale at Ralphs. If they are not all gone, I usually buy most of them for $1.00 each. Normally they are $1.49-$1.69 each. I have 4 cases in my house right now. Oh! I forgot to mention...I eat the vanilla Chubani Yogurt and not the flavored ones. However, my husband, who is a body builder eats the fruit flavored ones and he seems to win competitions. I stay away from them because of the added carbohydrates, but it doesn't seem to phase him.

Today's Eats:
8am: peanut butter, banana, protein, ice, and water smoothie.
1030am: 1 pear & 1 hard boiled egg
1pm: left over taco salad with a little more ground turkey from a different leftover.
3pm: my favorite chocolate chip Promax bar.
530pm: by default.....another Promax bar (Peanut Butter Crunch)

Workout Tonight:
30 minute treadmill run and 5 minutes of walking

Tomorrow I may not workout. We are going out tomorrow evening, and since I workout 6 days a week, one day off will not hurt and will probably be good for the body. If I feel guilty, I'll probably take it as my day off for the week and workout on Saturday.

...And YES I'm a little hungry right now. The protein bar this evening wasn't as filling as the meal I intended to have. I'm going to get some water right now to help fill the tummy.


Tuesday, June 21, 2011

It's a big waiting game, isn't it?

I should have titled it, "it's a big wait-weighing game." The reality is that eating well and working out are relatively easy in the sense that one can figure out what to eat at each meal without much trouble, and 30 minutes minimum of an intense workout can be accomplished daily. The truly grueling part is not seeing daily instant results that I can visually see, and say, "wow! I really made improvement today!" It would be great if I could look at myself naked in the mirror and feel that momentary satisfaction that could keep me going for the next 3-4 months.

Unfortunately, it's not going to happen. So what does one do? Well, like most people we know or are like, we can just find a weak moment in the day and just give in to a little snacky pie, or a dinner outing, or a shower without a workout that day.

If one chooses to dismiss the feeling of being bored and feels that having something to do or anything to do...because one can't stand the place they are in within at that particular moment, then the battle is lost.

The whole point of the matter is more than losing weight. It's really about how to do without the preoccupation of needing to do something to make one feel more ampt up, distracted, and in constant motion.

One shouldn't try to fill up the space again  with something that is not serving the end point. Being okay with the way things are when one has done everything possible that day is okay. TIME will take care of the rest. But TIME is the most important part of the process.

Tonight was one of those nights I had to look at myself and say "don't do anything!" Just doing what I needed to do today inspite of what I WANTED was probably the most challenging and most important.
I didn't want to work out. My body was tired. So, I went downstairs and put in almost 1 hour of kettlebell training, even though I was expecting 30 minutes from myself. Also, I really wanted more food tonight, so instead I ate 1 tsp of peanut butter and drank lots of water.

What I ate today:
830am: peanut butter, protein powder, ice, water, banana smoothie
11am: 1 pear & 1 hard boiled egg
1pm: taco salad from last night
3pm: Promax chocolate chip protein bar
5:45pm: 2 lean ground turkey, salsa, corn tortilla tacos
7pm: 1 tsp peanut butter

Workout Tonight:
833pm: Kettlebell workout:
4 sets of 25 two arm kettlebell swings.
4 sets of the following combinations with rests in between each set: 10, 10, 15, 15 -two kettlebell deadlifts, 10 alternating swings, 10 two arm swings, 10 alternating clean and presses, 5-10 swings, 40 lunges without the kettlebell (20 each side).
4 sets of the following combinations with rests in between each set: 10-16 total of two kettlebell alternating rows from a push-up position, followed by 20 fast squat-to-stand without the kettlebell.
4 sets of sit ups using the large yoga ball.

...then as fast as I could I went upstairs to shower, so I could have lots of time to just sit and relax!!!!


Monday, June 20, 2011

Classes vs. Home Workouts

As long as I'm working out consistently it really doesn't matter where I am doing it. This month I have chosen to workout at home as opposed to go to my kettlebell classes with Paul Daniels from www.thebodywarehouse.com. I love his classes, but it was really hard for me to get to a few of them at night even though I loved getting my workout over with early in the evening.  I was having a hard time staying consistent for a variety of reasons, so I decided to become a little introverted and do my workouts at home downstairs in my own gym. So far, so good. I don't always like working out until 9:30pm, but I am running every other day, and doing my kettlebell workout on the alternating days. Paul has taught me so much about body positioning, various moves with the kettlebell, and also pushing myself harder. So, all of that information has really helped me to create workouts that push myself harder.

The two things that are different about a home kettlebell workout are the use of my ipod when I'm training and using my thin workout gloves. I say "thin" because most workout gloves are quite bulky when you squeeze your hands and the kettlebell may not feel as comfortable. Also, I think it's important to have a really good grip on that large piece of iron, so I wouldn't advise the gloves unless you feel really confident about your grip. I know I don't need them, but they do keep my hands from getting as many callouses.

Paul's classes are fun. Not only because he is there to guide a good workout, but the people in the class are a joy to be with during the session. I miss both. But right now I am able to focus well at home.

I may purchase a 2nd kettlebell a little heavier, but I'll wait until next month. Right now I have 2 12kg kettlebells at home. One is my friend's.

Workout Tonight:
37 minutes treadmill: 30 minutes running, the rest walking.
4 sets of butt' blasters (15 reps throughout0

What I ate Today:
same protein/ banana/ peanut butter/ ice/ water smoothie
1030am:  1 pear & 1 hard boiled egg
1pm: not any surprise: 2 low fat ground turkey, salsa, 2 corn tortillas -tacos
3pm: peanut butter crunch Promax protein bar
5:45: Taco Salad: iceberg lettuce, tomatoes, green onions, white kidney beans, ground lean turkey with taco seasoning. 

I know it seems like I would get bored with eating some of the same foods each day. I am so used to having my 8am, 1030am, 3pm meals basically the same each day, that I'm actually quite used to and satisfied with them. The 1pm and 5:30pm meals I tend to play around more with based on my mental desires. Last year when I was training for the competition I used a lot of Asian seasoning, now it seems to have switched to Mexican seasoning. Also, I didn't think that I would have any breads, but I have ended up eating plenty of corn tortillas.

I know it's late, but after my shower, I may go downstairs and make the salsa fresca that needs to be ready for tomorrow.... Preparation is absolutely key....especially when there are enough factors that can throw one off track!

Please feel free to write me a comment anytime. I'm always interested in your feedback

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Taco Night is Every Night

I've gotten on this kick of eating tacos for lunch and tacos for dinner. It's been satisfying an urge for Mexican Food. It's the simplest thing to make, and I vary the meat I used depending on time and effort.
I heat up two corn tortillas (140calories total), add Salsa Fresca I made, and then add 3-4 oz of cooked lean ground turkey or chicken leftovers or canned white chicken meat if I'm desperate.

Nutrition Today:
830am: protein powder, peanut butter, banana, ice, water blended for my morning smoothie as usual.
1030am: 1 pear 1 hardboiled egg as usual
1pm: 2 ground turkey tacos (see recipe above)
3pm: Promax protein bar (chocolate chip...my favorite)
545pm: 2 ground turkey tacos (same as above)

Workout Tonight at 8:30am:
55 minutes kettlebell workout:
4 sets of 25 swings for a warm up
4 sets of the following combinations: 10 alternating swings, 10 cleans on each side, 10 alternating swings, alternating clean and presses, 10 two arm swings, two arm upright rows, 10 overhead tricep extensions. Rest after each complete set.
4 sets of the following combinations:10 two kettlebell two arm swings, 10 squats with 1 kettlebell, then 8 bent over rows with each arm, 5 alternating swings, then 5 snatches each side. These sets totally wiped me out.
3 sets of the following combination: 10 kettlebell sit ups and 10 leg raises with kettlebell above head.

Yesterday was a rest day...and today was a little hard going downstairs tonight. I wasn't sure if I wanted to run or do a kettlebell workout. Last week I only did kettlebell Monday and Wednesday. They were pretty tough workouts, but I really wanted to get one more Kettlebell workout in before the week was over.

Tomorrow will be a run day. I just bought some new running shoes yesterday at Road Runner. I'm going to try them out. I had my other running shoes for 2 years and finally I think they had broken down enough to warrant me buying another pair. I know the recommendation is to buy them every 6 months or so, but they are pretty expensive to have to replace that often.

