Sunday, December 30, 2012

Sunday Day Off

Yesterday I was looking forward to today being a day off from working out. I'm tired both from the 6 day a week workout and waking up so early with temperatures as cold as they have been.

I'm surprised I'm not sore from the pole fitness class today. However, I did get a cut/burn from swinging so much. Not a big deal, I just felt it this morning upon waking up. 

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Pole Fitness

This morning I worked out at 6:30am, 1/2 hour on treadmill running, and 1/2-3/4 of an hour upper body.

However, at 11am I went to my first Pole Fitness Class at They have two locations, one in Huntington Beach and one in Aliso Viejo. 

I was very nervous going there not knowing what to expect. All I knew is to wear a fitted T shirt or tank and a pair of tight fitting shorts or workout pants. There were 4 of us gals in the class, the lights were dimmed, and we had one fantastic instructor facilitating the warm up and the pole work. 

It was AWESOME! My hands were a little sore swinging around the pole and my arms were tired after repetitive use. After so many spins I was feeling a little dizzy and wanted to throw up or eat something -since I hadn't eaten in quite some time. 

It was an amazing workout for 1 1/2. 

Everybody was very nice and unpretentious.  

I had been thinking about trying Zumba, but opted to try Pole Fitness instead. If you go onto YouTube you can search for International Pole Fitness Competitions. It was not at all what I expected. They work the vertical pole up and down, upside down, and all different ways. 

It's not inexpensive. A basic class will run you $25.00 and a regular class $40.00. However, if you decide to buy the unlimited sessions for 6 months to a year, then you will pay around $9 per class. 

This business also has available yoga, aerial fitness, and many other ways to burn fat and feel SEXY. 

So, today was quite an adventure branching into other areas of fitness. 

If you think about it, people may stop their fitness regiment due to boredom. Trying other ways to stay fit by adding a new type of fitness may be a great idea to shake you up and make you feel remotivated and alive. 

I'm not sure I'll go back to the Pole Fitness place. I'd like to go once a week, but it might not be in the budget. I'll keep you posted.

Today what I ate:
(FYI: I never give quantities of how much I eat because we are all different with how much our bodies need. A 20 year old looking at my blog will have different requirements than a 50 year old. Also, body types and metabolism will affect each person differently by how much they eat).

banana protein peanut butter smoothie
probiotics ( I haven't listed these, but I take 2 daily)
hardboiled eggs
green beans
kosher dill pickles
brown rice cake
strawberry Greek yogurt
canned white chicken
lots of water

Exercise Today:
1/2 hour run 
4 sets dumbbell bench flys
4 sets of bent over flyees
4 sets of tricep pushdowns
4 sets seated two arm rows
then  1 1/2 hour pole fitness class

Sweet Potato Fritters with Yogurt Chive Dipping Sauce

One of the h'ordeuvres I made for Christmas dinner were these fritters. I hadn't made them before. Perhaps daring, but I was excited to create something different for our friends and family. That's the joy of cooking. 

Guests gobbled them up so quickly; I wish I had made more of them. 

Here is the recipe:
1 lb sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch pieces ( I used one sweet potato and one yam because I ran out of sweet potatoes. They were still terrific. Tonight I made them again with only yams). 
1 egg
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup all purpose flour
1/3 cup fine dry bread crumbs
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
vegetable oil for deep frying
1 recipe yogurt chive dipping sauce (which is not necessary, but many of the guests like it)

1. in a large saucepan cook sweet potatoes in water until very tender.
drain well and let cool slightly
2. in a food processor combine sweet potatoes, egg, brown sugar, and butter. cover and process until smooth. In a small bowl stir together flour, bread crumbs, baking powder and salt. Add flour mixture to sweet potato mixture. Cover and process just until combined. 
3. in a deep large frying pan or deep fat fryer heat 1 inch oil to 350 degrees. For each fritter, drop 1 tablespoon ( but mine were 3 times larger) into hot oil. Fry a few at a time turning when browned on each side, then removing with slotted spoon and drain excess  oil on a paper towel. 

Serve warm with sauce. 

Yogurt chive dipping sauce. I made this sauce one day prior to party, in order for the flavors to blend. 

