Monday, July 30, 2012

The Biggest Person

Sometimes I still let some old feeling affect me without really knowing, or being conscious of what's going on.  I just wrote about how I never saw myself as "that fat person in the mirror", but I couldn't deny that I did see that fat person in the mirror because I was, in fact, fat.  And it felt like no matter where I was, or who I was with, I was the biggest person the family get togethers, in school, in Girl Scouts, at the dance, in the club, in the gym, with my friends, etc.  From the time I could remember this was the case.

At stages in my adult life when I did lose weight I was still larger, or bigger than most of the people close to me.  My sisters, my mother, my cousins, my classmates/coworkers, were all smaller (or skinnier) than me.  I don't think I ever managed to weigh below the 140's and that was large for a woman in my generation during times when 110's and 120's was ideal (I got a little pissed off just now thinking about  it, lol, anyway...)  So, there is a little part of me that may still be triggered, although less and less as time passes, by judging myself based on my bodyweight.  It's kind of trippy to me that I know I'm not fat anymore, but I still can find myself feeling like the biggest person in the room, or maybe it's just a feeling of not belonging....hmnn...I think I'm on to something here....

I have a lot more to write about my feelings on this subject but I think I may have to break it into a couple of posts.

I don't think there is anything wrong with wanting to weigh a particular "number".  But I also know my truth to feeling good about myself, and that has nothing to do with a "number".

I don't really care that "muscle weighs more that fat".  My brain knows this, but what does my heart feel?  And how do my jeans fit?

I can want what I want, but you won't hear me bitch about not having it....much.  I find this whole adventure interesting.  The adventure of what I think, how I feel, where I want to go, not worried about how to get there, just knowing the possibilities.  In the mean time doing things I love, and appreciating all that I have.

Letting go of feeling and judgments of being the biggest person or not belonging....maybe there's some anger there....maybe.

Picture above: 40 years ago on my 9th birthday taken with my skinny friends Debbie and my best friend, "Little" Tracy.

Clean and Jerk routine

Thursday mornings I swing for about 1 hour before I either press or snatch, so when I get to the second half of my workout using the heaviest weights is not my purpose or intention.  I practice the overhead lifts a a way of getting and staying relatively strong and mobile in an overhead position.  It's all a fun and playful way of staying strong and fit.  Nothing too serious!

(I used two different size bells for my first and second set)

1 cl/jk R, tr (switch hands), 1 cl/jk L, tr x 4  
1 min work/1min rest x 2 sets = 4 min

5 cl/jk R, tr
5 cl/jk L
1 min work/30 sec rest x 2 sets = 3 min.

3 dbl cl/jk
15 sec work/15 sec rest x 10 sets = 5 min

12 minutes per rotation

I wouldn't want any body to think I only swing and snatch...although there is nothing wrong with doing just those, in fact there's everything right with the both!  That's why nothing comes before my own swing training, everything else is icing on the cake.  My swing and snatch training gives me everything I want, strength, endurance, cardio fitness, muscletone, etc, but I'm lucky enough to have more time to play around, and the motivation and interest to keep moving my body.

I wrote out this workout in super short hand because the jerk and most press workouts are done if you are at a more advanced skill level.  That being the case you probably don't need my little workout, or you can figure it out pretty simply....just thought I'd share.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Go For the GOLD!

Who wants to walk into a gym 100 + pounds overweight?  My husband and I owned a gym for 8 years (World Gym, Campbell CA ), and I when I was overweight I never walked in the front door!  Embarrassed for myself, but also too embarrassed for him to have such a fat wife.  How would my life change, permanently, to that of an athlete in training, and feeling driven to be the best.

Remembering the Olympic Games came one of the biggest athletic memories of my life....along with thousands of other young girls!   1972, Olga Korbut. What little girl doesn’t dream of being the Women’s Gymnastic gold medalist?  The Olympic games, only the best, the top of the top.  The event, Gymnastics, was only an example that reminds us of what lies underneath, and inside of us…..our inner athlete.

