Sunday, November 29, 2009

Max PR x 2

Saturday is the Max Party @ Girya. Right now it's a party of 4, me, Mark, Meg, and Nick. Meg and I continue to have PR's with the 16kg, (after our crash and burn a couple of weeks ago, lol), here's yesterdays breakdown:

5/5 x 4
6/6 x 6
7/7 x 10 (20 sets, 126 snatches up to this point)
8/8 x 42
7/7 x 8

70 sets total
518 16kg snatches in 35 minutes
last week total # of snatches was 440, that'a 78 more snatches this week!

5/5 x 6
6/6 x 6
7/7 x 8 (20 sets 122 snatches, total up to this point)
8/8 x 38.....tore open callus on left hand
8 sn R, 10 sw L x 12 (6 each)

70 sets total (44 sets of 8)
474 snatches, 60 swings
last week the total # of snatches was 436, that's 38 more total snatches this week.

Not only did Meg and I have PR's with sets of 8, we had total snatch # PR's, so I guess we had PR's x 2!

Mark had a great Max day too, 20 sets of 7's and 30 sets of 8. Nick actually lasted a whole 60 sets, but scaled down his reps to 6's and 5's (I think he made it to about set 20 last week....just kidding....yikes!)

Anyway, I knew Meg and I had to up our Max workouts from 60 sets to 70 sets on our way to 80 sets of 8, so this week we added 10 additional Max sets. We'll stay @ 70 sets until we get our sets of 8 to 50-60, maybe 3 more weeks and then add on an additional 10 sets.

I would be lying if I pretended there wasn't some sort of competitive component to training with Meg. I thought I was competitive, but she has me beat! (pun intended....get it Meg? You win, you are more competitive, know I'm having fun, right?) That doesn't mean I don't play along! I know she would have done all 50 of her remaining sets with 8's.....but just because you can, doesn't mean you should.

As Mark is quoted in Pavel's book "Power to the People Professional", "The next step off of a peak is always down. You can either step back, or fall off"

Once you've peaked you should voluntarily reduce intensity and volume, instead of being greedy in thinking you can continue to set PR after PR after PR, without suffering some type of breakdown. I voluntarily reduced my sets of 8, after my designated 42 sets, back down to 7's. I could do my whole workout with 8's if I wanted to, but that's not the point, and it doesn't give me much to work for....why train at all, or do anything different at all?

Morale of the story.....have a training plan to progessively improve, volume and strength over time. There's no rush....again, as Mark always says about our yoga practice....."You still have to come back tomorrow!" Max isn't going anywhere, it'll still be there next week!

PS Having Meg as a client, now training partner, for the last, almost, year has made me a better athlete, as well as teacher and thank you Meg!

Friday, November 27, 2009

My Poor Little Fingertips....

Just a short post on how sore my little fingertips are! Just like an impatient cook, I'm always trying to carve that damn turkey before it cools.......Ouch!

I haven't cooked Thanksgiving dinner on the "actual" Thankgiving Thursday in eons, instead I'll cook dinner on Friday, Sat. or in my true tradition I roasted my turkey this evening and after smelling, and looking at this perfectly, brown, roast-ey turkey, I had to tear off the wings and start in on it!

Yesterday I didn't have anywhere to go, or no one to expect over for food, so I was able to just practice my hobby of cooking. I made my sweet potatoes in two differnt ways...blogpost to come....and after getting guavas and persimmons from Meg, (she evidently is the only person on the planet with a freakin' guava tree!), I made cranberry guava sauce and today I tried cranberries with persimmons....yummy... Sliced my bread for stuffing, and prepped my onions, celery and parsley....

I put a 12 lb turkey in the oven @ around 3:30pm and just finished putting everything away for tomorrow.

First thing in the morning, Max Vo2 @ 8:00am, two classes, Farmers market for string beans and potatoes.....a bottle of red wine......dinner time? About 4:30....should I attempt 12 noon yoga? Nothing fancy....maybe! Right now my poor little fingertips are there anything better than juicy, butterey, flaming hot, crunchy, turkey skin?

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Defining "Fit"

I can't tell you how many times I'm complimented on my level of fitness. I'm constantly hearing things like. "Wow, you're in such great shape", and these compliments come from people, male and female, many times much younger than me, and people that have never had any "real" weight to lose. In fact, this past Halloween season two of my young (20-23 year old) Swing Class students told me they thought I should be Wonder Woman for the Holiday! Goodness, how lucky am I?