Hang in there for those who are on a quest to change their body. Every day is different emotionally, physically, and nutritionally. You just got to ride the bumps when they surface.


Friday, June 17, 2011

Resisting the Urge

This title refers to two different thoughts rolling around in my head. The first, which may be more significant for some, is that last night was homeschooler mom's night out. It's probably one of my favorite things to go to once a month. It's energizing, surprising, stimulating, and fun! It may not be the things other people like to talk about, but we get so excited about talking about learning styles, curriculum, field trips, current events, park days, special events, and on and on. On the other hand, it's also a time that we go to a restaurant and there are so many good things on the menu. It can be hard to resist. One year ago, I would not have had the discipline to say "no" to certain food menu items. Now, it's still tough, but I try to keep in mind the goal. So, last night I ordered Tortilla soup, (360calories), and then just ate lots of salsa fresca by itself with a spoon. I know that sounds weird, but it is sooooooo good just by itself. Honestly, if I was stranded on a desert island I definitely would take a spoon and as much salsa fresca as I possibly could pack.

Last night I didn't blog, because I got home at midnight and was too tired. However, yesterday after I finished up an afternoon school lesson with my youngest daughter, she and my husband and older daughter left the house to go out to dinner. The minute they stepped out of the house at 5pm, I hit the treadmill for 35 minutes. My homeschool friend and I wanted to meet and chat before the homeschool dinner, so I did my workout, jumped in the shower, and left the house.

I think that this example is one where making the time to just fit in the workout wherever it fits in the day is important. It always feels better to do it than not to do it, especially when I am going out to eat.

So the second thought I was having tonight downstairs while I was doing a leg workout was the fact that I've been somewhat reluctant to talk about homeschooling. I have just figured that it shouldn't be apart of my blog, because this blog is about workouts training for competition. However, I started to think more and more and I realized that this blog is about training for a competition, but also the things that keep me going, make me happy, motivate me, excite me, and drive me nuts....and whatever I go through that eventually moves me through the process of getting fitter each day.

So, there I was downstairs doing 4 sets of leg presses, 4 sets of hamstring curls, 4 sets of donkey calf raises, 4 sets of butt' blasters. In between sets I'm checking out the first homeschool yearbook we have had, since this has been my first year of homeschooling. It just made me so happy to see all the unique things the children in the homeschool did this year. The book was filled with amazing field trips to some pretty incredible places, interesting and fun science experiments, the music program performances, holiday games like wrapping a kid like a mummy, and on and on. It just made me feel so resolved of the fact that I made the right decision to homeschool.

The first 5 months was tough!!! The learning curve was steep all around, but the outcome was amazing. I saw my kids grow in ways that I had never seen before. I saw my older child just crawl out of this quiet shell from last year and become so animated, so excited and bubbly, passionate about pinnepeds,  reading, poem recitation, history, science, and being at home. And my younger daughter has just taken leaps and bounds in Kindergarten. I tried to get her to continue reading beginning readers, but she kept on picking up chapter books. By January, she started reading chapter books, which blew me away.

Obviously I can go on and on and what I mean to convey is really the fact that it feels so good to know when you are doing the right thing, giving your all, and committing to something when you don't really know the outcome. In my mind, homeschooling was taking a huge leap into a world I had no knowledge about, and I was pretty comfy cozy at the level my first daughter was at last year in public school. I had no real reason to change the situation. For all I knew, it appeared that everything was just great. What I didn't know what everything I didn't know. There were no secrets or any horrid thing that happened, there was just a circumstance that presented itself and I thought I would change the course of history.

Well, anyway, homeschooling is a lot like a fitness competition/ body transformation. You don't know if you'll get it right, you don't know if you are always doing it right, you will not know until more time has elapsed and you can gain some perspective, and you will not know how you will feel or be changed  or how others will perceive you, or anything. All you have is a goal motivated by some internal drive telling you to "stick to it."

And was the homeschooling year worth it? Not even just a little, but so much greater than I could have ever imagined. It's something that no one could have told me in any amount of words.

Is getting ready for another competition worth it? I don't know. I look at my body and think, "are you kidding?"  I'm a year older, by body is changing more each day, I don't know if it will or can look as good as it did before, and I don't know if I can do it again.

Am I willing to try? Definitely!


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Kettlebell and Eating

Tonight I was tired, but I decided that doing a kettlebell workout was more important than the fatigue.
Tomorrow I'll try to run in the daytime, since I'm going out tomorrow night.

The Workout:
first: 25 swings x 4 sets
4 combination sets: 10 alternating swings, 5 each side alternating clean and presses, 5 alternating swings,
5 high pulls on each side, 5 -2 arm swings, 5 squats with kettlebell, 5-10 swings both hands, 10 bicep curls, 5 swings, 5,6, 7, 8 overhead tricep extensions

Next Combination:
10 double kettelbell swings, 10 double kettlebell dead lifts

4 sets of 10 leg lifts kettlebell above head.

What I ate today:
same banana, peanut butter, protein powder smoothie at 8am.
1030: 1 pear, 1 hard boiled egg
1pm: 1 fat free turkey hot dot & shredded pork, fat removed, 3/4 cup cooked broccoli, 2 tsp Chinese sesame dressing
3pm: Promax bar (chocolate chip)
6pm: 4-6 oz. chicken breast, broccoli, carrots

Still a long way to go....
but I'm moving in the right direction

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

When workouts don't go as planned

Tonight was not what I expected. I had planned to go downstairs to run tonight BY 8:30pm. I ended up having to have a long talk with my older daughter. I know the time I spent talking with her, listening to her, and hugging was important, but it certainly put a cramp in my workout. I didn't get to workout until 9:10pm. By that hour I'm pretty much mentally wasted, pissed off, and feeling sorry for myself. Nonetheless, I went downstairs with a pissy attitude and feeling sorry for myself, but I RAN!!!!! I stayed on the treadmill for my designated 35 minutes. I was a little ferocious with the treadmill at different times. I think I batted the machine a few times with my hands to get out some aggression, and then stomped a little while I ran to express that frustration, but I did make it through the end. These are the days when I just count every second, and tell myself "I'm almost at 10 minutes, only 5 minutes until 15 minutes, 5 minutes until 20 minutes, and now I only have 10 more minutes until a cool down." It's an arduous process, but it keeps me going.

"Might as well lose weight....while I'm pissed off."

Oh Yah...my husband got downstairs at 8:15pm for HIS WORKOUT. Hmmmmm


Monday, June 13, 2011

Kettlebell Basics

Looking back on all my experiences with learning about and how to use the kettlebell, I'm glad I had private lessons last year with Paul Daniels when I was training for my first competition. He is an amazing kettlebell coach, who is dedicated, caring, and raises the bar. After the one on one coaching, I entered his weekly classes. It was an easy transition, because I had already learned the basics. However, what I like about his classes is the time he takes to coach one on one all the new people who enter his class while he has the rest of the class working on sets and reps. He's good at raising the bar in the class too. There are may sessions where I'm just pooped and ready to stop. That's when I know I've had a good workout.

Due to time constraints I worked out with the kettlebell at home tonight at 8:30pm. I worked out for approximately 50 minutes. Here is what my hour was like:

1st I did 4 sets of 25 swings with rests in between.

Then, 3 sets of combination routines with a rest period between each full set of a combination of moves (if that makes sense):

20 alternating swigs, 10 cleans each side with 5-10 single alternating hand swings in between, 10 alternating clean and presses, then 5 alternating swings in between, then 5 high pulls.

Then another 2 sets of the combination above, with 10 upright rows, and 10 bentover rows alternating sides.

Then I decided to focus a little more on lower body.
I did 4 sets of the following combinations with rests after a full rotation of a combination.
20 (2 Kettlebells) deadlifts, followed by 10 squats with single kettlebell, followed by 20 alternating lunges.

At the end of the workout, I did 3 sets of oblique work whereby Paul had taught us to start on our knees and rotate from side to side. I think the class decided to name these "little prayers." I'm not religious, but it's a cute name, and the oblique exercises really work.

Anyway, it was a fantastic workout. I definitely sweat a whole lot more with a kettlebell workout than running.


Sunday, June 12, 2011

preparation is key

Absolutely, unequivocally, preparation is key to a successful body transformation. Prepare in your mind all the foods you will need to have available the night before the chaos of the next day with housework, children, calls, demands, bills, and driving that we all seem to need to get done.