At only 9 years old this left an impression of the physical possiblities, the physical potential available to all normal girls, but I wasn't normal.  Being overweight, “chubby”, my entire life was painful.  I felt like the only chubby girl in the world.  I was always the last one picked for team sports, I never was able to do a cartwheel or hang from the monkey bars like other little girls, gymnastics was totally and forever out of the question.

Looking in the mirror and seeing the reflection of a fat girl.  Who was that?  That was not me.  I have never seen myself as that fat person, and it always surprised me to see that reflection knowing I was so much more than what my physical body looked like. I always felt judged and underestimated because of my physical condition....underestimated and judged by everyone, and maybe myself. 

Over the years I had, in addition to Olga Korbut, one more deep lasting physical impression.  Rachel McLish, bodybuildings 1980 Ms. Olympia . From one Olympian to another!  Talk about the perfect female physique.  Remember, this was 1980.  Bodybuilding in the 80’s set a standard for lean muscular physiques and it still has lasting effects on diet and training. This is the reason I joined Gold’s Gym, San Jose , and where I would meet my future husband Mark.  Fate?  Or part of my dreams coming true?  Mark was a former Olympic level athlete and the one who would unknowingly help me turn my dream of being and living like an athlete into reality. But who knew it would come almost 20 years later!

It had seemed like forever that I wanted to be able to express some physicality and athleticism throughout my life.  As a young adult I dreamt of bodybuilding and things like competing in the Ironman triathalon, and yes, the dream of being Olga Korbut still resonated.  But they were still only dreams, it was way too late for me.

Could I do it?  Would I do it?  Would I ever lose the weight?  Would I ever stop stuffing myself full of food?  I liked overeating food, and it liked me…until I didn’t, and it didn’t.  Change was up to me, and change was possible.

Why not me?  Why not you?

I believe in you the same as I believe in me.  I support, but I don’t commiserate.  I expect the best, the biggest, and the fastest changes.  I’m your biggest cheerleader.  You can do this...go for the GOLD!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

No Brainer Snatch-aholics 500 continuous reps

It may seem to a lot of people that I am constantly training but it's not the case.  Sure, I train kettlebells more than most, on the days I do train KB's, but I want to remind that I take 4 entire days away from kettlebells, I even try not to schedule KB work or demos on those days off.

The key is that I never miss my workouts.  That means out of 365 days in a year I show up for over 150 kettlebell workouts.  And on opposite days I train yoga at least 3 days a week, (this year) adding another 150 workouts.  300 workouts out of 365, wow, even I'm impressed!  But even all of these workouts equal approx 8 hours in an entire weeks 168 hours....ok, minus 8 hours sleep per day, it's still only 8 out of 112, not much.

So keeping that in mind this No-Brainer "Snatch-aholics" workout is not a challenge, or something that I think is a good idea for everybody to do, or try, if you haven't been training consistently, it's just what I had time for and all of my consistent training allowed me to do. 

I only had about 25 minutes after my Tuesday morning class and since I've kind of had this 400-500 snatch rep theme going on I was thinking I wanted to try and complete some kind of high volume snatch rep count.  I did not want to snatch heavy, I didn't even want to snatch the 14kg so using the 12kg I started with 10 reps R/L at a time.  While I was snatching I kept thinking about how to break up the sets....100 at a time? Nope, I've been doing that and I was bored.  200?  It doesn't go into 500 evenly.  Damn...should just do it without stopping?  Not really in the mood, but no better alternative.  God counting this is going to be a nightmare!

Of course I'm not going to video tape over 20 minutes of 10/10 snatches...besides, I had already started and I couldn't put the bell down at this point!  So I took a picture afterwards trying to get the Gymboss reading. Almost forty three 30 sec intervals = 21.5 minutes to complete.  It was after I put the bell down that the sweat just started pouring!

I checked my Gymboss after 200 reps (ten sets of 10 both R and L, 20 x 10), and it read 17 intervals, I checked it again after 400 to make sure my counting was near correct, yep, 34 intervals, makes sense it took another 8 to finish the last 100.