In a small bowl combine one 6 oz. carton plain low fat yogurt. I used nonfat. Add 1 tablespoon snipped fresh chives. I used freeze dried. Add 1 clove of garlic, minced. Season to taste with salt and ground pepper. 

I know you must be thinking I'm weird, because I won't eat  any of these types of foods, but the joy of cooking satisfies me without having to eat any of it. The smells in the kitchen and the time to relax and cook and feed my family is what makes it all worth it for me. 

This recipe came from Holiday Recipes from Better Homes and Gardens Special Interest Publications, 2012.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Pictures of Foods I Eat

I thought you might enjoy some pics of foods I eat on a daily basis.

I go to NutriSport or NutriStop for my protein. I like this protein because it is high in protein, has no carbs and no fat. It's perfect for  pre or post workouts. 

Add it with a banana or other carb and you have yourself a good balance around workout time. I have been told NOT to eat fat before or after a workout. Save your good fats if you can for another meal. Your body needs protein and carbs, because it's the best energy to be utilized for muscle growth. 

I always get the vanilla protein. I don't like chocolate or chocolate chip or berry flavored protein powders. Since  I don't eat much, I am picky about what I eat, because I like to maximize feeling content with the flavor if that is all I'm going to eat.

You can see on the left corner that these rice cakes or gluten free and vegan. They are very hearty in taste with a slight flavoring of salt. I love salt. I salt everything. Yes, we've been inundated by media and health professionals to limit the salt, but I figure if that's the worst I do in my diet, I'm doing okay. Just to give you an idea of my love for salt, I will salt the outside of a hardboiled egg, then resalt every time I take another bite. Love it! mmmmm

I suppose that is why I love eating salsa right from the container, and marinades on my chicken. The only thing I rarely rarely eat is salted nuts. That's a no no for me. Salted nuts have more than just salt on them, and for whatever reason, they always make me crave other things as well. So, I always have raw nuts when I eat them. 

I pick up a 16 pack from Costco of this yogurt. It's greek and non-fat. It has a little yum to it because there are strawberry, blueberry, and peach in the pack. I keep thinking I'm going to go back to vanilla or try to convince my taste buds to eat the plain, but I just can't see the difference between eating plain yogurt and cardboard. So, I haven't made that change yet.  I will usually eat this by itself, or if I need a little protein I will eat a hardboiled egg or have a few walnuts if needing fat, or some turkey or chicken cold cuts if in a hurry. Nitrites from the turkey or chicken cold cut packs are not good for me either, but seriously, I'm picking my battles. 

The last item I'll post today is my extra large sippy cup from Starbucks. I carry this thing everywhere I go and drink 5-6 per day. It goes to the movies, to Target, to the bathroom, and to bed with me. I've been told by a Dr. of Naturopath that it's a good idea to drink one full glass of water prior to bed and upon waking up to aid your organs in better functioning. So, that's what I do, in addition to all the rest of my water consumption. 

I have usually finished 2 of these prior to 9am. 

Me working out this morning at 6:30 in the freezing temperatures of Southern California!

Get used to the fuzzy pics I take, since I'm the only one around to take them. Can you see the exercise ball underneath my back?

I did 4 sets of 25 sit ups on the ball this morning. If you move the ball closer to your tush, then the sit ups get harder. Good workout this morning, but frustrating when I washed my bra last night and forgot to take it out of the washing machine to dry. So, downstairs I travel at 6:15 to take the bra out of the washing machine and put it on wet. Nice!

I had to layer my clothes, still wearing the beanie cap, and wearing running gloves to keep the cold from chilling my body.

30minute cardio running
4 sets ball assisted sit ups
4 sets deadlifts with weights
4 sets of hamstring curls with weights
4 sets of alternating stationary lunges (20 each side every time)

What I ate yesterday
protein powder, banana, peanut butter morning smoothie
hardboiled eggs
rice cakes
(to be truthful I didn't have a dinner last night. My friends and I went to the movies and it was so late by the time I got home that I didn't eat).

So, today, I did a small make up of yesterday's minimal calorie intake. for lunch I ate two hardboiled eggs, one yogurt, and 10 cashews with salt (that broke my rule of salted nuts). However, I feel better, and not likely to eat too much later today, because I ate substantially for my lunch). 