If I don't prepare, the morning will slip into the afternoon, then the evening, and without fail I will  stumble. If I don't eat enough food/or enough calories, or I don't take food everywhere I go with me, or I eat too many supplements in the day then I will definitely be struggling mentally and physically.

Unfortunately, preparing meals for myself is only one part of the equation. The other part is preparing all the meals the kids will need to eat during the day too. I know that can be stressful, but it can be even more stressful having to take the time to stop somewhere for food, spend money you didn't need to spend, and having them eat food you may not have wanted them to eat in the first place.  We parents are pack-mules for our children when they are young. It's just the nature of the role. With that in mind, I think that if there are many foods in the refrigerator and in the cupboards that can be easily put together the night before or in the morning while making breakfast, then it will probably reduce YOUR stress of having to deal with many external factors that I already mentioned.

One of the things that is well known is that the human brain is happy when it gets to compartmentalize and organize information or for that matter, tasks. In this day and age we can get inundated with information and obligations and frankly get lost and lose focus on the absolute essential things to do in a day. Perhaps one way to stay focused is to decide WHAT IS REALLY IMPORTANT TODAY.

I know there are certain bills that need to be paid. I know I have to have meals ready. I know the kids have to be schooled. I know that they also have a class usually after school. Other than that, I can pick and choose the things I'm going to focus on today.

If laundry got behind this weekend, then I'll focus on laundry. If I needed to send out emails, go to the dry cleaners, or pick up something specific from the store then I can do some of those things while I'm already out and about. The thing is that when I'm running necessary errands, I always have my food with me. It's often I will pull out a meal while strolling through Target, the market, the library, or while driving. Literally, if the clock says 10:30am, 1pm, 3pm, I am eating. I always bring another gallon of water in the car when driving, because I'm not always somewhere that I can fill up my water bottle.

Anything else in the day that doesn't need attention can wait. AND I don't need to talk all the time at lengthy intervals with friends. Once every two days is good enough. Really! How many new things are there to talk about that are REALLY THAT IMPORTANT.

There is a lot of time wasted on lots of stuff we just don't have to do. Recently my husband and I decided to get rid of our Cable access to television viewing, a magazine subscription, extra clothes taking up space, and a few other things. We are just trying in various ways to simplify life. It need not be complicated to have a fulfilling life. In fact, I have found that cutting some things out has made a huge difference My mind doesn't have to focus on those things anymore and can make more room for more productive endeavors.

Finding what works and doesn't work right now in your life is something only you can do. I 'm only sharing my experiences on how I manage and focus on the absolute important things in my life. Everything else can wait or disappear.....

Tonight's Workout:
35 minutes treadmill : walk 7 minutes, the rest run.

Food Intake:
Same breakfast, snack, and lunch and snack got exchanged. Lunch was a protein bar, and the snack was some salsa fresca & lowfat meatloaf I made from ground turkey. Dinner was 4 oz. pork & broccoli.

Lots of TEA today.


Friday, June 10, 2011

Hot Stuff

Tonight my husband made a corn, tomato, and chipotle salsa. He BBQ'd some chicken breasts with some mesquite no salt seasoning. He served them with hot corn tortillas. I had one corn tortilla, approx 4 oz of chicken breasts, and 2/3 cup salsa. My mouth was burning up, but it was very very good. I really really like spicy foods. It's not only good for revving up the metabolism, but it satisfies any cravings I may have.

Most of us have a desire for certain types of food. I love comfort foods, spicy foods, and lots of seasoning regardless of the country of origin. The only thing is learning how to get the taste while keeping a low fat, not-much-food diet while training.

BBQ / grilling magazines often have lots of recipes that are low in fat, but high in taste. Even if I buy a recipe book that is considered low in fat, not all the recipes are as low in fat as the grilling magazines.

Last night's workout:
45 minutes kettlebell

Tonight's workout:
35 minutes treadmill running/walking. 22 minutes running, the rest warm up and cool down walking fast.
burned 350 + calories

Meals today:
banana, protein, peanut butter smoothie as usual
morning snack: 1 pear and 1 hard boiled egg
lunch: leftover chicken breast & 3/4 cup salsa fresca I made
afternoon snack: 1 protein bar
dinner: (posted above)

I need to start cooking broccoli and adding it into at least one meal a day. I've been on the salsa-kick, but I need to add the greens back in.

Weigh In:
I weighed in two weeks ago at 118, getting close to 117.5, BUT I BLEW IT THE LAST 1 1/2 WEEKS, so I've had to get back on track. I haven't weighed myself yet. I will, but not until I'm ready. I don't like the distraction of having the weight of the scale on my mind on a daily basis. I'd much rather focus on good training and good nutrition. I'm just not one of those people who can get on then off the scale and just let the numbers go! So I tend to use the scale as  a spot check every so often.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Calm and peaceful

While busy, today was calm and peaceful and happy. The girls had a playdate, gymnastics, a stream ecology class, and went to bed later than I like. Because what I like is to workout at 8:30pm and it just never seems to be right on time. We end up reading and reading and reading and sometimes it's so late I've had to compromise my workouts at night. So, tonight I decided to leave their room at 8:30pm to workout, while they read with their book lights on!!!!!

This way, I was able to get a 35 minute treadmill run/walk in & then hit the weights afterwards.
4 sets leg presses, 4 sets hamstring curls, 4 sets standing calf raises.


Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Locked Out

I thought that this title was an appropriate post!  I totally thought I was "locked in" to my program, but I guess it was more challenging than I expected. All I can say is that managing all my responsibilities and goals is tough. I'll just have to keep trying day to day until I'm there! I know many people face the same challenges as I do, so I hope that while you go through your difficult times, you always stay optimistic and never give up.

a.m workout:
30 minute walk/run this a.m (atypical...just needed a morning pick me up)
p.m workout:
45 minute kettlebell training

1 banana + 1 T peanut butter + ice & water+ 1 scoop protein powder, vitamins, calcium
midmornining snack: 1 pear + 1 hardboiled egg
lunch:  3/4 cup salsa + 1 lowfat homemade turkey patty
afternoon snack: 1 protein bar
dinner: 3/4 cup salsa + 3 oz halibut + 5 shrimp


Thursday, May 19, 2011

Locked In

There comes a point when your nutrition and exercise is right on track and regardless of pessimistic or self defeating thoughts you just don't do anything to compromise the successful track record experienced so far. I don't know if you've ever been totally locked into your program, and then you just decide for one reason or another that you just will give up on reaching that goal. There's just a feeling that you want to go back to some familiar place that seems like it will be more comfortable, but in reality it can be a miserable place.

I faintly remember a time when I actually worked hard at sabotaging my success. I mean I actually went out of my way to get back to a place that was more familiar instead of continuing the enjoyment I was currently experiencing. I must have thought that at some point all the new experiences, even if wonderful from various angles, would have to find their way back to the beginning. So, I could tell myself "I told you so!"

I don't know how long ago that I had that experience, but it was very long ago. Nowadays I like the feeling of being locked into a goal. It's a strange and motivating experience to know that I am trying to achieve a a particular goal, knowing that I can reach it, but knowing at the same time that 3 months to stay motivated, focused, and disciplined is hard.

Sometimes having the goal, and having already achieved some satisfaction within a short period of time, motivates me to continue the process. Feelings and thoughts are fleeting, so I never have to worry too much about getting too worried, frustrated, or down. Everything changes in time.

I think a person must get used to change and embrace the unknown and look forward to new experiences. I also realize that change has been occurring in all areas of my life for quite some time, and I've had to embrace the challenges, find ways to enjoy new discoveries, and figure out how to do the best with what I have. Instead of pining for things to stay the same,  which I believe some people do too much of, it would be better to figure out a way to be joyful with what is happening to you.

I have a friend who has been in the midst of crisis. The person's whole world was turned upside down and publicized. However, as we have spoken on numerous occasions, this person would agree that life is better now than it ever was. Who would have thought? It's not that the rebuilding of one's life, one's reputation, is an easy task at hand, but the clarity that came from such enormous events has had profound positive effects that could have only come from a crisis like the one experienced.

Regardless of where one is at it is ALWAYS possible to lock in to a goal, stay focused, and ride the waves until the end. The things one learns is much more powerful than giving into self sabotaging, negative thoughts.