I've snatched continuous 40 minutes in the past, not sure of the rep count.  And I know I've done 1000 snatches before that even (I think), so this wasn't my longest snatch workout ever, but it will be for a while! Next time I do 500 continuous reps I'm going to test and challenge myself to do it under 20 minutes!  That means I probably did about 40 snatches after the 20 minute mark and will have to go faster to fit them into the shorter that will be fun!

Friday, July 20, 2012

"The Swing" Facebook fan page

Good-ness! I'm divided between my blog and my facebook fan page!  If you want the "short stories" be sure to check out and "like" "The Swing's" FB fan page.

"40 two hand swings" workout

I know I've been posting a lot of workouts lately, and I'm actually backed up with workout videos....but believe it or not, it takes less energy to train than it does to post my thoughts about food, weight loss and diet!  You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink!  so I'm leading you to water....the drinking part is on you!  (and I'm not trying to call you a horse!)

This workouts' goal is to train the two hand swing for 40 continuous reps.  Back in "the day" it was rare that any body trained the swing for more than 10-20 hand, two hand, hand to hand, whatever.  When I started training the swing, for sure, no one was talking about, posting, or even advocating the swing for more than that.  Well, times have changed, and I hope I've been part of that change.

For years and years my "warm-up" for my workout was not mobility drills, Z-health, whatever, it was swings!  I may be one of the lucky ones, but to this day I warm up my own workouts and my class workouts with swings.  period.  It was not hard for me to do 40 reps of two hand swings, BUT, as I started to teach and lead others through workouts I had to shorten the work intervals to 15-30 sec and once I got out of the habit of training 40 continuous 2 hand swings it all of a sudden became hard again (I use the word "hard" as a term of endearment)

So, here it is.  A workout to help you train the two hand swing for 40 continuous reps.  Why should you want to?  Why not?  But seriously, it increases grip strength as well as strengthening your forearms, and who doesn't want to be as strong as Popeye?  If you already are at the level of training the two hand swing for 40 reps no problem then I give you a problem!  Training into your rest period by up to 75%...try that and let me know how it goes for you!

I smoothed out the bug in the workout I designed for Seattle but never got to....

"40 2 hd sw"

10 2 hd sw x 2
10 tr x 2
1/2 sw ld x 2
5/5 x 2
4 min 80 sw

20 2 hd sw
30 2 hd sw
2.5 min 50 sw

"on the 2 minute"

40 2 h sw
40 2 hd sw (+ 10 tr
40 2 hd sw (+ 10 tr + 1/2 sw ld
40 2 hd sw (+ 10 tr + 1/2 sw ld + 5/5
5/5 + 2/1 sw ld + 10 tr + 10 2 hd sw (+ 30 2 hd sw = 40)
2/1 sw ld + 10 tr + 20 2 hd sw (+20 2 hd sw = 40)
10 tr + 30 2 hd sw (+ 10 2 h sw = 40 )
40 2 hd sw
16 min, 320 sw (120 optional swings = 440)

30 2 hd sw
20 2 hd sw
10 2 hd sw x 2
3.5 min, 70 sw

total workout
26 min, 520 swings, (optional 120 = 640)

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Snatch-aholics....bringing another 500 reps!

As usual I had no idea where my training was going to take me this morning so I did not video tape the first part of my workout, and besides that, the gym is always more crowded making it difficult to "produce" a tape with everybody around me.  I did not think about the total rep count, I only started building a base, a foundation, via....what else?  A ladder, uphill and then downhill.  I explain the routine during a rest break, not sure how well you can hear it so I will explain it best I can.

Every 20 reps you have 1 full minute to complete both work AND rest.  Chose a bell weight you can complete 20 reps in less than 40-45 sec giving you 15-20 sec rest periods for each group of 20 snatch reps.