This is another "be aware moment" to be on the look out for in your meal success. If you don't take in enough calories or carb or fat or protein, your body is going to let you know, by getting back at you. So, before it gets back at you, you need to nip it in the butt' and eat some solid things during the make up for a deficiency. Don't do it late in the day....big no no. 

Tomorrow, I'm going to talk about a new and exciting and crazy exercise I'm going to add into my program. Do you remember when I said I was thinking about stepping up my program in January? Well, I think I figured out a solution.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Christmas Holiday

This was one of the best holidays ever for two reasons. One, I got to cook for two straight days without interruption. I listened to some relaxing music by Michael Buble, Jack Johnson, Sam Cooke, and Charlie Brown's Christmas tunes -which is terrific, however funny that may sound from an adult listening to what could be claimed as solely children's music. I was in bliss while the children sang, played, and danced. Oh, and the second reason I may go into another day.

We had two parties, one on the 23rd and the other on the 25th. The first one I cooked Chicken Pumpkin Casserole and Cauliflower with Fontina Cheese to name a few items. They smelled wonderful. The sauce for the casserole was delicious. I scooped aside some sauce and shredded chicken for myself -totally low fat and protein dense.

The sauce had tomatillos, cilantro, onions, garlic, jalepeno pepper and it was simply to die for and very low calorie. I put all of these in the food processor. You must try it!

The second dish smelled wonderful, but of course I did not eat that either. I did not feel deprived at all. I just enjoyed cooking and smelling so much, there was no temptation. On the second day, where I had to prepare Christmas dinner, I made this Bosc Pear Crumble. It was so fun and easy to make. 

 This one is the Cauliflower Fontina Cheese Dish that all the kids loved.
What I found hilarious was not being tempted by cookies that people brought to the house or foods I made or served, but the once a year chocolate covered cake batter balls that one of the neighbors always gives us. And of course, I never let the kids have any, because I want them all to myself each year. They are amazing. When the kids brought them into the kitchen, I just about died. They each had one, and I'm still trying to figure out how to save them so I can eat the other two in June. It's honestly the silliest thing ever to be tempted not by the smell or even the look of them, because they are really something that most people wouldn't look twice at. And there I was so tempted -but wasn't going to budge. 

As the instructor says in Taekwondo: focus your eyes, focus your mind, and focus your body. It's so true. It would be hard to accomplish anything without these three little thoughts. 

Here I am Christmas Day downstairs at 6:30am stretching after a 1/2 hour run. I worked legs, then went inside to watch the kids open presents. 

I can't stress enough how important focusing and staying true to the task is if one wants to accomplish or achieve something. It's simply impossible to get where you want if the small steps each moment and each day are not there. Anything from planning your meals to knowing what you will wear to the gym are strategies to help keep you focused.

I hope the holiday was good for you.

Foods I ate today:
Talapia with a 1/4 t. of some marinade sauce
hardboiled eggs
rice cakes
banana, peanut butter, protein powder smoothie

Workout today:
1/2 hour run
sit ups
smith machine squats
leg press machine
leg extensions

Monday, December 24, 2012

Workout Clothes

Working out on an infrequent basis will not necessarily make a difference on the performance on workout clothing. However, if you workout consistently (5 + days a week), then I think that the clothing one wears makes a huge difference. 

I have tried different brands of clothing, from inexpensive to expensive, and unfortunately the more costly ones seem to hold up better. 

I love Nike Fit and Nike Dry. The long sleeve and the short sleeve shirts are comfortable, fit well, and are lighter weight than other brands I've tried, but not too thin. They breath well and do not hold the odor as much as others, even if you wash them frequently. 

This is my short sleeve Nike shirt. I've had it for at least 4 years. It wears and washes very well.

This is a close up of it. Yes, you will pay a lot of money, but if you keep it for as long as I do, it's worth the price tag.

They come in any color:)

I have posted these gloves before, which I love, also made by Nike Dry. It was so cold the day I took this picture, that I wanted to show you the running gloves I bought that I'm wearing under them. The second picture is without the weight training gloves on top of them. They wick away the perspiration and well worth the penny to have a pair of gloves that work for the specific purpose.