So what defines "fit"? What are you "fit" for?

Well, I die in Spin class. And I don't have a natural talent for any kind lifting that requires "pressing" or using whole body tension for strength, And...I can not run a mile, without gassing out! So what the hell am I fit for?

I am fit to swing, snatch, squat, andf push press kettlebells.....non stop,! Because of this base fitness level I've created training kettlebells, I've set myself up to try and succeed, to some level, at many other exercises that require some sort of, any sort of, level of fitness.....I have that.

What kind of athlete are you? I talk to many people about programing kettlebell workouts and I often ask this question.....who are you? Are you a "runner", are you a "lifter", are you a "triathlete", are you a "yogini"? Who, or what sport do you indentify with? And what do you need to be fit for?

I love Bikram's yoga, but I'm not a "Bikram's Yoga Champion", nor do I want to be's just not at the top of my priority list. I may become a Bikram's Yoga Instuctor, but not a "Champion"....right now, LOL!

I love Spinning, and Cycling, but I'm not a "Cyclist". It's too dangerous on the streets where I live, I'm not going to invest the money for a state of the art bicycle, and all the (really cool) gear associated with being a "cyclist"......and I'd have to give up alot of other things to take this "sport" on. I'll settle for the imaginary road inside the Club, LOL!

My energy level is huge. I have a huge work capacity to do all kinds of things from moving furniture, grocery shopping everyday, cooking all of my own meals, everyday (and cleaning up!), attending and participating, to the fullest, all kinds of exercise classes, daily, teaching exercise classes (kettlebells, of course) not to mention......I'm 46 years old.....I'm not young as I used to be, lol!

So what am I "fit" for? Life. My good life.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Max Par-tay

Mark and I have been training in our garage gym for-ev-er.....but now Girya is opening up, and becoming a much more comfortable place for us "hardcore" LOL! Mark has decided to call Girya home! So in addition to the two of us training there, together, Wednesday mornings, Mark invited his long time training partner, Nick, to train Max Vo2 with the three of us.

Tracy Max

5/5 x 4
6/6 x 6
7/7 x 16
8/8 x 34
total sets 60, 440 total snatches

Meg Max

5/5 x 10
6/6 x 10
7/7 x 10
8/8 x 32
total sets 62, 436 total snatches

Meg snatched 2 extra sets because she didn't do her halfway "happy dance" until set she had to do 62 sets in order for it to truly be a halfway happy dance.....I, on the other hand, was sucking enough wind by my 60th set and had nothing more to prove for the day!

Both of us set PR's snatching the 16kg for sets of 8. We had alot of making up to do for last week.

Mark is going to kill me, but I was not paying much attention to his, or Nick's workout....seriously, once I started 8's I barely said a word. Sorry (check his blog for details....yikes...don't be mad at me Sweetie, wink, wink).....but I did notice Nick sucking wind, down on his one knee after about set 20, knowing he better "man up" or else....LOL! (huh Meg, lol)

Next week I think we'll up the # of total sets along with increasing sets of 8......I hope.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Sick about Myself

I can't believe how much time I wasted being sick about myself.

Good freakin' Lord.....this last year has been.....perplexing, is the only word that really fits. Here's the bottom line. I'm a person that has experienced much of my life being fat....not "overweight"...I'm not going to "sugar coat" it. I mean, let's be honest, in these current times, according to the standards of "normal" I have had a bodyweight that way exceeded "normal". I don't know why, nor do I care, the only thing I care about is loving and respecting, even freakin' adoring, who I am, and that includes, or doesn't include what I weigh.

I started blogging about my "weight loss journey" at a time....lucky for me.....when it was easy.....
It was easy to feel good about myself.....can you imagine? Feeling easy about yourself? What a freakin' joy! Good Lord. What's wrong with us? That we can't feel "easy"........

I spent the most of last year absoulutely sick about myself. Sick about myself because I didn't weigh 129lbs (or less!). Hiding out, afraid everyone would notice I gained 5 lbs from the previous year. Ohhhhh.....five whole pounds......

I was sick about myself. Looking at pictures and comparing me to me. Ashamed, again.....

Fuck. (there I said it)

Instead of being stressed out and angry about it, all I can do is feel better.....and I do.

I train hard.

I eat well, really well.

I love my life, I love my husband, I love my kids and beautiful lucky am I?
I love training with kettlebells and I'm happy to teach, and coach others to feel the same way. I love walking, spinning, and I love Bikram's yoga.