1st set, 20 reps, 1 min
2nd set, 40 reps, 2 min
3rd set, 60 reps, 3 min
4th set 80 reps, 4 min
5th set 100 reps, 5 min (video starts here and follows the remaining downhill ladder)
6th set 80 reps, 4 min
7th set 60 reps, 3 min
8th set 40 reps, 2 min
9th set 20 reps, 1 min.

500 snatch reps, 25 min.

This is the equivalent of 5 snatch tests in a row!  Well, if I were using my snatch testing weight bell it would be!  I used the 12kg, plenty hard!  I already know how I'm going to modify it with a heavier bell....Snatch-aholics, stay tuned!

Even I was surprised that the total was 500 reps!  And in only 25 minutes!  Crazy!  Max Vo2 done at 8 reps per 15 seconds only totals 400 reps!  This is definitely a "Beyond Max" workout!

Originally this workout is based on a routine I posted a few months ago where you snatch 20 reps "On the minute" for however long you want your workout to be.  This version was way more challenging, in a good way!  I started my first set with 10 R/ 10 L, but my hands were too "crispy" and dry from not training all weekend.  I broke out a blister on my left palm and had to switch ever 5 reps....this only added 2 more swings per 20 snathces.  Doesn't seem like that much more work? Well, that equals out to 50 more swings, 1.25 minutes more work!  Try it both ways!  10 at a time and 5 at a time and let me know how it goes for you!

PS  it really blows me away how other people "cross training" (and including trainers) completely ignore the fact that I'm trying to do some serious training while they congregate around the water cooler between sets, having conversations and walking behind me and sometimes right in front of me while I'm swinging or snatching!  Good-ness, catch a clue.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Greetings from Washington state!

Hi All!  Wow, what a day I had in Olympia WA on Friday!  It's official, I hav e now swung a kettlebell in pouring rain thunder and....yikes, was that lightening?  Gotta get out of here!

Here I am pictured with Lisa Bausch (the Hostess with the mostest) when we all decided that it was time to wrap it up!  Swing lesson started around 6:00pm, and the weather was gorgeous!  Perfect as a matter of fact. By the time we started the advanced swing...uh oh....the clouds we indeed giving us a warning.  We got maybe, maybe 10 minutes of TracyStyle swings in and had to run for cover.  It was still an awesome experience.

We talked, laughed, "Got-up", had a few glasses of wine until late that night.  Followed up with the most delicious Steamer clams I've ever had (thanks to Chez Keith, Lisa's husband). More to come, but there are a few more pictures on my Facebook fan page of my trip so far.

Headed back to Kettlebility this morning with my sweetie for day 2 of the Primal Move workshop with Master Instructor Peter Lakatos.  I pretty much decided that I am going to try and do a little swing workout at lunchtime...maybe!

Monday, July 9, 2012

The Hidden Agenda of After Yoga Stretching

I'm going to be honest and admit that I have had a love hate relationship with my yoga practice for about 1 year now.  I really feel as if my practice has gone backwards, slightly, due to a number of reasons and for the first time in over 3 years my practice has slipped from 6-7 times a week (and more) to barely 3 times (M, W, F).  I haven't trained a "double" practice in months and since that time have felt a little guilty over it, until now.

Two, back to back, Bikram's yoga practices takes over 3 hours. 90 minutes per class with a 1/2 hour in between, so 3 1/2 hour minimum.  It was on my regular training schedule to do a "double" three days a week, (the same M, W, F) and a single on Sun.  That equals out to 7 classes per week, basically a daily practice.

I liked "doubles" for a number of reasons.  The first reason is that I'm incredibly tight and not very flexible, my ankles and hamstrings having the biggest restrictions, and I could use the first 90 minute class as a "warm up" allowing me to get into most of the postures deeper in the second class.  Good-ness what would it be like if I didn't practice some kind of yoga at all?  Crazy!  Also, I had the time to train, lucky me.  Most people, unless they are in the business of getting and staying fit, just don't have hours and hours to devote to training.