The shirt I'm wearing in this picture is also the Nike Fit, but in long sleeves. 

Sunday: No workout
Sunday: What I ate
Sunday we had one of our Christmas get togethers. NO, I did not eat what everybody else ate. It's just not possible when there is a goal and a plan in mind. 

Greek Yogurt with Fruit in the bottom
hardboiled eggs
cilantro, jalepeno, onion, garlic, tomatillo homemade dressing
Boiled organic skinless boneless chicken breast
chicken cold cuts
corn tortillas
peanut butter

An example of what I ate the day before for dinner
Tilapia with salt and pepper & spinach with garlic and lemon

Saturday, December 22, 2012


are a modification of a standard workout where you would do a set of one exercise and then do a set (right afterwards) of another exercise. The two different exercises you choose are up to you. You can do opposing muscles like biceps and triceps to give each muscle group some time to rest in between, or you could superset the same muscle groups like upright rows (for deltoids) followed by dumbbell presses (also for deltoids) to exhaust the muscle. There are many combination names for types of supersets. The bottom line is that you can save time in your workout by completing more exercises in a shorter period of time, and increase the intensity placed on the muscle groups to work harder --so muscles can be stimulated to grow and prevent plateaus in your workout.

mean what the word says. Take a given exercise such as hamstring curls and do the number of reps you would normally do. Then without rest drop the weight a little and do another set, but to failure. Then, drop the weight again, and do your final set to failure. The idea is to stimulate the muscle and work it to failure. 

Supersets and dropsets can be a great way to change up your routine, save time exercising, and stimulate muscle growth.

Don't forget to have some carbs and protein within 30 minutes of your workout. Eliminate fat in your diet pre and post workouts. You want the body to use the protein and carbs to help build the muscle. 

Do you see the Nike symbol on my shirt? Tomorrow, I'll post about workout clothing and why I think certain clothing is better to workout in than others.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Making Great Spaghetti Sauce

I don't know if I loved this spaghetti sauce because I was sorely lacking in intense flavor with my food choices while training, or it was really that great!

Either way, I'm posting it....and you can tell me how good it tasted. 

3 cloves crushed garlic
1/2 finely chopped yellow onion
1 package97%-98% fat free ground turkey
3 Italien chicken sausages without casings & sliced
2 14 oz. cans diced tomatoes with garlic and basil
1 6 oz can tomato paste

put enough olive oil in a skillet ( I used a cast iron skillet) and heat on medium/high. Saute the three cloves garlic for one minute and then add the onion. Saute until the onion is translucent. Add ground turkey chopping it up with the onions and mixing it every so often to brown it. When 1/2-3/4 browned add the Italian  chicken sausage. Add all tomatoes after turkey has been browned. Stir in skillet, moving it around every so often. Set fire on low and let it simmer for 30-45 minutes. 

What I ate last night:
Last night I had 4 or 5 Tablespoons of this sauce, and a hodgepodge including one corn tortilla and 1/3 cup left over bean/grain with salsa I made a few nights ago. That was dinner.

Later that evening I went to a terrific potluck MNO (Mom's Night Out) hosted by one of my friends. I brought Scalloped Sweet Potatoes with Fontina Cheese and Thyme. I made it for the first time and couldn't taste while prepping, because of the cheese. 
Here is the MNO potluck dish before it went in the oven. I heard it was really good

Here is one picture of some of the food at the table

This picture doesn't do the variety of foods served, some were in the kitchen. 

It was a fantastic evening of conversation, laughter, and fun, even though I didn't eat anything. I did not feel deprived.  

Being around people who are supportive and love being together is the most important. I didn't want to leave the party so early (10pm) but I had to excuse myself, because I needed to wake up at 6:15am to start my workout. 

Workout this Morning:
30 minute run
4 sets of alternating lunges
4 sets of kettlebell sit ups ( first time added)
4 sets of hamstring curls as a giant set with 
4 sets leg extensions. 

I'll talk about supersets and giant sets another day. 