I love that my car looks as if a vagabond drives it...lives in it.....with extra workout clothes always in "stock", spinning shoes, extra kettlebells, and at least 3 yoga mats drying out for the next class.

I love the way my jeans fit me.....and it doesn't matter what size they are.

I love using the Gravitron at the Club.

I love shopping for my workout clothes (at Lululemon), and I love, love, love the fact that I can afford anything I want.

I love my friends....especially Fawn, (and Aaron), and I wish I could visit more often with my brilliant husband, Mark ( he"s the one they like better anyway, lol....but I don't care, lol)

I love that as I write this blogpost Mark is listening to "Danny's Song" on his lovely is that?

I have such an incredible life with people that inspire me, and who I, in return, inspire. There is nothing I can't have, that I know.

I'll keep showing up, I'll keep showing up...... As Mark always says, "If I can't outlift them, then I'll outlast them!" And that's no freakin' joke!

(this is a picture of me, last year 10 lbs lighter than I am right now....and I was "sick about myself"....who cares. Good easy with yourself.....)

Saturday, November 14, 2009

The Next Step off A Peak.....

Is always down..."You can step back or fall off".......As Mark always says,.

Abandon ship, abandon ship.......

Good Lord! My day started with moving ten tons of weight. 97lb ketlebellls, dumbells up to 55lbs, mirrors that probably weigh 40 lbs, etc..... Girya is getting a makeover to accommodate future HKC's along with bigger KB evening classes with Jordan Vezina and Sat swing classes lead by me! I was at Girya by 7:00am moving everything away from the walls for the painter to do his job....not 100% about the new color, but what the heck, it's just paint.

Saturday is a KB Max Vo2 day along with swing classes for "Learn", and Beg/Inter, and then 12 noon Bikram yoga (lucky for me its also "drink my ass into the ground day", lol)......Good Lord....

OK here's the low down....

I show up at 8:45am @ Equinox for my 2 scheduled classes, and I had decided to train with my Beg/Inter. class before Max w/ I've done plenty of swing classes before a 12kg Max V02 workout, but what what I thinking??????

I bring my own 12kg to Equinox, and as soon as I pulled ot out of my car it felt heavy....not a good sign! I ask my first class, "Is it just me, or do the KB's feel heavy today?" Everyone agreed! Whoops.....

OK, 25 minutes of 'long ass' swing sets, and now Meg and I have to train Max V02 with the freakin' 16kg......

Jessie and Sabina stayed with us for 10 sets of Max training, and then it was just me and Meg..... the 16 kg felt heavier than usual and I knew, for sure, there was no freakin' way I was doing 8's today, I was going to be lucky to do my 60 sets! Set 20.....Meg's finger, or hand opened up, gushing blood....she couldn't go on. That's the only excuse I needed......abandon ship.....we were done! Switch to heavy 2 hand swings and speed swings.

Willy Nilly snatches, speed swings w/12kg, heavy 2 hand swing w/20 & 24 kg....60 sets total....done! 35 sets of 8, Max w/16kg will have to wait until next week.....hey, I am only human after all! lol!

Meg's head was ready, but her hand wasn't...I on the other hand was asking the Universe for "an out" and it gave me week...

Mark will train Max, first freakin' thing in the morning, with us @ Girya, and that will be that! How can we not rise to the occasion?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


Mark and I went to the Mexican grocery (Mi Pueblo) near our home a couple of days ago to buy some short ribs (*see note), and in the deli section along with the all-ready cooked pulled pork and ribs and chicken wings they had these kidneys and hearts! I had never seen them before, and at first didn't recognize them for what they were, until I looked closer. Hmmnn....are those kidneys? I asked Mark what he thought and he agreed! Yup, those are kidneys, and heart! I had never had kidney, and, for sure, had never had what the hell, it's protein right?

We bought 1 heart and 2 kidneys....not bad! I sliced it up and tossed it with my salad, and Mark had it in his egg and veg stirfry.

I try and include some sort of animal protein with 2 of my 3 daily main meals. I would have to say that, flavor wise, I prefer pork and beef, but chicken is the most convenient to cook as I make all of my own stocks for soup, which I also eat everyday, and for that reason I always buy whole chickens, cut them up and bone them myself, so a whole chicken gives me quite a bit of meat. Pressure cooking has given me the luxury of cooking big inexpensive pieces of meat in practially no time, which works perfectly for me to have the leftovers in my fridge to add to salads, stirfrys. Most times them most inexpensive cuts of beef and pork also have bones for stock making, one of my favorites is smoked ham shanks, which gives me a smokey flavored stock.