The second reason why I liked training double classes is that it allowed me to completely recover with a day off in between.  Kettlebells Tues/Thurs/Sat, yoga Sun/Mon/Wed/Fri...what a life!  So why and how did it change?  Well, I just found myself not being able to recover enough, and plan appropriately, to train 3+ hours of 104 degree yoga anymore.  And as I mentioned I felt guilty, maybe even "less than" because of it.

OK, back to the point of this post.....

This next weekend Mark and I are attending a "Primal Move" workshop created and lead by Master RKC Peter Lakatos (Hungary) and I didn't want to show up all tight, weak and immobile....hey whatever motivates, right?  OK, so I've got this workshop I'm attending where I have to be on all fours, knees, hands, elbows, and who know's what else! I'm an almost 50 year old former fat girl for God's sake!  I don't do this kind of stuff!

It's not just this workshop, but last year at Mark's Bodyweight Cert I did not participate because I didn't train for it.  I don't naturally flip up into handstands much less one armed pull-ups.  And really I don't think less of myself because of it, but it's uncomfortable being around people that have never been that fat kid sitting on the sidelines watching all her girlfriends do cartwheels and hang from the monkey bars.

Wow, really?  This has to do with a little extra stretching after yoga?  Yes, I guess it does.

A couple of months ago I considered trying to commit to an advanced Bikrams class at 12:00noon on Fridays, at my good friends Mike Mayle's Studio, (, but I did not want to give up my early morning class so I asked him if I should try and do both.  The advanced class is 2 hours long, add that to a 90 min class AND schedule it for 12 noon would be a killer for me since I start my day at 4:00am.  He gave me some great advice....ready?

Mike suggested that instead of doing both classes simply stay after one class, for a full 30 minutes, practicing the poses that gave me the most amount of grief in my regular practice.  And you know what?  Good-ness, I so did not like it.....for weeks now, but I did it anyway.  And now I find myself looking forward to it!  Really?  I think so!

I've kind of come up with my own series of progressions to go into some of my most tight areas (ankles and hips).  Now that I have some order, something that makes a bit of sense, I just go through methodically, step by step until now its at the point that 30 minutes is not quite enough time, and they are practically throwing me out of the yoga studio!

OK, that's it for now.  I hope to post video of my own stretching progressions soon.  First I have to run it by Mark, "Master Stretcher" so he can give me his feedback and then I'll share it here.  Stretching is good, it's a must do as we Mark says, "I don't make the rules, I just know 'em!"

Fig Monday

I'm happy to announce that one pound of figs has 336 calories (approx)....well, there's one meal for the day, lol!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

1000 swing reps w/ 24kg

I start my Sat. mornings out early, 6:45am with an hour of my most difficult training.  By 'most difficult' I mean long crazy stuff like 100 rep snatch sets, 10 minute jerk sets with one hand switch,  and in this case 1000 swings because my two training partners have been training with me long enough to handle anything I throw down.  One of my TP's is on vacation leaving me and Meg to fend for ourselves....hmm...what the hell, why not?  Some of the "boring" stuff was in order!

(first two sets, battery in my Flip ran out!  I had to change them during 15 sec interval rest periods!  That sucked!)

Personally I do this kind of stuff every week and I rarely post it for fear of it being taken wrong.  I don't think this training is a big deal because I do it all the time.  I'm not challenging anyone, I'm not comparing myself to any body else. I don't press the 20kg and dble squat the 24kg's.  I don't do pull ups and pistols.  I don't deadlift or run a billion zillion miles....I swing, and I dig kettlebell ballistic endurance training.  Does anyone have to do a billion trillion swings?  Nope, but I like it!

(sets 84-100)

Since Meg and I were on our own this morning and I know she can hang with the "boring" stuff why not just crank out 100 sets of 10 w/24kg?  Sure, why not?  I've done it twice before it was probably time to try it out again.  To be honest the first 20-25 sets sucked the big one.  I seriously thought, many times, how I could get myself out of the commitment without looking weak.  That's the advantage of having a training partner and a video camera!