Foods I ate yesterday
banana, protein powder, peanut butter smoothie
corn tortillas
hardboiled eggs
spaghetti sauce
brown rice cakes
(for the life of me...I was so busy in the day...I can't fully remember what I had for lunch, sorry)

What I do know is when I look at this list I'm not seeing my green vegetables that I usually try to have a few times a day.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

2 Good Recipes

Variety and taste are just as important to sustain motivation and momentum. 

I love BBQ chicken with some type of marinade. I keep switching the marinades, sometimes ones I create and sometimes ones I buy. The one I love right now is Kinder's Original Marinade. It claims it's one of the best, so I thought I'd try it. Yum, it is very good:)

I marinaded the organic, skinless, boneless chicken breasts approximately 24 hours. 

I will eat this along with some type of green vegetable (green beans have been one of my favorite for the last month). 

The entire family loves my chinese chicken salad. I will modify it for my competition by eating the chicken, green onions, iceberg lettuce, and chicken with approximately 1 tsp of Chinese Chicken Salad Dressing from Trader Joe's. Plus, I will not eat the Chinese Noodles.

I use Soy Vay's Toasted Sesame Dressing. This is definitely one of the best I've tried. It can also be used as a marinade, but I haven't done that yet. The chicken I use is also boneless, skinless, and organic. I marinade this chicken the night before as well, but with a Teriyaki marinade. 

The noodles are from La Choy (Chow Mein Noodles), 0% trans fat. Kids love them. 

It's easy to get stuck in a rut of eating the same thing over and over when you are bored with eating the same thing over and over! There is truly a huge variety of ethnic foods that are low fat, low calorie, and dense on substance. 

I recently found a recipe for soup that I must try. If it's good, I'll post it. Looks just like Creamy Tomato Basil Soup, but it's not creamy and doesn't have tomatoes in it!!!!!

My Freezing Working This Morning: 
39 degrees last night & this morning was not much better as I raced to get my socks and shoes and hat on & start running:
30+ minutes running at 4.4
4 sets of 25 kettlebell swings
4 sets of alternating kettlebell swings with 10 presses 
4 sets of super setting bicep curls, overhead presses, upright rows, and bent over one arm rows

Yesterdays Foods:
Banana, protein powder, peanut butter smoothie
rice cake
hardboiled eggs
homemade hearty bean, grain, turkey soup
sliced chicken
(& now I can't remember what else I had)

yesterday was very frustrating for me, because I was having the hardest time trying to take out my Invisaligns to eat. I almost gave up, but after drooling all over the place trying to pull those things out, I finally succeeded. So, I don't think I ate as much yesterday as I normally do. Maybe that's why I was also cranky last night. 

Wednesday, December 19, 2012


The last few days I've been wanting to sleep in when it's time to get up to workout. I open my eyes and think wouldn't it be nice to lay here and fall back asleep for a few hours!

However, at 6:15 I'm up and start my morning routine of going to the bathroom, weighing myself, brushing my teeth, getting into workout clothes, filling my water bottle, and getting into the gym downstairs in the garage. 

This morning when I opened the man-door to the garage, it was absolutely freezing. I know for a fact that this would have been another excuse for many NOT TO WORK OUT, because it would have been mine too.

Normally I take off my workout hat after 5 minutes of being on the treadmill, but the early morning freeze had me so cold that I kept it on for the entire workout. My hands were bundled inside my long sleeves while running, and during the weight training I wrapped my workout towel around my neck and tucked it into the collar. 

For the most part you can see my whole gym. The leg press is near the garage door in the back of the photo. Next to it is a Lat Machine. Then the big machine with what looks like spikes is the Smith Machine, and then the Treadmill I run on 6 days a week.
On the far left lower corner you can just make out the leg pad for the Hamstring/Extension Curl Machine. 

On the wall, behind the red headrest of the bench you can see one of the window vents to the outside. There are two of these on this wall which allow that freezing cold temp to come in from the outside. 

If these excuses are not something that you have to contend with then perhaps the variety of holiday feasts during the December month are. 

The thing to remember is that when you get into the groove of working out and eating well more than just your body changes. Your focus on what you value, what you want, and your determination, and discrimination for this or that changes. The old habits that drop away and the new habits that start to form need time to solidify. It could take weeks, months, or years. It's important to be flexible and prepared. 