I don't think a day goes by that I don't use some sort of meat stock. Using it for soup is obvious, but I use it for rices, risottos, polenta, quinoa, chilis/beans, gravys and sauces. (and stuffing at Thanksgiving time...yum-my) I love the extra nutrition I know it must add, and just as important, using the bones along with all of my onion, celery and carrot scraps reduces waste, and cuts the cost of buying stock to zero! As much cooking as I do I have what I call "the scrap heap" in my freezer loaded with these vegetabe scraps that sometimes build up more quickly then the "bone yard" so I make vegetable stock in the PC in about 15-20 minutes!
I don't eat enough seafood only because seafood doesn't keep uncooked for more than 1 day in the fridge, and/or cooked for more than 1 day, so seafood protein doesn't fit my lifestyle of precooking and preparing in advance many of my meals. And although I love eggs (especially "real" eggs from pastured chickens), I don't digest them well. I'll eat eggs mostly soft and hard boiled, either diced into my salads or on their own.

The way I eat doesn't come from a nutritionist point of other words I don't count grams of proteins, carbs, fats, sugars, sodium, calcium or any other nutients or vitamins etc....if I count anything it's calories....which I don't do much of either these days. Since I prepare and make most all of my own foods, using fresh, natural ingredients, I trust that everything my body needs it could it not? I admit to a cookie or candy binge every once in a while, yes, the kind with fake fats and fake sugars, but I do try to make better choices when I feel I can.

* I started to get all hung up and obsessed with eating strictly organic, but thank goodness I'm getting over it! I've said it once, and I'll say it again, I managed to lose over 100lbs., and become one of the healthiest people I knew never eating anything organic. In fact buying most of my meat and produce at the Vietnemese and Mexican markets near my home because of the money I saved versus grocery stores like Safeway. Currently I shop mostly at Farmers Markets, Whole Foods and Molly Stones, but I refuse to beat myself up anymore and stress out about being "perfectly organic". I know there are alot of reasons, other than nutrition, to buy local, seasonal and organic, but good Lord, stress is more toxic to my body than eating short ribs from Mi Pueblo! (I also recently renewed my Costco membership after 2 know they carry alot of pretty good brands of foods these days!)

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Max Vo2.....PR

I have to check my records, but I think I had a PR (personal record) with my Max training....I had to do 2 extra sets to make sure, LOL!

Tracy Max w/16kg
5x 4 (2 L, 2 R)
6x 6 (3 L, 3 R)
7x 20
8x 32!!!!!!!

Meg Max w/16kg
5x 6 (3 L, 3 R)
6x 8 (4 L, 4 R)
7x 26 (13 L, 13 R)
8x 12
7x 10

62 sets Max V02 total

I started Max thinking I had done 25 sets of 8 last workout (2 weeks ago, before out Santa Barbara trip), so I knew I had to do 30 sets, an increase of 5 sets per week until my goal of 60 sets of 8....but then I second guessed myself ( because I didn't check my blog ) and couldn't remember what my last PR was, I added on two more sets at the end to make sure. 62 sets total Max workout today, 32 sets of 8 reps w/16kg.

Meg's Max was a little "willy-nilly" as she didn't have a solid plan, and I was too out of breath to coach her, LOL! But she also snatched a Max PR with 12 sets of 8's, last workout she had done 10 sets of 8.

Thanks to Jesse and Sabina (my next class) for counting down our last two really does make a difference whren you have a cheering audience!

The next 15-20 minutes was planks, hangs, and TGU's. Thanks to Meg for coaching us through TGU's and then it was 30 minutes of swings. Everyone trained their asses off this morning with kettlebells, and then I met Mark for Bikram's for the 12 noon yoga class....good Lord I'm a good way of course. (training and 3 or so glasses of wine.....)

Tomorrow is Sunday, and I'm cooking lunch for my kids, and my granddaughter is coming for the first time! Woo hoo!

today was a great day!

I love today! I never want to feel any other way, than the way I feel about today!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Searching for What I Already Know

Man, this past 1 1/2 years has been a rollercoaster. Lots of things changing in my life, back and forth, up and down.....and it sure has reflected in my bodyweight......or should I say in my eating patterns.....