Tuesday, May 17, 2011


Right now I'm just tired. I feel a little wiped out tonight and it would be nice to just go downstairs and have a little "snacky-pie." But I won't. I'm not craving anything, nor am I hungry, but my body can feel those empty places in the stomach. It's just the lack of food that I feel. I'm still going strong, but tonight is one of those times where you just want to let go of the rigorous structure.  I think it's more of a thought that an actual urge at this point. I thought I would write about it, because I'm sure everyone who goes through the process of body transformation has these moments. Some may be larger or as small as mine. But it's worth mentioning, since it's important to recognize where weak spots exist, and how to be fully aware of what is happening, so I don't give into it. 

I'm always amazed at how some weeks, or months are so vastly different than what I expect in my food intake. I totally thought I would have eaten almost exactly what I did during my first competition. But I'm not. Today, I had the same breakfast, the same 1030am snack, the same 3pm snack, but my lunch and dinner were different again. for both lunch and dinner I had  ground low fat turkey, mixed with onions, seasoning, tomatoes, and diced tomatoes made into a meatball sauce. I probably had the equivalent to 3/4 -1 cup of this and that was all.

My total intake was approximately 1300 calories, less than most days.

Tonight I took Paul Daniel's Kettlebell class. Tonight we did lunges, squats, shoulder presses, swings, get-ups for abdominals, and high pulls for back. Really, the entire workout always works the entire core, but some exercises target more of a certain area. The workout didn't feel as long tonight, but it was intense, without many breaks.


Monday, May 16, 2011

It's still possible to keep on track with crazy busy days

Today, the girls and I left the house at 8:30am to go to homeschooling Legoland day in Carlsbad. We stayed until 5pm closing. I think we left the parking lot at 5:20pm. It was a huge day as all days are whenever visiting an amusement park. We carpooled with another homeschooling family, and arrived back in Ladera Ranch at 6:10pm. As quickly as I could I jumped out of her car, ran into her bathroom to change into Kettlebell clothing, transferred all the stuff, including the kids, into my car, and met my husband in the parking lot of Cal Elite where I take Kettlebell at 6:30pm on Mondays. It was insane to say the least. When I arrived in the parking lot, I pulled up along side my husband's car, jumped out with water bottle and keys in hand, and made it to class 2 minutes late. The class just started.

It was an okay, but not great day of food intake. I had my typical banana/peanut butter/ protein shake at home in the morning. Then, snack was my typical 1 pear and 1 hard boiled egg. Lunch consisted of lettuce, 1 Tbs or less of fat free ranch, pepperocinis, 4 bean salad drained from the brine, 4 oz white chicken meat.
Snack at 3pm was a protein bar. Since we left the park at 5:20, I ate my 2nd protein bar for dinner at 5:30pm. I'm not too into having more than 1 protein bar a day, but it was the best I could do considering.

Total calories for the day:
400+200+300+300+300=1500 calories today (estimated on the high side).
walking from 10am-5pm
Kettlebell class from 6:30-7:30pm

Even though today was an extreme day of doing it all, going to kettlebell felt wonderful. It was me time, building muscle time, and sweat time. It was great!

I know I like to cave in after a hard day of doing so much, but exercising really helps to make my insides and outsides feel much better than not doing the class at all. Something changes in my body and mind that makes it all worth it.


Friday, May 13, 2011

Yummy Yummy Foods

I totally love to eat desserts or anything that probably is not good for me. My favorites are the cheesecakes from Cheesecake Factory. But I also love Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, french fries, hot fudge sundaes, and if I was to have fast food, my favorite would be In and Out  and Taco Bell.  I love Nachos, Pad Thai, and on and on I could go....

However, this said, it is also important to keep in mind that while I may like and love all these types of foods, they are just foods. They are not life! So, when I get together with friends and family during a time when I am training then the temptations are not great and the desire is lessened, because the process of training is much more exciting.

I don't think I had felt this way until I actually went through the process of training for my first competition. Training the first time around was much more difficult, because I had to learn to go through pain, frustration, anger, as if I was detoxing. Even though I had not been eating poorly on a consistent basis, the absence of a break from total clean eating was really tough.

Now, I don't have the same issues. Now, I don't feel angry, frustrated, or in pain. Now, it's more of a focus on consistently sticking with the program for  3 1/2 more months regardless of my thoughts or other interruptions, or just a lack of motivation.  Losing fat is just a matter of time. There is no special trick to lose the fat other than just eating clean, eating appropriate portion size, and exercising.

I think that's the hard part for most individuals. Feeling that time is going very slowly is one of the hardest challenges. There are no highs until you get into a groove, and then there are days of boredom with what you are eating, and there are no rewards from the food you are eating, unless you can appreciate a better complexion, sleeping better, more energy, better clarity, and more desire for having things just so.

Anyway, the yum yum foods are just so incredibly yummy, but are never worth giving into unless you are consciously focused on taking yourself off track. Don't do it! Keep motivated, Keep consistent, and Keep the goal in mind....Change the iPod tunes, change up the flavors in your meals, and change your reward system.


Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Mothers Day Celebration

So, the second half of the story from the other night was that the girls and I came home Sunday (Mothers Day) from our trip away from home.  My husband wanted to do something special for me, because it was both our Anniversary and Mother's Day that weekend. Knowing that I can only eat certain types of foods, he had prepared a favorite Cajon Shrimp dish, the Vietnamese-Asian salad I posted last week, some cooked vegetables (undressed), and surprised me with a wonderful dessert --an Edible Fruit Creation. We had never had one before, but it was really great.

He had invited my family over for dinner as well. The reason why I'm sharing this information is because here it is a special occassion and the temptation or desire would be to have a meal that wasn't so healthy. Why? because it always feels wonderful to taste food with FAT in it! I'm sure most of us are programmed to think of celebrations as a great time to pig out or just eat whatever. But I wasn't going to and my husband was really great about making dinner and inviting others over to celebrate, knowing that the food he prepared was mostly FAT FREE. Wow! That's a hard one to do when you have guests over.

What is most noteworthy about the experience is that the program that we have inside of our heads can be changed, and we can still enjoy the festivities without all the fat, overindulgence of calories and carbohydrates.

Tonight's Workout:
Kettlebells for 45 minutes with thebodywarehouse.com at 6:15pm.

Food Intake:
8:30am: same smoothie as always in the morning. (4ooc)
1030am: pear and 1 hard boiled egg (>200c)
1pm: 2 left over Cajun shrimp + left over Vietnamese-Asian salad (250c)
3pm: Promax peanut butter crunch protein bar (290c)
5:30pm: I made a low fat turkey Stroganoff for the family, but before I added some of the more dense calorie foods to the final part of the meal, I took out some of the onion, celery, carrot, olive oil, ground turkey, beef broth mixture, and added it to a small portion of brown rice for MY DINNER. (350c max)

= maximum 15oo c ( I usually round-up).

Thank you for the comments! It's great to hear what you have to say!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Meal Choices away from the House

Saturday and Sunday the children and I were away from the house. We were staying in a hotel in Ventura and meals I ate were from cooler I packed or carefully chosen when I ate out.

I think this is an area of great difficulty for most of us. I know that even though my husband has competed 5 times in body building competitions, it is virtually impossible for him to agree to leave the house during those months of training and eating clean. Of course that makes it difficult to do things as a family when he is so rigid. As an example, my friend was having an Anniversary and my husband didn't want to go because he was in "training mode." I would have gone without him, but that particular weekend was also his birthday.

On the other hand, maybe because I'm the primary caretaker of the children, I will go on short vacations even during a time when I am training for a competition. It's not easy, but I do it because I have to or because being flexible is important.

Either way, I was able to have an overnight stay elsewhere, and I ate white meat chicken strips an a pear for dinner. I would normally have eaten vegetables instead, but it was what it was. For breakfast this morning, I had scrambled egg whites (mostly) and 1/2 cup of oatmeal for breakfast. The eggs were prepared with a little too much oil, but it wouldn't be detrimental, because I would make sure I off set that fat/calories, by reducing somewhere else in the day. Plus it was the morning meal, so the fat would be okay. Snack was some white chicken meat &  a pear again, then lunch was a protein bar, and at snack time I was home and had 1 brown rice cake, 1 TBSP of peanut butter and a few slivers of white chicken meat.