Lucky for me it started getting easier at sets 40-50, and after fifty it was all downhill...until set 70.  At 70 I knew I still had 15 minutes to go...15 minutes...that's 5 minutes x 3!  Mentally 10 minutes was pushing it but three more 5 min segments?  Bloody F#@$.  Whatever.

OK enough with the drama.  What was I focusing on?

Absorbing the weight of the descending 24kg bell with my hips and legs to help take the load off of my traps and shoulders....24kg is a lot of weight!  Contracting my glutes as quickly as I could, and keeping them contracted as long as possible, was my next priority.  NOT "rocking", instead "sitting back and down" was also something I wanted to pay attention to.  I'm not saying it didn't start to happen, but when I felt it, I was aware and tried to change it back to a more aggressive swing instead of a passive movement.  I wanted these swings to be solid and the strongest I could perform.  I wasn't willing to settle for "surviving" or as I often say, letting the bell "swing me".  What's the point of that?

I love what I do, that's why I do it!  My training partners can count on me, the same as Mark's training partners can count on him, and have for decades.  I've learned from the best.  Holidays, over worked, no sleep, sick, hungover, late afternoons, early mornings, show up!  It's barely 2-3 hours a freakin' week out of 168....seems small now doesn't it?  1000 swings, 50 minutes out of my 10,080 minutes a week...not a big deal.  I admit a few pull-ups and pistols wouldn't hurt....I'll get back to you on those!  lol

Friday, July 6, 2012

Should you, or do you need to, keep a Food Journal? Maybe not!

This post is inspired by a comment left to me that I just noticed yesterday.  I do not get notified when comments are left so if I have never replied to one of your comments it's most likely because I don't know you left it!

Anyway the comment is about how to keep motivation for a food journaling.

 Ape said...

I love to eat healthy, but food journals are where I struggle. I feel like all those programs are not made for people that eat rather healthy. They are made w/ bar code scanners because people aren't eating broccoli and carrots or a salad. I even recently tried writing down my journal w/ just a pen and paper, but I slacked off again--way too quickly I may add. I know I eat well, and I know where I can clean up i.e., ice cream and my daily piece of dark chocolate that can turn into a few extra dark chocolate almonds. Annoying. Can you suggest ideas for structuring a food journal or how yours typically looks?

First of all I want to address the first part of this comment about eating healthy, pretty healthy, or "rather healthy", and how it relates to why keep a journal at all?

If you are at a body weight you like then there is no need to change what you are's working for you.  If your body composition is where you like it to be, fat/lean muscle, then there's no need to keep a journal.  If you are feeling overall "healthy", then there's no need to keep a journal, and therefore no motivation to do something you really don't need.

If you want to change your body weight, and usually it's to reduce body weight, and you truly don't know, or you may feel perplexed as to, why you weigh what you weigh, then a food journal will put it all in black and white, and it will provide a wealth of information besides just calories. (although if that's all you are interested in then that'll work too)

Amount of food (calories)
Types of foods (nutritional content)
Times you eat / don't eat
Exercise you do / don't do

If you are interested in changing your body composition a food journal can be instrumental.  Most people wanting to change composition want to get "leaner".  There are many diets/theories/plans on how to get lean, but first let me remind you that you must first have muscle to "lean out"!  Otherwise you are just getting skinny!  If skinny is what you want then fine, "skinny" can be lean, but it's not muscular.  Getting "lean" is about building and preserving hard earned and trained muscle mass while losing only fat.  This usually means losing weight (fat) slower and over a longer period of time. I believe this is where the recommendation to not lose more than 2lbs a week stems from.

I'm not implying, or assuming that "Ape" is overweight, in fact I'm guessing not, but most people will say that they do indeed eat "pretty healthy".  But if you have lots of weight to lose, more than 25lbs, and certainly more that 40-50lbs, then regardless of whether or not you think you are eating rather healthy, you can't be. The very fact that you are that much overweight gives it away.  A serving of ice cream, or a handful of chocolate nuts, is not what will produce obesity, even if consumed daily (single portion).  So is it producing some other kind of effect you want to change?