My workout today:

30 minutes running on treadmill (4.4 mostly)
4 sets ball assisted sit ups
4 sets Smith Machine squats
4 sets Leg Press Machine
4 sets Deadlifts

Foods I ate yesterday:
banana, peanut butter, protein powder smoothie
hardboiled eggs
rice cakes
breen beans
variety of bean/grains from a soup I made
ground turkey, onions, garlic
Greek yogurt
5 huge workout bottles of water
Gummy Vitamins

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Are your ABS showing?

Me...this morning
I hear many people complain about not having great abs, but they constantly profess to ab' exercising regularly. As you can see not all my abs' are coming through on this photo this morning...and frankly they are not until I'm very close to my contest weight. You can have a flat stomach, but you won't see the abs' until you get rid of the fat. It's simply the only way to see them. And for women who have birthed a child (or not, perhaps)...the little saggy thing that hangs below your belly button also won't disappear no matter how many crunches you do --until you change how much and what you eat. It's all about quantity & what you do and don't put in your mouth and how much body fat you have. 

I will seriously look too thin on my face and upper body during contest time, but as far as the lower 1/2 of my will look pretty good. It's not going to look great, because it's just my tough area. Most of us have an area that is deficient in your eyes or somebody else's eyes. 

My husband is a great example of a person who looks great no matter what. He has the perfect proportions and looks amazing in an on/off season....however, if you were to critically judge his physique during the on/off season you would critically say his legs are his deficiency. 
Hubby...52 at the time

Unfortunately, he came with better genetics than I, so I must work harder to look as good, while he will be able to carry it off better during a contest. 

In addition, if you are pushing 40 or over 40 watch out for portion control! You can be doing a great job at reducing how much you eat, but if you don't see the scale budge after a few weeks (assuming you are lifting weights)...then you need to reduce your portion size. 

I was all pissy and depressed - not really:)...but certainly discouraged and amazed- when I realized at 42/43 that I couldn't eat as much as I used to. The portion size had to drastically reduced even when I was exercising. 

So, if you are ready to be in shock....just take the decreased portion size slowly week by week. Don't get discouraged about losing the size, be happy that you are so much smarter and relaxed as an older person.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

This is GROSS

My favorite breakfast looks gross in the blender.
Item by item it doesn't appear this way in person, but I don't think I'd want to eat if it was posted on the blog. 
I'm going to post it anyway, so you can see my favorite breakfast option.

In the blender is one banana (the riper the better, unless it has brown spots), 1 scoop of whey protein powder (which does not have fat or carbs), 1 cup water (or less), 4 ice cubes, and 1 tablespoon of natural peanut butter. 

Blend and drink.
It has approximately 400 calories (100 from the peanut butter, 100 from the banana, 150 for the protein powder, and give or take 50 calories that I may have misjudged, because of the size of the banana or amount of peanut butter). 

Along with two gummy vitamins, this drink is my favorite!
I love, love, love peanut butter. Costco had to take it's peanut butter off the shelf, so I've been going to Whole Foods to grind my own. There was a salmonella outbreak at one of the peanut butter processing plants a while back and ever since Costco hasn't put the peanut butter manufactured in that plant back on the shelves. What a bummer! I really liked that peanut butter, and it was less inexpensive. 

No workout, because it's Sunday, my only day off.

Went to MMO (Moms Morning Out) where I brought a huge mug to get hot water and lemon, ate one container of Greek Yogurt, and two hardboiled eggs....with lots of salt. I know salt is bad for me, but I just love it. I can't get rid of everything, and salt is definitely one of them. 

Looking Ahead:
I'm starting to think about increasing my intensity starting at the end of January. I won't increase the amount of time in the gym (necessarily) but will opt for increasing my speed more on the treadmill and really trying to lift some significant weight. Right now, I'm in a peaceful mode of changing up my exercises, adding weight to the machines, but not too much, and keeping my run at a good pace (4.1-4.4), but I am starting to feel the effects of getting too used to what I'm doing. 

I'm going to give this a lot of thought. If I increase my intensity too much, then my body will want more food. I'm in a wonderful place with what I eat, and I hate to disrupt it. So, I'm going to give myself plenty of time to think and perhaps experiment with changing things up. I may even try to do one really intense workout per week, just to see what the effects are.