While what I ate wasn't ideal, it did work, and the calories were kept in check.

As far as workouts, flexibility is equally important. Friday I worked out at home,  and then Saturday morning when the girls were both in classes I worked out at home. I ran on the treadmill 30 minutes, then did some leg exercises. The girls and I left Orange County at 3:30pm to travel. I had already worked out, so it wasn't necessary to workout that evening. All I had to do is focus on my food intake.
Sunday afternoon we were coming home, so I was planning on working out this evening after the girls went to bed. I did. I ran 30 minutes, did 4 sets of lunges and called it quits.

No, it wasn't easy. The last thing most of us want to do when we come home from vacation is workout, but it's just not an option when you want to achieve a goal. I kind of have to look at it as just a matter of fact and not be so ridiculous about taking less than 1 hour away from my nighttime "me time" and do something I may not be INTO. One hour went by quickly, and I felt better than if I hadn't done it.

Anyway, that's it for tonight. I just wanted to share some thoughts about being flexible while staying committed to the goal.

I am at 3 weeks now. I have my moments of weak thinking, but mostly I just bypass those thoughts with a cup of tea.


Thursday, May 5, 2011

Calories count

It's been 2 1/2 weeks now. I hadn't been counting calories until yesterday. I pretty much eat proportionately the same every day, however I wanted to make sure that I was pretty much right on track with how much I ate.

Yesterday, I logged in at 1500 calories for the day. I rounded up the calories just in case.
breakfast 400
snack 200
lunch 300
snack 300
dinner 300

Then on a daily basis I workout 45 minutes - 1.25 hours depending on where and what type of workout.
I know my calories are good, because I'm hungry right now!!!!

Again, I'm drinking lots of Good Earth Tea. Sometimes I have 1-3 huge mugs per day. I have yet to weight in. I wasn't so concerned with that right now, just as long as the clothes are getting looser and I can physically see a difference. I may weight in in about 1 month. I figured that as long as I'm feeling good, feeling motivated, and I'm following a relatively low calorie and quality food diet, I should be okay for a while. Also, like most of us women, if I step on the scale when I'm not ready, I might get too disappointed.
So I'm not going to.

My diet has been very interesting lately. I have really changed up so many meals. Tonight I had 3 egg whites + 1 egg yolk scrambled, with 3-4 tablespoons of salsa + 1/3 cup brown rice 1 hour before a workout.

This afternoon for lunch I had lettuce + 1/2 cup 4 bean salad (no oil), 1 Tablespoon f/f Ranch dressing, 3 oz white chicken meat. I've enjoyed the variety of different meals lately. It keeps small meals interesting when one is not consuming much food.

I had 1 mild temptation the other night when I made pizza for the family. I didn't eat any, but I took a nice big smell. That was good! In addition, Wednesday night was a little hard for me to get on the treadmill. I didn't feel like I had much energy and I was exhausted. I started to walk on the treadmill and thought I might walk the entire time, but I actually did run 25 minutes. I think my body was just so tired and it was 8:45 when I went downstairs to workout, so my body was going into hibernating mode. After the run, I did hamstring curls, plie leg presses, calf raises, and I think that was it. 4 sets each.

Then to bed and listened to books on my ipod.



Tuesday, May 3, 2011

vietnamese-style chicken salad

My husband's been cooking lately, and he made this fantastic salad.
It has very little fat and a wonderful recipe for helping to reduce body fat, while enjoying the taste of a good meal.

heat a gas grill to medium high:
Season chicken with 1/4 tsp salt and 1/8 tsp pepper and grill, turning once until cooked through. Approx 2 minutes each side. Let chicken cool. Shred it or cut it into cubes.

With a mortar and pestle pound 3 small shallots, 1 fresh jalepeno (cored & chopped & seeded if you want less heat), 1 TBS granulated sugar, & 1/8 tsp. pepper until the shallots are very soft (not pureed) & the liquid is released. Add 1/4 rice vinegar & 3 TBS fish sauce. put aside for now.

Put the salad mix together:
6 oz package coleslaw mix + 1 cup fresh mint leaves, + 1/4 cup cilantro leaves + 1/4 cup unsalted peanuts.
Mix dressing with salad mixture and chicken.

This is an amazing salad! You have wonderful carbohydrates, white chicken meat, and a good fat!
It doesn't get better than this....


Thursday, April 28, 2011

Progression on a day to day basis matters more

It's been 1 1/2 weeks since I've been back on my program. I know it's not a long time, but every day counts. I like to look at the accomplishment this way, because otherwise it would be too daunting to say "well...I have 4 months to go." I much prefer to be in the moment with my accomplishments.

Yesterday I was thinking about this same idea. I realized that I really like the challenge and the day to day process of "getting there" almost more than the meeting the final goal. Don't get me wrong, I will be thrilled to see if I can get back in competition shape. However, in the meantime, it's quite an enjoyable process staying on track, feeling good about my blood sugars being stable, feeling mostly happy, and getting more done on a day to day basis, then when I don't eat or exercise regularly.

I can feel small changes daily occurring in my body and mind, but I probably won't notice a huge change until at least until 1 month has gone by.

Tonight's Exercise:
I went to Paul Daniel's Kettlebell class tonight from 6:15-7pm. As always I'm always wiped out at the end of class, but definitely refreshed.

Eats Today:
same old protein powder, 1 banana, 1 tablespoon peanut butter , and water blended into a smoothie.
snack: 1 pear, 1 hard boiled egg
lunch: approx 3-4 oz ground lean turkey with seasoning, 3/4 cup black bean salsa
snack:: 1 chocolate promax protein bar
dinner: 1/2 cup black bean salsa and 2 fat free turkey hot dogs. 1/2 teaspoon mustard.

Learning to enjoy the process has been a very important step in being able to accomplish my goals, not just with a body transformation, but in every area of my life. The end point is simply a result that in itself is an accomplishment, but sustains no real pleasure, unless there is another way to challenge myself once again.


Tuesday, April 26, 2011

New Foods that Taste Great

This morning I finished making the rest of the black bean salsa. It's awesome! I don't have the recipe in front of me, but it was pretty easy. First, I took 1 package of dried black beans and rinsed them. I put them in a crock pot, at a low temperature all day, with lots of water. When they were done, I drained the water and put them in a big bowl. Next, I finely cut up 6-8 tomatoes, chopped 1/2 bunch of cilantro, chopped 4-5 green onions, 2 Persian cucumbers (seeded and peeled them first), and mixed them together with a few teaspoons or more of cumin, slightly less cayenne pepper, salt to taste, transferred and mixed these ingredients into the black beans. YUM! So good, so healthy. I combine this black bean salsa with chicken or turkey for a complete meal.

The other night my husband made an Asian chicken salad. It was also divine. I'll right down the recipe tomorrow. The only fat came from no salt peanuts. Otherwise, everything was healthy in it. It was a very good dinner and lunch (the next day).

Right now in my refrigerator I have a large Tupperware full of homemade salsa, black bean salsa, and brown rice. All I have to do each day is find my protein I want to use and combine it with any of these good carbs.
I love spicy foods, so these carb compliments really make a difference in satisfaction.

So far so good on staying on track with my nutrition and exercise. I haven't had any cravings or frustrations.I'm glad. Those times are always hard to go through.

Workout Tonight: kettlebell class


Sunday, April 24, 2011

Have you ever been in love....with yourself?

I know this sounds crazy, but last night when I was working out I was just so happy. I was ecstatic happy. I just felt so in love with myself. Maybe a better word would be to say I was very satisfied with myself. I don't know. Whatever that feeling is I know it comes from being on track with my nutrition, exercise, homeschooling, and family, and learning and practicing how to get things right without giving up. It's not that everything is la di da perfect all the time, but I am in a place where I can handle pretty much anything. The challenge of getting back into competition form will be hard. But knowing that I've gone through it once before does make it easier, because what was achieved in the beginning was much more than just a body transformation. I learned how to move through fear, move through the pain, and move past the barriers.

If you  have never taken yourself to a place where you know you want to go it's worth the time and effort.
All the daily crazies in life are so much easier to handle when the fear of pain, the fear of the unknown, and the fear of the "what ifs" are just less of an issue to work with.

There is so much more to say on this subject. However, the main point is that I found myself feeling so happy with myself, because even at this state of being (with having far to go to get back into competition shape) I just  know I can handle the challenge.