I was having a conversation with my grandaughters 'other Grandmother' about losing weight, and because she hadn't known about my own weightloss story she was, of course, surprised having only known me at my current size. I happened to have one copy of the Vitalics magazine in my car and showed her the article which included a 'before picture', as well as my beginning diet and workout routines. She glossed over everything and said to me "So you mean all of the answers are right here? All I have to do is this?" And I said to her, "You don't need to know how I did it, you already know how to do it, everyone does!"

What I mean, and what I meant, by that is, when you read books/articles, see pictures, talk with people that have had success in losing weight what you need from these things is inspiration, not facts. Although their weightoss facts may inspire, that's not what I mean. My own exact menus and workout routines may not be right for you, but something similar may be, and can inspire you to remember what you already know, or what you know you need to learn. Inspiration may include a literal translation in change, but what we are all searching for is motivation. Being inspired to make small, or even big changes can provide more motivation for more inspiration.

This is one reason why I stopped including blogposts with the exact details of my food/calorie count, bodyweight and BF%, instead I've been trying to think of inspiring things to write about....I haven't been too successful, sometimes writing instead about getting stuck in a downward spiral of negativity looking for the answers to the "whys" in my life.

Why am I gaining weight?
Why me?
What does this mean?
Why now?
How am I going to lose this weight?
Can I lose this weight?
When will this end?
When will this turn back around?
Why me?
What will people think?

Did I just turn into some kind of victim? Yuck. I've said many times before that I don't think we need look back into the past to find out the "why's", instead focus on the present and future. I don't know why most of the things in my life happened the way they did, but so what. What I need to focus on are the things I do know.

I haven't been walking regulary, but I went for a walk the other day...... I love walks, it's my time to meditate and I come up with so many good thoughts and ideas when I walk, and I always feel good when I walk....and one of the thoughts I had was how I had been spending so much time and energy worried that I was going to fail, and looking for ways not to fail, that I forgot I knew how to succeed! I already know how to succeed, so what the hell have I been looking for? (I know I need to walk, by the did I forget that one? Walking is my #1 exercise!)

I believe that everyone knows how to lose weight. If you, or anyone, has ever purposely lost one pound, then you could lose 100 pounds. How could it be any different? Remember that you already know the facts and ask instead for inspiration to create motivation to put your body and mind into action!

I'll blog soon about the recent inspiration that came to me and how it's motivated me to make the diet and workout changes I know I need to make, and I know how to make, to reach some new goals in my good life.

PS this is why I changed the order of my blog title to transforming "thought" first

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Back to Max....

Mark and I were in Santa Barbara last weekend and I decided to take off my Saturday KB training and just relax and enjoy some time with our lovely friends, Greg and Jen Mishkin, who were generous enough to share their home with us (and a few really good bottles of wine!)

Mark went down to Ventura to join a few SR RKC's and Team Leaders to assist Pavel's Bodyweight Training Workshop, where he taught and demonstrated the handstand segment as well as his gymnastic tension drills.

Mark joined us for Max early Saturday morning as well. One of his regular training partners moved away a couple of months ago, and the other one has alot of other commitments that cause him to miss workouts more often than not, so I'm more than happy to snag him as my training partner at any, and every, chance!

Since I missed my 16kg Max training last week, I had to try and pick up where I left off....

Max V02 60 sets

7/7 x 50 sets
8/8 x 10 sets

5/5 x 10
6/6 x 10
7/7 x 30
8/8 x 10

I started off straight into sets of 7/7, and I knew there would be no 8's for me this day, which was fine as it would still be a PR.....I think I had only done 50 sets of 7 previous, but I have to look back to last years training log. Mark and I went at the same time and although we were both snatching 7 reps I tried to keep up with Mark snatching his 7 at an 8 rep pace. I wrote about pacing in my last post about Max.

Meg started out with 5's and then 6's, also at a fast pace before settling into her 7 rep pace.....and then at the end of our workout with 10 sets left to go she announces that she's going to snatch 8's for the remainder of the workout! What!

No way in hell was she snatching 8's and I was snatching 7's....I think I've been called out (LOL, really, it was my own ego calling me out, not Meg!) Eights it was. Fine.

Next class.....

Planks, hangs, and then swings.....swings for an additional 30 minutes.

Next class....more swings, but since it was a "Learn" and Beginning class I didn't have to do much actual swinging, it was more teaching...starting, stopping for another 30-45 minutes. The Farmers Market in Palo Alto, a small Pumkin Spice latte at Peet's, and then Mark and I went to 12 noon Bikrams. (hey, a girls' gotta earn her wine with dinner!)

Next week, back to 8's.....Meg too!