Also, I may think about going to a workshop (like Nancy George's) to refine my posing for the bikini competition. I thought about it last time, but didn't do it. I don't have any regrets, but if I'm going to go on stage a 2nd time, I'm truly considering it. 


A while back I said that I only do cardio for 30 minutes. Actually, what happens is that I plan on a 30 minute cardio run, but if the music I'm listening to doesn't stop when the 30 minutes appears on the treadmill, I continue until the song is over!

I' guess this will give you a good sense of my personality. Exactness on certain things is very comforting and satisfying to me. It makes me happy to see things work out just so. Or, if I can make them work out just so, that's great too. 

I'm the same way when it comes to making my bed, placing things in the refrigerator, and retrieving stuff from an organized cabinet. It's peace of mind when I go into a place that is set up so that it is pleasing to the eye and makes utilizing the space easier. 

While perfection of function or utility or design is always the goal, I always know some things are not able to be perfected.  I like the process of trying to get there physically, but I don't get completely discouraged if I am not able to achieve the ideal. That would be unrealistic. Stretch marks from delivering two children and gravity taking a tole on my body without surgery to compensate for natural occurrences would be completely devastating..but they're not. 

In that odd way, I don't mind getting older, having wrinkles, or showing the signs of time. What I like, is just getting more experience, more knowledge, and more ideas as I age. It makes me happy to challenge myself and not be afraid of taking opportunities or chances even when I don't know the outcome. 

I think I totally went on a tangent with this blog, but oh well. 

Back to the treadmill......

I never stop short of 30 minutes, but to go over if there is time or to some good tunes is always worth it!

Kettlebell Workouts Rock!

I can't believe 5 days have gone by without a post. I'm sorry for those who are following. I've been completely on track with working out, nutrition, and focus...but just got busy. So I'm going to put out a few posts that I intended to do, to catch up on some backlogged thoughts.

Kettlebell Workouts  are an amazing workout if you haven't tried. There are so many positive features to this type of workout. First, if you are limited in space for a complete house gym or don't want the eye sore in your house or garage, try keeping a very small kettlebell in your house as a door stop. It's pleasant to look at, and is heavy enough to hold open the man-door, and it gives one of the most effective workouts ever. 

Kettlebells come in a variety of sizes (weight in Kg or lbs). I have chosen to get the Russian Kettlebell in Kg, purchased through by Paul Daniels (certified RKC trainer). 
Paul is amazing at teaching kettlebell if you happen to live in the vicinity of Rancho Santa Margarita, California. 

In addition, he has a variety of sizes of kettlebells for sale on his website.  You will be able to find kettlebells at large superstores and fitness stores, but be careful! Not all kettlebells are alike. The kettlebell I'm showing you here is forged from one piece of iron, and has a specific handle shape that conforms to the body when you lift it overhead. The last thing you want is a kettlebell that hits you in the wrong place on the back of the hand when you swing it overhead. Comfort is huge when it comes to swinging this 20+ lb of iron. 

As I learned from Paul Daniels, there have been kettlebells which are not made as well and have broken because it's not made out of one piece. While i'm sure that it doesn't happen often, it would be a huge safety issue if and when it occurred.
(10 lbs)
(14 lbs)
(18 lbs)
(12kg/26 lbs)
(16kg/35 lbs)
(16kg/35 lbs)
(20kg/44 lbs)
(24kg/53 lbs)
(28kg/62 lbs)
(32kg/70 lbs)
(36kg/79 lbs)
Once you get really good or comfortable with the weight you chose, you can add another kettlebell of the same size, and do double kettlebell swings and lifts, which increase your cardio rate and your conditioning level. The last few months prior to my first competition I used the kettlebell as my sole weight trainer. It gave me such a good workout that I stopped all weight machines and dumbbells. 

Initially, I bought a 12kg / 26 lb kettlebell. I'm going to borrow my friend's kettlebell for a little while,  then probably purchase a second one. You can do double swings, double lifts, double snatches, double high pulls, push ups (which I love to do on these), and on and on....

You can get a great workout in as little time as 30 minutes. So, if you are not one to want to workout  or feel it's a complete inconvenience to your daily routine, but know you have to do something, this is the perfect option.