Let yourself do it too!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Appreciating Everything

It's been a while since I have been able to slow down and just appreciate everything that is. It is certainly nice when I feel calm, centered, and excited. I am so excited that I have found that place of calm with homeschooling. I have spent so much time researching, practicing how to do it, and learning so much from other homeschoolers. It's exciting to see how much the children enjoy being home with their family and learning and studying and playing so much more than I ever thought. I love it when they just cannot get enough of science projects or historical information or reading or being read to. Their bouncy and happy and THAT is the place I've been wanting to get to that makes me feel that the time sacrificed for them has been worth it. And the other fantastic part about the whole thing is that homeschooling is not as stressful as being the chauffeur back and forth to school, to classes, to this, and that, only to spend an hour together each day at night, before it all starts all over again the next morning.

My Body:
The weight will come off, the exercising will just get better. And then, last night I was thinking during my kettlebell class how awesome it's going to be this time around when I reach my goal, because I am working out with a heavier kettlebell. So that was exciting, because it will be something different this time around.
I haven't had any struggles so far with working out or eating well. Tonight the family had pizza and I had homemade turkey meatballs I made last night and raw cauliflower. Then of course, my favorite, TEA!

Tonight is a running night, a good shower, some research, and off to bed.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Stupid Excuses

It was hard for me to continue my process towards another competition, so I just gave up. My focus on homeschooling and my husband was training for the last 4 months towards his competition, and I found it too difficult to focus on myself. Even though I have gone back and forth with my efforts, I can still feel the desire inside to compete again. My husband finished his competition last Saturday, and Monday I started focusing on my nutrition and exercise plan. I thought it would be easier to train with my husband, but it wasn't. I don't think it  had as much to do with him as it had to do with my lack of focus. Although I'd like to think that my  lack of commitment had much to do with his 100% commitment to the process. Anyway, I have absolutely no idea when I would compete next. Right now, my focus is on staying consistent for 1 month, with daily goals of staying focused on nutrition and exercise.

Nutrition Change - Ups:
I've changed some of my nutrition. I can go a long time without changing too many things in my diet, but then all of a sudden I need to change things around. I'm eating brown rice, some whole grain rice cakes, instead of my broccoli or yogurts. I've been eating my protein bars at my 3rd meals, but I'm thinking of changing them once in a while to a rice cake with peanut butter instead. I really like the taste of whole foods more than supplements, eventhough the supplements are easy and convenient when I'm in a hurry or on the go.

I'll still do kettlebell 3x/week with Paul Daniels. He's an awesome coach for so many reasons and he knows how to get my body into competition condition. I'll run and do weight room training on the other days, but the weight room training is really going to be the most difficult for me, because I've been in a mode of just running on the off days from kettlebell.

Future goals:
My goal of getting into competition is very very far away, but it's really okay. I don't really have any regrets about starting from square one. I've learned so much about other things in my life during the last several months, that there is no way to regret when I've gained so much in other areas. Now, it will be the challenge of being able to get back into competition shape. Then after that is completed, I just want to maintain a low healthy body weight and excellent conditioning for 1 full year and practice the maintainence part.

"a rocky road provides lots of challenges for one's mind, body, and stamina"

Friday, April 8, 2011

Balancing My Life & Their Lives

It's sad but true, I can measure how balanced I am by how organized my closet is on a daily basis, by whether or not I fold and put away my clothes as well as I do for the rest of my family's, and how much prepared food I have in storage containers in the refrigerator. If all of these things are kept up in the way I like, then my life is balanced. Right now, it's not perfectly balanced....


I did eat my 5 meals yesterday and today, and I did go to Paul Daniel's Kettlebell class last night, and I ran on the treadmill for 30 minutes tonight. I attempted 4 sets of pull-ups. However, I am now down to 1 pull up per set!

Good news...
I am working out more consistently with a heavier kettlebell. Paul's great about raising the expectations, which naturally forces a person to want to workout better.

Tonight our family went out to dinner to Mimi's Cafe. I was blown away that their menu listed calorie content for all the meals they serve. Wow! I have never seen that before in a sit-down restaurant. I ordered off the
light menu, a chicken and vegetable and brown rice stir fry for approx 550 calories. It was over the limit of what I normally have, but I could tell it didn't have much fat. I was okay with that and I think it was good for me to relax a little without being too strict with my calories right now.

More Later......


Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Ups and Downs

Yes, it's been FOREVER since I blogged. I had a nice long conversation with Paul Daniels, my kettlebell coach, about why I'm struggling with getting in gear for the 2nd competition.

The bottom line is that I've put so much energy into homeschooling, trying to ge it all perfect, doing late night research about this and that curriculum, that I have failed to find my commitment to my fitness goal. Actually what has happened is that I have lost the motivation, because my priorities got wrapped up in this other part of my life.

I've been doing a lot of self reflecting and decided after lots of thought that I still want to compete. I hope to do it this year, but I cannot be more specific. My goal right now is to be CONSISTENT with kettlebell and running and my DIET.

Two days ago, I started my process. It's slow going. I have no idea where tomorrow will take me, but I will do my best to pull back on obsessing about homeschooling and focus a little more on my fitness goal.

what I find interesting about this process is that I would never have thought that my goal would be so largely interrupted by "homeschooling" and yet the truth is that anything could have distracted me.

So my job is to try to stay the course. Follow me on my turbulant journey. I'll probably blog 3 times a week. I won't commit to more, because I've already blown that out the window.

Today, inspite of feeling run down I got on the treadmill 30 minutes and did 1 set of crunches.
I ate well today...much like the blogs I have written about what I eat.


Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Recovery from a cheat meal & Where's my head

Back on track today wasn't so bad.

What I ate:
830am: 1 scoop protein + 1 Tbs peanut butter, + water and ice cubes + banana
11am: chocolate chip Promax Bar (usually this is my 4th meal.
1pm: lettuce + salsa fresca (homemade), ground lean turkey with seasoning.
3pm: 3 slices turkey (approx 4 oz.) + 1/2 whole wheat wrap.
5:15pm: ground turkey with seasoning + salsa + f/f refried beans + 4 black olives.

Kettlebell : 45 minutes. A really good workout from Paul Daniels! I felt really good afterwards.

Where's my head!
I'm going through the motions with my nutrition and exercise, but I'm just not in it like I was in October. I hate to say it, but I think part of me has just moved on to other things that I find more interesting right now in my life. Right now, I'm so dedicated to homeschooling and learning about curriculum and reading about all sorts of things about the way I would like to continue homeschooling...that my mind is less interested in competing. I had always had this goal of competing, but now that I've accomplished it, I can check it off my "bucket list". I still desire to be more fit for the summer, but I'm not sure if I will compete again. Maybe the timing is wrong, maybe my attitude is wrong, maybe it's just not very interesting anymore, and the novelty has warn off. I don't really know the exact reason unless all of these excuses or reasons are IT. As for now, I'll continue on my journey, but with less enthusiasm. I don't think there is anything my family or friends could say that would make me change my mind or give me that drive. I think the drive has to come from within. It's a lot of work to have the motivation come from somewhere else. I wish I could be absolutely 100% in high gear, but I cannot.

Tomorrow is a running day and I may do a few leg exercises to start building up more shape on the legs.

Monday, March 14, 2011

kettlebell strength & cheat meals

I'm always amazed at how much kettlebell increases my strength. Not only do I feel stronger, but my body feels as though every part gets worked out. I love it, because I feel that I am less inclined to have an injury, regardless of how my body moves. In 45 minutes the workout is intense, fun, and done! Tonight we did many high pulls. It's a hard move for two reasons. One it feels awkward for a while and it takes a while to get it right. Once I got it, then it's a matter of staying strong for several sets. It definitely makes me huff and puff, while it's working the back and arm muscles. It's a great exercise.

good today, just delayed at different times, because of daylight savings. I woke up late, so everything was pushed an hour or two off the normal non daylight savings schedule.

Last night:
I had a cheat meal last night only. I hadn't been getting the amount of food I have needed. Too low in fat I definitely know. So I was back on track today. I could feel that yesterday I was hungrier than normal. I didn't know if working out Saturday morning threw my schedule off, because I usually wait until the evening to workout. Either way, I need to be much more careful and get the amount of nutrition I need.