OK, so you want to change your body, size, weight, shape, etc., for what ever reason.  How much you want to change it will determine your motivation!  Not so much?  Then not so much!  I can only share with you my opinion based on my own life and experience.

When I really, really, really, want something, I make it happen.  Right now my food journal is hit and miss because I really don't want to change anything!  I'll go a week or more of consistent journaling when I think I'm ready to change something, but then I don't change anything!  I already know why I weigh what I weigh, and I'm not seeming to mind enough to do something different.  I'm in the "wishing" stage right now, lol!  And that's fine!

Another reason besides just wanting to change the size and shape of your body may be that you are feeling sick, and you don't know why.  Tired, weak, maybe some kind of pain, whether muscle or joint pain, or mental craziness pain (mood)!  Food can be medicine as much as it can be drug.  Again, are you feeling miserable enough to look for possible food related reasons?

Lots of people, most people, don't keep a food journal, there's just no reason compelling enough in their lives to want to, or have to.  Journaling food, emotions, workouts, banking, mileage, is all the same thing.  A way of collecting data to keep track, stay on track, or find answers to questions that are relevant to living a kind of life you say you want.  If you have that life already, or your life is "close enough" (lol) then enjoy it!  Don't worry about something that does not have, or add value to you already good life!

PS I have years and years of my food journal on my original blog "Living My Physical Potential" in case anybody is interested in looking it over.  Nothing fancy, just data.  Since I was in the habit of blogging regularly I simply included it in my regular posting.  Maybe starting a blog, even if it's a private blog, would be beneficial...just an idea.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Carbs.....If Loving You is Wrong, I Don't Wanna Be Right

Good-ness!  Where do I even start?  Oh, well let's start with the main subject of this post, carbs!  I get it, carbs are bad.  How bad?  Well, it depends on who you are talking to.  Personally I refuse to believe that everybody should cut all carbs out of their diets and all will be right with the world.  Everybody would be thin, healthy and fit....but then again some people do truly believe this, and that's fine.  Seriously, there are books out there that will give you all the science, facts and studies to prove the authors theory, and a lot of them will make sense to you, and if it works for you then hooray!

I base my belief on living with someone who has never ever had a weight "problem" and eats plenty of carbs.  I base my belief on having friends that have never had a "weight problem" and they eat plenty of carbs.  I base my belief on the fact that I've traveled a bit to other countries, and have known people that live here from other countries, and a lot of them do not have weight "problem" and do not "track" their carbohydrate consumption.  They enjoy desserts, pasta, rice, bread...did I mention bread?

Do I think carbs are great and everybody should live on carbs? No, I don't.  From my own experience I feel better, and I think I look better when I keep all of my nutrients balanced.  Some days my carbohydrate consumption is lower than other days, and then some days I can't seem to get enough Grape-Nuts.  At the end of the day I have to ask myself what kind of life do I want to live?

Sure, I am confident I can live a life completely devoid of Grape-Nuts, that's a fact. I didn't eat Grape-Nuts for at least 5 years, no big deal, and except for a 2-3 month period when I learned how to make my own Kettlecorn I haven't had popcorn in the same amount of time and don't plan to start eating it regularly again. If I never eat another bagel it may be too soon, lol!

I can live my life without a lot of things except for joy.  Being overweight is not joyful.  Stuffing myself on a regular basis and overeating when I'm not hungry does not feel joyful.  Being weak and sick is not joyful.  Being obnoxiously obsessed with every morsel that passes my lips is not joyful....oh and then telling everybody about it is not joyful.

When I was writing the diet section of my book, "The Swing", I wanted to encourage others to find their own way based on what worked for me.  What worked for me?

Making my own foods., no eating out....never eating out. (feeding myself)
Not overeating. (calorie counting)
Putting my nutrients in order based on the physical effects those nutrients create by becoming an expert on how my body feels when I eat certain foods so I can make the choices I need to produce the results I'm looking for, at the time.(food journaling)

Sure, believe me, I can tell you exactly what to eat and when, and maybe it will come to something like that at some point, but I trust you.