I could beat myself up, but why?! It's so not worth it. I was looking at my competition photos today. They are pretty cool, but I could tell how much work went into it.

I'm going to keep plugging away, even though I don't feel the exact desire to compete like the first time.

Friday, March 11, 2011

11 Days

So today is my 11th consistent day without fail. I feel good, but a little cranky. The food intake is well. I tried two different types of salsa from Celinas Mexican restaurant/market in Rancho Santa Margarita. Their salsa is expensive, but very tasty. I had been making salsa at home, but it's not as yummy as theirs. I'll have to search for another recipe that gets me closer to that particular taste. I put the salsa on my yam & chicken today. It gave it a punch of flavor. Otherwise, my foods are basically the same each day.

Today's Nutrition:
same as always except for this evening I had a small bowl of chili. (ground low fat turkey, cannelini beans, onions, red and green chopped pepper, 1 can of diced tomatoes, chili seasoning all put into a crockpot for 5 hours). The kids loved it. They had it with some parmessien cheese & some French bread.

Yesterday I also had this same dinner. Very little fat, very high protein and good amount of carbs for workouts later.

Last night I had a wonderful kettlebell workout with Paul Daniels from thebodywarehouse.com
45 minutes and my muscles and self were totally exhausted. I like that type of workout.

Tonight I decided to rest. But that means I will workout Saturday and Sunday. I plan on going to kettlebell tomorrow morning since it's at 7am. That's a great time for me, it's before everything gets started in my household.

Sunday, I haven't planned out yet.

I'm certainly in a good place mentally. I'm getting through this process well right now. I'm starting to feel the rhythm of the mental challenge. I still have a ways to go before I'm more relaxed mentally, but then at that time it will probably be something different!


Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Emotional Update

Yesterday and today I have felt pretty good emotionally. I'm not angry and pissed off now. I wouldn't say that I'm excited and happy either. I'm in a place somewhere in between. I am sure that it's not too difficult to understand that when the body and mind have to go through a change that it is difficult. Success in this process comes from being able to manage one's actions by eating only the foods that will help make a successful transformation and consistently exercising and pushing the body to new levels as one is motivated or able to challenge oneself.

Inspite of all my complaining, I wouldn't put myself through this process unless I enjoyed the process. A moment on stage is just that. The challenge is really the months it takes to get to that one moment in time. I can understand why many people who exercise and diet for a prom, a reunion, a marriage, or some special event are not successful keeping off the weight after the event. The focus for all of us who have done these types of diets tends not to be successful, because it's all about the "moment" and not about the process. If one could get to the place of enjoying the process then there may be more emphasis on changing the mental state of being, and less focus on a single moment of time where "the jeans fit."

If one is to be successful then one needs to put the effort in on a daily basis to start making small changes. It doesn't mean that every day for the rest of one's life that one cannot go out to dinner, splurge on your favorite snack food, but it does mean that more time must be spent on altering one's food choices and making exercise a regular habit. In our house we don't go out to dinner evey week. Sometimes we go out once a month or maybe every two months, or maybe 3-4 times in two weeks. We are not consistent in that way, so that there are many more days that allow our entire family to stay committed to a particular nutrition and exercise schedule. Then when there are events or dinners out then we can relax more if we choose.

Kids should never be one's excuse for not eating well or exercising. Kids should eat well most of the time too. They should be eating fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and good fats every day. Kids will always have birthday parties to attend, and little goodies that their friends share with them, so there is really no need to go out of one's way to buy unhealthy or highly processed foods for them. If anything, kids should be the reason to be at one's best. We are role models for them. If parents are on the couch eating, or eating fast food, don't expect them to do differently.  If your refrigerator is consistently packed with easy to go grab foods that are prepackaged, don't expect the child to wait for you to clean and cut fresh fruit.


Monday, March 7, 2011

thoughts about competing again

Okay. My mind is in the mode of competing, and I'm still doing everything in my fitness and nutrition departments to reach this goal. However, I'm reserved about saying too much, because I don't want to fail myself.

I'm a little pissy these days, because of the pressure I feel. However, I wouldn't want to back out just because of my feelings. By this age, I know that feelings are fleeting, so I won't worry too much about letting them interfere with progress.

Next week I'll start working out my legs more. Right now I feel like I'm still easing into everything. I'm now using a larger kettlebell when I workout. It's awesome, because I may eventually see more improvements than the first competition. I'm dreading the fact that I'll have to spend more time on my legs. I just have it in my thoughts that my workouts will have to get longer, and I'm not really in the mood of spending too much time in the gym. That is why I like kettlebell so much. Perhaps if Paul Daniels (from http://www.bodywarehouse.com/) sees this blog he will up my workout a little so that I don't have to do too much on the days at home!

Tonight I had kettlebell class.
Tomorrow I'll have another kettlebell class
Wednesday at home running on the treadmill 30 minutes & attempt some more leg exercises.

This Wednesday I'm supposed to go out with friends. However, I will have to order plain chicken & broccoli if that is the case! I'll bring my Good Earth Tea bag just in case I need a little "dessert".

Thought for the day:
If you want to change your body, then you have to change your mind. Then your actions will follow.
You can think really hard about how much you want it, but it won't do any good unless your willing to accept a new way of of behaving.


Friday, March 4, 2011

Going Through The Motions

I'm still moving forward with the goal to compete. While I am not fully engaged in the process mentally, I am physically going through the motions. I make sure I pack meals to eat when I'm away from the house, eat every 2 1/2 -3 hours, and make a conscious effort at portion control. However, I will say that in the next few days I'm apt to take out the food scale and weigh the food to make sure that I'm not eating too much or too little. I know it's not the most enjoyable thing to do, but honestly if I'm going to drop weight and meet this goal then I have to weigh the protein portion at the bare minimum. At 43 years old, the portion size is so important. Otherwise, what's the point of working so hard when there is nothing to show for it, because I just ate too much, eventhough it was the right type of food?

Tonight's workout:
30 minute run on treadmill at 4.5 speed. 5 minute cool down.
3 sets of sit ups & 4 sets of pull ups. I'm back to 1-2 pull ups. I'm just happy I can do them still.

Everything the same as yesterday's blog, except:
Meal 3: 1 cup steamed broccoli & a vegetable/white chicken stew that I made a few nights ago. Fat was minimal.
Meal 5: Dinner was 1 cup steamed green beans, 4 oz chicken breast (had little bit if mozzerella cheese & some other stuff that was not strictly on the diet). We had a dinner party tonight and I was lazy and didn't make something different for my dinner. Instead I was very careful with portion size. No dessert, eventhough everybody else had homemade banana bread and butter pecan low fat ice cream. I had hot tea.

Last night and some of today I have felt a little pissed off. I'm not angry at anyone or anything...It's just the mental part of getting into the rhythm of a strict routine.

I don't want to scare anybody away from challenging themselves. I think that having a challenge is good. It stretches the mind and allows one to venture where one would not normally go. It's just tough.


Thursday, March 3, 2011

Seeing and Feeling the Momentum

I had two good weeks of being back on track and then two days off, and now back on track again. There's this part of me that wants to compete one more time and another part of me that wants to relax. I guess I underestimated how much energy from all different parts of my life it takes to get ready for a competition. The first competition my mind was completely focused. Now perhaps knowing how much went into the first competition, I'm undecided about whether I want it or not. My husband competes this April, which doesn't seem to effect whether or not I want to compete. The decision is very much an internal and personal decision based on nothing more than my desire to commit.

Paul Daniels, my kettlebell coach, asked me "when am I going to get serious." It's a good and valid question. After Monday's class I started to think more about what he said. All I've come up with in my mind is that I'm undecided, but leaning toward competing. So with that in mind, Monday I started back on track with my fitness and nutrition training. I figure that as long as I go through the process as if I'm competing, I will eventually make a decision one way or another if June will be the month I compete.

I don't lose anything in the process, since I am training anyway, regardless of my emotional state. I like the thrill of challenging myself, but there are other parts of my life that I'm also obsessed with right now...specifically homeschooling. While I didn't think I would homeschool another year, I have decided to rethink the matter. I'm loving all the things I am able to teach the girls and there are so many curriculum options out there that I've explored that I think that what I am able to come up with will be absolutely awesome. But again, I'm undecided about this decision too.