I know the science behind different types of nutrients.  Science says that 1 gr carbs hold 4 gr water, versus 1 gr salt which holds 20 gr water.  Protein holds no water and actually sheds water.  So I get it.  I get that those who chose to exclude foods and nutrients based on how those foods make them feel, bloated and sometimes truly sick, I get it.  Personally I know that pizza does not make me feel good.  A whole bag of cookies does not make me feel good.  French fries rarely make me feel good...I get it.  If fish oil and protein powder makes you feel on top of the world then great!  Most people would not consider plain yogurt with sliced toasted almonds and lime a "treat" on the same level as ice cream, but I do.

I know what I eat and I feel dang good about my choices, in fact I'm proud of how I feed myself and my family.  Who could ask for more?  Carbs?  I am not cutting carbs completely out of my life today or ever, so if loving carbs is wrong, I don't wanna be right.

"No-Brainer" Swing Squat ladder

Only have 20 minutes?  Or maybe you need to tack on an extra 10-20 minutes and can't seem to get those squats in?  Well here is a favorite of mine, done uphill or downhill either way each set only takes 1 minute and you only need one bell...make it a good one!  Or use progressively heavier bells OR doubles if this is your only training for the day!  Rest periods interval and how many sets you do is up to you....but I took 1 minute rest and repeated the ladder 10 x (uphill w/16kg).

1 sw/1 sq
2 sw/1 sq
3 sw/ 1 sq
4 sw/1 sq
5 sw/1 sq
6 sw/1 sq

21 sw/6 sq per set x 10 = 210 swings/60 squats

Oh, and of course you can use dble bells too!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

"It's a meal, not a party"

I started out my morning today, getting ready for my oldest son, daughter-in-law and granddaughter to visit later this afternoon and of course I'm excited to cook and feed them. My mind started racing about what I would plan for the menu.  Back in the day, serving bread was automatic, much like you'd get at a restaurant, but I don't ever buy bread so I'd have to go get some.  Thank goodness because I'd want to serve the best bread and that's 20 miles away, and I'm not going to go through that kind of trouble to serve something nobody needs 'extra' of.  Sure, bread is fine, I'm not trying to hate on bread, but what kinds of, and how much, food should we serve people we love and care about?  I'd also serve a platter of fruit, cheese, nuts, crackers (this is where the bread comes in too), etc as a start, but really, is all that necessary?  Let's not forget about dessert....I should at least have some fresh fruit, right?  But as Mark says, "it's a meal, not a party", and the special occasion is spending personal time with my family, not eating time with my family.  Trust me (I'm talking to myself!) nobody is going to starve!

I've got 3 huge, thick, one pound, New York strip steaks I picked up at Whole Foods yesterday, after that really who cares!  But since I'm going to grill them I thought I'd throw some veggies on the grill too.  For some reason I just don't feel like vegetable shopping on Sat at the FM, and Sunday is a crap, or in today's case I've been 'picking up' and cleaning all morning!  I'd have to look and see what I already have.

I've got 2 large sweet potatoes I think I can slice thin and grill, as well as rainbow chard I got in CSA that I can also grill (it'll take about 2 minutes).  I also have my summer beans I pressure cooked two days ago, with roasted corn an zucchini, maybe as a bonus I'll reheat them with some crispy bacon!  Now what about dessert?  Yikes...I bought some apricots at the FM...tell you what, if they are still hungry, and I doubt it, I'll figure something out...maybe I'll sweeten some of my sheeps milk yogurt with maple syrup, slice up the apricots and toast up some granola?  Or maybe I've got some shortbread cookies hiding somewhere...who am I kidding, of course I've got some cookies hiding somewhere, lol!  (unfortunately I'm out of whipping cream until my youngest son gets home, otherwise for sure I'd whip up some cream....I'm not that much of a drag!  lol)

Gotta take those steaks out of the fridge now.....

(PS, FYI, when I chose to eat flour based foods I eat way too many cookies and crackers that's why I never buy bread!)