It's all very fascinating to me, and less so for you, but I'm hoping that my sharing helps to communicate the fact that getting ready for a competition or any significant change is time consuming, mentally challenging, and a lot of hard work.

In the end, it's probably worth my time...so for now you'll just have to read blogs that communicate the internal struggles that I will go through. Perhaps within the month I will be more definitive.

for now I will post my nutrition & exercise for the day:
45 minutes Kettlebell class tonight.

8am: 1 scoop protein + 1 T peanut butter + 1 banana + 2 ice cubes + water = breakfast.
10:45: 1 bosc pear + 1 hardboiled egg with some salt
1pm: 1/3 sweet potato + salsa + broccoli + 3-4 oz. canned white chicken
3pm: 1 chocolate chip promax bar
5: 25pm: 1 1/2 cups of ground turkey with fat free refried beans + spices.
8pm: post workout 1/2 scoop chocolate protein powder with water.


Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The second time around

I've been much more relaxed this time around when it comes to training for a competition. I'm 2 1/2 weeks into my nutrition and exercise program. I'm not too stressed about anything right now, which is a nice change. However, just because I'm more relaxed doesn't mean that I don't have to prepare every meal I eat and always be one step ahead so that way I don't get hungry and miss a meal.

I'll blog tomorrow.
I just wanted to let you know that I'm here and I am still training.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Changing your food

I get very set in my ways about what I like or want to eat. Last year when I competed I pretty much got into a routine of eating certain foods like: yams, chicken, ground turkey, broccoli, and added various toppings to add texture and spice to the meal.

As I am currently training now, I eat similar foods, but I'm using the crockpot all the time so that I don't have to stress about how to fit in making dinner for the family with such a busy life. I have found a slew of lowfat recipes that are tasty and nutritious. 

Another reason for making crockpot meals is because they provide a good alternative to the comfort foods I like. Two days ago I made "better than mom's chicken soup". It had lots of shredded white chicken, carrots, parsnips, pearl onions, and spices. I made some tasty dinner roles that the children ate, but I didn't. Then later that day I used the crockpot for making a berry cobbler for the children. They topped it with Golden Spoon vanilla frozen yogurt. They loved the meal, and I loved that I wasn't preparing a different meal for myself.

Yesterday I was at Costco. I picked up some frozen spinach & potato burgers. Instead of toasting or broiling them as suggested I slid them into the microwave. Yum! An excellent profile and easy on-the-go carb.

13 days and counting.....

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

white chicken chili recipe

I was in a store and I picked up this magazine essential slow cooker by Better Homes and Gardens Special Interest Publications, April 5, 2011.

I picked it up because the cover had a bowl of tender pork & green chile stew on it, and the recipes inside looked delicious. Secondly I haven't had much time to cook as much or as well. I had a thought that if I used the crockpot more often then I wouldn't have to race to get dinner prepared when I have so many other things to do. But of course there is the balance of creating delicious yet calorie, fat, and nutrititionally balanced meals that work for my husband's upcoming competition and mine.

I have created 3 recipes (2 of which I have eaten). The 3rd Recipe was a Triple Berry Cobbler for the children.

Here is the White Chicken Chili Recipe:

For the cooked chicken poach 3-4 skinned and boned chicken breast halves in boiling water or chicken broth, covered, for about 12 minutes or until no pink remains. Drain, cool the chicken slightly, then chop.
(I cooked mine in chicken broth using chicken bouillon cubes).

In 3 1/2 or 4 qt. slow cooker, combine drained (3) 15 oz. cans of white kidney beans, rinsed and drained first +2 1/2 cups chopped cooked chicken + 1 1/2 cups chopped red, green, and or yellow sweet peppers (2 medium ones) + 1 cup chopped onion (1 large) + 2 fresh Jalepeno chili peppers, 2 teaspooons cumin + 2 cloves garlic minced + 1/2 teaspoon salt + 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano. Pour  3 1/2 cups of the chicken broth (I used to boil the chicken in) over mixture in cooker .

Next, cover and cook on low heat setting for 8-10 hours or higng setting for 4-5 hours. I started my cooker at 9am and it was ready for dinner the same day.

Last, After you serve it I topped it with a few fritos for the kids. Fritos actually only have 3 ingredients in them compared to other types of chips/crackers. Yes, they are still higher in fat, but it works for the kids.
Also, for the children, I put some nondairy sour cream (from Trader Joe's) to reduce the spicy hot flavor that the Jalepenos give to the dish. The kids liked it.

The recipe states that you can top the dish off with shredded Monterey Jack Cheese & broken tortilla chips. I opted out of the cheese. The four of us ate this meal for two days.

Tonight we had Cider Pork Stew (7 grams of fat per serving). Tomorrow we'll have the same meal.

Then I'll make the Better than Mom's chicken and noodels for Thursday evening. This meal has 7 grams of fat per serving as well.  This weekend I'll make the apple pie bread pudding in the crockpot for the children's dessert. I'll exchange the 1/2 and 1/2 for fat free 1/2 and 1/2, and replace the ice cream for Golden Spoon Vanilla Frozen Yogurt.

Enjoy the recipe I wrote. Let me know if you try it. FYI: If you are in the area Sultan's Market on El Toro Road is a fabulous place for inexpensive produce! I try to get all my produce there because of the great prices.


Monday, February 14, 2011


I've been hibernating lately. I was back on track, then went off track again. I've been back on track for 1 week now. I'm doing fine, but I have a good month before I'm in the groove of going strong. Then of course I'll have 3 more months to convince myself after that!

It's been really hard to get back on track, because a part of me just wants to really relax and not have to focus so intensely for the next several months. However, I also want to enter just ONE more competition. Even in my mind right now I just think about forgetting the whole thing, but more of me wants to commit than not commit. I tell myself one more time is not so bad. So anyway the hard part is being able to balance the social events with keeping on track with my food requirements. There are family birthdays, homeschooler mom night's out, date nights, and so on.....

Hibernating these past weeks is more about trying to get my head focused on the goal and not having to outwardly project my internal struggles to everybody else. Yet, I think that sharing the internal struggles is probably one of the most helpful parts to share with others in a body transformation.

So I will do my best to keep you updated on my struggles, since there will be plenty.
Right now I'm going to attend to my chicken chili soup with less than 4 g of fat per serving. I'll share the recipe tomorrow. It's an awesome one.


Thursday, January 27, 2011

Back on Track Again!

Thank you so much for the support!
Yes, I'm finally back on track. We went through the rounds of sicknesses in our house, and of course my procrastination afterwards, and now I'm back on track. 4 days into my hard core regiment and I know I have a long way to go. But I also know that I feel really good right now, and I'm focused. Day to day I will have my ups and downs, just like the last competition, but it's just the discipline to stay with it despite the lack of instant gratification. I remember how the minute by minute, hour by hour, and day by day distractions would occur but I just kept going.

Last night I ran on the treadmill and I still counted the minutes until the end. I'm down to 1 pull up now. At my best last year I did 5 pull ups. It's okay though. It's disappointing, but it doesn't eat at me too much. I'm just excited to get back on track and deal with the obstacles ahead.

Right now, I'm training 3 days a week with the kettlebell, and 3 days at home with the treadmill and weights.
I'm still in the slow part of getting back into the groove. Last night I warmed up, ran, and cooled down on the treadmill for a total of 35 minutes. I did 4 sets 25  sit ups and 4 sets of 1 pull up. The workout was just under 1 hour.

It's a vigilant job to stay focused. Refocusing as needed is key.
I hope to post some pictures next week.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

A Step Backwards

Today is the first day I have felt good enough to get back on the computer. I thought I was in for a little set back not feeling well. I totally underestimated where my body was heading. I had the full on flu with chills, no energy, no appetite, and zero functioning. I feel much better now, but I wasn't well enough to do a leg workout downstairs. I'm hoping that I feel good enough to go to Kettlebell tomorrow evening. I'll have to wait and see.

Anyway, it feels like a complete set back after being right on track for the past week. A few days is not a complete loss, but mentally it's a little more challenging.

Unfortunately days like these happen and I just have to understand that it's a part of a "process' not the "end of the road".

On a Friendly Note:
On a good note...I have a friend who is just doing so well with her workouts. She's still learning to track her food and get her nutrition where she wants to have it, in order to lose some more significant weight, but she's conquering a huge part of the goal.....CONSISTENCY! It will trickle over given enough time and focus.